Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Week 52: Dec 23rd-31st..The last days of 2013

It is the last day of 2013, so it is only right that I am completing my last entry for my 52 weeks.

1. Did Peacock lane  in Portland with J, my best friend, her husband, and their children. It was awesome to experience it with all of them.

2. Shopping time with my best friend never disappoints.

3. Spent Christmas Eve at my dad's house with the family. Got to wear my gorgeous Bettie Page dress J got me for my birthday and spend time with my family.

4. Spent Christmas morning with my best friend and her family and the day at my mom's house. J's dad even came to celebrate with us.

5. We took the long way back when driving down to Oakland, The downside, it takes a looong time, but the upside is driving through the redwoods and Avenue of the Giants :)

Week 51: Dec 16th-22nd= More home time goodness

Since I was home, I am slacking on the updates. I credit that to just enjoying my time home too much. But, today I am back and it was back to work for me so before the new year begins... I am finishing up my last year's resolution tonight!

1. I went to the movies with my sister. We went to see Delivery Man, I love me some Vince Vaughn and popcorn.

2. Had pizza and drinks at my other sister's house and my dad and his wife stopped by.

3. Baked Christmas cookies with my god daughters and best friend and watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas (original, cartoon version..my fave!)

4. Christmas shopping with my sister and J in Portland

5. Went to the movies with a couple of friends. Saw Anchorman 2, which was absolutely hilarious!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Week 50: Dec 9th-15th Hoooooome!!

I'm posting late. (go figure) but I am home for the holidays, so I am doing everything a bit slower these days, which is actually quite lovely. 

My 5 things:

1. Drove up north on Friday with J and the pup. We'll be home until after Christmas; the time is already going by way too quickly but I'm thankful I have it.

2. Stopped off during our 11 hour jaunt up north to let the pup run around in the snow. He was pretty stoked on it and even made some yellow snow ;)

3. Since we are staying with my best friend, I've been able to have some quality time with her and it has been WONDERFUL!

4. We went with our best friends and my goddaughters to see these houses in Camas, WA where the Christmas lights on the houses go along to music that is on a certain radio station. It was absolutely awesome.

5. We went to the swap meet with J's dad on Sunday and scored some pretty sweet items.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Week 49: Dec 2nd-8th-Patience...have any to spare, good sir?

SO much in life is requiring me to have patience right now, and frankly I'm just fresh out.
Leaving for home in 4 days, Christmas is in 16 days, I have 3 more days of work...and really, the most frustrating part about all of this waiting, is that I am still waiting to hear back about internships.
My total as of now: Heard from 6 sites, ALL rejections. Still waiting on 9 sites to get back to me, so I know there are still some good chances out there... but just one rejection, right after the other, I mean... c.mon. Cut me some slack here. Not only am I refreshing my email every 20 minutes, but the off chance there is an email about a site...it's been a rejection. ROUGH. The 15th is the deadline in which all sites need to let you know. That countdown= 6 days until I'll know all my internship fate.
Not only does this all require patience, but it requires optimism/faith/hope whatever you'd like to label it. I need it, and I am really struggling to conjure any up.

My 5 things:
1. Went to the gym 3 times: Treadmill, elliptical/bike split another day, and then yoga. I'm growing to love my Saturday afternoon yoga class.

2. I finished up a craft I'd been working on as a thank you to those who have contributed to my fundraiser.

3. Started a new craft, one I'd never done before and managed to make SIX of them. Being secretive is necessary around the holidays, but I plan to boast openly about them post-Christmas ;)

4. Baked a pumpkin pie... just because.

5. Made "krispies" as J calls them, or Saltine toffee as others call it. So delicious!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week 48: Nov 25th-Dec 1st: My 'Christmas Crazy' officially shines through

Now that the holidays are approaching, I'm finding it much easier to find 5 things each week that are beneficial to me. Anything Christmas related with make my list, and I try to do any and everything Christmas related, as often as I can ;)

My 5 things:

1. Went to the gym once for yoga. Unfortunately, I was left utterly useless for days after that spinning class last week.

2. Went on a hike on Thanksgiving morning with J and Riley. It was Riley's 1st hiking experience, he was kind of a little shit but that was to be expected. It was the same hike J and I did last Thanksgiving, we decided to continue the tradition this year.
3. J and I made an entire Thanksgiving feast for ourselves. We took on everything from the turkey to the sweet potatoes. All in all, it was really awesome, despite not being able to be with family.

4. Baked Gingerbread cookies for the first time ever.

5. Spent my Saturday, while J went and did man things, by myself watching silly Christmas movies and working on Christmas crafts/gifts.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

How TV has ruled (see: shaped) my life

Growing up, television was a big part of my childhood. That is not to say I spent my youth plopped down in front on the TV, but rather, my mother worked for the local cable company in our town. That had its perks including access to all the channels (at the time that meant about 40), ability to watch new releases my mom would bring home on VHS that weren't even out at the video store yet, and an in with local broadcasting children shows where my siblings and I were guests. Ok, so really that just meant we sat there while some lady read to us, and they played it on the air, but at the time I felt pretty famous. I was even on the local news once for accompanying my mom on “Take your Daughter to Work Day” (and yes, it was that long ago, before it was changed to “Take your Child to Work Day”).

 I viewed my mom as someone with a very important job, after all she was a successful working woman at the only cable company in town. Not to mention, their company had the best company picnics every summer. Pie eating contests and all! Unfortunately, long gone are the days of premium channels, cable, and company picnics for our family. That company eventually got bought out by a big name, then a bigger name, more and more companies began to pop up and my mom eventually left the cable business. 

As I approach my 30's, on a grad student budget, "TV" just is not in the budget. Internet, however, is essential to a student, therefore, I have managed to fit that into my monthly bills. The upside here? Thankfully, sites like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video (with my Amazon Prime-student membership) I can still have a connection with my favorite shows growing up, Christmas classics around the holidays, and countless other movies without having cable. Now, what that does for my productivity, however, is another story. Having such access to the entire series of The Wonder Years, Saved by the Bell, How I Met Your Mother, and Mad Men make it all too easy to waste away a Sunday on the couch instead of working on my dissertation. I can't blame technology for that, though. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to procrastination. It just makes my poor choices much more entertaining ;)

30 Days of being Thankful: 2013 edition

Once again, as November comes to a close, I can reflect on my "30 Days of Being Thankful". It is interesting to look back at the 2012 list and see how many of the things I am thankful for have not changed and how many revolve around my family. I made it a point not to review last year's list before beginning this one. I wanted to be able to compare.
During my internship applications and essays I've had to reflect a great deal on my values. These lists compliment what I discovered during that reflection time: family is the most important value for me. I mean, that is no big secret, or difficult puzzle to piece together. It is ovious through anything I say/do/write that family is important. Just how embedded into my core it is, however, was initially unclear to me.

Day 1: I'm thankful all my hard work, persistence, and stress paid off and I am able to apply for internship this year.

Day 2: I'm thankful for being able to have quality time in my neck of the woods with my loved ones.

Day 3: I'm thankful for boots, hats, and scarves.

Day 4: I'm thankful I enjoy cooking and baking...and that I'm not too shabby at it either.

Day 5: I'm thankful I have some great ladies with me at practicum this year.

Day 6: I'm thankful for my own little family with J and Riley. 

Day 7: I'm thankful for River, Heidi, Nia, and Taylor. I am so grateful to be a part of their lives...even though distance prevents this from being a very big part, these little girls can brighten my day from miles and miles away. 

Day 8: I'm thankful for mornings with no alarm clock. 

Day 9: I'm thankful for my family being so supportive, especially during some of my most difficult times. I'm really lucky to have them. 

Day 10: I'm so very thankful for the generosity of others.

Day 11: I'm thankful for all those who have served, from the ones I hold dear to the ones I'll never meet. 

Day 12: I'm thankful for my soul mate..the macaroni to my cheese: Starry. For all she does, for the beautiful hooligans she's brought into this world, and for the endless laughter and memories. 

Day 13: I am thankful I have a man in my life with such talent, passion, and ambition for his work. It is incredibly motivating and inspiring to me. 

Day 14: I'm thankful for sweatpants, because some days....just call for sweatpants. 

Day 15: I'm thankful for GOOD news, like the coverage of Batkid. That is a story that definitely deserves some airtime. 

