second, it was my beloved's birthday!!
so there was the lead up to the celebrating (which meant D. and I were having mysterious planning meetings just out of earshot from the birthday boy... which is more difficult than you might think) and then he apparently decided he wanted an italian-themed birthday because we went out for Italian the night before his birthday, pizza the next day, and had more italian (from a different place) last night.
My boyfriend, the man who loves his upscale and downscale food, decided he wanted to enjoy the delights on Friday of an Italian Buffet. Yep, that's right. It felt like we were in Vegas, except I think they had more vegetarian options. And funky bruschetta. And funky drinks too - they had a cotton candy pink italian soda which was ... completely and totally too sweet for any of us to drink more than a sip, amazingly enough. We also did not try the daily canole flavor. Some might have called the experience blasphemous, considering the best of the Italian tradition is based on simple beautiful flavors combined in super-fresh cookery and that's not likely to be found at a buffet, but all in all, aside from eating too much, it was pretty pleasant.
Dinner and dessert on his *actual* birthday was great - a bunch of our friends circled around a table, we goofed off and ordered fantastic pizza (seriously, there was this garlic, portabello mushroom, goat cheese, tomato and spinach thing with pesto that was just ... fantastic doesn't even begin describe it), then went to pick up fresh baked cookies from his favorite cookie place - and then showered him with his presents when he got home.
third, school, oh you (planning, rants, annoyances)
I'm still having trouble getting back into the habit of class and work and the like - it doesn't help that we've just had a three day weekend and that I don't have class on Tuesdays.
Tonight I start my Kaplan GRE test prep course. I'm amazed since it seems Kaplan actually has their act together in terms of pairing online resources along with their training course - would that all classes had this many materials that dovetailed so perfectly with their curriculum. Guess that's what happens when you have boatloads of private money and teaching is your bread and butter.
The graduate conference I'm helping organize is ... full of sheer idiocies. It's like a comm run by a moderator who doesn't read her own rules. I was swearing to D & Neil that when I went to the meeting last week I was going to quit if I didn't get my own way (they were scheduling the Keynote speakers for 9 am on a Friday and SATURDAY morning, for god's sake) ... and, well, they gave me my own way and rescheduled them. Which means they reeled me back in, dammit. This is the conference where they've done an amazing amount of unprofessional work already, and I kind of didn't want my name associated with it at all.
- rescheduled the "read and decide on which proposals got into the conference" meeting to MOTHERS DAY.
- after that same meeting - sent an email out to everyone who submitted a proposal asking them if they "would really come to the conference if they were accepted" ... because submitting a proposal really isn't enough of an indicator? That same email admitted they were sending out the "are you really going to attend" question because they had 4 (yes 4) extra proposals and they needed to whittle their list down.
- sent out an email with a schedule of talks and called it the "final schedule" even though NO ONE on the committee had seen the schedule except for the three people who had arranged it
- the same schedule had the keynotes at 9 in the morning (a time most grad students can't be bothered to even *see* if they don't have to, much less appear on campus on a Saturday for)
- emailed the conference participants their housing options before the committee had decided on housing options
- the head of the entire thing telling me, when i told her that these things looked really unprofessional "well, it's a conference run by graduate students so people expect us to make mistakes"
At the same time, I'll complain about it, and I'll do little things to see if I can help (like designing their programs and posters), but I'm not going to risk myself and my time by trying to whip the thing into some recognizable shape. It's not worth it considering the time it would take to bring it all back together now.
But, in a last gasp of idiocy, I emailed out the sample I'd made of the promo poster (these will go up around campus), and said, in my email, "it's done except for the fact that I need the conference location. Where is it going to be held?" .... and one of the other planners emailed back the address (YAY)... but (and this is where it gets stupid)... the *head* of the Conference committee, who apparently can't read, responds to the other planner's email (but directs it to me) and says "Will you be putting the place of the conference on them? I think that is a good idea." Those were her exact words.