Posts Tagged ‘Books’

Maggie, the cats, and I have been in PA for just over a month now. It’s been kind of an adventure.

The move was much more expensive than we planned so we’ve been eating a lot of ramen noodles this month. Since we’ve been here we’ve experienced an earthquake, a hurricane, and over 14″ of rainfall (a PA record). We’ve been to downtown West Chester several times on days where the weather is good and I’ve found a few running spots for whenever I get off my lazy butt to do that again. We found a farmer’s market as well and are enjoying fresh, local veggies for the first time in a while. I’m actually spending a little more time cooking, which is to say I help in the kitchen 🙂

Maggie is applying for jobs everywhere and has had a few auditions with churches and the like. She has an audition today for a teaching gig teaching lessons in people’s homes. She is pretty excited about finding some work in her field. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. She turned down a church job in New Jersey because it wasn’t terribly feasible considering the travel time/expenses. She’s also considering taking a class or two at WCU.

I start my internship tomorrow. The first couple weeks are going to be filled with orientation, VA employee red tape, and “getting to know yous”. I’m not sure when I’ll get to work with my first client, but for now I’m happy get oriented and do something more than dissertate and goof off on my computer all day.

I’m still reading a couple of books, though not as heavily as I was at the beginning of the month. I’m working my way through the Harry Potter books at Maggie’s insistence and I’m on the third Anita Blake novel (audiobook). Usually I’ll read a bit before bed (in this case the Potter book), but Maggie and I have been catching up on TV shows on Netflix in the evenings (we just finished Battlestar Galactica and are nearly finished with Arrested Development). The audiobooks, as you may know, I typically reserve for my runs. I need to run more. Also, when I have run here I have been running with Maggie, so I listen to my iPhone less (obviously).

Finally, I’ve started playing Fantasy Football this year. I stumbled across a friend on FB who started a league and I decided to join. I watched John do it the last two years and I had planned on joining his league this year if there was a spot open (jury’s still out on that one). So I’m in several leagues at the moment, each one different from the next. I’m in a standard ESPN league, a light points per reception (PPR) league, and two autopick individual defensive player (IDP) leagues. I’ve enjoyed the draft process and planning my teams. It’s pretty much my only non-Guild Wars gaming outlet, so I’ve approached it with some fervor. I’m getting more and more excited about Football this year.

And that’s the highlights for the month. I plan on having more regular updates once I begin internship and start getting a paycheck that will allow me to do things around town. I’m not homesick yet, but I do miss everyone.


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Takin’ it slow

When I purchased my Vibrams the man at the athletic store told me to take it slow with them if I’d plan to run in them. They take a while to get used to if you’re not accustomed to barefoot running. I took his advice and when I did my C210K workout today I didn’t push myself for the extra cardio. I didn’t get my heart rate up too high and I would occasionally wander into the grass to let my feet rest a bit. The trail over at the Sam Peden Community Park in New Albany is nice and surrounds a pond frequented by water fowl. The weather was decent. There was a breeze, it was slightly warm, and the clouds teased me with once-in-a-while raindrops.

I used my C210K app and listened to Gravel Peril, the third of Jim Butcher‘s Dresden Files books on audiobook. I found a new connection with Harry (the main character) in that I felt tired and achy (the latter from yesterday’s workout) as I ran, which is pretty much how he feels through 90% of the books. He works himself to near death at times and at other times creepy crawly monsters do all sorts of mean things to hurt him physically or otherwise. Also, as I’m typing this, I recall reading that Harry himself is a runner. Well, he does get chased by evil nasties a lot. The first rule of dealing with zombies is Cardio afterall!

The first rule of Zombieland: Cardio. When the zombie outbreak first hit, the first to go, for obvious reasons… were the fatties. – Columbus (from Zombieland)

That’s all for today. Time to make a sammich and work on my dissertation.

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I maxed out all my reps tonight except for pushups. That’s 15 on everything, 5 of each lunge, and 12 of each squat progression. Two words: Jello Arms. Who would think 3 more reps would make that much of a difference. The important thing for me is that I survived and didn’t fudge/cheat. Everything was difficult, but I finished. I think I’m going to do this once a week (1 of 3 strength training sessions) and see how I manage. I’m all about baby steps but I’m not afraid to challenge myself. I intend to up my pushups by 1 per week from here on out as well. I’ll get there, but I’ll do it my way.

I’m making progress on my dissertation. The rewritten proposal will be finished by the end of the month. That is a lot of work. I am finishing up the section about the effects of the coming out process and will work on the Bronfenbrenner section over the weekend. After that I tackle the Rorschach and the Methods section. It sounds like a lot,  but I have a plan for it and I’m staying on track most of the way.

Maggie bought Changes and I’m using it as a motivational goal. I won’t get to read it until she is finished with it, which won’t take any time as soon as she sits down to devour…I mean, read it. I am still working my way through White Like Me and will be finished sometime tomorrow. A six page paper later and 95% of  my responsibilities for the semester (excluding dissertation) will be completed. Time to shower and read a couple more chapters before bed.

