Thursday, October 28, 2004

Prayers, positive thoughts, whatever

So the marathon is 3 days away. THREE days away! And my knee is still hurting, despite having been to 17 Physical therapy sessions in the past six weeks. I have another session on Friday to get one last dose of the topical anti-inflammatory into my knee before the race and then that's it! Six months of training are coming to an end in what will hopefully be a triumphant completion of my first marathon.

So for all of you who pray or meditate or have a gift for affecting the future in some way, I could use some help! Send those positive thoughts my way and the godly requests upwards.

Or, perhaps you could help in the following ways:

Do you know someone who gives cheap coritsone shots in dark alleys?

Do you know a doctor who could prescribe some serious pain medications that would get me through, oh four or five hours of intense exercise?

Do you know someone who has superhero healing powers?

Are you aware of ways to run 26.2 miles only using one leg?

Are you an expert in putting mind over body and overcoming physical limitations?

Please contact me ASAP if you have abilities or know someone with abilities in any of these areas.

If not, well then, just wish me luck and if you're in the area, come out and cheer. You can even get email updates during the race that will give you updates on my time. Sign up here.

I'll give you a full report afterwards...assuming I make it through!! :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

"But you look like such a little girl!"

So these are the words that a student said to me this morning in the Teamwork Center when I told her that I used to teach public speaking. "They must not have taken you seriously at ALL!"

I could feel the frustration coming back all over again. That same annoyed feeling I get every time that someone tells me how young I look. Grr. I responded "Yeah, well I am a graduate student. And they did take me seriously. I dressed up a lot more." I said these words confidently, as if she would believe that dressing in a suit and some pearls made me look my age.
I know this is something stupid to get annoyed about, but people tell me this SO often, I get sick of it. Especially when they say it in such an offensive condescending way (who wants to look like a "little girl"?!).

Here's a list of some of the people that have commented on how young I looked -

1. Man on the street while walking my dog. (He swore I was in high school even when I told him I was a graduate student.)

2. Woman doing my manicure. (Stated completely out of the blue: "You look SO young!" And she didn't even mean young for my age, because she didn't' know my age. She just meant I looked young in the generic sense....Which I don't even really understand.)

3. Annoying drunk guy at outdoor concert at PowerPlant in Baltimore. (I admit, I was acting slightly obnoxious, but ONLY because I was imitating one of my friends. He turned to me and said "How old are you? FIFTEEN? Why don't you stop acting like that?" I wanted to punch him in the face.)

4. Brother's friends. (When I went to visit him in CA when I was a senior in college and he was a FRESHMEN, I got introduced to some of his friends who asked what year I was. When I told them I was a senior, they asked what colleges I was applying to and started offering me advice. I had to correct them - I'm applying to graduate school, not undergrad. And I don't need any advice.)

5. Little kid (literally, in 3rd grade) down the street. (This conversation was particularly humiliating. He would not believe that I was older than my 17 year old sister, and kept saying "NO WAY" when I told him I was six years older. I didn't know little kids could have such a strong idea about age!).

OH and my personal favorite:

6. Flight attendants on the way home from California - this one deserves further explanation.

So Meghan and I just went to visit Courtney out at Stanford. We got split up on the flight home and somehow I got seated in the minors row. You know, the kids who are flying alone and have to be monitored by the flight attendants. So, I'm kind of annoyed that I am sitting without my friend, but I wasn't aware of the fact it was a minor's row until...

"Excuse me..."

I take off my headphones. "Yes?"

"Excuse me, honey, but where's your sticker?"

"My sticker?" Clearly, I'm confused.

"Yes, everyone else has their sticker, now what happened to yours? We need to get you another one."

I look around at the other kids and indeed, they do have stickers that proclaim their status as minors.

"Oh...I see. Well, I'm not supposed to be in this row, I'm not a minor. I just got placed here."

She acted as if she didn't even hear me. "No, no we have to find you a sticker." And off she goes.

