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Stuck in an Internet K-Hole

18 Mar
Screen shot 2013-03-18 at 9.32.07 PM

Thanks, urbandictionary.com

When I work on a paper / presentation / thoroughly detailed outline of the next 5 years of my life, I go to my favorite coffee shop. There’s something about that atmosphere that just makes me feel productive. I see all of the other diligent, hipster-y looking individuals tip-tap-typing away on their MacBooks, looking to make a huge impact on their field. Or maybe just scrape by to finish the class they hate. Unclear.

I buy a jade tea: 1. because it’s delicious when you add just the right amount of honey. 2. because if I drink anymore coffee, my heart might burst within my chest cavity. I wish I was being hyperbolic. I think half of all the cups of coffee I’ve imbibed in my lifetime have been in the city of Buffalo – and I’ve only lived here for 7 months.

The only problem with this tea is that when they hand it to me in the artfully crafted ceramic mug, it is roughly the temperature of the sun, so I can’t drink it right away. Of course, I don’t have to start working right away, because I want to wait for my tea to cool down. I can’t embark upon this academic adventure if my tea isn’t ready to go. I can’t leave it behind, so I start on Facebook. After perusing the pictures, jokes, videos, and general quirky Internet presence of my friends, I find a link to an online article, and I remember that my Google Reader is full. I should go empty it. Even if I don’t read through every article in there, I love the feeling of a clean inbox. One of the articles reminds me that I haven’t checked Reddit yet today. Haha, Grumpy Cat memes. Memes, memes, and more memes.Wait, we just had a major holiday, so there are bound to be millions of photos uploaded to Instagram. Each one telling a story of how drunk someone was, how delicious their food was, how adorable their pet is, and how much they love selecting filters (ProTip: everyone looks great in Earlybird). How many likes did my photo get? Did anyone comment on my photo? Who is this person? Ohmyblog their nail art is amazing! I totally have gold glitter nail polish. Maybe I should go home and paint my nails like that. I’m not home? Oh, I’m at the coffee shop.

Hold on – what time is it?

Dammit! I just spent 3 hours browsing the Internet. That’s 3 hours that I’m going to have to stay up later to write this dumb paper.

Ugh! Every time, Internet. You get me every time.

And now, my tea is cold.

Just In Case

17 Mar

20130317-120752.jpg

I met you at my favorite place to do work. It’s where all the people similar to me hang out, which is probably why I’ve made so many friends there. I’ve been to the other locations that they have, but I always saw you there: working diligently, alone, not paying attention to the slew of people like us.

And then, I spoke to you. You were funny, intelligent, engaging, yet aloof. Nerdy. That was my favorite part.

We talked for hours. About anything. Somehow, we shared the same views on almost anything – except for being connected to the world. I talk, text, chat, Facebook, tweet, Instagram, blog, carrier pigeon, etc. Constantly connected to the ones I love, people of interest, news, things to make me laugh. And you can’t figure out why people can’t wait for a response from you when you feel like it. It didn’t make sense, because you were so easy to talk to.

I loved when I talked to you at my favorite work place. I would get there early and finish as much work as I could, just in case you came in and we got to talking. For hours. I would make sure my hair looked just right, just in case I saw you there. I remembered to think about myself a little more – taking time out of my day to de-stress, put on makeup, do my hair, knock out my to-do list. I got a lot of stuff done and out of the way, just in case I saw you.

What I didn’t prepare for was for you to be a less-than-kind friend. I almost feel like you’re trying to sabotage our friendship. I deserve better than waiting for you endlessly, because you’re busy. I get it, I’m busy too, but I can take 30 seconds out of my day to let someone know if I’m not going to hang out when I said earlier that I would like to. I’m not in to burning bridges, just in case.

I know I shouldn’t, but I’d really like to hang out with you again. I know you’re a conflict-avoider, but chatting with you would just be the greatest thing. Even if you were the one to create the easily-avoidable conflict. Don’t avoid the place where we do work, just in case I happen to be there. I want to keep you around for a while, pick your brain, hear about your life and stories and random thoughts that you have. I’ll still listen. I’ll still care. Just in case you do too. Just in case.

Reasons Why I Loved / Cried While Watching “Silver Linings Playbook”

12 Mar

If you have not seen this movie, you really should. I wanted to see it as soon as I saw a trailer for it, yet I hadn’t gotten the opportunity to until today. Yes, I took a mental-health-vacation of 2 hours out of my PhD-crazy day to go to a matinée showing. By myself. It was amazing.

I snuck in a scone, a peanut butter cookie, and a medium coffee from my favorite coffee shop (yes, I was totally undetected. To be fair, it was 1pm on a Tuesday, so…) and sat myself down in the back of the theater. 2 hours of no phone, no internet, and a whole lot of Bradley Cooper. He’s only among the reasons for my strong desire to see this Oscar-nominated flick.

