Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Galaxy Nexus/ teh futurz

I recently upgraded to the Galaxy Nexus and I can confidently say to anyone who does not have one that my phone is better than yours. This is no credit to myself, really, since all I did was select it. I was not involved in the development, programming, design, or manufacture of this exquisite marriage of art and science. This is the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport of smartphones, and after suffering for the last two years with that piece of doodie Palm Pixi, I am happily risking offending others with my smugness and joy.
If you feel bad (and you should) that you have an iPhone (which costs treble and isn't as nice), I have a small consolation prize for you. This morning, as I was about to celebrate the conclusion and submissiom of my independent study coursework by FINALLY playing Minecraft, I discovered that I am, in fact, a great feeble-minded oaf who has spent the last month working off of the wrong file and that I, in fact, have half of my project left to complete. Instead of playing Minecraft or downloading more apps onto my amazing new phone, I will be reading more boring reviews of boring history books and analyzing their applicability to my studies.
Whenever I do manage to complete the work (for real this time), I will begin sorting and packing, for I am not only moving out of my current apartment but FINALLY moving out of Ellensburg. I am scouring housing websites with a friend looking for a suitable house in Seattle. It is a big step for me, and while I am apprehensive, I couldn't be more excited. I will be living with one of my favorite friends, I will have access to a proper social life and people my own age (I am one of the oldest grad students in the history department, and to my knowledge, the only one without a significant other), a home with a yard and a garden and a porch on which to grill things. It will be a drastic, wonderful change, and hopefully one that will give me a bit more to blog about!

Sunday, July 29, 2012


I am the worst blogger.

My MA program is almost over. Currently I'm doing an independent study (so easy). Next quarter I'm doing an independent study (so easy). Winter quarter I'll have a research seminar (basically I meet once a week for about two hour). In short, I'll be moving out of Ellensburg (OMG BIG CHANGE!) and relocating to the "west side" (Seattle area). Currently I can afford to simply rent a room in a house and not work, but I am looking for a job that will allow me to give proper attention/energy to the remainder of my graduate studies. No official word yet, but for now it's enough to say, I'm moving on and I am EXCITED!

As soon as I have proper deets, I'll post the crap out of them!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

April heat wave brings May....something. I'm drunk.

I'm a terrible blog mother.

There are several things I dislike about living in Washington.
1) For all you "West-Siders," you sound ridiculous saying you're from "the west side." No one except people who live in the Seattle Metropolitan Area refers to it as "the west side" - it has zero meaning to the rest of the population.
2) If I've never heard of a place, there's no sense in expressing shock AND asking me again. I heard you the first time, and answered you accordingly. The western half of the state has a lot to offer, but I don't give a shit about where you went skiing last weekend, which high school you went to, or what neighborhood you grew up in (That last one in particular gets under my skin. It's so offensively arrogant for you to expect me to know where it is - or to care - and shows that you're trying to flaunt the wealth your parents have accumulated which enables them to be able to afford to live in a neighborhood worth mentioning by name).
3) The complete and utter lack of knowledge about the state east of Yakima. Don't treat me like a freak for not knowing every shitty-ass night club in downtown Seattle (Seattle is famous for things like grunge music and heroin overdoses, not its happenin' night life....), and I'll try not to tell you you're a tool for not being able to locate Walla Walla on a map.

Almost halfway through the quarter. This time tomorrow I'll have a big stack of papers to grade, which should actually be pretty okay to read through. The students were assigned a paper on a book called Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling. The book is written almost like a novel, and describes the story behind the Sistine Chapel, the major players (such as Michelangelo and Pope Julius II), and goes into great detail about the technical aspects of fresco and other media. It well-written, reasonably entertaining, and should make for some great papers. Naturally the quality of the papers will also reflect the intelligence of the class in general (I've never been in a class that seemed to really GET IT quite like this group. MAYBE my Russian Far East class a few years ago, but we had some weirdos in that one...). My thesis is going reasonably well, though I confess I've been struggling to work on it (more on that later), and find myself spending most of my time feeling guilty. However, I'm being much more responsible than I have been the last few months, and even applied for a fellowship for the summer. My grades aren't very good (not by my standards, anyway) so I'm not sure if I'll be able to get it, but if I do, it will provide me with a few thousand dollars so that I can take the summer off to do nothing but enjoy the weather and read/research/write. If all goes according to plan, I should be done by December, and will (hopefully) be starting a new job in January.

