Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Finals: Day 2...summary

Day's Stats
Finals: 0 (ish...take home requires attention)
Hrs. of sleep: 8 (ish... it's a Christmas miracle)

I basically spent my day working on my take home final for Advanced Econ. 9:30 to approximately 4 (except for lunch... I nuked soup and made a grilled cheese for those concerned about my nutrition during this difficult time). Put a good dent in it. Should be able to wrap it up tomorrow. This evening was all about SIM with Ed. I worry our model is too simple but then I remember it's possibly because our class models were SO CRAZY. Whatever. We've committed. It'll be fine.

Next maneuver: Go to bed. Again at a decent hour...unless Conan gets good. Finals week sucks but somehow I'm working in more sleep... how does that happen?

Tomorrow's plan: Get to school by 9ish and just start annihilating that econ final. Go team!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Finals Day 1.5

Captain's log--Star date: 12/13/2010 00:08 central time
Current coordinates: Durland Hall
Status: Groggy
I managed a nap this evening after dinner and cleaning the kitchen (it was bad and I had to clean it before the health department found out). It was supposed to be for 20 minutes but because I'm tired and our microwave clock is way wrong I miss-set my alarm and overslept (a whole hour nap!) and left Ed to fend (simulate) for himself. Woops. Good news, he forgave me.

Tomorrow's agenda: 9am begin Advanced Econ take-home final in earnest. Work until 2 or 3 when Ed and I begin working on SIM. Eat at some point... fill all spare time with Econ Final. Try not to fall asleep on my computer.

Next maneuver: go home and go to bed at a decent time. Tomorrow should be good.

Finals: Day 1

Day's stats
Sleep: 3.5 hours
Finals: 2 (CAM and Urban and Regional Econ)
Mood: Fair considering the lack of sleep

Captain's Log--Star Date: 12/13/2010 13:51 central time
One final down (CAM) and fast approaching #2 (Econ). CAM went well. Anticipate a decent grade on my Econ final.
In spite of sleeping only between the hours of 3:30 (ish) and 7:30 (ish) I am functioning normally (as far as I can tell).
Caffeine consumption is at normal levels (1 travel mug) and I didn't skip lunch entirely (there was a free sandwich and a piece of cake).
Next maneuver: Econ final in 10 minutes.

Will check back in later with further updates.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My SIM family

It's currently the middle of the night and I am still in the lab. I have been in the lab for basically every spare moment this week and it's starting to get cagey in here. I'm running on 11 hours of sleep since Monday and it's not looking like there will be any improvement before Friday (and even then the improvement will be small). On the bright side I am "stuck" here with my team who has fashioned itself into a family. No really. We are calling Jeff "dad" because he keeps bossing us like our fathers would. We also call Brant dad because he was the one who mandated that we wouldn't be leaving for dinner until everyone reached a stopping point (which didn't happen until 8pm). Yep. We have two dads. Two "gay" dads. They aren't so fond of this. Like I said...we're not functioning at our peaks here people. Kevin, Ruth and I are pretty good kids and we're trying to be obedient to the team leaders but we tend to drift. We took a "family trip" to Dara's (the gas station across the street) for late night sodas and snacks and a boost in team morale (Kevin's personal mission on this project is team morale so we try to do things to uphold it often).

Which brings me to my next barely coherent point. My diet is abysmal these days. Well during the day it's fine. Emily has even fed me REAL DINNER twice this week. But after about 10 pm I try to be strong and fail. I either eat whatever candy I can find, drink a pop, or eat a baked good Jordan brought in (she did some baking and we are all reaping the benefits). I've just resigned myself to the fact that I have to get energy from somewhere and late night food (CAFFEINE!) is my only option (sleep just doesn't make the cut). It is what it is. I keep telling myself that after finals I'll try to reign myself in. It shouldn't be too hard because I'll go into a temporary coma once I finish everything and I'll sleep through the sugar jonesing that would pull me off the wagon.

The things keeping me going at this point besides coffee: Christmas music, Greek yogurt with honey (discovered it at Dillon's the other day and it changed my outlook on life), Kevin's morale boosting efforts, Tweeting all the ridiculous happenings of the lab, and short naps.

If you don't hear from me in the next two weeks (or for a few days after that) it's probably fine. I'm either holed up somewhere trying to furiously iron out four projects simultaneously or I've fallen into that coma I alluded to.

to the end of this project: 1 day (technically 2 but we're pretending otherwise so we can go to the pub crawl)
to Christmas break (end of finals for me): 15 days
to actual Christmas: 23 days

People... good things are coming. At least that's what I keep repeating to myself in hushed tones when I get more assignments and tasks added to my list...

Monday, November 8, 2010

I forgot to mention this earlier...

This is my current time-suck of choice. It's pretty funny in my opinion. I think partly because this dude is PhD in Engineering and makes good nerdy jokes (graph jokes are my faves! Seriously!) and partly because he is just standing awkwardly in the frame pointing to a random part of what he's written. A way to be a web comic when you can't draw. I admire the creativity there.

SIM update: My model runs to completion and is giving me reasonable results as far as I can tell. Life as we know it will continue. At least for now.

Thanks Dr. Wu...

Proctoring an exam again today. It's so fun. By fun I mean boring. Watching students think (and sometimes sweat) is about is thrilling as watching your lawn grow.

Kate visited this weekend to play rugby (Go Saints!--2-0 for the day!) and while she was here I learned that she loves when I make lists of things. Apparently that's when I'm at my funniest. I can't disagree but lists have to be organic (not pesticide free but flowing from a naturally creative place). I'm going to try to force a bit of inspiration here and make lists about my weekend.

People I saw this weekend (warming up here...don't expect much):
--Mom (came through Thursday which in college is the weekend with Al and Dad for Al's college visit-a-palooza)
--Dad (see Mom)
--Aly (see Mom. She was the reason for the road trip so we hope she's be included. Could make for an awkward college visit if you don't bring the kid...)
--Kate (came and stayed with me Friday for rugby-palooza on Saturday)
--Amanda (came with Kate...and by that I mean Kate came with her or whoever has a car)
--Hallie (see Amanda/Kate)
--Neesha (sp? See Amanda/Kate/Hallie)
--Andrew (Came up Friday just because he's a big shot engineer and he can do that. Stayed on my couch Friday night)
--Work Friend Of Andrew Who's Name Escapes Me Just Now (She came with Andrew and also slept on my [other] couch)
--Jen (Came up for the Texas game and is now back in Houston gloating about how we OWN Texas)
--Ben (Also here for the came... came up with Jen)

As you can see my weekend was crammed with fun people, a good sign for a weekend. Bad sign for my productivity but that's not really the point.

Reason this weekend was awesome:
--I saw all the aforementioned people for at least an hour each (most of them considerably more)
--We own Texas. If not in the Legal sense of the word then in the Pride sense of the word.
--I ate Korean food with Emily and Andrew. Pusan may be nestled deep within the armpit of Junction City but it is a shining beacon of velvet-painting-clad goodness.
--The BC Saints beat both K-State and Nebraska's rugby teams. Best of all I kind of knew it was happening while I watched. I'm catching on to this rugby thing...
--I won a Wildcats Forever travel mug on Big XII Friday. I love travel mugs. Especially such nice, purple, large ones.
--I found $20 on the ground in Aggieville. It was filthy as it had been run over by a car but it spent the same as if it was crisp and new. Free Early Edition breakfast for me!
--I had Early Edition for breakfast/lunch with Scarlett. It was delicious.They really know how to rock some Banana-Nut pancakes.

As a result of all this awesomeness my week will probably be hell because I have a SIM project due Friday and I just feel like I'm never going to finish it. I blame not working on it all weekend but honestly... I probably wouldn't be much farther ahead at this point anyway. If anyone out there knows anything about ARENA (I'm using version 13) and more specifically transporters and their relation to MOVE blocks, feel free to shoot me an e-mail explaining the finer points of AGV's.

