Thursday, May 31, 2007

Moratorium on Blogging

Have spent quite a lot of time blogging lately - noticed that for May, I'm already at 23 entries which is 5 more than most months previously. In the interest of getting my thesis done, I'm officially taking a moratorium on blogging. I'm not allowing myself to write anything (except ideas, so I don't forget!) in my blog until after my thesis is one complete draft. I have to say it out loud to discipline myself.

Goodbye for now, Hive. I'll miss you.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Used the word "evocative" in a sentence today. E likes to make fun of me when I used "big" words, but when she asks me to define them, I'm usually able to do pretty well. I thought I did okay with this one when I said that evocative was more about any emotion and provocative was more about specific emotions around sex or aggression. (A funny word that A and E both enjoyed me defining was "cur" which means mongrel dog which goes to show that not all "big" words are big at all.)

From Websters:
Evocative: evoking or tending to evoke an especially emotional response
Provocative: serving or tending to provoke , excite, or stimulate
Provoke:to arouse to a feeling or action b : to incite to anger 2 a : to call forth (as a feeling or action) : EVOKE

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Walk Down Break Up Lane

E and I walked to school today - it's at least 7 miles and took about 2 hours. In that time, we passed near at least two of my ex-boyfriends' houses. Since we also talked about her recent break up, I got break ups on the brain. I read through Wiki-How on the breaking up section and didn't really get a lot of insight. I'm guessing, since anyone can write an entry, that the break up ones are written by 15 year olds. If they are written by anyone older than 18, I would suspect they have no life and be incredibly surprised.

I hold two conflicting views. On the one hand, I think we've got to learn to break up better, because passing these homes filled me with anxiety about running into these ex's and having a less-than-friendly interaction and on the other hand, I think it's really weird when people are friends with their ex's. One of my good pal's is friends with her x-husband and it seems really normal and healthy, but when my partner had dinner with his x-girlfriend, I thought it was entirely inappropriate and not only because of my jealousy (which I admit was a huge factor), but also because they really can't claim much of a friendship.

Anyways, more than my heart, my legs and gluts are hurting after that walk, so it's time for a stretch.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Greatest Idea I Can't Remember

On my way home tonight, I had a great idea about a blog entry and now it escapes me.

That happens a lot - not just for blogging, but life in general. I tried keeping a notebook nearby, but usually I think it's such a great idea that I'll never forget it.

Some things I recently struggled to remember include:
1. why I didn't go put my check in the bank - I knew I expected to get some other money to put in with it, but couldn't remember where I thought that money was coming from
2. the word inspire - the word memory is really bad
3. where I put my favorite jeans - I started getting really mad thinking someone had taken them!
4. where I put ... and now I've forgotten what it was I was looking for in my vanity drawer today...

At least I still didn't misspell any words.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

4 Minutes Late

When meeting one's partner's parents for the first time (or anytime really), one should probably arrive on time. It's considerate, it's respectful and it just makes sense not to give them any reason not to like you. But what exactly does "on time" mean? I'm still on Latin time in which 5 o'clock actual means anytime between 5 and 6. Maybe if there are reservations, the exact time has more relevance.

At 5:04 tonight, A called because he wondered if he and his parents should go ahead and make the salad. We had decided to make soup and salad dinner for his parents - he thought it would be great for them to see us cooking together and seeing what a great team we make. Despite my better judgement, I agreed to make the salad to accompany his soup - not quite a team effort, but at least one plus one. Because of the time difference from here to Chicago, we decided an early dinner would be appropriate and that I would come over about 5pm.

Literally 15 minutes late, it seemed like more as they waited for me to make the salad, the soup probably having been finished more than an hour ago. I guess I should have trusted my better judgement and How To Walk in High Heels: The Girl's Guide to Everything which suggests going out to eat the first time you meet your partner's parents.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Oh Lucky Day

Seems like my lucky streak continues...knock on wood!

I found out yesterday that one of the requirements that I might have had to complete after graduation is actually completed. I was misinformed by my harried registrar that certain 'credits' could not be transferred from one area (where I have more than enough) to another area (where I am lacking almost that exact number), and when I went over her head to the dean of the program with my innocent query, the story immediately reversed. Of course I can transfer those over! That eases not only my mind, but also my schedule, since I no longer have to attend my Thursday morning clinic. I enjoyed watching paint dry, I mean watching a chiropractor do body work, but I could really use those mornings to catch up on my sleep and get work done at home.

