Three Days, Three Exams

Last week was probably the most stressful and exhausting week of the school term (and of the year) so far, but it ended up being less scary than I had feared. My midterms were easier than I expected. The GRE was exactly as I remembered it, except that the math section seemed more difficult this time. Interestingly (or perhaps not), my GRE scores this time are almost identical to the scores I received six years ago. Apparently a master’s degree in math doesn’t help on the GRE!

I was ecstatic after finishing my three consecutive days of exams, so I took most of the weekend off from studying. I didn’t do anything particularly special, but I did go to the mall. I haven’t been to the mall in a while, so I was surprised by all the Christmas decorations. I love Christmas! Yay!

Speaking of Christmas (this segue totally makes sense in my head), I haven’t had a drop of Starbucks coffee since I went back to school! All the coffee shops on campus are university owned, and I haven’t had much opportunity or need to find my coffee elsewhere. I always look forward to the red holiday cups from Starbucks (hence the correspondence between Christmas and Starbucks), and I have yet to get one this year! I definitely need to make sure I get my grande peppermint mocha fix soon!

Unfortunately, my three exams in three days were just the beginning. After a deliberately unproductive weekend, I’m faced with piles of things to do this week. Besides my usual schoolwork and two final projects I’m worrying about (there are only about two and a half weeks left in the school term!), I also need to work on my applications for graduate school. I would enumerate what I have to do for the applications, but just thinking about all I have to do makes me feel overwhelmed. The fact that one of my potential referees declined to write a letter doesn’t help.

No worrying about it now. Time to sleep! Another busy day awaits!

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Twitter

I very recently became addicted to Twitter. I created a personal Twitter to try it out, and now I use my tweets to update my status on Facebook. I love being able to tweet from my iPod touch. I feel somehow more connected to my social network when I use Twitter; it keeps me motivated to check Facebook more than I used to when I just used Facebook alone (don’t ask me why, I couldn’t tell you).

The problem, though, is that I have Facebook friends from all walks of life, some of whom I work with and some of whom don’t even know (for sure) I’m gay (like my cousins or some very Christian friends from high school). As a result, I find myself censoring my tweets. I don’t generally have a dirty mind, but there are some things that I don’t necessarily want everyone to know.

My best friend at work (who I may have referred to before as my “lunch friend”) and I went Starbucks after lunch today to get an afternoon caffeine fix (to get us through the day). Actually, we always (without exception) go to Starbucks after lunch. While we were waiting for our drinks, I saw a really cute guy ordering a drink. I kept eyeing him (I love eye candy), but I really wanted a way to document my thoughts (as mildly inappropriate as they are).

Because of my need to micro-blog in a slightly more anonymous way, I created a Twitter account specifically for this blog! This way, I have an outlet for what I’m thinking about throughout the day, and I can share those thoughts with the handful of people who read this (thank you)!

I added the Twitter widget to the right column of the blog. Also, if you have a Twitter account, you can follow me here. Enjoy!

Pink And Gold

Tomorrow is the eight year anniversary of the day I first came out. Usually on the day, my energy is just a little higher, I smile to myself a little more, and I try to celebrate in some small way. My uncle’s annual gathering to remember his late wife (my aunt) coincides with my anniversary this year, so I won’t be able to do anything particularly fun or gay tomorrow. Thus, I decided to have my small celebration today.

Continuing a tradition I started last year, I bought the very pink (very gay) venti passion tea lemonade (unsweetened of course) from Starbucks during my lunch hour. I only told two work friends about my anniversary: the (girl) friend I go to lunch with every day and my work crush. It was important for me to tell my two closest friends at work about it. They both were happy for me.

My lunch friend convinced me to spoil myself a little bit because it’s my anniversary, so I finally gave in and bought myself a Starbucks Gold card. For those outside the US, the Starbucks Gold card gives 10% off of all drinks and (regularly priced) merchandise. I’d been wanting one ever since they were first introduced late last year, but I felt I could never justify the $25 annual fee. I’m going to keep a log of how much I save by using this card, and we’ll see if it’s actually worth it. But in the meantime, I love getting new cards. I feel special.

Semblance Of Christmas

I feel like it’s been a long time since I updated. I hate having long breaks in between posts.

My brother is back from medical school for the holidays, so he’s been taking up my time when I’m not at work. Not only that, but our family’s annual Christmas gathering is tonight, so my whole family has been frantically trying to clean up all the clutter in the house. My brother is the only really organized person in our family, so clutter tends to build up to unorganizable proportions while he’s away.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love Christmas. Since I’m still at work, it really doesn’t feel like Christmas just yet. Thus, during lunch today, I made a point to buy myself a peppermint mocha (in a red holiday cup of course) from Starbucks. There has to be some semblance of Christmas today, otherwise I’ll be sad.

