Monday, September 30, 2002

but you know what's weird about those emerson undergrads who flaunt thrift store clothes and patchouli? the ones that just scream, "i have a cause and it's all about all things non-material"? yeah. they're the ones whose parents cut $15,000 checks every semester. and how do it know this? because i happily take their payment and hand them their schedule (jaw always on the floor because junior here doesn't know how to write out the check).
so i'm ranting. okay, i'm over it.
Just in case anyone wants to check it out before (or during) class, here's the story I'll be discussing for "In the News".


Undergrads are strange creatures. At least, that is, Emerson undergrads are strange creatures. They can usually be seen in their natural habitat--that is, loitering outside the Little Building smoking up a storm. I know what you're going to say--"Smoking?!? Are you mad? Certainly Emerson undergrads are bright enough to have read the surgeon general's warnings as to the danger of such behavior!" Well, I know this'll come as a shock; ladies and gents; but apparently they have NOT received this information.
So, yes, they all seem to smoke. And all of them, each and every one, is that weird kid you went to high school with.
Hey, I'm not knocking individuality. I went through a goth phase, a pink-punk-hair phase, a grungy-hippie-I-want-to-drop-everything-sell-grilled-cheese-and-follow-Phish phase. But here at Emerson, they're all in that phase now.
Anyway, I'm not complaining per se; just observing. I guess they just seem worlds away from the students in my program; who spend their days working full-time (as nurses, physicians, cubicle monkeys like me...) and their nights sitting in four-hour classes discussing the implications of a newly published JAMA article. Geez, what I wouldn't give to be able to have that pink hair again...

Andrea--what do you mean where do I get the time? Don't you realize that I'm typing away at work right now, for all appearances doing all-important data entry? :)

So, the PIA readings this time were rather scintillating, were they not? I thought that some cool concepts that can be put to use in the professional world were mentioned--although some of them may "seem" like common sense, it's those little details that can make or break a project. For instance, chapter 4's description of "role-playing" is something I think a LOT of websites I've visited have overlooked. How many times have you found a company's website hard to negotiate, or just plain confusing?
Both chapters 4 and 5 seemed to cross-reference concepts I've learned in some of my more marketing-focused classes (*shudder*)--such as "knowing your audience" (we just did an exercise on that in Social Marketing the other day...), utilizing the site in the process of brand-building, etc.etc. etc. So, anyway; long story short I think some of these concepts are beginning to fall into place in my scattered brain, so to speak.

Friday, September 27, 2002

sorry amanda. my thingy here isn't working. the message below was supposed to post to my personal blog (that's what it said at the top), but it didn't, obviously. so anyway, sorry about the mix up. i think i've had enough of my blogger for tonight.
ok. i think i just hit the wrong button. not sure what happened. i'm still getting used to my new mac. anyhoo. as i was saying before what i had typed disappeared: I'm enjoying this chatty, informal commentary we've got going on. i did my reading for monday last weekend, so i can't really remember much (oh, wait, maybe i shouldn't say that just in case doug stops in for a look around.) What i mean is that i'm going to have to review the readings before i can give some interesting and intelligent comments on them. is everyone looking forward to the quiz monday (that we think we're having because doug said "hint, hint" after he mentioned it last week). i am, sure. so below is a link to one of my in the news articles. yeah, so maybe two is a little much. but i thought they were interesting, and the one actually has something to do with self-publishing, so i thought "cool! i have to use this one too!". the aforementioned article cost me $2.75, so y'all better think it's the bestest ever. right. so the link is NOT to that article, but one regarding the Web logs of established columnists. good stuff.
ok wait. so maybe i won't be adding a link, since the page i'm typing on doesn't have the little world link button. so here's the address instead. deal. :)
so i just checked out andy's blog. why do i get the distinct impression that these things are being used for more than class postings? and another thing? where do y'all get the time? i wish. sorry if mine isn't as interesting, but i don't have much time, so i can't compete with the artistry of you and andy's blogs. off to post to my own. lata gata.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Social Lubrication (that means Party this Friday, and you're invited)

Ha, so yeah, I'm exploiting your blog. My Cambridge friends and I are bringing people together from our grad programs/jobs/neighborhoods this Friday night to destroy this horrible myth that grad students are somehow unsocial or too busy to meet people. So we're having this BYOwhatever party (whatever can mean drinks, friends, yeah, whatever). The goal is to get out on a Friday night, get tipsy just enough to say hi to somebody cute, and do it all somewhere comfortable (i.e., our apartment, which I usually precede with the word "kickass").