The other flight attendant, a male, comes to our row and says in a kindergarten teacher voice, "Now, everyone look at me. I found these keys. Are these your keys? Take a close look. Are these your keys?"

Then he notices, me. "Oh no - where is your sticker?"

"Um, listen, I'm not a minor. I'm not even supposed to be in this row. So I don't have a sticker. And they're not my keys."

"No, you have to be a minor to sit in this row!"

After going back and forth about this, finally, exasperated, I pull out my license and show it to him. "See!? I'm NINETEEN YEARS OLD! Now, will you please stop asking me where my sticker is and leave me ALONE?!"


So this morning, years after the flight incident and after being told how young I look time and time again, when a student years younger than me says that I look like such a "little girl" can you see why I get annoyed?

I'm going to be like 30 and going into labor with my first child and then nurses are going to say "Oh, how sad. Another teenage pregnancy. She's so young!" And then I'm really going to have to flip out.

Why won't anyone believe me?

And, I guess more importantly, why do I even care?

Saturday, October 23, 2004

I've gotten this far

Well, I dragged myself here to the office during the Homecoming football game in hopes of getting some work done. Sad, but true.

Now that I'm here, I'm not really sure I am ready to delve into all this work.

I have been putting it off though, so time to hunker down. (Is that the right use of that phrase?)

I remembered some other funny things Michael Moore said last night. He was talking about the Republican party and what they have vs. what the Democrats have. He said, "Well, George Bush has GOD on his side...GOD! Who do we have? Ben Affleck? I mean I love the guy, but God beats Ben Affleck every time!" Then, when we left, I picked up a little door knob hanger (the ones that usually say do not disturb) that says "DID GOD TELL BUSH TO BOMB IRAQ?"

Okay, enough pondering on the festivities of last night. Back to the impact of hurtful messages on relational distancing. Hmm...

Michael Moore

First, sorry for the depressing and weird last post. Maybe I'll explain that later.

But, onto more important things, like the present. I just got back from seeing Michael Moore on his "Slacker Uprising" tour and I'm totally invigorated. Yes, the guy is extreme and out there with a lot of things, but he is doing a lot of good and motivating a lot of people.

I don't know how many thousand people were there tonight, but it really did give me hope that maybe Kerry can win this election. Before tonight I thought that getting out there to vote was enough, but now I realize that I really need to do more. Whatever I can do to convince other people to vote in the next 11 days is crucial. I know the Republicans are out there doing their job, so I need to do mine.

Anyway, among the issues he talked about were 9/11, the war, media's coverage of the war and of politics in general, and minority issues (of women, gays, and non-whites).

He talked about extreme conservatives on TV, including Bill O'Reilly and his new book - The O'Reilly factor for kids. Did you know this existed? Included in it is a section on "sex" and advice to "girls" and "guys." The jist of it was - girls, guys only want one thing and as soon as they get, they'll dump you. And for guys, beware of girls who only want to use you to brag about their sex life. You'll end up looking like a loser. Or something like that. It was ridiculous and if you're in a book store, it might be looking up on page 96 or 76 or something to get the exact wording.

Some of the funny incidences of the night included a series of six "VOTE BUSH" ads that Moore made and is kindly giving to the Republican party to show in the coming days. One of them, called "Duck" had shots of a war and the voice over said "When John Kerry went to war in Vietnam and bullets were shot at him, he ducked. Do you want a president who ducks?" Another, "John Kerry had long hair [shot of Kerry in the 70's] he has SHORT hair. What will he do next? No flip flops in the white house. Vote Bush."

