Monday, November 28, 2005

I hate-a data*

For my diss, I'm supposed to be using two data sets. I got the publicly available NELS from the NCES folks a while back and just assumed (and you know what that does) that they'd have info on where people are from (as in countries). But they don't. Now maybe this is not the biggest whoop ever. I have some ways of identifying where people are from (in a messier way) that may work out just fine (I would probably have had to collapse categories in a way that would maybe end up similarly to what I can identify in the publicly available data). But of course I didn't realize that before spazzing out and almost making myself puke over it. Especially b/c I tried to figure out how to get access to the restricted use data (where this info is probably available) and it's so fricking hard to get the daggone data it's not even funny. A grad student can't get it for herself. It has to be a prof at a university. And then you can only use the data "on site." So I'm not "on site" anywhere but my own apt, really. And even though it's like a fortress to get in here (2 locked doors (deadbolt and handle lock), down a spooky alley way and then 2 locked doors in one way and 2 locked gates plus same spooky alley and 2 locked doors in another way), it would never pass security measures for this stinking data. And, again, I'm not a prof. And I'm not in Wisconsin enough to use it there and even though I have some sort of access to Penn, I don't have access really to any computers (particularly not ones locked up in some kind of secured site). And anyway, I'm moving next year. So would I have to do all of that all over again? So, what's a dissertator to do? Think about puking/dropping out/using different data? All of the above. Well, I think I may be able to get by with the NELS public use data. We'll see what G-dog says. But LORD! I know we should protect the people who participate in these data collections, but does it have to be THIS hard?

*Also, I'm not very funny. Or clever.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

We gather together to watch cheesy movies...

at Comedy Central on Thanksgiving Day...

Do you remember that? When they used to play MST3K ALL DAY (actually for 30 hours, a "turkey day") on Thanksgiving? I LOVED that. That's the only sad thing about Thanksgiving these days. No more of this:

Actually, also sad is that one sister, Rachel, and her husband won't be there. They will be at the in-laws though maybe they'll make it to my parents' house for dessert. This whole marriage thing has certainly complicated Thanksgiving arrangements. But things worked out quite well for me. I get my mom's Thanksgiving and I get to help as much as I can! And my in-laws will be there! Yikes! My mom is nervous, but I think it'll be fun. And I have a very Thanksgiving-y sweater to wear (shout out to my shopping pals, Connie, Dorrie, and Jenna). And I get to dress Joshie for the occasion. He will also be v. Thanksgiving-y in orange sweater and brown pants. Nice, I know.

Also, apparently, I forgot how to do work this week. Instead, I will just think about how this...

was the best MST3K episode. Ever!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2005

It's official: We're moving to DC

I know I've been saying we're probably going to be in DC next year for a long time now, but as of yesterday afternoon, it is official. Joshie got and accepted an offer from a law firm in DC. So the year of Philadelphia phreedom* is definitely comineg to a close next summer. It actually makes me a little bit sad. I mean, I still don't really have any friends here. There are 4 women I hang out with on occasion (I have a synagogue date with one of them tonight). I already know more people in the DC area and am way closer to them (or once was). But DC feels so sterile or something compared to the Philly phunk (which can actually be pretty nasty at times, but at least it's got phlavor, you know).

Soon saying goodbye to this:

Or really this (my neighborhood):

(Yes! It's that sparkly!)

I guess I shouldn't get attached to anywhere, really. The plan is to be on the job market next year and with my luck...Who knows where we'll end up? Puke, puke, puke.

*I'm sorry. But I like the "ph" business okay. It's all I got.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Joshie: Smartie-pants at Law

Congratulations, Joshie! You just found out you passed your second bar exam!* What are you going to do? Eat a burrito with Careyoke? Yay!**

*New York. The hard one. We found out about Massachusetts a couple weeks ago.

**Sorry, Connie. But no worries, we're not going to Qdoba.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Since I have nothing more interesting to say

These are my results. Does this make sense?

You are an undergraduate! Your mind has not yet
warped into the utter oddness of contemporary
theory. If you put down the beer bong, and
start reading dreafully weird theory, you'll
probably have a better chance of not getting
the answer designed to make fun of you.

What 20th Century Theorist are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I did it! Sort of.

