Category: Uncategorized

The hour countdown, workout lately, Seattle Art Museum

So Ive had a HUGE emotionally draining, up-and-down, quarter-life crisis kinda week. Yes, Im finishing graduate school. No, I dont have a job. I am happy Im finishing graduate school but, as of tomorrow, I am no longer a student. This is my identity. It always has been. People ask, What do you do? Response: Im a student. School was always the basis of my decisions. People ask, Why did you move to Seattle? Response: For graduate school. School was my life. It had to be. Ahhhh. Who am I now?!?!? Ive always had a flair for the dramatic
Quite emotional.

So happiness shall we?

#1. The hour countdown. So tomorrow, at 10:30 Pacific time, I will hand in my environmental health final. Ill be done. I will hold a Master of Public Health and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington. It is bitter-sweet. I am no longer a student. I love being a student. That said, HOLY COW!!! I have a MPH and MPA from a top programs in the country. Ive spent hours crying out of frustration and failure. I called my mom crying more time than I would ever admit. Ive said no to just about every social event in the last 2.5 years. Ive been homesick. Ive been frugal. Ive learned, Ive conquered, and Ive GROWN more than I can even express. Ive been independent. SWEET JESUS. I have been so blessed! See. My Google Homepage cover doesnt lie.

#2. Workouts lately. So this weeks workouts were pretty good. Except for the last miles of todays run. More on that in a sec. I added another 15 mins of water jogging in on Thursday (in addition to Monday) because Im really liking it. Heres how it went down for the week:
Sunday: Easy 8 miles because I thought I was getting sick (I never really did) 8:31 minute/mile average (faster than I thought I was going)
Monday: 50 minutes elip, 20 mins water jogging, 15 mins arms
Tuesday: 5 mile treadmill speed drills. I dont remember the details but it worked out to 5 miles in 40 mins. 20 mins elip, 15 mins legs
Wednesday: 7 mile group run. I found a speedy running partner. Please note those two miles that were sub 8:00 minute/mile. I had NO clue I was going that fast (it was dark) but Im certain I was carrying on a conversation! Cool. I also did some abs.

Thursday: Stair mill, elip, water jogging; 15 mins arms
Friday: 7 mile solo run 8:19 minute/mile average + 15 mins abs
Saturday: 55 minute spinning. It was a sub so I automatically thought it would be easy and sucky. But it was really challenging and awesome!
Sunday: 10 miles (yah double digits!) So this run started out pretty great. It was nasty outside but I managed several dry, but cold, miles. But the wind was intense! And I got a side stitch. I have never, ever gotten a side stitch. Well, I did in high school. I had to stop (hence the stopped time) and contemplated googling it on my phone to see what to do. I didnt. I think it was the wind that was messing with my breathing. I just got through it.


3. Seattle Art Museum. So yesterday I finally visited the Seattle Art Museum. This was the second time since September that I took a break from school longer than for a run. The only other time I spent away from my books this year was in November when I had a friend here. One of my only friends in Seattle is moving home to Boston!! So sad!!! But we went to check out the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) and it was really awesome. I REALLY like museums and they are such a treat! SAM has an exhibit on the artist Paul Gauguin. I highly recommend it. It includes an audio tour so I learned a ton about the paintings, Gauguin, and Polynesian culture. He was a French Post-Impressionist artist whose work was inspired by his travels in Polynesia. I loved his stuff.

Well. I think Im done studying for my last final. I probably should study more. But Im not going to. What I AM going to do is get to bed early, get a good workout in to wake up in the morning, and finish this graduate school thing.

Questions for you: What is the best museum youve ever been to?? My favorite was the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. Hands down. What are your biggest accomplishments? Mine are graduate school and my marathons.


La Isla, Great Harvest Bread, Flowers

Why hello there. Yes, I finished my final. Yes, Im done. Nice. I spent yesterday and today looking for/applying for jobs. Nothing is biting. Ive applied for so many (42!) and naaaada. Anyone know any really cool people working in public health or health policy that would like to do an informational phone interview?? I REFUSE to be passive about looking for a job. So, informational interviews = networking. And I enjoy them! Social contact is cool. Seriously. Hook me up!

