Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Yay, Mom!! You're the only one who could name a tune for all five songs!! I guess that makes you the winner!! :-) I know your address, so your prize will be on its way soon! :-)

I'll reveal to you now what tunes I was thinking of originally. I'm sure you're dying to know.

1. Danny Boy (yay, Susan!)
2. The Crucifixion (yay, Ian!)
3. Brahms 3rd symphony, 3rd movement (NOBODY guessed this one!)
4. On this day earth shall ring (aka Personent Hodie - yay, Jake!)
5. On my own (from Les Miserables - NOBODY guessed this one either!!)

Thanks for participating, everybody!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

QUIZ DAY! Hey - I think I'm going to keep this up!

Today's quiz is a bit of a "Name that tune" affair. I'm going to list a 5 sets of 4 pitches. You get to name at least one tune that begins with that series of intervals.

(Note: I'm not sure if these are original keys -- not sure at all -- this quiz is about the relationship between pitches that form a melody. I did it this way so I don't have to bother with accidentals...)

The winner gets a special prize, which I will mail to you, provided you give me an address to send it to. :-)

Here goes:






Yes - you get bonus points if you name more than one song!!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

You may have noticed that I added a link to my sidebar. (Or actually, probably not...) I have become addicted to doing the Set Daily Puzzle, but it usually takes me less than 5 minutes to do, so I desperately needed to find more puzzles!! I stumbled across a link to a bunch of games, some of which are pretty fun. (Well, at least I think so...) I've been having fun with the hangman games, "Pardon My Words" and "Spellbound's Hangman Challenge". I'm such a dork. :-)
I'm going to be moving this week and it has got me thinking about the things I will and won't miss about my current residence. I don't know how to make columns in html. Oh well.

Things I will miss:
- the dog (well... i guess i miss him already)
- the gorgeous gardens
- the awesome variety and abundance of birds
- the squirrels!
- the copper tub, which is SO nice
- the nice breeze that comes in from the trees outside my bedroom windows
- the Guatemalan couple who help take care of the house
- free laundry
- free wireless
- free parking
- the gorgeous art work on the walls
- the reservoir where i have been running
- the windy path up to the house

Things I will not miss:
- dog poop
- never knowing what random people are going to be in the house - staying or visiting
- having random people walk in on me while i'm in the tub or in my bedroom
- the isolation of living so far from other people/ activity
- the isolation of being alone so often in such a big house
- the lack of good lighting, especially in the bathroom
- feeling like i'm isolating myself because i don't want to socialize with random people
- showering in a shower with a see-through curtain in front of a window with no shade
- having obligations

Friday, May 25, 2007

Five children each grabbed a handful of chocolates from a jar. Arnold had seven more chocolates in his hand than Beatrice, and Beatrice had six chocolates less than Claudia. Edgar had three more than David and Claudia had one more than Edgar. Beatrice and Edgar had nine chocolates between them. How many chocolates did each child have total?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

A girl I work with, who's a graduate of the school working here for the summer, brought me flowers this morning with a little note saying, "TO BRIGHTEN YOUR DAY". Isn't that sweet?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

We have had a few really beautiful days this week and lately I have been dying to spend more time outside! Finally, today, I had the guts to leave work in the middle of the day and make a brief visit to Walden Pond, which is less than 5 miles away. Unfortunately, I had to pay $5 to get into the park, but I would say it was worth it - just to be outside for a few minutes. I'm sure there are other places just as nice that you can go for free in the same general area, but I'll figure that out later. What good is spring if you can't enjoy it?

I swear, one of these days I will get a real camera...
Tell me something funny.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Well, Susan came awfully close, but in the end Ian is again the winner of the contest! So, I guess I won't mail your prize to you this time, since I'm gonna get to see you next week! :-) You'll never guess what it is!! (No, not coal.)
It's CONTEST TUESDAY!! And, today's contest is a quiz!! Whoever answers all the questions correctly is the WINNER!! And... I will send the winner an exciting surprise gift!!

