It's been some time since I got up in here, so the general rundown goes like this....
Days off, grades back, work done, ho hum.
Trip home long drive, snow up north, couple inches worth.
Skiing cross country, skiing down hill, winter in the U.P. sure fits the bill.
Christmas Eve pizza with cookies on the side.
Christmas morning in the pit, cookies for breakfast, beauty outside.
Day-after skiing, down the hill slide.
Fondue for dinner, guests from the west.
Fix up the truck, head south with a little luck.
Trip to the east, stop in New Jersey, get up the morning for a day in the city.
Uptown, midtown, downtown, all around.
Tired feet, Queens Midtown Tunnel, L.I.E.
Glen Cove Road, Dosoris, Harrison House. posted at 10:14 AM - comments
Monday, December 20, 2004
The ninth semester of my collegiate life wound down today, with the email submission of my final final. A few hours later, just past the deadline, a confirmation email announced that my test had been received on time and that the solution key was available online. Being a masochist, I checked things out and was pleased to find that, less one minor bonehead error, I'd pretty much taken this particular exam to the house.
I was doing some packing today and remembered that I'd totally forgotten to post something wild and crazy that happened last week. You know how sometimes you get a note from UPS that says "Package waiting for you" and you go "ehhh? What package could that be?" and invariably you either wind up remembering or feeling some amount of gratitude to somebody in your sphere of influence. That happened to me on Thursday, 'cept that instead of being from a known person, this package was from Powder (which I receive as a gift from two people in the above category) and I was totally baffled. So I opened it and found a DaKine Pro II pack, embroidered with "Powder, The skiiers magazine." After some phoning around, I discovered it was free swag, Primedia's way of saying thank you for filling out a reader response card.
Then there was Sunday, spent with Robin and Jenelle doing this and that and that and this, but mostly having buffet at Sindhu (still good) and ice skating at Munn and trying to stay warm.
Today is IOE day, which is nice because from here on out things are really down to the bare minimum. I've been studying and writing my much-lamented crib sheets, listening to music that emphasizes the beat to get myself psyched for the test, and generally been nerding it up. But, I got good rest, had breakfast at Angelo's, and feel comfortable. This poor exam is never even going to see what hit it.
posted at 1:11 PM - comments
Thursday, December 16, 2004
A busy day of checking off landmarks and attractions for the academic set here in A-town. We started the day with breakfast at the Garden Cafe in 2200 Fuller Court, then headed to Bentley Historical Library. We weren't sure how to proceed, but the folks there set us up and we browsed MIRLYN and found some interesting stuff, which we wrote out call slips for and soon got to look through: maps of proposals for spanning the Straits of Mackinaw, historical photos of the Michigan houses on the underground railroad, maps of the iron ore distribution from Lake Superior from 1909 to 1951, and special editions of the Daily Press from 1936 and 1964 highlighting the area's progress. All very fascinating stuff.
From Bentley, we headed to Yost for noon skate - fun as always - and then up to Central Campus to spend the rest of the day. We had lunch at Teriyaki Grill (nothing special but a good bargain) before heading up to the 8th floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library to the Map Library. Mom found some interesting stuff, but there wasn't a great search mechanism available and I found it harder to use than Bentley. Nonetheless, it was a pretty awesome display of free resources available for the taking (and coming soon, the Googling).
In need of some coffee and a break, we hit Starbucks and a few downtown shops before cruising down State to the Museum of Art. It wasn't that thrilling to either of us, but I found myself pretty bummed that I didn't make it in to see Georgia O'Keefe's exhibition earlier in the fall. There was studying on the docket, so we got the truck, picked up some groceries, made panini and salad and had a slice of key lime pie at home and now I'm at NAME, studying for tomorrow's IOE 441 final. Crazy. Crazy.
