Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I am getting closer to my goals already. For review:
1) Get my PhD
My dissertation proposal went well. My advisor said that it was the best presentation he has seen me give, and that I was the expert in the room. I have a few small changes to make before I can conduct my study.
Side Note - It's funny how surprised my family is that I actually have to do "an experiment"... it's like - DUH. I'm going to school to be a SCIENTIST. Yes, I have to know how conduct a study! Anyway, after my changes are made, I can submit my study to the human subjects committee (so many committees) for approval. When I have approval, I can collect my data. As in, experiment on people, in case you are like my family and have no idea what I have been going to school for, for the PAST 6 YEARS. Here is the PhD robe for WSU that I will wear for commencement:
2) Find a (real) job.
The second school I had a phone interview with, which is in Massachusetts, has been calling my references because they would like to invite me for an on-campus interview. I still haven't heard from them, but I'm sure my references didn't say anything bad about me. I'm hoping to hear from them soon, and going to my first on-campus interview! Still applying to schools though. I applied to one of my top schools today, and another top school a few days ago.
Side note - Friday I am going shopping with my aunt to look for suits and maybe some new shoes, since I don't have much in the way of dress shoes. I currently teach in black Converse One-Stars.
3) Wear a bikini and not die of embarrassment.
Well, I'm still not in a bikini, but I have been working toward one. I've lost about 4 lbs in the past week and a half (much of it was Christmas bloat, I am sure). On Saturday I went on the stair climber while I read my dissertation proposal, for 37.5 minutes. I was always scared of it. I thought I'd be sore, but I wasn't at all. Today I went to yoga, and really pushed myself. I'm also eating within my calorie range, or close to it.
I want a skull bikini:
4) Run my first 10K.
Ok, I haven't been running, I've been busy and it's cold. The 10K is on April 30th. Which means I will need about 12 weeks to train - so I have to start in February. It's still winter here till April, FYI. I hate Michigan.
5) Warrior dash.
I am all registered up. I'm starting to work on building up my core (with yoga), and worrying about some upper-body strength training (my legs are solid from running). I have 6 months to train to be a warrior!
6) Get rid of pit-stained clothes that I still wear.
I'm starting to get some new clothes, and I haven't been wearing my old clothes. I think I'm getting to the point where I can get rid of them, but I haven't had the heart to do it yet. I have had some of those clothes for like 8 years. They're like children that you keep in the closet and don't feed. Hehehe... But... time to buy NEW CLOTHES!!! NEW SHOES!!! MAKEOVER!!!
I also really need new contacts - I am always getting headaches and squinting. And I need my perm to get redone. And I need to have my hair dyed. It truly is time for a make-over.
7) Defeat my nemeses.
Not much has changed, except that I proposed my dissertation. I will be finishing sooner than Darth Vader's students, time-wise. And it looks like I will get a good job without a post doctoral fellowship. So meh!
My husband's ex-wife still exists, and she is still thinner and prettier than I am. This week the thought of being fatter than her kept me from eating pizza for all of 15 seconds, until I remembered that I love pizza more than I hate her. Oh well. :)
Crazy Donna is still crazy, and talking to herself in multiple voices. Glad she's not my problem anymore.
8) Point and laugh.
I'm not quite there yet.
My New Year's Resolutions aren't really resolutions... they're more like goals that I set for myself. I guess I will update them as time goes on. I think these are nicer than be-all-end-all
"I'll never drink coffee again!" statements. I thinking working towards a goal is a lot easier to handle than a prohibition or a forever promise.
Here's some pictures:
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Well, the new year is hear. I made some resolutions, which I posted on Facebook.
My resolutions for 2011:
1) Get my Ph-f-ing-D, damn it.
My dissertation proposal date is set for Monday, January 10th. After I propose, I have to get approval to conduct my study from the human subjects committee. Then I have to put the questionnaires online and collect my data. Then I have to analyze my data. Then I have to write up my results. Then I have to defend my dissertation. Then I will be Dr. Beechnut13. This is totally do-able by August, probably do-able by July, likely do-able by June and possibly do-able by May. It depends on how smoothly things go, and how quickly I work when I am in control.
