1 mile (minimum) 1000 days in a row!

28 Sep

Today is the day! This is it. P.S. Obviously, I had to stop being lazy and write a post on this MILEstone day.  Also, I’m sorry for not writing (as I always am).  Now that I’m not a student and forced to sit for long periods of time, procrastinate from overwhelming studying, or use a computer for papers and research constantly–it’s hard to keep up on it.  I’m NOT finished blogging (I’d TELL you, dear readers) just sparse and lazy.

What I’m no longer lazy about though–is running.  At least a mile.  OK, actually, there’s really no day that I WANT to run.  I’m not all crazy and addicted to running.  I will probably never do a marathon–or even a half.  Just no desire.  Why would I?!  I may not even do a 5K.  I run to be alone–not wake up at the crack of dawn, go in the cold, and elbow through a crowd.  Oh no.  It’s more an obligation.  A daily, obligation that I know I will HAVE to do.  Kind of like scooping the litterboxes every day.  Nobody, WANTS to do it, but it has to be done, so you plan for it, just get it done, and are thankful when it’s over.  That’s how my runs go.


I tried to go back in my posts to find out what I was feeling when I started this.  And honestly, I couldn’t find anything super-huge about it.  I didn’t look VERY hard through the old posts (because I wanted to write this for sure) but it didn’t even seem a monumental goal.  Such a big accomplishment–and it started very small I guess. . .  I absolutely know I had no intentions of ever doing it for a thousand days in a row–that just happened.  Honest.

I know this for sure:  I started running on the treadmill January 2, 2014.  It was on January 2nd because I think I used January 1st as a holiday.  Maybe it was a hangover day?  I don’t recall, if I had been drinking or not.  I know I had been contemplating quitting.  So I had slowed down the alcohol.  I can’t remember if that was the last hurrah (I actually did quit drinking alltogether for 2 years) or if I had stopped earlier.  I think it was actually more a day of contemplation.  My life wasn’t exactly where I wanted it to be.  I was working a thankless, stressful veterinary job, taking part-time Speech & Hearing Science Classes, and drinking too much.  I was scared, actually.  What I wanted to do was stop drinking all-together–that was part of the reason to start running.  Because quitting alcohol left me with a lot of extra time.  So I wanted to fill it.  But not with more work, and I was already studying my a$$ off.  So fitness and health seemed sensible.


I wrote a lot of goals in 2014, and was pretty good at tracking them and accomplishing tem little by little.  The running just stemmed from that.  I wanted to never break the chain.  If you do something every single day, every day in a row, on those inevitable lazy days, you’re less likely to skip.  Because skipping isn’t just slacking on one day anymore–it’s losing all the previous days in a row.  If you run 1 day, a skipped day doesn’t matter all that much, and suddenly, you haven’t run in 3 months oops.  But if you run 7, or 50, or 700 days in a row, when you feel like lazy-ing out–you don’t lose THAT day, you lose the 7, 50, or 700 previous efforts too–then have to start over.

I ran before work at 4 AM, inside hotel rooms (bear-jam), during family visits when everyone was having fun and I felt lazy, and once at 1:30 AM after coming home from work.

I rode a Grayhound from Spokane to Salt Lake City for my school interview–and ran in the hotel parking lot–in February.

I ran with head-colds, when I had blisters, with broken ribs (very slowly), and when I was tired.

I treadmilled after working for 10 hours, when I was very busy, on every birthday and holiday.

In bad weather and when it was 104F (outside, and I ran outside, b/c inside was worse w/no AC), I ran my mile.

The 2nd day of moving, after a sleepless (thanks kitties) night in a hotel, I drove a Penksy from Missoula to Salt Lake City, had to skip lunch, unloaded the entire moving truck, and discovered the hot water hadn’t been turned on in the new apartment.  And I still ran.


I did it!  And some days that was the only thing I did.  Many days the only thing that got me out of my jammies and off the couch was my mile.

But there were good days too.  Those first hot days in the spring are some of the best runs–you are finally outside!  All the record-breaking days.  Days after being cooped up at work or studying for finals–those runs felt great.  A new running outfit or pair of shoes.  After I got my Tom Tom fitness tracker and no longer had cords of any kind.  Just feeling good.

And the drinking crept back in, but it is in moderation.  I’m at a new job–and it’s not in the veterinary field.  I dropped tracking goals (this year) because I’m in transition and it was a bummer seeing them fall by the wayside month after month.  But I ran–1,000 days.  In a row.  No stopping.  If I can do that I can do anything.  I just have to put my mind to it.

So I created a work/community event knowing I don’t really know anyone in the state, and I work with duds/douches losers that can barely get themselves to work.  But I’m a winner so I created a commemorative (/fundraising) event, knowing it was just be me.  And my family who participated.  And not being disappointed about that at all-because I’M doing it.  And that is important–as is this day.


So now I may NEVER stop!  If I broke a leg–I’d probably hop out a mile.  Because I never want to throw away more then 1,000 days in a row of running at least one mile.