Come as early as you want, but we expect most to come between 8:00 and 9:00 and to stay late (or until you need to catch the last T). I suppose it's best if you call for more info/directions if you need to (617-306-4776). We live at the corner of Garden St. and Huron in Cambridge, and we're in the little row of short red brick buildings (building #7, apt. 1) to the left of the firehouse . It's a 10-15 minute walk from both Harvard and Porter Squares (if you like the red line), and if you're out in Allston/Brookline, you can take the 66 bus to Harvard Sq. And if you're brave and you want to mapquest the directions yourself, our "official" address is 7 Garden Court.

I don't have to remind you that you owe it to yourself to come ;-)

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Happy Birthday!

Geez, I almost forgot (or maybe I just was trying to get in 3 blogs today?)--Happy Birthday to Forrest!!! (How's the eye?)
The Great Underpants Caper

I was emailing this to Sean earlier, and I was so amused by my own amusingness that I just had to share.

First, a bit of background info. I live with 2 female roommates, Jess and Barbara; and all three of us have boyfriends. Jess's Deek is currently living in Lebanon, and the aforementioned and incomparable Sean has his own place, so the only one who is really there a lot (and I do mean A LOT) is Barbara's Coley. Now, that's annoying enough. But, recently Jess and I have, on seperate occasions; happened upon Coley in his underwear. Not boxers, but skimpy little bun-hugging briefs. Ewww!!! I mean, we're not prudes, but put some damn pants on!

So, for your reading enjoyment, here's what I emailed to Sean earlier:

It's Tuesday, so Coley should be over once again. Jess and I have decided that we are going to address the walking around with no pants issue, if it comes up. Which scenario do you prefer?



COLEY: Annoying Irish guy. Does NOT live in apartment. Six feet tall, red hair.
JESS: Blond girl with short hair. Lives in apartment.
AMANDA: Tall redhead. Lives in apartment.


AMANDA, JESS, and BARBARA'S apartment. It's early morning, and the girls are getting ready for work. Suddenly, COLEY appears in his underwear. Not boxer underwear, which would be forgivable (well, it would be ONCE...); but BREIFS or BOXER BREIFS that leave little to the imagination.

Act I, Scene I:

COLEY walks down the hall clad only in his underwear.

A) JESS or AMANDA walks in. Says: "Whoa, nelly! Put some pants on! I don't need to see that!" COLEY walks away, humiliated. Wears pants from then on.

B) JESS or AMANDA walks in. Says: "Damn, it's true what they say about the Irish." *wiggles little finger*. COLEY shuffles off, humilated. Buys bigger shoes and stuffs sock down pants from then on. Never walks down hall pants-free again.

C) JESS or AMANDA walks by. Says: "Wow, I didn't know today was No Pants Day! I'll take MINE off, too!" *Pulls off own pants and struts about*. COLEY is embarrassed. Wears pants from then on. Or, alternatively, COLEY decrees our place the "No Pants Apartment" and never wears pants again.

D) JESS or AMANDA walks by. Pantses COLEY. (Scenario "B" could potentially be enacted here). COLEY leaps into the air, desperate to cover his meager manhood. Not only wears pants from then on, but clutches them around waist.

Which of these scenarios is preferable? Any comments from the peanut gallery? C'mon guys, someone must have had a situation like this before! :)

Workman's Comp Woes...

When I say I work for "the Man", I mean it. I work for Blue Cross (*cringe*). Or, to be more exact, I work for an agency that pays me to work for Blue Cross. I like to think that in this way, I'm actually beating the Man, in that He pays more for me than I actually get paid. Hmm. Or maybe I'm just getting shafted. Anyway, that's neither here nor there.
One of my duties as a Blue Cross Drone is to go through Workman's comp claims and make sure we (the "we" being Blue Cross--*cringe again*) aren't paying for something someone else is responsible for.
Now, I know that our deal is to SAVE money; that it's GOOD when a workplace takes responsibility for someone's claim and pays it. You hurt your back at Stop n' Shop? Ok, I can see that. You've got carpal tunnel and you work for MBTA? Yeah, every other claim fits that description. Your finger was cut clean off by a wayward sushi chef? Well, that's most unfortunate, but I can see it.

