one new year goal: A-Z reading challenge

I'm still in the process of coming up with a solid New Year's resolution-type plan, but I'm planning on it centering around taking better care of myself - sleeping, taking vitamins, exercise, etc. It's also going to include something I love very, very much but I sometimes let slip in favor of things like TV: READING.

I absolutely love to read, always have. Apparently I taught myself to read out of a cookbook as a kid (according to my mom). Last year, I started using Goodreads to see how many books I read, what books they were, etc. I assumed I would read about 50 books- one a year. I actually only read 31 - and that counts a couple I didn't even finish!

So my new plan is the following: To participate in the A-Z Challenge for reading this year.
The challenge: 52 books total (one a week on average). You pick 26 by the title, one for each letter of the alphabet (so starting with A, B, etc.) and 26 by the author, one for each letter of the alphabet (same thing).

from the site: If you want to give the X's a go... For authors, try to find an X in the first name, middle name, or last name. For titles, it doesn't have to be the starting word. Try to find an X somewhere in a title, and it'd count in my book.

Still can't find a book for the letter you need? I'll take your word for it. I've been there. I know. If your library doesn't see the need to order books just because it starts with an X, then I don't blame you for not wanting to special order a book that you may or may not enjoy. You gave it your best, don't feel bad. You can still make this challenge work for you.
And my one disclaimer: I occasionally reread books. I will probably do so this year. If I do, I think they count if they fit in the challenge - so long as there are 5 or less for the year. If not, they don't count - I can still read them (clearly) but not as part of my 52.

I'm excited! I really love to read, and I love finding new books. Now I'll have a reason to turn off the TV!
Anyone care to join me?


Christmas goals - how did I do?

OK, a few weeks ago (almost 3 to be exact), these were the holiday goals I had in mind. Want to see how I did?
  • Make a list of all the gifts I still need to get. -  
    • HALF COMPLETE - Did I make a physical list? No. Did I made a mental list? Yes. Did I miss anyone? No. So while it was less organized than planned, I think that's a success. So, COMPLETE!:) 
  • Get the above gifts.
    • COMPLETE - I did get all of my gift shopping done before Christmas!
  • Christmas cards! Yup, still do them. Need to get all the addresses and write the cards and send them out. 
    • 85% COMPLETE, aside from the people who didn't send me their addresses in time. Those still need to get mailed. I don't really feel like battling the snow to go to the mailbox right now. I also have an online "happy new year!" card for a few people, that I will send on Wednesday/Thursday.

  • Aside from the previously mentioned almond bark, bake some cookies. Specifically, Mama Pea's dough balls - the snickerdoodle ones. Yum yum yum.
    • COMPLETE! -  I made dough balls THREE TIMES. (One epic failure and two successes, in case you were wondering). I also baked cranberry walnut scones. I even have pictures so I can write blog posts about it!

  • MAIL MY FAMILY'S GIFTS. Yes, I said that already, but I am not going home for the holidays so I really need to do this. It's my first year away from my mom and brother on Christmas. Not getting the gifts there = not cool.
    • COMPLETE!! I waited until the last minute, as always. BUT, they all got there on the day before Christmas. 
  • Wrap presents! And try not to hate it. Last year, I actually had fun doing it. That's a first, trust me.
    • COMPLETE - I wrapped all my presents, and I didn't 100% hate it. 
  • Switch the CD in my car (it's the backup music for when the radio is really bad) to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
    • COMPLETE! It skips. I need to burn a new copy.  
  • Finish decorating! Then I can post pictures!
    • Umm... 75% COMPLETE. Never really "finished" decorating - I had lights for the windows that I never put up. And I never took pictures. But I still can! So perhaps I'll "complete" this goal by December 31.
  • Play in the snow!  
    • Not complete yet, but have you seen the news?!?! We have over a foot of snow outside. I'll play in it before December 31.  
  • Watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. Yearly tradition!!
    • COMPLETE- OMG I FORGOT TO WATCH CHARLIE BROWN BEFORE CHRISTMAS. So I did it while snowed in all day. I did watch Love Actually and Miracle on 34th Street. I also plan on watching the rest of my holiday movies while it's still "the holiday season" (aka, before New Years.)

Stay tuned for A) A follow up on how I did with those last couple of nagging goals (decorations/pictures, last minute cards, etc)  and B) A description of the rest of the holiday.

How was your holiday weekend everyone?? Anything fun happen?

Oh, and PS - CONGRATULATIONS to MARGO and ROB, who got engaged over the holiday weekend :) :) :)


winter wonderland!

OK, who remembers when I wanted it to snow so I could play in it?

Well, at first, I thought we'd just get a little. Last week we had a couple of days with a couple of inches. And then, yesterday, the day after Christmas, I got my wish!!

the Charles River this morning - from boston.com

Brookline last night - again, boston.com

woo hoo! it's a real blizzard, no work for me today (though Chris did have to venture in, poor guy). I am thinking about bundling up to take some pictures in my neighborhood, instead of stealing other people's!

happy snow day Massachusetts (and NY/NJ I believe)!!


yoga challenge fail

OK, so I started off REALLY well with the 31 days of yoga challenge...and then my back hurt. Like, really hurt, so I took 2 days off (last Tuesday and Wednesday).

And then... I don't know what happened. I did Thursday, but then I stopped again. I blame the following:
  • a 2 hour drive + 8 hours running dissertation subjects + a 2 hour return drive on Friday did not make me want to do anything except for eat dinner and get in my bed on Friday - which is exactly what I did.
  • I tried to get up early on Saturday, but Chris likes to stay in bed on Saturday mornings and be lazy, and that just makes it too tempting to stay in there where it's warm!
  • Yesterday, we went to Chris's grandparents' house for amazing Sunday lunch, and I didn't do it before we left because, again, lazy+warm....and then I had eaten SO much food when I got back, I decided to watch Lie to Me instead. (side note - Anyone else watch it? Thanks to Anna and Ben for that recommendation... I love it! And it's totally based in real psych research too. Paul Eckman, if you want to look him up.)
  • Last... stupid Verizon took the video I liked (YogaWorks) off of on demand, and I had to find a new one. Annoying.
So far, I've done 7 days, out of 13 (well today is day 13, but unless I motivate quite a lot in the next 1 hr and 37 minutes, it's not happening). While this makes me feel like a total failure in some aspects, in other aspects...that's still every other day on average, which is WAY more yoga than I did any month in the last year. So it's still progress, right? RIGHT?!!?

Anyone have some comforting words (or alternately, a big giant kick in the ass) for me?:)


thinking ahead to 2011

**note - I wrote this post on December 9th. Why it didn't post then, I don't know, but I just found it so here it is!! Thoughts still appreciated!**

As many of you know, I really liked The Happiness Project, and I read Gretchen Rubin's blog for more happiness-related inspiration.One of her recent posts was about choosing one word to set a theme for next year, instead of doing your typical resolution. Since that's pretty similar to my three-words-for-my-bracelet strategy (and how I named this blog!), I'm seriously considering it, but no idea what word to pick. Some thoughts:
  • energy - I always need it.
  • happiness - this is sort of self-explanatory.
  • challenge - I am defending my dissertation in April. I'm going to start a new job and as of now, I have no idea what that will be yet. Could be a challenging year.
  • relax - this is the front runner now. 2011 has the potential to be a somewhat stressful year - with good things! dissertation submissions, and graduation, and being a bridesmaid x 3, and planning our wedding too - I may need a reminder to relax.
Thoughts, everyone? Any other ideas for a theme for 2011? What would you choose?


oops - forgot the holiday goals.

In all of my posting excitement, I forgot to include any holiday-related goals in my December Goals - or maybe, I'm just trying to meet my goal of posting 4x/week....yeah right, I can only wish I was that clever.

image credit

Anyway! in no particular order, here's what I want to do in the next 18 days before Christmas!
  • Make a list of all the gifts I still need to get.
  • Get the above gifts.
  • Christmas cards! Yup, still do them. Need to get all the addresses and write the cards and send them out.
  • Aside from the previously mentioned almond bark, bake some cookies. Specifically, Mama Pea's dough balls - the snickerdoodle ones. Yum yum yum.
  • MAIL MY FAMILY'S GIFTS. Yes, I said that already, but I am not going home for the holidays so I really need to do this. It's my first year away from my mom and brother on Christmas. Not getting the gifts there = not cool.
  • Wrap presents! And try not to hate it. Last year, I actually had fun doing it. That's a first, trust me. Why is that, you ask? Because my mother used to make me wrap all of her presents for everyone. And she used to forget to take my presents out of the pile, so I would pick up a penguin ornament or the rereleased copy of E.T. on DVD, and know it was mine, and she would just say "ssh! just wrap it!" clearly, I've been scarred for life.
  • Switch the CD in my car (it's the backup music for when the radio is really bad) to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
  • Finish decorating! Then I can post pictures!
  • Play in the snow! clearly it will have to snow and stick for this to happen, but I would really like a white Christmas...
  • Watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. Yearly tradition!!
how about everyone else? Anyone have any Christmas goals? Have any other good cookies for me to make - especially gluten free ones? :)

**yes, this post is half in red and half in green. because, again, I'm such a cool kid.


manic monday = the last day of classes!

not sure if this will be a coherent post, but here's a ramble for you nonetheless.
  • today was Brandeis's last day of classes for the semester. this. semester. FLEW. unbelievable. I'm starting to get that "second semester senior" feeling.... guess that makes sense, because next semester will be my last in school, EVER. spent a couple of hours looking at job postings today and I just want to GRADUATE already.
  • 31 Day Yoga Challenge: so far, I've done yoga every day! some days have been more fun than others. My favorite yoga to do has been the Yoga Works Beginner AM/PM Yoga - it's free on demand. I think it reminds me the most of the classes I used to take. Like Anna said, I could probably do the intermediate ones, but I like the beginning ones better for now. Actually, on Friday night I tried to do an intermediate one post-glass-of-wine-and-salad, and post-12-hour-day-with-4-hours-driving, and it was brutal so I gave up and switched to an easier one. Whatever that one was, it had a cartoon girl and weird music. Not doing that again. I also tried one from YogaDownload - I tried the Yoga for Runners 25 minute, because my hips hurt and I thought it would help. I liked it, but I like Yoga Works better so far.
  • Speaking of Friday, I went to UMass-Dartmouth to run dissertation subjects for the day. 16 in one day! I'm going again this Friday and hopefully it will be just as productive. On the way back, grabbed salad for dinner at Watch City (man, I miss being able to drink their beer).  Saturday I stayed home for the day except for a quick run (2.06 miles done towards those December Goals! Oh, and Emily and I watched Sex and the City 2. And it was.... AWFUL. Like, I have never been so happy to have not seen a movie in the theater. Sunday I felt like crap. All stuffy and headachy, which I still am, so been trying to lay low. 
  • Currently, I am sitting on my couch (post-yoga! with my glasses on! they fell off during. Can't you picture it? I'm such a cool kid...right) watching The Sing Off. Fun fact for those who don't know - I sang in one choir or another (or voice lessons, or a capella groups at summer camp) starting at age 8 until college. Sometimes, I still miss it. Which is why I LOVE Glee and why I am currently enjoying this show. Chris is out, and he called to tell me that it's snowing, but it's not snowing by our place.
  • Oh, but I almost didn't mention the best part of the day.... MY NEW PLANNER STARTED TODAY!!! So I get to use it. (Thanks again to Sarah for posting about the wonders of the Space 24 planner, which I am now enjoying!!!) And, I got a new notebook (a Moleskin Peanuts 60th anniversary notebook with Snoopy on it, in case you were wondering), and I just started using that too. I'm going to get another one to use for dissertation things (I think the other one had Woodstock on it!! cute!), because I might as well have something to smile at during my hours of writing and statistics. I got new pens, too. I love new office supplies!!! Anyone else with me on that? (cough cough...Cheryl... )


December Goals

Inspired by my bestest friend and my my "twin", some December goals of my own:

  • 31 Day Yoga Challenge. complete it.
  • Copying Anna, run at least 20 miles this month. Hopefully more, but let's aim low, it's getting cold and dark outside.
  • Since I am running the Jingle Bell run, do a faster 5K than I did in the 10K last month. (which I will blog about. I swear. I even have a picture of us!)
  • Get all of my grading done for the semester by December 18th, a week before Christmas.
  • Make a plan to get my dissertation written by the proper deadlines.
  • Redo my CV (what we call resumes in this crazy academic world) so I can get, you know, a job. Or at least start applying.
  • Rewatch all of the Harry Potter movies before Christmas (Chris and I try to do it every year).
  • Mail my family's presents home in time for them to actually be there ON Christmas, not afterwards.
  • Blog at least 4 times a week. I want to get back into it!
  • Make almond bark from scratch- I've been dying to try it. 
  • Watch all of In Treatment. I'm almost done with Season 1, Emily has Season 2, and Season 3 is on demand until January 3rd, so if I want to watch it I need to get on it!
Any other ideas for me? Do you have goals for the month that you'd like to share?:)


31 Day Yoga Challenge

I've decided to join several lovely ladies, inspired by this one in particular, and do a challenge - 31 days of yoga, to be exact.
(does that remind anyone else of 25 Days of Christmas? on ABC Family? which is something that I LOVE, btw.)