So, here goes my list, in no particular order (I’ll try not to give away any spoilers):

  1. As mentioned before: Bradley Cooper. ::swoon::
  2. Robert DeNiro cries. Yes, cries. And it is incredibly touching.
  3. They address different forms of mental illness, which hits home with some of the experiences that I’ve had. In the movie, Bradley Cooper’s character suffers from bipolar disorder (mood swings and delusions while under intense stress), Jennifer Lawrence’s character is a sex addict, and Robert DeNiro’s character has OCD (rituals, superstitions, and the like). The characters were so believable and you just wanted to reach out and hug them.
  4. Watching Chris Tucker teach Bradley Cooper how to dance is hilarious.
  5. “It can still be a date if you order Raisin Bran.”
  6. I’ve been to many of the places they go to in the movie. I used to live right up the street from the diner they go to on Halloween and I used to pass by the school where the characters worked all the time while I took the train in to the city. It made me miss Philadelphia a lot.
  7. When they pass by the movie theater on Halloween, the horror movie that is playing is “Midnight Meat Train”, which my sister told me about many moons ago, starring Bradley Cooper. It got decent reviews from the big-wigs, but most people who tell me they’ve seen it say it was a “train wreck.” I’m sorry I’m not sorry for that pun.
  8. They gave me a really quick synopsis of Hemingway’s “A Farewell To Arms”. I’ve been meaning to read it, but OB articles take up most of my time. The fact that I found time to write this blog post is slightly astounding.
  9. The therapist was a really nice guy. Not like one of those, “Tell me how that makes you feeeeeel…” or “If you read my book, I discuss all about …” types. He was real. I would like him to be my shrink.
  10. Jennifer Lawrence is TheBomb.com. Plain and simple.

So there you have it. Have you seen Silver Linings Playbook? Did you love it as much as I did? Or did you want to spoon your eyeballs out with a melon baller?

 

My Time on the “Meat Market”

11 Mar

Caution: I’m a twentysomething.

Dating in Buffalo is one of the most, um, interesting adventures I have ever undertaken. It’s fairly difficult to meet people who aren’t in my PhD program. I’ve always been wary of intra-department dating and the others in my program have become like a little family for me. I don’t wanna date the guy who has basically become my older brother. My friends have raved about online dating and so I thought I would give it a whirl.

I joined Match.com in October, hoping to meet an interesting person who pretty much has their sh*t together. However, that seems to be a rarity here.

Seems reasonable…

Here are some of the main experiences I’ve had while navigating the online dating world.

Disclaimer: The names have been changed to protect the innocent, or guilty, or whatever.

“Stove”, was a very kind gentleman with whom I went on a breakfast date. We shared a lot of the same interests and he was also in grad school – a Masters program in counseling. We didn’t end up clicking, partly due to the fact that he started talking about how his uncle used to piss in the sinks at pro hockey games. Why that came up, I don’t even remember.

“Walt” was a high school chemistry teacher. I, of course, immediately asked him if he had seen Breaking Bad – one of my favorite tv shows – and if he also cooked meth. Despite the awkward laughter and close-to-home pop culture reference, we went on a few dates. He was really nice and very interesting. He was one of the only people who actually called me (yes, a phone call and not a poorly auto-corrected text message) to ask me on our dates. After the start of the new year, “Walt” never called me again. I was disappointed, but then again, this is online dating.

Around that same time, (if you’re familiar with the HBO series “Girls”) I had an Adam-like character who treated “my heart like it’s monkey meat.”

Can you tell I’m obsessed with this show?

He didn’t want to be in a relationship, but had no problem calling me up when he was looking for company. He text-message-broke-up with me (which doesn’t even make sense because he made it clear that he didn’t want to be my boyfriend) the day after Christmas. Charming. Surprisingly, we’ve been able to become friendly with one another because we share the same friendship circle. It’s not as awkward anymore as one might think. I think it’s because I’m turning into an adult.

Amid the creepy 50-year-old guys messaging me and the other messages I received that I would be embarrassed to show my mother, I decided to take a permanent hiatus from Match. It hasn’t been all bad. The stories I’ve come out with almost make the membership fee worth it.

I couldn’t finish a post like this without a little humor.

Here are the best snippets I’ve found from other people’s profiles:

  • “I’m the least of a dying bread.”  – Either you’re a terrible baker, or you need to proofread.
  • “Celery is a terrible vegetable.” – I appreciate your candor. I also feel the same about celery.
  • “I love a good tractor pull.” – Well, this IS Western NY.
  • “Last book I read: 50 Shades of Gray” – Yes, some men are willing to admit to this. I found one.

Have you ever had any “interesting” dating stories? Internet or in person?

Monkeys Wearing Jackets Make Everything Better

10 Dec

Spark Notes version: dealing with a lot of emotional stuff today that is severely inhibiting my productivity.