posted at 9:26 PM - comments
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Super size me, mate. Last night I had the opportunity to head to Outback Steakhouse with Jenelle and a couple of auditors from Schneider-Larche-Haapala, one of whom happened to be Jenelle's mother. But I digress.... We had a bloomin' onion appetizer, which was tasty, then I got a bleu cheese salad, which was way overdressed with a very ranchy bleu cheese dressing, and my entree (a burger) was just more oil than I could handle. Rarely in my life have I felt so ill so suddenly, but I just couldn't handle another grease-laden bite. So, I sent half a burger away and felt like a loser, but I steered clear of becoming a documentary film subject and felt marginally OK after a tall glass of water. Next time, Olive Garden instead.
posted at 1:51 PM - comments
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Today has been somewhat of a catch-all day: CPC stuff, wrapping up the very last bit of coursework (IOE 441) and attending my last class of the term, and dutifully running errands, ironing shirts, and etc. Don't screw up your precedents. WIP is in the formula. Pick the correct queueing scheme. CT(G/G/1). Hmmmm salami and colby and fancy mustard on potato bread. Where's my apple? Forgot my apple. Damnation. Good song. Ehhhnnnn song. Messy desk, borrowed books. My books. Your books. Big drawer, small drawer, circular drawer. Hole punch, staple, staple, whole bunch, three-ring binder. Office hours. Snowy cold weather, haha Florida. Windy morning, locks frozen. Mmmmmm Florida. Ships on cold water, ships with ice on them, ships in my laptop.
posted at 1:37 PM - comments
Monday, December 13, 2004
I must be dating an English major, because we passed on the Michigan v. Bowling Green hockey game on Friday in favor of a nationally-attended poetry slam. It was pretty cool, and the presence of scores of politically-charged high schoolers confirmed what one poet alluded to: a new 1960s is on the way. One young man in particular summed things up when he (correctly, in my estimation) postulated that because of a few people at the top of the federal triangle, if he were killed by terrorists tomorrow more people would cheer his death than would mourn it. Zoinks.
After Poetry Night, we trapsed three blocks through the late-fall rain to the home of a fellow NAME student for a bit of a party, where we had a drink and some laughs but didn't stay too long, and then headed home. Saturday we cruised the better part of A-deuce's downtown areas - Kerrytown, Main Street, and State & Liberty. In the evening we watched "Saving Grace" and SNL and had Bailey's in new glasses and were glad to be inside rather than out. Sunday we went for a walk along the Huron, watched the Lions and Packers, read some journalage, had steak sandwiches (steak leftover from a great dinner on Friday) and pasties for lunch and dinner, respectively, and did the tiniest tiny bit of work.
posted at 3:05 PM - comments
Friday, December 10, 2004
If you thought yesterday was a lazy old day, just hang on to your hats. The sum total of today's doings include a hair cut, kabobs downtown, ice skating (and not that well, even), and then a check of email and now off to grocery shop and head home. Over the weekend, though, I may have to actually crack a book or two to wrap things up. We'll see.
posted at 2:13 PM - comments
Thursday, December 09, 2004
Since my semester essentially wrapped up yesterday, today wasn't too much of a day, school or stress-wise. It started off with the Big Greek showing us (astonishingly) preliminary grades, which was pretty good news. I did better than I thought was mathematically possible on a final worth 45% of my grade, which boosted me up into the sigh-of-relief zone on the curve.
After the last of NA 580 I was feeling squirrely, so I headed out to take care of some frivolous errands. In A-deuce, "frivolous errands" means, of course, I had lunch at Zingerman's. This time around I had a nosher-sized D.$'s cuban conundrum: some pulled pork, some ham, some baaaahlazing mustard, pickle slices, and a garlic pickle on the side. My mouth is watering just typing about it. I also found a non-touch-free carwash that looked up to the challenge of delaminating the crud from the Jimmy. Maybe it's vain, but like Ulysses Everett McGill says about showering and putting "stinkum in our hair," somehow I just feel altogether better about things when my ride is shiny and dope, instead of gray and dopey like it has been recently.
posted at 4:59 PM - comments
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
It's sunny outside, which is a nice change. I took a nice decompressing walk from NAME down to EECS to get pizza or a donut this afternoon, cut through the Wave Field, and it just felt nice to be outside in the sunshine for the first time in a few days. Even though they are short, the gray seasons here in the midwest (and everywhere else, I suppose) are tough.
