Archive for the ‘Life Experiments’ Category

Alpha Bitch Update: Progress!

To those of you who know of my problems with my dog Evee from an earlier post, I thought I may want to give you a positive update!  It’s actually been going really well these last couple weeks through a consistent effort from both me and my husband.  So, what have been doing differently? Read more…


Being an Alpha (Bitch) Leader

June 25, 2011 1 comment

For those of you who know me in real life, most of you know that my dog Evee is one of the most important things in it.  She is the first dog I’ve had as an adult, and though I love her beyond words, she has been an utter handful.  Her previous owners, acquaintances of ours, had not done a good job of socializing her with people and other dogs when she was a puppy, and we have been dealing with consequences of their bad training.  It does not help that no one is with her for 10+ hours per day recently, and let’s just say  — someone thinks she’s leader of the pack  and has an incredibly strong body, sharp teeth, and piercing claws to go with it…her ancestors are wolves, you know!

When we first got her, my husband and I tried to do our best of balancing training/discipline with having fun with being in our family.  However, a slew of bad luck which resulted in an injury made my greyhound/lab mix sort of crazy making me feel that instead of starting from square one with her, I’m starting at square -99.  Evee is smart and highly trainable but fixing bad habits has been an issue.

To give you an idea, these are the commands Evee knows Read more…

Stress has turned me into a giant pear.

June 22, 2011 2 comments

What a title to break the hiatus!

But it’s all true…sadly, sadly true.

So, some background: ever since puberty, I’ve been the thankful beneficiary of an hourglass figure: developed chest, a waist that goes indents, followed by a round butt.  It would probably look even better if I were half a foot taller, but I’ve been grateful that I at least had that going for me.  For the shoddy genetics random die generator cast to me, I was almost proud of these features.  It didn’t matter when I was a size 6 or a size 12 because I managed to maintain the hourglass figure (that said, it always looked better as a 6 instead of a 12).  And I think like most people, I took these gifts for granted. Read more…

I can see clearly now! (My experience getting LASIK Eye Surgery)

When I was in the fourth grade, my father took a day off of work and took the whole family to NYC where he liked to get his eyes checked (it took him years to stop this tradition as it was a pain).  What made that trip different from all the other times we had to go up there before was that it was the first time I needed glasses.  Figures, right?  The nerdy little girl needed glasses, probably from reading books all day.  Because I was the little nerd child that stereotypes told me to be, I was slightly excited.  I thought I was being inducted into some group of smart people as every member in my family had glasses so therefore, I would be smart like them.  Except, then the unthinkable happened…

That (a**hole) optometrist had the bright idea of recommending BIFOCALS.  To an EIGHT YEAR OLD.

Are you freaking kidding me?

I was not lucky enough to get progressives, so instead of being called four eyes, I was called six eyes mercilessly for years.  Eventually my parents settled with an optometrist closer to home who quickly called that previous eye doctor an idiot and I got normal glasses from that point.  Eventually, I moved to contact lenses (in fact, I had to if I wanted to carry out any experiment that required a microscope for longer than five minutes), and just dealt with being someone who needed some type of corrected vision.  I remember reading in my six eyed years about a new procedure called LASIK and told myself: “when I grow up, I’m going to get LASIK.”  Even as a child, I knew I wanted to wait until the technology had to be truly tested (this was the early 90s after all), and I waited patiently.  For almost the past five years, my optometrists told me that I was a perfect candidate for LASIK and when I could afford it, I should go for the plunge.

Plunge, I have.

Read more…

2011 Resolutions!

January 14, 2011 Leave a comment

First resolution — blog more!  In my defense, it’s been crazy.  We got a puppy, our other dog started to not feel well, my husband is as infuriating as ever, helping students has been tiresome (th0ugh rewarding), there was a car accident, and don’t forget science!  There have been good reasons, but blogging is therapeutic and it’s helpful for my small but loyal audience as well.  (And I have even have a new category: Stories of Poo!  Yes, my friends.  I have two dogs now, so I deal with a lot of poo, and I will be using the Internets to record the more fragrant moments.)

On to the resolutions!

