Sunday, July 31, 2011

Catching Fire

The awesome Eleni from RPG called Life gave me a blog award!  Usually I think these are pretty silly, but it says that my blog is on FIIIIRE!!  Which just made me think about Katniss, the girl on fire, and the Hunger Games.  And how I can't wait for the movie to come out...though I'm still skeptical about some of the casting...

...anywhooooo, the way this works is I list seven random facts about myself, and then pass on the award to seven deserving bloggers.  So here we gooooooo!

Seven Facts:
(that you may or may not already know about me...)
- In elementary school, I won an award for being the fastest typer in all of the a whoppin' 30wpm (Now I type 82 wpm)
- I didn't get my drivers license until I was 19
- Donald Duck is my favorite iconic Disney character, followed closely by Mickey (I just think Donald is misunderstood, underestimated, and overlooked - gotta root for the, underduck!)
- When we were younger, my friend and I "hosted" a radio show (meaning we taped ourselves) called Beanie Babie Network. WBBN.  We voiced all of our collective Beanie Babies as various reporter characters.  And of course, they all had different accents or funny voices.
- I don't really like milk chocolate.  I prefer white chocolate.  And I strongly dislike chocolate cake or chocolate ice cream.
- I have a birthmark under my right armpit that looks like the Batman sign.  Therefore, when I was little I reasoned that I must be Batgirl.
- Some veggies or fruits make my tongue and throat itch, which I discovered is something called Oral Allergy Syndrome.  Matt thinks this is wack, but I think it's interesting.  Eggplant and cantaloupe are the worst offenders for me (can't eat them).  I sometimes get it with carrots, kiwi, or pineapple (but I still eat them).

Seven Bloggers:
(If I didn't "tag" you, don't feel bad - I still love you and your blog and you can definitely play along if you want to!)
Pocky from Embrace the Apockylypse
Erin from Erin B. Inspired
Amy from Amylouwho
Janette from Janette the Jongleur
Alycia from The Curious Pug
Kristin from Random is my Middle Name
Renee from Belle Renee

Play along. Don't play along. I won't feel bad if you don't!

Saturday, July 30, 2011


This week I made a new guitar strap so that Matt can use the current guitar strap for his acoustic bass.  We are singing a little folksy song at our church's music night on Sunday.  He is playing bass and I am playing guitar.  We did this once before at church, and it was overall a fun musical moment.

Now, my brother and sister are both amazing guitar players after teaching themselves how to play.  My sister has moved on to banjo and ukelele as well.  My dad plays guitar. My mom used to play guitar.  Matt plays bass guitar.  Looks like guitar skillz run in the family, right?


My fingertips are burning from the metal strings.  My wrist hurts from awkwardly contorting my hand into chord shapes.  I can't strum evenly - with or without pick.  To sum it up, I actually have to work/practice this instrument (novel concept, I know...).

I never really felt like I had to "work" hard to learn piano.  It naturally came to me. (But don't get me wrong, I learned how to "work" the piano when I got to college and had to prepare for juries and recitals and the wrath of my professor each week...)  So this guitar business is a bit frustrating.  I'll be practicing all day today so that I don't sound like a toy monkey tomorrow night.

Maybe I should hold off on guitar for now and just learn to play the keytar so I can rock it like this dude.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hip To Be a Square

Circle of friends. Posse. Social circles. Cliques.  Whatever you call them, positive or negative, we as a society have a tendency to congregate into "groups" based on common interest, personalities, or other relationships.  But I've often felt like I'm a square peg trying to fit into the round/circle are 3 serious examples (and one silly one) of how this analogy fits my life.

Matt and I are a young married couple, and our friends are either still single or are starting to have babies.  It's hard to give dating advice to single friends when I've already found my dream man.  It's hard to relate to "mommy" friends who's lives revolve around their baby and they only talk about breastfeeding or potty training or homeschooling.

A lot of Christian women I know are called to be housewives and mothers, whereas I feel like I am called to be a mom, but to work and have a successful career.  The infamous "wives submit to your husbands" verse always pops up, and while I do believe the husband is the "head of the home", I also believe that the wife deserves equal respect and has just as much right to make decisions.  We went to a marriage conference a few months after we got married.  It was a great time to get away for a weekend together.  It was also great to hear encouraging stories about how to strengthen our new marriage bond.  But I felt like there was still this underlying tone of gender stereotyping that didn't sit well with me.  Matt likes to cook and clean, I hate it.  I want to have a career, while Matt would be happy doing odd jobs or composing music at home. I don't have anything against the stereotypes, but we don't live in the 1950's anymore, and sometimes it feels like people still think that the "Leave it to Beaver" family roles are the only way for a Christian home.

I love biology and scientific reasoning, but while most scientists are atheists, I believe that God is the Creator.  My love for biology comes from my desire to learn more about God through his creation.  I believe that God wants us to use science to glorify His kingdom.  But most scientists believe only in reason, and because of sin in this world, science will be used against God's will by being a god of it's own.

I like to wear skirts and dresses and think I have a pretty "classic" fashion sense.  I also like to rock geeky T-shirts and want to someday go to Comic-Con and cosplay some of my favorite sci-fi characters.

So, you see?! I often feel uncomfortable in social situations (I hate small talk or being in big groups), and feel like I can't relate to anyone.  I feel left out because I deviate from the "norm" in my circle of friends, acquaintances, colleagues, etc.  But lately, I've been feeling more at peace about it.  I don't feel as awkward when in the aforementioned "circles" anymore (even though I'm still awkward...).  God keeps telling me "you are fearfully and wonderfully made".  It doesn't matter that I'm a square trying to fit into the round holes.  God had a unique design for my life, and I am to use it to honor Him.  

