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.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How to Avoid Studying 101

I'm in the midst of midterms, so naturally, I find countless ways to avoid studying...well to be fair I use these ways as "study breaks" in hopes of regaining some of my sanity.
I wonder how I ever would have survived this far in college/grad school without the internet.
Because of this wonderful invention, not only does it make accessing school related materials much easier but it makes these tools for distraction only a few clicks away.
There are the obvious culprits of time killers such as checking your email, Facebook, etc.
But even those grow tiring fairly quickly.

One of my favorites is Stumble Upon where you check the boxes of things you're interested in, click Stumble  and Presto! magic happens! Ok, so it's not actually magic, but sometimes it seems that way. I've come across some really amazing sites that I now follow regularly because of this lovely invention. Every time you click Stumble it takes you to a new, entertaining page to explore! You can definitely waste a lot of time here.

Another one site I frequent every Sunday (sometimes Saturday night since I'm a west coaster) is Post Secret I've been following Post Secret for many years now. I am absolutely in love with the concept of it all. It is an aprt project of sorts, where people send in post cards with their secrets on them. They are anything from secret crushes, affairs, quirks, rituals... you name it. The things people keep hidden sometimes surprise you but often you find yourself thinking "wow, I thought I was the only one.." I always say I'm going to send one in, and I've even started making them before, but it's never something I'm ready to share. One day I will though... I'd love to get all the books as well. That Frank, he's one smart cookie.

This one I came across just recently, but have found it quite entertaining. Retrogasm, beware, there is nudity in this. I have always had a fascination with photos from the past. I don't think I'm alone in that, but this site takes it to a different level. It's not just photos of old Pepsi and cigarettes for 5 cents signs. There are nude photos, Hollywood starlets, silly old cartoons, pretty much a wide array of all things from the past on a slightly inappropriate level, therefore it's right up my alley.

And with all that said, I've got more studying for that pesky psychopharm midterm tomorrow :/

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Here Lies Brandi's Mind. R.I.P.

Statistics midterm today= BRUTAL. One of my answers was as follows:

Needless to say, I don't think I'll be getting too many points for that one, although I did throw in some random numbers and multiply them, just for good measure.
My normal stress relievers are baking (of course) and lately, my running regimign that I've been doing.
I ran into 2 problems with those today:
1. My lungs are really, really hurtin. It feels like I've got rubber bands twisted tightly around my lungs and I just cant seem to break loose of them. Not even just while I'm running, literally, all throughout the day and even as I just sit here idly at my desk, I'm having troubles breathing. I decided that as much of a masochist as I've proven to be lately, that I needed to take the day off from running and let my lungs rest. This can't be good for them.
2. I tried out a new recipe tonight. Butterscotch oatmeal cookies (half the batch is butterscotch/chocolate chip)
I've never tried for oatmeal cookies  before. I usually just stick to my tried and true variations of regular cookie dough but thought I'd venture out. I'm not pleased with the results. I don't know if it's just the vanity in me seeping out, but I just feel like they don't look right, and therefore, they don't taste right.

I feel like a failure today. I didn't run, I bombed my midterm, AND I am disappointed in my cookies.
Baking is supposed to be the one thing, above all else, that I'm good at. I'm probably overreacting. I'm sure they taste just fine, but I wasn't going for fine, I was going for amazingly delicious.

Now I just need to prepare for my psychopharm midterm on Thursday, oh and pack, I should probably pack soon, since I'm leaving in less than 48 hours. I should also work on finding a ride to the airport as well.
I'm what you'd call a "slacker packer" ;)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Survive midterms: Get a much needed trip home!