ANYWAY! yoga. I love yoga, and I decided recently that I wanted to start doing it again - back in college I used to go to the classes at Healthworks (oh, I miss Healthworks too, but that's another story), and I get into phases where I do it on the Wii Fit or on demand on tv. I asked for a yoga pass to one of the studios near our apartment for Christmas, so this just seems like perfect timing.

The rules: at least 20 minutes of yoga a day for 31 days straight. Today was Day 1, and I'll do it every day until 2011!

Reasons for the challenge:
  1. as mentioned above, I really love yoga.
  2. Starting when I switched to eating gluten free, but especially over the last 6 months, I've been getting into the idea of "healthy living" - reading blogs, cooking more, and trying to exercise. This seems like a good way to do it.
  3. I figure it will be good for stress - I'm doing fine right now, but dissertation writing starts for real (yikes) shortly, and if I get into the yoga habit maybe it will be one I can keep....
  4. I want to see how much better I can get in 31 days. Maybe I'll finally be able to keep my balance.
  5. Since I am getting into running, and we are apparently going to keep running races (right, Katie? Miranda? Christen? Anna? culminating in Disney Princess Half Marathon 2012? I'm really only motivated by running by Cinderella's castle...) it can only help, right?
Day One report: Since I didn't do anything this morning, I did a yoga video on demand tonight, while I recorded the last Top Chef episode of last season since I never saw it. Now, watching that in bed. The yoga was more challenging than I was expecting it to be, but in a good way - I haven't really done it in a few months, so that's probably why!

Anyone else want to join in, or make up your own? It'll be fun!


the WBC at Brandeis....

I know I haven't posted in a while, and there are lots of updates to come, but wanted to share this first.

As pretty much everyone that reads this knows, I am a graduate student at Brandeis University in MA. The Westboro Baptist Church is picketing here on Friday, and according to their website this is why:

"to remind these Jews that they bear the curse of their forefather's murder of Christ. Further these college students of doomed america live for the devil himself, spending their energies on drunkeness, lust, sloth and greed rather than serving the Lord Almighty."

Brandeis is reacting by celebrating our diversity and tolerance as a campus. If you're interested you can check out our petition.

Also, we are raising money as a campus for Keshet, a resource for Jewish LGBT individuals in greater Boston and across the country. Basically, people can pledge to donate a certain dollar amount per minute that the WBC is here, or just a flat rate. You can check that out here.

So yes, this is a sort of PSA - I think that supporting tolerance is the way to go.


Kasey to the Rescue!

Not all of you that read this know about this, but wanted to share that the new book Kasey to the Rescue, written by my mom's friend Ellen, is on Amazon now to order!!

Here's a piece of the summary from Amazon: This is a story of how miracles DO happen. How courage and a never-give-up spirit can emerge victorious. How an engaging little monkey helped change a family's life. Ellen Rogers considered herself something of a tragedy snob. The single mother of five believed she could weather any storm, that she could keep her family from harm with fortitude and grace. But nothing could have prepared her for the June 2005 car accident that left her son, Ned--then 22 years old--fighting for his life. 
....Miracles happen to those who believe, the saying goes, but who would have believed that one family's "miracle" would weigh in at five pounds sopping wet? Then Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers for the Disabled provided Ned with an affectionate and intelligent service animal with a steadfast devotion to hierarchy, a longing for "spa days," and a craving for Gummi Bears. In other words, a diva.

Ned and I have known each other for as long as we can remember - our moms worked together when we were 2 and 3 years old. We weren't in touch on our own until Ned went to the University of Arizona for college, when I was a senior in high school, and spent holidays at our house. We got to be close friends again very quickly, and then we "switched" and I moved up to Boston, by his mom, for college and he stayed in Arizona, by my mom. I was at home in Arizona visiting my family when he got in the car accident, and I delayed my trip back to Boston to drive to Tucson to see him. I visited him in the hospital there, and here in Boston, and at his house once he went home...and yes, I know the monkey :) And yes, she IS a diva, it's ridiculous. But she's adorable so you can't be mad.

It's a fantastic story, yes, but it's also true and you should check it out for that reason if not any other.

Ellen and Ned, if you are reading this, something even you guys probably don't know: after the accident, my status online for weeks was: "Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know it so it goes on flying anyway." - I figured that we all had that kind of blind faith. And we were right. Ned, I doubt I have ever told you, but I am SO PROUD of you (but I figure you know that). And yes, you have the cutest monkey EVER.


random thoughts

So, as many of you know I have a Mac. And on my Mac I have the Dashboard, on which I have the Post-it application, which basically makes glorious post-it looking things appear ON MY COMPUTER and I can use them just like real post-its! It's fantastic. So of course, some of them I use for useful things (confirmation numbers, phone numbers, etc) and some of them I use for things I find amusing/thought provoking. So today, for some reason, I am sharing the amusing/thought provoking things with all of you!

  • after the shooting that took place at a university when a woman who didn't get tenure opened fire in a faculty meeting, there were lots of blog posts about faculty carrying firearms and the like. my favorite quote from the entire thing: "Considering the tendency of most professors I know to forget their glasses, flash drives, notebooks, coats, cell phones, I’d predict that all those well-armed professors would have buried their guns under a pile of research in their respective offices and not have had them at the meeting anyway."

I also have a wedding-related amusing things post-it, which contains:
  • "I'm an only child, so the whole sister thing is completely foreign to me… But FUCK HER. Stick a flower in her hair and give her a non-bridesmaidal job to do, just like the twelve-year-old.
    Wedding planning is stressful enough when you're surrounded by your favorite people." - on someone writing into a blog asking for advice about her sister acting like, well, a twelve year old
  • "Overextended and yet still Kicking A$$ Brain" - I'd like to think this is my normal mode, instead of "overextended and failing miserably brain"
  • "I wish we could register for free time." - best. idea. ever.


where did the name come from?

