Friday, December 31, 2010

My plans for 2011

I don't feel like calling them resolutions anymore... And in fact, I don't remember making any last year. So here's my cut and dry list. I'm not going to explain anything any more than I have to.

•Adopt a healthier lifestyle, even if by babysteps all year. The plan is to shed all of the weight I want to shed at this moment in 2011 (~100 pounds), but if I don't, I'm okay with that, as long as it all goes in the right direction.
•Buy a new laptop.
•Start working on my thesis project this summer.
•As my self-esteem recovers, it’d be nice to start dating again this year. I took a good year off of even entertaining the idea of dating seriously, and I didn't even go on a casual date or anything all year long.
•Get a new/better job if possible, or at least an internship that will lead me to a new/better job in the future.
•Stop making stupid purchases and help my parents out as much as possible, while paying my own bills.
•If I can find one for cheap (or borrow one), start learning the piano accordion over summer...if not, keep practicing piano instead.
•Don’t slack on school assignments and projects, get them done ASAP.

Basically, I want this to be my "get shit done" year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Watch me Ramble! If I'd update more often, it wouldn't be so rambly!

I cut my finger open at Target on Sunday morning, and it's the type of cut that doesn't really scab, it needs to heal from the inside out. So guess who isn't going to water aerobics at least this week...and more than likely not next week either, because I'll be in Santa Barbara and Disneyland...If you said me...You're right. lol

I decided to kind of put getting back on track on hold until the 4th. I'm getting the rest of my holiday candy eating out of the way...I'm also spending a lot of time in bed. Snuggled up in bed with my blankets is much cheaper than running the heater all day. I have the thermostat set at 68 and I just climb into bed...watching TV...and I slowly fall asleep. It's not really a plan, but when you're all warm and cozy, what else is there to do? So I've been spending a lot of my colder days napping the cold away.

On Sunday after work, I'm heading down to Santa Barbara to see my friend Chris. I'll probably grab a nap when I get down there, then watch some TV and go out to eat with him... then we're going to wake up early on Monday morning and head down to Disneyland until about 8 PM or so, then head back to Santa Barbara because he works early the next morning. I'm thinking about just sleeping over at his place again, but it totally depends on how exhausted I am! If I can handle the drive back home on Monday night, I'll probably do it! This trip is going to be relatively cheap... I'll be spending money on food and gas only. Since my car has much better gas mileage, I'll probably make the entire trip on about $60. I'm also planning on packing clementines, apples, and other things that are easy to snack on at the park since they don't care if you bring in outside food. I'll have a couple of actual meals at the park, but if I'm snacky, I'm not going to spend money on expensive snacks. I'm also thinking about going to REI to buy some Platypus water bottles. The water at Disneyland isn't too bad (at least it wasn't in June, so I doubt it's changed that much!). So I can just refill those, and they condense into almost nothing, so they'll save space, too! If I don't, I'll still take at least my water bottle that I take with me to school/the gym...and just keep refilling that instead. Those platypus bottles are a nice idea, but I can't really afford their $20 membership right now PLUS the $7.95 for the bottle.

I'm trying to spend much less money and ask myself if I want something or if I simply need it. Usually, it's something I want... So I'm trying to avoid those kinds of purchases. In fact, after I bought a couple of baskets last night to help me organize my room better for the upcoming semester, I won't be making any unnecessary purchases for a while (aside from the whole Disneyland trip!).

(Speaking of which, I get into the park free AND I'm staying with a friend, so that automatically cuts the cost down BIG TIME!)

So I have a few things I still want to do before the next semester starts:
1. Establish a much more healthy eating pattern, even if it means spending one day cooking meals for a few days and putting them all in the fridge or freezer to eat later.
2. Establish a regular gym pattern until the semester starts (from January 4th to the 19th), so starting water aerobics and beginning swimming classes won't kill me.
3. Finish organizing notes from my classes of last semester, for reference material.
4. Maybe see if I can find a small bookshelf to put in my closet for more storage (of binders/books)...if not, I've got a bookshelf already, and I can just make use of that for a while longer (it might get messy again, but that's okay!).
5a. See more friends over break (I had plans to see three different friends today, but two bailed because of health problems, and one bailed because of weather problems, and he lives in Mariposa- so he's excused!).
5b. Spend as much time as I can with my brother Alan and his wife Nithsavath, because it's harder for me to see them when I'm in classes. They only live about 15 minutes away, but because they have their schedules and I have mine, it makes it harder to find time that syncs up!

I'm excited for next semester. I feel like I've finally got back into the swing of school. And this is awesome! I was struggling a lot this semester, just trying to remember when assignments were due. It was killing me! I also kept running out of paper because I was an idiot and I bought a 5 subject notebook! I bought my notebooks for next semester though, and I bought an individual notebook for each class!
I also placed an order on Amazon.com for one of my class's books! I actually keep getting emails today stating that my books have been shipped (I bought them used from different vendors).

I'm looking forward to next semester too, because of the PE classes and health class I'm enrolled in. It'll help me stay in gear as far as that goes! I'll have time in my schedule specifically devoted to making sure I get exercise. This will help me in the long run, too. I'm hoping that this summer I'll be able to start working on my thesis! So it would be nice to be able to hike all over the granitoid plutons without feeling winded!

I've determined that this year is a time for change, too. When this semester is over, I won't necessarily have classes all day Monday - Thursday...so I'm going to look into either an internship or a part time job that will help me get more hands on experience. If I can find a full time job, that would be awesome! I'm not holding my breath though, with this economy!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pound for Pound Challenge

After finally watching the season finale of The Biggest Loser, I decided to join the Pound for Pound Challenge.



You can only pledge 50 pounds, but I figured, hey, that's a start, right?

Plans over break!

So now that I'm officially done with the semester, I can make an attempt to update this blog more often. I'm not making any promises though, as I still don't have my own computer. So here are my plans over winter break...

-I'm going to attempt to buy a new computer (laptop probably) and a desk to put in my room. I need a better at home studying environment.
-I'm going to attempt to spend no less than an hour in the gym Monday-Thursday. I might go the other days of the week, too, but since I work on those days I may not feel up to it. Sunday would be the most likely time I'd go of the other days.
-I'm also going to try to eat better over break. We'll see what happens, but that's the plan!
-I'm going to take advantage of my Netflix account over break, too! I set it to unfreeze the last day of finals! I have Stephen King's It waiting for me!
-I'm going to Disneyland on January 3rd. I can't really afford it, but I have a free ticket that I need to use up, because it expires in January (this was due to a complaint I made in the summer about the last time I went. All of the major attractions were closed by the time I got over to them). Luckily, I have a good friend in Santa Barbara, Chris (I'm sure I've mentioned him in the blog before, because every time I go down South since I've known him, I make an attempt to go see him), that is willing to let me crash on his couch, so I'll be driving down there the day before when I get off work, then I'll probably drive home after I leave Disneyland (or I might stay at his house again, seeing as how I don't work the next day...it all depends). At least I won't have a hotel cost to worry about... just gas and food!

I don't have any other major plans for break, other than paying my bills and lying low over all... I may attempt to see my field area for my thesis at the end of break, only because I'd love to see it covered in snow. :D But if I do go up there during break, it'll be just for an hour or so. I don't know if it's worth the gas!

Okay, I've been up since 8 AM and I haven't had breakfast yet! So it's time to get my stomach to stop growling!! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Of Christmas...and Why I Don't Like It...

I don't know if you're aware of this, but I'm not a big fan of this time of year.  It's not because I'm an Atheist and most people associate December with Christmas and therefore religion...no, it really has nothing to do with that.


Six years ago, in May, I met the sweetest guy in the world, horribly socially sheltered, emotionally fragile, intelligent...  There was just something about him, that in a very short span of time, I fell completely head over heels in love with him.  He was gentle, sweet, and off-beat romantic.  He was the first guy I'd ever said "I love you" to and genuinely meant it, instead of feeling like a wild creature getting pinned in a corner and having to utter it to feel less trapped.  His name was Daniel.


On December 5th, 2004, Daniel's Dad died suddenly from a heart attack while at the gym.  His father's side of the family was aware that for some reason, the males in their family did not live much farther past 45, and they all passed away due to a sudden heart attack.  Daniel's Dad, Kevin, did everything he could to try to prevent it.  He worked out daily, he ate right, and he rarely drank soda or alcohol.  He took great care of his body because he wanted to be around for his family.


Daniel was an emotional wreck after his Dad died, even more so than before.  I tried to give him his space, while letting him know I was there for him whenever he needed it.  I did something wrong, because I didn't know better, and Daniel broke up with me in January 2005.  It was the worst heartbreak I'd ever felt...


...In order to get over Daniel, I ended up on OkCupid for the third or fourth time...  And I stumbled across a guy from San Jose, who I dated for a year, Jeremy.  Jeremy was extremely controlling and verbally abusive, but I just so badly didn't want to be alone.  I thought of Daniel often, and I even attempted to contact him a few times in September 2005.  I didn't contact him more frequently because Jeremy was an extremely controlling douchebag, and I didn't want to create more drama...  But I missed Daniel.  He was so sweet, and I was dating the biggest jerk of them all at the time...solely as a rebound in an attempt to get over Daniel.


Jeremy and I broke up in mid-January 2006, for good (I'd broken up with him once in October 2005, but through some horrible "friendly advice" from a friend, I took him back)...  I'd tried to contact Daniel a few times, but I never got a reply.  I thought that maybe he moved on, or changed his phone number, or something. 


I didn't think much of it at all, really, until April 2006 rolled around.  I was working at Office Depot in downtown Fresno, when Daniel's Mom, Karin, came into the store.  I was surprised, because I'd assumed that maybe Daniel and his family had scooped up and moved back to Boston (because Kevin and Karin were both from Boston and all of their extended family lived there).  I asked Karin how everyone was doing, and she was being pretty vague.  I really didn't think anything was going on, maybe that Daniel moved away for college and had a girlfriend...I was thinking surely, positive things were happening.


Karin left the store after we said our goodbyes, but within five minutes she was back in the store.  Karin walked up to me, pulled me aside, and said she "didn't feel right leaving" without telling me.  I of course thought to myself "Oh, maybe Daniel is getting married or something?"


"Daniel took his own life..."


I lost it, I started bawling.  It was like my heart shattered into a million pieces and no one would ever be able to repair it...  After Karin left, I went straight to the breakroom and sat down...crying.  People kept asking me what was going on, if I were okay...I pushed the chair to the corner by the vending machines and I just kept crying.  I couldn't breathe.  I called my parents, I told my Mom...  I asked if I could go home, so I did.  I sat in the car for a good twenty minutes before even moving, crying...


I think the reason that this time of year is still so tough on me, is because I haven't had any worthwhile relationships since Daniel... I don't have any new memories to replace those extremely sad ones from Christmas 2005...  Every time I think of Christmas, I think of going down Christmas Tree Lane with his family, and him laughing and pointing out that Donner's sign was spelled "Donder."  Or how his Dad used to call me "Giggles" because I would giggle uncontrollably at his ridiculous puns...and his Dad bought a little snowman that giggled for me for Christmas (and when I opened it on Christmas night, I cried).  I also think about how Daniel got me a copy of Hour of Bewilderbeast, by Badly Drawn Boy, because I was talking about how I was looking for a copy of it forever and hadn't been able to find it...


Positive memories, but still very depressing memories...


And I think until I can start creating positive memories with someone else, Christmas will always be this grey storm cloud over my head...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Life has been crazy busy.

I'm sure you didn't need me to actually state that what with my lack of regular entries, but I felt like I needed to. School has swallowed me whole, I'm constantly doing something for school, and the only time I actually get "down time" is the hour or two before I fall asleep. I always have a hard time winding down at the end of the day, so I always have to find something to keep my mind off of all of the craziness long enough just so I can fall asleep. I've been watching the same Simpsons DVDs over and over again to fall asleep to. Unfortunately I have been falling asleep with the TV on.

So the things I had to do and have taken care of for school just in the last couple of weeks?
2 term papers
1 presentation
4 labs
1 take home exam

What I still have left to do?
3 labs
1 term paper
1 presentation
4-5 final exams (one of my classes will more than likely have a lab and a lecture exam)

The last day of finals for me is the 16th. So you'll probably not see me around much until then on the internet, in any capacity, unless I'm at work and using it as a break while working on my term paper and presentation...and labs.

I have plans of things to do and things to work on over winter break, and I look forward to listing them down here in an attempt to keep to what I have to say. For now, my biggest goal is to eat healthier and get a little bit of extra exercise. I've been slacking a little on the extra exercise because I haven't really had the time for it...but not doing bad on the eating better part. It's all a work in progress!

Well, back to the research for the term paper!

Five Senses Friday

Hearing:

I love this arrangement. I can't stand the original version of the song (performed by Train. I can't stand the lead singer's voice).

Seeing:
A lot better, thanks. lol I'm sitting at the table at work, working on various assignments that are due soon (it's nearing the end of the semester!)...and the light fixture above the table has 6 bulbs on it, only 2 of them work...so I decided to unplug and move a lamp to the table so I can see better.

Tasting:
I love this time of year because two of my favorite fruits are in abundance. Honeycrisp apples and clementine tangerines. If only strawberries were in season in the Northern Hemisphere right now, I'd probably eat nothing but fruit for a while.

Touching/Feeling:
I'm feeling stressed because of the end of the semester. It's in sight, but I still have a lot of things to do. 3 labs for one class, 1 for another (which was added yesterday), a take home exam (almost finished with it, that's what I'm working on right now, actually), a presentation, and then final exams. Busy busy busy!

Smelling:
Right now I'm smelling Pinesol. I developed the habit of wiping down the counters and table at work before I do anything else... So it smells a little bit like Pinesol in here.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Five Senses Friday

Since I keep slacking on posting these days due to being so ridiculously busy, I thought I'd adopt a thing that my friend Sammi does- posting "Five Senses Friday" every Friday that I'm able, since it doesn't take long.

Also, most of my updates these days are just about how I've been ridiculously busy with school, dealing with car payments, and not much else (especially since most of my healthy attemps keep getting pushed to the back burner, unintentionally).

Okay, so here you go:

Hearing:
Lately I've been listening to a lot of Sara Bareilles, especially this song, King of Anything.



Seeing:
Aside from the computer monitor, I see my phone and paperwork at work. I'll try to change this up, maybe, and make it about something interesting I saw that week, by the way. :)

Tasting:
Heartburn is causing me to taste Thanksgiving lunch...lol yum.

Touching/Feeling:
It's kind of warm in the group home, but my coworker made a statement that "74 is the perfect termperature," so I'm not going to mess with the thermostat...

Smelling:
Nothing exciting. Although a couple of weeks ago my friend Jennifer gave me a candle that I put on the warmer yesterday at home. :) It's got a beautiful smell!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Craziness!

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of crazy. I've been spending all of my spare time working on a term paper and studying for exams. I still have two more term papers and more exams coming up soon (finals). So this blog may not be updated semi-regularly for at least a few more weeks. As for what's been going on in other aspects of my life.

School takes over everything. I rarely see my friends and family (I wouldn't even see my parents as often as I do if I didn't live with them, and I wouldn't see Christian, Austin, and Madison so often if I didn't watch them after I get out of class on Wednesdays)... I rarely do anything fun, except for catching up on shows on the DV-R when I have a tiny bit of spare time before I go to bed every night that I don't work... My health concerns keep getting pushed to the back burner simply because I don't have time to truly devote to them...

Next semester is going to be an entirely different approach. I've enrolled in two P.E. classes and a health/wellness class (mostly because next semester only 3 of my 5 mandatory courses are available, I'm in one right now, too...those units add up to 11 units, so rather than adding another Geology class that is unneeded (because I'll be finished with my upper division unit requirement (9 units of non-200 level courses) at the end of this semester), I decided to put P.E. classes into my schedule so I won't be missing out on exercise...I'll be adding it right into my schedule, and it's mandatory!

I also plan on getting up early before class starts every day to hit the treadmill or bike at the gym for 20 minutes...to get into a regular pattern. I haven't been concerning myself with getting epically dolled up for school (I'm there to learn, not to find a boyfriend!), so I can just take a shower at the rec center before class. :)

See? It's going to get worked out.

My ambitious goal next year is to lose all 110 pounds that I would need to lose at my current weight to get to a relatively healthy weight (still not healthy according to the BMI chart, but I don't believe in the BMI chart).

My realistic goal is to lose about 1 pound a week, so about 52 pounds next year.
We'll see what happens! I have the rest of this year to figure out exactly what I intend to do with regards to that. But my life next semester is going to be physical fitness + education.

Sometimes I secretly wish I didn't need to work and I could just focus on school. However, now that I have a new car (oh yeah, that happened too!), I have car payments and full coverage insurance payments, too!


Dear readers, say hello to my new car, Charles Carmichael.
(A 2010 Honda Civic LX!)
And if you know where the name comes from, you're alright in my book! :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Spark

I'm trying to get back into the habit of visiting SparkPeople regularly again. I've let my weight get out of control for too long, so I'm telling myself that I'm going to keep track of my food consumption via their site. I do better doing that than trying to keep a physical journal or to do something like Weight Watchers or calorie counting (to be honest, that stuff overwhelms me, and I lose control). SparkPeople works. Just log in a few times a day and jot down what you've eaten. It's that simple.

I'm planning on getting back into exercise again soon. I tried this week to get back into it, but my knees weren't really having it...then I slept on my neck and shoulder wrong and ended up tweaking a muscle pretty bad. For an idea, I don't tend to go to the doctor unless it's something really important or I'm suffering... I went to the health center at CSU-Fresno to talk to my doctor about it. It's been making driving a real chore, and a painful one at that! So anyhow, when my neck and shoulder start to feel better, I'm going to be starting the Couch to 5k program again, from the start.
I also may start taking advantage of the free swim hours at the North Gym pool on campus. Sure, I probably won't be swimming the whole time, but I'll at least aqua jog. That's still movement I wouldn't have been getting otherwise!

As for other aspects of my life...
My love life is still pretty non-existent. I'm casually flirting with a guy I met online, but I'm not in any major hurry to meet him. He actually does live in Fresno and is a student at CSU-Fresno. Nice enough of a guy. If something is meant to happen, it will...but I'm honestly not actively pursuing anything.

