Monday, December 5, 2011

Pet Peeve.

Rant moment.

Attention people:  It is December.  That means it is winter.  That means that it will be cold.  And icy.  And snowy.  You will need to wear boots.  And coats and scarves and hats and gloves.  You will need to scrape shit off of your cars.

This is not news.  This is normal.  Please, for the love of God, stop acting like winter is new and shocking. Please stop bitching about it being cold.  IT'S DECEMBER!!!  It's supposed to be cold.

That's all I have to say about that.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Okay, so I'm a rotten blogger.

So, I'm in my new place, my mom has come and gone again, and everything is unpacked, organized, and decorated.  I even had a housewarming party. :)

So, updates: I ordered furniture from Ikea, which is awesome.  I now have a grown-up bed frame with a headboard and footboard and everything.  I ordered what I thought was a black entertainment center, but when it arrived, it was white.  I was really mad, since I'd paid for delivery and everything.  They wouldn't come back and pick it up, so I decided that I would throw the damn thing together and spray paint the bitch.  And then I loved it in white.  So... it's staying that way.  It's perfect, actually. :)

Mom was here for 6 weeks.  That may seem like a lot to many of you, but bear in mind that if I see any family member over the course of a year, it's a big deal.  It was awesome.  We went to my favorite restaurants and she met a bunch of my friends and helped me make my home beautiful.

One of my besties, who is a total rockstar, moved all of my junk almost single-handedly.  He's the best.  He says that the OCD way that I pack makes moving all my stuff fun for him.  What a goober.  Then after he moved all my junk, he came back with his tools and proceeded to fix stuff around my house.  He was over again last night, doing more stuff for me.  He hung a shelf in the bathroom, tiebacks for my curtains, he hung new curtain hardware, and bamboo shades over three of my windows.  AND when he was all done, he walked with me out to the dumpster so I could throw stuff away, as I have been forbidden from going back there after dark by myself.  It's in the alley.  He supports the me-not-allowed-back-there-after-dark-by-myself plan.  He's incredibly generous with his time, and so I repay him with food.  It's a pretty cool arrangement, if you ask me.  Yup.  He's the best. :)  He cheerfully does man-stuff around my house, and I have someone to cook for.  I think I win on both counts.

My housewarming party was a huge success!  I was a bit nervous, as I was mixing friends from different areas of my life: old Philly friends, school friends, and church friends.  BUT everyone got along really well, and some of them want to start a rotating monthly dinner group!  Also, I baked all day and made some serious yummies. :)  I made chewy gingersnaps, MotiondeSmith's ginger-chocolate chip cookies, my deluxe dark chocolate banana bread, and wassail.  I also made these tarts with roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions, a bit of bacon and apple.  I was winging it with those, but they turned out really well.  MMMM!!!!  It was an autumnal feast.  I felt so cutesy.  I had lanterns lit on my steps leading up to my door, a ginger-scented candle burning, and smooth jazz playing in the background.  Although once everyone started talking, you really couldn't hear the jazz anymore, but I think that's probably a good thing.  A few different times one friend or another would compliment me on the group of friends at the party, and several were excited to be having intelligent discussion and socializing with such a large group of interesting intellectual peers.  I have two friends in MBA programs, one in a PhD program, a BYU professor, etc, so it was a pretty awesome group and the conversation flowed easily. This made me really happy.

Also, I injured my foot almost 2 months ago now.  I was being really intelligent and walking outside barefooted and picked up some glass.  This was a huge disappointment, as I had just completed 10k training and was starting half marathon training.  It ended up taking 5 weeks, 2 sets of X-rays, and 5 doctors appointments to remove all of the glass shards.  So I couldn't run at all, and for a while I was on crutches.  I'm doing better now, and hit the roads again this week.  I've lost a lot of stamina, and so started back with Couch to 5k week 5.  I've done days 1 and 2 quite successfully, and am ready to tackle the dreaded day 3. :)

ALSO, my dear sister, bro-in-law, and niece are moving back to the states in about 4 weeks!  Yay!  AND while Mom was here, we started HER on the C25k!  It's looking like we'll all do a Turkey Trot together on Thanksgiving Day while we're in DC for the holiday!  We've never done anything like that, together as a family, and I'm really excited about it. :)  I really hope that it's the kind of thing we can do together for a long time to come. :)  A couple of my sisters and I have our eyes set on a half marathon at Disney World.  Now, I don't like theme parks, and I've never been to Disney, but the kiddies will love it, I'm sure. :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Post-Painting Party Pictures. Alliteration, what?

Hey all.   I have just about finished painting.  Last Saturday, several awesome friends came to my new place to help me paint.  On Monday I did some more painting on my own and Tuesday I bought white paint to do trimming touchups.  I must say, I am loving it.  I have also had 4 new pieces of furniture delivered, which I have assembled: 2 new bookcases (the ones I have will not survive another move), a baker's rack for the kitchen, and a dinette set with a table and 2 stools. :)
So, once again, in better colors:
My foyer.
 Detail on my painted shelves.
 Looking through from the front to the back.
 The flash makes this look brighter than it is.  It's a bittersweet color.  And you can see my table and stools.
 I painted the inside of both arches blue. :)
 Tiny, but cute kitchen.
 And back the other way.  That's also my baker's rack.
 Bedroom and bookcase.
 That tiny door hides a standard-sized ironing board.  So cute!!!
 From the back to the front of the house.
 And of course, nothing would be right in my life without green. :)
There it is, folks.  I am super happy.  I'm going away this weekend, and so won't be moving my stuff in until next week - Thursday night or Saturday morning, depending on some things.

ALSO: my mom is coming to visit!  Yay!!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Paint Party.

This coming Saturday, I am organizing a Painting Party at my new place in order to rid it of the neon colors that currently adorn the walls.  I'm excited.  I've washed all the baseboards, swept the ceilings and taped off one room.  I spent a good portion of yesterday cleaning, as the most recent inhabitants were a young couple who have clearly not yet learned how to scrub.  Or sweep.  Let's just say that my house was gross.  And now it's not.  Except for the bathroom.  I'm not looking forward to tackling that.  All the other rooms, though, now smell like chemical cleaning product.  It's a wonderful thing.

Anyway, for my local friends who read this blog, if you have a bit of time on Saturday and could lend a hand in exchange for free lunch and a definite invite to my housewarming party, which will feature baked goods prepared by yours truly, let me know and I'll get you my new address. :)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I have my own home!

Yesterday I signed a 12-month lease on my very own apartment.  This will be the first place that is all my own; no sharing!  SO, I have to share pictures. :)
1. My very own front door!
 2. The foyer.
 3. Peeking in to the living room from the foyer.
 4. Looking though the living room, kitchen, and the back is the bedroom.
 5. Living room.
 6. Bedroom.
 7. In the bedroom, looking back the other way.
 8. Teeny, tiny kitchen.  But it's all mine!
That's it, folks.  If you have some time and are willing to help me paint, I will give thanks in the form of food and endless appreciation. :)  Let me know.  I'll be tackling it this week!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In memoriam.

