Thursday, April 10, 2008
I was looking up the course number of a class I took in school and was met with a little bit of a surprise - Cornell changed the name of my department! Instead of Operations Research and Industrial Engineering, it's now Operations Research and Information Engineering! (See for yourself.) I get newsletters occasionally - when did this happen, and how did I not notice?!?!?!
I feel like my M.Eng. diploma that says "Operations Research and Industrial Engineering is now a keepsake. And I suppose the rest of the engineering school is thankful that it's still OR&IE, so the "Ohh Really I'm an Engineer" jokes can continue....
- Lizzardie, at 11:17 PM
Thursday, March 20, 2008
I know it's been quite awhile, so I thought I'd just put up a short list of things I've learned in recent weeks:
It's Restaurant Week here in Boston and I'll try to get a review up of the restaurants I ate at (five in total, including dinner out tomorrow). I was also sent to a seminar a few weeks ago, and I'd love to talk about that, I just haven't felt like writing lately. And I go to Atlanta next week! I'm definitely looking forward to a few days off and an opportunity to play tourist and eat (hopefully mostly non-dairy) Southern food!
- I may be (suddenly) be lactose intolerant. If it’s true, while I’ll miss it, giving up dairy will be easier than I thought it would be (says the girl who up until now will and does eat just about anything).
- One exception (for now) – I do miss half-and-half in my coffee, even though I was going to give that up for the most part anyway (since I’m drinking coffee on a daily basis again, thanks to a new coffee maker at work).
- Milk chocolate with bits of bacon in it is not as bad as it sounds, though it’s not great, either (to me it mostly tastes like good milk chocolate tinged with salt and fat, though occasionally you do get a mouthful of bacon).
- The way you present data is just as important as what data you present. And, presenting more data does not mean you are making things more confusing.
- Unfortunately, I’m not sure how well this resonates with the company I work for.
I’m not sure where a lot of the music on my iPod came from.
- I love Firefox, but hate that it signs me out of EVERYTHING, particularly my checking account (okay, that’s not a recent revelation, I’m cheating). I don’t need it to store passwords or anything, but could it just remember my ATM card number when I ask it to? I don’t have that memorized.
- I am having a tough time figuring out what forgiveness means. Of course this only becomes an issue when it’s something BIG, right? I wonder if I’ve been looking at it the wrong way, though. Instead of, will I ever understand someone’s actions and be okay with them (the answer to that is no), or, is this relationship repairable or has it been irreversibly broken (I think it’s the latter), maybe I should be thinking, am I a better person because of what I have been through (I think I am), and, have I learned something about myself from all of this (I think I have). My general impatience does not make this any easier.
- Lizzardie, at 5:54 PM
Thursday, February 07, 2008
I did actually return to poker last night. I had started to feel like I kept saying I would but was never following through, so it's nice to have that barrier broken!
In my opinion, the night went fine. It had been predicted to me that it would be a disaster if I ever decided to come back (or to come back at this point) - I would be uncomfortable, other people would be uncomfortable, and that would lead to general discomfort for everyone involved. I was also told that it was not possible for me to just come in and play, without creating a scene.
Well, I DID come in and play, and I DID NOT make a scene. Was I ever so slightly uncomfortable? Yes, of course - I hadn't been there in 9 months and I know that while most of the people I know who were there were happy to see me, I also know that there was at least one hold out. Was it enough to make me not enjoy myself? Absolutely not. Was anyone else uncomfortable? Not that I could tell, but I could be wrong. All and all, I think it went just fine, and I would feel comfortable going back there any time. There were people I knew and hadn't seen for awhile, and there were people I did not know, who seemed to be friendly and decent poker players. I didn't play the best poker of my life (I am way out of practice), but it was still fun.
I know I've said it before - a free game of poker every week is such a minor thing in life to get worked up about. But I have missed it, and that's why it was so important for me to get it back. It's something that I don't feel I should have to give up because of the mistakes that I or other people have made.