Today, I witnessed a woman get robbed. I wasn't able to help her get her things back, but I was able to comfort her, support her while she dealt with the police, keep her company while she waited for a locksmith for her car, and make sure she had a way to pay the toll to get home. Today reminded me how important it is, to be there for others, even when others are strangers. Day 16: I'm thankful we all possess the power to help one another. 

Day 17: I am thankful for all the hilarious, loving, wonderful memories I have with my gigantic, loud, overwhelming (for anyone not born into it) family. 

Day 18: I'm thankful for my health and what my body is capable of (so long as I don't compare myself to anyone else at the gym).
 
Day 19: I'm thankful there are honest people in this world. 

Day 20: I'm thankful for the rain. 

Day 21: I am thankful for my sisters. From everything they've taught me growing up to the countless times they have been my cheerleaders, my teachers, and my protectors. They are some of my best friends and my biggest supporters. 

Day 22: I am thankful I am a brunette. 

Day 23: I am thankful for girl time. 

Day 24: ..with 1 minute to spare... I am thankful for spontaneity and random adventures.

Day 25: I am thankful for my nephews Alec, Giovanni, Makai, Asa, and Isaac. These little (and not so little) men bring so much joy and laughter to our family. 

Day 26: I am thankful for Sherri and I'm so grateful I get to call her my mom. 

Day 27: I am thankful for....wine. 

Wanted to wish the happiest of birthdays to my dad. Such a wonderful, caring, wise, and hilarious man I'm so proud to have for a father.Love you and miss you, will see you in a few weeks! Day 28: I am thankful he is my dad. 

Day 29: I am thankful that 2 weeks from today, we'll be on our way home. 

Day 30: Despite wanting to rip my hair out some days....I'm thankful this guy came into our lives. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Week 47: Nov 18th-24th=self care at its best (and worst!)

Got another rejection today. This time, from a site in Alabama. I am less attached to the idea of this site, although the irony is that I had it listed as one of my "safe sites" as in, I thought I had the best chances of getting an interview for that one. Hmph. Whoops.

My 5 things:

1. I went to the gym 3 times: 1st time was a session with a personal trainer. He had me doing stair runs and my IT band got really angry with me about that. I also did yoga and tried spinning for the first (and quite likely LAST) time. Holy hell, I seriously almost didn't make it out of there alive.

2. I turned in all my applications so they're all completed. I even turned in a few early that don't have due dates until the end of the month.... all that just in time to get more rejections. (being a negative Nancy some how makes it easier, I guess).

3. J and I watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation :) Man, I absolutely love Christmas. 

4. I met up with some of my friends for beer and good eats to catch up down in the south bay. It was totally worth the 45 mile drive for me. I haven't seen some of those girls in months.

5. Last night I accepted an invite to a random club in Oakland to see a band called Vagabondage with a girl from my program whom I've never actually hung out with one on one. It turned out to be a really great time and the other bands that played were awesome as well. 


Monday, November 18, 2013

Week 46: Nov 11th-17th= Painful breakups with your life's plans

They say a break up is one of the best motivators for getting into shape/working out/losing weight. Well, J and I are still going strong but I had another "break up" of sorts happen last week and, although painful, it's proven to be the perfect motivator for me to get back on the fitness wagon.
I got a rejection email addressed "Dear esteemed applicant". So not only did I get the most painful rejection of my graduate career thus far, I got it as a mass email with the all other rejects. I applied to an internship site that was somewhat out of my league, ok really out of my league, BUT I was trying to give myself a little credit. The main appeal for me: it was in Portland. Getting rejected from an internship site itself isn't what hurt. I mean, I'm applying to (hopefully) 15 sites, and will only be offered a few interviews which leaves a lot of room for rejection, so that is expected.
Being rejected from the Portland site (which was the only one I even somewhat qualified for in that area) signifies a major loss for me. It means 1 more year away from home, one more year away from family and friends, another year before I can actually settle in and stop being transient, one more year of basically feeling like life plans need to be "on hold". While this "break up" with home is only temporary, and frankly it's been a long distance relationship since 2007 anyway, it still requires a mourning period. I need to grieve the loss of another year of holidays away, missing out on my niece, nephews, and goddaughters growing up, another year while J and I have to say "we'll get to that, once we move home" about our major life plans. So this break up with my life's plans was apparently just what I needed to jolt me out of this funk I've been in and get back to taking care of myself; the silver lining I suppose one could say.

My 5 things:

1. I started working out again: did 35 min on a treadmill (only about 3 of which were running) and I went to a Yoga class. Holy moly, was I sore after that! I'm still sore and that was 2 days ago.

2. I went in for an extra couple of hours to my practicum that weren't required and I didn't need to be there. I did it in order to build up rapport with a client and I think it was an excellent decision.

3. Watched Elf!

4. I made, or rather started to make, some ornaments that I plan to give as gifts. Working with my negative budget, this is likely going to be a very made-from-the-heart Christmas this year. I know my family will understand and I mean, my stuff isn't that bad ;)

5. Sunday I helped a woman who got robbed in my neighborhood. I didn't know her, and I'll likely never see her again, but I felt a moral obligation to help this person. I stayed with her through the police,the waiting, and the locksmith, until she was able to drive away. I had planned on spending the evening working on cover letters, but I think this was a bit more important.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week 45: Nov 4th-10th= Chuggin along

I almsot didn't update today. It is late, I've been working on internship applications and running errands all day and I'm exhausted. BUT.... I still managed to find the time, which is how it should be. Is it sad that I'm actually proud of myself for this? I need every little pat on the back I can get right now, so I'll take it. Go me. woo!
 
My 5 things:

  1. Made homemade hot chocolate, even sugar free at that!

  2. I have been doing the '30 days of Being Thankful' thing. I did it last year, and it is surprisingly sometimes hard to come up with things based on how I am feeling certain days, which is all the more reason to really take the time to think because there are always things to be thankful for. 

  3. I started a fundraiser in order to try to raise money for the ridiculous but necessary costs for applying to internship. It has already proven to be beneficial and I am already almost a quarter of the way there thanks to the generosity of others. 

  4. I offered to help another practicum student who needed to give a full test battery to someone and be her test subject. It is a daunting task to be a subject because test batteries can take upwards of 6 to 8 hours to sit through. This was not a totally selfless act though, since I wanted to refresh my own mind about the assessments since I will hopefully have interviews coming up that I will likely need to know said information off the top of my head. 

  5. Last night while watching endless TV shows on Netflix, instead of just sitting there I also filled in some of my Listography book my sister for me for my birthday this year. My goal is to complete the book during my 29th year, so I have until the end of May next year. It is a biiiigg book though ;)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Internship costs= admitting I can't do it alone.

I've decided to humble myself a bit (ok, a LOT) and developed a creative way to hopefully be able to apply for internship this year. I've already turned in a few applications, but without more funding I won't be able to apply to too many more... and if I actually get interviews, I may not be able to get to them without funds to pay for travel costs. 
So I am reaching out and asking for help to be able to afford this process.

http://crowdfundedu.com/fundraiser/gradschoolproblems

There isn't room for too much pride when you're in graduate school, which is a pretty difficult thing for me to swallow, but when it comes down to it.. if it is between keeping my pride, and being able to reach my goals... I choose to take a big heaping bite, swallow that pride, and wash it down with a shot of Tequila--only if you're buying though ;)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Week 44: Oct 28th-Nov 3rd= Surprise visitors!

You'd never know I used to post every Monday since lately it's been a Tuesday, Wednesday, sometimes even Thursday kind of thing. I am still posting though, so I suppose that is the positive way to look at it (since I'm so good with being positive).
This past week I actually got a really great surprise. It was Halloween and I was patiently awaiting trick-or-treaters (I'd only had 1 group the whole evening) when there was a knock on my door. I answered with my candy bowl in hand only to find my brother-in-law standing there. Totally in disbelief I've just barely closed the door and there is another knock. This time, I find 3 masked characters who start to make their way into my house. It was my sister, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law. They all showed up at my door as a surprise to let us know they're visiting for the weekend. They had come in for a funeral, which was an unfortunate circumstance but I was so grateful to be able to spend the weekend with them.

My 5 things:

1. Turned in 3 of my internship applications! One to my top choice and 2 others that are further down the totem pole.

2. Went to a comedy club in the city with my family. J had never been which was exciting to get to go to one with him and total bonus to have such a big group to go and laugh with.