Yesterday, July 26, was the anniversary of the loss of my friend, Ajeet Singh Matharu.  As many will remember, he was a classmate of mine in India and was killed in a traffic accident on the way to school one morning.  It was a devastating loss to the whole group and, as these things unfortunately do, brought us all much closer together.

Yesterday, July 26, there was another loss.  Marvin.  Many of you know I worked as an aide for a severely autistic teenager when I lived in Pennsylvania.  I lived with the family, including Marvin, the grandfather, who had Alzheimer's.  When I first got there, Marvin and I would go on dates.  We'd go to dinner, to the movies, and I'd drive (of course).  After about 1 1/2 years, the outings became too stressful for him - he knew I was familiar, but didn't really know who I was or where we were.  I would hold his hand to help him stay calm when he was stressed.  I would help him order in restaurants, pointing him towards things that I knew he liked, before he forgot what he liked.  He would always tell me stories.  About living abroad, painting in the great cities of Europe, etc.  Towards the end of our dating, he started telling me stories about myself - about this nice girl who took him out for nights on the town and how much he thought I'd like her.  It was funny and sad.  In the months before I left, his language degenerated - he lost many of his content words to the disease, leaving mostly function words.  Getting him coffee became an exercise in pantomime.  I already missed him.  I had more of a relationship with him than I had with my own grandfathers.  I've thought of him often, and today I miss him.

I think the moral of this story is that it's not safe to be my friend on July 26th.  Be ye warned.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Oh geez.

I really think my school is trying to give me ulcers.  As it happens, I already have some.  I've had them for years.  BYU just loves to aggravate them.

Here's the skinny: Apartment people are ready for me to sign.  Like, today.  Well, I can't.  And I can't because BYU is killing me slowly.  On Thursday, I approved my loan amount.  On Friday, I signed my new MPN.  They said it would take 24 hours to alert the school.  Due to totally pointless state holidays, BYU then had a 3-day weekend.  As of this morning, my account still shows that they are awaiting my MPN (Master Promissory Note).  So I called, after 8, as that's when they open.  I got the closed office message until 8:45.  Seriously.  When I finally got someone on the phone, they were totally stupid.  I was told that they had the MPN, but it would take 2-3 weeks to process.  AND that the $ wouldn't be dispersed until the term started.  Stop speaking, you imbecile.  These loans are for the term that started in May.

Oh, well... there's nothing we can do to make the computers process it faster, but I can schedule a meeting for you with the person responsible for this mess.  How is that???

So, I spoke too soon.  I will likely loose that lovely apartment with the hardwood floors.  Why did I fight so hard to stay at this school?  I have hated it since Day1.  So many semesters have involved battling stupidity like this, but never this bad.

It begs the question - how do you know when God is testing your resolve and when he's sending you a million signs to cut and run?  Really, how do you know?  My church talks a lot about the refiner's fire, but aren't you suppose to be pulled out before you get scorched/melted?  I feel like I've spent the last year and a half at the end of my rope.  My bishop was talking to me about clinging on to the end of the rope and I made a joke about using it to tie a noose.  He wasn't amused.

Monday, July 25, 2011

New beginnings. :)

For 2 of my 4 years as an undergrad, I lived alone.  The other two years (1 and 3), I had roommates.  One was a total nightmare.  Afterwards, when I lived in PA, I had a basement bed/bath in the home of my employers.  Very nice, but right below the family room, and so often loud as well.

I have been in Utah for 4 years.  I have lived in 4 houses and had over 10 roommates, more than half of which have also been total nightmares.  Two have been good.  This whole time, I have longed to live alone.  In truth, I don't do well with people.  I don't like noises or smells or comings and goings at odd hours.  I really think that God just made me naturally misanthropic.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I am so blond sometimes.

This year, I have three lovely tomato plants.  I'm starting to get green fruit on them and they are so cute!  Anyways, they've been in containers that are entirely too small for them, and I haven't been able to track down cages yet, so they've been leaning and sad.

This morning I called Lowe's to see if they had any in stock.  After 10 minutes of total confusion, it came back that yes, they did have 23 in the size I wanted.  Yippee!  I'm on my way!  But when I got there, I was told that they had been out since yesterday!

Almost through it...

So, much has happened, but I didn't want to update the blog and jinx it, you know?  I was remarkably calm all weekend.  After all, there's nothing you can do on the weekend, anyway.  I didn't hear anything on Monday, but I wasn't really expecting to, as it was FA's first full day with my paperwork.  Tuesday I heard from everyone.  All three departments.  AND they finally got to talking to each other.  I was told from GS and FS (Financial Services, not FA - Financial Aid) that I needed a statement from FA stating that the Grad Plus loan was forthcoming, so I spent Tuesday trying to get that.  I also needed to file a petition with FS explaining the administrative error which lead to this whole situation.  NO PROBLEM!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Still Working...

Okay.  Here's the skinny:

On friday (late, as in after the offices closed, so I couldn't email him back and continue to nag), I finally FINALLY heard from my counselor.  He didn't answer ANY of my questions.  All he said was that he'd sent my loan information on to someone else for processing.  No name or information.  Grrr.  Also, the Graduate Studies secretary called me to check up on my situation and to inform me that I don't have until the 31st after all.  Wait, you're gonna laugh when I tell you: I actually have until the 25th.  But WAIT!  Campus is closed the 25th for the dumb-ass Pioneer day... so I actually have until this FRIDAY!!!

How can you not laugh at the crazy?  Wait!  I'm not done...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What the...

I finally heard from my financial counselor. I sent him a message yesterday afternoon with a list of questions, which amounted to Why the Fuck are you Ruining my Life? Honestly, I really didn't think he'd respond. I'm sure this will come as a shock to many, but I think I was quite polite, even given the overall message.

Anyways, he didn't answer any of the half dozen questions I shot at him, but he did say this:

"I have sent a message to the financial aid processors to begin the process of authorizing a Grad Plus loan for you."

Uhh, thanks, I think. More importantly, isn't that what you were supposed to have done 2 months ago?!?!?! WHAT EXACTLY HAS BEEN GOING ON??? So, at this point I have no idea what is happening. Maybe my badgering and going over his head (as I did yesterday) has finally yielded some results. Maybe he's tired of dealing with a bitchy, stroppy cow like myself. Honestly, I wouldn't go up against me, either. I'm not a nice girl. Maybe he just said that to get me the hell off his back. Time will tell. Two weeks from tomorrow is my deadline. Pray for me, people.

Oh dear.

Sorry readers - it's not better yet. I finally (finally!!!) heard back from my financial counselor, only to find out that he'd lead me completely astray. Of course, he managed to tell me this without bearing any responsibility for my current situation himself. It's amazing how some people can do that. Really. And I'm not being bitter as I say this - it's truly remarkable.