My school also just approved a decrease in the number of acupuncture patients we are required to see before graduation. If you haven't been through medical school, you may not be aware that there are very exacting requirements about the number of hours spent in clinic, the number of patients one sees in certain capacities and different exams and treatments (called check-offs) one must do before being approved to graduate. For my acupuncture program, we are required to spend 624 hours in the clinic and did have to see 400 patients within that time frame. Doesn't seem like a lot? Try it - keep in mind that this all happens within 1 year after 3 years of academic training and almost 300 hours observing an acupuncturist at work. We're now required to see only 350 patients which is a requirement I have already met. In other words, another load of stress off my mind.

I finished my case paper the other day and will perform several check-offs today, getting that much closer to meeting my complete graduation requirements. I actually think I might finish everything on time.

Requirements remaining: (besides showing up for the rest of my class and clinic shifts)
1. Finish check offs (11 total)
2. Case Presentation: Prostate Cancer
3. 3-4 Page Paper on Chinese Classical Literature
4. Thesis - Finish Writing
5. Thesis - Defend (currently being rescheduled)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hurry Up and Wait

I worry about being rushed. I hate when it happens and I worry in advance that it will happen. It's almost comical how E rushes me - I'll be waiting for her to finish getting ready - I'll be sitting at my desk just putzing around waiting when she's all the sudden ready and let's go! The quick transition startles me and I feel rushed. That happened on the way to work today and it happens a lot because I'm always ready before her.

A rushes me, but it's not as funny, because he gets really upset about being on IST (Indian Standard Time - read: always late). I've always admired and romanticized the latino ethic of taking ones time, arriving later and slowing things down generally. Apparently that ideal is not shared worldwide. Every party I throw, I'm surprised when people arrive at the time I said the party would start. I usually mean that just as a guideline of when to arrive after. I actually do usually mean the end time that I give, but people never pay as much attention to that part.

Anyways, I hate being rushed and I'm feeling a little rushed abut school these days. Have to hurry up and get my thesis done, hurry up and do a lineage ceremony, hurry up and meet all of my requirements. Hurry up and graduate, hurry up and take boards, hurry up and wait for licensure. I decided to just take my time - I have been approved to walk at graduation even if I don't finish all my requirements including my thesis - so I'm slowing things down...and becoming more effective. I finished my case paper (the last of 6 required for my doctorate) this morning and typed up my last presentation yesterday. Things are definately flowing a little better now that I'm in my stream instead of trying to swim up someone else's schedule.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

On Schedule

MySpace has a calendar function and I can find out many of my friends' activities through a shared calendar online. I have another calendar through my workout group and maintain my own calendar using my Palm program. E got me a nice TAO wall calendar that I hung in my bedroom and my mom bought me a page-a-day "Bad Dog" calendar that sits on my desk. E and I have had shared calendars in the past so we know each other's schedules (not needed at this time since we're together all day everyday), and A and I have discussed a shared online calendar so that we don't double book ourselves.

I find myself looking on other calendars to determine my activities and even concern myself with the calendars and obligations of others - i.e., he's signed up for that, but I know he's not going; she's going to that, but hasn't RSVPd yet and oh, they signed me up for that, I guess I have to go. It's ridiculous and I'm over it.

I'm overscheduled. Not only do I simply have too much to do, too many plans, too many obligations, but I'm also overburdened by the very act of calendering. I don't wear a watch in part because I prefer the freedom of not being 'bound' by time, but I do find myself overlinked to my cell phone which is my primary source of the current time. I also rely heavily on my PDA to know where I'm supposed to be and what tasks still remain to be done. I realized today that this ongoing to-do list may prevent me from thinking outside the box. I've had a short paper to write for the past many months and I haven't finished it because it's a bit complicated. Well, the subject I chose is complicated, but the paper doesn't have to be - this morning I realized I could just pick a different topic.

I think it's important to be organized and effective at time management, but I'm looking forward to having a more spontaneous and free schedule this summer. Despite the fact that my days will be relatively structured around gym, board exam studying and working, I think I'll have more freedom then than now when I am running around doing something different every day.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

On Blogging

I've been thinking about how much time I spend blogging and how I wish I could have been writing my thesis in small chunks like this all along the past year. I even said this week that I understand now that I may never write a book. Writing articles sounds much more appealing and any published book could just be a compilation of these articles.

