Tuesday, January 26, 2010

today is a good day

...because my hair looks goooood.

...because i got an interview at a college for a full time position.

...because linzi just told me "WANTED" is coming out with a sequel.*

...and because ive got some good friends, professors, and family. shazam!

*wanted is my favorite movie, though i recognize it is a piece of junk film.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


today i am ready for a change.

nothing too extreme. which, for a woman, largely means she is going to change her hair. men might not understand this... but a change in one's hairstyle or color can actually signify a huge change in direction/attitude/strength.

you know. its like pokemon... how certain species have the ability to undergo metamorphosis and transform into stronger species of Pokemon... YA. just like pokemon.

i really like change but im still somewhat risk averse... so a change in hair style and color is my go to.

k so that last one is nicole richie.

but today i am going to go get a new 'do.
im so excited!!! ...unless it goes terribly wrong. BUT i dont think i can get worse than platinum meredith (2007).

gotta catch 'um all!*

*its a pokemon thang

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


this is my new artwork.


i feel pretty good about it. nay, real good.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

you are about to enter...THE NO SPIN ZONE

alright. so i enter the "no spin zone" pretty regularly. for those of you unfamiliar with this metaphysical space, its the area/time where/when bill o'reilly (or papa bear to some) brings the largest audience in cable television the news.

of all the commentators on television, he is one of my favorites.

o'reilly is just enough idiot/bananas/angry/nefarious that he is entertaining, and just enough sane (though the evidence might suggest otherwise) that i can listen to him.

anyways, my mentor and friend caroline heldman is a frequent guest. he always calls her "doctor."

she was on o'reilly tuesday night talking about a new cbs poll (that conservies since have repeatedly brought up to me) that shows 41% of the country think obama's presidency has been a failure thus far.

dana perino (ex white house press sec under bush II) praised the poll's merits, whereas caro is the shit (this sentence makes sense).

caroline brought up a lot of things i think i would probably mention. first, she pointed out that reagan's poll numbers during his first term were just as low. this was good because it demonstrates that all presidents have experienced low polling numbers early on... and for conservatives to hear that their beloved reagan was one of them is a nice touch.

she also pointed out that the current economic downturn could explain the low numbers...in other words, the low poll numbers might reflect sentiment toward being poor and pwned by china, and not necessarily feelings toward b.h.o.

but these explanations get at two bigger points.... (a) that people are easily swayed by unrelated information (reagan's numbers) and (b) mostly unrelated circumstances can effect our responses (china pwnage; one could argue this is related to barack. but he inherited that madness). k, so i read the craziest/most interesting study when i was prepping a psychology literature review and it found that if you ask a subject to recall a sad memory, and then ask him about his level of satisfaction with his entire life, those subjects that recalled a sad memory, as opposed to a happy memory, were significantly less satisfied with their lives, on the whole to a degree that reached statistical significance. there are tons of other studies that suggest the same thing... show people happy/sad/angry movies, and following those movies if you ask them about a political figure their opinions reflect the film they just watched.

people are so funny.

anyways, these studies relate to polling in important ways... if our opinions on people and issues can be influenced by the weather etc. what does polling really tell us? why are we poll obsessed in the US?? why does USA today love pie charts? whyyyy?

when i was studying for my field paper on political psych i really focused on emotions, and how they influence our opinions. maybe that is why caro's recent appearance on o'reilly triggered this post...

but i dont mean to say that our emotions get in the way of ANY logical decision making or opinion formation. indeed, im a huge supporter of conceptualizing emotion as a form of intelligence (emotional intelligence is the idea that emotions and intelligence can combine to perform more sophisticated information processing than either is capable of alone...low levels of ability negate the identification of an affective reaction, and subsequent assessment of the applicability of that emotional appraisal. yeah, k so often people cannot distinguish emotion that is elicited by a particular object or person (your gf) from emotion that is experienced on account of the weather, for instance. these people arent emotionally intelligent. bummer).

anyways, obama inherited a crap load of problems. and clinton was hugely popular because of the economic surplus. presidents are clearly handicapped and helped by contextual factors that effect our general outlook on life. youd be hard pressed to find people that can make a decision objectively, even if they think they are excluding biases... i just thought it would be interesting to point out.

