Saturday, November 9, 2013

November of Doom

So here's where things get interesting, difficult. You think that they up the ante during October for undergraduate midterms, but oh no, just wait til grad school. November is a new land to conquer, with far too many books to read all at once and zombified classmates. We must get over the hump to December! Then it'll be smooth sailing, downhill....a toboggan on a slope perhaps?

I'm not going to lie and say that December won't be bumpy, but it will certainly be 3 steps down from the current intensity level.

The stair climber has been turned up and my legs are burning. I refuse to fall off, but I still strain myself. Almost there.

"Checking this item off my list makes a difference," is what I tell myself. And oh thank the baby Jesus, Monday is a holiday! No classes means more time to get things done. It's all about that catch-up game. Though it's more of a get-ahead situation--or fly by the seat of your pants towards the flu and other sorts of misery.

I will not get sick! Hand washing, working out regularly, sleeping like I'm dead. Let's all say a little prayer right now for all the students heading towards their ski jump before that wonderous downhill to safety. Please Lord, let us all make it through December without losing sanity or succumbing to plague (don't you sneeze on that table!).

By the time Christmas rolls around next month, I'll be in vacation-mode. Laying on the couch by the beautifully decorated tree, listening to Manheim Steamroller like it's nobody's business. Until then, I'll be over here buried alive in books and 3 essays within a 2 week period. Good luck everyone.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Progress Report: 15 Before 25

Maintain a yoga schedule:
Yoga schedule isn't static but I've been able to go to yoga 2 days a week for the past 2 months. This is on top of going to the gym in general another 2 days per week. I'm amazed that I'm able to do this despite how mentally tired I am from school.

Try new things:
Though many peoole have been to Knotts Halloween Haunt or some other creepy festive event by my age, I've avoided it altogether. I don't like being scared, my imagination likes to torture me when the house creaks. Yet there I was standing in line for the LA Haunted Hayride this past weekend. We went on the Hayride and then through the Inbetween Maze--which is funny because my night vision is so bad that it negated anything that popped out at me. "Oh hello there, I can't even see what scary thing you're supposed to be!" It had seemed so intimidating before, but now I can say that I'm not scared of Halloween mazes. Nonetheless scary movies are still a no-go.

Run three 5ks:
Last weekend was the BubbleRun at the Pomona Fairplex, bright and early. My friend Ashley and I ran through 6 different colored bubble stations. Each was about the size of a standard driveway filled with a huge mass of bubbles! Giant colored bubbles! Hehehehe.

This coming weekend is the ColorMeRAD 5k at the OC Great Park by our house. Essentially a color run with color bombs and dust. This will be my first color run, hopefully not my last. It looks like I just need to do one more 5k after this to complete my To Do.

Straight A's:
Just received my first paper back this afternoon.....A! It's a good starting point for now but there's still 4 more papers to go before this semster is done.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I hate this frustrating feeling. It's so stupid to stress out so much. Stress is not something found in my natural habitat. It seems like I've managed to successfully avoid it for 90% of my life.

It only strikes me in the form of self-doubt. In this case, it's been triggered by one simple assignment. Write a scholarly review essay that considers a number of articles &/or book, write about the "state of the field." But it's not simple when you've been wired to think and write in traditional research essay form. As I look for sources I find myself wandering through it all and changing my topic ever so slightly. Then suddenly it's a completely new topic. Hello? Brain? Stop undermining me when I'm trying to be productive!

Why is picking a field and narrowing it so difficult? T_T *bangs head against wall*

Part of me is pissed off that this isn't clicking in my head, and the other half asks why I'm even in grad school. Thanks self-doubt, you're a bitch.

Friday, September 27, 2013

15 Before 25

I recently came across WarriorQueen's (@beawarriorqueen) list of things she wants to do before turning 25 this year. She called it "25 before 25." Seems to be a great idea for setting goals and actually acheiving them. A few days later, I've got a list going too! It's practically a short-term bucket list for my year. An easy set up if you lean towards OCD at all. There are plenty of things that I feel I should have already done by this point in my life. Time slips by faster than it used to so why not try to cross a few items off your list on your way? Of course not everyone has the same number of things they want to do or can make into a manageable goal. Therefore my list is a "15 Before 25."