Another blogger who I read regularly just wrote about blogs that are topic specific and it got me wondering about the possibilities of blogging daily and then creating that as a book. That's what I tried to do the first two times I blogged (this is the third and only ongoing incarnation) - the first blog was all about dating, because I had so much to say on the subject and the second was supposed to be about healing/health, but I never wrote more than my basic introduction. I think these types of blogs can be very interesting and/or informative when you are seeking that kind of information or entertainment, but I find myself only reading those blogs that are about people's lives. I find people's stories, the good, the bad, the ugly, the boring and the touching to be fascinating and retain my interest.

For myself, I find blogging to be a freedom. To express myself and reveal myself. In my blog, I am not perfect. It's sometimes a celebration and sometimes a confession. More often, I think it's just a snapshot for me to figure out where I am on the path.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Fire Dragon Libra

Just got a great astrology book: The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes by Theodora Lau. I've been reading and using this book at clinic since last summer and finally just bought my own copy. It's an amazing resource for those interested in Chinese astrology. Here are some excepts about my sign:
  • Driven, cause-oriented, abrasive, sincere, admired, stubborn, energetic, loyal, strong, decisive, proud, impetuous, confident, open and honest to a fault. Dragons hold themselves in high esteem and will expect to be treated well. They may feel themselves above the law, not practice what they preach and may tip the scales in their own favor without even realizing it. Sometimes the Dragon sees himself as just a little more equal.
  • The most righteous, outgoing and competitive of all dragons, the Fire Dragon will expect a lot from everyone. But while he may be demanding and aggressive, he is also blessed with enormous energy and has a lot to offer in return.
  • In reality, he is an open and humane person given to impartiality and uncovering the truth at all costs. His criticisms are objective, and he has the power to arouse the masses with his vibrant personality. A natural empire builder, he will strive toward the supreme order of things, with himself at the helm, of course.
  • The Libran Dragon will be a congenial, sprightly and lovable soul, not at all fearsome as Dragons go since this combination produces a non-belligerent type of Dragon. The balance is tipped here towards Dragon's compelling magnetism, yet although the Libran Dragon has a lot of drive, he won't be as dependable as other Dragons. Because both signs in this combination have genuine and sincere personalities, this subject will be endowed with wide-eyed honesty, unintentional frankness and a minimum of inhibitions.
  • The autumnal Dragon is calmer and less judgmental in outlook. Not as intense as other Dragons but just as strong-willed, he knows how to use his strength effectively. Not as easily agitated, he will take on difficult tasks with zeal and will not give up easily. Admirable for his courageous leadership and relentless pursuit of perfection, this steady Dragon could have smooth sailing throughout his life is he is not overly self-sufficient.
  • Most compatible with Rat and Monkey. Incompatible with Dog. BUT, I think I was born in the hour of the Dog, which actually gives me Dog qualities and may attract me to people born in the year of the Dog despite my major sign!


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Vacation Plans

I dream about traveling. I can't wait to have some free time to do so. Even with taking boards this summer and starting by practice, I am already filling up time with plans to travel. Here's the calendar:

July -
Trip to Trinidad, CA with A to see Ree

August -
Trip home to help mom move
Palm Springs for Convention

September -
Week at the beach with gal pals

October -
Trip to Connecticut to meet A's sister
Meet E in Washington, DC for Pete and Sara
New York City with E, Pete and Sara
Cruise over my birthday weekend to Canada

November -
Austin for Convention

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Carvahlo and The Shane

Pairs of people who become very close start speaking their own language - twinspeak is a term used when this phenomenon occurs in twins (I may have made that up, because it's not listed in Websters). Sometimes this is complicated or enhanced by shared dialect or isolation, but for me, it's often comprised of inside jokes or shared experiences taken to a whole other level. I noticed the other day that A and I are starting to have our own language and I took that as a very good sign. My last partner and I didn't even share a common primary language, so it's been a really long time since I had a private language with my partner.

On the other hand, E and I, having lived together for four years and spending much of that time in isolation together, have a rich and varied personal language. Sometimes if someone else says something that has come to have meaning for us, all it takes is a look between us for the laughter to come bubbling up. Sometimes, we can't even look at each other when someone says something because it would seem so completely out of place for us to have our usual reaction to these things. Our private language is only complicated by our mutual channeling of Chibo - since he lacks the physical capacity for speech, he often borrows ours and you really can' t believe what he has to say. Sometimes, like the late great Richard Prior, I want to "slap him in the mouf..." and you know the rest of that line!