I'm sure some of you have wondered where the name and/or web address of my blog came from, and today I felt like sharing.

well, the headline "live every week like it's shark week" SHOULD be obvious...that was Tracy on 30 Rock. which is a hilarious show. and if you don't watch it, you should. ANYWAY, it's just because, well, I love Shark Week. I've been watching Shark Week every year since it started. It usually took place while I was in Sanibel with my family, and we grew up on it. Now, I force everyone around me to watch it too. Fact - I JUST deleted the last of Shark Week from August off my DVR 2 weeks ago.

the address - acceptanceenergyhappiness - was started by Emily. See, Emily got some of us these bracelets that are Brazilian, you tie three knots, and make three wishes, and when the bracelet falls off things come true. We decided to do words instead of wishes - things we wanted more of in our lives. So these are mine:
  • acceptance - meaning things like "wow this traffic really sucks, but nothing I can do about it, so might as well listen to the radio" - something I picked up from reading The Happiness Project (another thing you should check out, along with 30 Rock and Shark Week, if you haven't.)
  • energy - well, that's a given. I'm a Ph.D. student, babysitter, I work in a bookstore, I'm the president of the Graduate Student Association AND the social coordinator for said organization. I'm planning a wedding. and I make some effort to spend time with my friends and Chris, and talk to my family. Exercise...right, when I have time (that 10K is going to go really well...) but yeah, energy? that, I could use. Luckily, I've always been naturally high energy.
  • happiness - obvious. 

What would you pick as your three words/traits that you want more of in life?


the student loan issue

 after seeing all the recent comments in the blog world about student loan debt, much of it stemming from this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/04/your-money/04money.html/?src=ISMR_AP_LO_MST_FB and others like it, I feel the need to comment on student loan debt.

It's no secret that I have lots of student loan debt from undergrad, and that said debt has been in deferment since I graduated in 2006, because I've been in grad school the whole time. Some of that debt is in federal loans, and some is private. I also had a half tuition scholarship for all four years I was at BU. Even with that, the amount of loan debt I incurred is staggering/appalling/what have you.

Many people have posted wondering about how students could be as naive to not realize what they were getting into and other such things, and my response to that is: I certainly didn't think about it. It didn't occur to me that the debt I was getting into was going to affect my ability to buy a house one day, or that I'd probably be paying it off until I was 60 (yikes). Because I was at a school where that kind of student loan debt was common!

I find it a little disturbing that an undergraduate education in the USA could possibly cost as much as it does. I know that I chose to go to a private school instead of a state school, and I made that decision knowing that I would be going into debt. But I made the choice willingly, to leave Arizona because I thought I'd have better opportunities available to me by going to school in the East, in a big city, and I don't regret it. I'd even argue that I was right. I was a National Merit scholar - a program designed essentially to give kids from areas with not-so-great schools who excel on the PSATs the opportunity to go elsewhere for college, and I took advantage of it (hence, the scholarship) - but even with that, my loan debt is high. If you didn't have that scholarship, it would be RIDICULOUS to get a degree at BU or somewhere like it.

I guess the bottom line is, I don't know how much you can blame these kids who are 17 years old for going to the best college they can get into, even if they incur debt to do it. We all grew up thinking that that was the way to do it, right? And even if kids do understand that they are taking out loans and getting into debt, I don't think that an 18 year old just graduating high school who has never paid rent/bought groceries, even if they did pay for other things in high school, can understand what they are doing when they sign on the line for those loans. Maybe we need to make more "financial understanding" type classes mandatory in high school - I think that would at least be a start.


bad decisions i habitually make

Also stolen from both Anna and Secret Society of List Addicts...

  • Drinking WAY too much coffee. Well, this one is a given if you know me, but I continually think "Oh, I know I can't usually drink this much coffee without my hands getting all shaky and getting all twitchy, but I'm sure it will be fine THIS time...." right. A close relative of this is Drinking Caffeine after 4PM (I'm sure this time it won't keep me up at night!).
  • Wearing uncomfortable shoes when I'll be walking around. I'm getting better about this as I get older, and in general I am just plain not BUYING shoes that aren't comfy.... but it still happens.
  • Not drinking water during the day. Accentuates the effects of all the coffee I drink (aka, shakiness), and its just plain not good for you.
  • Thinking "I'll just do that reading this weekend!" Except then it's the weekend and I don't want to do the reading, because it's the weekend, and I hate doing schoolwork on weekends.
  • Carrying WAY too much stuff in my bag for school, including all the reading I'm going to do after my class (right, because that happens, I don't just go hang out with my friends for lunch), and then I'm just dragging around a laptop bag that's probably like 30 pounds and rubs my jeans the wrong way on one side and makes them get all messed up.
  • Not putting gas in the car. I see it getting close to where the light will turn on and think "Oh I'll get gas tonight!" and then I end up sitting in 45 minutes of traffic and the light turns on, and then there's construction by my house and I don't want to sit in even MORE traffic to get gas, so we end up trying to get it at 7:30am before we stop for coffee and battling traffic then too. And inevitably, every time I wait to get gas, it's pouring rain the next morning when we stop. And while Chris is a gentleman and gets out in the rain and pumps gas...it was all avoidable.


things my 26 year old self does that my 16 year old self would not have liked

following Anna's lead, and stolen from Secret Society of List Addicts... things that I do now, at 26, that my 16 year old self would probably not like, or at least be very surprised by:

  • using the air conditioning in my car! that's a weird one, I know, but I didn't have AC in my car in high school (yes, in Arizona), and I didn't care. I thought it was a waste of gas to use AC. Even after I got Tito (my beloved car) I only used the AC when Cheryl and I didn't have AC in our apartments and it was 90 degrees out and humid and we would drive around solely to sit in the air conditioning.
  • just like Anna...eating tomatoes!! I hated them too. Now I'm not QUITE at the level of putting them in everything, but I am not anti-tomato anymore.
  • watching so much tv. I didn't really watch television in high school, and now I'm addicted. It all started with digital cable... once I could see what was on, I started watching it!
  • I also didn't drink at 16. I don't drink much now either, but I will say that my 16 year old self would be slightly appalled by some of my college (and just post college) antics - bar crawls, staying out all night, on occasion making out with boys when I didn't know their last names and met them walking down the street... I was much more "wild" in college than my 16 year old self would ever have imagined. Though my college friends reading this are probably laughing because I am still so lame in comparison to most!
Anyone else want to play?


#Friday5 - most thought provoking films

I'm trying a new blog thing that I read about elsewhere - #Friday5! Every week there's a different topic. This week? 
5 most thought provoking films. 

