Thursday, October 28, 2010

Goal 1

I just got off the phone with my life coach. It seriously is the most amazing thing in the whole world. I'm really excited, and a little scared, but mostly excited. I have to am going to come up with five SMART goals by next week. SMART goals being Specific, Measurable, Accountable, Resonant, Thrilling goals.

I already have one down which is to spend 10 minutes being in my emotions every day. Are you thinking to yourself that sounds silly? You probably are and I might, but I don't care. (Doing silly things honors Levity, the value I spent the last two week nurturing, and doing what I want without worrying about what other people think is part of Self Determination which is also one of my values so I'm honoring that too. Go me!) You might also be asking yourself why, or maybe that's why you thought it sounded silly. How can you not be in your emotions? Very easily. I said (without forethought), "I have way too much going on right now to feel my emotions. I can be pissed, or upset, or whatever later. Right now, I need to get this shit done." Interesting how when you just talk without thinking you say things that are really informative about your mental state.

So, I will be spending 10 minutes a day being in my emotions. That's pretty Specific and time is Measurable. I'm texting my coach to let her know I did it so it's Accountable. It pretty much is Presence so its definitely Resonates with one of my core values. And it's Thrilling because quite frankly the idea of being in my emotions for ten whole minutes scares the piss out of me. Ten whole minutes? Jesus, I haven't spent more than like two seconds focusing on any emotions in a while. Ignoring them is much easier. My shoulders are tensing up a little just thinking about it, but I can do it and it will not be nearly as scary to experience as it sounds. Most things aren't.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Do other people have these thought patterns?

Today I was outside with the dogs and Kleio was off leash. She gets to go without one because she actually responds to voice commands as opposed to Ajax.

He only seems to be able to think about one thing at any given time and if he sees or smells a squirrel, or a cat, or a rabbit, or a deer, or pretty much anything his ears quit working and if he catches me off guard and I don't have a firm grip on the leash he promptly runs off into the woods. He doesn't come back and I end up having to have Kleio lead me to wherever he eventually gets his leash caught. It's really frustrating and I'm just not willing to deal with it so he has a leash and she doesn't. I think Austin thinks it's unfair, but I think it's just.

I started to think about how being able to control a dog's mind is way better than  being able to control its body. Much more efficient. And that made me think about Foucault. If you're not an anthropologist or social theorist, or reader of esoteric texts, he's this French guy who wrote a little book called Discipline and Punish. If you've never read it because it sounds boring (which, I agree, it does) I highly recommend at least the first couple of pages in which he describes in graphic detail a man being hung, drawn, and quartered.

Here's a little synopsis I wrote up years ago for a theory course. Please refrain from any derisive comments on it. I barely even a graduate student at the time.  

          In Discipline and Punish Foucault seeks to explicate the development of the prison system and its replacement of public torture as part of a greater process of increasing institutional power. This power stems largely from the production and control of knowledge. The shift between torture and imprisonment is the result of a need for punishment to be more effective, not an increased concern for the humanity of criminal penalty.  There is a Weberian rationality behind the introduction of the prison system. By eliminating punishment from direct view, it shifts into the “abstract consciousness” (Foucault 1995: 9) where it functions much more efficiently to control the populace than military force ever could. Punishment is both a “complex social function” and a “political tactic” (Foucault 1995: 23). Hegemony allows politicians and institutions to control the populace much more effectively by means of the “chain of their own ideas” (Foucault 1995: 102-103) than could ever be achieved through violent force. Discipline works because of the accepted inequality in control of knowledge between those disciplining and those being disciplined.
          Foucault extends his discussion of the structure of inequality and relationships of power to daily life through a number of other institutions including the school, military, hospital, and factory. The purpose of discipline in all of these institutions is to create “docile bodies” which are more readily utilized by those in more powerful classes. The penitentiary system and other social institutions provide a setting for the bourgeoisie to produce fully subjected proletariats. In this conceptualization, Marx’s influence on Foucault is evident. Foucault’s ideas have social and economical implications in controlling crime and labor. In terms of policy, they demarcate why the prison system endures although it is continually subjected to criticism and reform.
So I guess both are leashed, Kleio by a chain of her own ideas and Ajax by a an actual leash. Pretty sure that's not what Foucault was thinking about, but this is the kind of thing that goes through my mind almost every day. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Remember those countertops?