At any rate, what has me wondering about language this evening is a friend we ran into this week. As E and I walked away from our brief conversation with him, I could only mutter, "He's Carvahlo-ing it, but he doesn't Shane very well!" Yes, we've turned these names into verbs. In the spirit of word of the day, here are some origins and definition, Webster-style:

Etymology - from a long-lost friend who took flirting to a whole other level
1 (noun) : a man who flirts openly and obviously with every woman because he would take any woman
2 (verb): to flirt openly and obviously with every woman in the hopes of dating any woman

Etymology - from a former date who knew how to make his dates friend feel very welcome
1 (noun): a man who flirts mainly with his date, but flirts enough to make her friends feel welcome without wondering if he wants them
2. (verb): to take care to make one's dates' friends feel welcome and appreciated without being sleazy

The Shane actually evolved out of the Carvahlo, because it seems there are times when flirting with the friends of the one you're trying to catch could be useful and appropriate in controlled amounts. The difference really lies in how it makes the third party feel - if she feels you're hitting on her, it's a Carvahlo; if she feels welcome and included, it's a Shane. Having been on both sides of both of these scenarios, I prefer to share a Shane.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

On Top of the Sine Wave

On Top of the World. Top of the Morning To Ya! You're the Tops! A Chart Topper.

Top has a lot of meanings for such a short word - phrases such as on top of, off the top of one's head and over the top extend the list even longer. Today, I'm feeling TOPPY, if I can coin a new term, because I just found out I did NOT fail my exam as I bemoaned previously but did in fact PASS.

Yes, things are definitely turning around. Life spirals. It circles. It cycles. It ebbs and flows. However you draw it out, I'm turning my face into the spring sun and soaking up that energy of motion to create something new. A thesis. Something that wouldn't and won't exist if I don't write it down. Here I go.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

By Appointment Only: Office Hours Cancelled!

Things are looking up. It took so little, but one tiny thing going my way makes the whole world a little brighter. I spoke to the SGA VP and cancelled my office hours for the remainder of the term - students will have 30 fewer minutes per week in which to not visit the office to send faxes.

But the result for me is much greater - I no longer have to stress and coordinate with my housemate since she usually waits up to an hour to carpool home after class. I get that extra time at home to play with the dogs, make a healthy lunch, relax and work on my studies. I can shed that extra ounce of resentment that builds up for joining SGA in the first place, because I did, in fact, think it would all be fun and games and didn't have any idea what a drain it would be on my time.

So today, I came home right away after skipping my office hours yet again. I made a delicious lunch with many vegetables. I took the dogs out then pampered them both with some extra affection. And now I'm laying in the bed blogging and getting ready for a nap. Yes, I think cancelling office hours was a very good decision.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Birthday Blues

Birthdays in my childhood were always such a happy time. Even having a shared birthday party with my brother was still fun since we not only had birthdays close together but are the same age. I have one photo of us with all the neighborhood kids when we were about 7 that reminds me of those happy birthdays. Today is E's birthday and instead of having a birthday dinner or a birthday party, we've taken a job catering tonight. How birthdays have changed.

She and I have actually talked more about birthdays than I usually do with people. I feel so blessed to have someone in my life with whom I can share those things that I'm not always proud of, one of which is my feeling about birthdays: I find birthdays in general to be a disappointment. Every year as my birthday approaches, I am filled with a sense of impending doom. What if people forget? What if I don't get a gift? What if I don't matter? Every year, people remember; every year, I get a gift. I matter.

But birthdays still bring out the worst of my insecurities. Last year I had a small party which we camouflaged as a house warming instead of admitting it was my birthday party. This was sandwiched between friends' birthday parties for which spaces were rented, 100+ attended and/or they were billed as "the biggest birthday bash EVER!" I decided after the disappointment of my birthday last year (which was actually quite nice), that I would spend my next birthday taking care of myself - a day at the spa (really, I fantasize about these things, but have no idea how that would even look!), eating delicious food, browsing the bookstore (in which I still don't know my favorite section) and meditating on life. Turns out I'll be on a cruise with my friends up in Canada. Maybe I'll blow some candles out tonight myself and borrow some of E's birthday luck to wish for respite from the birthday blues this year.