- Lizzardie, at 2:32 PM
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
I have become somewhat of a news junkie since the beginning of January, all because of this crazy election. I've had an interest in it, but at the beginning of January were those debates on ABC that were so much more relaxed than the standard 90 second answer, 30 second response things we see so often. And right before that was Obama's win in Iowa. Then it dawned on me (I'm not sure why it took so long) that Massachusetts was voting on Super Tuesday. And I learned that if you're unenrolled in a party (Independent, as it were) the state no longer enrolls you in the party you vote for during the presidential primary. And Obama and McCain were picking up steam.
So I watched a lot of debates, and have watched a lot of CNN (it helps that there's not a whole lot of new television these days, and I can knit pretty quickly while watching CNN since it doesn't require 100% of my attention), and have read a lot of news articles (way more fun than working), and watched a lot of YouTube videos. And yesterday, I cast my first primary vote ever. Normally I don't like the idea of voting in the primaries (there's a reason I'm not enrolled in a political party), but this one felt important.
I voted for Obama, in case anyone was wondering. And if he doesn't get the nomination (though I hope and think he will), I'll be voting for McCain in the general election.
Anyhow, that ends my political discussion for the day. I'm a little election fatigued right now, from following results last night, and can only muster up the energy to say "Yay Obama" right now. :-P
Work sucks, though it's quieted down. It's become very lonely here for me, which is not fun. January was really rough, and my officemate has taken my "leave me alone, I have a lot of work to do" glaring and silence personally, which... is fine. On the bright side, I'm transitioning to a new position here at the end of the month - I'll move from being a Business Analyst to being a Marketing Analyst. I am (extremely) cautiously optimistic about what this will mean for me and whether I will enjoy it. But I think that marketing experience will be good for me, and I'm willing to give it a shot. Now to get through account transitioning!
Going back to poker last week did not work out because it was canceled. Someone actually hosted a house game that I was invited to, but TWO invitations did not get to me in time, which is serious bad luck on my part. But I'm planning on going tonight, and looking forward to getting the whole jumping back in part over with (it's just walking in the door that scares me - after that, I'm certain everything will be fine and I'll have a good time).
I'm also adjusting to a new roommate. She's much tidier than I am, which I'm afraid will get on my nerves. I'm trying to be flexible, though, because she moved into a place where all of the stuff is mine, and I'm used to my routine, but I want her to be at home, too. I hope she stops talking to me so much soon, though. :-P And stops switching the order of things for no apparent reason!
- Lizzardie, at 11:39 AM
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
I had some things to say last week, didn't write them down, and now I've forgotten. I guess THAT is why I should blog. So this will be a list of random things.
I went down to Providence this past weekend to watch all of Lost Season 3. Who knew 15 hours of television could be so tiring? I got there a little after 6pm on Saturday, we watched 12 episodes that night, slept, ate brunch and then watched the back 11, with just a break for carrot cake/drinks before the season finale. All and all, I was gone 30 hours. I had forgotten how dull the first six episodes were, but how great some of the back episodes were (especially the season finale). I'm really looking forward to the return on Thursday (also, is the strike over yet? No? Damn.).
Kathy has gotten me back into Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. She got me a few bottles for Christmas (two of my favorites, Bordello and Madrid), I placed an order in early January for a few more bottles, and then after seeing Kathy's collection this weekend, placed ANOTHER order Sunday night. Perfume oils get expensive, but it's oh so addicting. Except... I've already got enough buying addictions (yarn, anyone?), thank you very much. Hopefully I can stop soon.
Steph moved out last week, and I've enjoyed having the place to myself. My new roommate (yes, I found one, her name is Catherine) has been moving boxes in since, and she hopes to be fully moved in tomorrow. I'm seriously leaning towards finding a place of my own once my lease is up at the end of September. I've got some preparations to do, it seems.