3. J and I took my family members around touring San Francisco since most of them had never been down here.

4. Had my sister and her husband stay over one night. Got some quality down time with them.

5. We did a boat tour of the bay on their last day here which is something I had never done here. We even went under the Golden Gate bridge and around my favorite place in the bay: Alcatraz. The Alcatraz tours were all booked up so we didn't get to do that (I've done it once before but would gladly do it again!)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Week 43: Oct 21st-27th=near death by sickness

It finally happened. Working at a residential with children and their mothers, my high stress level, etc caught up to me and I got ridiculously sick. I mean, full on, totally and completely couch ridden sick with a severe head cold. Rendered me useless for DAYS! Perfect timing since internship applications are due this upcoming Friday. No pressure. 
Oh and, I'm posting late....AGAIN. I think the entire month of October I may have been late. I'm slipping, in more ways than one.

My 5 things:

1. Worked a lot of my internship application stuff (even with my 3 day hiatus due to being ill beyond reason)

2. Talked with my supervisor about "self-care" as it, taking care of yourself (eating/sleeping right, exercising, fun things to counteract all the stress). I'm not doing any of it, and it is weighing on me, but at least I'm talking about it.

3. I started playing the incredibly silly game Candy Crush Saga. My mom is all into it and when she was hear she had me play a level she was stuck on and, well, it got me. It's something pointless to take my mind off the stress for a few minutes, so I'll accept that.

4. When the sickness hit, I actually took care of myself (ok, by that I mean I let J take care of me) but I actually slept, got meds, vitamins, fluids, lots of rest. Took 3 whole days off (ok, actually probably 2 and a half....but that is still good!). I'm not actually better, but I'm functioning more than I was.

5. Started the Breaking Bad series with J. INTENSE! Fun to have a series we watch together though.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Week 42: Oct 14th-20th= Mom came to visit

I'm late posting again. This time, I blame my mom. Also, this post is going to be short and sweet. Lots of internship application stuff to be doing. Oh and dinner, and dissertation, and practicum.... doh. Priorities. Internships apps tonight. After this, of course. 
Also... I'm realizing that it has been a struggle to come up with things...which means I really need to work on upping the amount of pleasurable activities in my life. I'll work on that, eventually.

My 5 things:

1. Spent a day with J when he first got back watching silly scary movies like SCREAM (during the day, of course, because scary movies are too frightening at night...even if they're silly).

2. Spent some time this last week on my internship application materials.Probably not as much as I should, but progress is being made.

3. My mom came to visit this weekend. She took an RV road trip down with a friend of hers and had been staying about an hour an d a half northeast of us so she came west for the weekend. She had never been to visit since I'd moved down to CA (which was going on over 3 years now) and she's the 1st person to visit from my family since I lived in the east bay (going on a year and a half now).

4. We showed Mom around San Francisco on Saturday. She had never been anywhere but the airport so we decided she needed to see some of the great views and other tourist type places.

5. We took Mom to Napa Sunday and to the Golden Gate bridge. It was absolutely freezing and ridiculously windy, but we went any way!


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Week 41: Oct 7th-13th ....whoops!

Doh. I totally and completely forgot about writing on Monday. I didn't actually remember until last night when I thought "Did I write on Monday? I must have, but I really don't remember" then sure enough I checked when I got home today and whoops! Totally spaced. I blame that on: J got back into town Sunday night, so we spent most of Monday lounging around the house and catching up.

Better late then never; My 5 things:

1. I got bangs! Pretty huge eh? I've have side-swept bangs before, but never full on, no turning back, blunt, straight across bangs. I even went to an actual legit hair salon and not just the beauty school. I also decided since I was there I should probably trim my hair since I haven't in over 2 years. It was well over due. On the plus side, it still looks long even with over an inch cut off. Woo! I showed the stylist photos of Zooey Deschanel in my phone and said "I want these".
Sporting new bangs (and sweet sweat pants!) giving love to my pup
2. I baked Banana Nutella swirl bread in celebration of J's return from Oklahoma. Nutella with anything is delightful, and this bread did not disappoint.

3. I got started on my cover letters for internship applications. First applications are due November 1st!! Ack!!

4. I watched the entire last series of Gossip Girl in one day. Now, I probably shouldn't be proud of that...but J was out of town, and I was pretty stressed out, so it was an excellent distraction. Netflix is killing me though! So many shows have new seasons up and I want to watch them ALL right now!! Then I have months of no new episodes.

5. I took the pup on a legitimate walk. He is post-surgery (hence, the cone in the photo above) so he is not supposed to engage in a lot of physical activity, but this pup is active! So I put on my running shoes and some gear to walk in and we went around the neighborhood. It was only a little under a mile, but it was good for both of us to get outside.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Week 40: Sept 30th-Oct 6th: ho-hum but no bottle of rum.

This week J is gearing up to head to Oklahoma City for an art show he is doing at a gallery there. I will be in single-mom territory as it will be just the pup and me for 5 days. I'm not looking forward to that but I am excited for J's art show, he's created some pretty amazing things and it is great that others outside of the bay area will get to see them first hand. 

My 5 things:

1. I looked into gyms in my area. Perhaps if I pay for motivation... it's crazy enough it just might work. I basically need someone telling me what to do and how long to suffer and do it (ie taking classes at a gym). I even contacted one gym, but have yet to go in and get a pricing. I am reluctant because we really cannot afford it, although J seems pretty supportive about figuring it out if it is what I want. (Hmm..is he trying to tell me something?).

2. I met up with a friend over the weekend and we went to lunch. We also took the pup to a dog park. I drove all the way to the south bay (about 45 miles) to visit with her. The distance is the reason it is rare I ever see any of my school friends. Seems like a long trek just for a few hours of social time.

3. We took the dog to the dog park a few times. It's nice to get outside and even (gasp!) socialize with other people. Plus I think we felt guilty because we took him in to get his balls chopped today. Poor pup.

4. Yesterday morning we got up early and J and I stopped to get a coffee and breakfast treat at a little coffee shop near the dog park. We almost always have coffee at home, so it's a rarity that we splurge on anything like that.

5. I enlisted my sisters in some future plans. I am what I have deemed "Christmas Crazy" as in, absolutely crazy about Christmas. I love everything about it and start getting excited around September and the excitement does not let up for months. I decided that my sisters and I need more quality time (since I am only ever up there in the PNW for a few weeks out of the year). I let them know yesterday that we will be getting Christmas crafty when I come up in December with baked goods, crafts, and Christmas music. Planning for Christmas things makes my heart happy. It helps that they agreed ;)  

Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 39: Sept 23rd-29th- Dissertation Proposal Defense=SUCCESS!!!

First off, let me start by saying: I SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDED MY DISSERTATION PROPOSAL!!  I passed! it was approved!!
Granted, I have a laundry list of changes that need to be made including but not limited to changing my entire data analysis section and rewriting/reorganizing my entire literature review.
BUT IT WAS A SUCCESS!!! Regardless of how much I need to do based on it, it is no longer standing in my way of applying to internship!!

My 5 things:

1. I left practicum early Thursday,  I decided I needed some extra time to clear my mind and decompress before the big day (I defended my dissertation proposal on Friday morning)

2. Baked some pumpkin Nutella swirl cookies in an attempt to distract myself from the anxiety overload on Thursday night.

3. I SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDED MY DISSERTATION PROPOSAL!! Ok, ok, I know I already said that...but it deserves repeating...and making the list!

4. J and I went to dinner Firday night to celebrate. We decided to try out a new place in Oakland, I voted for Italian...mostly just because I wanted to free bread you get ASAP ;)

5. J and I also treated ourselves to a movie Sunday evening. SCORE because it was $5 movie day at the theater in downtown Oakland. We saw the movie Prisoners...which was AMAZING!! Such an awesome suspense-thriller-mystery with an incredible cast. We had never even heard of the movie, just decided to treat ourselves and looked at what was playing. When we left the theater J said "Now, that is worth owning".

Monday, September 23, 2013

Week 38: Sept 17th-22nd: Saying goodbye to my dear old companion

I have to defend my dissertation proposal this Friday. I'm fighting off an illness as we speak and I'm totally not prepared for my proposal defense. This upcoming week is going to be hell.

As for last week...

My 5 things:

1. Took the original Riley in my life, the Jetta to the junk yard of Friday. Now, this was actually really difficult for me.