Monday, May 14, 2007

On Death and Dying

Went to the church yesterday in a huff hoping that something there would help me let go of my cranky attitude problem. It did - there was a great musician there who really touched me. Charlie Thweat was visiting my church and sang with us all morning - it was amazing. I felt like he was singing right to me - it helped that Reverend Lisa was sitting right in front of me, so he was truly often looking in my general direction.

One of the songs he sang begins with the line "I will die someday" and he prefaced the song by saying, "this might freak you out." That gets me thinking about death and dying. Mom told me grandmother had gotten really upset one day when someone said how they would miss her - she cried because she wasn't yet ready to die. My friend who's father has cancer can't even broach the idea that he might pass - it seems the whole family just ignores that possibility.

I'm not sure why, but it seems I've always had a certain level of comfort with the idea of dying. When I was whale watching in the Indian Ocean, I had this weird and strong feeling that whales were coming for me - I got all fuzzy headed and knew I was going to jump into the ocean and leave with them. Thank goodness no whales got close enough to motivate that behavior. Later when I got sick I grieved more for the changes to my life than the thought that I might die...and I was terrified of what it would do to my mother. Especially now that dad is gone, I fear that she couldn't handle me passing.

Maybe when I am near death again, I'll be more afraid of it. Maybe when I have a life with more ease, I'll be resentful of giving it up. I know that when I have children, I'll want to live forever to protect them and watch them grow. But for now, I'm comfortable being comfortable with it and maybe that's my gift.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Word of the Day

Here's a few words of interest from Webster:

1: of or relating to shepherds or herdsmen : pastoral
2 a: relating to or typical of rural life b: idyllic

I can't remember where, but A read this to me sometime yesterday and I must say that I really had no idea what it meant. Having looked it up, it makes sense, because we were in the country.

Parkinson's Law:
1 : an observation in office organization: the number of subordinates increases at a fixed rate regardless of the amount of work produced
2 : an observation in office organization: work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion

I was looking up another word in the hardbound dictionary the other day...can't remember which word, but it's somewhere on that two page spread and this entry jumped out at me. There's an interesting fact about me that you may not know - I read in chunks. I don't read across a line of text the way most people do, but more "at a glance" and swallow whole paragraphs. That's why I'm such a fast reader of fiction, but this technique doesn't work for nonfiction as well. Also, this is why I do still so enjoy a paper dictionary - looking up words online doesn't allow for these lucky leaps across the page. At any rate, I like knowing about this law, because it explains a lot about why my thesis is not moving. No excuse though. Time to leave the dictionary and get back to writing something to turn in. But not before:

1 : having a sullen and gloomy disposition
2 : marked by or expressive of gloom

Like my last couple posts, the weather and my general disposition today. Cedric the Entertainer and a few Pepsi's are helping though. I tell you that Norman Cousins was onto something with that laughter bit.

Knock on Wood

Why am I so hard on myself when I don't do well on something?

Throw a rock and you hit someone who has failed an exam, a class or a task. I feel compassion and understanding for these people and generally assume they aren't carrying that failure around with them because either they learned from it, eventually passed it or turned it into something good. When I was asked in a job interview years ago what my biggest failure had been, I honestly answered that I never felt I had failed at anything. That idealistic optimism still lives within me, but it's harder to remember in the face of slamming doors and that overloud FAIL stamp coming down on my test.

The hardest was the first time, when I wasn't selected for an international clinical operation that I expected to be a shoe-in for. It was easier when I didn't get the residencies I applied for because I knew they were limited. The hardest to date is the test I took yesterday that I fear I may have failed. Calling my mom, because that's what we do in these circumstances, didn't help because she only remembers all the times I've called her in tears during high school and college over some exam that I usually ended up doing well enough to great on. Letting my boyfriend rock me and wipe away my tears helped more than he'll ever know and bitching about my friend who likely did pass helped a lot too. There goes my resolution to stop bitching about people.

I wonder if it's like the time I expressed that I didn't know what true pain felt like and the universe "gifted" me with pain enough to empathize with almost anything. Maybe I should learn to knock on wood.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Good Grief

Grandmother died on Tuesday. We knew it was coming since we discovered the inoperable lung tumor some months ago, but it seems too soon after losing dad last year. I think the grief of losing her favorite son and her husband exacerbated the years of smoking and let the tumor grow. Dad was my step-dad, so she was my step-grandmother, but that doesn't matter to the little girl who grew up running around her swimming pool and hoping to play Euchre in the basement bar with the grown-ups one day. I never did get to play with them because when I was old enough, I was off to college and then they sold the house after grandpa died.