Until I saw this monkey.

Memes make everything better.

Day: saved.

 

Words of the Week – “Never let the body tell the mind what to do”

1 Oct

Another long week ahead of me, but I think I’m starting to figure out how to push myself harder than I ever have before. I’m discovering which environments enhance my productivity and which energy beverages work best for helping me power through. I was up until 4:30 this morning and woke up at 7:00 and I got everything done that was due today!  At this point, I’m well-caffeinated and fairly coherent. I have a workshop on how to use a network analysis tool, a seminar on diversity, and my first stats quiz this week (It’s an open-notes, open-book quiz. Not too stressed about it :)). I just booked a flight to go to Florida for the first time ever! I’ll be going to the Southern Management Association conference in Ft. Lauderdale. I’m not presenting – the other students I hang out with are. They invited me to come along and I was interested in some of the topics, so I’ll be on my way at the end of this month!

 

I think it’s going to be a challenging, but great week.

 

Happy October, friends!

 

 

[Words of the Week] – Inch By Inch

23 Sep

My mom said this to me the day I left for Buffalo. It’s going to be a really rough week (and the rest of the semester – things have really started to get aggressive), but I know that I’ll eventually get through it.

I keep telling myself this everyday. It’s totally going to be worth it. 🙂

A Lyrical Analysis of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”

19 Sep

Dear Carly Rae,

Being a “woman of the world” (well, sort of – I’ve experienced some stuff) and a seasoned older-sister, I would like to take this opportunity to give you some older-sisterly advice regarding your dating style. My comments are as follows:

I threw a wish in the well,
Don’t ask me, I’ll never tell

I looked to you as it fell,
And now you’re in my way

Carly, I’m not sure if you know how wishes work, but you’re not supposed to tell anyone what it was. You shouldn’t have to tell a real friend that. He/she should know that the wish will become null and void once it is spoken.

I’d trade my soul for a wish,
Pennies and dimes for a kiss
I wasn’t looking for this,
But now you’re in my way

Really, Carly? I feel like people usually think this out a little bit longer when making deals for their soul. If I was in your position, I might trade my soul for better lyric-writing abilities. Now *that* will get you somewhere. Also, wishes aren’t a good trade – there’s no real guarantee that wishes come true. I never did get that pony…

Your stare was holdin’,
Ripped jeans, skin was showin’
Hot night, wind was blowin’
Where you think you’re going, baby?

Ripped jeans? Is he stuck in the 90s? Is he pretending to be an Abercrombie model? You might want to reevaluate your choice in male fashion, Miss Jepsen. Also, I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to look attractive and be attracted to others when it’s oppressively hot outside. My face looks like it’s going to melt off my skull and I don’t usually enjoy being within 2 feet of another body heat-producing lifeforce.

Hey, I just met you,
And this is crazy,
But here’s my number,
So call me, maybe?
It’s hard to look right,
At you baby,
But here’s my number,
So call me, maybe?

Oh boy – other than sounding like a creeper or the Overly Attached Girlfriend, it’s poor form. I usually wait for a guy to ask for my number, instead of offering it outright. I get where you’re going with the “shy, coy girl” routine, but it seems a little contradictory to be playing it cool right after you were basically Billy Mays-ing your phone number.

Hey, I just met you,
And this is crazy,
But here’s my number,
So call me, maybe?
And all the other boys,
Try to chase me,
But here’s my number,
So call me, maybe?

Here’s where I *might* agree with your strategy. If you casually mention to this fine gentleman that other people may be attracted to you, it would make you seem like a hot commodity. However, be sure not to overdo it so that he thinks you’re trying to “friend zone” him. Major turnoff.

You took your time with the call,
I took no time with the fall
You gave me nothing at all,
But still, you’re in my way
I beg, and borrow and steal
Have foresight and it’s real
I didn’t know I would feel it,
But it’s in my way

Judging from your earlier actions and freakout tendencies, I’m going to assume that he waited longer than 2 hours to call you. Don’t worry – it’s going to be ok. In the meantime, begging is desperate. Borrowing is ok if you return the item in an appropriate amount of time. Stealing is never ok. Side note: I don’t think torrenting is stealing. That’s a separate issue.

Your stare was holdin’,
Ripped jeans, skin was showin’
Hot night, wind was blowin’
Where you think you’re going, baby?

Hey, I just met you,
And this is crazy,
But here’s my number,
So call me, maybe?
It’s hard to look right,
At you baby,
But here’s my number,
So call me, maybe?

Hey, I just met you,
And this is crazy,
But here’s my number,
So call me, maybe?
And all the other boys,
Try to chase me,
But here’s my number,
So call me, maybe?

Girl, we talked about this. Get it together.

