Friday, December 30, 2011

I'm still on holiday.... right?

The new year is fast approaching.
I am starting to already stress about the next quarter since a number of my school peers are buzzing about working on their CV's or cover letters and application materials and I am still up here in oblivion pretending I'm actually on vacation.
I know I need to get a move on, but I want to be stubborn and refuse to acknowledge the piling workload in front of me until after New Years Eve. I get one more holiday on my "holiday" before I have to start back up the crazy stress case life I lead in graduate school.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The crazy weekend of Christmas

Oh the holidays. All that commotion and rushing, cooking, planning and shopping, wrapping, hiding, cleaning and spending and then just like that, it's over. So quickly it's almost like it didn't happen.
All in all, this was a wonderful Christmas. I got to spend it with my family and that is honestly what is most important.
It's not how it used to be, and although there are parts I really miss... over the years we've developed some new traditions and made it feel more like Christmas again.
Oh and that Amazon Prime present I was so stoked on...I guess I got the wrong size.:/
The good news: free return shipping. Thanks again, Amazon :)
For my nephew's birthday (Dec 1st) I surprised him with a birthday gift of a snowboarding trip.He had never been before and I'd been wanting to take him boarding for many years but never got around to it so I finally decided that for his 11th birthday, that is what we were going to do.
We went up the day after Christmas. we made it a group trip and it was me, my boyfriend, my nephew and his parents.
It was my first time up in almost 4 years. My sister had never been either and her husband had been up once before.There were a lot of falls, a lot of crashes, a lot of cold hands and faces and a fair amount of pain but I'd say overall it was a really great trip.  We're all recovering now with a lot of sore muscles and bruises... but it was definitely a memorable trip. So glad I finally got to take him up there. He said on the ride home
"Thanks aunt Brandi. now I can officially say I'm a snowboarder" :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas shopping in the year 2011

What I have learned this Christmas:

Amazon Prime is a lifesaver.
After days of searching for a specific item for my boyfriend and it being unavailable at every store I went to or called I was beginning to lose hope for this very important gift.
Then I remembered I had Amazon Prime with Amazon.
You really can't beat it.
Free 2 day shipping guaranteed, easy one click purchase I was able to do it while standing in the store of disappointment that didn't have what I need.
Oh how times have changed...but it sure did save my butt. Ordered it yesterday, was delivered today! More than enough time to wrap it too :)
I still have more shopping to do, but at least I'm not longer stressing about this gif. 
I sound like an advertisement for Amazon ;)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Christmas season begins tomorrow!

I leave tomorrow to head up to the good ol' PNW for what I am hoping to be a wonderful Christmas season.
I feel like I just can't start my "season" until I'm back home.
Even though Nor Cal makes for a much better winter season than say,'s not home.
I'm not surrounded by family and I'm not absolutely freezing my buns off.
I have had the time (and surprisingly the funds and the room in my suitcase) to start my shopping early.
I realized today though, that I haven't done hardly any of it.
It just doesn't feel right down here. Christmas shopping alone isn't much fun anyway, but then being so far away and not being able to wrap it yet anyway, I just can't bring myself to do it.
I am in the Christmas spirit for sure. I've been watching ABC family's 25 days of Christmas ridiculously cheesy movies, baking holiday inspired goods, listening to the Glee Christmas CD on repeat in my car, I even bought a holiday scented candle and have been lighting it often... but you can only do so much alone before it just starts to make you a little sad.
Yes, that is me, pouting in the front.

I am so grateful that I have my family. I really am. It may not be the family it used to be, but what remains is absolutely wonderful. I forget that some people don't have that. Some of my best friends are related to me and that makes me oh-so-very lucky.
I really do love Christmas time :) and I cannot wait to get up there and get this season really going!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Grades in Grad School

Grades came out yesterday.
Grad school has a way of completely disappointing you no matter what.
We had no indication of our grades for the classes this entire quarter.
This was a weird feeling since I'm normally calculating down to the last percent exactly what I need to get on the final exam or final paper.
This quarter was different. We did not get any markers as to what our grades were or exact point break down of the courses.
I foolishly thought I was doing much better than apparently I was.
I still passed everything, but in grad school getting a B is frowned upon. Get B-'s and you're in trouble.
I really thought I was going to wow this quarter.
Apparently, my professor thought otherwise.
Such a let down.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

I love anything Christmas related.
I love it even more when it allows me to be over the top and what I like to call 'Christmas Crazy'.
That being said, I am ecstatic that the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party has become an annual tradition :)
The party is planned for the 17th, a few days after I return to the great PNW.
Now, last year I had to get creative because you cannot find much these days at local thrift stores because other people have caught on to how amazing Christmas attire is. (or they just have these parties to go to?)
So last year consisted of taking a plain red sweater with detachable faux black fur (still a pretty sweet find in and of itself!) and using glitter paint and small stuffed figures from my mom's countless Christmas decorations and pinning them to my sweater.
Paired with a snowman filled turtleneck, argyle Christmas socks with faux white fur, snowflake earrings and a headpiece adorned with mistletoe and my outfit last year was a success!
The party this year is held at the same place so a lot of the same people as last year will be there, which means I've got to kick it up a notch. There will be no repeats of last year's outfit (although some pieces may make an appearance because they're just too good not to!)
I've got a number of Christmas items back home: a lovely vest with snowmen, an actual Christmas sweater I swiped from a garage sale this summer and the pieces seen here... but I want something better than those.
I'm thinking suspenders and puff paint but I suppose we'll wait and see what I end up with. I think this weekend I should thrift store it up and see what I can conjure up down here, then maybe hit the craft store after.
Did I mention I love Christmas?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Lists

One reoccurring theme in my life for the past 5 or so years has been distance.
I'm away at school while my loved ones are all back home.
Around the holidays is when this fact becomes the most apparent.
Thankfully, now that I am not an ocean away, I'm able to spend most holidays at home and also partake in the holiday traditions with my family during my holiday visits.
Last week, while home for Thanksgiving, I was able to attend the annual Christmas Bazaar with my mom, sister, nephew, sister-in-law and her mom. There were a few years I missed out on this living in Hawaii. It's tiring, sometimes annoying, busy, full of people and provides sensory overload.'s a tradition. We go every year, even if we don't buy anything. It is just something we do together.
I was very thankful I was able to go this year since I was actually in town when it was going on.
Today, one of my sisters sent me her Christmas List so that I can help my mom shop for her (another tradition, Mom gives us kids money to do her shopping so we all end up with things we really can use and like and it saves Mom some of the hassle of shopping since she has an entire village to shop for) and since we now pick names between siblings (tough times) it gives us a chance to still enjoy picking out gifts for our siblings.
Her list made me giggle and was an adorable idea. She cut and pasted a number of photos to give ideas of what she was talking about.

We used to do this when we were younger, but it initially involved the Toys-R-Us great big Christmas book and circling tons of toys I didn't even really want I just go so excited about the possibilities.
Then later, it was on Thanksgiving we'd all draw names and then sit down to write out our multiple lists and give them to the cousin who drew our name,  Grandma, and our godparents.
Times are oh so much different now for so many reasons, and this no longer occurs.
So with my sister's idea at hand, I made my own list to send to her to help her with Mom's shopping and emailed her back with it.