Grandmother died in Ohio at my cousin's house. She didn't want to undergo chemotherapy or radiation and eventually they let hospice come in and help out. Mom went there this weekend because they said it was getting bad and when I called, mom said she was doing really well, eating, walking and eliminating with little assistance. It's a perfect example of Jia Shen - when a dying person's spirit lifts as the last of their yang qi rises to the surface to leave the body, like a candle flaring before going out. She died on Tuesday after a good weekend and I've been a little shocky since then.

It doesn't matter that she, like my birth father's mother, was an alcoholic or that she might never have accepted myself, my mother or my half-brothers in the same way that she accepted my step-brother, the son of her son. I think I hurt worse because I think she didn't accept us the same way because I still yearn for the acceptance that I won't ever get. Before grandmother died, mom asked her if she wanted me to fly home and see her and discussed me coming for the funeral. Ever the no-nonsense lady, grandmother said it doesn't matter if I go when she's dead. I planned to fly out for Memorial Day weekend if she was still alive that week. Turns out it will be a Memorial Day indeed because her service will be that Saturday.

I don't know if I'll go, but maybe it will be good to be surrounded by family - maybe I'll be able to cry for this cantankerous old woman, for my dad, for my family and for myself.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Goals Update

1. Complete my list of 101 things to do Completed 3/30/07, posted online and @ desk.
63. Cook a meal for friends (more than E and A!) 4/8/07 Easter brunch – made egg scramble for everybody. Enjoyed cooking so much I remembered wanting to open a bed and breakfast.
61. Cook a meal (not counting sandwiches or boxed soup) for my housemate 5/7/07 Made eggs and toast for breakfast
62. Cook a meal (not counting sandwiches or boxed soup) for my boyfriend 5/7/07 Made eggs and toast for breakfast
33. Learn to straighten my hair 5/8/07 Pretty sure I've got this one down.

Seems I like making eggs. They're easy, but I'll take the goal.

Still in progress:
2. Finish putting my hard copies of photos and scraps into albums
3. Reorganize the music on my MP3 player
4. Get names/artists for the currently un-labeled music on my computer
5. Try rock climbing (no one says it has to be something I'm not already planning!)
6. Finish my last case paper
7. Write my Masters Thesis
8. Graduate NCNM
9. Build/commission a professional website
10. Finish my mom's afghan
11. Walk Chibo everyday for 2 weeks
12. Drink no soda for 1 month (excluding soda water)
13. Visit Rebecca in Trinidad or elsewhere
14. Sell or donate crafting supplies not in use
15. Sign up for Bikram Yoga new member package and use it at least 2x
16. Ride my bike to school or clinic at least 5x in spring term
17. Get a basket or pannier for my bike
18. Go to the next staff or company meeting at work
19. Apply for Mercy Corps business grant
20. Do deep breathing exercises every night for 1 week
21. Memorize Tai Ji Yang Style form
22. Take a Tai Ji class outside of NCNM
23. Teach a QiGong class
24. Volunteer anywhere
25. Walk to Fred Meyer instead of driving as needed for 2 weeks
26. Sell my Pathfinder
27. Go outrigger paddling again
28. Go for an overnight backpacking trip
29. Go backpacking for more than one night
30. Get caught up on filing and data entry - counts when there is not a pile of papers waiting to be filed!
31. Take another obedience class with Chibo
32. Go kayaking

34. Consult with a dermatologist
35. Consult with an adoption counselor
36. Go to a live sporting event at least 4x per year
37. Pay off my Citibank credit card
38. Reduce by 1/2 my primary credit card
39. Request my credit report
40. Cancel out of date creditors
41. Finish updating my name with relevant resources (such as credit reporting agencies)
42. Sign up for 401K at New Seasons
43. Take guitar lesson/class
44. Take dance class
45. Take ceramics/pottery class
46. Find an acceptable news source and read it daily for 2 weeks
47. Identify my favorite section of the bookstore
48. Eat no processed food for 1 week
49. Plant an herb garden (or at least 4 kinds in pots)
50. Plant a vegetable garden
51. Plant Tiger Lily's bulbs
52. Buy a book on Lily's or orchids
53. Read a book every week for 2 months
54. Crochet something to wear
55. Crochet something as a gift
56. Spend an important anniversary with mom
57. Get a facial
58. Find a good facial moisturizer with SPF
59. Hike 2x per week for 2 months
60. Visit Pete and Sara in DC/NY

