Monday, December 6, 2010

Hip-hop apotamus

Done with Pharm, now on to studying Nutrition. Path Wednesday, then Parasit Thursday. I just need to make a 33% on everything to make a C - except Parasit, where I need twice that. Lol. I worked out today - it definitely helps soften the finals blues. I'm thinking about buying this book to help with training over the break. It helps you optimize your power:weight ratio to become a more efficient endurance athlete. I am going to be training for mountain bike marathons over the break and would like to become a total hoss.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Research Testing

I signed up to participate in an exercise physiology/nutrition research project that is looking at the effects of two supplements (creatine and alanine) on muscle and performance values. I started the testing on Tuesday. I went on main campus to the nutrition/kines building. They numbed up my thigh with lidocaine and then removed a pea-size piece of tissue. I really wanted to watch - I have a morbid curiosity about these things, and watched my own endoscopy once. However, I knew I would have to do it two more times so I did not watch, in the event that it would make me want to pass out next time. I'll wait until the 3rd and last session to test my luck.

The lidocaine shot was the worst part - akin to getting an intramuscular vaccine injection. They waited for the membrane stabilizing effects of lidocaine (I know, nerd alert) to kick in, then inserted a needle, and through it removed a small piece of my muscle tissue. That part just felt like a little pressure, much like when I had my wisdom teeth pulled (also under lidocaine). After that wore off, it just felt like I had done a hard leg workout and my muscles were sore, for about a day.

Josh texted me a few minutes later, asking about the flavor of "Kristen sushi." :)

Today, I went in for the exercise testing portion. I got a body scan to determine my body fat percentage, and they measured my total body water as well. It was 53% (which is pretty cool, since we learned in Phys that it's about 60%, which was only a theoretical number to me until today). Then I did the first exercise portion. I was on an exercise bike with a heart rate monitor and something like a scuba mask on, and my nostrils clamped shut, so I could only breathe out of my mouth. I had to keep a steady cadence of 70 rpm against a certain power (in watts) that increased every 5 minutes until I could no longer keep cadence (ie, muscle exhaustion). They also periodically checked my lactate levels by pricking m y finger. Apparently, my VO2 max is 46 ml/kg/min, which is high compared with averages in t he 20s for a female riding a bike.

The second part of exercise testing, I was also on the bike, but no heart rate monitor and no mask. I warmed up for 3 minutes, then sprinted for 30 seconds. I rested for 3 minutes, warmed up for a minute, then sprinted again for 30 seconds. This time my lactate and blood ammonia levels were both tested. The sprint was against a given resistance that was based on my body weight. It was pretty tough to move my legs at all
by the end of the 30 seconds.

All in all, the exercise kicked my butt! But I get to have so many cool data points at the end, and get to be part of an awesome study. So glad I decided to go for it!

I will end this one with:

Even upside down, you are still retarded.
And right side up you are beautiful.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Boopidae Boopidae

Tomorrow is the path exam. I have been fairly good at studying for it - I wish I could study this way for parasit. Maybe then I wouldn't fail...

There is this point in studying where we become delirious and start laughing at the dysfunctional piles of useless soup our brains have become. And I start to say boopidy boopidy, or, in the case of parasit, Boopidae Boopidae.

This all terribly bores Parka...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Back to civilization

So, I made it through my first year of vet school. I think my grades will end up as follows:

Anatomy: C
Physiology: C
Microbiology: C
Public Health: C
Neuroanatomy/Embryology: B
Clinical Correlates: A

Which is a far cry from first semester:

Anatomy: B
Physiology: B
Immunology: B
Histology: B
Professional Development: A
Clinical Correlates: A

But hey, I made it through the hardest 4 months of my life this semester, and I managed to learn a few things about myself - mostly regarding studying. For instance:

1. I hate studying. I just really hate it. There are other people in vet school that it doesn't bother. Some even enjoy it. But for me, it's like pulling teeth.

2. I learn better when I study in groups. I can't be lazy and sulk about how much I hate my life, instead of actually studying.

