Purposive Rambling

the journey is the reward.

Posts Tagged ‘fun

Ask me just about anything…

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…and you are sure to get an answer. I love to fill out surveys. I don’t think I’ve ever turned down an opportunity to fill out a survey. Okay, I take that back. When websites interrupt my websurfing with an invitation to participate in a survey, I usually click the X. But other than that, I am all yours. I prefer filling out surveys for social research, but I will do market research surveys too. In fact, I have one setting on my counter right now waiting to be filled out. I like feeling like someone cares about my opinions and experiences and likes and dislikes. And I like seeing how other people construct their surveys, which I of course, I enjoy critiquing even though I don’t really know much about survey construction. On top of being a super-nerd and actually enjoying the process of filling out surveys, part of me feels a bit obliged too. I figure I can’t expect people to participate in my research if I’m unwilling to participate in others’. Maybe it’s about setting a good example (even though no one would ever know) or maybe it’s about karma. Either way, it feels like the right thing to do. Any other social scientists out there share this affinity?


Written by Lisa

October 8, 2009 at 1:14 am


with 2 comments

Lately, I’ve been feeling very restless and a bit bored with life. Or, the everyday stuff of life. I am happy with Jon. I am happy with Sociology. I am happy with Indianapolis. I am even happy with reading for my qualifying exam! But when I’m laying down in bed each night and reflecting on the day, I feel bothered. With myself mostly. A lot of times I feel like I just half-assed everything.

Me to myself:

I didn’t work that hard. I read some, but I got distracted a lot too. I spent way too much time checking my email, reading the news, being a voyeur into people’s lives on Facebook, laughing out loud at adorable cats, and so on. Along with this half-assed work, I had some half-assed play time. I sat on the couch watching crap tv that doesn’t really add anything to my life. What a waste of time.

I want/need to do more. To be more. I want to feel like everyday is fulfilling and worthwhile. Sure, sometimes I just need to veg on the couch, but not every day. I want to be someone who works hard and plays hard instead of having a casual, uncommitted approach to both. That is getting me nowhere.

So yesterday I started on the hard-working part. Our Internet was down, and although I complained a lot about it, it was a blessing. I put my head down and read for my qualifying exam all day. I took a break for lunch, I took a break for dinner, and then I ended the day with enough time to watch a couple shows with Jon and read a couple chapters of Alex and Me, which is great so far, by the way. It was the most productive day I have had in quite awhile. And even though I was a bit antsy because I hadn’t been able to check my email, it was really nice to not have the distraction of the Internet. The trick now is to find the self-discipline to either ignore it or shut it down and give myself the big blocks of time that I need to get real work done on a consistent basis.

And as for the play side of things, Jon and I have agreed that we need to get off the couch more and stop treating tv like a hobby.

Written by Lisa

September 9, 2009 at 10:15 pm

Catching Up

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I’ve been away from here for far too long! I don’t even remember what all I have been meaning to post about. But here’s a sampling of things that have been happening:

  • We went to Washington, DC for the 4th of July. We were only there for a couple days, but we did quite a bit. We saw the Capitol Steps, which was absolutely hilarious and educational – we learned about Sarah Palin resigning from the show. We also went to Mount Vernon, took a tour of Washington’s home, and ate cake and watched fireworks on the lawn.
    Mount Vernon

    Mount Vernon

    We also went to Ray’s Hell Burger and had burgers the size of our heads. This place made the news recently when Obama and Biden dined out. And, of course, we saw the DC fireworks while partying with family and friends in Arlington. Before we headed home we got some super expensive Welsh food at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and then checked out the Lincoln exhibit at the National Museum of American History, which I would highly recommend. They have some really cool artifacts, and I learned a lot about Lincoln that I didn’t know before. When we made it back to Indy we got to see fireworks too because they had gotten rained out on the 4th. They were surprisingly good.

    Fourth of July Fireworks in Indianapolis

    Fourth of July Fireworks in Indianapolis

  • The following weekend we got to spend even more time with our DC family (or part of it) because they came out to visit. It was Jon’s birthday and his step-sister’s wedding. We had dinner across the street at Buca di Beppo and then had ice cream cake and play time with the kids at our apartment for awhile. The next day we checked out the Civil War Museum, which is in the basement of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument. We had hoped to go up to the top of the monument and get a great view of the city, but they had it closed. The museum wasn’t all that exciting, except that Jon’s uncle and grandfather have a reproduction cannon on loan there that they built. We just learned about it recently, and I’m so glad we were able to go see it. It was incredibly similar to the real cannon the museum has.
    Civil War Reproduction Cannon

    Civil War Reproduction Cannon

    And of course we went to the wedding, which was in northern Indiana. It was a beautiful ceremony and a very fun reception. We got to catch up with family and even did the Chicken Dance.

