seiberwing: (Abe Sapien)
On Friday I finally dragged myself out of slothfulness and went to the gdgt tech show downtown at the Tribune Tower. It was pretty awesome, as I'm a sucker for neat little gadgets even if I don't completely know how to make them or would not have any personal use for them.

Cut for pictures )

And then I walked the mile back from the restaurant to the Clark/Lake station and you don't get any pictures of it because my feeble little camera cannot capture the glory of downtown Chicago after dark. While mildly buzzed, at that. It's too gorgeous for words.
seiberwing: (Ham and Cheese)
My old mountain bike has been sitting in the closet of my old apartment for nearly a year, untouched because I had no intention of taking the heavy thing up and down the narrow stairs to ride to the few places in Hyde Park that are worth visiting but too far to go to on foot or by bus. On Monday I finally had to take it out of storage and transport it uptown to Logan Square via wheels, trains, and pure will (which is a story for another day, and boy is it a story). However, the tires were both flat. I had a pump but I couldn't figure out how to get the pump onto the little wheel nozzle things. I've got an appointment in half an hour so I figure I'll just squish my way up to the other end of the street, go to my appointment, and figure it out later.

A quarter of the way there I'm stopped by an older man, also on a bicycle. He notes that I've got two flats and I mention that I've got a pump, I just can't figure out how to use it. He stops and helps me figure out what's going on with the nozzles (somehow they retracted into the wheel-holder (?) and he had to deflate the wheel to pull them out again), and then pumped the bike up again. He said he had a bike repair service nearby, and all he asked for in compensation was that I maybe buy him a pack of cigarettes. I gave him some money and told him I'd put up his business on my blog, to spread the information around.

Only now the odd thing is that I can't find him. He had me write down his information and said he has a Facebook but it's not there. The name is Uncle Donnie's Bike Repair, and the number is 1-773-288-3002. And for the life of me, Google, and Facebook I can't find him again. It's like one of those things where some Good Samaritan pops out of nowhere to aid you in your time of trouble, goes on his way, and then later you find he was a ghost or an angel or some bullshit like that.

I'm tempted to call the number just to see what happens.
seiberwing: (Notice Me)
I'm home after the heat wave, though I'm almost sad it's gone. I've got an incredible case of cabin fever since I've really got nothing to do now but pack up my life into boxes again. My thesis isn't even a distraction, since I just turned in the final draft (fuck yeah).

I've finally scored a room. It's pretty close to a train stop and my new roommate A2 seems pretty cool. She's got a cat of her own, is catfriendly, and the house has potted plants in it. The three floor walkup thing will be a bit annoying, I'm sure, but my current place has the same thing with far narrower stairs and a grumpy landlady on the second floor. Also she says she's a bit of a homebody when she's not at work, which means I maybe won't be so lonely all the damned time. K2's not a bad roommate but now that school's over she's basically using the apartment as a very expensive storage room.

I'm going to pick up the keys Thursday or Friday afternoon (which means I'll be up in Logan Square if anyone wants to hang out!), and I guess we'll figure out the lease stuff then too. It's a nice place in a nice location. The room's a touch smaller than what I've got now, but I like small rooms. They feel cozy.

The only thing I'm going to miss is the back porch. K2 used to smoke out there and it was one of the few chances I had to get in a good conversation with her before she retreated back to her room or left the house for half a week. I've been spending a lot of time out there, especially at night, because it's cooler and open to the breeze. Just me, my laptop, the night breeze, and people occasionally setting off fireworks for no good reason or having drama in the alleyways.

I'd give it up in a second for what I'll gain by getting the fuck out of Hyde Park, and once it turns cooler there's no point to it. But that one little thing is very nice.
seiberwing: (Fierce hat is fierce)
So apparently we can't run the new air conditioner, a box fan, and the electric kettle at the same time because it causes the breaker to trip. The building's wiring sucks that much.

I really need to get out of this apartment. K2 is considering eating a month's rent (about $500) and moving in with her boyfriend at the beginning of August instead of waiting until graduation. I may do the same. When you're out of school and you aren't tied to your thesis, there's really nothing to do down here. It's a half hour to forty-five minute bus ride up to downtown depending on the time of day, even longer if you're going further north, which isn't so bad if you're trying to raise a family but not so hot if you're a twenty-something single woman trying to score a good research job and enjoy the city for more than its coffee shops.

