July 31, 2008

My Monster is not the fattest cat

Check out this article on a really fat cat. I guess he is pretty famous now, he appeared on Regis and Kelly.

And we all thought Chase Monster was really fat.

(Thanks Steph for sharing this article with me)

Photo Source: Newsday.com

Rumbly Tumbly Treats: Cucumber and Chops

I am blessed to have some wonderful friends. Our friend and neighbor just started a vegetable garden and since my father-in-law has been watering and watching his house, we were fortunate enough to partake in the fruits (or veggies) of the garden. We had some fresh cucumbers and I decided to make a cucumber salad. To go with the cucumber salad, I decided to make onion baked pork chops. My father-in-law and Mr. Bear happily devoured this yummy dinner.

For the recipes, check out Rumbly Tumbly Treats.

July 30, 2008

Lunch break

I am very fortunate to have a very flexible job. Yet, like most people I generally take my lunch break around noon (mostly because that is when I am hungry). Occasionally, I will have lunch plans with a friend or a lunch meeting. But on days where I have nothing planned, which is most days, I usually bring my own lunch (to save on money and to be healthy) and eat by myself. I used to have lunch in my office, but since I have moved into an office without windows I really need to get out of the office now and then. So lately I have been heating up my lunch and eating at a table and bench outside. But, it really doesn't take me an entire hour to eat lunch and since I usually have lunch by myself, I don't know what to do with myself for the rest of the hour.

At my last job, we had a lunch room where most people brought their lunch to eat. So I ate with my co-workers. Since I work on a college campus, we do have a dining hall but they are closed during the summer so I don't have that type of space right now. I suppose I could go out and eat but I don't want to spend the money. Sometimes I will go run errands but I don't have to do that everyday and with the price of gas, I would rather stay around campus than drive somewhere. So, I usually end up having a short lunch then going back to my office. Sounds kind of sad now that I write this all out. I guess I wonder what other people do. Am I the only sad, lonely person who eats her lunch by herself? :(

What do you do during your lunch break?

July 29, 2008


Today at 11:42 am today, a 5.4 earthquake hit southern California. The epicenter was in Chino Hills, CA. I have quite a bit of family who live in Chino Hills: my grandmother, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Cell phones were down for a while, so I kept trying to call and after several attempts I finally got through. Fortunately everyone is okay. Some damage to their homes and falling items, but otherwise all is well. My poor grandmother was a little shaken up so to speak.

I was in my office on the 3rd floor and you really felt the tremor. It felt pretty strong. We were all evacuated and after we were released my boss and I decided our department was going home for the rest of the day.

All is well on the home front, we aren't far from the epicenter. Chase Monster was already under a table when it happened. Cats seem to sense things ahead of time. Mr. Bear was in the shower.

I hope everyone in So Cal is doing okay.

Update: I just felt an aftershock as I posted this. Not fun!

A good fitting shoe

Since I am now training for the run part of a triathlon, I figure it was time to get some new running shoes. I was noticing some knee pain when I run and was starting to get some shin splints. I had heard that one should get their running shoe fitted, so I decided to go to the local running store and get myself fitted for a running shoe.

When I got there, the salesperson asked me what I was training for and I told him that I was training for a triathlon. Then he put me on a treadmill and after watching me run for a minute he told me that I have severe overpronation. He explained that overpronation is actually quite common and that when I run my foot rolls inward, thus turning the lower leg inward. This can place stress on the back, the hip, and the knee. (That explains some of the pain I have been experiencing). He also took a look at my current running shoes and said that they were neutral running shoes that did not provide me the support I needed. I need a stability running shoe to provide my foot support for the overpronation. A stability running shoe provides extra support on the inside of the midsole (the thick hard foam part of the running shoe). The inside of the shoe will be compressed less under load and support the inside of the foot preventing it from rolling in or flattening.

He brought out 6 pairs of shoes and had me try them all on. They were all stability running shoes and I just had to pick the one that I felt most comfortable in. After trying on the shoes and running around the store testing them out, I choose the New Balance WR1223:

I also tried on several Brooks and Saucony shoes but in the end the New Balances won out since they were the most comfortable. This was the runner up:

I ran in them last week and they felt really good. I didn't have any knee pains and no shin splints! They were a little more expensive than I would have liked but in the long run they are worth it to be able to run pain free and to train.

July 28, 2008

The Litter Box Project

As you all probably know by now, Chase Monster is not a skinny cat by any means. Yes, he is really fat! Poor Chase barely squeezes through the hole in his litter box and it is really sad. So yesterday, Mr. Bear got out his power tool and we cut the hole to his litter box bigger so that he can comfortably get in and out of the litter box. I hope it makes him happy.

Mr. Bear says that Chase Monster probably now thinks he is skinny since he doesn't have to squeeze through the hole of the litter box. LOL.

My Disclaimers:
Yes, I am fully aware that is is not healthy for Chase to be so fat. I am doing what I can to help him lose weight and manage it. But he is 12 years old and there is only so much I can do. I have had him tested for possible illnesses and have talked with the vet on what I can do. He has always been a big cat but I do know that he needs to lose a few pounds. I feel bad that he is so fat; I don't want to be abusive, I love my Monster cat.

Yes, I know I could just have an open litter box for Chase. But our home is not very big and the closed litter box helps with the odor. Plus, it gives Chase a little more privacy. He has always had a close litter box, so I really don't want to mess with it. I want him to continue to use his litter box.

July 25, 2008

So Sad

Back in April I blogged about Randy Pausch who gave an inspirational lecture, called "The Last Lecture." He was dying of pancreatic cancer and sadly he lost his fight and passed away today.

My thoughts and condolences go to his wife and 3 children.

For more info:

Cornbread yummy

To round out my weekend, my gourmet club met on Sunday. The theme was summer/BBQ. We had great food and wonderful company. Tons of fun!!

I wanted to make something different and so I made this:

A cornbread salad. This recipe was definitely a keeper. It is always a good sign when others ask for the recipe. Check out my food blog, Rumbly Tumbly Treats for more pictures and for the cornbread salad recipe.

July 24, 2008

Talented friends

We had a busy weekend. In addition to the ski races, we also went to a birthday party last weekend for a very special 3 year old girl. Her mommy is a very talented baker and made her a beautiful birthday cake. It is absolutely gorgeous and on top of that it was sooooo yummy.

I just have to share since I am in such awe of my friend's talent. In addtion to beautiful cakes, she makes wonderful cupcakes and cookies. Check out her website: http://amastercreation.com/.

July 23, 2008

Catalina Ski Race

As you might have figured out by now, Mr. Bear loves boats and racing. So Saturday we went to the 60th Catalina Ski Race in Long Beach. It was an overcast morning but there was enough visibility for the race. They start in Long Beach and water ski all the way to Catalina Island and back, 46 miles total. The race is entirely in open ocean with boats pulling water skiiers. The leaders made it back in just less than and hour. Can you imagine water skiing for an hour!!! Those men and women are pretty strong. The woman leader was 5th overall, pretty impressive!!

July 22, 2008

So much to catch up on

Sorry that I haven't had the opportunity to post this week. Life has been pretty busy. I moved into another office at work yesterday and I have been unpacking. Moving is never fun or easy. I have been exhausted. The office is fine and it will work. My only problem with it is that it has no windows!! I loved my last office, it had so many windows and it was a great office. I was so sad to move, but I had no choice in the matter. Oh bother! I will have to find a way to adapt to the lack of window in this space.

July 18, 2008

What do you do for a living?

Some of you may or may not know that I am a psychologist. I am not a clinical psychologist, which is the type of psychologist that most people think of. There are many types of psychologists and I am a psychologist that does psychological research (on occasion I also teach college courses in psychology). I do not provide therapy or any clinical services.

It is sometimes difficult to answer the question, "What do you do for a living?" I usually answer that I am a psychologist and then I have to explain that I am not a clinical psychologist and what I actually do. In fact, my family (Mr. Bear and my parents included) don't even seem to know what I really do. They just know that I have a Ph.D. in psychology but do not really know what that means.

My training is in developmental psychology and I conduct research on issues that impact children and families. Currently, my research is focused on the issues of work and family, such as the impact of maternal employment on families, the impact of the decision of women to opt-out of the workforce, and the effect of paid family leave on the health and well-being of newborns and mothers.

I have tried to keep my professional life separate from this blog simply because this blog was somewhat of a reprieve from work. But I have some exciting news that I really wanted to share. For the last couple of years, I have been working with 2 colleagues on an edited book based on a conference we had a few years ago. The book is finally published and I am so excited. I wrote a section introduction and a chapter in the book, and I was a co-author to another chapter. The book is an interdisciplinary volume that examines the multiple realities of work and family from academic, commercial, and political perspectives. It probably isn't a book that the regular person will read since it is geared toward work-family researchers, but it does include interesting information and research on an array of topics that cover the broad field of work and family from various perspectives.

So for those of you who wondered what I do for a living. Well there you go. It never is easy to explain.

July 17, 2008

Pooh's Thoughtful Thursday: Don't eat so much

When having a smackerel of something with a friend, don't eat so much that you get stuck in the doorway trying to get out.

~ Winnie the Pooh

July 16, 2008

Training for a Tri

Motivation is very important to keeping me on track with my exercise habits. As motivation, a few of my co-workers and I are planning to participate in a triathlon in October. I have never done anything like this, so I am very excited and motivated to do this. We are doing this for fun and for motivation to stay fit rather than for the competition. The triathlon have two different options:
  1. Olympic Distance Tri: 1.5K swim; 40K bike; 10K run
  2. Express Tri: 400m; 13.5K bike; 4K run
We will have several relay teams of 2 or 3 people. Right now I am definitely planning to run and I am debating whether or not to cycle as well. I know I can definitely do the running part. I will have to work myself up to cycling if I take that part on. That would mean doing 2 parts of the triathlon and if I were to do that I would have to do the Express Tri. What I do know is that I cannot do an entire triathlon; simply because I barely know how to swim.