1. What are the names of the three cats I adopted who currently live with my mother?

2. What did I do with my best friend, her husband, her mother, and her brother over last Thanksgiving in Syracuse?

3. What's the name of my favorite little red-headed boy?

4. What is my favorite small wild animal?

5. Why does my father think I'm an idealist?

6. Who did I live with when I first returned to Boston this past fall before finding my own place?

7. What are the names of the three dogs who come to my current workplace?

8. What organization did I work for in Syracuse, NY last year?

9. What rolls down stairs, alone or in pairs, and over your neighbor's dog?

10. Where did I go on vacation this year?

11. What is the nicest thing you could possibly say to me?

(All the answers should be in my blog somewhere...)

Monday, May 21, 2007

I recently discovered this website, which made me laugh a lot. This cartoon is by the same artist.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

My landlady put her dog to sleep yesterday morning. I feel really sad about it. I mean, he was 14 years old, which is pretty old for a dog, and he had a lot of trouble with his legs, was pretty much blind and deaf, and since last week, when he probably had a stroke, hadn't been able to bark at all. Also, he became incontinent and was confined pretty much to the kitchen all the time. It does seem like her choice was for the best, as he was beginning to suffer more and more, but it is still sad. And I feel terribly guilty and am filled with regret for not spending more time with him and not taking better care of him. One day maybe I'll write about all the reasons I am moving out -- why living here has not been ideal for me for many reasons. But right now I just feel sad and filled with regret -- about the fact that I didn't come home the night before she put him to sleep -- when I could have said good-bye and could have spent some time with him. I didn't know she was putting him to sleep, because she told me she had decided not to, because she said he was rallying, that he seemed better. I was in West Concord with some work friends, who invited me to hang out, which they've never done before. She called me at 7:30pm that night and left a message asking if I was going to be home soon because she didn't want to have to leave him in the kitchen and she wasn't going to be home until 10pm. There have been many times when I have come home from whatever I was doing because she had some sort of social engagement and needed me to take care of him, but that night, I decided not to return her call. Honestly, I was having fun. I haven't really done many social things lately and I was enjoying myself -- and I was 45 minutes from home. The next day when I went to tell her I was sorry I didn't get back to her -- that I was with friends from work, etc., she told me she had already put him to sleep. I felt like such an asshole. I felt like such a lazy, selfish asshole and honestly, I still do. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for her to do it. This dog has been part of her life for a very long time and her life here in this house is now going to be drastically different. Her main companion is gone and that must be very, very sad for her.

I have no good pictures of Crab. He always moved suddenly whenever I tried to take his picture. But here is a post from when I first moved in that shows him in motion. And here's another post about a funny thing that happened one day. Honestly, at the time, I think I was upset about it, but I laughed about that for a long time.

To Crab:
May you rest in peace. And, wherever you are now, may there be many interesting smells and lots of delicious doggie treats.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

According to Ian, I have omitted a few letters of the alphabet... Do you feel sad without J-Z? Well, then hopefully this post will fill that void!

Friday, May 18, 2007

I got the idea for this post (well, the alphabet part at least) from Susan's blog...

When I was in college I took an ART history class that met in the evening on Tuesday nights (I think). I always got sleepy looking at slides in the dark, even though I thought they were really neat.

The BERNOULLI Effect explains why air travels faster when passing through a narrower space, which is the phenomenon that causes the vocal folds to be sucked together, beginning the process of vibration, which is what makes phonation possible.

CRAB is the name of my landlady's dog, who is a black standard poodle. He's 14 years old and not in the best of health. She thinks he might have had a stroke last week. :-(

There are 863 listings for DUNKIN DONUTS within 50 miles of Boston according to insiderpages. I did a search on Google Maps for DUNKIN DONUTS in Boston, MA and it gave me 3,094 results.

My life is seriously deficient in physical EXERCISE right now. Every day during the week I spend 8-10 hours sitting at a desk in front of a computer and 1-1/2 hours in my car commuting. I feel like my body is deteriorating.

Most of the time I really like FIREFOX. I have to say, now that I'm used to using tabs, I can't imagine using the web any other way. If you don't use it, you should definitely consider it.

My GRANDMA Igelsrud, born Spray Johnson, but known to everyone as Sally, used to say (when she was alive), "There's no glory in growing old. You just gradually fall apart."

