Sunday, March 27, 2011

Still a Kid

Sitting in church this morning I couldn't help but think my favorite parts of church have not changed one bit since when I was little.  I still look forward to the doxology, gloria patri, writing in the friendship pad, passing the offering bowl, and most of all the children's sermon.  Kids say the funniest things during that time and it's always entertaining to watch the different personalities-the kid sliding down the stairs head first, the one running away from his parents, the one that backs out at the last minute and is too shy to go up (that was me...) and the girl putting her dress over her head, to name a few.  During one of the hymns today I also noticed the song was the same tune as a Veggie Tales song, and for the rest of the morning was singing it in my head.  I've wanted to watch Veggie Tales ever since then, I guess I haven't grown up very much...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

HABIT (hips, abs, buns and incredible thighs)

Finding the time, energy and motivation to work out on a lack of sleep is tough, but I'm giving it a more solid effort now than I have in the past.  I was super lame cool and used the same type of intervention I was using with a kid to get myself into the gym.  I get a sticker every time I do cardio, weights and abs and those stickers earn me treats along the way.  So, the more often I make it to the gym the faster I get my rewards!  To mix things up I've been going to some classes at the gym, and spending time in these classes with mostly undergrads that appear to be around 18 (seriously-overheard a heated who's going to buy us alcohol convo the other day) can sometimes be a little annoying.  Some pet peeves:

-No need to switch your hairstyle several times throughout the class, we don't care how you look.

-If extra small spandex shorts are baggy on you, you should probably leave immediately and go straight to Bojangles.

-You're not auditioning for a position at the gentleman's club by the airport.

-Likewise, your weekend exploits are not interesting to everyone waiting for the class to start, lower your voice.  In fact, if the friend you're talking to is playing with their nails and staring off into space, consider just keeping it to yourself, as it seems no one is interested.

-The room's big, no need to invade my personal space.

-Most of us are hot and sweating profusely-if you're cold, don't stand directly in front of the only fan and complain about the "cold", let us use it. (on a related note why do I always end up with bus drivers that blast the heat when it's 80 degrees out??)


-Don't show up right before the class starts and march yourself to the front of the line to get in-the rest of us having been waiting awhile (sometimes up to an hour before if it's a popular class at a popular time).

-Gyms should be a thong-free zone-is that really comfortable?

-After a particularly hard class (like one where several people dropped out halfway through), there's no need to announce to the room you plan on going for a run after.  The extremely tired, legs are shaking people around you may plot to pull a Tonya Harding on you.

Happy sweating!! :-)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

MOH

It's been brought to my attention I've been remiss in mentioning my MOH (aka my sister).  Even though she didn't invite me to Disney World EVEN THOUGH she went during MY Spring Break, I'm glad she had fun.  I'd also like to mention "my parents cat" she claims as her own now (even though I got her for my birthday), so that's all cleared up from a previous post.  Wonder if she can sneak Kit into her dorm next year...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Left a piece of my heart in San Francisco

Friday was our last day in San Francisco, and since we didn't fly out until late that night we had the whole day to do some last minute exploring.  The first half of the day was spent recovering from the night before (we took full advantage of our Groupons...), packing up and checking out of the hotel.  After a lunch from our favorite hole in the wall, Happy Donut (awesome sandwiches!) we set out to check out Union Square Park, explore Tiffany, Barneys and some other too expensive shops before heading to China Town again.  We hadn't been in the daytime and we spent some time just slowly meandering around, checking out shops and exploring.  We found in a back alley Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company, where two women hand make over 20,000 fortune cookies daily.  The smell was wonderful and they were offering free samples, but you had to pay 50 cents to take a picture (which we of course did).

After sufficiently exploring we decided to rest our feet by going to a tea tasting that was really interesting.  I've just recently started trying to drink green tea everyday because supposedly it's healthy, but apparently what you get in tea bags isn't good.  We learned more about tea than you'd ever want to know.  Most interesting to me was that all tea, no matter what, has caffeine.  So, when you get "decaf" tea it's either not decaf or it's not tea (chamomile "tea" isn't tea, it's a flower seeped in water). I came out of there with some white tea (has the least amount of caffeine) with jasmine and rose, and it has been yummy and smells amazing.