So, this man advised me to take out a BYU short-term loan to cover my expenses while we took care of paperwork for a Grad PLUS loan. Indeed. Eventually I got an email from Financial Aid, which said, among other things, that it would take 2-3 weeks for my aid to be packaged (that's verbatim). Now, how do you understand that? What does that mean to you, given that these were the same people who were in charge of reviewing my Grad PLUS loan application? Well, Counselor-Man emailed me yesterday to tell me that I'd misunderstood the email, and that no more aid was forthcoming.

Okay.... But what did that mean, then? What was the appeal all about? What about the application for the Grad PLUS loan? What about the tiny fact that I followed your advice exactly through this situation, and am now about to be kicked out of school? Umm, Hello?

So, my current situation is this: I have an outstanding BYU short-term loan out, in the amount of $1400 (which is what I've been living off of all summer, btw). I am 1 credit hour shy of maintaining my continuing student status, which I have until July 31 to add and pay for. But I can't add it until the STL (short-term loan) is payed back, even with the assistance of the Grad Studies department. If I can't get this taken care of in the next 2 weeks, I lose my continuing student status and am dropped from my program. If that happens, but I still want to finish my degree, I need to come up with, not only the $ for the STL, but also a $600 re-application fee. Whoa buddy. AND I have one more year to finish my degree, so it's not like I can leave and come back when I have the funds to deal with all of this craziness. Geez.

I don't know yet how this is going to work out or IF it's going to work out. No idea. If it doesn't, it will seem like such a waste of four years. If this man had paid better attention to my case back in May, I would have had time to pursue other options, like research grants. Now it's entirely too late for that. Friends and Strangers, I'm out of ideas. I'm just putting it out there, because I don't know what else to do with it. Counselor-Man has not responded to my questions.

So here's my plan for today: I'm going to bake luxurious banana bread for a church activity (guys, it is so good, you don't need any butter), and I'm going to dig out my Invisibility Cloak, because tonight I am going to a double feature. HP 7 pt.1 and 9pm and pt.2 at midnight. I'm going to smuggle in chocolate, marshmallows, and Red Vines and I'm going to get insanely sick and love every minute of it. I'm going to see it with Xan and we found a showing with reserved seating. :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

So, here's what happened.

My original goal was to graduate in August, which was tossed out the window when my advisor said he wanted 3 native speakers of Punjabi represented in my data. Riiiight. But still, I was enrolled in thesis credit hours through the spring and summer terms.

In order to survive, I applied for, and was granted, a Grad PLUS loan. That was 5.5 weeks ago. I was told that it would take 2-3 weeks to package the aid. Tuition for Summer term was due 2 weeks ago. I think we can all see where this is going. My credit hour was cancelled, leading to a lovely email from the Grad studies office, informing me that I was no longer enrolled in my graduate program. Thanks for playing. And also that I have 2.5 weeks to convince the BYU bureaucracy to do what I haven't managed to get them to do in 2.5 months - their jobs. Emails, call, sheer panic - all in vain so far. Tears, prayers, begging, and nothing. And now I have a hard and fast deadline - if I can't straighten out this situation by July 31, I will not be able to finish my program. Unless I re-apply and am re-admitted, at a costly rate. Grrrr.

I HATE my school.

It is ridiculous how much I am seething with anger and hatred right now. I really think that BYU is trying to ruin my life, and Jesus Christ, they are succeeding.

Right at this moment, I am no longer a student there. Yup. No shit. And I am powerless to deal with it. I kinda want to go out and be stupid. It's been a really long time since I did something good and stupid. I haven't had a drink or a cigarette since 2004. I behave. I go to church. I follow the retarded honor code, even though it's so arbitrary and pointless that it makes me angry. Still, I do it. Because I have to. In return, I mostly seem to get stress and frustration. But right now, at this moment, I am under so such obligation. If I am not a student right now, I can do whatever the hell I want to do.

People, THIS is WHY I can't rely on anyone or ask anyone for help with anything, ever. Because people take vacations and don't do their jobs. Because people are totally unreliable. Because trusting people is the surest way to fuck up your whole damn life.

Yup. I am an ex-graduate student today because I've had to rely on people to do their jobs. BIG mistake. I don't know if I can fix this. I really don't. Truthfully, I'm not too sure how much I want to. I'm tired. I'm exhausted. I have been clinging on by my fingernails for months and I can't deal with this BS anymore. My situation boggles my mind. I can't believe that it's come to this.

I'm trying not to do anything rash. I'm really, really trying. I'm attempting to calm down and make reasonable, rational plans and decisions. It's not working so far. In truth, I have no idea what to do.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

No clever title. Just stuff and things.

Despite a poor showing in the sleep department last night, I had a really good 3-mile run this morning. I went to bed too late and woke up way too early and had restless sleep, so I was really not expecting a lot of myself. The first quarter mile was icky, as it always it. I don't know why, but I HATE that first quarter to half mile, and then, if I can convince myself not to stop during that time, I get going and the running gets pretty comfortable.

This morning was no exception. As I struck out, I was sure that I would end up walking most of my route. I was tired. It was my 4th day in a row running, where I normally only run 2 days in a row. I'm working up to running 6 days per week, and I'd like to ultimately run between 20 to 25 miles per week. To grant perspective, this week I ran 10 miles. I figured, though, that I should run fewer miles more days per week, and then build up my mileage once I'm used to running daily.

Anyways, I was sure I'd fail and die. But I didn't. Once I passed that first icky bit, I was feeling really good and banged out a comfortable 5k. There's this route in my neighborhood that is conveniently just over 3 miles. :) I use it to train and track my projected racing times.

ALSO: (nerd alert), my friend Xan and I are going to see the HP7 double feature! It starts at 9pm on Thursday and they show both parts of the movie. Mwahahaha! I'm just a little bit excited. I'm gonna get so sick and I can't wait! I'm not sure I'll be able to manage a run the next morning... :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

On being a Loser.

I was a loser in school. Seriously. I wore glasses. I had very long, very frizzy hair. I was too smart and threw off the curve. I was incredibly bad at sports. Picked almost dead last every time. Except once there was this popular girl who took pity on me, I guess. When she was a team captain, she would pick me 3rd or 4th. I never new why. Anyways, I was seriously good at math. I was in the gifted program. I read books while other kids struggled with algebra. I read books at recess.

Other kids bullied me and the teachers saw and did nothing. One girl pinned me to the floor with a desk during class. Like, tipped it over on top of me and held it there. Nothing happened to her. One girl pulled down my gym shorts while I was on my period. She didn't get into trouble either. Boys sexually harassed me daily, spreading rumors about me and telling everyone I was a slut. They called me a devil worshipper. If I stood up for myself, I got in trouble. Once I made the mistake of asking for mediation with the head of my hate committee. Living that down took months. My only friends were other losers. I didn't like them, and they probably didn't like me, but we were all we had. I still remember the names of my tormenters. Caleb. Bridget. Sarah. Paige. Nakeya. There was this really clever boy who barked at me every day because my last name starts with b-o-w, even though it's pronounced bow like rainbow or hairbow or cross bow or bow-and-arrow. Bow-noun, not Bow-verb.

