Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Last Minute Costumes

Happy Halloween!
If you're like Boyfriend-Fellow and I, despite the highest aspirations for this year, you've found yourself scrambling for a costume.

You could go the Rachael-route and re-wear last year's costume (wah wahhh)

Or you could be like Boyfriend-Fellow and put together one of these easy-peasy, witty, last minute costumes.

(NOTE: I can't take credit for any of these ideas... I've seen them all floating around)

Idea #1: Strap a piece of bread to your front and your back and go as a 150 pounder (instead of a quarter pounder).

Idea #2: Write 'ceiling' on a sweatshirt, carry around some pom-poms and go as a ceiling fan.

Idea #3: Lounge around in a green sleeping bag as Jabba the Hutt

Idea #4: Tape tiny cereal boxes to you with red paint dripping off ... Cereal Killer!

Idea #5: Paint a shoebox black and strap it to your back. You're a refrigerator magnet of yourself!

Idea #6: Or, you could do what Boyfriend-Fellow did and attach snacks to yourself to transform into a vending machine.
Yes, people at the party bought stuff of of him.

What are you going to dress up as? 
Heard of any other clever ideas?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Know Thyself - Part 5

The last part of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Assessment is the lifestyle (i.e. ) dimension (judging/perception).

This one was the most interesting to me as it's the one I'm least sided with. I'm more in the middle and I'm not happy with that.

The class divided into judgers on one side and perceivers on the other and shared some experiences. One self-identified judger described how she starts making lists and planning every hour of her days the MOMENT she finds out she's going on a trip. And she was happy with that.

On the flip side, a perceiver in the group described how he didn't even begin to look for a hotel until 4am after a concert. And he was happy with that.

I'm in between. When I know a trip is coming up, the judger part of me wants to make lists and plan.  But I don't have the energy of a full-blown judger to help me see it through. I end up with an unfinished draft of a list and don't start packing until the night before leaving me anxious. The perceiver part of me would prefer I could just go with the flow and wing it.

Packing unhappily.

I'd love to know what you are... More of a judger or a perceiver?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Magic Glos

Recently, I was wearing this necklace at a coffee shop...

...And the barista told me she's been looking FOREVER for a cat silhouette one.

So I made her this...

And for a size reference, here's my thumb....

I used an empty circle pendant and this resin, which I just LOVE. 
It can make even a sketch glued to a circle look professional!
(Except for that bubble. Oh well)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Know Thyself - Part 4

The other functions of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Assessment are the decision-making functions (thinking/feeling).


Thinkers are those who make decisions based on a logical, cause-and-effect, consistent approach. They can suppress feelings and approach a situation from a more detached, neutral standpoint.


Feelers, on the other hand, can suppress thinking that conflicts with emotion, and tend to empathize with the circumstances, try to look at it from other people's view and care very much about what other people think.


I identify more with being a feeler but I certainly value my thinker side as well. While learning about those two decision-making functions, it occurred to me that polar opposites would have very different opinions about what's fair. Say we're looking at it from the perspective of a teacher, who very clearly laid out a policy about not accepting late assignments, who is now being approached by a student with a good excuse...
A thinker may be saying, "Of course I can't make an exception, it wouldn't be fair to the other students, the department, etc"..
While a feeler may be saying, "Of course I have to make an exception, it's only fair to this person who has such extenuating circumstances."

I've seldom found it helpful when someone says to try to imagine things from another person's point of view and I think that's because the instruction is so vague. Now that I can imagine the situation specifically from a thinker's point of view or from an introvert's point of view, its way easier to conceptualize and empathize.

What are you... A thinker or a feeler?
Do you wish you were the other way or are 
you happy with what you are?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Awkward/Awesome vol. 69

Awesome: Being environmentally conscious and turning off the bathroom lights when I leave the restroom at work.
Awkward: Forgetting someone else was still in there...

Awkward AND Awesome: This encounter

Awesome: Eggnog taffy. My new fav.

Awesome: Puppamoth relaxing

Awesome: Going on a double-date day trip on Saturday to go pick apples!
Awkward: Finding out apple-picking ended LAST Saturday.
Awesome: Having a fantastic time anyways!

Awkward: Using a product called 'Tea For One' (it sounds so sad!)
Awkward x 2: My brand is specifically 'Tea For One... For Life'

Awesome: I made my own pesto!
Awkward: This poor plant had to pay the price for it.

Being picked up to this scene and Boyfriend-Fellow saying, "You'll have to sit in the back."

Awesome: Successfully not biting my nails for 2 weeks!
Awkward: Until Argo. Damn.

Catch me up on your life, lovelies!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


When I was in 7th grade, one of my favorite things to do with my best friend was to walk to the drugstore and blow our allowance on cheap-o beauty products. I wasn't yet wearing real makeup but I really liked the candy-flavored lip-glosses, brightly colored hairclips and best of all the Bonne Bell Bottled Emotions line of perfumes.