  1. Schindler's List - isn't that one a given?
  2. Inception - I really liked this one. I thought a lot about the idea that you could implant ideas in other people's minds, invade their dreams, etc. - I think in some ways advertising does that anyway.
  3. The Butterfly Effect - I know, I know. It's kind of dumb. But again, I find the idea behind it fascinating - one action can change your future, and the future of the people around you?
  4. Fight Club. I actually need to watch this one again, since I've read the book now (for a college class, awesome. and yes, it's been THAT long since I watched Fight Club.)
  5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - similar idea to Inception AND The Butterfly Effect. Evidently, I have a theme going :)
What about you, folks? Any takers?


new year, new advice.

school started.

that's really all i have to say about that particular fact. it means that my life is now 300 times busier than it was 2 weeks ago, but i knew it was coming. KNOWING, however, doesn't mean i LIKE it. 
it's also occurred to me that, if i get the kind of job that i want, this will at long last be my last school year start....yikes.

what i do have for you, though, are some thoughts for the new undergrads who just arrived on campus (many of them can apply to life in general too i think):

  1. there's a 95% chance that, if you were given written instructions on how to do something/set something up, the answer to your question can be found in said handout. that's not always true (which is why i left 5% wiggle room), but i don't write the instructions for fun. i am mainly trying to avoid being asked the same question 85 times. and guess what? when it's IN the handout and you still ask? you look like an idiot.
  2. yes, this is how much textbooks cost. yes, we know it sucks. we have all had to pay for them. talk to the publishers about changing it. until then, there's not much we can do.
  3. if you need to hand in a letter from athletics so that you're excused from class when you have games, you should attach your game schedule to said letter. funnily enough, all of the girls have figured this out. the boys have to turn in the schedule later (in fact, they still haven't.) not sure what i'm trying to say about gender differences here, but just throwing that out there.
  4. last, and certainly not least, this is my yearly reminder that TIGHTS ARE NOT PANTS. NEITHER ARE LEGGINGS. they are both made for wearing with things that are just slightly too short to be worn without leggings/tights. that means that any top that you wear with them must at the very least cover your ass. if not... YOU AREN'T WEARING ANY BOTTOMS. YOUR ASS IS HANGING OUT IN AN INAPPROPRIATE FASHION. 
        •  mind you, this is a yearly reminder because it continues to be an issue. i wore some very short skirts when i was younger, probably with some inappropriately high heels for said skirts.. but i always.wore.bottoms.
        • this also can be translated to "if you are wearing a skirt that is SO short that random individuals who see you on the street wonder how you possibly sit down in that (answer: you don't), you need to wear tights or leggings or your ass is ALSO hanging out."
any other ideas, folks? :)


birthday weekend!

all in all it has been a very big week, what with the engagement last Sunday (which feels both like it was a million years ago and like it was a dream) and then my birthday on Thursday. but that just means lots of fun things happened :)

Chris's parents' puppy Gizzy that we got to play with yesterday:)
  • first and foremost, the very best thing, and why Chris is the best, is that for my birthday I got...ANNA! I walked into my birthday dinner on Thursday night which was supposed to just be Chris and I and not only were a lot of my local friends there, Anna was too :) Which was amazingly fantastically wonderful. And I got to spend the weekend after I got engaged/my birthday weekend with my best friend instead of her being in D.C.
  • Also on my birthday, my blog (and Anna's!) were mentioned by the SHU box, which since I am officially obsessed with her blog was a great (if accidental) birthday present.
  • Thursday during the day = gluten free brownies from the people I babysit for, Thursday dinner = gluten free fried rice from PF Changs. lots of good food.
  • Also Thursday night we went up to Top of the Hub (the restaurant in Back Bay where you can see all of Boston) for drinks, which was awesome and definitely worth doing. The drinks were yummy too :)
  • Friday morning, I got to go to the spa. See, Chris got me a GroupOn to a spa on Newbury Street for my birthday LAST year, but I never had time to go, so I went now. I also highly recommend Spa Newbury, it was amazing.
  • Also on Friday, Anna and I had lunch with Lindsay and Rae (on Rae's lunch break) and then went to Lindsay's to hang out. Since all four of us are engaged now (insane) it's nice to have others to chat with (and not annoy) even though our wedding isn't for 18-24 months.
  • Friday evening = Margaritas in Waltham for drinks and dinner, and then some Waltham wandering.
  • Saturday = Chris's parents' house on the lake, to play with the puppy and hang out on the porch for my birthday. and Chris's dad made potato salad. and Margo made me cupcakes. There's a distinct possibility that for dinner last night, I had potato salad and a cupcake. and that I did the same tonight.
  • and last, Sunday... brunch at Elephant Walk, which is by far my favorite Boston brunch. They have Cambodian bloody marys!! once you switch, you won't go back.

Overall, it's been an amazing few days. And I don't want this week to start, because this week means classes start, being a TA starts, lab meetings start, and summer is over :( but that's OK, because A) I LOVE the fall in New England and B) I have a feeling there are lots more exciting things coming.



just saw on gluten hates me (but i'm surviving) that her local beer distributor sent over cases of redbridge (aka, gluten-free beer) for her wedding!


would anyone like to do the same for us, but with bard's? because that's my favorite.
don't worry, you have plenty of time to think about it... ;)


if i had an extra hour...

i am procrastinating today (productivity fail.) SO inspired by this post from one of my favorite blogs, the SHU box, let's play a game!

if the clock were set back 60 minutes right now, i would:
  • nap. not gonna lie, i may nap anyway. but i would feel less guilty about it.
  • if not nap, read one of my 10 library books...
  • ...or go figure out my new bread machine (yay for birthday presents!)

if i unexpectedly had the day off, i would:
  • deal with the laundry (both doing mine and putting away all the clean stuff that piled up from our trips, followed by sheets and towels, followed by throwing Chris's in for him since he hasn't done it either.)
  • answer all of my congratulations messages
  • catch up on the last of the school stuff I'm semi-behind on
  • return the pile of stuff that needs to be returned to Gap Outlet
  • do my nails, finally, they look gross
  • read the wedding magazines that i couldn't resist....  god i love magazines.
  • nap. again. :)

if somehow my school break coincided with a break from babysitting and i had a week off i would:
  • spend one day doing the things above
  • clean our apartment and do all the annoying errands we don't have time for (trip to goodwill anyone?)
  • most likely drive to nyc and dc to see my friends (so long as i could afford the gas)
  • finish cleaning out the closet
  • schoolwork. (i'll pretend i would do it, but would i? who knows.)
  • read :) and nap. pattern?

if our building at school finally falls down and i somehow got a paid year off out of it, i would:
  • finish.my.dissertation. (again, maybe. though if our building falls down i assume that gets an extension as well).
  • travel, visit friends and family all over the country/world
  • plan our wedding! (yikes)
wanna play? post your own :)

San Diego highlights...