Complete with photo examples to help her get a clear picture (yes, pun intended) of what I was talking about.
This interaction with my sister warmed my heart. Although I'm 700 miles away, thanks to technology, we're able to make out Christmas lists together this year :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I was able to go up north for a week for the Thanksgiving holiday.
It was rushed, busy, wonderful, and as always too short of a trip to see everyone and do everything I wish I could have.
The good news is: I only have to be down here 2 weeks and then I get to go back up and spend almost a month there!
The bad news: I've come down with a massive cold. It hit me the day before I left Portland and has floored me.
I hate being a grown up. Grown ups don't get sick days.
Nobody cares if you don't feel well, you've still got to do your work and meet your deadlines and when you come home, there is no one to take care of you, but you.
At least I have a number of tv shows to catch up on to keep me company. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Writing Your Story

I've started writing.

I think it's a combination of inspiration from Erin Merryn's work and reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

When you've got a story to tell...
You've got to get in in writing. No matter how long in takes, or how difficult the journey...
You've got to write it.
It may take a lifetime, but I've taken the hardest step: the first one.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The worst is over (for this quarter, anyway)

I survived.

30 minute oral presentation, 18 page paper, 30 page paper.
That is the largest paper I've ever written in my life...well, at least until next quarter.
I'm spent. I have a final next week and then I'm headed home for Thanksgiving.
Even though school is over, I have to come back after Thanksgiving to finish up the remainder of the term at my practicum. It will be a short trip, back to reality for a few weeks, then back up north for the remainder of the year. The hard part is over though. Now it's just staying afloat for the rest of it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The only thing worse than Running

I think I've found something I hate more than running.
The gym, or to be more accurate, the work out room..but they contain the same machines so the terms are interchangeable in my book. 
I've been having trouble with my knees the past week. I'm not sure what it is from exactly (the running, the excessive sitting I've been doing lately because it's finals and I spend 8 hours in front my my computer like it ain't no thang) but regardless, running+knee pain=lots more knee pain.
So today I decided to do the bike in the work out room in my apartment complex.
These types of settings will forever remind me of the episode of Full House where DJ thinks she's fat, stops eating and overworks herself at the family outing to the gym.
picture is compliments of this site I found, Every Episode of Full House Reviewed in Chronilogical Order that does, in fact, review every episode of the show!
I find stationary bikes, treadmills, ellipticals, the whole bunch of them to be incredibly boring and difficult to motivate myself to use them or really push myself.
I tried to channel my inner Dj Tanner and push it to the limit. I did 9 miles on the bike, but with no resistance so it didn't work my body the same as running.
I really just want to figure out how to prevent this knee pain from happening. I'm think I'm going to dabble in some remedies such as insoles or something and see if that helps.
As much as I despise running, stationary machines are even worse and I didn't even think that was possible.
Then again, when I go up north for winter break, I will likely have to figure an alternative since running in 20 degrees is probably going to kill me. Hmm.. After finals I'll put my thinking cap on a problem solve.
Until then, I guess it's stationary bikes and ice for my knee.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

8 hours of brain power

8 hours of paper writing.
That's how I've spent my day. I've some how managed to complete18 pages of the 15 page paper but only 17 pages of the 30 page paper.
The barricade I made for myself

I'm so drained. I can't even think straight.
I've also been listening to Christmas music for the majority of that time.
I made a Christmas mix on Spotify of a bunch of my favorite Christmas tunes and have been rocking out to it during this grueling paper writing process.
The result of 8 ours of brain usage=
Bad decisions involving Pizza. I couldn't be bothered to cook, or think, or function. I did go and pick this up though, and saved myself a delivery charge because I felt guilt about spending so much money on Pizza when I have plenty of food at home.
I still have 13 pages to go. I'm not sure that is going to be completed tonight...and honestly, I think I am ok with that. I have to work tomorrow at 6am, so I don't want to be up half the night working on this stuff. I think my brain is pretty shot any way.
When I called the pizza place earlier to place my order was proof of my inability to function:
Pizza Place: Hi, delivery, pick up or dine in?
Me: Oh, um, I want... well pick up, yes, sorry.
PP: Ok, Area code and phone number
Me: Well, whichever one I just called, but now I'm unsure...
PP: No ma'am, I mean what is your phone number and area code, not the restaurant's.
Me: Oh my goodness, well, um of course.

Brain function failure. I cannot wait for Wednesday to be over. I don't even care that I have yet another painful dentist appointment scheduled for Thursday. At this point, I'd gladly take that just to know I'm done with the hellishness that is Wednesday: 30 min oral presentation, 15 page paper and 30 page paper due, session with my client, clinic duty, progress note writing and volunteering to play a "client" for another student's project.
Oh Thursday, where are you???

Friday, November 11, 2011

Holidays, oh and school too of course.

I absolutely love, love, love the holidays.
They are not what they used to be. Our family has undergone a lot of changes over the years due to some very unfortunate events, and the holidays are nothing of what they used to be, but aside from all of that, this time of year makes my heart happy.
When I was living in Hawaii there were a lot of years I was not able to go home for Thanksgiving. Thankfully, now that I'm living in California, the hour and 45 min flight (that costs much less than a 6 hour $500+ flight from Hawaii) has allowed me to go home for Thanksgiving and Christmas (Thank you Southwest for your incredible deals!!!).
I go home in 12 days for Thanksgiving! Which is wonderful and stressful at the same time. It means I have 12 days until Fall quarter is over which means I have 5 days until I have a 30+ page paper, a 15+ page paper AND a 30 min oral presentation due. I cannot wait for November 17th, it means I will have all of that stuff behind me and just one more final to worry about the following week, and I can handle that.
All these papers/presentation, however, are stressing me out!! I have devoted this weekend to completing these, along with my usual homework. I am not allowing myself to do anything of enjoyment this weekend because I absolutely have got to be productive and get all of that accomplished.
I finally pushed through my latest slump on 'lacking-all-motivation-for-anything-school-related" last weekend and was able to get at least a rough start to most of what is due next week. (Thank goodness!) but I still have a long, long way to go.
I was actually at a dinner party last night with a group of 1st years (those who started the program this year) and I found myself saying "Oh no, 2nd year is much, much better, I'm way less stressed than I was 1st year." and then following that up with comments about the 30+ page and 15+ page paper I have looming and they looked puzzled and said "And you think 2nd year is easier?!?"
 It's possible I've just learned to dissociate from the stress now, and don't even realize how overwhelmed I'm actually feeling.

Some how a post about the holidays, inevitably ended up being a post about school and stress. Story of my life. :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Paranormal Activity

Why is it that we as people love to scare the bejesus out of ourselves?!