How in the HELL did your place of employ give you herpes?

C'mon, people; gimme a break.

Sunday, September 22, 2002

Good point on the different versions of Adobe software, Amanda, though I just downloaded and installed Reader and the ebook still didn't have "pages" to turn. So, it appears that we not only have to consider which software is best but we must also be sure that we're downloading a high-quality ebook to use within the software. My problem is I didn't want to pay for anything, so I tried finding free ebooks...and the free ebooks I've found really seem to suck--for example, the one I downloaded for Adobe was one of my favorite books and the translation for it was abysmal. It really seemed like they paid a smart high-schooler to translate it. So, the lesson I guess is that even with ebooks, you need some sort of financial support behind it to make sure the quality is up to the readers' expectations.

Saturday, September 21, 2002

Hey! And the best part about that link is that there's a "Help Wanted" section. Yes ladies and gents, I too could play with dogs all day long. think that'll contribute to my education in any way, shape, or form? No? Damn.

Friday, September 20, 2002

I saw Doggie Daycare for the first time last week as I was walking around the Commons killing time before class. I started cracking up because all the dogs in this particular Doggie Daycare bus were large breeds...and therefore were wearing seatbelts to hold them in their seats. Let's see, what does this have to do with our class, hmm...

Here we go: The Common Dog
Thank you...

Ya know, maybe Friday will be my day to be "thankful" for something. Get into the Turkey Day spirit early.

Thanks to the owner(s) of the Doggie Daycare somewhere in the wilds of Roxbury! The shuttle I take to work every day drives past it, and there's a stoplight conveniently located right beside it. This means that in the midst of my icky pre-work funk, I get an eyeful of happy, frolicking doggies. Scads and scads of them, all running around together with their tongues lolling out and their tails wagging frantically; joyfully. There's a big giant poodle, a couple of weimaraners, some lab puppies, a bassett hound, a jack russell terrier, and an assortment of miscellaneous mongrels that all seem to get along just fabulously.

Now I ask, what kind of monster could watch something like that and NOT smile a big toothy grin? Not me, I say. It's stuff like that that reminds me that life, for all its trials and tribulations; can be incredibly, watermelon-juice-dripping-off-your-chin sweet.

Probably more so if your job is playing with dogs, and not sitting in a cubicle.....

Quote of the Day

"I'm an aspiring corporate executive in mergers and
acquisistions. However, I'll never succeed because I
cannot spell the word acquisistions."

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Question of the Day

This came to me via email, from my "best friend since birth" (Ok, we actually didn't meet till more like 5 years AFTER our respective births...). I found it interesting and ponderous, so I immediately decided to steal it and post it on my blog, representing it as my own. Brandy discovered this, however, and beat me to a bloody pulp.

So, it is as a bloody pulp smearing the keyboard with gore that I present this:

Here's the philosophical question for the day.

There are two schools of thought on how to live life.
The first being that to get where you want to go, you
must first start with the end in mind. For instance,
you may realize that the culmination of your life
should be herding a load of tabbies. It you are
determined toward such an end, then you would work
backwards; thinking of the steps to take today in
order to carry you to your final goal.

While tabby herding is a noble, albeit nonconformist
type of career, there are those who would debate that
theory. There are those that say, life should be a
conglomeration of great experiences in your life, not
necessarily forming one straight line heading towards
the finish. However, with no specific goal in mind, is
it enough just to think of some cool things to do to
occupy our time?

With so many experiences to choose from, is it even
possible to decide upon one goal...forsaking all
others? Does well-rounded actually mean, unfocused?

These and other things to ponder...

This was my response:

Interesting question. I like to think that life is a
combination of both philosophies. How depressing to think of it
as just a straight line towards a goal--marching on and on from
cradle to grave!
I think that you may start out heading towards
a specific goal, but that soon life tosses detours your way and
makes your path crooked, twisty, and confusing. Hell, you'll
probably change what you perceived the "goal" in the
first place. Anyway, I hold that it's these detours that make life
interesting, compelling, and altogether wonderful.
Dat's what I be thinkin', anyhow. :)

Brandy and I have in common (well, a LOT, actually...) that we're both constantly questioning the universe and our place in it. But, when either one of us gets too philosophical, the other one promptly doles out an ass-kick and all is right in the world again.

Love you, Bran!