17 Aug
My coworkers are my least favorite part of my job–the administration a very close 2nd.  They bring the new social acceptability of being an anti-social nerd  to life.  It’s like “The Big Bang” but in person antisocial behavior is not funny/amusing at all.  If someone sneezes, it’s met by silence.  If you say something to your neighbor, they won’t even give a grunt of acknowledgement-they’ll just straight up ignore you if they don’t care what you said or don’t feel like talking.  I’ll ask questions regarding Utah places or events and nobody will answer.  They all grew up in Utah, but they don’t know because they are up all night playing video games and talking trash online.  Then, they sleep in their Mommy’s basement all day til work.  None of them have many social skills, or if they have them, choose not to use them.  Our boss is one of the worst-you’ll come into the lab and he’ll ignore you.  No hello or anything–just like you don’t exist.  Our supervisor has mostly good intentions, but is socially oblivious, and is always making (faulty) assumptions.
I’m not a fan, and whenever I’m out in public, at a restaurant or appointment, I find it delightful that it’s not me.  When you’re just locked in a room day after day, it starts to feel like you.  But it’s not me, because people in the outside world are hospitable and sometimes even friendly.  They have manners and manage to hold a conversation.  It’s only in the lab their is this blanket weirdness.  There’s a reason people work in a lab, away from people.
So my coworkers were my first introduction to the “Pokemon Go” phenomenon/trend.  Suddenly, these people who laid on the couch during breaks were outside.  They would venture out to chase Pokemon.  And I think it’s good that video game designers try to make their games useful and productive.  We don’t need a bunch of fat-ass kids sitting and looking at screens 24/7.  Anything that gets them moving is good.  Getting them outside in the world is even better.  And benefiting businesses is good.  Well, done Pokemon Go designers.
Except, I feel that people should do these things anyway.  And on their own accord.  I think you’re super-lame if you never get off your ass.  I think it sucks if you don’t go outside just because there are things to do out there.  And I am incredibly annoyed that people aren’t going to zoos and avairys simply because they are there.  They are awesome!  They should be appreciated because they are fun and serve a purpose and they’re still available in the world!  Not because your video game told you to go there.
And how stupid that these people aren’t paying attention to the world when they are on the chase?  Seriously–people have fallen off cliffs and are getting run over??!  Like we’re lemmings?  I’ve seen my co-workers come in all fat, McDonald’s in hand, and talk of never sleeping in until work at 5PM.  Then discussing their screens they stare at all nightlong.  Like, get a life!
Here’s my Facebook trash-talk:
Can I just say I hate this already?! I can’t go 2 seconds without hearing about it. And seriously–it takes a game to get your fat/pale ass outside? And you’re going to the zoo to stare at your phone??? Super-annoying–Ugh.
Which I got a lot of $hit for saying “pale.”  Like it’s a race thing.  I’m not bringing race into it–all kinds of people can be guilty of screening 24/7.  I’m stigmatizing pale, like you’ve never ventured out of Mommy’s basement, never seen the sun.
And here’s my zoo rant, because animal organizations had to resort to pandering to the hype to get money:
I disliked the event, because it upsets me that people don’t want to [without virtual enticement] support a non-profit, see beautiful, exotic animals, learn, and give to conservation just because it’s available. I am glad the zoos are capitalizing on this trend, but really–should they have to? I think people should want to go to a zoo simply because it is there–and I think they should pay attention solely to what’s important (the real animals that are endangered) when they do go. You are so lucky to have such a nice zoo close to you, and you’re wasting it, or trivializing it by going because of a game. I’d like people to do things for the right reasons, that’s all. Now let the thousands addicted to the app blast me for my opinion, as I’m sure they will.

Like · Reply · 6 · July 21 at 4:15pm
And I think my point is 100% correct.  But I’m at a disadvantage saying it behind my screen where all the people I’m talking about are living their lives.  I’m totally out-numbered.  And people can’t admit they’re bing $hit-heads and guilty of my accusations, they are addicted to the game, and addicted to screens in general so they trash-talk me.
Aquariumplantsuk totally correct 🙂
Like · Reply · July 21 at 7:00pm
Cecilia Alexander
Cecilia Alexander I understand where you’re coming from sweetie but also recognize the good that this app has done for those will mental illness and terminal illnesses. Some people don’t want to leave their house because of these illnesses and now that they are they’re being bashed. I’m sure the zoo is making a ton of money off of this so there is no losing.
Like · Reply · 2 · July 21 at 8:59pm
P.S.  I think it’s totally condescending to call a stranger “sweetie” and I hate that.  Also, her point is ridiculous, because people with mental and terminal illnesses should be motivated to get out of the house without an app telling them to.  Why should some app be the key factor getting them outside?  They should be motivated by the imminent extinction of these beautiful animals.  And by the fact these things are available even without the app!  So I’m calling B.S. on the illness card, though she is totally right about these non-profits benefiting from the game.  But it’s unfortunate they have to depend on some app to lure people in–shouldn’t people just want to go anyway?!
Ryan Alexander Milstead
Ryan Alexander Milstead It’s just an idea to get people to come to the zoo that usually wouldn’t. Maybe those people have a great time and become regular visitors or even members. People might be encouraged to come by this event, but if you don’t enjoy zoos, you’re not gonna go just to play Pokemon Go (cause you can do that literally anywhere).
Like · Reply · 1 · July 22 at 5:56pm

