Monthly Archives: October 2005

October 2005 Books

Check out what I did instead of studying for the PE exam. 14 books! Classic comfort reading here, that’s for sure.

65. French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mirelle Guiliano
66. Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell
67. As A Lady Would Say by Sheryl Shade
68. An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott
69. Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott
70. Wildfire at Midnight by Mary Stewart
71. The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart
72. This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart
73. My Brother Michael by Mary Stewart
74. Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey
75. Arrows Flight by Mercedes Lackey
76. Arrows Fall by Mercedes Lackey
77. The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffery
78. Partnership by Anne McCaffery


so the PE on friday went quite well. Also in the going well category: studying on thursday, going to crown heights to stay with a friend who sweetly said yes when I invited myself over and then made me dinner and served me wine and then tea and then a brownie sundae, the car service from her house to pratt in the morning, and getting to the test on time and calmly.

The PE is structured into a “breadth” morning session and a “depth” afternoon session. the morning covered all kinds of civil engineering: transportation, structures, geotechnical, water resources, and environmental. I think the morning went pretty good, but y’all know me, I am WAY better at breadth than I am at depth! lunch was fun with two college friends, and then the afternoon went absolutely swimmingly for me, if I can compare my experience to the fellow next to me who kept cursing under his breath! A friend pointed out that if I don’t do well I can claim inhospitable testing conditions because seriously, this kid was turning the air blue. So, I didn’t feel like swearing, I didn’t run out of time really, and I only guessed absolutely out right on a few questions. The other ones I either knew straight out or was able to make up science for them. My units always worked out. Mostly the answers I got very closely matched the multiple choices, and if they didn’t they weren’t off by orders of magnitude or anything. I was happy to find that the afternoon questions were less heavily geared towards waste water treatment (i.e., not like my practice exam), and more towards other environmental things that I know better.

And after the test I had a quick bite with my college friend, picked matt up from work, and drove down to see gabulon who also took the test and was also feeling pretty good about it.

Now, I have to reserve my judgement on my actual performance until I find out from the testing board if I passed, though, because I have had MANY tests in the past where I thought I did just fine, and in reality, I wasn’t even able to comprehend how difficult and multifaceted the test was. But at least I didn’t run out of time, and I didn’t freak out or start to cry, and I didn’t have to guess on a lot of things. So, in general, YAY. it’s over. DOUBLE YAY.

oh, horrors.

So, I’m totally stressed here. I’m still at work and I have to be here for another hour going over things with 2 people who really need me to tell them what to do (at least in this instance), and I feel like if I had just started studying one week earlier I would have been fine, and I feel like I”ll never figure out how to calculate the total % reduction in volatile solids as a municipal waste water stream passes through a clarifier, and then an aerator, and I feel very taken advantage of, except it’s my own fault that I’m still here working, because I didn’t say no.

All in all, I am so sick and tired of being here working when I have a Very Important Test to take day after tomorrow. All my week long zen moments where I thought of this test as being a PSAT type of thing and at least it would be a good practice experience – no, that’s not the real me talking. That’s me trying to trick the real me, who is screaming you canNOT fail you canNOT take this over again you canNOT go through this stress of working full time and having a life and having personal relationships and trying to study all at the same time.

So, I really really really really really hope I pass. I really hope I can get out of here by 7. I really hope I can go home, get a good nights sleep, and wake up at 6AM or 7AM and study like crazy. I’ve got a doctors appt. at 2:30 and I really don’t want to work hard after that. But I have so much left to do, so freakin’ much.


I am impossible. Photoessay.

Y’all know I’m taking the PE on friday. This is how hopeless I am: Sat. was my day to really start studying for real. But I had a really hard time getting started.

my studies. more yuck.

I was all set up, but then I thought “maybe I should go clean out the fridge.”
So I also ended up making a TANG PIE, so as to use up the materials that have been in the fridge for months and months and months.

tang pie

and then I washed the dishes. To tell you the truth, I washed the dishes like, 5 times that day.


