Wednesday, April 30, 2008


And life just keeps rolling along! I am really working hard and making some progress. I have many irons in the fire at the moment and I really need to stay focused. This is actually probably good, at least to keep me heading in the right direction.

I am working to fine tune my research interest to a manageable idea. It seems to me that the school of nursing assumes that you are a PhD, prior to you being one. At least that is what the expectations seem to me. They are not really "teaching" me to be a PhD, it is as if I need to learn it on my own. There are only so many hours in the day folks and that makes it very difficult to figure out what they expect and how they expect it when I am in many ways clueless. I just need to accept this fact and do everything in my power to make it all happen.

The roommate moves in on Sunday. I am feeling a bit nervous about it, but then, I suppose that my last experience doesn't help alleviate those fears!

Monday, April 28, 2008


I am getting sooo much done! I love that feeling. It is a good thing too, since I have so much to GET done. Mostly working on the research, I also have my program plan in the mix and preparing for a room mate.

So a long night ahead as well as the morning. I have a recruiting meeting to attend to try to get some nurses to help collect data for the research, so I need to prepare for that, among a few other things.

I saw an accountant today and "whew" I am actually going to get a refund on my federal taxes. I will owe for the state, but, damn, that was scary, since I took a good portion of my retirement last year, I thought that I would eat it big time. I don't know what I owe the state yet, hopefully not much.

Ok, so life goes on. I continue to get past the drama of late and hope that I learned enough from it to at least avoid chaos in the future.

Hopefully all is well with you all!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I am so lucky!

My friend Ernest called to see if I wanted to go see "Shine the Light" it is a movie about the Rolling Stones. It was awesome! Then we had a drink and just talked. It is always great to talk with him, he is an amazing person.

I interviewed my new roommate. He passed the mustard and will move in probably next weekend. I am a little nervous about sharing the space, but I do feel good about it too. No doubt that the financial assistance will relieve some stress. Hopefully I won't exchange that stress for something more. It doesn't seem that way at this point. Although anytime you share space with someone, it is bound to have some stress involved.

Tomorrow is a LOT of work on the research project. FOCUS is the name of the game for me this summer.

I do hope that you are all doing well, I for sure am much better than I was a week or two ago. Center......I just need to keep my center over the course of this degree. I can not afford this much drama every term!



The first year of doctoral school is finished. All the grades are in and I am in good standing. Allow me to just say......................................FUCK ME!!!!! Holy Mother of God. That was by all accounts NOT fun!!! But it is over, it is in the books and now I move on. This summer is going to be a good one for me as far as gaining ground goes.

Financially, It is difficult as well. I am interviewing a roommate today. Yes, I do remember my roommate experience which is why one of my friends will be in on the interview with me. I am actually interviewing a 35 year old male to be my roommate. Strange but true. I get along better with men (he gets along better with women) so, we shall see. Another reason why my friend is going to be here, he knows the male species better and since I am such a trusting soul, he will be better able to discern if there might be a problem. This will greatly assist me in the financial department.

All things considered. I am breathing and that is a good sign.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I have not felt good all day after a visit to the dentist and an odd reaction to Novocain. It just wiped me out.

I cleaned out my 3 email accounts and deleted over 2500 messages! I still have some work to do with the remaining emails (organizing them into folders) but that was enough for one day!

I have 3 of my 4 grades and those 3 are all B's or better, so far so good!

Working on the research project code book and data base for the rest of the evening and all day tomorrow. I meet with my prof tomorrow and hope to have a complete data base to show her.

Other than that, not much processing going on, just sort of riding the wave at the moment. I hope all is well with each of you.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008



1. close or warm friendship; "the absence of fences created a mysterious intimacy in which no one knew privacy"
2. a sexual relationship
3. a feeling of being intimate and belonging together; "their closeness grew as the night wore on"

Thanks to my friend "B" I am learning what the true definition of intimacy is. There are many ways to be intimate aside from being sexual. There are many ways to share your soul with someone. I love learning new things!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I wish I could say that I am processing all of this, but it just isn't coming. It may not be time to really process it yet.

I accomplished a lot on the personal front today. The apartment got cleaned, I organized a lot of stuff. Then I had dinner with a friend, which was so fun. Now I am just chilling. I did check in with my party friends to see about meeting up with them, but they are all out of town, which is probably a really good! There is probably something that I should do, but I am certain it will be there tomorrow for me.