2) Find a (real) job.
So far, I have applied for 19 positions. I have gotten phone interviews for 2 of them, and I have gotten invited for an on-campus interview with another (I withdrew my application, because they need someone to start in a couple weeks). I still have about 10 schools I am still applying to. There are 2 schools in the Detroit area which I am applying to, but I'm not really keen on either one. But I do have a house that would be super-cheap to buy, and my family is here. But... I am sick of living in Detroit. And even the suburbs are starting to get extra-ghetto-trashy. And I hate winter. I will treat these schools in Detroit like schools elsewhere - they get a chance, but no promises for me to keep. The process is a lot of work - each application requires a few hours of attention. If I get a phone interview, then there's prep for that. I haven't had an on-campus interview yet, but the prospect both excites and terrifies me. I wouldn't want to screw it up, but I am scared of talking to people who are evaluating me - it makes me squirrely. I also need to buy some suits, some new shoes, and some decent clothes. And make a job talk. All of this scares me.
3) Wear a bikini and not die of embarrassment.
It's been the banner on my SparkPage for a long time. I want to be in a bikini this coming summer, and not die of embarrassment. I was doing well for awhile, till Halloween. I have set myself back. But I'm not out for the count yet! I am resolved to seeing this happen this year. Thirty is the year I wear a bikini. I'm sick of wasting my life feeling ashamed of myself. I deserve better: I deserve to be able to dress scantily if I so choose.
4) Run my first 10K.
I am running in the Festival of Races, in a half-marathon relay (so I will be running a quarter of a marathon, which is about 10K). That race is on April 30th, so I really need to do some more training... I am also helping out with the running class as a pace runner. How crazy is that, and how far I have come!
5) Warrior dash.
JAYNINNE is running this with me. It's going to be awesome, and I'm looking forward to it.
It's a 3.3 mile run with 12 obstacles, like rope ladders and jumping over fire. You get a shirt and a warrior helmet, and a medal for participating. I am excited to be a warrior. The link takes you to a video and it looks pretty fun and crazy.
6) Get rid of pit-stained clothes that I still wear.
All of my clothes are old and out-dated. And pit-stained. But I still keep them. I'm working on getting some newer clothes, which is fun when you're losing weight. Discouraging when you're not. I also need some newer clothes for job interviews. And dress shoes. And shoes that fit that aren't running shoes. I got some Christmas money, and I desperately need new clothes and shoes, in addition to new contacts.
7) Defeat my nemeses.
I have several.
First is Darth Vader, who made my cry at my academic probation meeting (because I wasn't progressing fast enough, even though I am still progressing faster than her students). She will see me finish my degree in less time than any of her students. She will see me get a good job without a post doc. And she can suck it. Whatever it is.
Second is Megan, my husband's ex-wife.
She is thin and pretty, which just compounds my loathing for her ten-fold. I must defeat her in every way possible. I am crazy, because I have this stupid internal competition with her, even though she probably doesn't give a flying frick about anything that I do, or who I am. She is likely occasionally envious that I am raising Halen, but if she knew anything about him, she would realize that he is a big pain in the butt and would probably be relieved instead. Anyway, when I am running and I am tired and want to give up, I remember her and what I am fighting for: a smaller, tighter a$$. I am well-educated, responsible, and loyal - things she is not. And things which aren't valued in females compared to beauty and figure. But she took what I had wanted and threw it aside. Airin would have tried for her, because she was pretty, and the only reason I have him now is because she was such a b*tch for SO LONG. He loved her, and forgot me for years. I am jealous and stupid. I will defeat her for revenge, and to feel validated. As psychologically unhealthy as it may be, I must come to terms with it. Good girls can be pretty too, goddess damn it. I will be thin, even if it is just to spite her, if it keeps me going a little longer on that boring treadmill, or on frigid winter runs.
Third is the crazy (for real) woman who lived downstairs from me at the condo. My uncle lives in my condo now, and he is a big loud scary police officer, who works at the prison in Detroit. He tortures the h*ll out of her, and it makes me very happy. She is a low-maintenance nemesis.
8) Point and laugh.
