Monday, December 11, 2006

New Finds

I heard about this guy on NPR yesterday morning, and I'm hooked. Doesn't hurt that he used to be a Yale Whiffenpoof. I admit to falling prey to those Ivy League a capella guys once or twice in my time... although in general, I have had bad luck with Yalies. Well, one Yalie in particular. (ugh!) I think this guy isn't that good looking, though, although his music is hilariously captivating.

Jonathan Coulton

I highly recommend the songs "Code Monkey" and "Chiron Beta Prime," as well as his addictive cover of "Baby Got Back." You can get a lot of his songs free through his podcast on iTunes, but you can also stream everything free.

Speaking of falling prey, I saw the new James Bond movie Casino Royale. I am not crazy about action movies, although I will occasionally see one that looks okay just to be sweet to DH. When I first saw the pictures of Daniel Craig, I thought, "Ugh, HIM???? Bond? He is not attractive at all. And look at those ears!"

Then I saw the movie. Holy smokes. He is the hottest thing on screen that I think I have ever seen. I am usually indifferent to the attractiveness of male movie stars; sure, George Clooney is really good looking, and I was partial to Robert Sean Leonard in his Much Ado About Nothing days, but I have never seen anything like the raw sex appeal of Daniel Craig in this movie. I have seen him in a lot of other movies, but never noticed him (I did walk out of Road to Perdition, which I saw at a really bad time in my life, so I was preoccupied with other things) in particular. Oh my goodness. I would buy this movie on DVD JUST to watch him over and over again. Yes, he is that good looking.


In other news, DH and I ran an other 5K over Thanksgiving weekend. He won his age group (!!!!), and I shaved FOUR AND A HALF MINUTES off my time from early October, even this course was incredibly hilly, and I ran alone without even company from my iPod. We were pleased with our successful endeavor. DH now wants to get his 5K under 20 minutes. He was at 21:08 this time. I was at 33:08.


Hey folks (if anyone still reads this anymore....)!

I haven't been updating lately because I have been busy with school. I have a big deadline in a few months; I basically have to pass to candidacy by then, and they sprung the new deadline on us a couple of months ago. Yark. I think I can do it, but by no means is it a sure thing, so I have been doing a lot of work lately. I got one paper off to my committee, and I'm working on the data analysis for my second.

My husband is also on the job market, so we have been really involved with that. It is going okay- we wish it were going better, though- he has a high number of interviews, but only a couple at top-notch departments. His committee has been assuring him all along that he will do well, etc., (by well, they mean "place at a top 30 department"), but the students that his advisor had kind of dismissed are getting few interviews, but the ones they are getting are the top places. So this is sort of nerve-wracking.

We are not worried that he will not get a job; he will, but we (well, really me.) are concerned that he will be at a crappy school or in a crappy location, or worse, both. The crappy location is not so bad if he is at a good place, because he can go on the market again in a few years, but the crappy school is worse, and crappy school/crappy location is a really bad combination. If he is at a crappy school/crappy location, we will probably have to go on the market again in a few years, and then again a few years after that to try to claw up a little bit. I have had to explain to my parents that, no, you can't really move up. The exceptional people can move up a little bit (my advisor had a student who moved from a second-tier no-name research university to an excellent state school after a couple of years. He had a major publication come out after getting his first job, and I think that helped him move up. People that I know who have moved up have gone on the market again practically immediately- maybe they waited two years.

He just has to get an academic job that is better than working in industry. He is not very inclined to work in industry. He would do just fine in industry, but is more suited for academia. If he wanted to go into industry, he would have done it already and skipped the academic path totally.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Why does my heart feel so bad?

So after my advisor had the "come to Jesus" talk with me two weeks ago, she asked for a new draft of my paper with the expectation that it would be beefed up and filled out. She also suggested that I "talk to someone" to figure out why I am having trouble working.

So I did just that- I made an appointment with a dissertation coach, who was very helpful just in the fact that it's someone that I feel understands how I feel about the whole process, understands that I don't like it, yet isn't telling me to quit and is supportive of the idea that I just want to FINISH the darn program and GET OUT.

She suggested that I do this two-week teleclass for overcoming procrastination. Procrastination is a big problem of mine. I don't do work because I don't want to work.

So for the last 2 weeks, I have been doing a great job of working every day, and I've gotten myself up to 2-3 40 minute blocks of writing/working every day. This might not sound like a lot, but considering that many days I do nothing.... it makes a big difference. I have written 10 and a half pages in the last 2 weeks. That is a BIG deal.

And yet... I am still going to miss my deadline (today). How depressing. Instead of feeling good about working consistently and making decent progress, I feel upset and angry that I am missing this deadline. I think I can have it to her on Monday. I just need to not let this depression and upset-ness prevent me from working. All I want to do is crawl under a rock and hide.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


I found a great website today- Ivy Gate, a blog that discusses all things Ivy League. Hysterical. Being an alumni of said league, I find it especially hilarious. It hasn't been around that long- maybe since July? Anyway, I am definitely adding it to my links.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I have been knitting very diligently on the Child's Placket-Neck Sweater from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. I get to the neck placket, follow directions, knit for 8 more rows, and realize that the placket is crazily off-center. I KNOW I counted right, because it didn't seem on center the first time, so I counted twice.

I check for errata, and of course, there it is. Instead of ending 18 st before the marker indicating the start of a new round, I am supposed to end 24 st. Duh! (insert eyeroll here). I had to rip back eight rows, and now knit them again. Grrrr.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Running and Reading

I completed one of my New Year's Resolutions- I ran a 5K! The whole way! This was rather unexpected, as DH and I decided to run the 5K with two of our friends, knowing that I wasn't prepared enough and that I would probably walk part of the way. Hey, I know I would be able to finish, though, so why not? I told DH that we could always run another one in a couple of months, when I would feel more confident about being able to run all five kilometers.

As it turns out, I was able to do just that. Color me surprised.