I can't even remove myself from that category since last night I willingly watched Paranormal Activity 2 at a friends and then went to the theaters to watch Paranormal Activity 3 at 10:30 at night.
What is it about scary movies that has us so intrigued?  Enough to endure the aftermath of having to return home at 3am to my empty apartment and then attempt to sleep?
I went with a group of my guy friends, so of course they all made endless jokes about me jumping at every movement and my continual outbursts of "Jesus!" "Oh!" and other various squeals and noises that did not actually amount to words.
I kept telling myself that my 10 year old nephew went and saw this in theaters. There is no reason I shouldn't be able to.
But my 10 year old nephew is not a young female, living alone in an apartment with paper thin walls where you can hear your neighbors peeing or phone vibrating making for a lot of unaccounted for noise.
Ok, so technically I don't live alone, as I have a roommate, who comes home about once a month to pay bills and then returns to "staying" at her boyfriend's. But technicality aside, I live alone.
Regardless, somehow mass amounts of people, willingly pay to feel like this:
And even though I was one of the many partaking last night, I still can't tell you why. I don't even like scary movies.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Burn out

It's November.
When did that happen?
All of the sudden I find myself in the 8th week of the quarter.
That explains a lot.
Recently I've been feeling what they refer to in graduate school as burn out. 
Mine manifests itself in the following ways: inability to concentrate, lack of motivation, trouble sleeping, eating habits gone awry, cognitive mistakes, clumsiness, restlessness yet simultaneously exhausted, living quarters are going uncleaned and clothes piled up and a yearning to produce baked goods.
I've been feeling it awhile and I know it's getting the best of me when I get asked multiple times in one day "Hey, are you ok?"
So much for thinking I'm at least looking the part.
It's the 8th week of Fall quarter, which means that I've got about 3 weeks to pull my ish together. 2 weeks until the majority of it hits the fan.
I know that my school work and my performance at my job are feeling the effects of the burn out.
My clinical work behind the scenes definitely is. Hopefully, it does not affect my work with my clients..they shouldn't have to suffer for that, just because I am.
Just need to find some motivation.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The end result of April O'Neil

I think this year goes down in history as one of the most difficult costume ideas.
I just never imagined 3 items would be so absolutely impossible to track down or create, but I stand corrected.
My outfit did not go as planned.
That yellow costume I ordered, I ended up sending right back to be returned, that is after I gained my composure from laughing so hard alone in my room looking at the pathetic excuse for fabric that lay in front of me.
After countless trips to the Salvation Army, Goodwill and Halloween stores.. I came up with a make-do outfit.
Originally I was going for the animated series version of April but what I ended up with was if the animated-series-April and the 1990-movie-April had a baby, it would have been me for Halloween. I was just glad to have come up with something.
I guess that's what happens in grad school, you're broke, stressed, and pressed for time so you make do with what you've got and just make sure to have fun while doing it.
We spent the evening at a big party in the city (San Fransisco, that is) and went to a few bars after but I have to say, the party was pretty amazing.
All in all, Halloween in SF = pretty awesome.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Costume for Halloween

So a group of my friends are being the ninja turtles for Halloween.
They have enlisted me to be their April O'neil.
I gladly accepted this as I had yet to find a costume, and decided it should be relatively easy to put together a costume that consisted of 3 major pieces.
Boy was I wrong!
We are celebrating this Saturday and I, as of now, do not have a single thing for my costume!
I have searched the local Goodwills, Salvation Army, Target and Halloween stores, not to mention the internet in every direction only to come up with...nothing.
I realize that the original April O'neil from the Mirage comics did not actually sport this outfit, nor have red hair but I am basing my costume off the animated series version of her since this is the most known to the general public.
There are only THREE things I need. Yellow jumpsuit, white boots, white belt.
I've come across a pink jumpsuit, and a blue one, but no yellow one. I ended up ordering a man's costume for the "man in the yellow hat" from Curious George. and plan to try and work my magic on it. Still no luck with the boots and belt. I have a feeling this costume may faily horribly.
It was my goal to do it well. The majority of the photos I found online of women portraying April have been major flops in my eyes and I was hoping to do better, but now I think I'm beginning to understand why I couldn't find many decent photos of women in April O'neil costumes... because now I realize what little there is out there to work with (unless you want to spend an absolute fortune!).
There was just a knock at my door. It was my yellow costume showing up. Time to get creative!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Potential to Grow

I went hiking today.
I went with a friend who is going through a rough time, and we've been saying for months that we'd go hiking. We decided now was as good of time as any.
The place we went in near Santa Cruz and totaled I believe around 6 1/2 miles, not positive though.
It was a beautiful day. You'd never been able to tell it was fall, except that some of the trees had begun to change.
I'm not a huge nature person, I don't like bugs, I'm alright with getting dirty sometimes, but I really enjoy trees and birds.
This hike was paved so it wasn't too difficult, but the incline at times was breath-taking, as in... it took all the breath out of me, and I had a hard time keeping a good pace.
It's nice to sometimes just get out of your own mind, your own world and remind yourself that life is bigger than your day to day things.
I thought this was absolutely beautiful. This tree had grown completely sideways. Instead of dying off, it adapted to the circumstances it found itself in, found a way to survive, and not only that but to thrive.
It may not look like the other trees, and may not serve the same functions...but it is thriving as best it can.
I really just fell in love with this.

We should never let anything stand in the way of our potential. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The trouble with books

The trouble with books is...
I don't ever have enough time to read them!
I am constantly reading in books. School has me with my nose in a number of them at any given time.
However the books I can't seem to find the time for, are those read for pleasure.
Over the summer I managed to start and finish reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, as per the suggestion of my sister-in-law, who as I said, is my go-to for book suggestions.

At first while reading this book, I was a little hesitant about whether or not I would like it. I've yet to be disappointed by any of her suggestions, although a few of them I have been unsure about in the beginning but always end up really enjoying them. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was no different. Initially, I was unimpressed but about half way through, I was finding it hard to put down and sped through the last portion completely engulfed in it. It was much different from what I had anticipated happening in the storyline. Very impressed. 

If it weren't for my sister-in-law, I'd only read true-crime books about serial killers and Harry Potter.

Another book I've purchased because of her suggestion is The Help by Kathryn Stockett.
I bought it over 2 months ago and it has remained unopened on my bookshelf. This book has received a lot of publicity and that only intensified with the movie out as well. I am not allowing myself to watch the movie, until I've read the book. I have heard good things from so many people about this book, and I now own it...
But unfortunately, what I do not possess is the free time in which to read it. I will be flying home in November for Thanksgiving and then 2 weeks later in December.  I actually look forward to my flights, just as an excuse to have uninterrupted time to read a book :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mad Men

Once again, I'm a few years late to the game. I recently discovered the show, Mad Men.
It first aired in 2007, so it's only natural I suppose that I am just now watching it, in 2011. Only 4 years late.
I am rather enthralled with the early 60's in general. The culture, the clothing, the beliefs, everything is just fascinating to me.
 This show is about the Men but a big part of it focuses on the women as well and on their role in society and in the home. I often feel the pull of being both the 'perfect wife/mother/woman' (I'm not yet a wife or mother, but trust me...the pressure is already there) and being my own person (which includes but is not limited to those things).
I'm not looking to be transported or anything, I'm far too independent and stubborn for that. I wouldn't do well in that time, I'm too outspoken for my own good sometimes.I am drawn to it though.
This show does an excellent job romanticizing an era. I'm hooked.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Dentist...dun dun dunnn....

I'm a graduate student, in my late 20's. I haven't had health insurance for years and years. My parents kicked me off at the age cut off, even though I was still a struggling student because I was too old and apparently supposed to already be out in the real world, makin' that dough.
So I've just been without. My grad program, however, requires that you have insurance. If you don't, they automatically sign you up for their program and they snatch the money each quarter before allowing you access to your loan money.
The responsible part of me knows this is a good thing. Insurance is a good thing, especially if there are medical emergencies. I just wish I somehow didn't have to pay for it. (Don't we all?)
What I really want is Dental insurance. I've been cursed with some weak teeth, despite my twice a day brushing habit. I haven't been to the dentist in years.I've recently been having tooth pain.