The best part of defeating your nemeses.
I recently watched the anime series Claymore, which is based on the manga by the same name (which I really would like to read). It is... wonderful, the best anime I have ever seen. I recently watched it a second time. Anyway, the protagonist, Clare, focuses all of her energy and becomes very powerful - painfully vague, I'm sorry. But for the purposes here, that is all I need. I think of her, even though she is fictional, to help push me a little harder. She pushes herself to her limits, and keeps surprising herself as to how far she can go.
Sunday, January 02, 2011
Well... I got on the scale today, and I weigh 176 lbs... I gained about 8 lbs over the past 2 months. I can feel it in my clothes - my pants are so much tighter. I can see it in my face. I hate it, and I am so mad...
But - I kept working out the entire time. I still have my 90 minutes/week of exercise streak going - I think I'm almost to 40 weeks. I'm pretty impressed with myself for keeping it up that long. Just think of how fat I could have gotten if I hadn't been exercising regularly-ish.
Anyway... it's the beginning of a new year. It's the beginning of a new semester. More importantly, it's the END OF THE HOLIDAYS. From Halloween through Christmas, it's just eat eat eat eat eat... chomp chomp chomp. I'm relieved those days are over. I'm still craving the candy - it's so addictive - but those cravings will go away, and I'll be able to enjoy a little square of Mom chocolate every night if I want it, like I did before.
I am going to work on my goals tomorrow - what goals I would like to set for the next several months. And I need to update my vision collage. And I need to put in writing what I plan to do, and how I plan to do it. There are lots of things I want to and need to accomplish over the next several months. It's going to take endurance, it's going to take focus, it's going to take sweat and tears (not blood though, hopefully...).
I want to blog more too.
I wanted to post a picture of Avery and I but I have double chins in all of them, so you have to wait till I can find one where I don't look nasty.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
I feel like I'm being pulled in so many directions...
It looks like my dissertation proposal will be around January 10th or so. I have to e-mail my committee members to set that date and time. Then I can submit paperwork to the human subjects committee to get approval, put my questionnaires online, collect my data, analyze it, write up the results and defend my dissertation. As soon as possible. Because...
Last Monday I got a call from another school - Bridgewater University in Massachusetts. I had a phone interview with them the next morning, and it went well. Then that night, I got a call from Capitol Community College in Hartford, Connecticut for an on-campus interview. They would have wanted me to start working on January 21st though, so I withdrew my application. I have 2 classes I am teaching here, and I am finishing my dissertation. That must happen, and I am focusing my energy on finishing it. I also got my first rejection letter that day, from Pacific University in Oregon. I am going to make a project with my rejection letters, and perhaps a bit of a photo blog, to commemorate the experience. I am going to get lots of rejection letters, and it's OK. Some schools are interested in me, and that makes me feel good, relieved, happy... I still haven't heard from the 2 school I had phone interviews with about on campus interviews, but I am optimistic. Someone is going to want me, somewhere.
Having my sister-in-law here was fun! I missed her so much. She was unable to run when she was in Mexico, because it was dangerous there with all the drug cartel fighting. It's so weird what the media decides to focus on, and what it chooses to ignore. But she is home now, and she is safe, and we are all relieved. She heard a lot of gun fire, and she was basically a prisoner in her apartment for months. She put on weight, and is unhappy about it. She weighs about what I weigh now, but she still looks great. She has a lot of muscle. And the weight she put on while she was pretty much confined to her apartment will fall off quickly. I wish I looked as good at my weight as she does! Hahhahaha...
And then I am pulled by my kids. Avery is as easy as ever, although now he has a house full of toys, and they pretty much explode out of his bedroom as soon as I put them away. He got SO MANY TOYS. We have nowhere to put them all! I had thought Halen was doing well, but he has been very naughty lately after all. Last week, he was too lazy to wipe his butt and poop fell out of his pajama pants onto the hallway floor, which he then stepped in. I was so angry. The next night I found a pair of underwear in the laundry that was pretty much encrusted with feces. HE'S TEN YEARS OLD!!! Ugh, disgusting. And he doesn't care, he only cares that he gets caught. And then we got an e-mail from his teacher - he has been crying at the drop of a dime again. He doesn't like an assignment and he cries. Something doesn't go his way and he cries. I hate it. The teacher asked for any advice - usually we can take care of a problem fairly easily. But I told her the truth: there is nothing we can do.