I also mentioned a while ago that I wanted to start reading fun books more frequently. I mentioned Prep, and that is what I am reading now. It is pretty interesting. I am waiting to see what brings about Lee's downfall. You know it's coming.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Baby Knitting Update, Part Whatever

I just started the first sleeve of the Placket-Neck Pullover from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I've done two of the increases- the bar increases (kf&b) look pretty crappy in KnitPicks Shine- maybe it would look better if I did an m1 instead? I think I will try that on the next round, and if it does, I'll rip back (ugh ugh ugh) and redo. It can't look any worse, that is for sure. One of the nice things about knitting is that it encourages experimentation and just jumping in and trying new skills. If you suck at it, or it looks horrible, you can always frog and redo. My DH cursed me this last time when I was working on the baby booties. After I completed the first one, he commented that that was the first time he had seen me NOT frog the early part of a project. Of course, I started the next bootie, and had to frog b/c it looked bad, and all it was was 30 rows of garter stitch. Lame. I told him he cursed me.

I even frogged back the early part of a prayer shawl I started knitting for a friend of mine. I feel called to knit this person a prayer shawl, even though I could think of about 5 other people I know who might "deserve" one more, in the sense that knitting is a lot of work, and I have some mixed feelings about this friend and some of the actions that she has taken in the last couple of years. She is having a tough time, and has been having a tough time for the last several years. Some of the difficulties are due to her own actions, and some are out of her control. I just keep praying for strength, wisdom, clarity, and compassion for her, and maybe it will rub off on me too.

I am knitting the prayer shawl using the pattern from Shawl Ministry, which is put together by the same women who wrote Knitting Into the Mystery: A Guide to the Shawl-Knitting Ministry. I did throw in a few rows of popcorn/trinity stitch, but decided it required too much attention for something that should be meditative. I am knitting the shawl using Patons SWS. I was hoping it would be a softer, but it IS 70% wool, and most people on the KnittyBoard think it's plenty soft, so maybe it will be fine for her.

Sometimes when I knit, I pray while I'm knitting, and sometimes I listen to mp3 sermons from the former minister of the church that I attend, or read religious stuff online. The ideal (for me) is that I pray with every stitch, but I am cutting myself some slack on it. I am not letting myself knit on it while watching TV, though. I had to draw the line somewhere, and besides, I have other projects I can work on during TV time.

There is a new book out from Interweave called Knitting for Peace. I flipped through it in the bookstore, and it seems really nice. Not in the sense of amazing patterns, etc., but really telling you how you can knit to change the world, to make a concrete difference in people's lives.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Knitting for Baby

Not my baby. My DH's cousin is having a baby. I knit a baby blanket for him/her (the parents aren't finding out whether it's a girl or a boy in advance), and my MIL convinced me to knit these booties. Super cute. The blanket is the Big Bad Baby Blanket from Stitch N Bitch by Debbie Stoller, and the booties are from Knitting for Baby by Melanie Falick and someone else. The blanket is in double-stranded KnitPicks Shine Sport, and the booties are in Koigu. I think I can squeeze another pair of modified booties out of the rest of the skein of Koigu. Not bad for a $12 skein.

The kleenex box is for scale. The double stranded Shine shrank up a good bit. I was expecting some shrinkage, but it did shrink up a lot. That's okay- it's a good size for a blanket, I think.

I have a bunch of baby knitting on the horizon- my friend is having a baby in November, and I'm knitting the little kid sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, plus maybe another pair of booties if I can manage it with the rest of the Koigu. Another friend is having her third baby in April- I knit Baby#2 a Big Bad Baby Blanket, so I don't want to knit the exact same blanket again- I will probably modify the inside bit to be more of a basket weave. I am going to measure the gauge of the washed/shrunk blanket to see what it is, and try to make it more square. I will wait until they know what the baby's gender is before picking the color. I am tired of yellow and red!

Friday, September 22, 2006


My DH got a revise & resubmit from his field's top journal this week. We are VERY excited. This means that he is pretty much set for first-round university interviews. Yay!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Counting my blessings!

I found a wedding picture of an ex-boyfriend of mine from high school. I looked at it, and thanked my lucky stars that it wasn't me in that picture! For more reasons than one. Dude, he's not even cute.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Memories of 9/11

Five years ago, I was working in DC, at a government agency, just down the road from the Pentagon. I had driven to work that day instead of taking the metro, because I was going to go look at an apartment, since I was planning on moving at the end of the month.

We didn't have internet in my office, but I had on NPR, and they announced that a plane hit the World Trade Center in New York. My initial thought was that it was some drunk pilot in a Cessna. Then, not that long afterwards, they announced that a second plane hit the other tower. We still didn't know what was going on. A second plane was suspicious. Some people will say that they knew right away when they heard that a second plane hit that it was terrorism. I didn't know that at all. We were confused; we didn't know how serious it was. Then, the guy down the hall came out and said that his daughter had called him and said that a plane hit the Pentagon. We had no idea what to believe- at that point, it wasn't on NPR yet, and there were so many rumors and so much speculation. I thought about leaving work, just b/c it seemed like a good excuse, not because I thought I wasn't safe.

Then my mom called me at work, crying, because she had heard that the Pentagon had been hit, and begging me to go home. I distinctly remember saying "Will it make you feel better if I go home?" and she said yes, while sobbing. I told her that if it would make her feel better, I would go home.

I tried to call DH (who was just a boyfriend at the time), but he hadn't gotten to work downtown yet. At that point, we started realizing how serious it was, so I started getting scared. I couldn't get hold of DH, so I decided to just leave without getting hold of him. I was scared, because I was in a government building, and we had no idea what would happen next.

I refused to take the highway home; we seriously had no idea what would happen next. DH called me on my cell when I was in the car, so I drove to the closest metro station and waited for him until he got there.

Sept. 11, 2001 was about five weeks after my best friend died, and I was still really raw emotionally. My DH remembered reactions that I had to the attacks that I don't remember at all, that sound really crazy now, but were a result of just not thinking straight. The two events are always pretty closely associated in my mind, and it seemed unimaginable that my best friend wasn't around to see the world changed so much for the worse. In a way, I was glad that he didn't have to see it.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Sick again.

Well, I got sick again. This time after my cross-country flight back home. It was rough, with the no-liquid ban. On my flight out, the attendants were great about going through plenty of times with water (3 times on a four hour flight), since we could bring none on ourselves. On my flight home, though, there was no beverage service at all on my first 45 minute flight (due to turbulance), but I chugged a 16 oz bottle of water during my layover (I did this in the airport before my first flight as well).