Midterms. Midterms. Midterms. Aaaahhhhhh!!!
That is about all that is going on in my brain right now. It is the second round of midterms, which really, is deceiving since the 1st midterms occur during the 3rd week of school (clearly not the mid point in a 11 week term) and then again in the 7th week (Also, not the mid point). I suppose it breaks it up for us since the other classes have midterms during the 4th and 5th week of the term, but really, why not just call it what it is? Another exam.
2 midterms this week. Statistics and Psychopharmacology. Neither subject is a personal strength of mine, therefore this week=a LOT of stress. I feel a batch or two of cookies coming on in the very near future.
The UP side (Eureka! I actually have an upside!) I am going out of town on Thursday, right after my psychopharm exam to my place of origin (The beautiful pacific northwest) for a wedding and some family/boyfriend/friends time. It will only be for a few days but it will be a much needed mini vacation from all of this.
After these midterms, there are more papers, more quizzes, more exams and the comps.
Oh and that dreaded thing that has to happen once a year to even the best of us, my very own lovely birthday. Which will undoubtedly be spent studying :/ I don't need any reminder of turning 27 though, so I might actually prefer a skimmed over version of a birthday this year. I bet 28 won't bother me nearly as much as 27 is. We'll see in a year form now, but I definitely think 27 just sucks more than some of the others. Although, 28 will be followed up a few short months later by my 10 year high school reunion, so actually, 28 might not be that great either. I am well aware, that when I'm approaching 40 and 47 I'll look back to the days where I was dreading 27 so much and think to myself "Boy, you were a real big idiot..." but that still doesn't change how I'm feeling in this moment, as my soon to never again be 26 year old self.
Midterms. Midterms. Midterms. Birthdays.... ahhh!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It's Peanut Butter time

I go through cravings for different foods. These cravings are intense and refused to be satisfied with anything short of exactly what it is I am jonesin for. I am frightened for the time when I become pregnant because, if my cravings are as invasive and demanding now, I can only imagine what an influx of hormones will do to them.
These cravings can last anywhere from a week to a month at a time. I've learned to just give into them, allow myself whatever it is that I'm yearning for and eventually, I get tired of it and my body turns to a new obsession. Sometimes these cravings are for junk food, sometimes fruits or vegetables, etc.
These cravings can be anything as extensive as specific type of pizza or pasta, to simpler things like potatoes or pickles. The most recent culprit:

Peanut Butter.

On an odd note, I just realized as I typed up some of my more recent cravings.. they're all foods beginning with the letter P. Strange. Wonder if that was just a result of congruent memory recall or if there is actually a peculiar pattern emerging.
Regardless, it's currently peanut butter. In the mornings, after my run I usually have a single piece of wheat toast with peanut butter and my afternoon/evening snacks have been consisting of apple slices with peanut butter. I don't think my body actually enjoys peanunt butter though, because the last 2 days after my snack I feel slightly ill.
Could it be possible to O.D. on peanut better? Doubtful, but my body sure seems to think so.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Day 14: I still hate running.

I'm 2/3 of the way done with my first running regimen. I guess when you're still panting/sweating and feel like you can't breath, it's hard to feel like you're actually making progress. I just have to remember that this is a process. A LONG, grueling process. The running still feels hard, because I'm increasing the runs each time. I first started out doing 1/1 x 10 ratio of run/walk and today I did a 3/1 x5 and tomorrow will be a 4/1 x4.
I have to remember to relish in the small victories. The fact that I was able to run for 3 minutes at a time, 5 times IS an improvement for me.
It is so easy to get discouraged with stuff like this. I don't have the patience for things. I want to just be good at something, or give up on it. I hate the slow, dragging pace of progress because it often feels like you aren't going anywhere.

I still don't have a research group, I have midterms coming up and I can't seem to study. I need a burst of motivation to hit me with a quickness.

"Just keep running." Ok, so that's not exactly what Dory said in Finding Nemo...but it's what she meant ;)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mini ode to John Cusack

In recent years, I've grown quite fond on Mr. Cusack.

It probably has much to do with getting older, maturing, and realizing what it is that really makes a man.
Granted, I've never met him... but I fall in love with him with every movie of his.
His characters have such a raw, real feel to them. Maybe I'm just in love with the characters he plays: "the romantic, witty, pessimistic, idealist underdog" you're always hoping ends up with the right girl.

I hope for my own "romantic, witty, pessimistic, idealist underdog" someday.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Vegas. I'm so money, baby.