The Jetta and me before parting ways 9/20/13
  I cried. Even though the Jetta's been parked in the garage, not being used for over a month now and even before that I was not the one driving it, saying the final good bye was hard. I owned that car for 11 years... 11 YEARS! It had 67,000+ miles on it when I got it, and it ended with 194,000+ miles. I was really hoping to take it to 200,000 just like Marshall had hoped:
From the episode Arrivederci, Fiero: How I Met Your Mother

2. I baked my very 1st apple pie. I cannot believe how SIMPLE it is to make fruit pies. One of the easiest desserts ever. Granted, it wouldn't be so if I was not using a premade crust. Someday, I will make my own crust but for now, the ready-to-bake crusts will work for me.

3. I took a nap yesterday. I'm fighting off sickness and have waaaaay too much coming up soon that I need to be present, alert, oriented and WELL for.

4. We have some house guests staying with us so J has been acting as a tour guide and showing them the sites of San Francisco. It is fun to tag along, since the only time I ever seem to go over there is when I'm with people who are visiting.

5. Spent a whole day doing laundry, going grocery shopping, cleaning house, preparing dinner. Taking care of the home. It's a bitch to do some times, but it really is worth it.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Week 37: Sept 9th-16th=MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING!!!!

This past week has been CRAZY!!! (so, by default I'm late posting but I spent 12 hours on Monday driving, so....)
J and I got up at 3am on Thursday to make the 11 hour drive up to the PNW for my best friend's wedding. Not only was I the maid-of-honor, but J was going to officiate the wedding! Yes, I'm not dating a reverend ;) He got ordained so that he could officiate their wedding, is that not just the sweetest thing?
Any way, so we were both a couple of VIP wedding guests and hit the ground running as soon as we got into town and it was nonstop until we left on Monday morning.

My 5 things:
1. I got to spend some quality time with my best friend and my sister. We went up the the lodge they were getting married at a day early with my goddaughters and niece and had her "bachelorette party" which included pool time and dinner with 4 children under the age of 9 :)

2. I was able to give a speech at the wedding as the maid-of-honor. She said I didn't have to and that she  didn't expect me to, but I really wanted to, both for me and for her. I somehow managed not to cry for most of it, although the beginning was shaky.



3. I got up super early the morning after I arrived and put the finishing touches (2 hours worth of editing!) on my dissertation proposal and got it sent out to my readers. Last Friday officially marks 2 WEEK until I defend. YIKES!!

4. I got to see a fair amount of my family because they were at the wedding. That is the good thing about being friends with someone for 20 years, your friends really do become your family.

5. We (well, mostly J) got a 2nd (well, techinally 3rd but the Jetta is useless and needs to start living at the junk yard soon) vehicle. J wanted a work truck so he hustled and we figured it out and got him a truck. Made the almost 12 hours drive home a little harder since it was just me in the wagon the whole way back but we made it work. Our little Ford family:

Monday, September 9, 2013

Week 36: Sept 2nd-8th. Struggling to stay awake.

This last week was actually pretty tough to come up with much. I have really been lacking energy in a major way and battling just to be awake at any given time. This makes it a little difficult to go above and beyond baseline.


My 5 things:

  1. I went running 1 time. It saddens and frustrates me that I'm not doing this more. I'm noticing a negative impact on my body from my lack of exercise but I just cannot seem to find the energy or motivation for it. I know I can't be running every day, but I could be doing something active. I wonder what it is going to take to get me out of this slump?

  2. Baked strawberry banana muffins. I chose a healthier recipe than my usual, which didn't taste as good but made for excellent grab and go snacks throughout the week for J and me.

  3. I had an issue come up with the residents recently. Apparently, only 2 weeks in and I had already made a name for myself and I believe the name they used was “bitch”. I wrestled with how to handle this (should I let up a bit, am I being too hard on them?) but then I decided instead to ask the other counseling trainees to step up their authority and meet me closer to where I am at in terms of holding the residents accountable for their actions and enforcing the rules (the things I did to get the label of “counselor everyone avoids”). The other counselors really did a great job and we're now all less liked than before, but at least it is a general dislike instead of a targeted hatred toward me...but most importantly it is for good reason. I'm glad I decided to handle it the way I did and not just slump down in defeat or suffer silently. I spoke up for what I believed in and for what I stood for, and asked that others support me in this.

  4. I arranged a phone meeting with a former intern from one of the sites I'm planning to apply to for internship. I despise phone calls, talking to strangers, and most importantly talking to strangers on the phone... but I decided it was a smart move to reach out. I got some great feedback, advise, and overall knowledge about the site and it was definitely the right move. 

  5. I bought shoes and earrings to go with my dress for being the maid-of-honor in my best friend's wedding. About time too since the wedding is THIS Saturday.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Weel 35: Aug 26th-Sept 1st- closing the chapter on the methadone clinic

This past week marked the end of my practicum at the methadone clinic. I decided to look back to this time last year and see what I had to say when I was just getting started. This entry was just after my 2 weeks of training: August 31st, 2012:

A list of concerns prior to starting my last practicum:
  • It is working with substance abuse issues
  • It is at a methadone clinic
  • There is an element of mandated treatment (which gives you quite a bit of resistance from clients)
  • I'm going from my prior caseload of 2 clients to (currently) 6 but that number will be 10-15 within the next month.
"I'm actually curious to see how I react to this experience of working at a methadone clinic.
I'm sure there are going to be many stressful times ahead, but I'm looking forward to seeing how it impacts me, in what ways I end up growing as a clinician and as a person in general."

Now, after a year's worth of 4am alarm clocks, avoidant patients, endless paperwork, and hour long commutes (one way!) I have completed this chapter and I must say, it's almost like it never happened. I cannot believe I was there for an entire year. Where did the last year even go? Oh, perhaps I was half asleep through all of it!
I learned so much about myself as a clinician, about my limits, and the lengths at which I can push myself. I'm sure these lessons are just the tip of the iceberg for what I will continue to learn throughout this process called graduate school.
I've already started my new practicum at a residential setting for women in recovery who are also mothers and some have their children in the program. It comes with a whole new set of concerns and after being there 2 weeks I can already see how this site is going to stretch me thin and test my limits. Hopefully, I'll be able to come out of it with the same admiration for my clients and my co-workers that I've left the clinic with.


My 5 things:

1. Got a new planner! This is a HUGE thing for me. I could not survive without a planner and I do not think that is an exaggeration. At some point in community college my best friend and I discovered a planner that I have been hooked on ever since.  Here is the link to their site I promise it is  The best planner you'll ever use.
 I have been using these types of planners since... probably around '03 or '04. I've even tracked them down depending on where I was living (they are not sold at most stores). There was a year where I thought I'd try a different type because I was having a hard time locating one. BIG mistake. Thankfully, they're easier to find these days and I even managed to find some sold in Hawaii and California.
They're August to August, which is pretty perfect as a student. Apparently they make January to January now as well, but this one suits my lifestyle pretty perfectly and has for the past...10 years. Wow, I've been in college 10 years now? Oy!

2. I took a few naps, which I rarely ever do anymore but my schedule proved to be just too much for me.

3. I turned in my 3rd draft of my proposal on time! There were actually a few things I could/should have done more to it, but I did what I was able to and that just has to be good enough. Time is running out, I am supposed to defend my dissertation proposal on Sept 27th!! Yikes!

4. Despite this absolutely crazy insane schedule I've had, I managed to turn in some of my internship application material drafts to my Faculty Internship Advisor EARLY!!

5. Yesterday I started on some wedding things for my best friend that I've been put in charge of. I will have to post photos of the process of my crafts when I am finished. It is hard to feel like a maid of honor from 700 miles away when I won't be there until basically the day before the wedding. Thankfully she's put me in charge of some things so that I can feel like I've contributed (plus I think it is a relief for her not to have to worry about).

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Week 34: Aug19th-25th- Zombie woman going through the motions

I'm how many days late posting now? That just shows you where my mind's been at this past week. Doing double duty for practicum at both places just about killed me. I've fallen behind on pretty much everything so it is no wonder I'm almost a week late for posting.

My 5 things:

1. I had a meeting with a professor from the "Office of Professional Development". It was not mandatory, but I wanted to meet face to face and go over my proposed site list for internship sites and see where I'm at. This professor was also one of the ones on the committee that initially rejected me for applying. She said they were on the fence about me, so they rejected me to see my response. They weren't sure I was ready. Apparently, my appeal did exactly what I had hope it would, and it made them realize that "oh, no this girl is actually ready". She said I needed to take that kind of writing and apply it to my application materials.