64. Try a recipe out of the vegan cookbook
65. Make a supplement list and take consistently for 2 weeks
66. Go 1 day without swearing
67. Set aside an afternoon 1x per month for 3 months to send birthday greetings and other mail
68. Make a reasonable budget
69. Find a good calcium supplement and add to regular supplement list
70. Put videos onto DVD
71. Learn to sharpen dad's knives
72. Renew SCUBA certification and go diving!
73. Learn 3 prayers
74. Memorize 1 poem
75. Floss nightly for 2 weeks
76. Teach Chibo to lay down
77. Hang wind chimes
78. Consult financial advisor
79. Lose 25 pounds
80. Go to the zoo
81. Have a day of gracious living - tell people about the concept
82. Backup Computer
83. Get a fish or bird
84. Acquire a new camera and learn to use it
85. Go to my 10 year college reunion
86. Find out if Math/Science Center is still running and contact the director
87. Tune up sewing machine
88. Take a sewing class
89. Eliminate eggs from diet for 1 month
90. Make a recommended reading list for professional development
91. Find a resource to keep up to date on research (list serve etc.)
92. Go to AANP and/or NWNPC conferences
93. Drink 8 glasses of water daily for 1 month
94. Clean out garage at Center Commons
95. Take the train to Seattle
96. Fast for 24 hours
97. Have a cocktail party - make a new drink for friends!
98. Go to the Garden at least 3x before membership runs out
99. Get a new membership somewhere when Chinese Garden runs out
100. Go to Olympic National Forest
101. Visit Italy

Monday, May 7, 2007

Talking Shit

I bitch about people too much. When I got off work at 11pm and couldn't wait to fall into bed, I still stood around outside the store bitching about my coworkers for another twenty minutes. I felt very self-conscious while I was talking to my coworker because 1. she's not exactly very trustworthy - I'm sure she'll be talking about me on her next shift and/or telling everyone what I said about them; 2. there was a camera on us the whole time; and 3. the shift lead (who I was particularly bitching about) left while we were mid-bitch.

I often say that I would like to get to the point where I never say anything about someone that I wouldn't mind them hearing me say or that I wouldn't say to their face, but I continue to bitch. Whenever I express my dismay, I am usually reassured that it's healthy to vent or that I'm just working things out out loud, but I still don't like it.

Considering this, I wonder if this is the appeal to my more distant relationships - when I don't spend loads of time with people, I am so happy to see them and spend time that there's nothing to bitch about. That doesn't totally hold water, though because I know there are people with whom I could spend every day and never feel like bitching about them - the Jeffs are an example. Both of my Jeffs are amazing, patient friends with whom I feel totally comfortable and always have a great time. I don't think they really ever bitch about anybody either. Maybe like being the person you want to find, I'll have to stop bitching to develop more relationships like that.

Sunday, May 6, 2007


While out walking Chibo, E and I saw a little Yorkie Terrier running around off leash. As we were approaching a fairly busy street, we were concerned and decided to enact a "rescue." This is somewhat reminiscent of the time a year or so ago when we picked up a Skipperkee running down a freeway off ramp. That time, the dog's collar referred us to a nearby vet where we dropped the dog off. After stopping four lanes of freeway traffic at rush hour, Annie (the Skipperkee) was reunited with her parents who had lost her the night before and they sent us flowers in gratitude. We felt pretty good about that and I don't resent (though I remember) the shirt I ruined carrying her in my arms.

This time we only had to wait until Alfie (the Yorkie) returned from chasing the tabby cat (name unknown), barking at Chibo (my dog) and relaxed enough to let E pet him and hold his collar. We leashed him, asked the neighbors and eventually found his dad just two doors down. He thanked us but clearly thought we were crazy. Even if the only reason he keeps a closer eye on his dog is to prevent us loonies from stealing him, at least the dog will be safer.

