Saturday, December 18, 2010

Um...Okay Bye! *Awkward Wave*

In the past couple of weeks I've had the misfortune opportunity to say good bye to a lot of my friends.  Most of them were good byes for just the Christmas break but a couple were good byes to friends I won't see for a very long time.  Here's the conclusion I've come to:  I am straight up terrible at saying good bye.

I've discovered that if you don't know me super well my good bye can come off a little bit like, "Hey I don't care about you. Peace!"  So so so not true.  Really I'm just baffled about what to say.  I love giving hugs and I can do that.  But after that I don't know what to do.  I feel a little bit like Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights.  I just don't know what to do with my hands.  

I can't express at all that I will miss you.  "Have a nice life" just doesn't ring true for me.  I also have a problem because I really dislike crying, and if I'm saying good bye to someone really important to me then if I think at all about how much I'll miss them it's inevitable I'll cry.  And this doesn't work for me at all.  So I just don't know what to do.  All this adds up to me being super awkward at farewells.  Like as awkward as the word awkward is.  I feel bad for anyone who has to say good bye because it's just ridiculous.  Maybe someday I'll be good at this..... but that would probably mean way more practice :(

Saturday, December 4, 2010

a FeW oF mY fAvOrItE tHiNgS

Christmas.

I love this time of year so much I can hardly stand it.  And I have a few traditions that I always do that help me enjoy it even more.  This year though I guess I have been too busy to really think about all those things.  I went to a Christmas Chorale concert tonight to hear my cousin sing and while I was listening to all the different songs I realized all the things I need to do before the 24th!  And I just thought I'd make a list.

First:  I need to find myself the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas CD because it needs to be in my life.  I love listening to the violin's and the drums and the piano.  For me, it makes the holiday mood and lovin' feeling that much easier to feel.

Second:  I need to watch the Nutcracker.  When I was little we used to go watch the ballet every year.  It was possibly my favorite tradition of the Christmas season.  We stopped going because we got older, etc. but that part of my childhood is something I want to go back to.  I sent a text to my mom asking her (with no hope of positive affirmation) whether it is play at home.  Turns our the universe likes to taunt me and the last performance is the day before I get home.  I must admit I was sad.  But then my wonderful mom told me we could get it on Netflix and watch.  So excited!

Third:  White Christmas.  Honestly what would my holiday be like without the beautiful loveliness that is Bing Crosby's voice?  I can't wait to get home to New Mex, break out the VHS and settle in to watch.

Last:  The Polar Express.  This is a new tradition but it's been fairly consistent.  I'm not as invested in it as the others but I do love the music that it has.  And cartoons are always lovely!

I also can't wait to go shopping.  I know it's a rather tedious task but I love shopping for all the presents for my friends and family.  If only I could do it without all the annoying high schooler's that inhabit the mall.....  maybe I'll become an internet shopper...  : ).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Holidaze Time

I completely love the holidays.  For a few reasons.  One I have so much fun picking out presents for people and spending time with family and friends.  But a close second is that I adore this tasty treat:


Let's be honest.  I drink Starbucks year round.  But it is ultimately more fulfilling during the holidays because there's a ton more variety.  Peppermint signature hot chocolate just to name one.  But chai tea latte's and normal signature hot chocolate with cinnamon and cream always hit the spot.  I just can't get enough of this lovin'.  So fan.freaking.tastic.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fall apparently passed me by...

The last time I looked it was the first of November.  It was then that I realized I have completely missed all of October.  And now I realize I've already missed an entire week of November!  What is that all about?  I guess I missed all this time in blogging too since it's been a month and a half since I've written something.  There's two reasons for this, both don't matter at all but I'll tell you anyway.  First it really has been like I've missed the last month.  This semester has just been going by insanely fast which is good because I hate it, but also bad because I don't have any time to get my bearings!  The second reason is that I haven't been incredibly happy and writing when I'm not happy is not a fun experience for anyone.  But I think I've turned a corner there.  

For a little while I could see no light at the end of the tunnel.  I thought that the tunnel I was in had no end and people just went in it to die horrible claustrophobic deaths and no one would ever find their bodies.

Because of that happy sentiment I've had the opportunity to realize just how amazing my friends and family are.  Never before in my life have I had to lean so hard on the ones who love me.  They taught me something I have a sneaking suspicion I desperately needed to learn.  That is:  The value of Perspective.

Everything is in extreme focus when you're very close to it.

Such extreme focus that the rest of the big picture is severely diminished.

Sometimes that kind of focus can bring beauty to something you never noticed before.  Unfortunately it can also make you feel like you are a single solitary leaf being blown about by the wind and no one else knows how you're feeling.

This isn't exactly reality though.  There are many beautiful things that we can see if we widen our focus, and widen our perspective.  It might take a little longer to see (we have to lengthen the shutter speed), but it's still there.  And the colors can be amazing.


Basically the thing I learned about perspective is that there's always light somewhere.  It just might not be where I'm looking at the moment.  So if I don't see any light, I just need to look somewhere else.

And it's always the darkest before the brilliant sunny dawn.


*If you couldn't tell, I get picture happy in the fall.  It turned out to be one of the main things that made me happy this past month.  I have so many more pictures I wish I could put them all up so that I could look at them more and more.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Some thoughts on the first week of school

There are a few phrases that I can honestly say terrify me.

* "We're going to have a small quiz today on the first day of class.  It's on completely basic principles and you all should have no problem remembering everything."  Uh.... Well damn.  This means that I'm not going to have any idea what's on this quiz.  I get the quiz, the kid next to me is already done with his and I can't think of anything to write down.  Crap.  Good omens all around.

* "The basis for this theory is in quantum mechanics."  Oh dear.  This means I'm going to have to study and try and understand quantum mechanics?

* "This class is mostly full of freshmen."  Hahahaha I'm a second year PhD student....  mm this should be fun.

On a side note, I kind of adore school being back in session because people watching has become a magnificent distraction of my time.  Last week while waiting for a class to be open I saw the best kid walk by.  He had a long curly fro that was styled perfectly in a Flock of Seagulls do.  I wanted to take a picture so bad but kid was booking it like mad to get to class.  Poor freshy, he was probably lost.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Expectations.

Funny thing them...