Tonight, I am just grateful.

No ending, just beginnings

It does not feel as if it is ending, just all beginning again. I have 2 appointments first thing this morning. Then I have a bunch of phone calls to make to set up more appointments. Today I am hoping to clean the apartment and organize around here a bit. I am having dinner with a friend and today is my ONE day "down". Tomorrow begins a huge push to write a few papers, set up orientation for the research study, finish creating the code book for the research, create the data base from the code book, work on my proposal for my pilot study AND finish up my program plan. (which consists of finding 4 PhD level courses in another program for me to take (like social work, public health, etc.)

I should remind myself, 4 classes did end, that is an ending. I have 2 classes this summer, one goes until the end of July the other is only a month long (every day for a month) and is the month of June. So for May, I only have one class.

I am pretty much numb at this point. I hope to start feeling again so I can get introspective.

Its only just begun :o)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Lets begin with this......

"I will always have fears, but I need not be my fears, for I have other places within myself from which to speak and act."

~ Parker J. Palmer

I went into the last exam very proud of myself for how much I studied, how good I felt I knew the information and the exam was much different then the Prof had implied. I studied all of the wrong stuff. Fuck me. I am fairly certain that I passed it, but I wanted to come out of there feeling as if I had aced it. Not so much.

I then arrived home to an email from my Philosophy Prof, who said "I have to say I think you are clearly a very strong person - maybe you have been too strong for your own good in some ways? " Perceptive isn't he? Too bad the school of nursing is not so perceptive! But that made me feel good and led me to the quote above, reminded me of something that in all of this I had forgotten.

More to come.

This is it

Wish me luck. On my way to study at a park or somewhere in nature. Exam at 3pm. First exam is complete. I feel fairly good about it.

Peace out.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Last Push

The last push for the term. 2 final exams. Tomorrow at 5pm it will be over (in essence, I still need to see about one class that I may need to take an incomplete in) It all starts again on Tuesday. Although classes don't begin until the first of May, I am doing my thesis research this summer as well as coordinating a research project and that has all started. I also have the Yale paper to write and a plethora of personal items (like taxes) to accomplish. I could use a break however I am not going to get one.

I am feeling pretty good about the exams, but I still have tonight and tomorrow morning. Thus. The last push.

Wish me luck.

Tomorrow night I will process much of my inner personal stuff. You will get at least a piece of it, if it is too ooey gooey I might have to edit for you.....:o)


Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Dalai Lama

mmmmm. Nice. Not ground breaking enlightening, but peaceful. One of the monks did some chanting, which always speaks deeply to my soul. The Dalai Lama is very human and has a wonderful presence. I went to both sessions today and will attend the morning session tomorrow. The afternoon session is the free one on sustainability and I was unable to snag a ticket to that one. Probably a good thing as I really do need to study! Richard Gere sat in the front row and did prostrations at the end (he may have done them at the beginning, but I wasn't paying attention, I was busy doing my own bowing. I just thought it was very cool that he is who he is, and he was doing prostrations.

I am writing my Philosophy exam tonight (I hope I can complete it tonight) then tomorrow is concentrated study time for my data analysis final on Monday.

I have so much more to say, and simply no time to say it. More tomorrow night.

I bow to each of you my friends, for wading through all of this with me. I know that since I moved to Ann Arbor last July, I have had a lot of drama and crisis and even chaos. One thing that is very apparent to me. The life transition that it was to move here was huge and that has been discussed here already, but what I didn't pay a lot of attention to was the fact that I had intention to change more than where I lived and what I did professionally, I had intention to change ME, my life. In order to really effect change in our lives, sometimes it takes tearing down the old life and creating a more solid foundation then was there previously. That is a painful process, and a frightening one. I think it should be no surprise that this is the place I find myself at the moment. One thing that Richard Gere said last night, was that doing what we are called to do, is not an easy thing. It takes MUCH effort. He said, "to say that I could become the Dalai Lama by thinking about it every once in a while is absurd" That spoke volumes to me. I never thought that getting a PhD was going to be easy, particularly at the University of Michigan, however I don't think I knew exactly what the cost was going to be, and the reality of it is, I need to put forth more effort. Because my true goal here is to help decrease suffering for those who are dying in our country. Getting a PhD will give me the tools to be able to work towards that goal. Richard Gere said that something that he keeps near his meditation place is a statement, (I might not remember it exactly, but it is something like this) Everything hangs on the tip of motivation. I need to dig deep and find my motivation........

