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Why I think Sons of Anarchy plays with my emotions, and Happy Holidays

December 26, 2013 Leave a comment

So I’m a recent new addition to the Sons of Anarchy world of mayhem and hotness (hullooooo Jax Teller!). We’re about halfway through Season 6 and I’m not sure how much more I can take. It’s like there’s a steamroller that keeps progressing through the season, just like the previous seasons.

How is it that I feel these things about felons, killers even? It’s like with the Sopranos… these guys were mobsters but damn if Tony Soprano didn’t worm his way into my heart from the first episode on. SoA does this goodstyle also. Kurt Sutter (also the showrunner) does this especially well as Otto. No spoilers here, but truly Otto is always in for the biggest world of hurt. And how is it that a weirdo like Tigg ends up as one of my faves? He’s nuts as hell in so many ways!

Ugh, I need to figure this out. In the meantime, check out the show only if you’re cool with violence, bad sexual situations (think Oz, my friends) and lots of naked butts (thank you Jax!).

A word (or two) about the holidays

Happy Holidays! If you have time off, use it wisely to catch up on your favorite shows and check out some new ones. If you have to work, well I feel your pain, brothers and sisters. I hope Santa brought you some of your favorite indulgences. Mine did 🙂

If I lived near a Lush store, I’d have to admit a real problem.

lush_haul

I also did some cookie baking for my nearest and dearest. Took me the majority of Christmas Eve, but it’s gotta happen, right?

ChristmasCookies

I’ve gotta go into cookie rehab now, I think. Hopefully they take walk-ins.

Is that what’s good on the streets now? (a little bit of an update)

July 13, 2012 Leave a comment

I haven’t been posting as much lately apart from a few Dragonvale updates here and there. Mostly the reason has been the fact that for the past month or so I had been studying for my comprehensive exams for my master’s degree in I.T..

Here’s the skinny for those thinking about getting into a master’s program of this type: it’s a lot different than undergrad. More work, way more stress, and a whole mess of group projects. Then, after you finish the classes and manage to get decent grades (can’t get anything less than a B in the core classes or it doesn’t count), you are still expected to take four comprehensive exams (no multiple choice here, folks) AND complete a master’s project with a faculty member as sponsor/advisor.

Now, I do have to give credit where credit is due… some students fly right through and finish in 2 years. But, then there are those of us who work full time and can’t take 10-12 hours a semester. In summer no classes are offered aside from the project and a self study option, so if you don’t get the classes in the fall or spring, you gotta wait to finish.

I just took the comprehensive exams in Java, Database, Networks, and Principles of I.T. Passed the first three, not the fourth. That bums me out a bit, but I have another chance to take the exam again in the fall for that section. Getting the first three out of the way is the best part for me. I spent about two weeks holed up at my local library, using vacation time to study for the exams. Some of the classes I had taken 2 or more years ago, the others I had just finished by this spring. Let’s just say there was a gap that I had to overcome to remember the concepts from the earlier classes.

The advice from the professors who were going to grade the exams: Study everything. No formal review, no tutoring, nothing. I was on my own. I guess in a sense that made passing the exams that much sweeter, because aside from one quick chat with a prof, I didn’t have much help preparing.

It’s been a helluva struggle. My poor husband was getting stressed out watching me get stressed from studying all the time. I feel bad for that, but that’s how he is. If he sees I’m upset he gets upset for me. He’s good people 🙂

So, now I can relax somewhat until the fall semester starts. I have a few more electives plus a project to complete, and then I will be done.

Working out  has been a godsend for me to get through the stress and anxiety of preparing for the exams. I’d spend the day studying, then by nightfall I’d be either at the dojo practicing bearhugs and Kung Fu forms, or in my room pushing more weight with Pump Revolution. After a session of either, I felt more relaxed and ready to take on the next day of studying.

Really and truly, the best advice I got from folks I knew who finished their master’s program was the following: For the comprehensive exams, when studying treat each day as if you were at work. Study 8-5, take a lunch break, and then after 5 knock off and do what you normally do to de-stress from a typical work day.  That’s the only way you can cover 4 classes’ worth of material in two or three weeks.

So, that’s my personal update/soapbox speech about graduate school. This first weekend post-exam I plan to spend some time in the kitchen catching up on lost time cooking, and really enjoy my free time once again. No more writing code, no more subnetting, and no more designing Entity Relationship diagrams. I’m done, y’all! 😉

Categories: Musings about things

When Mother Nature decides to remind everyone who’s boss

March 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Last night we had a crazy wicked hail/lightning/thunder/rain/windstorm. The sequence of events:

So I get out of my database class around 8:30 PM. I had seen some activity at intellicast.com that was coming in, so I was hoping my professor would have let us out a bit early. It was not to be. As I leave the building where my class is located, I start seeing lightning flash across the sky. One of the few things that scare me outright are cockroaches and lightning. I have to walk down a long sidewalk with no trees around, so I’m getting really freaked. All I keep thinking is “Please don’t strike me Mr. Lightning, please!” I finally make it to the parking lot and get in the car, all the while breathing a huge sigh of relief. Now, I can focus on the actual drive home.

At this point it’s not really raining yet, so I start heading west along the road in front of my university. To my right I see more and more flashes. After a couple of stoplights, I feel like the flashes are right over me. Sure enough, at least 3 times I see lightning strike the road in front of me a little ways off. I figure if I book it when I get to the turn signal to head south I may be able to beat this storm before it gets bad. I call my husband and tell him to get his car straightened out in the garage so I can park my vehicle in too, as I suspect we may get some hail.