The HAUGTUSSA is a beautiful collection of poetry which was written by Arne Garborg. Edvard Grieg set eight? of the songs to music and I sang three of them on my Master's recital at NEC. It is often sung in German, though the original text is in Norwegian.

I think it might be pretty cool to visit ICELAND. Not just because it's the home of Björk, but because the landscape looks really bizarro and cool.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

When I was a kid, at one point I had my mind set that I was going to become a research scientist. I have no idea where I got this idea. All I remember is that I thought it would involve being outdoors a lot, looking at green things. I never understood why no one else was excited about this idea (and it never occured to me that sitting indoors bent over a microscope would have any part in it). I had a lot of fun sitting in the tree in the back yard or crouching by the rocks that divided our land plot from the neighbor's, watching bugs crawl around and digging around in the dirt. Later, my career aspirations transformed into a desire to become a pediatrician, since I knew I loved to be around young kids. I always did well in and enjoyed my science classes in school, I was in the accelerated science track, and I had no problem with dissection, doing most of the work for my squeamish male partner, Schuyler. But at some point I found out from my Dad that my uncle (his twin), a biologist and biology teacher, advocated having students study a live cat and then later dissect it. (He now denies that he ever said this...). I was appalled! I could never do that! And then later I found out that all med school students had to dissect a human cadaver. The gig was up. There ended all desire to become a doctor. I did have a number of episodes later wondering if I should become a vet (or vet tech), because of my love for animals, and my gift for cutting kitty nails and administering kitty meds :-), but I didn't think I could handle the heart break of seeing so many animals who were poorly cared for or having to be involved in putting animals to sleep. I am unusually sensitive when it comes to seeing animals suffer. I really just can't deal with it. Thus, I abandoned that idea. It has taken me a long time to try to understand my uncle's philosophies when it comes to dissection. I long viewed him as a person insensitive to the suffering of animals and since he has lived in Calgary, Canada for most of my life and I could probably count the number of times I've visited with him in my whole life on one hand (or maybe 2), I have never had a chance to really discuss it with him. It occured to me, though, after googling him and reading an article he wrote a few years back about biology education, that his main interest is in having biology education be about experiencing living things and not just reading about them or studying partial organisms. So today I had to order 20 frogs from Carolina labs for the science classes to dissect here at school and it made me think about all this. How imporant is it that kids see what the real inside of a frog looks like? Is my understanding of anatomy any better because of my experience dissecting frogs, etc. in school? One of my favorite parts of teaching voice students is the first lesson, in which I have developed a routine of explaining the general anatomy and physiology of the larynx, vocal fold function, and the basics of breathing to my new students. In my head, I have justified that explaining the mechanics of how things work will help the student to focus their energies in the proper place and not try to make things work in a way that is physiologically impossible (and thus circumvent unnecessary tension). However, not too many of my students have responded well to this. And, the ones who have been interested haven't necessarily been able to put the information to any good use. Oh well... Last summer I got the idea that I might like to get certified to teach science at the junior high or high school level. (Earth Science 7-12 or General Science) I was also thinking a lot about how to learn the names of all the trees and plants and learn every bird call and the behavior patterns of bunnies, chipmunks, and squirrels. That was fun (though I had trouble deciding if my career ideas were at all practical - and in the end abandoned them). It's fun to think about how things work. It's fun to imagine the processes that created the landscapes of our earth, especially in places where the innards of the rocks are exposed and you can see all the layers of earth and how they have shifted through time. I swear, for one lifetime, there is just too much to learn - too much to do. There are just not enough hours in a day, in a week, in a year. It's overwhelming. I suppose that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Wow, this post is all over the place...
You have to check out the latest photos Ian posted on his blog. They are gorgeous!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Everyone in my family knows how much I love potatoes. For seventeen years I was a vegetarian and at major family gatherings, notably Thanksgiving, it was hard to miss the fact that at least a third of my plate was always covered in potatoes. I have to say my affection for potatoes has waned a bit, though I don't know exactly how to account for it. I suppose it mostly has to do with the fact that it takes much less food than it used to to make me feel totally stuffed. I am usually not able to finish a full plate of food when I go out to eat, which is why I like to go out to eat with someone who is really, really hungry. :-) Gone are the days when I could eat plate after plate of mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie. But, I suppose it also has to do with something else. I used to be motivated to eat primarily by the craving for what the food tastes like, but in the last 5 years or so I find that I think equally as much about what I know I will feel like after I eat the food. (One of the benefits of aging??) When I was younger I could easily polish off a pint of Ben & Jerry's in one sitting or a whole angel food cake or package of cookies or a couple of donuts, but that has definitely changed. I just can't do it anymore. And, I think it's a good thing. The sad thing is that food just isn't as much of a reward for me as it used to be. It used to be that if I was feeling crappy and wanted to do something to treat myself, I could always count on food to do the trick. But, that really isn't the case anymore (with the exception of hot chocolate and chocolate milk). It is sometimes, but definitely not to the degree it used to be. My eating habits are strange. I've never really been a "meal" person. If I'm not with someone else who reminds me to eat at a particular time, I will usually just eat when I'm hungry and, out of laziness, just eat whatever is around (usually a peanut butter and jelly sandwich). I never cook for myself (though I do like (very much) to cook for other people). The one time when this wasn't true was while I was living in Madison. I was so poor that I *had* to eat spaghetti for dinner and oatmeal for breakfast, as that seemed to be the best use of money. I'm glad those days are over. Nowadays I usually eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a hot chocolate from Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, a turkey sandwich and a chocolate milk for lunch, which one of my co-workers picks up from Concord center, and another peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner. I guess that's kind of sad, isn't it? All of this talk about eating makes me think of my Grandmother, my Dad's mom, who lived a hard life during the Depression. While my Dad and his twin brother were growing up in Minneapolis in the 40s and 50s, she never made a plate of food for herself, but instead would just eat whatever was leftover. Talk about frugal... I bet they ate a lot of potatoes.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

We have a winner!! Congratulations, Ian!

Here's the silly article.
***OK, OK! I obviously didn't phrase the question very well... So, here's another try... I was reading an article this morning which stated that Miami has just been voted (by some dumb survey or whatever...) the city with the (insert answer here/ let's pretend this is MADLIBS, so... ADJECTIVE + PLURAL NOUN). New York came in second, Boston third, etc. etc. Is that better???***

I've decided to hold a contest.
See if you can guess what this is a list of:
(Here's a confusing hint... It's NOT a list of cities with the cleanest parks).

1. Miami
2. New York
3. Boston
4. Los Angeles
5. Washington, D.C.
6. Phoenix
7. Chicago
8. Sacramento, Calif.
9. Philadelphia
10. San Francisco

I will send a bar of Spicy Dark Aztec Chocolate to the winner and to whoever comes up with the most creative answer.
I think Scott Adams may be right about the relationship of one's imagination to one's ability to be content alone (as he comments about in today's post), but I have to add that some people need external stimulation to distract them from their overactive imaginations. That is definitely the case with me. How many times have you sought out distraction in order to escape from your thoughts?

Monday, May 14, 2007

I love to make people laugh, but I have an awful time doing it on the spot. Usually, I inadvertently do or say something funny, the person I'm with starts laughing, and then I just try doing more of the same to see if I can get them to keep laughing. This happens in church from time to time, especially when I'm singing next to my friend, Akiko. All I have to do is exaggerate my diction or sing with an operatic style or scoop à la Renee Fleming, and she starts laughing so hard that she can barely control herself and she ends up standing there with her mouth covered and her body shaking, trying to hold her music in front of her face so as not to be seen by our choirmaster. And once she gets going, I can't help continuing my antics, until I start laughing and then I can't sing anymore...

On three separate occasions, my friends Lisa, Jason, and I have read a Shakespeare play in its entirety as a recreational weekend night activity, usually with a glass of wine or two, in their living room. Since we started doing this, we have discovered that the most fun part is creating different voices for each of our assigned characters and trying to remember those voices and keep them distinct throughout the reading. The last time we got together for this purpose, there was one voice I did that made Jason laugh for a good two minutes and then again every time that character came up. I don't know how I came up with it. I was playing around with how to change the shape of my mouth and ended up trying to keep my lips and cheeks really loose. But it's interesting to play around with different sorts of accents, really low or high pitch, fast and slow speed, differing volumes, tone, mood, etc. It's a TON of fun! (Well, I think so...)

And, while I was in graduate school at NEC, the director of my opera program learned in time to cast me in comic roles. I had a great deal of fun in those roles and I regret that I didn't have more time to play around in that arena. There was a time when I dreamed of being a comic actress (which isn't saying much, since I have dreamed also of about a billion other professions). For most of my life I have been an avid SNL fan (and a fan of other improv comedy shows). And, I stand by the premise that SNL has always been equally good - a mishmash of awful skits and a few wonderful gems - and you never know when something is going to be really funny - and I have a feeling that probably the writers aren't too sure either, though there are some skits that are so bad you have to wonder how they got on the air. I admit I haven't watched the show much at all for a couple of years now, as I'm totally out of the habit of television watching, but I have caught a few hilarious sketches via YouTube (like Dick in a Box, for one, which you have to watch, unless you're my Mom :-))

Laughter is essential. I know it well as the only true antidote to depression. A truly funny moment can erase miles of sadness. But you never know what it is that's going to strike you as funny. Some of the best times in my life have been times when something that I'm sure otherwise wouldn't be funny at all just happened to strike me and the friend(s) I was with as hilarious at the moment. One time in college my friends Lara, Jeff, and I went to go see the movie *The Secret of Roan Inish*. It's NOT a comedy. And really, it's not a bad movie at all. I know, because I ended up watching it again years later. But, at the time we saw it, we were all in a very goofy mood, and when the little Irish boy with the biggest head of poofy black hair came running onto the screen, we all LOST it. (Were you there, too, Andre?) We were so disruptive that many of the folks behind us complained. But we couldn't help it. It was hilarious in that moment. There have been lots of random moments like that in my life and I thank God for them. I just hope that in those moments in my life when my heart gets so heavy and hard that I can't see anything positive or happy in my life that some little bee of happiness stings me so that everything all of a sudden seems to be not so serious anymore. And I wish it for you, too, my friends.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Saturday, May 12, 2007

This morning I had a gig at Trinity Church. I worked at Trinity for 2-1/2 years while I was doing my Master's degree at New England Conservatory and the semester afterwards, before I went to Wisconsin. I've been back to Trinity on a few occasions -- to sing 2 weddings of friends of mine from the choir and then again just to attend a service and catch up with folks. This is the first time they asked me back as a paid soloist. After I left they cut the paid singing staff in half, so there definitely wasn't a paid position for me when I returned. (I now sing at Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill.) Being back at Trinity always brings back a lot of memories, but it is also a little disorienting, because they finished a major renovation project which has left most of the building outside of the sanctuary in an unrecognizable state. (It all looks so NEW! I hate new...) Also, there are many faces which have not changed, but a large percentage of the friends I had while singing in the choir have left - and, of course, Father Sam Lloyd is gone, along with a few others who used to be on staff. Today's service was a lengthy two-hour confirmation ordeal for which they hired two soloists to lead the congregation in the hymns. I'm pretty sure our presence there did mostly nothing, as we were not mic'ed, which would be wonderful if we were singing soloistic music, as the church has great acoustics, but we were singing hymns, which are of limited range and a range that doesn't project well. So, I was paid to bellow and not be heard, but oh well... I was paid... Anyway, as I was sitting there, my whole life at Trinity flashed before my eyes. I remembered my first rehearsals, how amazingly nice and welcoming the people in the Parish choir were to me, and what an effect that had on me as someone who was new to the city and trying to adjust to being back in school after a 7-year hiatus. I remembered how the passage from the choir room up to the sanctuary seemed like something out of an 18th-century Gothic novel. I remembered exploring the basement in all its squalor, to see if there was anything interesting to find (other than dirt and dust). I remembered how in anticipation of the renovation I was involved in a project to catalog all the music... and how one day there was an enormous flood because a pipe broke outside and all the water came through the window. I remembered having regular lunches with folks from the Parish choir at Tealuxe and later having regular brunches with the other professional singers at Joe's American Bar & Grill or Papa Razzi. I remembered what it felt like to be in my vestments around a bunch of other folks who liked to hug each other a lot -- during service at the passing of the peace or just any old time -- like I was a little kid at a slumber party in my pajamas or something... I remembered how one of the priests used to like to incorporate the words of my solos into her homily whenever I sang a wedding for her. I remembered all the Sundays I spent in awe staring at the beautiful stained glass windows, the gold parts of the altar, the detail of the wood carving on the pews... I remembered how confused I was trying to remember all the detail of the worship protocol I was completely unfamiliar with before coming to Trinity -- when to kneel, when to bow, when to turn, sit, stand, cross myself, etc. I remembered how mesmerized I was with the sermons of Father Sam Lloyd and how much I looked forward to hearing him speak. I remembered what a magnetic personality he had and how much joy I felt in speaking to him. I remembered our last conversation before I left, his praise for my singing, his encouragement, and his well-wishes. I remembered how at that same party, in which we were also saluting him, who was leaving Boston to become the Dean of the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, the Trinity Choir spontaneously broke out in song and how it was so beautiful and heartfelt that it made me cry. I remembered at the wedding of my friends' Adam and Marsha, who met at Trinity, how after the wedding, while we were all gathered on the front steps getting ready for a photo, the choir again spontaneously broke out in 4-part harmony to sing "May God bless you 'til we meet again" and again, how I cried. I remembered how tiny I felt, sweating like never before, as I faced my first packed house to sing the soprano solos in the first part of the Messiah. I remembered how, during the recording we made, I was instructed to stand up on the pew bench in order to get as close to the microphone as possible during my solo. And I remembered those silly animal noises... the loon, the chipmunk, the birds... I remembered the invocation Sam Lloyd always used before his sermons, "Come Holy Spirit and kindle in us the fire of your love. Take our minds and think through them. Take our lips and speak through them. Take our souls and set them on fire."

And then I left, met a friend for lunch, and went to see Spiderman 3. It was good!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Ian just posted an interesting response to my last post. Check it out, yo!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Today, as I was surfing through the articles on Reddit, I came across a story from the NY Times about the STUPIDEST research study ever. The article, titled Genes Take Charge, and Diets Fall by the Wayside, interested me because I thought it might be related to another article I read about a drug that affects the part of your brain which regulates weight, which I found pretty interesting. This article, however, made my jaw drop in the second paragraph. Anyone who knows ANYTHING about dieting knows that in order to keep weight off (which is VERY difficult to do), one must change one's lifestyle, not just make temporary changes for a short period of time -- and especially not if the changes are not possible to maintain after the diet is over. It is elementary knowledge to most people, I think, that the best diets are ones in which a person gradually changes to a healthier way of eating -- in which a person gives up a vice they indulge in regularly, or at least limit it (like beer, red meat, fried foods, fast food, etc.) -- or begins to eat healthier in general (i.e. more vegetables, whole grains, etc.) and better yet if the person begins regular exercise, not as a temporary thing, but as a permanent lifestyle change. So then why was DR. Hirsch, of Rockefeller University, so "horrified" that his subjects, who he limited to a LIQUID DIET of 600 CALORIES A DAY until they lost 100 lbs, all gained weight after the diet had concluded??? Why was he so shocked that these participants' bodies were in "semi-starvation" mode? The article reports, "The Rockefeller subjects... had a psychiatric syndrome, called semi-starvation neurosis... They dreamed of food, they fantasized about food or about breaking their diet. They were anxious and depressed; some had thoughts of suicide." HELLO???!!! They were eating a LIQUID DIET of 600 CALORIES a DAY!! That is CRUEL!! In order to maintain weight loss, the weight should be lost slowly... that is my main point here. If I want to lose 5 lbs, I need to burn 17,500 calories, since there are 3500 calories in 1 lb of fat. If I restrict my diet by 500 calories a day (or do exercise that results in a deficit of 500 calories every day), I will lose 1 lb in 7 days. (In order to find out how many calories are needed to maintain one's current weight, one source suggests multiplying your weight by 12. So, at 138 lbs., I would need to go from eating 1656 calories a day to eating 1156 calories a day in order to lose 1 lb a week -- or, for example, run 5 miles a day and continue to eat 1656 calories a day). I'm sure there are probably other factors which affect all of this, but generally this is true (in my experience). This CRAZY doctor took people who were at least 100 lbs overweight and subjected them to a diet of 600 calories a day. (I'm not even going to get into what might happen from limiting one's intake to only liquids...) That means, for example, that a person my size who weighs 238 lbs and should be eating 2856 calories a day to maintain her weight, was losing weight at an OBSCENE rate -- UNHEALTHY, even, one might say... (*note sarcasm...) If she was eating only 600 calories a day, that's a deficit of 2256 calories a day!! That means she was losing weight at a rate of nearly ONE POUND a DAY!!! Seriously now, don't you think they should start making nutrition classes a requirement for medical school? WTF.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

