Friday, November 30, 2007

Something upbeat (that's a surprise!)

My posts tend to be so sad or unhappy, which is not how i view my life. I guess i think a lot about things like this and how we ought to be out there trying to change them. So today, as a relief to the few that read this....I am going to write an upbeat blog!

I had a GREAT birthday and thanksgiving. My niece is such a doll....and my nephew is hilarious as well. I spent my weekend playing with them mostly. I also got a sick deal on a soft shell mt hardware coat and a kelty backpack! for those of you outdoorsy girls, head to outdoor outlet in San Jorge (for those of you who dont know, that is St. George in spanish) cannot beat those prices! I always get excited about new packs, in fact whenever I see those baby packs it makes me want to have a kid so i can justify purchasing one! haha, that is pretty sad and a little weird I know, but those kelty baby packs are SO cool.

My birthday was perfect. there really wasn't much that i wanted, so mike got me a day at the spa at snowbird (i have NEVER had a spa day but i am huge sucker for massages so i am stoked!). He also planned a surprise party for me later that night. The next day as a gift to myself I went down to the climbing gym and signed up for a membership (well OK, i actually just debated signing up for a membership because it is a year commitment.....but after my awesome climb i decided to just muscle down and pay the money.....which i will do when i return to the climbing gym).

this weekend is my first time with the rape crisis line....I am SO nervous. Although last night while i was watching "the waitress" (GREAT FILM!!!) with Mike he told me of his sister's friend who had just been raped....and i totally snapped into action and gave him a bunch of advice for his sister and phone numbers etc....Something inside me knew exactly what to do. So i am feeling a bit more prepared than i was before...we will see.

Next bit of news, i got a new job which i start on monday!! it is a job with a pediatric research network mainly doing clinical research. I am pretty excited about it. It will be hard to leave my old job and try something completely different...but it will be great for med school apps and it is about time for a change.

And finally, Mike and I are heading to sunny mexico in a week!! We take off in LA and head down to Aculpulco. We have three more stops along the coast. I am so excited I can't stand it. I have never been to mexico or on a cruise so it will be pretty sweet. Hopefully I will take some real photos and maybe you will get a post with something interesting! hope everyone else's holidays are as lovely as mine have been!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Erasing Stigmas

Just this past week I have started my training to be a rape recovery center volunteer. It is really interesting when i tell people this; I get many mixed reactions. A lot of people become extremely uncomfortable about the subject and would rather I not elaborate on the things they are teaching me in my forty hour training. Now before i go any further, let me just add this is not an X rated post, it will be PG at best. I find reactions to rape amusing because one of the number one issues at the center is the number of unreported and untreated cases. These are mainly due to the fact that the VICTIM feels ashamed.....the VICTIM!!! Because of the way we tiptoe around the topic or ask questions like: Why weren't you with anyone? Why didn't you fight? Why did you go there? Victims almost always feel like this rape (a crime that NO ONE has the right to commit) was their fault. Society paints this picture like they could have avoided being raped if they really wanted to.

This led me to another thought: The way we blame victims, and how it keeps people from getting the help they really need. About two years ago I had a pretty bad break up. For a few days i would just sit on my couch and watch tv. This is a pretty normal reaction I think, but my few days turned into weeks...and then a month. I had long stopped thinking about the guy, yet I couldn't stop crying-the worst part was, I didn't even know why I was crying. I would wake up around seven, go for a run, lie on my couch and cry until work (which started at 4p.m.) Now those of you who know me, know just how weird this was for me. I am never sad! I always have a good outlook on life. I have so much to be thankful for...more than SO many other people. I tried and tried to get off that couch, and finally a good friend got me into a clinic. They quickly diagnosed me with depression.

It is funny how negative that word is. It immediately makes people think of unstableness, suicide, of how the person ought to "just get over it". Whats even more amazing is that people will often skirt around it too and suggest things like "maybe you should get a hobby" "pray more" "you have nothing to be sad about" instead of things like "do you need help?" "do you need to talk about how you feel?" "do you think you may have depression?".......the funny thing about it is, most patients know they have depression....most of them start crying the minute the doctor says it, chances are however, they never wanted to admit it out loud. I was one of those people, I was a diabetic who was going to be a doc and ran marathons and played lacrosse and I was strong enough to get past this.....but i was wrong, I wasn't strong enough, my body had created this chemical strength would change it.

