Month: May 2011

Gratitude & SPSS overload

First; thank you all so much for the advice It’s very much appreciated!

As for the rest… I wish I had something more interesting to blog about, but here’s the deal: SPSS has been tormenting me for three days straight. You’d think it’d be easier to run a statistical analysis with the help of a computer instead of doing it by hand, but… no. At one point I was in front of my computer, surrounded by about 5 SPSS manuals. That can’t be right, right? In the end, we got it done, though. Sorta. We’re still missing a margin of error, but honestly, I don’t care.

Ever since our teacher took a tumble down the stairs and broke her ankle, we’ve gotten way behind on schedule. It was only last week that we got a notification that someone else was taking over for her.

Bummer #1: It’s an actual professor instead of a TA. I had him for two courses in my first year, and he isn’t exactly a ray of sunshine. I bet he could make the biggest insomniac fall into a coma.
Bummer #2: He wanted us to catch up in a week. Really? REALLY?! After weeks of not getting any feedback whatsoever, we had a LOT of editing to do. We had exactly three days to find 132 participants for our research, and then analyze the data.

I swear, if it hadn’t been for Seb and his Cuban espressos I probably wouldn’t have survived. Sure, too much of them makes you wonder if you turned into a Parkinson’s patient, but DANG that coffee’s good. And it keeps you going when you’re running on fumes.

I sure could have used a cup (or three) when I had to get up at 7 this morning to make it to my appointment with the jaw surgeon in time… Long story short: I grind my teeth at night. Badly. I have a mouth guard for it, but that doesn’t help with the painful jaw. Last time I went in they told me to only eat soft food for 6 weeks (and let me tell ya, that gets old real quick). Didn’t help. So now I was prescribed some muscle relaxers that I have to take before I go to sleep. We’ll see how that works out.

On a much brighter note, I did manage to obtain some nifty earplugs for on the plane that supposedly help with earaches during a flight (another side effect from teeth grinding: your ears start to hurt), as well as a medical passport. The fact that I’m flying from Amsterdam will probably result in customs searching my bag, so I don’t really want to have prescription medication with me that I have no doctor’s statement for. Ha. So at least I got that out of the way!

Only 42 more days until I fly to TX… Can’t wait to finally see my boyfriend again!

It’s the european in me

Since I’ll be flying to Texas in little over a month, I’ve started piecing together a collection of summer clothing. Living in Holland, you don’t really need summer clothes. Apart from the fluke heat waves we get from time to time, you can pretty much just wear a pair of jeans and a top during summer. And sometimes you need a coat. Pretty much the only thing that changes during summer is that I chuck my sweaters in a corner, and that’s that.

But July and August in Texas? I think I’ll die of a heatstroke if I wear my usual clothes. 94.6 average? Last time I experienced that sort of weather was during my Egypt trip, and I only survived because I was in the Red Sea for hours on end (and the pool, after I saw a hammer head shark while snorkeling and after doing some research discovered there were 11 more deathly kinds lurking around).

But yes, to get back on topic: I need summer clothes. And who better to help me than my American friends? But strangely, this is the conversation we seem to keep having…

Me: “Can I pull this off in Texas?”
Any given American friend: “You mean when you go out?”
Me: “No I mean during the day.”
Any given American friend: “You’d be seriously overdressed.”
Me: “Oh… How about this?”

And than we repeat the conversation all over again.

I remember Sue saying she felt like a slob when she first got here, rocking out her sweatpants and sneakers during classes while I (and the rest of the European students) were clad in skinny jeans, skirts, ankle boots, blouses and cute tops. I do my hair before class, and more often than not I put some make-up on my face (not like I’m going clubbing, but still… there’s make-up involved in my morning ritual).

Me: “So I can’t do that in Texas?”
Seb: “Sure you can…”
Me: “Great!”
Seb: “…If you want to look like you’re doing a walk of shame.”
Me: “… Balls.”

I don’t want to be seen as a stuck-up, snooty European. I don’t want to look like I’m trying to hard. And I sure as hell don’t want to look like I’m doing a walk of shame every single morning strutting around for the nearest Starbucks (1.97mi).

So I guess what I’m trying to say is… HALP?!

Quirks

A few days ago, I bought one of those waking light alarm clock things, then decided I didn’t really want it three minutes later. I have this deep fear of cashiers looking at me funny for buying something and then returning it almost right after, so I kind of guilt tripped Seb into doing it for me. He really didn’t want to do it either, but finally grabbed the bag out of my hand with a not too friendly “FINE!” and stalked off to the register (we hadn’t even left the store yet and I’d already changed my mind). Sure enough, the following conversation took place:

Seb: “Hi, I’d like to return this alarm clock.”
Cashier: *looks at receipt* “But sir, you’ve bought this 5 minutes ago.” *Looks at him like he’s batshit crazy*
Seb: “I’m fickle-minded.” *while glaring at me*

I am fickle minded, I really am. James and I once spent hours walking from store to store searching for Supernatural season 3. Then when we finally found it, I didn’t want to buy it anymore. It’s extremely annoying and the reason I usually do my shopping alone. Funny enough, it’s different with clothes. Maybe because I know right away if I want to wear something or not. Same thing with books (although, no, I don’t wear my books). But other stuff? I like to stand in front of it for about ten years, maybe pick it up and read what’s on the box, put it down again, walk around the store, then do the same thing all over again.

What can I say, I’m weird.

I was just looking for a new alarm clock that says “beep beep”. Then I came across the waking light (which was expensive!) went to show it to Seb who I didn’t realize was already in line to purchase something else, and before I knew it the lady said “can I help you, ma’am?”

What was I supposed to say, “No, I’d like to think about it some more?”

So I bought it. Then made Seb return it.

And now I still don’t have an alarm clock.

words of advice (x2)

A word of advise: If you ever find yourself in need of a piñata, for the love of god, don’t leave it up to a Cuban guy and a Jewish girl. S.P. and I spent countless hours on making one for S.C., and what started out as a horse ended up looking like… I don’t even know. Some lama/elephant/Michael Myers hybrid. The thing was a monstrosity. At least it served it’s purpose well: S.C. beat the crap out of it to get rid of some pent up anger. Break-ups suck.

Another word of advise: if you ever find yourself craving Chinese food, don’t let someone who doesn’t speak Dutch order it off a Dutch website. You might just end up with 3 of everything and have to call people over for an impromptu Chinese food party. We did have fun, though. I pretended to be a walrus for the larger part of the evening and we had a great time overall. But S.P., for future reference, Holland has the same numerical system as America. I promise.

Clear! *Pang*

May 9th was the day that my website hiccuped and died. I’m still not sure what happened exactly, but a 45 cents per minute phone call to the company I purchased this site from informed me that something snuck in through someone’s sub-domain and started eating away chunks of my website. Luckily, they were able to clean out everything and I could start afresh, but I did lose all the pages, posts and whatnot. Also, Firefox now screams red alert, this is an attack site, when you try to open my site. Lovely, no? I assure you it isn’t, though. At least not anymore, after it had multiple amputations and a dose of penicillin.

It had some upsides, though. My “50 questions that will free your mind” project got murdered in the process and frankly I was sick of it anyway. I’ll see what other project I’ll come up with, but for now I think I’ll just stick to my reading list and not much more. There are still some “bald spots” here and there, but rebuilding everything is going to take some time… of which I have not much to spare. University is keeping me insanely busy and I’m hardly ever home these days.

On a much brighter note, I “discovered” Postcrossing a few days back. A friend of mine actually showed it to me a good while ago, but I was hesitant to sign up for something that gave out my address to random people. However, after much reassurance from a buttload of people, I decided to give it a go. Currently I have postcards on their way to Japan, Belarus (I had to google that one), Brasil, Canada and the United States. In the progress of picking out cards, I actually made friends with the guy that works in the card shop of our teeny tiny mall. He helped me look for cards that recipients mentioned they loved to get and was fascinated by the whole concept. When I came back the next day for two more cards, he immediately jumped up and asked “More?” all exited and happy.

So yes, my website died and life just… went on. Ha. Still, I won’t be able to really relax until everything is how I like it again. And Firefox removes the attack site status from my website. I’ll have to look into how I can get them to remove it. *Sigh* Bear with me!

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