Archive for December, 2008

house of pain.

Posted in Uncategorized on December 18, 2008 by drbolte

the outside of my thighs feel literally shredded.

i dreaded the second day of jillian michaels, but i got through it. the pushups may kill me and i still find side lunges really complex (how exactly are you supposed to do them right? it all seems wrong when i’m doing it.) i am worried that i will not be able to do it for thirty days straight. but i think i will hate myself a little (read: a lot) if i don’t.

so now i’m googling how to deal with massive muscle soreness (i’m embracing light cardio after the workout, ibuprofen, and lots of water).

and that’s your update. and it’s my accountability exercise.

won’t you come and spend a little time?

Posted in Uncategorized on December 17, 2008 by drbolte

a hat and singing about loving independent women?

yes, please.

(i love ne-yo. why am i consistently surprised by this fact? it’s like i forget…and then BAM.)

AND

the song that has been a continual loop (the first time i’ve ever done that…) on itunes for the last hour.

love.love.love. why am i only now knowing about this song?!?  friends…you must alert me to these things!

on display.

Posted in Uncategorized on December 17, 2008 by drbolte

it’s been kind of a strange day. not bad strange, not even really strange strange. maybe introspective strange.

or maybe not strange at all.

i went to my mom’s office to drop off the baked goods i labored over for hours. while the cast of characters have changed quite a bit over the past few years, a lot of people who work there have seen me grow up, sort of. if by growing up you mean go from college student to teacher to grad student to faraway grad student, which has really been my growing up process anyways so yeah.

i was walking through the office with my mom, passing their cubicles, and they didn’t know who i was.

they didn’t recognize me.

seriously. my mom was like “you remember carrie?” and their mouths would drop open. one woman, who i just LOVE (not only because of what she said, but because of who she is) said “where is the REST of you?”

while this was all flattering, and KEPT HAPPENING over and over and over again (it got rather amusing to watch the startled shudder and the shock in their eyes), it was pretty odd too.

how do people who know you not know you? how can i have changed that much and not really know it myself?

weird.

so after my awkward santa stint was over, and after mom took me to lunch (why am i obsessed with french onion soup right now?!?), i went to best buy to pick up 30 day shred. because i left my hand weights in FL, i also went to dick’s sporting goods next door.

(on a somewhat related tangent, i love dick’s sporting goods. i want to find one and move in.  and i want lots of cute pink workout clothes and definitely the cute white jacket that i saw that was all puffy and warm looking.  and in my wandering through the baseball glove section, i found little tiny purple and pink baseball gloves. yes, folks, every single child of mine will get one. the boys can have the blue and red ones, but they’re all getting them. i have said it and thus it will be so.)

i picked out three pound weights because i have five, eight, and ten pound weights at home in florida and because, for some things, five pound weights are too heavy for me.

yes, i am that wimpy.

but anyway, i carry my weights up to the checkout line. i am the only one there, waiting for someone to help me. there have to be at least six unopened registers and i am waiting for the poor soul that is helping a woman who is taking so long to write a check that…i don’t know. insert your own “it was so dang long” metaphor here.

i finally get helped by the guy who greeted me at the door–nice guy. i had no problem with him–and as my purchase is complete, he hands me my bag and says “here are your little weights.”

at which point i was actually offended.  and somewhat mortified.

“little weights”?

sigh.

and then i came home and employed those little weights during the first level of 30 day shred.

and got my butt handed to me by jillian michaels in twenty minutes. during the last circuit, when we were doing bicycle crunches, i really almost cried.

which tells me that by the end of these thirty days, i am going to look frickin’ fantastic and be stronger than ever.

because if i can do that? i can do anything. like this, later, which i also bought today.

weird day.  GOOD day.  but weird day.

i think, after a bit of time off of my game, i am back to myself.  that’s nice.

