the long weekend at last

It's been a long time coming, but this weekend is here. After work tonight there is a celebratory BBQ at my grad supervisor's house for myself and his other PhD student who will defend today as well. A nice relaxing time. Then tomorrow, J and I are going to get away and spend the weekend together. It's his birthday tomorrow, and we're going to relax and celebrate and try to just enjoy celebrating being done everything. Hopefully we can get away an relax. I'm really looking forward to it.
Yesterday was a long day and it was nice to come home and just relax :) This morning was my last sleep in day. Had a good 7 hours of sleep and some yummy oatmeal for breakfast. Now a final day of work and then the fun begins.
Hope you all have a great weekend!

Aaaaaaaaand, we're clear!

OK then. Think we've finally figured out the car situation. Going to fix up our beloved screaming yellow madness and drive her just a bit longer and eat the cost. Makes more sense financially right now that a new car loan. Then we can look for vehicles in the spring on our own terms instead of "oh dear god we need a car now!" terms. Now that the decision is made it's easier to just get on with life.

It's funny - I am getting some copies of my thesis bound for myself, Dad and my supervisors and you have to make a shortened version of the title for the spine of the thesis. I did come up with a good technical one after a bit of eye crossing but I also was leaning towards "How I became a mad scientist" and "thank goodness that's over" as alternate titles :) All my academic requirements are fulfilled and I need to make 5 copies to drop off at the bindery in the next week. I have uploaded my thesis to the grad office and filled all my forms and applied to graduate so now, as hard as I find it to believe - all is completed. Yup - my MSc is completed.

Can I get a wohoo?

After a few days of stress I've just been sleeping in the mornings to recharge and better deal with life. Tonight when I get home I'm going to fit in a short home workout. I miss the sweatiness. After the long weekend I'll be back to the morning routine again, but for now, it's a bit nice to take a few days to recharge the batteries a bit. I can see it's going to take a while to adjust to my new life. :)
Hope you have a great day!

oh come on

My car just came down with a whack of Rusted out gas tank and fuel pump...very unusual...and very pricey. Stupidly so (~2K). So, we have to figure out if its worth fixing or not...or if we want car payments on another one. Seriously not what I wanted to think about right now. We just finally paid off the van last month. I wanted to relax and just be normal...but this has stuck a wrench in it. J is totally stressed out and grumpy. I am feeling as though whatever I do is not helping. Very frustrating.
As for me? Well, overall I am just pissed. Kinda sucks the joy out of being done school...thankfully we have a vehicle to borrow until we can figure out what we want to do...but I really was hoping for more of a relaxing holiday birthday weekend for J and celebration for me. Definitely not this...

Nothing in particular

Last night we had celebratory chinese and then a long walk after to wear it and the wine off :)
Slept in today because I had to run around with Dad to do some errands before he headed home this morning so no workout today, but it's a good day. I will relax and make sure everything to do with my thesis is done and completed today and come home to an evening of nothing in particular.

Hee hee


I am now officially a Master of Science.
Oh yes!
Things went swimmingly today.
The speech and defense went as well as I could hope for and my thesis was accepted without revisions, which is a huge compliment to my work. It was a really unique experience where the reviewer was genuinely interested in my work and I was able to really shine in explaining and discussing my area of work. I am so pleased.
My Dad and J were there as moral support during my speech and now that it's all over and done I have the rest of the day off to relax and celebrate with some of the IPA I brewed for this very occasion. White Minstrel IPA. From my ugly mug of celebration.

The ugly makes it taste better :)

Life is good! :)

This is it!

I defend in 3 hours.
Here we go :)


I think I've found my new calling - property inspector. Come over to a house and measure a few things, take some notes and photos and then go "Hmmm" and smile occasionally and chahching! Easy $250. It serves a purpose I know, but I kinda expected more on our house inspection this morning for our mortgage renewal. Not a puppet show or anything, just a bit more. They were kind folk and did not comment on the state of our house and our front danger deck which is currently half assembled.

This morning before that, since I couldn't get to the gym I hopped on the elliptical and sweated out 35 minutes to some psytrance and had a shower and breakfast. Now it's back to work for another day.

