28 September 2007

Thank You For Ordering Your Pizza On-line....

yep. I did it. I ordered pizza on-line. I didn't set out to do this, I just merely wanted to get on-line to see my options [and more importantly now that I'm a poor grad student--the price!]

Lemme start from the beginning. Having housing somewhat secured [what?? I'm not counting my chickens until the lease is signed this weekend!] and not travelling anywhere this weekend, I decided to sleep in [a bit...Addy doesn't let me sleep too late], get some long-overdue reading for classes done and generally just hang out in the room with the pupcicle--with a few trips out for the necessities, like coffee and walking Addy and coffee. So as my tummy is rumbling, I notice yes, it is in fact about time for dinner and Wendy's and Dunkin' Doughnuts across the street just aren't sounding appetizing when [as I'm coming across the Yankees game on tv], I think pizza sounds nice and easy. Got out the phone book called the nearest pizza place. They're already closing...what??? it's only 8:30pm [apparently slow night], called the other one that delivers because that's the most appealling part right now, but they don't deliver "this far out" [like 4 miles]....so I resorted to one of the big guys--which allows me to check out the menu on-line and hello....order on-line! [which okay, we've all seen the ads on tv, but living in Fredericksburg that's really not an option--you're just excited to find any one willing to deliver--so I forgot about it...] I clicked just for the fun of it, thinking that perhaps it wouldn't be available to me "this far out," but ah-ha it was...AND there were coupons [sigh, I'm too easily amused]...so I picked out the size, the crust, the toppings....no wait, let's change it to these toppings, or better yet THESE toppings. this is fun! [and can you imgine dealing with a live person while changing all those toppings?] a few more clicks, apply the coupon, fill it my credit card number and viola! I get an email thanking me for my on-line order and letting me know that my pizza should be arriving in approximately 38-49 minutes.

Now, all I have to do is sit back, watch the game, and wait for my pizza without having to deal with being put on hold for so long you forgot what you were ordering. I love technology....even if 97% of the time, I can't figure out how the hell it works!!


25 September 2007

New Digs

Yay! I think I found a place to live!!

of course I still have to sign the lease--that happens this weekend--but here's the 411:

it's on Staten Island, so it's a bit of a commute, but not a bad one. It's a one bedroom HOUSE [for the same price as a studio in Manhattan] two story house--the upstairs has the bedroom, large closet, and bathroom. Downstairs is the living room, dining room, and kitchen. Small front and back yards, so I'll still have to walk Addy [but we both need the exercise!]...so that's about it in a nutshell. I'll get some pics to post when I go out this weekend. oh yeah, we move in next friday...so the countdown is on! YAY!

24 September 2007

Quick Trip

So I'm online looking for plane tickets to Texas for Kevin & Monique's wedding when ding! travelocity sent me a message that tickets to Louisville are on sale right now. I click just to check it out...thinking perhaps for Thanksgiving. Phooey, you have to travel before November. Hang on, Christi has a birthday coming up...so I call....Tracy. We decide that it should be a surprise. And what a surprise it was--she was COMPLETELY and TOTALLY shocked! It was sooo much fun. I think the best part was talking to her on the phone while walking in the terminal looking for Tracy and having her put me on hold because Tracy was calling....well, that and Christi gave me lots of clothes and rounded up all the stuff I had left this summer [so many, in fact, that I had to borrow a suitcase to get it all back!].

Since I arrived back in NYC at 9pm, I opted for the shuttle bus back to Port Authority to catch a NJ bus back to the hotel [or actually the hotel next to the one I was staying in, as it was booked this week--jury's still out if we'll stay in this one or move back on Friday] rather than carting my two suitcases and two carry-ons through Queens at night. So I'm waiting on the bus platform at P.A. with my two suitcases and two carry-ons when apparently I caught the eye of the bus driver. He asked if I would mind putting my bags under the bus [no because I certainly did NOT want to lug them up onto the bus with me]. He asked where I was going and I told him the name of the hotel [which is about a block from the nearest bus stop]...he informs me that he will--instead of dropping me off at the bus stop--drop me off in front of my hotel. How sweet is that?!? And he did...in fact, at the bus stop he turned to me and reminded me to NOT get off the bus, that he was dropping me off at the hotel. Chivalry is not dead...even in metro NYC. :P


11 September 2007

Ground Zero

It seems an eternity ago when terrorists flew planes into the buildings of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington DC and when many brave people took back one plane and crashed it in Pennsylvannia rather than letting it reach it's destination.

I was living in Australia at the time. It seemed so surreal watching what was happening to MY country and MY home from far, far away. We were told NOT to go to the Embassey, NOT to go anywhere near the Embassey or Consulates. That's something that hit me like a slap in the face. Ever since I'd turned 18 and got on a plane to Holland--the first rule of international travel [beaten into my head] was if you're in trouble or feel threatened or need help, find the nearest Embassey or Consulate and go there. I was fortunate, I had some really good friends who stood beside me and held my hand when I cried for my country and refused to let me stay by myself for the first week. I had complete strangers who upon hearing my yankee accent, would hug me, and tell me that their thoughts and prayers are with me and my family and my countrymen. Six years ago feels like a blur. Six years ago feels like an eternity...but today it came crashing back to reality, back to the here and now.