I've been down this road before, I know what's coming. Root canal and crown. I'm 80% sure that is what is going to happen. I also know this is ridiculously expensive.
My insurance through my grad school doesn't cover dental but they give you a %Discount option for select providers.
Needless to say, I've finally found a dentist right down the street from my apartment, it will give me the 20% discount because of my insurance and they've got a credit payment plan that I believe I've got "24 months" to pay off.
Being grown up sucks. Thousands of dollars should be spent on vacations or shopping sprees or a car.. but instead it's spent on teeth.
Dental work on layaway.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Running Update: 5 months=New Direction

So I've been running for 5 months now. I can officially, with minimal difficulty (although the difficulty definitely still exists) run for 20 min straight.
I am writing this to hopefully boost my confidence in myself.
When I started this running thing, I could, at most, run for 4 minutes straight. This was done with great difficulty.I have to remember that although 20 minutes is not long for a lot of people, it is a vast improvement for me. So hooray for me! :)
Today was the first run where I logged my time per mile. I used the iMapMyRun app on my phone for the first time this morning and found that I ran:
  • Time: 20 min
  • Distance: 1.5 miles
  • Average pace: 13:40min/mile
  • Average Speed: 4.38mph
So I am looking at this as my starting point from here.
I was sort of lost as to where to go now. Since I didn't get to run my 5K and my online training regimin was up, I haven't been as motivated to run, because I didn't have a goal, a reason, a real motivator.
Well I mean, my legs/waist/stomach/butt are pretty good motivators.. but I needed a goal to work toward.
So now that I have my ability to run for a steady amount of time under my belt, I can focus on increasing my mile time, speed, distance all gradually.
I've got my starting points, and now it is up to me to increase/decrease those numbers where appropriate.
I'm not even sure what a decent min/mile is... I guess I'll look at it like this: I'm currently at a 13.4 minute mile. So, I think I'd like to aim for eventually a 10 minute mile. That sounds pretty decent to me.
I realize there are people who run 6 or 7 minute miles, but they're not me. I've struggled a LOT with this running thing, and I think that a goal of a 10 minute mile is really good for me and I would be damn proud of myself for reaching it.

On a slightly unrelated note: On one of my runs last week I managed to some how get stung by a bee, while running! That little bastard got me right on the head, in the midst of all my sweaty hair and I didn't get the stinger out until well after I'd been home.
Now I've been stung before, about 8 or 9 times when I was a kid. But this was the first one in almost 20 years. I thought that whole "bee sting" era of my life was over. Apparently, you're never too old for bee stings.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Christmas. The countdown has begun.

I just posted about Halloween didn't I? Well then I don't feel bad posting about my most favorite holiday ever!
In case anyone was wondering, 78 days until Christmas! :)
Countdown to Christmas Clock!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Halloween Costumes

It's that time of year again... the time to figure out and plan a Halloween costume.

I am so glad I'm at the age where dressing up is "cool" again. By that I mean, there was a period of time somewhere I think late middle school-early high school where it was no longer cool  to dress up, and theme parties were lame. I actually always thought it was awesome and went trick-or-treating until I was far too old to be doing so because I loved dressing up so much. But I needed to fit in with my friends, because otherwise I would die of embarrassment, or so my teenage brain lead me to believe, so I refrained...and even if I did, I toned it down. One year I even just wore my sister's cheer leading uniform, for the school I was currently attending. Now that is lame.
Then I hit college and thank goodness, Theme parties were back! Some of my best memories from college were from theme parties or Halloween parties. I'm all about them, and very much over the whole 'too cool for fun' thing. 
The trouble I have is the tug-of-war between looking adorable/pretty or being hilarious. I usually try and find a common ground. I'm a female in my late 20's, I figure I've only got so many years left that it is appropriate to be revealing, even at Halloween but then again, I'm not about to show up in a striped bra and proclaim "I'm a referee!"
I'd like my costume to be creative. I'd like it to be fun, perhaps a little funny too but somehow tie in looking beautiful or dare I say, sexy. I've got some ideas in the works. The most promising one is a Christmas theme, so of course I'm all about that. Any excuse to involve Christmas and I'm in.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Vintage Obsession

I think I have a problem.
I've recently discovered the vintage section on Etsy. I always knew this site existed, but thought it was just crafts, jewelery, etc so I thought it was a neat idea but never anything I checked religiously or anything.
I'm not even sure how it happened, actually. One day I just found myself clicking page after page after page of adorable vintage clothing and finding some wonderful things that I fell in love with. There are a lot of items that are just way out of my price range, but when you're searching you can just search "vintage dresses" with a max price of say, $15 and you'll still have pages full of cute things to look at.
I've made a few purchases off the site and so far I've been very pleased with my choices. My first pieces were the double strand pearl necklace in the photo on the left and the black cinch belt with silver buckle in the photo down below. I absolutely love both. They are awesome pieces to add to my wardrobe. The next ones I bought were the black dress and the flower print blouse. I am very pleased with the condition both these items are in and also how they fit.
It's always a gamble ordering clothes off the internet, especially when it is a used item and there is rarely (depending on the shop you by from) returns so it's either it fits, or you're out the money with an item you can't wear.
That is why it is wonderful when the shop owners post very specific details about the items, measurements, any defects in the article, how it fits them (and what size they are or the model in the photo is so you're able to gauge it compared to you).
 This way there hopefully won't be any surprises and you'll be pleased with your purchases. I didn't read the measurements correctly for the black dress ,and actually it is smaller than a size I would normally wear. I can still get it on, but it is definitely very snug. I love it though, so I will smile through the discomfort and wear it anyway ;).

It doesn't sound like a problem I suppose, I found a site to get cheap adorable vintage clothing that I like that fits.
The problem, is that I find myself checking it all the time now! And every time I do, I find unique, wonderful cheap items that would compliment my wardrobe perfectly. (still doesn't sound like a problem if you ask me!) The problem is that my wallet is not full of endless amounts of money. So I can't buy everything I want, and I've bought more than I ever should have.
I've actually got 2 more items on the way. Another blouse and a Lou Taylor bag... but for $7 a piece, how could I say no?
I know, I know. I've got to stop. I've got a problem.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I don't Know How She Does it.