Tyler Baker
Tyler Baker Quit your bitchin’ lady. The world doesn’t revolve around what you like and dislike.
Like · Reply · 1 · July 23 at 3:05pm
Then I retort:
Tyler Baker way to keep it classy
Like · Reply · July 23 at 11:24pm
Tyler Baker
Tyler Baker I could care less about keeping it classy. You just need to learn that the world doesn’t revolve around your opinion, or what you like and/or dislike. Posting about why you dislike this event won’t change anything. Just being a realist. I really don’t care if I’m classy or not.
Like · Reply · 1 · 16 hrs · Edited
Tyler Baker
Tyler Baker You’re welcome for that life lesson.
Like · Reply · 16 hrs

I want to tell this Tyler asshole where to shove it so he doesn’t think he “won” but I know arguing with a fool–makes two. And it would just spur him on to shit-talk more. But ahhhh–totally annoying!  I saw a stand-up comedian talking about how Millennials are all ritious and enable their own opinions or call it bullying when other’s say an opposing view.  If anyone dares make a point or disagrees with them, instead of having a conversation they spew some hate and navigate away from the page or block the person.  And I see here how that’s true.  I wrote an earnest blurb, because someone on Facebook was like, “I don’t get why people are disliking this Pokemon Go event at the zoo???”  So I gave a sincere, well-thought reason why.   And this Tyler-20-something year old is an ASS!  WTF with all that “schooling me” and everything.  I wanted to scratch eyes.  And re-reading this makes me too riled up to even write a decent conclusion to this post.

I guess I will just hope he Pokemon’s himself right into the lion’s den at some zoo and gets eaten. . .  Maybe my coworkers will be lemmings and follow him.

Bears Don’t Live on Deserted Islands: My Analysis of “Swiss Army Man” [Spoiler Warning]

8 Jul

For my birthday, we went to an Independent theater and saw the Sundance Film, “Swiss Army Man.”  Let’s just get all talking/jokes about farting out of the way now–that’s not really the central theme of the movie–or this blog.  When you’re watching this movie, you have to “buy in” very early or you’ll hate it.  The film is like one of the whimsical paintings I like, but in a film format.  The reality is altered/fanciful, the shots are jerky, the characters (one is a literally dead guy) in their own little world where physics and time aren’t invited.  You could watch the entire film, and just feel like it was a random string of crazy events.  BUT after much thought, I found a linear plot and meaning.

The supporting evidence:

-When Hank first sees the body, and rides him out in the ocean, then the film cuts back to him with his face on the sandy beach.  Is it a new beach?  Is he somehow back at the same beach?

-random garbage appears in the place–all the time.  Everywhere they are.  I know the ocean has trash, but THIS MUCH???

-Hank looks scruffy as if he’s been in this deserted place for a long time.  His beard is long and he’s dirty.  Yet, he has no survival skills.  He doesn’t know how to make tools to hunt or fish with and he eats bad berries so he doesn’t have a good grip of foraging.  How has he survived this long without having any skills?

-toward the middle of the film, a (grizzly?) bear attacks.  Where is this place where a tropical white sand beach is attached to the woods?

-they travel, travel, travel and end up in the love interest’s back yard

-there are space/time descrepencies regarding the island, such as at the end when Hank is back in society, they are both in the yard with other people, then everyone runs through the forest, but finally everyone is back at the beach.  and Manny goes back to the ocean.

-After Hank is discovered, he rides the body down one hill behind her back yard–and there are his crafts and trash-projects!  He has been right behind her house the whole time-creeper.



Given these factors, I decided there is no physical island in the movie at all.  And that fact changes the whole movie doesn’t it?  We’re not just in suspended disbelief–this is a perspective story.  Hank’s POV.  The island is a metaphor for how Hank feels/Hank’s thoughts.  He is on a self-imposed deserted island because he feels weird/lonely/stigmatized by society.  This is a movie like the 6th Sense or Memento–we are watching through the lense of whatever mental illness (anxiety/depression, love-obsessed stalker, anti-social personality, skitzophrenia???) Hank has.

Let’s re-examine the above factors:

-When Hank first sees the body, and rides him out in the ocean, then the film cuts back to him with his face on the sandy beach.  Is it a new beach?  Is he somehow back at the same beach?

*Hank was in the middle of committing suicide when the film opens, and he sees a dead body.  A lot of people with mental illness are at risk for suicide.  Seeing the dead body, somehow gives Hank something else to think about other then how he feels.  The body makes him interested in something so he changes his mind about suicide.  Then, as Hank’s mind settles a little, and he doesn’t feel so alone, we see Hank “leaving the deserted island” via the body.  But there is no real personal connection between Hank and this body (yet) so the exit off the island is brief and Hank wakes up back on his deserted island, isolated the way it all started.

-random garbage appears where Hank is

*I won’t go into the more obvious symbolism of trash in the movie, but I’ll talk about how the trash proves location.  At the end, Sarah recognizes her own diary in Hank’s belongings/crafts.  It’s the same diary she happened to be writing in when Hank took the pic of her on the bus.  It shows that Hank has been behind her house, squirreling away her trash the whole time.  All the crafts and stuff are made from her trash!  And that has a more creepy/sinister vibe.