If you know me you know my feelings on using the dictionary to define things (i.e. I hate it) when giving a talk or something like that.  But sometimes it does adequately express my relationship with the term I'm investigating. 
Example:

ex·pec·ta·tion

1 : the act or state of expecting : anticipation
2 a : something expected   b : basis for expecting : assurance 
3 : the state of being expected
4 a : expectancy  b : expected value
 
Here's my issue with expectations.  They're impossible not to have right?  But no where in that definition does it state that they are at all based in fact, reality, or logic.  This is pure emotion right here.  There is that pesky word 'assurance' but the example that was given had to do with people making assurances regarding wills.  I think it's safe to discount that as truly being fact.  The part of the definition that just kills me is 4b, the expected value of something.  Expectations get so convoluted in your mind when they're jumbled around with hopes and dreams and emotions.  Those four get together, have a party, and shove lamesauce reality and logic straight out the door like little engineering nerds at a frat party.
I realize expectations have a place at the party in my head.  Just sometimes I wish they wouldn't be so pushy!  I like logic and reason, I embrace their nerdiness!  But still these expectations just get in there and have a conversation much like in Emperor's New Groove with the shoulder angel/devil where the devil says "He's going to lead you down the path of right, I'm going to lead you down the path that ROCKS!".  Because expectations do rock.  They make you work hard, give you hope, and when they're met or exceeded all is sweetness and light.  
 
Oh but then there are those rare moments when you wake up from the party in your head and realize you have a sick hangover.  And you try to remember why you have this horrendous headache, and, AH....there it is:  those expectations got justalittlebit outta hand and carried away.  OOPS!  Time to rein those suckas in!  Whether they've been straight up dashed or just need to be refocused in a more refined less alcoholic direction the feeling is the same; headache.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

V.I.P. Status

Something that always makes me feel special is when I have to special order something from a restaurant.  Here's a big secret about me.  I like food.  Every vacation I go on centers around the time of food I'm going to eat.  Honestly.  I'm going to AZ in a couple weeks, my sis asked me what I want to do, and all but one of the things I listed was a restaurant I wanted to visit.  I live large right?

One of my favorite places to eat happens to be California Pizza Kitchen.  Their crust is just about the best thing in my little world.  My favorite pizza of theirs is the Santa Fe Chicken.  I think it reminds me of home even though it is not remotely like anything in Santa Fe.  But the guacamole it comes with is quality.  Anyway, it is no longer on their menu.  Why it isn't I have no idea because every one I have talked to really likes it.  But they're still make it for you... if you ask the chef.  So each time I go I get to special order from the chef something that isn't on the menu.  It makes me feel special all the time.  I just can't help it!  I'm a high roller what can I say.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Peach

One of the things I miss the most about being away from New Mexico is my puppies.  My parents have two miniature schnauzers that I adore.  And here in Mich I have often considered getting a dog.  Don't worry, I'm practical enough to realize that I don't have enough time to devote to one, but fortunately I have a friend who just got a puppy.  And that friend likes me just enough to let me dogsit her sometimes : ).  He also let me name her.  So let me introduce my proxy dog:

Peach
Super adorable cute right?  I think she's so dang cute.  And even better, she loves me.  Totally loves me.  Haha she comes over to my house sometimes and we just have so much fun.  I have a glass sliding door to my backyard and she just likes to sit and look out and wait for me to take her out.  Sometimes she gets too excited though and just runs into the door.  It's kind of hilarious.  But then she looks at me with this look:
And I take complete pity and let outside for as long as she wants.  She also totally adores this blanket that I have.  If she sees it she immediately runs over to it and lays down.  Being a puppy is hard work!
So excited to have a friend with a dog!!  Haha it's like I'm an aunt and I don't actually have to do anything but I get all the benefits : ).

The Wave

So I think I can safely say we've all done this:  You're driving along nicely in your car and you realize you're not in the lane of traffic you need to be and you want to move over.  Some kind soul lets you in and you do this:

The courtesy wave.  "Thanks so much for letting me in, I really appreciate it."  I for one, feel like a fool when I do this, but I do it anyway.  If at least just to acknowledge the fact that this person didn't have to let me in and they did.  But some people take this way too far.  I was in traffic the other day and I witnessed this man, with his windows open and he was clearly not in the right lane.  Because his lane was ending.  And he sticks his arm out the window, waves at the car behind him and then just moves over.  Coming within an inch of hitting the person's car.  He didn't even wait for the person to let him in, he just straight up cut him off.  Does waving absolve him of his sins?  I'm inclined to think not.  This guy is just a tool.  Waving doesn't give you the right to just cut people off because you didn't pay attention to the traffic signs!!  How lame.

On another completely unrelated thought,  I played the piano for an hour and a half today.  I have really missed playing the piano so this was really enjoyable to me.  But I realized that my wrists and fingers are sore.  I haven't played the piano in so long that I'm actually sore from doing it!  I didn't even remember you could get sore!  Maybe that's why I was playing so terribly haha, I'm out of practice!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Daaaayyyy 2.

That's right.  Day 2.  Technically this should have been day one but I was got involved in a fairly spectacular conversation and after said conversation I couldn't think about anything remotely related to day one.  So here we sit on day 2.  Here's what happened:

It was late Saturday evening.  I got a text while sitting in a movie. 
It's from my sister saying she's running a half marathon.  HA.  I about choked. 
Instead I smartly responded "What?".
"A half marathon in QC at the end of January."
"Okay."

The next morning I was kind of asleep still...
Me:  "Okay so what's going on?"
Abbey:  "I'm running a half marathon.  Want to run it with me?"
Me:  "Okay deal"

And that was it.  Deal done.  What on earth have I done?  Weirdly though I am super excited (we're at Sunday now).  I found a training plan to follow and even worked in another week by week thing to train my spirituality kinda.  I've always kind of had it in the back of my head as one of those things I'd like to do but was pretty sure I'd never do.  Because I'm terrible at running.  I don't like running.  Well I like that running makes me feel good, but I am not good at it.  It is not something that comes easy to me.  Not being able to do math in front of my genius father, that comes easy to me, running... that does not come easy to me.  But I've been getting better at it, so I'm excited about running for two hours and thirteen hours.  I'm excited.

Monday.  Day one of training.  I'm sore already from last weeks working out.  But I'm excited.  Day one of training is running for 36 minutes, for me that's about 3.5 miles.  I'm excited, hyped up and ready to go!!!  I made a new playlist to listen to and I am PSYCHED about it.  I started running and then I realized that day one was not a good day.  It was a punch you in the face each step you take kind of a day.  It was a stomach cramp day.  I haven't gotten stomach cramps in like 6 years, since I was doing fitness days with a British soccer coach.  What.  The.  Heck.  Day one was not a good cardio day.  Not a good day at all.  Granted we all have good days and bad days.  My bad days running are more often then my good days.  But they still punch you in the face suck.  It was while I was getting punched in the face that I started regretting this long and thought out decision making process of mine.  Regretting it.

But it was just a bad day.  And I'm still excited.  But day one left me so wrecked that day two didn't even happen.  How sad it that.  At least I have 6 months to get through this :).

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Two for One

Ah the last day of July....  I'm not exactly sure where July went as the last thing I remember was being home in New Mex for the Fourth of July, but I guess it had to have gone somewhere since it's now just a few short hours away from August...  Ah well.  I've had a couple thoughts in the past week that I thought I'd share/get input on.  And they're completely and totally unrelated but I'm too efficient (read: lazy) to put them in two different posts.  So.  Two for one special aisle five.