1. Go to a hockey game.
Because I've never been to one before. So why the hell not?

2. Run three 5k events.
I despise running but I know it's good for me. Why not try and make it fun by doing themed events. I've already registered for the BubbleRun 5k in October and the ColorMeRAD 5k at the beginning of November. That will put me at two out of three before 2014 arrives! Can't turn down 6 foot bubble walls and color powder explosions.

3. Take the dogs on a run once every other week.
My dogs are impossible to walk on a leash(s). They spaz, jump, and drag everyone down the street. I have managed to take them on runs, separately of course, but not on a regular basis. It would be good for them to get some time outside WITHOUT each other. Unfortunately they're extremely codependent and shouldn't be. I aim for every other week because I'm not always going to have time every single week. Sometimes the weather intervenes, or school work is higher on the priority list.

4. Read 3 classic novels.
There's a lot of novels that I've put off reading for a long time. Stories that come up time and time again in modern media. Yes, I've read The Great Gatsby and some Shakespeare....but I've never read Dracula or Treasure Island. "What?!" Oops. I've probably read 30 different vampire novels but not Dracula. How rude of me!

5.Watch Breaking Bad.
The series is about to end which means--easy binge watching! Everyone and their cousin has been telling me how great it is and how I need to watch it all year. "Eventually," I say. Might as well make it happen. Note: Shut up Whovians, the Doctor is on my watch list too.

6. Go to the San Diego Wild Animal Park.
We haven't made it a point to go see the lions-tigers-and-bears (oh my) in a few years. Maybe the tigers will be awake this time.

7. Go on a wine tasting trip.
Evan and I were gifted a northern California wine trip by his parents after he graduated college. This was about a year and a half ago. Two summers have passed and we have yet to venture to look through travel sites or set aside a weekend. We're pretty terrible at planning vacations together. The cost isn't even an issue since it's a gift. This needs to happen. I know I'll get wino wasted but it's a necessary evil.

8. Go kayaking in any body of water.
I have not gone kayaking since the 9th grade when I went to church camp at Hume Lake. Why haven't I done it again? Alas life has gotten in the way.

9. Maintain a yoga schedule.
Since recovering from my accident last October, I've been particularly focused on having good upper body strength. I was so limited for nearly 3 months that getting to the point of lifting a flimsy 5lb weights over my head was a big accomplishment. Hell, washing my own hair was like climbing Everest. Since then I've been gradually adding to my goals. This past August, I returned to yoga classes after far too long. It's actually helped a lot with the random lightning pains in my weak side. You don't realize how one broken bone can screw you over until it happens. With pain subsiding, I feel myself getting stronger. This goal isn't just for recovery though, I also consider it a good way to relieve stress. I'm entering my first year of graduate school and I understand that some of us may get tired or overwhelmed. I need this as a vent. Vents keep the pressure from causing disaster. PLUS it makes my abs feel awesome.

10. Go on a roller coaster that scares me.
I'm afraid of big roller coasters. I'm not sure whether it's because I think that I might puke up my lunch or if it's that Final Destination scene stuck in head. A little of both. The only way to get over a fear is to kick it's ass. A trip to Knott's Berry Farm is overdue.

11. New York.
I vividly remember saying, "I would hate New York." HA what a fool I was for thinking such a thing. Sure I wouldn't ever want to live there during winter but it's a hell of a place to visit from time to time. I've visited during the heat of May and the chill of mid-March. Each trip was different and fun in its own way. The first time was rightfully tourist location focused, and the next trip was a glimpse into simply living and existing in Manhattan. It's not Sex & the City glamorous but I did enjoy myself. Wandering bookstores and meandering through odd shops with distinct personalities. There's something wonderful about walking down the street and knowing that nobody gives a shit about what you're doing or wearing. So anti-Orange County. It's invigorating. The anonymity of city life is a welcomed break from the overbearing plastic people at home. Screw you South Coast Plaza cronies! Dear Harlem, expect me in the early summer of 2014.

