Breaking up is hard to do…

January 16, 2011 § 2 Comments

… especially when you get barraged with post break-up messages and end up in Brussels, smoochless.

But, let me back up a little first…  cause it all started shortly after I posted my last entry ….and a hop skip and a jump, later …life took a little tumble.

I sat at St. Peters Station, for whatever reasons, accosted by an epiphany that I MUST get what I came for and make any sort of fuzzy life decisions after-wards. I got my head screwed back on straight and the student in me awoke to dreams of a brand new semester of Forecasting hell. What is it about train stations?

You see, right after I last wrote, I had a rather interesting life conversation with my mom in which… at least I think that’s what she said… she advised me to open my heart a little and make sure to enjoy each moment. Then I received a rather inspirational email from one of my favorite people in this world who, as usual, set me straight…

‘somebody very wise once told me’ it said  ‘ …that I should just take my time and figure out what I want first…You should really practice what you preach.’

Thanks friend, I really should.

And so, I put on a pretty dress, got all datey and set out to fall in love. I enjoyed each moment with care… reminding myself of my wise advisers to just         ...let go and feel.

In a strange way, I really did… our conversation was lovely, giggles and smiles, an interesting movie and some lovely tea… beautiful Gent towering over us and empty cobble stone streets paving our way… hand in hand we walked, close. our lips kissed…

Perhaps this is the problem, but with the indecisive week I’d had before, somehow I felt inspired by the night and waited to fall in love. I waited an hour, I waited two, I waited three… I felt warm and special, even cared for… all the while waiting ….for the night to end, so I could go home… alone. Hmm…

Towards the end, we wrangled a bit over the difference in our expectations for the night and all of a sudden without warning, all my so called feelings… were gone. I looked over at him one more time, as I for the 10th time proceeded to decline his invitation to go home with him… and I just had no desire to do so. The truth is, I don’t really see him as a long term potential and in the short term, he’s kind of a pain in the ass, i though! I just want to go home, alone! I waved good bye, turned around and walked away almost single again…

I took each step with caution… how does this feel? a little further… what about now? To my surprise the further I walked away from him and the closer I got to home… the better I felt. And just like that, the decision I fumbled over for weeks… was made.

In the morning I woke up refreshed. I hopped on a bus to St. Pieter’s station and set out to meet the girls en route to Brussels. Oh, how I’ve missed them!… My Russian Mafia… My Sex and The City crew… My girls. While on the bus I thought about the best way in which to end things. In the past I’ve always been a fan of the slow fizzle,  but as long as I’m learning to be a more mature person in Belgium, I thought it probably time to learn to do this whole breaking-up thing, properly.

I reasoned my way to doing it over a text message and proceeded to click away…

As soon as I hit send, my phone rang… and then buzzed, and buzzed again… one text message after another and it all of a sudden became clear how differently we feel about the way things are. The messages are flattering, the never ending calls weirdly sweet, I’ll admit… and periodically come in without a single reply.

But for once, I actually know what I want and he is not it. Predictive Modeling..? so IS. So I’m switching my course work to MatLab, SAS Macros, more CRM and SPSS and bracing myself for another CRAZY student semester with my girls….

When we finally arrived in Brussels for a 100+ people house party – I was the only one out of the four of us not going at it in the corner. I sat there a bit less drunk than the others, thrilled with my new path… ready to kick ass….  and yes, a little lonely… happy with myself,though… i think.    missing his eyes …a little.

And there goes my phone again.


Where is my AUC?

December 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’m having a bit of the hump day blues. The day has been painted in a lazy hue, slow and ineffective, without much purpose it would seem except for the occasional twinkle of an idea. My mind is still fully occupied with wrapping up this year – it’s meaning so to speak – picking a new direction.  My cotton thoughts, echoing it seems somewhere in there… in that head of mine numb from all the schooling, but desperately trying to figure out my next move.