Gaming:  I was playing games recently and a friend of mine mentioned that her husband has a theory about people.  That when it comes to 'games' they are either the kind that lose and never want to play again, or the kind that lose and must play again.  This got me thinking about which type I fall into.  Now, I'm a competitive person.  I like to be good at things that I undertake.  And I like to win.  Secretly I like to beat people into the ground with my superior skill in wit, athleticism, and all around awesomeness.  But despite that, after consideration, I fall into category one; the type that will lose and doesn't care to play again.  Here's why.  I figured that when I really care about the game that I'm playing, I'm putting as much effort into is as I have at the time, and if (big if!) I lose, I really don't want to play again because I already put in my effort so I'm done.  This is not a defeatist attitude trust me, it's just me saying 'okay, I did that, didn't win, and I'm okay with that'.  If I don't care about the game then I'm probably playing to appease others and if I lose I'd rather do something I can win and pound people at then go another round at the game I didn't care about in the first place.  So even though I'm competitive.... I'm okay with losing and then being done. (*note, this does not apply when I am learning a game, then I want to play as many times as possible until I feel I am as good as I can be.  Prideful, I know but there it is.)

Music:  It's funny to me how some senses are completely tied to memories.  Specifically I can hear a certain song and it reminds me immediately, for better or worse, of a certain person or exact instant in time.  I can recall perfectly every emotion and detail of the memory or aspect of the person I'm remembering.  This happened the other day because I decided to go to an old school playlist on my ipod for a run I went on.  Every song I listened to made me think of something like this.  For example, "Let It Rock" by Kevin Rudolf reminds me of living at my sisters house in Gilbert and driving home late at night from Sonic just blasting the song with my open windows, then pulling into the driveway and just sitting and listening and feeling so happy about my situation.  It was so significant because my sister had just moved to this house they rented and we painted it and moved in and it really felt like a home.  That is also the house I got locked out of and instead of calling my sister at one in the morning I slept in my car.... I was a loser.  But a happy loser hahaha.  I have so many other scenarios like this it kind of baffles me.  I have a strong relationship with music and my emotions so maybe that is the reason for the correlation but even if it isn't I love the little memories that are randomly triggered without my invitation or permission.  Even the bittersweet ones.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Blinkers

On the whole, I find blinkers really annoying.

I fully realize their usefulness.  Don't get me wrong.  They inform people of your intended direction which is incredibly useful.  Unless of course you have forgotten that your directional indicator is currently operating and you don't actually intend on turning.  But that noise, inside my own car, is juuuussssttt repetitive enough to have me looking around for a hard surface to bang my head on repeatedly.

Yesterday though I saw something that made me wonder.

I saw one of these.  Not a shelby, I would have been drooling, but a new mustang.  See the tail lights?  When the blinker is on, only one light goes at a time, like one of those annoying traffic signs that tells you to merge lanes.  It was possibly the weirdest blinker I've ever seen.  I've seen weird blinkers before, like ones that go ridiculously fast, but this one had me confused.  Is that pattern tested to be more appealing to other drivers?  Or people realize even faster that the person in the mustang is turning....?  I'm just confused.

I can't say that I've ever seen why my blinker actually looks like from other people's perspectives, but I feel safe in saying it doesn't do what this mustang does.  But is my blinker also confusing?  I'm just not sure.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Take me to the movies

Last night I went to go see Despicable Me.  Super cute movie, I love the little minions and I was laughing a lot.  I would totally recommend seeing it.  But I had a few thoughts about movies and how they kind of annoy me.  This most likely sounds like blasphemy because anyone who's talked to me for more than 5 minutes probably knows that I am a downright movie whore.  I love to watch movies more than almost any other activity and I do it very often.  So these annoyances won't ever deter me from seeing movies, they're just pet peeves I guess.


First the preview four years in advance.  Okay, four years is a little extreme....but really, I don't want to see a preview for a movie (in this case a Smurf movie which I have many more thoughts on) that doesn't come out until next summer.  Do I really need to know about this now?  No.  I don't give a flying flip about it.  And it's just going to annoy me every time I see the preview that it's still 12 months away.

Second, the obsession with 3D.  Can we be done with this yet?  I fully submit that movies can be completely fantastic without making me sick or wear nasty dirty glasses in the process.  Let's take Step Up 3D....  I do not need to see these dancers in 3D.  I'm already going to feel like a loser because I can't dance this way, I don't need to "feel" (and I use that term waaaayyyy loosely) like they're dancing up on me too....  I really feel like we need to step back and look at movies for what they originally were.  I went to see a Hitchcock movie recently and this genre of horror was so different then.  He made you really think about this and he paid attention to the ambiance and really pulled you into the story.  He didn't need fanfare or 3D to make you feel like you were there.  Seriously I just want to be done with 3D and even worse, it's $15 to see one instead of $10.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Airplanes, Airports, and Traveling.

Every time I travel I have the same thought.  I wish always that I had someone to travel with me.  I wish that not only because it would be nice to not be alone, but mostly because I have many people watching thoughts.  I mean many thoughts.  And not just about people I guess, for one I have always wondered about my luggage.  These people look so haphazard when they're dealing with my luggage and yet somehow it always arrives through the correct transfers.  Amazing.  Yesterday I dropped my phone.  I'm normally very wrapped up in myself I guess you could say.  I'm normally with my headphones on also reading a book so I was surprised when this very nice woman pointed at me and said, "Oh I just gave it to the lady."  I was very confused at first because I hadn't noticed my phone being gone yet.  But it was really nice to know that people are nice.  I also just like to watch people.  What they're wearing and how they interact with other people.  It's all so extremely fascinating.  It also fascinates me how mean people can sometimes be when you're waiting in line to get on the plane.  Honestly, does it matter if you are one person up in the line or one person back?  No.  It doesn't.  We're all going to the same place anyway.  But still just lots of fun and makes the trip more interesting.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Siren Call: French Fries

Golden, crunchy, fried potatoes.  Oh my good heavens I adore french fries.  I could eat them all the time.  I can even rank them in terms of who has the best.  (Chick-Fil-A and McDonalds in case you're wondering)  Why am I making a monologue about golden fried goodness you ask?  Well because every time I resolve to eat better I decide that I should not eat as many french fries as I do.  I target other things as well but french fries are really the things that stab me right in the heart.  I do not ever cut them out completely.  Because I want to enjoy life (honestly don't ever lecture me about this, it's one of the few things that actually makes me angry  ; ).  But I do try to limit them to once a week, and then only small.  Well I haven't had any for two weeks.  I think it's because I haven't eaten with anyone else in that time, and when I'm alone I mostly eat tortillas and the leftover glorious enchiladas I made.  But my cravings have been getting intense.  I talked to my sis about Chick-fil-a I think on Tuesday and I've brought it up every day since then.  I guess it's good we don't have those here....  Haha I better get some soon or I think I'm going to crack!

