The End is Near

Hey-oh, Blogosphere!


So the end is near. I can't quite see it but I can feel it. And here we go!

The end of the quarter breakdown!
  • Dec 1: PhD Application #1 due at 8:59 PM
  • Dec 3: Fixed up methods and results sections of thesis due at 11:59 PM
  • Dec 4: Thesis introduction finished at 11:59 PM
  • Dec 6: 16-page stats paper due at 12:00 PM
  • Dec 9: 15-page research article due at 11:59 PM
  • Dec 12: Application #2 "due" at 11:59 PM
  • Dec 14: Application #3 "due" at 12:00 PM
  • Dec 15: Application #4 "due" at 11:59 PM
The "dues" in quotation marks are not actual, real due dates. Application #3 and #4 are due January 15 but I so desperately want them over with.

December 16 -- I'm flying home for two weeks in snowy Salt Lake! I'm so excited. I'm going to get plenty of sleep and be social! Two things I absolutely love!


what it is

Dear Blogosphere,

Today has been great. I got a full 8 hours of sleep! lots of stuff done! have adopted a "que sera, sera" attitude! and spent a glorious $60 on Amazon! All fun stuff! And no, there is not a shortage of exclamation points!!

"for audrey" nail polish
amy sedaris's new book
an iphone case... with stripes!
and something else

Read somewhere that it's bad form to post poetry on your blog...





November 28 in Photographs

Heading to the airport in white out conditions!
I love the "Here Now" feature. What's the purpose?
One of these days I'm totally going to message someone.
"HEY! How are you? We're both at the airport."
I don't think I'll get a response.

I think I'm above Tahoe...?
Photograph at SMF. Sunny day, leaves all sorts of interesting colors.
Back to reality.


I'm back home! Have a moment to blog while I eat my bizarre dinner of tater tots and tofu.

I appreciate the alliteration!

I can't decide what to call "home"*. But I'm in California. Palm trees, greenery, and so many leaves have turned!

And, comparatively, this place is toasty! I'll take some low 50's. They had to spray our plane with a de-icing chemical so that the wings would cease to be frozen and wouldn't freeze in the air. :-/ I was unawares that was a real possibility... I did think though that it would be a pretty good time in my life, as far as times are concerned, to go down in a plane crash. Then people could talk about all the things I was going to do as opposed to everybody thinking about me as the gal who couldn't get into a PhD program were a plane to go down, say, in May. Haha, I guess I have some pretty dark thoughts at times. And I really don't know why I'm sharing them. Just spreading the moroseness...

So I was stuck in the plane next to a rather large fellow for an extra hour and a half... without the use of my portable electronic devices. Unfortunately, I had decided to check my bag with my reading in it. :-/ So it was just me and some daydreaming for a nice long time. My daydreams were quite pleasant. Thinking about how cool it would be to work in various peoples' labs. How the life of a PhD student is so glamorous in its own way.

Anyway, life's about to get crazy. Actually, I think it has already hit that point! So I'm off to do one of about 20 things I should have gotten done this weekend. Awesome... I love myself for doing this to me.

*Except for tuition purposes! I am a Californian. For sure. Absolutely.

leaving home

There are many things I absolutely love about home. 
Here are a few...

The temperature (inside) is always perfect.

I went to get some apple juice from the fridge 
and discovered it was wassail!

Delicious food. Gas stove!

This funny bunny named Ben that roams about.

Quiet at night. No trains, no neighbors, 
no college parties.

There's always someone around to talk with. 

The carpet is so soft. Everything is so cozy.

A definite feeling of belonging.

It just feels... perfect. I don't want to leave. But I know that leaving makes home seem all the better.

About nine more hours. I suppose I shall sleep through them.



Happy SG Day!

Summer 2004.

My friends and I snagged seats behind him and his friends...

"Hey, Natalie, when's your birthday?"
"November 2x..."

He turns around...

"No way! Mine is November 27!"

"Sagittarian pride!"

I know only three things about him. #1 He was full of brains. #2 His name. #3 His birthday.

And I was too chicken to ever initiate a real conversation with him.

So what is SG Day? A day for fools like me to stop being chickens! Go for it! Whatever 'it' may be! If you don't, you might just keep on regretting it.