Also I should probably try to be more outgoing with Meetups and OKCupid and whatever, but right now I can't really be arsed. I'm just so tired now and the pain in my face/jaw has turned chronic to the point where there's some evenings I can't even work. So let's wait until that's fixed and then I can try to score a social life.

I'm going to my advisor's Zumba class on Monday. It's supposed to be fun. At least it'll get me out of the house.
seiberwing: (Ham and Cheese)
Infirmities mentioned in previous posts have extinguished themselves fully, in case anyone was still concerned for my health and sanity, although I have not yet discussed with certain parties my options for inflicting repercussions for crimes against my person. But enough of that. Party time!

I haven't been out of Hyde Park much, especially since winter set in. But yesterday was Kate's birthday and she was very insistent that something cool happen. So coolness was invoked. A lot of transport went into this, mind you. First it was the bus down to the Metra station, and then managing to finally herd everyone together just in time to get on the Metra.

Cut for pics. )

And there was also just...this.


I stepped off the El to transfer to the Blue Line and found this exactly as you see it, a subway platform strewn with red flower petals. It struck me as somehow bizarre, beautiful, and creepy at the same time and I just had to have a picture.
seiberwing: (Ow.)
I'm almost looking forward to classes starting up again, minus having to walk a mile or so in the blistering Chicago winter wind to get to campus. It'll give my brain something to do rather than either lazing about or spiraling in hopeless circles around the summary for my thesis proposal which I totally haven't even started writing yet. This semester should be a bit easier now that I know how to handle the classes and who to ask questions of and so on and so forth. Fingers crossed on getting an advisor, I have no idea how that gets handled.

In the meantime, kittens! ^_^ I am helping Kate find a kitten and kittens seem to really like climbing all over me and nibbling my hair. So kittens are going to make me happy goddamnit.

Also I'm probably going to buy Amnesia: The Dark Descent in the next day or two, since it's $10 off their website until the third. It's fantastic from what I've seen and I might as well contribute to the cause of making games that know how to sink their claws into your brain and your stomach at the same time. And, y'know, actually play it. <_<
seiberwing: (Internet Arguement)
You would think, after finals week, I'd have some sense of relaxation. You would think that the prospect of my thesis proposal would be the worst of my stress and I don't plan on even buying The Craft of Research and starting it until I get home on Tuesday. You would think that I would just fill my weekend with socializing, burlesque, and playing Earthbound while picturing the characters as jaded-beyond-their-years cursing children working to save the world while being pissed that it involves running people's errands and wading through face-deep swamps.

See, for the past few months I've been working in Lab MPS and for a while I'd planned on doing my thesis there. It wasn't anywhere approaching my area of interest (mechanical problem solving vs. my social psych interests) and it was giving me stress near to (or up to, at some points) tears but I wasn't sure if I had another option. The story I gave to my supervisor was that I was going to function as if I was doing my thesis there until I figured out what was going on. The head guy at Lab SP has offered to let me sign up to attend their meetings, which will hopefully let me at least run people's data on occasion and be a good little lab monkey type, but I'm not sure if it'll count as a replacement for being in a lab. And if I scuttle my chances at Lab MPS and can't find a thesis advisor willing to work with my thesis idea...I don't know what I'll do.

On Monday I meet with my supervisor to discuss the data and I'm going to tell her I'm not doing my thesis work there. Better to be honest than cowardly and also I wouldn't mind getting out of writing a progress report this month because that's just a pain in the ass. I don't know how she'll react, she's a very nice woman who's sat with me through more than one freakout and annoying her scares me deeply. And I'm going to have to tell the lab head in January at the first meeting we have and that scares the stuffing out of me because she's a rather aggressive lady and she'll be mad I didn't tell her earlier (not that this is my fault since we haven't had lab meetings since mid-November).

I've been obsessing over it for...days, weeks maybe. Anxiety makes it very difficult for me to work and the thought of looking at my survey results actively scares me. I've been putting it off because the very thought of it, or anything related to academia, sets me into panic mode.