-toward the middle of the film, a (grizzly?) bear attacks

*I don’t know everything about bears, but I’m pretty sure they never live on tropical deserted islands.  This was the primary reason I “got” the film.  The terrain in this deserted changes from beginning to end of the film.  We start out at white sand beaches, go through the forest, over bodies of water, hear a road, then we’re in a back yard.  If all Hank had to do was walk, then why was he so desperate to commit suicide at the beginning?  Also, I wouldn’t think you’d make the effort to kill yourself in a deserted island situation–nature would do it for you.  You’d soon starve, or dehydrate.  If you were desperate on an island, and no longer cared if you lived or died, wouldn’t you just make some sort of last ditch heroic effort to get back to people?

-Hank looks scruffy as if he’s been in this deserted place for a long time.  His beard is long and he’s dirty.  Yet, he has no survival skills.  He doesn’t know how to make tools to hunt or fish with and he eats bad berries so he doesn’t have a good grip of foraging.  How has he survived this long without having any skills?

*Really, Hank didn’t have to know survival skills because the desertion was in his head.  He was physically camping near Sarah’s house and scrounging in her garbage.  Which is why Cheetos and alcohol make it to the deserted place, when in reality it would be implausible for one of those items, and probably impossible to get enough trash to literally survive upon.  Also, the beard.  In the beginning, on the island, Hank’s beard is long and scruffy.  As he and Manny open up and gain a camaraderie–Hank is clean-shaven.  Yet we are never shown how.  I think the hair is part of feeling like an outcast hermit so when he has someone else, Hank no longer feels like that and the symbol of being outcast hermit also just disappears.

-they travel, travel, travel and end up in the love interest’s back yard


-there are space/time dependencies regarding the island, such as at the end when Hank is back in society, they are both in the yard with other people, then everyone runs through the forest, but finally everyone is back at the beach.  and Manny goes back to the ocean.

*You start to notice that the more intimacy that is gained between the dead body and Hank, the less deserted the island becomes (we go from isolated white sand beach, to forest, to water, see bears, hear cars, and finally see a little girl in a back yard).  The entire film is about these two buddies traveling back to society.  It takes the whole time!  Yet, at the end, Hank rides Manny’s body out of Sarah’s yard, down one hill, through some water and he’s back on the white sand beach.  It shows how Hank started out in self-imposed isolation in his mind (but physically camping behind Sarah’s house), then as he found an ally, left that isolated place his mind had created.  The more they talk, the more secrets come into the open, and the more comfortable Hank gets with being “other/weird.”  His mind is now a forest.  Not quite the isolation or loneliness of a deserted island, but still removed from society.  Then, Hank and Manny are best friends and understand each other.  Hank’s mind has reintegrated with society and he will take a chance and talk to Sarah.  But then, he sees his father, who is ashamed.  He sees Sarah is alarmed, and the world is a scary place again where Hank is the weird one.  All the progress he made with Manny recedes and his mind takes him back out of the yard, through the forest, on the isolated white beach.  And with the exit of Manny into the ocean–to an altered reality.  It’s (the physical location is actually inside Hank’s own mind) cemented when we see the change in Hank’s father demeanor.  When Hank’s mind is back in reality (he is physically and mentally in a yard) his father leans against the truck–ashamed at what has happened and who his son is.  But when Manny goes back into the ocean, and hank is arrested the father smiles.  It’s because Hank’s mind has gone back to his safe place, and in it Hank can fantasize his father is happy and proud of him–because it’s not reality anymore.  Hank is free of societal restrictions on the island/in the ocean fantasy.

-After Hank is discovered, he rides the body down one hill behind her back yard–and there are his crafts and trash-projects!  He has been right behind her house the whole time-creeper.

*This is the biggest clue the audience is given to Hank’s mind/physical body being different.  When we watch the movie, yes everything is strange, but the shows, and crafts, books, and reenactments are normalized.  We aren’t repulsed by any of it, because we bought in.  When we are out of Hank’s head at the end, and see the same items through the lens of Sarah’s perspective, the crafts and trinkets suddenly look garish and creepy.  She realizes he’s back there doing weird stuff with her garbage.  She knows some random stranger saw her on the bus, took a cell phone pic, found out where she lives, and is now camping there are doing strange projects with her garbage.  She looks horrified.


So even though I, also, sat in that theater and said, “What the fuck?”  as the lights came back on–I liked the movie.  The more I thought about it, and discussed the plot after the movie, the more it made sense.  And when it made sense, it suddenly had a linear plot that was more likable than that string of random happenings.  I like a movie you have to think about.  And Swiss Army Man has no shortage of metaphor’s, symbols, and discrepancies to make the audience do just that.  I recommend you give it a chance and watch the film–just do me a favor and stop with all the fart jokes.