Only 3 days until I defend.
Oh lordy.


Well I came in to work out this morning but it was a bit of a let down. The regular instructor was sick and we had a sub for boot class...and what we got was a weak workout -  definitely not boot camp. It was kind of like a lame sculpt class with minimal cardio. The class was nearly empty and the few that came warned me that I might want to do my own workout. I figured, hey how lame could it be? Well, apparently, rather so...we just did 12 counts of a zillion things, which she counted out too fast and in the end, yes, we did get an overall workout it just...well...she needs to teach more classes. She had no energy and really didn't get our heart rates up. There was no set rhythm and sometimes with wierd combos that you just got the hang of and then the 12 count was over and you went on to something else. I'm hoping she's not a new regular because it was not the sweaty boot camp I was ready for...I crawled out of bed for a solid workout. I feel kinda gypped. One girl actually left class half way through to go hop on the elliptical. I figure i just know that now, for her, I know what to expect, so I'll do my own thing if she teaches a "boot camp" again. At least I got in a workout.

On more a annoying newsfront - we have gremlins in our home. J can't find his work card pass and I hope it turns up, as it's $100 to replace it. Spent hours looking for it yesterday...but it might be gone. Got very frustrated with the state of our home while searching. Here's hoping it just turns up. He feels terrible about it. I figure he's been there over 5 years, and I lose all kinds of things so I'm not one to talk. He's more mad about it really. We could definitely use the $$ so I hope it turns up, but it is what it is. We have to have the house appraised for our new mortgage and I'm quite embarrassed to have the inspector in our home...I'm just trying not to think about it...years of clutter. I can't wait for september to be here. My first project is to attack the house and purge. One room a week until I'm done, starting mid september. Ruthless. Buying storage and shelving as I go as needed. Our house needs it. As much as J complains about the state of the house he's not one for making it tidy either and his tonnes of gear and lighting certainly don't help the basement look even remotely normal. My dad is coming on sunday night to be here for my speech...I've warned him I'm embarrassed about the state of the house. Hopefully he will understand. Even the spare room is cluttered and full of wine making gear. It's just nuts. After I defend and my thesis is in with revisions I definitely have a LOT of work to do. I'm itching to get to it.
But for's just trying to get all of my thesis in my head. Its scary.
5 days left.

My face hurts from smiling

Great 2 days away. Relaxed and waterskiid and floated int he lake and had a BBQ and sipped nice scotch. We visited with some great friends of ours who invited us up to their parent's cabin and it was great. His family is great too...really nice and they made us feel so welcome. It was a lot like hanging with my family at the lake in the old days...back when we were all together. I can't tell you how great that was. J and I have been working so hard this summer that it was nice to just relax a bit. I realized on the way home my face is actually sore from smiling. Which made me smile some more :)
Now - 1 week until the whole shebang is over. I slept in this morning and it was very nice. After all the sun and waterskiing I am a bit stiff, but relaxed. Back to the workouts tomorrow. I just learned my speech is only to be 15 minutes so I need to prune it down tonight. And review. One more week :)

I love the smell of sunscreen in the morning...

This morning I got up to go to the farmer's market for some veg, honey and locally made yogurt. Yum. J worked last night until 6 AM so he's still asleep. When I got home it was just so gorgeous that I threw on some shorts and grabbed my music and shoes and went out for a run in the sunshine. I was quite surprised at how well I did - I thought I might have to walk a lot of it, but apparently I am in better shape than I thought...and not as stiff from yesterday than I figured I would be. I worked out a ~8K run along both sides of the river with 3 short walk breaks near fountains for water, and on the pedestrian bridge over the river where it's pretty wobbly and I don't want to trip.  I jogged the whole thing at a steady pace except for the short breaks. I was thinking I'd have to do run 4 minutes walk 1 but in the end the whole 40 minute jog went very well with my 3 stops. Slow and steady. Whoop! I guess HIIT and boot camp cardio really do get you conditioned.
 I do so love running and my knee is OK with it if I do it occasionally for less than 10K. I think I may make it a weekend thing whenever I can. It was lovely. I feel great. It's just starting to get hot now, so it was good to be out in the sun and a  breeze.


