Marimekko Fabric Find!



Matkalla Maalle (already hung!)



Dear Blogosphere,

Here are some of the awesome fabrics I found at the Crate and Barrel Outlet in Berkeley! Aren't they fab?

Oh, and I noticed someone 'meh'ed the post about not having a computer for the first half of finals week. Haha, that's cool.



Tolerance, Altruism, Compassion, Empathy

Many people are posting definitions of words... well, one word... today. So I thought I'd share a couple of definitions of words that are particularly salient to me:

TOLERANCE: the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.

ALTRUISM: the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

COMPASSION: sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.

EMPATHY: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Those are some beautiful words.


Songs I Can't Get Out of My Head

Telephone by Lady GaGa + Beyonce
Doctor My Eyes by Jackson Browne
Falling Apart by Matt Nathanson
Men in this Town by Shakira
Just a Friend by Biz Markie
Lola by the Kinks
Industrial Disease by Dire Straits
Can I Walk with You by India.Arie
Wicked Little Town by the Bens
Lost in the Supermarket by the Clash
Gamble Everything for Love by Ben Lee
Something Good This Way Comes by Jakob Dylan
The Theme from Sanford and Son by Quincy Jones

Press play down here and you can listen to these songs...

Logic Boards, Cortisol, and Crab


My goodness, where to start. How about Sunday night?

For my adolescence class we had a final presentation. Like everything this quarter, I had to do it at the last minute. But Sunday night Amy called me to let me know that she was going to Mishka's (the grad student hang out) to work on her presentation. I said I'd meet her there around 8 PM. So I packed up my stuff, bought a delicious raspberry French soda (Italian soda with cream -- who knew?) and opened up my MacBook Pro to finish finding articles to present. Well, the screen didn't turn on. I turned my computer on and off, tried plugging it in, didn't work. I wasn't freaking out at this point, but asked Amy if she would drive me to Target (that closes at 9) to buy a monitor. I have heard that sometimes the backlight or screen just stops working on laptops and people buy external monitors and go on with life. Well, Target was out of monitors so I splurged for a flat screen TV with a VGA input.

Amy sweetly comes up to my apartment to help me get it set up. Well... my screen doesn't appear on the TV. I play with settings, turn my computer on and off, connect and disconnect, no dice. So I figure it must be the TV. Amy had her MacBook Pro so I tried hers... and it connected right off the bat. She told me I could borrow her computer while she read her articles. I asked the good people of the MacRumor's forum what was up. A few people told me it might be an Nvidia graphic card bug, another person told me it was the logic board. Either way, my computer was doomed to be in the shop for at least 3 days.

At this point I started to panic. I had articles on my computer that I needed to print and needed Powerpoint for the presentation and, later this week, Stata. I knew my *computer* was working as I could hear it start up and turn off. Then my computer started to TALK to me. As I'd put my mouse on various icons, it would read to me what I was blindly pointing at. It was so strange... and that, additionally, freaked me out.

Amy was calm and booked an appointment for me at the Genius Bar in Sacramento for Monday afternoon and told me she would drive me. She also loaned me her computer for the night, until we had class Monday morning. I was able to re-find the articles and print them. Without her, I would have been f*cked.

So we had class on Monday (very interesting, one of many facts the law school professor who came to sit on our discussion shared was that the United States is the #1 exporter of sperm... awesome, haha), then Amy had an appointment downtown, so I went to my apartment and started reading and organizing the articles. Then we went to Sacramento and, yep, it was the logic board. They would be able to replace it by as early as Wednesday. So I parted with my computer, confident that I'd be able to work at the library.