  • Aside from dinner and ice cream cake, Jon wanted to go to Kings Island for his birthday. Since the wedding was last weekend, we went yesterday. I was so not ready. Not at all. I have always been scared of roller coasters. But last year I finally gave in and went with him under the condition that I didn’t have to ride any if I got there and was too freaked out by them. But I rode five! And I even liked a couple of them. So this year we decided to ratchet it up a bit and try something new, and by new I mean scarier. The plan was to ride the ones we did last year and then ride Diamondback, which KI describes as “the tallest, fastest and meanest roller coaster to ever strike Kings Island.” And I told Jon that if that went okay, then I might try a coaster that goes upside down. It would be my first time ever going upside down on a coaster. Well, I am happy to report that I rode six coasters yesterday – including Diamondback and Vortex (which has 6 inversions)! diamondbackI cannot even explain how sick Diamondback is. The first drop is unbelievably steep. I had to look down the whole time. I looked down on Vortex too. That was my tactic last year, and it made me feel better. But this time around on the coasters I had already ridden I looked up and let myself really experience them. And I have to say, it was a lot of fun. I even enjoyed the new ones a little, though I think I was happiest when I realized the Diamondback was over. My favorite is still the Backlot Stuntcoaster, which isn’t all that intense, but is a really clever, fun ride. Anyway, we were exhausted by the end of the day, so we stayed overnight at a nearby hotel. We ordered a movie – Wolverine – and some turtle cheesecake to round out an awesome day.
  • Since I wrote last we also celebrated our niece’s first birthday. It’s hard to believe that a year has already gone by. It was a lot of fun watching her open her presents. And luckily she liked the jack-in-the-box we got her. We found it at Mass Ave Toys. Instead of the metal box kind with the crank on the side, this one is soft and you just open the lid to get the guy to pop out. So it’s a bit easier for little, little ones. We figured it would either be a big hit or a disaster that might scar her for life. And it was a big hit! It was great seeing her eyes light up when the guy popped out. She wasn’t as excited about the cake. One of the best parts of one-year-old birthday parties is watching the kid dig into cake for the first time and get it all over the place. She wanted nothing to do with it, though. She didn’t like the way it felt or the way it tasted. I suppose there’s always next year!

    Not a happy baby

    Not a happy baby

  • We’ve checked out a few new restaurants in Indy. One night we had dinner at the Bourbon Street Distillery. I really like the atmosphere there. They have a bar downstairs and upstairs, but the upstairs is more of a dining room. They had quite a bit of outside seating and a fairly extensive menu for a bar. We shared a shrimp cocktail, Jon had a tenderloin, and I had the fish and chips. There was nothing fancy about any of it, but it was decent. And the servings were very generous. We also recently went to Chatham Tap with some friends. I had the Earl’s Club (turkey club) with chips. Very tasty sandwich, especially when it’s washed down with a few glasses of Australia’s “Evil Chardonnay.” You may have noticed by now that I’m not too picky when it comes to food. I don’t generally have many negative things to say about restaurants. That all changes when it comes to the Tea Cozy. This place is in our building, so we had to check it out. Jon’s not a big tea fan, but I am, so I was excited to go. And don’t get me wrong, if you want tea, absolutely go to this place. They have a ton of choices, and the ones we had were fantastic. Jon even liked his. The problem was that we were starving, and they took forever to bring us our food. They were not busy at all, and we didn’t order anything complicated. It just seemed like part of their schtick to let you sit and enjoy your tea leisurely before you get your food. Not that I like to be rushed, but if I want a cup of tea I’ll just order tea and sip casually. But when I order food I expect to get it in a reasonable amount of time. I cook at home. I know how long it takes to cook things. You aren’t fooling anyone. I will say that I think the food I scarfed down was tasty, but it happened so fast I can’t be sure. An additional complaint I have with this place is the price of the food. It is really outrageous. At least for breakfast. Oh, and apparently we get a 15% discount for living in the building, but our server forgot to add it in before she ran our card. To make up for it we got a cookie. One measly cookie. Not quite the equivalent of 15% of our bill. If you want tea, check it out. If you want breakfast food, go to Patachou.
  • We have also explored a bit beyond the restaurants. We recently checked out the Marion County Central Library. We signed up for a library card and toured the building. I was in shock at how nice it is! It’s all bright and modern and serves Starbucks coffee and has a nice audiobook selection. What more could you ask for? I spent a day studying there, and aside from being a bit too air-conditioned for me, it was really cozy.
    Indianapolis-Marion County Central Library

    Indianapolis-Marion County Central Library

    Just the other night we also took ourselves on a public art walking tour. The “exhibit” is George Rickey: An Evolution. We saw all but one of the sculptures. One was a bit too far north to get there by foot. The others were really cool, though. I wish that the sculptures were a permanent feature.