I was so disappointed... I thought things were better. We had just picked up two baby rats for him for Christmas, since he was so responsible now... and I had wrapped up all the Nintendo DS games he had lost, to give them back to him for Christmas because he had made such huge improvements at school, and with his behavior. But once again I realized that we were wrong... and I do feel so hopeless, like there is nothing I can do. Airin doesn't understand why I get so upset when he does stuff... I don't understand how he can be so unaffected. It is upsetting to me when he doesn't wipe his own butt and gets poop on my floor, or wets the bed and doesn't bother changing the sheets, or throws tantrums at school and disrupts the class and the teacher has to e-mail me to see if something is happening, etc... how can you NOT be upset by this!?
Megan would not be upset. Megan wouldn't care. She wouldn't notice the poop, she wouldn't care about the tantrums. And I see now that with time, I am raising Megan - someone who is manipulative and flies off the handle at every little thing. Airin has said before, that there was never discussion if they disagreed - she would just scream and yell. And she lived in the moment with her risk-taking behaviors - do whatever she damn well pleased. And the older Halen gets, the more I see - this is not a developmental bump or a phase he's going through - he has always been this way, and he will always be this way. And there is nothing I can do to stop it or help him. It doesn't matter if I am kind and understanding, if I try to help him, if I take things away, if I am strict, if I yell or scream or be honest with him and ask him why he does it, or whatever... he does it anyway. We are hopeless... he is a little Megan. He looks like her, he has her personality, her selfishness...
And I feel so awful for saying it, but it had to be said, and so I finally told Airin. I am done. I can't do it anymore. He is not mine, but I took him in as my own. I have tried for years, but to no avail. I only take care of him out of duty now, I can't even stand to have him around. He makes me miserable, bitter and hateful, and that isn't me. I was a happy person, a warm person, and I liked to have fun and hug and all that. And now I am a hollow person, an angry person, and I hate myself. I feel like a failure. I tried to be the mother he didn't have, and instead I'm a cold and nasty person he could do without. He is better without me, and I am better without him. And I don't want to spend the next 8 years living like this.
Airin didn't take me seriously. He never does. He would assume pretend everything is fine. Well, everything is not fine. When I said "Halen needs to go", he didn't believe me. He probably thought I was just upset. No, Airin, I have been upset for years. I only try for Airin, but it's getting to the point where I don't even know myself anymore. I don't give Halen the home he needs. I try, but I feel like a robot, like a liar. Or Airin will say, "Then lets draw up the divorce paperwork". It's like, either I'm just bull-sh*tting him or it's all over. He says "What do you want me to do?" and I say "There is nothing you can do! We have tried for years and it doesn't matter."
But when he is here, I am stressed and I am tense. I cannot have fun when he is here. And that is not a healthy environment for him, and it is not for me. He will eventually realize that everything I do is forced.
I don't understand why he doesn't want to be good - I wanted to make my family happy, my teachers happy - I wanted to be a good girl because they were all so important to me, and I wanted them to feel good and I wanted to feel good, and to get along. I don't understand why he only behaves to avoid punishment. He has no morality, no soul. What is wrong with him? It seems like the only reason he behaves or does the right thing is because he knows that if he steps out of line he will get punished. How can you be that way? What kind of soulless creature lives that way?
Sometimes I want to scream at him - I gave him everything I could. I work so hard for him and our family. AND HE CAN'T EVEN BE BOTHERED WITH WIPING HIS OWN A$$.
This post made me mad. I'm going to yoga this morning, time to get dressed. Maybe later I'll talk about things that don't make me want to throw things and beat my brains out.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
It has been a long time since I've written, but I have had an extremely busy and productive semester.
