Reading-filled vacation

This week of spring break has flown by. I want more vacation!

What did I do over break? Let’s see:

  • Worked at the dental urgent at school for four of the six days they were open
  • Read a book on my Kindle
  • Took a nap
  • Went out to eat
  • Drove to the airport, church, errands, more church
  • Did special music at above said church
  • Started clicker training with our dog
  • Read another book
  • Took another nap
  • Watched the whole series of BBC’s nature movies, Life
  • Did some shopping
  • Played video games
  • Kept reading books
  • Did more napping

So, there’s definitely a recurring theme here: reading (and napping, ha). My word, I love reading. I’m open to reading just about any type of genre but I do tend to continually go back novels. Suspense, sci-fi, action, fantasy–you name it, I’ll read it.

Thus far, it’s been mildly dangerous owning a Kindle. How so? A credit card is attached to your Kindle/Amazon account. When you go browsing through books and want one, it’s very easy and painless to click “buy” in order to have instant reading gratification. Now, even though I’ve scoured the internets and Amazon for tons free books, I find myself browsing their titles for sale…and, on rare occasion, even downloading one.

Or two.

Okay, three.

Ah, reading. You know, I used to read so much as a kid. When I was done reading for the time being, I would hide my books all over the house by shoving them under pillows, between couch cushions, below tables. This drove my mom nuts. How did she mete our her punishment? By grounding me from reading books for a week at a time.

Thank goodness for books and that my love for reading is still strong.

Except when it comes to textbooks. Nothing can put me to sleep faster than reading a heavily information-laden tome like periodontics, ugh.

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Stalemate

I guess I’m not much of a writer.

I used to love writing in journals although it’s been more of a sporadic impulse. In retrospect, I used to only write when I was going through some sort of mental turmoil (i.e. boys) or on a great adventure (i.e. 6 weeks in Indonesia). As for regularly? Not so much.

On the contrary, I have sort of been through my share of emotional turmoil for the past season or so but haven’t written anything on here. Why not? I’m exactly not sure. Maybe it’s the pressure I put on myself to write something creative? The busywork of adding photos and links to the posts are cumbersome? Pure laziness?

Actually, the latter suggestion is probably the greatest culprit of the above. On the other hand, I have this suspicion that it has more to do with not wanting to share too much of my personal thoughts on here. Even with my journal entries, I hardly ever put my most personal thoughts down. Not like I really have anything to hide….I just didn’t.

I think hiding my innermost thoughts and feelings have something to do with realizing how incomparable they seem to the other hurts in the world, the other horrible life experiences others have to go through. Even though my dog could have died a week and a half ago from her crazy traumatic experience and that I was in a slight mental wreck for a day, it seems ridiculous to complain or air it out when there are other daily horrors occurring other places like the disaster Japan is going through.

In essence, I’ve reached a writing lethargy, a stalemate of sorts.

Now don’t count me out–I still want to write bits about my life, insignificant as they may seem, because I’ve always had this thing for keeping up a journal. Even if I haven’t been consistent at it. I’ll do my very best to put my two cents in on at least a weekly basis even if I end up presenting literary dreariness itself.

— — —

I’m supposed to be in charge of special music this week. The problem? I forgot about it until I was reminded of it yesterday. On top of that, my default backup plan–the husby on the violin–actually has a previous engagement elsewhere at a different church. Since I’m pretty horrible at finding people to do special music, I guess I’ll have to put my backup “default backup” plan into the works: I’ll be the performer this weekend after all.

— — —

The hubs is in the kitchen making awful sounds with tearing down one of the plaster walls. He wants to move a doorway so future cabinets don’t stick out into the middle of it. I concurred with the wall demolition; the reasoning makes sense. I just hope that our kitchen renovation continues along at a regular pace because, truth be told, it rather sucks to work in a room that’s torn up for weeks but isn’t moving anywhere forward in the meantime.

A list of sorts

Christmas vacation is three-fourths over. I’m trying to remember exactly how it’s flown by so fast. What exactly have I done?