3. I hate studying even more under pressure. For example, cramming for a test.

Every semester since I began undergrad, I have told myself, I'm going to do all the things I'm supposed to do this semester. Pay attention in class. Review my notes every day. But in the past, I have always told myself I am doing it for better grades/to be more successful. So it always falls apart after about the third week in vet school, when I quit caring and go into survival mode. So next fall, I'm going to go about it from a different mental perspective. I'm going to review every day and be as engaged as possible. But I'm going to do it because I want to suffer less. I don't want to have to cram before every exam. Because although I may be unhappy studying, I'm even more unhappy studying under pressure. Additionally, I think if I keep on top of things, I might even be able to study less (in terms of total hours) because I will be reviewing instead of learning things twice. It will be so efficient!

Aside from being miserable for the last 9 months, I also gained 15 pounds. My goal is to lose that by the end of summer. The plan is Atkins - we'll see how it goes!

Sorry for such a depressing blog post, but that sums up my first year of vet school. One upside is that I made two friends who kept me from going off the deep end, and they are both back here with me in Austin. Also, being a vet student pretty much guarantees me a summer job, so I have two. I will be working at Banfield for the first half of the summer and at an emergency clinic the second half. I'm so excited to get out of textbooks and back in the field (with animals!). And actually have physical activity as well!

And of course, I'm in Austin, the promised land, with my amazing hippy husband and four lovely children. It doesn't get any better than this. :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

What we did in NY

I know I already metioned NY briefly, but I wanted to have an electronic list of our Manhattan trip so I can throw away paper... But then what if the Kindle apocalypse happens? Oh well. I'll still have the vague memories. (Note: The Kindle apocalypse is the theory that you should still have real books and not put everything on your Kindle, in case the government takes over and tries to control our literary pool of knowledge.)

  • Fly to NYC
Josh and Henri at La Guardia Airport

Henri atop Emily's apartment building
  • Eat dinner at Rock & Roll Thai (mmm sushi and Thai iced tea)
  • Walk Bailey in Central Park
  • Group run around Jackie O's Reservoir in Central Park (21 degrees F!!! and F doesn't stand for Farenheit)
  • NY Bagels at H&H
  • Fight Yankees at the Post Office
  • Dylan's Candy Store (real candy in the steps, cool but we had to evacuate because it was absolutely insanely packed)
  • NY Pizza for lunch (never fails to be awesome, but I always wish I had ranch to go with it!)
  • See the Ritz-Carlton Hotel (nightly room rates range from $1,000 to $14,000 but they allow ANY type of pet!)
Chandelier at the Ritz

  • Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Tower
  • the Broadway musical Billy Elliot (AMAZING!!!) at the Imperial Theater (where my uncle, a stagehand, once "performed" in Chess - there were moving stage parts and my uncle had to sit inside of one for 8 hours at a time - at least he had a TV)
Imperial Theater Chandelier
  • Dinner at the Cosmic Diner
  • Kristen turns 24 in NYC
  • Josh and Henri run (no Kristen and Emily, since we maintain sanity occasionally)
  • Shopping at H&M - why can't there be one in Austin? (Incidentally, H&M is a Finnish clothing company and the Finns view the store as akin to Wal-Mart clothing... They replace H & M with "Huono & Mauton" which translates to "Bad & Tasteless.")
  • Finally bought tights at a store called Strawberry Jam - only to find them cheaper at a Houston Target
  • Saw Cirque du Soleil's Wintuk at Madison Square Garden
  • Ate Indian food at the Tandoori Oven
  • Went to the Comic Strip comedy club
  • Family sang Happy Birthday badly to me :) and Em made me a delicious cake which I graciously shared
  • Woke up to SNOW!
  • Went shopping at Goodwill and found an awesome pea coat on tha cheapz
  • Walked through snowy Central Park
Pictures in Central Park
  • Museum of Natural History (left much to be desired...)
  • Dinner at Johnny Rockets (They were supposed to sing, but apparently we went to the wrong one. They did, however, have mini-jukeboxes at the table so you could commandeer the entire restaurant with your choice of music.)
  • Henri and I watched fireworks over a lake at Central Park. There was also a 5K starting right at midnight in the same place.
  • Kristen drank 2 shots and Long Island iced tea at local bars, followed by champagne and Irish cream at Em's. She rediscovered her relationship with the porcelain god.
  • Kristen recovered and Henri stayed with her, while Mom, Em, Josh and Haley went shopping in Union Square and the East Village, and saw the shopping cart escalator at Whole Foods.
  • A loooong airplane ride back home :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