I've got a soft spot for Sarah Jessica Parker. I have always adored her, and my late-onset-obsession with Sex and the City (I'd never seen an episode until my mom bought me the series for my birthday in '07, when it had been off the air for about 3 years by then) only further solidified my love for her.
So when I saw the preview for her new movie, I was all for it.
Not to mention I thought it was a wonderful concept. A woman with a career, children, a husband... juggling it all in an quirky, light-hearted way.
That was until my best friend Starry informed me that the movie is actually based on a book, that she had read for a class in college.
She said I needed to read the book. Then she went one step further, because I mentioned needing to pick up an audio book for my 12 hour drive down to CA that weekend and low and behold, she actually had an audio book of it and gave it to me for my trek down south.
The actual book, by Allison Pearson, was just over 6 hours long in audio book form. It was an excellent accompaniment to a 12 hour car ride alone.
Although, as I mentioned before, 12 hours is a long time to be inside your own head.
The life of Kate Reddy starts off with her trying to juggle being a good mother and having a successful career, keeping up good appearances, having enough time to do it all and going to great lengths to get it all done and keep everything in line.
As I'm listening to this story, of  course I can relate. Now, I don't have children, or a husband (or an actual career for that matter!) So there are certainly elements of the story that don't exactly fit for me, but there are overarching themes; trying to juggle everything and feeling like you're failing at everything simultaneously.
For me, I'm juggling: School work, class load, practicum duties, seeing clients, supervision, conducting research, meetings, studying, reading, a long distance relationship, a close-knit family I'm far from and attempting to stay in touch and keep up to date with them, trying to have somewhat of a social life, work oh and sleep too. I like to get some time for that too.
I'm also a female, although my guy friends would beg to differ and still give me a hard time if I ever (which I seldom ever do with them) show up in a skirt. I was blessed with the nicknames Finkle and Einhorn the first time I tried that. That is not to say that males do not feel pressure. Not what I am saying at all.
I am talking about that inner voice, I'm not sure what it is exactly, that females have. That constant battle that is occurring inside a woman about being a good mother versus being good at her job. Society seems to be a firm believer we can't be both. I'm not even a parent yet and I already feel the tug-of-war inside me.
It's already begun because I am 27 and childless. When I was younger and heard about a woman's "biological clock" I just pictures a big pocket watch like the one the white rabbit carried around in Alice in Wonderland floating around inside a woman's body.
I never understood that there is literally a pressure so heavy you can almost hear it ticking inside. When my mother was my age she had already given birth to one child with a 2nd on the way and two step sons, my sister already had given birth to two with a step son and my best friend who is my exact same age already has a 2nd grader and 4 year old, not to mention my many, many cousins who have children. There are still a good number of us in the family that don't, and I know I can't filter that information out completely.

To get back on track here, I am a 27 year old graduate student, pursuing her Ph.D. Which means that I will graduate (if I'm lucky!) when I'm 31. I don't think I need to do the math on how many good-baby-producing years that leaves me with post graduation. So my choices are: wait to have children and be an "older mother" which, having older parents is something I am very aware of. My peers have parents who are in their 40's.. I have siblings in their 40's. Or, have children while in grad school and attempt to juggle practicum/classes/research/work/internship/exams/dissertation all with a baby on my hip.
People say "but you chose that path" and They're right, I did. I chose education and I chose the long road, and I took so long to figure that out, that I'm doing it later than a lot of people. I take full responsibility for that and stand behind that choice.
The part I'm having a hard time with is: No matter which decision or path I choose, I feel like I'm losing. I can put school/career on hold or on the back burner or say screw it all together and become a mother and likely resent my children and myself for losing out on one of my biggest passions, OR I can choose to put the family life on hold, pursue my career become successful and either not have kids, or have them much later where I will then resent my job and myself for giving my children less time with their mother (daily time as well as longevity since I'll be a much older mother).

All these thoughts have been in my mind for many years, I can usually brush them aside, quiet them with distractions, or focus on other things. When I'm stuck in a car, by myself, listening to the life of Kate Reddy, and listening to her failing at handling everything and *Spoil Alert* in the end GIVING UP HER JOB..for her children and her husband... it only makes me feel that much more overwhelmed and hopeless that a woman can, in fact, do it all.
Every story (fiction or otherwise) seems to point in the direction of women thinking they can do it all, but coming to the conclusion that being a mother triumphs all other efforts and if you want to be a good one, you've got to give in..and know your role.

Although, I can't lie...I'll probably still see the movie.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Girl is a new fave!

Update: So my sickness won, and I wasn't able to run my race. SO BUMMED!!!!!!!!!
I'm still so disappointed, and still getting over my sickness, therefore I haven't run for a week now.
I'm feeling guilty about it. That's the evil thing about running, it HAUNTS you, until you do it again, if nothing else just to rid yourself of the guilt. Hopefully I'll try that again, maybe Friday morning, we'll see how that goes.

So last night aired a new show, New Girl on Fox. I was beyond pumped about this because my absolute favorite actress is the star: Zooey Deschanel!
They played most of the funny parts in the previews, so there was no real shocker/surprise/hilarity in the actual show that was not spoiled by all the previews. Now, I do not blame my girl Zooey for that. She was just as adorable and amusing as always and in that aspect, I loved every stinkin' minute of the show. I am hoping once the hype dies down they're stop showing (basically the entire show) in the previews so I can enjoy the whole show, in its entirety and all its humor.
I am so excited to have an opportunity to watch my fave lady every week!! :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sickness>5K dreams?

It is the eve of my first ever 5K...
and I'm sick!
I came down with a head cold a few days ago which has now morphed into a head cold-stomach flu combo.
I am going to be so absolutely beyond disappointed if I'm not able to run tomorrow. I went and picked up my runner's packet last night with my shirt/number/free goodies despite feeling absolutely horrible.
I vowed to spend all day today resting/hydrating/medicating myself so that I'm up for the race tomorrow, but my symptoms only seem to be worsening.
I have been training for this race since MAY, only to have it potentially ruined by my body's inability to fight off illness. I am praying for a miracle. Hoping I'll some how wake up tomorrow morning feeling 100x better and be able to run it.
Nevermind the fact that I haven't actually been able to run 3 miles on my own yet.
I'll need a miracle in that regard as well.
I also have to work a full shift at my job after, so if by some strange luck I do some how succeed and am able to pull off running the 5K, I am not allowed to rest or celebrate that fact, I am to go straight to work.
Hmm... did I step in a pile of bad karma or what?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Update on the craziness

Vacation: I drove down from WA to CA on Sunday, by myself. 12 hour drive all alone. I am surprised at how well it actually went. I borrowed an audio book from my best friend and that ate up about 6 or 7 hours of the drive. Perhaps when I'm feeling up to it, I'll write more about the book, because  definitely have a lot of feelings about it. My time at home with family/boyfriend/friends was busy, too short and left me feeling guilty for having to leave again, but of course I had an amazing time up there with all of them and miss them all terribly already.  

Running: I have my FIRST 5K this Sunday!! I feel completely unprepared. I have yet to actually run 3 miles but today I was able to run (and by run, again, I mean slow, pathetic jog) for 28 minutes straight!
I keep feeling like I haven't been progressing, but if I remember correctly, when I first started out I was about to run for about 4 minutes tops before needing a break by walking. I'd say I've made some progress.
I'm nervous about Sunday, especially since I'm doing it by myself, and there won't even be anyone there to cheer me on.

School: Today was my first day back, two classes back to back starting at 9am. Not too early but when you've been out of the school mode a few months, it feels like torture to have to sit for 4 hours straight and listen to someone talk, and not only listen...but to have to actually comprehend  what the professor is saying is the really difficult part. More class tomorrow. Then research group Thursday. Interested to see how that goes.

Practicum: I am starting my 2nd quarter (out of 3) at our school's clinic. I feel an intense amount of relief having made the decision to start in the summer and not in the fall. I think it would have been way too overwhelming to juggle new classes/new practicum/new rules/new schedules. I still have a lot to learn there, and a number of things I have yet to get experience with, but I feel like I'm progressing at an alright pace.

Work: Today was my first day back at work. I got crappy shifts, but I have limited availability with school so I guess I just have to live with that. I'm curious to see how I handle having a job now that I'm back in classes. Hopefully I don't burn out on all of it.

