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Last Visit 2014-07-25 14:08:19 |Start Date 2004-06-22 03:13:06 |Comments 51 |Entries 101 |Images 115 |SWF 2 |

06/06/06 08:35 - 80ºF - ID#27721

Seeing some of New England

Last week, my friend Katie and I went to Newport, RI for the day to celebrate the end of the school year. I've never been to Rhode Island before but Katie's from a town really close to Newport so we went to her house for dinner. I loved walking around the town all day. We had beautiful weather (possibly the only day in weeks that it didn't rain even a little) and there were not many other tourists because it was a week day. Seeing all the mansions made me feel like I was walking around in an Edith Wharton book. Since she's basically my favorite author it was a dream come true. It's amazing that all of these huge houses were only summer homes for the rich.

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On the weekend I went to Arnold Arboretum. As far as large areas filled with just trees go, it was a really fun place. The Arboretum was established when a whaling merchant named James Arnold died in 1872 and left a ton of money to Harvard to build a habitat that would house "as far as practicable, all the trees [and] shrubs . . . either indigenous or exotic, which can be raised in the open air." And although I'm not sure that Mr. Arnold's dream has been realized just yet, the arboretum is massive and uses a computerized tracking system to keep record of the name and origin of every plant on the 265 acres (there's something like 15,000 trees, shrubs, and vines!). Professors do research there all the time and we went on a (surprisingly) fun tour with one. After that we ate a really yummy dinner in Chinatown.

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I'm glad that I'm finally doing some of the boston things that I haven't done over the past year. I've felt pretty ashamed of being here so long and only doing things when people came to visit. I plan to do a lot more (including the Duck Tour with or without you (e:Mike)) over the summer!!

Graduation is on Thursday and it is supposed to be 56 degrees with a 70% chance of rain. How unlucky!

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Permalink: Seeing_some_of_New_England.html
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Location: Tonawanda, NY


06/01/06 09:26 - 65ºF - ID#27720

National Spelling Bee Craziness

I can't watch the Sabres tonight because I don't have OLN but I think that the National Spelling Bee Championship, which is happening at the same time, is probably just as exciting. I can't believe what these kids can do. I've only gotten three words right and there have been at least 20... not that I'm really surprised. I remember when we used to have spelling bees at Hoover. First we would compete in our class and then all the classes would come together in the Community Room and parents would be invited to watch the "championship." It wasn't really hard to get to the championship so my first year in Hoover (3rd grade when we moved to Kenmore) I got to the last round. Having to stand in front of all of the parents and all of the kids in my grade freaked me out so bad that I totally stopped breathing. From that point all the way through the spelling bees at Kenmore Middle, I would intentionally spell the first word wrong so that I could sit and not be nervous for the rest of the time. I give these kids so much credit for dealing with all the pressure of being on tv and put on the spot. I have literally been tearing up every time someone misses a word. They are so cute when they know they don't know the words. After asking all of the allowed questions (definition, origin, etc) one child even asked, "and how do you spell that?" He had a good sense of humor for someone who was out. Also, one tense moment was when the judges actually had a word spelled wrong and they rang their little bell to signify a girl was out. In reality, she spelled the word right and they had it wrong so she had to be "reinstated." How crazy! There are only 5 left right now. I will be watching until the end.
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Location: Tonawanda, NY


05/30/06 10:23 - 80ºF - ID#27719

failure

I'm feeling so awful today. First my roommate is coming back tomorrow after being gone for three glorious weeks. I knew it couldn't last forever but I have this feeling of dread. It's been so peaceful without her here. Now she's going to be around all the time because she dropped one of her summer classes (two classes was one too many apparently) so she'll be out of the apartment for a total of 4 hours a week. Thank God I have a job!

I also found out that I didn't do well on my applied linear regression final. It was a group project but my partner took the class for satisfactory credit so I ended up doing almost all of it. Still, I thought we were going to do okay. In the end we got a B/B+ (they only give grade ranges at my school) which is basically like a D/D-. Just to give some perspective, my partner would not have gotten credit for the class if we received half a grade lower. Anyway, the comments on the paper were the worst part. We had to include the program code for the data analysis but I didn't include all of the sub-programs (if that's even what they're called ) because they said they didn't want "the diary" of our analysis. Apparently they meant they didn't want that in the paper portion. So even though our model was okay, the grader assumed we didn't do all these extra steps. In the end his/her comments were so brutal because they were laced with sarcasm. I would never have written such means things to someone even if I thought they spent two minutes on their work. I mean it was a 25 page data analysis!