On my second flight, the 4+ hour one, the flight attendants went through once with the beverage cart, I got my 8 oz bottle of Dasani water, and then several hours later, went through again. NO WATER. They were completely out. I had assumed this was an airline issue, not a flight attendant issue, but I was wrong. I overheard the flight attendant saying that she forgot to check their supply of bottled water, and assumed that catering had left enough. WRONG. It was terrible.

I ended up coming down with a cold two days afterwards, I am sure it is from the plane- a combination of dirtiness plus the incredibly dry air plus dehydration. Nice, and oh-so-fun. I am finally on the mend, mostly, though.

My friend says I have "grad student syndrome." Meaning that I am so stressed out that my immune system is depressed and I keep catching these low-grade bugs. I totally agree.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Despite the fact that grad students generally don't have much time to read, I say "Screw that!" and read for fun anyway.

In the last year or so, it seems like I've been reading A LOT of non-fiction, and I am kind of sick of it. I am slowly slogging my way through Collapse by Jared Diamond, which is good, but way too detailed, depressing, and pretty dry. (How can it be good, then? The information in it is really thought provoking.)

I am now in the market for some good fiction. I like to read relatively smart, yet accessible fiction (what some people call "middlebrow."). Possession, by A.S. Byatt is a great example of this. I tend to like books that have won the Booker Prize (now called the Man Booker Prize). Possession won, and so have The Remains of the Day and Life of Pi, both of which I enjoyed tremendously. I also read fun chick lit, when I am looking for something lighter. My all-time favorite in this category is the duet of Bridget Jones's Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, but other good ones are Carrie Pilby by Caren Lissner, Diary of a Mad Bride by Laura Her-Name-Eludes-Me, and most recently, The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (no, I haven't seen the movie yet, but I want to because Meryl Streep is really good).

So far, on my list, I have Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld, On Beauty by Zadie Smith (it's a retelling of Howards End by E.M. Forster, another book that I enjoyed), and Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.

I am looking for more. Any suggestions?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Finally got my password back!

I lost my Blogger password, and only got a new one a few days ago. So I'm back!

I'm trying to get back in a work groove lately. Working 20 hours a week on school sounds totally doable in theory, but in practice, it is hard for me.

It's been really hot where we live, and our AC is pretty crappy. No fun. This has made it even harder for me, because I will go somewhere else to do my work, only to find that I've left my power cord at home, or my data set is in my email account and I'm in a place where I don't have internet access, or I don't have a copy of the survey I gave to students, etc. So after at least three of these episodes, I have my act together, and I've done the tiniest bit of work, which is mostly cleaning up my data set and running a couple of little things. Hey, it's a start.

I had to have a short "Come to Jesus" talk with DH. I am going to try to go without anti-depressants. To do this, though, I told him that it would be a significantly more expensive proposition, because it means things like weekly therapy sessions, and a dissertation coach to get my ass into gear. These are not cheap propositions, especially compared to the $30 a month that anti-depressants would cost. I needed to make sure he was on board with all this money, because things are tight right now.

I currently have a prescription for a new brand of anti-depressant that I filled, but haven't taken yet. We will see how the drug-free, expensive route goes.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Big Decision

I realized I haven't posted about this yet on my blog, but I made a big decision.

I'm not going into academia.

At least, not the research side. I would consider going to a teaching school. I just don't like the research process. I'm great at coming up with ideas, terrible with the followthrough, and I hate all the details you have to take care of to produce good research. I think my talents are better used elsewhere.

After the whole "certain professors don't want to work with you" fiasco, I did some thinking, and I realized that I didn't want to go into academia. Not just didn't want to go, but really felt that if I went into academia, I would be ignoring my own best counsel, much like I did when I decided to go into a Ph.D. program to begin with. I have always done best when I have listened to my inner voice and ignored what everyone else around me was saying (because usually my inner voice contradicts all the other advice that I get). I basically decided that just like I have resisted pressure to follow a more traditional path in the past (not that my life is so non-conformist, but I did take paths that my teachers, parents, etc. didn't always expect me to take), I need to do the same now. There is incredible pressure to go into research, but I have to stay strong and resist. My advisor and committee are not the people who are going to live my life, and I need to do what makes me happy.

I had decided this before my big retreat, and I had made a commitment to myself that I would talk to the professors at the retreat. They are both lecturers, but one (FormerAdvisor) was tenure track for six years, and decided not to go up for tenure because she didn't like research. The other lecturer is someone with 35 years of professional experience. After he retired, he went back for his Ph.D. I thought FormerAdvisor would be helpful in giving me the moral support that I knew I wouldn't get anywhere else (except for DH), and I thought that the other one would be able to help me see the professional benefits of a doctoral degree, which is something I am having a hard time seeing right now.

Turns out FormerAdvisor left academia for pretty much the same reasons that I don't want to go into it. We have pretty similar personalities, so this just confirmed my confidence in my decision. The other professor wasn't as helpful in terms of encouragement (I don't think I made my question clear enough), but he said that we should talk again, and he has lots of professional connections with whom he can connect me.

More later.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Highs and Lows

I am currently assisting with this retreat-type, introspective, intensive exec ed type class. One of the exercises that the participants have to do is to create a timeline of significant events- both highs and lows. Then, you have to write a few notes on why each was a high or low point in your life, and see if there is a theme. So, here goes.


Get into prestigious college
  • triumphant
  • relief
  • pride
  • way out
  • moving to new phase
  • exceeded expectations of others
  • freedom

Get accepted into [student organization in undergrad]
  • relief
  • fun
  • belonging

Full-time job offer
  • relief
  • excitement
  • optimistic
  • exceeding my expectations
  • freedom/financial independence

Graduate from college
  • relief
  • excitement
  • looking forward to new phase of life
  • finally over

Living in (former city)
  • First city where I truly felt at home (belonging)
  • freedom/autonomy
  • likeminded people
  • self-discovery

Get married
  • happy
  • relief (that I wouldn't have to worry about getting married/having kids/etc.)
  • self-assured


Rejected from numerous orgs at college (and I mean numerous)
  • not belonging, feeling out of place
  • struggling
  • working hard, not acheiving desired results
  • alone
  • not appreciated for who I am

  • What's wrong w/me?
  • not fitting in
  • atypical experience than what everyone else has
  • tired of struggling and working hard to make it work
  • lonely
  • failure

