22 November 2007

The Product of Massive Boredom

Here's some random thoughts that have gone through my head today. In no particular order.

  • I had some amazing sweet potatoes at a restaurant a few weeks ago, and have tried to re-create it a few times since. I have failed every time. So now I feel like I need to write to Bon Appetite magazine, again, to either have them call the restaurant to get the recipe, or implore them to publish a similar one in their magazine. Not that any of my letters ever gets published, but at least I did something in the direction of getting what I want. It just makes me feel better.
  • I wish everything was settled by playing bloody-knuckles. It's such an effective deciding factor. When I'm married, I want decisions made by whoever wins a bloody-knuckle showdown.
  • Do lightsabers cauterize the wound as it slices through? Is that why there isn't alot of blood amidst all that killing?
  • I get the biggest kick out of the various names there are out there for testicles. If you heard any creative names for them, could you please pass them along? It really brightens my day.
  • Orange is by far the superior flavor in any artificial fruit product. Including, but not limited to, Gatorade, Popsicles, Otter Pops, gummi bears, Skittles, sherbet, etc...
  • My dad is a real treat. Probably the best guy alive. See Exhibit A below. Now that it's the holiday season, he decorates his Snap-On Tools truck, puts on a Santa Hat and calls himself Santa Chrome. I can smile for days just thinking about it.

  • I've observed that most people have one very efficient sneeze. I sneeze at least five times to get the same job done. I'm a bit jealous of you one sneeze sneezers.
  • I HATE talking animal movies. I can tolerate the ones where you just hear their internal thoughts, but if you try to get me to watch one where the animals actually move their mouths to the words, I will punch you. And it's even worse when humans can actually understand the animals. It's not okay.
  • Snap-On socks are the most comfortable socks in the world. Not the kind that actually snap onto your feet (if there is such a kind), but the one distributed by The Snap-On Tools company. The toes are highly reinforced, and there is extra cushion on the soles that really make a significant difference in the comfort factor. Hit your local Snap-On dealer up for a pair. It'll be worth it.
  • I've been overwhelmed by the display of kindness that some have shown me during this period of awful illness. My brother and his wife, Stefan and Ashley, have taken me food on more than one occasion. They have also supplied me with books and movies, and a daily check-up call. Tasha, my wonderfully caring co-worker, has called or textd me most days, brought movies over, and enlisted her dad and brother to come to my house and give me a blessing. She also came over to just chill and share some frustrations/embarrassing moments about The Boss. It was refreshingly nice to know that I'm not the only one that sometimes wants to strangle him.
  • I've discovered a surprisingly tasteful new show on ABC. It's called Pushing Daisies. Watch it. A friend of mine told me about it and said that he thought that it would be something that would tickle my fancy. He was right. I found it online during my never ending days in quarantine this past week.
  • I haven't worn make-up or done my hair the past week. It's kind of nice being fresh-faced and natural. And I don't think that I look half-bad. Nice.
  • I wonder sometimes what I come across like to other people.
  • My shower never seems clean to me. No matter how hard I scrub, there is always that moldy stuff there in the tiles. Aack! It's like showering in a petri dish.
  • I think my brothers are so handsome. I dare you to disagree with me. It's hard not to feel like an ugly duckling among such stunning specimens.




  • I'm having a hard time with this sickness. I'm so bored. I hate being so limited in what I can do. I hate that I haven't trained this whole week. I hate that I haven't worked. I hate that I've barely been out of the house. Someone come rescue me!!

21 November 2007

I'm Sick. Miserably Sick. ARGH.

Hey. So...I've been sick for the last 5, maybe 6, days. I'm officially going to die. Ok, so that's a little dramatic, but I have to let you know that I'm pretty miserable. I've been holed up in my house since Friday night. I went to an hour of Jiu-jitsu on Saturday morning and did a half day at work on Monday. Other than that, I've just been right here in my living room.
So you're probably wondering what I have been doing. Well, wonder no more. Here is a list of highly important activities that I have accomplished in the last 5 days.
  1. I've planned breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next three weeks (starting as soon as I get my appetite back).
  2. I've read 4 books. A Thousand Splendid Suns was written by the same author as The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini. It was just as wonderful. I re-read The Great Escape by Paul Brickhill. I now want to re-watch the movie, which stars the original McDreamy, Steve McQueen. The Summer of '49 is written by David Halberstam, one of my favorite documentary writers, right beside John Krakauer. A Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. One thing that I've learned from these books is that there is so much beauty in tragedy.
  3. I watched Star Wars Episodes IV, V, VI, and III. I'll probably work on I, and II after I finish this blog. Also watched Meet the Robinson's, Shooter, Little Miss Sunshine, and Goonies.
  4. Put new strings on my guitar.
  5. Organized my pantry.
  6. Emptied my entire Inbox on Hotmail, and responded to every email that deserved a response.
  7. Searched the library catalog online and put every mixed martial arts book on hold.
  8. Started pondering some New Years resolutions for 2008.
  9. Did 4 loads of laundry.
  10. Applied some self-tanner to my legs. I did a C- job, by the way.
  11. Budgeted through December.
  12. Challenged myself to Boggle. I tried to beat my previous score every round.
  13. Picked out Christmas gifts for everyone on my list and ordered them online.
  14. Drank 2 liters of Ginger Ale and ate a jar of applesauce. Oh, and half a can of soup.
  15. Went to the InstaCare and shelled out $35 for the doctor to tell me that it was a virus and to just wait it out. Aarrrrrrrgggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