  1. Blog more (duh, I just talked about that) and read more.  Actually, I read a massive amount compared to most people when it comes to newspapers or daily news.  On the other hand, I stopped reading fiction almost as far back as high school and that’s not good either.  I got a nook now, so I would like to read some of these more popular fiction books.  Am I going to read Dan Brown…::shudder::….maybe or maybe the “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” that everyone is talking about?  I hope to fill this hole sooner than later.
  2. Succeed at science and don’t give up on the project I’ve worked on for five years!  (Trust me, I’ve given up on this whole Ph.D. thing around 10x/day at one point.  I need to spell it out at this point).
  3. Clean and DECLUTTER more!  My absolute favorite gift this year for my birthday was getting an awesome cleaning lady.  Seriously, this women is Mr. Clean reincarnated (but clearly with deceptively strong arms).  We’re debating about having her come once or twice a month, but with her picking up the slack for me (well, it’s not like I’m futzing around — I just don’t have the time I used to for cleaning  because most of my time is spent doing science, exercising, or teaching now).  I’m not an inherently messy person in that I will put something back where it’s supposed to go, but when I don’t have a place for something, I run into some problems.  So, I’m going to plan and dump the money necessary to organize my home and life.
  4. Keep On Exercising!  Well, a couple specific resolutions…
    1. Find your inner runner and run  5K this year.  I wish I could run, but my body does not care for it.  I really changed up my workouts last year and made a real push towards sculpting workouts like the Bar Method.  I also really embraced Plyo and found a renewed love for kickboxing after Turbofire.  So, running is my goal this year.
    2. Do another round of STS.  Shouldn’t be hard to follow, but it definitely keeps me honest.
    3. Lose 20lbs.  I know, it’s huge, right?  But take this into account: I gained 15lbs this past year.  Seriously, I was about 5lbs away from my average high school weight and then what did I do?  I gained 15lbs!  Ideally, I would love to lose 25lbs, but I’ll totally settle for the 20lbs.
    4. Complete another month of The Bar Method.  This goal has more to do with scheduling, as I’ve already prepaid for the month.  Frankly, I would rather have gotten 50 classes for cheap so I could go to it once a week instead of 3-4x/ week, because I get a little bored/burned out after a point.  However, I suppose they are not marketing for cheap people like me.
    5. Get on the bike!  I have a cool bike!  I want to use it.  So there!
    6. Learn how to rollerblade.  I’ve put this particular goal a bunch of times on my list, and I always fail to do it.  Maybe this year will be different.
    7. Kinect!! I got a Kinect this year and it’s pretty cool.  I like the Your Shape Evolved game (with the exception of the multitude of lunges my Nivea program makes me do) a lot and it might be a better way to use my Xbox 360 time instead of playing Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (which is still awesome).
    8. Tackle my hardest DVDs: Mostly Intensity, Imax3, Hardcore Extreme, Terminator, and other workouts like that.  I don’t like them just sitting on the shelf.
    9. Rotate and adjust  my workout goals.  I want to keep on shocking the body…circuits, STS, barre, you name it!  And I get bored easily, so it’s good to keep me challenged.
  5. Get Healthier!
    1. Get enough sleep!! In an ideal world, I would be done with my workout and made up for work before 7 or 8a.  The only way that’s going to happen is if I manage to sleep more hours and more consistently.
    2. Count calories. I use (now bought out by Livestrong) and it had kept me accountable before.  I’ve been trying with the New Year “reset” — we’ll see how consistent I am.
    3. Stretch and yoga.  I’m so inflexible it’s not even funny.  Flexibility is just as important as cardio and resistance training, and just because I don’t like it as much as the others doesn’t mean I should avoid it — in fact, I should use it to motivate me!  I often use challenges that seem hard to make me work at it every day.
    4. When I fall off, get right back on the horse.  One bad day doesn’t need to mean two or three or a week.  Take it one day at a time.
    5. Feel like hot shit, not shit. Mostly this is a note to take care of my skin, hair, and teeth.  I have found great products for my skin, but I’m still looking for the ideal product for my hair (though I am concerned I may need the hair transplant surgery after all).  This year is going to be racked up with painful dental bills for sure, but I don’t think I can put off this crown any longer.  And of course, I need to stop dressing like a bum.  I look nice maybe 2-3x/week at work, and I need to up that number.
    6. Stress less. Yeah, we’ll see how well that one works.
    7. Make healthier dishes. I like to cook, this is more about finding recipes I want to try and making time for it.  I get spoiled with my quick and yummy dishes (which are healthy, too) that only require my wok or pressure cooker.  When you can make a meal in less than 10-15 mins when you get home, why try a new recipe that may take an hour (especially when you’re famished)?
    8. Eat less processed foods.  I don’t think I can fully afford to go completely organic, but I can try to cut down on the processed stuff.
  6. Read more and specifically fiction. I realized very recently that I have not read a fiction for my own pleasure since high school with the exception of one book (The Art of Racing in the Rain).  In fact, when I did get to read for pleasure after high school, I had a strong desire to read mostly nonfiction…but even my nonfiction has gone off the map.  Mind you, I still read newspapers voraciously, but not so much on the novels or magazines.  For my birthday this year, I got a Nook, so I wish to fully capitalize on it.
  7. See more friends. I have some really interesting and nice people in my life, and a lot more people should be in it as well.  My life has been pretty much lab and students with little else.  Now, exercise still comes first, and I’m aware of the big chunk that may take out of the “free time” in the day, but there have to be ways to get some stuff done in my free time with friends, like trying new recipes with them.
  8. Work on my home. This project took a backseat in 2010.  Ideally, 2011 is the year I really get my garden going, and my home filled.  We did make some strides, including painting our bathroom and our third bedroom (which we will have to paint again) and get new carpet put into the third bedroom (which is why we need to paint that room again) and getting furniture for our dining room.  My biggest victory was restoring the drawers in our hallway completely, but it’s overshadowed by the fact that the cabinet doors are still sitting in the garage.  It’s true that my biggest stymie in all these projects is my husband, who is lazy and does not have a sense of pride when it comes to his home, but I’d like to think he’ll start taking initiative just because it’s important to me (and if he doesn’t actually help me this year, I’m just going to pay other people to do it for me).
  9. Help my dogs out.  Both my Evee and my Hanu need me, but in different ways.  I’m not sure how I’ll be able to help them out with my time restraints, but it does need to be a higher priority.
  10. Be more resilient.  I used to never let stuff get me down.  It’s been a hard run this last couple years, but if I want out, I need to propel my fat ass forward.  In science, in life, and in my heart.  Make 2011 count.