Now - protein oatmeal with fresh honey and a banana and I'm off to the land of studiousness. My thesis and I are hanging out today so I can relax tomorrow and monday with J and friends at the lake. My only "summer holiday" (emphasis on the day) of sorts. The weather is supposed to be fantastic so I'm looking forward to it. :)

Hope you all have a lovely weekend. I'll be back on tuesday :)

1000 Rep challenge

This morning I had something to prove. To myself. I've been coming to morning workouts regularly and my muscle tone is changing...but I still weigh the same. It frustrates me. I wanted to see just what I could do if I pushed myself. So, I banged out the Bodyrock 1000 Rep Workout. With the bonus abwork. It may have taken me almost 47 minutes to do it, but I kept going. I took water breaks and pushed myself and I did it. All of it. I'm so proud of myself. The workout is this:

-50 burpees (with pushup)
-50 high knees with pull down arms (each side together = 1)
-50 weight pickup, squat, weight drop & burpee + tuck jump - using 20 Lb dumbbell
-50 scissor lunges
-50 elevate plank knee tucks - knee in to cross to to other elbow (alternate L&R, both sides = 1)
-50 floor touch jumping jacks
-50 overhead back lunge & forward kick - L leg, holding up 10Lb dumbbell above head
-50 tuck jumps
-50 overhead back lunge & forward kick - R leg, holding up 10Lb dumbbell above head
-50 criss cross reach trough ab crunches (L&R side = 1)
-500 high knee skips

I split the whole workout in half and did it twice through, making 25 reps of everything and 250 skips twice. The only alteration I did is not high knee skips as they brutalize my knee. Other than that, it was all me. The abwork was 10 second plank + 50 seconds side plank with one arm reach up and down through + the same on the other side + 10 sec plank + 50 seconds plank with alternate arm and leg reaching out and back in. I made sure I stretched out and had a good breaky (cottage cheese and raspberries) and you know... I feel amazing! And proud. I did it...all of it.

Thursday thursday...sometimes it just turns out that waaaay

Last night I was good. Studied and revised my talk. J went through it with me and offered a lot of helpful changes and suggestions and it's much better. Now have to start practising it a bit for time and see if I have to cut more. I ended up crashing to sleep instead of going to Wax Mannequin. Sad, but I figured at this point, sleep was more important. Hopefully he'll come to town again next year and I can enjoy it...I was looking forward to it, but I don't want to be lazy now at the end of it all. Besides, I get a day or 2 at the lake with friends on the weekend so that is really more important for me. I'll work hard for just a few weeks longer.

This morning I came in for spin and sculpt class which was tough, but a good workout. I was surprised to see my old favourite spin and sculpt class teacher back as a student - she got into med school so she's back on campus again. She may sub a bit for classes too...that would be cool.
And now? Sorry to cut this short, but I have much work to do.
Later taters!

crazy days are here again :)

Last night was fun. My graduate supervisor had everyone over for a celebratory dinner - 2 of us defend our thesis this month and 2 of his summer students are leaving for med school, so it'll be a different lab come fall. Awesome BBQ kabobs, poached salmon, corn on the cob and yummy wine and cider (having a supervisor who specializes in brewing microbiology means there are always good beverages at his gatherings!). Dessert was fruit and ice cream. Nice evening. Despite my PMS I didn't eat my face off...I got home full and exhausted.

This morning I crawled from bed and came in for a killer boot camp class. Hard solid sweaty goodness.
After some cottage cheese and raspberries for breakfast I am on the scene here at work to get things done. I have lots to do today and another important work meeting followed by another night of revision, but I have heard  a favourite musician Wax Mannequin is in town playing at a local pub. If I'm good, I hope I can sneak in to hear him play and sneak out again. We'll see how the evening's to another crazy day!