You see, within the next two weeks I’ll need to decide on my future … the course to take with it. Should I follow an already existing path, or take a chance on something bigger and scarier – something new. Not just new though, something that deep down in my heart I know is anti-me… something that says to the world… I love money. I love business. I want success and computers are my friend. Honestly, I wouldn’t like this person. But I also wouldn’t like the person I would be if I didn’t grasp at the chance to become it. A sort of life philosophy I want to live by… reject only that which you know. So following that logic, first I must know. I must want to know!

…yet somewhere deep down, i just want to dance around a campfire in some far away land, singing kumbaya…  I’m probably not making any sense, but that is because I’m feeling stuck, and sense is overrated anyway…

I think the problem is in identifying what I’m fearful of… am I more fearful of not trying – due to perceived probability of failure and/or disinterest …. OR … am I actually fearful of not going for the one thing I know I actually want, which is a life of meaning and not money at all. I’ve been clawing at this in my head all week, and still I’m nowhere…

Yesterday, I saw myself taking the easy way out… Today, I woke determined to take this chance of a lifetime and see where it leads… all these codes, periods, commas, delimiters… these forecasting robots, these engineers… these business people with their business plans and algorithms for making the world go round and round. Who would have thought in a million years that I would have my own key to the whole Faculty of Economics and Business building and spend vacation days under its florescent lights… wishing quietly, in the most non-technical way possible, for a predictive model for my future… Where is my AUC?

… I have a friend that is now going through something similar but in a more work related sense and honestly when I think about her situation, it’s as clear as day. There is no wrong move that she can make, only one requirement… the decision needs to bring with it utter excitement. If she can find excitement for the thing she’s about to do, she has made 100% the right choice.  Hmm… perhaps it’s only logical that I take my own advice. I shall wait for some sort of excitement to kick in… i think right now I don’t feel it for either – maybe that’s in fact the problem? Interesting point, dear me. I will know when it’s here.  M… so will you! 🙂

Going back to school/recession advice/rant….

October 11, 2010 § 8 Comments

To show all of you lurkers how grateful I am for comments of any type, I’m going to do one better than answer in the comment section and dedicate an entire post tonight to answering Ceberus’ question. Thank you Ceberus!! 🙂

Ceberus writes: ‘Well, I’m in that batch of “quitting job during recession + when recession is about to get worse.” What made you head to the grad school? Would you mind me asking what you are studying? :D

Well, everyone says that the recession is the best time for going back to school, but we all know what they really mean… it’s the best time for going back to school if you’re just out of college and totally experience-less and job-less… and yes of course, and/or if you’ve been layed off. I don’t think they quite mean – jump at the first chance to skip out on a well paying job with a career prospect to try something new… or at least that’s the fear, right. But seriously, who gives…

The truth is, there were a few things at play in my decision. And it wasn’t until some random flobotomist lady made me feel strange about leaving work after she said something like… ‘huh, that’s brave!’ …of course I knew she didn’t mean brave, she meant stupid!
so I really had to think about whether or not it was a wise decision and here’s what I’ve come up with…

I’m doing this because… (and if you’re considering going back to school or switching jobs, or whatever it is you wanna do… you should too.)

a) I don’t give a shit about the recession – honestly, if life ever comes down to having to eat bread for dinner and share close living quarters with others, I will first of all laugh my ass off at the irony, SERIOUSLY…, eat my bread stale – just how i liked it as a kid, and not for a second regret quitting my job!

Seriously, if that’ the outcome and the alternative would have been to work all the way up until that outcome,  I say good lord, I’d rather gnaw on my stale piece of bread knowing that a few years earlier I was sipping on chocolate in Belgium.

