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Feb. 28th, 2014

I woke up anxious today, more than I have in a while. Not sure why...it might be getting to Toronto for tonight's painting class, it might be waiting for the results of my request for extended leave to be approved, or just the amount of coffee I've had (thanks, Roll Up the Rim and McDonalds freebies)It could be the mass of analysis I have ahead of me, outlining my manuscripts oh-so-roughly and the fact that the lab won't be free for my soil work for another few weeks.  Maybe I've just spent too much time around people this week- Carcassone with the lab peeps, knit night with a bunch of new people, and tonight's class with mum.  Maybe it's that I've been skipping out of the lab early to get all this shit done, and I feel like I'm falling behind, especially when my current site is so crap for cross-dating. 
I've been thinking a lot today about the "blame the victim" mentality and where the line is between putting blame on someone for something beyond their control and when they need to take responsability for their own safety.

Saying that a woman is asking to get attacked by wearing revealing clothes or drinking at a party is offensive bullshit, and I'm very firmly of the belief that we should be raising our boys with the "real men don't rape" mentality rather than just raising our girls with a "good women don't get raped" line.

Where I'm sticking at is that you can dress however you want, but for fuck's sake don't walk alone down a dark street.  I don't care HOW you're dressed; the world is full of bad people who are waiting for an opportunity to find people alone.  I don't mean just rapists, I mean people looking for an easy mark for a fight or a robbery.    If you're going to go party, by all means - go and have a good time, but make sure that you're minimizing your risk; nothing is failsafe, proof given by the amount of acquaintance rape that goes on.   Planning a safe way home is part of the responsability that comes with the priviledges of being an adult and going out to have adult fun.  I guess we need to raise ALL of our kids with a "the world has bad people in it.  Be prepared and THINK." mentality.

I'm putting my thoughts out here to give myself a third-person perspective on them and give me a bit of distance to see critically.  Maybe I was just raised in a very cautious, non-confrontational environment, but the idea of happily roaming in areas where you KNOW the risks are high seems...foolish, to me.  I would have LOVED to hike in the Sangre di Cristos, but I was by myself, and my knowledge of self-first aid isn't enough that I felt safe doing it, nor is my knowledge of local animals or laws.  Would I have been fine if I hiked? Probably, but to me; it's not worth putting myself at risk when there are other oppotunities for fun that are safer.    *sigh* I dunno, I recognize that I lose out on a few opportunities for fun, but at the same time I'm less stressed and on alert for danger when I'm in a lesser-risk situation.  Do I run better with music? Hells, yes.  Do I run with music? Nope, because then I'm not aware of my environment, which is upping the risk of an accident or incident.  Nothing is perfect, shit still does happen despite the best-laid plans to keep it at bay.  I just know that for someone with a tendency towards self-recrimination the less ammunition I give to that part of me, the better.

La Guieque

Of all the awesome things that came out my trip to the southwest, the thing I'm geeking out about most is that one of the leaders of my field is now my friend on facebook.

I can't tell if it's a sad commentary on a) society; b) how small our academic niche is; or c)how much of a nerd I truly am.

Note to self

This may be the year of Challenge as Adventure, but letting ego get in the way is asking for trouble.

I'm walking with a cane right now because of ego - a good reminder from the universe that being humble and honest is the way to go.  Lifting something the same size I am on a slippery surface isn't being tough, it's being egotistical.  Now the fruits of that are getting in the way of race training.  I guess that's a re-inforcement of the lesson, not to start training until my knee is back up to 100%, just to prove that I'm badass and can handle it. 

An article from Unintentional Irony sums up pretty well what I need to remind myself to avoid. 

Remember, self: Humility only works if it's internal.  Superficial devotion is called "hipocrisy".

Mar. 19th, 2012

So many things to write about - far north travel, papers, presentations, a new writing project, less than a month to donating my hair again...I'm so busy I barely have time to think and yet...

Right now, typos are at the top of my pet peeve list.  For the love of all that's holy, it's spelt "tongue".

I can now check "Present at a conference" off the list of things that scare me that I have yet to do.  It actually wasn't that bad, although having the poor guy who went before me stuttering over his awful presentation  (if I never hear "wood furniture of the type used in a kitchen" again, I'll be happy) made me feel a lot better about what I had to say.  I had a few people come up after and tell me that they liked my presentation most out of the mornings.  Had someone else also say that her daughter knew me, and they were texting back and forth about it...that was kinda weird.

It was a big relief to do it and have it be done -  I think I did a decent job at the networking part of it, too. 

Getting ready for the talk meant I didn't finish my proposal outline on time, but since it's not being graded for marks, and Roberta's not going to look at it until Monday anyways...I figure I'm pretty safe in handing it in this weekend.  I mailed her to let her know, just to cover the bases.  Can't seem to settle down to write right now...think I"ll clean for a bit and then head to Ashtanga.