Not a minute after I get the car in the garage the rain starts pouring down. As I bring the garage door down, I start hearing *ping*ping*ping*ping*, and it gets louder and louder. I turn to my husband and say “See, I KNEW hail was a part of this mess”.

Seriously folks, it sounded like really loud popcorn poppers all over the house. I look through the window on the front door, and the hail is coming in sideways directly at the door. Here’s a little audio/video of the event:

At this point we turn on the Weather Channel, and sure enough, we’re under a flash flood warning, a tornado warning, a tsunami warning, any kind of warning you can think of. My dog was freaking out, the cats were hiding in the closet, I even tell my husband to get his shoes on and find a raincoat in case we need to flee. This whole thing went on for at least an hour or two. I looked out at the backyard, and it was white from all the hail. I would have taken a picture to share with y’all, but I was too much of a weenie to go outside. Admit it, I do 🙂

Finally, after around 11pm, things start to die down. My husband gets some text messages from his parents (they live a couple miles down the road from us) who had tons of hail also and several broken windows. The suspicion is that perhaps a funnel cloud touched down near or on their house, because it sounded like a freight train was coming through and they were concerned enough to huddle in an inner hallway. I didn’t hear those types of noises last night, so if it wasn’t a funnel cloud, it was definitely straight line winds. Gusts of 80 mph at a lot of points.

Meanwhile, I call my mother, who lives about 40 miles away, to alert her of the storm. She’s asleep. Dude, we just went through the craziest storm I’ve seen in years, and all they got was some lightning and thunder.

So, in the morning we went out to assess the damage. There was a bit, but not like my poor in-laws and other folks I know who live in our sector.  A really heavy potted plant that not even a hurricane moved which usually resides beside the garage was about six feet down the driveway, still upright. That’s power, I’ll tell you what.

So that’s my story from last night, and I’m sticking to it. Oh, and a nice little happy birthday shoutout to my wonderful beloved husband, who kept everyone sane during the craziness.

Categories: Musings about things Tags:

In the vein of who is pretty hot, the award goes to

February 20, 2012 Leave a comment

a few dudes along with some of their popular work:

Chris Hemsworth - Thor, Star Trek, The Avengers

Dan Stevens - Downton Abbey

Ewan McGregor - Trainspotting

Antonio Banderas - Desperado

Colin Farrell - Minority Report

Ami James - Miami Ink, NY Ink

Ami I met during a meet and greet photo session he and Chris Nuñez did a few years back. He’s really nice in person, despite how he comes across in his shows. One day I hope to get a tattoo done by him.

Anyway, the above is just a short list of who I find striking as far as the men types are concerned.

Categories: Musings about things

Les Mills’ Pump – two weeks out, plus, other things

February 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Well, unfortunately I haven’t been able to stick strictly to the schedule set in the books. However, I am trying to get at least two days out of the week in for Pump. Martial arts three days out of the week  plus night classes two days out of the week doesn’t leave me a lot of downtime, but I don’t feel too bad. The way I see it, Kickboxing, Krav Maga, and Kung Fu is still helping to strengthen my body even without using weights. Pump is the icing on the fitness cake in that sense for me.

Pump Shred is in the rotation these days. It’s a great workout, and I definitely feel the burn and the urge to tack on the extra weight (up to 20 lbs for the back and shoulder track, less for the others). I wish the system came with more weight options aside from the 10s and 5s, but it doesn’t. So, I went out to a local sporting goods store and bought a couple of 2.5 lbs. It’s not much, but it’s noticeable especially in the chest track. The downside with metal weights is you have to be really careful taking them off the bar, or you’ll scratch the finish pretty badly. I learned that one the hard way.

On to other things…

As I’m sure everyone is aware of, Whitney Houston passed away tragically. I’m not really going to say much on that other than it’s a real shame. Whitney defined a lot of the 80s for me as a kid since her videos were constantly on MTV. I never really liked her later stuff (yes, even I Will Always Love You), but her first couple of albums were pretty cool in my book. So, I thought I’d share a couple of video favorites:

First World Problems

February 8, 2012 Leave a comment

A list:

  1. Still in search of a hair stylist. I’ve been to three different salons in the past six months and still haven’t found my “home”. Here’s a tip for curly hair: If you go get a haircut, ask them to cut it when it’s dry. As we all know, curly hair tends to straighten out and give the illusion of being longer than it really is when it’s wet. So, if it’s dry when cut, you’ll get a much better idea of how your style will look when you get home.
  2. Should I make that lemon cake this weekend or not? It’s pretty labor intensive.
  3. Will it stop raining before I go to martial arts tonight? Sources say probably not.

Again, first world problems.

The bane of my existence right now is the Horse Stance. We use it in Kung Fu as an almost meditative pose. It makes the quad muscles hurt something fierce, but it’s supposed to be less painful the longer you do it as those muscles get stronger and more flexible. In the black belt tests, depending on degree one may have to hold it anywhere from one minute to ten full minutes. Wow… one would really have to go deep into their happy place to last that long.

The stronger your legs become, the easier it gets… or so they say 😛

Since last night was Kung Fu, tonight is Krav Maga. This song always reminds me of that class in particular:

Rock on.

A sense of accomplishment

January 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Tonight is the quarterly graduation ceremony at my martial arts school. Those who have attended regularly and done their best to earn their stripes every month have the chance to advance to the next belt. For me that will be purple from orange. Purple has an extra special significance in this case because only purple belts and above are allowed to attend classes in the exquisite art of Kung Fu. I am very happy to finally get here 🙂

Categories: Musings about things
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