Before you came into my life
I missed you so bad
I missed you so bad
I missed you so, so bad
Before you came into my life
I missed you so bad
And you should know that
I missed you so, so bad

#facepalm This just screams, “Desperate! Desperate! I am really desperate!” From the limited knowledge I have in the realm of psychology and the social sciences, I’m going to assume that it is pretty much impossible to miss someone before you know that they exist. That’s effin’ science.

Distally Located Social Support / The Best Birthday Gift Ever

18 Sep

Instead of reading a meta-analysis of research on role ambiguity and role conflict (Jackson & Schuler, 1985), I figured I’d write a little bit. This particular topic has been floating around in my head for a little while and I finally have some substance to fill in the skeleton of my thought.

Today marks the 7-year anniversary of my dad’s passing. On one hand, I can’t believe it’s been 7 years already. On the other hand, I absolutely can. He passed a few weeks after my 17th birthday, while I was a senior in high school. I miss him from time-to-time, but I know he’d be proud of me. That’s what keeps me going.

Appropriately, this week’s readings for seminar deal with work-family conflict and job stress. If there’s one thing you experience in a PhD program, it’s job stress. However, according to Zellers and Perrewe (2001), certain personality characteristics can mitigate job burnout and strain. Also, they discuss how emotional social support can really be beneficial to those who exhibit extraversion (a dimension of the Big 5). I happen to be one of those people.

I am so blessed to have people in my life who really care about me – even if they’re not in the same time zone as I am. From my sister in Rhode Island who sends me hilarious and sometimes vulgar text messages, to Blian in New Jersey who sends me funny and punny Reddit-worthy stuff, to Sophie in Philly who listens to my bullsh*t and sent me a birthday card with googly eyes, to GSL in Nebraska who shares bitchin’ music and advice about getting through a PhD, to Jake in Cali who never fails to make me laugh hysterically and sent me the most amazing birthday gift I’ve ever gotten. (Note: this list is not all encompassing. There are so many people in my life who are loved and make me feel loved!)

I’ve known Jake for about 5 years now. Holy cow – it’s strange trying to remember how long you’ve known people. About a fortnight after my birthday, I received a package from Jake. I had been out studying and came back to a white package in my mailbox. He said he would be sending me something, but I didn’t expect an actual, full-on birthday gift! I opened the box to find a handwritten note, 7 pictures, and the cutest stuffed owl I’d ever seen. Here’s the most amazing thing: the owl was in all the pictures! Jake had gone around San Francisco and taken pictures of the owl in his favorite locations! I can’t believe how blue the West Coast is.

Of course, this owl needed a proper name. Through the magic of Reddit and some slight modification, my owl’s name is Sir Hooty McOwlface. A noble and fitting name for such an adorable creature. Thank you for making me smile, Jake 🙂

Sir Hooty McOwlface!

“Why I Can’t Marry Someone With the Same Job as Me” & Other Romantic Rants

2 Sep

I want to be a professor and researcher of Organizational Behavior when I grow up. If everything goes well, I’ll be there in 4 years. Well, the professor thing – not necessarily growing up :-P. Here’s the thing: although I’m very career-oriented at this point in my life, I eventually want to love someone, get married, and have a kick-ass family. And dogs. Lots of dogs. Definitely not any time soon, but eventually.

Here’s what I’ve decided in my interesting dating history: if I marry someone who has the same job as me, I’ll go effing batty. Why? Because I imagine the competition will drive me absolutely insane. I am (not out-of-control, but rather enthusiastically) competitive. Even if it’s a game of putt-putt, I psych myself up. I always want to do better than the best I can. Probably says a little bit about why I’m in a PhD program… Even if we don’t study the same topic, I can imagine that I would always be comparing successes. Not that healthy. I dated a guy who loved to prove that he was better than me at my class work. I’m sure we can all guess how that ended.

Luckily, I seem to be attracted to people who have different career aspirations in completely different fields. I love learning about other people and their different interests (Side note: engineering *fascinates* me). I don’t care if you’re a barista or a CEO, you have something interesting that I want to learn about. However, this comes with a caveat: you have to at least pretend to give a sh*t about what I do. I’ve met people who are interested in me, but aren’t interested in what I do. It blows. At this point in my life, I am deeply committed to my work. Please, just pretend to care about how my day was and listen to me when I complain about scrubbing a data set and how awful people are at taking surveys for research. I promise, I’d do the same for you.

I’m the type of person who will be 100% loyal to you. I will always ask about your day and how you’re doing and what you’re working on. I get it. I know how to be incredibly supportive because I know how amazing that feels to be on the receiving end. I want to hear about the robots you’ve built, or the paintings you’ve created, or the new planet you’ve discovered. I promise, I’m a really good listener. Also, if you do discover a new planet, can you get me in to meet Neil deGrasse Tyson? I’d be forever grateful 🙂