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was headed out to help my mom resurface her countertops. I've been meaning to post the pictures ever since, but I've been a little busy getting a Ph.D. and all. I know you've been anxiously awaiting them.

We used a Gianni Granite Paint for countertops in Sicilian sand.

Before we could start with the process we needed to remove the previous resurfacing. It did really well considering the conditions it experienced. Really, really well actually. It took an entire day of effort to get the previous surface removed, cleaned, and ready to begin the resurfacing process.

We finally got them cleaned and taped around the outlets and woodwork.

Before we quit for the day we put on the primer. It needs 8 hours to dry before the "mineral paint" is applied so I think doing it at night is a good idea.

The next morning we started the fun part. The standard process has three paint colors.

After more like 17 layers and a couple of tense hours we came up with this. It includes the three included colors, copper, a mustard yellow and burnt sienna acrylic paint.


After that, all it took was a trip to Alco and a near miracle involving my mom's next door neighbor to obtain enough burnt sienna to finish the project. 

Pretty fabulous, huh?

There is a top coat that goes over the paint layers, but the paint needs to dry for an extended period if you use acrylic paint and want to wet sand the surface (my mom really likes a smooth surface) before topcoating. You can top coat after 4 hours with the standard process. I had to head home before we could get to that step so we'll have to wait until my mom sends me the photos.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I am so freaking excited about life!

I got back from Atlanta this morning with signatures on my degree completion form and a ton of excitement about life. After lunch with my babe I went on an authentic excursion. I found the most amazing set of objects for my room. I'm really excited about my room and he thinks we should work on it first so that I have a space to finish all the stuff that needs to get done before they actually hand over my degree. He really might be the most amazing person on the planet.

I've been thinking about my room for a while. Pretty much the entire time between when we finally got under contract and now when I wasn't thinking about my defense or other rooms of the house. I have big plans. Awesome, amazing, make my heart sing plans and it's finally close enough to our closing date that I feel okay about acquiring objects for it.

My glorious finds include a chair for the desk my mom found which is The Desk from my Illustrated Discovery Journal.

A book called "Roses of Yesterday" filled with watercolors of old rose varieties. Originally I planned to cut out some pictures and frame them, but I love the book too much and I'll have to make color copies.

This super cool stemmed bowl thing which goes with a pair I saw at Chester's (ahh, Chester's...) in Meade, KS. If you're ever driving down US Highway 54 in Southwest Kansas and he's open you should stop. It will be worth your time. Not so much for my room, but super cool nonetheless.

And an A which I was planning to paint matte black, but I'm now thinking about whitewashing instead. You'll soon know why.

The best part? All of my purchases totaled up at $13.20 plus tax.

And then, (note the additional excitement over the continued awesomeness of my day) I came home, played with the puppies until they wanted a nap, opened reader and discovered an amazing blog by a fabulous woman. Thank you The Lettered Cottage. It's called Perfectly Imperfect and it rocks my socks off. When I saw the damask background I knew she was my kind of lady. She inspires me and has great how-to posts and posts like a discussion on dry brushing vs. white washing. Which means we have a new addition to the Blogs I Love list. Love it.

Then, (no really, there is still more awesome excitement) my husband decides we should review New Belgium's Transatlantique Kriek (cherry Belgiam beer) for our blog, Brewmiscuous, and bake a pizza.

I am blessed beyond words.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Private Defense.


Now on to all those edits/suggestions. Well, maybe on to them next week. I don't think now is the time to think too hard. I have a presentation to adjust to my new reality.

I defend my dissertation today!!

That's right kids. I'm defending that bad boy at 1pm Eastern. I'll let you know how it goes. Oh, and the book I have a chapter in is published. They sent me a copy. Very fancy looking.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oxygen is very important.

My sister made this observation earlier today. She makes an excellent point. Not the point she was trying to make, that I needed to calm down and breath.  She made that one too, but she also made another one.

Sometimes I tend to forget what I really need and what really matters because I'm busy stressing out about things like not being able to find the cover for my iPod charger hole, or my total lack of access to espresso, or defending my dissertation tomorrow and I fail to realize what a not big deal they are in the grand scheme.

Relative to a lack of oxygen none of them are reasons to freak out; then again most things aren't. It's seriously really freaking important.