2. I met up with a girl from my program who used to work at the practicum I just started at. We met up for coffee (I had ginger lemonade, yum!) and I got to ask her questions about the site, the people, the rules, etc. This discussion naturally lead to internship talk, as most of my conversations do lately.

3. We took a day trip to Dillon's Beach, one of the few beaches that allows off leash dog play. It was the pup's first time to the ocean.
Felt like we were back home on the Oregon coast :) He only know California as of now, but he'll soon get a taste of WA & OR.

4. I completed 33 weeks of this "5 beneficial things". That isn't exactly an amazing accomplishment, but I was struggling for coming up with things, and that is still pretty good. How many people can say they're still upholding their New Year's Resolution?

5. (Went to bed that Friday at 8:30pm. I was soooooooo zonked from doing double time, I obviously needed it.

I'll be back tomorrow with this past weeks 5 things. Over and out.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Week 33: Aug 12th-18th-My 1st PIE!

It is 9pm and I just now realized it is Monday.
Ok, that is not entirely true. I was at work today, so I obviously knew which day of the week it was, but it was not until this moment that I realized today is the day I write. Initially I thought "oh well, I'll just write tomorrow and be a day late" but then the other part of my brain yelled back "what kind of attitude is that?!". Again, that may not be entirely true but... true enough.

So here it is, my 5 things:

1. I went running yesterday! Finally! I just checked back and I haven't gone on a run since mid July. Wow, thinking about that bums me out a little. Granted, I did a lot of hiking in Hawaii and I did a 2 mile walk the other day, but I haven't ran in a month? Shame on me. Needless to say, I am incredibly thankful I did. I'm sore in the best way (still able to move but sore enough to know my body accomplished something). I've been lacking energy MAJORLY lately, as in constantly falling asleep while sitting, reading, etc. I know it is from my lack of movement, but feeling that lethargic makes it that much more difficult to get up and get going. I need to put in more effort here. How many times do I have to write that each week before I actually DO IT?!?

2. Finished reading my book. It was an awesome read! Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I recommend it for anyone looking for a quick and entertaining book. I finished just in time too because I got my dissertation proposal edits back the same day. Whomp whomp!

3. I baked my 1st ever pie! Strawberry Rhubarb. It just so happens to be mine and J's favorite pie. I think it turned out pretty well actually. J had some critiques about it but that was because he's basing it off his grandma's perfected recipe. I'd say for a 1st timer I did pretty dang swell. (Ok, ok...I used a pre-made crust, so I am somewhat of a cheat but, I'm still learning!)

4. I made homemade coleslaw. Not that this is some super difficult task, it was actually quite simple, but still. It is something I had never ventured into and therefore knew nothing about. We had the 2nd portion of our humongous pork butt (... I can't help but giggle at that sentence) left and J said it was time to make a million pounds of pulled pork again. I decided to make a more general version in order to make it easier to do more things with the pulled pork (and not have to have BBQ everything). So I decided to also make some coleslaw to accompany our 1st of many pork meals: BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. I've never been a huge coleslaw fan, but I kept seeing BBQ pulled pork sandwiches paired with it so I decided it was time. J said he wasn't much of a fan of the stuff either but he ate my batch with a smile. Success!

5. Friday I get a text from a friend I knew when I went to University of Hawaii who I hadn't seen in years. She was in town and she and her friends had an extra ticket to the A's game that night against the Indians. Despite my 4am wake up that morning for work, I decided I needed to get out and do something, be social. I accepted her offer and ended up having an awesome time. Took the Bart to the game, the ticket deal came with a soda, hot dog and peanuts. No baseball game is complete with out that ;) Although, J called me a traitor for going to an A's game, because we're definitely a Giants house. Oops.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Week 32: August 6th-11th

So it is a week after getting back from Hawaii, and I have not unpacked.
That's right folks, I am rummaging through an exploded suitcase of clothing to get dressed each morning, all the while, the clothes have started to take up more and more space as I dig deeper for other items. Not to mention, my pj's and the daily wearings have also made their way into this mound. Mind you, I unpacked J's things about a day or so after we got back but for whatever reason my things just haven't wanted to get sorted or hung back up. Maybe that should really go on my to-do list, eventually.
I have a feeling next week's 5 things list is going to have a LOT to do with food, seeing as how I just went grocery shopping for the 1st time since before we left and we are now stocked up on things for me to try new recipes with.

As for this week's 5 things:

1. I've been reading, TONS! My goodness how I love a good book. Graduate school has almost tainted books for me, but then I jump into some  young-adult novel, true crime, or mystery fiction and I can't ever remember why I haven't been reading every day all the time? (Oh that's right, that school thing keeps getting in the way). I bought the book to celebrate my 10 hours I'd be on a plane to and from Hawaii since I prefer to spend plane rides with my nose in a book. I bought a book I'd heard was a "great, easy summer read" Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I have, so far, thoroughly enjoyed it. I've only got about 100 pages left, that I am really hoping to finish before my edits from my dissertation proposal come back and I have to face reality and shelve the book (pun totally intended).

2. I went to a non-mandatory meeting at my new practicum this past week. It was voluntary, in order for the new interns to get a chance to see how things work with the counselors, how they discuss residents and the types of things we'll be responsible for in regards to our own client-load. It also gave me an unexpected look at the dynamics between staff and counselors, higher-ups, etc. My new practicum is at a women's residential home, with basically all all female staff. After a 2 hour meeting all I have to say is HOLY ESTROGEN OVERLOAD! Yikes, it's going to be an interesting year.

3. I  had an in-person meeting with my FIA (that's Faculty Internship Advisor, you know the one they originally rejected me from getting...shame on them). Any way, we had our first initial meeting and it went GREAT! She is wonderful, she's blunt, to the point, doesn't bullshit... hmm she reminds me of someone, I just can't put my finger on it ;). I was actually able to be real with her about my reasons for wanting to go in the direction I've chosen and I didn't have to sugar coat it or package it politely. She's the first person in my graduate career that I've actually said anything to about it and I am so thankful that I did. She's helping me to figure out how to present myself in the best way possible in hopes of applying to and getting matched for internship this year. She's damn hard to get a hold of, but when you do, she's brilliant.

4. I rode the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit, aka the subway) by myself back from my meeting in SF. Now, I realize that sounds a little silly going on this list but, it was a chance for me to be alone, in San Francisco, be alone on the subway, and navigate my way home. Hmm, still sounds silly but for me, it's a big deal. Dealing with social anxiety, just riding the subway alone becomes a milestone.

5. I took a nap. Yep, that's made the list for beneficial things for me this week. I went into my old practicum (where I am now a temporary employee) two days in a row, which means 2 days in a row of 4am alarm clocks. Also, since we got back from Hawaii my somewhat-adjusted-allergies to the dog completely vanished and my body has to become adjusted all over again. This results in total and utter exhaustion and itchiness. On top of that, I spent the majority of Saturday completely uncomfortable and suffering so that night I just could not take it anymore and I took an allergy pill. Non-drowsy my ass. Sunday I felt like a complete zombie. Hence, the 3 hours nap. It. was. glorious.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Week 31: July 29th-Aug 5th...APA sucess and HAWAII adventures!

A day late again, however, this time.... I really do have a good excuse. Hawaii. Enough said, right?
This past week I was in Hawaii for the annual APA conference. I remember when I 1st began my program in 2010 when I found out that APA would be holding the conference in Hawaii in 2013 I said "I'm presenting at that conference...I don't know what, or how, but I will be". Sure enough, my poster was accepted and I was going to be presenting at APA. I hadn't been back to Hawaii since I moved back to the mainland in 2010 so this was my 1st time back since living there.
It was such a strange experience, to be vacationing in the place I used to eat, sleep, work, and study. So naturally, my 5 things for this post all revolve around Hawaii.

My 5 things:

1. I went hiking THREE times. I made sure to space out the hikes so that I wasn't doing 2 hikes in hopes of not upsetting my injury too much. I also made sure to do a lot of stretches before and after in order to avoid further injury. Although, I focused so much on stretching my IT band that I neglected other areas such as my calves and WOW after Koko Head, my calves we're soooo mad at me.
The top of Koko Head

On our way back down Koko Head
Sacred Falls

We did Diamond Head the first day we were there, then Koko Head on Friday and then Sacred Falls hike on Sunday. Still shocked we managed to fit in 3 hikes on our 6 day trip but I was pretty determined...obviously since the first thing we did when we got off the plane was head straight to Diamond Head before we even dropped off our luggage.