When I was a little girl, I almost drowned and so I never really learned how to swim. So I have a little bit of a fear. I am not afraid of water or getting into the water. I actually love being in the water and going to the beach and the river, but I am not too keen on the deep end or not knowing or being able to see the bottom. I have learned a lot about my limitations and how to get around those limitations. Like snorkeling in Hawaii, we had floaties which helped me. Plus, the fins really help as well. When we go to the river, I usually go into the water and hold on to the boat or wear a life jacket if I need to.

Someday, I would love to learn to swim to be a capable and confident swimmer. Maybe even someday participate in a full triathlon. I did take adult swimming lessons a couple of years ago and so I do know some of the basics, but I do truly need more lessons to become proficient. This is one of my life goals. I really envy people who can just jump into the water without worrying about how deep the water is or looking for something to hold onto before getting into the water. One day, I will be a capable swimmer.

July 15, 2008

Getting back into the swing of things

It is definitely nice to be home and to get back into the swing of things. To be back on schedule at work and at home. Hopefully, I will also get back to blogging regularly as well. My eating and exercise habits have been all out of whack. Traveling makes it difficult to eat right and to exercise regularly. While in Maui, I ran most mornings along the board walk. How can you not be outside with this view:

I was motivated to run by the beautiful atmosphere and weather. In Oahu, we kept pretty active with hikes to Waimea Falls (sadly, the falls were dry hence no falls or water in the background) and plenty of walks.

Eating healthy wasn't too hard with all the fresh fish, but it was a little hard to stay away from the yummy tropical drinks. Pina coladas and mai tais are hard to say no. As are many other tropical drinks, hehehe. I think I might have had a few with dinner and at the pool.

To top things off, traveling to a conference just a week after getting back from vacation did not help. Airport meals don't offer the healthiest of choices and eating out and on the go can be difficult as well. I did my best to make healthy choices but with limited choices it was not easy. Plus sitting around in conference meetings and proceedings did not lend itself to being active.

So now it is time to get myself back into my regular healthy routine. I went to the gym to take a couple of classes on Saturday and last night. Those classes are ones that I am a regular in but having been gone for several weeks, those classes really kicked my butt. I am hurting a bit, but I am sure I will get back on track. I just got to keep myself in check and hopefully I will get my stamina back.

July 14, 2008

Abandonment Issues

I think that Chase Monster might have abandonment issues. I've been gone from home for so long that I may have traumatized my monster cat. He is so glad to have me home and since I have been home, he has been sleeping on my head, literally. He is so big that I have no pillow to sleep on because he is right there with me.

He has been watching my every move. Over the weekend, he sat with me on the couch as I relaxed and watched TV (in between doing many loads of laundry). Any time I got up from the couch, he carefully watched where I was going. He seemed quite relieved when I finally unpacked my luggage and put it away. I think that he may think that I will leave again. Poor Chase. It is nice to know my cat loves me! I love him too.

July 7, 2008

Coming Home

It is hard to get back in the swing of things. I guess it didn't help that Mr. Bear and I went away for the 4th of July weekend. We decided to spend the 4th with some friends at the River. We had a blast in the 115+ degree heat. Yes, it was really hot. But the river was close by at all times to cool us down. There was definitely time spent out of the boat and in the water. We had a lots of fun. Our theme song once again, Drink one more round on me..."


So now we are back home and there is so much to do. Catch up on work, laundry, unpack, and pack again. Yup, I have to pack my suitcase once again. I am leaving for a conference in Boston on Wednesday. Usually, I enjoy going to conferences, but since I have barely had the chance to actually to be at home for a substantial amount of time, I am not looking forward to getting on a plane and traveling once again.

At least, I will be back on Friday and I plan to stay home all weekend and just be home. I've forgotten what home is like.

July 3, 2008

A Special Request

Sunset photos have been requested from one of my wonderful readers. Jen, I aim to please :)

A different view of Hawaii

I love my new camera. I am very happy about my choice and I am glad that I changed my mind and spent a little more for the better camera. The zoom on the camera is amazing! We had a blast taking pictures and took over 800 photos. Here are some unique images from Oahu.

July 2, 2008

I miss the pineapple treats.

There is nothing like Hawaiian pineapples. They are just so yummy and sweet. The pineapple here at home is just not the same. Here are just a couple of pineapples:

Hi ho, hi ho, It's back to work I go

boo hoo, back to work I go. No beautiful Hawaii beaches to wake up to. Real life is just not as fun. Plus, it is really hot here in Southern California!! I miss the perfect temperatures of Hawaii. I was so spoiled.

I am a little overwhelmed with being back. There is so much to do and I don't really know where to start. I attempted to look at my Google Reader and there were thousands of blogs entries to catch up on!! That's not going to happen. I have tons of photos to upload and so many emails to sift through. Bill have to be paid, laundry needs to be done. Oh yeah, I have a ton of work too. Yikes. Reality on the mainland has sunk in. Oh how I miss paradise!

July 1, 2008

I'm baaaacckk

Back from Hawaii. It is good to be home. I so missed my Chase Monster. Not looking forward to going back to work after two weeks off. I looked at my work emails and it is a little insane! Hawaii pictures from Maui and Oahu to come soon.