School is going alright. The last few weeks had been nothing but exams so I was starting to feel overwhelmed. Then I crossed paths with one of my professors yesterday who informed me that I had one of the highest scores on the hand specimen mineral identification exam. I was really happy about that! I did decent on most of my other exams, with the exception of one. Luckily, that one exam only counts for 10% of our grade for the semester.

Nothing else has really been going on. Life is pretty much the same day to day.

Oh, but I did decide the date I'm going to use my free pass into Disneyland, January 3rd! I'm looking forward to it! I hope it's still decorated for the holidays!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Getting back in gear!

The last couple of weeks have been a total train wreck because of all of the exams and lab assignments I had due. I was stressing out and eating whatever I felt like, to heck with the consequences.
I don't even want to think about how much weight I've gained. But this has got to stop!
I'm going to be hitting the gym at CSUF on my way home in the morning- if it's closed (I don't think so, I think they open at 9 on Saturday), I'll just run in my parents neighborhood when I get home. I don't care if I have to strap on my ankle brace. I'm getting exercise today. When I get exercise regularlly, eating right tends to follow shortly after. So I need to get back in gear!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Next Semester

Now that I'm back in school, it seems like I hardly ever have time to update this thing. Not much new has really been going on. Next semester's list of courses has been released, so I already know what kind of "doom" I'm in for! Two of my three courses next semester, that are required by the department for all graduate students who did not get a BS in Geology, are four unit courses. The other course is a 2 unit course. So next semester I'll be taking two P.E. classes on top of the three classes for my degree. I would take four classes, but this semester has been stressing me out a lot. So I thought that next semester I can drop down to 3 courses and have a potentially easier semester on me. I'll also be in more field trip intensive classes. And who knows, in the small downtime, maybe I can begin studying up on my field area to figure out what hasn't been studied.

I'm dialing down next semester's course load for one other reason. This semester it has been extremely hard for me to get back on the wagon of eating right and losing weight. So I thought I could enroll in two fitness classes (water aerobics and swimming for beginners) to get back into gear. It will also give me a little more free time to make sure I'm getting exercise.

It's hard to go on hiking field trips and feel constantly winded! So I really do need to work on getting into shape! Especially now while it's the prime time to do so!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

3 exams + 1 paper + 4 labs

Stress is 3 exams and a paper all in one week. Luckily, turning the paper in on Friday is only optional. I'm not too concerned in that class as my classmates are all a bunch of drunken fratboys and teenagers, and I'm a graduate student. If we want the professor's feedback, we need to turn in the paper by Friday. It's just not going to happen for me unless I kill myself over it on Thursday night the night before it's due. I won't feel comfortable wasting time on it while I could be studying for my 3 exams. I'm fairly certain I'll do well on at least two of the exams. I'm trying to manage my time well so that I spend equal amounts of time studying for each exam though. If I have 3 hours of time to study on a particular day, I spend an hour on each subject.

I also have 4 lab assignments due in my Stratigraphy class, and I only have two of them completed.

I decided that once I make it through next week without dying...I'm going to treat myself to a movie on Sunday night (next week), and make myself an apple pie (because my favorite apples are only in season for about a month right now, Honeycrisp)! It'll be my reward for doing my best to get a decent grade in my classes!

Oh and did I say? I checked the freeswim hours at the pool at CSU-Fresno. I'm going to start taking advantage of that after next week cools down. :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Change

Life has been the same little stress ball that it has been since I started back in classes.

I have two exams in a matter of two weeks, a term paper due in two weeks that I haven't even figured out a topic to do... A second term paper that I'm just trying to figure out what I want my topic on (which I will probably do on my potential field area for my thesis...which has changed). Stress!

I keep trying to get back into control with eating right...and my intentions are good. I'll eat well for the first half of the day, and then the stress hits and it spirals out of control. I need to get to the health center at CSUF- I keep saying I'm going to go, and I haven't gone yet. A lot of the problem is that they close from noon to 1, and my classes get out on the days I'd be able to go, at noon. I guess I could just check in and sit around in the waiting room for an hour- and study for the exams I mentioned previously...yes. That's what I should do. I'll try to go on Tuesday. They will tell me "but we have limited services for this hour," and I'll say, "That's okay, I'll wait!" I'll probably have to schedule appointments for the mental health and the dietitian, but I might be able to see my doctor on Tuesday. I need to see a friendly face that cares about my health.

And as I previously mentioned, in parenthesis above--- I'm considering the Courtright Reservoir for my potential field area for my thesis. You can Google it if you've never heard of it...but it's a reservoir built several years ago in the Sierra Nevadas that has giant granitoid plutons (evidence of an extinct band of volcanoes in the region). There isn't much work done on this area, as opposed to other areas I'd been considering (i.e. Shell Beach- people tend to snatch up the geologic work on the coast of California before anywhere else). I went to the Courtright Reservoir on Friday last week for a field trip for my Mineralogy class, and I fell in love with the beauty in the area. Stunning. Large beautiful trees, crisp clean air, fractured granite, metamorphosed sediments... etc. It's beautiful. There are a lot of things to study in the area... And that's why I'm leaning toward doing that (plus it's about 2 1/2 hours away from home, an easy drive, up 168 to Shaver, right at Dinkey Creek, and then just follow the signs).

I'm making changes- even with my potential field area... I've been working on other things, too. I've been trying to make sure I do at least SOME ankle exercises every day (I've only missed two entire days since I started doing this a week ago), I'm trying to get at least two 10 minute walks in on campus- even if it's just from class to class with minor detours. I'm trying to do some daily yoga- but I keep forgetting or running out of time (it's best to do on an empty stomach, by the way). I've been keeping a food diary (Friday was day 5). I've been making changes in the right direction, even if they're just a little bit at a time to balance with everything else that is going on.

In the morning, when I'm off work, I'm going to stop by the Caruthers Fair and get something to eat... it will be one of my last really stupid food decisions... but it's okay, because I know the fair only comes around once a year. hehe

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Control

Life has been kind of crazy at the moment. I keep talking about the same things because those are the only things I have any real control over, or maybe it's that they have control over me.

I feel like my weight loss has been hitting a downward spiral- but I guess depending on how you look at it, it's an upward spiral- in that the numbers keep going up instead of down. I fail myself all of the time in that regard. I'll put my foot down and say "Things have got to change!" and then it's almost like I forget about it the next day... So I'm making a real stand this time. I even went to Target after work this morning and bought some notebooks to keep track of physical activity and food consumed (a food diary). I'll be making good use of them both.

The physical activity book is actually made of graphing paper. I'm starting out slowly with various ankle exercises and yoga to get the ball rolling in the right direction (because my ankle is really weak, and yoga can be done without needing to stand). I'm hoping that after a week of ankle exercises, that maybe I'll be able to start running again, slowly. I intend to restart the Couch to 5k program from the beginning, repeating weeks multiple times. If you don't know what the program is, I'll just say that it is a program designed to get you to be able to run 5k (3.2 miles) in 9 weeks. If say, it takes me 20 weeks to get back to that point again, then it does. I don't care. In fact, at this point, I have it set up in my mind to do each week twice, even if I feel pretty good about how that week went. I'd rather ease back into the exercise on my ankle, especially since I gained some weight.

The food diary is going to be the most detailed food diary I've ever had, in a way. I've done super detailed ones in the past, tracking everything, even down to how many grams of [insert random element here] I had in that day... Well, I'm not going to do that. I may or may not track calories, too. When I say that it's going to be detailed, I mean that I'm going to track how I feel when I eat...what emotion is going on, why I'm eating- is it boredom or true hunger? How hungry am I? How much did I eat (i.e. did I have one scoop of ice cream or three?)...and so on.

I keep mentioning that I gained weight. So how much did I gain since I broke my ankle? Well, before I broke my ankle I was 238. That was the lowest I've been since I was 23 at 224 pounds. As of Tuesday this week, I was 268 again. The good news is that i'm carrying my weight differently than the last time I was this high (last time I was this high I was a 22, but now I'm still a 20). The bad news is that all of the work I'd done in the last two years were for nothing.

I'm not intent on making some major stride and having the weight fall off quickly. In fact, if I average only one pound a week, I'll be happy. In fact, if I only lose 3 pounds in one month, I'm still okay...as long as the general trend is DOWN.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Three Tattoos, and What They Mean

I have 3 tattoos.

They all have significance to me, but others would probably think they're silly. Two are in Sanskrit. One "Karma," one "Yoga." I got Karma because I was going through a period of time where I was really questioning my faith, and I was leaning more toward Hindu and Buddhist principles (and I still am, more Buddhist, less Hindu, with a pinch of Tao)... I strongly believe in the concept of Karma. Yoga is also a nice concept- not just the art of breathing/stretching, by the way. Union and discipline - some people say it's the art and science of disciplining the mind and body. I mostly got that one to constantly remind me what I strive for when I "fall off the wagon," so to speak, or feel emotionally exhausted. It helps me stay focused quite a lot.

The third is a Phoenix that one of my good friends drew. I got it after I finished my undergrad. It was to symbolize the beginning of a new life... But I'm still in the same old life, a poor student, living at home. I'm a little embarrassed about that, but hey, what can you do when the economy is shit and you get stuck exactly where you live for a few more years...why not make the most of it and go back to school? I was planning on moving away to another state, get residency in that state...then start going to grad school. I had to hit rewind and do things out of order.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Car woes + work woes + class woes = Milissa is going crazy!