And I suppose that is all I have energy for as of now. After an 11 hour day, I'm exhausted and need to fix dinner.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I survived the 101 from Nor Cal to WA....
I've been home about 5 days now.
 Just my family alone could use up all my waking hours here, then add in my boyfriend and my friends and it's a wonder I get any sleep at all.
Coming home is always so strange. It feels so familiar, and yet foreign at the same time. 
I'm not sure why that is, if it's more to do with how home is evolving, how I am evolving or perhaps a combination of both. I miss being here, and I miss everyone here, and I definitely don't want to stay away, but it seems like home has become less welcoming. Not any of the people, of course, my friends and family always welcome me with open arms, but it feels as though home, the cities themselves are less welcoming of me upon each return.
Maybe it's not actually the cities' resentment I'm feeling, but my own.
I'm usually not home long enough for it to affect me too much, but since this is a longer trip, it's allowing me to feel more since I am usually able to keep it at bay.

I love home, I'm just starting to wonder if home doesn't love me anymore? It could also have much to do with the pain I leave here, and ignore and fool myself into thinking has disappeared, only to have it reappear the second I cross state lines.
I learned the hard way when I moved to Hawaii, that the negative doesn't go away just because you mask it with sunshine and 3,000 miles of ocean. It waits for you to return.
California certainly doesn't feel like home, but now, neither does home.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"August Adventure"

I can't seem to keep up lately.
I've got ONE WEEK left and I will have completed my 1st of 3 quarters at the clinic.
My job at the coffee shop has me working a lot more lately, and mornings too so that means the alarm clock goes off at 4:30am.
I am exhausted.
I cannot wait for next week though. After I see my clients one last time (before a 2 and a half week break) and I work 3 morning shifts in a row, my boyfriend is flying down from Portland on Wednesday and we are going to begin what I've declared to be our "August Adventure".
 This consists of a trip to The Mystery Spot!
I've seen bumper stickers for this everywhere and I finally decided to look it up online. After looking it up, I decided that it is definitely a place my boyfriend and I have to visit. I will have to post pictures after our trip because I know it'll be a blast.
After that, we're jumpin in my car (my poor, old Jetta) and hittin the open road!
The Redwoods! The Avenue of the Giants to be more specific. We're camping there Thursday evening. Neither of us have been there (to our recollection) and I can't even remember the last time I went camping, so it should definitely be entertaining.
Then on Friday, we'll continue north and eventually reach our destination of Portland, OR! Where I will get to have approximately 2 weeks off of school and clinic responsibilities. This will constitute as my "summer break" but I plan to make the most of it and enjoy what little time off I have.

Because then, when I return Fall quarter starts. A full course load, working AND the clinic will prove to possibly be the breaking of my sanity. I've asked for fewer days at work, and hopefully I  can manage the schedule I've made for myself.

But until then...I've got a whole lot to look forward to and be excited about, so I'll go ahead and just worry about getting through this next week, and leave the rest for September.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Where is the PAUSE button?

I feel like with the life I've chosen, that being graduate school, having a job, and attempting to have a social life I'm in this constant state of rushing and going full speed and using full capacity of my brain at all times.
So when I actually get a moment, or an afternoon where I have already worked in the morning, gone into the clinic and done a couple hours of paper work all the while dreaming of the moment I can get home and relax...only to get there, and be too restless to sit still but far too exhausted to do anything else.

I keep telling myself to "enjoy this time" of zoning out to a movie or catching up on episodes of my favorite shows online because if I can barely find the time to do it now, once school starts back up again and I add a full course load to my clinic practicum and working it is goodbye personal time completely.
But I'm just so used to going-going-going that when I get a chance to pause, I start running in circles instead of just slowing down, or halting motion momentarily.
Yesterday I was so close to a break down, felt like everything was piling up so high I'd crumble, and then almost like magically it all just either disappeared or faded to a level that felt manageable.
I'm not complaining, i rather enjoy the slightly lighter load, I just wish the universe didn't have to dump a million tons in my lap only to take off half a million in order for the extra work to feel like a relief.
The good news is, I have a fairly stress-free weekend ahead of me that I can hopefully slow down long enough to actually enjoy. One of my closest friends is in town from Hawaii and she is staying with me for about a week starting Sunday. I'm really hoping that my clinic/work load is light enough that I can spend some quality time with her. It's been a year since I've seen her and even longer since I've seen her sans her boyfriend. I am really looking forward to some personal, quality time with my Boo.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Searching for balance

Feeling incredibly pessimistic at the moment.
I have been running for almost 2 and 1/2 months now, and I still hate it. I'm losing patience and hope that it will ever be something I'm good at, but as punishment for that, I want to continue it.
I've now been seeing clients for 3 weeks now. I've had some major ups and downs with that and I'm at a point now where I am supposed to be developing a treatment plan for what work we're going to be doing and I am feeling completely lost and overwhelmed.
After a year of grad school I realize now that the majority of what we're doing, is just being thrown into the ocean, and told to figure out how to stay afloat. I know I'm not an idiot, I've got common sense about a lot of things and I can do alright for myself in a lot of situations, but constantly floundering in a sea of unknown is sometimes just too much for me to handle.
I can't remember the last time I felt really intelligent. I'm in a constant state of self-doubt and that really does a number on a person's self esteem.
I feel like most people can't relate, so they just avoid the topic, and those who can relate, just seem to have such a better handle of everything that I'm ashamed about how difficult it is for me.
I'm finding it really hard to muster up the motivation for anything right now.
I am making a trip home next week, for a couple of days. While that is a source of pleasure, it is also another added stressor since I am having to juggle work, practicum, and life and squeeze it all into the beginning of the week in order to be able to take the time off to go up there.
I feel like I'm trying to please so many people and do so many things, that I'm not able to actually do anything well. Instead of succeeding in a few areas, I feel like I'm failing in a number of them.
I'm in search of the balance. Grad school makes that balance impossible.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Freedom Day and Running too

Yesterday was the 4th of July.

My first one in California. It went alright. A BBQ at my friend's place, a little pool time, then to see some fireworks at night at Shoreline Park. It was nothing like the ones at Forth Vancouver back home, but it was free, and we were real close so it made for a good show. It is crazy that I spent the holiday with a group of people that a year ago I didn't even know existed. It is interesting how life works. I guess that is to be expected when you move somewhere that you don't know anyone. It is just strange that none of us knew each other a year ago, and now we're all spending our holidays, birthdays, and celebrating special events with these people. It is kind of a surrogate family unit, a deranged family unit, but a unit nonetheless.

After much avoidance and set backs I've started my second training program for running. I was reluctant to start it because it seemed so daunting so I just kept repeating weeks from the previous program. So I've kept up my running, for 2 months now.  And yesterday I began my 8 week 5k training schedule.
It is set up similar to the previous program I did with the run/walk intervals.
The first few weeks of it are as follows:
Week 1:
Day 1: 5/1 x 5
Day 2: 5/1 x 5
Day 3: 6/1 x 5
Day 4: 40-45 min cross-training
Week 2:
Day 1: 7/1 x 4
Day 2: 7/1 x 4
Day 3: 8/1 x 4
Day 4: 40-45 min cross-training
Week 3:
Day 1: 9/1 x 3
Day 2: 10/1 x 3
Day 3: 11/1 x 3
Day 4: 45 min cross-training

Today I have just completed day 2 of week 1. Yesterday's run felt alright but today, just killed me. I had side aches and breathing problems. It was rough. It's getting much warmer here in California, so I need to adjust the times of my runs and get it accomplished earlier so as to avoid the heat. It makes running so much more difficult for me (and probably for a lot of people).
2 months in...and I still hate running. I do like what it is doing for my body though. I can see more definition in my legs, and I'm getting my butt back which is awesome. I love that feature about me and with all the weight I lost it took away my best asset (yes, pun completely intended).
But I still hate how I feel before, during and after running. When is it supposed to get enjoyable?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Look Ma, no hands!