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

The Problem with Noodle Soup

My current lunch obsession involves these little instant "rice noodle soup bowls" I bought at Trader Joe's. They're pretty good.

There IS an issue with noodle soup I'd like to address, however; and see if anyone has a solution.

You see, noodle soup is a very black and white meal. You either have a bite of noodles, or you have a bite (spoonful?) of that brothy stuff. We'll call the brothy stuff "soup". See, if you try to have both; the brothy stuff (I mean, "soup") runs down the noodles and out of the spoon. This leaves you with a bite of "noodles", which don't have nearly the flavor they'd have if some "soup" was also included in said bite.

I've been trying to come up with a solution. So far, I've come up with two potential answers:

a) The noodles need to be smaller, a la "Campbell's Chicken and Stars".
b) I need to invent a new eating utensil; one that's somewhere between a spork and a spoon. Maybe a really deep spoon with pointy things jutting up to hold the noodles. But then someone would probably impale themself on it and I'd be in for a lawsuit.
c) I need to find a new lunch obsession (I'm not really fond of this one, since the noodle bowls are only 99 cents each and really aren't bad at all).
d) I need to just quit my damn bitching about stupid things.

Hmmm. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

I am just going to post a little note saying thanks for the invite to your blog (like you had a choice), and i look forward to blogging with you this semester...ttfn.

Monday, September 16, 2002

Say WHAT?!?

So, I was doing some "class reading" for my e-publishing class this weekend like a good little grad student when I read something that left me feeling shocked and appalled.
It should have occured to me before, but I suppose it didn't.
Without the "filtering" properties of editors and such that are required for the (expensive!) publication of "regular", paper books; any Tom, Dick, or Harietta with a Commodore-64 (Ok, maybe that's a stretch...) can publish their work online.
Actually, what the book stated was that with the advent of electronic publishing options, we were likely to see a marked decrease in the overall quality of published works.

Does this mean that the books I may find in the electronic realm may not be of the same "quality" as old-fashioned printed works? Like, say, a novel by Danielle Steele or Mary Higgins Clark?

Perish the thought!

Friday, September 13, 2002

Thank you.... the T driver who did NOT slam the doors in my face, allowing me to catch the T, catch my shuttle, and make it to work on time so I could write blogs instead of doing actual work.

So, here's the story:

I was running around my apartment this morning, trying to get all the stuff done that needs to be before I can walk out the door, when my roommate (Barbara) offered me a ride to the T with her and her boyfriend. Now, an intelligent person would have jumped at the chance to avoid the almost-a-mile jaunt to public transit. Did I? Well, that'd be "no". I instead elected to scamper around the apartment a little more, doing things that DIDN'T need to be done (y'know, like look for a pair of shoes I wasn't going to wear anyway?). So when I finally left, I was not only late but late AND having the pleasure of an almost-a-mile walk to the T. Up and down several large hills. While clutching my "work bag", my purse, a coffee, and a sandwich (so it wouldn't get squished!).
So, there I am, hustling up and down all these hills in my little sandals; (Ouch! Still limping!) replaying the scene from "Crocodile Dundee" in which the female lead (what the hell was her name, anyway?) runs down the street sans heels in pursuit of Paul Hogan in my head. The music was even there--"dun-da-da-dun-da-da-da-da-dun". But would I find my beloved Aussie (aka, the train) when I got there?
I was rounding the corner and headed down the hill when it pulled up. ("There he is! But he can't hear me!") I had no choice--I had to make a break for it. I threw caution to the wind and broke into a full-out run, sandwich and coffee flying madly about. ("Tell that strange Australian fellow that I broke up with my fiance!") I was just coming up behind the last car of the train when the doors shut ("Why did you break up with your fiance?"). Ahh, but if there's one thing I am it's tenacious. Not to be deterred, I continued running--I probably just was unable to apply the brakes at this point--up to the "front" door and stared plaintively at the driver ("Because I love you!"). Wonder of wonders, he OPENED them for me, saying "I'm sorry, sweetie; I almost didn't see you there." (*Paul Hogan climbs up on people's heads to reach unnamed female lead*) I boarded the T, grateful and gasping for breath (I even put $1.25 into the slot instead of just putting in a buck and pointing at the person behind me accusingly). And guess what? When we got to Fenway, my shuttle hadn't pulled away yet (the happy couple embraces amidst thunderous applause)!

So, all's well that ends well. (And they lived happily ever after and made some crappy sequels!)