20 November 2007

Yep. This Blog Is Restricted to Those Over Thirteen


Due to words such as punch, hurt, death, and crappy. Interesting.
What's your blog rated?

18 November 2007


There was a comment on the previous post that I thought I should go into detail about. And I know that more than one person needs to read it.

The comment:
I definitely DO have words! DISAPPROVE. Not okay. Dangerous. Worrisome. Unsafe. Vanessa, I hate it. I know I'm not your mom, but this is no kickboxing class at the gym. Those ladies don't choke each other unconscious, at least not that I've seen. I know you love love LOVE it at Absolute, and so I hesitate to criticize... but I don't think it is cool or cute or tough or FUNNY by any means. Not one bit. I also do not think it impressive to be choked unconscious. Just the opposite, in fact. I apologize for my honesty, I know it will be unwelcome in this case. I just love you too much. I hate to hear about this kind of abuse. I thought you said you were only training, not fighting. Have you changed your mind?Sorry to respond so emotionally, but I find myself feeling very protective of you.

The response:
While I appreciate your concern Natalie, I do feel like you're getting the wrong idea about all this. If you're worried about my safety, you shouldn't be. We aren't there to be brutal or abuse each other. We are there to learn self-defense. Wouldn't you rather I know how to get out of one of those chokes in a controlled environment, than in a situation where someone is there to seriously hurt or kill me? I refuse to be a statistic. I think everyone needs to learn self-defense. You're right, this isn't an aerobic kickboxing class at the gym. And I'm glad. I'm learning very valuable things. Things that will benefit me and my family in the future. I may not have the skills right now to defend myself if needed, but I will. And that's why I'm going to stick with it.
The experience was awesome for the fact that I now know my limits. I can judge a bit better when I need to tap out. No harm was done. The choke was released as soon as I blacked out. We wouldn't be practicing this if we were to inflict brain damage or long term injury on each other. Of course it's better to tap than to be choked out, but sometimes it happens. I know that on that post it felt as if I were laughing a bit about it. And I'm sorry. I could see how that short entry would worry someone. But it really was a laughing matter. No harm was done at all.
Many of these fighters aren't there to just fight in the cage. They're doing it because it's challenging and requires a certain amount of discipline. They want to know how to defend themselves. They want to be fit and strong and healthy. This is definitely a sport that achieves that. They fight in the cage to see how much they've learned and to see how they can apply it in a controlled environment. With a referee. And they hug afterwards.
Once again, I want to tell you and anyone else reading this, that mixed martial arts is a seriously misunderstood sport. Those of you that know me know that I am a very logical girl. I'm not an idiot. I wouldn't be involved in something that was brutal or macho or anything like that. This is a legitimate sport. With value. I hope that I've been able to shed a little light on the subject with this response. If anyone else has questions, don't hesitate to ask. If I don't know how to answer it I can ask an instructor at the gym.
And yes, I am leaning toward actually fighting.
So are we cool now about the whole thing?

13 November 2007

I'm Feeling Sleepy

I was choked unconscious today. Collar choke. I didn't want to tap because I was so close to getting my shoulders out from their guard. So close! Didn't get it on time. Next thing I know I was on my stomach with people standing over me laughing and asking me if I was alright. Awesome.

12 November 2007


Last week was the crappiest week of all time. Every bad thing came at me all at once. It's getting better now. Just working through things one at a time. Earlier in the week I felt really beaten down. But things are looking up. So I just want to focus on some good things that happened.