Friday, October 15, 2010

See, I told you.

My life coach included "awesomeness" in her list of possible values based on our conversation. She so gets me.

I have a life coach!

I got a life coach two weeks ago. We had our first official session yesterday. In case you aren't in the know, a life coach helps you can focus on living your life the way you want to. My sister is a life coach and she suggested mine. She is freaking awesome.

Her name is Jessie May Kezele. She's got a niche so she might not be right for you, but if you're a woman in your 20s or 30s in the midst of transition and facing big decisions about how you want to CREATE your most fulfilled life, she's the lady for you. Check out her website.

You feel inspired already, don't you?

I did.

I decided I liked the idea of sharing my coaching experience on my blog. It's fun and interesting and helping me to focus on intentionally living as my authentic self. She's awesome and it's a lot more fun than just going through the motions.

In our first session it became apparent that the concept of a garden helps me think about challenges as consisting of a series of little steps.

You may not know this, but I really like activities with a series of little steps. I like the idea of knowing that doing each little thing the right way will result in getting what I want in the end. It means I like doing laundry, and math problems, and cooking.

I spend most of my day in front of my computer so I decided that the best way to keep this idea in mind was to use my background as a reminder. I gathered up pictures in picassa and came up with this.

Don't you feel calm and relaxed like you could take on the world? Me too.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I spaced on coming out day.

As the former vice president of the Queer Straight Alliance at K-State, I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I totally forgot about National Coming Out Day. It happens every October 11th so it's not like I have date variability to blame. You'd think my excitement at going to school that sends out a message like this would have helped me remember for the next ten days.

It is crucial for us all to educate ourselves, learn intervention strategies, engage in dialogue with others, and commit to end bigotry, shame, and harassment. We must protect and embrace all members of the Emory community and beyond, letting them know that they can live full, productive lives and openly embrace and express their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression regardless of how they self-identify. Fortunately, Emory has many organizations and opportunities to get involved to create a positive future today. For a complete list of organizations and groups, please go to the LGBT Life website at

We must be courageous leaders to create an inclusive, affirming and accessible campus community. We must also celebrate all aspects of our identities.

YOU are Emory. WE are Emory.

It didn't. I just got too busy with my own life. I'm defending my dissertation next week and closing on a house a couple of weeks after that, but by God I am all about promoting happy human coexistence and love.

So happy belated Coming Out Day. Congratulations to everyone who has able to find the strength of character to be themselves and thank you to everyone who supported them.  

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Never let them know you're hungry.

My parents and I attempted to go out to eat Monday night.

After a second failed attempt and a wasted ten mile drive we determined we’d be better off to just go to the Pizza Hut in Meade. Pizza tends to take a while and we were seriously hungry so we thought we should call and order, but my dad didn’t bring his phone with him and we didn’t have the number.

Like you don’t have a pizza delivery place in your phone? He’s working with limited options.

My mom made up a number; she tends to do that when she doesn’t quite know the phone number for something. It usually has several of the correct digits, but rarely all of them or in the correct order. The number was disconnected.

Frustrated, my dad called my sister to ask her to look up the number, but he got her voicemail. She called back after a bit (too late to make much of a difference in the wait time on our pizza so we didn’t even bother with the number).

After we got to Pizza Hut and sat down this sweet girl came over to take our order.

Dad: “Honey barbecue wings, not those nuclear bomb, burn your face off (pretty sure he’s referencing. buffalo) wings. I ordered honey barbecue at the one in Dodge City and got some flaming hot shit.”

We also ordered two pizzas and an individual pasta. We’re working on that countertop resurfacing project and we can’t really use the kitchen. Leftovers were essential.

Dad: “And bring those wings as soon as possible. We’re starving.”
After she leaves: “What do you suppose we’ll get?”

My dad has a tendency to order things and receive completely different food at restaurants or have his food just never show up. He has a bit of a complex about it.

After a freaking long time the wings finally showed up. They weren’t honey barbecue. Shocker. They were buffalo, no sauce, but buffalo. The bright orangeness gave it away. I bit into one to confirm. Yep, totally buffalo.

She took them back.

She came back with the same wings coated in honey barbecue sauce. Not exactly what we ordered, but pretty damn good. I highly recommend it.