I've had this horrible sick feeling in my stomach all day because I feel like I've failed. This was a really important class and I've worked so hard this term to learn this stuff. I'm not smart enough to get it I guess. I'm just ashamed of my work and myself and I hate that feeling so much.
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Location: Tonawanda, NY


05/23/06 08:38 - 55ºF - ID#27718

Wasting time...

Sometimes I worry that I am wasting my time going to school for so long. Like maybe I am being super self-indulgent because I like school and instead I should just be getting a job and contributing something to the world. I used to convince myself that I wouldn't get a good job if I didn't stay in school but that seems less and less realistic. My boyfriend has an exceptional job and he has a bachelor's degree and is still finishing his master's (in a field unrelated to his job nonetheless!). He gets paid a lot and works with really nice people, and most importantly, he is not mooching off of his parents anymore. I wish I could say the same thing :( I work and go to school but it definitely doensn't cover the bills. I hope that my degree ends up being worth all of the money and time put into it. I better do something really good when I am finally done with school in four years!
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Permalink: Wasting_time_.html
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Location: Tonawanda, NY


05/22/06 05:42 - 50ºF - ID#27717

Shut-in

When I was younger, maybe about 8 yrs old, I saw a sitcom with a woman who was agoraphobic on it. She hadn't left her apartment for 20 years, there were huge piles of newspapers, and she didn't know anything about the world outside (she knew about current events, but not trends or anything like that). Even though this wasn't such a realistic portrayal of an agoraphobic, I remember thinking, even at that young age, 'wow, I could totally end up like that.'

My reason for bringing this up is that this weekend I barely left my apartment. I know it's bad to stay in all the time- I don't even enjoy it- but sometimes if there is no one around to do things with and I don't NEED to go out, I just stay in as much as possible. It's a really bad, depressing habit and after weekends like this, I make myself nervous. I start to actually get afraid of going outside, maybe not afraid but more like a sense of dread about it. It's kind of like when you know you could go to a party but you just think it's going to be awful even though every time you go to one you have a really good time. Has anyone ever had that feeling? If you just jump that first hurdle and go, then everything ends up going well. The thing is, when I'm alone I don't really have anyone motivating me to jump that hudle so I just end up staying in. And of course, like any truly unhealthy habit, it builds on itself. Once I'm in for one day then it's even harder to go out the next day- all the while, I feel more depressed at the thought of how long I've been inside. What an unpleasant cycle!

Anyway, it's a good thing that I almost always have something I need to do each day or someone to call when I'm bored.I don't have a problem doing things by myself when they have to be done, but doing things alone will never be my preference. I wish I was a more independent person. I guess as long as I force myself to do the things I need to do, I don't really have to worry too much about becoming a shut-in... I hope. I think what this all boils down to is that I need to come home where I have a few friends left OR they should all come here. Yes, that was an open invite.

P.S. It's been raining for a million days in a row... really, who would want to go out in this weather!
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Location: Tonawanda, NY


05/19/06 10:59 - 53ºF - ID#27716

New home and other tidbits

I haven't posted in a while and I guess a lot has happened in that time. First, I found a condo to buy and they accepted the offer. I don't know if this is common in Buffalo since I've never looked for a condo there, but my new place is actually in a house, not an apartment building. The apt itself is a one-bedroom with pretty wood floors and new appliances (yay!). The location is perfect for me because it's right near my school but it also has a driveway so I can have my car. It's definitely no mansion but I'm so thankful to not be renting anymore that I don't care at all. Plus, I'm going to be alone and I'm small...who needs a lot of space?! Anyway, I'm really excited to be able to paint and fix my place up without having to ask anyone's permission. Here are a couple pics of my soon-to-be home...

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I also finished my first year of grad school. Pending satisfactory grades on my finals, I am now a Master and one year closer to the end of the road. The end of school completely snuck up on me since I am usually in school until mid june. It's also a weird schedule because finals were due last week but commencement isn't until June 8th. I guess other schools in the university have different schedules so we have to wait for them but still, this three week break is awkward.