TomTom Spark Cardio + Music

31 May

I love my TomTom Spark Cardio + Music! And a disclaimer from me—this review is fairly glowing, because I genuinely love my TomTom. I didn’t get anything at all for writing this review and I don’t work for the company or anything—this is just an ideal product for me and it took a LOT of trail and error on my part to find it. This is also NOT my first rodeo with fitness trackers. Prior to this I had a FitBit Zip and a Garmin ____ 2 (as well as various phone-apps). I like this tracker best, and here’s why:

I hate carrying things. I’m the gal who will forget my jacket or purse in the booth at a restaurant. Pockets in women’s clothes are not large enough to accommodate a phone, and will look like an ugly bulge if you do. Also, I’m afraid the phone will drop out of a pocket. Once, I tried an arm band to hold my i-pod (and in theory you could use one for a phone) and liked it at first. But the tan lines were crazy, and it started rubbing in a bad way because of sweat—so I loved the arm band less. Also I couldn’t see my upper-arm well enough to skip songs or skip the volume, especially without breaking stride. And the number one reason arm bands don’t work, is eventually mine got bigger and became a leg band, then when it grew large enough to become a belt, I tossed it. So I bought a legit, moisture-wicking running belt to carry my phone. I like it for walking around the city hands-free, but for running it has too much weight bouncing around, and I’m paranoid my phone will fall out. So the option of just wearing a watch and stringing cordless headphones through my hat—awesome!!! The number one, greatest thing over every other tracker is my ability to run/sport hands-free. I absolutely LOOOOVVED running with nothing in my hands and no cords, but still having all the data and my tunes!

tomtom spark cardio plus music

The band is about the same size as the one I bought in order to have my FitBit Zip on my wrist. And the TomTom’s band is negligibly larger than the Garmin’s. What makes it superior, is the fact the band goes through a watch-like mechanism and the loop latches down, the through end latches down, and there is a third latch that locks the band in place. My FitFit arm band just hooked one end to the other and had a cheap little plastic portion that went over that. The Garmin was slightly better then my FitBit watch because it _____________, but this is the most secure. I am not afraid it will come open at any time. Also, just like the FitBit, you can trade out the band for fancy colors or when your first one looks a little worse for wear. There are a lot less options right now then there were for FitBit, so I’m hoping for some power yellow, or patterns to come on the market soon.

The face of the tracker is very large. This is great for display purposes, because I can see it without breaking my stride too much during a run, whereas I had to really peer at the tiny FitBit Zip and sideways Garmin displays. This is only OK for wearability, so I put the face on the inside of my wrist so every outfit doesn’t scream, “fitness nerd!” and it is a little. . . Less. And yes, it still seems to track my heart rate accurately worn that way.

Speaking of the display, I didn’t think I would like the color of the numbers on the TomTom. My Garmin’s digital with backlight had made me pretty happy. I compare these to white road paint—they just sort of glow, but not by indiglow. And it goes without saying the tiny, unlighted/unglowing digital font in the FitBit fares worst—you have to peer at it in every scenario. Aside from the reflecti-color, the font is very large on the TomTom, and if you really can’t handle not having light, you just hold your hand over the face for a few seconds and it will light up. I found I usually don’t have to go to that extent, but it hasn’t been a nuisance when I’ve had to. Also, I think there might be a setting that let’s you trade all-the-time backlighting for battery drainage.

As for battery, I have not had a problem. I wear my TomTom all day as a pedometer and watch as much as for fitness tracking. It lasted a 12 hour work day just fine. My FitBit was constantly needing a new battery (like every 2-3 weeks) and the garmin was supposed to last a year. I just charge my TomTom through the night while I sleep and it’s worked out OK for me.

The music—is awesome! I used to run with my i-pod. It was one of the thin ones and help 16GB so it wasn’t terrible. But I had to hold something, and my headphone cord had to be tucked through my clothes. Then, the cord was too short for a full arm swing, so I was constantly fighting to keep my arm swing from pulling the ear buds out of my ears. This was a horrible nuisance on long runs and on the timed, sprints absolutely slowed me down. How can you sprint your fastest without having a full arm? And you either had to slow down to re-tuck the headphones in the top of the sports bra or just continue on with one ear bud getting pulled out. My TomTom, isn’t that different of a set up from the i-pods. I physically hook it to my computer in the same way. I pick some (but not all) playlists from i-tunes, which I had been doing with my i-pod anyway. The display will accommodate ____________ playlists and the music itself can’t exceed 3 GB. My i-pod held 16GB, but I rarely used all of those songs on my run, and I can just soup up my “workout” playlist if I want more variety. I bought the combo TomTom/headphones package for just-in-case, because I wanted to be certain I could play my tunes—because let’s be real, this tracker’s main selling point is its ability to play music. Then, all I had to do was navigate “up” one screen on my watch and hold the middle button of the headphones until it flashed red/blue. They paired very quickly and that was that. The headphones screw into your ears and I just pull them through my running hat in case the buds fall out of my ears during a run (there has never been even a threat of that). I can play any individual playlist straight through, shuffle any individual playlist, or shuffle all the music I imported. The sound is just as good as my i-pod. If I am not feeling a song that comes up, I can navigate “up” on the watch then “right” to skip, “left” to re-play. The only thing I don’t like about that is, IF you’re already in the middle of tacking an activity, you have to go back passed the start menu for said-activity to change the song. That ends the activity and once, I was in the middle of a timed mile and accidently ended my time/distance by skipping a song. Now, I just use the controls on the headphones—hold the front button for 2 sec to change the song without messing up my running stats.

The data does pretty much everything I want and more, and I read numerous times the heart monitor is the most accurate on the market—and bonus, no chest strap required! You can even see your bpm while you’re running and on a graph with your speed/pace later. And there is a setting for you to run in a certain heart rate zone with voiceovers that make sure you do.

The sleep tracker is not really a thing. It pretty much gives you the hours slept and leaves any other information out. The Garmin showed movement and told me when I was in light sleep vs. deep sleep with a graph and I found that very useful. This one just wants to name sleep as a feature—so I just charge my TomTom to my computer at night instead. To improve the sleep function the need to track movement and give me graphs like the Garmin. And allow me to write notes on the night like the Garmin. Oh, and have a smaller band to trade out for sleep purposes, because I slept fine in this, but it could have been more comfortable. Never mind—if you want in-depth sleep analysis get a tracker specifically for that, because even the Garmin, which was better, was still not that informative. Or best yet, get a sleep study.

I like that it will sync automatically to the phone app or I can do it at the computer. I really HATED having to always manually sync the Garmin, because my FitBit had always auto-synced if I was in proximity to my computer. So the TomTom’s syncing has been working out. The only thing I like less about the TomTom, is the MySports computer program isn’t as souped up as my FitBit program had been. For instance, I can’t invite friends to see their progress and I can’t track (or sync) food and water. If I could see my mate’s and mom’s step count and link MySports to LoseIt—my TomTom would be absolutely perfect for me.
My favorite thing about FitBit—the huge array of replacement bands and the data-heavy social website. My favorite thing about the Garmin—the tone telling me I had been sedentary too long . But don’t let the TomTom’s mediocre reviews scare you off. If you hate carrying things (even a phone) and love exercising with music I highly recommend this tracker!

I’ve Been In Utah a Year!

4 May

Hey, hey hey!

U district

Once I stopped being a student, I pretty much stopped writing.  Though I like blogging, my daily run is more important to me, and aside from working full-time, sometimes that’s the only thing I do all day.

It’s weird to think how different I am as a person now.  I don’t have long-term career goals at the moment.  Not in a depressed, sad way–and (hopefully) not in a loser way.  My priorities are not really my career, and only my career any more.  I’ve come to the realization I must work to live, but it’s not EVERYTHING.  Also, the barriers into my career were crazy.  And that drags me down.  For instance, I’m pretty down on big-university and I’m not sure I’ll ever attend one again.  All I got was a huge amount of insurmountable debt–and nothing really to show for it.

The vet thing–didn’t work out.  And it’s too bad it kept working out that way, because I would have been the most wonderful, dedicated veterinarian.  But they didn’t want me–time and time again.  So I eventually (after literally 10 attempts) I had to learn when to say when.

Audiology:  Unlike veterinary medicine, which I know a plethra of (unfair) politics, issues, and reasons why I wasn’t accepted, I have no idea why Audiology didn’t want me.  I had a 4.0 GPA and I forgot my GRE scores (they are in this blog somewhere) but they were good.  Here is what the university published,

UU AuD class stats

The minimum GPA requirement for admission is a 3.0. Our average admission profile for an incoming Au.D. student for Fall 2015 was a 3.74 GPA and a GRE score of 311. These are only averages, and we admit candidates above and below these values.

So I met that, did extra-curriculars, worked during school, and tutored students in my program–what else could they want?  Maybe they give preferance to Utah residents–and I didn’t become one until too late.  I really don’t know.  But I certainly didn’t try nearly as hard as I did vet school, once they wait-listed me.  I only applied the once, then kinda felt thankful that I didn’t have 4 more years of school I couldn’t pay for.

So those things changed my perspective, and now I may SEEM lazy.  But it’s not the case.  I’m just sort of on hold for now.  We are living in Utah to save money.  Because Cool and I want our lives to be in Colorado.  It’s just too expensive for now.  So I’m working at a company (we both are) that we can make direct transfers to when we move.  And I don’t trust the management, or love my coworkers, but I’m hanging in there.  Because the peace of mind of having a job before you move, and moving and starting work when money is tight–is totally worth hassle now.

And I figure, I can’t make concrete plans because we are leaving, so I’ll just have to start over anyway.  This is a 3-4 year period of saving money and focusing on things besides my career.  My health for one.  Relationships.  Enjoying nature.  More easy-going types of things, for sure–but not less important than career stuff.

I was singularly focused on my career my whole life.  And what did that get me?  Thus, I’m changing my outlook slowly, and I’ll refocus on the career once we’ve settled in Colorado (last move ever!).

CO 169

So I’m alive, I’m well.  I just don’t make the time to write like I used to.  And maybe another post won’t happen for awhile–but I’m not stressing out over it.

Goal Progress of March

11 Mar

I’ve been terrible about blogging.  Really, writing alltogether.  I guess now that I’m not in school I’m just not in front of the computer like I used to be.  Also, it feels very much like work now that there is no real writing-work to compare it to.  But here an update on the goal-progress is:


things I’m already doing, or kind of doing

-running.  Tomorrow it’s day 880 in a row.  Big deal!  And, I’ve been doing 30-20-10 HIITs so I’m getting super-fast.

