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 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.