Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stuff and bits

Only 3 days left of work and one is a voluntary day in so I can meet with a Prof I adore for his help! We are finally coding the videos from last year's second grader interviews! Yes, it has been 8 months. Stuff happened.

Anyhow, I leave in 4 days! Time for lots of Christmas cheer. Shopping, aka, "ef me, there are too many people in the damn mall and I want to get in and out ASAP". Lists will be made for efficiency purposes. Yes, lists will be made.

Hiro had 3 days off in a row. Glorious! I really enjoyed having him here when I left and came home. We did a lot of silly joking, some planned meals, spontaneous eats out and even took a nap together on Monday. Had we rented DVDs and curled up, I would have thought we were dating again. It's been a pleasure. Thanks, lucky stars! I'll miss him while I am gone. Nice to be leaving feeling really in love. It will make coming back easier.

On the way home today, we stopped at a city look-out. Kyoto is such a packed city when seen from afar. I must say though, having the river and Gosho, you don't feel it as much when you are in it. On to what I really want to say...

When we pulled into the parking lot the guy in the next car was very comfortably reclined looking at a magazine. He was open to the page with lots of vaginas. It was all I could do not to check if he had his man parts out. Convinced that I didn't want to see that, I just pretended not to notice. I was rather shocked at how many vaginas there were on the page, though. He should get tinted windows.

I don't mind seeing them, I mean, Georgia O'Keefe comes to mind. However, this particular situation being in a parking lot made me think of the movie Happiness (1988). And so then I felt a little disturbed. If you've seen the movie you understand. If you haven't, well, it is not something you would watch when you want a laugh. Amazing cast, but dear lord the characters are a tribe of filthy souls. A pedophile father being perhaps the filthiest. Vomit.

Moving on, or not... the parking lot was also filled with adorable fat cats. Yes, folks! I saw even more pussies in the parking lot! Imagine that!? One was super friendly. Came trotting over with a jiggling belly and stayed as long as I continued to rub it (Christ! Could this get any easier?). Back in the car, I lamented not having a pet. Standard for me, until I think of the responsibility, cost, etc and figure I am not yet old enough. Oh, and Hiro is totally allergic. *Sigh*

OK, so I think I should stop now cause this is making me think of even more dirty things I could say. Will spare you! I don't apologize for how I think, only for not warning you at the start. :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I have just hung up with my Mash Collaboration Quantitative Methods Course class. You may remember (because, you know, I have so many readers) when I talked about it here.

Well tonight, as our Prof wallowed in our wonderfulness, I almost cried. Well, I had some mascara in my eye, but still, our teacher was so proud of us! More than that though, I am super duper proud of myself for staying the course. Math was never my forte, but perhaps that was just an excuse after all?

Introductory Stats is really not so much math as it is being willing to read, listen and think. Like any kind of learning you just have to put in some effort. Most importantly, though, you have to be willing to ask and help when others are asking. Yes, yes, I am plugging collaboration here. Because it works.

I couldn't have done the study if my wonderful colleagues hadn't been willing to work with me. I couldn't have done the course without the other students whose ideas, shared on our wiki site, turned on more than one proverbial lightbulb in my head. Nor could I have done it without the inspiring and enthusiastic professor Greg Scholdt or Steven Herder, the collaborator of collaborators.

Yes, the people above made it almost easy. Perhaps only 1 of my grey hairs can be attributed to this course. And that would be considered statistically significant if you got a peek under my bangs, people!

So walking away I am reassured of a few things. First that collaboration is the answer to the common person who needs a little external motivation to kickstart their internal motivation device. Second that you don't have to be a math genius (or to have ever gotten above a B-, or was it a C?, in math) to tackle Stats. Third that I may not be as brain dead after 9 p.m. as I thought. And finally, I am reassured that mistakes are what learning is made of, and that seeing shortcomings just shows you that there is more to learn and room to grow.

So go. Go sign up for something that scares you. Seriously. Do it. You may find out you are more of a force to be reckoned with than the thing you were scared of to begin with!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

But Lisa said... would be easier today.

I had a stitch in my side, my lower calf is killing and I hated it. What sucks about it though, is that it was only my second run in 3 weeks and it wasn't very far. 28 minutes today, 15 seconds longer than the other day. Ugh!

But, know what? I did it. I ran through the stitch, my calf and I loved it! What's great about it though, is that it was my second run in 3 weeks and it was further than when I first started. 28 minutes of exercise today, 10 minute stretch that made me feel better than the other day. Yeah!

Friday, December 3, 2010

What am I doing?

I keep asking myself that question. What am I doing?

In my teaching.
In my career.
In my marriage.
In my self care.
In general.

I'll start with the first because it is simple. I am trying to teach less. Listen more. Be in the moment and not necessarily on the page that I wrote before the class. This does not mean I don't have objectives for the class, but I don't have to be rigid in how we get there.

The second? Well, my career is where it is. Some nice things are in the planning stages, and so now I am just considering possibilities. Keeping an open mind is always nice and creating opportunity is perhaps one better.

6 years of marriage. Yeah! 8 years together. Yeah! I am going to continue doing what I have been doing. It's working.

I am still running. Technically I have not been in 2 weeks, but that is NOT going to stop me from continuing. My last run was in gorgeous Gosho in the middle of the city. It's the Central Park of Kyoto, complete with changing leaves and ancient structures. OK, it isn't as big as CP, but man is it a lovely place. Tomorrow I will go along the river.

No more of this busy, busy November attitude. I mean, I still have a lot to accomplish in 2010, but being home on the weekends makes it easier on the week. And in 2 weeks I will be packing for home. Happy moments that include hugging and snuggling, fires, the smell of pine, laughing, joking and helping. I could cry right now thinking about it.