Today, Kathy and I booked our trip to Atlanta to visit Dan. We're flying into Atlanta on Tuesday, March 25th, driving to Savannah/Hilton Head that night, staying for two days, then driving back to Atlanta, where we'll be until Tuesday, April 1st. Interestingly, Kathy and I arrive in Atlanta and then depart from Atlanta within 15 minutes of each other, even though Kathy is flying on United with a connection in Chicago (both ways) while I'm flying direct on Delta. She's in it for the miles, I prefer the shortest trip possible. :-P We have things planned such as eating at The Lady & Sons in Savannah, going to the beach at Hilton Head, going to an Alton Brown lecture and book signing, seeing Avenue Q (which will be in Boston right before Atlanta and Kathy and I might be planning on going in both cities....), and other possibilities such as the CNN building, the Coke museum and finding a plaque in Marietta that represents where Elizabeth, GA, used to be. :-)
I discovered Meritage last night. I know, I know, where have I been, I know others love this wine. I'm beginning to realize that I really don't like oaky wines, because this Meritage (2002 Stuart Cellars Tatria, in case you were wondering - it's a Temucula Valley, California, wine) is very fruity, tannic and delicious. I try not to be too much of a wine snob, and do have a lot of wines that I like outside of Italian ones (though, yes, they are my favorite). I don't like Bordeaux wines, though, typically, because they tend to not be very fruity (more of a vegetable taste), and I'm not a Cabernet Sauvignon fan. But this is delicious, and I will definitely give other Meritage wines a chance.
I also bought a slow cooker recently, and I love it. Last week I made turkey and vegetables in it, and today and I made Beef Burgundy (which I used the Meritage for - just half a cup!). Making food in the slow cooker is fast (at least in preparation, and then I can leave it while I go about my day) and healthy, so it'll definitely get a lot of use this winter.
And finally, it looks like tomorrow is when I actually return to poker (barring a last minute change in the current circumstances), and I'm both looking forward to it and not looking forward to it (more the former, of course). This isn't the way I wanted to return, but it has to be done and once the first night back is over, I think everything will be fine. And I can stop talking about it. :-P
- Lizzardie, at 7:40 PM
Monday, January 21, 2008
Today is the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. I am at work today (no rest for the weary around here), but this has been on mind since last week, because of the election, of course, and one of his sermon's was the topic of yesterday's Homily at church (ohh, going regularly is one of my New Years Resolutions - I mentioned yesterday that I've been thinking a lot about faith lately, right?). Here is a link to the text of the sermon that was discussed yesterday: The Drum Major Instinct. The Pastor yesterday made sure to point out that this sermon was given exactly two months before he died, on February 4th, 1968.
I think the topic of this sermon, while different from the usual clips we get from Dr. King around this time of year, is of particular interest to me, given my mood lately. If you don't have time to read the whole thing (it is long), here are two passages that have given me pause:
"And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, (Everybody) because everybody can serve. (Amen) You don't have to have a college degree to serve. (All right) You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. (Amen) You only need a heart full of grace, (Yes, sir, Amen) a soul generated by love. (Yes) And you can be that servant."
The second one:
"If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. (Yes) And every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize—that isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards—that’s not important. Tell them not to mention where I went to school. (Yes)
"I'd like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others. (Yes)
"I'd like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody.
"I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question. (Amen)
"I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry. (Yes)
"And I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked. (Yes)
"I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison. (Lord)
"I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity. (Yes)
"Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. (Amen) Say that I was a drum major for peace. (Yes) I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter. (Yes) I won't have any money to leave behind. I won't have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. (Amen) And that's all I want to say."
I hope that wasn't too preachy for any of you. Just because I'm going to church these days, doesn't mean you all have to come with me. It's just timely, given the day.
Ohh, and I think the words in italics were spoken by the congregation, but maybe they were part of Dr. King's sermon? I guess I could just listen to the audio, if I really wanted to know!