High school was a little bit better because I fell in with the drama geek crowd. Interestingly, it's where a lot of the white kids congregated. My school was about 5% white, so... I wasn't popular by any means, but I was a bit talented, and that went a long way. I was also in honours and AP classes and served as president of the Academic Decathlon. I went to colleges in the summer to take part in smart-kid programs, so I spent my summers studying calculus, latin, and electrical engineering. For our final exam, we built a 4-function calculator out of a box of parts.

College was better still - more drama geeks, and somehow I was kinda popular in certain crowds. People seemed to want me around and enjoy my company. It was weird for me. It still is. I still don't get it because in my heart, I'm still 12 or 13. People are still pretending to be my friend so they can gather information with to hurt and embarrass me later. I was never in with the really popular people - never inducted into any of the secret societies or anything, but I was busy double majoring and had great friends that were also in that same boat.

Surrounding yourself with other losers and geeks creates a barrier - you get a certain amount of protection, buffering, strength in numbers and all that.

I'm in this rather clique-ish ward at church. I was invited to this party. It's up in SLC, so a meet-up location was announced for the purpose of carpooling. Being the personality type that I am, I got to the meet up location 10 minutes early. I stayed until 20 minutes after we were supposed to leave. I can only assume that they communicated with each other and chose a different location. I RSVPed to the even on FB, and at least 2 of the girls going have my number and are generally nice to me.

But suddenly I'm that girl again. I wonder if it's possible to ever outgrow the scars of adolescence. I don't believe anyone was being malicious, but it's hard to imagine that no one had the thought to drive by the meet-up place just in case someone went there. Seems pretty silly not to, right?

I hate that I can still be so adversely affected by things that occurred almost 20 years ago. On reflection, I can see that I don't, and didn't, fit in well. I'm weird. I hide it better now than I did then, because I didn't know any better. I didn't know that I had to lie about myself. Having done some research, I think I've come to understand some of my stranger behaviors and how they're connected. It doesn't make it too much easier, though.

I hate that I care. I hate that I don't understand what people find worth liking or loving in me. I hate that having friends baffles me. And right now, I hate that there's an amazing guy who likes me, and I don't know how to let him, because he's the popular kid type, and I'm a bespeckled awkward girl, and I don't know how not to be. 15 years ago, him (or his type) talking to me would have been the beginning of a cruel joke. And it doesn't seem to me that the world has changed so much, so how am I supposed to let my guard down?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Passive Aggressive driving makes me happy.

Today I got honked at for stopping at a red light. I was in a right turn lane, but still. I'm all about turning right on red and everything, but before I do so, I think it is important to stop and LOOK before proceeding into the intersection. Call me crazy.

Unfortunately the DB behind me didn't think his actions through all the way. Because we were turning onto a curvy 2-lane road with a 30-mph speed limit, which most people take at 50-mph. Oh yeah. I know. I'm an ass. I went the speed limit. Mwahahahaa!

Every time I looked in the rearview, he was flipping me off. So, about 2 blocks from my house, I breezed through an orange light, and he had to stop. I flipped him a peace sign and made my way home, smiling all the way. That's what you get, douche canoe. That's what you get!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I was mean on purpose.

Which means I must be feeling better. :) I'll tell you the story.

I'm LDS. And I'm liberal. VERY liberal. I'm happy that way. I have no problem getting along with conservatives. In fact, both of my parents are conservatives (Mom and Dad shout-out!) I sometimes joke that I think one of my Dad's great disappointments in life is that his kids lean so far left. Oh well.

I joined this facebook group called LDS Left. I'm happy there. When sitting in Utah Suburbia, it's hard to remember that I'm not the only liberal mormon in the world. Still, I have had many conversations with other mormons, and I think they can be fine, even good, as long as both parties decide to respect each other and not mudsling, or call intelligence or righteousness into question. Because that's just rude and unproductive.

I noticed awhile back that this girl had joined the group who was clearly not left-leaning. Fine. Whatever. Maybe she's curious or interested in expanding her understanding of the other side? Nope. She was there to pick fights. And that's what she did. And the really unfortunate thing is that she is not terribly well-informed. Poor thing. She never stood a chance. Don't enter the den of the other side and start picking fights unless you're prepared to be devoured.

And I did. I watched other people fight with her. Back and forth. Back and forth. I saw her impugn other's intelligence, church worthiness, etc. And this morning I just got sick of it. I told her in no uncertain terms that we did not agree with her politics. Period. She was wasting her time and her breath because she would get no conservative converts out of us. And that she was a self-righteous twit.

She said she'd pray for me. I laughed and responded with "Sweet! :)" She won't talk to me anymore. I wonder why. ;)

I am SUCH a bitch. And I love it.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Food, Inc.

I just watched it. I knew all about it already. I knew about the horrors of the food system. I had read all about it.

And then today I saw it. I feel sick to my stomach. I'm pretty sure that was the point. I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to eat again.

I need more money so I can eat more organic food. That's what it comes down to.

How can knowledge not turn people into activists? Who can, with even partial knowledge of the system and its many alarming and dangerous practices, can be complacent about what they put in their mouths? Or in their children's mouths?

A few years ago, I went on my first kick: I started reading Michael Pollan, and also read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barabara Kingsolver. To this day, I number it as one of the ten most influential books I've read in my life.

I have a deep thirst for knowledge, and not just the easy-to-digest type. I want to know things that will make me uncomfortable and will make me question my view, not just insulation that will reinforce my opinions and make me feel warm and fuzzy. I want truth like water from a fire hose. Ignorance is not bliss. Not to me. I don't want to be complacent.

What I really want is a small farm. So I can grow my own food and sustain my family without relying on the system. Yup. I want to be a hippie.

Friday, June 17, 2011


So, I've been running 3-4x per week for almost six months now. When I started, it was January: 2 degrees, wind chill, icy roads, etc. I was VERY well bundled. The only thing exposed to the light of day was my face, and sometimes not even all of it. Now though, it is into the 50s when I go out, so I'm wearing a lot less. Lately, I've been going out in capri running pants and a racer-back tank.

And I've gotten a lot of color. It's nice not being confused for a vampire. Although. I just had a close look at my shoulders. Apparently they are not tanning. They are spotting. My shoulders are getting totally covered in freckles.

I've never been a freckley person, at least not that I can recall. Maybe if I keep getting sun, the freckles will blend together? Is that wishful thinking?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What a day.

5.5 miles. Ugh. Only 1/2 mile away from the 10k goal. Much like my last long run, it was comfortable and fun until the last mile. Still, it's done and tomorrow is a rest day! Yay!