Again, I bow to each of you, thank you for caring about me and coming to read all of is so nice to know that there are people who care enough to read me, even when I am flopping around like a fish out of water :o)

Good Stuff

I am making my way back to center. I really wish I had time to write my long introspective post. Such good stuff.

I am embarking on a weekend that is going to leave a mark on my life. Last night I went to a discussion with Richard Gere, Bobby McFerrin, Phil Glass, and a local lama. The discussion was on Buddhism and Art. More specifically Spirituality and Art. It was amazing. Richard Gere was amazing. Bobby McFerrin was amazing. I went with my (VERY) Platonic friend "E" who is one of the most spiritual men I have ever met. After the discussion we wanted to avoid the parking structure fiasco so we walked to a local bar and had a couple of drinks and digested the discussion a bit. He is an artist himself only has not been creating so much lately due to many reasons, but when I took him home he brought me in to his house to show me his artwork. Mostly he paints......his work is incredible......I can't believe that he doesn't do it much. His degree is in art. I have been missing my art so much, I may need to get my paints out and do some creating.

I digress. The panel made some comments that burned into my heart. I am at a place that I have very little time to process it. What time I do have this weekend, must be spent studying! I think I will take Monday night, after my final to simply write and process. Tuesday I hit the new term, so I really only have Monday night.

I will say this. I may have said it already this week, but this is the lowest, most painful, most frightened I have ever been, this is life changing to the core of me and when I come out on the other side, I am going to really be grateful for this time. (I am already grateful, but you get my point.)


Friday, April 18, 2008

Zen Lesson #1

In this very moment........Nothing is lacking.

It makes me cry to think of this, which is very telling of what is transpiring deep inside of me.

Good Stuff.

Simply plugging away here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Did I say this already? I feel so broken. I am not sure what to do about it. It seems too big. I suppose that I am hoping that the intensity of the feeling will diminish spontaneously. It is like it is not me, and I don't know what to do with this person that I don't know right now.

I did talk to the boy toy. (I really should change his name, coz it is a bit deceiving, but it sounds so fun to call him that!) Anyway, we did have a really good talk, then we went out and drank beer and played pool and just had fun as good friends. That was good. I do need to think about what it means to have this relationship in my life right now. It might not be the best thing for me, however I am having such a struggle with my thought processes (see above) that it is really difficult to determine what is best. He smokes clove cigarettes, and yes I had one and loved it, so now I am battling that nicotine battle. I smoked 3 of them today! They are WORSE for you than regular cigarettes (and more expensive) so I need to not let this get full blown, and it is not full blown yet, so...chop chop!!

In all the time that I have been working on self improvement, this period feels the most disconnected, the most painful, the most lost I have ever felt. I can only hope that it means that when I come out on the other end, it is going to mean the most growth I have ever had as well.

Is this what it feels like to have a mental breakdown? hmmm. It is a damn good thing that I start Zen training tomorrow night! I did get my hair cut today and I didn't shave my head, so I am probably safe to say that I don't need a straight jacket yet. :o)

Monday, April 14, 2008


Education is a wonderful thing. I thought that I would be acquiring empirical knowledge this past year. I think I actually DID do that, but I think that what I am learning in the process of all of this is far more than empirical knowledge, I am learning a great deal about myself. I am actually a little frightened that I am going to lose some of this before I have a chance to process it.

My brothers death, then subsequently my cousins death last week, has complicated some of this as well. We should not forget that.

Not that you are waiting for it, or hoping for it, but you can expect to see a very lengthy introspective post sometime next week. As I process all of this, I am trying to keep hold of the important details, yet still focus on finishing the term. This weekend of course is the Dali Lama which I have tickets for both days. Richard Gere will also be here on Friday night at a session on Buddhism and the arts (and yes I have tickets....yummy) and of course Thursday night is my first Zen training. So that makes 4 straight days of Zen. I think my soul is going to drink up every drop of it. (of course I have my 2 finals on Monday, so the timing sucks, but I have a plan)

For now, I understand that my postings have been slightly cryptic and possibly disturbing, and although I am in some pain right now, it is all really good for me to walk through this. I will be fine.

Even better after I talk to the boy toy in the morning. I really need to kill that damn elephant. Having him tromp around between us is hurting both of us.


Is it suppose to be this way?

Am I suppose to feel so broken after a year of graduate school?

I feel so broken. I feel like its not me.

