Friday, March 27, 2009

sad face

Is it wrong that the first thought in my head this morning when I woke up was, "oh yeah...the Tigers lost...." Big sigh.

I was cooking dinner during the first half, so I only saw the second half. I heard my husband watching the first half, though, and knew it wasn't going well! He had resigned himself to a loss two minutes before halftime. I still held out hope, and I got quite excited during our rally there at the end. Another big sigh. Oh well, we'll try again next year.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dr. Jane

Jonathan and I had the opportunity to attend a talk by Dr. Jane Goodall this past Saturday at the Memphis Zoo. This is a time when I wish I already had an elementary-aged child or two, since by the time we have kids of that age, Dr Goodall will probably have left us.
It was exciting to hear her first hand account of observing chimpanzees making and using tools. We also learned about several conservation programs she has started, including sustainable community organizing and youth education. She challenged all of us to think about how blessed we are to live in a city with clean air, clean water, and green spaces. She also challenged us to change some of our habits to help conservation: drinking our good tap water instead of bottled water, eating locally grown food, walking/biking/using public transportation instead of driving our cars, and living a less materialistic lifestyle in which we feel we deserve to consume as much as we can afford. She is not just encouraging conservation in Memphis. Dr. Goodall travels 300 days out of the year speaking about her life's work and how we can continue it. Her youth education program about conservation is active is 101 countries around the world.
One of the sweetest things she said Saturday was in response to all of us huddled under a pavillion due to the rain shower that morning: "The Good Lord sent the rain to bless the earth, and for that we should be thankful.". She said it with a smile, and I - despite being cold and wet - couldn't help but smile along with her.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Green Dinner

Being that yesterday was St. Patrick's Day, the Hulgans had a (semi)green dinner. We had shepherd's pie (not quite green, but something that one might eat in Ireland), green Harp, and apple pie. I took a picture of the apple pie as I was making it to show everyone that it is a green just doesn't look green after it is baked. You can also see our green Harp. We definitely had green teeth, tongues, and lips after enjoying our beverages! I have concluded that less is more when adding food coloring to beer : )
I also wanted to throw in a picture of our super-cute cat. I would like to entitle this, "whew...Math is hard work!"

On the road again

After a brief hiatus, I am back into training mode! The goal is the YV 5k on April 18th. I am trying hard to PR at this 5k, which would mean running below 33 minutes. To some, that may still be a pretty slow 5k. To me, who began my 'racing career' with a 40 minute 5k in April 2007, 32 minutes would be fantastic!

It has been a pretty good running week: 6 miles Saturday, 6 miles Monday including a 3 mile tempo run, 2 miles Tuesday, and I'll do 3 miles this evening. Thursday and Friday are rest days, and then we'll attempt 7 miles Saturday. I hit the jackpot this morning when I found a sheet of Midtown Yoga coupons in a bag that has been hanging in my closet for well over a year! I knew that I needed to add some crosstraining in, and now with about 8 already paid for yoga sessions, I have no excuse!

I am trying to train my eating habits too for this 5k. I pack a snack to eat about an hour before each run, and I am working on 'refueling' after I run. far my refueling attempts have been some veggie pasta Saturday (good), chips and salsa Monday (well, it had carbs and veggies), and a piece of pound cake yesterday... Maybe I need to work more on that.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Who watches the Watchmen?

We went to see The Watchmen last Saturday afternoon with some friends. (note: this post might have a spoiler or two). I had not read the graphic novel, but since Jonathan was really into it, I decided to join the boys. For those of you who saw me Saturday evening, it took me a good two or three hours to recover from the movie. It is very intense, both visually and emotionally, for almost three hours. For those of you who wonder if it matches the book, I am reading it right now, and the dialogue and camera shots are nearly a carbon copy of the graphic novel (at least through chapter 3).

The reason it took me so long to recover is that, in all honesty, it's a pretty depressing story. The whole world is in a downward spiral morally and politically, we won the Vietnam War but all that the victory brought us was 12 more years of the Nixon administration, WMDs are poised to destroy the earth, and the superheros don't even know what to do about it. Even the ending leaves you with a bitter taste in your mouth. As we left the theater, I told Jonathan it would take me a while to get back into reality, i.e. a reality different from the one we left in the movie. He asked how our reality is all that much different from the one in the movie. Hmmm. As I read the headlines this morning, it begs the question again. People in Memphis are killing each other over how close their cars are parked. Children are being beaten to death. A man in Alabama goes on a killing spree with both planned and unplanned victims. A pastor is shot through the heart while preaching on a Sunday morning. One may ask where our superheros are. But as we learned in the Watchmen, the superheros are just as vulnerable as we are.

So, where is our hope? How do we keep on living?

Unless the LORD builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain.

In vain you rise early and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat -
for he grants sleep to those he loves.
-Psalm 127:1-2.

If we try to solve these problems on our own, they will not be solved. We will toil in frustration. I need to place my faith in God, that he works all things for the good of those who love him. That all of the sin and scum and filth in this world shows us how perfect, compassionate and pure Jesus is, and that by trusting in him, our sins can be forgiven and our hope can be in a world beyond this fallen one. We do not stop fighting for justice, but we fight knowing that while these battles rage on, the war - the ultimate war of good and evil - was won a long time ago.

So, I went to a movie that I thought would have the depth of Spiderman, and I ended up with a renewed faith in my savior. I don't think the Watchmen will answer any questions for you, but it will hopefully get you asking some.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

37 hours and counting....

...until my comprehensive exam. I could not go to sleep last night because research design lingo was swirling through my head!! I was trying to memorize all of the different types of research designs, because I KNOW I will be asked to develop a research question, sample set, and design structure for the exam. Is it "single series post test only experimental design"? I always get the first part mixed up. Tonight I am going to brush up on budgeting - what percentage do I need to set aside for payroll tax and benefits, how much do stamps cost, etc...

For anyone who is interested, I will be camping out at Quetzal on Union Ave tomorrow to study. I have taken the day off so I will be slightly less stressed on Friday morning. Come enjoy a smoothie and quiz me on management theories : ) Sounds like fun, huh?