I hate having to miss class because I forgot that I had to work... So I get off work at about 8:30 AM and have class at 9:30 AM ...45 miles away... plus having to find parking? Unless something magical occurs, that won't be happening. If I see a unicorn on my way home, I just might try to find a parking spot and get to class. Otherwise, I'm going home to nap for a little bit and study up for my Stratigraphy exam on Tuesday.

The main problem here is my car being virtually unsafe. I have no problems with me driving it with no passengers, because I'm the only one that will be harmed (or picking up my brother's youngest two kids from school because they only have school about a mile away, and I won't be driving super duper fast IF something DID happen to my car while driving it)... But the fact that I had to work a Sunday night into a Monday morning, means that I have kids I have to take to school. This means that I have to take the company vehicle because I'm not about to put their lives at risk in my car, until I have a new car.

So hopefully this is the last time I will have to work on a Monday until I get a new car, and can take the kids to work in my personal vehicle.

So here's what happened to break it down:
I have a field trip in my Mineralogy class this Friday, so I had to request that day off at work. In order to accomodate the request, I had to work Sunday night to prevent the other overnight staff from going into overtime. So I worked last night into this morning (which I forgot, to be honest, and got to work just a pinch over an hour late!).

So...yeah...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I've been busy dealing with exams, homework assignments, car issues (yeah, my car went into the shop, AGAIN, this time it was something wrong with the structure that holds the wheels together. Had I not been in the parking lot at Costco when it happened and on the freeway going 65 MPH when it happened, I might not be making this update...or any more updates...ever again)...

I guess I can say a few things about this past week:
-I'm lucky to be alive and have parents that are willing to help me when I need it the most.
-I aced my first quizzes in Mineralogy and Oceanography.

That's about it!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Getting back in control

I feel like a certain part of my life was going out of control. My health, my weight loss progress. I've gained weight, and I'm embarrassed about it because I'd been working hard and the general trend for the last two years was down... I remember going into the health center at CSUF in October 2008, and discovering that I weighed 272. I remember how horrified I felt as my acid reflux was burning my throat. I never had acid reflux or heartburn before until I hit that weight, so it was a new experience for me, and I very much didn't like it.

When I broke my ankle in August 2009, I weighed 238. By the time I pulled myself out of the depression surrounding breaking my ankle, I was 254. This morning, I'm 264.5.

I'm seeking help. I'm going to the health center at CSU-Fresno to ask for help, psychological, physical, and dietary. Luckily, they have dietitians on campus, too.

I'm starting today, with attempting to get things back on track. As I'm posting this entry, I'm eating some cream of wheat (the heart healthy one, if I remember- I think that's what it's called. It has 7 g of protein and 5 g of fiber) and an apple. As for the rest of the day, well, I'll figure it out. But I'll be taking some cherrios, a banana, and some almonds with me to class to deter me from not only buying something bad to snack on, but also to deter me from spending any unnecessary funds!

I'm hoping to make it to the health center today to at least schedule some appointments. I'm also hoping to make it to CSUF's gym today after class. I can sacrifice 30 minutes to walk on the treadmill, right...? Or even on the indoor track? I've been spending the bulk of my free time studying.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ribbon Test



On Thursday this week, I did a Ribbon Test on my Grab Sample in my Soil and Water Science lab. It might sound like I'm speaking a foreign language, so let me break it down.

A Grab Sample is just taking a section of dirt with your shovel... Easy enough. There's more specific details to taking one though. You're supposed to clean your shovel with rubbing alcohol, then dig a hole... Then take only a certain portion of the soil that you get on your shovel (I'm sure you could find more details if you Google it, if you're curious about doing one). I didn't know the details when I got my sample, so I just dug a hole.

A Ribbon Test is a test you do to find out what kind of soil you have...This is a Soil Triangle:



You will have a kind of soil that is on that diagram. Anyhow, you make sure your soil is nice and wet, and then you roll it between your thumb and forefinger to try and create a ribbon (again- something you can Google if you're cuious). Depending on how long your ribbon stays together (that is in length, not duration), and the texture you feel with your hand, you can determine what kind of soil you have.

My soil sample was Sandy Clay Loam.

I will be taking an official sample this weekend using a different kind of tool, and I will be taking pictures, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rainbow Cakes

I've been in the pattern of making something special for my brother's two youngest kids on Wednesday when they get out of school and I have to pick them up. Soon I won't be doing this anymore because I definitely won't be able to afford it, but I made them Rainbow Cakes today because at Target it cost me a whole $4, not exactly breaking the bank.





I won't have to buy anything other than MAYBE a jar of frosting next week because I'm saving one and freezing it for next week. :)

You just get a white cake mix, make it as directed, then divide the batter into how ever many bowls as you want colors... then mix in food coloring and dump it all into your cake pans. Don't stir it or mix it after you put it in the cake pans though...it might not come out how you want it to if you do that- unless you just do two colors that are very contrasting (i.e. green and red?). Then bake per normal directions on the box. And then you have Rainbow Cakes! :D

Really, if it's not one thing, it really is another!

So the heater core in my car busted. This is the third time in about 5 years. My Dad is going to see what he can do to bypass the heater core, which means my car will not have a heater. So I'm going to have to see what I can do to save up money/pay off my bills and get a new car before the end of the year, probably!

Hopefully I can swing this!

Dear Weather of Fresno 9/8/2010,

I love you, never change.



<3
Mil

The weather today is outstanding. Cloudy but not completely overcast, with very light winds rolling around. The temperature is just perfect, too. Lower 80s. When we have days like this, it's hard to even remotely imagine the possibility of moving away when I finish my masters.

But then those gloomy winter days covered in blankets of fog and sweltering summer days remind me that I would love to get out!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Potential Thesis Field Area

I haven't decided entirely what I'm going to do for my thesis project. I created one part of my binder and notebook for my notes and papers from school, just to jot down general ideas and more specified ideas. It's harder to do things that are further away because of funds and needing time off to travel to it, so I decided that I have to pick something within a 2-3 hour drive (maybe 4-5 hours at a stretch). That still gives me a lot of the state to cover, but I think I've figured out my general region.





Until I get time to go down there and have a look around, I won't know exactly what it is that I would want to do, or what region I would want to spend my time studying. However, I think I'll be spending my time researching and studying the rock formations on the one specific little portion of the beach I remember climbing down to with my family, and marveling at the crystal clear waters over the coarse sand beaches.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

It's a pile of dirt, right?

So my only major excuse for not being able to post more frequently at the moment is because I've returned to school at CSUF.

On Thursday we went on a field trip for my Stratigraphy class. We went to see the Modesto Formation, the Riverbank Formation, and the Turlock Lake Formation, all in the Northern parts of Fresno County. The Modesto Formation can be found just past Woodward Park.


The Turlock Lake Formation below, Riverbank Formation above (the reddish band on top).


The Modesto Formation

I know what you're thinking, "It's a big pile of dirt, right?" ...Well, pretty much. It's different kinds of sediments that accumulated in the area by alluvial deposition...they are mostly of igneous materials---if you know what that means! (Granite is a good example of an igneous material.)

In other school related news, I got very frustrated at Amazon.com yesterday when I discovered that they decided to cancel one of my textbook orders. So I now have to wait until I get paid on the 10th to pick up my Mineralogy textbook because I've now hit a point where I need to make sure I save my money or else I won't have any way to fill my gas tank. Luckily, I'm up for a refill today, and will do so on my way home from work. I did a little bit of searching for some cheaper gas in Fresno to save myself a little money. Yesterday, I found an Arco on Clovis (I can't remember the nearest cross street) that was $2.82 a gallon. I'll take it! I was in a hurry to get home yesterday morning though because I had class at 11 AM.

Well, I have no class this Monday because of the holiday, and my best friend Barb is in town. She got in last night at about 9:45 PM. We're going to have a blast, even if I do have to work while she's here! (Tonight is my last night of the work week, and I'll work 10 PM to 8:30 AM!)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

If it's not one thing, it's another.

So now I'll be needing to get a new computer. My laptop is pretty much done for. I'm not sure entirely what is wrong with it, all I know is that my brother Alan has said that it will probably be cheaper in the long run just to get a new computer.

I'm trying to accept $800 of one of the student loans I've been offered to essentially reimburse myself for the books I bought and get a netbook. I might decide to drop it down to $500 and just consider the books as done, it's been taken care of. But we will see whenever I get to that. I'm going to investigate it further after class on Tuesday (Monday is my long day of classes).

Other than that, I got one book in the mail today, I'm hoping I'll get the next one tomorrow, then I'll be waiting on two books. Hopefully they'll all be here soon so I won't be panicking about books anymore!

Now it's time to crack open my Oceanography textbook and get to studying between bedchecks at work!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mistakes and Learning From Them...Then Moving Forward

If I hear the words "Well, you shouldn't have gone to Louisiana" one more time, I'm probably going to scream until my throat is hoarse.

So I found out that I only got enough financial aid to cover my tuition, which is apparently a big deal considering I'm a grad student. I'm lucky to have even gotten that much aid. But I didn't know that was all I got in relation to my tuition, so I was still expecting to get a check like I had in my undergrad, with a left over balance on it. Instead, I waited in line for 2 1/2 hours to find out that not only can the lady at the Financial Aid office not pronounce the word "mineralogy," but I also owed $80.50 in left over tuition and course fees. Add on top of that, that I now had to buy my textbooks with my own money.