I have many other "siren calls" but this is the only one I can think of right now  : ).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Problems...

Motivation has been a big problem for me this summer.  Not only in work and relationships (as in friends, families, doing things for others), but also in blogging.  I've actually had many thoughts I'd like to commit to proverbial 'paper', but sadly either they would be alittletoo soul bearing for my taste, or I just haven't done it.  But I feel the time has come for me to state the biggest problem I'm having this summer.  Books.


I don't get to read much during the school year.  It's kind of a mental block I have, I get too completely engrossed in the books I do pick up that they either need to be ones that I can finish in a few hours, or the won't get done for months, just so I can focus on school.  But then summer hits.  And all the cravings I've had for books hit me all at the same time with a great degree of potency.  Let me illustrate the degree this has taken me over.  In the past 4 business days (haha not counting Sunday),  I've bought 12 new books.  That's right.  Twelve.  Even more interesting,  I've already read four of them.  Two I'd previously read before buying them, but they're not counted in the four I've read.  Well one of them is but I did actually read it.  And it's not even like I'm buying a series.  My tastes for these books are insanely diverse.  I have a memoir, a rousing tale of sisterhood through the decades, a coughfewcough teen books (these are the sort that just take me hours to read), a novel about the changing world around the times of civil rights, and three gritty murder mysteries.  I'm also currently reading, but purchased long ago, a WWII novel by I believe my favorite author.  I have an addiction.  And it's only getting worse.  I wonder if there's some way I could transform my motivation for procuring and reading these books into the research I should be doing....

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Presentationing and Vacaytioning

I was on vacation (ish) this past week in sunny humid Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.  My purpose in going was to present a paper I'd written at a technical conference.  But my advisor graciously allowed me a few extra days before and after the conference.  So as a result I was both insanely busy with the conference and being scared out of my mind for my presentation, and also loving the very essence of life because I could walk with no shoes along the beach for hours on end.
First I'll get work out of the way.  I mentioned earlier that I've given presentations before, but this one had me really nervous.  The reason for this comes all the way down to the field I'm in.  This field is really only 40-50 years old.  This kind of seems like a lot but when you look at it in terms of technical conferences, it means that the same people who started the field, the ones who invented the concepts I'm researching, are all still attending these meetings.  So I'm presenting my research with my one year of grad school to back me up, to people who invented the field.  I admit it.  I was intimidated.  There were two days of conference before my presentation and while I didn't go to much of the conference (I was glued to my computer and power point) I did get to know people better, and they became more people like rather than the pedestal-sitting entities I had made them out to be in my head.  So that made me less nervous.  And I also got more familiar with my presentation and realized that what I'd heard really was true; "No one knows more about my research than I do."  I also get much more comfortable after I start talking.  So while the beginning of my talk was a little rocky (my dad said I was "tense", I'm hoping he's the only one who noticed), it got much better towards the end.  I was actually really proud of myself because every time I practiced I was only about 16-17 minutes long (I was supposed to take 20 mins), but when I gave it, and I got more comfortable, and started pointing more things out, I was within 20 seconds of the time.  Small successes!!  So it went well.  The questions I got I could answer them all and I think they'll help me with my future research.
Now the fun part (and also the reason I haven't been able to bring myself to put on real shoes since I've gotten home)!  The first day we were there my prof took us kayaking up this river.  He does this every year because if you go at the right time, low tide, you get to see the dolphins that come up river to eat fish.  And also a plethora of birds.  Here are some of the highlights of that fun trip :).
This cute little buddy was not so sure about us...
One of the two dolphins we saw.  So dang cool.

And then my personal favorite and what made the ENTIRE trip for me:
I adore otters and this one was SO cute.  Right before this pic he was eating the oysters out of the oyster bed there.  I wanted to die he was so cute.

During the week we also spent massive amounts of time on the beach, and in the sun.  And one morning we even got up early enough to go sit on the beach and watch the sun rise.  It was fantastic even though it was 6 in the morning (basically that whole week I didn't get more than 6 hours of sleep a night and averaged about 4..).  Just beautiful though.
This was the beginnings... about half an hour after we got to the beach.  It was cloudy so 'official' sunrise wasn't when we actually saw the sun.
And then it fully up, and what made me want to live on the beach.  I realized I could walk on the beach for hours and not get bored.  I don't really ever go in the water (we were night swimming and something large definitely grazed up upper thigh......) but just walking in the sand right where the waves barely reach is pretty much heaven.

And the last fun thing we did was parasailing.  It's so peaceful I love it (have to say it was better in Mexico though because the water there was clear).
Such fun such fun.

Flown the Coop

I was out of town this past week (more on that to come).  But just as I anticipated the little ducks were born while I was out....  7 little duckies were born and are now out following their momma around somewhere.  I unfortunately haven't seen the little ones but I can just imagine that they're adorable.  All I have is the picture of what's left.


One little egg that didn't hatch and some broken shells.  I don't know what to think about the last egg.  I know that this happens sometimes but it still makes me sad.  I also can't help wondering if some sort of other animal will come and take it....  what else is going to happen to it?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Desiderata

My awesome sister did something for me when I came to grad school hell heaven.  When I first came I was really lonely and absolutely hated being in my office.  So she put together bunches of pictures of my fam, some "fail" things because they make me laugh, and quotes that are both inspirational or funny, or break my heart because my niece said them and I can hear her little voice in my head saying them.  She also sent bunches of tacks so I could hang them on my walls.  So now when I'm in my office I'm surrounded by love and family and laughing.  One of the things she sent me is something I had seen before, I guess you'd call it a poem, but it's called Desiderata.  I'm going to repeat it here just for my own benefit because I love it so much and it never fails to inspire me.  The man who wrote it said in his diary that, "I should like, if I could, to leave a humble gift -- a bit of chaste prose that had caught up some noble moods.".  I think he succeeded.
(I've added the emphasis my sister added for me : )

DESIDERATA
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
Bul let this not blind you to what virtuie there is;
many persons strive for high edeals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.  Especially do no feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubth the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
kepp peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.  Strive to be happy.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Frozen in the Face of Terror

This might sound weird but I don't get nervous speaking in front of people.  I've given a ton of presentations.  I've taught classes, I've given presentation to high school students trying to get them to like engineering, and I've talked so much about engineering to my professors I get bored thinking about it.  I've even presented engineering work to non-engineers.  All those times I get a little nervous right before but that's it.  Well not this time.  I'm talking at a conference next week and preparing the presentation right now.  I wasn't nervous until I made the presentation.  Now I'm absolutely petrified.  I have to practice the presentation tomorrow in front of my professor and truly that is what scaring me the most.  I don't know why but make a fool of myself in front of this person is more terrifying than presenting in front of professional engineers.  But then again I haven't gotten to that part yet :).  Right now I'm just paralyzed.  Ugh.  Fear.  It's a terrible emotion.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Some Passing Randomness

I've had some thoughts lately and none of them are really long enough to make their own whatever so they'll just all be jumbled into one collage of fun.