I had my first session with a client.
While I, of course, cannot go into detail about anything due to confidentiality and frankly, human decency to this person's privacy, I can say that I thought it went pretty well.
I was so incredibly nervous beforehand. So worried I'd blank, say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, offend my client, look unprofessional, unprepared etc.
About 15 minutes into the session I had this realization of "Whoa, you're really doing this. This is actually happening, this person has real problems and you're sitting here across from them, doing what you've been preparing all this time for"
It was a pretty surreal moment for me. One I hope I never forget the feeling of. If I make it out of grad school, and eventually onto my own practice and am doing this multiple times a day, 5 days a week I know it will be so easy to forget this feeling. This empowering and yet completely humbling and  proud feeling. I never thought I'd ever be where I am today, especially with how close I was to dropping out after that first quarter. And now, here I am, one year in grad school completed and seeing clients as a student therapist.
I know not all days will feel like this, I will have difficult sessions and run into issues I'm not prepared for and I'll mess up and handle things incorrectly, but as for right now... I'm kind of a little proud of myself for making it this far. I have oh-so-long to go, but I've survived up until now.
I've officially seen my first client as a student therapist :) Whoa.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Real life starts today, apparently.

Got back from Vegas on Saturday, had to work yesterday and I'm finally feeling normal today.
Took almost 2 days to recover from a trip that lasted less than 48 hours.
I need to clean my room, unpack and adjust back into life as I know it.
Today, marks the beginning of something major.
I have my first supervision sessions at the clinic today where I get a look at my client files for the first time and discuss them.
I still can't believe I'm going to have clients, that people are going to depend on me, and only me.
I mean I am only a student therapist, so it's not like I am expected to know everything, but it will still be just me and the client in the room. That is a lot of pressure riding on my shoulders.

I've started reading a new book:
So far I haven't been able to really get into it. Although, I can't really knock it since my first attempts at reading it were on a trip to Vegas, so to say my mind was else where would be an understatement. I am looking forward to having some down time this summer (sans classes and just focusing on work and my practicum) to actually read for pleasure.
I ask my sister-in-law for book suggestions. I started doing this last summer and have yet to be disappointed by a book she's suggested. They're never books I'd choose on my own, even this newest one, but I just take her advice and I am usually fairly pleased with the books in the end. This was her first suggestion and she's already given me another despite the fact that I'm only about 30 pages into this one. The good news is: I have a pool at my apartment (well, 3 actually) so I plan to spend a good amount of time near it, with books.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


This morning: took my clinical competency exam (the one that determines if I get to start seeing clients next week)
Definitely wasn't sure how well I did. I know I didn't study as much as I probably should have, but my brain is just done.
At 4pm: Got the email notification that I PASSED!!!!!
Such a relief.
So to celebrate? A mental vacation:

Yes. This is happening, and without any shame.
Only a few more days until VEGAS!!! I have another comp exam on Thursday, but nothing is riding on that one, and I can retake it a few times before it actually matters. No sweat... tonight I relish in the glory, and maybe pack a little for Vegas too :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

There is a light at the end

I am fairly certain I passed that final today.
Pretty damn proud of myself, although we won't know our grades for sure until next week.
Also, I finished BOTH papers that are due by Friday so all I have left (this week) is 1 final exam!
I am starting to feel like I've actually accomplished something.
After this last final on Thursday, I will have completed my 1st year of graduate school.
Hot Damn... look at me.
So close, I can almost taste it! Well, I don't actually want to taste it, that would be gross. I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. 9 more days until VEGAS!!!!!
I still have to get through Comps... but I'm that much closer.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Hectic week

Job schedule this week: Work Tue-Wed-Thurs 5:15am-11:30
Finals schedule this week: Final Tue 1pm, Final Thur 1pm and a 12 page paper and a 4 page paper due Thursday.
Now all I need is to find some time to sleep and study somewhere in there.

Tomorrow is a HUGE day.
That final exam determines whether or not I pass stats or fail it and have to take it again next year.
It also determines whether or not I am able to take the comp exam next week or wait an entire year for me to pass stats.

No pressure though. HAH!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Woody Allen

I wonder if it is just getting older in general, or something specific due to my ever growing cynicism and doubts that life actually ever has happy endings (although, compared to my teenage angst filled years I'm much more optimistic in recent years, as hard as that is for most to believe)... but I've really grown to appreciate Woody Allen's work.
I remember seeing the movie Match Point years ago and I remember hating it.
Well, hate is probably too drastic of a word, but I definitely recall a strong dislike for the movie.
I have yet to watch it again, but it got me thinking recently.
It started with Annie Hall:

 I just loved the idea that not everything ends up the way you think it should. It probably helped that I watched this post-the worst break up of my life.
Regardless of how many times they came back together , or thought it should work, it didn't. No one wants to think that and most of Hollywood doesn't let you think that...
but in all actuality, it's far more common than those fairy tale endings most movies promise you.

The dialogue in his movies is intense, thought provoking, raw, and real.

So tonight, I'm watching Manhattan:
I absolutely love this scene. Profoundly beautiful, in the simplest way.

Maybe I'll have to re-watch Match Point. See how the late 20's version of me feels about it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Birthday surprises in the mail

3 finals in 1 day should be illegal.
I mean, now that they're done and I'm on my second glass of wine...I'm glad I have a few less exams to worry about this weekend and can focus my efforts of Stats, but was rough.
There were a few upsides to today. I got TWO packages in the mail today for my birthday from two of my favorite people.

My friends are absolutely wonderful. Of course it would have been nice to get these on my actual birthday, but with how stressed I have been about today, it was actually a pretty perfect day for them to arrive.
I got one before I went and took the finals, and I got the other one the second I walked in the door when I got home from taking all my finals.

Of course I don't need any of these things, but they're all lovely because they mean something.  They're not just random gifts someone picks out when in a rush to get something or that you buy for people you don't know really well or feel obligated to buy something for.
That is really what is most important. It is never, ever about the cost.
It is about the thought.
Not to mention, I absolutely LOVE getting things in the mail. After moving away from home, this love intensified immensely.
When you feel lonely, and far away.. it feels good to know someone is thinking of you.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Running Update: Still hating it.

I completed my "3 weeks to 30-minute running habit" last week.
Took a bit longer than expected because of some lung issues I was having, but nevertheless I completed it!
The following day I decided to test my Post Office route (which there and back from my apartment is 1 mile) This was where I tested my original .4 of a mile when I started so it seemed fitting.
The results: I was able to run a mile!!!
Now, of course, by run I mean my pathetic attempt at it that looks much more like a jog/old lady shuffle.
But regardless, I did it. A mile!
For the majority of people this sounds like chump change, no big deal, but to me, that is absolutely amazing. I have never in my life ran a mile (How pathetic is that?)
But now, I can say that I have.
Originally, my plan was to continue on to the next phase of 5k Training but I've decided that, since I have the time, and my body seems to need more work, that I will repeat the last 2 weeks of the 3 week workout to ensure I'm ready for the 5K Training Schedule since that schedule seems pretty daunting and my body is still adjusting to this whole running thing.
I'm having some major issues with my lungs. I knew this would happen, it is a big part of the reason I've avoided running my entire life. I am making sure to be smart and not overexert myself and cause major damage or problems but it is rather frustrating.
With all my lung issues you'd think I were an avid smoker or something along those lines.
So 2 more weeks of this schedule and then I will being going to VEGAS the following week!! So I will give myself a little break in between, the the real torture will begin.