Best friend died
  • total devestation
  • not thinking straight/made bad decisions that introduced chaos into my life
  • still feeling negative effects today
  • lonely
  • fundamentally changed who I am

Living in [current state]
  • feeling out of place
  • feeling isolated
  • angry at myself
  • homesick for old city

Struggling in grad school
  • feel stupid, talents unappreciated
  • not acheiving desired results
  • forcing myself to be something I'm not
  • feel like an outsider
  • at the mercy of others
  • keep everything bottled up
  • exhausting, stressful
  • poor

Do you see a pattern? I sure do. The common themes for the highs seem to be:
  • relief (getting out of a bad situation or avoiding a bad situation)
  • freedom/autonomy over own destiny
  • belonging

Common themes for the lows:
  • feeling alone
  • working w/o results (struggling, failure)
  • struggling
  • lack of control

So what do I want?? It seems obvious to me. I want:

  • Freedom/autonomy/control
  • Belonging
  • Feeling successful, living up to potential

It was an interesting exercise. I think I learned something about myself.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

House, M.D.

I have been a Hugh Laurie fan for ages now, since he and Stephen Fry were in Jeeves and Wooster on Masterpiece Theatre back in middle school.

I didn't just stumble on Jeeves and Wooster, though. Well, I didn't stumble on the TV show. I did stumble on the books back when I was in middle school. I was looking through the fiction section at the library, and picked up one or two of P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves & Wooster novels. I read them, thought they were funny.

Sometime later, I found them on Masterpiece Theatre, and since I liked the books, I watched the TV adaptation. After that, I started following the careers of both Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.

For a long time, there wasn't much to follow. I bought the VHS tape of sketches from their show A Bit of Fry and Laurie. I read Stephen Fry's first three novels. I watched Stephen Fry in the movie I.Q.. Noticed that Hugh Laurie was in movies like Stuart Little and 101 Dalmations. Watched them both in some of the Blackadder series. Watched Peter's Friends. Saw Hugh in Sense and Sensibility (with his college friend, Emma Thompson).

And now, Hugh Laurie is this huge drama star in House, M.D.! Crazy. For someone who has been SO well known for comedy to make this big switch to drama... it's really funny. And the show is this big hit now. I feel like the world has discovered my little secret- Hugh Laurie is really good!

(side note: he was also a rower back in college. A really good one. I have a thing for rowers. And he has blue eyes. Something else I have a thing for. And he's tall and thin. And British. Yet again... )

Happy Birthday, Itchy!

Today is my baby sister's birthday. BabySister turns 26 today. She's spending all day taking PRAXIS exams for her teaching certification- great way to spend a birthday, huh?

My sister and I are only 20 months apart. I used to dote on her when we were really little; then she grew up and started borrowing my clothes and slacking off of housework and we didn't get along so well. Typical sibling fighting, etc. But now, we get along great.

Over the years, I have come up with a few nonsense/random pet names for her. One of those is "Itchy." For no particular reason. She's not a particularly itchy/scratchy person. One time, we were in one of those Asian imports stores, looking at all the sterling silver rings that they sold. I was trying to get her attention. I did the logical thing- calling her name. "[Name]!" No response. "[Name]!" No response. "[Name]!" No response. "Itchy!" She turns around and says, "What?" The Chinese lady behind the counter just cracked up. "Itchy! ha ha ha ha ha ha! Itchy!"

So, happy birthday, Itchy! Hope you pass your tests!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Self-sabotage, again

Today was rough. I found out from my advisor that there are a couple of professors who don't want me to be their TAs b/c I've missed deadlines/had problems with followthrough.

There is at least one professor who has a legitimate beef based on a bad experience with me, when I flaked out on something I was supposed to do for research work. I don't have a defense for it- I just spaced out. I felt so bad about it, and was really, really angry at myself. Really angry. REALLY angry. It was a low point, for sure.

I have wracked my brain, and I can't think of anything else. My advisor thinks that it may be another professor who is pretty flaky and scatterbrained himself, and also very difficult to work with. If this is the case, it's not really a problem. I can't think of anything concrete that I would have done to anger this professor, but he tends to make lots of last minute demands, and you have to rush around doing the very best you can to appease him. So it's possible that I missed something among the many, many things, but if I did, it was very minor. And I really don't think I did, by the way!

Ugh- so bad for morale. I hate academia.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Get behind me, Satan!

This week, I was doing SO well with working. I wasn't doing as much as I would like, but I was working every day, very consistently. I was so optimistic that I emailed my advisor on Tuesday morning to tell her that I would have her a draft in a couple of days.

Tuesday night, I had an allergic reaction to something (Wellbutrin? Funny vegetable at the Singaporean restaurant?) and broke out in a really bad case of hives. Really bad. So bad that I was also running a fever. It is now Saturday, and I still have the hives (although my condition has improved), and still have a fever. I even went to the doctor on Thursday, and she gave me a stronger antihistamine, b/c Benadryl wasn't cutting it. Not helping at all.

So I've pretty much been sleeping all the time, or watching TV, or playing Spider solitaire. I try to work on my paper, but I literally cannot concentrate.

How pissed am I? I think the universe is out to throw up roadblocks in my way of being a productive human being. Well, in the words of the White Stripes, get behind me, Satan!

I am presenting this paper on Thursday- eek! I am pretty nervous about this. I am usually not nervous about presenting, but I am envisioning all these questions that I won't be able to answer, and I'm afraid I will look stupid. Gah. Really, my department is pretty friendly and not antagonistic, so they probably won't be too mean to me, but still. No one likes to look dumb.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Back to The Simpsons

My favorite show, The West Wing, concluded its seven-year run on Sunday night. The show hasn't been the same since maybe the middle of Season 4, but I just couldn't abandon it. It picked up this season, although I couldn't ever get on board with the campaign episodes, and was incredibly bored whenever C.J. (Allison Janney) wasn't featured in an episode.

I thought I would be more upset that the show was ending, but the final episode just showed me that I probably would have faded out if it had continued another season. I don't care that much about Josh and Donna (in fact, they should have never gotten together- Josh treated Donna so badly while they were working together; she could have found someone who didn't patronize her like he did), and did not find the candidates compelling, except for Alan Alda in The Last Hurrah. While many viewers hated this episode, and maybe I only liked it because I watched it a week after it aired, right before watching my tape of Institutional Memory, I thought watching Vinick moping around not knowing what to do with himself was fascinating and sad, especially in contrast with the hustle and bustle of the Santos transition. Alan Alda is really good. Never let it be said that The West Wing suffered from crappy acting.