Posted in Uncategorized on December 16, 2008 by drbolte

i have learned many lessons since driving into NC on saturday.

the first is that i sleep too much. alarms have nothing on me here. even the incredibly annoying cell phone alarm that i have to snooze every eight minutes.

the second is that i look ridiculous in an elf hat.  yes, this is a lesson that i should have learned earlier in life, but i guess i’m behind the curve.

the third is that december brings with it envy, covetousness, and idolatry.

of this:

dscf0764

my mom’s cuisinart. every christmas, i bake for her managers.  this christmas, i went BUCK WILD.  four kinds of candy, four kinds of baked goods, all made possible without enormous stress and incredible exhaustion because of this silver and amazing mixer.  which i love.  covet.  worship.

the fourth is that a switch has flipped in my head.  doors are closing.  interviews aren’t happening (although hope continues to make an anchor of my soul).  i’m going to san francisco anyways, even if i don’t have interviews.  and now all i do is sort of chuckle.

there’s a plan. of this i am certain. what the plan is? i haven’t the foggiest idea. i have some very vague conceptions of what it might be, but no clear ideas.  but i know that i am being led.  and so, to take a phrase from one of my favorite bloggers, The Matters Unbloggable do not weigh me down.

right now.

the fifth is that i am ready for challenges again.  physical, mental, bring it on.  so a friend of mine and i are going to start this. she’s getting married. i’m trying to get closer to the goal.  it’ll be fun.  also, we’re starting a stadium stair group back in gville after the new year. we’ll see how many people stick to it, but we’re thinking of getting t-shirts.

i’ll do almost anything for a t-shirt.

my snickerdoodles are coming out of the oven, so that means blog time is over.

i can’t believe it’s december 16th.  where has the last month gone?

because i want to.

Posted in Uncategorized on December 14, 2008 by drbolte

i got it from the new kid…

Things I’ve done are in bold.
Things I am indifferent towards or actively would like to avoid are crossed out.
Things in normal type face are things I’d like to do (or at least, that I’d rather do than not).

Comments in parentheses are my additions.

Start my own blog
Sleep under the stars
Play in a band
Own a cell phone

Visit Hawaii
Watch a meteor shower (sort of, if multiple shooting stars in a row count…that was an amazing night)
Give more than I can afford to charity
Visit Disneyland / Disneyworld (both!)
Climb a mountain
Sing a solo
Bungee jump
Participate in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony
Teach myself an art from scratch (crossstitching…which i am now good at…and patchwork quilting)
Adopt a child
Purchase real estate
Had food poisoning
Visit Parliament / Capital Hill
Grow my own vegetables
See the Mona Lisa in France
Sleep on an overnight train
Have a pillow fight
Hitchhike
Take a sick day when you’re not ill (mental health days!)
Build a snow fort
Hold a lamb
Go skinny dipping
Run a Marathon
Been on television
Ride in a gondola in Venice
See a total eclipse
Watch a sunrise or sunset
Hit a home run
Go on a cruise
See Niagara Falls in person
Visit the birthplace of my ancestors
See an Amish community
Teach myself a new language
Have enough money to be truly satisfied
See the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
Go rock climbing
See Michelangelo’s David
Sing karaoke
See Old Faithful erupt
Buy a stranger a meal at a restaurant
Visit Africa
Walk on a beach by moonlight
Be transported in an ambulance (dislocated kneecap…)
Have my portrait painted (why??)
Be arrested (duh.)
Go deep sea fishing
See the Sistine Chapel in person
Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
Go scuba diving or snorkeling
Kiss in the rain (YES. PLEASE.)
Play in the mud
Go to a drive-in theatre
Be in a movie
Visit the Great Wall of China
Start a business
Take a martial arts class (really a lot, actually, but i’m not sure i’m good enough or brave enough…)
Visit Russia
Serve at a soup kitchen
Sell Girl Scout Cookies
Go whale watching
Get flowers for no reason
Donate blood, platelets or plasma
Go sky diving
Visit a Nazi Concentration Camp
Bounce a check (does anyone WANT to do this?)
Fly in a helicopter
Save a favorite childhood toy
Visit Quebec City
Eat Caviar (i’d rather just do it to say i’ve done it.  it sounds disgusting…)
Piece a quilt
Stand in Times Square
Tour the Everglades
Been fired from a job
See the Changing of the Guards in London
Been on a speeding motorcycle
See the Grand Canyon in person
Published a book (IN a book…not my own…yet)
Visit the Vatican
Buy a brand new car (stupid, and I’ll probably not do it again…)
Walk in Jerusalem
Have my picture in the newspaper
Read the entire Bible
Visit the White House
Kill and prepared an animal for eating (i don’t know…)
Had chickenpox
Save someone’s life
Sit on a jury
Meet someone famous
Join a book club
Lose a loved one
Have a baby
See the Alamo in person
Swim in the Great Salt Lake
Been involved in a law suit
Been stung by a bee
Ride an elephant

heisman bizarroworld.

