Saturday, September 25, 2010


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 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!).


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 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.


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 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!)