I felt that watching the Bartlet administration wrap up (both literally and figuratively) was a fitting ending to seven years of the smartest show on TV, even in its dumbest years. (although in its dumbest years, "smart" did not necessarily equal "entertaining.")

And now, I look forward to the next projects of the cast, especially Allison Janney, and I am more than a little excited about Aaron Sorkin's new project Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which will have not only Bradley Whitford and Timothy Busfield from WW, but also Nate Corddry from The Daily Show! Sports Night and The West Wing were so good and so smart that I think lightning will strike a third time (never mind that Sorkin's movies are also really good. The man can write.). There's some concern that it's been overhyped, but I doubt it. I have high hopes.

And failing that, there are always my The West Wing DVD sets.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Best Friend You'll Ever Have

Yesterday, my husband and I met up with our college advisor b/c he came out to our area for an alumni party. He asked if we could meet up with him earlier, so we'd have plenty of time to talk before the hectic cocktail party in the evening.

I choke up just thinking about everything that man did for not just me, but for all his students. He founded the honors program at my school, and I remember when I was a freshman, the alumnus who hosted the party last night was a senior, and he told all of us freshman, "Doc (this is what all his students call him) is the best friend you will ever have" and that was so true. He was our strongest advocate, the one who would bend the rules for you- he would do administrative overrides for DH to take seven classes in a semester, some of which met at the same time, so he could complete his dual degree program in four years instead of five, he printed out my transcript for me, which I needed for one of my on-campus interviews, when my account was on hold b/c of my financial aid status (so I didn't have access to my transcript), he encouraged his students, who were the best and the brightest of the best and the brightest, to follow their own path, and not to worry what anyone else thought they "should" do.

College was not the happiest time for me. I loved my academic program, but socially, it was really tough for me. (incidentally, I found out yesterday that his own son, who is currently a junior at my alma mater, was having very similar issues) I was burnt out and depressed, and needed to take a semester off. I fought with my mom the whole semester about it (I had asked to take the semester off in the summer before my junior year, and even though my dad was on board, my mom said "Absolutely not!", so I decided to suck it up, and went back for the fall. It was absolutely terrible.). It was something I needed to do, and she wasn't budging b/c she was afraid I wouldn't go back. I went to talk to my advisor about it towards the end of the semester, to see what my options were, and I just remember being so unhappy. I can't remember if I cried in his office- I don't think so, but I definitely was miserable and it showed. He said, "Do you want me to talk to your mother?" In that moment, it was like a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders, and I knew everything was going to be okay.

My advisor grew up in Iowa- he was an Iowa farm boy, and he has a special fondness for those kids from small towns, from the midwest, from families where going to prestigious schools was not the norm. He got his undergrad degree from Northwestern, and his Ph.D. from Harvard, and has been at an extremely prestigious school with many former students who are in the highest positions you can imagine, but when we met him at the Ritz-Carlton last night, he commented that the Ritz-Carlton was a nicer hotel than he was used to, and it made me realize that he is still, somewhere inside, after all that education and exposure, an Iowa farm boy at heart. I think that this attitude combining pursuing what you want to do with not forgetting where you came from, is what makes him special.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Biopsy was benign, by the way. No surprise, but good to hear. I have to go back in 6 months for another exam and ultrasound. Hey, as long as it's not a mammogram, I don't care!

Final secret pal package

My secret pal, lspst8, sent me a super awesome final package! Lots of great yarn- 3 skeins of beautiful mercerized cotton in a gorgeous purple, 2 skeins of Shine from Knitpicks in Cherry (Shine is one of my favorite yarns- I love it!), AND some super awesome Blue Sky Alpaca/Silk yarn, which I will probably use to make Branching Out.

Also, a bar of jasmine soap, some cool funky buttons, and.... a KNITTING NEEDLE CASE! (fabric rollup thing? "Case" isn't necessarily the best descriptive term.). Did you make it yourself, lspst8?? It is PERFECT for me- I love, love, love tea (the pattern is all teapots and cute tea sayings), and I love the bright colors. It is perfect!

I was thrilled to get it- she was such a great secret pal! Thank you so much for all your work putting together great packages for me! You are so thoughtful.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


I had my mammogram and biopsy today. Wow. The mammogram was the MOST PAINFUL medical procedure I have ever had. I started crying because I was in so much pain. It was horrible. I can see why women skip it. It's a truly hideous experience. I also believe that if men had to take a diagnostic test that required sticking their private parts between two plates and squooshing them as flat as possible, someone, somewhere, would have invented a special chamber just for this purpose, no squishing required.

Compared to the mammogram, the biopsy was a walk in the park, although I bruised really, really badly, and now my left breast is one big bruise. DH is so sad about that- he feels really badly for me and my poor left breast.

Results in three business days? I'm not worried about it, but I hope I don't have to repeat this experience any time soon.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Resolution update

Sooooo.... The year is 1/4 over, and let's check in on how I'm doing on my resolutions.

1. Flylady
2. Run a 5K by June
3. Get my act together with regards to school
4. Spend less money on groceries

Flylady: Not bad, considering. I wash the dishes every night before going to bed, and will occasionally do 15 minute tidying sprees. I've also made the bed often enough that even DH will sometimes do it. We are also much better at meal planning, which is part of Flylady. I don't have a good morning/evening routine yet (except for dishes), but kind of feel like it's more under control right now. I still have a long way to go.

Running: Speaking of a long way to go... I am at least being consistent. I have worked up to doing 5 run/walk intervals of 4:30 run/2:45 walking. I'm running at a relatively consistent 10 minute/mile pace, which is darn fast for me. I may mix up some of my workouts to try for distance rather than time, and slow down my pace to an 11 minute/mile to see how far I can go. I would like to run a whole 5K. I could probably complete one doing a run/walk combination (not at the intervals that I'm doing now, though- I probably cover about 2.5 miles total in my workout), but I really want to run the whole way. In a similar, but not resolution-related, vein, I have really been watching my calories using Self Diet Club (free to subscribers, but sadly, not free to everyone else- I think you can only get it if you subscribe), and have lost 5 lbs in about 3.5 weeks. Pretty good!

Getting my act together regarding school: Wow! I am doing pretty decently on this front- I finally set a deadline with my advisor to get a draft of one of my papers to her, and it worked! It's a crappy, crappy draft, but hey, that's what editing is for! I'm supposed to get her another draft by tomorrow (ulp). I am great about working to deadline, and pretty bad about working when I don't have one. So I am going to keep setting them with my advisor, who totally kicks ass. Love her. Also, I found out that the symposium I put together for our national conference (sneakily including my paper, heh heh heh) has a GREAT time and location. I was afraid that we'd either be early in the morning, or worse, on the last day. Most people leave the morning of the last day of the conference. We're first day, afternoon, though. I also took the plunge and signed up to present my paper at our student colloquium series. It's all about deadlines, baby.

Spending less on groceries: I haven't been following this super closely, but it does look like we're spending less. Yay! This is b/c we're meal planning, and shopping less. This automatically reduces our bill. I tried following the grocery sales, but it just didn't seem to help too much, b/c we're so picky about what kind of meat we eat. We've been buying our meat from our local halal market, which is reasonably priced (maybe a little more than sale priced meat), and hormone/antibiotic free, which is so nice. The meat there just tastes really good. We've decided that paying a little more for higher quality meat is worth it. We've also barely eaten out in the last three months. We still occasionally get takeout Vietnamese, etc., but not so much. DH also, as part of the money saving plan, has implemented an "Eat What We Have" policy. This is what it sounds like. Eating leftovers, even if we're not excited about them. Digging through the fridge periodically to ensure that we don't forget about something tasty (or even just decent) before it goes moldy. It's a good policy.

So, all in all, I'm doing okay. I'm procrastinating on my schoolwork like crazy, but slowly chugging along.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Best. Advice. Ever.

If you're an academic, that is.

Academic AWOL

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


I found out today that I have to have a needle biopsy of a tiny lump in one of my breasts. I am not excited about this news. About four months ago, when I was feeling myself up in the shower (the easiest place for me to give myself self-breast exams), I noticed this tiny lump. I figure, hey, I'm young (late 20s), this is almost certainly nothing, but it hasn't always been there. So, when I had my well-woman appointment a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned it to my doctor. You can barely feel the lump- it's hard for me to feel unless I have lotion, or gel, or something to make the skin slippery. She feels it, says she doesn't think it's anything serious, but will refer me for a breast ultrasound.

This brings us to today. I fully expected the doctor to look at the ultrasound pictures and say, "oh, this is just a cyst/dense breast tisue/etc. It's nothing; go home." Instead, she comes in, feels for the lump, and when she finally feels it, I can tell from her face that I'm not getting that response today.

So, I'm scheduled for a mammogram and a biopsy in a few weeks. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit scared.

Grad school has been really bad for my health. Since I've been here, I've gone on antidepressants twice, had physical therapy for knee pain, developed allergy-like symptoms (although I don't seem to actually have allergies- I had allergy tests and everything!), had whooping cough, shoulder pain, a pre-cancerous mole removed, and now I need to have a breast biopsy. I never used to have these kinds of health problems. This is ridiculous.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

super lazy

I have been super lazy about updating. So sorry! I have to take and post pics from another secret pal package. I will try to do this soon. Teaching has taken up so much of my time!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day!

So my sweetie DH got me a whole slew of stuff for v-day! I got him a Coldplay CD (X&Y) and a leather valet tray for his pocket contents at the end of the day. Not that exciting,, but I was low on inspiration this year.

He gave me the DVD of Sense and Sensibility, a movie that I LOVE, plus Weekend Knitting (squeee!!), a pound of Mackinac Island fudge (yum yum!), and a bunch of stuff from GapBody. Unfortunately, none of it looked good on me! Let's just say that the "low rise teeny bikinis" are also made for teeny behinds. I'm not a big girl by any stretch of the imagination, but these must be intended for 12 year olds with no hips. So we have to return all of it. He felt bad that his present made me feel fat. I told him that sometimes even if stuff is the right size, that doesn't mean it will look good on me. Alas. I love GapBody, though, so I'm happy to get something else from there, and everything else is terrific.

He's making a big fancy dinner tonight- I gave him an out of the restaurant craziness that happens on Valentine's day. I'm teaching tonight anyway, so I'd be getting home kind of lateish for us to go out.

I promise I will post Knitting Olympic pictures soon. I have done so much tinking on this project (tinking= unknitting, stitch by stitch) it is ridiculous. I keep screwing up. And it's not a hard pattern, either.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


I got 3 hours of sleep last night. Why? Because I started taking Lexapro yesterday. I took it way too late in the day (around 4:30), and it kept me up all night. This happened when I started taking Celexa a few years ago. I'll start taking it in the morning, and the situation should resolve itself.

I finally decided to go back on antidepressants because I can't change anything that is bothering me about my life until either DH or I leaves grad school. I am not ready to quit (although I am always wishing that I had never started).

We will see how the meds go. Celexa worked great, except for gaining 10 lbs and losing my libido. Lexapro is just another form of Celexa, so I am wary of these side effects again, and will not hesitate to ask the psychiatrist to put me on something else if either of these side effects show up.

Started my project for the Knitting Olympics last night. I frogged it this morning, and I'm starting over, though. I'm doing the Midwest Moonlight scarf from Scarf Style in KnitPicks Elegance. I think the pattern as stated is too wide, given this yarn. So I'm making it narrower.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Thank you, Knittyboard Secret Pal!!!

I got my first package from my Knittyboard Secret Pal today!!! Squeeee!!!! Check it out!

Man, is she ever fast! The round technically started on Wednesday, although we got our matches on Sunday.

My sweet SP sent me a huge load of goodies- lots of great, soft (non-itchy!) yarn, the Summer 2005 issue of Interweave (yay!), a beautiful desk set, peppermint lotion, and a thread cutter pendant! Love that retro girl tin and matching notecard, too!

Thank you so much, Knittyboard Secret Pal!! I am thrilled!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Busy Busy Busy

I haven't updated in a few days, mostly b/c I've been so busy! Teaching an undergrad class sucks up more time than I ever imagined. More later. I don't even have time to read for fun! Or do much knitting!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Secret Pal!

I got my Knittyboard Secret Pal today! I am really excited- we have a bunch of preferences in common. Our "dream occupations" are remarkably similar, even. I'm going to try hard to spoil her with things that she will like.