Like all good things, the perfume stopped being manufactured at some point and I was left with just one aging bottle of Flirty.

I used it super sparingly but still, my supply dwindled. 

In high school, I decided to save the last few drops for my theoretical wedding day
 (an idea I got from a friend who similarly had her favorite perfume line canceled on her)

I spent years searching for an equivalent but to no avail. One day it occurred to me to check online and lo and behold, there were some people selling some unopened bottles! Now I'm stockpiled for life.

What's your favorite perfume? 
Are you saving the last few drops too?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Know Thyself - Part 3

In part 3 of the Know Thyself series, I wanted to talk about another aspect of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Assessment... Namely, the perceiving function (sensing/intuition).

Just like introversion and extraversion it's a scale thing because of course, we all use both sensing and intuition to gather information depending on the situation but we tend to lean more on one that the other. I happen to fall on the intuition side (a 14 out of 30 to be exact, see below).


Sensors (roughly 75% of the population) are people who prefer to assess what's right in front of them. They take in the facts and tend to ignore out-of-the-blue notions, preferring information they can trust. Sensors prefer precise, concrete directions for a task and tend to be more routine based.


Intuitors are more abstract, trusting gut instincts and thinking theory-based thoughts. They don't analyze all the details and are more often focused on future possibilities.


While the definition of an intuitor somewhat describes me, I can see why I'm not a full 30. I definitely prefer concrete directions when I'm given a task, because I'm afraid of doing it 'wrong'. Maybe if I didn't think there was a wrong way to do it (i.e. if whoever was in charge was also an intuitor), I'd feel better being more free. But that said, I do spend more of my time thinking abstractly about the future.

Are you more of a sensor or an intuiter?
Are you a here-and-now or a gut-instincts person?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Know Thyself part 2

For the what-do-I-want-out-of-my-career class I mentioned in my last post, we filled out the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The MBTI is a questionnaire that is designed to measure preferences and reactions to the world. The assessment was originally designed by a mother and daughter for women who were entering the workforce during World War II, in order to place them in the best suited job for them.

There are four components to the questionnaire. Attitude (extrovert/introvert), function (sensing/intuition and thinking/feeling) and lifestyle (judging/perception)

Today we'll talk about the first one.

Before recently, I always thought an extrovert was someone who liked being around people and an introvert was someone who liked being alone.

While that misconception is understandable, the real definition of an extrovert is someone who derives their ENERGY from social situations while an introvert derives their ENERGY from being alone. An introvert can be just as (if not more so) socially-skilled as an extrovert and similarly, may be just as likely (if not more so) to enjoy a social situation. However, at the end of a party, an extrovert feels pumped and an introvert feels drained.  A long, productive day at work without water-cooler chatting breaks is likely to leave an extrovert depressed while an introvert in the same situation would feel just fine.

Introverts and extroverts also differ in how they process things, like emotions. As an extrovert, when I'm dealing with a troubling issue, I like to talk it out, even if the conversation is lengthy and circuitous. It's how I come to conclusions. An introvert prefers to process his or her emotions alone and only bring them up to someone else when they've reached a conclusion and the other person would benefit from knowing this conclusion. So I imagine it's rather frustrating for an introvert to talk through problems with me as I'm just processing and they're thinking everything I say must be very relevant or why would I bring it up?

What about you? Are you an extrovert or an introvert? What do you do to recharge?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Know Thyself - Part 1

On a recent Awkward/Awesome post, someone remarked that it looked like I was having only awesomes that week, which really reminded me how different my life looks on blogland vs. real life. Sure, I had a lot of good moments that week but it was also a particularly rough one.

Some people like their blog to be a diary.  I'm going for more of a scrapbook feel. A diary should document both the ups and downs but who pulls out a scrapbook with tear stained tissues taped to the pages and notes you never sent to unrequited loves pressed between the pages? That's not what scrapbooks are usually for.

Don't think I'm criticizing how other people run their blogs. I very much enjoy both types. Personally, I don't like to put the negative up here because for ME, this isn't the best outlet for it. But just because I don't doesn't mean I don't have my share of down-in-the-pits moments.

This summer was particularly demoralizing. I already had some lurking inner-issues I had been in denial about for far too long, as well as just plain ol' hard situations. On top of that I spent over three months working on a project that, for some reason, didn't resonate with me. Not getting satisfaction from my work when I really wanted work to be an escape was the straw that broke the camel's back.

However, the overall experience was really valuable for me because...
1) I learned how to work hard at something I don't enjoy
2) I had to find other outlets for my needs that my graduate school career was no longer fulfilling (I went into turbo crafting mode, spent more time with people and generally had more adventures).
3) And, most important, without really hitting bottom, I would never started dealing with some of the nasty demons I have been carrying around for far too long.

While things are much better now, I still have a lot of growth to go. In a myriad of areas.
One of which is graduate school. I decided to be proactive about it so I'm currently taking a class geared towards helping people figure out how to best utilize grad school for their ultimate career goals.