2. I got to see on of my closest friends, Lisa..my roommate from college. She is actually moving to Arizona tomorrow but was still out in Hawaii so the timing was absolutely perfect! I also got to see my old boss and some co-workers and other friends from college. I didn't get to see as many as I would have liked, but given the time length of the trip and the amount of stuff we did... I think we did pretty good.

3. I got to present at APA!! This was my first APA experience so it was pretty exciting in that regard, plus it was a goal of mine for the last 3 years so I am pretty proud of that.

4. I indulged in some absolutely delicious food. I had madea list prior to the trip of a bunch of my favorite spots for good eats that I wanted J to experience so we checked off as many from the list as we could in that time frame. Leonards, Rainbow Drive-in, Ezogiku, musubis, manapuas, plate lunch, chicken katsu, shave ice, Genke, and the list continues.

5. Explored parts of the island that were new to me too. It was J's first time to Hawaii ever, so I knew there were staple things he needed to see/do: Diamond Head, sunset cruise, Koko Head, Waiks, etc but I've done all those. It was nice to explore other areas and do things that were new for both of us like hiking Sacred Falls and visiting parts of North Shore in search of sea turtles which was a total success!

 I made sure we were respectful of the hono and stayed well enough away (thank goodness for zoom on cameras so I got some amazing photos!) We were literally, the onlys ones on the beach for miles. There were a few fisherman in the distance, but other than that it was only us and these beautiful creatures. This is not your every day Hawaii experience.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Week 30: July 22nd-28th: Nose injuries and Lake Hennessey

Saturday night, I did something incredibly idiotic. I'm quite clumsy and I fall, run into things, and bruise myself often. Now, usually these are just minor annoyances but nothing resulting in days of serious pain. Saturday night, however, was much different. We have a sliding wood door in the kitchen that can be closed to shut off the back half the house. We never, ever use it but since we got the pup we like to keep him where we can see him so we've been shutting that door when he is out of his crate to minimize him wandering all around. It's the evening time, we've spent the day at the lake and are now relaxing and watching Sons of Anarchy on Netflix. I got up to go to the bathroom and I'm explaining to J a part he missed in the last episode. It's pretty dark in the house and I'm such an electricity hoarder that I refuse to turn lights on just to walk to the bathroom and am stubborn in that "I know the route to the bathroom, even in the dark, so who needs lights?". That being said, as I'm recapping the episode to J in the other room I plowed right into the wood door in the hallway NOSE FIRST, just BAM!!! When you're walking in the dark and you assume you've got open space, you walk without reservation and I am a swift walker. Excruciating pain surged in my nose and I dropped to the floor in tears. J came running in, flipped on the lights, looked at my face and said "I think it's crooked" which lead to more crying. I finally got up the nerve to look in the mirror. No major blood, and from what I could see my nose wasn't out of sorts just in a lot of pain, and with a bruised ego to match. Who walks into a wood door?!? I've done a screen door before, and a glass door but usually had my forehead or hands take the worst of it. This time, just my nose.
The result has been a constant headache and pain in my nose and surrounding areas accompanied by a nice big dark red bump on the bridge of my nose.
Only I would do this to myself right before I am taking a trip to Hawaii. So my vacation photos will look lovely, and in addition to that I'm presenting at the most important conference of my graduate career thus far on Saturday. My dad said it should be nice and purple by then. DOH!

My 5 things:

1. Spent some time last week writing my story. I'm realizing it may be years before I actually get down in words everything I need to say. It's rare I have the time coupled with the energy to write any more.

2. I ran with my pup! Only a little down the block a bit during his walks. Unfortunately, I came to regret it later since it has been days and I am still feeling the pain in my IT band from it. Perhaps I got a little ahead of myself.

3. I turned in my 2nd drafty of my dissertation proposal. I got my first edits back on July 8th and my advisor said the turn around for the next draft should be "10 or so days"... well I milked that "or so" part and didn't turn it in until the 24th. Although I know the 2nd draft was still rough, and going to need much more work, it feels like such a relief to have turned it in and know that for the next few days at least, I don't have the burden of an unfinished draft looming over me.

4. Had a good talk with my sister on the phone last week. We each got to vent and gossip a bit and catch up on things we each have going on.

5. Saturday we decided to take our new pup Riley on his first visit to the lake and have a go at swimming. German Pointers are made for swimming, they even have webbed toes specifically for that and he loves getting wet in the bath so we thought he'd go nuts at the lake. Turns out it may have been a bit overwhelming for him but he still managed to have some fun.
Lake Hennessey in Napa


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Week 29: July 15th-21st...Dissertation proposal is swallowing me whole!

Late again. This time, I blame my dissertation. I've spent the last 2 days engulfed in proposal editing. It is the most frustrating, time consuming task ever. You read, search, write, delete, rewrite, search, read some more....6 hours pass and you have about a paragraph more than you started with. Talk about feeling worthless.

The good news: in a week J and I will be heading to Hawaii for a MUCH needed vacation. Ok, so I'm presenting at a conference and that means its not all play and no work, but I'm going to attempt to do a minimal amount of work to the best of my ability.

On to my 5 things:

1. I went running once. WHAT?! I ran, unbelievable. Especially since I haven't been in weeks. I only did it once though, but hey that is better than none. I just have to keep telling myself that so I don't get completely discouraged. Crazy to think I injured my knee (IT band) a year ago. Now actually, I do feel pretty worthless. A year after my injury and I only went running once. I need to work on that. Really need to make it a priority. This is my verbal agreement to myself to step it up (literally!).

2. My time at my practicum is coming to an end. I am done at the end of this month. I was approached by a higher-up asking if I'd be willing to stay on during the month of August to help out with the transition to the new interns because they're pretty short-staffed. She urged me to talk with the director about it and said I could get paid as a part-time employee. So I discussed it will the director and it seemed like he was dragging his feet about it. Kept saying he wasn't sure if HR would go for it, blah blah. I mean, I wasn't totally all for the idea. The thought of having to wake up at 4am for another month (when I've been counting down the days!!) didn't sound great, plus the commute, and increase in work load since I'll be starting my next practicum in August all made me think twice about pestering the director. BUT, then I had a little chat with myself and realized I was recently rejected by my school for applying to internship. Granted, I appealed, etc but ultimately, on paper, I don't look all that great. This would give me an opportunity to get paid (which I desperately need!) and to increase my CV and hours for internship applications. This is something that is important for my career. So, I proceeded to bother the director about it, a number of times until finally: Success. He said we'll go ahead with it! So, although it is added responsibility and stress, what part of bettering yourself isn't?

3. Speaking of needing to beef up that pathetic CV of mine: I talked with my current supervisor and discussed my situation about needing additional experience and my willingness to do additional work. All this is still in the works, but there is potential for me to continue working with him at another site he does work for and getting assessment hours (which I really need). Again, it's additional stress, work, commuting, shitty hours with no pay, but it is experience. I'm motivated to not have to stay here an additional year so I want to be able to apply on time for internship (and actually have a shot at getting matched!).

4. Sunday morning J and I decided to treat ourselves to donuts from Dick's Donuts down the road from us :)

5. I spent quality time with my pup; cuddling, playing around, and running around outside. Alright, I admit...he's growing on me.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Week 28: July 8th-14th: Puppy takes over

My 5 things:

1. Got a puppy. Now, this was not actually my idea and I had (have!) a lot of reservations about it, but at the same time this guy is just adorable and really hard not to fall in love with.

I do have dog allergies, which are proving to be difficult to adjust to. We've had him almost a week now and my body isn't exactly alright with the whole situation but hopefully it will get easier with time. Not to mention he is a handful and a half!
 Puppies are no joke and I don't understand how so many people get puppies because they are such a HUGE responsibility. Cute yes, a major hassle, double yes!


2. I spent time at home by myself catching up on The L-Word. It isn't a show that I make J watch with me, because lets face it, there is estrogen overload going on all the time in the show and he's not a fan of that sort of thing (although, he has a secret love for the movie Sweet Home Alabama that I do not understand. I mean, I like the movie, but I do not get what he loves about it so much). Regardless, I use The L-Word as my own little guilty pleasure to enjoy by myself.