I was out of spinach this morning... so I used green leaf lettuce. Not as good, actually. Luckily, my favorite store ever had spinach on sale, so I bought a bunch. I am set for green monsters for a week (or so I hope). And probably salads, too. I've been making tuna salad with balsamic vinaigrette and tomatoes (no mayo), then plopping a dollop onto a bed of spinach, another dollop of cottage cheese, and more balsamic over the whole thing. MMM!

Why all of the spinach? Well, as you may or may not remember, I have no gall bladder. Most lettuces rip up my stomach. But spinach is pretty mild on it, so I eat a lot of it. :)

This evening I went to a concert-thing in some park in town. The band was... well, there was a band. I think that's about all I can say about it while being polite. Also, AC/DC is sacred. No touchy. I'm afraid Back in Black has been ruined for me. It was as bad as that one video of Miley Cyrus doing a cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit. Did anyone else see that? Be warned. Your ears may bleed.

So, this band was like that. But with country, classic rock, 80s stuff... it was random. It was like... if my ipod was some how out of tune, and my full music list was on shuffle. Too much. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the video. :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Green Monster.

My FAVORITE new breakfast lately is the Green Monster. It's amazing! It is a fat-free, sugar-free bit of deliciousness. There are many recipes for them, but they're essentially 2 cups of spinach, 1 banana, and 1 cup of milk, blended with ice. I add ground flax seed. And of course you can dress it up. Today a put in a few tablespoons of strawberry yogurt. Or you can add blueberries. Or Melon. Or whatever! And it tastes WAY better than it sounds.

Also, I'm 1 week from being done with my 10k training. Huh. That snuck up on me. 4 miles today. I lost steam after the 3rd mile. I think I need to start eating before I run, despite my previous experiences with that. I think if I have a piece of fruit or something, I can hold that down and it'll help with me having fuel to finish the run. Also, since I'm starting to do longer distaces, I need to look into one of those running water belts. And Xan has graciously loaned me her mountain bike so I can start cycling. Eventually I'd like to get a road bike, but this'll definitely do for now.

I also need to determine the best/most cost effective way to track my stats. I need to get a new ipod, as mine works, but you can't navigate anymore, so that's a waste of time. I've been running in silence - just me and my thoughts. Scary. So, I can get a new ipod and a tracking app. OR I can get a garmin watch, which would track my vitals, but still have no music.
I know there are times that the music helps me to keep going, but most of the time I'm fine without it. Plus I haven't yet put together a running playlist that really works for me, so I'm hitting the next button a lot, which is irritating. Grrr. I'm not making any decisions any time soon. Right now I'm just gonna keep running. :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Medic Alert

So, I need to have a Medic Alert bracelet. BUT I HATE jewelry. I never wear bracelets. Not even watches. So, you say, they have necklaces! Well, I don't wear those, either. In fact, when I dress up, it's likely that my only jewelry will be earrings.

But, I need a Medic Alert tag. So, I was on the phone with my dear Mom and we were discussing the possibilities. There are very cheap options out there, but they have nickel in them. And I am quite allergic to nickel.

So.... what about a Medic Alert tattoo? Just something small, inconspicuous, on the inside of my left wrist? Just a little Medic symbol and the name of my offending medication? Thoughts? I will be on this medication for the rest of my life, as far as my doctors and I can tell. So...

Saturday, June 4, 2011


The other night I went with Xan to see the new Jane Eyre. I LOVE Jane Eyre. I have seen 4 adaptations of the book, and this one was, hands down, the best. Other versions, much as I love them, are not true to the book. They leave out important characters or do other awkward things which make me sad. I don't have any idea how they did it, but this version was true to the novel without being five hours long. I loved it.

I love the novel. It was my very first classic novel, and Mr. Rochester was my first love. Don't get me wrong, I know he's a jerk. A big jerk. As is Heathcliff, but my affection does not extend to him. I have kind feelings towards Darcy, Wentworth, and Knightly...but my heart belongs to Rochester. Colonel Brandon, Edward Ferrars, and Edmund Bertram are nice guys, but too much milquetoast for me. Nope. Rochester ruined me. And the result is that I love jerks to this day.

It's a problem, and it's Charlotte Bronte's fault.

Monday, May 30, 2011


As y'all know, my online pseudonym is Kalliope. As an undergrad, I double majored in Technical Theatre and Classical Languages, emphasizing in Ancient Greek literature. So, for this landmark post (100th), I thought I'd explain my pseudonym. Kalliope was the muse of epic poetry and her name means 'beautiful-voiced'. She is known for being Homer's muse, and the inspiration for the Iliad and the Odyssey. In the opening lines of the Iliad and the Odyssey, he calls upon her to sing the stories to him about Achilles' anger and Odysseus' travels. In my classes, I translated a couple of books of the Iliad, read the Odyssey a few times, and wrote my undergraduate thesis about certain events in the Iliad. I love both books. I love the genre. I have read the Aeneid as well, and though I recognize that it is also well done, in my heart I am and always will be a Hellenist. Virgil was a talented epic poet, but I find the introduction boastful. Homer gives the glory of his tales to Kalliope herself, but Virgil begins his poem with the line "I sing about arms and a man" and doesn't invoke the muse until several lines later. Pompous. Too pompous. It's also a challenge to Homer, in that the Iliad is a poem about a war (arms) and the Odyssey is about a man. Virgil declares that he will do what Homer did in one epic, and with the muse taking only a peripheral role.

I don't think so. Sorry. That's probably far more than you wanted to know.

So, in honor of the great muse, and in honor of my first passion, I took upon myself her name.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Guess what I found?

I've been toying around with family history stuff lately. Mostly, it's an insane mess, and somehow I ended up with most or all of the family's records. In triplicate. With different information on each copy. Grrr. So, there's a lot to do.

I logged on to the Family Search website yesterday, which I've been trying to do for weeks, and for some reason, it actually worked. I spent some time piecing together my family tree, and in so doing, found the contact information for someone else who has been working on the same family line. Huh, says I. See, the website makes a note each time someone changes or adds information. So, I clicked on the name of the person in question and found an email address for a girl at the University of Arizona, who had made some edits to my great-grandmother Martha. Turns out, we're related. She's from Arizona, about an hour from where I lived in Tucson. And there's a family reunion in Colorado this summer. Wicked. :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I was not translated. Sad.

Well, it's after 6pm on May 21, 2011 and I have not been taken up with the righteous. No surprise there, let's admit it. ;)

Well, last weekend I went up to Boise with Xan and spent some quality time with my pseudo-family. ::aside:: I once walked into a conversation about whether something should be deemed pseudo or quasi. I, extreme nerd that I am, informed them that the words mean entirely the same thing, and that one is derived from Latin and the other from Greek. It's amazing how people don't appreciate it when I try to help them not sound stupid. Hmmm. Anyways, being a Hellenist, my preferences tends towards pseudo. So on Saturday Xan's parents drove us out to Idaho Falls. Interestingly, we were not there to see Idaho Falls, but rather Shoshone Falls. They were beautiful. After the falls, we went to a sushi lunch, which was super yummy, and then we went to another place called the Devil's Washbowl.

