Monday, September 5, 2011

31 for 31 9 month check-in

I realize I haven't been around for almost a month. I have failed at the low-carb thing. Work has been crazy. I am pretty sure the magnitude of my responsibilities has finally settled on my shoulders. It's only the third full week of school and I'm already sick.

That said, I am enjoying my classes, band, and staffs. They are all doing quite well. There were some major changes for band, and they seem to be adjusting just fine. My yearbook and newspaper staffs have been amazing. I'm doing the best I can with the rest!

So, it's time for a check-in. I must say, I'm doing better with this list than last year's list. And for that, I am proud of myself.

1. Stop being a lazy cook and get in the kitchen, even when I'm tired. I usually enjoy what I cook more than what I would get out.

Still doing okay with this. I tried a new recipe tonight that my sister shared with me. It wasn't a difficult meal by any means, and most of what I make isn't difficult these days. I'm glad to just get dinner on the table!

2. Make H clean the kitchen more with me after dinner.

He put up his dishes tonight, at least.

3. Be a more engaged and engaging piano instructor.

Meh, I only have one student right now and I've only seen her a couple of times this semester. She's getting better!

4. Stop being afraid to hurt certain peoples' feelings and tell them what I really think when they ask. No one spares my feelings.

I'm pretty good at being diplomatic, but still getting my point across. It's been working.

5. Read more books. Fiction, non-fiction, educational, whatever. I don't read nearly enough.
I'm in the middle of the series "A Song of Ice and Fire" and am totally hooked. I asked for "The Hunger Games" for Christmas. This is going well now!

6. Go to some concerts at the local universities. There are all these great performances and I hardly ever go. I have a DVR for a reason.


7. Finish C25K and do speedwork, then move to Bridge to 10K.

8. Sign up for and race at least 3 5K's this year.

9. Sign up for and race at least 1 10K this year. (Either 8 or 9 can be in a relay)

I tried running a few weeks ago, and it hurt like hell about 3/4 of the way through. I'm not sure that running will ever be the workout for me again. Crap.

10. Continue my journey to enjoying the smaller things in life that bring joy, i.e. sunrises/sunsets, caring for flowers, little things like that. I have noticed that I feel pure joy when taking in these very subtle but amazing things.

It sure was hard taking care of plants this summer! But, I still find myself marveling in small things. The other night I was entertained by a cicada that decided to buzz around the back patio while I let the dog out to pee. It actually sat still in my hand. I felt like a kid.

11. Learn a new instrument.

Fail. I have, however, seen lots of crazy instruments on Youtube.

12. Quit being such a nag.

Hahahahaha fail. I will, however, say that sometimes nagging is the only way to get things done around here.

13. Continue to foster my new friendships at work.

After several years of not having hardly any good friends, I finally have a nice group. We're all kind of in similar mindsets about a lot of things, and it's a very supportive group of ladies. I never thought I would have actual girlfriends again that didn't stab each other in the back most of the time.

14. Be more supportive of my husband's efforts to continue to improve his alma mater fraternity.

It's Rush Week. I have no say about it lol. Luckily, this week is Open House and I've been invited out on another night, so it won't be too bad.

15. Become a more savvy shopper.

I bought an adorable shirt at Ross today. I also got some excellent deals on a dress ($18 including shipping and there was no tax) and a skirt (also $18) from Kohl's recently. I'm getting better!

16. Save up and buy another lens for my camera (perhaps a more snazzy general zoom lens? I think so.).

Meh, after buying a little point and shoot, and realizing how little I take pictures at home, I don't really feel this is necessary.

17. Stop breaking my wedding ring.

Another fail. I still haven't gotten it fixed!

18. Prove once and for all that my school building is haunted (okay, okay, I know I can't do this but dammit, I believe!)

This might happen next month. My newspaper staff is going to do their own little "Ghost Hunter's" kind of webisode thing. Who knows???

19. Receive a glowing review when the assistant principal reviews my journalism class. (I got a glowing review on my band rehearsal first semester so I'd like to continue that pattern).

Don't know when he or she will be by.

20. Continue trying a new recipe every month.

While I don't intentionally do this, it just kind of seems to happen!

21. Be more open to trying new cuisines. I will not, however, force myself to eat organ meats or sushi. Other than that, I should try it.

I tried sushi. H gave me a piece that was just gross. I tried another piece that was just shrimp and rice, and that was better, but it was from a more reputable location. He's still not convinced. I practically gagged on the first piece because it was too big, the rice was too vinegary, it was all mushy but no matter how much I chewed it didn't get smaller!

22. Continue working to be a more stable person, and to keep a hold of my struggle with depression.

Most days I do okay. As long as I keep busy I'm usually fine with this. I tend to not dwell on it too much.

23. Continue to delight in the triumphs and successes of my students.

Still so, so easy. I was floored at the audition one of my percussionists played, one who came to me with very little music reading skills. It was awesome. I was a proud mama.

24. Do more to take care of myself. Get more massages, or haircuts, or take care of my feet more than I normally do. I'm terrible about all of this.

I've started painting my toenails regularly? I do need to go get a massage, though.

25. Take a vacation, even if it is just a small weekend trip to Dallas. No vacation in 2010 at all sucked!!!

OU-TX, baby! It's coming up. So excited.

26. Re-invest myself in strength training. I don't know why I quit, really. I was enjoying seeing the strength gains I had made.

I'm such a fickle person when it comes to working out. I'll do well for awhile, and drop off. Why can't I just make it a habit and stick with it? What the hell is wrong with me?

27. Actively save money. We don't save nearly enough.


28. Keep a cleaner house, especially my office, which is a mess at the moment.

Striving to do better. My desk is covered in tests right now, but most of the house is reasonable at the moment. It gets pretty awful during the week, though.

29. Be less hypercritical of others. I know I said in #4 that I was going to stop coddling people, but sometimes I find that I am overly critical of others, especially my husband. I am also overly critical of myself.

I'm failing at this a bit, especially the part about being overly critical of myself.

30. Finish the little projects around the house--curtains, hanging things, photos in frames, etc.

New light fixture in the bathroom! New fan in the office! I didn't do those things, but they are there! We also got a sprinkler system this summer (so awesome).

31. Continue to enjoy my new found outlook on life.

Every day is a new day. Every day comes with its own challenges and triumphs. I'm learning to appreciate it all.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Eager Beaver

Yesterday morning, I ran that C25K W1D1.

Today, I can barely move.

My hip HURTS. The pain is wrapping around to my back! I can't believe I'm still not ready to run. I guess I'll help keep my gym in business a little longer...I did find out, though, that they give a discount to those who have my insurance, so one of these days I'll get in there when it's staffed and get my discount! I love me a good discount.

Yesterday evening was quite eventful. After we had finished dinner, and H mowed the yard, we settled down to watch Hell's Kitchen. We knew some storms were coming and were delighted at the prospect of rain and temporary cooler temperatures. We noticed it getting a little darker, the weatherman bumped into the show to talk about a storm an hour away but said nothing about our area.

Then the power went out.

Then whatever deity you worship or Mother Nature unleashed their fury on our side of town. Holy shitballs was all I could say. It never bodes well when the power goes out BEFORE the storm hits you. It leaves you wondering, what in the hell is coming here?

We immediately went outside, being the proper Okies that we are. The gust front came through, and hard, and then the rain came. It was coming down in sheets off the house because the gutters were full. I rescued my pots before the wind could knock down my poor struggling plants. Then it got calmer. We thought it was over.

No, it wasn't over.

What we saw was violent. H came running inside (I had already stepped inside the door) and we watched from the glass door as the wind whipped around from nothing to the east, our neighbor's flagpole swaying dangerously around and around. You couldn't see across the street. The rain came in buckets and it swirled and swirled. I asked H if he thought this is what a tornado looked like.

I expected to see Al Roker in my yard, reporting about the hurricane we were having in Oklahoma.

The power was out for a couple of hours. We went out and got treats at Sonic. I forgot that they use "real ice cream" now and had to throw away half my sundae, as it was just too much for me! My stomach was imitating the swirling storm after a few minutes. We also found out that a little shopping center just north of our neighborhood experienced damage. The two occupied stores on the outside were okay...the middle store that was just about to open, well, the entire storefront collapsed somehow! It looked like stucco, so that was nuts. As it turns out, the store that was about to open was a new liquor store.

Within walking distance.

I can't decide if I should be sad or not that it is now delayed in opening. On the one hand, wine within walking distance...on the other, WINE WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE!

Today was much calmer. I got a bunch of copies made at school, ate leftovers, and came home and took a nap.

Oh! I weighed myself on Friday and those four pounds were gone again. I've been good and have stayed away from the scale. I feel pretty good, albeit a bit tired today but I didn't exactly have a fitful sleep last night, and my body is obviously trying to heal from yesterday's run and the damage it caused. I hope to see the scale move down and down as school starts. I am much better about following meal plans and eating healthy lunches when I'm working! This chick likes a schedule.

Monday, August 8, 2011

C25K W1D1

Does the title sound familiar?

I decided that I should try C25K again. My hip has been feeling strong after using the elliptical at the gym, and doing squats, lunges, etc. While it was killing me when I was in class, because of all the sitting and extra driving, since then it's been feeling pretty good!

It doesn't feel too good right now, though. I'm trying to stretch it but it's such a difficult area to get to with a stretch. It was feeling fine through most of the workout, until the last couple of run sections. Since you're only supposed to do C25K every other day, I can use tomorrow to lift and stretch to continue strengthening it. I am excited that I finished without any problems.

I also felt pretty pukey after, but it was over 80 and I've never run when it was that warm! When I first started this last year, it was probably 60 out in the mornings, and the temperatures dropped drastically fast as November rolled in. I forgot how cold it was last year.

My legs and butt started itching about halfway through, though. I'll have to remember to pop an antihistamine before next time. My allergies always flare in the morning so that might be part of the itching problem. It seemed to go away when I ignored it and noticed my hip was starting to hurt. I should just punch myself in the face to distract me from all the different things going on and pay attention to that instead!

This weekend was a BUST. Oh good lord, it was. Happy hour on Friday. Friends wanted to go out Friday night, so we went to the comedy club (quite fun!). Saturday was Debauchery/Gluttony day, so there was a bad lunch, a movie, and beer and pub food for dinner. Yesterday was a family lunch and H wasn't home for dinner so I ate out...again. Good lordy.

After all that gluttony on Saturday, I was really depressed yesterday. Yes, for once it was cloudy and rainy (hooray!) but that should have lifted my spirits, since it was a break from the insane heat. I was in a funk and it was hard to shake. Feeling better today.

I got all my grades back, and I got a B in my conducting seminar. I emailed my professor (no response yet) to ask why, trying not to sound like an arrogant knowitall, but because pretty much all of the feedback was really positive, so I'm not really sure where I went wrong. I had an error in my paper, that was only worth 30% of my grade, but that shouldn't have dropped me a whole letter grade! So, I'm trying to be patient and wait for an answer. It took me awhile to write the email, as I didn't want to sound like a petulant child demanding my A...but this is my only B in grad school, and it dropped me from a 4.0 to a 3.90. That's significant to me.

I also found out we're not getting step raises this year at my school because of all the budget cuts, so I'm glad I finished this program now so I can get some sort of raise, and I'll just cross fingers that H's health insurance will either stay the same or go down. His premium is off the charts.

So, back to the school today. Helping the choir/orchestra teacher get our rehearsal space back in order. Hopefully a few students will show up to help. It shouldn't take too long, and I still have other things to get in order in my other classroom, too. It takes some time prepping 5 or 6 different classes, especially classes as involved as mine. I do love it, though, and I miss it. I don't quite know what to do with myself when I have free time!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I'm done!

I turned everything in this morning. I'm done! Unless I'm the first person ever to not pass their comp exams for my program at the university, I'm done!

I'm celebrating Saturday night with chicken and beer. Day of Debauchery and Gluttony! Today, I'm just trying to remember how to enjoy free time, and it seems I have totally forgotten, even though it hasn't even been a full month since I started classes. It seems like ages ago that I was standing in my in-laws' kitchen, drinking beer with my BIL and watching those hilarious GI Joe psa parodies on Youtube on his phone. Who wants a body massage? Oooooooh.

Today we are getting sprinklers installed. Half my plants have been dug up to put sprinklers in the flower bed, which means I will hardly ever have to water (yay!) but I worry that in the heat, they won't bounce back. It's mostly just rose moss, but it was 102 by 11:30 this morning. 108 now. I worry that anything other than cactus will make it. Our shrubs are barely established, too. We'll see what happens. H is having them install an electric cable out to the sweet gum tree so we can put Christmas lights without having to run a cable. I've never thought of that. It seems brilliant to me! Now, if it were only December...

Poor Anchovy just doesn't understand why all these workers are in my yard and he isn't. He is a pathetic whiner when he doesn't get his way.

Since I can't seem to relax, I think I'm going to work on my journalism curriculum, since I had to abandon it when my classes started. I made it all the way through Unit 3. That's it. That's about a month's worth of materials. Back to work for me!

Monday, August 1, 2011

6,000 words later...

I'm still not done! 6,000 words! I thought this thing would be like, 15 pages. I'm on 23. Now, that's including 4 pages of works referenced, one for each question/essay I've written, but holy hell!

I actually ran into my adviser today, not surprisingly in the "M" section of the library, and discussed my timing with him. He said that there is not a real deadline on this, that it is somewhat self-paced, and after everything is turned back into him from my other teachers, and it's approved, he'll send me to the graduate college for my audit, and then after a couple of weeks, they should approve me.

Hopefully, the work I've done is satisfactory. I know the theory exam was good for a few laughs. Hopefully my adviser didn't feel that way about my history paper. He makes me a little nervous; he's too hard to read.

I don't know what happens if I don't "pass" my comp exams. Do I get to take them again? Do I not? Do they hunt me down with pitchforks and torches because I would be the first person ever to not pass? Who knows.

I have, at least, finished two of the four essays. I just finished up the works referenced pages for them. Well, almost. I just realized that I still need to figure out how to cite someone's Master's thesis that I read online through the university database. It's a little specific, you know? I hate citing stuff. I never can seem to get the form down.

Otherwise, I've had a hungry day, though it would appear that it has finally stopped. I was getting hungry every two hours. I ate a huge lunch of chicken, green beans, and a salad and I was hungry not that long after! I had some prosciutto and mozzarella, but it didn't taste very good to me, so I tossed about half of it and haven't been hungry since.

Yesterday, I was making my roasted chicken (that smelled so good) and at one point while putting the dinner together, I thought I was going to throw up and my appetite completely went away. I ate my dinner, but not very willingly, even though it tasted quite good. I think the stress was getting to me. I know it is today. My head keeps having sharp, shooting pains and I actually took a nap, something I almost never do.

I was good and didn't get the scale out of the closet. I'm not counting calories this week, either. I want to see how I do on my own eating healthy foods until I feel content.

And I'm still making chili. I don't care if it's 106 outside and the a/c won't stop running. It's depressing.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Stress eater

I got my assignment yesterday morning. And then I wept at my keyboard. And then I found out that the university library is closed on weekends, so I couldn't even do the book research I needed to do in order to complete the assignments until Monday.

I was a little stressed. There was a double cheeseburger involved. No one was hurt except my pride.

I am feeling much better today. After finishing the second part of the final last night (basically a discussion of my practicum this spring, which I had to do from memory because of course it's on my work computer, which is unavailable on weekends like the library), and finding that plenty of periodicals have been scanned in online into full-text pdfs, I actually took a break and read for pleasure before bed.

I have to answer four out of seven questions (my choice) and give about three pages on them, using at least one book, two periodicals, and no more than two internet sources. The questions are along the lines of, "Discuss the history of the dichotomy of emotion vs. intellect, and why emotion has been seen as the lesser of the two, and how that has caused music education to be considered less-than necessary?"

Wow, biased much, teach? Too bad it seems that most people believe that the mutual exclusivity between intellect and emotion doesn't exist anymore. I decided to get the book Emotional Intelligence as my guide for that.

And so, it goes forward like that. I turned in my conducting analysis yesterday afternoon and spent some time with the Mahler First symphony, fourth movement. Thank goodness for the class message board and people who are keeping it up. I would be lost without them. I made sure they knew that. My theory professor is probably going to get a lot of laughs out of this analysis, but as long as I turn something in and obviously tried to grasp it, I'll get an A. The comp final is pass/fail...a little more of a daunting task, in my mind.

In other news, I gained all the weight back, except for one pound, that I lost, and I am so obviously bloated it's comical to me. I know I didn't actually gain four pounds of fat in two days, but I certainly gained it in water. I promptly took the scale and hid it in the back of the hallway closet, and vowed to not step on it until Saturday morning, after a full week of healthy eating, with no grains and no alcohol. After I finish this project, I will also be able to get my gym time in with some regularity, and will likely sweat out a few pounds at the school when I go up to put my rooms back in order!

This coming Saturday, however, is the Day of Debauchery and Gluttony. Some politician asked people to fast and pray for the future of our country, and there has been an obvious backlash. The hardcore atheist in me grabbed onto this, and immediately invited those in my friend list that I knew would appreciate it. My Catholic husband included! I plan on using that day (after a hard workout in the morning, of course) for a movie, unhealthy food, and maybe celebrating my awesomeness and finishing grad school. I must text my sister and see if she's up for the challenge.

So, dark clouds overhead, but some sun peeking through. I sure wish it would be cloudy for real. Last night, while reading, I realized how much I miss the rain. How much I miss walking outside and not having your breath taken away by the heat. The co-op put out their monthly newsletter and one farm was talking about their plans for fall plantings and I had a sudden urge to buy turnips, a vegetable I have never eaten but that surely reminds me of cooler weather. I'm making chili tomorrow, so I can kind of say "fuck you" to the sun and the heat. Fuck you, heat dome, I'm eating chili. And there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday Freeday

I decided to give myself a pass every week, and yesterday was my day. I had a normal breakfast, but allowed myself some Freddy's for lunch (sounded so good) and then hosted a birthday party in the evening for a friend.

The Freddy's was everything I imagined it would be. Salty, a little greasy, with that strong mustard/pickle/onion flavor they do so well. I even had a Pepsi.

Not more than 30 minutes later, I got sick and paid my dues. I was fine after that one trip, though.

In the evening, I made spicy roasted shrimp cocktail, chicken wings, and sliced up some veggies to go with hummus. Not too bad. I made some bread, too, because I figured there would be alcohol and bread helps. I only had I think one piece of it.

We were enjoying this drink H's family used to make called a "mint bucket." It's a punch bowl with lots of fruit, mint, ice, pink lemonade concentrate, ginger ale, and vodka. Lots of vodka.

About 2 hours into the party, and I got sick again. I think it was the sugar. I was fine, and then suddenly there was this hard knot in my stomach. It wasn't pleasant, to say the least. I likely didn't eat enough to counterbalance all the sugar in the drink.

Regardless, it was a fun night and a couple of my friends who had never been to my house (we don't live all that close to our people) finally got to meet the cats, the dog, and see our home, and laugh at my seashell bathroom light fixture. (For the record, I didn't pick that out, it was here when we moved in, and I plan on changing it very, very soon.)

I think a smoothie is in order this morning to replenish vitamins. I don't know what we're going to do for lunch because I didn't plan to make one. I wasn't a very good meal planner last week. I could always cook up a piece of chicken and get some veg out of the freezer. Dinner is that other party, likely, so I'll do the best I can.

Oh, and I have got to stop stepping on the scale every day. I like to see how what I eat one day affects my weight, but it starts to border on obsessive. I might put the scale away in a hard-to-reach place to keep myself away from it.

I had my last-ever graduate class on Thursday. Then I found out that I screwed up and didn't read the comprehensive exam information correctly, and still have one to go. The professor was supposed to email it to me yesterday, but my luck, it never came. I sent an email a short while ago asking if she had forgotten about me, and that I need to get this done next week as I am completely finished save for a couple assignments that are due Sunday and Tuesday. I was so angry with myself for misunderstanding and not asking for clarification, just in case. Hopefully, that will all work out, and soon, as I am ready to be done. Done-done.