And if the argument is that those who have jobs now don’t end up suffering from the recession as much – I say, trust me, they’re suffering… from uncertainty, from being overworked, under-paid and what’s worse, being in a state of mind where they feel so trapped by their working identify that they literally can’t imagine what it is like to live for something more worthwhile, um like… i dunno, life, joy, passion…? OK, of course, no offense to all you working folks… it’s damn important and can be just as gratifying, but the second it stops being so, there’s no need to claw at preserving this lifestyle… it must bring joy or at least promise joy in the future. Maybe you’re saving up for something, or waiting for the right time… that’s ok I guess, but don’t forget re-assess and keep looking for that time on the horizon. There is no reason to just stay put for the sake of staying put. We are very resilient, resourceful people… able to deal with all kinds of things in life. Don’t let that resilience  be used only in life’s unavoidable awful moments, the ones that require you to brace yourself … find ways to be resilient on purpose, at least then you’re expecting it and the outcome is just as remarkable.

b) Ok, so then there’ s b in this rambling session… This point is a lot more reasonable… I think that anything that will help you invest in yourself during a time when competition is hightened due to layoffs and difficult times, expanding your skills by going back to school is THE BEST thing that you can do for yourself – ESPECIALLY in a time of a recession. It’s like a company that spends more money on tools and labor during a time it’s not making as much, just to gear up for when business picks up and only the best few get to ride the wave…


c) But, honestly this has got to be the only one that really matters…  the most meaningful reason for me… it is the reason I believe anyone should do anything in life.

If it excites you, do it!

If it terrifies you, do it!

If it changes you, do it!

If you look in the mirror and wonder even for a second whether your life is on a downward slope and you don’t seem to have much to look forward to, start looking for your new chapter… recession or not. I can tell you this, a new chapter, be it good or great, always takes you forward and if you want to feel the rush of life, forward is the only direction you need to go…

Ever since I made the decision to quit my job, life has been nothing but interesting. Every day, every week, every month… even every future month out for as long as I can imagine is one big, interesting, exciting, spontaneous surprise…. I will not know a dull moment until I’m 30 – THAT I’ve guaranteed myself.

And they say… (and this is how I remember it too)… that youth is exciting for its possabilities, but what I’ve learned from the beginnings of this experience is that it is in fact not youth that holds those possabilities, but your own desire to march on… For simply, youth only guarantees the desire for time to pass and life to move forward and with it comes all of the excitement. I am now 28 and have paved the same journey for myself and recommend this to anyone who’s forgotten what it’s like to look forward to the next month, or next year… No more, it’s Christmas already, I can’t believe your last birthday was last year, good lord I’ve been here long enough to go to that same office party 5 times… or whatever, it’s exactly the same type of thing that makes you realize it’s time to end a relationship. If Life is on repeat, but things aren’t getting any better. Time to reboot.

Anyway, to answer your question, in as coherent a way as I can – NOT, my program is in marketing analysis. I chose it based on the idea that it would give me skills I do not yet posses. And, if I were to give anyone school advice I think that’s what I would say. Maybe the recession isn’t the best time to feed your heart… so possibly, stay away from studying anthropology diggs in Ethiopia (as I would have surely done if I could like do ANYTHING), but if you can find something that gives you valuable skills – much better ones and faster than any hands-on work experience might, then you’ve found a bullet proof recession program, my friend.

So, yeah, I guess that kind of contradicts what I was saying ealier, but whatever… I am free spirited, but I’m also practical as hell and always have a plan – yes, even when you think I’m flayling about, I’m not. And all those times I got made fun of for not having cable, or internet, or… a BED. ha… it was all part of the plan.  I mean, I’m here aren’t I.

So.. In closing … if you’re thinking about doing anything in life that excites you, terrifies you or changes you… DO IT! Just make sure you can afford it, it gives you skills or something you can’t get anywhere else and it kills more than one WANT within yourself at the same time. So that you’re not putting anything on hold – do it ALL.

And speaking of skillz, today I turned in (EARLY, no joke) my first SAS assignment.