-water.  Most days I drink all 12.  Some days get busy so the worst I’ve done is 8 cups.

-flossing.  Doin’ it!  Daily too.  I am a rock-star.

-Been wearing makeup every day (except Sun) to work.  Perfume some days also.  [time-line:  daily, before work]

things to start

-I went to the dentist–and had ZERO problems.  That’s not usually my life.  Also, I have my 6 month check up on the books.  Feels good to work for a corporation and get for-real health insurance.  Dentist = free.  Next, gyno and general dr appt.  Research on those will be commencing Sunday.

-I need to pain my nails more.  It’s an easy thing to do and I have a lot of pretty colors.   [time-line:  Fridays, during the day]  I have been lackadaisical about this, but did it twice this year.

-And I should wear my beautiful jewelry more.  Those are really easy things that add an extra touch of niceness.   [time-line:  Monday, Wednesday, +/- Thursday]  This has happened at least once a week, but there is work to do in this area.

-I’d also like to take more care fixing my hair.  Instead of a pony-tail, maybe a braid or rows, or a nice barrette.  And, as a more expensive, and long-term thing, this year I’d like to start permanently dying my hair.  I dyed my hair.  The appointment was long and semi-expensive.  The color–my exact hair color for cheap up-keep.  It is boring!  I need to have a little pizazz, but on a budget.  More planning will happen.  As for the hairstyles–I’d say I make an effort about once every 10 days.  It’s a D.




things I’m already doing, or kind of doing

-Work stress has been bringing me down.  Mostly when I’m alone on Sundays, because I worry about things I may have done wrong.  I need to remember they NEED me, and to not care.  Because–really, I shouldn’t.

things to start

-reading more for pleasure.  [time-line:  Friday, Saturday, Sunday].  I read every night before bed!  Good for me.

-read/outline my undergrad textbooks and notebooks.  This will serve 2 purposes:  1)  it will utilize some of that money I’m paying in school-loans and not make my degree seem quite so pointless.  I feel like I’m paying all this money back, yet I never USED my education for anything.  2)  I might learn the material better without the pressure of multiple classes, regurgitating info for tests, and papers and projects.  I can learn the stuff at my pace and the stuff I find interesting/important.  And a surprise 3rd advantage–I might be able to clean some of it out and get rid of it once I’ve looked at it.   [time-line:  Thursdays during the day?  Try it and see if this day works, then reevaluate]  I haven’t done this, like at all.  F-.




things I’m already doing, or kind of doing

-be more consistent about adding a weekly item to my positivity jar.  I do it, but not that frequency.   [time-line:  Sunday night]  It’s happened almost 3 times this year–I need to step up my game.

things to start

-I newed to re-start thinking of all the things I’m thankful for daily.  I really liked it, and it was an easy thing to do, which also had the benefit of re-focusing my attention from worrk to gratitude.  I just sort of fell out of the habit the less stressed and the happier I got.   [time-line:  daily, before sleeping].  One word- fail.

-painting for enjoyment.  It’s a nice hobby that Cool and I can do together.  I want to paint light switch covers and finish my totem painting series.   [time-line:  Friday or Saturday, twice a month]  also fail.




things I’m already doing, or kind of doing

-I did clean on schedule.  It is hard because I’m tired.

-make a shopping list.  I always do this, but lately it’s been more of a long-term list then is really helpful.  I need to buy the items at least twice a month and start a new list.   [time-line:  as needed].  Fail.

things to start

-scan all my photos and back them up on my external hard-drive to cut down on albums.   [time-line:  tomorrow–get it done ASAP]  I actually did 2 full photo-albums.  It takes a long time!

-Also consolidate my scrapbooks, and make power-points or DVDs of some of the materials to save space (and future moving hassle).   [time-line:  next Wednesday, January 13th].  It’s on my to-do.

-set a consistent grocery shopping day!  Problem is I hate it.  But in order to cook, I need ingredients on hand, so this has to happen.  I think every other Sunday after work will be a less-busy convenient day (relatively) to go.   [time-line:  every other Sunday, starting January 17th].  Fail.




things I’m already doing, or kind of doing

-I have also learned not to place the expectations I have for myself on people at work.  Through experience, I realized that only creates social problems and makes me stressed and resentful.  People aren’t going to have my drive or dedication, and it’s not my problem.  So a huge goal is to keep that up, because I really am bunches happier for it.   [time-line:  continuous].  Ugh–I need to ignore douche-baggery!

-make a firm cooking date with Cool.  We love to cook together and it makes the following week a lot smoother.  Friday or Saturday depending on what else is going on will work well.   [time-line:  Saturday, January 9th].  It happened once?  We need to be much better.

things to start

-2015 was AWFUL for blogging!  I didn’t do it, when I did it felt like an obligation, and it wasn’t too technically great of writing either–much like that last sentence.  Partially, it was because 2015 was such a transitional year.  Partially, I was too tired and adjusting to a new work schedule.  And it didn’t happen a lot, because I was happy hanging out with Cool, and didn’t want to “step away” to write by myself.  This year, I aim to be better than that, though I don’t know if I will go so far as to impose deadlines or post-numbers on myself.  After all, it supposed to be fun.   [time-line:  write again Thursday or Friday this week].  I didn’t.  I also didn’t Yelp, or things of that nature.