This is Shoshone Falls. :)

On Sunday, all of the ladies in the family went to see WICKED!!! And it was totally awesome. Not like hotdogs. It was fabulous. I will admit, during Defying Gravity, I teared up. It was beautiful and emotional and I loved it. Basically, I love musicals. Unabashedly.

The week was pretty boring. I edited sound files and tried to learn praat. I mostly failed, but I'm still trying. Today I took part in the 5k mentioned previously. I didn't have a great showing, but it wasn't terrible and also wasn't totally my fault. About 1/2 mile from the end, I fell, spectacularly. I have a skinned leg, two skinned palms, and a sore forearm. Oh well. The worst bit was that when I fell, I was about 10 feet past a group of guy spectators. Did anyone offer to help me up or ask if I was okay? Nope. It's no wonder I'm unmarried. I'm just saying. Anyways, I was 5th in my division! :) Not high enough for a medal, but maybe next time. I was thinking that next year I'd try for the full triathlon. What do you think? It's a women-only event, and everyone yells supportive things to each other as they go. It's pretty cool. AND, there was a local chiropractor there giving free adjustments. He could tell that I spend my days hunched at a computer. I also got a coupon for 3 free yoga classes. AND the race shirt was a tech shirt! And I got a necklace that says "runner." Sweet. Awesome swag at this event.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Up next. :)

My next 5k is Bank of American Fork Women of Steel Triathlon and 5k. Clearly, I am only doing the 5k portion. I don't own a bicycle, let alone a road/racing bike, and I couldn't tell you the last time I went swimming. Probably 4 years ago. Seriously. Anyways, according to the race website, over 1000 women will be participating in the event. I hope it goes in waves, as I'm not great with crowds. But I have Xanax in case of any issues. Although, I'm not sure I'd like to try to run a race while on Xanax. Hmmmm. Could be fun, but I probably wouldn't do all that well.
Meh. We'll see how it goes.

I had a great run this morning. Well, most of it was great. I ran 4.25 miles, and I'll be the first to tell you that for the last 1/2 mile, I was definitely sluggish and sad. Still, for most of it I was feeling good. The program I'm using tracks my total mileage, duration, etc, and it's so nice to see those number steadily ticking upwards.

My dear college friend, Chris, crashed at my place Saturday night on her way back to college. Her Cali roommate, Dacia, was also here, as she's helping Chris make the long drive to the east coast. They got here pretty late, so I heated up some homemade (and delicious) French onion soup and packed them off to bed. We visited in the morning, Chris tactfully asked me if there was any coffee in the house, and then they were on their way by 11am, off to their next stop. It was good to see her. It's been 8 years, which kinda blows my mind. I made the point that we don't really look older. At least not THAT much older. I pulled out an old picture of myself from freshman year, 10 whole years ago. The only differences I can really discern are the obvious: I had really, really long hair. There is no visible grey in said hair. It looks darker, but that could be the lighting, or it could be that all of the white hair I have now is having the effect of making my hair in general appear to be lighter in colour. Not sure. Also, I am somewhat slimmer.

In the picture, I am reading one of the first books that utterly changed my life. It must have been Winter (Spring) semester, as I know I bought this book for SOAN 101: Human Societies (I think). The book is Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. A decade later, it still tops my list of most influential books I've read in my lifetime. I even checked out the book on CD from the BYU library, just so I could rip it to my computer and listen to it whenever I wanted! I still reference the book in conversations, and if you haven't read it, I'm telling you that you should. I believe that I have excellent taste in books (always disregarding my affinity for Austen fan fiction, but everyone needs some escapist garbage, right? Alright, I admit it. I also love Napoleonic-era historical fiction. ::shame::) So other than those topics which shall remain nameless, I read mostly nonfiction and I love it. Other authors I highly recommend are Bill Bryson (travel books and English-language books) and A.J. Jacobs (social-experiment-hijinks).

Alrighty, I am now done with my post-run breakfast of whole wheat bagel thin with natural peanut butter, banana, 1/2C chocolate milk, 1C white milk, and a mug of warm tea. I am ready to commence with productivity. And the drinking of more fluids, as I am pretty dehydrated from my run. Also, one of my favorite things about running? A legitimate excuse to purchase and consume chocolate milk. :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's been awhile...

Hey Y'all!
-Still running. In fact, I just got back from a smooth and fabulous 3.5 miles. :) I have been running for 4 whole months and I LOVE IT! This morning was my longest run to date, and it even included a hill. Now that I've been finished with C25k, I went looking for another training program. I found a beginner's 10k 9-week plan on They email me my workout 4 days a week, then I log it when I'm done. It keeps track of happy things like total time, total miles, and total calories. Yay!
-One of my college besties is coming into town this weekend. :D For personal reasons, she ended up not completing her senior year. But now, 8 years later, she has re-applied, been re-accepted, and is going back to finish school! I am so happy and proud of her! She's been living in California since 2003 (which was the last time I saw her), and is embarking on a cross-country trek to get back to school in Virginia. Guess where she's crashing one night? MY HOUSE!!! Yay!
-Much of my family is getting together in DC next weekend. I was supposed to go, but alas, circumstances and thesis made the trip impractical. Boo. However, while they're together, we're going to skype! I will see my beautiful nephew for the first time in almost 2.5 years! Yay!
-I am on a thesis roll! I love working with my informant and I had a great meeting with my advisor on Tuesday. He's excited about my research! Yay! He also wants me to learn and utilize praat for analyzing my data. Boo and Yay. Boo, because that will mean there's no way I'm gonna make August graduation. But... my thesis will be WAY stronger with praat backing me up. Yay!
-I found out from census records yesterday that my great-great-grandmother was a milliner. How cool is that? It certainly explains our family obsession with hats. :)
-I have the house to myself all week. Don't come over. I might be enjoying nakey time. ;) Yay!
-I was put on a different medication, and I'm (mostly) remembering to take it! Yay!
-I'm going to see WICKED! Next weekend! With my fake family! Yay!
-My AMAZING sister MB got me a KitcheAid Stand Mixer for my 29th birthday! And it's in green apple, so it matches my whole life! Yay!
-My OTHER AMAZING sister, CA, got me a totally sweet silicon baking sheet! It's awesome!
-My AMAZING mother got me mexican vanilla and high-fat cocoa!
-My Totally Awesome friends, who shall be called Beckseph, got me a new knife set! Do I sense a theme emerging??? Yay!
-My roommate/sister-from-another-mister and her bf threw me an awesome bday party with cake that I actually liked! Yay!
-I found statements about my thesis topics that are totally wrong and I can eloquently refute them in my long-ass paper! Yay! I LOVE being right!

