World, Meet Lander!

On Sunday, my boyfriend and I decided to finally go to Pet Smart and pick up a new tank for our fish. He’s been living in a relatively good sized tank for about 8 months now, but we were told a while back that he needed one that had a filter so he would stop sucking the air from the top. Apparently, when fish suck the air from the top of their tanks, it can cause them to bloat, which can eventually kill them 🙁

I know what you’re thinking: it’s a fish! Well, he’s our fish and we love him like part of our little family, so we decided to get the tank.

As we were walking into the store, Eric turns to me and says, “I think we should adopt a cat. What are the odds that we see one in here that we love, that’s been fixed and given his or her shots?” I laughed it off because that idea seemed too good to be true.

When we walked in, Eric started to drift towards the cat display like he always does and I followed because there is nothing better than fuzzy cats. We were both surprised to see that there was some sort of adoption expo happening at Pet Smart that day, which meant more cute, fuzzy cats to enjoy. We came across one cage with two cats inside, one of them sleeping and I joked to Eric that I wanted to take him home.

One thing led to another and before I knew it, we were signing adoption papers and buying litter boxes and cat food. Sidenote, our cat was neutered and had all of his shots. It was fate!

So now, I’d like to introduce everyone to Lander!

Sleepy guy

I love his eyes!

Lazy Lander

He LOVES sleeping in Eric’s sock drawer!

Sleeping again!

He loves my computer!

He is such a great cat! He came potty trained and is totally into cuddling. As you can tell, he sleeps a lot too. Eric and I were pretty worried about the amount he spent sleeping and his disinterest in playing with his toys, so I took him to the vet to make sure everything was okay with him. The vet said he was running a fever! He put Lander on antiobiotics and said that he should start perking up within the next day or two.

Poor guy, no wonder he’s so exhausted. I’m hoping by next week that he’s chasing his catnip mouse around the apartment and feeling back to his normal self.

Oh, I bet you’re wondering if we forgot the fish tank. Of course we didn’t! We bought him the coolest tank ever.

It has to be plugged in because of the filter. Don’t worry, it’s got a top on it so Lander doesn’t try to eat him!

Now that I’ve got a cat, you can expect to see a TON of pictures of him. I’ve officially become a cat lady!

I hope everyone’s first week of classes is going well!

It’s That Time…Again.

School is coming back on Monday! Am I excited? Meh.

This picture sums up how I feel. I’d much rather do this for another two weeks:

I am just really enjoying my pajamas, I cannot lie. I don’t really feel ready to get dressed every day, check my emails hourly, and stress out about papers again.

Then I remember:  THIS IS MY LAST SEMESTER IN COLLEGE!!

It really helps make the upcoming semester more enticing.

I haven’t really started thinking about what exactly it will mean to be done with college after four more months. While it’s exciting, it’s also kind of sad/scary. The end of school is the end of an era. It means no more:

  • syllabi telling me how to spend my evenings
  • expensive book purchases
  • dropping all engagements at the drop of a hat to be on campus
  • late nights in the library or at home, laughing deliriously with friends who are working on the same assignments…

I can’t really think of anything else right now. I think, in part, because I realize that those things I’ve listed above will be factors in whatever job I land. If I teach, my syllabus will definitely govern how I spend my evenings. While I won’t be the one who has to jump through the hoops anymore and write the papers, I still have to read them and understand the material I assign enough to explain it to my students.

But the book purchases? Oh, I won’t miss those at all!

I will miss the late nights with my friends, though. I have made some wonderful memories with great people and it will be strange not to work with them every week.

So, what is everyone taking this semester??

I’m taking three classes, well four if you count the one-unit course I enrolled in:

  • Practicum in Teaching (1 unit)
  • TESOL theory (3 units)
  • Practicum (3 units)
  • Internship in English (3 units)

Should be a pretty busy semester, but the good news is, I’m not working, so I will be able to focus my time on finishing strong. I will be tutoring, but that’s something I have added into my internship requirement. The internship will also focus a lot on the research I am doing in my practicum class, so I can knock out two birds with one stone. I just don’t really know where to start.

To end the winter break, I am going to run a 10K on saturday, then put on my sweats and sit on my couch reading and watching movies.

I hope everyone has a good rest of the week off!

Miles on the Road

During the winter break, I have made a point to put in miles on the road with my team, training for the Modesto Marathon. I have ran two 10 mile days with them and then another day I did 12 with some girls from my team.  It has been so fun! I love running so much. It has really become a sort of meditation for me; it gives me a space where time can FINALLY slow down for an hour or so and I can focus on myself and something I enjoy.

We all know as college students how difficult it can be to find a balance between who we are as students and who we are as people. Sometimes the two seem interchangeable, at least to me. I have a hard time asking myself what I need (and listening to that voice after I have asked it), but with running, I feel like I am making up for some of that.