I had dinner with two of my co-workers, Tasha and Courtney, last Monday night. Courtney brought her husband Greg, so we could check him out and see if he was good enough for her or not. Turns out that he's pretty awesome. Courtney bartends at Joe's Crab Shack two nights a week to bring in a little extra money. She gets a sizable discount when she comes in as a patron. It was a sweet deal. I ate an entire bucket of crab legs! Yeah, an entire bucket. Soooo good, but sooooo incredible painful later that night. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

I really love working with Courtney and Tasha. They both are relatively new in our section. They are doing an amazing job. Their hard work is taking a significant load off of my shoulders. I'm almost starting to not mind going into work again. Almost. I didn't think that anyone could be as awesome as Scott Lukens was, but they're proving that wrong. They're both so enjoyable to work with. I really luck out in the co-worker department.

(left to right) Tasha, Me, our massive buckets of crab, Courtney, and Greg

I trained at Absolute almost everyday last week. It seems like that's the only place that I really want to be anymore. When I'm there I don't have to think about anything else. There are no problems at the gym. It's all about focusing on what you're doing right then and improving on it. I feel normal and less like an emotional wreck. I hit real hard when I'm mad. Scary hard.

On Friday night I went to the cage fights at the Deseret Peak Complex in Tooele. Three guys from Absolute were on the fight card. Five were supposed to fight, but Brad's opponent backed out, and Steve got a staph infection and couldn't get doctors clearance. Tragic. Our guys did real well. Dave won his fight by knockout. He got his opponent with a crazy kick to the head. He went two rounds. Shawn won his fight in the first round. I forget how he won it though. It was either by technical knockout or throwing in the towel. Our other guy (I forget his name because it's one of those confusing Polynesian names) lost in the first round. He fights in the Ultra Heavyweight division. The guy weighs 350 lbs. He did well while he was standing, but when he was taken down he was choked out.

This really is an exciting sport. This is the first time I've been back to the fights since I saw The Boss fight last August. I'm finally understanding what I'm watching. I can see what the fighters need to do. I'm recognizing what they're doing and what their fighting styles are. I'm loving this! It's not brutal. It's sport!

I have a roommate for 6 weeks. This is Victoria Rath.

We were friends a few years ago at Weber State while doing our undergrad work. She's been at graduate school in Florida the past couple of years. She's doing an internship at a physical therapy clinic in Sandy. It's been really fun to have her around. We don't see each other too often, but when we do we make the most of it.
So there you have it. A slight update on the Life and Times of Vanessa The Scientist.

04 November 2007

It's Official

How do I look? Like a fighter? Yeah! Now I just need some skills. Camrann took these pictures Friday night. At the end of the night. After I'd been training for three hours. That explains why I look like road-kill. In case you were wondering.
I think this is something that I will really stick with. I seems that the trend in my life has been to do something until I get proficient, but never really great. I'm sort of a Jack of all trades. This is something that doesn't seem to get boring. I'm always learning different things. I'm constantly challenged in different ways. It's really keeping my attention. And that's hard to do. Not like that's a suprise to anyone. I'm just a restless person. I was experiencing an ultra restless point when I started doing martial arts. This seemed to settle that feeling down a bit. I think I'll be ok for a while.

When I Was A Discipline Problem...

I didn't mean to be disobedient or to have no respect for authority. My heart wasn't mean. I was just too playful for my own good. Like the time I stuffed the tiny rubber tires from Lego sets down my youngest brother's diaper, freaking my mom out because she thought her 10 month old was swallowing them. I knew that she went nuts when she found them in his poo, but I thought it was hilarious and kept it up for a long time. When I was sent to my room for bad behavior I would pretend that that's really where I wanted to be, which would frustrate my mom because she was trying to punish me. Then she's banish me to the bathroom where she was sure I wouldn't have any fun. There I would decorate with toothpaste or wallpaper the walls with toilet paper. I thought it was so funny. She tried to think of the most creative ways to discipline me, but I always found a way around it. She thought she could win in the end. She cursed me with ten daughters just like me. But even then I found a way around it. I'm still single.

This was a 5 minute writing exercise from the Writers Guild meeting last Thursday.

01 November 2007

The Kite Runner

I finished a book called The Kite Runner today. You must read it. It's excruciating at times, yet so beautiful. This is an author that can pull your fears and insecurities to the surface of your mind. I felt so aware of myself and my emotions through the whole book. I was bawling at certain parts and had to put it down in order to collect myself. This book is raw and vivid. It's so perfectly descriptive that you can feel exactly what is going on. Sometimes I would get so worked up by what I read that I had a hard time falling asleep at night. I'm very excited about the movie coming out. If it's anything like the book, it's going to be amazing. Anyone want to borrow it?
I started a new book already. It's called Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer. I've only read about 9 pages so far and it already looks very promising. It's a book with some dark humor. Right up my alley. The same author wrote Everything Is Illuminated. I haven't read it, but I've seen the movie and really enjoyed it. I'll let you know how this one is.