Luckily, I get the next two days off, so I have a nice four day weekend starting tomorrow. It’s going to be so relaxing. Meanwhile, a full day of work today with the Christmas party tonight means I’m going to be really tired by the end of the day. I’ll probably need the four day weekend to recuperate.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Pike Place

My business trip to Seattle was really tiring, but it was also a lot of fun. The meeting went pretty well (I didn’t have to talk that much). My friend/boss wanted to meet with another person (without me) afterwards, so we ended up delaying our flight back home by a few hours.

Instead of being rushed from place to place on a very tight schedule, we got to spend some time to enjoy the city. I’m much more of a tourist than my friend/boss, so I dragged him to visit Pike Place. I had been there before, but only when it was closing for the night and there were very few people. This time, Pike Place was bustling with people (on a Wednesday afternoon!); it was great.

While we were at Pike Place, I, of course, had to stop by the very first Starbucks. I bought myself a Pike Place mug (only found there!) and a venti passion tea lemonade (no syrup). It was a warm, sunny day, so a cool drink (from the first Starbucks) was very refreshing.

The rest of the public market was really nice too. Beautiful flowers, handcrafted trinkets, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lots of seafood. We even got to see the famous fish throwing at the Pike Place Fish Market.

I had a blast being a big tourist. My friend/boss continued to do work on his Blackberry the whole day, but at least he seemed to enjoy walking around Pike Place. We had time to walk around all of Pike Place and not feel rushed to get back to the airport. We even had time to look at all the gift shops in the airport too! I wish I had more business trips like this one.

Caffe Vanilla Frappuccino

I think I found a new favorite drink at Starbucks. A few days ago, I got to sample their petite vanilla scone, and it was really good. Today at work, I had a craving for that same vanilla flavor, but the little scones are a little overpriced (like most things at Starbucks). Instead I tried the caffe vanilla frappuccino. Yes, it’s more expensive than the petite scones, but at least it’s bigger and has coffee in it.

The caffe vanilla frappuccino was transcendent. I always thought I was more of a chocolate person, but there’s something special about that subtle yet delicious vanilla flavor. I don’t usually get whipped cream on drinks anymore (I’ve got to keep my girlish figure), but I forgot to tell the barista to skip it this time. Mixing the whipped cream into the frappuccino just added to the already smooth awesome creaminess. I was raving about the drink for hours afterwards (and still am apparently).

I’ve only had one caffe vanilla frappuccino, but I can already tell it’s addicting. After all, it only took one petite vanilla scone for me to crave it later. Starbucks must put something in their products to keep us wanting more. But I think I’m okay with that.

The Starbucks-Gym Combination

My last three days off from work were busy with friends. It was a great change of pace from my normal boring weekends. I really must hang out with my friends more often. Unfortunately, I didn’t have plans with anyone today.

I made a point not to visit Target today. Instead, I went to Starbucks for a couple hours and read one of the texts for the actuarial exams. My usual Starbucks was being renovated, so I had to find another Starbucks in the nearby area. It wasn’t hard.

Afterwards, I went to the gym for the first time since sometime in February (at least I think it was February; I haven’t mentioned going to gym on this blog since early January). I forgot how relaxing the gym is. I did a medium workout to gauge how my body and muscles have changed over the last few months. I was afraid that a lot of my weight loss was from muscle loss, but I still seem to be able to do everything that I could do from when I went to the gym regularly.

I’ve lost about twenty pounds since I started working at Target. I’m five or six pounds less than my “ideal weight,” which I thought was impossible to reach six months ago! Many of my friends have commented on how skinny I am. One of them is jealous that I weigh less than him. Whenever I go out to eat with him, he tries to buy me dessert!

The actual number of pounds I weigh is mostly just a number, not an indication of my health. I already know I’m healthy (knock on wood). Even still, I don’t want to gain weight from gaining muscle. Now that I’m skinny, I don’t want my weight to go back up, even if it’s in a good way (I know, I’m crazy).

Anyway, going to the gym was fun, except that my iPod nano was out of battery from lack of use. I used to listen to my nano every day, but I rarely use it now because I don’t listen to it at work. The battery can’t even hold a charge as long anymore. My (2nd generation blue) nano was a birthday present from six of my graduate school friends in 2006, so it has a lot of sentimental value.

The Starbucks-gym combination was what I did for the three months before working at Target, and it’s how I passed the first actuarial exam. Maybe it’s time to go back to what works.