Read this and weep…

* 1.2 Create a library called MMA;



* 1.3 Write a dataset for a Satisfaction Survey with two variables using Datalines;

DATA mma.hifi_satisfac;

INPUT Name $ Satisfaction;


Sony  5

Philips     3

Panasonic   6

Technics    7

Akai  2


PROC PRINT DATA=mma.hifi_satisfac NOOBS;

TITLE ‘Hifi Industry Satisfaction Survey’;


* 1.4 Using Import Procedure read in sheet ‘Age’ and label dataset as ‘Age’;

PROC IMPORT DATAFILE= ‘C:\Users\Owner\Desktop\MMA Program\Marketing Engineering I\Assignment I\ex_1_4.xls’

out= ex_1_4 DBMS=xls;



Title ‘Age’;


*1.5 Create a table “Eurovision” using list input;


INFILE ‘C:\Users\Owner\Desktop\MMA Program\Marketing Engineering I\Assignment I\ex_1_5.txt’ DLM= ’09’X;

INPUT Rank  Country :$20. Points;



TITLE ‘Eurovision’;


*1.6 Create a dataset “Movies” using column input;

DATA mma.movies;

INFILE ‘C:\Users\Owner\Desktop\MMA Program\Marketing Engineering I\Assignment I\ex_1_6.txt’ DLM= ‘ ‘;

INPUT move_id 16 name $ 1539 box_office COMMA6. @52 nbr_vis;


PROC PRINT DATA= mma.movies;

Title ‘Movie Theater Data’;


*1.7 Create a dataset “Scores” making use of formatted input;

DATA mma.scores;

INFILE ‘C:\Users\Owner\Desktop\MMA Program\Marketing Engineering I\Assignment I\ex_1_7.txt’;

INPUT Name $ 118 @25 Birthday MMDDYY8. @35 Grad PERCENT4.;

FORMAT Birthday DDMMYY10.;



TITLE ‘Scores’;


*2.1 Create a dataset “Survey” using a set that contains more than one row per customer;

DATA mma.survey;

INFILE ‘C:\Users\Owner\Desktop\MMA Program\Marketing Engineering I\Assignment I\ex_2_1.txt’ DLM= ‘,’ MISSOVER;

INPUT Custid Gender $

/ Q1 $ Q2 $ Q3 $;



TITLE ‘Customer Survey’;


*2.2 Create a dataset “Pubs” making sure that pub_id is not included;

DATA mma.scores;

INFILE ‘C:\Users\Owner\Desktop\MMA Program\Marketing Engineering I\Assignment I\ex_2_2.txt’ DSD DLM=’ ‘ TRUNCOVER;

INPUT Name :$11. @’zipcode:’ Zipcode @’city:’ City $;


PROC PRINT DATA=mma.scores;

TITLE ‘Pub List’;


*2.3 Create a dataset “Basketball” from multiple observations on one line;


INFILE ‘C:\Users\Owner\Desktop\MMA Program\Marketing Engineering I\Assignment I\ex_2_3.txt’ FIRSTOBS=2 OBS=3 DLM= ‘;’;

INPUT Match :$20. Played Date DDMMYY10.@@;




TITLE ‘Game Schedule’;


*3.1 Create a dataset “Sept_sales” and add sale_id and min_sale as variables;

DATA mma.sept_sales;

INFILE ‘C:\Users\Owner\Desktop\MMA Program\Marketing Engineering I\Assignment I\ex_3_1.txt’ DLM=’,’;

INPUT Date DDMMYY10. Name :$20. Sale_amount;

RETAIN Sale_id 2499 Min_sale;

Min_sale= MIN (Min_sale, Sale_amount);

Sale_id= (sale_ID + 1);

FORMAT Date DATE9. Sale_amount COMMA6. Min_sale COMMA6.;


PROC PRINT DATA=mma.sept_sales NOOBS;

TITLE ‘Min Sale Customers’;


*3.2 Create a dataset “Sat_Survey” and add sale_id and min_sale as variables;

DATA mma.sat_survey;

INFILE ‘C:\Users\Owner\Desktop\MMA Program\Marketing Engineering I\Assignment I\ex_3_2.txt’ DLM= ’09’X FIRSTOBS=2;

INPUT cust_id gender $ dob MMDDYY10. Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 Q6 Q7 Q8 Q9 Q10;


IF Gender = ‘M’ THEN Gender_Code = 1;

ELSE IF Gender = ‘F’ THEN Gender_Code = 0;

ELSE Gender_Code= ‘.’;

Age= ROUND ((’01JAN2006’D – dob)/365);

ARRAY old (10) Q1 — Q10;

DO i = 1 TO 10;

old (i) = 8 – old (i);


Avg_satisfaction= MEAN(OF Q1 – Q2);

RETAIN avg_sat_max;

Avg_sat_max= MAX (avg_sat_max, avg_satisfaction);


PROC PRINT DATA= mma.sat_survey;

TITLE ‘Satisfaction Survey’;


Umm helloo, [tap tap], is this thing on…?

October 9, 2010 § 4 Comments

Even though I thought that I had totally given myself permission to do nothing but work for the next year, somehow I did not account for days like this when I’m too lazy for it… and in those moments it seems, being neither at work, nor at play is rather depressing. Yesterday, I swore to myself I would work all day…. ugh, this did not happen. I didn’t have a bad day really, some lovely music to keep me company, a friend to chat with and the winding down from the week – bumming around that I’m so good at. Today however I was suppo0se to awaken with a new leash on life.  A leash that lasted oh… all of an hour, after which I was back to being a bum. A lazy one, too …. too lazy even for a shower… or even to watch a movie that’s almost overdue from the library… that’s like REALLY lazy.

The real reason I think is that I just can’t seem to get comfortable. I know it’s been a while since I’ve complained about my back, but oy it just won’t stop hurting and is driving me nutts. There doesn’t seem to be a single position that makes it feel better…. not lying down, not sitting, not standing… sometimes walking helps, but only in that it takes my mind off the constant sensation that I’m on fire. In the last week or so it’s gotten even worse than before, but I think it might be my fault – I was iciing it and, while I haven’t looked this up to see if it’s even scientifically possible, I”m pretty sure I burnt myself with the icepack – it literally left a bruise on my ass that looks like Texas and has been sore ever since. …walking is not an option anyway – not when you’re lazy!… and certainly not when you’re pretending to be ABOUT TO study. bah.

I guess I’ll make an doc appointment on Monday – might as well take advantage of my crazy free insurance here.

And I know complaing about this isn’t going to do anything and certainly things could be much much worse, at least my clavicle is in tact … and who needs that other thing anyway (i only prayed for it to be gone my entire adult life)!  but it’s been more than an year now since this all started and I just want it to stop… 😦


In other news, i got another txt from Tars the ball-dropping surgery guy, to thank me for getting him to quit smoking. The longer version of this story is that during our encounter I had told him of a book that my friend swears by as a be-all end-all solution to quitting smoking. So, after a few failed attempts at contacting me after our non-date, he had emailed me a request for the book pdf – this is when I took the opportunity to ask directly to be left alone and wish him luck with the book attachment.

I haven’t personally read the book, but the friend who recommended it was supposedly a chain smoker himself before and said that he couldn’t have done it without it. So, anyway… apparently it worked for Tars too. So for all you smokers out there who’ve tried everything, you might wanna consider trying this (*Ahem, you know who you are!). Assming of course that we can add Tars to the success list, I’m becoming more and more curious of the books content myself. I think I finally need to read it – it might give my constant referrals a bit more clout. Not everyone is as eager to please as nice Belgian stalker-boys.   But anyway, no worries, I did not respond.

Been struggling with SAS today too… I can’t get this stupid simple thing to work and can’t figure out what I”m doing wrong…. GRRR.

That’s about it… Too bad blogs aren’t a two way street, it gets a bit boring being the only one posting. Any requests? A nice little Haiku perhaps? Sage Wisdom? Free Advice? Questions…? Comments? C’mon, give me something to work with here…

Maybe I’ll start an advice column instead, that seems a lot more interesting than rehashing my day for you anyway. C’mon, make it anonymous, post some question! I’ll do anything from how to quit your job during a recession to how not to end up getting stalked in Europe in your first week. I’ve made loads of mistakes (that there’s no reason for you to repeat), and can probably help with anything. And just cause I don’t always follow my own advice, doesn’t mean I don’t have tons of things I know I should be doing… and so should you! 🙂 Try me!  Pleeeease….




Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with Advice at Life, Philosophized.