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Scientific papers, finals, and music… oh my!

So… I’ve managed to not allow an entire month to pass between blogs.  Barely.  I thought once finals week was over things would be calmer.  I thought wrong.  Of course I did.  LOL  I’ll go back to finals week to start the re-cap and bring everyone up to date.

Finals Week:  I took my stats final Monday morning.  I felt really good about it; I left the room thinking that I actually passed and wouldn’t have to re-take the class.  I had even turned in my final SPSS homework assignment the night before instead of waiting until the deadline.  I felt good.  Plus, I knew I was not going to take the final for research methods.  I spent my evenings working on the scientific manuscript (from hell).  It was due by 11:59p Friday, April 29th.  Well, I knew mine would have to be in prior to that because I wasn’t going to be near a computer that day.  I turned it in the night before.  I’m fairly proud of my work considering this was the first time I’d ever written this type of paper.  Not counting my quiz grades, I went into the final assignment (the paper) with a 96%.  I was confident.

April 29th & 30th:  M3 Rock Festival in Columbia, MD.  My first time attending M3, and my main reason for going (besides to spend time with Bonnie) was because Night Ranger was going to be playing.  We bought our tickets the day they went on sale last year.  (December?)  Anyone who knows me well understands that I am not a big fan of crowds.  For me to agree to a huge festival was a big deal.  The weather wasn’t great, but we managed to only get rained on as we were leaving Saturday night.  The organizers did a poor job with organizing the meet & greets with the different bands, and the VIP area was a bit questionable.  BUT, I had a great time.  Got to hear a lot of great music.  Spent time with one of my dearest friends.  Got to chat with Brad Gillis (one of the guitarists for Night Ranger) Saturday night… Generally just a lot of fun.  I might do it again.  LOL

This past week wasn’t too bad.  It was my new co-worker’s second week.  She’s studying for her licensing exam (which she takes this Saturday), translating for our Spanish speaking customers, taking payments, and answer the phone.  I’m really pleased with her desire to get the license and to learn how to do things.  Our weather was less than pleasing… a lot of rain.  I don’t really mind the rain, but last week I just wished I could send it to areas that desperately needed it – like Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada.  The horrific fire burning there tears at my heart.  Reports say it could burn for months.  On a brighter note, I got my final grades.  I did pass stats (barely), so no more stats classes and graduation is on schedule for next May.  I also managed a B in research methods!  I guess the fact that I failed the quizzes wasn’t enough to counter my strong A going into the final paper, and how I did on the paper (no clue the final grade on that, but I’m guessing an A or B).  That leaves me with community service learning over the summer (40 hours), and two semesters.  It’s nearly over!

Now for this past weekend, and the reason why I’m basically dead on my feet today.  Saturday morning I hopped on a 9:55 flight to Chicago.  Night Ranger was playing at the House of Blues and recording it for a live DVD/CD.  You know I had to be there!  The flight up was ok; a little bumpy at times – especially on landing.  My hotel was literally across the street from HoB, which was planned for convenience so I could just walk there.  Speaking of walking… I know why Chicago is known as “the windy city.”  Holy hell!  I didn’t think I’d get my wide-toothed comb through my hair after my walk.  I had a lot of fun hanging out, talking with other fans while we waited to be let in.  I managed to be at the front, just in front of Eric and Keri.  I would have liked to be further center, but I was in the front.  That was what mattered!  The show was amazing!  They played a lot of the songs I’ve been hearing live over the past year, a couple I haven’t heard played (including closing with “Night Ranger”), and two new songs that are going to be on the new album they’re recording.  The show was definitely high energy, rock and roll!  Live Nation and Yahoo were streaming the show live, and Bonnie said she saw me during one of the songs!  I wonder if that means I’ll be on the DVD?  LOL  After the show I was so wired that there was no way I could sleep right away.  It was just after 2:00 by the time I climbed into bed.  I woke up at 4:00 briefly, and then again at 6:00 when my alarm went off.  All told, less than four hours sleep.  I boarded the shuttle to the airport at 6:50, and my flight was at 9:25.  Somehow I managed to do two loads of laundry after I got home.  I was in bed before 11:00 last night, and I slept through the night!

This morning I woke up and groaned.  Every inch of my body ached – including my toes.  I did not want to get out of bed.  I did not want to adult.  Hell, I did not want to human.  I wanted to cat, and stay in bed all day.  But I got up, showered, dressed, and went to work.  It was a busy day.  I didn’t get a break until 3:00.  Right now it’s 10:20 and I’m not sure how I’m awake, which means I’m heading to bed very shortly.  I’m expecting a busy week, and the boss is out of town for a company conference.  I also have my first community service this Saturday afternoon, so I’ll be keeping busy this weekend as well.  Definitely no dull moments in my life right now!  (And there’s more to come!)

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And the winner is…

Apparently, no one.  Or perhaps lots of people.  Winning a big lottery jackpot is a dream to many.  Some have their dreams come true, and others do not.  As there was no winner for tonight’s Powerball drawing, the jackpot for Wednesday’s drawing is now over $1 billion.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Even if multiple people were to win that jackpot, consider this:  other than now having a new-found financial freedom, what else do they have?  Is it truly going to bring them happiness?  Or will it bring lots of so called “friends” out of the woodwork, all looking for a handout?  In this latter respect, I’d say the people who bought tickets and didn’t win a big monetary payout may actually be the winners.  Now they don’t have to avoid people who just want to mooch off them.  Winning big would definitely be helpful to those experiencing financial problems, but statistically those people tend to go through their winnings far faster than those who win smaller jackpots.

So you are probably wondering if I played.  Yes, I did.  I did not get a single number, but that’s fine.  Should I ever win a large sum (and I rarely play as I rarely ever carry cash), I have an idea of how I’d handle things.  The first thing is to retain a good lawyer in order to keep my identity private.  Next, a fantastic financial adviser.  After that: pay off all debt, invest, find my plot of land in the mountains and build my log home, buy a home for my best friend, pay off debts of those near and dear to me, set up college funds for my friends’ children/grandchildren, donate to those in need, travel… Of course, what actually would get accomplished would depend on the amount of the winnings.  In all honesty if I could win enough to pay off my debt, buy a new vehicle, and secure a home, I’d be happy.

Back to reality.  The spring semester begins Monday.  Where the hell did the time go?  I feel like I just ended fall finals!  The psych department will be in our new building!  I’m incredibly happy about this (as is everyone else).  Majors were sent an email earlier today stating that they will open the building for a couple hours tomorrow for anyone who wants to look around and get acquainted with the layout.  It sounds as if it’s going to be really great between specialty rooms, two computer labs (with access via student ID instead of punching in a code!), weekend access with ID, lounge… I’m going to try to head down to take a look, and determine which area will be my best bet for parking.  I also need to figure out what time I need to set my alarm so I’m not late for the first day of classes.  I probably should have gotten back in the habit of waking up earlier this past week.  Too late now.

My class load is going to be “heavy” even though it’s still only two classes.  Difference is that I’m carrying 7 credits instead of 6, one class has a lab, and I’ll be on campus Monday through Friday.  I’m finally moving into Advanced Stats, and my second class (with lab) is Research Methods.  Not exactly simple classes, but I feel confident I can pass them both.  I will have Dr. McBride again for stats, but I’m not familiar with my instructor for methods.

As I’m sitting here listening to the rain fall, I realize it’s starting to lull me to sleep.  So, I think it’s a good time to stop, go snuggle under the covers with my kitties, and get some sleep.

 

It’s Finally Happened

Yes, I have lost what was left of my sanity.  If you find it, please return it.  Wait, maybe I don’t really want it back!  😀

The semester is finally over.  The second of my two finals was last Wednesday.  I had the option to take it Friday, and part of me wonders if I should have taken it, but I didn’t.  By Sunday I knew my grades for both classes.  I had my final exam grade in Psych of Personality before she finished grading our final personality analysis papers, so I had to wait for that before knowing the final grade.  After she finished grading all the papers, extra credit, and exams, I was .09 from an overall B in the course.  I was truly expecting to break out the waterworks if she didn’t bump me, but it wasn’t necessary!  I did receive a B in the course!  As many may recall, I was very close to an A in Intro to Stats going into the final.  My last homework assignment wasn’t great, but it didn’t make too much of an impact.  The final, however, kicked my ass.  Again, I should have considered waiting until Friday to take it.  There is a happy ending.  Even with earning a 62 (eek) on the final, I completed the class with a solid B (85%).  I will take it!  Hell, I’ll beat anyone who tries to take it from me!  LOL

Now I have a bit of downtime.  (If you consider no classes but still working 40 hours a week downtime.)  I’m trying to get things for end of year done in the office.  We really tried to hit our Life/Financial goal, but we may have come up about $5k short.  That means no bonus.  That really sucks.  I can’t even express how much it sucks (especially since there was no bonus last year or the year before, and I haven’t had a raise since 2013).  I’m praying something unexpected comes down the pike this week, but it isn’t guaranteed.  (Seriously, if anyone in VA, DC, or MD needs life insurance or some type of financial products/college planning – contact me!)