I also cleaned off the counter. it really needed it.

And then I cleaned up the hallway. Trust me, it’s much cleaner than it was.

This is the best, I made to do lists for every room in the house, and taped them to the walls.
to do lists lists - living room
lists - bathroom lists - hall
lists - big closet lists - little closet

After that, I thought to myself: “self, you have a lot of teas, and you’re secretly ashamed of it. How about you sort those teas and figure out which ones you can drink right up and start getting rid of them. How ’bout it, self?”
sorted teas

And then I drank eight pots of tea. I’m not kidding. I finished off 5 different varieties of tea and put 3 more kinds into my bag for work usage.

I also did my laundry. I washed some blankets and my sleeping bag, and put the whole caboodle away.

and then I thought, hey, my friends are apple picking right now and are going to bring me apples. I’d better use up these old store-bought apples! So I baked them with brown sugar and butter. Only I didn’t have any brown sugar, so I made some from white sugar and molasses.
baked apples

and then I ate some apples. YUM.

I thought I’d better start studying, but I couldn’t find any highlighters. So I got out my pencil box and sorted it out. no highlighters. I did get rid of a lot of dead pens, though.
pencil box

Then I relaxed with a nice piece of tang pie. It was super good, I only used 2/3 the amt of sweetened condensed milk and I didn’t feel like I’d catch diabetes when I ate it.
piece of tang pie.

Seriously, though, the most procrastinatory thing I did was to take pictures of everything I did to procrastinate. I am amazing at procrastination. If only THAT were on my test!


Several things.

So, this last week? has been primo busy.

1. Office move. I am now working out of our new, bright, shiny, pristine, no, PRISTINE, Edison office. I was at work last friday until 11PM packing my things and trying to clear off my plate, I had a bunch of files and reports that I didn’t want to move with, and had to review or send to people, so it was a good (though LATE NIGHT) opportunity to get some outstanding things done.

2. PE test. It’s next friday, 10/28. I am stressed, concerned, worried, and also, frustrated that I have to use a vacation day to sit for an excruciating, non-fun professional exam that will allow my company to bill me out at a higher rate. Something about a personal investment as well, but heck, I guess that’s what I was considering my $850 review course fee. I envision a brain fever coming over me, and having to stay out of work to nurture my noggin.

3. PE test. Also, because this PE test is so big, there’s another item. I NEED TO STUDY MORE. heck, I need to study! truth be told I only started studying last week. Sure, I went to a spendy review course but I don’t know if that counts as studying. I have to get cracking. I do NOT want to take this twice, no-sir-ee-bob. fo’shizzle.

4. Home Life. I am tired all the time. so tired. Also, I am getting home primo late and not having time to do much more than read a little, eat ice cream for dinner (it’s ok, right, b/c I’m not actually eating dinner too. sure.), and go to sleep. The heat has come on in my apartment and it hisses in my bedroom. I turned the radiator mostly off, but it seems like it only comes on around 6AM, when I mostly should be getting up anyway. The first night it hissed, stopped, hissed, stopped, and I woke up kind of happily, because I thought it was a piece of experimental music that I’d heard the day before playing on the radio. not so much, so the next time it woke me up I wasn’t as cheerful.

5. Experimental Music. Speaking of music, I got an MRI on monday. The different sounds the machine makes as it magnetizes you are so wild. People have told me it’s white sound and they fall asleep, but I was fascinated. Especially when a ray gun sound came in. The different cadences and beats coupled with the weird mechanical tonalities really made me wish I were an experimental music composer and I could write an MRI suite, or something. I don’t know when my doctor will look at the MRI, or when I’ll get surgery of some sort. But hopefully soon.

6. Matt and I went to sheep and wool, and he bought me my birthday present: a spinning wheel! it won’t come until sometime in November. More to follow, for sure. we also bought a whole lot of lamb for eating. yum.