It’s been a true blessing to be surrounded by the positivity on my team. I honestly don’t think I would have been able to come as far as I have without their encouragement. I like running on my own, but on the days when I get to run with them, I feel like I am so much stronger.

Last week, we went out to Knights Ferry and I was supposed to run 16 miles with my friend, Becky. We were doing really great until mile 8 when I started to notice that my knee was hurting. I told Becky and she stopped with me. She encouraged me to walk, even though I really wanted to finish. In the end, she along with other member’s of the team convinced me that stopping at mile 8 was the best thing for my body if I wanted to prevent injury. I was kind of bummed because I couldn’t finish, but they were so helpful and encouraging that I felt a lot better after the initial disappointment wore off.

I’m glad they encouraged me to stop because I think I could have seriously injured myself.

Now, my knee is almost back to feeling 100%, which I am thankful for because training for the marathon can start back up again.

I have been worried about what school will do to my running, but I have learned that I have control over how much time I want to dedicate to something.

This semester, I am making time for myself, which means that I will continue to run. I don’t want to allow all of the assignments and stress to take over like they did last semester with no payoff in terms of a break. It’s crucial to learn balance and I think the best time to start practicing is now, before I graduate and start working full time.

What do you do to remind yourself that you’re human, not school-bot?

 

Why You Should Listen to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Ryan Lewis (left), Macklemore (right)

Have you heard the song “Thrift Shop” with the catchy beat and funny lyrics? What about the more poignant track “Same Love”? If you haven’t heard of either, you should go to YouTube and listen and then iTunes to buy the debut full-length album “The Heist” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

Why?

Because they are awesome. I have never been this excited about hip-hop and the direction it’s heading in until now. For starters, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are openly for same-sex marriage, which in the hip-hop community is a very big deal because a fair amount of rap lyrics tend to be homophobic. To come out for same-sex marriage in the hip-hop community is HUGE. It takes bravery and shows that times are really a’changing.  I respect it. So does Ellen DeGeneres, which is why she featured them on her show a couple of months ago:

http://youtu.be/G3RbSuDANG4

One thing that has always kept me from really listening to rap unless I’m at a party or the gym, is how superficial it has become. Rappers talk about how much money they have and what they are going to buy with all the money and the songs sometimes tend to disrespect women every other lyric. While I understand that some rappers have really important things to say, I don’t like having to sit through a lot of offensive moments in a song just to get to the really important message, which is one reason I won’t listen to Lil Wayne if I have a choice. After a while, it just becomes generic and stops feeling like art.

“The Heist”, on the other hand,  was written with heart and intent. It’s about a journey, not  the superficial rewards that are earned when that journey reaches its destination.  Although it isn’t free of cussing, the use of those words don’t overshadow the story being told.

I’m just so thrilled by this album, it’s a long time in the making. While it was being recorded, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis toured constantly and built up a massive following, which led to the album debuting at number 1 on iTunes.

When I do my long runs on Saturdays with my running team, “The Heist” is what constantly plays in my ears. I especially love track number 2 “Can’t Hold Us”, number 11 “Wing$” and number 14 “Starting Over”.

I highly recommend this album and all that it stands for. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are the new players in hip-hop and they are changing the entire game.

Sick.

The one time I decide to open my big mouth and say “I don’t need a flu shot, I mean, I haven’t been sick in almost 14 months” is the time that I get sick. I should have known better than to say anything like that out loud. My mom gave me a knowing look as though to tell me that this time would be the exception.

When I started to feel the tiredness set in, I didn’t even want to call her because I knew she would laugh a little and tell me I should have gotten my flu shot. She didn’t because she’s nice, but I bet she was thinking it 🙂

On Tuesday around 2am I woke up feeling sore. My throat hurt mildly and I just felt tired. I brushed it off and assumed it was allergies because I get them pretty often. I had my alarm set for 7am to go running before meeting up with my friend. When I woke up for the third time at 4am, I decided I would run later in the day. I didn’t get up until 10am that morning and felt exhausted. I thought it could have been the melatonin I took the night before to help me sleep, so I didn’t think too much of it. I went to see my friend, took my car in to get the tire fixed, and went for a 6 mile run.

That night, I started feeling a little worse. My neck was stiff and swollen and my nose became more congested. I took Mucinex D and went to sleep.

When I woke up on Wednesday, I felt a little worse than Tuesday. I stayed on the couch most of the day until that night when Eric and I went on a date. If you don’t remember, Wednesday was extremely cold and windy. By the time we got home from the movie, things got ugly.

When I woke up on Thursday, I had developed body aches, chills, a cough, runny nose, and a sinus headache. Again, I stayed on the couch all day.

Friday, I decided to go to the doctor as my symptoms had gotten even worse. He said I had all the signs of the flu without the fever, which kept it from being a dangerous sickness. Everyone is so worried right now about the flu because it has been killing people, so doctors are being extra vigilant. I was so thankful to be admitted so quickly after calling on Friday, another reason I love our Health Center on campus. The doctor gave me codeine to help keep the cough at bay while I slept, but told me to just keep taking the Mucinex D, drink tea, eat soup, and sleep.