I was watching Friday Night Lights last week I think and the daughter on the show told her mom that she didn't know why they went to church.  Her mom got really worried and talked to her about why she felt church was important.  She said that she thought church was important because it will be "something that can hold you, when I'm not able to hold you anymore."  I thought this was the coolest thought about religion, or really anything that holds you.  We all need those things that we can hold us back when we have to grow up.  Especially when we don't want to grow up.

Less serious thought:  I love the spring.  Honestly I really do.  But I also pretty much hate it because all these bugs and their bug friends come out.  I may have told this story before when I was small my dad would always kill spiders for me.  And before he would kill them he would take a close look at them and say "Oh! it's a jumping spider!"  In my little head I would always think "Oh man, I wonder how he knows which spiders jump?!"  It took me a legit 21 years to figure out that he said that about every spider and then call him on it.  He laughed at me.  I'm pretty sure he worried about my sanity.  But anyway, here in lovely AA, there are actually spiders that jump.  They legit jump.  Well this morning I woke up, looked at the wall above my head and there sat a spider.  Hate that.  Then later in the morning I'm chilling on my couch and a flipping WASP flies by.  Not good.  It almost makes me miss Arizona where it's too dang hot for bugs to inhabit.

I've been having shopping problems lately.  I can't seem to stop myself.  Yet everything I've bought is of course absolutely fabulous.  I got some brilliant shoes that are somewhat like the Louboutin fabulousity that I actually want.  I got lots of sweet shirts and a fantastic straightener, and a present for my friend.  I need to stop.... but all I can think about is going to the mall.  I'm usually not like this!

That's all I've got.  I'm rambly today if you can't tell....

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Final Count!

Yesterday I came home and Betty had been scared away from her nest so I finally got to get a picture of her nest.  Usually when she leaves she covers up the eggs so I can't see them but since she was scared I could sneak a quick pic.



I could see ten eggs.  There could be more somewhat hidden but all I could see was ten.  I would post a pic of Betty but it would be exactly the same as the last one I posted.  She sits on the nest for about 23 hours a day as far as I can tell.  There have been some insane rain storms and she diligently sits there.  I admire her stamina honestly.  She still watches me somewhat distrustingly but she'll listen while I talk to her and I believe she's convinced I'm not going to hurt her now.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Looking for a Job?!

Wanted:  A graduate student.

Do you like to do puzzles?  Do you like to work in buildings and labs with no windows?  Do you find great satisfaction from meaningless and trivial daily victories?  Then do I have the job for you!!

Benefits:   If you stick with it long enough you may come out with a degree, although you must also do a post doc after achieving said degree to have any hope of a job and even then a job is not assured.  You get the privilege of continuing to take classes at a much higher level with professors who are either fantastic or drastically condescending.  You get an added realization of the true benefit and value of sleep, your home, the time it takes to do laundry, and seeing your family infrequently.

Don't get me wrong.  I do actually like my job.  And I'm excited to be getting a PhD.  But some days, I have days where I agree wholeheartedly with my dad.  He tells me that some days serve only to help me understand the act of drinking large amounts of hard alcohol.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lucy is now Betty

I liked my sisters name much better than Lucy so I'm changing her name to Betty.  I finally got a picture of her!  She is getting more used to me.  I actually had a party at my house last night and she stayed on her nest the entire time.  I was impressed she didn't get scared with the number of people going in and out.  She is so cute.  She's now up to 9 or 10 eggs.  I'm so amazed that such a tiny duck can have that many eggs!!  That's the only update I have for now though.  More to come!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lucy's Story

Take a look at this picture.  This is what I see when walking directly out my door.  It is my neighbor's flower garden.  Looks beautiful right?
Okay this is really boring honestly.  It's just green, there are no flowers yet, and honestly I hardly ever notice their plants.  Yesterday was completely different however.  But before I give it away let's take a closer look at the bushes there.
See anything interesting yet?
Now do you see it?  Just the hint of it....

This is, and is going to continue to be the story of Lucy, my new pet.  Yesterday morning I walked out of my front door and quite suddenly had a run in with a very surprised duck. (I have since learned it is a mallard duck after an hour long conversation with my momma)  I was quite shocked to see a duck right outside my front door as usually they are outside my back door (I live on a lake).  So me being the curious person I am I started looking around from where the duck came from.  And what should I find but:
That's right!  My adorable little duck is going to be a mama duck!  This picture was actually taken today and there are 7 eggs today, yesterday there were only 5.  Apparently mallard ducks lay anywhere between 10 and 15 eggs then sit on them for about a month before they hatch.  I can't wait to see little baby ducks!!  I don't have a picture of Lucy because she is a little afraid of me.  I came up on her today sleeping but when I opened the door she woke up and left.  She apparently thinks I'm sketchy.  But I'll try and describe her.  She's very small actually, the smallest duck I've see that's full grown.  And she's a pretty tan and brown.
So for the next month I hope to periodically update on Lucy and her future ducklings!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tulip Love

As it was just Mother's Day it is quite appropriate and fortuitous that this post is a dedication to my mom.  There are many things that my momma taught me to love, not the least of which is a love of flowers.  I can definitely remember planting and watching flowers grow pretty much my entire life.  I remember most vividly the roses and the hollyhocks.  These were the prettiest and best of all the flowers we grew I thought.  I adore rose bushes and never minded dead-heading them or taking off all the aphids.  They're just so gorgeous!  The colors that flowers can achieve is ridiculous.  You can't even come close to capturing it on camera, which is unfortunate but even more awesome because you have to get out in them to really appreciate them.
Here's the thing though, we never had tulips.  I remember planting them once and then watching these d*** (but cute) rabbits come up and eat the entire flower in one bite.  So disappointing.  I don't know if that is the reason I never really cared for tulips or what, but basically I thought they were boring.  Just not a very interesting shape I guess.  I always could draw them pretty well though hahah......
And then I went to Chicago and realized that tulips could be fantastically colorful, but still I was not overly impressed with them.  I was more impressed with the fact that Chicago had them ALL over their city.  They really were working on the beautification and it was awesome.  Brilliantly colored flowers with fog was just awesome.  This resulted in a lot of pictures but not a love of tulips.  And then my friends, I went to Holland.  Michigan that is.  Which is apparently the tulip capital of America or something insane like this.  I was in Holland for their annual tulip festival and spent only about 3 hours there, and yet I came away with about 75 pictures of tulips.  The colors were the most amazing things I had ever seen, I wish I could describe.  I had no idea there were so many different kinds and shapes and color combinations of tulips!!  Gorgeous.  Pure Gorgeous.