3. I baked cookies this weekend.

4. Two of my friends from school made the trek up from the south bay to meet the new pup and after we went to lunch and got ice cream. It was a belated birthday celebration for me since we never did get together for mine. I rarely get to see them or any of my friends from school for that matter since I moved to Oakland, so it is always nice to be able to reconnect in person.

5. Yard work. What? Yard work is on my list of 5 things that is beneficial for me? So, it's not exactly a party in my honor, but it is great to be able to be outside and being active while also making progress and accomplishing something. I did it twice this last week. Although, my allergies hated me after the 2nd day and took a toll on my body because of it. It kicked my butt and left me with blisters but it felt good to sweat though, especially since I've been slacking on my running, a lot.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Week 27: July 1st-7th DISNEY & SURPRISES!

So my 5 things post is going to look a little different this week, because of the rare events that took place:
This last week was a pretty eventful one. Monday-Wednesday involved going into work and being responsible. Wednesday evening, however, involved a road trip with J down to Anaheim to surprise my family who were were on vacation down there. We managed to get some pretty great reactions from my brother-in-law, my mom, my niece and my nephews. It was a tight squeeze fitting 9 people into a hotel room that sleeps 5...but we managed to do it. The sacrifices we're willing to take to save some funds.

I hadn't been to Disneyland in probably about 20 years (making comments like that makes me feel really old) and J had never been so this was his first time. It was pretty exciting getting to experience it as an adult and still being just as mesmerized by it and getting to see J's reactions to things. He had also never been on a roller coaster, or ridden in a limo so we hit all kinds of firsts for him this week. My family can be pretty overwhelming, but after almost 2 and a half years J handles the chaos pretty well.
 It was also my niece's first time there and getting to watch a 5 year old experience Disney for the first time was pretty wonderful.
The first day we were there was the 4th of July. Not only did we get to experience Disney on a beautiful summer day, but we got to take a break from the rides to enjoy the fireworks, and then hit the rides again after the show was over. We never left the part before midnight. 
 All in all, this was one incredibly unforgettable trip. Any chance I get to see my family, and I'll take it but this was especially memorable because it was a trip to Disneyland. I am so grateful we were able to make that happen because it is not something that will happen very often and with how quickly these kiddos grow up, it's rare to be able to experience such a special moment in time with them.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Week 26: June 24th-30th- Rejection is my middle name

Friday I received an email stating "it does not appear that you are adequately competitive to match at an APA site this year." Which means my intent to apply application for internship was REJECTED and I quickly boarded the train to Bummertown, USA.
This meant that  I would have to wait another year before even applying to internship. My mind began racing with all the things I would be missing out on and how that would mean I'd be gone away from my family for nearly a decade before I was able to return and my heart just completely sank.
After wallowing in self pity for a bit, I decided to take them up on their offer of an appeal. I waited until my brain had some time to cool down (that nice hour long commute from my practicum with no AC and 100 degrees did the trick). I sat down and put into words why I thought I deserved to be able to apply on time. I was informed after I sent in my appeal that the committee would be reviewing my appeal August 12th. AUGUST?! I'd have to wait another month and a half to know my fate? That seemed so cruel and unfair. I pouted a bit more, vented, cried and then went about my weekend.
Much to my surprise, I received an email today with the following opener: "On the basis of your appeal, the Application Review Committee agrees that you should be assigned an FIA and can proceed with your internship applications."
HOT DAMN! Apparently I made a convincing enough argument (and they happened to review it) and they overturned the original decision and are now allowing me to apply. I'm not sure what I said that changed their minds, but I am so very thankful it worked!
Technically, there is no guarantee that I will be able to apply, my application materials still need to have the final OK by the director of clinical training but even still...at least I'm not allowed to try
I'm actually kind of proud of myself. That I was able to do something about the shitty hand I was dealt, that I was able to effectively communicate my thoughts enough to persuade a committee to overturn my initial rejection status they had given me, and that I was able to do so in a mature manner (because trust me, the things I wanted to put into that appeal letter, while true, would not have won me any brownie points).
Gold star for taking the high road and getting results! (and so quickly too!)

My 5 things:

1. Went running once. It was a difficult run for me for some reason, but I ran into these lovely beings and it totally made my day.
2. Went on a 7 (and some change) mile bike ride. It's been scorching hot in the bay and I really wanted to be in the sun. It was J's idea for a ride. I was originally planning on laying on the beach. I suppose his plan was better (healthier). It was an awesome ride right on the bay so the breeze felt wonderful in that 90+ heat. 
3. While on said bike ride, we were able to stop and take a gander at some birds. The bike trail was on a wildlife refuge so there was prime sightings of some beautiful birds. Binoculars and all, we were total bird nerds. 

4. In order to escape out house, we went out and got sushi and a beer in Alameda. Afterwards we took a walk down Park Street in order to enjoy the warm evening (and avoid the sauna we live in). It was really nice just to "stroll" with J and peak into windows of little shops. 

5. On Sunday after our bike ride, it was still entirely too hot to handle the inside of our house. We decided to head to the movies, not caring what we saw, just to enjoy the air conditioned building. We chose to see This is the End, despite a mediocre trailer because it was the one J seemed the least bummed about. Little did I realize I would be laughing hysterically the entire time. Holy Moly, those guys are just TOO FUNNY!! I mean, I always enjoy those guys and think they're super comical, but the trailer just bummed me out and I couldn't imagine how it would be that funny. They proved me wrong and I had a blast beating the heat.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Week 25: June 17th-23rd 2013-Road trips to RENO

I'm posting late, again. It must be summer because I'm slacking on everything and feeling totally lazy. Although, I still have practicum and have to wake up at 4am some days for that and I am still working on research projects, since I don't have as hectic of a schedule and the end of the quarter was such a freaking nightmare I feel like I am still recovering from it. It also causes me to speak in run on sentences I guess.

My 5 things:
1. J and I went on a bike ride for the first time in months. We both had flats so we needed to get those repaired before we could set out. Unfortunately, I chose a bummer trail that wasn't suited for road bikes and we ended that early.

2. Went running once. I figured since I did the bike ride earlier in the week, that I would go running once and call it good for my knee.
 
3. We scoped out a nature preserve area I'd been wanting to check out pretty much since we moved to the east bay. We didn't ride there or really do too much bird watching, but we just checked it out for future use and snagged some pretty sweet photos. Hopefully we'll be returning soon because it was a pretty awesome place.
Lucille :)

4. I had a good talk with my mom on the phone. One of those where I am driving back from work on my hour long commute home. I love when I get a chance to really talk with her and hear about what is going on in her life. 

5. J and I took a road trip to Reno. One of my sisters and some of her friends were there and my sister offered to pay our gas (as my birthday present from her) in order for us to be able to come and stay one night and see them. There was lots of food, tons of laughs, and entirely too much inebriation. My mom tells me I've been here before, back before I had hit double digits but I don't remember that trip. Interestingly enough, I don't remember too much of this last trip either but for very different reasons ;)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Week 24: June 10th-16th Trying new things

1. I went running twice! Right, so running twice is no big accomplishment, except that I didn't run at all last week, and I may have not run the week before that either. I tend to get too motivated, and end up pushing it which irritates my IT band and then I'm left not being able to run. I really need to learn that running twice a week, each week is better than being able to go 3 times in a week but then 0 times the next week. I'm too impatient for this injury, but I'm working on that.

2. I tried my hand at pulled pork for the first time yesterday. I'd never handled 5lbs of pork butt before ;) I made it in the slow cooker, did a rub with spices before hand and then added my own mix after because I wanted it to have more flavor. I must say, I think it turned out pretty well and I'm damn proud. There's always new recipes to try and I love that no matter how good of a cook you are, you can always try new things.

3. I started writing in the My Listography book my sister got me for my birthday this year. It was one the many thoughtful "golden birthday" themed gifts that arrived in the mail. She is all about the presentation of everything (that is her artistic self shining through):
It is an entire book of Lists on every page. There are lists for favorites, wishes, memories, etc. I decided that my goal is to fill it out before my 30th birthday as a way to chronicle my thoughts throughout my last year in my 20's. Some of the lists are pretty concrete and won't likely change, but some of them are more fleeting so it will be interesting to look back on. I have always been a writer, a list maker, a memory hoarder. Since I was young I have written down all sorts of useless information about conversations, dreams, thoughts, any and everything I worried I might forget later. I have boxes of diaries and journals from growing up and as I grow older I realize how much you naturally just forget over time. I guess I was onto something as a child. In the past decade or so I've written a lot less, forgotten a lot more. Even this blog is somewhat of a memory hoarding device designed for me to remember a little bit more that I would on my own. My sistermay not be as much of a writer as me, but is just about as compulsive as I am when it comes to list-making so this book was pretty fitting coming from her.

