Thursday, December 13, 2012

Shine Bright Like a Diamond!

One of my favorite things about being a teacher is that I can be as nerdy as I want with my science stuff and I can pass it off as "something to teach my students."  However, that doesn't fool my closest friends who know I am a complete weather, earth, and space nerd.  Tonight is one of those nights that is so awesome for space nerds like me.  Tonight is the peak of the Geminid Meteor Shower!  To make it even more cool (as if it needed additional cool factor), another comet may be joining in the display.  Please welcome comet Wirtanen to the stage!  If you want to know more about the origin of both the Geminid shower and the potential shower from Wirtanen, gives a nice little overview.

Now, to the important stuff.

When can you see it?  Tonight....laaaate.  Yes, you will be able to see some meteors shortly after sunset and throughout the night, but the best part of it will be in the wee morning hour or two before bar close in California.  ;)

Where can you see it?  Um, in the sky.  It really doesn't matter where you are.  You should be able to see it.

"OH NO!  It is overcast where I am!  This sucks!"  Don't panic.  We may not be able to control the weather, but that doesn't mean you have to completely miss out.  Some super awesome NASA peeps are going to have live video of the showers from Alabama!  They will also be chit-chatting away with anyone who decides to join.  In addition, the Geminid showers will stick around for a few more days and you will be able to see those awesome meteors until the 15th and 16th, but tonight...tonight is the night to see the best of it with upwards of 100 meteors PER HOUR!!!

So, my nerdy science friends, enjoy the awesomeness that is a space gift and enjoy the show!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Day 1 - Accountability

Today, I did something I haven't done in a long time - I put myself through a full workout.  Now, I know I have several friends who do a heck of a lot more than what I did today, but I pushed my muscles to their give in point and that works for me...for now.

Why is this such a big deal?  Before I moved to Arizona, I had been working with a freakin fantastic trainer for about a year (shameless plug for Lance Pimentel at TNT Top Notch Training in Stockton, CA).  I was in the gym nearly every day and I felt phenomenal.  Lance kicked my butt once or twice a week and I kicked my own butt the rest of the week.  I was slimming down, toning up, and had a ton more energy.  I continued the training and the gym in Tucson, but not as enthusiastically.  

Then I lost feeling in my right arm.  It would swing back and forth from numbness to pins and needles.  My hand would swell to the size of a grapefruit and the whole arm and hand were useless.  After weeks of tests, an MRI, and who knows what else (you know my memory sucks), the diagnosis was a severely pinched nerve. What did the doctor do?  He prescribed me a nerve blocking pill.  Um, how exactly does that unpinch the nerve???  Exactly. 

This was when I decided to try chiropractic treatment.  After watching how much it helped my mom, I figured the least I could do was try it.  After just one treatment, I had general feeling back in my arm and hand.  Turns out it was a rib out of place that was pinching that nerve.  After a few weeks, I could grip things again and stopped taking the nerve pills.  After a month or two, I was able to get back in the gym, but I no longer had the motivation and endurance because of the weeks I was banned for doing anything strenuous with that arm.  I was frustrated, and rather than push through like I should have, I quit.  

I have learned a lot since then.  I have learned that taking the easy way out is rarely the best way.  I have learned that physical activity is something my body craves.  I have learned that an overweight person who exercises regularly is still healthier than a person at the "proper" weight who doesn't exercise.  I have learned that physical activity is absolutely VITAL for maintaining functionality with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I stop moving, so do my joints.  So I am starting again. 

Today I took that first step.  Last night as I lay in bed, I planned out my workout.  I caught myself thinking "I will try to workout tomorrow" and realized I was thinking the same way I had been for the last two years.  I then changed that phrase in my head to "No.  I will not try.  I will perform.  I WILL workout tomorrow."  That change in thinking made all the difference.  Now, I know how easy it is to quit.  It is harder to get started than to quit.  And now we are to the point of this post.  

I would love if someone out there would be willing to be my accountability coach.  Because I don't want to spam this blog with my workout regime and I don't want to spam my Facebook wall with my workouts, I am going to start a new blog to track my progress and help me stay accountable.  I want to be able to track my increased endurance and strength.  What better way than a blog!  So, if you are willing to be my accountability coach, or if you want to be my workout partner, come check out my NEW blog at Butt Busting Diva!  I look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A New Chapter

One of my favorite songs is "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield.  Though you have probably heard it before, for those who haven't, it is a wonderful piece of music dedicated to trying new things, finding your way, and deciding where you want to take your life.  That is where I am right now.  

For the last four years, much of my life has centered around school - becoming a teacher.  At the same time though, life dealt me some curve balls with 4 major moves, the hubby changing jobs 3 times, and me having to live separate from my husband for the last year and a half.  No matter how you look at it, life has been challenging, but the rewards are irreplaceable.  

Today, I know who my true and best friends are.  I know who will always have my back no matter how difficult life becomes. I know so much more about  myself, my motivations, my strengths, and my weaknesses.  I have a greater appreciation for life, love, and family.  And as an added bonus, I have confirmation and conviction that I finally found what I am supposed to be when I grow up.  In the last 3 years, my life has fallen into place and at 30 years old, I finally feel like I am becoming who I am supposed to be.  

Now I have new challenges and new questions.  What is the next step in life? What do I want now? What do I need? What are my new goals and dreams? Which friends will continue to walk by my side as I write the next chapter in my life? How can I give back to my friends, family, and community? How do I want to make a difference in our complicated world? These are the soul-searching questions I ask myself as I ponder my future.  As Miss Bedingfield tells us, "the rest is still unwritten."  

My future will be what I make it, but I have to decide what it is I want and need in my future - assuming we survive the apocalypse.  ;)  So tell me, what are some of your goals for the future?  What are your dreams?  How do you want to give back to your community?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Where Have You Been Alicia?!?!

As you noticed, I haven't been around for quite a while.  I had all these wonderful plans and ideas for blogging and then school took over my life.  Then there was the multiple moves for the hubby's job and loads of other craziness.  To say the least, this has been a tough, but interesting and amazing year.  To those of you who have hung in there during my absence of postings, thank you!

Now, here is the reward for my dedication and hard work.  Enjoy!