I think that's enough of that for now. Sorry! It's been a good month, I guess. :) Yay!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Done and done. :)

Okay, y'all. Here I am, approaching the finish line, after running through snow and dodging puddles and ice. It's not a flattering picture, but that's okay. :) I don't know what my time was, and they haven't posted the times on the race website yet. Oh well.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The day before....

It's my birthday today. 29. Woah. Today was pretty good. My family members all called me, in what turned out to be an amusing domino pattern. I spent most of the day in jammies alternately napping and watching Bones. :)
This evening, my Roomie, her boyfriend, and another friend from church took me out to dinner at my favorite BBQ place: The Smoking Apple. I had pulled pork and sweet potato fries. In honour of my birthday, they also gave me a piece of cheesecake, but it kinda tasted like long-life milk. The rest of the meal, however, was bliss. Afterwards, they took me for my favorite dessert: a twisty cone. :) I'm such a child sometimes.
Tomorrow morning I will go run my first-ever 5k. I am excited about it, although the weather is worsening even as I type this. It's snowing. For real. Ick. They're actually re-routing the race in order to keep the runners on asphalt and pavement. Apparently the original route went through the woods or something. Had I known that, I probably wouldn't have signed up for this particular 5k... Still, I'm looking forward to it. I'll just have to be sure to bundle up really well.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Still going strong.

No, I haven't fallen off the horse. I am still running 3 or 4 times per week, and it's still the best part of each day. I have started "tapering" in preparation for my very first 5k, which is where you run fewer miles in order to give your body rest, etc before the race day. My race day will be the day after my 29th birthday. I'm really excited about it. :) The 5k. Not the birthday.
Woah. 29. When the heck did that happen? For as much sticker shock as that number incites, I'm in a good place in my life. I can run longer and faster and farther than I've ever been able to run in my life. I'm making progress on a thesis I'm really excited about. And I'm beginning to gain perspective into the many trials I had last year. Last year, life felt like a matter of survival. Bad crap kept happening and I was depressed and it was not good. This year, though, feels good and I feel hopeful. I feel like I'm back to being me. I still have stresses and I still worry too much, but there are also things to hope for and look forward to.
And I have running. I love running. Every day I want to run when I wake up, and I have to talk myself into resting. While it may not be changing my body much, it is certainly changing my life, and that's way more important. I also have amazing friends who make me laugh and make me feel loved and appreciated. AND my bestie from college will be driving through in about 2 weeks, and is going to crash here. I can't wait to see her. :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Oh yeah!

I graduated from the Couch-to-5k running plan today.

That is all. :D

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ups and Downs.

Week 8 went really well. For the most part. All of my runs felt really good. I was comfortable, not wheezing... I even think I could chat while I do it. Unfortunately on Day 3 (Saturday), I had eaten before I ran. I waited over an hour after eating to go out, but I kept getting waves of nausea. And...then I decorated a gutter. Oh well. Lesson learned. I also missed my footing and fell down, twisting my ankle. :( I got up, took a few tentative steps, and then finished my run. I've been wearing a brace and icing it and stuff.

I gave my ankle an extra day off, so today was the first day back on the schedule. Week 9. 30 minute runs. :) 2 more runs and I'm done with the program! At which point I will start over and work on increasing my speed. The goal is to do a 5k in the 30 minutes. I'm not. I'm not jogging at 6 mph. I'm jogging at about 5 mph. I would like to complete the 5k in under 30 minutes. 27 would be awesome... So I'm going to start over and build up speed. My race is about a week after I will finish the program the second time, so it's perfect. I think I'll keep running 30 minutes 3x/week, and do the C25k Speed Version another 3 days per week.

I mean, the goal isn't to be able to finish the race. The goal is to do it well and comfortably.
2.5 miles today. :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Gettin' it done.

Today was my first 28-minute run. I'm still going a bit slow, but the speed will come with time. It was a pretty good one, as far as my runs go. At the halfway mark, I stopped for 5 seconds to stretch out my calves, but otherwise it was a good, solid run. The rest of this week will also be 28-minute runs, then next week will be 30-minute runs. And then that's it! Back to being a couch potato!
Not really. ;)
My 5K is 3 months from today. Maybe I should I have found one sooner, but I want to be able to run it comfortably and with a good time. I'm pretty excited about it. :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Epic Success!!!

This was Week 7 of the 9 week program. Days 1 and 2 were both hard on me - I couldn't find a good rhythm and I was tired or I don't know what. Today was amazingly awesome. I'm glad that every few bad runs I have a great one - it keeps me motivated. Today was another 25 minute run, and at the end, I felt so good that I ran an extra couple of minutes. Next week is 28 min runs. I have been concerned that I'd have to repeat this week, but after today, I am confident that I can tackle next week.

My body is doing some strange things. For reasons I don't understand, I have been craving granola. I HATE granola. But, my favorite grocery store has about 15 different granolas in their bulk food section, so I bought 2 of them to try out as a topping to my low-fat strawberry yogurt. One is cherry almond and the other is peanut butter. I also bought Larabars and fruit leathers. And flaming hot cheetos, because I am to total addict.

Feelin' good, folks. Feelin' good.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Epic fail.

Week 6 Day 3 went SO well. It was 25 minutes of straight jogging. Today was the same. And it was an epic failure. I wasn't even worried about it since I did so well on Saturday. However, due to circumstances outside of my control, I didn't sleep much last night. I slept well from 11 to 2. And then there was a visitor in my house. Not my visitor. And the dogs started barking. And barking. And growling. And barking. And they wouldn't fucking stop. So that was pretty much it for me and sleep last night, and I'm pretty fucking pissed about it. And so this morning when I went out to jog, it was a failure. My first real failure. My whole body was so tired. I think I managed 20 of the 25 minutes. My body kept revolting and ultimately I just couldn't do it. I'm so mad and so tired.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

More Adventures.

Week 6 Day 2 today - my last day of interval training. From here on out, it is all jogging, no walking. My run today was fine. Not great, but better than the last two I've had, which have been quite rough. I read online that weeks 1-5 are about beating your body and weeks 6-9 are about beating your mind. I believe it. There wasn't any good reason for today to have been hard. I was properly bundles, I wasn't running on snow or ice, and I've totally already done it before. 10 minutes? Of COURSE I can jog for 10 minutes. During my second 10 minute jog, the podcast guy said I had 5 mins left when I really thought I had two minutes left. I was not so happy. Still, I did it, and that is reason to smile. Friday is 25 minutes nonstop. It should be fine. Mind over matter. In my case, lots of matter. ;)
Hey, I've already come so far. 5 weeks ago, jogging for a minute was hard. Now, I don't even think about how long I've been going until 5 minutes or more have passed. I'm not getting uncomfortable until 8 minutes have passed. I'm hitting at least 2 miles each day, and it's going to keep getting better and easier.

Friday, February 4, 2011

I know you're all dying to know....