4. I was told about the show, The L Word and that I needed to watch it. It was actually recommended to J and I but after a quick preview he decided it wasn't for him (which, I'm not sure how that is possible.. there is boobs galore in it!) but either way, we didn't end up starting the series. Now that the quarter is over and I've turned in my 1st draft of my dissertation proposal I've got a few moments to breath and actually relax (well, really it is a false sense since I should still be working on posters for conferences, integrated reports for patients, there is always a laundry list...oh and laundry too!) but either way, I started the series yesterday on my own. Looking forward to losing myself in some new characters.

5. Yesterday, while the pulled pork was in the slow cooker and before I settled in with the L Word for the evening, I spent the day giving the house a much needed cleaning. Cleaning is actually on this list? That probably means I need to get a better social life. The feeling of having a clean, organized house though is pretty damn amazing. That is probably the reason it made the list this time. Having organization and cleanliness, especially after finals week when everything seems to always get "put on hold" and piles of clothes appear, is such a great feeling.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Week 23: June 3rd-9th 2013 No more pencil, no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks!

Oy! I almost forgot to post today!
I cannot have 2 weeks in a row where I'm late, that is just bad form.
So this past week something somewhat monumental occurred. I attended my last class ever in my graduate career. Apparently, I've learned everything I can in the classroom, and now it's just working in the field and on my dissertation. Crazy. Speaking of...I'm supposed to have my 1st draft of my proposal by this Friday. I'm at about 17 of the 50 pages I need. This should be an interesting week. 

My 5 things:

1. I baked cookies in celebration of my last day of class. It was all I could do to stay sane knowing I had a 60 minute group presentation and a 15 minute individual presentation looming the following day. I really know how to go out with a bang...my last class ever was spent in front of the class for about half the 3 hour class.

2. After I attended my last official class of my graduate career, I went over to to Chevy's (which is across the street from my school's clinic campus) with some girls from my program to celebrate. I only had an hour to spare as I needed to be in research group at 5pm and class got out at 3:50pm. Just enough time to enjoy a happy hour margarita, shoot the shit with some friends and load up on chips and salsa.

3. J and I took our free movie ticket and went to see a movie Saturday night. only having to pay for 1 ticket feels like it's a treat ;) I'd been wanting to go see The Great Gatsby, but since we'd been dragging our feet to get to the theater for weeks, it was no longer playing at the Regal's by our house. Instead, we went to see The Internship. That is how much I love J (well, and Vince Vaughn). The fact that I was willing to sit through 2 hours of my arch nemesis (and PAY to do so!!) tells you how much I love them. I absolutely despise Owen Wilson. I cannot stand the way he talks, his facr, his mouth, his voice... hell I never saw the movie Cars...just because he did the voice for the animated movie! That is how much I despise him. I usually boycott his movies, but will admit.. when Vince Vaughn is in them... I make an exception.  The good news is: the movie was good enough that I could almost tolerate his bleached-butt-hole-looking lips and that annoying voice. Plus, I love popcorn.

4. I called my sister who I hadn't talked to in awhile and had a really great talk. J referred to us as "2 hens in a hen house...cackling away". It's rare enough to find a friend like that, and even more so to share 50% of your DNA with them. I hate that I'm so far away, but when she and I are able to have a talk like that where we just really get each other, and can laugh, and relate... it feels like I'm right there with her.

5. I tried my hardest to sleep in on the weekend. I think I made it until about 8am...and that was pushing it. 


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Week 22: May 27th-June 2nd= My "Golden" Birthday

Well well, I am late this week on posting. So sue me! I spent practically all day yesterday in the library so I was a little brain dead when I returned home and not in much a mood to write.

I would like to take a minute, before reflecting on this past week, to make a note that today I attended my last class ever of my graduate career. I am officially done with classes... well, I still have a take-home final that is due at the end of next week.. but as far as attending class goes: I'M DONE!Strange.. because I still have so much further to go in my program but I've "learned" everything I need. HAH!

So, it was my birthday on Wednesday the 29th. My golden birthday: 29 on the 29th. I had hoped something monumental was going to happen, like some sort of metamorphosis into something magical or some special powers would have surfaced but no such luck. I've spend 28+ years waiting for this Golden Birthday and it turns out, it's like every other birthday: Just another day.   

Ok, my 5 things:

1. On my birthday I had to work all day seeing clients at my practicum. So J surprised me with steak (my favorite) and ice cream at home that evening. I pigged out with no regard to calories. It was, after all, my birthday so that was allowed.

2. I found myself taking a few naps throughout the week. One of them I took on my actual birthday (although, that actually made me feel kind of lame, but that is going back to the whole "your Golden Birthday is supposed to be magical" fallacy I had been tricked into believing)

3. My best friend and her fiance (haha feels silly to call him that) came to visit. This was my first actual 'here just to visit me' guests. Pretty exciting. They got to see where J and I live and we showed them around San Francisco. Neither of them had ever been so it was a lot to cover in 1 day, but J did a pretty excellent job as a guide.

4. Having my best friend face to face is when we do our best communicating. We've gotten a lot better with texting and emailing so we no longer go weeks or months (gasp!) without speaking. Nothing beats face to face though. It is not even that we talk about anything monumental, (although wedding plans etc was pretty important this time around) but it is just being able to communicate and know that the other person knows exactly what you mean, even when others around you are disagreeing or failing to see the logic. She gets it. She always has.

5. Sunday J and I decided to take an impromptu mini road trip up to Gridley, CA. It is where his grandpa used to live and J's talked about this candy story: Penny Candy since, well pretty much since I've known him. We made the almost 3 hour drive up there and I got to experience part of J's childhood, walking around the store picking out any candy I wanted and filling our basket.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Week 21: May 20th-26th...any day now

I was going to start out with how it is "that time of year" when everything piles up and I feel like I might explode...but then I realized, when is it NOT that time for me?  We're nearing the end of the quarter so it feels more so than usual, especially since I'm supposed to somehow have a 1st draft of my dissertation proposal by 6/14 and let me just say, I am definitely no where near close to having that (it's about a 40-50 page proposal of which I have maybe about 5 pages written). Add that to everything else that is going on plus trying to be somewhat excited about a trip to Hawaii that we're planning, having to worry about moving in July, and trying to not completely dread this birthday I've got coming this week. I could really use some major stress relief. Any day now.

My 5 things:

1. Went running. Unfortunately, only once...again. I went on Tuesday, and actually had to stop partway through it because of my injury. It started hurting pretty severely at just under a mile and a half. I decided not to push it and the whole rest of the day I was in pain. This pain continued (although dulled) over the next few days which lead to my pathetic running count of 1 for the week.

2. I actually wrote in here, not just on my usual Monday update. It is rare I find the combination of time/energy/motivation to sit down and compile my thoughts into print but when the planets align, it really is a wonderful outlet. There is always so much spinning around in my head and when I'm able to release an ounce of it here or there it makes a world of difference.

3. I baked cookies on Saturday for a BBQ I was attending on Sunday. I made my now-becoming-a-staple peanut butter cookies. I ran into a problem when I realized I was stuck at home without a vehicle and didn't have an eggs. Thankfully, I was able to get creative and utilized a substitute that, while it sounds disgusting, turned out to work pretty well. I only needed one egg, and a couple tbsp of mayonnaise did the trick just fine. They were a big hit with everyone, until I told J the magic ingredient and then he decided they were "gross".

4. Saturday evening my friend Rob who was down in the area for business came over to our side of the bay to get some drinks in early celebration for my birthday. Rob, J and I went to Alameda to a bar and got some drinks and toasted to me turning yet another year older. Thankfully, Rob is turning 30 this year so I didn't feel so old. I drank too much, which rarely happens and I didn't have to drive, which also rarely happens (and is likely why the 1st thing is a rarity).

5. Sunday, in all my hungover glory, we went to a BBQ at Rob's sister's house. There was tons of delicious food to which I made sure to eat any and everything available to me. I'm not sure why, but when I'm hungover it is like I am unable to get full. I just want to eat all day long....so I did. It was nice to be outside in the sun, eating wonderful food.