lastly, monica crowley is also on the o'reilly factor quite a bit (though is a mainstay on the mclaughlin group). i just need to say... when she speaks its like dementors are attacking me with black licorice and that noise that is made when you step on a snail.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

[ he's coming ]


this is my bff4lomfg james and he is coming to see me and california FOR THE FIRST TIME (well, california for the first time and me for the zillionth, but the first time in 2 years). he hasnt seen me since i ditched the blonde. he'll prolly hate me, now.


anyways, this is an open invite to friends that do not suck in so cal (you know who you are and i luvs yous) to come and hang out wit us at the beach in feb. rain or shine we are riding bikes and building sand castles.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


in case you havent been inside a grocery store lately, VALUMTIMES DAY IS IN LIKE 90 DAYS, omfg get ma' flOw3rzz!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

my mama told me go to school, get your doctorate...

first things first. my mama did NOT tell me to go to school and get my doctorate. its a kanye west song, for all you non-hip-to-good-rap readers. kanye's mom told him to go to school to get his doctorate. but... "she still supported me when i did the opposite." kanye probably made the right decision. he makes a good rap star; im not sure how successful a professor he would be.

but as much as i hate being a grad student, im happy i did as kanye's mother suggested, RIP donda west.

okay okay, so whats up with this post? well, now that i do not live in SB i am more removed from grad life. but whenever i go back (which isn't very often) i am reminded of what its like and how people who havent experienced it HAVE NO IDEA. its like b.spears says..."you think you know me? you have no idea." so i thought i would post about the life and times of grad school while its still fresh in my head... its almost over for me, and i want to recap whilst still in the throes... because, you know what they say... nostalgia is a seductive liar.

major set backs
1. b00kS
courses (especially courses at purdue with g. parker) require students to read multiple books a week. those friggin' books get expensive and when you realize you'll never read some of those books again (like books assigned by g. parker) you learn that instead of buying them? you can check them out at the library. this then results in a race to see who can get their hands on the solo copy of the book from the library. if too slow you are forced to check it out on reserve. this means you get it for 2 hours and then have to turn it over to some other slow/clumsy grad student.

books can also be surreptitiously "borrowed" from other graduate students' offices, depending on your level of criminality.

2. grAnT ApPLicAtiOnS
ask me if i would rather (insert something terrible) or apply for another grant, and i will tell you i would rather (insert something horrifying). applying for grants is like, hell. hell for me is an iceberg and an application for grant money. given that, i am entirely grateful that grants are available! but the forms. and the signatures. and the formatting. and the budgets ($600 for diet coke) and justification of that budget ("i dont drink coffee, you cannot possibly expect me to write a book without SOME caffeine!") plus a myriad of other forms, passwords, log ins, acceptance letters, photo copies, forwards and emails. its hard stuff. if you meet a grant writer? shake their hand. they are patient and wonderful.

3. LOss OF sLeEp
you know how long it takes you to write a 20 page paper? well, it takes even longer to write 3 of them. its impossible to accurately calculate the amount of time you are going to need to write those papers. dont even try. you WILL go without sleep for 72 hours, during finals week.

4. hYgiEnE
along with loss a sleep brings losing track of time. oh, ive been writing this paper for 2 days? when did night fall, and morning come? when was my last shower? i would wager that most male grad students dont have beards because they want to look aristotelian.

5. mOtiVaTe Me
graduate students are not like med students, law students, MBAs, or dentists. those programs for (1) don't pay you. (2) you will likely make more money when you finish. and (3) have very strict time lines that get you in and out. i want to talk about this last one. without a set timeline, your completion is entirely dependent upon you. you take your exams when you want. you defend when you decide you want to defend. but the crazier part, to me, is that the amount of information on any subject is INFINITE. for instance, i could read everyday for the rest of my life and probably still not read everything out there on personality. it gets tough. some people never finish. they just keep learning languages and taking classes until they are permanent residents of the "grad lounge."

6. the GRaD LoUnGe
do you ever want to finish? stay away! grad students are witty, smart, and can talk for hours about nietzsche. socialize. but with caution.

7. LoVe
well, if i couldnt find love before, its going to be even more difficult now that my hobbies include writing a dissertation, and talking about nanotechnology, the singularity, personality, neuroscience, and political behaviors. there may be a lot of fish in the sea, but at this point i think im standing over a dried up gutter.

minor hiccups
1. gOsSiP
gossip in graduate school runs rampant. if youre lucky, no one hears what youre saying, and if youre really lucky its not about you.