- Lizzardie, at 2:13 PM
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Just because I haven't blogged in awhile does not mean I haven't thought about it. I've thought a lot about it, actually. I had a conversation with Dan recently where he was talking about why he blogs. And that got me thinking.... why do I blog? The real reason is that I do it because I've been doing it as long as I remember, and it feels weird not to. But that's not a great reason to do something. I've mentioned fear before, and that's still the case - I'm afraid of sharing my opinions and thoughts sometimes, because I'm afraid that will make people like me less. Which is sad.
I've felt a little (maybe a lot) scared recently. And that has led me to a lot of thinking about what is driving my life right now. I mean, on the surface, my life is great, right? I have a job that pays well, and I live in an apartment that is warm, and I can put food on my plate. No one I know is sick and/or dying. My family, though they are far away, loves me. I have a number of good friends. And if I just wanted to get up, and change it all one day... I have the means to do that.
And yet... I hate that job, and my apartment, while wonderful, feels "cold and empty". And those good friends? It doesn't feel like they're in or near Boston sometimes (no offense if you are).
And so I've been doing a lot of thinking about right and wrong, fear, forgiveness, love, faith. I want to make my life worth living, and that's not an easy thing to do, sometimes... I have high standards. :-) And this world is not black and white, so it is hard to find the line between forgiveness/love and right, because, sometimes, enough is enough, and you've done all you can. But because I'm me, and I want everyone to like me, I have trouble figuring out where to draw the line.
And I'm rambling, but I don't care, because it's my blog and I'll say what I want to, say what I want to... all right, done. I'm going to try harder here. I'm going to try harder to say what's really on my mind, and not care what other people think, or at least be okay if they have different opinions than me, and realize that we're not all the same, and just because we don't agree on something doesn't mean we're not friends anymore. And I'm going to try and remember that.... I'm the only one that remembers every word I say. :-)
So starting with... a mini movie review, first. I saw Juno this weekend, at the lovely Somerville Theatre... which is old, and it shows, but has its own character, and I love that. I liked the movie a lot more than I thought I would. To be honest, I just wanted to see it for the cast, which was awesome, but it ended up being really... real. And it was real right away, with a lot of awkwardness that I think makes you remember that the girl is 16 and doesn't really know what she's doing. I did think, though, that it moved a little slow, but that doesn't bother me - it reminded me of Garden State or Elizabethtown in that way. It's a movie that I will probably end up picking up the DVD for, and popping in on a cold, rainy weekend (or when I'm hungover), because while it's a pretty serious subject, it's light-hearted and just one of those movies for me.
Also this weekend.... I played poker! Ohh my, do I love that game, and I don't know why. But I do. I hadn't played in so many months, and it was different (in a good way), because I didn't know most of the people I was playing with. Also, I lost $40, which didn't bother me, because, hey, that's how the game goes. I enjoyed it, and I want to play more. And that really leads me to the forgiveness/right/enough is enough issue. Silly, isn't it? Every time I think about it, I cannot believe that so many problems in my life have revolved around a stupid (FREE!) weekly poker tournament that I really want to attend, and that there's this extremely unbalanced proportion between the people who want to see me there (high) and the people who don't (low), one of whom isn't even there most of the time. And the more I think about it (and the more I talk to those who want me there, which I did again tonight), the more I come to believe that I am right, and I have still bent over backwards to make people who are not my friends happy and comfortable with my presence, and that will never happen, and enough is ENOUGH. So I'm going back. Because it's important to me. Because I miss my friends. Because I am done second guessing whether or not I've done everything I can - I have. Because my presence will not "ruin" or "end" the game. Because this will never be over unless I make it over.
Thanks for still reading, if you do. When I check my web stats, I'm shocked to see who still sticks it out, to see if I've posted anything new (and it's all usually so mundane!). I of course won't make any promises, but I'm going to try and post more frequently, and maybe about more interesting things. Interesting websites, my thoughts on random things (there's this election going on, and I'm leaning towards voting in my first primary!), and more interesting reviews of the things I've done, because "I did this, then I did that" doesn't really tell anyone much of anything useful. :-P And... no one is going to agree with me all the time. And that's okay. After all, I am filled with love and forgiveness for all right now, and I hope that all of you are, too (and yes, that was cheesy). :-)
- Lizzardie, at 11:53 PM
Monday, December 17, 2007
My roommate is moving out at the end of January. January is a crappy time to find a new roommate. January is also a crappy time to find a new place to live. I really can't wait for this year to be over, as it's been a complete nightmare.