Had I not gone to Louisiana, this wouldn't have been an issue. And while I started this entry with not wanting to hear that phrase from another person, it's okay for me to state it. When you KNOW you've made a mistake, you don't need people CONSTANTLY reminding you that you did. I already feel like an idiot, and you constantly trying to drill it into my head when it's ALREADY THERE doesn't do anyone ANY good...does it? It just enters a territory of feeling a need to pat yourself on the back with subtle "I told you so"'s. And I'm done with hearing them.

...If I knew that I was going to need to buy my own text books, I wouldn't have gone to Louisiana. Or if I felt a DIRE need to go, I would have found the potentially most ghetto hotel in Houma and stayed there, instead of enjoying the comfort of the cost of an $85 dollar room.

What's done is done. I can't rewind time. All I can do is learn from my mistake and move on. I bought my books this morning on Amazon.com, but now I have to play the waiting game until they arrive. Luckily, I know a few people in the department already (Jennifer and Ashley), and I made a friend in my Mineralogy course, who will let me borrow her text while we're in class to check my progress of my lab notes (which I did this morning).

Amazon.com's cost for 4 books: $305 (and some change)
Sequoia Text Books (Across the street from CSUF): $400-ish
CSUF's book store (Kennel Bookstore): $493

I definitely went the cheapest route!

Now to wait for the books!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Softball + Other Things

I got back into playing softball again a few months ago. I hadn't seriously played since I was in the 8th grade, and I missed it terribly. We play our games on Sunday nights in Clovis (send me an email/message if you want to know where)! We won tonight's game! I typically catch most of the game. I'm not a bad catcher, which is awesome for me... Because I'm still trying to retrain my arm to throw properly. It's been too many years of not playing and too many injuries!

I've fallen in love with my Water Aerobics class at my gym, too. So that keeps me moving, too!

I start classes back up tomorrow at CSU-Fresno. I'm a little stressed because I haven't gotten my financial aid check yet. I'll be stopping by the financial aid offices to find out what's going on in between classes tomorrow. Hopefully they'll have some good news for me, so I can buy my text books soon and possibly a netbook because my laptop is kind of on its last legs!

Anyhow, I haven't slept in over 24 hours at this time, so it's time for me to get my shower and go climb into bed!! Goodnight!

Couch to 5k Program!

I once did the Couch to 5k Program last year in February-April. I broke my ankle in August last year and had a lot of issues being able to run again. The last few months I've been working on just being able to run at all without relying solely on my right leg to follow through with the movements. I'm doing better, but I find that sometimes I still rely on my right leg. I decided to start the Couch to 5k program again, and continue to supplement my running with water aerobics 3 nights a week and softball 2 nights a week. I'll continue to add more and more exercise as my body can handle it.

...Now to just get the eating right portion on track!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Louisiana

I've been dreading making this post for multiple reasons. First I want to explain that the main reason that I decided to go to Louisiana and on such short notice, was to visit my friend Eric. I've known Eric for a few years online now, and we met through an internet gaming forum. He was always a nice guy and had no problems with being able to make me laugh. I expressed that I had a bit of a crush on him, to which he later replied that he found himself interested in me, too. So the idea of going to Louisiana for a few days popped into my head. And I started doing research to see if it were at all feasible to go before classes started on August 23rd. I found that with some proper planning and skimping on my expenses, I could go. I thought surely, if things didn't work out with Eric in that light in the long run anyway, at least I could say I'd seen a Southern state.

A couple of weeks after I'd decided to go, he expressed a concern of potentially feeling pressured into something he may not be ready for. I backed off, I mean, way off. That wasn't my intention, I didn't want to make him or anyone feel pressured into anything...EVER. My main thought was "this is a friend of mine, he makes me laugh, we're both curious about where things may naturally go, but I'm not going with the sole intent of coming back home with a boyfriend." We were friends, nothing more. Simple as that.

So I got there on Saturday night at 9 PM or so, landing at the New Orleans airport, which is really more in Kenner. I met a nice friendly couple on the plane, Darlene and Eric (obviously not the same Eric), who offered to help me find my rental car place (Dollar). They also offered to let me follow them to my hotel in Houma, because they were headed to Bourg, which are only 8.5 miles apart. I got to my hotel at about 11:30 PM, checked in, and headed to my hotel room where I crashed out pretty hard. I didn't get any sleep the day before because I was so excited to go, and then I worked for 10 1/2 hours before my flight.

I woke up the next day, enjoyed my free continental breakfast (which I abused the whole time I was there, that I could!), and then waited for Eric to come pick me up to head to the movie we were planning on seeing, Inception. After the movie we went to the mall, then he took me back to my hotel so I could grab the DVDs I brought for him to watch, and he took me to his house in Lockport. The drive over there was pretty uneventful. A lot of awkward chatter. I was a little bummed that he wasn't pointing things out to me like, "This is where I went to high school." The only thing he pointed out was the Walmart where he works. We hung out at his house for a few hours and watched the DVDs, then he took me back to my hotel. I can't even remember the time I got back to my hotel, but I can assure you it was before 9 PM.

The next morning (Monday) we made plans to hang out again, but because I had already been over there with him driving, I offered to drive myself over so he wouldn't have to spend so much gas. We hung out again for about 6-7 hours, playing video games and watching DVDs...again.

On Tuesday morning, I decided that I was going to head to the Global Wildlife Center in Folsom and the Arts and Science Museum in Baton Rouge. I enjoyed my road trip because I got to see quite a lot of the state that I probably wouldn't have seen otherwise. I got to experience driving in the worst rain I've ever experienced in my life.


The bridge going over the Mississippi.


I took the I-10 West exit, but I went to Folsom first. You have to head to Baton Rouge to get to Folsom, unless you go on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway.


Lake Pontchartrain


The road conditions for about 95% of the drive to Folsom and Baton Rouge and back to Houma.


Heading to Folsom.


Why hello there, wildlife!


I got to feed this kangaroo, Skippy! Don't worry, the snacks that I fed him (the bag) were given to me by one of the people that worked at the Global Wildlife Center, and she said he just loooooved junkfood!


Since not many people showed up for the tour (counting me, 4 people), we got to take this jeep-like vehicle out to see the animals instead of the more bus-like thing (tractor towing larger trailers). It meant we got to be a little more up close and personal with the animals!


The feed!



Any time we stopped, these guys were RIGHT there begging for food!


I got to pet this one!

This little duck kept cracking me up. He would waddle so fast to keep up to the jeep, it was super cute!



My new best llama friend.

I got to pet a kangaroo, zebra, and giraffe!

I didn't get many other pictures from the trip, most were from the Global Wildlife Center... But if you want to see more, I have them uploaded to my Facebook (you will have to be my friend over there to be able to view them).

After the Global Wildlife Center, I headed to Baton Rouge, but by then I was already frustrated at the constant rain, and I was tired already from driving for 2 1/2+ hours. I ended up just seeing the art exhibits, the Ancient Egyptian exhibit, then I headed back to Lockport to see Eric for a few more hours, one last time, before heading to the airport the next morning and heading home.

When I left Eric's house for the last time, I was heavily disappointed. I expected some words of kindness, like "Thanks for coming to visit me," or "I hope you have a safe trip home," or "Text me to keep me posted on your trip home," or anything along those lines. I got nothing. I got "Bye!" Do you say "Bye!" to someone who just spent $1300+ to come see you for 3 days? I don't think so. It was kind of like getting kicked in the chest. I spent all of this money to go visit you, and you can't even show me around your hometown, and you can't even thank me for spending that money to come see you? I was so disappointed at that point, and within 3 miles of leaving his house I had to talk to someone, because I felt like I was breaking into pieces. I called Barbara, my best friend, and whined, and cried, and made her heart shatter into a bunch of pieces, too (what can I say, I just have that effect on people after I feel like I've been emotionally taken advantage of). I expressed to her, that while I know that Eric didn't want anything to do with me in any sort of a romantic light, I couldn't help myself to feel that way toward him. It took me a lot of thinking to figure out why it was that I felt so strongly about him...and I'll get to that in a minute. But I whined, and I cried, and I felt sorry for myself. I went to Chili's and had a margarita, for crying out loud, and I don't drink! ...I also had a chocolate cake and a cheeseburger, but that's beside the point (lol). I felt as if I had hit emotional rock bottom, and how cold he was when I was leaving his house for the last time really pissed me off. Who did he think he was? I have friends that I could have visited that would have shown me a much better time, and would have thanked me over and over again for coming to visit them. I have friends that I wouldn't have even needed to get a hotel room, had I decided to go visit them. And friends that would have picked me up at the airport instead of giving a totally lame excuse of "getting lost" in New Orleans. For one thing, the airport isn't even in New Orleans. Second, if you can take a California girl that has never been to Louisiana, and tell her to get around on her own without the help of anyone beyond Google Maps...I think YOU can make it to the airport without issues. Third...Gah, I'm done listing things because it just makes me more frustrated. My main point here is that I could find the airport without issues, all by myself, while sleep deprived and trying as hard as I could to choke back tears of anger, on Wednesday morning. You've lived in Louisiana your entire life and you can't find the airport? Riiiiight...