7. Week before I got a call saying my hybrid was in! and then I got another call saying WAIT! don’t come to albany! it’s not in! it won’t be in until MID-DECEMBER! So, I am totally not getting the civic, though I still want to drive it – I need to get a new car in November b/c my car is so rusty and holey (but not in a Godly manner) that it will most probably not pass inspection, and it has to by the end of November for me to continue driving it. THEREFORE, I will get an insight, for realz. As soon as, you know, I Take The PE Exam.

and there you have it. 7 things, 7 days I didn’t update, nearly the same, no?

light, meet end of tunnel.

suffice it to say, I’m not as blue. Tuesday night I had a series of epiphanies involoving aspects of my life that were blue blue blue. With the magical powers of good friends, the ability to recognize silver linings, and the knowledge that no matter how tough work is, at least I don’t dread heading to the office… all is good. YAY.


I guess even though I don’t think anyone is reading this except for my mom and occasionally a couple of friends, I don’t feel like updating that often, especially when things are so low. suffice it to say: things are very rough. I’m still blue about work. I’m stressing about the PE. my apartment is a filthy disgusting mess, and there are weird interpersonal things to deal with. I’m hoping everything will work out but lately I’ve been feeling like nothing is easy or right in my life except for my killer guacamole. And now that avocados aren’t in season, what is there? it’s hard to stay positive when the avocados aren’t in season any more. It’s all I had left, that is, except for the lesser known works of louisa may alcott (who is now my only comfort).

This weekend I tried to clean my home so at least I’d have a safe place to retreat to. But I got distracted by other things that were more pressing, and now I’m wracked with indecision:

Do I clean up my whole apartment so it’s all done, unpacked, moved in, and quickly so?
or do I finish painting my entranceway and bedroom and THEN unpack all my stuff and be emphatically moved in?

I’m thinking of a sick day this week so I can paint. I really need it. I need to take some time and clean the apartment and get some little things out of the way and clear my to do lists so all I have to do this week is study for my PE. I will have to take sick days later in the month for that, too. There’s no way I can get it all done on weekends. Gosh. I got some books on tape from the library for my painting and cleaning and unpacking day. It will be awesome.

In work news, it was slightly cathartic to tell the corporate HR guy why I think people are leaving the company in our weird employee retention brainstorming session. But then, I have a tendency to let go of things after I say them out loud, to assume that the other party will hear my feed back and resolve the problems. That probably isn’t happening.

In blog news: because I’m not in pittsburgh anymore I think I’ll have a new blog topic: the eggs benedict review. I love eggs benedict, and have a firm idea of what hollandaise sauce should taste like. It’s something I always get at diners in NJ, and if there’s one thing NJ has a lot of, it’s diners. Much like PGH and her fish sandwiches.

other blog news: I really love the google toolbar spell checker. It’s exactly what I needed b/c the version of word press I’m using doesn’t have that feature.

In spendthrift news: I’m getting an mp3 player. I think it’ll be great at the gym. There’s a lot of radio podcasting things that I want to get in on, and listening to them on the laptop when I am sitting around isn’t the best way to hear things. But I’m not going to get the sleeky, shiny, and bitsy ipod nano, I’m going for the innovative, utiliatarian, multifunction, and bitsy muvo tx fm player. it’s got a radio! and is a flash drive! and is very small! it should be good. plus, I have an internet girlfriend who works at creative so I will get a slightly reduced price. Sweet.

In apartment news: I’ve been meaning to have a lot of things framed, and the framing store in my little town is having a framing special: 16×24 for $30, 24×36 for $40. I don’t know if this is a good price, but I’m going to look it up. I have a LOT of things that need to be framed!

There. Not too blue, but a solid list of things that are going on. mostly, I’m crazified. Mostly. Hopefully it will be better soon. I anticipate post-october, for sure. Perhaps earlier. PERHAPS.