Bunny cuddle time
Home has been so wonderful the past few days. I'm definitely recharging my batteries. Conversing with the fam, delicious food, and hanging out with Ben.

It is so cold here. It's completely covered in snow. I think California has seeped into my soul because not only does it seem *ridiculously* cold here, but it also feels rather nice. It's like a vacation from all that good weather we have further west!

Tomorrow is my last whole day here. Sad, sad, sad. My younger sister is taking me to see The Scarlet Pimpernel as a birthday present -- I am so excited! Other than that, I really have to crack down starting right now on application stuff.

December 1st is very, very close.



Many thanks!

I hope everybody had a delightful Thanksgiving!
And thanks for all the happy birthday wishes! It was a fantastic day.

The word cloud is not quite exhaustive. ;-)


weblogging from SMF


It's 5 AM and I am full of caffeine! DC is fantastic any hour of the day. Made it through security sans grope-fest. Sacramento is a pretty small airport, no full-body scanners, but I was a little surprised I didn't get a full-pat down. I made it through the metal detector with pump AND jeans. Awesome. Will I have the same luck in Salt Lake? Probably... not.

Lots of people here... traveling for the holidays is pretty fun, I have to say. (I tend to enjoy things other people complain about... common theme in my life?) I can't help but get Home for the Holidays by the Carpenters stuck in my head!

From Atlantic to Pacific, gee, the traffic is terrific!



one week

extension on stats paper!


I love that class + prof more and more every week.

In other news... actually, no other news. :-)

Life's goooooooood.

odd...s ratios

Need to pick something from those two tables to talk about. And talk about it clearly and briefly.

Can I tell you a secret? I'm tired of this application process. It's literally exhausting for me to have to sell myself. The Razzle Dazzle.

I'm just a bagel.

Great, now I'm hungry. And no closer to deciding what to talk about and how to talk about it. Darn you, Chicago!

Once I'm done fixing up my statement of purpose, I'm so going to the corner store for something sugary and something fattening. Sour Patch Watermelons and those black pepper kettle chips. Ohhhhh, baby. Salivation has begun. Gotta get this done!

P.S. I had a totally weird dream last night. My 6th grade crush was in it. And then this guy I went to high school with interrupted my conversation with sixth-grade-crush, as we were late getting to the airport to go to some place wonderful like Marseilles. We missed our plane, totally bummed, then he said, "Oh, how about we go to Madrid instead?" Woe is me! At some point he left during the flight, and two older ladies told me I "could do much better than him like, well, how about Carter Oosterhouse?"

Ha ha ha ha, I should sleep more.




So I already have a number of birthday plans. Let me share them with you...

#1. Gin and ginger. I'm going to drink for the first time ever on a plane. A friend recommended I try a gin and ginger. Any other suggestions?

#2. Carrot cake.

#3. It's going to be 18*F and snowy! Brr. I'm going to grab a white mocha on my way out of the airport.

#4. It's going to be 18*F and snowy! Which means Ben better be ready for some snuggle time.

#5. Scarlet Pimpernel. My younger sister and I, and whoever else is around, are going to watch it! Ali's taking me to see it live on the 27th! :-D

#6. My family has a tradition of going out to eat on birthdays, but I'd rather eat in. I'm thinking lasagna or my favorite comfort food, chicken and rice. Those are two dishes I really can't make and eat living alone.

#7. Mostly, I'm just excited to be going home. My birthday last year was lots of fun, too, but I like celebrating it with the family. YAY!


it wasn't all bad.

Relationship quality and partner warmth explain...


of the variance in European American girls' body dissatisfaction.
Holy cow!

In other news, my resized ring arrived today. I love wearing it again. :-)

should i be concerned about this?

So I've been rerunning some of the analyses for my thesis just to make sure that I did them correctly. I was going along just fine until I started at the beginning and noticed that I had an F statistic when I should have had a chi-square. Concerning... I think it was just a cut-and-paste error, but still.

So I decided I had better go through it all again. I seemed to have made three different versions of a relationship quality variable. One was created incorrectly. One was ok but just not in the proper format. And one was correct. I wanted to make sure it was correct though, so I recreated that variable. It was right. But now when I run the analysis, I have one less degree of freedom. Where did that person go? How much should I fret?