So yesterday I’m chatting with Bonnie about the fact that M3 hadn’t released a line-up for 2016 yet.  I saw where they released the dates for the festival, and told her.  Well, by the time I got home they released the initial list of bands… and yes, Night Ranger is one.  Guess who is going to M3 the end of April?  Yup, this crazy lady (with the other crazy lady, Bonnie).  We reserved a hotel last night (figured we’d go up Friday and stay, do the festival Saturday, and crash Saturday night).  Festival tix go on sale Friday morning.  I’ve been put on duty to get them.  This could be interesting.  Shame I can’t take the morning off work to just try and get tix.  LOL  (Yes, this is where the last of my sanity went.)  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to me!

Speaking of Christmas… by gosh, it’s NEXT WEEK!  How the hell did that happen?!  The plus side?  I have 4 days off from work.  The downside?  I haven’t mailed any of the things that need to be mailed.  Oops.  Guess I’d better get cracking.

And I look at the clock, and it’s 11:02.  Shoot me.  Where does time go?  No, really?  I swear it was 10:30 like 2 minutes ago.  Ok, time to wrap this up and get some ZZZZZs.  Crazy lady, signing off.  😉

The Grades Are In…

This morning I arrived on campus, still a bit bleary-eyed as I was up too late last night.  I had only been on campus a few minutes when I received an email alert that our grades for our stats’ test had been posted.  I only briefly considered waiting to find out until class started.  In all honesty, I couldn’t handle the anticipation of waiting.  I took a deep breath and clicked the button to see my grade… It was an 87%!!!  For those who are all “that’s just a B.”  You don’t get it.  For me a B in stats is a HUGE deal.  Dr. McBride handed back the tests for us to review, and the best part about my grade?  It was not on a curve!  It was an 87% that I earned totally on my own!  I received full credit on most of the problems that involved formulas and math (one I got docked a point or two because I forgot to make a number negative), which in and of itself is huge.  I guess the change in study habits really worked.  🙂

Work was fine.  Thankfully quiet for a Monday.  I never complain about that.  Plus, I was able to deliver good news to two different clients.  Even better.

I left work at 4:00 to head back to campus for my night class.  I wouldn’t have gone except we had an assignment due.  Got to campus only to find an email saying she had to cancel class tonight.  Ugh.  Total waste of time and gas, and I could have stayed at work until 6:00.  So, I headed home to relax with the kitties.  I’ve pretty much been a non-productive blob all night.

In case anyone is wondering, yes, I’m still on a high from Saturday night.  I’m also trying to firm up plans for the next show I’m seeing in November (I figure I have to make it work since I already bought the ticket).  Just gotta figure out where my finances are, and then figure out how to get 2 days off work.  If anyone can do it, it’s me.  🙂

Tonight I’m going to share something a little more mellow.  It’s one of my current favorites from High Road.  Enjoy!

My Brain is a Jumbled Mush

Right now I have many thoughts ramming into and rolling over one another.  I have no clue if what I post tonight will be coherent.  Before you ask, no, there is no alcohol involved.  Come to think of it I haven’t had any alcohol since Sunday.  I think the mush is just a result of the week I’ve had: classes, studying, work, traffic, nerves, building excitement, memories…

So, I’ll start with the obvious: today is 9/11.  Anyone old enough to have memories remembers where they were when they heard about the Twin Towers, Pentagon, and United Flight 93.  Those who have known me for any length of time probably know where I was, and what I was doing.  I lived and worked in Brooklyn.  I was on the Avenue U bus on my way to work.  I heard an announcement on the bus’ communication system telling drivers in a certain area of lower Manhattan to stick to a certain route – that a small plane had hit one of the World Trade Towers.  Moments later the bus crossed the intersection of Avenue U and Flatbush Avenue.  I looked to my left and saw smoke.  I knew it wasn’t a small plane.  Three of my bosses couldn’t get into Brooklyn to the office as the bridges had been closed.  One of the others came in stating that the bastards had hit World Trade Center.  He’d seen the explosions from the expressway.  We had cable and internet, but no phones.  I managed to get a message to my friend Tammy, asking her to contact my family so they would know I was okay – that I was at work.  We closed the office maybe 2 hours after it had opened.  I got on the bus to go home, talking with the driver who was a friend.  I remember arriving at Flatbush again and people covered in ashes getting on.  I lived in one of the lower areas of Brooklyn, yet we had ashes and debris in my neighborhood.  I had coworkers and friends who had family there, who thankfully were not in harm’s way.  As we know, that is not the case for many.  Over the following weeks I took calls from people needing to put in death claims against life insurance policies, others asking about if their belongings that had been in their offices were covered, and others just thankful to be alive.  To this day, 14 years later, I avoid media footage regarding the attacks.  It is still too “near” for me.