It's fucking frustrating and I wish I knew how to handle it, or at least handle the stress revolving around it. Finals was daisies and sunshine compared to this.

...also I'm thinking of getting a hedgehog. Thoughts?
seiberwing: (Fierce hat is fierce)
I haven't had the chance to sit down, relax and actually write an LJ entry in a very long time. Things have been..tumultuous. The word 'thesis' is still causing a Pavlovian panic response, although I like to think I'm doing a better job of repressing it than I was. At least I'm getting to do some work I like, just before the break I turned in a literature review on the sociopsychological effects of video games. Can't speak to quality, of course, my professor will have to be the judge of that, but it was kind of nice to actually research the matter.

I'm at [ profile] alanahikarichan's house now for Thanksgiving break. It's the first chance I've had to really relax since the term started, or at least that's how it feels. Alana's family is very nice and amazingly geeky, and the food is really, really good. At some point I'll get on a plane and go back and there will be finals and labwork and being alone in my apartment but right now I'm going to pretend it doesn't exist. I have a girlfriend and spiced whipped cream. That will be reality right now.


Also the first part of Transformers: Prime was meh. Arcee was badass but nothing else is grabbing me. We'll see how I feel when plot starts happening.
seiberwing: (Notice Me)
Well, I had a fun weekend.

Friday was Rocky Horror Picture Show, and I'll have some pictures of that once my brain gets out of midterm mode long enough to focus on that. I'd seen the movie but never seen a proper performance and certainly not on Halloween. It was...interesting. A sort of seemingly random but actually complex and fully planned ritual centering around erotic expression, call-and-response audience interaction, and managing to directly target my head with toilet paper rolls no matter where they were sitting. I don't know if I'd do it again, it was a bit loud and lewd for my delicate tastes, but it was quite fun. Also my god were there some hot women there, and I don't just mean the actors.

Saturday was the Halloween party. It was just a few of us from the program and Kate's boyfriend and [ profile] lonescorpion meeting up at a friend's place for drinks and brownies. We decided to play Never Have I Ever while waiting for the pizza and the game just...kept going. Until one-thirty in the morning. I learned a lot of interesting things about my friends that evening. Also Jack Daniels > whatever Irish whiskey our host had and Ghiradelli chocolate is most delicious.

Sunday was a quick trip downtown with Kate to buy clothes and chocolate, and then back again for movies. Same for tonight--To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Love Julie Newmar is ridiculously adorable. Although a little confusing right after watching Blade.

I'm quite tired. But it's fun, y'know, having people. I could get used to it.
seiberwing: (Latin)
So I'm thinking of putting that "third bedroom" to actual use and looking around for a third roommate.

I think we've got a lot to recommend us. Our place is pet-friendly (barring cat allergies), we've got plenty of room with our den/living room combo, and split three ways it's about $327/month plus a third of the utilities and groceries. The third bedroom's really only holding a desk and printer, and that can easily be moved elsewhere. The apartment itself is full of clean-living and generally quiet individuals and we're a very convenient walk to campus in a decent neighborhood. The both of us are generally quiet and polite and possessed of game consoles so I think we'd get along well with anyone who could keep the noise at an appropriate level and do the dishes every once in a while. I doubt we could get another student this late in the year, but I'm willing to be flexible.

As for our gain, I've got no income and neither does my roommate K2, and K2 is so broke that the only way I got her to pay me back for groceries was by making her pay the gas bill this month. Anything to make money less tight is a plus.

And on top of the issues of rent and utilities and groceries...I'm lonely.

See, the reason I'm telling LJ before I tell K2 is that five or six days out of the week my roomie is not here when I come home because she's off at her boyfriend's house an hour away. And if she stopped taking the train up every day or two she'd probably have enough money saved to actually pay for groceries but I digress. As it stands I really wonder why K2 even pays rent here, as she seems to use it mostly as a glorified storage facility for her stuff. Of course I've got no right to try and regulate her comings and goings and I can understand why someone would want to be with their SO (oh boy do I understand) but the quiet doesn't do my sanity any good.