It's come to that point in the semester when I'm pining for Thanksgiving break like children pine for cake. I want it NOOOOOOOW. So thus begins the countdown to Thanksgiving and other awesome things:

End of Project 3 (SIM): 4 days
Thanksgiving break: 11 days
Christmas break (END OF THE SEMESTER FROM HELL): 33 days

I think I can hang on that long. I think...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Not dead yet!

So I know I don't ever update and that makes Mom sad (sorry Mom) but I honestly spend most of my time being busy with REALLY boring things (read: Simulation). Since last I wrote not a whole lot of new and exciting things have happened...

This past weekend was homecoming and we had a home football game. Naturally that's the weekend we chose to do our IIE tailgate (IIE==Institute of Industrial Engineers...our professional society. I'm the Chapter Developement co-chair this year...). I was in charge of this event. Our president kept bugging me about if she could help (she didn't really want to but she had to look supportive) and honestly I didn't have much to delegate. Everything was gangbusters (what the heck are those anyway?) up until the morning of (we made breakfast burritos the night before and I rounded up all the stuff we'd need and had it staged in my living-room ready for pick-up promptly at 7:30 the next day!).

The morning of rolls around and Aaron overslept (the kid who was providing the vehicle and the ride for me and all my stuff). Not a huge deal but I realize I can't find the parking permit. Shoot. Well we finally get up there with 10 minutes to spare before this thing is supposed to kick off. Not bad. But we go to the gate to explain our parking pass issue and they give us the runaround for 25 minutes about not being on "the list" before finally admitting that there is no list and we never stood a chance. Buttholes. Whatever. We're late and we're not where we're supposed to be but we'll make it work. No one will die at this point.

We get over to the student lot and set up and get our crock pots going (to heat our breakfast burritos) only to find out that the emergency batteries (to jump your car) we brought can't handle the amperage (or voltage I can't recall how it works exactly) required to run a crock pot (who knew those things were such power sucks...) for more than 15 seconds. It's finally clear that this will NOT work so we have punted at this point and have Aaron's girlfriend Erin (yea...I know...) calling her sister to get a grill. God bless Erin and her sister because they provided us a way to serve our stupid (and yet quite tasty) breakfast burritos. Love her.

So at this point it's like 1/2 way through the event and things are finally good. Better late than never.

I get into the football game with all my IE's and Jordan (who acquired her dad's parking permit) tells me she just found the permit that started all this...in her pocket. Damn. Well no use crying over spilled milk I guess...

That night was "Halloween" (the "" are because it's really the day before but since it's a Saturday it counts). I was a "White Lie" (dressed in white with little notes on myself that said things like "You're a good dancer" and "He'll realize it was a mistake to dump you! He'll be back!") and I went out with Kyle a Capone era gangster. I saw Ed "Professor Plum" Zuiss, Brant "Mayhem" (from the Allstate commercials) Roney, Jordan "Bever" Bever, and also ran into a "Ceiling Fan" (white t-shirt with "Go Ceiling!" and "Ceiling is #1" written on it), and several Chilean Miners--one mid rescue (complete with the hoisting cage thing...)! It was a good night out. I bonded with "Ceiling Fan" guy over the difficulty people had at figuring us out. I got his without help but I didn't have anyone get me... Ha!

As for the rest of my life... well it's back to the grind this week. I made some drawings in my notes today in class (I take notes in OneNote and this class is BORING...so naturally playing with the "Draw" options is necessary.)
Yep...these are it. I know you're impressed.

SIM is about to rear it's ugly head once more... so I'll be gone a while. But this weekend Kate will be visiting to play Rugby and I just found out that Thursday I'll see the rest of the fam as they travel to watch Al try out for some sweet volleyball teams. Go girlfriend! I shall be persevering through the week with those bright spots as my guiding lights! :) Sometimes I wax poetic (wax? what does that mean... where did that come from...? Whatever... I didn't make it up).

See you...when I see you!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Zombie story

So...It's been roughly a century since my last installment. I blame Simulation. I have spent nearly every night in the lab since then and a couple of those nights turned into mornings. I just woke up from a five hour nap...the first sleep I'd had since getting up for church on Sunday. I woke myself up because I didn't want to further mutilate my sleep schedule and wake up at three in the morning ready to meet the day.

Yester/today was brutal. We went in at one in the afternoon feeling fairly good about where we stood with the project but then we just kept finding things wrong with our model and had to keep troubleshooting and before we knew it we were just trying to crap out a paper by the deadline. It's not gonna be pretty.

I'm trying to think of things I've done since last I wrote but all I have in my head is the IMSE lab and simulation... poor Ed had the worst partner ever too. I tried to help but he is just way more dedicated and basically built our model by himself. I tried to hammer out the paper but he had to help because he knew more about our model than I did. Somehow he doesn't hate me, thank goodness.

Last weekend I visited Kyle in Kansas City. We went to the casino and I learned to play 21. Well I learned in the safety of his kitchen and then wasn't brave enough to play for real but I watched and I'm thinking maybe next time...if I have any disposable dinero. We'll see.

Oh! Mahjabeen got herself a blog too! It's about dang time! We have been waiting for some desi NYC adventure stories since she said "peace" to Kansas... check her out! She is the chutney to my samosa and I miss her but this will help a little. It's off to a "slow" start because she too is a busy graduate student but between the two of us we may update weekly! ;)

I don't know what else to tell you... I'm basically a zombie right now. I'm still going to go over to hang out with the guys and whoever is still alive... I want to hang out with these people and NOT talk about Simulation. I can barely believe I'm saying that considering I spent the past 24 hours with these folks. We got kinda close being so tired we were basically drunk... why not go be actually drunk! :)

Hopefully I'll get back to a real life this week before the next project gets crazy and if we play our cards right I may even write about it...

Monday, October 11, 2010

The news as of late

I have had what I thought was some ornery allergies for about two weeks now and it's just getting to the point where I'm tired of trying to ride it out. I want off this ride immediately. I'm going to Lafene this afternoon for a consult to see if we can nip this thing in the bud. Here's hopin'.

I'm writing to you dear reader (Mom) from the OR 1 exam that I am proctoring today. Mom, you must give several tests a month between all the subjects you teach; you must get a lot done while those kiddies are sweating away over their spelling words. This is really boring because I didn't come prepared with anything to occupy me so I'm aimlessly surfing the internet. And writing about it. On the upside Dr. Wu paid for my lunch for springing this on me last minute and let Robbie come along (but since we have to be quiet this doesn't do me much good in the entertainment department).

Also, Mom, you would be so proud of me. I played softball last night with Stacey's fiance's team (because they needed some more ladies to fill out the roster) and I was actually kind of a productive person! I played catcher which people always say is good for someone who doesn't really know anything. I have always thought that it seemed like a scary place to stand--next to someone swinging a metal stick while someone throws a "soft" (not soft at all) ball at you. But I did ok. I got less scared each inning and by the end only a couple rolled by me. This is quite the feat for me. I also hit the ball every time I was at bat. Not well but I got to first base and since I was immediately before the slugger of the team that meant I made it home all but once (he made me go on LONG sprints...). Anyway I'm sort of beaming with pride at having been helpful.

Oh and I made that chicken taco pizza on Saturday. I shared it with Robbie and Ed and they both tell me it was pretty tasty (I thought so too but I can't taste anything really with these "allergies" so I rely on others to confirm). Here's how it goes:

Crust dough: Go to thepioneerwoman.com and find the pizza dough recipe. Make it (at least a day in advance)

Make some chicken. I used two frozen chicken breasts, thawed and marinaded for about 30 minutes in some tequila and lime juice (the kind in the plastic lime)--about a shot of each I'm estimating... Then I just put it in a skillet until it was cooked. Nothing fancy. I had to add a little lime juice in the middle because things were looking a little dry. Do what you want.