The first of the day's events went off wi....well, it went off. And afterwords I trudged out to the Jimmy and blasted "The Real Slim Shady" and even sang along with the part about the Burger King parking lot. This will remind Webbies of a certain Strength of Materials professor and Glab-o intimating that he might have to stab said professor. Now Glab is far away under the sea and I'm here with a new professor. Errrrggghhh.
posted at 2:32 PM - comments
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
"People should know when they are beaten" says Quintus in Gladiator. "Would you Quintus? Would I?" responds Maximus. That's the spirit. And so, at my signal, unleash hell upon this poor NA 562 team project. Yesterday we had a minor setback in that two team members headed home sick, although one has tried nobly to work from home. I'm not sure how much time I've put into this thing, but I do know that by the end of IOE 441 at 4:30, I need to have studied for my NA580 final tomorrow and completed my book review. These are the days when it doesn't seem like going to class is a good use of time, but isn't that contrary to the whole purpose of being here? For all of the forecasting, scheduling, and process control knowledge stored up in the cranial cavities of my various professors and graders it is highly ironic that four major events converge on one 24 hour span, with the three biggest happening within 4 hours of each other.
posted at 1:08 PM - comments
Monday, December 06, 2004
Today I'm standing in the face of a mammoth project whose ins and outs I don't understand, confronted with a very opaque piece of the Microsoft universe called Project that I don't like, and as default self-appointed team leader. There's plenty to be said for lead by doing, but at the moment the struggle is to lead by doing not DO by doing. I find myself wondering if perhaps I shouldered too much of the burden at the outset when my technical background made it easy? Perhaps some floundering on the part of my teammates would have better ingrained in their minds the heft of this project? Who knows. It's a little late for second guessing. All signs point to Wednesday, December the 8th, a day which will live in notoriety for being the apex of my semester: 10-page book review, major team project and presentation, and NA 580 midterm.
posted at 10:31 PM - comments
Sunday, December 05, 2004
It was a continuation of what must be the world's longest birthday celebration over the past few days. Friday got underway with some ice skating, complete with skates carried in my trusty new skate bag, then a pair of meetings and I was outtie. The scene shifted to East Lansing, where Jenelle treated to a belated birthday dinner at an Indian restaurant (good restaurant) and then Melting Moments for dessert at Munn Ice Arena during the first period of MSU v. Bowling Green in CCHA action. Saturday we went "wardrobe updating" at Tanger Outlets in Howell, then built and decorated her Christmas tree, complete with Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown Christmas.
In the car on my way here and there lately I seem to be catching rather a lot of A Prairie Home Companion over on NPR. Today was a rerun of last night's show, but it reminded me of a great closing number Garrison Keillor did on my way west after the last football game of the year:
O all the money e'er I had / I spent it in good company
And all the harm e'er I've done / Alas! It was to none but me
And all I've done for want of wit / To mem'ry now I cannot recall
So fill to me the parting glass / Goodnight and joy be with you all
~first verse of the Irish folk song The Parting Glass
Sometimes I really feel like academia is for the birds. My IOE test from the last day before T-givens came back today...just under the curve, an 82 against a mean of 84 with a standard deviation of 8. Blast. The real tyranny here is that the curve is variable and that means I don't know where I am, and that a B is semi-required. Specifically, a B average is required to stay off of academic probation. It's so confusing I almost miss the old '70 stays, 69.49 goes' days of the Institute.
posted at 8:36 PM - comments
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Last night I attended the Ross B-schoolapalooza or some such thing over in West Bloomfield at a fairly swanky country club. It was great; I kibbitzed with the associate dean, with the Midwest admissions director, with a couple of current MBA2s, with a handful of prospectives, and at some length with Director of Admissions Jim Hayes. Beauty. But, after all of that talking, with the wine and the cheese and the tiny steak sandwiches and the fruit and the hot hors d'oeuvres, I still don't have a feeling for where I stand. I will say that the crowd last night was a fair bit less accomplished than the group I toured with just about a year ago, so hooray for that at least.
posted at 3:45 PM - comments