Hi readers:) I was just in California for a conference, so I apologize for the lack of posting if you care. 
Also... I got engaged!
(which just about everyone who reads this blog already knows, but hey, whatever)

I promise to take good ring pictures to post, but I haven't yet and the cell phone photo I have is very blurry. 

this would be when we first started dating, 2 years ago, but it's one of my favorites.
But the story is: We were in San Diego (specifically La Jolla, which Chris kept pronouncing like it's spelled, which makes me laugh hysterically. ANYWAY) walking around after we had some very late breakfast at whisknladle which was amazing, and you should check out if you are in that area. We went and bought cupcakes at cups because I read in the free magazine in our room that they always had a gluten free option (carrot cake...yum), and then we just kept walking. I had said that I wanted to get some type of jewelry souvenir, because I love wearing jewelry from awesome trips I've taken, so we were ducking into stores that might have cute stuff. (AJ- we almost bought Tay a whole kids cooking set, but resisted. And Cheryl - there were also some child sized fire hoses that we almost purchased for your future children, but stopped ourselves.

We walked by an estate jewelry store and I stopped to look in the windows, and they had some really pretty wedding sets (I've always wanted a vintage/estate ring), and Chris said we should go in and I could try some on. Note, we had talked about getting engaged in the next year or less, but that's pretty much it. So I was thinking "OK, he can get an idea of what I want/what would look good on my very skinny hands" and we went in. I tried on a few rings and initially I really liked one that was on the expensive side, and Chris was talking to the shop owner about financing, etc. But I looked in another case in the middle and found a ring that looked EXACTLY like all the rings I had seen online and loved, so I tried that on, and I love it. Chris asked me if it was the ring I wanted, if I was sure, and then said "well then I'm buying it." Which in itself was surreal. So while the guy is ringing it up, Chris looks at me and says "So does this mean we're engaged?" We determined that it did, in fact, mean that very thing. 

After some congratulations from the guy in the shop we walked down to the sea wall and watched for seals, then sat on a bench and called our parents. Well, we called Chris's parents, since my mom was nowhere to be found. Couldn't get Anna either. Or my sister. Obnoxious!!! After a bit (and a couple of calls), we went to a movie (Dinner for Schmucks if you were wondering) and then we bought champagne at Target and had some in our hotel room while we packed and watched True Blood. overall, awesome. 

 Wedding will be in 2012, roughly a year after I graduate, and it will be here in the Boston area. That's all we know :)

Other highlights from California:
  • Sea World! went right when we landed. and speaking of almost buying gifts, I almost bought Parker the entire gift shop. Katie, be thankful I didn't. It would take up your entire apartment.
  • San Diego Zoo, and Belle and Rico came down from LA to hang out, which was amazing.
  • In-N-Out/smoothies to be found everywhere. The #1 thing I miss from Arizona is smoothies.
  • oh, and I did attend that conference for a bit...

***update - ring pictures!!! see below.***


recap: Jess and Rob's wedding!

Congratulations Jess and Rob!!
In continuing with the recap posts...

right after we got back from Florida we had another fun event- Jess and Rob's wedding weekend! We literally landed 2 hours before Anna and Ben arrived (and spent basically that entire 2 hours trying to get back to our place on public transport...thanks for that, Boston.) But that's OK, because I went and got them and later Christen came too and it was one fantastic weekend of guests in our place :)
PLUS, a lot of other people who weren't staying with us came to
town too!

Emal and I with Tay

sophomore year roommates - we dress up nicely :)
this picture = sorority formal shot
The wedding was gorgeous, the weather was amazing. I'd never been in Marsh Chapel before even though I went to BU so it was interesting to see the inside (there's a stained glass window of Abe Lincoln! random.) The cocktail hour was on the roof deck by the pool at the Colonnade Hotel in Back Bay, which as I said while we were there "I only wish I was cool enough to hang out up here on a regular basis!" (Rob kindly pointed out that for $40, I could. Right.) Jess's dad gave an amazing speech. We all switched to flipflops (yet somehow I still had blisters on my toes). AJ and Joey brought the adorable Taygan along and he was rockin' out on the dance floor with the rest of us.

The morning after the wedding several of us went to Elephant Walk for brunch as well, which was phenomenal. And then everyone had to leave :( But that's OK, we have April 2011 to look forward to, for the wedding of these 2... classic photo, folks.
you two are my favorites.

summer book club: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

When I was in Sanibel I finally started reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
So was my cousin.
And so were at least 3 other people at the pool.

At first, I didn't get it - the first 20-30 pages are incredibly slow. After that, though, it picks up. I was impressed. I couldn't put it down after that, and I was psyched when I returned to the library to find the second one in the series on the "speed read" shelf, so I snatched it.
(does anyone else's library have that? there are these books that you can get for 2 weeks at a time, no reserves, and the fine is 5x higher than it would be normally. I'm a quick reader so I'm a fan.)

Overall rating: solid A- (not an A because the beginning was so slow). If you're looking for a book, go get it!

**I read this book as part of the My Pretty Pennies summer book club. Her blog is awesome, and she also just got engaged! :) Check her out.**


recap: Sanibel 2010

I'm a little behind, but I promise to get back into my blog now... mainly because I'm semi-procrastinating other, more academic efforts.

From July 23-30 my family+a very patient boyfriend descended on Sanibel Island for our annual trip. We've been going every year since I was about 2 years old, so needless to say it's tradition. This year, we brought Chris along for the ride. Luckily he had a great time (quite possibly facilitated by us having our own room and bathroom rather than this being one of the years where 5 of us share a room...)

We went on a dolphin boat cruise where a mommy and baby dolphin followed in the wake of our boat for a good 10 minutes- so cute. The mom was just swimming along the outside, letting the baby play :) 

We also went into Ft. Myers Beach for one night, from which we have some fantastic photos, and a catchphrase from the trip (Never have I ever...eaten pot roast - due to Chris's inability to hear the proper phrase. But seriously, who would use that in never have I ever??) 

Oh, and I got my entire family addicted to Glee :) Mostly we just went to the pool, spent some time on the beach, and relaxed. An excellent vacation which I am already looking forward to replicating next year!

If you are interested, here are some photos:

dolphins playing on our cruise :)

group shot in Ft. Myers Beach   
my sister is the best because she takes off her shoes and does choreographed dances in bars. and she lets me take pictures.


I won something! :)

Friends, I know it has been a while since I wrote in this blog. And I promise that I will write new posts about my actual life soon, about things like vacation and Jess and Rob's wedding and the basement dungeon that is my lab, but first...

and it's awesome.

check it out: http://www.chroniclebooks.com/index/main,book-info/products_id,8960/
it's a mini-goals notepad, aka an amazing notepad for to-do lists entitled: Today I Will Get Some Stuff Done. Go check it out, it's adorable. And for a to-do-list/office supply geek like myself, it's even better :) There are a bunch of different page designs too!