Once you have the dough spread out, spoon on
3/4 (ish) of a can of sauce (I used a spicy tomato sauce I found in the Mexican food isle of Dillons. Robbie would have went with salsa. Do what you think is right.)
3/4 (ish) of a can of black beans
1 med-small green pepper (or a large on if you really like green peppers...or none if you don't)
1/2 a small onion (again if you really love onion do more...or leave it out...whatever)
2 frozen chicken breasts, shredded up (or cubed if you like it that way I guess)
1 bag of Mexian cheese (you can do it P-Hut style and put 1/2 the cheese on under the veggies and 1/2 of it on top of the chicken... if you want) unless you really love cheese then you can put more.

Clearly pizza leaves a lot of room for interpretation so go with your gut. Mine was good but I'll probably change it up a bit next time just to keep things interesting.

Nothing else has really happened since I last touched base (we are ignoring the Nebraska massacre of Thursday because it is too painful to recount). We SIM happened but no one wants to hear about that.

So in closing, I'd like to offer a special shout out to my parents, Ed and Anita. On this day in 1986(if I did the math right) they tied the knot-- Happy Anniversary! I hope you get to do something fun! Love you guys!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I know you're asking yourself: "Self? What IS that?" The answer, dear reader (Mom), is Bubble Tea! It's a little weird but in all the right ways... Mine (left) is taro root with black tea (also milk and tapioca pearls--the black things at the bottom) and Ed's (right) is red bean with black tea (and milk and tapioca pearls). Mine tasted like cookies & cream to be honest which isn't what you'd think looking at this purple-y drink. It was yummy to be sure. Ed and I went to get these at the Chinese Grocery that opened up in Aggieville recently. It was a fun little field trip/experiment that we plan on repeating. there were plenty of nifty food items (none of whose labels were in English) and even a box of fresh (alive on Tuesday) crabs! It was a magical journey and I found things that one day I'll need to buy when I get ambitious and try to make fun Asian food that I like. Who knows when that will actually be...

Also before our field trip, I made Ed and I PW's favorite pizza: eggplant and tomato (produce courtesy of the farmer's market...mmmm)! It was pretty good but I think I have a few tweaks for next time planned. I still have 1/2 the dough I made (don't be impressed, it's SUPER easy) so I get to make my experimental pizza soon. I decided on chicken taco pizza. I'll let you know how it goes (and if it's good how to make it yourself!).

All in all it's been a really good food day. :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Apparently I'm broke

So what happened this week... huh... not that much really. School, grading, some hanging out with friends. Nothing huge. Oh I signed up for Mint.com this week. Apparently the fact that there is any money in my accounts is basically a miracle. Like a serious, write-to-the-pope-to-get-this-validated act of God. Mint is basically budgeting and money managing software online. It reads your bank account and categorizes your spending. It sets budgets based on your spending habits and shows you at the end of the week how you're doing. It seems as though I've had no concept of my spending up to this point. Hopefully we'll get that under control.

Wednesday I had a birthday dinner at Olive garden with a group of my people. Leslie, Kristin, Stacey (and Mike), Carrie, Scarlett, Emily, Robbie, Brant, Jeff, and Ed all came. I felt so loved! :) It's always fun to sit down with you're people to break bread.

Speaking of hanging out with your people, we decided on a new Friday ritual--Friday FroYo at 5! There's a new self serve place called The Orange Leaf and it's awesome! Go check it out online (you can see a local perspective at thescoopmanhattan.com) and then promptly go there to experience it! This week we followed up our desert with dinner (just Robbie, Scarlett, Sarah, Ed and myself) at Pat's and then Robbie, Ed and I spent a night in (as opposed to spending money out and about) watching that old classic film, Mystery Men.

Today I mentored for a GROW event (because of the aforementioned lack of cash flow) in spite of having a weird vertigo type feel all day. I bucked it up and toughed it out and it got better enough to go to Emily's for a chilly dinner (which was spectacular to say the least). I still feel just a little wonkey but I think I'll survive. Hopefully I'll shake it enough to be productive tomorrow.

Oh and finally the highlights of Chicago! Enjoy!

The big city lights... as seen from the Hancock Building.
My drink at the Hancock Building-- so pretty!
Free hat at the Sox game in honor of 1/2 way to St. Patty's day!
Dinner at the Sox game--as good as(or better than) it looks!
Postin' up at the bean in Millennium park. Possibly favorite part of Chicago.
See? I rock the Sr. Pics at the bean...
Crew at that classy silver bean again...
Adam walks on water sometimes... whatev.
In the new viewing boxes that hang out over Chicago in the Sears (Willis?) Tower. I am breaking ground in the field of fake Sr. pics here people. Check me out!
And that red thing... I forget what it's called. We checked it out though. Also very cool. :)

There are more up on the Facebook and even more on SnapFish. These are just the ones that struck my fancy enough to make it into the blog...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I live to simulate another day...

So SIM got done Friday at 9:10pm and I promptly went to get my fun on. Power hour at Brant's is always a good way to start the night. :) Actually before that I took a break to have Birthday dinner with Kyle. He took me to 4Olives which is swanky-er than I knew. It was AMAZING. He also brought me flowers. Very pretty ones...
See? :)

He's a nice boy. Anyway, the rest of the weekend was pretty much engulfed by sports. The cats won but I didn't see it live because of the crazy weather and my wimpy outlook on said weather. But it was ok because watching it at Leslie's over pizza sitting on a couch was much more enjoyable than sitting through the end of the cold and then through some steamy heat and burning sun to watch my cats play like a high school team and just pull out the win in the end. Anyway I digress. We spent some time with Preston (Kyle's BFF) and his family that evening and then some more time with friends in Aggieville. Today we watched the Chiefs game at Tubby's (again with Preston and his girlfriend Alex) before Kyle left for home. They won too. Which is good because I figure Kyle would be crabby if they lost. He'll be in fine gloating mode since my Broncos lost too. Awesome for me. Anyway. I digress again. This evening I went to play flag football for my department. It was double header night and we just couldn't pull out a win to save ourselves. But true to our unofficial name, we will show continuous improvement (team Kaizen!). Football is always fun even when we lose.

We get our next SIM project tomorrow (it's technically posted now but I'm too scared to look at it) and I have to knock out a quick CAM lab report tomorrow before class so tomorrow is shaping up to be super fun. On the bright side, Stacey brought me cookies tonight for my birthday so I have those to look forward to...

PS Chicago pictures are uploading and I'll try to pick out highlights to post soon. I'm just too tired to do it now.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Windy City Love Song

So when I last left you, dear reader (Mom), we were on our way to Gino's East. It was amazing. After Gino's, Taberie, myself, and the boys went to go find Coyote Ugly. Bad news is, it's been closed for at least a year. Good news is, it was located right next to a couple other clubs. People, my lady bits were far too covered for me to have been there (in my Sperry's and Cardigan to boot!) and paying $9 for a drink just made it all the more... uh... special. Let's go with that.

Friday we spent most of our day at the trade show. Good times. It was a lot of walking and my normally comfy dress shoes wore a blister in my heel. Irritating. Saw lots of neat stuff (mostly reruns from last time but still worth looking at) and had fun running around with the other K-Staters. After we finished up there we headed down to the US Cellular Stadium for a Sox game. We didn't get to see a win but it was lots of fun and we got a free hat for 1/2 way to St. Patty's day (I love that Chicago celebrates 1/2 St. Patty's day). After the game we grabbed some beverages from the 7 Eleven across from the hotel and just enjoyed our own cheap company for the evening.

This morning we got up and headed up north to Murphy's Bleachers to watch the ISU game with the other K-Staters living in Chicago. It was a great time and as always we ate too much. It was a long ride home on the El (I have no idea how I'm supposed to spell that but whatever... it's short for elevated I think) feeling so stuffed but after a win for the Cats (again!) I can't complain. After we got back we took a long scenic (we stopped in Millennium Park!) walk over to the Sears (Ok Willis but no one calls it that) Tower to see the view. We got to stand in the new glass boxes that hang over the edge and take artsy pictures of each other and the Chicago skyline. Good times. Afterward we went to go stuff ourselves at Hackney's and we ended dinner by deciding to walk back home after all (we needed the exercise bad) and we got to see the crazy sculpture that looks like a baboon. I'll put up a picture later...