This is why my thesis is taking so long.

In other news... how about this series of PHD Comics. I LMAO'ed.


sennheiser px 100

My poor Sennheiser headphones died tonight.

rest in peace
Complete tragedy. These were the best headphones I've ever owned. Great sound quality and they would fold up neatly to fit in even a small purse. Did I mention the sound quality? Perfection.

One of the wires came loose. NOOO!

I am aware that it is 4 AM and my tears are probably due to a combination of not feeling good and probably needing some sleep, but these headphones and I have been through a lot together. I've had them for about 4 years. When I lived in Pennsylvania, I'd literally escape through them. Listening to Cat Stevens or the Savage Lovecast. They were on my head through the worst of times.

Why, oh why must they go? And why did they stop making them in white? Why will it cost me about $70 to replace them?

Fortunately, I have another great pair of headphones that I usually use in my apartment (as they are rather large -- audiophile-style) so I am not completely left out in silence... but, so sad.

OK, back to thesis. I was getting lots done until...



Went back through my 7th grade journal to see what I had written about my friendships, etc. Ran across these that had been taped up in my locker. Completely forgot about that whole Scottish phase I went through. Ha ha.



Great news tonight! My poster proposal was accepted for the conference in Montreal! I am so, so excited. This will be the first time at an academic conference! This will be the first time I've traveled "abroad"! And it's Montreal! And I'm going with my people! And I'm going to get feedback on my stuff. I love feedback! And I'm going to try to run into people at the PhD programs I'm applying to!

Another proposal that I was third author on was accepted as well. So I have two things to add to my CV. Yes!

I am so excited. So excited. I need to get my passport renewed and I need to try to find a restaurant that serves gluten-free poutine! And I need to make my poster. Ha ha.




Stats paper done. Interesting things occurred in the process. Of course.


happy(?) world diabetes day!

November 14 is World Diabetes Day.

I had a plan to write something thoughtful and possibly thought-provoking about life and growth with type 1. And I don't have enough time... instead, I'll share a few great resources you can check out if you're interested!

A brief overview of all types of diabetes.

I use this quite often when I'm reading biomedical research about T1D. It has pretty much everything in it.

Short slideshow of a few celebrities with type 1, 2, and gestational diabetes.

This is my favorite website for all 'betes related things. I love the motto: "Diabetes isn't a death sentence--Life is a death sentence. Stop with the excuses: Start living, or start dying, the choice is yours." It has great resources and forums for emerging adults like myself. Unlike most support groups/websites, it leaves me feeling empowered.



Going off the blog grid until I have finished yet another long stats paper. This quarter is kicking my ass.

Guess what the paper is about!

Fine, I'll just tell you. Boys' height and body dissatisfaction. I did a quick lit search and I couldn't find ANYTHING on height and body dissatisfaction. I think I'm on to something here.

Did you know that there's a curvilinear (u-shaped) relationship between boys' weight and body dissatisfaction? Yep. It's a linear relationship for girls.

So a two-factor ANOVA. Height. Weight. Then an interaction of height by weight.

I'll let you know what I find out.

(Isn't research fun?!)

P.S. I'm going to hear about Montreal next week!

P.P.S. I love this song. The chorus is straight from Levi's Myspace page. Remember that? Oy, that was a good election.



thanksgiving thoughts

Pumpkin soup. Herb-rubbed turkey au jus. Honey-glazed sweet potatoes. Seared endive. Fennel and leeks with a roasted onion vinaigrette. Baked apples with cherries and almonds. Roasted potatoes, carrots, parsnips and brussels sprouts. Wild rice, sausage, and apple stuffing.

Two weeks!


friday night

Khrystine told me about a fantastic lyric ("God, the way she moves me to write bad poetry") in this song after we talked about all of the terrible poetry we wrote in high school. I can't believe I've never heard it before... let alone seen this music video. So good, so good.

at work!

Yesterday morning! And I'm in the exact same position tonight, but instead of fruit and sugar free Red Bull (which, by the way, is the most terrible tasting thing in the world... I don't know why I like it) it's popcorn and Diet Coke.

Yesterday was fun. Stephanie and I hung out for a few hours and caught up. We hadn't seen each other outside of class in about a month! We are pretty sure the second year is harder than the first. Last year this time, we were pretty busy but we were able to hang out more often. Sleepovers and Costco trips a plenty.