Posted in Uncategorized on December 13, 2008 by drbolte

the following interchange, with some artistic license, may have just happened in my mom’s house.

me: do you mind if i watch the heisman?
mom [so glad i’m home that she’d probably agree to watch that britney documentary on slow repeat if it made me happy]: sure. uhm, i don’t have espn on my favorites, so we’ll have to find it.

[several minutes later]

mom: so this takes an hour? so we’re going to watch an hour BEFORE they announce it?
me: yeah…i’m not really sure what they’ll…[sees the college gameday crew and immediately falls into awed silence]
mom: we want tebow to win, right? which one is he?
me: the one in the middle. the one who looks like he could snap the other two in half.
mom: he really shouldn’t walk with his hands in his pockets like that.
me: he’s probably just awesome and starting a new trend. or trying to look chill.

[minutes pass.]
me: i hate sam bradford.
mom: he has a broken hand!
me: he had surgery on his non-throwing hand this week to repair ligaments that he tore during the oklahoma-texas tech game.
mom: [stares at me]
me:[excitedly] I KNOW EVERYTHING!

[during colt mccoy’s introductory package]
me: he really should win because texas got shafted.
mom: texas got shafted?
me: [proceeds to explain the big 12 controversy and why oklahoma really probably shouldn’t even be playing the gators in the championship game but whatever it’s a messed up system.]
mom: oh.

[commercial break]
me: did i tell you i’m having a GIANT party for the championship game?
mom: [looking confused] but it’s new year’s day.
me: no, it’s the 8th.
mom: huh?
me: the championship is on the 8th. it’s the last bowl game played because it’s the big one.
mom: so are the gators playing in a bowl game too?
me: no. [proceeds to attempt to explain the BCS bowl system, which is impossible since it doesn’t even make sense to the people who administer it.]

[during sam bradford’s tape package]
mom: he seems like a nice guy.
me: he’s the devil.
mom: oh, okay.
me: i mean, he’s probably a perfectly nice guy, but i have to hate him. it’s kind of my job.
mom: right.

[sam bradford wins. he starts spewing about his offensive line and his wide receivers, and i begin to feel the fiery flames of rage lick up the sides of my head.]

mom: we’re done with this, right? or did you want to hear him?
me: [after the 33rd “unreal”] no. ugh. we’re done. [mumbling as i walk into the other room.] i can’t wait until we put him on the ground.

and scene.

phase this.

Posted in all i want for christmas is..., i am not a gym rat, mirror mirror on the wall on December 12, 2008 by drbolte

do you know phase 10? the game?

well, wait. let me back up.

i heard about this workout and, given my recent inclination to not move at all because i either don’t want to get out of my house or i don’t have time to get to the gym because i spend that time doing other things like freaking out about mock interviews or sleeping because i haven’t slept at all in ever, it sounded like an awesome idea.

except that i couldn’t find a regular deck of playing cards.

but i stumbled upon our apartment’s deck of phase 10 cards, and decided that since there were four colors, it would work. so i decided that blue would be squats, red would be jumping jacks, green would be pushups (although i did wall pushups because i am a big wimp and have no upper body strength), and yellow would be crunches.

my goal was to go through the entire deck.

do you know how many cards are in a phase 10 deck?

108 cards.

ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHT CARDS.

that go up to 12.

and guess what color kept coming up?