Tomorrow we depart at 10 to head back home. The highlight will likely be the World's Largest Truck Stop in Iowa. I missed it on the way up in favor of not getting out because I was sleeping. Judge me if you want but those 3 hours brought me to almost 8 and I survived the rest of the day because of it! It's gonna be a long day.

Pictures of the trip will get put up...when they get put up. This week SIM is due so it may be ill advised to hold your breath. It'll happen though.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


We arrived in Chicago this morning after touring ArmaLite on the way in (they make rifles...damn good ones!). We drove all night so I needed a shower and a nap like nobody's business but we couldn't check in to our rooms until 3 so we had to kill an hour. We walked down to Navy Pier just to look around and then came back for said naps and showers. Oh and before we did anything we ate at Hot Doug's. Amazing hot dog place. Go there. Seriously. North side of Chicago. Do it.

Next up on the agenda is the Hancock building and then dinner at (I think) Gino's East (I could be mistaken but I guess if I am I could just lie to you). Probably play it a bit low key this evening so we can enjoy the trade show tomorrow but I guess we'll see...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's been...one week (since you looked at me)

Ok so it's been another week (and another W for the Cats! Holla!) and I have (again) not much to report. Especially since I've called to talk to Mom and she's about the only person reading this on the regular (no offence to anyone else using this for some attempt at entertainment but I have doubts you exist).

I had a traumatic experience the other day while dropping off my rent. I was marching over to my landlady's house next door in the light rain (rain being relevant because I was just in a hurry to get this job done and get back inside) when I stepped on something that made a fantastic crunchy sound. I didn't pause to look at whatever it was and just wondered what it could have been. On my way back down the driveway I found to my dismay it had been a snail. This is distressing for a couple of reasons. 1) I killed something. Poor innocent little snail never saw it coming. 2) I like snails (at least in theory, I haven't really had many real life experiences with them). They're cute. I know they're pests but that little swirly shell is just kinda nifty. And I smushed it. I am sure Karma is on the prowl and has my number. I'm just waiting for the hit.

Tonight I had dinner with a rep from Conoco Phillips (free dinner at Harry's Uptown. FREE! Ritzy and FREE!) and a few other ladies from the college of engineering. It was pretty dang good and I wish I could afford to eat there more often. Also I think I may be in love with Conoco Phillips so bonus points there. I'm gonna try to work some game on them at career fair next week. Better dust off the ol' resume...

In the larger events category, Susan leaves this week. I'll be on a trip (I'll get to that) so I won't actually be there when the band-aid is ripped off but we keep having send off's and farewells and it's painfully real that she's leaving. Damn you Virginia Tech and your better title and pay increase. Damn you. Tomorrow we're going to the famous Brookville for all you can eat fried chicken tomorrow for a final goodbye. I swear it's like we're trying to force ourselves to have a proper anxiety attack over this with all these goodbyes. That or we're trying to get me to put on a second spare tire. Either way I don't like it.

On a happier note, it's time again for our SME trip to IMTS (International Manufacturing Trade Show) which is in Chicago! My bestie Andrew won't be there (doing work crap in TX which is super lame and just terrible timing) in spite of the fact that he moved away from me to be in Chicago. Whatever. It's still going to be a fun trip. We get to walk around a HUGE convention center full of kick-ass stuff (water-jet cutters, CNC machines, laser inspection equipment, and the list goes on!) and spend time exploring Chicago. We're also planning on a baseball game (beer and hot dogs!) and we'll tour ArmaLite on the way there (they make rifles!). Gonna be a sweet trip. I'll report back later (probably much later because when I get back I'll have a lot of catching up to do). We leave tomorrow night and don't come back until Sunday night (soooo much driving). Unfortunately that means I'm doing laundry right now to prepare. Ugh.

So anyway I'm going to fold some of said laundry now. Oh the exciting life I lead...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Holy AWOL Batman

So I've been effectively ignoring this sucker for a while. My bad. It's not like I have such a whirlwind lifestyle that I can't update, in fact it's more the opposite. I am doing nothing worth talking about and then when I do I am busy doing that thing and can't tell you about it. I also usually forget to tell any good stories after the fact. Blogging may not be my calling...

Things I think that might be worth mentioning (sorry if I'm wrong):

Robbie got an office... mine! We are now office mates! It's gonna be awesome. By awesome I mean we'll get nothing done. Oh well. It'll be fun.

I learned a new recipe: eggplant bruschetta... it's amazing. Like life changing. I had never really eaten much eggplant so I was just feeling adventurous and it turned out phenomenally. If you want to have your life changed please see one of my new fave food blogs: smittenkitchen.com specifically http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/08/eggplant-salad-toasts/print/ . Hang on to your butts people. It's gonna blow your mind. Also see http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/11/mustard-roasted-potatoes/ if there's anything left of your brain... these will polish it off.

I visited Kyle at the end of August for a wedding and I have now been to Power and Light! It's pretty fun... basically an upscale version of Aggieville. Good times.

This past weekend we put a tally in the win column for the Wildcats... always a good time. I had forgotten how much I missed gameday... tailgating before hand, standing in the sun while I get burnt to a crisp, cheering for the cats and telling the refs how to do their job... ahh... so glad it's fall again.

Last night we went to watch Fiddler on the Roof...on the roof of Fiedler Hall. Yea. I know. A laptop, a projector, and 70 ft. of extension cord require an epic venue. Mission accomplished.

So all in all it's been a semi-eventful couple weeks. Hope you don't feel cheated by not getting this info live. Trust me...it wouldn't have been much more interesting in multiple installments.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Desi food makes you sleepy

***Before I say anything else, my mother pointed out that my last entry implied I flossed my teeth for the first time ever. I would like to point out that I have flossed many times before, it's just...been a little while... nobody tell Melvin!!!***

So day two of school was pretty good. I only have one class on Tuesday Thursday (T and TU as the University calls them) and it looks like it's gonna be easy. John and Matt (a guy in my department and a friend of another guy in my department) are in it with me so if nothing else I'll have study buddies (but I reinforce that I don't think I'll need them that bad). When I finished with that I went and transcribed my notes from paper to OneNote (if you haven't tried it you should-- it' s pretty great!) and then went home for lunch. I spent my afternoon doing a couple errands and then I helped Mahj make some desi food (the main event of my day...maybe my week). I made palak paneer which is literally translated spinach cheese. It sounds sketch, it looks suspect, but it tastes pretty good. We had all kinds of food and I ate enough for at least three normal sized people and possibly enough for a small child as well. It was amazing.

I would have stayed at Em's eating all night but I had to grade a quiz (thankfully... I think that much food could kill a person). I went to bed early so that I could get up EARLY (6 am...which I considered sleeping in this summer...oh how times have changed) to go swimming (I had to try to compensate for all that eating I did...). Since I was up I decided to blog. I know you are riveted by all this recapping...settle down.

Tonight is "old" roommate dinner with my girls Leslie, KVD, and Stacey. Gumby's! I'm excited! I figure since I'm off to such an ambitious start, my day is gonna be pretty good. I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Showing Dad that I'm no fool...

Today was the first day of school...hooray! It's been a couple days so quick recap of what you've missed (not much):
I am no longer jobless! I am grading Operations Research 1 for Dr. Wu. I am supremely thankful for this because 1) I needed a job that fit my schedule and grading rocks in this aspect and 2) I can't work at the GAP in real life because I would spend all my paychecks on their clothes (that arrangement only works in my dreams). I got my first quiz to grade today (Yup, day one... Wu doesn't mess around)
I've also decided not to mess with the title of the blog... so what if my life is no longer an adventure? I fixed the tagline anyway... I'll change it when my girl J Greene tells me what to change it to alright?!
I did go see Vampires suck with Scarlett and it was... a movie. Like those Scary Movies they made it is really awkward... I dunno.
Farmer's market was delightful. I got cherry tomatoes, edamame, and peaches. All tasty.
IE pub crawl was, as expected, lots of fun. Hitting the ville with my people is always a good time and it's just so good to get the band back together.
Sunday I discovered tamarind sauce. It's better than any condiment I have ever had. I can't do it justice in words so get to a store with a desi (Indian/Pakistani) food section and get you some. It will change your life.