DH got home last night. I ended up being pretty excited about it, which was good. I knew I was excited when I found myself making a blackberry crumble, because I knew he would like it. :) It's good to have him home.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Five Days of Solitude

I had the apartment to myself this week. DH went to his university on Sunday, so he could see all the job talks this week, meet with professors, etc. I admit, it's been nice to get a little "alone time" this week. I've always liked having alone time, and it is really hard when DH and I are both working in the same office at home all day, every day. If we're not together, it's because I'm out doing something like teaching class or going to knitting. It's been especially nice to get the break from cooking! He should be coming back today.

So I've tried to do things that are difficult for me to do when he's here, but are fun for me. I went to see Brokeback Mountain (GREAT movie, btw). I didn't cook AT ALL. Didn't worry about tidiness (got to make up for that today, though!).

Monday, January 23, 2006

Two more for the blogroll

I'm adding two new blogs to my links on the right- the first one is PsycGirl, and the second is The PhD Explosion. Let me just say that I feel their pain.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Hey, Kool-Aid!

Tonight, I am going to make my first foray into dying yarn with kool-aid. I spent $15 on Kool-aid at the store today- got WAY too much. WAY too much. I figure I can always send the extras to an international person from the knittyboard as a random act of kindness. I'm testing it out on some peach superwash merino DK weight yarn that I have left over from a scarf I made my mom a few years ago. I went to a couple of different craft stores looking for Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool (to tide me over until I make a knitpicks order), but the Joann's and Michael's that are closest to me didn't have them. So I went to my LYS, but they were CLOSED today! The nerve! I was going to get some natural colored NatureSpun.

When I got home, I remembered that I had an orphan skein. Peach isn't really my color, and I only have one skein, so I didn't really know what I was going to do with it anyway. I think overdying is fine for my initial foray into kool-aid dying. I'm going to do a bunch of different reds/maroons with a touch of grape, and maybe, MAYBE a smidge of blue. maybe. The peach is pretty light, so I think it won't interfere with the colors too much.

One of my good friends got engaged a few days ago! Best wishes to her, and congrats to her fiance! I know she's excited about it. They're trying to figure out where to have their wedding. It could be anywhere! (seriously.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Progress on Resolutions

So in a recent post, I listed four goals I have for myself this year.

1. Flylady
2. Run a 5K by June
3. Get my act together with regards to school
4. Spend less money on groceries

So how am I doing?

Flylady: I just can't bring myself to subscribe to the emails! However, I am working through the babysteps to make a control journal. So far, I have a morning routine and an evening routine, which I am, more or less, sticking to. I think the morning routine may be a little extensive for me, but I think they're all things I need to do, so I don't know what to cut out. Evening routine is easy, although I am resistant, for some reason, to laying out my clothing in advance. So far, so good. Next step is to try to get some kind of afternoon/evening routine that involves doing Kelly's Missions and doing the 15 minutes of tidying/decluttering.

5K: Not going so well, because my knees have been killing me. I think I overdid it on the elliptical. I'm not due for new shoes yet, and have been running on incredibly soft surfaces (indoor track, athletic fields). I think it's been almost a week since I've done any running? I've run twice in the last week and a half. Not great, but I will just try to be nicer to myself in the future so I'm not laid up for so long!

School: Oy. Not so much. This is a huge source of anxiety. I was hoping that teaching this semester would help me with prioritizing, but that hasn't happened yet. I think I need to do what my advisor says and "ignore the cracks in the ceiling." This may mean ditching more of Flylady. We'll see. I also need to work more efficiently with regards to prepping for my class.

Groceries: No clue, although we have been doing decent meal planning. We spent a lot of money last week on eating out b/c of the flooding and general turmoil associated with pretty heavy duty maintenance. So obviously, we'll have spent less on groceries but a lot more on eating out. Not great, but a good effort so far.

In other news, I signed up for the knittyboard's Secret Pal 6 round. This is kind of exciting!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Greetings, gentle readers!

I apologize for not updating in a while- I've been really busy recently. First, we arrived in our other apartment to find the carpet soaking wet, the result of a plumbing backup next door. Fun! We've spent the last week dealing with this. DH has been a total gem dealing with all the university housing folks, who have been resistant to doing pretty much anything related to fixing the situation. DH had to convince them that yes, they needed to replace the carpet pad that had been soaked with untreated waste water, and yes, they needed to clean the carpets. Our neighbors next door have had it much worse- the particleboard in their cabinets soaked up the waste water, so the stench has lingered in their apartment. The University refuses to replace all the cabinets, and the neighbors, who have two kids under the age of 3, are living in "emergency housing" right now, and trying to get the university to give them another apartment. Our oriental rug got wet too, so we had to send that out for cleaning, and DH also convinced the university to reimburse us for it. You can't use a rug doctor or regular carpet cleaner on an oriental rug; it will ruin it.

Second, I started teaching my class! I think this will be fun for me, although stressful and time-consuming. I think it will force me to be more efficient with my research time too. I FINALLY, finally, finally did the IRB revisions that I've been putting off for WAY too long. They actually sent me an email today saying that they hadn't heard from me, even though I sent my revisions off yesterday. I'll call them on Tuesday to try to clear it up.

I have a lot to learn with teaching, though- I went WAY too fast for my first lecture. WAY too fast. I finished what should have been an hour and a half lecture in one hour. Students came up to me afterwards to ask me to slow down! I am not used to talking slow enough to allow for note-taking, and I didn't have a whiteboard to slow me down (I was using powerpoint slides).

So goals for this weekend: do research work, plus my first lecture for next week. The other professor teaching this class has kindly allowed me to use her slides, so I don't have to develop major content, only filling in the (rather large) cracks.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone! We celebrated last night by making roast duck (using the recipe from Barefoot in Paris- Ina Garten, you haven't failed us yet!!) and drinking the delightfully declasse Sofia champagne from the cans. Well, we did pour them into our snooty Vera Wang flutes before drinking, but still. Today, following tradition, I made black eyed pea salsa and will be making greens to go with our pot roast tonight. All in all, 2005 was a pretty good year for us, and we did black eyed peas and greens last year, so who are we to mess with superstition?