Anyway. Yesterday was a rough day. Part of the reason was that I was frustrated at myself for not being in the best mood since I FINISHED TWO GRADUATE DEGREES. But I was crabby and sad. Today was much better. I am much happier/positive today. So here are some things that I think helped with my mood!

#1. La Isla. La Isla is a Puerto Rican restaurant in the Ballard neighborhood in Seattle. My aunt was in town for business so she wanted to take me out for dinner. OKAY! Dont have to ask me twice! I had my little heart set on the salmon. Seriously. I was dreaming about it. We got there and they were out of salmon. Period. Out. WTF? In 2.5 years living in Seattle Ive gone out to eat about 10 times so when I get to go out, I mean business. I was one sad girl. BUT I had the ceviche picante. I love ceviche! I had it in South America so it isnt the best Ive ever had. BUT it was pretty dang good. I do recommend this restaurant although it initially added to my crabby pants.

#2. Great Harvest Bread. Great Harvest is right next to La Isla soooo I got some. It is one of my favorite foods. It is pricy and really annoying for me to get using the bus so it is rare I have any. It is so amazing. I freeze half (it freezes great) so that it doesnt get dry since it is just me eating (mahaha). The best! I enjoyed it with some of my other favorite things: peanut butter, Pink Lady apple, tea, and a book. Guys, Im not a student anymore : )

#3. Flowers. I love my mom and dad. They are amazing. Like seriously. They have their faults (believe me, my teenage self pointed out every one of their faults) but I cant imagine any two people being more supportive of me. They really dont understand me (they dont have college degrees, they arent passionate about physical activity, not super interested in healthy foods, cant figure out my type A planning tendencies) but its taken me 26 years to be okay with that they dont understand me. My mom, dad, and sister are very similar and I am very different. This will always be a point of contention. I appreciate their unfaltering support even more since we are so different. They rarely question anything I do. Granted, I dont do that many crazy things Run a marathon? Sure!! Theyll be there. Spend an insane amount of money living in Seattle and going to graduate school. Okay! Get some loans! Travel in South America for 6 weeks? Have fun! Apply to 40 jobs in two months? Yes, just send them to mom for proofing. They are the best.

Your turn: are you similar to your parents? Have you ever been SO EXCITED for a meal at a restaurant only to find out they didnt have it that night??

The alphabet thing

For a change of pace Im going to do this thingy that has been going around on blogs. Enjoy

A is for age: 26 years old. I feel old but young. But old, mostly. It really bothers me when I watch the really old Friends episodes and they are like 26. That makes me feel old.

B is for breakfast today: Greek Yogurt, Cocoa almond butter [crack] from Rebecca, a chocolate banana protein muffin from Trader Joes, 1/4 cup oats Yog and oats mixed together the night before and almond butter + muffin mixed in before eating.

C is for currently craving: The weather from the midwest. The weather in Seattle SUCKS. Lots of rain, below average temps (40s!) and wind. Sweet Lord. Busted out the sun lamp today. If you are in a place with nice weather, I dont even want to hear about it.

D is for dinner tonight: Wheatberries, chickpeas, spinach, tomato paste w/ olive oil (really want tomato sause but did NOT want to go out in the rain again), Trader Joes smoked gouda (my treat for the week) plus a lot of roasted veggies left over from my previous dinners from the week. An milk, always milk. This is my vision at least.

E is for favorite type of exercise: Running! Usually.

F is for an irrational fear: I hate birds.

G is for gross food: Red meat (its the smell of it cooking cant eat it), wonder bread, most candy (too sweet), all pop (aka soda), spiced rum

H is for hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota

I is for something important: Finding a JOB!!!

J is for current favorite jam: I never know who sings things!!! Im a pandora junkie and just never look at the artists. I know, I know. Somebody That I Used to Know from Gotye seems to always be in my head lately. I like it.