September 11 has other significance as well.  It would have been my cousin, Danny’s birthday.  I remember visiting family in Florida for Christmas post 9/11 (I believe 2001) and him asking me if I’d been to Ground Zero.  I told him it wasn’t an amusement park, and no I hadn’t been.  A bit harsh, but he was always the bratty younger cousin who used to torment me.  I miss him.  He’s been gone 12 years now.

Life is short.  Nothing is promised to us: not the next moment, day, week, month…  Tell the people you love that you love every chance you get.  Don’t wait.

That was a lot heavier than I expected.  Again, my brain is just swirling and I’m just letting whatever comes be shared.  (Maybe I should consider alcohol. LOL)  Onto lighter topics…  My first stats’ test of the semester was this morning.  Not to jinx anything, but dammit I think I rocked it!  I marked two of them to go back after I’d finished the others because I didn’t want to waste precious time on them.  I remembered all the pertinent formulas, and terms!  The two I marked are the only ones I have a little bit apprehension about, but I’d rather two than ten.  I doubt I’ll know my grade by Monday, but I’ll be thrilled if I do.

Of course the moment you’ve all been waiting for: my night Night Ranger babble.  C’mon, y’all know you love it. 😉  I have been waiting anxiously all week for the information on the VIP meet-n-greet for tomorrow.  The original communication said the notification would be 1-2 days prior to the show.  At about noon today I got a little antsy.  Day before the show.  Still nothing.  So, I contacted the company in charge of coordinating it, and they responded very quickly (within 30 minutes).  Apparently the time had not been finalized.  I wish I had an emoticon to mimic the look on my face when I read that.  (Maybe picture “Kevin” from the Home Alone movie poster.)  Meanwhile Liz and I are kind of in limbo about when we need to head north to the venue – and it’s roughly a 3 hours drive.  Oh, and have I mentioned it’s an outdoors show – rain or shine – and there is a 90% chance of rain tomorrow?  Good times.  Hopefully no lighting rigs will threaten to come crashing down (been there, done that).  So, 10:30 tonight I got the email with the VIP info.  Better late than never.  Oh, and as I’m rambling, I’d just like to say I got a good giggle out of the following earlier today:

Our bus just blew a hose on the way to the gig, but as Jack says, “We got this” ~ pic courtesy of Eric Levy (via the band’s FB page)

Actually, I saw the above just before sitting down to get the purple in my hair refreshed.  Yes, girls and boys, I haz purple again!  Opted to keep the brown the current shade (hell, it’s damn close to my natural color) for now.  Next month all bets are off.  Erika is excited to go to a really dark brown (like almost black), and she said she’s going to start looking at different purples, too.  We’re dangerous in the salon.  Best part is that the store manager now remembers me based on my choice of color, and the salon manager (who loved the purple last time) was putting pink and purple into the ends of some very blonde hair for a client of hers while I was there.  I wish I could have seen how it looked when she was done.

I’ve been debating over what should be tonight’s musical selection.  Do I go back to “old school” NR, or something new?  Argh!  The decisions I have to make.  Perhaps I should just flip a coin (as I do so, what is the probability of the toss coming up heads?)…

p= .99

It has finally happened.  Stats has taken over my brain.  I’m not joking!  “p=.99”  Um, probability, baby.  I have reviewed and done practice problems every night this week.  Every.  Night.  I am ready (or as ready as I’m going to be).  Bring on the first test!  (In case you’re wondering just how much stats has taken over my life, take a look at the pic below – swiped from George Takei.  All I could think is, I’d like to see the data supporting those numbers/findings.  Eeek!!!)

Found via George Takei. Photo credit: Susan Messina.

