So, there is a bit of a habit I have picked up. Ladies in my family, you know what I'm talking about. 
It is called Microwave Mess and today it reared its ugly head. 

Since I feel too guilty to buy actual candy, I make a "chocolate" mess in the microwave to eat in my stress. Unhealthy if there ever was a behavior/food. 

I am sure there is some graceful, responsible way I could be doing this whole process. In fact, it sounds like something I would say as I tell myself "You feel so much better if you just work out" or "Eating fresh foods would ultimately make you feel better" and while I feel relatively ok with the the fact that I had a pretty grown up day of eating my wheaties and carrots and oranges....I also made a microwave mess. 

But the truth is that I began productively writing/editing instead of poking my eyes out. I will deal with what is becoming known as The Thesis Tummy later. 

Today I would like to talk about all the people that step in to help me because they are awesome. 

My sisters, who either listen to my whine when there is clearly nothing wrong yet

Or buy me groceries, because my public whining pulls at her heart strings instead of annoying her 

My Dad, who responds to each and every one of my frantic job search e-mails with reassuring words 

My Mom, who talks sense into me and listens to me cry, no matter how bad a day she is having herself 

My roommate, who goes to get Thai food with me while we complain some more 

And my love, who when a pep talk fails, drives out to surprise me with a bolstering presence while I work despite the fact that he has stuff to do himself. 

And to all of the people that generally put up with me all the time, fellow grad students, friends who keep trying to do stuff with me despite being shot down for thesis work etc. I love everybody and I promise, there is a day in the future when I will be less of a pain..I Hope 

This....we call Heaven on 41st. 

It is beautiful. We don't get to live there because 

A) It would cost us a month's rent to move in early 
B) While I've got prospects, I don't really have a job yet 
C) It is right at the top of our (once I've got a job) budget

It now haunts our dreams. But ya know what? I don't care if we get something like Heaven on 41st or Hell on 43rd. 

Cause it was still fun hunting with this guy, and eventually, an apartment really means that we'll get to live together so it doesn't even matter. 

Welcome to my sanity break. 
After days of e-mails and events, I have a thesis defense date. April 16th at 2 pm. Now, this doesn't mean I'll be done, because I will have to do corrections (hopefully not very many), but it will mean I will be tantalizingly near. 

The next three weeks are marathon writing weeks 30-50 pages in 2-3 days so far. I am one lonely but productive writer. I gotta say I miss the brief period of time when I had an adorable host. Witness the lunch (yes, he buys veggie chicken tenders) K made me during coding. 

If you can't understand how cute that is, I don't wanna be your friend anymore. 
Now I'm back to eating the last of the cheerios from the box followed by half a jar of pickles. 

Also, I may be using kleenex...because I'm out of toilet paper. 

So...maybe I should have run to the store instead of doing this post...but coffee seemed more important and I'm not out of that. 

Now for your sanity break from my thesis updates that nobody cares about. Have a (woefully unedited) Nithya Video 

The thesis deadlines are upon me. I spent much of my break coding and now with tons of data I will be writing my patootie off, trying to get chapters to my advisor so she can get them back to me so I can get them to my committee members so that they can allow me to defend it to them so they can make comments and I can revise them and submit my thesis. It is a process people. 

I am working on tentatively scheduling a defense date in the first two weeks of April. Until that time I will be writing writing writing like I've never written before and will hopefully get that much closer to graduating. I am sorry if I ignore you during this time. 

Just to update: My stresses have changed from this: 

packing up and moving out all the time as K and I shuffle time together. Sadly, there will be no time together for a while so my stresses have moved on to almost exclusively this: 

Wish me luck. 

Today is another day of work. For some reason the middle of this week hit me like a wall of worry and I am trying to stand up in the face of it. It is hard not to have one sure thing, but I have been going about combatting that all wrong. 

My Dad gave me excellent advice. Just do the one thing you are doing right now. K and I have gotten into a bad pattern of spreading ourselves very thin in a effort to accomplish everything all at once. It works with some things, like errands, it doesn't work with other things, like big plans and time consuming work. 

Therefore, today it will be my effort to just work on the one thing I am expected to get done to graduate. I will not worry about getting e-mails about jobs back, or searching for places to live in dwindling months, or  my less than reassuring bank account. I'm just going to be doing my one thing, the only real thing I can do and the one that has to get done before anything else can happen: Hello Thesis, no more Miss Nice Girl. 

What a Spring Break vacation it was! 

Technically I am on Spring Break still, but I have much thesis work to do for the rest of the week. K and I had a fabulous two days (the first consecutive two days we've had off together since Christmas) so we had a little vacation in KC (tight money and all). Also, I refuse to call it a "staycation" because that is a horrible word that has been, as I've coined it, amerilamed. 

Things started out excellently for me Saturday night with my sister and my beautiful niece. It may have been a photo op for my upcoming Nithya video, but it was also a decoration consult and a dinner date:) Some delicious salmon and a delicious (if experimental) tofu-chocolate pie. Did I say delicious?! And with Nithya in pigtails and stripes I was agog with photo and video fun. Here is a preview of those cuties and the updates that will come once K helps me out with getting some big girl photo editing software. 