I made sure to have a roomie to avoid coming home to an empty, dark, quiet apartment and being completely isolated from the world. And now I'm alone again, it's just that the apartment is even larger than last time, and it's making an already stressful situation even nastier.

So yeah. I'll talk to K2 the next time I see her (or Thursday over the phone, whichever comes first), talk to the landlady (I don't think she'd mind the concept but she probably would want to vet the potential tenants too), and then take a few photographs of the place.
seiberwing: (Safeword)
I went to a geek-themed mostly naked performance by the Belmont Burlesque this weekend with Kate and Chris. It was pretty awesome.

(Kate is, fyi, the best person ever. She takes me to burlesque and helps me with my homework and then gives me food while we are doing homework. With milk. So everyone give props to Kate.)

The MC/director (with a German accent reminiscent of Cabaret, though I'm not sure it was authentic) spent most of her time in an obligatory Princess Leia outfit with her sidekick Giant Martini. She claimed geekhood herself and a lot of thought had obviously been put into the acts. I think my favorite was the random encounter strip show. The MC had a big list of very, very random encounters and rolled a d20 during the seemingly-unaware other woman's performance. So she got attacked by a bear (suit), was twice the victim of unrequited love creepy advances from bear suit guy, traps occurred, and she was gifted with a katana. The final roll was a 1, which lead to "Devoured by Cthulhu", upon which a bunch of long balloons wiggled out from behind the curtain and tentacled menacingly in her general direction. Of course the dancer was not having with this shit and in a very Vallejo style picked up the katana and went to kick some elder ass.

Also we got a preview for "Boobs and Goombas", a Mario themed strip show. Dead serious. We had a pair of women dancing in Mario and Luigi outfits (not sexy ones, just your average cosplay overalls) and got as far as taking their hats off before the preview ended. Another woman did a fan dance based off the Cheep Cheep fish from the accursed water levels which was just pretty, though nothing actually came off. The humor and the cosplay were just as interesting as the costumes coming off in my opinion, but then again I'm a sucker for a good tailor.

Not sure which performance we'll see but I'd definitely like to see more of these women. Culture rocks.


Jul. 18th, 2010 11:59 pm
seiberwing: (Ow.)
Finally, the pictures from my househunting trip. No, you do not get to see the house, not yet. You will see it when it is ours.

Contains large amounts of Bayification of downtown Chicago. )

So now I have something to think on during those long deli hours.
seiberwing: (For the Truth)
We've been apartment hunting, about 9am to 3pm yesterday (and yes, I am ridiculously sunburnt and sore), and weird shit be happening.

See, while coming out of our first apartment showing of the day (which I swear was done by the Landlady from Kung Fu Hustle), my roomie and I were discussing the validity of the options we'd seen so far. Three feet ahead of us is a woman carrying her groceries home, who later she said when she heard us talking about money her ears perked up a bit. So she apologized for listening in but she a building manager was trying to rent out this apartment and if we'd like to come by and look at it she'll be home most of the day oh yes two o'clock would be all right...

After other apartment related shenanigans, including being stood up for the second time and instead spending that time playing with Hydra the ridiculously excitable weimeraner and her owner, we decided we might as well swing over and see the place. Well, not actually the place, as that was being lived in and the tenant didn't want people just coming in when she wasn't there, but the building manager lived on the floor directly below and said her apartment was structurally identical so we could see that.

It was the Apartment of Win. The priciest, about 1100 and then utilities (although she said we might be able to talk it down a bit with the owner), but it was a three-bedroom the same price as a lot of two-bedrooms and my roomie-to-be is in love with it and if we can get a third after we move in (roomie wants to meet and vet all applicants first, so we can't advertise yet) we'll be in pretty good shape. There's big windows and plenty of room and the neighborhood appears to be an okay sort of neighborhood and all the necessities are there and it's got a breakfast nook.