Thanks to Miss B at the Blah, Blah, Blahg (http://www.leblahg.com/) for the giveaway. And go check out her blog too! It is also awesome.


there are unintended consequences of this wheat-free diet.

it's been about a year since i last (conciously) ate anything with wheat in it. that means it's been a year of reading labels. it's also been a year of reading lots of blogs with yummy recipes :) and occasionally making said recipes. or just eating rice and frozen veggies for dinner, again.

a side effect of all of this label reading is that i've started to become a little obsessed with what's in what i'm eating. i have moved away from eating things that are highly processed, partly because there's wheat in many of them as a preservative/filler, and partly because once i started label-reading i started saying "eww!!! what IS that? i don't think i want to eat that."
(also, things with lots of random chemical-sounding ingredients make label reading a pain in the ass, so i just give up).

the unintended side effect of that i discovered today was that I think my taste buds are changing.

i took scotty that i babysit to the movies today (we saw despicable me, which means that yes, i saw it twice.) he ordered an icee and candy and i got some gummy bears, usually one of my favorites, but i think it's been about a year since i've eaten them. i read the box and they seemed ok so i went for it. and... i didn't like them. i ate about half (they were $4!! ridiculous) but they kind of tasted fake, like diet soda. gross.

i guess that's a good thing? but it's weird.

***major side note: i still drink a TON of soda. specifically Coke. i can't see giving that up anytime soon.***


Katie and Parker!!! :)

This past weekend Rae and I got to drive up to NH to have breakfast with Katie and Parker :) Parker received some Dr. Seuss books about the beach which he looked at some and threw some, he played with Katie's cell phones, ate/threw some french toast and bacon, and we narrowly avoided being caught in a torrential downpour when we attempted to go on a walk. Good times!

and so now I am going to use this blog to shamelessly show you the following pictures/brag about one of my favorite kids ever (please note the mohawk):

he likes the trunk of the car (I don't blame him, it is huge, to him it must seem like a great place to explore)

  so cool in sunglasses, look at the grin :)

I spent at least 50% of the time trying to convince Katie to move back by bribing her with free babysitting and lots of time with her friends. In fact, so did Rae and Kristen. sooo Katie.... is it working yet?!?!?!?!?


something new - a book review! (Sarah's Key)

Because I spend a lot of time reading blogs, and I love to read, I decided to join a virtual book club that one of the blogs I read is doing - you can read about it here: http://myprettypennies.com/2010/06/16/mpp-summer-book-club/

Basically I figured that it would get me to read new books that I might not have heard of before, which it did, and this is my own little review of the first one I read - Sarah's Key.

Sarah's Key
by Tatiana de Rosnay

my rating: B, I liked it, but I don't feel the need to read it again.

Basically, the story flips back and forth between France during World War II and present-day. The story that takes place in the past is amazingly fantastic. The story that took place in the future, though... eh. It was OK. I did learn some new WWII history though, and since I'm kind of a history nerd I liked that part. In fact, I think it would have been better if the whole thing took place in the past!

Final verdict: it's worth reading if you like history, if not you might get bored.

Next up: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. (I got an email from the library telling me that my hold is finally in!)


recent updates

so I realized that I am not very good at this blogging thing and I want to be better, even if only for Cheryl's amusement (since she may well be the only one who still reads this thing). anyway, my life is not super exciting, so here are some highlights:

1) Jess's bachelorette party was about 10 days ago, and it was fantastic. Excellent choice with the 80s cover band- that was the way to go :) I have lots of pictures, I got to see lots of fantastic ladies that I don't get to see very often, we got to buy Jess some cute things so she'll be prepared for her life as a married lady... not that I'd know what that would be, but I gather cute underwear/nightgowns are involved.

A couple of pictures:

this would be early on in the night, before many drinks were had by anyone. Jess and her deltas :) super cute. and we know how to pose. no alcohol is even showing!! we were all trained well.

and this one is the best one of the night of the bride-to-be. i love it :)

2) this past weekend on the 3rd we went up to Chris's parents' lake house again (because who wouldn't?) lots of people came, one minor injury was suffered, Amanda got in the lake and DIDN'T EVEN HOLD ON TO THE DOCK, it was epic. and I forgot my camera for all of it. As Scotty that I babysit would say, "Major Fail."

But I do have this other pretty picture of the lake from the last time we went before that:

3) The fantastic D that I do research with was here for a couple of days last week, which was awesome. We went and saw where the alleged Boston Strangler victims were murdered because we are weird like that, and we watched some World Cup and wandered around Boston in the gorgeous weather on Friday. We also watched a lot of True Blood :)

other than that, my life has basically consisted of babysitting, reading, Netflix (Battlestar Galactica, I don't know if I like it... though the entire series of The X-Files is streaming and I'm rewatching the whole thing, no question), organizing our apartment finally even though we moved in last August, you know, same old. Chris's friends Matt and Josh are coming up this weekend, next weekend my mom AND Val are coming and we are going to visit AJ and Taygan, and after that it's finally to Florida and back for Jess and Rob's wedding!! It's going to get busy quick. I have some goals for the summer...maybe I should write those in here and get on it before summer is over and I start my VERY LAST YEAR AS A GRADUATE STUDENT. finally.


Yay!! :)

(the photo is Rae relaxing in the backyard at Chris's parents' house earlier this summer)

The exciting news just keeps coming :)

I got an excellent phone call from Rae last night telling me that James proposed (actually, all she did was giggle and say "I can't even say it", to which I responded "You have got to be kidding me!!" LOL). I, in fact, called it a while ago when I said to Rae "Maybe James will propose while you are on your trip over July 4th!!" Evidently, I was right.

My only request was that they not get married in April 2011 - I don't think I can squeeze in another wedding between Anna's and Lindsay's - to which the reply was "I'm not in any rush." those who know Rae know why that is quite possibly the funniest thing she's ever said :)

So basically, all I wanted to say is... CONGRATULATIONS RAE AND JAMES!! :) :) :)


Father's Day

So it's Father's Day today, which tends to be an interesting day for me - I usually completely forget that it is happening! What with my dad passing away when I was a little kid, and all of the drama with the jackass-formerly-known-as-my-stepdad, plus I don't have any grandparents left....it's just not a very big day.
This year, however, I decided to be a grownup (OK, Chris convinced me to be a grownup) and I sent my stepdad a book from Amazon and an email for Father's Day. I mean, he wasn't ALWAYS a jerk...
I also emailed his dad (my step-grandfather I guess?) and said happy father's day, and wrote on new daddy Joey's facebook wall :)

Only thing left to do is the yearly tradition of a toast to my dad -three times a year, we toast - on his birthday (May 23), on Father's Day, and on the day he died (Dec. 27) - we used to do it with Heineken, but now I can't drink Heineken, so on his birthday I asked my mom if wheat-free Guinness would do. As I suspected, my dad A)wasn't too discriminating of a beer drinker and B) loved Guinness, so Guinness it is.