So that brings us up to today. I didn't sleep well last night because I flossed my teeth last night and my gums hurt something terrible and I think I was excited to get started with the semester. Even so it was a good day. I started by visiting the office before class... there were PW cinnamon rolls and they were AMAZING.

First class was simulation with Dr. Wu (who doesn't mess around) and he told us (as he tells all his classes) that his goal for day one was "enrollment reduction" and he informed one of the grad students (who do all their projects solo) that project two (which will take something like 200 hours) was going to be...well... he said "if you alone...you get killed" (all in his fantastic Chinese accent). Good start to my day. I then sat through Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) and then Advanced Engineering Economy. Advanced Econ will be fun because it's an Easton class. CAM...well it'll be CAM.

Tomorrow is my last UGE credit, Urban and Regional Economics. I don't know what to think about this at this point. We'll see. After my one class tomorrow we get to meet our freshman "buddies" and talk to them about time management and all that good orientation crap. Should be fun. I'm just crossing my fingers that for once the kids I am assigned will actually show up and be in our department. The last two years I've had non-existent kids. Fortunately there are always unaccounted for orphans for me to adopt.

Tomorrow night is desi food night to say goodbye to Mahjabeen who leaves for NYC on Thursday. I promised not to cry... the jury is out on whether or not I'll deliver on that. I guess if it get's misty I can just cuddle up to some tamarind sauce or samosas...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Retail therapy is always the answer

Today I found out that I won't be getting my grader job back. I was informed Monday by my department head that he let the faculty pick their graders so I should contact the faculty not him. I did this and was informed by the particular faculty that because she's new and doesn't know any students, our department head hired her graders. So I have no job. Suck. That was a kickin' gig and I'll miss it.

Monday begins my hunt for a new job. I'm going to start with the leadership building (it's new and I hear they need lots of help over there), and if that doesn't pan out I'll also have put down feelers in the career and employment services office (both in that office and through that office). If I can't find a campus job (heaven forbid) I'm going to take a stab at a mall job (GAP!) and if I can't swing that... well as Mom said, there's always waitressing.

In light of being unemployed I had to race off to the GAP to do some retail therapy. I had coupons ok?! I got some sweet stuff and it's stuff I kinda needed anyway (it wasn't THAT much on the card... leave me alone!). Emily was there to help me make good fashion choices and to support my choice to get some professional, trouser style jeans for my new job hunt. They're cute-- trust.

Tomorrow we go farmer's market-ing for some tasty, good-for-me things. That will also boost my mood. I need to start eating better and what better way than to buy pretty produce from cute little farmer guys and their wives?

So anyway, that's what's up. Someone get to work on re-naming my blog please...I'm too emotionally irritated to do it myself.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My So Called Life

Anyone remember that show? It had Claire Danes and Jared Leto in it. Anyway this has nothing to do with that show that re-runs on Nick...I just needed a title.

My life simply isn't so exciting as to warrant a blog entry every day. I am back in Manhattan (please Lord let me be done driving for a while) and today was errand day so nothing glamorous. I washed all the thousands of miles worth of bugs off my car, vacuumed out a dozen jobs worth of dirt and gravel and tossed my paper substitutes for GPS along with a bunch of other random car accumulations. I ate lunch in the WESP office with Em so I could reconnect with Manhattan humanity. I also went and bought Microsoft office, priced text books (holy cow I'm going to be poverty stricken this semester), got my tires rotated, grabbed crap at Walgreens, and stopped at Nespor's for wine to enjoy while watching Jersey Shore tonight (don't judge, it's a train wreck and we can't look away). I also stopped to see Scarlett on the way out to my errands because poor kid lost a month's worth of work and she needed a coffee like Lindsey Lohan needed a proper dad growing up. Don't worry, I provided the caffeine and I think she'll pull through.

Now for anyone still awake after the riveting recap of my day, the weekend plans:
Hopefully going to see Vampire's Suck at some point
Pre-School pub crawl with my IE's
Farmer's Market
School Supplies shopping (I have a weird enthusiasm for this don't judge me)

We definitely need to come up with a new name for this thing... these are NOT adventures...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gone Rogue

So I've been AWOL for a while again... sorry about that. I've been enjoying what summer vacation I get. Kyle visited me in Manhattan when I got back which meant I didn't sit down and type up anything. I then journeyed to exotic St. Francis (SFKS as I've been known to call it...) where I have hunkered into the buttery soft leather couches my parents put in our living room and realized I left my laptop cord in Manhattan so blogging has stayed by the wayside. Woops.

Manhattan is LOVELY... I just missed it SO MUCH! Kyle and I visited his friends...in Aggieville, and Pillsbury Crossing (I've never been so I can cross that one of the ol' bucket list). We also went and saw The Expendables (because as girlfriends go I am fantastic) which was pretty good (Kyle might have LOVED it) and saw Kate and Dad on their way to (and from) Atchison. All in all it was a pretty stellar weekend.

I came home Sunday (sans laptop cord) to hang out with the fam and meet our new dog Jackson (who we call Jack, naturally) who happens to be the cutest, most awkward dog ever. I love him already. The family is pretty busy living their lives so I sleep in and bond with the couch but I do get some face time with Aly...by visiting her at work. She's across the street at the "St. Francis Aquatic Park" (if you want to see the reason behind the sarcastic quotes, I'll show you on google street view why it's so ironic) where I used to "work" (best gig ever). I've tuned up my "tan" and even reconfirmed that I can still do a "one and a half" off the diving board (kind of... I think I may bruise a little from my less than graceful entry).

Last night we also went to dinner at Big Ed's just because I requested it (my family loves me...and steak). Tonight I made them Pioneer Woman pancakes so I think we're about even. On tomorrow's agenda is mani/pedi's for Aly and I (a late birthday present...) and then I think I may head back east. Mom's trying to talk me out of it (which I respect) but I have stuff to do in MHK so it's anyone's battle at this point. We'll see.

For now I close with this: I have been told that this blog shouldn't die with my internship ending. Should I chose to keep this up, a problem arises: what do I call this after I'm not having intern adventures? I'll probably keep the URL (to make my life easy) but the title should probably get a facelift. I'll be thinking on this as you should be dear reader(s?). If you have any wicked ideas please feel free to post them in the comments section and help a sister out. I can only be so creative on my own.

Peace, Love, and Chicken Grease, Sam

Thursday, August 12, 2010

That's a rap!

I am still alive. THE interns kind of own your life when they get together so I have been AWOL and I apologize. Here's the low down on our wrap up:

Monday we all presented our summer experiences and projects. I started the day off right by getting on the wrong shuttle with Chris and Donald and going to the training center instead of the office. Don't worry we got the shuttle driver to come back for us and take us but he didn't know where. Fortunately we had a dream combination of people in this predicament--Donald knew the address, Chris had an iPhone, and I was willing to talk to the driver in broken English. We got there which is the point. Luckily in spite of that start, mine went really well--I was the last of the Conway kids to go and we all had basically the same experience so I was pretty sure that people were going to be clawing their eyes out by the time it was my turn but on the contrary they seemed to enjoy my take on things.

That evening was dinner out on the company tab and this meant free food AND free margaritas. Love this. It was a great knight, hanging out with my new people and eating AMAZING Mexican food. Nirvana I tell you. Afterward we just went back to the Double Tree to hang out and drink some more in various rooms. We just wanted to hang out together... Awwww.

Tuesday we had to get up (in spite of some of us having had epic nights...not me but...well we'll leave them nameless) for exit interviews. Again mine seemed fine. It was over fairly early so us girls went to our free lunch and then decided to go shopping. Cute dresses had by all (well nearly all anyway). After shopping we collected a bit of sun at the pool before dinner at...get ready...The Hobbit Cafe. Yep. It was Hobbit themed. I had blackened fish tacos which were AMAZING and we also all had a seasonal German beer they had... it was dark and serious...like a beer smoothie. Also AMAZING. We wrapped that night by again knocking back a few at the good ol' Double Tree with all our new besties. Good times. Until people started trickling out and we had to say goodbye. It wasn't quite tearful but it was sad for sure. Crazy how much you can get attached to and miss people you only met a couple months ago. Le sigh.