That's our good dog-ma for the week.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Putting in Time is a Waste of Time

I hate "putting in time" with people. It happened this weekend, it may happen again. Ultimately I'm sick of doing things with people because I feel like I owe them something. This is the reason that I have such an issue with gift-giving: I hate obligation. I hated Christmas for years because of the obligatory nature of giving gifts at that time. Maybe that has to do with my upbringing where I was always expected to give my father and step-mother not only a gift, but a good gift, before I was even old enough to hold a job (noting that I did, in fact, start my employment history at the tender age of 12!).

At any rate, my concern these days is "putting in time" because even more than money, which is decidedly lacking, my time has become extraordinarily precious. My plans this weekend were a quiet Friday night in with my partner - I was looking forward to relaxing, catching up on one another's weeks and enjoying an early bedtime, but ended up going out with friends that he made plans with and felt obligated to see even when the plans became fuzzy and fizzled. Maybe if we'd had fun, I would have felt it was worth it, but I truly don't believe any of the four of us actually had a good time or thought it was worth it. I think A just held to the plan because he felt he had made a commitment and wanted to hold to it - I think we have to find a balance between his serious commitment and my lasaiz-fair attitude about these things.

In the next seven weeks, while I wrap up school and try to balance my personal life, it's probably a great time to practice very conscious choice around how I spend my time. A good time to establish this good habit now before I have more time, because even when I have more time, I still don't want to waste a minute putting in time.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Spelling B

I click on my spell check button before I post my blogs. It gives me a little thrill when the results come back "No misspellings found" and that has been the message the last 2-3 times. Writing so much Chinese means it doesn't happen very often in my schoolwork. Spelling has always been challenging for me, so this feels like something to be proud of. It's a little victory, but I'll take it.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Bandaging Our Wounds

I should know better than to have coffee with the hypnotherapist (let's call him Steve) with any expectations of how it's going to go...we ended up staying in his office and I've now committed to being the point person for an upcoming class of his. It shouldn't actually require that much out of me and he's promised to make it worth my while, meaning, I hope, that I won't have to pay for the course and that he'll give my mom another stop-smoking session when she visits in June.

I can't complain about the lack of caffeine stimulation or about adding something else to my to-do list, though, because he helped me immeasurably, just because he's my friend. I was very intimidated to speak to my thesis advisor and mentioned that I was going to see him (my advisor) that evening. I chose my advisor because of my affection for him and I know that he wants me to succeed, but I've been too afraid to speak with him for months. So Steve said to me, " Go and speak to your advisor. Ask for help. And if he wounds you, I'll be here to bandage your wounds."

Wow. He'll be there to bandage my wounds. Someone cares. I needed to hear that.

It's not just a question of him caring, but also that he recognizes the seriousness of the potential wound. He told me about another student who failed their clinical examination and how he sent them flowers to acknowledge their grief. There is so much shame wrapped up in failures of this kind that I think we don't share nor do we know how to recognize these kinds of griefs when they occur. I fear failing my last exit exam, I fear failing my board exams, I fear writing a piece of drivel instead of a thesis and I fear any of these or other reasons preventing me from graduation. Were any of these to happen, I would want to crawl under a rock and hide from the world ... until yesterday. Now I'll go have Steve bandage my wounds.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

House Arrest

I'm looking over my schedule and realized that I have 2 weeks to study for my exit exam and finish writing my thesis. Then I have 2 weeks until my thesis defense. Then I have two weeks to study for my last two Chinese Medicine board exams. Then I have two weeks until graduation. Then I have 4 weeks to study for 3 days worth of ND board exams. Wow. The next 8-12 weeks are going to be a doozy. I've got to keep my priorities in order.

So the plan is, effectively, house arrest. I'm not allowed to sign up for anymore social activities, especially those that are just huge parties where I'm not really going to feel connected to anyone. I can go bathing suit shopping, I can meet the hypnotherapist for coffee, I can celebrate my anniversary tonight, I can do those events that I've already signed up for and I can make time to spend with my partner's parents when they come later this month. That's actually a lot of things I can do, and only one significant can't do, but I think it will make all the difference.

My housemate and I also laid out a study schedule wherein she and I have 2 study dates a week with one another, no exceptions, for the next 6 weeks. Since I'm currently operating on zero study hours per week, the addition of these 6 hours should really help. I'm also going to endeavor to work out in the mornings since I hear this increases mental acuity throughout the day. If I throw in a little qigong everyday, maybe I'll manifest the "unstoppable force" that my friend suggested I would be.