12. Stay in on Black Friday and decorate the Christmas tree.
This is a mother-daughter tradition that has been interrupted for the past 2 holiday seasons because I had been working in retail hell. Remember those department stores deciding to open at midnight after Thanksgiving? Yea, that was me. Awake after a turkey dinner knowing that it was coffee time because customers are going to storm the gates at midnight for the door-bustiest deals around. This is a scene to behold for anyone interested in the collapse of humanity. This year I am free to do as I please. And that means I'll be at home putting a fake tree together with mom, blasting "Let It Snow" by Boyz II Men. There will be some Manheim Steamroller in there too.

13. Pay off some of my student loan debt.
I thank God that my parents were kind enough to finance my butt through community college but once I entered Cal State be free, good luck! So I've got myself a money pit that I am legally bound to fill now that I have my bachelor's degree on the wall. And being that I'm continuing to dig myself deeper via grad school, I need to start paying my loans down. I believe I currently owe about...oh say, the cost of a Ford Fiesta. Not an exorbitant amount like some students in private schools but debt nonetheless. Being a responsible adult about it is the best course of action.

14. Straight A's.
I may only be taking 2 classes per semester but this doesn't make getting fantastic grades any less work. I've gotten straight A's a few times but knowing that I did it in grad school means a lot more to me. There will be more reading, bigger papers, and possibly more thinking headache burnouts. Let's do this!

15. Try new things (Food, hobbies, activities).
I'm the queen of "no thank you maybe next time." There's not really any reason for it outside of my own stubbornness. So this year I want to try to say, "screw it, ok let's go!" instead of overthinking everything. I'll go with the age old "you'll never know til you try it." Note: this doesn't make me a Yes-man, I do need to stick to my studies enough to pull out some A's after all.

I aim to be tracking these goals via blog, Instagram, &/or Twitter as I go. If you have any suggestions be sure to comment.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Back in Black

It appears that I have neglected this page for far too long. My last post was dated September of 2012 and vented my thoughts on whether or not to choose graduate school. Tomorow is graduate orientation and I will be in attendance.

So I guess you've missed a lot of the possible ranty posts and my general scribblings about life. Luckily Blogger has an app that I can use at the drop of a hat for whatever I come across. This should improve my page, though my courses may get in the way of posting in general. It'll happen, that's life. I'm better off going out and living than sitting in a corner blogging. Blogging is very much like keeping a journal, and just as easily neglected.

I'd like to keep up with myself on here if at all possible along with my workload at school. Plus my job, which is now a part-time office position with my boyfriend's parents. No more retail for me. If you're interested in gross stories and other human nastiness, I have loads of whatthefuck-type stories I could tell from working in a department store.

Anyways, I'll start off with a post inspired by Ms Raewyn Warriorqueen. 25 Before 25! I'm about halfway through it right now, so there may be a segmented blog about it later.

Off to panic about what to wear for orientation,

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Contemplating More

More? Well of course by that I mean, more school.
Graduate school.

What's been on my mind ever since transferring into a four year university is "this is it? That's all? How am I done?" I've learned so much since changing my major from History to American Studies--which by the way you can look up on Wikipedia for a longer description because it pains me to be able to accurately describe something so fantastic. It's an interdisciplinary major that studies American culture in all its silly ways (though not usually silly). My focus tends to be visual expressions of culture, i.e. film-tv-music.