K is for kids: Nada. Well I am pretty fond of the fur babies at my parents house. Kodi the cat and Mac the puppers

L is for current location: Seattle Washington in reality. In my head, anywhere else.

M is for the most recent way you spent money: Hmmm a cup of coffee (a treat!) at a coffee shop with a friend last Tuesday

N is for something you need: A JOB

O is for occupation: Unemployed (sad not a graduate student. enter mid-life crisis)

P is for pet peeve: When several people go for walks and block the entire path!!! Hello people!!! When people walk into rooms (or buses!) and opens windows assuming everyone is hot. Ive got more where that comes from

Q is for a quote: I read them, love them, and cant remember them

R is for random fact about you: I dont have any cousins. This always makes me sad.

S is for favorite healthy snack: Spoonful of peanut butter

T is for favorite treat: 100% dark chocolate and really fancy cheese. Salmon.

U is for something that makes you unique: I have no idea Not one thing about me is unique I dont think. I moved to Seattle without knowing anyone. Im proud of that and Im sure many people have done that.

V is for favorite vegetable: Ahhhh dont make me choose!!! I love them all. There isnt a veggie I dont love. Okay, Ill choose: Kabocha squash and sweet potatoes.

W is for today’s workout: Stair mill Tabata intervals (killer!!), 30 mins ski-type elip, 15 mins arms (one month later the swelling between my wind pipe and ribs in my chest is FINALLY all better so hello benchpress knock on wood), and 15 mins of water jogging. That was a lot but it was feeling so good to take my time (no more school) and listen to my body! And I didnt want to go back in the rain or do the job search thaaaang

X is for X-rays you’ve had: Lots. I dont remember. My wrist and figure for sure because Ive broke them both. My knee, ankles more probably

Y is for yesterday’s highlight: Hmmm I have no idea. I ran with my running group and that was good (I even woke up at 5:15 to run even though I had no where to be and nothing to do but job research). I went to the library!! YES!
Z is for your time zone: Pacific. I hate this time zone. I feel so behind in life all the time. Im not joking. We dont get the Today Show until THREE hours later!
Thats all folks. My wheatberries are about dunzo.

10 miles, flowers, clean apt

How is everyone today?? To be honest, I am a negative, negative Nancy Emily. Bleh. My SAD (Season Affective Disorder) is in full force (being stuck at home jobless makes it A LOT easier to sit in front of my sun lamp!!!) and having no schedule is no good for me. Blech. I have been really productive (workouts, cleaning, job applying, informational interviews, reading) but it is a mental battle and exhausting. Major blah. It doesnt help that most of the country has had record heat for several days. Sorry. Had to get that out.

But that is why it is important to identify some good things. So here are three wonderful happy things.

1. 10 miles. I ran ten 10 miles on Sunday in the rain. But it never is so bad once I get going. REMEMBER THIS SELF!!! The whole time I was running I was thinking that I felt out of shape. 10 miles felt HARD. But looking at the times, that is because I was running pretty fast miles. Well kinda. This time last year I set my half-marathon PR of somewhere like 47 mines. I didnt train for it really. It just happened. I think my negative attitude is sucking everything out of me. I didnt get a side stitch like last weeks 10-miler. So that is good!!!! My legs are SORE today weird. They usually arent so sore after running. Go figure. But good times, I like them!

2. Flowers. My mom and dad sent me flowers last week. I LOVE getting flowers. Oh my god. Seriously. SO HAPPY.

3. Clean apt. The funny thing about me and cleaning is that I actually enjoy it once I get going but it is really hard for me to get going! Saturday I dominated my apartment!!! YES. Pretty. Kinda blurry phone pic but trust me. Its clean!!! Except for the shower. For another day!

Im off to cook some dinner. My vision: quinoa, roasted asparagus + broc + kale + squash + zucchini, smoked gouda, topped with two over-easy eggs. Makes me feel French when I eat like that. I enjoy feeling French.

Tell me something that is good in your world that DOES NOT involve the weather.