DH and I are finally back from our trip back to my hometown for Christmas. The trip went fairly well- no screaming temper tantrums from my mom this year. There were a few major events, though.

First, my parents started demolition on part of their house as Phase I of their big remodeling project. A few years ago, they moved to a nice neighborhood in the city where the houses were old and tiny and the lots were huge (my parents have a 3/4 acre lot!). It's the kind of neighborhood where developers will buy the old, tiny houses, knock them down and put up McMansions.

My mom has always been scared of the stock market, although they do have a little money there, and she has felt most comfortable in real estate. This would explain why my parents have moved seven times in my lifetime! That doesn't even count a few more moves they made in the five years before I was born. Some of these places were temporary, while they were looking for a new place to live (stays might last anywhere from 2 weeks to a year and a half- there have been three places that I would consider temporary). They're not flippers, exactly, but they don't get sentimental about houses. When they think a neighborhood has peaked, they get out before the property values have a chance to deflate. They've done this twice now, successfully. This is really the fourth REAL house that they've had in my lifetime (I'm not counting a house they bought for my sister to live in, which was a HUGE debacle. That's another post for another time, but that is technically a fifth house). Contrast that with DH's parents, who have moved ONCE since they came to the US when he was 6 months old. He thinks the amount of times my parents have moved (twice since we've been together, which has been... 5.5 years!! Wow.) is ridiculous, and thinks that moving once is perfect.

The response in my head is, "Please." My thinking on this is that he will see once we actually start buying property that we will want to move after a few years, just because we'll want to move up. We won't be able to afford what we want right away, so we'll have to build up to it. He will learn this for himself, though, so I see no need to tell him at this point.

Anyway. With all the big house building in my parents' neighborhood, they want to keep up and increase their resale value. These renovations have been in the works since they bought the house 3.5 years ago, but with my wedding and my sister's wedding back-to-back, they've delayed starting construction. Until now. DH was so excited about it- my dad got a dirt guy to come in with his huge, industrial-strength backhoe to knock down the crappy addition the former owners put on the house, tear up the back patio, and grade the back yard. DH took movies with his digital camera. He was so excited. Even my brother-in-law was sad that we didn't call him to tell him to come over.

Second, my dad got a job! This was a huge shocker for all of us. This job just fell into his lap. The wife of a friend of his called my dad to tell him about it. They had closed the position, but couldn't find a qualified candidate (apparently it's hard to find someone who does construction who also has a college degree in engineering), so they opened it back up for my dad to apply. My mom is ecstatic, because it means my dad will have these awesome state benefits (it's a job at the local public university), and she isn't trapped at her job now. Plus, Dad will be bringing in a steady paycheck, which is something that he hasn't done in 25 years (he has been working for himself). Mom is also uber-excited about that. My dad is less excited about the job. He can see the logical reasons why it is good (benefits, retirement account, it's not hard physically like normal construction work, and considering my dad turned 59 last week, these are all big plusses), but he hasn't worked for someone else for 25 years. He likes the autonomy, the setting own hours, working at his own pace, setting his own rules. 2005 was a banner year for my dad professionally- he got his plumber's license (passing the test on the FIRST TRY), and now this new job. Crazy.

Now for the less than good.

My mom's best friend's daughter finally told her that she is a lesbian. This came as a surprise to nobody except her mother. Of course, this isn't bad news, but my mom's best friend is quite conservative, and disapproves of homosexuality. She's taking the news very, very hard. Friend's daughter just left her think-tank job in DC to take an assistant professorship at the local public university so she could be near her mom. They're close. She loves her daughter very much, and she's not going to disown her (thank goodness), so she has a big fat worldview adjustment ahead of her. She also blames herself, because she has made a lot of bad choices in men. She feels that she didn't set a good example for her daughter, and that's why she's a lesbian. Of course, this is totally ridiculous, but at least it means that she's not being as judgmental as she could be (if that makes sense). She'll get over it, but it's going to be tough for a little while. My mom is way more liberal than her friend when it comes to homosexuality, so she's going to be the voice of reason for a little while, as compassionately as she can.

Even worse was my dad's best friend having a stroke. Oy. His girlfriend called up my parents in the middle of the night so my dad could rush over there (the girlfriend lives 45 minutes out in the boonies; my parents live 15 minutes away) and wait for the ambulance... which didn't come! There are some serious city/county issues in my hometown. Lots of bickering. The girlfriend lives in the county, so when she called 911, she got the county dispatcher, who didn't send the ambulance because my dad's best friend lives in the city. Not too long ago, someone who lived on the border DIED because both the city and the county were claiming that his house was in the territory of the other. My dad had to call 911 again when he got to the house. His friend seemed okay then, but seemed to keep having these ministrokes after getting to the hospital. My dad went to see him the next day and said he was much worse. Poor guy. It was kind of nerve-wracking for all of us.

Today, I've been trying to get my teaching all straightened up. I've been trying to get access to do the course website, etc. First productive thing I've done since my symposium got accepted.

I have a few New Year's Resolutions. I am pretty much a "make a change if it needs to be changed, don't worry about the new year" kind of girl, but I think it's nice to have goals. My goals for this year are:

  • Get back on track with FlyLady, and really try to do it FOR REAL this time instead of half-a$$ed. I will never be a shined sink/ugly laceup shoes in the house kind of person, but I think her system should be flexible enough to include people like me, who aren't concerned with our dull sink as long as it's empty of dirty dishes and like to wear slippers around the house. I dread getting all those emails, but darn it if I'm not going to sign up for them again.
  • Run a 5K race by June. Run the WHOLE THING. All 3.1 miles of it. I've been pretty good about running kind of regularly (at least once a week- we ran three times while we were home, twice in the big park with nice trails and American bison!!), and I've been improving. Next semester, I'll be at my university full time with its nice gym, so I'll probably work out more often. This is usually what happens when I'm down there. In theory, I would like to have more fitness goals (eat less sugar, do more weight training, etc.), but I want to keep it realistic and make one change at a time.
  • Get my act together with regards to school. Seriously. I want to make it out in five years. I can still make this happen but I have to work hard, and I have to work fast.
  • Finally, I want to spend less money at the grocery store. We spend SO much on food. It's ridiculous. We're two people. I know my DH eats enough for three, but still.

I guess that's about it from the holiday front. I'll write about knitting tomorrow, I promise. Maybe my presents, too.