On a totally random note, I had a strange experience with the realtor who helped me find my new place. Her name was BethAnn and after having met her only once to look at apartments, she left a message on my voicemail that went something like this:

"Hi Maureen, I know we were supposed to see another couple places today but I need to put that off until tomorrow because I just found out that my boyfriend of 3 three years has been going on sexual benders behind my back for God know how long. I read his email the other night-- only one day after we had the most amazing talk and he said he wanted me to be the mother of his children-- and I found that he was sleeping with tons of different women, sometimes a couple a day. Anyway, I have to move out of the house we just bought together-- can you believe we just bought a house together?!-- and so I can't meet you as we planned today."

Then the message cut off and she called back because, believe it or not, she had more to say. She went on:

"So anyway, hopefully we can meet up tomorrow to look at those places... oh and don't you worry, I called his parents and got him an appointment with a psychiatrist and have already called a lawyer-- there better be something mentally wrong with him. Okay, hope you're having a great day and I'll tell you more details later. Bye dear."

I have been saving those two messages for two weeks because I wanted to make sure I got them down here. I think it's so funny that she would tell me all that after one meeting. SHe told me the next day that she hoped I didn't feel like she was being too forward but she just didn't want to be "insincere." That comment struck a cord with me because anyone who knows me knows that I am super-private about personal stuff. I would never, NEVER have left anyone a message like that-- not even my best friends. It felt kind of funny when I heard her say that because, honestly, even though I thought she was a little crazy and unprofessional after listening to the message, I definitely couldn't say she was not sincere. I even found it a little endearing. Sometimes I really envy people who can be so open and wear the heart on their sleeve. Although she might be too open, I think we are both on the extreme ends of sharing personal info and would benefit from moving a little towards the center. And anyway, she found me a nice condo :)
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Permalink: New_home_and_other_tidbits.html
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Location: Tonawanda, NY


05/06/06 12:53 - 48ºF - ID#27715

Mike take this Quiz

(e:Mike), this quiz is for you. (That also goes for anyone who thinks one bag of anything, no matter what size, is one portion)


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Permalink: Mike_take_this_Quiz.html
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Location: Tonawanda, NY


05/04/06 10:16 - 56ºF - ID#27714

Am I shallow?

So lately I have been looking for a place to live while I'm in Cambridge for the next 4 years. The whole process has really been scary because I don't really know what to do or how to pick. As a result, I have been basically basing all my judgments on looks. If a place isn't pretty on the outside I decide I don't really like it. I have even ruled out going to look at a place just by seeing a picture of it online. I never really thought I was this shallow but maybe I am. I mean, when I really think about it all of my friends are pretty. All of the people I've dated have been nice looking. I can't really think of one of my friends who I would say is not really good looking. But on the other hand, I can't think of one of my friends who isn't beautiful on the inside too, so does that negate their contributions to my shallowness score? Anyway, I do feel a little worried that I'm going to buy a place for the wrong reasons and then it's going to fall apart the minute I move in. I just have such a hard time picturing myself living happily in a building that looks depressing. I guess I need to be more open-minded if I'm ever going to find anything.
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Permalink: Am_I_shallow_.html
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Location: Tonawanda, NY


04/23/06 08:09 - 48ºF - ID#27713

Mmmmm....pasta

I have lost ALL motivation to do work. It's so terrible because I just got my finals assigned. I wish I had more school stamina :(

On a different note, recently I went through a phase in which I wasn't eating as much pasta as a used to. Anyone who knows me might think that it was my version of a starvation diet since I pretty much only eat pasta, but I just thought I should try to get more protein. Now, however, the phase has passed and I have a new love (ok, maybe obsession) with my old food flame. I even made some sauce from scratch and it tastes so good that today I ate pasta for breakfast (I used to do that all the time when I was little). I really think that besides raw peas, pasta is the absolute best food ever. mmmm, I'm going to have some now!
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Permalink: Mmmmm_pasta.html
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Location: Tonawanda, NY


04/19/06 11:18 - 60ºF - ID#27712

Apartment shopping again...

Wow I am totally not prepared to be an adult. I need to find a new place to live soon since my lease will be up this summer and I don't even want to go look at places or call a realtor. It feels like something I should do with my mom, not alone. I have lived in three different apartments already but I still feel unqualified to decide on one by myself. I've always had roommates who basically picked out the place for me. It's funny because I've always liked the places I've lived in--it's been my roommates that were the problem. Since they picked out the apartments and I picked them out, I guess my record is pretty bad. Anyway, I need to start looking (okay actually it's way too early but I'm nervous and overpreparing is how I cope) and I want someone to hold my hand. Now, if only I had friends in Cambridge...ho hum. At least I had a pretty apartment this year :)
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Location: Tonawanda, NY


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