Recovering legs, Pandora, Service Dogs

Hello! I am much more chipper today. Phew. It is sunny out and less windy than the last couple days and the forecast isnt so negative. MAJOR PHEW!!!! I HATE that I let the weather impact my life so much. Seriously. It is so silly, really. Something I need to continue working on. So here is some random happiness!

#1. Recovering legs. Dear legs, why do you hate me? I thought we had a good relationship. No real training 26-30 miles a week. Turns out my 10 miles kicked my butt!!! Funny because I ran a similar 10 miles the week before. In fact, my 10 miles two weeks ago was one second faster (thanks Garmin). Same route. Similar weather. So when Tuesday rolled around (my speed work day) my legs laughed at me. I opted for a seven mile non-watch slooooow run instead. And guess what!!!! I was sore throughout the day but by evening (after some walking errands) they felt a little more normal. So this morning I ran with my usual Wednesday group. And it felt waaaay better. Let me stress, I am feeling no pain. Just heavy and tired. Some something I wouldnt expect from pretty easy miles. I need new shoes. That will help. Here are my miles from today:

I ran the first lake lap with faster people and the second with slower people so hence the positive splits. Felt more normal but LOTS of foam rolling in the next could days. This gal has no insurance so NO INJURIES!!!! < my dad would probably lecture me for the rest of my life.

#2. Pandora. I love Pandora. I listen to NPR during the day a lot but Pandora is so pleasant. I am loving the Bon Iver station. Do it. Youll like it. I also like Black-eyed Peas and Lady Gaga for running and the Beatles, Wicked (yup, the musical), the Postal Service and Brandi Carlile for the rest of life.

#3. Service Dogs. Can we just stop and consider the awesome things dogs can do??? I mean how can a dog be trained to see for a human or sense when someone is going to have a seizure? Today on the Today Show they did a segment on a dog that has been trained to carry a little girls oxygen tank so she can have a more normal life. It is an amazing story and the dog and little girl are SO DANG CUTE!!!! Check it

So tell me: tips for recovering from runs (and life?), favorite pandora stations or any new artists I should know about (I have a lot of alone time in my apartment these days), and what is the coolest thing youve ever heard a dog trained to do?

Ive gotta make some lunch (my vision: corn/wheat tortilla from TJs, lentils (from a can), avocado, olive hummus from TJs (I HATED olives until about last week and now I cant get enough) heated on my George Foreman +++ carrots, jicama, red pepper on the side for some CRUNCH. And then an informational interview!!! WOOOO networking!!!! AND it is NOT raining so Im actually looking forward to going outside.

NEW shoes (!!), Hungry Planet, City views

Hello. Happy Monday to the world. I am establishing an unemployed routine that is quite similar to my previous Im-so-busy-I-cant-function routine with a couple changes. Im still getting up early to work out. For example, today I was at the gym by six. It is hard to get out of bed but I know that is the way I am happiest over all. Maximizing my overall utility, economics anyone? Plus, I am trying really, really hard to give myself things to do (simulate the busy life) so I dont get too down. Plus workouts ALWAYS make me happier. Then I followed up my workout with the library for some cover letter writing and an op-ed for a local professional magazine. But here are the changes. I will probably head home around 3:30 (not 7:30) to do a little job applying from home and do some novel-reading. Oh and Im blogging during the day. Goal = balance.

So some happiness for your Monday!

#1. NEW shoes. I bought new shoes!!! Note to self: I wore them March 24th so replace accordingly from that date. Im thinking my poor leg recovery could be due to old shoes. Easy solution. I tested them on a 10 miler yesterday and ticked a few seconds off my previous Sunday 10-milers. But I FELT better. I FEEL better today too. Ive been running (and fitted for) Asics GT-2170 for a couple of years. I love them. No lost toenails or nasty blisters over here. I have custom-made inserts too. Not sure why anyone would really care : )