The ties that bind

They're always present
But they may float us or tether us down
Keep us apart or together
I'm not sure where I'm at right now
Transparent windows blur the edges
I feel red and blue.
I can hear you.
I want you to be free,
To unleash dangerous beauty
But I'm a criminal framed
And too many others have broken glass
So let the judgement be,
I don't think it can be me
Whoever sets you free.
I can't give bravery.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Back to reduced chaos

I started off the day seeing my children, as my wonderful husband and mother retrieved them from doggy boarding. I was extremely relieved to see that Ender had not ripped off any nails or broken teeth attempting to escape from her cell. So now Henri will more readily agree to boarding them.

New York was a great trip. Not perfect, of course - mom and Henri had a few battles, but it was all okay in the end. We went to visit my cousin and best friend, Emily, in her new Manhattan apartment. She just graduated nursing school and landed a job at one of the top hospitals in the US as a pediatric ICU nurse, because she's a badass. So Em and her fiance rented an apartment on the upper East side (right before it gets scary). I was really impressed that all 7 of us fit in that tiny apartment. Manhattan is a crazy place. Affordable apartments are tiny, and it's akin to the dorm life, except that your neighbors aren't as friendly. It's unrealistic to have a car, but my subway experience has been positive. We only had one scary experience, and it involved my big camera that I shouldn't have been flashing around. These two men nearby were acting really sketchy, so we switched subway cars and they didn't follow. Lucky for them, I didn't hafta get cruuunkkk H-town style :P

Obligatory NYC Subway Pictures
Josh doing what Josh does best - giving us all a heart attack
It's definitely a lifestyle I could adjust to, if I really had to, if there was a really great job in Manhattan, etc. But at this point in my life, I am just a little too spoiled by my two room duplex with a backyard and the winter temperature range of 65-75 F.

The highlights of the trip were:
  • Billy Elliot, a musical on Broadway about a kid growing up in a coal mining town who wants to become a ballet dancer. It was the first musical for Henri to see, and he was amazed - which is a difficult thing to make happen for him. He's quite the skeptic analyst. But the stagehand work, music, and vocal and dancing talent were all up to his standards. My heart goes out to the kids in that show - most 8-12 year olds can barely get their homework done, much less deliver a stunning Broadway performance.
  • The Comic Strip, a comedy club on the upper east side, and one of the places where Jerry Seinfield started out. My favorite part of the night was when one of the comedians said, "I've been missing Lil Wayne since he went to jail, he was the source of a lot of good material." Someone from the crowd: "Actually, he won't be in prison until February." Comedian: "What are you, Lil Wayne's attorney?" Same person: "Well, one of them." Haha, it was the only time I saw any performer that night at a loss for words. What are the odds? Of course, I also got harassed since it was my birthday and my lovely family members weren't willing to keep it a secret. He asked me what my occupation was and I told him I was going to vet school, which prompted questions about rectal examinations. Lovely. My mother also got harassed. One of the comedians was telling the audience, after a joke that went over most people's heads, "You know, you guys have to KNOW some things in order to laugh at my jokes. Otherwise, I'm just a black man dancing in front of a bunch of bricks. And you're sitting there thinking, ooh, those are nice colored bricks... cinnamon?" My mom found this last part hilarious, chuckled loudly and then repeated "cinnamon." Of course, that got her some attention. And when asked whether she liked her son-in-law, she paused a realll long time before answering "yeeeahhh." Comedian: "So, I guess he wasn't your first choice?" Lol.
  • For New Year's, Henri and I walked to Central Park to watch the fireworks. There was also a 5K run that started at the very first second of the new year. What a great way to start off the new year - with a run. We were content just to watch, however,
  • We did go running in Central Park. When it was 21 degrees. Crazy? Yes. Fun? Maybe. Worth it? Definitely.
Em and I running around Jackie O's reservoir in Central Park
Fireworks in Central Park

It was a fantastic trip, and I'm sure I'll have a few more things to share. But it's always good to come back home, back to chaos.