Finally, we all met up at a little restaurant we'd scoped out earlier in the day for our last meal before catching a cab to the airport and flying overnight home to North Carolina after an awesome week in an awesome city.  As you can guess the rest of the weekend was spent sleeping-lots and lots of sleeping.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

We didn't sign up for this...

Long ago last semester when we decided to go to NASP we learned there was a 5K and got psyched about it.  One other non-runner and myself started off doing good- getting to the gym together to run around the track at least twice a week, slowly increasing the distance we ran and were feeling good and on target for running the whole 5K.  We were even planning to sign up for another one in March in Chapel Hill.  However, second semester rolled around and Zumba classes started up and school got waaayyy harder, and running kind of took a backseat.  Then came the 5K....at 5:30 am (I don't know why I thought it was at 8...)  We'd thrown out our idea of running the whole thing and decided to alternate walking and running and enjoying the sites as the sun came up over the Golden Gate bridge.  5:30 rolled around and we dragged ourselves out of bed, dressed in many layers and loaded up on the bus.  We got there and saw the bridge and I was feeling pretty excited about running with all the other runners and was ready to give it a shot.
ready to go, excited to have numbers like real runners!
Since it was in a National Park they didn't do a gun start, but instead rang a bell, and I kid you not at exactly the same moment he rang the bell to start the race it started pouring!  Cold, wet, heavy rain at 6 am.  I had a rain jacket on so I had a hood, but my running buddy didn't have anything on her poor head.  I said we were going to keep this secret but confession time: we backed out....  Oh, I'm so ashamed to admit it after saying for so long we were doing it.  We started running and I looked over at poor Megan dripping wet and we just made eye contact and decided nope, not going to happen.  We stealthily made a turn at the first spot we saw and circled around to the finish line where our other friend was volunteering (under a tent).  She turned around at exactly 2 minutes and 42 seconds after the race started to see this:  (Megan this picture is too good not to include, my apologies :-) )
note our "pet" we got the night before is dripping wet
I will say in our defense we weren't the only ones.  AND after the rain let up we did run some.  There was a beach type thing along the water and dogs were playing and we did run up and down the beach a little to say that we at least ran.  But I'll admit we mostly took pictures.

Ashley the border collie did run the whole thing though, and as soon as she crossed the finish line and saw June her first words were "they didn't do it did they?"  No, we didn't...  Add to the shame I got home to a facebook message from my soon-to-be cousin in law (real thing? I don't know, first close relative to get married!) asking how the 5K went.  I was too ashamed to admit it then, but I'm coming clean now.  I WILL run one some day soon though :-)  Despite not having the triumphant finish we imagined we did still do our planned picture in our nerdy Just Graph It! shirts we made for the occasion:
the one who actually finished
AND someone came and asked where she could buy the shirts!  Only at nerd fest...

So, after getting home and showered we wiped the shame off of us (and hid out from the rain for awhile) by doing some serious conference going for the afternoon.  Not many people will find this interesting, but we were especially excited we got to meet Dick Woodcock, co-creator of the Woodcock Johnson Cognitive and Achievement tests, the tests you learn to give in your sleep as a school psychologist.  It was obvious we were at nerd fest because there was a long line to meet him and they were handing out mugs to get his autograph and have your picture taken with him.

The level of excitement in that conference room over someone the majority of the country has never heard of reminded me of this commercial I always get a kick out of (one time in class a teacher was name dropping with school psych "celebs" so much I got the giggles so badly picturing this commercial he stopped class to ask why and I had to explain...)


That afternoon we headed to the Haight district to explore- mostly vintage shops, a cool bookstore and some jewelry places.  My favorite was the vintage lingerie, I loved the long silk nightgowns that were all waaayy to expensive to actually purchase but were fun to look at.  It was pouring rain but still a great exploration.  We also enjoyed some crepes pre exploring and went to a Cuban restaurant for dinner that was very, very good before heading to a bar to use some Groupons we'd gotten and drink, laugh, and dance the night away.  
cheers!  yummy Sangria at the Cuban restaurant

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Rock

So, I got behind on my recap of San Fran because I've been in bed with the flu (awesome spring break happening here), so I'll pick it up now with Wednesday.