Also: Update on my shoes: the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11's
I have one word for them: AMAZING!! I had so much knee pain when I first started, I was sure it was something serious and could even prevent me from running.
But once fitted in the proper shoes, I felt the change immediately. The first few days running with them my knee was still bothering me, but in a much different way. I could tell that my body was adjusting to the shoes and the change in impact and support.
By day 3 or 4 of running that pain was completely gone and I haven't felt it even slightly since.
Granted, I have absolutely nothing to compare these to, since this is my first pair of running shoes but I must say, now that I know what actual support and comfort in a running shoe feels like, I can never, ever go back to hurting my body the way I was. Such a good investment!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Good News sure is great.

Yesterday (the dreaded birthday) was just that, dreadful. I'd rather not even discuss it.

Today, however, has been a million times better.

I've got a few things I consider very good news:
  • Found out that I may actually have a shot at passing Stats! I am meeting with my professor tomorrow to go over some things and figure out the numbers in terms of what I need to get to pass.
  • I interviewed with a local coffee shop in town today and I GOT THE JOB!!! I start training on Friday. I am so stoked. This place seems really similar to my old work in WA, Greyhawk Coffee that I was absolutely in love with and wish I could still be working there (if it weren't for this whole living 700 miles away thing.
So... if I can actually pull off passing Stats and don't have to retake it and can take the comps as planned I will be one happy girl.
Also, assuming this place and I click alright and I do an ok job and they decide to keep me on.. I will have a part time job and be able to make a little money and have tips! Oh how I miss having a job with tips! I'm nervous to start working somewhere new and my coffee skills are a bit rusty but I am so excited to be able to work coffee again.
Living off of student loans is just not cutting it so I am really hoping this extra little income will help to alleviate some of that financial stress. 
And hopefully, having less time to waste, will allow that motivation to complete assignments and study in a timely manner.
Here is to hoping!
I love the feeling of new possibilities!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Singin in the Rain

Tonight I discovered what apparently many, many people already knew about:
The Stanford Theatre 

 The Stanford Theatre is located in Palo Alto, CA. It first opened in 1925. I've lived here in the bay area just outside of Palo Alto and this is the first I've ever heard of it.
I think this is such a good concept. They play all sorts of older movies, have different movies playing different weeks and I've heard they do a showing of It's a Wonderful Life around Christmas time, so I will definitely have to remember that come December.
The lobby as well as an entire room is devoted to old movie posters and news paper articles about the movies/actors. It really is such an amazing atmosphere.

There is a man playing an organ on the stage before and after the movie. The theater is beautiful, they even have the red velvet chairs and curtain. I loved the feel of the place.
Movies: $7 for adults, I treated myself to a large popcorn and large soda for a grand total of $4.50!! And the staff there was exceptionally friendly.
Tonight's showing:
Singin in the Rain

 Such a wonderful movie. Embarrassingly enough to admit, I'd never even seen it, not in its entirety anyway. That Gene Kelly, he sure was something. 
but of course, I found myself drawn to the silly side kick. Donald O'Connor sure was an adorable little thing.

I will most definitely be keeping an eye out for more movies playing at the Stanford Theatre.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sometimes, being a woman sucks.

It just keeps piling up.
When life just weighs on you, and it feels like you'll be smothered alive... what else is there to do but spend some time with these ladies?
What I really need, is my best friend, AKA my wife.
I am definitely in a shitty spot where I feel like it just might be impossible to climb out of.
I know I will, I always seem to find a way to, but even knowing that doesn't make this current feeling go away.
I am feeling hopeless, helpless, worthless and pathetic. It probably doesn't help that I am a woman and hormones are currently ganging up on me.
So not only am I feeling completely unmotivated and worthless... but now my boyfriend is mad at me because I can't control my emotions and am a raging bitch :/
This is why I need my best friend.
She is 700 miles away, so I guess I'll have to settle for my complete series of Sex and the City and homemade casserole.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chololate chip cupcakes

They will be topped with cream cheese frosting and mini chocolate chips in the morning.
We have a review session for our Research Comp. exam tomorrow for 4 hours. I decided sweets were necessary.
Plus, I am in need of some major stress relief, so it was more for me than anything.
Although, the stress is still there it is just now accompanied by 20+ cupcakes.
I went with a recipe I found on line that was really simple, and cut corners.
Now I wish I would have picked a different one. They taste alright, but I think I would feel more accomplished had I gone the old school, straight from scratch route.
Don't think I'll be saving this recipe in the archives of "Amazingly delicious and will definitely make again".

My head is spinning.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

O Motivation, where art thou?

I have to remember: I am capable of great things.

It is so easy to get discouraged in grad school. Seems like things always pile up at the same time.

That whole thing with Stats has me severely discouraged, but I have to just remember to keep chugging along.

Finals start next week and this is no time to get burnt out and stop trying.

Regardless of how I'm feeling, I cannot give up now.

Definitely in need of some major motivation right now.

Does not help with that ugly birthday lurking just days away and feeling so lonely down here after being home.

Where oh where can I find motivation?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Back to real life

First day back from my trip home.
Exhausted, unmotivated, and just plain spent.
To top it off, got the results of last week's midterm: I failed my 2nd Stats midterm.
Which means, unless I manage to pull a 95% on the final (judging by my 2 failing scores on the prior exams, I just don't see that happening) I'll have to retake the course, which is only offered once a year in the spring.
It's going to take every ounce of me not to lose complete motivation or quit trying altogether.
95% on the final.. that is such  a shot in the dark.

On a slightly lighter note, I got a 91% on my Psychopharm midterm from last week. I'm actually doing fairly well in every class, but Stats.
Also, I just found out that my best friend of all time, or as I caller her, my wife booked a flight for the same time to Vegas and is going to stay with me! I am so unbelievably stoked.

Today has been filled with a lot of ups and downs. I had been planning on staying in the same apartments for next year to save myself to hassle and cost of moving to a new place, but I just got word today that our rent will be going up.
As if my current rent wasn't high enough already.

Excited for today to be over with and hope for higher spirits tomorrow.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Making the trip today!! I can't wait! I just have to get through this pesky midterm and on that plane!
I should be reviewing my notes right now but the coffee hasn't kicked in just yet, therefore it would do me no good. I'm still not all packed. I wonder if I'll ever be one of those people that is actually ready for life events/trips?
This weekend is going to be busy. I've got a wedding, a concert, a nephew's birthday, a trip to visit my cousin and her new baby,  all while trying to manage seeing all my family and special people in my life and cramming it all into a matter of about 4 days. It never works, someone is always disappointed. I'll try my best though.
I'm hoping the fact that I rented a car this time will alleviate some stress and make for more time spent with others instead of waiting for rides or a car to be free for use. We shall see.
There is also a matter of school work to be done in the midst of all this. I'm not bringing my laptop, Gasp! So I am trying to work on that whole time management thing too while actually giving myself a mini break from all this school craziness and only doing what absolutely needs to be done.
Hopefully I don't regret that.