Shortly after, one of the pizzas arrived. Not both or the other thing we ordered. Just one.

Dad: “You realize our other food isn’t coming.”

The waitress came back to assure us that the rest of our food would be there shortly.

Dad: “You know they forgot it, right? Otherwise it would have shown up with the first pizza.”

Me and Mom: "Yep.”
The second pizza arrived a little while later and the waitress tells my mom they just put her pasta in and it will be out as soon as possible.

For reals. Perhaps a complex is justified.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I'm a horrible parent.

I cut my child.

On accident and he's a dog, but I cut him and I feel like a horrible person. I mean seriously. Look at him. What kind of parent injures this little guy?

He trusted me enough to let me trim his nails. No complaint whatsoever. I just held his paw and clipped them.
I used nail trimmers with a safety guide. It wasn't. In my defense, he has black claws so it's not like you can see the quick, but he totally trusted me and I totally cut him. And then he comes to me for comfort. Endearing and guilt inducing.

He's a trooper. He didn't even really wince or anything. He just bled all over the place. All freaking over the place. For almost an hour.

Little red blotches all over the carpet.

Scrubbing them on my hands and knees must be my penance.

Probably not the only thing that makes me a hypocrit

I've been slightly annoyed that two of my favorite bloggers haven't posted since Thursday.

Have I?


I have a life, but they are supposed to provide me with a constant flow of information and entertainment. They get paid. I don't.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mom!

She's a foxy lady, huh?
Today is my mom's birthday. Luckily for me, she loves me and she knows that I'm much better at picking out fabulous gifts for people when I run into them or doing stuff for them than I am at finding gifts at special occasions.

I'm actually going home next week to help resurface her kitchen counters. Merry Christmas, 2009 Mom! Yep. She's used to it. Oh, and she agreed to let me photograph and blog about the whole process. I can't wait.

But this year, I think Ana White has provided me with a lovely, and timely birthday gift. My mom has been talking about wanting to display family photos somewhere in the house for a while, and I think a set of these freaking fantabulous Gallery Ledges would be awesome.

Let's hope she thinks so too. If she does, I think I might be able to bust them out before I leave. 

Happy Birthday, Mom! Love you bunches.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Let the countdown begin.

I can't even think straight about anything this morning but the house Austin and I (more he really. He's getting the loan, but since we live in a communal property state it's my house too automatically) are buying. We're closing on our house in less than a month. Thirty days to be exact.

I need to figure out a way to add a little countdown thing to the blog so you'll be able to keep track of exactly how long it is until you can visit us. You know you want to. Feel free to show up and offer to carry things in too. I'm sure we can find you a beer or something.

I'm also defending my dissertation in 13 days so that should be a good distraction for the first half and then I'll have that article to revise. Hopefully I'll be able to remain focused, but to be honest I really just want to use Google Sketchup to draw the things I want to do to the house. I will try to refrain at least until the dreaded Public Defense PowerPoint is complete. For now, you can just check out the video the seller's Realtor posted on YouTube.

I know. It has tons of potential and you just want to tear that wallpaper down and repaint the old lady lipstick pink rooms. Me too.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I was beginning to worry.

I meant to post a blog today about getting a life coach, but a bit of news has happened and I thought I would share it.

One of my favorite blogs mysteriously went post-less this weekend. They are in the process of redesigning a house so I thought maybe they were just a little too busy to post, but that's what they post about so I waited patiently for the next post to show up in my Google Reader. I'm an obsessive Reader reader and everything I need to know about the world shows up there every day. It really does save time when things you're interested in reading just show up like magic. Anywho, the point being there was a post this morning and this is what it said.

Hey there!

We moved our content over to Wordpress!

You can now find us here:

Well that explains it. Layla and Kevin are amazing and you should go check it out, even if you've seen their old blog.  It's even better.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The abstract.

I submitted the abstract of my dissertation to the department today. This is important both because I needed to write one and because it needed to be submitted two weeks prior to my defense. I got it in a whole day early. Go me. Here it is for your reading pleasure just in case I didn't already ask you to read it and you're not in my department.

Irrigation use can significantly influence the epidemiology of schistosomiasis. The infection is transmitted by aquatic snails, and canal irrigation compounds exposure risk by increasing snail habitat and time spent in contact with contaminated water. In modern populations schistosomiasis has been deemed “the most important water-based disease from a global public-health perspective,” yet little is known about the impact of schistosomiasis on populations living in the past.