I spent the whole day Wednesday driving to Wichita in convoy with Eric. It was a long day... but we made it to Justin and Kevin's and enjoyed the company in spite of the fact that the air conditioning was on the fritz and we all dearly died of heat stroke. I bandaged the wound by making PW pancakes (obviously) for all of us this morning. I rock.

I made it back to Manhattan today and I promptly went to lunch with Emily, Susan and Bre. The Palace knows how to throw down a pizza. God bless them. This afternoon Emily and I went to the new city pool (aquatic park/wonderland) and worked on our tans. Or freckles. Whatever. We capped off the day by eating La Fiesta... I enjoyed a healthy sized margarita. I seem to have missed enjoying a good bev on this dry summer...

Now I sit here amidst my stuff (I am a little appalled that I have THIS MUCH STUFF!) procrastinating putting it all away by writing this. I thought about continuing this to included the things I learned this summer, the best memories, the this I may miss or not miss... but then I realized that Kyle will be here tomorrow and my room makes me look like a hobo so I need to just suck it up and save all that mushy stuff for another day.

Coming soon: Lessons learned in the oil field, Things I'll miss about Conway, Things I won't miss, and a Greatest hits list of memories. Look alive.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


So Saturday was essentially all driving. Conway to Little Rock airport to Houston. It was just a long day on the road. I got to Houston about 5 (yea I didn't get lost or anything--miracle!) or so and was immediately greeted by my homegirl, Jennifer. Missed the crap outta that girl fo realz. We spent the rest of that evening on various shenanigans including, red wine + peach schnapps (which is DELICIOUS and DEADLY), dinner at Alexander the Great (a Greek place around the corner--I had braised lamb shank and it was delightful!), a run to Walgreens for CHEAP wine (we only had that one bottle which was NOT sufficient to meed the needs of all of us, let alone the new wine fetish of Julia and Jen), and drinking said cheap wine while we lounged around in Jen and Julia's room listening to some choice tunes. Those in attendance included Jen and Julia (obviously), Maria, Anjelica, Aislinn, myself, AAAAAND.... Donnald! That's right, the man we all know and love, the pimp the men envy, the one and only Rap Master D! Also known as D Money, he is so fly he can get his nails painted pink and have no one even dare THINK of revoking his man card (lest he shame them to their core with his lyrical stylings). It was a great night.

Today we spent the whole day at a race track. Not the ponies but go karts! It was a long day because there were so many (70) of us but it was a good time. We got there at approximately noon and the final race wasn't until 6 (a whole 5 hours after we began... we had to "warm up" and then qualify...intense!) so we didn't leave until... something like 8ish. Woof. When we finally made it back to the Double Tree we ate some of the tastiest pizza ever and then we all pretty much dispersed to go either to bed or to work on our presentations (don't worry I'm done). It was just a fun day but I'm wiped, however my devotion to you dear readers has kept me up long enough to do some behind the scenes reporting. You're welcome.

Tomorrow: presentations and then one of our infamous dinners on the company tab. I'm hoping my liver can handle it...it's kinda out of practice after this very lame summer. I'll let you know how it goes... eventually.

In unrelated news I finished my first recreational book in ages. State of Fear by the almighty Michael Crichton. Very good. Thought provoking. I recommend it.

And finally we'll wrap up tonight with the usual countdown:
Houston: NOW!!!
Manhattan: 4 days!!!

Goodnight and good luck.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The beginning of the end

Today I slept in, made pancakes, I went to get my car looked at (Thanks Toyota dealership!), went to the yard to register all my upcoming travels with Journey Management (if you actually want to know what that is we'll talk about it later... it's not real exciting), packed up almost all of my stuff, read a lot of my book (first recreational book I've read in... I don't even know how long which makes me sad), got a manicure (some femininity needed to be recovered lest we risk me remaining oil field trash forever), and wrote out my directions to Houston (yes I said wrote out...some of us don't have a Garmin, ok?).

Tomorrow we start our journey bright and early tomorrow morning at 7:30 by swinging by the yard to drop off our apartment keys, key cards, and internet cord and then it's off to Little Rock to drop off Anjelica at the airport. Once that mission is accomplished, I will ride off into the sunrise on my trusty steed (or in my maroon Camry...whatever) toward's Houston. I'll arrive (in theory) eight hours later assuming I don't get lost (riiiight). Don't worry too much about me in my travels, for I will be stopping every two hours as prescribed by my Journey Management plan and checking in with dispatch at each stop. Gonna be a good day...

Goodbye Conway! Goodbye Arkansas! Hello Houston!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dun da-dun dun DONE!

I am done in Conway! I presented my project today and completed my exit interview and now I have a day to pack and I leave for Houston on Saturday. Glorious!

My presentation went pretty well, twice as long as it is supposed to be but other than that it was delightful I'm told. I can totally trim some fat so I'm not super worried about it. We took cookies to people as a thank-you for having us and I think that made some days. Not gonna lie here, I think we set the bar kinda high for future interns. Sharron tells us that she tried to dig up dirt on us (talking to people we worked with to assess our performance) and there was none to be had. These people seem to have loved us. Thank you Mom and Dad for my old fashioned, Midwestern upbringing--they loved that we SHOWED UP. It baffles me that this is apparently a recurring problem. I would think that would be the easy part of any job... go to the place of your work. Whatever. Bottom line, they love us. We got parting gifts too! Ok just a little "log book" type notebook (us girls got PINK), some hand sanitizer on a key chain, and a pocketknife (all company promotional items). I'm most excited about the knife. Being a lady of the Midwest I am used to the men in my company to carry them, and I know that I'm never expected to, but now being a piece of oil field trash I feel the need to have one to pry things apart, dig into and cut things, and just use for all kinds of good manly tasks.

Tonight, Anjelica and I celebrated being done by going to dinner at a Japanese steakhouse down the road for sushi. It was pretty tasty. If you're reading this in a timely fashion, my twit-pic should still be over there >> on the sidebar. Or you can see it on Facebook. It was pretty. Not to pretty to eat though. Very tasty! Nick, on the other hand, celebrated by leaving for Texas IMMEDIATELY. This whole damp county thing is suffocating him.

Tomorrow's agenda:
Sleep in (because I CAN!)
Get my car once-over'ed for all the upcoming driving (so much driving!)
Get my nails done (I need to feel like a girl again... very much need)
Pack all my stuff (which has spread out and settled in famously in the past month. Ugh)
Look up, write down, and draw out my directions for Saturday (many MANY times)

Houston: 2 days (ish...depending on how you count Saturday...whatever)
Manhattan (Manhappiness): 7 days
Francie: 10 days
I made it!!!

Also special shout-out to one (of 4) of my readers: Happy Birthday Heather!!! :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I'm running out of clever titles for the boring days

So we decided not to work in the office today because the work to be done didn't require it. We slept in, I made PW pancakes for Anjelica and I, and then we went in to the yard just long enough for her to talk to someone about her project. I spent that time in the parking lot reading a book so no one would see me sitting around doing nothing (they don't like that... they prefer you to hide).

I polished up my presentation from the comfort of my couch and then I went to the pool to try to correct my tan lines (I swear, one burn, one time and you can't fix it! You either have to re-torch yourself or live with your circus pattern) before I bonded with the couch some more.

Productivity spiked again a little before 4 when I took Anjelica to the hair dresser. I came home and baked thank-you-cookies to kill time before I went to pick her up. Knocked out two tubes (one of them JUMBO sized thankyouverymuch!).