So in honor of my mother and in honor of a new favorite flower here are some inadequate but still amazing pics of the tulip.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Aches

Most the time it's just a dull ache.  That thing I mostly try not to think about.  Sometimes I forget about the ache and it rescinds into my chest.  This happens when I'm busy, doing other things, or laughing.  But then there are days when the Ache is more of a stabbing.  These are not trivial Aches.  They are not the kind you feel momentarily after a bad break up with a boy you were never supposed to be with anyway, or the ache of getting in an fleeting argument with a friend.  These Aches are not those aches. No matter what I do I cannot forget that these Aches are there.  I cannot forget that it just hurts and there's nothing I can do about it.  I can't forget it, I can't get rid of it, I just have to feel it.

The more that I live with my friend, the Ache, the more I start to realize there could be benefits to it.  Of course I resented it at first.  I even considered, and would have, given up all my dreams to live without it.  But you can't do that can you?  You cannot give up things to stop the hurt.  Sometimes you wish on all the stars that it didn't hurt, but would you really ever give up the cause of the hurt? Never, because the things that hurt the most, the things that cause the biggest Aches in our hearts, are the things we love the most.  They're the things that would Always make us question giving up our dreams.  But these Aches are special Aches, not only are they kind that never go away, they're the kind that push us to be better.  The kind that teach us we can't give up on our dreams, even if we wish and hope that we could.

There can be comfort in the pain. Comfort in the fact, that behind the Ache, behind the things that hurt, is complete and pure Love.  The kind of Love that makes you smile in the dark, that brings you joy in the hardest of times.  The Ache hurts, but the Love always shines through in the end.  It makes the Ache worth it.  It teaches me that the Ache is there to make me more aware of the Love, not to block out the Love.  So the Ache is there.  And I can't, and won't, get rid of it.  So I embrace the Love it brings, and the comfort that I am not the only one with the Aches.  And of course not the only one with such amazing Love in my life.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Life

I've been watching this show on the Discovery Channel.  It's narrated by Oprah, it's gorgeous on my HD TV and it's all around really really interesting. (Cite here that once again I am a nerd and love to watch educational things especially about animals.... :). 


I know that you can buy these DVD's but I think they're like $60* or something so I've just been taping them.  I have 8 of the 11 episodes taped and have watched two of them.  The first one was about mammals, so you know....I can relate.  Fun fact, I don't know if I just missed this in elementary school or what but I totally didn't know bats are mammals.  I guess it makes since because I knew they didn't lay eggs, I just never put them in the same category as other mammals.  I think it's because they're not hairy....

But anyway, my main thought is the conclusion I came to while watching Episode 3: Fish.  I don't know if kids under the age of, say....15, should be watching this stuff.  First like all discovery shows there's the animal mating, which actually you don't see in this series, but they talk about it a lot.  Second, and most importantly is that I'm pretty sure this kind of stuff will scar little children.  I'm pretty sure that I'M scarred. 

Case #1:  In Episode 2: Mammals we're learning about how mammals can adapt to their surroundings so well, so we're looking at Reindeer (I so don't remember their technical name.....it wasn't caribou).  They have specially designed hooves that are soft in the summer and hard in the winter to cut through snow.  Nifty right?  Then it's talking about the crowning feature of mammals is that they protect and care for their young for much longer than most other species.  THEN it goes to a momma reindeer who has lost her calf and how she'll spend days trying to find it.  And then in Oprah's soothing voice you hear, but she won't find it alive.  Cut to the shot of a dead reindeer and about four vultures tearing meat off of it.  Well thanks Life, you've made me cry.  'Preciate that. 

Case #2:  The entire fish episode.  There is just way too much of "there's always a bigger fish out there".

Case #3:  And last again in the fish episode.  There is some fish in Hawaii, that is two inches long and spends it's entire life sucking it's way up the side of a 400 ft waterfall trying to get to 'tranquil waters' up above it where it can breed.  This fish literally uses it's sucker  mouth to inch it's way up the side of a freaking waterfall.  And this is the message that Oprah leaves us with, "Very few are strong enough to make it.  Most spend their entire lives trying to get up the waterfall just to fail and die at the bottom."  Again. Thanks for the life lessons.  This is really what I want little children to be learning.

Just to be clear, this really is an awesome series and I'm really glad that they are showing it on tv so I can have it and not have to pay for it.  I'm just saying I'm not sure I would let little kids watch it.  I'm just way to happy with my niece thinking that lions and zebras are friends to every subject her to this.  At least not until she's way older.

*I really have no idea the price I'm just throwing something out there....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Things I've learned lately

The past couple of weeks have been really busy, but I've still made time to learn a couple of things. Well a couple of things in addition to the fact that Dominos delivers until at least 2 in the morning, and a 24 hour doughnut shop is the best thing ever, as well as the worst thing ever.

Only the paranoid survive.  My professor told this to me as we were testing at 12:30 at night one night.  This was in relation to electrical systems and how tiny little things can totally screw up your hopes and dreams.  But I've realized that this can apply to all things.  Oh your friend didn't say hi to you?  They hate you.  Someone didn't give you a compliment on your new shirt?  You're obviously fat.  See?!  It totally works.

RPE - Rate of Perceived Exhaustion.  RPE is actually the new "hip" thing that personal trainers tell you to pay attention to when you're working out and it really means rate of perceived exertion.  But I found that exhaustion and it's relation to the amount of sleep you get works just as well.  See if you get anywhere from 2 or 4 hours of sleep you really feel awesome.  You can totally function normally and it's exactly like you're getting the total amount of sleep you need.  3 hours really messes with you.  But the most disgusting amount of sleep you can get is either 5 or 7.  I feel like if you can only sleep this amount of time you might as well not sleep at all because it's the same effect as getting hit by a large vehicle.  You feel like crap.  So remember, less is more, unless it's too much less, then it's much much less and never more.

Stoves catch on fire.  This actually happened about two and a half weeks ago but I hadn't had time to actually think about what or why it happened.  I was making pasta, going along just fine, I had just set the water to boil and then I look over and the entire burner and pot are on fire.  Total flames coming out from under the burner.  Now this is not because I am dirty and my burner pans are just dirty.  I honestly had just cleaned them.  To this moment I have no idea why it caught on fire but I've had to replace the burner pan and the pot.... and I'm still too afraid to turn that burner back on.  But what was weird was my reaction.  So flames are coming off and I didn't know what to do.  I turned the burner off..... still flames.  I took a hot pad and took the pot off and put it in the sink.... still flaming.  I tried blowing on.... (ya I don't know why I just did)  still got some four inch tall flames.  At this point I really had no thoughts going through my head.  I somehow knew that water would be a bad idea.  I couldn't remember why but I just knew it would probably be detrimental to the situation.  (I have since remembered that I did not want to do this because what if the fire was caused by oil?  Then throwing water on it would just make the fire pop and jump probably onto my or my hair.  Not a desirable outcome.)  So I just waited kind of staring dumbly at the fire and it eventually died down.  Then about one full minute later the fire alarm went off.  Thhhhaaaannnnkkkksss for warning me there was a fire.