#2. Hungry Planet. So one of the things Im going to do while Im unemployed is see some of Seattle. Yup. Three years havent seen much of Seattle. So I went over to the Burke Museum (it is actually ON the University of Washington campus and free for students so I am not sure what my excuse not to check it out earlier was) to see their exhibit Hungry Planet: What the World Eats. Heres a description from the website: Based on the book of the same title by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio, this exhibit explores food traditions around the world through photographs of ten families at home, at the market, and surrounded by a week’s worth of groceries. Additional content examines a myriad of food issues in the 21st century, from sustainable farming to cultural survival. Whoa. This seems to combine all of my interests of culture, food, and culture + food. And health. I like that too. It was a small (so not overwhelming) exhibit that I highly recommend for anyone in the area.

#3 City views. Im a city girl. Dont get me wrong, nature stuff is really cool but there is something about skyscrapers that takes my breath away. I feel at HOME in cities. I feel SAFE in cities. If Im feeling homesick, all I have to do is find a skyline. My aunt was in Seattle for business again so we had a little adventure yesterday. We went grocery shopping (wooooo for not having to carry groceries home in the rain!) and out to eat. We went to Betty (it is in the Queen Anne neighborhood about half mile away from the Space Needle for anyone visiting Seattle soon) and I had the chicken dish. Now, this is VERY unlike me. I dont enjoy meat much so I rarely think it sounds like the best thing on the menu (aka my only ordering criteria) but chicken spoke to me last night. And it came with KALE (CANT GET ENOUGH). And about a whole clove of roasted garlic. Okay anyway. Good dining experience. Buuuut we checked out the view of Seattle from Kerry Park. And my heart melted.

101 posts, cherry blossoms, salmon!!

Happy Thursday! For all you working peeps it is almost the weekend!!! For me, it is just another day of cover letters and job searching. Oh and rain. Lots of rain. But this is about HAPPINESS. Lets go!

#1. 101 posts. This is my 101st post. Thats cool and all Ive got to say about that.

#2. Cherry blossoms. DC isnt the only place for cherry blossoms! The University of Washington campus has a beautiful area covered in them. I havent been to DC to see the cherry blossoms so I cant make any comparisons BUT they sure are pretty. Note: this picture was NOT taken today!! The clouds cleared a bit last week and I went on an adventure so enjoy the sun.

#3. Salmon. I LOVE salmon. So I jumped on a livingsocial deal for salmon from the famous Pike Place Fish Market. Yes. The place where they throw fish. And yes. They do. Perhaps you remember them from the opening of Real World Seattle? Or seen them in employee training materials?? Well they are famous. So I bought some fish! SALMON!! Salmon is my favorite food. Well one of them. BUT specifically when my dad grills salmon. And sushi. Well I bought some and grilled it on my George Foreman. Dad does a better job. And I bought smoked salmon jerky!!! Sounds bizarre and Ive never had any kind of other jerky. But I LOVE IT. It is so flavorful. Im not sure I would have salmon jerky that is processed and mass-produced but this is REALLY fresh and no weird chemical stuff.

Thats all I got! Im going to read Evening is the Whole Day. I have been reading like crazy (and limiting my mindless TV). If you are on (and you should be) find me! Im ekoebnick.

Has anyone seen the DC cherry blossoms?!?!? Are they fabulous or tourist headache?? Have you had salmon jerky??

Hello 2011

My intentions are to post a couple things that made me happy since the last time Ive posted. Since this is my first post I will say welcome to my journey to happiness. You will get to know me better as I go, I promise.

My family makes me happy. I am having a hard day. You see, I am living in a certain city in the Pacific Northwest going to school and my family is in a certain northern Midwest city. When ever I come back from being home (I was home for a week for Christmas) I fall into a funk. I dont like the quiet of my apartment or the loneliness of running errands. Ive been here for a year and a half and rarely does a day go by that Im not homesick. I miss my parents, younger sister, cat and dog constantly. We are not the perfect family. We fight, we yell, we push each others buttons but I think it is all because we do love each other. I am very different from my family and that makes it hard. They dont always understand me and I dont always understand them. However, this blog is about the things that make me happy. If I didnt have such a great family I wouldnt be homesick or so lonely for them. My daily phone calls to my mom keep me sane.