23 Feb

When I talked to my Mom on the phone this week, she was telling me Del Minor (Mary’s mom) died at the beginning of the month.  Shaun (Mary’s gossipy sister-in-law) was being all shady when my mom asked when the funeral was going to be.  Obviously, Del was a central figure in our town and my mom knew her and thus wanted to pay her respects.  But after asking Shaun a couple of times and being told noncommittal answers my parents saw in the news that the funeral had taken place—2 days prior.  So I guess our family was blacklisted, which is shitty, though they probably could have looked in the news or talked to someone else about the date and time if they had really wanted to go.  But oh well.


So that night, I looked online to read the obituary.  And there it was—they listed the survivors.  And they listed them as couples.  There was several of Mary’s older siblings, then Tom (Mary’s brother) and his wife Shaun.  Then last in oldest to youngest order:  Mary Minor and this new name- Sandra __________.  At first I thought it was some kind of typo—they put one of Del’s sibs next to her youngest child’s name accidentally.  Because the Mary I know would never have her private life broadcast.  Especially if the town of Dayton was to see it.  Plus, how in the world would she even be with anyone?!


But I looked up the gal’s name online—and sure enough, there was not only a marriage announcement of Mary and this gal-but a picture!  I still would have doubted t, just because it was so out of character for Mary.  I mean, this is the person, who when I realized I was gay at the tender age of 18, she took my in the bathroom at work, with the fan on, and asked that I not tell her secret.  No regard for what I must have been feeling, how shell-shocked I might be–just ‘don’t tell anyone that she’s gay.’  But they blog supplemented the announcement with a picture.  So I knew without a doubt it was the same Mary I knew (past tense intentional).  Also, this Tahoe wedding happened in 2013? So I’m way behind the scene.  Which is good, because thinking about Mary and the cabin-mansion makes me feel icky inside and makes me have nightmares.  I had even asked my mom not to share the gossip she gleaned from Shaun or the community, because I don’t want to think about that part of my life.  And I guess that was necessary because even though Mary saw Shaun as an enemy when I knew her, Shaun must have gotten the picture that we are not on good terms, so she stopped sharing any information with my mom–she didn’t know.  And as much as I don’t like to think about those dark times, and dark characters, part of me wished I would have known—just for curiosity’s sake.


Obviously, a lot has changed.  The Mary I knew was an absolute PILL because she was such a closet-case.  Like, Kim and her were together for 6 years or something when they moved together to Dayton, and Mary was so secretive that she wouldn’t wear their ring on her left hand.  And when they moved neighborhoods, they did it at night—to escape prying eyes.  She never acknowledged who Kim was—even though it was fairly obvious.


Also Mary was a MESS when I went back in 2009.  Her and Kim were pretty over.  Mary played the part of the Godfather.  Cold and calculating and in control of the people around her and the information exchanged.  She was cheating with the hairdresser.  She invited me there, gave me my job back, then scapegoated me–I suspect because I knew too much and I was not an adequate replacement for her dead niece Brenna.  She was such an awful person at that time that I questioned if she had ever been a good influence in my life.  Had she always had sketchy ethics and I had been too naive to see it?  All I knew is that I was disillusioned and never wanted to have her in my life again.  When she subscribed to my Facebook page (really stupid because FB notifies you) I blocked her.  Just so she doesn’t exsist anywhere in my life.  And I would be horrified if I ran into her (which is highly plausible in a small town) when visiting my parents.  So with all those feelings, and my insider knowledge at least of that time in her life, it’s hard to imagine she’s OK enough now to attract a new girlfriend—let alone someone who wants to marry her.


And the fact the marriage was posted online and done in Tahoe was completely different from the Mary I knew.  I come back to it, jst because it astounds me.  I guess she’s grown as a person, so that’s good for her.  I can’t help but wonder if she’s alright now, or just the same shit-head with a new wife to treat badly and make disappear.  Mary has a way of dominating and being Godfather that makes other disappear.  She controls those in her inner circle, hides things from those outside, and annihilates those she deems enemies–however small their perceived infraction.  I say perceived, because Mary herself knows a few of those people were only defending themselves against her attacks–they didn’t do anything to warrant her wrath.  I have to wonder-Would we have animosity or see 2009 as a bad scene for both of us?  Water under the bridge or enemies forever?  I really don’t know, but her seemingly new outlook on life makes me wonder.


Also, does Kim know?  Is she coherent enough to?  Do Mary and her talk or hate one another?  And what does Mary see their relationship as?  A mistake?  Or does she see that she choked the life out of Kim, squashed her spirit until nothing but alcoholic coping and emptiness were left?  Kim probably had a genetic predisposition, and Mary fostered those drinking ways, but in the end, I think the seclusion and control are what really did Kim in.  And nows she’s just a shell of who she used to be.  I feel sorry about that, yet I don’t talk to her either, because there’s just nothing there.


I had so many questions!  And the whole thing gave me just icky feelings of remembrance.  One thing you can count on Dayton for is gossip.  I’ll hear eventually.