Monday, April 30, 2007

yeah, no big deal

and, $1300 later we are graduating in the summer.
good thing I will be earning the big bucks to coach swim team....
yes, and my money laundering business. don corleone says he'll take good care of us.

we got 2 rose bushes yesterday, and 1 has 4 new blooms on it, already. guess it likes Park Avenue.

un more thing

I just got my new NIDA notes. This abstract is interesting and describes me perfectly (down to my rat brain and facial expressions!!!) FYI the nucleus accumbens is AKA the "pleasure center" of the brain. As far as I recall, it produces dopamine which acts on the VTA, which, in turn, sends signals to the prefrontal cortex. I.e. this activity/food/drug is fun, let's make our initial cognitive appraisal a positive one. Now, let's do it, again.

Drs. Susana PeciƱa and Kent Berridge of the University of Michigan have traced rats' liking for sweets to a 1-cubic millimeter site in the medial shell of the nucleus accumbens. Using fine-grained brain mapping, the researchers correlated mu-opioid activation of this area [by D-Ala2-N-Me-Phe4-Glycol5-enkephalin (DAMGO)] with the facial reactions rats exhibit upon receiving infusions of sweet tastes into the mouth. Enhancing mu-opioid activity in this hedonic "hot spot" produced two to four times the number of positive reactions (e.g., licking) to sucrose relative to other regions of the medial shell. Stimulating the hot spot with DAMGO also reduced the rats' negative reactions to a bitter taste by 25 percent. The findings suggest that opioid circuits in the medial shell involved in liking (e.g., positive facial expressions in reaction to a taste) and wanting (e.g., pressing a lever for a substance) are related but not identical, as activating mu-opioid circuits in widely distributed areas of the medial shell increased food intake.
The Journal of Neuroscience 25(50):11777-11786, 2005

finally, courage

After having 2 people's comments since Friday, I finally got the courage to look at them. OMG, it's things I need to leave out, and things I need to change the order of. I found 2 things I actually did WRONG. I can live with that. It is funny, I was dreading it, putting it off, cleaning the house, working in the yard, taking naps, moving my office home, rearranging my home office, thinking how terrible it will be, and it is not a big deal. Cutting and pasting and cutting.
My biceps are still sore from moving boxes on Friday. I still need to move at least a couple more boxes. Hopefully, I will have adapted to that training stimulus by then.
It is raining here and my favorite weather for hunkering down.
Only 2 more days of teaching swimming to college students. I imagine I will cry as I hate all change. I don't actually hate change, I just think I do. Ah, yes, Monsieur Hamlet. I did cry when I left Real to Reel, which I did hate. Weird. I think I also cried when I left Stream, which I also hated even more. Wow, stop the hate. Although, I can now see how the Universe was trying to tell me something...when you hate something, leave! Duh...only took me 6 years to really change. And here I am, parabolically close to finishing, and yet, talking to myself in cyberspace.
Hello, self. Get to work.

Friday, April 27, 2007

ugly baby

being told that I needed to revise my diss is pretty much equal to being told my baby is ugly. I was thinking though, in my dept they say, "your baby is ugly, but we love you." in the other half of my dept they say, "your baby is ugly, and by the way we are selling your baby into slavery." I can see that I did focus on each tree and each nuance of each leaf and didn't describe the forest in general. this does not seem like an egregious error and can be fixed. I can see where I was wrong, but I also think it is a style issue and not an empirical one. as BH said, do whatever they want and don't think about it as an attack. such good and sweet advice.
enjoyed "partying" with Lana and Ernie. we went to Whole Foods last night and Austin Java today. yummmmy. they are cool.
moved most of my office home today. we'll see how that goes. I want a desk and chair from IKEA. to put where, I don't know.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


not doing my defense tomorrow as planned. BH has been extremely sweet even before the last- minute postponement. I do not want to be victimized by the thing and realize everyone has these obstacles, some placed sooner rather than later on this path.
yesterday BH said we needed to change our addresses. to what? dr and mr h. so cute.
today, he helped me get very zen about the whole thing. that's neat. I am not going to deny that I am irritated, but, as I said I realize this happens to everyone at some point.
my parents decided to come down anyway. my dad said to "party." that was a good one.
going to be reformatting some things this weekend. I think the main problem was they skimmed it last night, didn't look at the update I sent them, and whatever. I will graduate this summer, and that is not a big deal. I feel a little like I have had a miscarriage and have to tell everyone because I told EVERYONE that I was pregnant. I know it is not even in the same universe as that kind of problem. ohm.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