Wednesday we got up early and headed to catch the ferry to Alcatraz so we could be the first ones on the island, as we were super psyched about this outing.  It was a chilly day, but the ferry ride over was beautiful, as was seeing the city from the island.  I guess I didn't know much about Alcatraz because I only thought of it as a prison, when actually that's not what it was originally built for anyway.  First it was a fort in case the south decided to take over California... yes, I laughed when I heard this.  Not surprisingly it never saw any action.  THEN it became a prison.  After it closed as a prison it also had a short stint as an Indian reservation/protest in attempts to get land back that was stolen.  Also, while it was a prison families of the wardens lived there, so it wasn't all scary and sad like you picture.  The kids who grew up there described it as a place for a fairytale childhood.  They took the ferry to the city for school everyday and came home to lots of beautiful scenery and flowers every afternoon.
view of the city from the island


view of the bridge from Alcatraz
The prison itself was pretty cold though, especially the solitary confinement cell.  They let you go in and experience the total darkness behind a super thick door where prisoners would stay for sometimes a week.  You're supposed to be in for about 5 seconds but the lady operating the door got distracted while June and I were in there and left us a little too long... we were definitely holding onto each other and saying other people's time seemed shorter.
nervous to enter....
phew!
a good behavior cell
After Alcatraz we grabbed some food from a diner near the hotel before deciding to be studious and attend some poster sessions at the conference for the rest of the afternoon.  After resting up from conference going (it's more exhausting than you would think) we headed out to enjoy some awesome Thai food.  It was soooo good and I will be eating more in the future, I just hope it's as good here in NC... hm, here's hoping I guess.  We spent the rest of the night just wandering around the city exploring some shops-there was a really good mall in Union Square near our hotel so there were lots of cool stores to check out.  We were really looking for some warm gear for a 5K the next morning but had a hard time finding stuff and ended up with some very fluffy earmuffs we called pets and said we'd give haircuts to later.  This came after a little fashion show at Urban Outfitters....

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

No Money? No Problem!

Tuesday after getting some sleep we started off the morning learning some things at the conference.  After getting our learning on we headed out to explore the city, starting by taking a cable car down to Fisherman's Wharf to have lunch at Scoma's, a yummy restaurant Dan's parents recommended.  We split oysters rockefeller, crab cakes, and some sort of shrimp scampi with tomato sauce and it was all excellent.  After stuffing our faces we needed to do some walking so we explored the area and took in the beautiful sites by the water.

This was when I got a call from my bank asking if I'd been using my card in Canada...so bye bye debit card.  About the time I hung up with the bank/my parents and was sufficiently concerned we stumbled across a two story carousel with sea animals that gave me a chance to be a kid riding a seal on the top level.  We also made friends with an adorable little boy and rode with no hands :-)  Then as luck would have it we stumbled across the sea lions we just knew were somewhere close and sat being entertained by them for awhile before heading to Ghirardelli Square to stuff our faces again.  After all this exploring it was getting close to nighttime so we decided that instead of waiting at the cable car turnaround with all the other tourists we'd walk to the next stop at Lombard Street (the crooked one) and hop on like we knew what we were doing.  I think we pulled off hopping on and someone did ask us how we knew to do that, but to get there we had to walk up some seriously steep hills.  While three of us panted and struggled up to the top the fourth, who I like to call the border collie, ran and skipped giggling up as we called her crazy.
she's nuts...
After getting back to the hotel we had just enough time to rest our feet quickly before heading out to meet the rest of the ECU people as well as some people from UCONN for appetizers and drinks.  It was fun to have everyone together and the food was of course yummy (the word of the week).
Some of the other folks pictured here had been busy presenting at the conference all day and hadn't gotten to do any sightseeing yet, so after dinner we used our newly acquired expertise to get them to a restaurant they had reservations at for dinner in Fisherman's Wharf.  As others slowly dwindled off, the three remaining of us made it to an Irish pub near the hotel after this second dinner where we enjoyed some good live music and soaked in the last few minutes we could hold our eyes open for day 2 before hitting the hay.
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