    George Rickey sculpture

    George Rickey sculpture

  • When I haven’t been playing, I’ve been teaching. This summer course is tough. Everything just feels so rushed because it’s a shorter term than semesters. And I’m teaching a new course, which means that I am spending most of my non-teaching time prepping for upcoming lectures. I feel like I’m struggling a bit more than I have in the past with keeping the students’ attention and getting them excited about the material. But there have been some really great days too. I just need to find time to work on other things – like the paper I’m presenting at a conference early next month. Time is running out!

Well, I feel like there have been a lot of other little things that I’ve been meaning to mention on here, but this post is plenty long already.

Written by Lisa

July 20, 2009 at 12:55 am

The next (furry) Ansel Adams?

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A few days ago I joked to Jon that we should get Josie a kitty-cam and start a website for her to share her photos with the world. I was serious about wanting to do it, but I didn’t seriously think there were kitty-cams out there. Apparently, there are. There’s the Mr. Lee CatCam that seems a bit complicated to put together, and there’s the Uncle Milton Pet’s Eye View Camera that looks much simpler but maybe a little too simple to take good photos. They both attach to the cat’s collar. I was hoping for a helmet cam, but you take what you can get.

At least one cat in the world, named Cooper, has made a living taking photos with his cat cam. This guy has a flickr set, a blog, and he’s been on TV multiple times. If you’d like to buy his photos, check out his store!

Since there’s probably only room for one professional cat photographer in the world, Josie might have to just pick up photography as a hobby. Or maybe not at all. This was her reaction when I pitched the idea to her:


Written by Lisa

June 11, 2009 at 7:45 pm

Posted in Photos, Uncategorized

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My Lobotomy

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I just finished reading My Lobotomy: A Memoir by Howard Dully and Charles Fleming.

It was really nice to be reading a non-academic book finally! It’s been quite awhile since I did any reading for fun. Not that I don’t enjoy reading Sociology, but it’s for a different purpose.

This book is anything but fun, though. It’s horribly depressing. It’s all about Howard Dully surviving not only a lobotomy, but also an abusive childhood. His story of persistence through all of the harm that was done to him by the people that should have been protecting him is just remarkable. Nobody should have to grow up feeling unloved and unwanted. 

Reading this book reminded me of everything I have to be thankful for. I am so blessed to be where I am and to not have had to go through the pain and hardship that so many people face throughout their lives. It didn’t have to be this way, though. I could have been Howard Dully. Anyone could have. It definitely makes me want to make the most of this great life that I have and avoid negativity about the little things that really don’t matter. It also makes me want to be more compassionate to others. We really don’t know what people have had to deal with in their lives, and we really shouldn’t be so quick to judge.

Written by Lisa

May 28, 2009 at 4:38 pm

My Network of Facebook Friends

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I found out about about the ability to do this from orgtheory. If you have UCINET, you should try this out.

Here is my network of Facebook friends:

 FB network

I have only six isolates, or friends who aren’t connected to anyone else in my network. And I have four main clusters that correspond to my high school friends, my undergraduate school friends, my graduate school friends, and then family plus the hubs’ fraternity brothers.

The big green node is the hubs. He is connected to all four clusters. I am pretty sure, based on what I know from reality – not from analyzing this network – that he’s the only one connected to all four clusters. I could figure that out, but I’ve used this as a procrastination tool for long enough.

Written by Lisa

February 26, 2009 at 10:05 am

A Favorite Thing

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Some days, you don’t even notice the little things. And other days, it’s the little things that keep you going.

I have been pretty annoyed at all the snow we’ve been getting lately. It’s put me in a funk. I’ve been dreaming of spring.

But today when I was walking from the car to the apartment, I noticed that the sound of snow under my feet was a little amusing.

When there’s a lot of snow, there’s not really any noise. But now that it’s melted a little and it’s been plowed a little, there’s just this thin, packed-down layer on top of the pavement. And it makes a squishy kind of sound that I can’t exactly describe in words, but it’s fun.

Or, at least it was fun today when I needed a pick-me-up and I was high on caffeine.

Written by Lisa

February 4, 2009 at 9:27 pm

Posted in Favorite Things

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