2. parking tIcKeTs
i often find myself asking this question: "be late for that meeting with professor x, or get a $45 parking ticket?" i always go with "the ticket." the outcome? over 790 dollars in parking tickets; but zero angry professors, offended by my tardiness. its arguable which is the lesser fate.

3. cOmPut3r CrAsHes, LoW ToNeR, LOsT doCUmentS and general technological failures
i broke 3 laptops whilst a grad student. broke, like CRASH BOOM BREAK. EFF YOU, TECHNOLOGY.

minor successes
1. rEcoGniTiOn
when the head of the department, or equally notorious professor finally knows you by name (because you are performing well, and other professors talk about you positively), it feels pretty good. professors are like celebs, to me. true story.

2. fReE FoOd
knowing which desks have candy, and attacking holiday and department social leftovers is a minor, but auspicious, feat.

3. free anything
we make tiny bits of monies. yes, i will take that free mattress, bruised banana, ancient stapler, etc.

4. NApS
when you get the time to take a nap? i dont care where you are! you take that nap! places i have napped? student union building, grass, back seat of my car, school gym sauna, and library cubicle.

major goldstars
1. PaSsInG pH.d. EXamS
2. DEfenDiNg
3. pUbLicATiOnS
4. NeW (REALLY SMART AND INTERESTING) friends and colleagues
5. makInG YoUr oWn ScHeDuLe
6. stUdYiNg wHAt YOU wAnt
7. teaching students
8. finding expected results
9. bragging mom and dad
10. proud dissertation advisor
11. grADuAtiNg

k, well this is my graduate school experience, in the form of lists. the "major gold stars" list could go on forever. guess despite the hiccups and set backs, i made the right decision. SCHOOL IS COOL!

xoxo gossip girl

Friday, January 1, 2010

[ my 2010 resolutions ]

new years resolution no. 1:

(please see below for email from mother/resolution inspiration)

---start of email
Thanks for the New Year's Greeting. We went to Brother White's and you should never party with old people.
He had us see how many marshmallows we could put in our mouth x2. The second time with these humungously large ones; only Carol would do the large one and could only get 1 in her mouth. Dad won the contest with 5 or 6. I did 3, then spit them out.

Then he had us play with his homemade spinner things on strings. I could not ever make it work. Then I talked some sense into them and we played pictionary.
Man oh man!! What a night.

thanks mom, for inspiring new years resolution no. 1.

no. 2
this morning i woke up and went on a run; this is what is outside my front door:

i resolve to get down there, more often.

no. 3
im sick of being a graduate student; it drives you to take emo pictures (like the one below) whilst cramming away for exams in the library. im ready to be emo about other things...

no. 4
meredith, good abs does not constitute date-able men. maybe you should tattoo that on your forehead, so you see it every time you look in the mirror.

no. 5
last night i had a dream (i have odd/vivid dreams quite a bit). here's how last night's went: my bff sara and i were talking, on a really huge bouncy ball (picture large exercise ball--like the size of the staples center) in the ocean. like the ball, the ocean was rounded, and you could see it for miles, so i am guessing we were at the edge of the earth (metaphorically speaking, i get that the earth is round ya'll im not spanish royalty circa 1492).
so sara asks me, "how are you doing? how have you been?" and i said...
"really really good. i'm really good." and she responds...
"oh thats good. because i believe that some of us are here (earth) specifically to help other people. very specific people, who otherwise might fail if we didn't do our part to help them along."
and then our friend katie appeared and said she was running off with her new spanish love. she seemed really happy.

anyways, sara is profound all the time, but in my dream i really felt what she said and it really affected me (cue corny-times)... i really believe we are all here for a reason, and that people and places and things are brought into our lives very deliberately by a higher power. so this year i resolve to listen a little closer, and be a little quieter, so that i can be the help somebody (hopefully somebody cool and with cars and money) needs.

IM REALLY EXCITED ITS 2010. and if youre reading this im prolls really excited you are in my life. xo

HaMmeR TiMe

i love mondays, so it only makes sense that i would really like the first day of a new year. its true; i do. let us not mince words... i have big plans for you, 2010...

*as a member of the LDS church it is necessary that i remind readers cursing is neither funny nor attractive.