I've been watching a lot of shows on Netflix recently (I'm paying for it, I may as well use it!). Black Books is a British sitcom about a mysanthropic, alcoholic bookstore owner, his chronically unemployed neurotic Bridget Jones-esque friend Fran, and his well-coiffed manslave, Manny. Although I think the show is a bit haphazard sometimes, the characters are endearing, there is a lot of really interesting humor, and basically I just love Dylan Moran. Kingdom stars Stephen Fry as an East Anglian solicitor, his student trainee, Lyle, their secretary, friends, family, etc. It's got similarly haphazard writing, but it's an incredibly uplifting, charming show, with lovable characters. Since it's filmed on location, it's also got wonderful atmosphere. Midsomer Murders is a police detective show/murder mystery series that takes place in southwestern England, and has delightfully contrived plot lines. Some episodes are virtually unwatchable (each episode is movie-length, so I imagine it was difficult to keep the writing up to snuff!) but for the most part I found it highly entertaining. The lead characters in the original 8 seasons were WONDERFUL. Likewise, MI-5, about the British equivalent of the FBI, is well-cast with well-developed characters. I've watched seasons 7-9, because they star one of my FAVORITE actors, Richard Armitage, as Lucas North/John Bateman. Needless to say, I'm an anglophile who is more determined than ever to relocate (possibly on a permanent basis) to the boggy little island sometime in the future.

Now, for the bad stuff: My dad and uncle (identical twins) have been diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy. Basically their bodies are shutting down. My uncle is currently in the hospital and is so bad he doesn't even know his own son. My dad is a few years behind where my uncle is (he only JUST started showing symptoms), but he's struggling to deal with the situation. Not only is he losing his brother, and losing his ability to control his own body (for those of you who don't know, my dad's entire livelihood until recently has depended on his incredible physical abilities), but as he watches his brother die he's seeing what he can anticipate over the next few years. The bottom line is, my uncle won't survive much longer, and my dad has about 7 or 8 years to live - if he's lucky. I'm not quite sure how I feel about the situation yet, though I think that's largely due to me trying desperately not to face the situation. When I have no choice but to process it, I am desperately sad, and not sure how to live my life. There are so many things I wanted to do with my dad that I never got to do, and never will. I think the most important lesson it's teaching me, though, is to not waste my life. I need to be doing more, enjoying myself, laughing, loving, appreciating life. So I have.

Monday, March 12, 2012



Russian final tomorrow at noon, but before that I have to drive to Crackima to pick up Charlie from the airport (he's been in China for the last week visiting my bro). Friday at 8 I have my history final.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

2012 so far

So far 2012 has been all over the map for me emotionally and psychologically. All that matters is that I'm finally gaining some confidence back, getting my feet back under me, and devising a rough plan for the rest of the year.
Immediate goals include:
+ wearing new clothes I've bought (photos to come)
+ completing my prospectus (a 10 page paper I must submit to the graduate studies department, letting them know what my thesis will cover)
+ trying to get my grades up for the end of the quarter
+ getting ready (psychologically) to jump back into TAing (as I've been a "research assistant" this quarter, which is basically a scholarship)
By next quarter I hope to have:
+ gotten into even better shape than I feel I am (I started working out about three weeks ago, and things are going very well)
+ maintained a consistent (and good) performance in my Russian class
+ performed, once again, at World Language Day (Dinara asked me to sing, and I think I succeeded in getting a friend to make it a duet)
+ gotten myself set up for summer research (probably won't be in Russia, but I'd prefer to stay in the Burg)/thesis writing
+ found a house to live in with my friendses
By Fall quarter:
+ Begin job application process
+ Create my thesis committee
+ Defend my thesis to said committee (I want to throw up just thinking about how scary that's going to be-so I won't think about it)
+ Possibly begin applications to law schools/PhD programs.*

In a few weeks there is a career fair, which I'd like to go to. If I get brave enough, I'll stop by the Career Services center on campus for some help with my resume (I think it's okay, but maybe it sucks?) beforehand, so that I have something to give to potential employers. The Fall Quarter career fair was much more exciting (I couldn't go because of scheduling conflicts), but it's still worth my time to go and see the kind of responses I get. At the very least it might help me figure out what I CAN actually do with my degree(s).

* Because I will complete my MA mid-year, and because I didn't already apply to programs, if I DO want to continue with school, I will have to wait until Fall 2013. Therefore, if I apply to schools this year, I'll open up a lot of options for me later next year, after I've had a bit of a break and (hopefully) a few months' of work experience. It also means that I will need to study for/sit the LSAT.

What I'm most looking forward to is warmer weather. I've bought a bunch of cute clothes for summer, and I couldn't be more excited to be able to wear them. I found lots of cute stuff on sale, including an ADORABLE dress from ModCloth (usually way too expensive, but I got this dress for under $20, and that includes shipping!) and some fun shoes. Summer needs to hurry up and get here!!

Well, that's all for now, I'll post more later, and put up some photos, when I have a bit more time!