And thus brings us to the present, where our heroine sits on her couch watching Sinefeld. I'll finish baking at some point, perhaps read some more, watch SHARK WEEK and then go to bed. Looking like an intense night. Risky since I present tomorrow at 1pm but I like to live on the edge.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cashing in my foregone air conditioning

I spent today working on my presentation in the office again. I touched up my "project" a little more and edited photos (which are a HUGE player in this presentation). I did that between Facebook checks. It was a boring day. Luckily, Anjelica finished early so we were home by about 3:30. I took a nap (not because I NEEDED it but because I was vaguely drowsy and I COULD) and after I ate leftover Papa Johns (I pledge allegiance to Papa Johns) we went to Wal Mart to get sour cream for THE Pioneer Woman pancakes we're going to have for breakfast tomorrow and cookie dough for our thank you treats we're bringing on presentation day.

Ok now if you're still awake after reading about my fascinating day...
The countdown to Houston: 4 days
The countdown to Manhattan: 9 days
The countdown to SFKS: 12 days
So close!

Monday, August 2, 2010

I used to long for days like this...why?

It's funny how when I was in the filed I used to dream about an office day, sitting at my laptop in the air conditioning wearing jeans and regular shoes and no hard hat. Today I had my dreams fulfilled and it was kinda boring. I think it would help if my project was a little more involved but I'm not complaining because the alternative is sleeping in a truck and lugging hose while sweating like a yeti.

I researched flow meters online, talked to people to get information, and started putting together my final presentation. I also Facebook'ed (a lot) and read some news online (Lindsey Lohan was released from prison last night in case you missed that earth shaking event) and listened to my iTunes. Don't worry I'm progressing just fine; I talked to Sharron and she told me so. She even thanked me for my enthusiasm. I'm glad she wasn't directly monitoring me...

Tonight is another Papa Johns night which makes me super happy (oh and lunch was Holly's--I had roast beef, mashed potatoes, and FRIED OKRA...yea...it was good!). I think I'm going to go to the gym tonight, too (who am I?). All in all this day (and likely this week) would be erased from the movie of my life but for now I'm ok with that. I'm just plodding along, looking forward to presenting on Thursday, packing all day Friday, and driving to Houston on Saturday to begin the final festivities with my new intern friends (who I miss a lot)! You know what Loverboy said: Everybody's working for the weekend... :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Easy like Sunday morning...

So today I didn't get to sleep in, I had to go to work at 8. It was a little rough to get up because Anjelica and I went to see Dinner for Schmucks last night and didn't get home until midnight meaning I got only 6.5 hours of sleep or so. Not ideal but considering my recent patterns pretty darn good. We went in for a "class day" with "Mama" Sharron which meant we talked all morning about our projects (and what they would be if the ones we were given were garbage) and our experiences. It was a pretty informal conversation, she just made sure we took turns and all talked about everything. I like Sharron.

We determined that my project was going to be a cost analysis of getting flow meters for the liquid chemicals so that it would reduce the discrepancies between the inventory records of the bulk plant and the coil tubing department. That is if I get the ok from Tommy for the project. I couldn't do that today because he wasn't there. I'll talk to him tomorrow. Because of this I just worked on getting my journey management registered and my reimbursement paperwork printed. So still a productive afternoon.

We ended up home by 2:30 which made up for missing mass this morning because I got to go to evening mass in Little Rock. It was particularly good today because they had a bunch of kids doing the music rock band style. Nice change from the slow, sad organ.

I polished off my leftovers from Los 3 Potrillos for dinner as I watched the old Shark Week coverage leading up to the new stuff for this years Shark Week. I really can't complain... my life rocked today. :)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The greatest day of the week...the day off.

Today I slept in until 9. I probably could have slept a little more but I didn't want to waste too much of the day and since I'd gone to bed at 11 I felt like 9 was reasonable. Don't judge me for going to bed at 11, I was TIRED PANTS after that stupid coil tubing job.

Like I said, I slept in, and when I got up and turned on the TV guess what was on. Yup. Jurassic Park. And it had just started a little before I got there. This is a great omen for my day. When I finally left the apartment a little after 11 I went to Target for a few odds and ends and then I got Slim Chickens (if you recall it is a place that I have a bittersweet relationship with; sweet because I LOVE it so and bitter because it's only in Arkansas). After that I made up my mind that I would get a pedicure to celebrate the end of our official field time. I may have to go out again before we leave but maybe not. And my feet needed it after 40 hours in my boots. I took magazines and the nice little lady let me read in peace while she rubbed, filed, scrubbed and polished the yuck out of my poor little feeties. Bless her for that. It was like nirvana.

Anjelica caught a ride in from the field early today with a guy who had to come back for food that fit his heart friendly diet (you have to have a GOOD reason like a heart attack to get to leave a job) so when she got showered up we went to celebrate the end of coil tubing at Los 3 Potrillos. It was way good. But I am STUFFED. Like me and the couch are besties, stuffed. I'll be eating my dinner for a couple more meals too which I'm not upset about. Oh and today was PAYDAY!!!! All in all it was a good day.

Tomorrow we have a "class day" with Sharron, which at this point means she doesn't have a detailed plan but we're going to talk about our projects, and what we've learned and questions we have. We're starting at eight which means I'm going to have to ask nice if she'll let me go in time to catch mass. Hopefully she'll be down with that. As always, I'll keep you posted.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Coil tubing is not for the faint of heart.

We went to our coil tubing job yesterday (the yard at 4 the site at 7) and spent five and a half hours rigging up. It wasn't so bad compared to the day to two day long rig ups of frac. The crew we were on (Nick and I) was kind of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree crew--half the crew missing, one white hat and a bunch of green hats, the janky fluid pump, and 2 3/8" coil which requires you to "stab pipe" (put the pipe in the injector head which is normally how it comes). In spite of all this we still made it home before the other crew on site (and sadly Anjelica) around 8 or so. Both crews are supposed to go on jobs again tomorrow and this seems to mean Anjelica does not get her day off tomorrow (that's right people... another sighting of the rare and elusive day off!) which blows.

On the job we can't really do much beyond rig up and rig down but this time because of the different equipment there is a separate unit for the coil that requires someone additional to spool it on and off the reel, and we got to do that. It's not super hard until you get to the edges when it kind of gets tricky on the turn around... it's ok that I was kinda bad at it because during the job you just spool it on and off the reel over and over again anyway. That's why they let the interns do it. :)

While the work itself wasn't so bad the overall job was kinda rough. We were there just short of 48 hours and during that time I didn't shower. I could have but my bag was locked in the truck during my window. I didn't even change clothes (I should have fought harder on that one...). I smelled like the inside of a fake leg. I didn't brush my teeth or wash my face either which are both kinda raunchy. I slept in my blues and boots at the kitchen table and then on the recliner. I am sunburned from my eyes down to my chin from sitting in the sun in my gear. I have grime so deep in my fingerprints I'm still getting my hands clean. Woof.

I'm just REALLY glad to be home and showered and sitting in the air conditioning. I also ecstatic that I get to sleep in a bed tonight and sleep IN (for realz) in the morning. Seriously we are one more happy thought away from tears of joy. I'll report on how awesome that turns out tomorrow. I may leave the apartment if I feel up to it...or I may not. We'll see what I feel like... man days off are awesome!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Boo Yard Day

We had another yard day today... this job just keeps sneaking off. But finally we have a yard time... unfortunately that yard time is 4am. Whatever, I can do it. It will be painful but I'll be fine.

Today's yard day was painful. I had to "help" change out o rings in the BOP's. That means I watched while other people did it (and still others stood around). I learned more about the BOP and how it works and is pressure tested (or at least gained a bit of clarity). Unfortunately we had to be useless until 2pm before we could go to lunch... which made me a little more cranky than I already was. This wasn't helped by the fact that this afternoon, Anjelica worked on her video while I continued to be useless outside in the heat. When they told me yard day I assumed they wouldn't let us "work on our paper" so I left my laptop home. Lesson learned I suppose. We got to go home at 5:30 so at least they didn't make us stay until they left. Silver lining right? Yea I'll go with that.