Then I talked with an old friend of mine, Khrystine, for a LONG time. Quite a bit about our clique and crowd. It was fun to think about some of the good times. She also gave me the inside scoop on Singles Wards. Haha. It's so strange, Utah and Mormon culture and all. Certainly different.

Anyway, it's back to work for me! Enjoy your Veteran's Day!

P.S. I'm going to be home in two weeks!


Home can be the Pennsylvania Turnpike
Indiana's early morning, too
High up in the hills of California
Home is just another word for you

Billy Joel



Self-portrait. Because nothing photo worthy happened today... so far!

Had a good day, received some good news, and I have lots of reading to do tonight. I'm halfway through a chapter about an ethnographic study of adolescent boys. I love grad school.

i felt my life with both my hands

I am sitting in my friend's apartment, I have finished sipping her tea, and now I am looking at her ever expanding collection of books. She has decided to go the grad school route. She wants to write her honors thesis on wonderful things about time and space in twentieth century literature.

Her apartment is filled with simple, lovely things. A giant alarm clock. An 'S' with a Walt Whitman quote written on it... "We were together. I forget the rest." A painting, "You are a wonder to behold." A copy of Abbey Road on vinyl. A pillow, boastfully states, "It's hard to be humble when you're from UC Davis."

I love, live for these random intersections in life. To think, I could have picked a different apartment complex. Never have ran into her. I could have not applied to UC Davis. My application here was somewhat of an afterthought. Luck. All of those decisions and my good fortune have planted me here.

There are so many moments and thoughts in my life where I could have decided to go down a different road and ended up somewhere entirely different. It's overwhelming to think about all the decisions I've made and the consequences of those decisions. It almost makes me want to believe in fate or destiny. Some sort of guiding force in the universe. That way the decisions I make today and tomorrow don't carry so much weight. "It will all work out in the end" and "I'll end up where I'm supposed to be" are things I tell myself at night to fall asleep. I think I have to tell myself those things even though I don't really believe them. Else I'd go crazy. 

I suppose it doesn't matter where the path leads or where it ends. Oh, but it does. It does.


promises like pie-crust

Autumn has formally arrived. I believe it came last night -- in with a delightful rainy day. I love cloudy skies, the way the leaves congregate in puddles in the street, and how people rush by in attempts to stay dry. Bicyclists with umbrellas.

Of course, there is something about rainy days that ought to be enjoyed in the company of others. They are romantic or lonely. Or some combination of both.

I've been in a strange mood for the past few weeks. I think it's homesickness. A little loneliness. I'm tired of living alone. There are perks to living alone but next year, I'm going to try to mix it up. Get a roommate and/or a boyfriend or, if neither of those things come to fruition and I'm still here, I think I'm going to try to move into a cottage. More conducive to throwing parties, I think.

I think I have a case of Second Year Blues.

Anyway, one more thing. A friend of mine has been doing Weight Watchers and it seems to be working so I've decided to give it a three month try. Also, some of the recipes I've looked at look downright delicious. Mmm... :-)




born free

This post certainly needs a particular musical selection:

I completely forgot to post my Halloween "costume." Here it is!

So the colors are fabulous, aren't they?! My costume is of course that of a victim of the Ice Truck Killer. Ahh, I love Dexter!

So the "costume" came to a grand total of $10. I bought the cheapest nail polish at Target (Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear). The colors are: Blue Me Away! (pinky), Crushed (ring), Purple Potion (middle), Green With Envy (index), and Mellow Yellow (thumb). The Ice Truck Killer would mark where he was going to chop the women up... hence the Sharpie marks on my fingertips.