This week has been crazy.  Due to Monday being a holiday I’ve been off a day the entire week.  Tuesday felt like Monday, etc.  School and studying has actually been a blessed release from the stress of the office.  I keep hoping things will calm down in the office, and that may actually happen sooner than later.  I had two secondary interviews with possible candidates for open positions this week.  One would be a great fit for our service team, and the other for the sales team.  The best part is the sales’ candidate already has his insurance license and has worked for Allstate.  This means I have to do far less training with him than I will for someone who is green to the business.  Told the boss today that we need that guy in here like next week.  He was going to get him an offer tomorrow, and he was going to send one to the service candidate as well.  *fingers crossed*

The excitement of the impending Night Ranger concert is building.  By Saturday morning I should be bouncing off walls.  Sorry, Liz.  I still haven’t received any information on the meet-n-greet yet, but chances are it will be in my inbox tomorrow.  At least I hope it will be.  Gotta remember to breathe.  Since today is Thursday, I’m going to do a throw back to 30 years ago – good ol’ 1985.  That was the year 7 Wishes was released, so tonight for #TBT I’m going to share something from that album.  🙂  (psst… couldn’t find the official video… damn you, youtube… so here’s an audio only from a more recent recording…)

Whaaaa?

Tonight’s ramble:  when did I become the gal who reviews her stats’ notes and does the suggested practice problems.  To me this equates being a responsible adult.  How can I adult if I’m still trying to be a college student?  LOL   In all seriousness, I am taking this semester more seriously than past ones.  I am determined.  I will do good.  Stats will not conquer me!

Now that I can let my brain decompress a bit, I’ve got some music playing.  If you were to ask “Night Ranger?” You would be correct.  How did I survive my teens and twenties without an iPod where I could load all of a band’s songs into one playlist?  I don’t care if you’re for or against Apple, you gotta admit this is a brilliant thing.  (My roommate may disagree after hearing NR so often, but this is what I gotta say to that:  😛 )  For the record Moonie likes the keyboard intro to “Sentimental Street” from 24 Strings and a Drummer.  She has good taste.  🙂

For tonight’s musical offering I’m sharing “Growing Up in California.”  NR in t-minus 3 days and 7 hours!

https://youtu.be/Y6CfEKIubSY

It’s Labor Day

Tonight marks the end of my 4-day weekend off from work.  I am thrilled to have had last Friday and today off from my full-time job, and yesterday off from my part-time job.  The only thing that could have been better would have been if I hadn’t had classes both days.  Yes, we had classes today.  According to UMW we have classes on Labor Day so that we get an extra day off during fall break.  Hold me back.  (I’d rather have the day off that I also have off from my job, but I digress.)

I spent a good bit of the weekend studying.  The big thing was reading an entire chapter on Freud from my Psychology of Personality class… I needed toothpicks to prop my eyes open (like in the old cartoons).  I am not one of those who is in the Freud school of thought.  I get that he’s considered the father of modern psychology, but unlike him and his followers I do not believe that everything that has formed my personality is related to sex, or that my personality was entirely formed in my childhood.  I also has to complete a statistical analysis for Psych. of Personality to turn in tonight (I can’t escape stats), and a case study evaluation.  Yep, I kept busy with the books.

Speaking of stats, our first test is this coming Friday.  I’m actually feeling good about it, in the sense that I feel prepared.  I have vowed that this semester I’m going to keep up with the suggested study problems and ask for help if I don’t understand something.  I know I can do this, and dammit I’d like to do it with a minimum of a B!

In other aspects of my life, it dawned on me earlier that this Saturday I’ll be seeing one of my favorite bands from back in my younger days – Night Ranger.  To say I’m excited is an understatement, but the full degree of excitement has not yet hit.  My poor friend Liz will have to deal with that Saturday. 😉  I actually did the math, and it’s been 30 years since the first (and so far, only) time I’ve seen Night Ranger.  It was on their tour for 7 Wishes, and I was in 8th grade.  For some reason that makes me feel old… although chances are it would make them feel older.  Liz and I have VIP passes, so we actually get to meet the band (insert squeal), have them sign something, and get a photo with them.  I’m not usually the star-struck or fangirl type, but dammit it might happen Saturday.  This has been 30 years in the making!  I’m sure I’ll be babbling about this more as Saturday gets closer.

I wish I had something deep or inspirational to share tonight, but my brain is still goo from all the Freud.  Maybe next time…  For now, enjoy some Night Ranger!

unstapledlisa

It's not what you are eating, it's what's eating you...