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.