The real thing (my colors were a little off):


New study mix!
Mellow's the theme.
  • Her Diamonds - Rob Thomas
  • Lollipop - Ben Kweller
  • Now and Forever - Carole King
  • Sitting - Cat Stevens
  • The Wind - Cat Stevens
  • Wildflowers - Tom Petty
  • Another Sunny Day - Belle & Sebastian
  • Summer, Highland Falls - Billy Joel
  • If She Wants Me - Belle & Sebastian
  • Moscas en la Casa - Shakira
  • Sweet Seasons - Carole King
  • Landed - Ben Folds
  • You're My Home - Billy Joel
  • Inevitable - Shakira
  • Into the Dark - Ben Lee
  • Something Changed - Pulp
  • Late - Ben Folds
  • Roadsinger - Yusuf
  • A Higher Place - Tom Petty
  • Ripe - Ben Lee
  • Here Comes My Girl - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
  • How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved) - James Taylor & Carole King
  • Letting You Go - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
  • The Difference - Matchbox Twenty
  • These Hard TImes - Matchbox Twenty



Always goes by fast, says my mom. Which is bad news, bad news indeed. Today is rapidly coming to an end and I didn't get nearly enough done. I did however clean my kitchen. I probably shouldn't have but I feel so much better about life and existence when my apartment doesn't look like it's straight from Hoarders (don't worry, that's an exaggeration).

Anyway, I spent about an hour today getting organized. Last night, I needed to find my transcripts from undergrad, GRE scores, CVs, etc, so I went looking for them on my computer. You'd like to know that I have six folders titled "Grad School" containing various things from two years ago. So I got those folders organized. My Gmail inbox had fifty emails of importance. Fifty. So I got those organized. I also realized last night that I have four actual physical folders of important papers. Clearly my system of "important things folder 1... n" is failing. It's moments like these that I realize adulthood is so, so overrated. Yes, independence is fabulous but keeping track of all this shit is a nightmare.

I'm starting to get overwhelmed. I really should have worked harder in October. I have only myself to blame. Here's what November has in store:

Completed draft of thesis
Two sixteen page papers
Reading... lots of reading
Sharpening curriculum vitae
Personal and research statements
Putting together four PhD applications
Fixing and resubmitting IRB forms
Stats presentation

This is why I'm reinstating my social media and media time limits from winter quarter. Fifteen minutes per day for Facebook. Thirty minutes for blogging + blog following. If I can stick to those, I can keep up on my two shows (Dexter and Community).

I have to keep to my eyes on the prize. I really, really want to continue my graduate education. There is nothing else in this world that I want to do (career-wise) more than research. I love asking and answering questions, I love academics, and I am beginning to love all the gray area. And just the possibility of getting the opportunity to continue my studies is certainly worth a month of hell. 

/End pep talk to self.

P.S. I am quite aware that my complaining is ridiculous and I hate that I even complain about the amount of work I have to do. Fact is, I like what I'm doing. AND I am so fortunate to have the opportunity and the support to do what I want to do. I am happy but a little overwhelmed.


walnuts and feta

Feta. Walnuts. Spring mix. Oil and vinegar.

Trader Joe's opened here in Davis on Friday. I am a ten minute walk from my favorite grocery store ever (sorry, DFC, but you are too expensive)! Caitlin and I went last night and stocked up on the essentials. Examples: raw almonds, tomato-less salsa, tamales, goat cheese, lemon yoghourt, and two-buck chuck. Oh, and $2/lb gluten-free pasta. You read that right. $2/lb. It almost makes me cry!

Needless to say, my appetite and my wallet are quite thrilled.


official ballot

My first huge California ballot! It's an exciting election! There were a couple of things that I didn't vote on. If I don't know who someone is, implications of a prop, etc, I leave it blank. There were quite a few of those...

I really like that California has paper ballots few reasons. One, it feels so official and empowering! Two, you can't just click "Republican" or "Democrat" or "Insert Third Party Here" like you can, at least, in Utah. You actually have to read the ballot here and, even if you vote straight on one party or another, you have to physically choose them.

Awesome opossum!


Hello, November

A poem for my friends and my siblings!

October rushed by,
So much, so little happened.
Two new close friends,
Old friends miles, months behind.
Heart fixed!
Thanks to time and you.

And the luck that brought us together!
How incredible. I can't get over it.

My apartment may be a reflection of my life,
Chaos! Fun, happy chaos.
So hello, November, 
Come into my arms.
I'm into something good.
Something that's going somewhere good.

And are you aware of it?
I'm quietly smiling until you notice.

This November's about balance,
Setting limits and gaining strength.
It's hard to say no,
When all I want is yes.
But life's not easy,
Hey, no one makes it out alive.

Just keep reminding me about the long shot,
And the long haul, and always tomorrow.