There are so many other things that frustrated me, but for the sake of trying not to write the longest blog post in my blogging history, I will skip ahead to what it was that seemed to make me feel so head over heels with him.

I will leave it with one brief word, and then as good of an explanation as I can muster.
Daniel.
Not everyone that will read this even got to meet Daniel. Daniel was without a doubt, the only man I've ever loved. He was sweet, he was goofy, he was fragile physically and emotionally, he wore his heart on his sleeve and frequently pretended to be stronger than he really was. He was awkward, and had never had a girlfriend before, and had never been in love before. Daniel had all of these traits about him, that most girls would have turned tail and ran. I stayed around. I got to know him, and I fell ridiculously in love with him.

...Eric has a lot of the same traits that Daniel had. And while I know that Eric was not at all the right guy for me in the long run, I think my problem was that I saw so many things that were similar between them...and that made me almost cling to Eric.

I can't have Daniel anymore, as many of you may know, because he took his own life a year after he broke up with me.

I can't explain it beyond that. I really can't.

All I can say is that I'm trying to mend the friendship that I had with Eric before my crush on him got so out of hand. But I'm a bit frustrated at some of the comments he's been making on his Facebook page, stating things like "Honesty may hurt but it's better than lying." ...I don't know where he is getting it in his head that I'd rather be lied to. And yeah, I'm hurt...but I'm not even hurt about him rejecting me in that light...I'm hurt about the bullcrap way he treated me when I was right in front of him. I've had perfect strangers treat me with more kindness than he did- even his mom was kinder to me than he was...And the people I met on the plane, Darlene and Eric? They were TEN times kinder to me than he was.

...All I can say is that I learned my lesson in more ways than one.
#1. Don't spend $1300 to visit someone you aren't sure about. I still had a great time in Louisiana, and I did have a lot of fun hanging out with him, too... But I came back from that trip with a real sour feeling.
#2. If I do end up meeting another guy online that claims to be interested in me at all in any light, whatsoever, he has to come to me. I'm not going to them anymore.
#3. I wasted money, that could have been sitting in my savings account to go toward my new car... But we all learn from our mistakes.

I guess the main reason I didn't want to make this entry was because I was already hearing the "I told you so"s that some people might be thinking already... And all I have to say, is that if you feel that way, please don't tell me. I already feel like an idiot, please don't make it worse.

I'm glad that I planned the trip when I did though. On the 23rd, I return to classes. I can throw myself into my studies and forget that this even happened.

Oh, and by the way, I'll say it...
Well, at least I've been to a Southern state!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Home!

I never thought I'd be so happy to make it home to dry heat and sunshine unobstructed by clouds.

Louisiana was beautiful, and I had a lot of fun, but it's so great to be home! I got home from my flight back, unpacked, started a load of laundry, and then fell asleep for about 15 hours. Eric is a really cool guy, and I had a great time hanging out with him! I will be posting pictures of my trip soon, so stay tuned!

I'm concerned that I won't reach my 210 minutes of exercise goal this week, but I'm allowing myself to fall short if I have to due to the traveling and jet lag. I'm at 140 minutes, and every week before this week I've done really well, and next week starts a whole new ball game (so to speak) with planning exercise into my school and work schedule. I'm trying to plan everything out a week in advance so I know when I'm spending my time and that I'm using it wisely!

I start classes on the 23rd! I'm really excited to get this ball rolling again!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

You're 15? I feel old!



My super cool nephew Christian's birthday is today! He's turning 15!! I always remember his age because I was 13 when he was born, so I just subtract 13 from my age every year to remember his age (simple enough, right?)! I feel really old right now though, that I have a 15 year old nephew already!!

Happy birthday to one of the coolest teenagers I know! Now let's hit the gym when I get back from Louisiana before we both start back up at school! LOL!!

The picture above is from my brother Alan and sister-in-law Nithsavath's wedding back in December!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Checked In

As of 1:10 PM today, I have checked in for my flight tomorrow to Louisiana. As of this moment, there is less than 14 hours until my flight! I've gotten zero sleep because of a combination of excitement for my trip and a headache (yay for postherpetic neuralgia! ...err, I mean boo!). I'm probably going to snooze on the plane to Salt Lake City, and maybe again to New Orleans. By the time I land in New Orleans at 9:27 PM, collect my baggage, and then get my rental car, I will be so happy to get to my hotel in Houma to pass out officially for about 8-10 hours! I'm going to sleep SO HARD tomorrow night!

I'm SO ready to be there already!! I just have to stuff my last minute toiletries (stuff I'll use before leaving home) in my suitcase, and I'll be all set to go!!

I just wish this work shift would go by faster! It's been about an hour and a half! Meep!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Different Way to Go

After almost two years of working in Lemoore, and living in Clovis for most of it (all but 3 months or so)...I get a bit tired of driving the same route all of the time. Usually I hit 168-West to 180-West to 41-South all the way to work. Once in a while though, I'll change it up, and I'll drive directly south from our house in Clovis to 180-West instead, and then take 41-South the rest of the way to Lemoore.

Today, I drove that route, which puts me driving through the general vicinity of the Fresno airport. This put me into a great mood for tonight's work shift, since I leave in less than 2 days for Louisiana!

As for other routes to work, I've even been known to leave an extra 20 minutes early so I can take...You ready for this? 168-West to 180-West to 41-South to 99-South to 43-South to 198-West... Just to change the scenery up once in a while. :)

Steve* to John to Kim and Susan to...The Bitter Old Hag

So as you may or may not know, dear readers, I've had accounts on and off on various dating sites. I've tried eHarmony, Match.com, Plenty of Fish, and OkCupid. I've not had any stupendous luck when it comes to dating as a concept at all, but adding in the concept of online dating, and well... The luck is quite dumb and unfortunate, mostly, to say the least.

The main positive I can say about "online dating" is that I have in fact made a lot of interesting friends this way. For example, my friend John who I mentioned in the title. John is a pretty cool guy who ironically is friends with my friends Kim and Susan. We discovered all of our friends in common via LiveJournal.com. So anyhow, I met John on OkCupid earlier this summer, while we were both just looking for friends and nothing more. On my half, I've just become utterly tired of relationships at all and have determined I'll probably die a bitter old hag (cue your tiny violins here!), and for John he had just started going through a nasty divorce. Situations are still the same there. Anyhow, I needed to set you up for how I know John in order to progress in this story.

I found out that John works at Pelco. Then I found out that he knew a guy I'd previously met on OkCupid, Steve. I met Steve last summer, and after talking on the phone for several hours and having one date with him, it was pretty obvious to everyone who knew of my dating endeavors that I was a little bit smitten for him. So when I received a message from him about a week after our date, I was excited until I began to read it. Steve had admitted that he liked me as well, but that he had just gotten out of a relationship and his then exgirlfriend had contacted him and begged him for a second chance. I told him that I knew he had to do what he had to do, because if he didn't, later he might be kicking himself for not trying to make things work. In truth, at the time I hoped they would break up so I could have him to myself..that's mostly the bitter old hag inside of me speaking, never you mind her! So anyway, John knows Steve. I expressed to John how bummed out I was that Steve went back to his exgirlfriend, but that I had finally gotten over it...I mean, I did date Jared as a rebound from Steve for 3 months, right?

John informed me about 4 hours ago now, that Steve and his girlfriend are now engaged.

This of course, enrages the bitter old hag in me, because yet another person has found happiness with regards to that aspect of life, while I just stew here in my potential hatred for the human race... Yes, I am being a tad dramatic, but only because it's more funny that way...isn't it? ...Gosh I hope so, lol.

*Do not confuse the Steve mentioned in this entry with my exboyfriend Steve who I dated for 6 months out of boredom and the deep desire to just BELONG to someone, even if he was a total putz.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Odd cravings

After an hour of water aerobics, I come home to get ready for work tonight... And I start to think "okay, what am I going to eat for dinner?"

DON'T JUDGE!

I am so craving chicken fingers and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

So very very random of me! lol!

But I did surpass my 210 minute quota for the week, I'm at 270 for the week! I'm trying to figure it out mentally for next week since I will be in Louisiana for part of the week... How will I be able to get 210+ minutes without killing myself? I figure if I do at least 30 minutes of exercise while I'm in Louisiana (3 days), then I can do water aerobics twice (Wednesday and Thursday night), and I'll be covered for next week!

You know you've made a lifestyle change when you start scheduling exercise time several days in advance!

3 Days!



I took this with the map that's above my bed, in which each state is represented by one of it's license plates through time. I took this picture to make it my album cover for my trip on Facebook.

I'm really excited! I'm almost done packing, really all I have left is my toiletries and to determine if I want to take workout clothes because the hotel has a fitness room. I probably will take it, and if I don't work out, oh well...but to go and not take the clothes and feel like I want to work out, but can't? That would be an epic bummer! But my plan is to make sure I get some exercise at least 2 days that I'm there, because I can make up the rest of my workout time when I get back home!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Small Definition*

I stretched out my arms to either side of me, and I realized something. After only 5 classes of water aerobics and 3 weeks of attempting to get 210+ minutes of exercise a week, I already have more muscle definition in my arms. This is a great thing, and it keeps me motivated to keep up with the fitness part of my life.