I've been learning a lot and it's been quite interesting so I wanted to do a little mini-blog series and start some discussions.

Thanks for reading my dissertation.

What about you?
Is your blog more your diary or your scrapbook 
or something else?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Awkward/Awesome vol 68

This is kinda a weak week.... (<--- as evidenced by weak jokes)

Awesome: Last month, I noticed my neighbor had hung the vase I had made her in her window (she liked it!)
Awkward: Last week, I noticed my neighbor had left the vase I had made her in her window (she moved out 2 weeks ago....)

Awkward: I decided it'd be easier to schedule almost all my presentations and talks for the quarter on one day so I only had to get dressed up once. DOH!

Awkward and Awesome: Boyfriend-Fellow made me laugh so hard I keeled over.
Awkward x 2: ...In front of some coworkers and faculty I later found out.

Awkward: Someone opened their car door into mine.
Awkward x 2: While I was in it. Awkward moment.  

Awesome: I joined a group of friends who have decided to watch the entirety of the show The Wire together.
Awkward: I somehow forgot that I can seldom sit still through 20 minutes of something let alone 1-2 hours of a show.
Awkward AND Awesome: After the first fidgety hour, the host gave me a pen and some paper to doodle and I was happy. Like a 5 year old.

Awkward and Awesome: I gave an hour long lecture to a class of 100 people!

Awesome: Now we know. Thanks Newsweek!

What's been awkward and awesome about your week?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Party Pleaser

If you live near a Trader Joe's grocery store and have a potluck to attend, you now have a 45 second option.
Yes, 45 seconds.

Just mix one package of Trader Joe's Steamed Lentils...

with one package of Trader Joe's Bruschetta Sauce...

and one package of Trader Joe's Crumbled Feta


Serve cold with crackers, endives or on it's own.

Warning: You will be asked all night for the recipe.

You have my madre to thank for this one 
(she learned it from Trader Joe's)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Manic Monday

I'm about to....

Give an hour long lecture (all by myself, no teacher present to help me if I can't answer a student's question).

Followed immediately by class (for which I haven't had a chance to prepare, i.e. do the reading).

Followed immediately by my hour long pitch to the department of my new idea(s) for where I want to take my research for the next 3-5 years (a completely different direction than I've been going).

Followed immediately by co-hosting a talk series.

Then to an organizational meeting for TED.

Wish me luck!

Friday, October 12, 2012

California Girl

I have a confession. While I was born in (and spent most of my life in) California, I haven't lived up to my true California girl stereotyped potential.

But I'm rectifying that with my recent foray into the world of surfing (not for me)
Two days ago, I tried yoga for the first time.

Before I always thought, "Pssh! I don't need to PAY someone for glorified stretching."

Tut tut, silly Rachael. Now I realize it's one of the rarest-of-rare activities that both encourages physically (and mentally) connecting with your body while not stressing your body.

Most of the time when I'm aware of my body it's either to work it out (feels good after but...), to berate it ("I wish I were..." and fill in the blank) or to feed it.

So far, yoga has begun to foster a love for my body (not proportional or in relation to what it can or can't do). I'm finding that I'm even beginning to love my imperfections. No other activity has given me that.

Anyways, that's surfing, yoga... I'm already vegetarian. Guess that just leaves plastic surgery.

What else is a stereotyped California thing in your mind?
Have you tried yoga?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Awkward/Awesome vol 67

It's Awkward/Awesome Thursday time!

Awkward and Awesome: Having to settle an argument between a couple in the grocery store as to whether this item was called a 'loofah' or a 'squeegie-mama'.

Awkward: Ever since Faja retired, he'll send this to people on a weekday....

Awkward: The tire tracks left on my forehead after wearing headbands

Awesome: Taco Tuesdays!

Awkward: This tag telling me I can't wash or dry my new dress. Fat chance.

Awesome: Rainbow nails

Awesome: This seaweed bulb totally looked like the piranha plant from Mario

Awesome: This lamb cake pan(?) totally looked like the fawn from Pan's Labyrinth

Awesome: Katie noticed this clasp looked like an elephant!

Awesome: Puppamoth hung out with a random bachelorette

Awkward and Awesome: Puppamoth blew his whole paycheck

Awkward and Awesome: Faja found more old photos

What's been odd and/or interesting about your week?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My how we've changed...

Found an old photo of my sisters and I the other day and that led to finding more... and more..

When Biggest Little became a big sister!
She looks so startled

 Oh man...

Visiting me at undergrad

Trying for a family portrait
Not happening...

Only this one would oblige...

Saying goodbye at the airport... 

Ice skating...

Another airport goodbye
Someone is not very happy..

A birthday
Look at those faces!


A sister day in San Francisco!

Near Christmas time...

Sister Day in San Francisco (again)

Summertime fun

Visiting me at grad school

A day in the park

Being silly at church

Hope you enjoyed my little jaunt down memory lane. :)