I did it! It was a rough day, but I did it! I hurt my knee a bit during cross training, so I really wasn't sure if I could make it through. Still, I strapped on a knee band and decided to give it a go. My knee was aching during the warm-up walk, and so I was envisioning turning around or re-doing an easier day. Once I got going, my knee pretty much stopped hurting, but I was having a really hard time finding a good rhythm. Grr. I made it past the first 5 minutes and didn't feel ready to stop, and then 8 minutes... and then, I thought, I'll go 10 minutes, walk for 1, and then pick it up again. Instead, I kept going. Hey, I said to myself, you're halfway through doing this for real. By the time I was tired enough to consider stopping, I had 7 minutes left. What's 7 minutes, I asked myself? I've just done 13! I can TOTALLY keep going! At some point, I started to give myself pep talks out loud in order to stay motivated. You can do this. You are NOT going to stop with 3 minutes left. Do you want to be that person? GO! And I did it. It was really slow-going because of my knee and bad rhythm issues. I didn't make it farther than I did on Days 1 or 2, but I kept myself going.
When I got to 15 minutes, I started smiling. I'm really doing this, I said to myself. Oh my lord, I'm really doing it!
And I did. :D
Next stop, Week 6! Only three more weeks until I graduate from the program! Now I shall go ice my knee.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Note to Self: Do not eat before running. Seriously.

It's freakin' cold right now. FREAKIN COLD. I waited until 10am to run. It was still only 2 degrees, after factoring in windchill. I couldn't feel my legs by the time I got home. Also, since I went out so late, I made the mistake of eating breakfast before I left. I ended up voiding said breakfast in front of someone's house. Ooops.

This is a big week in my schedule. The plan is very slow and methodical, and it's really working for me. We've gone from running 60 seconds to 90 seconds to 3 minutes to 5 minutes to 8 minutes. In two days, I'm to run for 20 consecutive minutes. It's a big jump. I'm nervous. But each step up to this point has made me nervous, and I haven't failed yet. I have succeeded. And each step has been a huge victory for me.

So wish me luck for my next run. Mind over matter, right?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Still winning. :D

Today I started Week 4 of my very slow training. For as slow as I know it is, I still find the beginning of each week intimidating. I have been having a lot of knee and lower back pain and after reading a lot of advice online, I decided to go and get fitted for proper running shoes. I went to the Salt Lake Running Company and was videotaped while running. I pronate. A lot. So, I tried on stability shoes, ran around, jumped up and down, and bought a pair. You may think that I succumbed to capitalism or some crazy societal ridiculousness, but I'll tell you this: my knees don't hurt anymore. It's like magic.

This is the first week where we run more than we walk. I ran for 16 minutes. Not all together. But I did. At the start of this program, I looked ahead and was scared by what I saw. Today for the first time in who knows how long, I ran 5 mins without stopping. Twice. When I finished my last 5 min run, I broke into a huge grin. I'm still grinning, to tell you the truth. I know it's small potatoes for some people. Some people find the idea of training for a measly 5k to be ridiculous, but those people don't have broken lungs. Some people can run for 5 mins without breaking a sweat. For me, it is a major accomplishment, and I am so proud of myself. I'm so excited by what my body can do now. I feel myself changing, and I'm excited by it. I'm grateful for my family and friends who get excited with me over my small but steady accomplishments. My sister (you know who you are) and my mother are like cheerleaders for me.

In other news, I won a cookbook giveaway from food blog Annie's Eats. Oh yeah. JUST what I need. More cookbooks. :) Also, my car, a 91 Subary Legacy, died a month ago, and over the weekend, I got a KILLER deal on an 03 VW Jetta. Way younger than the Subaru, and way zippier. I should get the title from the bank in a couple of days, and then it will be all mine!

Also, I go to church with Philistines. I talked to a girl who was arranging a church dinner. She was having girls sign up to prepare lasagna (ewww) for the dinner. Or so I thought. No no, she was having them sign up to bake FROZEN lasagna (AAAHHHH!!!!!). So, I mentioned that I'd be interested in preparing a white lasagna. I made it simple to understand. I want to make the crimini mushroom and bechamel sauce lasagna from the Smitten Kitchen food blog. Yeah. So. This girl said that she wasn't sure about that and that she'd have to ask if that was okay.
Ha. Like that's going to happen. I am making what I want to make. I do NOT eat frozen food products. And I HATE red lasagna. My bet is that mine is the first to go. By a long shot. Apparently, last month, they had chili from a can for this dinner. I don't think so. At least my old ward had a chili cook-off. Which I won, by the way. Because I am awesome at cooking stuff.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I win.

I wasn't sure I was going to blog about this, but.... I am. I am kicking my own ass. I am becoming the boss of my own body. It will bend to my will and I will have my way.

I'm training for a 5k. Starting small. But it's somewhere.
The thing is, I'm asthmatic. My whole life I have felt like a prisoner in my body because it wouldn't or couldn't do what I wanted it to do. I never could run as long or as far as other kids because my lungs would squeeze until I stopped. I hated it. Even before my pancreas started acting up and my rude body started storing everything I ate (which made me fat), back when I was younger and slimmer, I couldn't run or do many active things. My lungs give out far before my legs or my feet or my mind. It was sad for me.

I've lost a fair amount of weight since I was diagnosed, but still haven't been able to be very active due to the pesky lung issue. I've dropped 4 pant sizes. And I finally feel good enough to teach my body a lesson. I'm beating it up. We are in a fight and I will win. And I love it. I'm starting each morning with a brief-but-intense strength-cardio-abs workout and then going out for interval running training. You may have heard of it: Couch-to-5k. It's awesome and you should google it. I downloaded podcasts for each week of running where this guy tells me when to walk and when to run, all to a symphony of dulcet techno beats. I'm building up my resistance and my running ability and speed, one day at a time. Today was Day 7. Between the two work-out styles, I have lost 7lbs and 6.5 inches already. And the best part is, since everything is a building-up-type program, I don't feel tired or overworked. I feel energized. I ran farther today than I have up to this point, and I'm impressed with myself. I am taking command of my body. It will run when I tell it to run, and that's all there is to it. I'm not even letting the weather stop me. We've had frigid temperatures.... since I started this, pretty much. We haven't gotten above freezing in days. Today our high is 22. And I ran. Yesterday I ran in the snow and I ran on ice. When I got home today, my legs were red, but the did what I told them to do, and I am happy about that.

I'm turning 29 in 3 months. It's a scary thing. When I was in high school and college, I battled with eating disorder and self-harming. I know this is going to sound odd, but I like the pain I feel right now. I used to be very depressed and would self-harm to see for sure that I was alive, because I felt dead inside. In a weird way, I'm doing it again, but in a healthful way. I can not deny that I am alive when I feel pain or when I feel my heart beating through my chest. It makes me happy. Also, all of the exercise is good because I HAVE to eat. I'm starving afterwards!

Okay, so I'm rambling and I've probably over-shared, but it's my blog and I'll say what I want to say. :)