At the end of October I started applying for faculty positions which start in the fall 2011 semester. It is so time consuming. You have to write a cover letter, which is usually about 2-3 pages, talking about why you should be considered, and selling yourself. Then you have the curriculum vitae, which is the nerd resume, and that's several pages - at least you only have to make it once. I also had to compile my teaching portfolio, evidence of student learning, papers I've written (and published - I'm only 2nd author on one paper that has been published), a research statement, 3 recommendation letters blah blah blah. And different schools want different things, so you end up tailoring your cover letter to each school specifically.
So far the job search is going OK. I am casting a very wide net. I have had one phone interview with a school in Fort Myers, FL (Florida Gulf Coast University). I wanted to scream over the phone "PICK ME!!! PICK ME!!!" They will be calling over the next week or two to schedule on-campus interviews with 4 or 5 candidates, and then hiring 2. I am hoping hoping hoping HOPING DEAR GOD PICK ME!!! that I am one of the lucky ones. It would be nice to A) get a job and not be Dr. Live-In-A-Cardboard-Box, and B) live in Florida!!!
I haven't heard from anyone else yet though, but it's still fairly early. I haven't gotten any rejection letters yet either - but again, it's still fairly early. And I still have about 10 schools I'm applying to over January.
The dissertation... well, that's going OK. I turned in a draft of my dissertation proposal to my committee this week (YES!!! WOOHOO!!!), and now I'm trying to set a proposal date. That's where you present to your dissertation committee what you want to do for your study. I'm using online data collection, so it should go quickly.
No matter if I get a job or not - I am defending my dissertation this year. It feels so good to know that. I AM ALMOST DONE. I am running out of hoops to jump through. I will be Dr. Beechnut soon. It feels so good, because I have been in school for SO LONG.
Outside of academic life...
My sister-in-law is coming in to town today, from Tampico, Mexico. She is leaving because it is so dangerous there. She was complaining about Mexico being cold - she is going to DIE here! Well, by freezing instead of by getting shot by a drug cartel. Anyhoo, I am so excited to see her.
We are throwing her a surprise birthday party today. Her birthday was November 30th, but I cannot remember ever celebrating her birthday with her, because she's always in school, or in some exotic place (Rio, Saipan, Mexico, etc...). I think she'll like the surprise. We bought streamers, and party hats, and special plates. I'm going to make crab cakes (she's a pescetarian) for dinner, and Airin is going to bake her a cake.
Halen (my older boy) has been doing very well at school. He tested off the charts for spelling, he is an excellent reader, and he is in an advanced math group. At home his behavior has also been all right. He still has bouts of OH MY GOD I WANT TO SEND YOU TO LIVE IN THE GARAGE, YOU SATAN SPAWN!!! but overall he has been much improved. Because of this, I talked to my husband about letting him get a pet hamster or gerbil. He asked for one in September, but I said ABSOLUTELY NOT! because he had a fish ("When Sally dies, can I get a hamster?") and because my gerbils that I had were so messy, and he was pretty irresponsible. But his behavior has gotten so much better this year, and his fish DID die (and he was upset about it - at first I wondered if he had killed her off to get a hamster instead).
So, my husband and I went to the pet store to look at the animals they had. The hamsters were cute, but we talked in depth with the manager, and you couldn't keep them with a buddy because they get territorial and kill each other (that's nice...). I tried suggesting rats to my husband, but he kept going "ew." Finally though, I talked him into it.
See, I love rats because I'm a psychologist - so I realize how smart they are, how personable they are, etc... since we work with them (I do not personally, but I have visited them in the rat labs). Airin read on a few sites about how awesome they are, and now he is convinced.
So for Christmas this year... Halen is getting Mario Galaxy 2 (which he will be so excited about - he asked for this), 2 male rats (which we are picking up from a breeder this week), a really big cage, litter, bedding, food and books. The rat gift was so expensive that Airin's grandma had to chip in to help pay for the cage. But I know Halen... he would want to play with his pet, and handle his pet... and you can't play with or handle hamsters or gerbils very much. They bite you and run away. And they're easily squished by 18 month old baby brothers... Rats are like little monkeys, so I think he will enjoy them.