I came to a slightly panic inducing discovery last night. One of the authors of a number of papers I refer to and discuss in my thesis are written by my external examiner. How I didn't put it together before now I don't know...but I certainly know now! I definitely have someone who is an expert in my area of research to review me. This is exciting and terrifying at the same time.
Time to review!
I admit that after this discover, in a fit of PMS I inhaled a muffin in a panic. Sometimes I cannot resist my old links to food = comfort. It was a fresh peach bran muffin I'd just made, so it wasn't the end of the world, but it's strange how easily old habits appear under stress.
This morning I decided to be more practical about it.
I have a plan.
I will review papers on the bus every day, and go over my speech once every lunch break until the big day. I will also try and think of questions I'll be asked and try and answer them. Work on important terminology so I dont' get hung up in definitions. My supervisor in TO has said she knows the reviewer personally and he's a nice guy, so thankfully I don't have to worry about the reviewer being out there to prove something...I just need to make sure I can clearly discuss my stuff because I won't be able to BS my way out of things :). And I'm going to work out and try to eat well and try not to snarf away my stress. It's tough. This morning I came in for a really good spin class and just finished a yummy bowl of one of my favourite breakfasts - cottage cheese with raspberries. Yum. Having healthy snacky muffins about is also a good thing.
Now it's work hard at my regular job which is also busy. As much as I want to review out of nervousness all day today, I have a meeting at lunch and after work my other supervisor is having the lab over for a BBQ so I don't know how much I'll get done tonight...but I will try my best. Just 2 more weeks...

14 days

Ah. This weekend was nice. It was our anniversary sunday so the J and I just relaxed and spent the day together and went out for dinner somewhere nice for a fantastic meal. Went for a long hike in the afternoon and relaxed by the river with some wine...and actually saw a falcon catch a fish right beside us! Other than the lots of wine on the anniversary, it was a good weekend food-wise too. I brought healthy alternatives to a BBQ at my brothers on saturday so I had good stuff to nibble on. Not sure if I offended him or not, but they are not known for their healthy eating habits...*my* idea of healthy side at a BBQ are veg and dip and fruit, not chips and potato salad. I noticed it was well devoured by the other guests so hooray for me and my healthy food ninja trickery!  :)

This morning I was up and in to the gym for sculpt class. It was a good overall body workout with weights and now today is ON. Lots of work to do at my regular job... AND seeing as the university finally got their act together and approved my defence date on the weekend for the 27th officially (only 2 weeks from now!! No rush...take your time people...not like i need to prepare or anything...grr) I have two weeks of manic review and speech prep to do for my defence. Having a deadline is something I need. The office kindly let me know on saturday when everything finally went through so I could relax on our anniversary, which was nice. And now it's 2 weeks of hard work to get ready. Not quite sure what I'm doing, but I'll do my best :)


This AM I had planned a more hardcore workout but I took what i could get. On the bus ride in today before 6am, someone I work with, who is on the other side of the planet, had sent an email I had to respond to, which I composed on the way to the gym and then had to wait to reply back to if I got a response (iPhones rock). In the end, since I missed the start of spin class and figured it would be rude if I had to stop to respond I just hopped on the elliptical and did a hill course for 40 minutes. I pushed myself and responded to emails as needed while working out, booked some meetings and then showered and came in to work to breakfast. A workout is a workout I suppose. I did get good and sweaty by the end and now it's off to deal with meetings and the political shitstorms of the day.
Ah. Joys of being manglement. :)

tired day

Oy. This morning was spin and sculpt and I'm not gonna lie. It was a tough class and after yesterday it was a killer. I finished and tried hard but man...I'm *tired* now. It was a hard workout.
Last night I really should have done more review but after making supper, making some gaspacho soup for lunches and doing a few chores, I really had no spirit to do anything other than read up on a few things and go to sleep. I have to do a bunch of official things to do today and I'm hoping tonight I can snag a nap and get some review done. I *still* have no official defense date and it's freaking me out that it won't be as scheduled. Thankfully my supervisor is back from his holidays today and he'll look into it. I admit I'm jealous of his 3 weeks away. I'm just getting and wanting one long weekend with J on the september long weekend. It's his birthday and we want to get away somewhere for a romantic weekend and (I hope) celebrate being done school. I refuse to think about possibly rescheduling that due to some administrative cock-up with my defense...for now I'm trying to go ahead as tho the 27th is for real and make myself work at it. I admit, I'm tired and I'm starting to give up, but I'm trying to keep focus for just a little longer. I just can't really focus without a deadline, you know? And I'm really just burnt out. I want to be done.

