Wednesday, December 30, 2009

see ya 2009...

its almost 2010. thats pretty nuts. the world ends in two short years. OMFG.

so im BIG TIME on new years resolutions--have been since birth (prolls). but before i list my new ones, i want to recap 2009... it was an interesting year.

so 2009 was the year of academic successes! field paper, check! dissertation defense, check! new business cards, check! original data, new papers, book deals (k, just one), and guest lectures to boot. i felt/feel like a reeeeal academic. now if only i stopped wearing toms, and bought a suit (gag, never).

yet 2009 marked the year of relationship fAiLurEs. i dated more than ever, and since i am currently single, it is obvious the dating failed more than ever.

i tried coaches, east coasters, capitalists, harvard med students, bourgies, impoverished grad students, handy-men, abercrombies, visitors, and locals. that is a long list, i realize this.

perhaps i need to stop looking all together.

k, see ya 2009. its been pretty good. said bye to santa barbie, and hello to new home huntington beach. met more and more people i adore and love, and still stayed in touch with the old friends, but dear. hopefully 2010 is marked by the same academic good luck. but see ya dating disasters!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

the hand raiser

you know that kid in the back of the classroom that always asks for MORE homework, 2 minutes before the bell rings, dismissing school children all over the world to embark on freedom? welp, i guess thats me.

take this personality test to learn YOUR defective personality type.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

[ friggin' genes ]

dear mom and dad,

you guys are pretty good looking folks.

why did you let my eyebrows get to this point?

(honestly, though, i have no idea how this is biologically/genetically/humanly/scientifically possible).

what i do know that my brother had 'em, too. as a kid other kids called him spock.

but we turned out semi-okay, so in your face spock-eyebrow haters.

Friday, December 18, 2009


im stuck in salt lake city for the evening.

flight from slc to boise was cancelled.

i dont even know why i am going home for the holidays. i recall, very vividly, that last year i wrote this in my journal: DO NOT GO TO BOISE FOR CHRISTMAS NEXT YEAR.

but try as i did, i was unable to get my dad to come to so cal for the holidays. he travels all the time for he was ready to not travel. but WHATEVER dad. i travel all the time, too.

this year i was in slc, portland, washington d.c., toronto, boise, san diego, san fransisco, manchester, ca, and santa barbara like 80 zillion times. EFF YOU, DAD! jk. [please note that stings "fields of gold" is playing if you follow the link) my dad is the shit. and can definitely beat up your dad.

alright. so this post was suppose to be about how i am stranded in utah. and it felt really weird to get with the other strandies and trek to the hotel, all angry, together. as one. it was uniting in its inconveniencing.

but now i want to talk about my radical dad (see below)...

he is the man. most of my memories of him from childhood are of him trying to cheer me up after a basketball/volleyball/softball loss. a fight with a coach or trainer. getting kicked out of TWO collegiate practices (once bball once vball)... largely sporty in nature, as you can see. thus he is always ready with a good sports quote, or piece of savant advice to pick me up. and it works. but as i have gotten older and my problems have moved from sporty to scholastic, the advice remains the same...yet somehow equally as poignant. here are some gems i recall, or found in old emails:

You will need to, as Olympic Swimmer Matt Biondi said "Stay eternally optimistic" (12.13.09)

you have the inner strength to not only survive but thrive. (10.02.09)

Just hang tough a little longer. (3.17.08)

You can only do what you can do. The rest we'll just have to deal with. It will all work out in the end. (10.08.07)

Just hang in there... [followed by] get your own news show. (8.20.07)

Gary Valentine, a very good weightlifter, has an opinion about rest. As you know, when I train my athletes, every third week I back them off about 20% in Volume and another 10% in intensity. Gary takes the third week OFF ENTIRELY. He wants to rest both his body and his mind and he feels that a complete week away from training has him looking forward to training again. It has served him very well and you could benefit from it as Gary does. (7.26.07)

The main thing is to just try and get some rest and not worry about the overall madness (3.21.07)

endure to the end [he stole this one from the mormon church] (numerous occasions)

people are going to do what they want, you cant stop them (over and over again)

Go hard or go home (non stop)

[plus] no pain no gain. [or as he liked to say] no pain no spain (1992 summer games)

less poignant, but still good advice:

You may want to try an insert in your shoe [pre marathon] (9/9/09)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009



[ ]

i was in portland for a few days this week visiting my friend kurt.

he lives in a gentrified bourgie palace, but its surrounded by the quaint shops and people i expected i would see.

though i was only in town for a few days i felt i did as portlanders do:
-hung out in an independent record stores
-bought a book from an independent book store
-endured endless rain
-played with a dog
-got a lip piercing (JK)

i dont think i want to live there, but that was a good trip.