BLUE.

about halfway through the two-thirds of the deck that i actually go through, my glutes and quads were screaming.  and i thought, goodness. i might feel this a little bit tomorrow.

i didn’t really keep count of how many squats i actually did, but it took me thirty minutes to do my workout, and i didn’t really stop at all.  it was all jumping jacks (which are WAY fun, btw!), crunches, pushups, squats, squats, squats, jumping jacks, pushups, repeat repeat repeat.

so i thought i’d be a little sore.

that was tuesday.

it’s now friday.

i am only now beginning to walk normally, rather than like someone recovering from abdominal surgery or who has injured herself in some heinous manner.  i only now can face stairs without wanting to sob and can only now feel my muscles beginning to loosen up.

granted, i haven’t gone to the gym since and i wasn’t drinking enough water by a long shot (both of which help muscle soreness), but…seriously.

this is the sorest i’ve been, like, EVER.

i LOVE it.

during my christmas break, i plan to do this thing at least twice a week. it’s fun, easy (ha!), and i can do it anywhere.  and i can face it a lot easier than walking or running in the biting cold of north carolina christmas.

which i’ll also be doing.

because if i keep eating oreo cookie balls dipped in chocolate, heaven knows i’m going to have to do SOMETHING.

gutwrenching horror which everyone saw as success.

Posted in Uncategorized on December 12, 2008 by drbolte

i don’t get it.

i mean, i kind of get it, but i don’t get it at all.

today was the mock interview. i prepared as best i could, prayed harder than i’ve prayed in a while (which seems to be a consistent theme…are you catching it? i am praying A LOT lately. and fervently.), and went to the interview.

the first part, which i was WAY stressing about, went beautifully and i recognized it as i was speaking.

the rest?

felt like one big fat carnival of horrors. questions i couldn’t answer. specifics i couldn’t give. opinions that seemed to be received about as well as a big fat credit card bill on the day after christmas.

bad stuff.

they asked me to step out so that they could talk, and then called me back in to give me pointers.

longest four minutes of my life. possibly on part with the four or so minutes that i waited to see if i had passed my phd orals, but i think worse than that.

because the whole time i just wanted to beat my head into the wall. i was sure i had tanked it.

all i wanted to do was not be a dithering idiot for these professors who i actually greatly respect. one of them is my department head.

yeah, i really don’t want to look like the phd program is a big fat joke that turns out idiots who have not the foggiest idea what they are working on or what they have done.

when they called me in?

“really nice job.”

i was confident, poised, personable, and persuasive. i need to work on specifics (le duh) and frame my ideas more confidently and assertively (yes.) but they were, and i quote, impressed.

i freaking give up.

HOW DO I NOT HAVE ANY IDEA WHEN I AM GOOD AT THINGS?

my gosh.

it was an exhausting hour, but good heavens am i glad it’s over. it’s good to know that i still interview well. it’s good to know what to work on. it’s good to have had that experience, so that i know what to expect.

i just wish i had more confidence in me.

it feels like the truest thing i’ve written in ages. and i didn’t even try.

Posted in Uncategorized on December 10, 2008 by drbolte

from a message that i wrote to a friend, and then another message i wrote to a different friend, all from the past twelve hours:

…I sometimes think that the Lord works in mysterious and wonderful and awe-inspiring ways that I will never understand. I sometimes look at my life, at the person I am now compared to who I was before, and shake my head in wonder at how it all came to be that way.

And then I realize that I had nothing to do with it, and that it was all the Lord.

And then I’m really amazed. He has infinite faith in my potential. When I can’t see it, He does. He thinks that I am far more brave, awesome, and capable than I do. So He puts me in situations that I think I absolutely can’t handle, that I don’t feel ready for, that are calculated to teach and try and refine me. Sometimes I feel ready to buckle. Sometimes I feel ready to fall.

But I never do, if I’m letting Him carry me. That’s not to say that I don’t fail–heaven knows I do that too often–but when He’s carrying me, when I ask to be put in the hollow of His hand? I cannot fall, nor can I really ever fail permanently. Just the little failures (which though they seem huge at the time) that do all the work on me that He needs to have done. Smooth out the rough edges and knock away the chips on my shoulder. You know how it goes.

You may think that I’m talking about you, about what you have before you. I’m actually not, although I can see how you might see yourself in that scenario. That’s just what I thought of when I read your message. And I felt inclined to share.