Happy Father's Day everyone!


one of my pet peeves

so I've been writing and reading all day, and I wanted to take a break, so I'm watching My Sister's Keeper because it's on demand. Well actually I'm done watching it now. Gotta say...it was just OK. Yet another one of those books that they should never have made into a movie because it basically ruined it. They changed everything.

Just add it to the list...

SmartyPig Widget

SmartyPig Widget: "Check out my SmartyPig goals."


welcome Taygan Mark!!! :)

ok, I am really not good at this blogging thing, but I wanted to welcome Taygan Mark Renaud into the world! congrats, AJ and Joey :) I've seen the pictures and he is ADORABLE.

I'm so excited to be an Auntie again and have (another) nephew!!!
(seriously, though, not one of my friends has a daughter. all boys. just saying.)

Hopefully Chris and I will head out there on Sunday to meet him in person!


why i love my 3 jobs

i have my dissertation proposal defense on friday afternoon.

since of the 5 people who read this, 3 won't know what that is - it's basically where my committee gets to read my 50 page (with references/figures/examples) proposal, then watch me make a little presentation about it and ask me questions. then we can discuss things like "is this project feasible?" and "what other variables should i look at?" that way, i don't spend a year or more of my life on something and then have them say "wait, why did you do that?!?!" at least hopefully not.

anyway, it's kind of a big deal.

my grad school friends all ask me questions about whether i feel ready in terms of the writing/presentation.
the kids i babysit for just say good luck.
and the girls i work with at anthropologie... ask me if i've picked out my outfit yet.

i love all of it :)


things you should never have to find out..

what it feels like the THIRD time that someone breaks into your car.
(in case you were wondering, you don't cry and honestly you aren't even that surprised. though that could be because i found it at 6:15am and i was just tired.)

on the plus side, this time no windows were broken! (i left my driver's side door unlocked parked in the garage-without-a-door behind my house)

on the not-plus side, my laptop got stolen. the one that i bought with the grant i won for school that had all my fancy software on it. that's all they took though - they left my nice laptop bag, which i appreciate. they opened the center console in my car too, probably looking for a gps, which i don't have.

i did all the stuff you do - went to Apple and got the serial number, filed a police report, talked to my insurance. thumbs up to the following:
-Apple not only gave me my serial number, they flagged it in their system, gave me a number to give to the police for contacting their security department, reinstated all of my itunes downloads ever so i didn't lose anything i downloaded, and gave me a coupon for $100 off in case i want to buy a new laptop.
-the Arlington police department came to my house so i could file the police report and told me to keep an eye on craigslist for something resembling my computer. i did in fact find something on there that night that looked like my computer, and they came back to my house to check it out and talked Chris and I through texting the guy! in fact, if the guy agrees to meet up in Arlington they will go get the computer and see if it's mine. they took all the info to have a detective contact him so fingers crossed!!!

i have renter's insurance (who doesn't after Ang's apartment building burned down?!?!) but since i have a $1000 deductible, there's no point in filing a claim and raising my rates - it wouldn't cover much of anything.
so this week, not only do i get to work every day (i'm scheduled at anthropologie 10 days in a row!) and DEFEND MY DISSERTATION PROPOSAL, i get to figure out how to get my personal laptop up to speed to operate the software i need for school without it costing a fortune.
i love my life.

on the plus side...at least i didn't have to get new windows!


dinner fail.

(a note - AJ, you will love this.)

Tonight I decided to make red wine chicken and roasted potatoes for dinner, because we have red wine left from our party on Saturday night and it's open and I can't drink it all!
Long story short, I accidentally left the red wine/brown sugar mixture simmering too long and made molasses. though it tastes good. and the chicken is cooked perfectly!

.... i think i ruined the pan though.


in other news...

1. It's Beverly Cleary's birthday today - she's 94! anyone who knows me knows that I love to read so my excitement over this isn't a real shock. Also, the woman who wrote all the Babysitter's Club books just wrote a prequel. totally getting that from the library.

2. Ii finally used my kitchenaid mixer this weekend and I am in love with it. Saturday night Amanda and I made gluten free cake for her birthday (with peanut butter frosting! yum), and yesterday I made gluten free chocolate chip scones... kind of. for the first half I forgot to put in the xantham gum (which is what makes the dough stick without the gluten) so those ones kind of look like pancakes. the other half turned out better.

3. I also watched Zombieland again this weekend, and it was just as funny the second time. If you haven't seen it, you should - even my friend Emily liked it, and she hates gory movies.

At this point, I think I'm going to go read a book until tonight's tv starts - House and How I Met Your Mother, and maybe Two and a Half Men, in case you were wondering. We also have an episode of The Pacific to watch from last night, and I recorded Slumdog Millionaire today because I haven't seen it yet. I have to watch it soon though so that chris will let me keep the entire season of LOST on our dvr. It is now taking up almost 80% of the dvr and he's going to flip a shit soon, but Rae and James still want to watch it so I'm battling to keep it recorded :)

cheryl, this is just for you.

i'm not entirely sure i'll have anything entertaining to say, but just for you lil', i am jumping onto the blog bandwagon.

and for my first entry, i have a survey to do that i am expecting the rest of you to do too.

Hi, my name is: jane

Never in my life have I been: blond? i don't know

The one person who can drive me nuts is: haha, there are many more than just one!

High school: was fun, but was a long time ago.

When I’m nervous: i talk really fast

The last song I listened to was: crystallized, by the xx

If I were to get married right now my best man/maid of honor: my sister.

My hair is: strong willed! it does whatever it wants.

When I was 5: i wasn't all that different than i am now.

Last Christmas: was awesome, because my mom and my brother came up here.

I should be..: in the shower, i went for a run but waited til the dishwasher was done so that it didn't steal all the hot water.

When I look down I see: my laptop.

The happiest recent event was: yesterday was a pretty sweet day :)

If I were a character on ‘Friends’ I’d be: totally the female version of ross. i'm such a geek!

By this time next year: i will have defended my dissertation and will have a ph.d.!

My current gripe is: actually i'm quite content right now.

I have a hard time understanding: anything involving spatial abilities is a problem.

There’s this girl I know that: is obsessed with all of her friends starting blogs!! :-P

I like you when: you make me laugh.

If I won an award, the first person I would tell would be: it's a three way tie between chris, my mom, and anna.

Take my advice: live every week like it's shark week! (obviously)