I used arrays and they did what I wanted them to do! Eventually. I think. But now I realize: I forgot that sometimes kids die. Sad, but true. Hmmm...Some more thinking is required. And I need to do the same thing for the other 4 kids that people have possibly had. But. OMG. I need to celebrate. I feel like chowing/boozing/singing/dancing. Instead, I will go with the "Sounds of the Season" tv channel. The Carpenters singing "Have yourself a Merry little Christmas" is almost as good. I just wish it were "Merry Christmas, darling." Which I just downloaded. As well as Burt Bacharach's "The bell that couldn't jingle."* I love you, itunes! Although I'm kind of mad at you for not having the appropriate version of "I want a hippopotamus from Christmas." Crappers!

*Please tell me: Is that song from something? Like a cartoon Christmas special? It HAS to be. And I MUST see it. And I can't find it on the internet. Sad.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I love QVC.

So, I have a weird addiction. It's QVC. I haven't ever bought anything from it, but I am fascinated by it (and, really, it's only a matter of time before I do purchase something - although I have managed to resist in...oh the past 15 years that I have been watching it). It was a habit that started in 6th grade b/c a friend of mine, Genevieve, used to watch it. I don't know why, but I love to watch the various items in full display. Especially jewelry. I love the sparkling bracelets on the models or on the display thingies. And my VERY FAVORITE part is when they MEASURE things! I want a QVC ruler of my own to measure how big some of my earrings are! BIG, I can tell you. And you already know. But what about each individual element that makes up these earrings. They'd tell you that, you know, if it were on QVC.

And the people who host the "shows"! They are SO GREAT. I mean they are annoying and ridiculous, but SO GREAT. How do they manage to talk for HOURS about these various more or less craptacular products (actually, they're not all craptacular)? I want to be one of them. And the QVC studios are in West Chester, PA!!! Not too far from here... I will have to start wearing more makeup and work on my nails (only the handsomest hands can show the fine products).

I did manage to get over the addiction for a number of years (no cable, really). But's back and stronger than ever. I'd really love to have a QVC drinking game party where we take shots for every rule shot. And for every time they show you the attractive packaging. Or every time Lisa (QVC woman Lisa, let's see if this pic works...first ever!) mentions that she was the Pearl Princess back in the day.

Update: I don't want to die quite so much now that TLB walked me through "arrays." (Yes. They deserve scare quotes.) Still much to do before I know I have done them totally correctly. Blech.

Monday, November 07, 2005


Did you know that I'm incompetent? It's true. I've been working on creating a data set for some people that Gary works with for...forever! I took a long hiatus during wedding craziness and now (or since mid-Sept) I've been back at it. And I keep telling them I'm going to have it done in a week or so, and I don't. And I'm actually really, really working on it. A lot. But I'm just not so good at what I'm doing. I don't know SAS very well. I know it like a baby knows how to walk. I can only do the simplest things in the world. So this programming is taking me FOREVER! And now I realized that I'm even doing it wrong! LORD! At least sort of wrong. T-thang kindly sent me a very informative write-up on arrays (sorry for the sas jargon, but it means about as much to me as it does to you, I promise). I looked at it and I wanted to puke a little, but now I think I am going to take a stab at using them to fix the problem I have at the moment.

But I'm spazzing out right now b/c I just sent an email to the "team" to explain what's going on and ask a couple of questions I probably should have asked them years ago. And I just said that I was sorry it was taking so long and that the programming is tedious and I'm not very skilled at arrays and I'm SORRY! And I'm so totally embarrassed. I feel like I'm making Gary look bad or something. I don't know. They're not even paying me (Gary is, and I don't think he has a whole lot invested in the project considering he's Mr. Busy-pants/slacks), so maybe I shouldn't spazz so much but I have never felt like I was so bad at something that's supposed to be my job. I just hope they don't yell at me for taking so long.

I don't mean to be incompetent. I just am.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Klerk karaoke

I feel a little bit like I cheated on my Mad-town crew. But you have cheated on me too! It's not even really cheating anymore now that we are so far apart. Sniff.

Anyway, last night was a happy hour + karaoke outing for the whatever-district-they-are law clerks. I am sure I should know. But whatever. I was a little apprehensive at first, but then I learned that Josh had bragged to people about my abilities (or at least had mentioned to them that I have a blog supposedly devoted to karaoke. Oh Lord. I am a dork. Yes, Dorotha! I am!). So then I had to get pumped up for my performance. Let me tell you: Philly karaoke is different from Madison karaoke. Or definitely Karaoke Kid karaoke. People were more serious in Philly. I was told people could get booed. Apparently, no one had ever heard of Rule 2 (I can't find the post that actually first calls it "Rule 2" but for explanation see here).