Happy Friday the 13th, ya'll!

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

September 11th, Revisited

I'm never one to be in possession of a "popular" opinion (unless you count "Pizza is yummy.", or "Dubs--that's my 'affectionate' nickname for the president--is a blithering idiot."), and today is no exception.
I'm sitting in my cubicle at work, surrounded by people wearing red, white, and blue to "show their patriotism". We were encouraged to "bring in baked goods and take care of one another". The manager said we should "feel free to come and talk to her if we needed to".
I should be a "good person" and NOT feel utterly annoyed by all this hoopla. But...I must admit I'm chock full of irritation.
Yes, it was horrible. Completely awful. My heart goes out to all who were affected by the events of "That Day". And yes, we all were on some level.
But people, PLEASE! Stop using this as an excuse to suck up attention and sympathy. How is today any different for the victims' loved ones than the anniversary of any loss? Do I get extra attention on days that call up my own painful memories? Will my co-workers bring in baked goods and coddle me on those days? Methinks no.

I compare the events of September 11th to an incident that happened many moons ago when I was in high school. This girl, one of the "popular", bitchy girls that everyone loves to hate; was involved in a car accident. A bad car accident. At school the next day, announcements were made and special drop-in counseling centers were set up. People walked around numbly, full of shock and disbelief. And SCADS of people who didn't even know, much less like this girl started coming out of the woodwork, weeping and needing special attention to get through the "ordeal". Months later, she recovered and returned to school, forever changed (she had suffered some head trauma and was never "the same" again...). So, was she welcomed with open arms by everyone who had so mourned her injuries? Well, no. She never had any friends after that. Everyone avoided her, once their personal thirst for attention and sympathy was quenched.

So, there you have it. America is a popular, bitchy girl I went to high school with.

Oh, and here's something else that pissed me off this morning. Apparently a bunch of victims' survivors are suing the owner(s) of the WTC, saying it was not built correctly to allow for escape.

Er, pardon me for saying so, but WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!? Did you not get enough money already? Is there no end to your greed? Why subject yourselves to reliving something so horrific?

Oh, that's right. Cold, hard cash.

I'd like to bitch-slap them all.

Tell me, when my father the firefigher (for the record, he IS a firefighter; or more specifically, a fire chief) runs into a burning mass of twisted metal to rescue YOUR father, and is killed in the process; am I going to receive "compensation"?

Or, will I just have to learn to live without my Daddy--like everyone ELSE who loses someone they love has to do?

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Maybe I'm Just a Glutton for Punishment

I can work full-time while attending grad school full-time and keep my sanity, right? I'm young and spry and full of energy, right? This will be a breeze, right? (Right?)

I am tired.

One day down.

Fourteen and a half weeks to go.


Monday, September 09, 2002

Ok, after I spent 20 minutes writing a blog answering all the survey questions, it disappeared into the bowels of the "internet". So, here goes attempt #2...

Survey questions (and answers)

1. My goal--to be a "Web Publishing Guru"! I'm still working out the details of exactly what that entails.
2. My background--I'm a Health Comm student working as a cubicle chimp for Blue Cross (does working for a company I've deemed "the Enemy" make me a hypocrite?)
3. My course-related background: slim to none. I've written some content for web pages, and made a few meager attempts at web page design for classes here, but nothing I'd actually show you...
4. I've got some basic, beginners-level, I-can-click-on-"help" type of experience with Dreamweaver, and I've been working with Powerpoint and Word since I was Knee-High-To-A-Grasshopper.
5. Three favorite magazines (in no particular order): National Geographic, Outside, Cosmo (gotta love the trashy read too!)
6. Three favorite TV programs (I'm not going to make an effort to be a psuedo-intellectual and try to deceive you into believing I listen to NPR or something...): Northern Exposure (I freaking LOVE this show!!!), Sex and the City, The Sopranos.

So, at long last, there you have it. Read it and weep. Thank you, Easter Bunny. Buck! Buck!
Hmm. As per my esteemed professor, I am entering the realm of "blogging". Sean first introduced me to "blogging" via his site, causing me to immediately fall into screaming fits of envy. Or maybe I just said "cool". Either way, it ended up being not him, but one Doug Bolin who pushed me over the precipice into the vast expanse of personal blogdom. (READ: I have to do this for class!) So, stay tuned and see what kind of useless stuff spews forth from my brain....