Life is good and hard right now. Scary on a level that it hasn’t been in a while. Lots of things I don’t know about, lots of future I can’t foresee. I think you probably understand this far better than anyone else I know. For a while there, I trembled. Let it get the best of me. Thought the worst of myself and of what might happen. Let Satan chatter in my head as he so often likes to do.

I don’t tremble any more. I just repeat my constant prayer for peace and direction, and know that I am safe when I am traveling on the Lord’s paths. It’s weird. Awesome, in the truest sense of that word. Being led is wonderful, but you have to learn how to be a good follower. I think I am being taught that lesson. I am trying VERY hard to be a good student.

…i genuinely sometimes think that i will never figure these things out. but other times, times like now, i just have to CLING…and i literally do mean cling…to that which i know to be true. to the impressions that i have gotten that were so strong at the time. to the feelings of peace that at times are only memories, but even as memories are still powerful enough to pick me up and push satan out. i feel like that clinging is the strongest act of faith i can muster at times. sometimes i think it’s the hardest thing ever. because you’re not having that feeling of peace right then–you are remembering that answer that you got before. you are having faith that the answer is still the same, that the blessings are still in force, that the covenants you made have power to take you out of whatever trial you are in, or at least to help you weather the storm with grace and courage.

i think it’s powerful precisely because it’s so hard. i think it’s powerful because it’s taken me this long to figure out how to do it. i think it’s powerful because i am literally, every moment that i do it, placing myself in the Lord’s hands and asking Him to do with me what He will.

i’ve been giving lots of advice lately.  i do that a lot actually, though i find it fascinating lately that the advice i am giving ought really to be directed at me.

“is it scary? of course.  is it what you want to do?  yes?  then do it.  you’ll never be really ready.  just do it.  life is not about wondering ‘what if?’ that’s too hard.”

“you can do ANYTHING.  if you don’t believe it, believe me until you do.”

it’s so easy when it’s someone else.  it’s so easy when it’s not you, staring down the barrel of a future undefined, wondering where you’re going to go.  it’s so easy to see clearly for the people you know so well and love more.

for myself?  not so much.

i spoke a while back about feeling like i was walking in a fog. i think i still do feel that way, really, if i think about it, but maybe now i’m realizing that it’s a rather crowded fog. people are there who love me, support me, admire me,  have confidence in me.  most importantly, i have the hand of my Father who is leading me, ever so gently, down whatever path it is that i can’t see.  sometimes i forget He’s there.  sometimes i don’t know if i’m still on the path.  but if i ever lose my bearings, He reminds me that He’s there, and i try to just keep following.

i’m not sure that anyone else will understand what i mean.  perhaps this is just me speaking into a void because i need to speak the words that are true for me.  but if you, like me, are wondering where you’re going and what you’re going to do, if the fear that faces you sometimes seems calculated to knock you flat, know that i understand.  i really, truly, completely understand.

you’re not alone.

even though you feel like it, you’re not.

reach out and grab someone’s hand.  they’re all around you.

we just forget, that’s all.

you know you’re nearing the end of your grad school tenure when…

Posted in Uncategorized on December 9, 2008 by drbolte

…you put your backpack full of books from the library on your front seat, and your car thinks there’s a PERSON riding there, and turns off the airbag.

…you, in the course of “retyping” the paper that forms the basis of your next chapter, realize that you are a much better writer now. and can’t really fathom how that paper got you an a. and then you realize that’s WEIRD. who knew that writing a diss. would actually make you a BETTER writer?

…you have checked out the same book so many times that you pretty much can find its spot in the library blindfolded.

…you probably should be entirely and completely freaked out by your mock interview on thursday at 2 p.m. (pray for me!), but you have achieved a zen-like peace about the fact that they will likely give you constructive criticism that feels like red hot pokers under your fingernails…because that’s what grad school’s about, isn’t it?

…a whole host of professors are now starting to sign their FIRST NAMES to their emails, as if you are meant to someday not call them dr. so-and-so. as if you were somehow capable of thinking of yourself as their COLLEAGUE and not the first year phd student that they intimidated into submission during your first semester there.

…all you want for christmas is some interviews. and maybe some red shoes, but mainly interviews. INTERVIEWS. INTERVIEWS. INTERVIEWS.

with a bow on top.

and maybe a cookie.