To better understand the influence of different forms of irrigation on the burden of schistosomiasis disease in ancient populations, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to detect antigens specific to Schistosoma mansoni in desiccated tissue samples from two Nubian populations, one that used saqia canal irrigation (Wadi Halfa, N=46) and one that used annual flooding (Kulubnarti, N=191). Based on evidence regarding the impact of canal irrigation on schistosomiasis prevalence and transmission in modern populations, the prevalence of infection was predicted to be higher in Wadi Halfa than Kulubnarti, peak infection intensity was predicted to occur at an earlier age and at a higher level within the Wadi Halfa population and the prevalence of schistosomiasis to be higher in males than females in both populations.

The prevalence of S. mansoni was greater in the Wadi Halfa population (26.1%) than at Kulubnarti (9.4%)(p=0.002). However, peak prevalence of infection did not occur in a younger age category within the Wadi Halfa population; prevalence of infection peaked at 66.7% in the mature adult age group (46+ years) in the Wadi Halfa population and at16% in the later child age group (6-10 years) in the Kulubnarti population. There were no statistically significant differences in prevalence between males and females of either population.

I also examined the influence of irrigation use and schistosomiasis on the productive capacity of the populations. Using disability estimates from modern populations, the expected reduction in the productive capacity of each population was calculated. The population at Wadi Halfa experienced considerably greater disability of the population due to a higher prevalence of infection; this required a five times greater increase in the productivity of the uninfected population to offset the reduced productivity of infected members.

Friday, October 1, 2010

That academic part.

You haven't heard much about the academic stuff I do lately since I was in a bit of a waiting period. I had submitted an article to the American Journal of Physical Anthropology (henceforth the AJPA) and my dissertation to my committee. I've had some database creation projects which I'll be sure to share with you when they get more exciting, but my major academic project lately has been formatting my dissertation for submission to the graduate school, 12 point font, 1 inch margins with the exception of the left side which is 1.5 inch, page numbers beginning with the first page of the body of the work, and some very specific additional pages that must be added along with its abstract and acknowledgment sections. It's very exciting. I assure you.

I also started working on the PowerPoint for my public defense after a nightmare that I showed up without preparing one.

I heard back from the editor of the AJPA about the article I submitted in an email sent at 4:12. I'll start working on that just as soon as I finish the PowerPoint for my public defense. I'm a little excited about it.

What is it that I do? Depending upon the scale you're talking I either turn mummy skin into a liquid and then test it for parasitic infections, or I study how humans interact with their environments and how that influences their well being.

We do lunch. It's our thing.

I have lunch with my sister. We live about 7 hours apart, but we make a point of calling each other when we take a break from whatever we're doing for lunch.

The other day we had a little talk about her kitchen. She and her husband have been thinking about changing it since they moved in and it's about that time. They've been thinking over several options from replacing all the cabinetry and moving things all around to refacing them and everything in between. She was very excited about the refacing place she had found since they also custom make cabinets if you want to add some and can make new drawers to replace the busted ones which aren't a standard size anymore and are the main reason they were thinking about replacing the cabinets in the first place.

I've been thinking a lot about kitchen remodels since we're closing on the house Nov. 5. If you haven't noticed, I'm obsessed with cooking and an attractive kitchen is key to my happiness. No seriously. It influences my mood in ways I don't think other people really get. I need to cook in a pretty space. Need. Trust me.

I suggested she paint them white since a ton of the woodwork in her house in already white and her husband is near obsessed with making sure the house is bright and well lit. Sometimes it scares me how much he has in common with my dad. I also really like the look of white kitchen cabinets. We decided that we're painting her cabinets ASAP. Since we're both a little busy that's after Thanksgiving.

I sent her this email to seal the deal.

The before and after photos from the lettered cottage.

The kitchen remodel with white painting of cabinets

and the beadboard wallpaper how to for the cabinet sides.
I especially love the beadboard wallpaper on the ends. It just makes the whole thing seem more finished. I'll keep you posted with pictures when it happens.

We're juvenile like that.

Last night at dinner I stole a bite of my husbands mac and cheese.

In retaliation, he coated my forearm with grease from the ribs he was eating.


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