job or not job

"it is not the matter of giving that is in question, but when and how to give. that often makes the difference between failure and sucess.... job or no job- wife or no wife - we simply do not do _____ [whatever it is] so long as we place dependence on other people ahead of dependence on God. burn the idea into the consciousness of every man he can get well regardless of anyone. the only condition is that he trust in God and clean house."
the other one I have been thinking about is, "taking a trip, not taking a trip."
getting REALLY existential. subconsciously freaking out. consciously calm and peaceful. I feel certain on a deep level that if I do the footwork, everything will work out. I also quantified in my mind what I want: to find a job that I feel proud to do, that allows me to make enough money to support my family, that allows us to give money and time away. I know this is what I will find. I don't think God micromanages the job market in Austin, but I also do not think I got here to be dumped into miserable, spiritual self-sufficiency. I don't know why or how God helped me, but I do know that I would not be here were it not for a Power greater than I. it was not working doing it my way. I tried. A LOT.
I am trying to find the balance between acknowledging my unconscious freak-out without dwelling on it. without beating myself up for freaking out, while not denying that I am.
teaching for 4 hours today was exactly what I did not feel like doing, but did make me feel better.
yeah, the pms doesn't help, either. I guess it comes down to mary and isn't that interesting...

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter according to Bill Hicks

"They [Australians] celebrate Easter the exact same way we do: commemorating the death and resurrection of Jesus by telling our children a giant bunny rabbit … left chocolate eggs in the night. Now, I wonder why we're fucked up as a race. Anybody got any idea? You know, I've read the Bible. I can't find the word "bunny" or "chocolate" anywhere in the fucking book. Where do they come up with this shit? Why not goldfish left Lincoln logs in your sock drawer? As long as you're making shit up, you know, go hog-wild. At least the goldfish with a Lincoln log on its back going across your carpet has some miraculous connotations. [in faux Australian accent] 'Mummy, today I found a Lincoln log in me sock drawer.' 'That's the story of Jesus!'"

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Beyonce Deux

Too Much Beyonce?
Video sent by apartment3b

I am I am I am

je pense donc, je suis. cogito ergo sum. cogito ergo nutso.
not really, but as I mentioned, I begin to think when I have fewer things to do.
I worked on my ppt a little today, but not much. BH and I watched a season 5 episode of QAF which I have been saving until I finished my diss. it was not very good because there was not very much making out.
it is cold and rainy here. it is pretty awesome. cold and rainy = cool, dry and sunny = my favorite weather of all time.
Marie and I are supposed to run in the morning. I am predicting 50% chance of not running.
Monday is still Passover, so I am VERY excited to not go to the J and to go to school. I am also looking forward to beginning writing some journal submissions with which to occupy my mind.
nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so. oh, crazy Hamlet.
the other day I remember we had to memorize the Concord Hymn in middle school. yeah, don't remember that one. it's good. haha

Thursday, April 05, 2007

bad brain

I made the copies off my diss and gave them to my committee members on Monday. Since then, I have been working on my ppt. I keep thinking of things to add to the diss. Little things, but still, things. Meanwhile, completely out of the blue, I have developed a new crush. It is not nearly as annoying as the one I had last spring, but nonetheless, it is a crush on someone other than Brad. As usual, I do not ever consider listening to my mind, much less acting on it. It is amusing that as soon as my brain gets a reprieve from thinking about the diss, it betrays me by developing a crush. I guess it is telling me we need to have some fun. BH have a BH and MH day planned on Sunday. BH told me, however, it would not happen, because I would probably fall asleep. Surely, I will not sleep for the entire day. It has been known to happen, however.
Interestingly. Just kidding. I did not use that word in my diss. But, I feel like I am still writing everything in sentences that flow together and not in my usual, non sequitur style.
I swam 20x100 IM's the other day. We had to leave Steve's due to lightening. I had gotten in 1950 m, then I went to GRE. I started swimming 100 IM's after rewarming up. I just kept doing them. It was neat. Not very fast, but not very much rest.
GRE is a neat space, but a splashy pool.
Today I played music during my GRE classes. It made it a LOT more fun for me. Although, people did not recognize such bands as THE ROLLING STONES, the sex pistols, ok, and someone said they hated a White Stripes song. I told him I would probably have to drown him for that.
Not going to school to work tomorrow due to TX Relays. Going to try to sit home and work. We'll see. Brad is off for Good Friday. Brad had never heard of Maundy Thursday.
I tried to keep kosher for Passover, but screwed up before it started when I ate matzah on Sunday. You don't start eating matzah until the first night. Duh, but too late.
I had several matzah PB&J's. They were good.
I want to download some Bad Brains. My friend from HS with the good vocab reminded me of them. I have already revisited Minor Threat, but I used to love the Bad Brains. The kid I have a crush on looks reminds me of Dave Breihan. Hm....