Sunday, April 24, 2011

How To Never Get Laid Again

Like many concepts of human behavior, the Never Get Laid Again (NGLA) area is a spectrum. This does not include mental illness or other innate conditions (sleep apnea, IBS, speech impediments, etc.) because those conditions 1) are not your fault 2) don't necessarily result in never getting laid again(I've never heard of IBS being a turn-on but I've definitely met people who found mental illness hot ). The NGLA spectrum encompasses things that people choose to do which make it difficult for other people to find them...lovable or fuckable.

On one side you have behaviors that might cut down on your chances of getting laid--owning a hairless cat, listening to annoying music, being a Republican in Massachusetts, being a Democrat in Arkansas, saying "that's what she said" all the time--whether it's relevant or not or having too many Homestar Runner T-shirts (not that I would know anything about that.) These things may cut down on your chances of getting laid, but they won't obliterate them.

On the other end of the spectrum we have behaviors that give you a small but non-zero chance of ever getting laid again such as having an extra throat pouch installed so that you can consume a second meal, but keep it in your throat until you are hungry again, corresponding with others only in Esperanto and having your sex organs removed entirely.

In between the two ends of the spectrum lie many different ridiculous human behaviors. One of which you, dear reader are probably doing now.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Late Spring Term Report

I appear to be failing Statistics. This in spite of the fact that I do, in fact, study.

I'm trying not to be upset. The Add/Drop period ended right before the second mid-term, so I'm stuck on this bus even though it is headed off a cliff.

There's not much I can do about it I can't take more time off of work to study, for example. I can't do homework in the evenings on weeknights because I'm too brane ded to do math. I*get* the concept, but there's so much arithmetic involved that even when I get Excel to do the heavy lifting(The square roots, the factorials, the standard deviation, etc.) I don't get the right answers. Or, I get the right answers in the problem sets, but not in the exam. If this was a class with blue book exams, where one showed one's work, I might not have failed my second midterm. But then again, I might have failed it anyways, because after two days of study, when I sat down to take the test I felt that it was on different material than what I had been studying.

I often had nightmares--not actually in college, but after college--about the situation I'm stuck in now. It's too late to drop and I'm sitting in front of an exam that might as well be written in Russian. These are dreams about feeling trapped. Of course in the dreams I used to have, I was screwed because I hadn't studied and I had forgotten to drop the class. In my dreams I'm trapped because of my own flakiness.

The situation I'm in now is a bit different. The add/drop deadline was a few days before the second midterm. I considered dropping the class, but thought that if I did it would just be laziness on my part. I'd gotten a decent grade on the first midterm and I understood the material that was on the second midterm (or so I thought) so I felt that dropping the class would be lazy of me. Yes, it would be wonderful to spend the next few Saturdays hanging with friends, reading trashy novels or even having to go into work for after-hours stuff--but I would be backing away from something because it was just *hard* and I couldn't let myself do that. I now fervently wish I had done so, because I flailed the last exam, got all of this week's problem set wrong (after re-doing the problems) and I know the next few weeks are full of hard concepts. Yug.

I don't mind having to take a statistics class--I mind having to take *this* statistics class. I have nothing but the text book (since the class is online-there was no classroom option or I would have taken it) and while I agree that it's nice that there are tests that one can do to discover whether or not one can be 95% confident that the population mean falls within a certain interval, I don't see the practical value of making management students do that arithmetic (If we were scientists it would be another matter.) I agree that it's a good idea to understand the math, but this is mostly arithmetic--this is the sort of thing that people write software to figure out for them.

So I am trapped in this. I'm not going to stop studying, but I'm not going to beat myself up if I fail.

But in spite of this, I am hopeful for myself. I have mentioned in the past how moving to Beverly (becoming part of the Beverly Dog Pack as some would say) where my best friends live and where I'll be more likely to get drawn in to other events with friends (even if said friends live in Somerville--they'll still come up to the North Shore for brunch and beach walking.) Three of my good friends are moving into a house a few blocks from mine. It's a fixer-upper, so they've been at the house painting or talking with the carpenter for the past few months. I can drop by when I'm ready to set my statistics book on fire, or stop by to be beer wench after I'm done hurting my brain with statistics for the week. I am no good at home improvement (which they accept) but I can call in the dinner order, move a step ladder, bring someone a beer, go to Home Despot, unload a truck and take the dog to the beach. I can be social. This is more than nice. This is awesome.

Today I was talking with the soon-to-be newest member of the Beverly Pack (my friends bought a house with an apartment and she'll be moving into the apartment) and we discussed whether she should get a cat or a dog. One of the new owners has a nephew that's very allergic to pets, so aside from the dog-cat issue there's the allergy issue. I pointed out that the only hypo-allergenic cats were hairless cats. But hairless cats are not..fuzzy which is something we both agreed we would want in a pet. Also, they would keep one from ever having a third date. We laughed over that and then she went to go unpack things and I went upstairs to keep my friend who was stapling floorboards company.

Academic success is great I think part of why I'm so calm about failing Statistics is that I've had a decent amount of academic success. But success means nothing without people. I have good people around me which makes me more successful than I have been before even if Stats bites my ass and work is stressful.

Monday, April 4, 2011

In which we catch a cold

I've never minded the occasional cold (Occasional-not 6 weeks of hacking like I had in fall of 2007.) If nothing else feeling sick reminds me of how much I enjoy being not-sick. "See this chair I'm sitting in? In a few days getting up will be no big deal. Tonight it'll be a 5 minute process. Where's my Nyquil?" Or maybe it's just that I'm a drama queen.

I mention this because I'm currently being colonized by some wicked-bad cold germs. I awoke yesterday morning with a tickle in my throat. Until I got out of bed I figured I had left the heat on and dried my throat out. As soon as I got up and made coffee it was clear that things were very wrong. But there was sunshine and there were friends to meet for brunch. Also, there was DayQuil.

After a cheerful day in Salem--full of good food, good friends and a nice long walk my friends returned me to my apartment for a sedate evening and early retirement.

The NyQuil wore off at about 3 AM. I spent the next four hours alternately aching and shivering or having fever dreams about installing software. I don't know about you, but my fever dreams (Whenever I'm sick enough to have them which, thankfully isn't too often) are often frustrating and repetitive. They are usually intimidating in some illogical way (at least this wasn't). But that said, jeez Brain of mine-I cook you a little bit and all you have for me is software installation*? Maybe I really am a deeply boring person after all.

*On an MS Exchange 2003 Server with RDP. The background was XP Blue. *shudder.*