Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Does it bother anyone else that the US weapons inspectors are leaving Iraq without finding anything? Does it bother anyone else that on the basis of what could very well be faulty intelligence, we toppled a regime and hundreds -- if not thousands -- of innocent civillians were killed for absolutely no reason? And more alarming, it freaks me out that no one in this country cares that George W. Bush has a) not demonstrated the existence of the reason for the war and b) the fact that now he's eyeing Iran and accusing them of terrorism.

Now I am as patriotic as the next girl and heck knows, I think some of those leaders are the boogeymen. I know they aren't nice people. But this is ridiculous. The plan to put Iraq back together is in shambles and it looks like it's going to be years before we leave that country (which, btw, gives fundamentalists even greater reason to despise the US). Does it bother anyone else that the Oregon school districts had to cut their school year short due to lack of funding and yet we're pouring all of this money into Iraq?

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Gosh, it's been so long since I've updated here. Long enough to make me concern whether I should discontinue the blog. I've been unsubbing from mailing lists as well, mostly because these things take too long to go through these days and I'm just barely interested. I think it's because I'm back in more interesting environs with more things to do and I haven't been online as much as I've been in the past. I think it's been literally days since I've been on AIM at night. So, I'm not sure right now what I'm going to do. I'm just sayin', you know?

Friday, May 16, 2003

It's been almost 2 years since I've had to report to work by 7:30. Today I arrived at 8:30. No one was there. No one showed up until 10 am. It's going to be hard getting used to, that much is for sure. The whole "employment" thing has been a brain drain, to say the least. I didn't realize how comfortable and easy being a project manager (not my title at Big Insurance Company, but it's very descriptive of what I did do) had become until this job, where I was hired to do something that was repetitious and serialized. I didn't realize too how efficient I could be when a) my phone wasn't ringing constantly and b) I wasn't spending 75 percent of the days in meetings that didn't seem to have a point.

The ASCEML Awards and ASC Awards both have been announced. Congrats to all of the winners.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

And the Minuteman is saved! I found especially interesting the bit about the UMASS team formerly being called the 'Aggies' -- I just graduated from a school that sports' teams are called Aggies (there is something grammatically wrong with this sentence, but I shall acknowledge and move on). In another weird coincidence, both schools' colors are the same -- maroon and white. Can I pick 'em or what? No, it's really not a coincidence that my site is done in maroon and white ::grin::

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

News headlines

Texas Democrats Walk Out of the House. Quite amusing -- it's fun to watch the Republicans get up in arms over the issue of redistricting, primarily because it affects them and they are really the big losers here, not the Democrats. Definitely the most amusement I've had in a very long time.

In other news, my alma mater wants to change our beloved mascot of the Minuteman to Wolves. Please. Obviously, they are ignoring the brand equity of the Minuteman, the keen connection that the Minuteman has to Massachusetts' history, not to mention us alum who are up in arms over the switch. It's all my UMASS mailing list has been talking about this week; my friend Katie noted that perhaps to combat sexism, we should call the women's teams 'Minute Maids'. The comment was funny at the time, but to be honest, first rule of name changing: You don't do it unless you're trying to distance yourself. A name change is purely reactionary, it's not pre-emptory. Companies who change their names are trying to distance themselves from scandal or bad reputation -- Altria ring a bell for anyone?

Saturday, May 10, 2003


So I didn't trip, I didn't fall, and I think I looked at the photographer, but I'm not entirely sure. Graduation went smoothly enough. I had a bit of a struggle with the collar of my gown; the collar won and I ended up having a clump of hair stuck in the little tapey things you use to tack the collar onto your gown. And then, of course, the hood, which my friend Laura was very interested in, went smoothly enough with some adjustments made by my brother. This thing hangs against your neck and I could see the headline: "Candidate for MBA strangles self with hood minutes before receiving degree, film at 10." I also didn't trip over my own feet -- you laugh, but I have and I would.

As an undergrad, I didn't walk across the stage. They only had one graduation ceremony at UMASS and so our esteemed President Bulger (whose brother, btw, is wanted by the authorities on charges of mafia or racketeering or something equally unfortunate and unrespectable) merely said "Stand up, voila, you have a degree!" But here, they called our names individually. The Masters degree candidates went after the PhD students who all wrote dissertation topics that included words I simply didn't know the meaning of. If anyone knows what "Confluence of Shifting Particles in the Third Metasphere of the Sonora" is, do let me know; my mind boggles at how people even come up with topics like this.

I'd talk about our main commencement speaker, but I don't remember anything about him except that he was a former astronaut who had been into space. A lot. He praised our armed forces. A lot. So there was also a lot of random applause and cheering because this particular university has a very strong military tradition. The astronaut also happened to be a Marine and when he said the words "Semper fidelis," all I could think of was Harm saying to Mac, "Don't go getting all semper fi on me" ("JAG" btw -- I believe the episode was "Full Engagement"). But the astronaut didn't talk long so that was a Good Thing (tm).

My parents, uncle and brother were seated in the nosebleed section, but they had binoculars, apparently trained on my feet. My mom said she recognized me out of a sea of a 1,225 graduates because of my sandals. The sandals are important because they are clunky sandals. They are also important because I had to walk up steps all dignified like. The last time I wore clunky shoes and attempted stairs, I fell down the stairs. Honest to God. But this time, I didn't. I ascended the stairs with about as much dignity as someone wearing a cap that threatens to fall off any minute now, a collar that is yanking at my hair and that danged hood, could possibly muster (For those of you interested, my cap cooperated for exactly the amount of time required to walk across the stage and then to sit down again; it then fell off and refused to go back on my head).

I whispered my last name to the person who announced the names as we were instructed to do, so there was no mangling of said name. A very, very good idea. And then, two more steps, and I was shaking hands with Robert Gates, our new president, and former director of the CIA. (He had the best remark, btw, before the awarding of degrees. He said, "For all of you thinking of leaving early, I know who you are and I know where you live. Think twice."). Anyway, Mr. Gates looks at me and says, "Congratulations." By this time, things were starting to get blurry and I was getting verklemped. I shook hands with the dean of the business school and then a few more people whom I didn't recognize, and then one of my marketing professors (representing the MBA core program) and finally, the director of the MBA program and then my very supportive and helpful academic advisor.

Somewhere in all of that handshaking, I think I was supposed to locate the official photographer and smile. Or something. I don't know if I did. Anyway, I had intended to sit through all of the other names being called, but then so many people were leaving that finally there were only about 10 or 12 of us MBAs left. Mind you, it was around dinner time when we started, so it was a rough schedule to begin with. I finally snuck out around 9:30 (after my cell phone had been passed around to a bunch of people so that they could locate their families).

All in all, a very nice graduation ceremony. I've got my degree -- it came in a red leather tube stamped with the university seal -- and my name is spelled correctly. And I didn't trip. And I didn't cry though I came pretty darn close.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

One last missive from the computer lab

Can I just say that a seminar that lasts from 8:30 am to 7 pm is cruel to begin with? And then to be out of coffee by 10 am? Bah!

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

I got my hood yesterday afternoon and sold more books. It didn't occur to me while I was at the bookstore that I needed a collar too. So after my presentation this morning, I'll go back and get the collar. The book selling is rather depressing. Yes, now I have cash, but man, the amount of money you get back compared to the money you spent in the first place... It's definitely a well-run racket. There is an on-campus organization that is taking books for Africa and there are a few books that I'll probably donate because I can't sell them and really, do I want a casebook on accounting financials forever and ever? Not particularly. Unfortunately, I couldn't unload any of my accounting books - I now have more accounting books than a non-accounting major should ever have; it's kind of like my collection of stats books (though I did unload two - one last summer, one this week - so it's more manageable). The thing with textbooks is that you don't want them, you're never really going to read them again unless you're going to graduate school, yet, it's so hard to accept $20 for a book you paid $120 for.

And now, to get ready for the presentation. I have no idea what we're doing other than showing up at the company at 8:50 am. Nothing like spontaneity in situations like this, yup.

Monday, May 05, 2003

Wrong number... still

That guy who keeps calling my cell phone at odd hours of the day did it again this morning. At 7:30. I went to bed at 3 am (was up reading) and so you can guess, I wasn't happy. Especially since he had called at 8 on Saturday morning and again at 10:30. I called him back at 10:30 and said, "You keep calling me." And he says, "I know. Wrong number." But my question is, what's up with this guy that he keeps dialing my cell phone? And early in the morning too? jemima said he might be a stalker. Which I find very doubtful since a) we're not in the same city b) my cell phone is not a listed number and c) I think he's just incompetent. I just wish he wouldn't be incompetent early in the morning and on my cell phone.

On a positive note, I'm glad he woke me up because I had a headache. Usually my headaches come in the middle of the night so by the time I wake up, it's too late to do anything for them. But this time, I went ahead and took medication. So now I'm a bit wired because migraine medication does have caffeine in it. I do feel a bit dopey, but no head or nausea. So, I guess I should call Incompetent!Guy back and thank him for waking me up. Except, I'd really like to break him of the habit of calling me in the first place.

It's harder to get rid of textbooks than I thought it would be. When Lisa moved to Colorado last fall, she asked me to take care of some her textbooks for her. I sold a bunch on Amazon and then thought I'd donate the rest to the library or Halfprice Books. So I called both places today. No one wants 'em. One of them is a geography book. Fundamentals of geography don't change. I don't think there are huge changes in oceanography either. I plan to take a whole box of books to Rothers' today and sell them. I got a coupon in the mail offering me an additional $5 if I sell them back at Rother's. Yeah, I know it's probably still a scam, but a) I'm tired of having more textbooks than I know what to do with and b) Rother's has a free parking lot and the University bookstore makes you pay for it and c) I could use the cash.

I've also called the apartment complex to get the move-out checklist, have taken out another bag of garbage out, called to cancel cable service, found out if Goodwill will take the furniture if I can't find any takers here, and started making a box of the dishes/cookware that I'm not going to keep. All in all, a pretty decent day.

Friday, May 02, 2003

I emailed cheerleader prof this morning and asked her a question. She said, "You delight when you exceed expectations but don't get sucked into the vortex." I think I got sucked into the vortex. I'm at size 11 font (the minimum), at 5 pages (the maximum), adjusted all margins to 1", have spent more than the recommended 2-3 hours on the paper (hey, I had to reread the major concepts! Had to read the case three times, had to figure out my answers - 2-3 hours, my left foot!) and I still have more to say. I haven't even used the One True Model yet. Stay tuned.
Count Una McCormack as another ficcer who has done the ASC community proud. Go Una! I had the opportunity to meet Una in Boston 3 or 4 years ago and she's a lovely individual and I'm so amazed and happy for her.

Thursday, May 01, 2003

Godwin's Law. Because, you know, all discussions get to this point. Recent discussions have made me think that it might be easier to argue with a brick wall -- which is potentially more responsive and flexible.