Is this the point that you get to and then some throw in the towel and some say, ok, it is time to make ourselves now? I am not throwing in the towel. At least not yet. I am at least going to give it the summer.

It is like its not me. Who is this person?


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Plugging along

I didn't really accomplish much yesterday. I need to do better today.

I did go for a walk in the rain. (the second day in a row that I did that) It felt as if the world was crying on me. Very Zen and totally awesome.

Today it is snowing!!! (It IS April right????)

I think I wanted to simply pretend I didn't have anything to do yesterday. I have enough time to get everything done, but I wanted to have the 3 assignments done this weekend, so the week wouldn't be as pressured. I should get 2 of the 3 done today. Plus get my apartment cleaned up a bit. That should start the week off fairly well.

I am having breakfast with my boy toy friend tomorrow. We really haven't had a conversation about the situation that happened last Monday, that basically ended our "thing" although we have talked quite a bit since then, there has been no time to discuss that, so there is this huge elephant in the room that is being ignored. That makes me totally nuts. So, although it appears that we are going to be friends, it is difficult for me to ignore what happened. So......breakfast tomorrow.

I think that updates you for the time being. I am off to try to salvage this weekend and feel like I really accomplished something beyond sitting and staring ;o)


Saturday, April 12, 2008

My Horoscope for today......

WOW. wow.

Saturday, Apr 12th, 2008 -- You may be riding an upward current now, like an eagle gaining altitude from the thermals. Still, you can carry extra baggage with you in the form of feelings from obscure places within. You have the ability to transform fears associated with imagined negativity that lurks in the shadows. All you need to do is shine the light of your awareness into the dark and overcome your resistances by fully experiencing suppressed emotions.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Accept Failure to Succeed

Interesting subject line. A friend emailed that to me today. I hope isn't some omen. Meh.

I am feeling panicked again.

I really need to evaluate my life. This is ridiculous.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Zen Training

I signed up for Zen Buddhist training at the Zen Temple here in Ann Arbor. It starts next Thursday. I am really looking forward to it. All of this drama, the one thing that helps me the most is meditating and mindfulness, breathing......I will benefit greatly from a weekly meeting to keep it in front of me better.

I am working tonight on a presentation that I have to give tomorrow for class. When this class is over tomorrow, I will head out to my cousins services. Then return here tomorrow night. I will be at a point that I have to complete 3 assignments for a class and then study for 2 final exams. My focus will be this weekend to get those 3 assignments off my plate and by Monday morning be down to just the 2 final exams which I will have a week to study for at that point.

Ok, back to the presentation.


Get ready to hear a scream no matter where you are in this world, all the way from Ann Arbor. I think I will scream so loudly that the entire world will hear it. By noon tomorrow.........there will be a huge amount off my plate. Of course until then, I have a stressful day ahead to be ready for it all.

The panic is slightly better. lingering, but much improved.

My cousin died suddenly. They think it was a heart attack, but it sounds to me like it was a massive cerebral hemorrhage. Either way, anther death in my family. Too much. The services are Friday and Saturday. I think I am going tomorrow (3 hour drive) and coming back here. I then will skip the funeral on Saturday. I hate to do that, but I don't think I can take it to tell you the truth, not so close to my brothers funeral, and I have way too much to get done still. Plus, I feel a little panicked about not sleeping here and not knowing where I would sleep should I stay overnight.......meh.

I must head out now though, way too much to do today!


Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Full blown panic attack last night. I think that may have been the worst one I have ever had. I have had maybe 5 of them since moving to Ann Arbor last July. Mostly they relate to the stress of the end of the term. This one has some other personal issues involved. As a clinician, I can sit back and explain every single thing that is occurring, the entire physical response (heart racing, hyperventilating,etc) and even the emotional stuff, like you simply think that you are going to die, there is a fear that is intense, so I am trying to be my own shrink during a panic attack. It was almost effective. Not enough to NOT have a panic attack though. It never fully went away, I continue to ride the edge, nearing panic at any moment. I am focusing on my homework. I think partly because I know that the panic will increase if I don't. I called just about everyone that I know that I felt I would not disturb them too terribly if I called. NOT A SOUL answered their It was probably for the best as no one could understand a word I was saying. (hyperventilating and all) I did leave Jim a voice mail and he told me this morning that he didn't understand it and thought I said something about getting my taxes done.