Weird two weeks.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

It's Happening

I think I've begun to embrace my inner nerd.  As of today I finally bit down whatever pride I had and attached my jump drive* to my keys.  This is an extremely common practice among nerds engineers because as we're going about our day doing engineer-y things like taking SEM pictures, copying someone's homework, lab testing, etc. you really just don't know when you need to bust out your jump drive!  You'll need immediately to transfer data from computer to computer, home to work, or from random data taking device to your laptop.

I really did resist.  Six whole years of being an engineer and I resisted.  One because I really hate things being on my keys (I think I've mentioned this before).  But more importantly, having a jump drive on your keys instantly labels you as a nerd.  No escaping it.  The evidence is right there, in your hand or on your person at all times.  But by golly** it's so convenient!  Let's go take some data and then move it!

*(Most people I know call this a flash drive but that's in reference to the type of memory it is and I just can't sink that low yet)
**(I'm sorry.  "By Golly" is really lame.  I know this.  But it's Easter and I feel that I can't go anywhere near swearing on Easter)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I compromised my values....

Normally I'm a very "stick to your beliefs" kind of a person.  But I recently made a decision that went against everything I knew and trusted in.  I was trying to be a risk taker, part of the 'in' crowd, trendy if you will.  And I can now share with absolute certainty, that you have values for a reason -- they should never be put aside just to be "cool".  
I just didn't think the consequences would be that great.  I thought I would just try it once, because so many other people like it, and then I wouldn't have to do it again, or I might even like it, and it might even be good for me! 
No. 
Big Mistake.

I bought banana walnut oatmeal squares. From Costco.

I don't know what on earth possessed me but it had to have been evil.  I have known for more than twenty years that bananas are a plague.  They contaminate everything they come in contact with and thus can only be eaten by themselves and then disposed of immediately and far from your vicinity or they continue to contaminate from the grave!  Nuts also are of a contaminatory nature and should be eaten alone as well (if not covered in chocolate).  They should never be anywhere near something as precious as a brownie and trail mix is pushing it.  (On a more personal note, walnuts are my least favorite nut.)  Again. What was I thinking?

Here's what happened.  First, since it was Costco, the offending oatmeal squares were packaged with similar oatmeal squares with chocolate chips.  Who doesn't want those?  Second, I rationalized how healthy oatmeal is for you especially when paired with a nut, because as I've recently learned the good things in oatmeal combined with the good things in nuts creates the entire spectrum of good proteins you need to fight things like bad cholesterol and all those other things.  And then my kicker thought was, "really, how bad could these things really be?"  

Then yesterday I ate one.  And they were everything I imagined they would be.  Now I have like 20 more to choke down.  These things better be damn healthy for me.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

pump ME up

I supposed you can tell what my life has been like lately with all this talk of working out. This however is more a timing thing rather then just what I've been thinking about. So I've started this workout challenge through a friend of mine. I actually did it last month but it was kind of thrown together so this feels like the first real month of the challenge. Here's what happens with the challenge:

*You put up money ($10 last month, $15 this month)
*You make goals about how much you will do for the month (we'll get to my goals in a sec)
*And then you do to the challenge, if you complete it you get your money back

This is what I've gotten myself into. Last month my challenge was - 400 sit-ups, 200 push-ups, 40 pull-ups, and 15 miles run. It was actually really easy. Except for the pull-ups but that's because I hate them. This time though the ante has definitely been raised. Over the next 45 days I have to do:
*1500 push-ups (not girl push ups mind you, the real ones)
*1500 sit-ups
*Run 20 miles
*Bike 30 miles

In all reality (if you break it down by day) this isn't actually that much....but still it seems like a lot right now. I'm really excited about it though. This kind of goal making actually really works for me and I think it will be really awesome. I'm excited for tonight and my daily 34 push-ups/sit-ups (ya it calculates out to 33.3 of those per day) and I think it's going to be a good 45 days.

*PS if anyone wants to join the challenge just let me know and I'll give you the website to join!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spiralling Downward

I'm going to make a confession here... I have only worked out once in the past three weeks. Granted pretty much every night I do some push-ups, sit-ups and abs, and plank for at least a minute. But I don't really think that this counts. Now though I've confirmed it doesn't count. I've discovered that when I don't work out my mental health really starts spiralling towards crazy town. Maybe it's the endorphins, maybe it's just the fact that when my body isn't doing anything it's meant to be doing, or maybe it's really because when I'm not working out all I'm doing is sitting in my office and working. Ugh.

My whole point for this though is not just to admit that I'm a fat lazy ass.... but more to share my realization once again that working out is probably the best thing ever. It makes all aspects of my life better. And I'm just SO excited that today I get to work out by playing my favorite game - Soccer : ).

Friday, March 5, 2010

My Bucket List

Okay I kind of mislead the subject of the post with the title. I really don't have a bucket list. I think they're kind of a fun idea and really pretty awesome if you make one and then are able to follow through with it. I've just never made one. I even thought about what would be on it if I had one.... and pretty much I think of ridiculous things that would be really awesome if I get to do them, but I don't feel like my life would be a failure or not fun if I don't do them. But it hit me the other day that I really do have one thing on my bucket list.

I really really want to see the Northern Lights someday.
I truly feel that my life will not be complete unless I get to see this phenomena at least once. My last year of undergrad I did a report on electroMAGNETIC (*Not electromechanical. I was corrected by my dad :) interference specifically relating to the Northern Lights. Yes I do realize how nerdy that just sounded, but aside from learning about solar flares and what they do to our Earth, it basically solidified in my heart that I need to see this. I almost can't even describe the excitement that I feel when I think about how increibly awesome it would be to see something like that. I imagine/hope that it's about a thousand times cooler than I can even comprehend. It's kind of crazy to feel this passionate about something that I have no clue how I'll ever make happen. I wouldn't even know how to go about seeing it! Short of living in the extreme North, I don't think it can really be planned.... Maybe I'll just have to go on a lot of Alaskan cruises :)
So there's my bucket list. Pretty impressive right? The more I think about it the more I think that maybe you need a bucket list. Not really a list of random things you think would be fun but more a list of things you're really passionate about doing. It would help you get to know yourself I think.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Man Hug

I'm going to be honest here (ha like I'm ever not...) but I find men hugging really funny. Not all the time, dang I'm not a extremist who has no heart! (jk sorry I'm a little post-midterm hyper :) There are those times when guys hug and you can just tell that they have this connection (not in a weird way) and it's all awesome.