Perhaps it is the half of me that urges me to keep going, along with the combination of knowing what lies in store after graduation with a bachelor's degree, telling me that it's the right thing to do. But then there's the other side trying to stress me out with doubts and questions. It's become an Angel vs Devil on my shoulders battle.
Can you even get in? It's competitive. There's only twenty people accepted.
Have you seen your grades? Bam!
But there's that admission essay and you're not that interesting.
First in your family to get a college degree? That's interesting enough.
I guess thinking about the future is still slightly overwhelming, but I want to get in and do it. Why not? I don't have any reason to put it off for a few years. Finishing college of all sorts and then being done forever, perfect. I don't want to wake up in ten years and wish that I'd done it, so to hell with it all. I'm going to apply and hope to God that I get accepted into the program.

I've never felt like the smart kid in the class and I know that it's always been an insecurity. My academic advisor says otherwise which is a boost in my confidence. So this, in a way, is to push myself. Prove it to myself. It's going to take alot of work and just as much determination.

Now back to my reading! Books on prosthesis don't exactly read themselves.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Lost Generation Crossover

I've read articles that have begun calling my generation, a lost generation. We are not the first to be trapped by the status of an ailing economy, and we will not be the last. Not because the world will always ruin your day and screw you over, but because that is the flow of life--good and bad take place. Sometimes you win and other times you lose. Because it isn't fair, by rule.

As I sit in my classroom, talking about cultural notions, myths, and theories, there is nothing but the moment of discussion. Speculation, thinking out loud. It's rather easy to talk out your ass, but some do submit worthy topics and ideas. Once I get home the typical conversation of "how was your day? How was class tonight?" comes. From time to time my dad asks me what I want to do after gradation. My answer is always the same--like many other students,. Frankly I have no idea. Hope for fulfilling employment. Somewhere nice with good pay, enough to move out and begin true adult life away from home. Simple wishes really. But my own outlook on this becoming a reality is bleaker than it used to be. Maybe it's the times, or what is called a life crisis. Or maybe I aim to be like an audience member going into the film with low expectations, if I think it'll be terrible then it may pleasantly surprise me. Who knows. He asks what others are thinking of doing for jobs after they finish school as well. That's slightly easier to answer because being a major within the humanities and social sciences does give the option of credential programs and future teaching. Though I do mention that most of us don't actually want to teach. Teachers should have a passion for their job, with a will to inspire the stubborn student. I wouldn't want to teach on the basic reason of being in charge of other peoples' children--parents are nuts. If I were to follow the path of the credential program, I'd want to teach at the university level. Here there is the ability to talk as adults, each student responsible, no parents to deal with. Now I've gotten off my topic, as usual.

I intended to simply post this excerpt from a Depression era book observing the time's youth culture to point out the similar environment facing our young people today. Perhaps you won't see the similarities, or you will. Either way I will have gotten you thinking about the future. We all want the same things: success, security, enjoyment. That never changes.
"As naturally as their voices broke and depended, our young men grew up in the assurance that education and hard work were the Open Sesame to respectable jobs secured by reliability and perseverance, to homes of their own, and to honored places in the eyes of their fellow-men. In the past few years many of them who are out of school today have no work, through no fault of their own.
Many others are engaged on slim part-time jobs so trifling in the time they fill and the money they produce as to have little or no meaning to the young workmen.
Bleakly our youth has been marking time while the clock ticks away its bright years, the good years of plowing and sowing and sweating. They are runners, delayed at the gun. They have lost so much time at the start that only the exceptional can challenge the finish. (4)
…..They have seen people who wanted to work--and could not--and people who did not want to work--and would not--living on the same level of government bounty" (5)"
--- Maxine Davis, The Lost Generation
Any of it sound familiar? There are generally three options when faced with class consciousness. Keep telling everyone that it'll get better, redefine success, or violent revolution. I would hope that if there is a revolution that it won't be violent. But at this stage in our country's troubles, something has to happen. Occupy Wallstreet, Tea Party groups, recession, wars....there's a lot going on. Nobody knows the future--but we do make the future, one decision at a time. And for godsakes people, if you can't afford something do not buy/lease it. We all need to stay within our means, and that goes for the country itself. Be accountable. Alright, signing off. Have a lovely evening.