And as we're leaving my roomie comments on the building manager's cookbooks, and she replies that she bakes often and may share what she bakes. Such as homemade biscuits. As we walk away my roomie and I have twin eyes of O_O and 'what the hell is the catch with this place, it's perfect'. The price is really the only thing making us look a bit askance, and we continue on to our final viewing and back to our hotel to rest our sore legs and troubled brains.

seiber: So it's like fate wants us to have this house.
aranamitouma: And also to have biscuits.
seiber: It's like...we left wondering what the catch was.
seiber: I mean, great apartment, options for a third, friendly landlord, serendipitious encounter, and as we're leaving she mentions she likes to give out her extra baked goods. It was what pushed it over into disbelief.
aranamitouma: She is secretly Granny Goodness.
aranamitouma: But it's okay, Darkseid will only come to hang out on your couch every once in a while.
seiber: Well, if he'll lower the rent a touch, I can deal with that.

After sending us the application papers and some sample bills so we can get a feel for what utitilities costs are like, the building manager emails us again last night saying she's gotten the owner to drop the price.

To $980.

At this point we started outright panicking because it just felt too good to be true. But we looked over scams and such and when we've actually been in her bedroom it's a bit hard to successfully scam someone, and it's just Huh.

I hope this place is legit. It's lovely.
seiberwing: (Safeword)


So I'm in Chicago with my roomie-to-be and she's gotten us a sweet hotel to stay in downtown while we scout apartments. And outside they are filming a movie and occasionally having explosions and filling the streets with fake rubble. What movie is this?

Mother-effing TRANSFORMERS 3. They started filming the morning of the day I arrived, one of the explosives startled my roomie-to-be out of her eggs benedict, and there's been funny looking cars and piled rubble and blocked off streets leading to smoking ruins all day. Roomie-to-be and I wandered around looking at all the blocked off bits and taking pictures and then. Oh, then we saw Him, all blue and red and flame-painted.

And then they brought him out past the barricades and parked him out in the street, to be photographed and posed with and molested and yes, my friends, I have gone through a fangirl's right of passage because I HAVE PERSONALLY TOUCHED OPTIMUS PRIME. Leaned on him, even. Also Ratchet, but only for a moment before I was mocked by security and had to run.

I don't even like Prime or the live-action movies, but something about seeing him right there touches one's fangirl spark in a twisty giggly sort of way. So yeah. Best hotel ever.
seiberwing: (Default)
Yes, I made it out of Chicago. I've just sort of been in flop mode for the last few days, between jet lag and my work at the Big Blue Grocery. The job isn't horrible, but it does involve a lot of standing and doing the same thing for hours on end and it tends to wear one down. I got a lot of hours this week so I haven't had a lot of time to sit around and flop. (Also, if those weird swellings on my hand and arms are what Mom thinks they are, I've picked up a bit of tendonitis from my sudden foray into an honest day's labor).

Most of Friday and Saturday were poking around at museums. Kelly went gleeful at the Art Institute because Matise and modern art are really her thing as of last semester, and the Science and Industry Museum...they have an actual German submarine, a two story tall tornado machine, and genetically engineered baby animals. It is truly a museum of Science!. Also plenty of wandering the city when it was warm enough to nose outside, to the point where we actually got a bit lost out near the lake and wound up finding this little Japanese garden tucked away in the woods.

The flight back was also pretty uneventful, I finger-pointed further into Ace Attorney Investigations (oh god oh god this game is so good I love everyone in it except maybe two people and that's because they're kind of creepy you are forgiven for Apollo Justice people) and there was a little kid on the Atlanta-Knoxville flight who thought a bumpy landing was the best thing ever.

So now life returns to some semblance of normalcy. So damn green here, though, it's always so jarring when I return in spring.
seiberwing: (Safeword)
Ooh, my legs are sore.

Yesterday was mostly going to lectures and meetings with various faculty types in between freezing my underinsulated skin off in the rain and cold. I seem to fit squarely in the Human Development area, which is a weird chimera of anthropology, psychology, and sociology. Sort of my thing, I think. Also talked to a friend of [ profile] lonescorpion who gave me some news on the darker side of the institution (particularly as relates to health care and the professors giving a damn) and that was a little less settling.