I think I am going to infuse my blood with some caffeine and see how much I can get done today. They're doing repairs under the floor of my office today (again) and the floor is vibrating. It sounds like there is a small drill grinding away and likely will be doing so all day. Oh joy...

My feet hurt from kicking ass

Holy cow. Boot camp madness. I was needing a stress release because I *STILL* don't have a confirmed thesis defense date... We had a sub in today and it was insane. INSANE. But yet I loved it. She pushed us but made it doable. Made us laugh as we worked hard. Here's the whole workout we did today in an hour:

-5 minute warmup
-3 minutes cardio: Boxer hops with jabs, 1 min each side, alternating with 30 sec jumping jacks
10 sec rest
-3 minutes cardio: repeat knees (30 sec), and high knee arm/ab crunch combos both sides
10 sec rest

CIRCUIT 1: (1 min on/10 sec rest)
-planks with feet on ball, with alternate toe touches to the ground
-jump switch lunges
-squat spin jumps using the half-ball-flat-on-the other side stabilizer thingy (can't remember the name)
-back/tricep extensions using a resistance band
-squat and shoulder press (with weights)

-3 minutes cardio: side step squat plus side step baskeball jump, alternating
15 sec rest

-4 minutes on the bike: high intensity, high tension aggressive climb out of the seat

CIRCUIT 2: (1 min on/15 sec rest)
-toe touches with exercise ball passing back and forth from between hands and feet
-back lunge with jump up knee raise (30 sec each leg)
-burpees using the half ball stabilizer thingy (can't remember what it's called)
-tricep extensions using a resistance band
-side lunges (both sides) with bicep curls

-3 minutes cardio:  sides step side lunge alternating
-4 minutes on the bike: 8 X 20 second tabata sprint intervals  (low tension)

-ab work: 1 minute crunches, 2 X 30 sec front planks, 4X30 sec front planks with alternate arm and leg extended, side plank with 14 hip raises and then one leg and arm raised in the air 15 sec (both sides)
-Stretching/cool down

It was a killer but I feel fanfreakentastic!!! She somehow made this fun. Seriously! I was dripping sweat by the ab work at the end. She's subbed in for spin classes and they were OK but this? This was sweaty awesome push yourself greatness. I love this kind of thing where it's just 30 seconds or a minute of something. I can push myself when I know it's only 1 minute. I earned my protein shake today let me tell you :)

Add to that some ripe peaches and homemade yogurt for breaky and boom! Today rocks and it's only started. Have a great day everyone. I will! :)

millions of peaches peaches for me...

Mmmm...just rewarded my sweaty spin class self with fresh BC super ripe peaches and fresh locally made organic vanilla yogurt from the farmer's market. Mmmm. :)

This weekend was nice. I was hermit on saturday and hid inside doing computer work, eating grapes and relaxing. Then spent all sunday with my luv at the Fringe Festival seeing some great plays. Yesterday I attacked the yard all day and met J for a burger and pint and one last play to finish off the weekend. I love Fringe Theatre...such a wide variety of plays and usually a few deliciously weird but wonderful shows. Occasionally there are some outstanding ones. One one-man show I saw, based on the life and times of William S Burroughs was probably one of the best shows I've ever seen, period. It's inspiring. :)

I had a few more beer this weekend than I meant to but other than that, I didn't fall off the wagon nutrition wise. This week is another one of solid exercise and good food to carry it on through. Tonight I can get to the groceratorium and pick up some healthy food for the next while. It's thesis review time prepping for my defense. Hope you all had a great weekend. I did :)

Bringing out the big guns

This morning I came in for spin class after another night of working on my speech. Wow...when you have sweat trickling down into your eyes you know you're working hard :). I have some chia overnight oats for breakfast. I forgot how yummy it is. Mmm....  

I'm starting to build back muscle tone to where I was in April. Thankfully my arms are coming along if I can just get my ass to cooperate I'll be in business. I'm working on my guns :)

Me avoiding working on my speech last night...