  1. Bought Christmas presents, wrapped them
  2. Put away my mess that was covering half the dining table from stuff I’ve gathered and kept from this quarter
  3. Practiced some music for a Christmas program
  4. Performed in the majority of musical numbers at thus said Christmas program
  5. Stayed home in the rain, curled up under a blanket and read a book
  6. Read more books
  7. Kept reading books
  8. Took a nap
  9. Went to the Sing-Off finale at Warner Bros. Studios (!)
  10. Watched a movie
  11. Watched more movies
  12. Listened to the rain falling
  13. Took a nap
  14. Read more books
  15. Heard about the locally infamous Loma Linda floodings and mudslides, mud rivers, streets filled with mud
  16. Drove around the next day to look at all the mud, got our car really muddy
  17. Oogled at mounds of mud, kept wondering if we were really in Loma Linda
  18. Went for a hike, saw the landslides/mudslides that happened in all the hills to give rise to all the above said mud found in Loma Linda
  19. Went to church on Christmas day, helped sing some songs up on stage
  20. Went for long walks with my boyfriend (aka husband) and the dog
  21. Cooked up a few dishes for Christmas dinner
  22. Opened presents
  23. Oogled over presents, played with presents, felt blessed to be even getting presents
  24. Saw a movie in the theater
  25. Yes, it was Tron and I am now in love with the soundtrack artists all over again
  26. Attempted to brave the day-after-Christmas hordes at the mall and, after quailing in fear, turned away
  27. Attended and performed in a memorial service for a dear church member
  28. Went on a date with my boyfriend
  29. Went and had sushi with a friend
  30. Read more books
  31. Took a nap
  32. Played video and computer games
  33. Slept
  34. Watched some movies
  35. Took another nap

I think you get the picture now. As I mentioned to a friend, I’m enjoying my vacation and that the fact my IQ is getting knocked down a few notches.

It’s lovely!

Now here I am, typing away while in bed, listening to the boyfriend and the dog sleeping away in dreamland, listening to the wind wail through the tree outside. Hopefully there won’t be any more rain for a while down here…but I will honestly pray for more snow in the mountains.

Why so? So I can have a little powder for snowboarding, of course!

Voices only, please

I’m a choir junkie.

It all started in junior high with a crush on Boyz II Men and their slick harmonies. My love for voices started to blossom when I auditioned for a select choir in high school and was thrilled that I got in. Being that our director at the time mostly chose a capella pieces for us to sing, I began to fall in love with that type of music.

When I got to college, I was feeling lonely, all by myself, and was starting to have slight doubts about moving a few states away for school. I then took a leap of faith and auditioned for yet another select choir–this time for a choir that strove for a high level of perfection and had even garnered a bit of local celebrity.

Joy of joys, I made it in.

Then began two busy years of being immersed in the most music I’ve ever had before in my life. Being in yet another choir, such a wonderful choir, it kept me going. Sure, I played solos on the piano, rocked percussion in wind ensembles and orchestras, accompanied a myriad of music performances…yet my true love remained in voices.

Growing up playing the piano, I’ve always been mildly irked at one particular facet of my instrument of choice: it’s lack of portability. It’s true that most places one goes, a piano is likely to be found but you never know what it’s going to sound like, how the keys are going to feel to your touch. On the other hand, there have been many places I’ve been to where I felt inspired to play something–in caves, by the ocean, on mountain tops–but didn’t have my instrument. Because of that, I’ve always looked wistfully at those who played more lightweight instruments than my own.

Which brings me to most lightweight instrument of them all: the voice.

While singing with such a great choir in college, I found that I loved a capella pieces the most. There’s something that’s fascinating to me about bringing many voices together and singing as one yet with different parts, blending “just so” that it sends goosebumps up my arms, letting pure voices mingle together to make harmonies that float effortlessly up to the sky.

I guess that’s why I’m so excited for The Sing-Off being back on television for a second season. If last year was fabulous, then this season is absolutely amazing. I can’t even begin to explain how inspired I am to be in an a capella group and recapture those feelings I’ve had for singing again.

As much as I love the piano, I definitely get more joy out of voices in harmony. If I knew enough people who had the ear for singing without instruments, voices to match, and a person to arrange all the music, I’d totally be there in a heartbeat.

Even with school dragging me around by the neck, I wouldn’t miss that kind of opportunity.

The Never-Ending Story

Do you remember that movie? To be honest, I don’t remember much about it specifically other than that there was a young boy, some sort of flying and friendly dragon was involved, and that I enjoyed watching it. I was watching the trailer for it some time ago and was immediately struck by how far the film industry has come since then.

I don’t know if I ever saw the sequel to it, but I do know that Jonathan Brandis was the main character in the second movie. Oh, dearest Jonathan Brandis. I had the largest pre-teen crush on him. When the television show SeaQuest DSV came out, I was quite the regular fan, faithfully watching each week to get a glimpse of his character, Lucas, to hear his voice.

Essentially, I drooled over the guy.

Oh dear, I’m blushing in mild embarrassment at this revelation.

As I grew up and got over his teen idol status, I still kept an eye out for him in film and television. It’s a complete shame he hung himself in 2003 at the age of 27.

— — —

Getting away from this morbid subject, what I originally meant to write about was school. School, school, school: the never-ending story of my life. Now, in juxtaposition to the previous topic, it sure as heck seems inappropriate to go unendingly on and on about the doldrums of my life.

Thus said, I’ll just sum up my current thoughts regarding academia: I have my last exam tomorrow, then I’m going out to have some sushi and maybe even a massage later on. I’m thrilled.

Goodnight.