Along with rape, depression is something we as a society blame on the victim. We think they are being irrational and that it is a pretend ailment....hell, I even thought it was a pretend ailment until i physically could not stop my sorrow. I hope that one day victims of things like rape and depression will no longer feel the shame of society, and society will erase the stigmas that keep people from getting help. I can safely say that I wont keep my mouth shut until this happens.

Friday, November 2, 2007


Let me tell you all (the few and far between readers i have out there) what I did for halloween! i holed up in my tiny apartment and studied! my boyfriend worked all night....we keep telling ourselves it will pay off eventually, although it is hard to see where the pay off is at this time...oh well, i could always try and get a sugah daddy if i ever get too depressed about being a poor student dating an even poorer grad student. So, in order to save my relationship I have taken up living vicariously through the rest of you and your blogs.

So now that halloween is come and gone, it is on to my favorite holiday....THANKSGIVING! my birthday sometimes falls on thanksgiving and frankly, i don't know what could be better than running in st. george weather, eating an awesome meal, opening presents and taking a nap....i am stoked! My favorite part of thanksgiving is the fact that regardless of my multiple allergies (i am celiac: i.e. no wheat, barley,rye, and all things good) my mom cooks me the best pumpkin pie ever!

Finally, so as not to dismiss halloween is my neice all decked out.....She is a doll, and a hoot. I get to hang with her at thanksgiving as well, which is a definite bonus

Friday, October 19, 2007

to Jamie- who still doesnt believe i ever studied abroad

This is the Cartier on Champs Elysee. I didnt really care that much but both of my roomates thought it was pretty cool
the twinkling Eiffel Tower.....we would gather here at night with friends and sit and talk
My personal favorite, Sacre Coure....this was a few blocks from my house
The stained gladd at Sante Chapel...the entire room was just stained glass windows....supposedly it housed the crown of thorns...but no one really knows because only the king was allowed inside (funny how that works out!)
This is my little bedroom window in our teeny apartment. I had the coolest window though...even though we were in the dirtiest part of the city, the wrought iron windows could not be beat!
This is the outside of the louvre. I would come here after class and wander. STudents in France get into the Louvre for free so it was always a good place to stop on the way home
My school was right next to this intersection. The Seine and Notre dame were right there. I would sit in that cafe and laugh at my rude waitor.
At Christmas they put together a ferris wheel at the intersection of the Louvre Gardens and the Champs Elysee. I wanted to ride it pretty badly but i didnt get the chance before i went home. That pointy thing in the distance is the Eiffel Tower.

Jamie, i decided to include some iconic french spots, and one with me in you didnt think i just downloaded them off the internet :) i promise i studied was the greatest time ever too! Once i get my computer up and running again i will post some more.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


It seems like everyday i get more and more upset about the things going on in this world that we all seem to ignore. I know most of us have busy lives, but we all have food to eat and roofs over our heads. Even just wandering around the city i am moved to tears by the amount of people on the streets. These aren't just bums who are lazy and waste their money on booze. Just the other day I was at temple square and there was a man there whose arms had swollen to twice the normal size due to infection. it was obvious he was sick and thing that got me the most is that people not only did not feel it necessary to give him any money(that is fine if you can't afford it), but some flat out ignored him...He's a human too, others complained about there "religious experience" being ruined by beggars....take a lesson from Jesus people! Can you get more hypocritical...turn your religious experience into sincerely being Christ-like!!! I know I could give up a diet coke a day and easily pay that man five dollars...or at least take the time to hear him out and wish him luck as he is trying to overcome his trials.

mike and i walked past and i had to stop twice.....i have so much and this poor man had nothing. I asked mike what he thought might happen to that man. He told me what i already knew. "robyn, with that serious of an infection, he will probably die". I hope that his last thoughts aren't of people coming out of temple square complaining about how hard it is for them to see him there. I hope he thinks about the sister missionaries who gave him an apple and the elderly man who defied his wife and gave him change. I think most of all i hope people stop thinking about what a bother other people's suffering is, and think more about what Christ taught....we are all seriously blessed, and we all seem to think we deserve it more than others.....I dont think i want to stand up at the last day and have no excuse for not being charitable. Worse yet, I dont want to meet people like this man in the afterlife and have to apologize for being so close minded and self centered that i didn't have the time to even give him a friendly word of encouragement.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

More of life

most of these are just silly random photos of me and my friends up in slc

me acting like climbing buddy

the lacrosse boys at 458....gotta love em

my bestest friend nicholas, and two hot chicks

Tom and I, acting weird.

its funny to see all your children and families, kind of makes my life seem really silly, but i love it anyway
Since a lot of you haven't seen me in years, i found some photos online (my pc is broken). they are a few years old of the camp I volunteer at each summer and of my study abroad. I also threw my cute neices and nephews (minus a few) in there as well.