The eating perfectly can come later, and I'm still making positive strides in the right direction as far as that goes... I just still make stupid decisions once in a while. But I'm generally doing well. I'm still writing down everything I eat so I can look back at it later and feel guilty or happy about my decisions.

Well, I'd better head off to bed here shortly, I do have water aerobics and work tomorrow. Luckily, I'm almost finished packing for the Louisiana trip! Less than 4 days now!!

*The title of this entry was brought to you buy a song title from my favorite band, Superchunk. I just thought it would be fitting here!

Day 30- Who are you

I'm Milissa. I'm 28. I make mistakes just like everyone else and I don't believe that I'm perfect or that I know everything---not even close. I play softball, I swim, and I run. I make efforts to eat in a healthy manner but I sometimes slide on that. I've had weight problems since I was a kid, and I'm finally making efforts to turn that around. I have an unhealthy obsession with lip gloss. I love my family and my closest friends, they mean the world to me. I love geology and geography. I collect rocks and foreign currency. I have skin conditions that can often be annoying, ranging from acne to eczema to dermatitis. I once broke my ankle and I still have issues with things like jumping or stomping my feet. I once broke my nose and had surgery to correct the deviated septum. I've had shingles, and I have nerve damage from it. I hate peas. I can't eat fresh pineapple, but I love the way it tastes (read: nerve damage). I've seen Gone With the Wind so many times that I've lost count, each time was with my Grandmother in my childhood and until she passed away. I love a good pizza, and have been known to make special trips to get some, even if it means driving for 2 1/2 hours one way (Klondike's in Arroyo Grande?). Breakfast is my favorite kind of food, though. I can be stubborn and level headed at the same time, but more than likely stubborn. I've been playing the piano since I was 9 years old, self taught. I want to learn how to play the steel drums, really bad. I don't make wishes on shooting stars, on fallen eyelashes, or when the clock reads 11:11, but I do smile when the clock reads 12:34. I'm a little bit double jointed in my hands. I wear glasses that are breaking, and I haven't had an eye exam in about 7 years... I'm due, but I can't afford it. I love traveling, and if I could afford it, I would love to go more often. I need to get a new car- either a Honda Fit, a Chevy Aveo, or a Ford Focus. Because I work so far away from home and geography/geology is one of my main loves in life, it'd be nice to have a more fuel efficient car than I have right now. I have two people I consider my BFFs, Barb and Steph. They are similar and different in so many ways. I have a problem with Bath & Body Works. Every time I go I spend way too much money. So I have a ban on going to Bath & Body Works until I've used ALL soaps and lotions I've already bought there. It will be a while! I had braces twice. I work in child care at a group home, and it's the most fulfilling job I've ever had. The idea of wearing contacts creeps me out, but I remember sitting on the teeter-totter with my friend Tesla in kindergarten, touching my eyeball to gross out other kids. The order of best desserts goes: Cake, frozen yogurt, apple pie, ice cream, cream pies, then cheesecake. Brownies are up there with cake. I'm half Portuguese, quarter Italian, and the rest is a mixture of German, English, Scottish, and Irish- in the order of most to least. I identify most with my Portuguese and Italian heritage. I've taken 5 "foreign" languages in school: Spanish, French, American Sign Language, German, and Portuguese. I wear size 11 W - 11 1/2 WW in women's shoes, that equals size 9 1/2 - 10 in men's shoes. When I get nervous, I pick at my hangnails and scabs. I think cream cheese and triscuits are the perfect snack- especially reduced sodium

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 29- In this past month, what have you learned

You know, I'm always learning new things, even if it's something minor. Lately I've learned that if I set my mind to something, I can achieve it, as long as it's within reason. I mean, I'm never going to be an astronaut or a screen writer of my own popular sitcom (the second of which actually is a dream of mine).

I'm also learning my limitations, as well. Especially when it comes to my finances and where I'm spending my money. I'm making less trips to the grocery store, and I'm buying less crazy things I'll never use. I bought a package of barley and various other whole grains a while back, and I never really use them... That's an excellent example of some stupid spending on my behalf.

I think those are two of the major things I've learned about myself though.

5 Days

I have five days until I leave my comfort zone of weather for epic amounts of humidity and near constant thunderstorms. The temperature will be in the low to mid 90s the whole time I'm there, but the humidity will be over 60% most of the time I'm there, too. I've never experienced that kind of humidity.

I talked to my friend Kayla yesterday for a few hours, and Kayla grew up in Louisiana. I got a lot of great pointers from her, and I'm going to try to pack as best as I can for this weather change. No make up (or very limited, and probably just waterproof mascara), and light clothes (not bulky- I would have packed light anyway, but I'm going to think about every item I pack instead of just sticking it in the suitcase)!

I'm ready to pack already, and I will be about 90% packed by Wednesday evening because I work the following 3 days before I head to the airport on Saturday!

Just 5 days to go!! I'm really excited! I can't wait for my face to melt off and fall on the floor!

Or as Kayla said, "You will step off the plane, and humidity will hit you in the face with an aluminum baseball bat." I've also been told I might hack/gag/wheeze the instant I breathe in the humidity. Oh yay! Something to look forward to! LOL

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day 28- A picture of you last year and now, how have you changed since then?





About a year apart, or so...

One was before I broke my ankle, one after. One I was probably about 240, the one after about 260. I've been dealing with on-again-off-again depression and my weight is what suffers. I went through a boyfriend somewhere in there, too, for 3 months. Kind of a waste of time, but I definitely learned my lesson (of not knowing someone well before starting to date exclusively). Me a year ago was in love with roller derby and everything that it entailed, and that was how I broke my ankle. Only a matter of a month ago (or less!) I had enough of the girls on the team turn catty toward me, so I severed ties with not only the team, but most of the girls on the team (not including people that I knew before I was even involved with roller derby...and there were a handful of others I kept around because they are EPICALLY AWESOME regardless!). Now I'd rather not have anything to do with roller derby. Instead, I got back into my original love, softball. So that's one major thing that has changed- bye bye derby hello softball!

Other than that... Nothing else major has changed. I've been trying to up my morale by updating journals/blogs/diaries more often, and taking more vitamins and trying to eat properly and get plenty of exercise (210 minutes a week, minimum!). So that's changed, too!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day 27- Why are you doing this 30 day challenge

Because I fail at keeping this blog up...so I've been trying to make myself blog more. A lot of these daily entries have been written a day or two in advance and scheduled to post... So I'm cheating a little bit... But I've been visiting this blog every day to ensure that the entry has been posted and that there aren't any massive typos. It's forcing me into a habit of visiting this blog often, so hopefully that will translate into updating it more often. I'm hoping for 2-3 times a week after this is all finished!

Louisiana Bound in 7...6...5...

I'm leaving Fresno for Louisiana in a week, but I'm only going to be gone for a few days. I plan to totally abuse my digital camera while I'm gone. I'm making mental plans to go to any and all plantations I can find while I'm there, and see what life is like in Creole Country.

I'm looking forward to hanging out with my friend Eric, but even more so looking forward to spending time in my first Southern state!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Day 26- What you think about your friends

I'm just going to list off those who I consider the closest of all of my friends, and what I think about them, I guess.

Barbara - You've been there for me through a lot of crazy crap in the NINE years that I've known you. I can't believe that our friendship is reaching a decade old, ha ha. You always know what to say and you always give sound advice based on your life experiences. You're my number one cheerleader when it comes to me trying to better my health, and it means a lot to have someone constantly in your corner, hoping nothing but the best for you at all times.

Stephanie - MY PEA POD! Our friendship is pretty magical, wouldn't you agree? It's the kind of friendship where you finish each others sentences, and can sense something is wrong when we don't even say it. You've been a great support for me at all times, and I thank you so much for that! I love how we can find humor in the craziest of things... "ffftt ffftt ffftt," ring any bells? lol!

Tomica - I like how we can talk about any topic at complete random, and I love how great of a listener you are. I love how I can call or text you at the drop of a hat to hang out. I like how we both have these perfectly quirky personalities that mesh well together.

Susan and Kim - I'm putting you guys together because most of the time that I spend time with either of you, the other is there! I love and adore you both. You know, like I've said to Susan before, had someone told me that of all of the people that I met through Kim Schuller, that I would feel the closest to you guys than just about anyone else (though Tomica is right up there, too!), I probably would have been like "Nahhh, you serious? Really?" I feel so at ease when I'm hanging out with you guys. Laughing comes so easily. You guys have helped me better understand who I am, just by being you. You've shined a lot of light on semi-recent events that have happened in my life, and for that I am SUPER thankful! <3

Stacey - Yet another person that has always been there to support me, no matter what the crazy topic I'm freaking out about may be! You always offer some of the best advice, ever. You are extremely wise. You are very bold and you don't let anyone screw around with you. You also have a gigantic heart, even if you don't often show it. We've never hung out much, but I've always felt like that wasn't a dire necessity for our friendship to be in place. Though I wish I could afford to make it up to Sacramento a bit more often, because I'd totally chill whenever! (I'm still upset that my last plans to try and come see you were put off, but it totally wasn't your fault!! <3)

Elijah - You are probably the closest male friend I've ever had in my life time, and you live all the way on the other side of the country. You have a great sense of humor, your Southern Charm is absolutely amazing, and any lady would be so very lucky to have you---too bad I'm a bit protective and think no one will ever be good enough. ha ha!!