So, finally it's really warm and sunny and nice here! The cherry blossoms are in bloom at the reservoir, the tulips are out, and all the trees have opened their new leaves (or they've reincarnated...). It's the kind of weather where I could imagine being happy sleeping outside and during the day I can be content in a skirt and flip flops. It's the kind of weather in which I like to open all the windows and let the fresh air cleanse my life with new energy and hope. I wish I could get them to see it that way at school (work)... There, the air conditioning is on full blast and all the windows are closed, so I have to wear a jacket in order not to freeze, which annoys me. Luckily, I am steps from the door and can (theoretically) get up and go outside anytime. But I don't get this air conditioning thing... I mean, in the middle of summer when it's boiling hot and air conditioning is really, really necessary, I can understand, but in these days of first blossoms, in these first days when it's really possible to go outside without a jacket on... why? why? why? the air conditioning????

Monday, May 07, 2007

Do you ever get a song stuck in your head that you just can't get out? I wrote a song over the weekend and, as everytime I write a new song, I can't stop thinking about it. Which is ok, except that it's distracting me from my work a bit. I want to work on it, you know? Usually my tactic for getting a song out of my head is to think of another song. Usually the reason I want to get a song out of my head is because it's really annoying me and when I think of the replacement song, I often get equally annoyed by that song. You know, like substituting the theme from "the Brady Bunch" for "the Eye of the Tiger" or something. I have had several songs stuck in my head over the last couple of days, but all music that I really like. I liked most of the anthems we sang or rehearsed at church over the weekend. "I was glad, glad when they said unto me"... I wish there was a way to sing to you over this blog... oh well... "And God shall wipe away-ay-ay-ay all tears..." (that's a really beautiful one...) We did sing one really awful anthem on Sunday that involved all the men singing "the grass witherith... the grass witherith..." in unison. Mostly what was wrong with that anthem is that it was TOO long. But anyway, now that I think of it, I'm getting that stuck in my head. "Love one another with a pure heart fervently..."

All this talk of songs getting stuck in my head makes me think of a song I wrote last summer on my way up to visit my cousin, Annie, and her husband, Drew, in the Adirondacks. I was literally writing it as I was driving, which was kind of dangerous, but memorable! It ended up being a little bit country... I've never recorded it because I ended up singing it for Annie and Drew when I got there and then Annie got out her violin, Drew got out his guitar, and I just can't recreate that awesomeness on my own!...

I've got a full tank of gas and I'm headin' north
and I'm not gonna let this rain get me down
I don't need no radio, I've got the sound of my own voice
and I'm singin' as long as it gets me around
to the
Music of the Spheres, it's all in here just as long as I let go
and I'm already gone, singin' along to a song I didn't even know...

(there's more, but I can't really remember it... again, too bad I can't sing it for you... it's not bad...)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

I am in hell and the stupid thing is, I know why I can't sleep and why this is happening to me. I drank two cups of coffee around 1pm and I have been off caffeine for months now. This used to happen to me when I was in high school. I would drink coffee in order to do some assignment or study and then end up awake all night having paranoid delusions. I did this to myself. I deserve no sympathy. But ouch, it sucks. I am seriously miserable. (Sorry to complain, but who else will listen? Who, indeed, is up at this hour? Even people in CA are asleep...)

Still can't sleep...
It's 1:30am and I am WIDE awake. What do you do when you can't sleep?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

This motorized flying, flapping pig above my desk is driving me bonkers...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A parent of one of our students brought me this plant. Isn't it pretty? :-)