This is a tiny little village where my friend Dionne and I had the best bread and chevre i have ever had. I call this my french love affair....because the food there was unbelievable!

Just goofing off in Barcelona

My lacrosse club at Diabetic camp...nothing scarier than a bunch of kids swinging sticks at each other

My little sister and I last christmas, destroying a gingerbread house....

My niece, outrageous personalities run in the family

My nephews...looking cool

I will try to get more current photos up there soon....

Monday, October 8, 2007


After YEARS of waiting, congrats to Mario Capecchi for winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. for those of you who are interested, he discovered how to knock out genes in mice in order to study diseases. So essentially, he has found a way to target all disease to specific genes making studying and curing those diseases a hell of a lot easier. he works in my building and I was lucky enough to have dinner with him a few years ago. the man is pretty impressive, especially considering his mother was taken by the gustapo when he was 4 and he lived on the streets until he was 7. can you imagine being homeless and alone at the age of seven?? anyway, he has a fascinating life story.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My heros

Sos this weekend, my brother dan ran a race. This wouldnt seem like such a big deal to anyone i know, but he ran a 50 MILE race. Even still, weirder things have happened, but get this: As of three years ago, my bro was pushing 300 lbs.....he was a good 75-100 lbs overweight. One day, he just signed up for a marathon, started training and now he is running 50 mile races. I have got to say he is an inspiration to me. I am always complaining about the ten extra pounds i want to get rid of, and he went and dropped 75. WOW. He did this with two kids and a full time job, my ten ought to be cake. way to go Dan!

Next i have to give tribute to my aunt Chris. My aunt chris was the youngest woman ever to be appointed to a state supreme court. She is also the FIRST woman justice in Utah. She is now the Chief supreme court justice in Utah and she is a democrat. Not that this should matter, but as we all know, this state tends to bleed red through and through, so needless to say she must do her job pretty well to keep her position, which she does. She does her job so well in fact, that earlier this month she recieved the Rehnquist award: a national award appointed to one state justice a year based on fairness and outstanding work ethics. She goes to D.C. where she will recieve her award. I am so proud. Way to go aunt Chris!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Gettin my butt into gear

So last night my good friend and running buddy katharine called to inform me she had signed us up for a 10K trail run. Our last adventure was a half marathon in Moab, so this definitely seemed tamer.

So now i am determined. Ever since I started racing I have this nasty habit of training REALLY POORLY. Ex: my first race ever: SLC marathon (aren't I a go getter!) I trained for the SLC marathon kind of consistently...and very stupidly skipped a lot of long runs. I felt terrific the day of the race until I hit mile 22. There is a term in running called hitting a wall, and once you have done it you know EXACTLY why it is called that....i felt like I had been hit by a truck. thankfully I had a friend run the end with me otherwise i would still be asleep on the side of the road at mile 22.

Ex number 2: the SLC winter 30K....this is a series of of three races: a 5K, 10K, 15K spaced two weeks apart from each other. I wasn't really training for any of these, and ran them all rather poorly. Although i must say, by the time i ran the 15K i probably could have a run a pretty good 5K.

Ex number 3: Moab half marathon. around mile 6 my knees started hurting....very badly. I am pretty dumb when it comes to listening to my body when I am in pain so i just kept running......7.5 more miles. i didnt really walk for the next week.

So, my fellow bloggers and blog stalkers, you are my witnesses. The SLC marathon is in April and if i want to run it seriously, i need to become a serious trainer. So the 10K is in a month. I have run three-four milers this week and will end with a 5 miler.....i hope to run a consistent 8 by race time. So hold me to it! in a month if i dont post a happy race all have free range to make fun of my procrastinating ways.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

So i just thought for those of you( if there are really any readers out there) who don't know my boyfriend, that i would post a little about him.