Grad school comes with, what feels like, constant rejection. I wonder if I'll ever get used to that feeling. It's so hard not to take it personally and not feel like I am being rejected, and that it is simply I am not the right fit or that there are other candidates more suited for the position.
It's really easy to just feel like I can hack it. Like I'm not smart enough/good enough/competent enough.
More rejection was dumped on me today. I even wore pink, which just makes it more humiliating. 

On a completely unrelated note.
Booked a flight today to VEGAS!

Some of us from my program are going after we finish our comp. exams in June. Short trip, just a couple days since, assuming all goes well, we'll start the clinic the following Monday.
I haven't been to Vegas in years. I'm so stoked. I really can't afford it by any means, since this last loan check is supposed to last me until September. It's only May and I'm already strapped.
I need this vacation though. I deserve it. I justified purchasing the tickets as a birthday present for myself, since that ugly thing is looming near and I'm dreading it so badly.
I am in love with slot machines. I play the nickle ones, because I don't actually want to lose big, but secretly hope I can score a little cash. Last time I was in Vegas I won about $330 on the nickle slots and only put in about a total of $20...so we'll see how I do this time.
So excited for this little adventure with some new friends. Incentive to get all this stuff done for the quarter and comps in the next month.
I'll have to leave the money worries for another time.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Overwhelming thought.

One more month left.
And I will have completed my first year of graduate school. It doesn't feel like there is only a month left since most my classes have 3 exams in a quarter and I still have 2 exams left in each of those classes, not to mention the quizzes, another paper, and endless assignments I still have to complete.
One month from today I will have finished all my finals, be done with first year classes and be studying for  my competency exams which are the following week (Grad school refuses to give you a break!)
If I pass the Clinical comp. I'll start my first in-school practicum at our clinic. I'll be seeing patients; actual people, with real problems are going to depend on me. That is such a frightening thought. I have been training for it all year, but I don't think that is a responsibility I'll ever feel truly ready for.
One more month left,
then only 4 more years to go.
My birthday is coming up. 19 days to be exact. This is not me counting down in utter excitement, that is said in total contempt for the upcoming event. I'm not sure why, but turning 27 is just not sitting well with me whatsoever.
This is definitely not where I thought I'd be at 27. Not that where I'm at is any sort of horrible place to be, I had just pictured it a whole lot different.

“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.” – Joseph Campbell

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mainland inhabitant for 1 year

It's been 1 year since I moved back to the mainland from Hawaii. I can't believe that much time has passed already. I spent about 4 years there. Where a moped was my only form of transportation, my cure for a hangover was the hot, sunny beach and the cool ocean. When it came time, I was ready to leave, I was ready to grow and move on to the next chapter of my life. I think now, since enough time has passed, all the negative things about it, and the things that wore me down and made me grow to dislike living there, have all faded away and I'm left with the nostalgic feelings and memories of how great it used to be.
I must say, the beaches there have ruined me for the rest of the world (or at least the mainland beaches). Nothing compares to them. Even the prettiest beach in California doesn't begin to compare with the ugliest beach on those islands. The water there, is like no other.Wow look at me go on about how wonderful things were. I know that living there, after awhile, didn't feel different than living anywhere else. I worked 2 jobs (at one point and time 3), I rarely got to enjoy the beach, and life felt boring and mundane. I do miss my moped though. Selling him was one of the hardest parts about leaving the island. Parts of it feels like I was just there, and then other things feel like they are lifetimes away. I've never been good with change. I fear it, it makes me uncomfortable and it saddens me.
Which is probably why I still don't like living in California and I've been here for about 7 or 8 months I think. I miss what Hawaii represents for me, all the people that came into my life because of that experience and how it will never be that way again. I learned so much about myself, about the world and about others living there. Moving to Hawaii was one of the best decisions I've made in my entire life. I know that it was my time to move on from there, and that I did all the growing I could do, but it still saddens me to think that chapter is closed forever.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