Eric - You make me laugh harder than anyone I've ever known, and it could just be as simple as sending me a picture of something completely random on my phone while you're at work. I think you're absolutely goofy, and that's why I think you're so awesome. :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day 25- What I would find in your bag

On an average day, the contents of my purse look something like this:

My wallet, iPod (if I'm not listening to it), my keys (if I'm not using them or they aren't in my pocket), my cell phone (again if I'm not using it or it's not in my pocket), lip gloss (often several tubes, I'm a lip-gloss-aholic), tylenol and ibuprofen, a hair clip or hair tie, sunglasses, headphones, and gum.

Sometimes there will be stray change floating around in the bottom, or some receipts that didn't make it into my wallet. But that's pretty much it!

6.4

I interrupt this 30 Day challenge to tell you that in the last week I have lost 6.4 pounds, going by the scale at my gym. I am extremely proud of myself in attempting to make a lifestyle change, not just a "diet."

-I've been writing down every thing I eat, even if it's something I should be embarrassed about, so later I can assess the damage and ask myself what I could have done better during that particular day, moment, or time.
-I've been aiming for 210 minutes a week of physical activity, which levels out to 30 minutes a day. If I can't find 30 minutes a day to exercise, I feel extremely guilty now. However, since I've instated this 210 goal, I've beat it every week. This week I'm somewhere around 380 minutes, and on Tuesday I had already passed my weekly goal.

When I watch shows like The Biggest Loser and Losing it With Jillian Michaels (which I hear has been canceled) it helps keep me motivated. I created one of my two main mantras based on Jillian Michaels. I just say "What Would Jillian Do?" If she would scream at me to push through a hurdle on the treadmill for another minute, I'm going to do it. If she wouldn't eat garbage, I try not to eat garbage.

Yes, I'm making a real effort this time. Especially after I realized that I was having fun exercising and eating right... And I still managed to lose 6.4 pounds!

By the way, in case you were wondering about my other mantra, it's "No more excuses!"

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 24- A letter to your parents

Dear Mom and Dad,

I know I've given you guys plenty of crap throughout the years, but I really do appreciate everything that you do for me. Even if I don't say it enough, I love you both very much. You've always been there to help me in any way that you can, even if it's just through moral guidance or by letting me still live at home at the age of 28 so I can finish my education.

Thank you very much for all you do!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 23- Something you crave for a lot



These... I can't explain it. But they are SO YUMMY!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 22- What makes you different from everyone else

There are many little things that probably make me a little unique from the average person, or just the average person my age...or just the average girl. I'm just going to list off random things that break the "norm."

-I don't really like clothes shopping.
-I hate shoes, especially since I broke my ankle! You try and find shoes that fit 11 W - 11 1/2 WW feet that don't look hideous!
-I don't much care for make up. When I'm at the gym, sometimes I'll see girls with it PLASTERED on. Sometimes I'll even see commercials for that mineral make up that supposedly covers EVERYTHING. Women on the commercials are always whining about hating their freckles, or whatever else... I like my freckles. The only thing I don't like is pimples. If I'm going somewhere nice or I just want to look a little "prettier," I will sometimes dab on a little cover up and then blend it in... And I often will put on a little mascara with MAYBE some eyeshadow... But I'm typically au natural. I like being natural. ...I do however, enjoy putting my hair in curlers from time to time. lol
-In that same vein, I appreciate my birthmarks, flat brown moles (like dark freckles), and scars. I don't have any desire to cover any of that up... But I would appreciate it madly if my stretch marks would disappear. lol
-I play video games. Not nearly as much as I used to, but I still enjoy them. I tend to stick to Nintendo games because they seem to be the least complicated... If you put an Xbox controller in my hands, I just stare at you blankly for a few minutes.
-I love science and math. It's apparently not that common for girls to love those aspects of education. I've actually been known to solve math problems for fun, because I'm that much of a dork.
-I collect rocks and foreign currency. Every time I go on a trip, I tend to bring a rock home with me. I've yet to bring one home from Arizona, though. I'm waiting to go to The Grand Canyon, The Painted Desert, or just go wandering around in the Desert sometime when I'm there... THEN I'll bring a rock home from Arizona.
-I would much rather have a few friends that I hold close, than to have a lot of people I sort of know. This is why I trimmed down my friends list on Facebook from 640-something to 240-something. I often sit and think about who else I could delete if I wanted to. hehe
-I twiddle my thumbs sometimes, when I'm bored, a habit I picked up from my grandpa...but even more so when I'm bored...? I braid my hair or pick at my hangnails.
-I have nerve damage from a case of Shingles when I was 21. It's gotten a little better, but it will more than likely be a life long condition. And in case you didn't know, you can get Shingles multiple times... So I'm potentially doomed as far as that goes!
-I hate "romance" movies. I will never watch The Notebook or Nights in Rodanthe, or 90% of Amanda Seyfried's movies... Or anything else with Rachel McAddams in it... Blah! I actually tend to prefer a good romantic comedy or just flat out comedy over just about anything else. But sometimes action and drama can be pretty awesome.
-I hate poetry. I am often amused with limericks though, and will sometimes make them up at random.
-When I was a kid, I wanted to be a writer. In fact, from about the age of 6 or so until just a few years into college, I still played with the idea of becoming a screenwriter for television. I write awesome dialogue, and I have great ideas...but I suck at all of the meaningless details (think: Tolkein). I still wouldn't mind writing someday, but I know that I need a good solid foundation for a career before I really even think about spending time writing scripts again.

How's that? :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day 20- Someone you see yourself marrying/being with in the future

Oh sheesh, who knows. All I'm going to say at this point is characteristics that I would love to have in a future spouse or long term relationship, and characteristics I would not like.

I've always found determination, goal setting, and focus to be some of the most attractive things in a person. It's great to think that people aren't just floating around existing with no real expectations in their life. Being a bit of a dreamer is also ideal, but not too much. I would still like him to be grounded. However it's awesome to say things like "I would love to one day travel the world, I dream of it often." As for determination, here's a good example. I once dated a guy that was driving down from San Jose to see me for the first time. He got lost, went the wrong way on the freeway, and went over an hour out of his way, one way. Well, even though that relationship didn't end up anywhere, it spoke volumes that he was still willing to get on the right path and come over to see me anyway. That's about 5 1/2 hours of driving.

I'm not saying that he needs to have the exact same sense of humor as me, but it helps to be able to relate to a person's sense of humor. If I had a nickle for every time someone on Facebook got offended at something I said because they took it out of context (re: me making a joke, not making an insult), I'd be a millionaire... Okay no really, I'd have about a buck thirty-five...ish. But when I say a sense of humor, I don't just mean being able to crack jokes and make me laugh. I adore a guy that can make me laugh easily, but I also admire a guy that can laugh at himself, too. Not taking yourself too seriously, and laughing when you trip and fall instead of getting mad about it. I'm a klutz, and through the years I've gone from getting pissed when I tripped, to now laughing at myself like "Oh geez, here I go again!"

Family and friend oriented is a big deal for me, too. I just think of the movie I Love You, Man, in which Paul Rudd's character has no friends. It seems odd to not have a friend, at all. I love my family, and I love my close friends, and I wouldn't give them up for anything. However I do want to say that I get frustrated of the "bros before hoes" types of friends. I totally don't mind the bro-code or the fact that some guys think they definitely should come first before another guy's girlfriend... But I hate guys that refer to girls as hoes, or as if they are to drop everything they are doing for their friends, all the time. I guess though, one of the main reasons that I like for a guy to have his own family and friends beyond me and my family and friends, is because we all need to retreat somewhere. We need someone to talk to that isn't our significant others. Someone who will offer advice or just listen to all you have to say. If a guy I were with in the long haul didn't have any of that, it would put a strain on our relationship, because they would have no where to vent to if I did something completely stupid/crazy, like us women are known for doing. lol

Intelligence is such a turn on. If I can have a conversation with a guy about just about any topic under the sun, and they carry on their part, I'm like putty in his hands. Things that bother me sometimes about this though, is that sometimes when a discussion can turn into an argument/debate, and sometimes, some guys, when they are losing their side of the argument, instead of trying to keep going in a friendly manner, start lashing out insults. This is a big peeve of mine. San Jose dude mentioned above used to do this to me! ...Anyhow, this also is related to being quick witted. I love a guy that can think on his feet. :)

It would be ideal to have all of these traits, the only thing I'm not epically picky over is appearance. Though I must say that I've always had a leaning toward... Lanky, skinny, pasty, white boys, with longer dark hair (not long, medium length, I guess, a couple of inches?)...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 19- Nicknames you have; why do you have them

Sister Bear - My family nickname from my Dad. He's called me Sister Bear for as long as I can remember. I'm not sure if it's a Berenstain Bears reference, or what.


Auntie Mo - My nickname from my brother's two youngest kids. This actually started in 2001 when I worked at Michaels. My boss at the time, Harry, used to call me "Mo." When Austin started learning how to speak, he had trouble saying Milissa, so I said "He can just call me Auntie Mo!" and it stuck. :)

Mil - A former online friend decided to start calling me this one day, and it stuck. It's now my most common nickname. Don't call me Missy, or I might claw off your face... Unless you are my grandma, one of my Aunts, or my Mom.

There have been others through the years that have been used here or there. Like Missa...but the above three are the only ones that ever stuck with me.