When we got home I finally butchered our free watermelon. We have a ton of it so we're going to give some to Nick when he gets back from the liquor store. Now my tasks are to pack and then to go bed at a senior citizen-ly hour. I was told to plan on at least 48 hours in the field (barring complications) so I need to pack a lot of stuff. Lots of food said Nick, and stuff for a shower (we get a trailer) and my pillow and a blanket for the 3 or 4 hours I'll get to sleep at a time (possibly the only sleep we'll get each day... we'll see) said the guys I talked to. I heard there will be no internet connection out there so I may not be "live blogging" this portion of my summer but it's only a couple of days and I can't imagine this being such an integral part of anyone's day that it will be devastating to anyone. Either way the laptop is coming with me so that if I have a spare moment I can finish up my paper. I'll probably be tweeting from the field so you can always check up on me that way (it's over on the sidebar for that reason... even more live coverage!!!).

Wish me luck!

PS My video is on YouTube if you want to see it at what seems like a higher quality. Check it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4DilKtopPo

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I hate writing papers...blogs are better.

Today we sat in the office ALL DAY and wrote our papers (ok that was a small portion because I started mine last night and it's mostly finished and whatever...). We worked on organizing our media to make our propaganda videos (that could potentially win us an iPad, iPod Touch, or and iPod Shuffle) and surfing the Facebook. Not until almost 5 did Ryan finally beckon us to come ask him all of our pre-job questions. That took about another 30 minutes and then we got to go home. It was established during this meeting that Anjelica and I would probably go on our job either tomorrow or Thursday (this thing keeps creeping away from us... such the life of a service provider I suppose). It was also established that we wouldn't have free time in the field (contrary to what EVERYONE else has told us...so we are a little skeptical of that statement) so we decided that we would soldier on with our videos in spite of having no coil tubing pictures since they're due Sunday. Our paper is due this Saturday so the coil department might get the short end of the stick there too. We'll see how this pans out.

As I said I spent my evening making this little video. I'm putting it below for your enjoyment. I had fun making it (so much more fun than writing a paper) and I think it's kinda nifty. I hope you like it!

Uh...why are we here?

So Nick is in the field and bored (I can tell by his blatantly obvious Facebook status) and now Anjelica and I are at the yard...bored. We haven't done anything related to coil tubing yet today unless you count lunch with Ryan and Russel. We've spent the morning working on our paper and I also got my photos more organized for my video. This afternoon we were to come up with a list of questions, expectations, and fave/least fave things about coil tubing. That took approximately 15 minutes. Supposedly in about half an hour Ryan is coming to get us for something... I'm praying it's our rig tour. But then again who doesn't love some Facebooking at work?

Monday, July 26, 2010

White Elephant Interns

Another day of maintenance in coil tubing. When we arrived this morning we sat around for about half an hour before they doled us out to people and their projects. I was so lucky as to be paired with a guy helping change filters, and fix a c pump on one of the pump trucks. First he showed me around it pointing out all the highlights. Then we propped the cab up (it's an over engine style tractor... old school) and looked around... then we put it down because we determined...well I dunno I think they may have just wanted to pawn it off on the mechanics. Either way we decided to wash it. That meant I stood around and waited my turn because they gave me the task of rinsing. The rinse hose has a small range but lots of water so you get soaked trying to do anything with it. I think they gave it to me because I'm the ignorant intern and they knew it was the worst part. Whatever. Anyway, they moved it into the shop afterward and I watched them change filters. I held one so it didn't spill diesel everywhere. Big day.

Before lunch we noticed that a couple guys were unloading watermelons onto the lawn in the yard--free for the taking! So I took one. Afterward I realized that I couldn't find my Clay (there are two, Anjelica was paired with the other Clay) and I was informed he probably just went to lunch. Awesome. So I did too. We ate and Slim Chickens (again) a place we LOVE. It was AMAZING as usual. We went ahead and took our time since everyone else seems to.

When we got back we were still ahead of everyone, so we visited the bulk plant. After killing some time we went to talk to Russel and Ryan about what to do with our afternoon. Unfortunately we were told just to head back to the boom truck with hydraulic problems that had been giving them fits since Saturday. We can't really help with this so we just stood and watched at a distance. Super boring. I think they forget we're around... again whatever. I wandered off to tell Russel and Ryan this and they were going to give us something else to do after they finished their paperwork but then the truck was fixed (finally!) and we had nothing to do. After a discussion of what to do with us it was decided that them spending time inventing tasks was a waste and we'd go home and work on our videos and papers. We got to leave early because we are basically inconvenient at this point. Oh well we got a short day and I'm not complaining.

After work we went to best buy to deal with Anjelica's sad camera and then we watched When In Rome... a predictable and super cheesy romantic comedy. It was cute. We also went to Wal Mart again for travel sized shampoo bottles for when we finally go out on a coil tubing job. I'm now trying to write my paper. It's been a pretty vanilla day really. Tomorrow morning we're going to go with Russel (who is the cell leader and a cool guy) to see a job site (all rigged up) for a quick tour to keep us from feeling so lost when we go...which seems like it will be Wednesday. Today wasn't a very inspiring day...sorry if this reads as boring to you (Mom, Scarlett, Nomi, Heather... possibly other people...) as it does to me. Hopefully tomorrow will be more exciting.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Today we had the day OFF. For those of you who may not know (I know I forgot) a day off means you don't go to the yard, and you don't have to stay in Conway in case they call. You also don't have to go to any job sites. It's amazing. To celebrate our day off, last night we found a concert in Conway to check out. It was a rock concert and not so much our style but it was outside our apartment so it's ok. The band we stayed for wasn't horrible and since there were only about 10 people in attendance I even got a song dedicated to me ("because you're right there...and very beautiful" good save there buddy). After we peaced out from that experience, we just headed to a pizza parlor/bar in Conway for a beer before we headed to bed. First time we've "gone out" since the week we got here... so it was kind of a big deal. Sad huh?

Today I got up and went to mass and when I got back Anjelica and I started to plan our day off. We were struggling to come up with something because we don't know the area at all (in spite of being here for about a month...we live at the yard). We settled on the zoo in Little Rock. We both love the zoo so it was the best plan ever conceived.
Anjelica and I LOVE the zoo!
The wire giraffe sculptures at the gate are pretty cool... just sayin'!

When we got there we headed straight for the Lorikeet Landing--and exhibit where you are in a large netted space with a bunch of Lorikeets and for a dollar you can feed them. It was the best dollar I've ever spent. These birds are "playful" and "friendly" and will climb all over you if you feed them. Brace for pictures.
So when you feed them they get excited enough to sit on your arm if their buddies are in the way of the food (the tiny cup of nectar).
This guy really liked me...
Anjelica made a friend too and she didn't even feed anyone! :)
See? He liked me a lot... or maybe it was just my hair product... I think it smells good too!
And now he brought friends! These guys alternated between biting my ears (which kinda hurt) and eating my hair (which felt funny and kind tickled). I'm trying not to spaz and scare them but it REALLY tickles sometimes...

After that even the giraffes paled in comparison... Just kidding I love giraffes...but I really want a Lorikeet now. For real. We moved on and looked at lots of other good stuff... I photographed most of it but as usual I'll just show you the highlights (I tend to over photograph and no one really does want to see 15 shots of giraffes that are all eerily similar). More photos incoming...
Anjelica is not a big fan of bugs... not at all.
Oh yea... Anjelica got a ride on a camel named Sassy! :) Throwin' up the gator bite from the back of a sassy camel, what's up?!

So yea, best day ever. Ryan just called to confirm what's going on with us tomorrow and we are to report "promptly" at "8:03" and we are to pack for "0 days" while "the dude" is to pack for 3 days. Nick get's to go out on a job tomorrow but we'll spend the day in the yard. I don't know what that really means for us. Oh well I'm sure it will be interesting. We will probably go out on Tuesday from the sound of things in the office. We'll see. At least we don't have to show up at 4 like originally told me (he likes to kid).

In summary: I LOVE the zoo. I LOVE days off. I LOVE not going in before 8am. I would like a Lorikeet for my birthday.