It's Mother's Day today.
Unfortunately, I'm 700 miles away from my mom and unable to spend the day with her. I of course, made sure that a package got to her with a tear-jerker of a card before the big day, but I'd rather just be able to be with her. I've lived away from home since 2007 so I should be used to this whole missing holidays thing. While it does get easier, it never gets easy.
My mother is honestly, one of the most amazing women I know. I'm sure most people say that about their own mothers. It's like everyone thinks they have the cutest baby in the world. They can't all be that adorable, but everyone seems to think theirs is the most precious.
Christmas '85

The difference here, is that my mom is not perfect, by any means. But that is precisely why I think she's absolutely wonderful. It used to disappoint me, when I was younger that my mom didn't look like the other mothers, that she dressed similar to me, that we rarely had dinner as a family and that she worked so much. Now, one of the things I love the most about my mother is her unconventional view of a woman's role (although she definitely still has some dated views) but I grew up seeing that a woman could in fact, work full time, and be a mother and while some things were sacrificed to accomplish this, she got it done. I have impeccable work ethic, and I owe that to both my parents of course, since they're both always been hard workers, but I owe it mostly to my mother. My strong, female role in my life that showed me a woman's place is not just in the home. That a woman can work hard, can raise a family, and do it all while looking beautiful. Now, like I said, some sacrifices were made. I did not have the mother who was waiting for me when I got home from school, or that baked, or cooked dinner, or read me bedtime stories.
My undergrad graduation 2009 
 What I did have was a dynamic combination of parents. I spent a lot more time with my dad growing up, because he had a more flexible work schedule. I did not have the typical stay at home mom/working father childhood. I couldn't be more thankful for that.
I have grown into the kind of woman, that does not believe a man should support me, or even be the bread winner. I am the kind of woman, that wants to go after my dreams and I'll allow a man along for the ride.
I am who I am, because of my mother.  

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Current Status: Day 7, still breathing.

  As I mentioned before, I'm doing the "3 weeks to a 30 minute running habit" (before I start my "Train for your first 5K" workout since I'm lacking ability for running in my current condition) I'm now on day 7, so I've completed my first week. I have to say, today was the hardest day so far. I'm not really sure why since the workout was actually one of the smaller ones. I think it was a combination of my body being tired, not used to this whole working out thing and the fact that I had eaten and drank a fair amount of water right beforehand. I had a side ache almost the entire time which definitely hindered my abilities.
So far though, I'm pretty pleased with this workout. I don't feel like I'm killing myself out there or that what is being asked of me is too much for me or out of my realm of possibilities.I do feel like doing this is allowing me to make the slow and steady progress necessary to improve. I also would definitely say this is doable for those who have never run before since I myself have never run, and am staying afloat thus far.
The website offers and email course that is free to sign up for, and they email you daily about what your workout should be. I've found that the email is slightly delayed (could be due to the fact that I signed up in the evening?) But there is a Get a sneak peak at the scheduleportion and I found that, for me, It was the most effective to write down on a calender hanging on my wall the workout for everyday and mark them off that way. The schedule is made up of run/walk ratios for how many minutes to do each followed by how many times you do this for each workout. As for rest days, you can either do cross-training which can be riding your bike, swimming, walking, etc OR you can actually just rest and take the day off from exercise all together. I try to mix it up, depending on how I am feeling and what my schedule looks like.
 The 3 weeks Schedule:
Day 1: 1/1 x 10 (Run 1 minute, walk 1 minute, ten times, for a total of 20 minutes.)
Day 2: 1/1 x 10
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: 2/1 x5, then 1/1 x5
Day 5: 2/1 x5, then 1/1 x5
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: 2/1 x6
Day 8: 3/1 x4, then 1/1 x4
Day 9: 2/1 x 6
Day 10: Rest
Day 11: 3/1 x5
Day 12: 2/1 x8
Day 13: Rest
Day 14: 3/1 x5
Day 15: 4/1 x4
Day 16: 2/1 x8
Day 17: 5/1 x4
Day 18: Rest
Day 19: 4/1 x6
Day 20: 2/1 x5
Day 21: 5/1 x5