Standing, standing

Some days seems really long while others are on the short side. Today was actually okay, but the tipping point that made it feel long is that my legs are aching right now.

Did you ever have deep, slow aching pains in your legs, sometimes arms and elsewhere when younger? My parents always called them “growing pains”, something about attributing the aches to growing bones and muscles. Whether growth during my younger and adolescent years actually played a role in those aches or not, who really knows.

On the other hand, I still get those same deep aches at my current age which isn’t quite as young as before. It’s always a gnawing kind of pain, usually in my legs, that slowly gets worse and never seems to get better for roughly around six hours. If I don’t get around to taking some sort of analgesic like Tylenol or Ibuprofen, it’s always bad enough to keep me up in the middle of the night. If I somehow manage to fall asleep, it always is a restless sleep and, more likely than not, I wake back up again with an even stronger and dull ache.

In high school, I started noticing that these leg pains would appear after standing or walking for long periods of time. Case in point? Being at Disneyland all day long. I eventually learned to be proactive and carry a couple of pills with me during Disney trips (we had annual passes a lot back then) to take during the afternoon. When I started working as a radiologic technologist, there were many days filled with running around and essentially standing most or all of the day. After a while, my legs would get used to all the standing and walking, but some days just did me in and I’d have to pop a pain pill or two.

Since my x-ray days are over and I haven’t had many long days filled with standing after that, this quarter of getting slammed on clinic has did me in a few times at night with these leg pains. Today, I do believe I was standing, standing, standing just about through the entire afternoon, about four and a half hours straight. Boys howdy, do my legs ache now. I just took a 220 mg pill of Aleve not too long ago, an NSAID similar to Ibuprofen. Thankfully it’s starting to kick in and my legs are feeling better already.

Sleep! I am coming. There will soon be no more aching to hold you at bay.

Where in the world…

…have I been, right?

Ah, in a nutshell: school. But what else is new? It’s seems so boring to recite my day in and day out practices in academia. Rather, I like to share what’s going on with pictures.

Maybe that just means I’m rather lazy when it comes to writing.

No, no…that really is the truth. I can’t stand writing. I should say, I can’t stand writing in a forced and constrained format like APA or MLA. Ugh.

As I type right now, I am surrounded by my sleeping my husband and the sleeping dog. (The dog is not on the bed, by the way.) As for myself, I am wide awake. Then again, it is only 10:30 pm and this is what I consider as an early hour in my book. For the past two school quarters, my ability to stay awake and coherent has become as late as it’s ever been, around 1:30 or even 2 in the morning. I think a lot of it has to do with the internal and unspoken need for some time to myself. I’m naturally an introvert. I like interacting with and being around others but it’s definitely not my method of recharging. Hence, I stay up late for some time to myself, usually browsing the internets or reading a book. (My bookworm genes come from my mom.)

Meanwhile, like I mentioned above, I’m surrounded my sleeping bodies. I love my husband, even more so as of late, and I love to spend time with him, but even then I need some “me” time.

I also love spending time with the dog, but she doesn’t really count considering how much she sleeps and stares at you when she isn’t.

As the clock ticks closer to 11 pm, the more tempted I am to open up my book and pick up where I left off.

Since I am out of words, I believe I’ll do just that.

Pictures next time!

Friday’s meanderings: happenings & random photos

Fridays are meant for taking naps.

— — —

The time for getting thrown onto clinic, whether you’re ready or not, has finally arrived. This week, I’ve seen patients during three out of the five days of the school week and am exhausted. I remember when in the very beginning of my previous career as a radiographic technologist, I would come home bonked after 8+ hours of working. There’s just something about dealing with others as patients and essentially faking that you know what you’re doing until you get comfortable that’s absolutely draining. I usually am a bit of a night owl and don’t crawl into bed until past midnight; these days it’s been around 10 pm.

I can’t wait until this phase of constantly being freaked out is over. It’ll be nice to have the energy to do normal things again, such as actually washing the dishes on a regular basis.

Thank goodness I can nap on Friday afternoons to catch up on sleep.

— — —

I believe I had previously said that we finally realized our water heater tank had been leaking for a long time. Knowing that it’s rotted out the bottom of the local cabinets, Andrew got ambitious and tore up the two layers of linoleum in that part of our kitchen to see how far the water damage had gone in the floor. Well now, by that point, he might as well rip out of the rest of the cabinets, right?

water heater demolition, pt.1water heater demolition, pt.2

water heater demolition, pt.3water heater demolition, pt.4

Huh.

Thankfully, oh so thankfully, the new tankless water heater is in, and boy, do we have blazing hot water in the shower. In the meantime, you can still see the studs and original floor under the ripped-out linoleum in that section of the kitchen.

Oh, and also the trash pile that is starting to collect on our driveway.

water heater demolition, pt.5water heater demolition, pt.6

I’ve never lived before in a house that had regular phases of construction and renovation. It takes some getting used to even though you never really get used to it.