I can embrace the early years of marriage spent ONLY with my spouse before having kids.  

I can be a hardworking mother AND career-woman, and can raise my daughters to be strong, independent women who love and serve the Lord. 

I can be a science lover who uses her study to grow closer to God instead of using it to become a god

I can be the first person to start the fashion trend of wearing high heels, skirts, and Star Wars shirts (not's already been done...)

I am proud of who God made me to be.  He think's I'm hip!  He thinks you are cool!  And no matter how we fit (or don't fit) into social norms, we should give Him all the praise and glory for His awesome and mighty work in our lives.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Puppy Love

I am obsessed with Rottweilers.  They really are such gentle, fun-loving giants.  Big dog breeds get such a bad rep - but it's because PEOPLE abuse them, mistreat them, and raise them to be "bullies".  It's such a shame.  One day I am going to get a little Rottie pup and raise it right :)  Matt and I had agreed that my Rottie would be named "Hammond" and he will get a Papillon and name it "Leslie" (see HERE to realize why that is nerdy), but I am pretty sure I am going to name him "Vader" :) 

Of course, we aren't getting another dog until either JoJo or McGhee passes...which is a sad thing to look forward for now, I will just fawn over cute internet pictures!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Few Things I Miss

Musical Theatre
Ever since middle school, when I fell in love with Les Miserables, I've been a die-hard musical theatre fan. I performed in every one of my high school theatre productions and was involved in multiple community theatres through my college years. Somehow, my life got too busy, and I stopped auditioning due to one conflict or another. I really miss performing, I think there is still some teeny-tiny part of me that still wishes I could be a Broadway star.
Anita in West Side Story
Nehebka in Aida
Lindy Hop
I was introduced to this amazing dance form in college where I became an active member of LSD, the Lawrence Swing Dancers. What started as just a weekly Friday night activity turned into an OBSESSION. I wanted to take classes, I wanted to teach classes, I wanted to go to dance exchanges and conventions and festivals. I built a crazy huge library of swing music in my iTunes. Unfortunately, my fellow swing friends graduated and moved all across the country(as did I), and I have been unable to locate any swing dancing venues here in MS. If/when we move back to WI, I am definitely getting involved with swing again.
a perk of dancing almost every day...looking skinny...*sigh*
social dancing is FUN!
Watch this to see the lindy hop gods in action.
Dancing starts around 2:40

ok, ok, I know I am a piano teacher and I still play piano regularly for church every week. But I really miss working on serious repertoire, playing music written by great composers, and training myself physically, mentally, and emotionally. This is something that I hope to remedy. The other day I browsed through my collection of sheet music for new and old repertoire that I want to start digging into. In high school, I played every single day, for hours and hours. In college, I never wanted to play, because practice was "work" and recitals and juries were stressful. Now I want to go back to my pre-academia days and just focus on making music and satisfying my soul.

Do you have any activities that you were seriously involved in and have stopped doing them? Do you miss it?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Feeling Testy

tes-ty (adj)
1. easily annoyed, irritable
2. marked by impatience or ill humor

Nope, i'm not feeling THAT kind of testy!  I'm feeling how one does during their next step up the academic ladder...preparing for a big admissions test!  I registered to take the GRE in a little less than 2 weeks.  Time to put on my studyin' pants!

Earlier this summer I had to think and pray long and hard about my future.  After one semester of my graduate program (designed to imitate a medical school course load), I realized that perhaps I was not cut out for another 4 years of endless studying, a few more years of tiring residency, and a lifetime to pay off debt.  I have no doubt that I would make a decent (even GOOD) doctor, but for me, having that title isn't worth the strenuous journey anymore.  I'm tired of feeling like school is just a competition to get to the next leg of the race...I think a lot of doctors really love the journey and working their butts off, but I honestly believe there are a handful of them that regret their career choice.  If I continue with more schooling or just go into the work force, I want it to be ENJOYABLE.  The idea of med school is no longer an enjoyable one for me.

So here I am, finally admitting to myself (and the blogosphere) that I am not going to apply to medical school.  I've changed my graduate program from biomedical sciences to just biological sciences.  I will have a more flexible course load and hopefully I will get to do some research with a professor this school year. There are so many options for me, and with our desire to start a family in the future (and have family be a priority), I want to have a career that is less stressful/more flexible for my lifestyle choice.  And I'm happy with my decision.

I will be applying for PA school (physician assistant) which is less schooling (loans, hours, etc.) and I would still be able to work in a clinic as a mid-level practitioner with the same joy of helping people first-hand, but with less stress.  Another option is to get a laboratory research job (in microbiology, cancer biology, or endocrinology) and aim for getting a PhD ( I guess I'd still be a doctor...just not the kind I always thought I'd be!).
Gundy Bear, PhD, at your service!

So here goes nothin'! I'm about to take a diagnostic/practice test for the GRE to see what areas I need to focus on.  My guess is most of my studying will be on the quantitative section.  While my biology background will be useful in data interpretation problems, my algebra/geometry skillz are lacking (haven't taken a math course since junior year of high school...yikes!).  The verbal section shouldn't be as bad, I'm a solid reader and a crossword puzzle I'm familiar with sesquipedalian verbosities :)

Wish me luck!