Friday, May 6, 2011


I rarely do anything that I'm not good at, which is why I never stuck with any sport growing up.
Bowling has always been the one thing I was ok with being bad at, but still enjoyed doing it. I'm not sure why that is.  My best friend Dustin (or as most call him, Dcal) is an avid bowler and is always in a league. Last summer I was back in my home town, broke, and unemployed. So every Monday night, I went and watched his bowling league for hours. This gig usually came with free beer and time spent with my bestie so I didn't really complain. We'd also go bowling every so often and I'd be bowling with him and his league buddies so of course, they all doubled my scores on a regular basis.
Since moving down to California for grad school, I found a few of my friends in my program that enjoy bowling and we've made it a weekly event. This quarter's been kind of insane so it is more like a monthly thing. We went last night, for the first time in probably a month and a half. I bowled the best in my life!

Which, unfortunately my best is only a 141, but I did this two games in a row and finished out the night with a 116. While these scores may not sound impressive, I am usually lucky enough to break 100. I think the last time we went my highest was 92, so this was pretty impressive for me.
I think it's necessary, especially in grad school, to find things that make you happy. Little things you can do, to make you smile, relieve some stress and just get out of your own head for awhile, whether that is a solitary activity or with a group. Bowling is that for me. I drink some beer, get to socialize, I actually enjoy bowling, it doesn't take too much effort or mind power, I dance to the awesome music that is undoubtedly being played in any given bowling alley and on nights like last night, I get to break previous personal records. 
D says when I move back up there, he's making me join a league with him. I think I've got a ways to go before I'm league material, but I definitely think I'm on my way. The free beer doesn't hurt either.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11

It is now day 5 of my "3 weeks to 30 minutes running" and with all the knee pain I've been experiencing, I decided it was time to break down and buy a legitimate pair of running shoes and not keep abusing my body with those old, ill-equipped Reeboks.
I went down to the nearest Fleet Feet Sports store I read a lot of good reviews online and figured I'd see what they were all about. The conclusion I've come to: These people are VERY helpful.
 I was asked all about my goals as far as running goes, what I've been wearing, what my preferences were, my feet were measured every which way. It was also confirmed that my left foot is in fact, slightly bigger than my right ;) He had me walk across the store to determine my walking patterns and how me feet moved and he even took me outside and had me run in the shoes to see how they felt and for him to see how my running looked. He even promised not to laugh. I am usually not a difficult customer but since this was a fairly large purchase and I've never been a runner, I was a bit indecisive. He was really helpful and brought out a variety of different shoes for me to try and tried to help me steer clear of what I deemed as "ugly ones".
 I ended up going with the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11.  They're not as cute  as I wanted, but I know when it comes to running, that ultimately the most important thing is not aesthetics. They felt the most comfortable and I was told they are good for support (which I later confirmed online as well). I was also told that if I try them out, and they just don't work for me, I can return them. That made me feel a bit better about dropping the $$ for them.
I took them for their first test run tonight. I could definitely tell the difference instantly. I realize now, how horrible the shoes I was wearing really were. I'm still making up my mind about these new ones, but regardless of how pleased I end up being with them, they're much  better than the previous, so they're a step in the right direction. I suppose I can look at the cost of these new shoes as an investment and a motivator to keep up with this running thing, since I've now invested a good chunk of change into it (with the 5k race entry fee and now these). Here's to hoping for less knee pain!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Possible hypomania or just delusions of grandeur?

It's that time in the quarter, where everything seems to be piling up and the pressure is felt so strongly it's actually developed into somatic presentation.
Midterms, 15 page papers, exams, quizzes, lion and tigers and bears oh my!
Today was an 85 degree day. Not a cloud in the sky, beautiful California weather, and all day long I studied, crammed, sat in hours of lecture, took a midterm, sat in traffic, revised a paper and studied psychopharmocology terminology all with a pounding headache.
Surprisingly, I did this all with a smile. I'm having one of those days, where I should be cracking under the pressure like so many of my classmates, but instead I'm blissfully content with all this weight on my shoulders. It's possible I'm just dissociating from my actual problems and not actually realizing how stressed I am. I shouldn't complain though. I'd much rather be in this ignorant state of bliss than breaking down. It comes and goes. It's not like I actually have all my shit together, or that I need not be worried about things.
I think it is just the mind's way of protecting itself from pure and utter destruction.
I know that I am in fact stressed, because my number of baked goods produced is in direct proportion to my stress levels and my sporadic ideas for strawberry muffins at 1am a few nights ago and my inkling for baking cookies tonight is a sure fire sign I'm actually feeling the pressure.
It also never fails that when in these crunch times the amount of clothing and clutter in my bedroom multiplies exponentially. I will reach a point, where I clean and organize but not until after tomorrow. After that, we've got a few days to breathe before the next exams.
And on that note, I must be off, to bake something delicious. For my sanity, and the eating pleasure of my classmates tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My 5k idiocy