My speech is starting to really come together, but it's a bit long, so I'm hoping my supervisor can help me pare it down a bit. I totally forgot monday is a holiday - that is really cool. I'm hoping the weather is nice and I can hang out with J a's been a busy week for both of us and we haven't had much time together.

My Dad is in town for an MRI so I get to have supper with him tonight at my brothers and visit a bit. J has to work again so I'll miss him, but I'm hoping I can see him the rest of the weekend. I need more of my J :). All I have planned is a haircut and the Farmer's Market for the weekend...everything else is a mystery. It's the start of the Fringe theatre festival and I hope we can get out to a bunch of shows. I love Fringe theatre. 
Hope you all have a great weekend!


evil returns

The evil teacher Mel is back from her holidays. My shoulders hurt :)
Her spin and sculpt classes are 5 minutes of intense spinning (alternating tension climbs and sprints) and intervals of sets of weights for upper body. Lots of reps. I couldn't actually do them all but I pushed myself. Yes I swore and grumbled at times...but I did as many as I could. And man...I do not think I could do any more. Mel works you hard. I love to hate her...she gets it done :)
Last night I experimented at making a new meal/salad without the recipe that I somehow lost on the way home. I managed to stop on the bus home to get a few things and get back on for the rest of the way home... carrying a large bag of cat food and a giant watermelon home with me in the sticky heat, along with my backpack and gym bag. I didn't want to go back out later... I'm nothing if not stubborn!
I still made the salad, altho I guessed at the dressing from what I remembered and added stuff I like...the dressing needs tweaking but the rest of it rocks (here's hoping I find the recipe somewhere). It had diced red pepper, sweet corn, diced water chestnuts, green onion and shelled edamame. I made a dressing with soy sauce, vegetarian fish sauce, rice vinegar, ginger and garlic (I think it was supposed to have sesame oil and cilantro but I had no oil and hate cilantro so I improvised and added a splash of olive oil and lime juice and whirled it up). It took ages to shell the edamame and I kept accidentally shooting the steamed beans all over the kitchen (much to my cat's delight) but it the final result was quite tasty and filling. Had it with roasted beets, a few shrimp and some rice. Pretty tasty and really fresh. It is today's lunch too. Think next time I might add a bit of honey or maple syrup to the dressing. I just discovered I liked shelled edamame a while back but don't know what to do with it...this looked like a cool idea.

Best of all, thanks to my pack mule abilities, I have a whole lot of delicious watermelon to nibble on all weekend. I love LOVE love watermelon. And J doesn't so it's all mine :) If I need to snack on something I figure watermelon is a good thing. It's the time of year for it...mmm...

Must dash. Lots to do today...

I have a cunning plan

I have a plan so cunning you could brush your teeth with it.

I was good yesterday. Other than a 100 calorie bag of popcorn I made as a snack while working on my speech/watching the Godfather on TV, I ate well yesterday. I had a taco salad for supper and have the leftovers today for lunch. 
This morning was boot camp courtesy of the wonderful Mimi - she makes you work so hard in 3 sets of 8 minutes of 30 second intervals of cardio and plyometrics with 3 sections of upper body weights and abwork in between. Sweaty and awesome. I wish she was our regular morning instructor again... she only teaches monday spin and sculpt after work now except for the odd subs like the last few weeks. Too bad. She rocks :).
After 2 weeks back I already feel stronger and a bit firmer and I can see more muscle in my arms again. Hooray!
It's official. August is beast month. I feel like I've ramped up to this and now I'm ready to be back in it. Other than a great meal out on our anniversary this month  and some celebratory beer if/when I defend my thesis I plan on making healthy choices. It's the time of endless veggies and fruit and I plan on taking it all in :) Add to that, having only Canadian 67 for beer (if anything) and no mindless snacking I think I have a cunning plan. It's not subtle, but it's solid.
Who's with me?
Let's do this!

"Baldrick, you wouldn't see a subtle plan if it painted itself purple and danced naked on top of a harpsichord, singing 'Subtle plans are here again!' "