Ok, what are your resolutions for the year?

Intro to Greening Your Life

February 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Living in Lala land, it’s hard not to be swept up by the green revolution (not the Iranian one) in every day households.  My husband has rather sensitive skin and being on the other side of the melanin spectrum as myself, I’ve been more aware of what we (read: me) need to do around the house to have a safe and healthy environment.  It’s become pretty clear to me that the “greening” your home can be more than just the new chic thing to do but a means to a healthier lifestyle.  In the US, the green market seems to be the next exploding niche market — it’s hard to go into Costco or Target like store without being smacked with “natural,” “green,” or “organic.”  And when I do go into those stores, I have to take a deep breath and muddle through the information because I know that some are being honest and truthful, but some are unnecessary anddownright misleading.  Tackling this subject would take many, many posts (which I hope to do one day) but the first step is realizing that there is muck you have to tread through. Some of that muck includes downright mislabeling of products (really, what does natural mean?), omission of ingredients (so, if it’s 70% organic, what about the other 30%?), hyping of certain chemicals (ok, a chemical that your floors and feet can handle probably isn’t good for you to be washing your private parts with and I was never intending on that that anyway), or how responsible is  a company and their credentials (wow!  you got the backing of the Sierra Club after…you…gave…them a masssive…amount…of money?)  So, I’ve decided to write down some of my findings that I’ve come across in the past year and those that I will be coming by in the future.  I’m by no means a hippie-granola type but someone who wants to figure out what can work best, what is worth it’s value, and who are the real boogie men in a green world FOR YOU since everyone has difference sensitivities.  Expect posts about specific products, companies, upcycling projects, and anything else I can think of!  And as always, please feel free to tell me what you wish for me to research.

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Learning to recharge

January 18, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m not the kind of person who takes vacations.  Even when I have the opportunity, I usually feel bad for not accomplishing enough at lab.  During the winter break, I bring it down a couple notches, but this year, I was plagued with a stomach virus and a nasty, nasty cold.  I tried to work whenever I could physically move, but that ended up being a critical error, as I made mistakes, lost science, and just got generally pushed to the brink in my work.

I was told by many people that I needed to take a break, and this weekend, I thought I would listen to them.  It hasn’t worked out the way I planned, though.  I’m still suffering from insomnia terribly — when Ambien isn’t working, there’s a problem — and I’ve managed to go to bed angry the last two nights.  So today, after being unsuccessful in my usual “Carpe Diem” Sunday mentality, I’m trying to “chillax” my way to sleep.  So far, I have been playing beautiful music by Chopin, drinking herbal tea, and enjoying my evening skin regimen.  (I must say, the regimen is a lot nicer ever since I switched to the organic brand “ilike”.)  I also popped in two pills — melatonin and diphenhydramine.  I hope to not rely on either even by tomorrow, but we’ll see.

As I try to envision a happier day tomorrow, I’m focusing on a kick ass circuit workout (either Imax Extreme or the Viper or Body Max 2) and a trip to the spa.  These goals are the two things I have in mind, and they’re things I enjoy to do, so I’m hoping I’ll come through on them.  I do have a myriad of other little things I need to get done, but they are to be done AFTER I get my workout and spa trip in.  I’ll report in tomorrow with my progress/accomplishments.  🙂