It is really interesting though to experience these intense feelings. Painful too, but to feel them and understand that the actual reason for them is almost trivial, you have to wonder what else is going on inside of me that takes these trivial events and then allows them such a great impact on me. To have the physical symptoms is also interesting as, even as you are telling yourself that "yes I feel like my heart is going to explode, yes I think I might actually die right here right now, yet I know that this is normal and nothing bad is really going to happen.........yet physically and emotionally those feelings and thoughts don't just leave! So it is fully a response that I am not in control of. And there are a few tricks that probably make it not so worse, like focusing on something, breathing into a bag, slowing your breathing down.......

Amazing though that it is such a powerful reaction. It can go away at any time! :o)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

I think I can, I think I can....

Goodness, I am actually getting somewhere. My paper is nearly finished. I am taking a break from it so that I can go back and do a final edit (hopefully find about 100 more words to add to the damn thing as is a philosophy paper for Christs sake, you would think I could bullshit for 100 words at least!

I am working on another assignment as my break from the paper. If I could wrap that up today, it would give me Wednesday and Thursday to prepare a presentation and administrative memo for my class on Friday. That takes me to the end of this week and only 1 paper and 2 final exams. Yesterday morning, I questioned if it really was possible to finish it is looking better every moment.

I always get this sadness after meeting someone and spending time with them, then they exit my life. (Although, I don't think he has completely exited, meh. We shall see) It isn't so much a sadness about losing THEM (although he is a really cool guy) it is more of a stark reality, a reminder so to speak that I am alone and if I can't sleep (like last night) there is no one here to care. Don't get me wrong, I have been single a long time and I am very comfortable with that ( probably too comfortable), it simply is one of those things that just gets caught in your throat and you realize, well SHIT, I am alone. Fuck. Not the best week to experience those feelings, but hey, it isn't like I haven't felt them all before. The good thing is that I know they go away. :o)

Back to work! IT IS SO ALMOST OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 07, 2008

This week is so painful!

I will be so glad when it is over.

The boy toy, is no longer the boy toy. It didn't take long! *sigh* I ALWAYS am attracted to men who are not emotionally available, what are the statistics on that?

Yeah. So my heart is a bit sad about it. Not too bad, but more introspective about what I am doing, why I am attracting these men and why am I attracted to them. I need to quit it!

4 more days and this week will be over. THANK GOD!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

I can not wait for this to be over

I am certain that is not the attitude I should have, especially given that I have a LONG time left in this program.......but damn if that is not exactly what I think!!

I do think that once I begin to get into research that I will like it better. I already am loving doing the research assistant position, so there is hope that I won't be entirely miserable for the next 5 years!!

Writing a philosophy paper this weekend along with a shit load of other homework. Most of it will be finished by Friday. Then I will be down to 2 final exams and a paper. So close. Which of course means no boy toy this weekend for me......only homework!


Friday, April 04, 2008


Ok, so the date actually went superbly well. Very cool guy. He already asked me for a second date! I like him, which is like, amazing since I don't seem to like anyone that I date....LOL. There is one small little issue that could potentially be a problem.......he is ......hmmm......quite a bit younger than me. He doesn't act like it, and in some ways he doesn't look like it, but the fact of the matter is........yeah. I am so robbing the cradle, this point, I am not complaining.......and he doesn't seem to be either. It actually bothers me a little more than it bothers him. (It doesn't bother him at all). I am just going with it. He has time constraints like I do, so I isn't like he is going to monopolize my time (which I think is one thing that sort of turns me off a bit......I need some breathing room too) This could be a really fun summer!

But before the summer hits.......I have 2 weeks that I need to keep my focus and wrap up this stuff. to do that........peace out.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Oh yeah!

Ok, so I submitted an abstract to a conference on ethics at Yale University (being held this summer) I just found out, it was accepted, so I am going to present at Yale this summer. Cool. Problem. I have not written the paper yet....ha! So, add that to my list of things to do.


They wanted me to beef up my CV.....presenting at Yale is one way to do that ;o)


Oh yes, it IS the end of the term and I am SWAMPED! Don't expect much from me for the next 3 weeks.

I do have ONE date lined up, so I haven't totally forgotten about the boys, he is a tad bit younger than me (EEK!) but he seems to be an old soul. The chances of it being much more than one date is slim, so I am not too worried. Although with my luck I will totally fall for him and he won't be interested!

As I said.......don't expect much from seems nearly every second is consumed, at least for the next week!