Dirty Girl Mud Run Denver 2014

Mud ‘n’ Gold: The 2014 Denver Dirty Girl Mud Run

Like most of us, one of my New Year’s resolutions involves taking better care of my health. So far, dirty girl mud run denver 2014the first month has been pretty good in terms of working out and focusing on my goals. Still, when the weather is too cold to enjoy a workout outside, the inside of a gym can get pretty drab and boring. It helps to have a reminder of what I’m capable of and some outdoors fun that’s happened in the past.

This past September (on my birthday, in fact!) I participated in my first mud run. I’ve done one 5k before, and was a spectator at a Tough Mudder my boyfriend did a while back. My goal is ultimately to run a Tough Mudder with him, but I thought it might be better to start smaller and work my way up.

Continue reading

A New Year’s Reflection

miami1

The Sunny Isles skyline

New Year’s 2015 started in a very different place for me than New Year’s 2014 did – both in physical location and mind. A year or so ago, I was in an adorable mountain lodge in Estes Park, Colorado watching the ball drop on TV and the snow flutter outside with my handsome boyfriend. This year, the handsome boyfriend was still there (fortunately for me, I found someone who actually enjoys keeping me around, and loves traveling as much as I do), but my bare feet were in the sand as I watched fireworks burst and fall into the Atlantic Ocean in Miami, Florida. A year ago, I was stressed out about how impossible finishing my thesis seemed; now, I’m stressed out about how impossible finding a job in my field in a location I actually want to live in permanently seems. The past several months have not been the best. Both Kevin and I have gotten very close to getting more than one job, only to watch them slip through our fingers. Since this past April, I have applied for well over 100 jobs, and had some form of positive contact from a grand total of 5. I greatly dislike the snow, and had certainly not planned on spending another winter in Wyoming. Added all together, it makes for a pretty desperate, overwhelming feeling. After watching the New Year come in on the beach, and Kevin and I were back in our hotel room, I had a somewhat encouraging epiphany that I shared with him. This year is the year we move. We know for sure now that it wasn’t 2014. With 12 months ahead of us, this has to be the year we get jobs and move. In the coming weeks, I have a lot of thinking to do on how to make sure this gets done. Maybe this means we just keep plugging along and applying for jobs. Maybe this means we just move without a job and try our luck that way. I don’t know for sure yet, but I have to choose to focus on the positive aspect of one way or another, this is the year. Kevin is big on making New Year’s resolutions, and I don’t think I have ever come across someone as dedicated to keeping them as he is. The only resolution I made in 2014 was to read 50 books, and I read … 13 (thanks, grad school). Kevin was able to look back on the resolutions he made and note that he met nearly all of the goals he’d set. Together, we each set 5 resolutions for 2015, wrote them down, and signed them. Hopefully I can find a bit of his motivation and stick to mine as well. My resolutions:

  • Read 50 books (might as well give this another shot)
  • Move to the Pacific Northwest (one of the most interesting things about 2014 was how my
    miami3

    My resolution partner

    goal went from California to Oregon/Washington. California has not been ruled out, but there are many pros to going a bit farther north.)

  • Meet my goal body fat percentage (I have been slowly building back up the healthy habits that grad school and a finally-fixed back injury erased. I like to focus on body fat % more than a specific number on the scale.)
  • Learn 3 songs on my guitar/reach at least a moderate fluency in Spanish (learning goals got lumped in a 2-for-1 resolution)
  • Get a job in my field  using my degree

Do you make resolutions at all? And if you do, do you periodically check in to see how you’re doing with them?

Book Review |Ghost in the Wires by Kevin Mitnick

Ghost-in-the-WiresGhost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker by Kevin Mitnick

Book Finished: September 15th, 2014

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars


After two years of just dropping my boyfriend, Kevin, off at the entrance to the Rio Convention Center in Las Vegas for DEF CON and then day drinking until he was done for the day, I attended DEF CON 22 back in August. Day drinking was still included, but I was also able to learn a lot more about what Kevin does for a living, and learn quite about the technologies that my field (public relations/communications) uses day-to-day.

DEF CON seemed as good a time as any to pick up a book by a different Kevin that I’d been meaning to read for awhile:  Ghost in the Wires, Kevin Mitnick’s autobiography. I unfortunately woke up too late during one of our DEF CON days where Mitnick was doing a book signing, so I didn’t get to meet him in person. However, thanks to this autobiography, I am eager to do so next year.

Continue reading