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This week is already shaping up to be a busy one. Here are the highlights:

  • I have a group project in Multicultural II that needs some TLC. My partner and I are researching Appalachian Americans and learning about history, culture, and implications for doing mental health work with this population. I have acquired 3-4 books on the subject and found a documentary that would be good for the presentation. I’m meeting my partner tomorrow to divide up the labor and implement a serious plan on the subject.
  • I have a book review due next week for the same class on the book “White Like Me.” So far it is a good book and I have a feeling it is one that will hold my interest to the end. I’m kind of surprised by it though. Usually when I read about White Privilege I feel really guilty for being White. This book, however, seems to take the sting out of it through it’s personal story approach and “normalization.” What I mean by that is that the author is normalizing the ickiness that comes with learning about privilege and being willing to do something about it.
  • Keeping with the Multicultural theme, I have an in-vivo experience to participate in. I’m interested in doing one based in the LGBT culture and my current plan, barring disapproval from my professor, is to go to a drag show. This is currently my only idea, so I’m hoping it is approved or something else comes along.
  • Dissertation, Dissertation, Dissertation. I’m writing on this after a hiatus from it for over a month (which puts me behind schedule). Currently working through the “personality characteristics” and “coming out process” sections and I’m formulating a plan for the section on Bronfenbrenner’s work. At some point I’ll have to post more about my dissertation so people will know what I’m talking about. Briefly: it is a look at the coming out process in gay men through the use of Rorschach inkblot variables. I’m comparing positive versus negative coming out experiences and identifying how they may present on the Rorschach. I’m hoping to learn more about the coming out process and how it affects the mental health and personality of gay men, as well as what interventions and supports can be provided for those who are experiencing the coming out process.
  • I’m planning another trip to NC. Sometime in May. I need to get my schedule figured out to determine when I can fly in. I’ve got some time but I’d like to check it off my list so I can make it a date to look forward to.
  • I’m looking for a job and for opportunities for the next year. I need to prepare for reapplying for internship and I need to strengthen my CV in the process. I have more resources in Louisville than I do in NC, but I would rather be in NC with my wife and friends. I really want to have and eat my cake! Currently I’m trolling job sites for NC and looking for opportunities in Louisville as my peers vacate their jobs. I hate everything being up in the air like this, but there is little I can do about it. I plan on defending my dissertation before I go on internship and taking the EPPP to get both of those out of the way.
  • On the fun side of things, I have another disk of Dexter Season III to watch and I will be playing D&D this weekend (in addition to my usual GURPS Saturday night game). That’s more motivation for me to get my work done during the week.

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Well, I have returned to Louisville and sadly, my vacation/break is over. St. Patty’s day was fun, though it was spent at home with my roommate and a guest. We had wine, wore green, and watched Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day. Guitar Hero was played as well. I was amazed at how well I played the drums after 3-4 glasses of wine.

I have a lot on my plate this week and next. I have a class project to get working on and a dissertation to continue working on. I’m hoping to have the dissertation part written by the end of the month as I am extremely behind on my schedule. I’m headed to practicum here shortly to see my one client and hoping that I can get a few intakes this week to get more clients. I’m starting to get concerned about my hours.

As for my exercise schedule, I’ve maintained it for almost two weeks now. I didn’t do my P90 strength training on Tuesday because of the gym visit with Carl. We did more there than my usual program would have me do. I’m quite thrilled actually that I’m not sore after that event. I expected to be dragging my arms on the ground yesterday and today, but I was able to do my workout today without problem and without the expected strain from Tuesday. Hooray!

I’m not sure what the rest of the day holds. I will inevitably watch the Murray State and UK games today/tonight (MSU plays in 20 min, but I have to record it because I’m meeting my client at the same time). I have a lot of reading and writing to do this weekend and I will hopefully catch up on schoolwork and dissertation a bit. My plan is to finish reading “White Like Me” and write 1-2 sections of my dissertation before Sunday. Wish me luck.

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I definitely enjoyed my Saturday off, but I’m back to working out this week. Since I’m in Greensboro I didn’t pack my free weights (can you imagine adding 20lbs to your carry on? No thanks!), so I am getting a bit of improvised help from Tolkien and Chaucer. I figure each of their big ol’ books weighs about 8lbs, so I’ve been doing bicep curls and military presses with Frodo in one hand and A Knight’s Tale in the other (among other tales). It’s pretty effective, however, my hands ache a bit from straining to hold on to the books given they weren’t intended to be held/lifted/read? in such a way.

I may get to supplement my other workouts a bit this week as well. There is an outside possibility of going to the gym with Maggie tomorrow to do cardio and a distinct possibility that I will go with Carl to the gym on Tuesday to do strength training. I’d say that’s pretty appropriate since Maggie has spent much of her workout time doing cardio and Carl has been doing strength training on his own. Serendipity anyone?

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Travel Woes

Who would have thought flying to NC would actually take me farther away from Maggie? As it turns out, she missed her flight and is stranded an extra day in MO while I’m hanging out in her apartment with the cats. They don’t seem to mind the company. My first flight was overbooked and I tried volunteering for a later flight, but that didn’t work out. Luckily Maggie secured a flight at the same time tomorrow and got comped the price.

So I basically have the day to myself. I brought a couple of books with me to read for classes. I’m reading White Like Me by Tim Wise for my Multicultural book report. I’d been meaning to pick it up anyway and, since I rarely find time to read a book I want to read due to all of my required reading, it is fortuitous that it is an approved book for the assignment. It is a great read about racism and white privilege and it has me thinking about just how white I am and how far back my privilege spreads (he traces his geneology back to find some interesting results).

That should keep me busy today. Well, that, Netflix, and maybe a pizza.

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