I may have had to wait for K to get off work at 12:30 but it meant that Sunday could get started with some excellent fun. We got up and had an unexpected visit from K's Dad who joined us for coffee and then we packed up a lunch and headed off to the zoo. Yes it was cold, a little rainy, and deserted but it was much more fun than you'd think. During the first admittedly creepy part of the walk, we planned the Zombie-pocalypse we would be shooting in the old cages. We stopped for lunch and laughed at our constantly failing fun, but then the animals began. We had some really great one-on-one with the lions, hippos, rhinos and adorable monkeys. We plan on going back for the new polar bear exhibit and to see my favorites (inside due to the cold), elephants and giraffes. All in all, we both made our own fun and experienced some cool up-close encounters with animals. I had K's coat and thus survived and we will be laughing at the videos of our antics for a long time. 

I suspect my celebrity guest Blogger K will be updating with some videos, but for the time being here is a preview of pictures. 

Day One continued with a trip to Westport where we stayed at KC's first Green hotel, The Q.

I may have made K get up to catch our free breakfast:

 But the hotel was lovely and after dinner at Jack Stack, big kid milkshakes at Blanc and drinks with J&K it was a super fun day. 

Playing with the animals and fountains on the Plaza:

Day Two consisted of a marathon of shopping and driving, including a trip to Nebraska Furniture Mart. I had never been and was awed and a little scared of a single store the size of a mall with its own food court. It was kind of heavenly after a lot of apartment therapy lately, and we deliberated on the only purchase we will be making for our new apartment

It is a flipflop futon with storage. It was pretty comfy. We didn't buy it yet as we are still weighing a lot of pros and cons but it was fun to sit on a million sofas. As K put it, we are going to go in there and put our butts on stuff.  [In the spirit of this, we also made excuses to stand up next to things like fridges and rugs to make sure our butts got maximum exposure. Sorry NFM]

We generally shopped around the Legends, buying nothing but three plain t-shirts for K, but we did have a fun and crazy dining experience. We got to cross one off of our list of things we'd love to do if we ever have time because we ate at the T-Rex restaurant. I was worried that it would be horrible, lame, overpriced and full of screaming kids and was pleasantly wrong. I should listen to K's bubbling optimism more because it was a ton of fun. I recommend if you've still got a kid spirit. The animatronic dinos, lights, sounds etc. were very fun. The food was also delicious and not pricey as you'd think. I had some pretty good blackened Tilapia tacos. 

We really packed it all in for two days of break, but it was really fun. The week will be me working on my Thesis and K back to working three jobs, but hopefully there will be some video fun to come in between. Happy Lost Day! 

Don't worry, I've still got depth (translation for my telltale anger that, while now controllable, has been my trademark since junior high)

I have added a brand new reason to hate large, SUV type vehicles (sorry K, although I am pretty sure you're on my side about this). They aren't low enough to see my headlights bearing down on them. Usually I like to tout the benefits of following distance, but where is the friendly reminder that I am back there, going faster than you, in the fast lane, while you are perfectly capable of getting over? It is no where. I am a non-presence as the expansive ass of their vehicle wipes my status on the road from importance and they continue to mosey along in the fast lane right next to the vehicle they will never pass. And of course...they are on the cell phone.

So there ya go. I have got serious road rage, and I probably need to calm down so maybe that will get it off my chest
Last night was my good friend B's birthday and it was fun. A weensy bit of dancing, mainly good conversation and some decent cranberry juice in vodka.  Although I was flying solo once again (K...with the working) it was nice to relive some of the socializing that happened at the beginning of grad school. I talk about how happy I will be outside of school a lot, without the guilt of not working every second or even working on easier work and feeling guilty for not doing the hardest work you have to do. It is a twisted world. But, I will sincerely miss the people I've met here; they are some genuine and lovely people. I am a little glad I'll be in KC.

I am finally putting to use my new camera and new computer to their full extent. I have been having tons of fun. One hour of work I should have been doing research was totally worth putting into this hilarious little video.

My First Efforts: Thanks to K for being my test subject. Next to come will be a Nithya video.

This morning was an awesome walk to school, despite my slow start to the day (do you lean up against the wall in the shower with your eyes closed, hoping it is a dream?)

The smell is the most amazing part of walking in/after rain in the Spring. Something about those tiny splashes of H2O releases all the good things about dirt and grime, the sand and salt on the roads, the normally greasy pools of sludge. All those things smell delicious in the rain, like putting your face in a flower pot and walking past a recently lit fire and opening your mouth to suck in a cloud.

It was a lovely walk.

School had its highlights as well. The benefit of being in grad school is the general intelligent boost every activity gets from the overeducated. A friend in the department stopped by my office for some girl talk today (something I don't get a ton of in the traditional sense). What would normally be a, "my boyfriend does that too!" became much deeper as said friend studies interpersonal behavior. She embarrassingly waxed philosophical on me and schooled me on all the interactions that were happening as we chewed over our own fighting styles, communication patterns etc. I bet lots of people spend a lot of money to get similar education from a therapist.

Meanwhile, here is a little insight into how K and I spend a disconcerting amount of time-->Monkeying Around

I will leave you with these thoughts: