Monday, February 27, 2006

happy birthday mom!!!!!!!!!! Posted by Picasa

kitten is not worried about superstrings, symmetry or the theory of everything.  Posted by Picasa

theory of everything

i just finished reading "the search for superstrings, symmetry, and the theory of everything" by John Gribbin and it was awesome. never mind that I don't yet fully comprehend most of what i read, i feel like it has changed something in how i see the world.

i realize the more i learn the magnitude of how little i know. i thought i 'understood' at least some of the idea of the electron orbiting the nucleus but it turns out i was wrong. and wrong in a very fundamental way. i had often imagined that the greatest desire in life, in existence, that which 'drove' the universe was the desire to exist in the same space. i saw the electron as trapped in its orbital, circling the nucleus, drawn there through the electromagnetic attraction of opposing charges, doomed to never meet the nucleus. i saw the sex act in humans as the same desire manifested in a physicality unknown to the electron--the act of penetration, the very throbbing, thrusting, sweatiness of sex as being an attempt for two organisms to exist in the same space. to some extent, isn't that what sexual reproduction is? the creation of a single organism from two?

i know that some of my ponderings were based on loneliness for it is inescapable to notice the correlation between someone who feels profoundly alone to believe that everything in the world seeks a form of ultimate togetherness.

now i don't know. I thought i understood heisenberg's uncertainty priniciple (that you can't know the exact position and velocity of an object at the same time) but i know now that i did't understand it and still don't, not in the complexity it deserves. To that extent, i thought that the electron and proton desired (forgive me that anthropomorphism) to exist in the same space (3, 4 or 11 dimensions, you choose) but instead the electron (and even the proton) are not finite particles but rather wave functions (wave packets limited to a small space). the smaller the space the larger the uncertainty (about the future location). to that end, the electron and the proton don't want to achieve a moment of singularity--the compression of momentum would force the uncertainty to approach infinity. what does all of this mean to me?

i was thinking about my new understanding of the uncertainty equation--that momentum times uncertainty can never be smaller the h-cross (planck's constant divided by 2 pi) and it seemed appropriate in grossly anthropomorphic terms in so much as the more uncertain i get the less eager i am to proceed.

every time i read/learn about physics (really mathematics) i am left with a sense of muddiness--that biology/chemistry, the disciplines to which I am most drawn--are but murky reflections of the universe. this isn't really fair to them. biology is complex (just as? can we even make that sort of distinction?) and it is not irrelevant. the search for an understanding of the universe will not necessarily explain the creation of intelligent life.

the role of the observer in quantum physics--that the observation of an event can 'limit' it someone (see the electron version of the 2-slit experiment) makes me wonder about the effect of human consciousness on the world 9at any level you choose--environmental, organismal, molecular, atomic, subatomic...)

can a particle 'be observed' (thus causing the collapse of the wave function and the static existence of a particle in space though without known velocity) without a consiousness to observe it? if no one were asking the questions about 'electron choice' there would be no reason to consider the plurality of worlds. i guess what i mean is that the effects of the observer on the quantum mechanical system can only and would only be observed if someone is observing the system. my thoughts yesterday was that an observer (god) would cause the universe to collapse (kind of) but my thoughts today are--without an observer (god) why would the universe behave as it does? that is not to say there is a god but merely to reintroduce the possibility.

what i am trying to say is 'why would there be an observer effect without an observer?' and there were certainly no humans around at the moment of the big bang to observe things. so what was?

my cousin said to me the other day something about heaven being the ultimate delusion but despite my marraige to the world of evolution and biology/science, i am not prepared to make that grand claim. not because i believe that god made flesh and sent jesus to die on the cross for our sins but rather because the unique energy that is consciousness is not understood by science and thus, i don't think that we can pass judgement on where it goes when my flesh-house disintegrates. do 'i' die in the sense of my 'self' being gone? i don't know. maybe i move into another dimension. maybe i become something else.

energy is never created or destroyed.
all energy changes from higher to lower forms.
the universe moves inexorably to chaos.

i know that i don't have the mathematic mind for superstring theory--i am linked deeply to a three dimensional visualization system for understanding--but it can hardly escape physicists that the questions they address do not preclude god but rather invite him in in ways never really seen before. like the labels on an electron as 'particle' or 'wave' perhaps religion suffers from a premature and overly simplistic characterization of the 'higher being.' if the 6 'simpler' string theories of everything 'fall out' of the m(embrane) theory of everything perhaps world religions are simply limited, low-energy versions of an actual, unified --something-- i don't know if the word religion or god is even appropriate.

so these are my deep thoughts for the day.
on a more worldly note: the office is exceptionally cold today. i have been hungry and had heartburn all day. it is unpleasant. the emergence of extreme turbulence in my emotions suggests i am beginning to ride the estradiol tide and so you had all better sit back and hold on for the next 8 or so days.

i am thinking about going to the dollar store today. i know i shouldn't. i can't say that i won't. i know what i'm getting mom for her birthday (which is today. i love you so much mom. i can't wait until you come this weekend.)

i am meeting my study buddy on wednesday night so i better get my ass in gear and learn the firsty 200 high frequency GRE study words. because of reading my physics book i didn't do the bio outlining i should have today--maybe i'll do some work at home.

i am really trying not to nap today and to go to bed at 10 and get up at 7 tomorrow. i may not run, i may only walk on the treadmill but i am trying to retrain my body. my mom wants me to see a doctor because of my persistent exhaustion coupled with nightsweats (every time i sleep i wake up drenched, dripping in sweat. it's really kind of gross).

i volunteer at petsmart tonight. there is shit on tv. maybe i'll try for a short run. i always say that. it has never happened yet. of course, maybe it will.

it's all very uncertain you see. i move very slowly.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

early morning insight?

I woke up this morning (I didn't get up at 7am to run. i'm going to try to get to bed earlier tonight and then get up at 7 am tomorrow...) and I was thinking about wome of what I had read yesterday in my book about quantum physics. My insight for the morning (and it scares me a little) is that there can't be a god because if one being knew the exact location of every particle it would cause the collapse of the schrodinger (sp?) wave function. But then again, there is probably a lot about physics that I don't know, and a lot about the universe that even physicists don't know, so we're probably ok.

i ran yesterday morning at 8 -- 20 then 2x 5. I am having some sort of mental stumbling block in returning to the 40 minute run length but I think that moving my run to the morning will be a good idea (although it will take a bit for my body to adjust).

i went and met the gre study person--totally not a big deal, he seems nice. we're meeting again on wednesday to review the first 200 high frequency vocabulary words. i bought another wood bangle at walmart and then went off to the hicksville mall.

at the hicksville mall i bought a necklace at target and a few cheaper necklaces at charlotte russe. I also bought 3 CD's (2 tori amos and 1 heather nova) at sam goody because everything was 30-40% off in the going out of business sale.

nice dinner with uncle john and cousin duncan. off to have sushi for breakfast I think. or maybe try to warm up the tempura without setting it on fire in the microwave (i accidentally killed a mushroom yesterday. who knew 90 seconds was too much for a fried vegetable?)

Friday, February 24, 2006

fried day

well, friday really. nothing fried. although I am enjoying my 50% fat free cabot cheddar right now. it is tasty. I'm hoping to head home in the not too distant future so that i can go running (i didn't run last night) i am thinking about trying to start running in the morning--that maybe that will help my sleeping. it would require getting up at 7am and going to bed around 10pm. i think i may be able to swing it.

plan for the evening includes my run from 2:45-3:30 (ish) followed by an adventure to the broadway mall in hicksville (?)

anyway. not much to say really. i'm looking forward to 2 hours of america's funniest home videos tonight on ABC. maybe also watch close to home and numbers. tomorrow is my meet up with the craigslist GRE study guy. i promise to make every effort not be be murdered. that is, we are meeting in a public place and that is the only place i will be mom. no private locations, no dangerous situations. i promise to survive. and to study a bit.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

kitten peering out from my mountain of pants.  Posted by Picasa

pack rat

i was clicking through the channels last night and saw the end of a special on hoarders--people with a type of OCD that manifests through collecting and saving things coupled with an inability to get rid of anything. It was followed by a snippet about a girl with debilitating perfectionism--she flunked out of college because she stopped turning in assignments at all because they weren't perfect. The program said that hoarding is one of the most difficult forms of OCD to treat.

i saw this sitting on my futon next to my colossal stack of beads, in the sea of magazines, knowing the bags of clothing were sitting in the hallway, the stacks of canned food in the kitchen and the bag of unopened makeup from the dollar store clutched tight in my fist. I think i'm a hoarder, that my obsession with things--owning them, collecting them, sorting and saving them--is more than an underlying attempt to ease my emotional loneliness by 'filling that hole with possessions.' I think i'm actually more sick than that. I think I might be a high functioning hoarder--i manage to struggle right on the boundary before total suffocation by my possessions ensues.

I am aware of a great surge of freedom that accompanies throwing something out. i kind of love it once I make myself do it. I think i'm going to thow out old magazines when I go home tonight. and maybe do some work on my shirts. Or craft. or sleep. I've had a headache for two days now. i just took some advil.

yesterday I went back to the dollar store before going grocery shopping. when my mom and i went on saturday i picked out a ton of makeup (they have all! all of the old packaging on the loreal eye shadows--wear infinite) but i put it all back and didn't buy anything. I thought it wouldn't bother me as much as it did but instead for the next 5 days whenever my mind wandered it would wander back to those eyeshadows and fill me with a sort of niggling anxiety. I would promise myself i would go back and buy the eyeshadow and i think that's the only thing that would let me get to sleep at night. Finally buying the eye shadow yesterday was fun but it never satisfies me. I set a limit for myself that I wasn't allowed to get more than 1 of each color (although I accidentally bought 2 of 3 different colors, not bad considering that I could only go on the color I saw and not the name. you try consistently distinguishing gilded sunset from medallion before you pass judgement on me).

when I finally opened the eyeshadow last night before going to bed it filled me with a predictable dichotomy of satiety and lust--a brief cessation of this anxiety inside of me and then a near simultaneous desire for more. I fell asleep last night promising myself I could go back to dollar tree on friday and buy more eyeshadow.

to be fair to myself, i make promises like this a lot. and i don't always follow through on them. There are lots of things i've put down in stores and said i could go back for and never did. It is a way for me to deal with things--postponement is my most effective strategy (although of course, only if it is postponed indefinetely. a definite postponement ends with a purchase, a la yesterday).

i would like to make it clear I am not asking for help .I do not want my mom to read this and say 'i really need to be more firm with her and not enable this.' That will only cause my anxiety to reach uncontrolled proportions. As is, i believe that I am the only person that can help me. I need to stay honest with myself and open with others. THe day I start hiding my shopping or my possessions is the day i begin to spiral out of control i fear.

so what of all this? I have recently hatched an obsession with bangles and beaded necklaces. I am considering a pilgrimage to a near by mall to check out the selection at claire's and H&M. I shouldn't go (fiscally speaking) I should stay home and sleep or study. But I may go (if i set a small budget). I find it difficult balancing my desires (and acting on behavior that i think may be 'wrong' but I know will make me feel better) with maintaining my life on the straight and narrow. I make a lot of concessions but I feel like my coping strategies may not always be enough.

i do think sometimes I would like to break free of this (hoarding, collecting, buying, having things....) entirely, to become monastic and entirely unburdened by possessions. But the more logical part of me knows that until I change whatever it is inside of me that drives me i can get rid of everything and as soon as that happens i'll just start collecting again. I don't really know what I should do other that stay in this current holding pattern. it's got to be better than to crash and burn.

on lighter notes: i went grocery shopping yesterday--bought 2 ham hocks and made soup with them. apparently ham hocks are 'supposed' to be used to make bean soup. whatever mom. I used them with chicken broth, diced tomatoes, frozen onions, fresh carrots, and red/green peppers. the soup was quite tasty today. oh yeah, i also added a can of black beans. I also decided to try cabot's 50% fat free cheddar (versus my staple 75% f.f. -- there is only a 10 calorie, 2.5 gram of fat difference. Interesting how in looking at those numbers something would seem contradictory... maybe they cut some carbohydrates or sugar in the higher fat one...) it was a bit creamier and I did enjoy it. I also bought some fat free hot dogs and scarfed down 4 (4!) of them in 2 tortilla sandwiches (don't judge so quickly, there are only 40 calories per hot dog).

after eating I napped. I said i wasn't going to nap but then it turned out if i stayed awake too long i started eating. so i went with the next best thing--sleeping. I got up at 7 and then ran at 8 pm. I had a great 35 minute run (i'm aiming for 40 minutes tonight during survivor: exile island). I think the key (since I had a phenomentally terrible 20 minute run on tuesday night) is that I really need to eat before running (not right before, but sometime between 4-6pm for an 8 pm run).

that said, i think i may go home and take a long nap today. My head hurts and I am stressed about having no money and just the general impending doom feeling that my future has begun to take on. i am keeping up the GRE studying--i read atleast 1-3 chapters a day and try to make flash cards for the bio GRE book. That's my current goal (i've done 1.5/31 chapters...gotta get cracking a bit). This saturday I am meeting my 'gre study buddy' whose add on craigslist I replied to. we are meeting at a starbucks i know, out by walmart in the morning (11:30) so before I go i'll probably review for the regular exam a bit, read through my books and that afternoon (before or after napping, probably after) i'll make my first poster or two, read, outline, run and sleep.

i want to get my new computer set up. i'm really bad about getting all the way to the finish line with something and then i just stop moving entirely. at least i got the computer up the stairs.

oh well. maybe all of this 'to-do' is making my head hurt.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

birdy is so greedy. and pushy. and wonderful. Posted by Picasa

i'm a real sucker for lollipops

that's what my mom said while picking out easter's lollipops in CVS. and she didn't mean it as a pun. i thought it was funny.

mom's visit was really nice, as always. I gradually cheated more and more on my diet with a finale yesterday of : healthy breakfast (apple, egg whites) unhealthy lunch (seriously treated myself at the chinese buffet) and unhealthy dinner (pizza which i threw out this morning so as to prevent further indulgence). it is always hard to get back on the diet bandwagon. my coworker brought in cookies today but i didn't have any.

i will refer to this weekend in my memories as the weekend of bangles and chinese buffet. bought cute bangles at walmart, target and the outlets and ate chinese 4 times (2 x buffet, 1 x on sun night, 1 this past wednesday night).

I ran (20 minutes on fri, 30 minutes on sat) but have to buckle down tonight and do my 40 minute run while watching NCIS on CBS. 3 40 minute runs in a row this week + saturday and then next week (march-ish) i raise the length of treadmill time to 50 minutes (with an eventual goal of a 45 minute run). I'm planning on continuing the 40 minute runs next week but adding a 5 minute mini-run after a 2 minute walking break on the end of each run that week. In april the run length should go up to 50 minutes and total treadmill time to 55. That will be my 4 mile mark (I should be running 4 miles at a pop).

i'm so tired right now. I never sleep through the night and wake up anywhere from 1-5 times before finally waking up between 6:30-7:15, unable to get back to sleep. I"m tired all day and just want to go to sleep when I get home which makes studying, cleaning, cooking and crafting difficult. I need to go grocery shopping today.

To Do (general):
Clean office
Organize desk
Move printer, move laptop to current printer location
Go through blue box, store irrelevant electrical appliances
Set up new computer (including internet, router?)
Organize bedroom
Clean futon room
Go grocery shopping
Mail (2 letters, on way to grocery shopping)

Grocery List:
Apples (5 lbs, empire)
Pears (2)
Skim milk (1 gallon)
Bran flakes
Egg beaters (big container)
Chicken (and throw out old chicken)
Ham hock (for new soup?)

the above lists are for my to-do and my shopping. I don't need much food. I am in the mood to detox (low fat cheese + apple for lunch, bran flakes + egg whites for breakfast). I think I should have egg beaters and some sort of veggie (carrot sticks?) for dinner. I'll eat some bran flakes too so i have carb-energy for my run tonight.

my boss is interviewing a new post-doc today. I am not sure if it is a girl or boy based on the name (Hagit?) but I am thinking boy. He is supposed to 'introduce him to the team' over here at some point so i'm hoping he comes by soon so i can mail my letters, go grocery shopping and go to bed. I am also supposed (haha soupposed) to cook some soup tonight. I'm thinking about trying a ham hock. depends on the cost though.

it was hard when mom was here to stick to the diet. she and my aunt were so complementary about how i look that it made it really hard to remember how fat I still am. I'm inbetween an 8 and a 10 now i think but I need (want) to be a size 6. i want a lean midsections. I want slimmer forearms and a flat (or nearly flat) stomach. I am not there yet. I need to keep pushing myself and i need to remember that exercise is my friend, my bestest friend here really, what with the no human competition.

i am working hard on my cold turkey project although sometimes I want to call him more than ever and other times I am ok. I know that I need to keep my heart inside me, not sitting outside a door that will never open but i feel a bit like i'm putting myself in cold storage. whatever.

i think that when i see the head-doctor to get my effexor refilled i will ask for lunesta or ambien or something like that (because my anxious mind does indeed keep chasing sleep away). It is ridiculuous that at 2:43pm i am sitting here feeling like i may fall asleep.

i did some good studying today. i finished reading my easy outline for organic chemistry and made flash cards for 1/2 a bio chapter and the first orgo chapter. I am dedicating this weekend to studying (posters, flashcards and reading) and I am meeting the person who posted on craigslist for a GRE study buddy. my mother thinks i'm going to be killed. I have assured her i am meeting this person (gender unknown, suspected to be male) in a public location (it is looking like starbucks) and that i do not plan on accompanying or inviting him into a private dwelling.

2 saturdays from now is a young members hike through ADKLI and I am excited/scared about that. excited because i could meet people my own age (even meet a boy ) and scared because it will probably just be another flop. I want to start taking karate but I really can't face it until I get this sleeping thing under control (I am just too tired all the time). I want to take a nap today when I go home but I don't know how that will affect my running (it generally makes my run shit-tastic).

a new grad student is starting here tomorrow. I think she may be caucasian (which would be exciting since everyone else in the lab is a foreign national, not that I'm a bigot it would just be nice to have someone who has similar life experiences to mine). She is here for a 2 month rotation and i'm hoping maybe she could be my friend. I feel like a pathetic shell of a person sometimes, hoping that someone might turn out to be my friend. I'm not outgoing enough to just meet people at the grocery store and I'm also such an intellectual snob that i don't want to just meet people at the grocery store because I don't know if they'll be smart. Fucked up and I'm an asshole, i know. I think i'm surrounded by too much emphasis on genes and inheritance because I just can't see mixing my gametes with someone else's gametes who isn't smart and if I don't see us potentially mixing gametes in the future (for the males at least) I don't really get the point. I am realizing as I write this how fucked up my whole world view is. Basically if I don't think i would want to mate with someone I don't see the point in getting to know them. I think I am going a bit batty in my solitary confinement. maybe I should work on reevaluating my priorities.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

already sinking

i am so tired. i'm sitting here waiting for my gel to run. in 3 minutes i have to go do something (i can't remember what) to the water filtration unit. i hope the unit tells me what to do.

i labelled and scanned today and attended the lab meeting and when my boss came over to my new cubicle (when I was in the 2 minutes in between labelling and scanning) he says "so is the gel running yet?" And I was like, "um, not yet, I am labelling and scanning right now." So he says "ok, i just don't want it to fall through the cracks." THis is after the lab meeting this morning when he tells me that doing the hybs is top priority and not to get distracted by the gel and dusp22 stuff. aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh. WTF am i supposed to do? I told him i didn't want to try to do too many things at once because I didn't want to make any errors and that appeased him.

Lord, I'm doing it now. I've done 2 days worth of work already and I feel like i'm going to pass out. I left my food at home by accident I think so all i've eaten today is fruit, soynuts and some super low fat cheese (which always smells funny but tastes good so I should just stop smelling i think).

my boss is very demeaning in his attitude toward lab technicians and the bench work aspect of generating data. he wants his data fast, frequent and flawless but doesn't understand what goes into producing that data. He makes demands that aren't reasonable because he doesn't do any benchwork and then says things about the techniques that are either not true or not really true

things like, "oh, the protocol is the same" when in fact, every step in the protocol uses different solutions, different volumes, different's just that conceptually we are doing the same thing. fine, i get that. I'm actually very smart. I excel at broad concepts, extrapolations and relevant generalizations. but right now i'm a lab technician so if we are changing over to doing a totally new version of our current technique, that's a big change for me. and he blows it off like it's no big deal. lordy mc lordy. sometimes i feel like i'm drowning and the rest of the time i'm already underwater.

I think it says something that one of our lab techs just left and the other senior tech and the lab aide are both looking for other positions. I know that there are a lot of factors that go into a job--salary, location, position, personel--but i really don't feel valued here and I don't think i'm the only one. I have to believe that if i felt my boss respected what I did here (instead of feeling like i'm holding my breath, hoping i haven't made a mistake i'll get in trouble for) that i would feel more of something, more of something good. who knows.

what am I supposed to do?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

kitten officially not understanding the purpose of the treadmill Posted by Picasa

perhaps kitten was mocking my use of the treadmill in response for this humiliation i forced on him a few months ago Posted by Picasa

back among the living

I woke up yesterday feeling kind of crappy, but i often wake up feeling crappy so I went to work anyway. I continued to feel worse and worse until I finally worked up the nerve to ask my boss if I could go home sick. He said it was fine of course and so I slunk home, into bed, not to emerge for approximately 20 hours (except for a 1 hr couch break from 7-8 pm). I woke up this morning feeling much revived.

I attempted to resurrect my experiment that I abandoned yesterday, i'll find out tomorrow how it went. i am also trying to do GRE studying. I went on craigslist to look for a GRE study buddy and lo and behold! there was already a post near me looking for a study buddy! so i replied to that post. I hope it turns out not to be a creepo. After replying to that post I read the singles (men seeking women) and was totally creeped out. it seemed like everyone was either young and horny or old, married and seeking an extramarital affair. I was filled with a simultaneous dread and despair at being single forever and a sense of relief that i would rather be single than connected to a creepo.

that's it for now. I'm trying to stay motivated. I'm still feeling a little shaky and really tired and i'm trying to start eating some food again. so far today i've had a lot of water, some bran cereal and i'm eating a few soy nuts. dinner with my aunt this evening--seafood (she chose it). I can't think of any sea food I would want to eat right now. i was hoping for japanese but we've done that the last 3 meals together so maybe she's sick of it. I'll see if i can find something not to quease-worthy. Maybe I can get cornbread somehow.

i don't think i'll run tonight becuase i still feel really weak but i was thinking about walking on the treadmill for 45 minutes, just to do something. I was lying in bed last night, drenched in my own sweat feeling bad that I didn't run but then I decided since I had consumed 0 calories it all sort of balanced out. I feel so much better today though.

baby steps are the key to everything i suppose. so i'm going back to my first chapter worth of bio GRE keyword flashcards. i'm going to rock this test.

Monday, February 13, 2006

excitement of the day

After writing my post and moving into my new cubicle my coworker informed me that there was a bird in the back lab. I caught the bird (with my bare hands!) but then my boss showed up and I had to do the project he wanted me to do. I contacted the wildlife hospital (where I volunteer) and took the bird over after I was finished with the project. In the meantime I prepared a rehydration solution of water, sugar and salt and put some of my cereal in with the bird (who was placed in a cardboard box for the time being). The bird turned out to be a european starling (a ubiquitous, invasive species) who was fine. I took the bird back to the office parking lot and released it.

the bird was so excited to be free. It was scrambling out of the box as soon as I started to open it and it just took off into the air, really high and it knew just where it was going. It almost made me cry a little. It was really beautiful.

as good as it gets.  Posted by Picasa

kitten playing in the bathtub Posted by Picasa

birdy stealing my water. greedy birdy! Posted by Picasa

kitten in his favorite play location Posted by Picasa

super birdy! Posted by Picasa

Birdy and Me Posted by Picasa


I have decided it is stupid to be picture-less for so long. Today I brought my digital camera into the office. The office is currently empty b/c one coworker is gone and everyone else is delayed by the crappy road conditions (oh yeah, there was a nor'easter this weekend!). So I brought my camera in and hooked it up to my computer and copied the pictures to the same folder as all my other pictures and now I can illustrate my stories from the last few months!

I have moved most of my stuff into my new cubicle but the computer there doesn't let my totally log onto my settings so I'm hoping to move my computer (hard drive that is) to my new cubicle. Then everything will be perfect.

I had an ebay relapse this weekend. I know now that I will never bejust a casual ebay user. It is like a drug and i'm too easily hooked. I accidentally spent too much money and have decided to designate some of my purchases "birthday gifts." I discovered an ebay super-seller dedicated to auctioning (live auctioning, more later) estate and overstocked jewelry (a "sell-or-melt" event). So I intended to only submit absentee bids but I ended up watching about 2 hours worth of live auctioning. It's definetely addictive. There were some great deals--everything went for about 10% of its MSRP (which, although yes the MSRP is always inflated, it does represent what you would pay in a store) so there were beautiful big ruby and diamond rings going for $400-500 instead of $4,000 -5,000. But I digress. the moral of the story is: no more auctions for me. for a long time at least.

I did get up this morning at 7:15 and go shovel the walk and 1/2 of the driveway to get my car out. Yesterday I didn't leave the house. I only left the top level to turn away two people offering to shovel my driveway (for money that I didn't have). I had a great run yesterday -- 40 minutes in a 20-12-8 split (4.6, 5.0, 4.6) and it just felt really good. I've been doing 4o minute runs for 2-3 weeks now and I think it shows, shows in my fitness and my body although not necessarily in weight loss. Calorically i'm not improving much by running 40 minutes instead of 20 as long as I cover the same distance (I'm probably covering 2-4 miles more per week now that I was 2 months ago but that's only 2-4 hundred calories-ish). But it has to make a difference, if only in how I feel.

I can see my leg muscles through my jeans that i'm wearing today. I feel like an amazon. Although atleast some of that is left over amazon-ness from my snowshovel extravaganza this morning. I was dripping sweat and sweet-talking myself through shoveling one more foot. When I was done I went upstairs, showered, ate breakfast and drove to work at a snail's pace. I'm the only one here. But this way I got to do my pictures!

anyway, more later. right now i'm going to print out some new cubicle decorations!

Birdy eating my oatmeal last night. Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 10, 2006

friday afternoon bored

right now i'm sitting here waiting for my gel to stain. I was really good today--did GRE reading, scanned and analyzed my slides, resuspended my primers, ran PCR and ran a gel on the PCR product. All I have to do now is to finish staining my gel, destain it briefly and then take a picture!

then i'm homeward. well, actually, i'm going to get gas. and then maybe to the book sale. or maybe to home. maybe i'll go home, nap and then go out.

i was checking amazon's DVD titles and I found out that they have due south!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also, there is a new collector's version of the x-files where the seasons are $34.99 instead of $69.99-89.99. So I picked out a ton of DVD's that I would like for my birthday but in light of my recent computer purchase I believe the list will require editing.

Blah blah blah bored. Tired. A bit ambivalent about leaving because this is my coworkers last day and when I leave I won't see her anymore. On the upside, a new grad student is starting in a few weeks (my age) and I might make a friend. which is exciting for me.

I responded to an emergency help email for the cat shelter so I'm going to do 2 hours there tomorrow morning. then figure out what I want to do based on the weather. I have a hankering to try a modified run in the park but I don't know if i'm ready for it and my runs have been a little crappy this week (all 40 minute runs but I was so tired on most of them. Last night I did 40 minutes at 4.6 mph). I kind of like it when my runs are sucky though because it makes me feel like I am due for some good runs in the not too distant future! Similarly, when I have good runs I feel a little sad because I know that I am due for some bad runs. I am so future oriented, I have a hard time with the present.

I figured out a way to do chem GRE studying. I have a great BIO review book that has sections I am reading and will outline (make flashcards.. you know the drill) but I don't have something like that for chem yet. THe book that came from amazon was actually a collection of 5 chem GRE tests. But I figured it out! I'm going to work through the first test and for each problem I'm going to write my own review section for the material necessary to answer the problem and then fit that into a larger review packet based on the outline of necessary material procured from the GRE website.

I want to do really well on these exams. I do well on tests. Well, standardized tests at least and I have done well up until this point. But I haven't taken a test like this in a while. I have to also do some reviewing for the regular GRE exam--brush up on my math, geometry... that sort of thing and work through a book or two to learn the structure.

time to go destain my gel. or maybe i'll just take a picture of it... let's see how bad the background is.

turns out: not a complete failure! Actually 25% of the lanes had PCR product -- 1 insertion and 3 deletion alleles. So this is potentially not a complete failure.

anyway, i guess i'm done here. I have to go pine away at home for x-files and due south on dvd and wish i were loaded. Or had friends. then maybe I wouldn't need 8 millions seasons of tv at my fingertips.


Thursday, February 09, 2006

in list format

I have been doing a lot of bio GRE reading at work which has minimized my amount of free time to kill. I have still been thinking though. I was contemplating an irony yesterday--the fact that my diet is the thing in my life that I feel is the most worthwhile. Ironic to me because I perceive the most important thing in my life to be the thing which ultimately makes less of me. Interesting.

I cooked a funky indian dish on tuesday--red lentils, spinach, rice, tomatoes, red pepper and yoghurt/mint sauce. It's actually pretty good although I put too much salt in it.

I overspent my budget while grocery shopping so it's going to be a frugal weekend. I am planning a treat trip to cold stone creamery on friday night. I have been looking forward to it an inordinate amount of time. Good runs tues/wed (relatively good). I did a long, slow run on tuesday (40 minutes at 4.6) and a more intense run yesterday (30 minutes at 4.6 with 10 minutes at 6.0 mixed in in 5, 3 and 2 minute chunks). Tonight I think I will try to do some fast sprinting, i didn't have the energy for it yesterday.

I've been sleeping poorly, i have a hard time falling asleep, staying asleep and sleeping in. I woke up this morning at 6:41 with a headache and dry eyes (from not enough time closed) but still couldn't get back to sleep. watched a bit of Buffy (episode: Showtime, one of my favorites) and then went back to bed. I forwent (is that a word?) a shower in favor of my bed time and then made it to work early actually.

right now i'm doing my first combine and wash meaning I have another 1.5 hours of work to do. I am planning to scan and do PCR tomorrow. I hope my boss doesn't think I'm doing the PCR today. I will do GRE reading after I write this. I am so excited about mom coming to visit. We're going to go hiking (6 mile stump pond route i think) and eat out or maybe cook and do fun stuff and maybe walmart and outlets and just chill out. I'm excited. 3 day weekend. super yay.

My computer is officially dead. It can not be resurrected so Mom and I ordered a new desktop from Dell on tuesday evening. I'm excited about it coming although I am nervous about everything. I've been trying to find out about transferring music from my ipod to my new itunes but I found 3 different programs online which seem to be exactly what I want. So that's one less thing to worry about. The things I'm saddest about losing are the papers and notes I wrote in greece. But they are gone and my moping about it won't bring them back.

I hold on to physical possessions from the past in a very creepy, reliquary sort of way. I need to learn to let go and to accept that having a half eaten chocolate bar that I started eating in greece doesn't keep greece with me, it is gone for now and lives only, only in my memories. I do feel some compulsion to keep things and I think that may be another manifestation of my inordinate desire to and for physical possessions.

I need to go home for a weekend and clean out the basement. I also want to go through my clothes that I have here and get rid of some that I don't think i'll ever wear. That's hard for me to say but I have more stuff here than I wear and that I need so I would like to either get rid of it or send it home. I also want to do a big clean/organize this weekend. I need to get my desk ready for my new computer. I want to vacuum and organize the treadmill room and do other good stuff like that, maybe even do some organizing work in my room.

maybe i'll put up my picture and continue my collage--i want to put more pictures from my runner's world magazines up on the wall. I need to start reading the chemistry also. The biology is fun for me to reread, I fear the chemistry a bit more.

anyway, I have to go wash my samples.

samples washed. I have 12 more minutes of freedom. then no more freedom. then lots of freedom. Tomorrow is my coworker's last day. I am sad about that. But happy that I get to move to her cubicle. Lots more privacy. and cabinet space.

I like listing things. and planning things. I filled out my form to apply for being a wildlife rehabber and I am going to mail it today. This is a list of things I made yesterday:

Things that need to get done:

  • Mail margaret’s letter
  • Write check for $15; send off for exam stuff
  • Ipod help from the apple store
  • Books from book sale for pop

Things to look forward to:

  • Book sale
  • Ice cream on Friday night
  • Reading good books
  • Fun exer-venture on Saturday
  • Hike?
  • Run at Caumsett?
  • Karate?
  • Beading experiments:
  • 2-string knotting technique
  • Glue technique
  • Mixed color earrings
  • Mom’s visit
  • Payday
  • My 6-month anniversary ring
  • Biggest loser tonight (now watched)
  • Dr. phil on fat people (now watched)

Plan for my run:

  • 10 minutes at 4.6
  • 30 second 8.0 intervals every 5 minutes until 35
  • cooldown until 40

Things I can do on Saturday:

  • clean kitchen
  • clean house
  • go through clothes and choose 3 laundry basket’s worth to give away (goal)
  • put out hand lotions and bath products in my room
  • vacuum
  • clean animal cages
  • reorganize desk to prepare for desktop (!)
  • work on looking on the bright side…

I think this is a really good list. I am going to work on following it. I am really excited about mom's visit. And about my sixth month diet-versary. And maybe for my birthday when mom is here i'll try on some size eight pants... I am not allowed to buy any more clothes until I am buying them in a size eight so that should be motivational.

The girl last night on Biggest Loser had a goal t-shirt that read "No Worry, No Fear, No Doubt." I like that sentiment.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

My ring! Posted by Picasa

air or ash

I have been busy I suppose. That's why I haven't written anything in a while. I went home this weekend for a funeral (memorial service really) of the mother of a friend of mine from high school. I haven't really kept in touch with her and so it was weird and sad and harder than I thought it would be. I think my current abject solitude has made me reevaluate my tendency to let relationships fall apart. I want too much or nothing at all.

So I drove home, it took me 4.5 hours because of crappy traffic. I listen to Pinback's "Summer in Abaddon" the whole way back. Memorial service and then I drove 2.5 hrs to my cousin's house in new jersey for a family get together (my grandfather is 93!). I met a new cousin (4.5 months) and found out another one is on the way (!!) It was nice. I left at 8:30 pm and got back to L.I. around 11 pm. I was so tired on the drive. I just got home and went to bed. I did volunteering on sunday all day and then came home and went to bed at 4pm intending to get up and run at 8. I got up at 8 am on monday.

I do that every few weeks. I guess I need it. THe bad side is that if I don't take my effexor I end up crazy feeling--headache, dizzy, nightsweats and crazy dreams--the next morning. Whatever. I had planned on running yesterday to make up for it but I wasn't in the mood, i just felt too drained. I went to michael's after petsmart and spend $20 (which I had alloted myself). I bought a poster which says "I have never found a companion more companionable than solitude" (thoreau). I am hoping that will remind me about the strong, beautiful things about being alone instead of letting me dwell on the perpetual absence of others.

I found out Louise Gluck has a new book out and I really want to get it. I miss her (having access to her as a teacher). I love her poetry.

work = frustrating. yesterday my boss basically accussed me of making a whole slew of careless labeling errors which I believed I had corrected. Turns out I was right and he was wrong but of course he doesn't apologize. Today it turns out I did make 1 mistake and so he sort of gave me the holier-than-thou "i think you should take a minute before you do anything and review what you are doing." It's just so annoying because he is right in a way but a lot of the errors I make are because I have no one to confer with, it's just me doing things i've never done before and he doesn't step in until I am supposed to have it all finished and then when he finds a mistake (as he inevitably does) I am just left feeling so fucking disappointed in myself. And of course, there are times when I am correct or when the mistake is because there is something I didn't know but that doesn't really make me feel any better. It makes me want for my atoms to break their bonds and for me, for my self, to cease to be, to be nothing but air or ash.

so that's the state of things. I was making my tea this morning (I am trying to go back to 1 cup of coffee after a brief period of 2 cups last week) and I was putting in my powdered creamer and fake sugar and found myself thinking about fake sugar. I have fantasized since I began dieting about creating food with little to no nutritional value--combine olestra and splenda and fiber and egg beaters (i guess not no nutritional value, how about no junk food de-valuing). I would pay extra money for less nourishment. The irony of starvation elsewhere in the world does not escape me.

I was thinking the other night that the developed world has an excess of fat and 3rd world countries (for a huge generalization) a lack of fat. People are all about transporting food but why not address the problem where it really lies--fat transplants! Perform lots of liposuction in the US and then inject that fat into skinny, starving people!

I am so clever. Geez.

I have been faithfully doing my GRE reading which I will do whenever I finish this. I am excited that I will be moving into a real cubicle at the end of this week when my coworker leaves. I brought my computer to IT so if they fix that then I can post pictures from the last 6 months of kitten and birdy and my decrease in fatness. I ate too much last night--mostly kashi and grits. I have to limit the carbs again. I also need to go grocery shopping but I don't think I have time tonight because I was going to go to my first karate class (6:30-7:30) and because I don't know how tired i'll be afterwards I wanted to run beforehand so that karate doesn't affect my running. I was thinking long slow--40 minutes at 4.6 or 4.7.

I feel disconnected from my emotions. Last night I said I felt pretty good on the phone with my mom and she told me to stop talking before I said anything else and just stop there. That sort of annoyed me because the truth is, I'm not good. I'm struggling like hell here and it just takes so much effort. I fantasize about not existing. I feel like my diet is the only worthwhile thing in my life. I am pissed as hell all the time, the only thing that changes is whether I'm pissed at myself or at other people. I get myself through each day by promising rewards. Right now I am trying not to spend more than $100 for the next 8 days (until payday). At payday I will make a deposit into my savings account, I will pay off my right hand ring (oh, i bought it! did i mention that? Probably not. I bought my ring at zales because I was worried it would stop being on sale. I haven't worn it out of the house yet as I am not allowed. I try it one once or twice a day as motivation for reaching my 6 month diet-versary).

I had meant to write more over the weekend following my reflections on friday. It felt truly cathartic to write about my weight and to use the numbers. Women so seldom state the number, the actual number of pounds that they weigh--the mass of their being. Looking at myself from a bit of distance I am so typical, my weight struggles are so classic but it is also intimate and hard. As I am succeeding here I feel like I am making myself a worthwhile person by losing weight and getting fit. Unreasonable? A bit. But hell, better to feel like a worthwhile person for an unreasonable reason than not to feel worthwhile at all.

I have started reading "Drinking: A love story" by Caroline Knapp (also wrote appetites). It is already really good. I wish she wasn't dead. I think she and I have a lot in common and reading her work feels like hearing someone else voice my half formed thoughts, but voice them fully formed and well written.

anyway, i'm going to go study. peace out.

Friday, February 03, 2006

because it is worth it.

I just finished reading the book Teenage Waistland by Abby Ellin. It was really good. It was 'a former fat kid weighs in on living large, losing weight and how parents can (and can't) help.' I enjoyed it a lot although it also scares me a lot. The statistics about people who lose weight are so disheartening--almost everyone gains it back. I'm losing weight right now, i'm eating well and i'm exercising but I can't guarantee anything about the future.

I lost weight the summer after tenth grade, I went from about 145to 125. I'm struggling now to get back into the 140's (although I may be there now). To see that number -- 125 -- is to accept that in less than 5 years I gained 45 lbs (to about 170, I think, by the end of this past summer). That is so scary. I gained most of my weight back by the end of senior year of high school actually. I actually felt somewhat slim by the summer of junior year. It was intoxicating, I experienced a sense of entitlement in everything that I hadn't before. I enjoyed eating in public--she's thin, she can eat; I enjoyed abstaining in public--that's how she stays so thin; I enjoyed shopping in a way that only happens when you are proud for other people to see the number on the inside of your jeans.

I started to see myself as a slim person. I stopped 'being on a diet.' I gained weight slowly (1-2 lbs per month at first) but as I got fatter I felt more helpless and hopeless and instead of plateauing, my weight gain accelerated. I dealt with the stress of graduating from high school by throwing caution to the wind and allowing myself unlimited access to any food I wanted.

I went away to college intending to join the crew team to keep myself from getting fatter. Ha. I had never done crew, i just figured I could do it. If i was going to be in hell (lonely, on my own for the first time, afraid) I might as well throw alligators into the burning water and really do myself in. My college had a wilderness orientation program and, in an act of terminal self delusion I signed up for the 'intermediate' level hiking trip. I 'trained' for the trip by doing a 5 mile walk with my mother. I wore my backpack. I filled it up with a pillow. I'm not joking. On day 2 of the hiking trip my group of 9 college freshman (+ 2 junior leaders) hiked the tallest mountain in massachussetts. I was too slow to keep up so the leaders had me set the pace (not an unreasonable decision). I spent most of the way up the mountain wondering how i could hurl myself off the trail and ensure an injury serious enough that i would need to be carried off in a stretcher but not so serious that i died (or was paralyzed. I would probably get pretty fat if I were paralyzed). I made it to the top though. I was so proud of myself I decided to stick out the trip. I think i lost a few pounds in the 5 days I was hiking and when I made it back to campus I had made a decision: I would never again engage in physical activity.

Of course, I was really bored within a week or so and on a whim I started playing rugby. It was an incredibly brave, foolhardy, stupid and smart decision for reasons I won't go into now. I didn't train very hard my freshman year and didn't get all that fit but I didn't gain weight either. My sophomore year I started running. I ended up getting into the best shape of my life, shin splints and tendonitis aside. I maintained that shape for a little over a year. I didn't really worry about my weight. I felt moderately attractive but more importantly, i felt powerful. I loved that I could run. For my whole life i had idolized distance runners since they appeared to enjoy the same activity that I feared. I was becoming what I wanted to be.

Then I tore my ACL. I wasn't able to run for 6 months. I went to Greece to study abroad. My committment to biking (rehabilitation) and moderate eating crumbled like old marble the longer I was there. By the time I was 'able' to run I didn't want to anymore. I went for 1 run on the treadmill (1 mile) and it was so awful I didn't really run again. It was no longer an effortless expression of body and movement, it was a nauseating return to the activity I had always dreaded.

When I returned home I weighed myself for the first time in ages only to find that I was 157 lbs. I don't know what I weighed when I went over there, only that I didn't think I was fat. I was probably about 135-140. I could fit into a size 6-8. I was fit and happy with how I looked.

I was appalled that I weighed 157. I went on a drastic diet that summer while I did research at school. A high protein bar for breakfast, salad for lunch, small dinner. I didn't exercise. I tried a couple of times but my knee still hurt and just as important, i was exhausted. I didn't really eat enough and I certainly lacked the motivation. Also, it was hot. My 4th floor dorm room was intolerable and if i raised my body temp through exercise it may not have gone down.

I made it down to 150 by the end of the summer. I played rugby for half a season before quitting because I was afraid of getting hurt again. I started running again. I could run 3-5 miles but it wasn't as easy as it had been before getting hurt. I quit by december when the outdoor weather failed to break zero for more than a week. I gained weight.

For 2 weeks in january I exercised and ate very little. I was hungry all the time. I maintained the strictest of self discipline for a fortnight. I caved slowly at first but by the time it was spring I was so afraid and upset about graduating I threw in the towel. I actually chopped the towel up, burned it and then scattered the ashes. I probably ate the ashes.

I ate a lot and I though I did enjoy the eating I was very upset when I realized all my clothes didn't fit. Just before graduation my mom took me shopping so I would have some clothes that I felt comfortable in for my last weeks at school. I'm very grateful for that.

I ate myself into oblivion over the summer. I was not so much 'hungry or full' but rather 'uncomfortably stuffed and able to eat more.' I went back to greece with my brother and actually lost 5 lbs because we were walking so much. I gained it back and then some over the rest of the summer I assume (but don't know because I didn't weigh myself). At the end of august I moved to long island and started my diet. I don't really call it a diet though. it is a lifestyle change. I felt like i was on the cusp of making a decision--taking back my body and fitness or giving up for good and eating myself into the 200 lb range.

with the letters in diet you can spell 'edit' and 'tide.' I am not following a diet. I am editing my food intake. I am experiencing a tide of great change. I am changing. I ran for 40 minutes on the treadmill last night and it felt great. I did 3 runs in a row this week at 40 minutes each! that's really great when you consider that I could run more than 3 minutes 5 months ago (and that the 3 minutes was harder than the 40 last night). I am looking forward to running outside.

i am so afraid of gaining weight. I like being on a diet because it gives me purpose. It is the only thing in my life right now that feels like it has meaning. I ate a salad for lunch today. I did nothing at work but I give myself credit for 3 vegetables and lean protein in the form of the grilled (ok, baked in water but you get the idea) chicken breast. I had high fiber cereal for breakfast. Birdy also enjoyed the cereal. I was bad last night because I wanted comfort food late at night and so at 10:30 I cooked a serving of grits and ate it with salt and honey. I enjoyed it but I shouldn't have eaten it. It was better for me than a sleeve of oreos.

When I was fatter I felt disconnected with my body. I no longer felt like I was running a machine. I want to say I felt trapped, smothered by fat... but none of that is how i felt, it's what I read about how being fat feels. I felt like i didn't belong in my body, like I refused to acknowledge that I was fat and so I denied that i was connected to my physical self. I would get dressed up and do my makeup and look in the mirror and realize that I looked like a fat person. That sucked. a lot. I would feel a flurry of panic that I would generally make go away with tears, sleep or food. I have worried about my weight and been preoccupied with it my whole life but for the first time I felt like I was in a position not of being 'not skinny' but of being 'fat.' And I didn't have an upcoming sport season to fix me. I had a lifetime of unsupervised eating and solitary nights.

I am so damn proud of myself sometimes it scares me. the rest of the time I am scared of losing the same will and motivation that is guiding me. I have been rewarding myself for running (monday night makeup for 2 months) but I have stopped monday night makeup (mostly because it stopped motivating me. I'll start it up again if i want to) and instituted monthly 'goal rings.' In fact, I am off to buy one today and then leave it with my mother for 2 weeks because it is $85 off right now but I am not allowed it until the end of this month. When my mother visits me in 2 weeks I will get to keep my ring (right hand ring, yellow gold and diamonds from zales, $199 although I'll probably buy the sizing and insurance...another $30 + tax = more like $250 after everything. No, probably $260). It's going on the credit card and I will pay for it on the day that I get it (pay off the credit card bill).

This ring will mark my 6-month anniversary with dieting. I suspect that I may weigh below 150 lbs now. I have not weighed myself. I stepped on a scale on the tuesday night before thanksgiving. I thought I would weigh about 155 (15 lbs lost in three months). The scale said 167. Ok, i was fully dressed, full of food, end of the day (you never weigh yourself like that) but no matter what I told myself, i hadn't lost as much weight as I thought I had. I had been addicted to peanut butter (i'll tell that story some other time) and cereal (better than cookies I had been telling myself) and I had stopped losing weight.

I was so sad I could barely breathe. I decided not to weigh myself the next morning like i had planned. I didn't want to know the real number. I could pretend I had 10 lbs of food and clothing in/on me and that was it. I went back up to LI and gave up peanut butter and junk cereal. And when I came home for christmas I didn't weigh myself. I did get my first motivational ring. It's beautiful and when I wear it I see my own strength, my willpower. I am reminded to be honest with myself and not delude myself. If I lie to myself how will I learn anything?

my ring that I am purchasing is diamonds set in yellow gold. I decided I wanted a ring of this composition over 2 months ago. I see it as something hard in something soft. That is what I am doing to my body. I am creating a lean, muscular body out of my fat. I am doing it. Being strong (slim is important too but I big part of me legitimately wants to be fit, to be able to run 5 miles and have a six pack and no fat pooch) makes me feel like i am not a total failure at life. This is an example of an inappropriate attribution. I understand that being fit and slim will only mean one thing: that I am fit and slim. But it is more than that.

I want to live in the present. I want my body to be a machine and for my muscles, bones, and breath to mean as much to me as my mind. Sometimes I get frustrated with my friends when they harp on how appearance doesn't matter. Appearance doesn't control the quality of your character. But you can't separate life on earth from your corporeal presence. You are. To exist is to be rooted in time and space by your body. You are your flesh and that is inescapable. It is also fragile, glorious, heartbreaking and beautiful. I want to live in my flesh, not deny it.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

it's not like i really exist here

That's what I was thinking when I came to work today. I have no picture on the lab website. The reason for this stems from my initial picture taken on my first day of work here. I am as fat as I ever was, my hair is frizzy, I am wearing an oversize turquoise polo and I look abyssmal. I hated that picture and I hated that it was the first (and probably only) thing anyone who looked me up would see. I wanted a picture where I looked happy and pretty. So I emailed the person at security who took my picture asking if I could change the picture (and I attached a picture of squirrely and I that I liked a lot more to replace the atrocious one). So he changed it and it stayed up for about 3 days. Then I got an email from a lady in personnel saying that I was only allowed to have a standard head shot taken in the dungeon of ugly by security. That was 5 months ago. I have yet to go and have that head shot taken. Initially I wanted to lose some weight and then I wanted to get a good haircut and now I have lost significant weight and my hair is nice but I really don't want to go get the picture taken. I don't want it taken until I reach my goal weight but almost more than that, I don't want myself up there on the website for the reason stated in my title--i don't really exist here. It feels a little like putting my picture and name up on the website will make me real and I don't feel real.

I have a list of things I made this morning. It is a list without a title. It is just things that have been floating around my head

  • ideas for birthday presents
  • presents for my brother/grandfather
  • john: books from book warehouse sale; go tonight
  • grandpa: picture of squirrely and I; get printed this afternoon
  • GRE studying: need to get a lap desk and studying equipment (colored pencils, notebooks, index cards...)
  • computer: get it fixed. Email IT and tell them I need it for work.
  • when computer is fixed: i'll be able to upload actual recent pictures and post my jewelry to ebay (=$? = good)
  • birthday list: alison krauss cd's (i need to choose 1-2); popular science books; beads; ring from (?)
  • Karate: tuesday night preview class. run before class.
  • confirm directions for drive home
  • things to bring from home: levi's jeans, notes from chem/bio classes; school supplies (locate friday night)

That is the current content of my list. I do have a solid 2 months of birthday (my own) planning. That is always best. Mom--do not go out and buy the things on my list (yet). I like to spend a while pruning my ideas. I am really a great bonsai master of lists. It is all about pruning.

I just posted a service request to IT. It would be so nice for my computer to be not dead and I would really like to have my pictures from the last 4 months able to be posted to this! I took some cute pictures yesterday of birdy and I eating a popsicle together and of kitten drinking out of my water glass. He is such a stooge.

So those are my plans so far. I really enjoyed my run yesterday. I did 40 minutes at my slow (4.6 mph) pace but I did 4 2.5-minute intervals at a 10 minute mile pace (6mph) so I actually ran 30 minutes at 4.6 and a full mile at 6 mph. The whole run felt good and I felt really strong. I'm going to do an easier run tonight I guess because I have done 2 40 minute runs. I may do another 40 minute run or a 35 and just keep my pace slow and steady. Maybe i'll try 4.7 mph instead of 4.6. Or do the gradual increase:

  • 10 @ 4.6
  • 5 @ 4.7
  • 5 @ 4.8
  • 5 @ 4.9
  • 5@ 5.0
  • 5 @ 4.8
  • 5 @ 4.6

That would be a 40 minute run. If i don't feel up to it I could cut the second to last 5 minute set and skip directly to the 5 minute cooldown run. Tonight Survivor: Exile Island premiers (!!) so I'll run during survivor. It's actaully not the best show to watch while running because plot wise, let's face it, it's not exactly breath taking. It instead has some sort of perverse hold on me, the same phenomenom that causes rubber-necking/gaper delay. Speaking of gaper delay, while I was driving home a few nights ago there was a big cop/few cars ruckus at the last intersection before I turn onto my street. I was trying to see what was going on (as the light had been green as I approached) and I couldn't tell what was happening but when I looked up the light was red so I slammed on my breaks. I almost drove through a red light in front of maybe, 3 cop cars! I'm such a dumbass. Whatever. As long as my ass isn't taking the GRE's i'll be fine. Speaking of which, i think i'll go make my salad and read the last two chapters in the GRE bio book for the first section. roger that.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

my accomplishment of the day: Posted by Picasa

Kitten makes me happy Posted by Picasa

and so it begins

GRE studying
the inevitable hormonal flow driving my mood from functioning into despair
the dip of my bank account after paying the rent

It just gets to be so much about 30% of the time. That is, 3/10 days I feel like I can't handle my life. I do handle it though. And 70% is passing in most scholastic institutions.

Right now I am studying (really just reading at this point) from the GRE Biology Kaplan 2nd edition book I bought yesterday. It is just introductory stuff at this point but I really love this shit and most of it is familiar to me. By starting early I'm hoping that I'll be totally reviewed by June or so and ready to get down to nitty-gritty studying--outlining, flashcards, study groups, practice tests, that sort of thing--for the last 3 months or so.

I have about half an hour before my experiment is finished in the tetrad and ready to be washed. I have just paid my credit card bill and realized that I have even less money than I thought I did although some of that money should come back to me and I won't be broke.

Today I am planning on doing a 35 minute run. There is shit on the TV so I'll probably watch CSI miami. I am torn between continuing to try to run at the 5.0 speed or run it all at my slow speed. Almost everything that I've read on the coolrunning message boards recommends running slowly and comfortably. So I'll see how I feel tonight. I don't want to be not pushing myself to improve but at the same time I don't want to be pushing too hard and run the risk of injuring myself instead of improving my fitness. Right now I feel sad and antsy and that makes me want to go for a long, slow run. When I feel energized and happy I like the idea of a slightly faster run. Whatever. I'll play it by ear.

I am going home friday night so that mom and I can go to the funeral of one of my highschool friend's mother on saturday morning. After the funeral we'll go to Grandpa's party. I want so desperately for mom/my family to notice how much better I look. And I know you're reading this mom so I don't want you to say I look better just because I want you to but if you notice something (good that is) I definetely want to hear about it.

I had a strange dream last night and I only remember parts of it--something about maybe my being superman or being superman (but not being me, it's hard to explain) and there was something about falling into the water while it was swarming with little fish but this cute guy who in my dream I knew (but I have no idea who he is) jumped in to help me and started kissing me but there were fish everywhere and in my mouth even and I was happy but really wanted to get out of the nasty fishy water. It's so complicated. Everything feels like kumbaba jasper. (maybe kambaba?) Who knows. It's a mottled black/green that is still beautiful but dark.

I have my ipod playlist on shuffle but for the last 4 songs it has been playing the songs in a row. What is the statistical likliehood of that?

once in a lifetime
once in a while
the sun will shine on me

it's thursday i'm leaving
skip town i'm running
it's cars and new faces and jokes that aren't funny
but we laugh at them anyway
i'd do anything just to kill the day
no matter how far that I go
not so far away

that was the song playing on my ipod. it fits. Of course, that's probably because I made this playlist yesterday when I was in the same mood and put songs on it for a reason.

I love music because it has an infinite degree of variation within a set of defined parameters (the audible range). I have often thought that that same capacity for subtle distinction is what draws me to colors. I like to order things--people, emotions, experiences--but my set of classifications, that which I use to define my system, can't be verbalized. I can't clarify everything that I mean to say or perceive about a person or memory or event but I can link it with a color. Colors are so clearly emotional and when you add transparency and texture and even a scent or sound you begin to encompass something that is both precise and vague enough to encode what I want.

don't give up until you
drink from the silver cup
you never know until you try

and i'm on my way
yes i'm on my way
well i'm on my way back home

I just figured out the ipod dilemma--when I choose 'shuffle' from settings it shuffles the order of the songs and then plays them in order. I thought that it kept the order but jumped around in it. And I shuffled this playlist and then kept adding tracks to it. The result is that the more recent songs were not shuffled. I feel so much more clear now.

There are 30 chapters in the Kaplan GRE Biology book. My goal is to have it read by the end of the month--I'm going to aim for 1 chapter per day (because some chapters are easier and others are more complicated I'm sure it will work out to be some approximation of this). I haven't decided when I want to start outlining. Anyone who knows me knows this is how I study. I think that I should start now. I'll make more than one outline probably. I want to kick these mofo's in the mouth. Also, I think the Bio GRE will be the easiest--i really need to start reviewing the chemisty and biochemistry etc.

When I am home on friday night I think i will go through my books and notebooks in the basement and see if I can find some of my outlines. I also want to bring colored pencils up here or stock up on supplies at staples. Coloring in my diagrams (drawing the diagrams really) and making outlines is really important to me (that is, it really helps me learn the material).

I will be a learning machine. I will have the retention of a sponge, the discipline of a monk and the crazed determination of a martyr. I will be like steel.