Alas, but I think but this style of living will be continuing on: we may be installing a new dishwasher sometime soon.

Huh.

— — —

In other news, I’ve been enjoying my baggu duck bag recently.

baggu duck bag

Also, we’ve been to the beach. Andrew went kiteboarding

kiteboarding

and I had the chance to watch a wedding occur on the same (and somewhat ugly) beach.

beach wedding

(I suppose if you’re on a budget, then…you’re on a budget!)

Lastly, with all this heat that’s been going on lately, I’ve been using my denture-shaped ice “cubes” a lot more than usual.

denture ice cubes

denture ice cubes

Goodness, I’m such a nerd.

— — —

Here’s to a good weekend.

Friday’s meanderings: somewhat uninspired

You know, these days, I’m not feeling the need to write like before. I’m sure it has something to do with starting another quarter, one quite different than all others before.

Additionally, I recently went through a laptop switch and am now quite attached to a new netbook from my dear husband. (Note: Windows 7 Starter is a serious pain to get going, but things have calmed down and I’ve come to an agreement with this new OS.) I still have my macbook, but: it’s 4 years old, the battery is dead and I’m too cheap to buy a new one, I’m constantly tethered to the wall with the power cord, I’m consistently worried about the power cord being pulled out easily since it’s attached to my computer merely by a magnet (a lovely feature before yet a complete annoyance now), it’s running more slowly these days, there are a few cracks/missing parts where my wrists rest, and it doesn’t work as easily with the school’s patient program.

So–! Like I mentioned, I’ve mostly switched over to a netbook and am finally starting to enjoying it.

I’ve become very reliant on my laptop for downloading, storing, and uploading pictures to the internets; I need to get that process set up more properly for this computer. Once that’s done, I should be inspired to write more by having pictures to guide me along.

Speaking of writing, I am faced once again with the necessity of doing research and composing a corresponding research paper. I and a partner have this summer to essentially hook up with a mentor from the faculty and write the introduction. Data collection then will take place over the next quarter, maybe more. The final and third quarter then includes the presentation of our research in front of a good chunk of faculty and many of our peers in school.

Thankfully, oh so thankfully, I’ve been blessed to be approached by a faculty member on a research topic that he thought I’d be interested in. Even though I’m not too keen on doing more research, I’m nonetheless thrilled for the opportunity because: (a) I didn’t have to come up with a topic like the rest of my class and (b) I didn’t have to go searching for a mentor. To top it off, he even thinks the research has a good chance of being published. Now, even though having an article associated with my name published in a scientific journal isn’t really on my list of life goals, I still see and understand the importance of such an event. We’ll see what happens.

In other news, I saw a new patient today. All went well until the very end when I realized how little time I had left and started sweating bullets. Thankfully this patient seems like a keeper so far. Additionally, it was nice to have a female patient for once. Generally speaking, I feel like I get along better with guys around my age, but I have this suspicion that I may connect better with women who are older than me. Once again, we shall see if this is an emerging trend or not as I start to see more patients this quarter.

I’m always amazed at the new things I learn about myself over the years. You think I would’ve figured out something like this a long time ago!

——-

Oh YEAH, how could I forget: our house has been undergoing even more of remodeling of sorts. (What else is new?) For a few months now, we’ve known that the water heater has been leaking. Regularly, I’d walk into the kitchen in the morning, see a brownish pool of water on the linoleum floor by some cabinets, then would wrinkle my nose and peer behind one of the doors at the water heater with squinted eyes, hoping to see nothing that would scare me and if I did, would try to pretend I didn’t see anything and play ignorance.

Unfortunately, there definitely was a water leak. Actually, has been for a long time. When I’d see pools of water on the floor, the water heater was actually way past the point of starting to leak; rather, it was finally to the point where the water had soaked through the wood of the cabinet, even the one next to it, and sadly through the wood floor under the linoleum.

Ew.

Earlier this week, Andrew ripped it out like the superman he is, and tore out all the water-damaged cabinets. For the past few days, I’ve been reliving some of my travels in Asia, specially in the way how I had bathed at the time: I’ve been boiling water for baths. All I can say about it is that I cut down on my water usage a lot!

As fun as that experience was, I’m glad the new tankless water heater’s installation finished today. Lovely! Minus the fact that you can see the bare studs and wood floor under the torn-off linoneum in that corner of the kitchen (okay, it’s like a third of our kitchen), there are only a few things left that need tweaking to get our hot water and pressure correct again.

Though, I must add, I’m going to have to do something about that open and blantant HOLE that you can stick your arm through to the dirt-bottomed crawl space beneath our house. Creepy. Nor do I want something crawling in from down there.

——-

Oh, my dearest Friday. Once again, I’m so glad you’re here.