We get back to Davis at about 3:30 or so. I run to Chipotle to get something to eat and I take about a half-hour to put myself back together. I walk to the library and... there's no Powerpoint on their computers. There is a small lab that does have it, but it is packed and there is a line. I call Stephanie to ask her for the code to the TA-office in hopes that those computers will have Powerpoint on them. No dice. Panic attack number 3 has arrived. I called my sister and told her that I was pretty sure that this was the universe's way of telling me that grad school was a bad idea. At this point (6:30 PM) there's no place to buy a Mac in town. My sister suggests I ask my neighbor, Sarah, if I can borrow hers to do the Powerpoint. And, amazingly, incredibly, Sarah loans me her computer to use until 8 AM on Tuesday. I meet up with Caitlin and we work on our presentation into the wee hours - 4 AM. I decide just to finish my notes instead of going to sleep, so I stay up until 5:30 AM. Sarah picks up her computer at 8 and I practice my presentation when I wake up at 10.

Just in case you thought maybe God or the stars or the universe wasn't playing a huge, not-funny joke on me... during my presentation (image-heavy, mind you) none of the pictures showed up. I just felt like giving up, throwing in the towel, laying my head on Adrienne's computer and sobbing. But I pushed through and just told everyone what the images were that should have shown up.

The presentation wasn't very good. Not having the images made me extremely nervous and I talked way too fast through my notes. But, and thank goodness, most peoples' presentations' images didn't show up. I was the second person to go, and about half or so of everyone who went after me had the same problem.

The presentation was over, Adrienne took us out for beer and pizza (or for us Celiacs, salad and water - haha). I went to my apartment and laid around checking my email on my iPod Touch. I had gotten an email from Brian saying that I got an 'A' in behavioral genetics. I was thrilled but couldn't really feel happy as the cortisol levels in my body were way too high. I felt a little sick at all the stress, good and BAD. I collapsed and slept for a very long time from 11 PM to about 12:30 on Wednesday.

Stephanie picked me up after her job training at about 6:30 to go get my Mac. She told me she was in the mood for seafood. As a child, I didn't like seafood and haven't tried it since I was little. As I have changed my mind on a few things lately (especially blue cheese), I told her I'd be up for trying it again. We went to Joe's Crab Shack on the Sacramento River and I tried some of her crab. It was very tasty! I am a reformed woman. I really liked the snow crab. But anything dipped in garlic and butter has to be good!

We picked up my Mac and since then everything, more or less, has been normal. I started working on my stats project on Thursday and it's a lot bigger than I thought it would be. I realized that I would have to pull an all-nighter to get it turned in before they closed the building on Friday to come home. I decided I just couldn't do another all-nighter/high-stress evening. So... *sigh*... I won't be coming home for spring break. I canceled my flight to give me extra time to work on the stats. I'm thinking of what I'm going to do this break after I'm done with my paper. I am thinking of going to Berkeley to check out the Crate and Barrel outlet and other shops. Stephanie is in town, so I may hang out with her. But for the most part I'm thinking about laying around in my apartment, catching up on pop culture, playing the Sims, and listening to music. A few bicycle rides are scheduled. I'm thinking about reading a non-academic book. But there will be plenty of sleep. Ahhh, I love sleep.

In less than two weeks, my younger sister will be here! I am so excited! I have booked a rental car and a hotel in San Francisco. There are a few places on our road trip that we want to check out but I am aiming for a chill weekend for her. She definitely needs some low-stress fun, like me!

Anywho, this was a long post. Next time I won't be so wordy... :-)



8 1/2 Years Ago

Dear Blogosphere,

I went through my jewelry tonight for fun. There are a lot of memories in my jewelry box. A grain of rice necklace from my first trip to Washington D.C. with my mom when I was about 9. A necklace with beads that spell out N-A-T-A-L-I-E that I saved my pennies for when I was about 7 or 8. A coral colored necklace from the Nordstroms in San Francisco that my mom bought for me when I was about 11. A birthday present from Jamie in 7th grade from a very cool store at Fashion Place mall - it's Celtic... I was briefly into Celtic knots for a few months. :-D

The charm bracelet above is one of my favorites. In 8th grade, my group of friends each picked out a charm and created a very humorous bracelet (each of us has/had one). My contribution was the spoon.