When I got home, I was so frustrated at not being able to breathe that I googled some home remedies. I found a great one on ehow.com having to do with eucalyptus oil. I just boiled two cups of water, put it in a glass bowl, and put drops of eucalyptus oil in the water.  I hovered over the bowl with a towel on me to enclose the steam and help open my nasal passages. It was so awesome to be able to breathe again (the little things in life matter so much when they are taken away)! Just be careful if you try this at home because it is very strong and can make you cough.

Saturday was about the same. I made this amazing soup to help with my congestion:

I boiled chicken thighs to make the broth and diced up carrots and jalapenos to give flavor. I also used pepper, salt, and cayenne to make it spicy. I added noodles in later that I think I cooked a little too much. Oh well, it was still good.

So that brings us up to now. I just woke up an hour ago from a 13 hour sleep and I am finally starting to feel better. I have alternated between my bed and the couch for the past four days now and have watched a ridiculous amount of Sons of Anarchy (amazing show btw). Now that I am feeling a little better, I decided I should probably get up and blog a little.

I’m planning to take it easy for the rest of the day and not cause myself to get worse. I am going to Turlock tomorrow to finally get a flu shot.

The moral of this blog post: GET YOUR FLU SHOT! With school coming back in two weeks, the amount of germs floating around campus will be overwhelming. If you notice that you are getting any of the symptoms I listed above, make sure to sleep, drink water and orange juice, and go to the Health Center, they are open during winter break. You pay for their services, so use them!

🙂

 

Marathon Training

 

Pretty much me, without the beard.

Remember when I said I started running?

Well, I actually did! I started out doing some light 2 mile runs on the track with my team (Team Challenge), and then from there did some 5K’s, and most recently, I ran 10 miles!! I cannot believe I have stuck with running this long and have covered the distance that I have! I used to think running a mile was torture, but then I pushed past the little voice in my head telling me to stop and I haven’t looked b

Running 10 miles is insane. The first time I ran it was a couple of weeks ago in Knights Ferry. I felt pretty good until mile 8 when my hips started to ache. Luckily, I was running with my friend Becky and she wouldn’t let me stop. Around mile 5 she wanted to turn around and I wouldn’t let her, so she was returning the favor.

Here’s a photo of Becky and I taken minutes after we finished:

WE DID IT!

It felt so great to tackle 10 miles with one of my best friends. I feel like the experiences we have out on the trail are only strengthening our bond!

I ran my second 10 miles at the flat arch 50 in Oakdale! It was really cold and muddy, but I finished with a smile on my face. I’m so thankful that my body has allowed me to take part in the wonderful experience of running, someday I hope to run a 50 mile race.

But before that, I’ve got to make it to the Modesto Marathon in March! I think I’m going to run the full (26.2) since I am already up to running 10 miles. I am just trying not to think about how far 26.2 miles actually is so I don’t psyche myself out!

New Year

Wow, it’s 2013, I can’t believe it! I felt like 2012 flew by.

I’m not going to be able to do a creative post like my fellow blogger, Carrie did on her blog, but I thought I’d do a list to share some of my moments from 2012. I know fellow blogger Sara will be happy with this since she loves lists.

  1. Became a runner
  2. Became a student blogger
  3. Visited my family in Texas
  4. Got published in Penumbra, our campus’ literary magazine
  5. Got a CEGE grant
  6. Turned 25
  7. Moved in with my boyfriend of four years to Modesto
  8. My car got broken into and then I ran into a huge piece of something that fell off of a Diesel truck on the freeway. Fun stuff.
  9. Completed the roughest semester I’ve ever had in college, with straight A’s 🙂
  10. Started tutoring
  11. Edited a now published book

Now here’s a list of stuff I watched in 2012, some good, some bad:

  1. The Hunger Games (definitely awesome)
  2. The Lorax (so cute!)
  3. The Avengers (awesome)
  4. The Lucky One
  5. Revenge (awesome tv show)
  6. Magic Mike (umm…so bad)
  7. Drop Dead Diva (love this show and it’s great message)
  8. The Walking Dead (OMG this show is amazing)
  9. Breaking Dawn Pt. 2 (so good, I’m sad it’s over)
  10. Scandal (great show)
  11. The Dark Knight Rises (so good, I need to rewatch it)
  12. Sons of Anarchy (Amazing)
  13. Looper (hmm, kind of weird)
  14. Resident Evil 5 (gigantic waste of time)
  15. Total Recall (awesome movie)

I am sure I watched a lot more than I listed, but those are the ones I remember. As you can see, I watched a lot of good stuff this year, lol.

As for books, I didn’t read very much other than textbooks. I did get to the Hunger Games trilogy, the first two books of the dragon tattoo trilogy, something borrowed and something blue. I vow to read more in 2013!

Hope you had a great (and safe) New Year’s Eve. Happy New Year!