But there really wasn't any booing that I recall. The big difference I noticed was that people seemed to serious about it. Maybe it's just that Sconnie sociology karaoke is all about the funny. I don't know. But there were a lot of good singers last night, but not that many stellar performances.

There are exceptions of course! The best moment of the night was Peter doing Kiss by Prince. He ROCKED IT OUT! I mean it was a guy in a suit just going for the falsetto and dancing a little James Brown-ishly. And it was awesomely awesome. Soon after that, Josh and I did "Total eclipse." We got a good response. So good that this random woman named Leigh who was in town from South Carolina came up to me and asked me to do a song with her (Let's give 'em something to talk about by Bonnie Raitt). You know I said yes! (It cracked me up when we were singing b/c she told me "Don't sing the 'love' part okay b/c I do it different every time." I was like, Um. Ok. Sure. And she was right.)

Also awesomely awesome was Alexis doing "Midnight train to Georgia." I think Katie, Joshie and I were pretty good Pips for her! We even had coordinated (sort of) dance moves! There was some older guy who kind of looked like Neil Diamond (I wanted to put him in a sparkly shirt and make him sing "America" or, better yet, "Heartlight"!) who was pretty awesome. Except then he sang, Save a horse ride a cowboy. Ick. But the crowd liked it. Ummm...what am I forgetting? A couple of clerk women (I think?) did "It's raining men." Love it. Ummm...OMG! Then there was this guy who I swear said he was Luther Vandross's cousin and DAMN he could SING! Jeesh! He was incredible. It was out of control (also, his double breasted mustard-colored almost lame-ish (pronounced lah-may, spelled I don't know how) suit was out of control). He did "Superstar" by the Carpenters but it wasn't the Carpenter's version. It was like what Ruben Studdard sang in American idol or something. Sadly, though, he didn't get that fantastic of a response. Maybe he was just too good for a beer-soaked crowd in an alley dive bar. Oh and Joshie, of course, was awesomely awesome with his Elvis! People were SO IMPRESSED with him. Art, the guy in town from Texas, kept ranting about him to me. Speaking of Art...he did Cameo's "Word up." Hilariously awesome song choice, but Jenna definitely did it better at the Kid! Ummm...can't think of much else...Some woman sang "Sweet child o' mine" as we were leaving. Grrr! That's MY song. Whatever. She was WAY hotter than me so I am glad I didn't have to compete with her!

Hmm, what am I forgetting? Anyone out there have anything to add?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Social life

So my date on Fri night was really good. We saw "In her shoes." Whatever. I totally like it. And I loved all the Philly site spotting in the movie. I am willing to take anyone of the "In her shoes" restaurant tour! Especially if you're paying! After the movie, we got dinner at a restaurant named Pumpkin. Dinner was at 9:45! I am so city!! And we had fun. And we both called it a date (meanwhile, Josh and her husband were out playing poker with some other friends). And afterwards we went to her new house (not far from my place) and she gave me a tour and we made out on the couch. Ok. Maybe we didn't, but it was the platonic equivalent to that, I'm sure.

The rest of the weekend was taken up with Josh family stuff. His grandma, a refugee from Wilma (or her power was to be out pretty much indefinitely, they said, but I think it's back on now), was in town, so we went to his parents' house for a visit. She kept asking me why it was taking so long to get my Ph.D. Isn't that the best? I love that one. I managed not to spazz out too much, but, jeesh, why does someone feel the need to ask that multiple times? And then, when I respond, It's a lot of work, etc., etc., why does she feel the need to say, Well, it sure does seem like a really long time whatever it is that you're doing. Yes. It's long. I wish it weren't so long. Do you want to do it for me? Please?

Sunday was a trip with Josh's fam to DC for his cousin's engagement party. Fun in the middle back seat of the car for 5+ hours. Whoopie! There were more questions about what I'm doing and why it's taking so long at the party. There was also a woman who told Josh that her daughter HATED where he's going to work next year. Great, thinks Josh. Thanks. And now the daughter's not at a firm but at some children's law center something or other. Sounded interesting, wed said. She responded, She HATES it. Great. Blech.

So that's the news from me. Oh, and I have to add one thing to people's list of bad songs: MC Hammer's "Pray." It's the worst use of a sample ever. I mean, how is it possible to make "When doves cry" into a bad song? But somehow Hammer does it. Horrible.