Monday, November 30, 2009


i NEVER ever try and push my vegetarian/vegan lifestyles/ways onto other people (even though it seems pretty clear in the bible, and at least sparingly in Doctrine and Covenants 49, verse 21). but a number of people have asked me for my recipe for vegan cookies. so here it is.

Let them eat (vegan) cookies!!

2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt

mix together these dry ingredients. then add...

2/3 c. maple syrup
1/2 c. canola oil
1 1/2 c. soy dream milk choc. or dark choc. (cut large choc bars into big chunks of choc)
3/4 c. walnuts

mix up. bake at 350*F for 10 minutes.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


in the spirit of thanksgiving here are some things i am utterly and completely grateful for...

my parents. duh. THEY ARE THE MOST AMAZING TWO PEOPLE IN THE WORLD. its stupid to even try and numerate the reasons why.

my home. i love huntington beach. i love that i can hear the waves from my house. sit on a patio set in the front and backyard. wake any one of my roommates up at 3am if a cause for such a fuss should arrise. and 90 degree weather in november (perhaps i should thank global warming??)

my car. i love my volvo v40. her name is gracie and she has been back and forth from idaho to indiana. purdue to chicago on a weekly basis to see the hags from london . idaho to santa barbara. and of course santa barbara to huntington beach and back on a monthly basis. i am so thankful for my car.

bruce. he is my dissertation advisor, and CNS p.i. he is the smartest man i know (well, plus my dad) and has made my graduate career bearable.

caroline. she is a wonderful and brilliant woman who successfully changes the lives of students and women all over the country. i love her.

lastly (though hardly, but last for this post) i am thankful to be a member of the christ of jesus christ of latter day saints. it brings me hope, joy, and direction.

sapppppy post over! goodnight! happy thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

[ ]

so ive been a pretty big flippin idiot lately. and ive fallen behind on some pretty important stuff...

- visiting teaching supervisor duties

- USC assistant professor position job application

- nano data analysis

- dissertating

- showering

jk about the last one.

so i was thinking... what are the "paperclips" in my life that i have been neglecting? the things that remind me of how, or help me, to keep it TOGETHER!

1. morning runs on PCH are pretty crucial. first, they get me out of bed (both a perk and pain of working from home). and secondly, its the most beautiful run in the world. i live on the pacific ocean. i think i should take advantage more often.

2. hanging out with caroline heldman. caroline is my mentor/idol. she teaches at occidental college. she called me a "machine" as an undergrad. being around her makes me want to do better/more.

3. the idea machine. alisa rod (a phd student at ucsb) and i call ourselves the idea machine when we get together. though it seems pretty self-explanatory, i will tell you it is because when we get together the ideas keep coming. we've come up with several book ideas, internet businesses and funny nicknames for ucsb peers. now, if only we could turn ourselves into an execution machine

4. reading my scriptures and saying my prayers. i am a member of the LDS church, and am entirely aware that all i have in my life is because i have a loving father in heaven. i need to bury my head in the "good book" a bit more often to show my gratitude, and also be reminded/inspired/and learn. after all, in D&C 33: 16 it says:

And the Book of Mormon and the holy scriptures are given of me for your instruction; and the power of my Spirit quickeneth all things.

pretty sure a good "quickeneth" is what i need.

k thats just a few paperclips that keep me together.


marty party

my roommate martha turns 23 this week. i threw her a party... with gouda cheezers with tomato and basil, and some tasty drinks.

a lot of people came because we all love marty. here are some fun and cute pics.

Monday, November 16, 2009


lately... i have been soooo tired.

today i took a nap in the back seat of my car after the CNS meeting, wit jess's sleeping bag. oh brother.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This is my dissertation, homey.

So...I passed!!!

It felt so good! ...So good that I rewarded myself with a nap. Followed by another day of sleeping.

But now I have to get up and start doing the other writing chapters, applying for human subjects consent, completing my survey/experimental design, and maintaining badassedness. definitely not in that order.