There are times, when I start to question my own sanity.  Lately, that has been my experience.
I recently got the brilliant (i.e. ludicrous) idea to sign myself up for a 5k race. 
I have never even ran a mile in my entire life...let alone 3. I am very inactive and despite being able to walk 3 miles (which I do about 3 or 4 times a week and is my only real form of exercise for the past oh, I'd say 10 years) I cannot run, if my life depended on it. Regardless, that did not seem to stop me from this idea of signing up for this race.
I at least had the decency to sign up for one that is not until September so that I can actually attempt to train for it with ample time. My current standing is that I can run .4 of a mile. And by run, I do not mean actually run of course. I am speaking on my pathetic attempt at a jog. Even still, I am at .4 of a mile. A 5k equals out to be 3.1 miles so I have my work cut out for me.
I've started a workout called "3 weeks to 30 minute running". I am currently on day 3 of it and already my knees are absolutely killing me, full on aching in my joints throughout the day. I know one thing is for sure, I am in dire need of some new running shoes.
What I'm currently working with (hence, the knee issues):

I need to figure out another option, that is not these. What I really need is something that is going to give support and cushion so I'm not getting the horrible knee pain and preferably do away with my shin splints, although I think that last part is wishful thinking. The other problem I'm having is how expensive running shoes are, good ones anyway. Spending $60+ on shoes is out of the question for my budget.
I'm such a cheap skate anyway, I usually only shop at Ross and never spend more than about $20 on any given pair of shoes, so my mind set on costs is that of a grouchy old penny pincher. I even looked at my faithful Ross store today, but I just don't think I will find a real, quality pair there. Also... I really want something wild and fun to motivate me on this crazy journey of attempting this 5k.
I realize it is not the color or style of the shoe, but the comfort and support it provides. I just feel like I'd be way more jazzed about self-inducing punishment of running if I were rockin something like this:

But alas, items such as these little gems would cost me well over $100 which is way out of this broke-living-off-student-loan's budget. A girl can dream though, right?

I have a mid term tomorrow that I really should be studying for. So why is it I'm instead writing about running shoes? Exactly. Procrastination at its finest.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Suppose it is time to graduate (pun, of course, intended) from a "LiveJournal" (which I started when I was 16 and it served my years of teenage angst very well) to a more adult form of blogging. I'm now in my 3rd quarter of my 1st year as a graduate student. It is a pity I did not start this from the very beginning of my journey as a but the fact that my program is 5 years long, leads me to believe I'm still in my infantile stages of the process.
I am going for my Ph.D. in clinical psychology. I have survived the first 2 quarters (although not without massive stress and some fairly close calls). Graduate school is not anything like undergrad. I came in bright-eyed and bushy tailed with the tools and skills from undergrad thinking I would be able to stay afloat using just those. I got a rude awakening when I realized almost absolutely everything I'd learned in undergrad, was utterly useless. The quality of work demanded is light-years ahead of what I was producing in undergrad. Not to mention the bar for grades is set quite a bit higher with B- being the lowest  you're able to receive and be considered passing. Even then, you get too many of those and it is academic probation. As previously stated, nothing like undergrad.

I've started this blog in hopes of retaining my sanity throughout this process of life in my mid-(ok more like late) 20's experiencing graduate school, changes, stress, relationships, struggles, motivators, family, friends, pressures, research, clinical work and all the mess that combining these elements produces.