This weekend I had my haircut (long overdue) and I saw the Boston Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker. I love all of the music in that. My only complaint would be all of the children talking through the matinée. Next time, I'll go to an evening performance. The dancers were all lovely, and I enjoyed the costumes and sets. I sat in the balcony of The Opera House, which is of course a nice play to see a performance of any kind.
I leave for Illinois tomorrow evening. Hopefully my family doesn't drive me too crazy while I'm there. I have a few things planned for the week that should keep me out of the house for long stretches of time. Or maybe I'll just try and catch up on sleep.
- Lizzardie, at 2:21 PM
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Two good things happened yesterday: I got my iPod working again (using this method - it's amazing how despite all the technology we have, sometimes a screwdriver and a business card are all you need to fix something) and I won some yarn (I know, I know, this is not my knitting blog, but sometimes it's the little things). The working iPod is particularly exciting both because it's been broken for about a year, and it has music on it that's not on my computer. Must figure out a way to fix that.
I have not been feeling the blog love lately, I'm not sure why. I often think ohh, I should write about this or that, but just haven't been able to get myself to do it. Add it to a long list of things I've been putting off because it seems that I don't want to actually live my life (live as in do things other than watch television and knit, not in the literal breathe sense - I'm just unmotivated). But hey, since I declared today no-television Saturday, why not give some of these things a shot.
Several weeks ago, I saw Ani DiFranco in concert (again, this was #4 for me, and I realized that all of the shows I've been to have been in the month of November; even the show I had tickets to but could not attend was in November). The opening act was slam poet Buddy Wakefield - he did four poems, which was "just enough" - I enjoyed those four but probably wouldn't have enjoyed a fifth. And then... something interesting happened. They brought out a presidential candidate - Congressman Dennis Kucinich. I ended up at a mini-political rally totally accidentally! He talked mostly about the environment and our dependence on foreign oil, which was interesting, but isn't enough to make me vote for him or go and volunteer for his campaign in New Hampshire (I also think his assertion that he's only a couple of points out of fourth place there to be a little bit of a stretch). Now, I MIGHT have changed my mind after seeing him playing the tambourine during the first encore, "Little Plastic Castle." It's not everyday that you see your next potential president jamming with Ani. In addition to that song, we also heard "Both Hands", "Gravel", "The Atom", "78% Water", "Landing Gear" and others. Ani was aware of what she played at last year's Boston show because of the bootleg disc that came out (I have both the disc and attended the show), so it was nice to hear a different set of songs, but still hear some of my favorites. The mezzanine seats in the Orpheum were amazing, but a little shaky.
That's a start to being caught up here. I won't promise to be better, but there are things I want to write about, so who knows.
- Lizzardie, at 12:14 PM
Thursday, November 08, 2007
I found a gray hair yesterday. I guess my plans to stop highlighting my hair have been thwarted, because I WILL NOT be going gray in my 20's, thankyouverymuch.
I have decided that, while I definitely want to return to Venice and Florence very soon (like, in the next couple of years), my new European destination of choice is Barcelona. I think I could make that sort of trip happen at a relatively affordable cost (compared to, say, the Italy trip), so I might try and do that sometime next year.
I bought a pie today, for a good cause. Community Servings here in the Boston area hosts Pie in the Sky every year, selling pies from various Boston restaurants that can be picked up the day before Thanksgiving. I don't have Thanksgiving plans (I'll be in NYC that weekend, though), but I found a pickup location that's basically on my way to work. So, I ordered a pecan pie that I will be sharing with the people in my office. Pie for a good cause, but I won't be eating the whole thing. Win-win, I'd say.
- Lizzardie, at 1:15 PM