In the evening we had a "reception", which means all the prospective students crammed in a room with current students and free beer/wine/soda, after which we were supposed to go out to dinner with the current students. I was pretty strung out by this point as it was and when [ profile] lonescorpion showed up I pretty much broke down and decided to give the entire thing a miss in favor of blubbering in the corridor of Pick until he calmed me down and then going back to my room to spend the evening soaking in the internet. That would also be why you didn't get a post from me last night, it probably would have been a little too hysterical to represent the situation properly. I'm better now.

Today was sunny, a little warmer and far better. Our little katamari (now up to four people: Kelly, Kate, and new guy Taylor) went wandering around campus and looking at buildings and the Smart Museum until Kate and Taylor had to go catch their rides to the airport. Devoid of further MAPSS obligations we decided to take the bus (my first Chicago public transport!) and go to the Art Institute, where Kelly did great fangirling over the modern art before we went to dinner. I'm really hoping we can get lodgings in the same place, she's such fun to hang out with.

So I'm worn out and my legs are sore, and Sunday I go back to deli work, but right now I'm doing pretty well.
seiberwing: (Default)
Firstly, to correct any misconceptions, I am not permanently in Chicago. I'm visiting Chicago to check out the program's open house and give the city a trial run before I start moving all my shit up here. If nothing else my parents need me at home for a few months.

Day 2 in Chicago goes well, despite being cold and wet. I went to a few sessions/speeches/information thingers about the MAPSS program and to be quite honest it looks perfect for me. There's a good PhD-acceptance rate for those getting out of the program alive, it's interdisciplinary (which is where my interest sits), and the university seems to be a pretty comfy place. Not that I had a choice to begin with, but I feel better about the situation than I did last night.

Not that it's just the school that's encouraging me. After I got done listening to the psych chairmen natter on, a pair of women sitting across from me at the table offered to meet me at the bookshop. We got hungry and wandered out to Thai food and had a perfectly marvelous discussion about psychology and Tim Burton and cosplay and our respective hometowns and alma maters. [ profile] lonescorpion came to find us after some initial misunderstandings and then we went out for hot drinks. It was nice. Cold outside, but cozy anyway.

So basically I'm dealing. ^_^
seiberwing: (Ham and Cheese)
Oh my, Chicago.

What I've seen of downtown, Navy Pier, and the Hyde Park area seem very cozy. There's a lake you can't see the other end of, which is almost as good as an ocean, and green stuff to walk on, and it doesn't feel as noisy or dizzying as New York. Unfortunately my camera ran out of charge so I don't have a picture of the big giant metal bean or all the other weirdness at Millennium Park, but I might go back and get some.

International House, my current lodgings, is not so cool. It's older and makes me pine for South Ridge, as South Ridge had actual carpet and didn't make you pay seven dollars a day for access to your electronic security blanket, but as a temporary place to stay it's not bad.

It's a done deal that I'm coming here, of course, I'm just trying to force myself to get used to the idea. It's not that Chicago itself is a bad place, it's just that big open unfamiliar spaces tend to make me...scared. I'm still very twitchy on my own, every time someone makes a noise in the hallway it's "aaagh there are people in this student housing facility make them go away someone give me a hug" and walking down the street's a slight strain even with Mikki there. I think I'm getting better, it's just a huge change from going everywhere in my protective car bubble. It'll be liveable eventually.

The whole moving thing did not seem as big a deal when I was back in Knoxville. Unsurprising, I suppose.
seiberwing: (Latin)
The last grad school letter is in---Maryland hasn't got room for me either. I'm not surprised, really, they got over 650 people this year and things are tight everywhere. My other set also turned me down, not a tremendous surprise with my record, so no PhDs for Seibers this year.

On the other hand, when Chicago turned me down an odd little thing happened. Instead of just tossing me out on my ear they shuffled my application over to the Masters of Arts Program in the Social Sciences, a multidisciplinary one year MA thinger, and those guys decided they wanted me.

Wanted me with a one-third scholarship, too, although I'll have to take out a loan to compensate for living expenses and the other two thirds. I'm going up next week to take a look at the place with their "Campus Days" (amoung other reasons, hello [ profile] lonescorpion and giant metal bean) but at this point I'm pretty secure in saying I'm going to Chicago.

So yeah.


seiberwing: (Default)

May 2013

26272829 3031 


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 21st, 2017 08:42 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios