Monday, October 24, 2005

Woo formatting palette!

I'm sort of stressed out about my first grad school paper. I want to do a good job, to start things off on the right foot. I've amassed something like 20 articles and books and web references for a six-page paper on Sesame Street...I only need to use four.

So I'm writing and it's taking *hours* and I can't seem to stretch it past 3.5 pages. I mean, I still need to write a paragraph on South Africa and then a conclusion, but I can't see that stretching the paper to even four pages.

What will I do????

"Julia, it's single-spaced."


Now I just need to do my closing paragraphs and remove the junk which is now cluttering up my eight-page paper.

Monday, October 17, 2005

How Does One Cross the Freakin' Street Around Here?

Today, after trudging to a weird library and paying with cash (this library doesn't accept the copy card that the other libraries use for whatever reason) to copy an article which may or may not help me write my first paper (which has me a tad concerned, the paper I mean) I ended up sort of lost (not seriously lost, but "I had to walk a really long way to get to the bus" sort of lost) and then I couldn't figure out how to cross the &$#%@ street (cross at light, see that sidewalk disappears, walk backwards, cross back over, discover road work, decide to walk through the road work, get HONKED at by some security guy whose apparent job is to sit in a van and honk at people trying to walk through the 30-foot sidewalk closure at 5pm) go backward again, walk over a skyway, keep walking, then the bus is full and I wait an additional half hour for another bus and did I mention I'm worried about screwing up my first paper and I'm totally stabbing in the dark trying to find somne relation between "Sesame Street" and attention span but I think I'm approaching it from the totally wrong angle and I was really hungry the entire time and today was hard.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

No Golden Gate at the Golden Gardens

Though the weather report basically suggested that people start building arks, I took a chance and went on a bike ride today. I ended up at Golden Gardens Park....beautiful. But then I haven't found much here that hasn't been beautiful.

Golden Gardens is at the edge of the Ballard neighborhood, right on Puget Sound. Besides changing leaves (my new/old obsession) there are restored wetlands, playgrounds, and a rocky beach.

I noticed that stuff gets bigger before it washes up on shore (LARGE shells, as well as bird-food-crabs that had a chance for barnacles to grow all over them.) I also saw ducks that aren't mallards! These guys had light blue beaks and went "peep" instead of "quack."

Looking out across the Sound, a few of the views seemed like they were missing a large red bridge. But the crossings are considerably larger than the Golden Gate, so that was just my Californiacentrism talkiing.

The Solitary Life of a Master's Student

Seattle continues to be mind-blowingly beautiful, but I'm feeling more and more isolated. I'm doing all the right political things, like showing up to the first department "happy hour" of the school year this past Friday. I figured everyone would be there, including all of the newbies.

Not so! There were maybe five people there, and I was the only first-year. I'm starting to forge some great academic relationships, however I'm a really odd duck around these here parts as I am not here for a PhD. Everyone who is anyone is here for a PhD, and that makes perfect sense, as UW is a major research institution. But the PhD's are academic "lifers" whereas I'm in this for some solid education and resources that I was to use "out there."

I just took myself to an alternative party thrown by the alternative weekly (The Stranger) at the downtown city art museum. I got there (shockingly to me, there was no entrance procedure at this free event - I just walked in the door, no bag search, nothing) stuck around for maybe a half hour, and then took off. So I am getting out into the world, but I'm not yet connecting with it. I found a casual improv group online that meets in a few weeks, and that could be fun.

But life's lonely when you're not going for a PhD!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

My Pretty...

Seattle is incredibly beautiful! I've made a pact with myself that if it's a nice day, I must go outside.

I woke up to blue skies today (though the air is getting more crisp) and I decided to hike UP the hill to the famous Lighthouse Coffee, to see if it was really All That.

It was only four blocks up, but I was almost in need of an oxygen mask by the time I reached my destination. Lighthouse has a nice feel to it, with lots of natural light, a resident dog, and nice people behind the counter. There's no internet, and I think I was the only person working on schoolwork in the room (it's in a residential neighborhood.)

Everyone tells me that Dave Matthews hangs out there, but I don't know what he looks like, so this fact is lost on me.

I took two prints to the local frame shop for mounting, and then I went to try out the local Indian buffet. Good food! Very flavorful, but not too spicy (an important feature for me.) I'm slowly working my way through the neighborhood eateries.

I walked to campus (see above comment about sunny days) and noticed that The Mountain (Rainer) was visible I love that view! Nothing but vistas of mountains, water, and fall colors in every direction.

My next destination was the Engineering Library, where I checked out "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information" by Edward Tufte, for my own dorky amusement.

Class let out a little early, and now it's time to cook some hippie Northwest food, which is basically identical to hippie Northern California food, so no huge strides are being made on that front.

I am a very fortunate person.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

and oh by the way...

I'm in Seattle in grad school.

It's taken me over ten years to get here, and now that I'm here, I'm feeling extraordinarily fortunate.

This is Halloween

I got a package of Halloween candy from the store today. When I opened one of the Kit-Kats and was about to start eating, it, I briefly thought, "I hope there aren't any razor blades in here."

Monday, June 06, 2005

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Even though I suffered from some sort of an itchy bump in my eyelid, got pretty bad blisters on my heels, was afflicted with some scratchy thing embedded in my *other* eye, got a bruised butt from 15 miles on an unfamilar bike, and got my first *beesting*...I had a fabulous weekend.

No, really.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Adventures on Muni

So I was on the N-Judah the other day, diddling about with the iPod, doing my best to not bother anyone, and it seemed that nobody was trying to bother me.

An altercation of sorts erupted a few rows down, and I noticed one guy walking over to another, talking very seriously. I couldn't tell whether he was upset or if they knew each other, as I was still trying to do my very best to stay out of it. As I was sitting there musing over how Americans on public transit in large cities have a terrible propensity to "stay out of it" (thereby contributing to people growing ever-farther apart, etc.,) I then noticed a woman sort of telling the first guy off. The first guy grew more and more upset, until she got off at her stop, at which point he proclaimed, "Yeah, well she's FAT anyway!"

She seemed to have no extra weight on her whatsoever, but I guess that's a good generic put-down for a woman.

This is when I started paying more attention. It was clear that the first and second guys didn't know each other. Guy #1 strikes up a conversation, talking about "respect" and about how "he speaks his mind and it gets him in trouble sometimes, knowwhatI'msayin'."

THEN, he starts going off about his time in the joint, grinning from ear to ear. Guy #2 starts commiserating. Soon, they're both comparing and contrasting Santa Rita and San Quentin (apparently, Santa Rita is a major dump compared to San Quentin.) They talk about time in the yard, the food, the wake-up schedule...I actually heard the term "OG" used in context.

When I reached my stop I looked at the guy next to me and simply said, "Oh my God."

He laughed and shook his head in disbelief.

Then we both walked our separate ways, into the night.