Kicking exercise ass: the pros and cons

For the last few weeks, I've been diligent about getting to the gym.  Maybe 'diligent' is too mild a word...'compulsive' is too strong of one..I guess I fall somewhere in between.  Slacking off and having no stress relief because of it last term made me more determined to whip myself into shape before New Mexico this summer - I can't core trees if I've got crap upper body strength.  Of course, there are pros and cons to daily exercise

I'm almost back to chin-up stage arm muscles
My endurance and strength are up
I'm definitely losing a bit of weight and toning up
I'm less stressed and happy once I've worked out
I feel good and confident and ass-kicking in my body, especially after kickboxing and weight classes
Hot yoga is helping me center myself again, and bringing back a bit more of the bendy
It makes me more social

Losing weight means my boobs are going to get smaller :( It's already started.
I've completely been neglecting my studies to work out.  I just can't seem to get into "paper reading mode"*
* of course, trying to read a 16-page paper on statistical analysis of tree ring mortality/growth indicators probably wasn't the best thing to try to 'get back into it'.
I have a hella lot of laundry.

All in all, though, I'm pretty sure it's worth it. 
I'm on my way into doing more things that scare me- psyching myself up for presenting at my very first conference (as a presenter, not an attendee) on the 10th of next month.  Presenting to the knowledgeable scares the crap out of me...my odds of looking foolish are substantially elevated.  In preparation, I'm cooking a large chunk of animal (pasture-raised beef).  It might sound like a strange prep, but cooking big flesh chunks makes me anxious since I'm not particularly good at it (one of the prime reasons I don't eat much meat, although not really liking meat is probably part of why I've never really learned to cook it well). Not only will I be improving a skill, it's one more way to prove that intimidating things are surmountable.

Go Team Face-Your-Fears!

I am NOT a banana. I...am a BURRITO!

I have decided that the kiddie burrito is the ultimate post-skiing food.  At least for tonight.  Next time, I may choose another ultimate food :P I guess I can be fickle like that.  Of course, since the next time I"m going skiing it will be just after breakfast on Friday, a burrito might be a bit of a heavy way to go to school...
What a fun night it was...I never realized before that "going skiing with someone" meant that you always ride the lifts together, that you hang out in line and chat on the way down sometimes (although, mostly Mike went zooming past me.  I'm not proud, I'll admit that, but at least I didn't fall down tonight).  I guess I'd always been left behind before so I assumed that's how it was done.  Turns out, it's not how friends do it.  Good to know. :)

But oh, yes...the burrito.  Food and I are having supervised visits these days, but the burrito was a delightful splurge of joy that turned out to not be much of a splurge at all.  Plus, it was less than five bucks and came with a milk box.  Which was hilarious, I haven't had one of those in years.  We're definitely heading to Chorizo again after the next night ski, where I will also remember to wear my glasses since tinted goggles are less than helpful when skiing with night lights.  I'm finally relaxing enough to get into semi-wedge, and parallelling on the less steep bits, although by the end of the night when my knees were sucking out, it was pretty brutally pie-shaped.  The weight lifting has definitely helped my leg and core strength though, so this promises to be a good season for what remains of it.

I just wish my season's pass didn't look quite so *surprised* It's not like I didn't know they were taking the picture.  Better than a blink picture, I suppose...

Jan. 4th, 2012

Tonight, I took care of myself.  Of everything, I think that's what matters most...being tired and sick with either M or G's cold isn't helping my physical feeling or my mood, and by the end of the day I felt pretty damn shitty and was in one hell of a funk.  There was just enough lip to cling onto that I got my ass down to the gym, because I knew I needed it.  Knew it would help...and it did. 

Often, it's hard for me to take that step, to tip myself over into doing something good for me when I'm in that kind of a mood.  It'll be better when the sun comes back more, or at least when there's some snow so I can get some exercise and some sunshine at the same time (although, really, how much vitamin D can you make when the only part of your body that's exposed is the strip between your neck gaiter and your goggles? And you're covered in sunscreen anyways...).

I think all the yoga in the 'burg really helped- it got me back into the habit of caring for myself and working out regularly.  Seeing one of the other regulars at Maria's was awesome, especially when she gave me a big hug when I walked in with Kim, before getting us a table.  Made me feel all sparkly inside.  I love sangha.

Almost time for another 30 day challenge downtown...I'm going to have to figure out how to do this one...it's a lot farther from home now, and I'm not taking a week off work like last year.  I'll just have to go from work every day, and go closer to home on weekends... it's so worth it, in the end.

Of course, so is sleep, especially when fighting a cold.  One more way to nurture...

sweet dreams :)
Paper is in!
Dark chocolate and nutmeg!
Christmas presents!

Despite the general crappiness of the last few weeks, things feel like they're looking up. Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster, my context paper is in and while I knew there were some major gaps in it (like zero discussion on the climatic change/fire and cc/insect life cycle interactions) I just couldn't look at the damn thing anymore.  Doesn't bode super well for my thesis I suppose, but jeebus willing I'll actually have some supervision from my supervisor and feel less like I'm swimming alone on this.

I celebrated finishing my paper by buying my 5x7 for Glen Eden, and making a big batch of red wine jelly.  My stress level has gone way down since I submitted...it's nice.

Looking forward to getting back to the other kind, now that I've got free time again :P