Six years later and now I'm living in New York City. I got a call from Christi this morning asking if I was going down to Ground Zero. Truthfully I hadn't given it much thought, but she asked me if I would go and I told her I would try. On the bus ride into the city, I decided that needed to be my first stop today. After all, shouldn't I pay my respects for all the men & women who so needlessly lost their lives? Pay homage to all the police and firefighters, who work to keep me safe, whose partners and friends willingly sacrificed themselves so that others could be saved. So rather than heading north on the subway, I headed south. I got out at the stop closest to St. Paul's Cathedral and as I'm walking up the stairs, I hear Taps being played. I swallow hard, fighting back tears. I wind my way down past the Cathedral and cemetary to the street behind it and site of Ground Zero. A fence blocks the view, as the site is under contruction to become a memorial for those who were affected by the events of 09/11/01. All along the fence were flowers, gifts, letters. and people. People crying, people praying, people talking, laughing, remembering. And then there was this boy. He couldn't have been more than 13 or 14, clinging to the fence, sobbing. Not quietly, not calmly---big, fat, ugly, heaving sobs. As I watch him, I realize that he would have only been 7 or 8 when this tragedy struck, robbing him of a long life with the person--or perhaps persons--he was crying for today. A wave of selfish relief flooded me that I was not affected by this as he and thousands of others were. I was fortunate that my close family and friends were not harmed here. I was one of the lucky ones. I soon found myself sitting in a pew at St. Paul's, searching for answers--answers that had been asked many, many times before--but knowing the answers would never be enough, I just ended with a pleading to all Higher Beings to watch over this boy and let him one day know peace in his heart for his loved ones.

I think that through the hurt, today should be about celebration. Celebrating those you love and those you have loved, even if they may not be with you anymore. When you think about it, doesn't it all come down to love--the only true foe to hatred and ignorance? It's the one thing that endures to gives us strength, to keep us going and to make it all worthwhile. Love for ourselves, love for our family and friends, love for our world. Mourn today for those who have lost, but celebrate today because you are loved...and know that my world is a better place because I was lucky enough to have met you.


08 September 2007

Registration....the Funnest Time of All!


So I've been patiently waiting for my hold to clear from health services and after spending about an hour on hold find out that my Rubella titre has come back negative...which means that I need a Rubella booster before they release my hold. OKAY fine. But the nurse has pity on me [I'm thinking they're just exceptionally busy] and releases my hold temporarily, providing I can get in before registration ends (14th) to get my booster.

YAY! Am now free to start the wonderfully time consuming process known as registration. Now with my program there are 2 main core classes that have to be taken before you can take pretty much any other class in the department. And of course, there is only one class of each being offered this semester. So I register for one [Introduction to Biostatistics....fun times, fun times!]...yay. one down, one to...whaddayamean it's full? ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME?!?!?!? Apparently 350 students beat me to the punch, as well, no other epidemiology classes can be taken without this ONE class, which they are teaching only ONCE this semester [and then not again until next year]. GREAT. NOW WHAT?? I did what any other desperate-not-to-idle-for-one-full-year-paying-Ivy-League-tuition-grad-student would do. I emailed the professor and begged and pleaded my case. Return email from Professor: I appreciate your situation, but I already have 350 students. Talk to the head of the department, if she allows you in, then that's fine with me. So then forwarded begging, pleading email...along with more begging and pleading to head of dept. [Lilliane]....who is a wonderfully kind and benevolent person, who is allowing me [and having to register me specially] to take this class. YAY!!

So, currently am enrolled in:
Introduction to Biostatistics
Introduction to Global Health
Principles of Epidemiology I

but of course, nothing can be as simple as that. IN ORDER to keep all my funding, I have to maintain full-time status, which means I have to add another class. Did a bit of reading up and it's suggested that non-medical, non-biology, non-chemistry students should take a few refresher courses such as Anatomy/Physiology and Molecular Biology. Since A&P isn't offered this semester, I opt for MB. And since I'm not in the biology dept, I have to write professor for permission. Granted. But now, because I'm not in the biology dept, I CANNOT register for it via the internet or phone [which is how one normally registers]....so now I have to email Lilliane again pleading for more help, and it's a bit more tricky as the class I have to register for F4201 is for grad students, which is offered the same time as the covetted Principles of Epidemiology I [class I was granted special permission to attend]. However, lectures for F4201--Molecular Biology--are the exact same as C2005 [for undergrads] and professor doesn't care WHICH lecture set you attend, just as long as you a) attend and b) show up for your appointed exam times [which will NOT be at the same time as covetted Principles of Epidemiology]. Still waiting to hear back about that...fingers crossed!

Clear are mud? You should be in my shoes!


01 September 2007

You know you're in New York when....

You're on a crowded subway platform and the main form of entertainment for EVERYONE is watching a rat running around on the tracks....and then having everyone LEAN over the platform to see where the rat ran because it's no longer in view...

still apartment hunting [bleh!]...actually submitted an application for one that's not too far from school and available as soon as my application is approved. hmmm. this f%$^$^ sucks. I mean--fingers crossed!


PS--apparently my comment in a previous post about the lovely smell at 168th street subway stop is very dependent on when you're there, as I've noticed it's not sooo pronounced when it's not raining outside!!