Mike is a PhD student in Neurobiology. He is -as you may assume -too smart for words to describe, but he is very patient, not at all arrogant, and a great teacher as well.

Mike grew up in Viriginia and moved out here to go to the U. we met at a party where i flirted with him to get me a job interview (thats right, and i have NO was a great job). turns out i really enjoyed flirting with him and he did as we started dating.

We both love hiking, skiing, and being outdoors. We both study too much and work too long and cherish the few hours in the day we see each other. Its been a year and a month now and it has been awesome. I cant quite get over how nice this relationship is...especially compared to the very rocky relationships i had in the past.

The other day I had to go to the ER for a pain in my back (again!)....and as usual they did not know what was going on so they sent me home. Mike took me to the ER and waited and then when we drove home he said he had to go into work....he came back 20 minutes later with my favorite foods and a new book. He is so caring its ridiculous.

Anywho, this is a pretty old pic of him, but i will post more as we are going on a cruise in december.....and moab next weekend. but yeah, I am not really good at doing tributes to people as many of you are, but that is my michael....and i am pretty damn pleased with him :)

Friday, September 7, 2007

Greek Fest

Hey all,

The greek festival is this weekend in SLC. My friend, Andrea, will be dancing. It should be a really fun time with good food, good drinks, and lots of people. SO if you are in the area come on down.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday...."greek square" the greek orthodox church near gateway.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


So i have had it up to here (even though you can't see, my hand is really really high) with insurance companies.

As most of you don't know, I am afflicted with many diseases (all non communicably i swear!) Diabetes, Celiac disease, and a load of small things related to 22 years with diabetes are a daily reminder of the great genes my parents loaded on me :) . So, obviously, insurance has been a HUGE problem.

About six months ago, while i was on HORRIBLE student insurance that only covered emergencies-no meds or doc appointments-I was hospitalized for excessive vomiting and back pain. Of course we all thought kidney stones; however, as it turned out it is a mystery as to what I have and still affects me to this day. Thankfully, my insurance covered my three day hospital stay of test running that gave me no results at all....they covered it until yesterday that is.....when they called to tell me that they considered this a pre-existing condition......WHAT???

apparently the insurance got the BIG bill from the hospital and decided to try to blaim all of this on my Diabetes......yes that is right, according to my insurance company I have been vomiting blood for 22 years now since the day I was diagnosed with Diabetes. RIIIIIGGGGHHT. I am sorry for those defenders of insurance companies, but honestly, this is ridiculous.

What the insurance company forgot to look at while digging around in my past to screw me out of the money they owe, is to look up my legal history: i.e. my five cousins who are harvard grad lawyers, and my aunt who is a supreme court justice. They also unfortunately forgot to look up my many many uncles who are doctors. Needless to say, they are screwed. I have to say that I feel some sort of satisfaction that soon some croony at the insurance company will be shaking in his or her boots when they get a call from my lawyers/doctors. I'm sorry, but initially insurance companies are asking me to think twice about going to the ER and saving my life on fear that I will be in debt for the rest of it....and now I am going to have them think twice about whether or not they want to lose their job for trying to screw me out of medical insurance.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Catching up

Since I haven't been around in a while, I have been entertained by many's blogs down in good ol san jorge. I sort of had a horrible realization that I was indeed a blog stalker as I would check up on people (unbeknownst to them entirely!). So i am coming out, and as long as work is slow, you all can blog stalk me as well so I dont feel so bad.

I am in SLC, working at a biochemistry/genetics lab and working on med school apps. It is exhausting, but thankfully i have my running buddies, the mountains, my climbing fellahs, my wonderful boyfriend and a few of my wild sisters up here to help me with the stress. I LOVE salt lake city, down to the smelly salt flats and all the way up to the Uintahs, although having lived abroad for a while, i totally yearn for travel.

My boy is a HUGE part of my life; however, being he is a doctoral candidate in neurobiology, we dont get nearly as much time together and we would hope. We've been together for a year now and so far its been wedding bells soon though so don't get too excited. After reading this you all must think we are the biggest nerds in the world.....we probably are, but sometimes we do really cool things like drive cross country, go climbing, backpacking, and all sorts of wild adventures.

That is about it for now....if you know me or used to know me, i'd love to be you friend (seeing as how right now i probably just read your site anonymously...which is kind of creepy).