Moore's next film is going to be on pharmaceutical companies. Apparently, they got wind of this and Pfizer sent out a "secret memo" that some pissed off employee forwarded to Moore. He read it to us and it basically said "If you see a heavy-set white man with a beard, rumpled clothing, and a microphone, you might want to think twice about talking to him. Word has it that Michael Moore's next documentary is on pharmaceutical companies and we're not sure if he's pro or against." Haha. Then it went on to give a Michael Moore hotline number to call if he approaches you. So of course the audience screams to give us the number, and everyone holds up their glowing cell phones (quite a sight!) and enters the number. He told us to call on Monday morning and whisper into the phone in a desperate and frantic voice "He's in the building!! Quick! I'm under the desk! Send reinforcements...he's getting closer! Please come!!"

Good laughs were had by all.

But when he started talking about the war again all the letter he got from soldiers (published in his book - Will they ever trust us again?) and all the lives that have been lost their, I almost started to cry. It just all seems so unfair and unjust.

I am really glad I went and really glad that our school hosted this. Mike Gallagher (a conservative radio personality) had his own talk and "protest" at a different part of campus. I was expecting to see a lot of protesters at our event (with signs like "NO MOORE LIES" or something), but they weren't.

All in all it was a really great night. He is quite a motivational speaker and really made me want to get more involved and do more than just turn in my ballot on November 2nd.

If he comes to your city on his Slackers Uprising tour, you should definitely go.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Your Story

When the same day comes along
a year or two later
it dawns on you,
things are different

the past begs to be remembered, to be compared
the ways things are now vs. the way things were then
and you think, which is better?
and you try to make sense of the way things have unfolded.

and since time alters the way you see all things
where is the truth in any situation?
the past changes everyday
as the mind bends and stretches memories
reinterpreting them, forcing them to fit through your current lenses
accentuating parts of the past that were once unimportant,
weaving them into a story that makes sense of the life you're living today

so i wonder, now that a year has passed,
what have i become in your story?

Burned Out

Okay, I have only been working really hard for like three days straight, but I am so tired right now.

I am on this kick to finish my thesis proposal (the first draft anyway) so I can enjoy this weekend. But this means that I have been at school to 11 PM or midnight every night and that my mind feels like mush.

Unfortunately, I have a midterm today in my epistemology (aka communication theory) class, which means I need my brain to be sharp and focused.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

First, Happy Birthday to Jen today! Head on over to her site and leave her some birthday love!

Okay, I don't have much else to write right now, except for that I am really super tired and I can't seem to liven up.

I keep feeling incredibly guilty that I don't have my thesis proposal done yet. I know it will get done eventually, but this guilt is paralyzing me. It keeps me up at night. Oh no! I'm taking six thesis credits and what do I have to show for it?! AHHHH!

On a happy note, I made homemade cheesecake for my roommate's birthday yesterday. I hate a big piece with cherries and whipped cream, but I refused to feel guilty for that. Every bite was heavenly. Yum.

On the guilt note, and since I am reading stuff about emotion for my thesis, here is a question for you. Some researchers assert that emotions developed because they help us make decisions. Emotions motivate us to act certain ways and give us more information about our environment.

If you agree with this, what purpose do you think guilt serves?

Monday, October 04, 2004


I cannot believe it is already October. This is freaking me out. Midterms are coming up and deadlines and this is all just a lot for me to handle. I was able to keep these thoughts at bay this weekend, because I went home for the 26 mile practice run.

Speaking of the practice run, a miracle happened. And I needed one. The most I've run since my injury was 5 miles, and that was last Wednesday. Every other time I tried to run, the pain got so bad I couldn't go on.

But I was determined to get in at LEAST 10 miles this weekend. My two teammates were aimed at finishing the full 26 in preparation for our marathon on October 31st. I did lots of stretches before and tried to keep a positive attitude and somehow ran 20 miles!! I walked four miles at the end, but still! I crossed the finish line running (rather pathetically, I might add) and received my AIDS marathon medal. I was so proud. And it gave me just the confidence booster I needed. I'm confident I will be able to finish the marathon in a month, even if I have to walk at the end because of my injury.

Well, that's it for now. I suppose I really should do some work.