OK, in all seriousness, I am so grateful, excited and blessed to be at this stage. SO GIMME A HUGGGG!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

some people graduate, but they still stupid.

as a way to perhaps induce the fear that should be in my heart, mind, body and soul right now, given that in a few more than 8 hours i am to defend my (entire life's work!) dissertation defense, i thought i would write a quick blog post about why this is so important (to me).

i have been a phd student studying political science (communication and psychology) for 4 years. that is invariably a long time--i dont care who you ask. but to advance from phd student, to phd candidate, and soon after just "phd" is what we all (phd students) long for from day 1.

day one for me started out in the corn fields of indiana where i was taking a full load of grad courses whilst teaching a full load (50-200) of undergrad knuckle heads. ugh, my life sucked. trying to plan lectures/power points and write exams while also trying to read the entirety of "calculus of concent" or econometrics texts in a weeks time was hard on me; i loved school but hated life.

upon moving to santa barbara (for a change in both scene and program) it didnt get easier. in fact, now i was for environmental studies (a field of which i thought i was an expert until i had to BE the expert), taking a full load of grad courses to make up for lost time in the transfer, AND working as a server at an italian joint downtown. again, i hated life. but i loved school.

most of the "hard" part of grad school for me has not been the studying/reading/writing. its been trying to balance time and my checkbook. the salary (when youre lucky enough to get one) of a grad student is nil. but i have been truly blessed to either be getting paid through teaching, or through a fellowship (like the one i have now with the NSF through the center for nanotech). i really have worked hard, but loved the hard work all along the way. Gordon B. Hinckley (my fave prophet) has always suggested that hard work is really the only way to live and be happy; and i agree 100%.

with my imminent defense approaching things get easier in one respect and more difficult in another. the balance of my time is now shifting--no more classes. no more teaching. no more papers. no more exams. NO MORE HOOPS to jump through. once i pass all that is left is for me to write it (at this point writing a book is the easy part).

but the hard part becomes 1. being disciplined enough to sit down and write every day. and 2. giving up being a student. ive been a student for. ev. er. and although it has its perks, the SOLE reason i have scrambled to complete everything and to defend my diss asap is because i feel like its time for me to graduate from student to adult.

when i decided i wanted to go into academia it was because i wanted to change the lives of students like my professors at whittier changed mine. so, tomorrow i need to realize that the stakes are finally high (and as an adrenaline junkie this should get me just as airborne). although being a student has its perks, i cant do a lot of the things i want to do, or be what i want to be, stuck as a phd "student."

wish me luck!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


alright, so initially i was tentative to move to the O.C. for fear of imminent plasticification, toy-sized dog accumulation, and Republican incorporation. so far, 0 for 3. BUT, i did break down two weeks ago and join a gym. what is more? i hired a personal trainer.

[see below for "turning O.C."]

it was (or so i thought) a real illustrative moment for me. was i becoming...O.C.???

turns out, i dont think that is happening. my trainer is Kris. he is a bad ass from AZ and if our relationship at this point is indicative of things to come, id say we will be bffs for life.

i love Kris. first, he treats me like the athlete i am (was. a long. time. ago.). and second, he doesnt make me feel stupid for getting overly enthusiastic about push presses and front squats. at one time in my life i was pretty fit and stuff. noww... not so much. but honestly, i am having so much fun with Kris, and we've only just begun, i think i will stick with it and be fit and stuff again. im excited.

anyways, he texted me tonight to make sure i did my cardio whilst in the capitol. ha. let the urbanizing continue.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

i gotta (d.c.) feelin'...

i am in d.c. this week (for the first time) for the emerging technologies emerging economies conference. its been a pretty incredible experience with some incredible and incredibly brilliant people.

i already love d.c. i feel like everyone is smarter than i am. and even when they are not, its obvious (at least to me) that they WANT to be smarter. that they value education and knowledge. and that they respect and appreciate others who are wise/informed/efficacious. its a different energy. OR this could be something else, entirely. i did eat 8 fruit rollups yesterday--its possible my head/body/brain is feeling fuzzy as a result.

Monday, November 2, 2009


this year i ditched the traditional halloween scene (whatever that may be) and went camping in pismo beach with some cool guys and gals from huntington beach. pismo is north of santa barbara, so i was semi at home. but then consider tents and sleeping bags and eating over fire, and i realize i am no where near "home."

i had a fantasticcccc time. i spent most of my time riding around this:

a cute lil honda 90cc ATV whilst the rest of my peers rode something much bigger/more powerful/all-together more badass. regardless of my lacking horsepower i still had the best time, and generally kept up.

hopefully someone took pics. ill post if i find any gems.

Monday, September 14, 2009

blog. snap!

ive decided to start blogging, again. mostly because when i post regularly it forces me to stay updated on my (talented awesome beautiful) friends, who also blog.

need a killer photographer? check it...

these cool cats are responsible for the pics (of me, im so vain) you see on this page. but what better way to include a (wordless) introduction?? this is meeeee. despite the cool-kid pics, most of my bloggin will be political. but what ISN'T political.