It's amazing to think about what has happened since 8th grade. I would have never seen any of this coming and I'm sure the other girls feel the same way. Alexa (the green bead), Rahz (the feet), and Sara (the frog) are at the U studying modern dance (A), behavioral science (A), international studies (R), anthropology(S), and English (S). Stephanie (the Celtic knot) is creating incredible tutus and other costumes at RISD. Shahn (the lighthouse) is at BYU studying chemistry. Anna (the sneaker) is serving an LDS mission in SoCal and Margaret (the bell) is making films at Chapman.



200th Post

Dear Bee-logistic-o'sphere,

I am almost done. Almost. I can see the future! Here's ALL that's left to do:

*Final presentation for adolescence - integrating 3 articles from class and 3 articles that I am interested in. My topic is characterizations of romantic relationships in adolescence... and, with luck, I'll be able to read up on potential differences between ethnic groups. (Tuesday)
*Stats paper - prof gave us a dataset and I am to figure out a handful of research questions and give 'em ye old test. Here's the best part: "a reasonable paper will be between 10-20 pages, not including cover page, tables and figures, or references." Is it just me, or is that one hell of a range? (Next Friday)
*A few NYTimes articles on ethics (YAY! Lay readings!) for a discussion in my behavioral genetics class. (Monday)

To have only three things on my To Do list is a relief. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh...

So, at a grad student lunch last week, one of the ABDs (All But the Dissertation) said that in this program, the first year is the "weeder." This is different from physics, for example, where the prelims are supposed to weed people out.

This gives me a little bit of hope. Although I feel like I want to leave and that I am getting weeded out... I know that if I just stick with it and deal with the stress (and inhibit the urge to disappear to a beach for a few weeks), I might finish it.

It is really hard to go from being an 'A' undergrad to being a "B+" grad.
It's even harder when you feel like you have spent days and days on a paper and what you end up turning in is AWFUL. I never felt like what I turned in was a waste of the professor's time during undergrad. But that's how I feel about each paper. I feel like I owe them an apology. Now, do I do that before they read the paper or after they read the paper?

But life is all about adjustment and change. Without change, we'd cease to grow and kites fly highest against the wind, right?

To run with these metaphors, I will let you know that I have decided to consider myself a dandelion. Determined, hearty, kind of cute depending on your viewpoint, and loved by rabbits. So there I go, Natalie the Dandelion.

-N the D

P.S. This is the 200th post on this blog! How exciting!


Not Dead Yet

I no longer have a sleeping schedule. It's very confusing. I pulled two all nighters in a row last week, and didn't rebound until I took a five hour "nap" on Wednesday. I slept 6 hours last night, so I'm not really tired now that it is 1 AM. I don't know... but next quarter this will not happen. I feel like one of those dysregulated infants... all irritable, particularly by the edu students in statistics. Haha... another post for another day.

I bought a rice cooker and it is the coolest thing ever. It cooks brown rice perfectly... great texture and my favorite nutty flavor. I was craving meat today (I rarely eat meat these days), so I bought some chicken, asiago, and fennel sausages for dinner. One of those with some brown rice... DELICIOUS. I am tempted to make a second dinner... ha ha.

I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel... here's what's left.

  • 5 ABs/5 articles for adolescence(3/8)
  • 2 articles for behavioral genetics (3/8)
  • A short(?) assignment on interactions for stats (3/10)
  • 8 page paper on oxytocin and something for behavioral genetics + brief presentation (3/10)
  • Final presentation for adolescence on romantic relationships + ethnic minority adolescents (3/16)
  • And stats paper... on something with some data the prof gives us (3/19)

Then I'm flying home on 3/20! Will be back for SPRING QUARTER on 3/26! Younger sister will be visiting me on 4/1! Yay!

And classes for next quarter: Research Methods in Growth and Development... 290C (internship/TA-ing)... and 291 (independent research credit -- start looking at some real live data)! That means only one actual class. Fantastic.