And then there are the times when this doesn't happen. 
Most the time things just get awkward real quick. And I'm talking awkward in the way the word 'awkward' is awkward. One hugging party is maybe a little more into it, or the hug lingers a little long, but either way I think it's hilarious. And yes I find awkwardness utterly fascinating and cannot help laughing even when it's not appropriate. Today I witnessed the epitome of this type of man hug. I was walking behind this guy who saw a friend of his and they hugged. Well the first guy hugged for a little too long I guess because the second guy (who was facing me) unhooked his arms and started patting the other guys back. And this was patting like they "hey good buddy....I'm going to pat you because anything else is just weird" kind of pat. HA! And then he got this look on his face that was somewhere between a friendly smile and a grimace of pure discomfort. This moment was pure manna from heaven for my stressed, midterm crunching brain and I couldn't help laughing. Ah the joy of witnessing that other people are just as weird as me.

Monday, February 22, 2010

the antics of youth.....kinda

This post was inspired by two different things. First I was talking to my sister the other day about the crazy things that her 3-year-old daughter does. This conversation got us thinking about the insane things we did when we were kids where either our parent's weren't around (or probably more accurately we didn't know they were there) and the thoughts our parents must have had that they were raising complete fools. Oh how they must have worried about our future....
: ).
The second inspiration came this past weekend when I went to Washington D.C. to visit my best friend Lauren. We have been best friends our entire lives so many of the previous antics involved her as well. Whenever we get together though we talk pretty much 24 hours a day so there are many opportunities for moments when my brain goes a different (and completely wrong) direction than the conversation. So in the interest of a humility, and the fact that these stories just make me laugh, I thought I'd share.

First uh...ya. I uh...... I ate butter. Just plain butter. Like a spoonful. I have no idea why. I think back and remember not liking it at all, but for some reason thinking I should and so I just ate it. Abbey though ate flour and water and food coloring which I submit is even weirder. Pretty sure as a result of this though, now I'm a little weird about butter. I can really do without it in most situations. Ha ha I can just imagine my mom or dad maybe watching that and thinking I was not the smartest of their children....

I read a lot as a child. Lauren and I read a lot. But we never wanted to just read. We had to read in interesting locations. Our favorite was my parents shower. We would drag in I am pretty sure every pillow I possessed and a bunch of blankets and a stack of about 50 books and just read. Sometimes sleeping too.

Also in that shower we would take Berenstain Bear books, paper, and colored pencils, then trace over the pictures and the words, and claim we had made our own book, complete with our names as authors (the only things not traced). Copyright laws meant nothing to us. 

My family had a small garden along the side of our house and one of my favorite summer activities was to go out and help my mom tend to it. I thought weeding was fun, watering was the absolute best and manure was just something the plants needed (pretty sure my mom left out what it is on purpose). Taking care of the hollyhocks was my favorite activity. I had a complex about thinning the carrots though. I knew that it was necessary so that the carrots could grow big and strong. But every time I pulled out the little ones that would get in the way of this, I was convinced I was killing baby carrots. I was a little afraid I would go to hell because I murdered baby carrots quite often. Mom would always tell me to put them in the compost pile but I had trouble letting them go.

Whenever we went to stores or paid for anything of any kind, my mom or dad would pay with cash and I had a game. I would race the cash register to figure out how much change my parents would be getting back. They paid $5 for a $3.84 product? Bam $1.16 change. Surprisingly enough (or sadly enough given my current profession and nerd status), I would most often win this battle. I still do this.

And then there are the times where I hear what's being said and I just don't process correctly. When I was little I used to bug my older sisters all the time to come play with me, especially once we got our trampoline. I remember Abbey was always in her room doing something at her desk and I'd ask her to come play and she'd tell me "in a minute". I would then respond "one one thousand, okay it's been a minute!" But not only would I say this to speed the process along.... I truly believed that was a minute. And they never corrected me!!! Every time I'd say it, Abbey would just tell me one more minute!

And to end, the classic from the past weekend: Lauren was telling me about her great uncle who lives somewhere in Costa Rica or something like that in a hut. Then she tells me "a hut, with no windows or doors!" She kept talking about the hut and the mosquito netting over his bed whatever. I'm sure you all are following this quite well but I was having a problem with the story. I could not figure out the no windows, no doors thing. So I interject "how did he get in? Did they build it around him?" Because for some reason instead of following along with a hut on the beautiful beach next to clear blue waters as having NO walls, all I could think was bamboo hut walls with no windows and no doors! It was then that Laur gives me the strangest look, then starts laughing pretty hysterically and says she's no longer going to tell people I'm getting my PhD. I don't think I will either....

While I pretty much love stories like this, both about me and about anyone else, what I really love, and what I'd like to know the most is what my parents (or whoever else happens to witness my 'moments') thinks. Ha ha ha ha I'm sure their still wondering about my intelligence.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Out of the woodwork....

I went to the gym last night at about 10 pm so perhaps this is my fault. But ALL the weirdos go to the gym that late. Honestly, predominantly all the people at the gym fall into two categories.*

(1) The Crahazy workout guys who are pretty psycho about their work out routines.  These boys travel in packs of about 3 or more. They laugh a lot but mostly only when their buddy is crying out in pain because he's on his 300th rep. Curiously they also only wear the gay shirts that are sleeveless, but not just sleeveless. Oh no, these are the shirts that also have no sides and are only connected in a thin band around the waist. This I believe is to show off to all the other psycho guys how good their abs look from the side. But maybe it's really for good air flow...I'm not sure as I will never wear one.

(2) The girls. I wish that there was a sound byte function so you could actually hear how I'm saying the word 'girls'. It would be extremely high pitched valley-girlish and might include a foot pop. These are the girls who go to the gym in clothing that in all societies is not considered actual clothing. And they don't really have the look for it anyway. They also travel in packs curiously enough. Their workout consists of doing every possible weight or exercise but for only about 30 seconds. No joke, last night I saw a girl get all ready for sit-ups, do ONE, and then get up and move on to squats where she did 3. Feel the burn sweetheart. I also got a dirty look because I was on the same machine for 50 minutes and I guess she wanted her 30 seconds....


One thing both groups have in common is that they could all benefit from a personal training session. If for no other purpose then to show them the proper weight lifting technique. For instance, when doing a squat the most terrible thing you can do is extend your knees out past your toes. Well apparently no one shared.... I'm pretty sure they're all doing more harm then good. But that could just be my impression. Also throwing the weights around with no semblance of control doesn't really exhibit the finesse you think of when someone has a lot of strength.


Mostly I was just shocked at the oddness of these gym going people. I was there for an hour and a half and was pretty sad the entire time that I was there by myself and had no one to comment to. I think next time I'll go at a different time.

*I say not all because granted I was there and while I did feel like a weirdo by association, my being rejects that I am actually this weird