My diet has been pretty bad. I tracked my calories once a couple weeks ago - 2700!!! Holy crap! Anyway, I have put on about 5 lbs since the end of October, which I am not happy about. This week I started tracking again. I haven't been running as much either, because it's gotten cold outside, and it gets dark at like 5PM. I got a gym membership to the Powerhouse that is .45 miles from my home, but I HATE HATE HATE running on a treadmill. I'm waiting to get some winter running gear for Christmas - some long sleeved tech shirts would be nice.
But I have been doing other things at the gym, and since I have been eating too much while exercising, as it turns out I've been building up some muscle! My legs and biceps are both much more muscular than they were. Too bad they are covered with a fatty layer. I can also do the plank for 1 minute, with 3 reps (for 3 minutes total) no problem. I have been going to fitness classes a few times a week. I really really LOVE Zumba. It is so fun! I can just dance and really get in the moment. I also have gone to yoga a couple times, but I'm waiting to get my own mat for Christmas, because the ones at the gym smell like dirty feet. And I can only guess why... and I went to another aerobics class on a Saturday morning, called Body Attack. I thought it would be a kick boxing class, but instead it was just the same boring thing over and over again with slight changes in the moves. It was a good workout, but one of the longer hours of my life.
So, I am trying to get my diet back under control. And I want to start training for 10K's. There is a relay at the end of April that has a half marathon, and you can split it with another person (making it a relay - duh), and I want to do that. So now I need to work up to 6 miles from 3 miles. I don't think it will be too hard, it's just finding the time for the longer runs. And it's cold and nasty. Last Saturday I went out and then I got sick. I think I was getting sick already, because I had a sinus headache for a couple days, but then the run in the cold just pushed me over the edge, and it's put me out for the rest of the week. Well, that and finals and my dissertation.
And finally, I check on Halen's mother's aunt's (sheesh) facebook page every couple weeks, to see if she has posted any pictures of Megan, in case she decides to go batsh!t and start some crap and drives to Michigan to try to kidnap Halen or something. And she posted the other day some pictures of Megan. And it's really unfortunate that my husband's ex-wife is so gorgeous, I must say. She has a perfect body, pretty face (except for her nasty gray teeth - ugh). It kind of sucked to see her looking pretty... I am definitely looking older than 29 lately, what with the lines on my forehead from reading and working on the computer so heavily over the past few years, and the big fat mom butt, and the jiggly arms, etc... and she looks like she could be 21. Of course - she doesn't have a care or responsibility in the world.
But it did help me remember why I am doing all of this - I want to look good, damn it. I deserve this. I do not deserve to feel like a fat piece of crap. I do not want to be old and fat. I want to be young and vibrant and beautiful.
Graduate school has systematically been killing me for the past 6 years and 4 months. I used to draw, I used to play the guitar, I used to have friends, I used to cross stitch, I used to practice kenpo karate... I used to READ! For FUN!
I have been so focused on finishing - my family is depending on me to finish, since Airin is taking care of the boys instead of working - that I have let everything else go. And with this dissertation/employment search/2 classes semester, I haven't been doing anything else. I had running - that was all that was left. And now it's too cold and dark for that too.
But I deserve to be thin, and I deserve to wear a bikini next summer. I'll be saggy with stretch-marks most likely, but I will be in a bikini, damn it! I want to be the pretty wife, I am sick of being the good-girl-second-place. I am tired of feeling inadequate. I want to be smart, I want to be successful, I want to be a good mother and wife - but DAMN IT, I want to be gorgeous too! I want it all. And I can focus my energy on it, and I can get it.
Here is pretty but crazy ex-wife, who I must defeat in every way possible for my own (in)sanity:
Here is me at Halen's birthday party this year, looking cute in my goth dress:
I was a bit slimmer then... oops. This is me and Airin a few days ago. My pants and sweater are both tighter, and I can see that my face is fatter too. Damn it, two steps forward, one step back. Which it could be a million steps forward, and then I went into hyper-space and was suddenly a size 6.
Well... there it is. Sorry for the delay. I think I might make a post-once-a-day-streak or something... I just have been writing SO MUCH between the dissertation and all the applications, that I'm sick of writing.
My dissertation is pretty f-ing awesome, by the way.
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