Some other things that made me happy today: the SUN, eating oatbran in bed, new running shoes, house hunters international, and clean sheets.

Thats all for now. Classes start again tomorrow and I have a todo list that includes laundry, meal prep, pizza making

snail mail

Several things made me happy yesterday.

First, snail mail. I received a card from a friend and a Starbucks Card (!!) because she knows Ive had a really rough last couple week. I have had a never ending cold, a degree project (aka thesis) and other classes and it was soooo bad for awhile. She said she was proud of me! It meant so much. Im sure that Starbucks Card will make me happy again when I spend it!

Second, the fact that my mom was willing to proof a degree project (aka thesis for other graduate programs) that is 65 pages of text. Yes. 65 pages. She was on the phone with me telling me to make words plural and add commas. Seriously. So much patience its amazing

Third, I had a really good class. I really like school. Really I do. Especially when I admire my professors and classmates as much as I do. We were goofy tonight (call if end of the quarter lack of focus) and laughed a lot and I think sometimes that what we need.

Goodbye Mr. Degree Project and hello other classes

So on Thursday I submitted my degree project to my adviser. I think it is in final form it better be in final form!!! I still have to present the findings in a panel on Thursday buuuut I wrote it!!! Huuuuzzzah. In my graduate program a Degree Project is like a thesis. I focused my project on childhood obesity in the Latino community in King County. FYI King County is the county that includes Seattle. Basically it is a review of all the policies, programs, and organizations in King County that help prevent childhood obesity. Degree projects (and a thesis Im sure!) are quite the journey. I spent roughly 15-40 hours per week on this baby since February. I shed many a tear, made myself sick with stress, and became extremely unbalanced human being. AND IM DONE!!! So YES this makes me happy, happy, happy!!

So now that Im done with my degree project it turns out I have other classes! HUH!! Luckily I only have a take home exam (due Wednesday), a community engagement recommendations writing assignment (due Monday), and group editing for a Health Impact Assessment for a King County transit project. Doable. Completely doable. PHEW!

Last night my graduate program held a prom aka an end of the year CELEBRATION! It was great to see everyone outside of class! Here I am, no glasses and with make-up! I was exhausted but managed to get a ride (I dont have a car ) home nice and early instead of having to take the bus or calling a taxi. When people offer me rides home I am sooo thankful!!!!This morning I still got up for spinning. I only go to spinning on Saturdays because I am a runner (training for my second marathon starts tomorrow!) but I LOVE a good spinning session! HOT and SWEATY thank you very much!!! I followed spinning with paper writing at Starbucks using this baby:

No cash needed! A-Plus!

And then it happened I got back to my apartment for a nice shower and it turns out the sewer pump isnt working!! NOT GOOD! I live in a studio in the basement of a house. Think flooding bathroom, no shower, alarms (carbon dioxide and sewer overflow) and me running around naked trying to shut the alarms up!! It is slightly hard to make this into a positive experience but heres my best shot. My landlord worked for hours to make the pump functional enough that I dont have to go to a hotel! The sewer backup could have been MUCH WORSE! Really the flooding was minor and I didnt need a shower THAT bad! And it is actually warm out (Seattle has had an awful spring) so I can have the windows open without freezing so the smell of the sewer isnt awful. Currently I have to manually plug in the pump after I use water. So I am really paying attention to the water I use to limit the need for the pump! Gee I use a lot of water! This is a good lesson in the things (water) we take for granted.

The rest of my day consisted of:

Attempting productivity outside. Sun > productivity on stressful days full of poop (rarely can I be so literal with poop references)

And eating outside!! Nicest day of spring so I ate outside! Usually I dont feel like I should eat outside since I live in the basement of the house and I sorta feel like it is the owners space to enjoy. BUT I just so happen to know he is at a concert soooo I ate on the deck. Was lovely.