Thursday, January 28, 2016

Snowmageddon 2016

It is mid week post Snowmageddon 2016. The trash and recycling haven't been picked up yet. I have no idea when they will be here. The mail finally came and it seems the schools are back in business. NPR says its a record snowfall. We got around 2 feet but other areas got more. I believe it. I beat myself up shoveling Saturday afternoon during the storm. The neighbors and I traded our dinner plans and drink options virtually but none of us braved the elements to each other's homes. I sat on the couch with this furball reading some soon to be discussed material.

The storm gave way to a glorious morning. I did a swan dive into the snowbank before I shoveled some more. It was fantastic. My 4 year old loved it. He played in the snow while my husband and I dug out.  He was where we left off on the drive way and I started to chip away at the wall of snow from the street. 

Photo courtesy of my iPod

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

On Dating While Undocumented: Every Side

I was made privy to this entry for the Dating While Undocumented series on the My Undocumented Life Blog. The essay was penned by my cousin.

I remember the first time I knew I loved my boyfriend. I had just kicked my foot hard onto the breaks of my car to avoid slamming into a small sedan that had cut me off. With equal force I punched the horn and shouted something I’d never say to that person’s face. Quickly remembering that the man I had been dating for less than three months was sitting next to me, I glanced over and shrugged with a weak smile. “I have a bad temper when I get stressed out,” I offered meekly.
His lips were flat but his eyes were bright and amused. I have always loved how expressive his eyes are. After starring at me for what felt like forever, he laughed and said “If that’s who you are, that’s OK. I want to know every side of you.”

It wasn’t love in the way I feel it now, almost five years later, but it was a signal to me that he wanted to truly know me and the realization that I felt the same. Looking back, his immigration status was something I knew all along. He barely spoke English when we first met. Luckily, a few months earlier I decided to start preparing for my upcoming semester abroad in Madrid by brushing up on my Spanish. Timing really is everything.

Over the next few months and years his status would become more and more a topic of our conversations: realizations of his troubled childhood growing up in civil war-torn El Salvador; daydreams of his ideal job if he didn’t have to bus tables; frustrations over not being able to travel together; concerns over health care costs outweighing concerns about his aches and pains; fights over his fear of going out with my friends just in case something happened and the police showed up. Through it all he never pressured me to get married for a quick fix, as my relatives initially feared he would. He always insisted that he didn’t want me to make his problems my own, but I knew fairly quickly that I was in this for the long haul.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friends Night Out

This past Wednesday, I was out with my bff. We had dinner at a pub in between where we live. By bf is a talented in vivo scientist. For my non-pharma audience, the “in vivo” trials she runs are in animal models that have been bred to have human illnesses. She makes sure potential compounds are safe and effective before pharma companies even consider trying it on a human. My point is when I have aches, pains and mysteries of the body; I turn to her knowledge of biology. Example, me pregnant: “Why am I so f-ing tired all time?” Her, your body is making a baby and its energies are re-directed to making a baby.

So in the midst of the two of us solving the mysteries of our lives, as women’s conversations can be so telling, I asked her why I was so f-ing hungry with weight training? (Note: I have also asked Google and my fabulous Trainer). I mean, it’s like age 14 starting junior varsity swimming and feeling like 30 laps in the pool was the end of me. Then going to McDonalds with my parents and eating multiple cheeseburgers. Yes I am that tired and that ravenously hungry.

My best friend, Google and Trainer have told me that I am destroying muscles as I work them. As my body rebuilds those muscles, I am going to need more food, hence my desire for the fatty and protein-licous. This week it was provolone and dark chocolate chips mixed with sunflower seed butter.

I am in week 3 of my UpLift training and I have noticed my body changing in addition to the appetite of a 14 year old pre-pubescent boy. I have been able to run again, not as a recovery but in addition to the weight training. This is a vast improvement over Week 1.

The plan has me working one set of muscle groups for example arms and chest. As the workout is destroying me, the sequence of events has the rest is built into it. I have to stress active rest, which happens right before total annihilation. So I could be dying with 3-way bicep curls then get to “rest” with pushups before I get into a set of burpees. Who doesn’t love a burpee?

As a result, I need to consume more calories to rebuild what I have just obliterated. By the way, I keep using words like destroy, annihilate and obliterate because I kid you not; these workouts are kicking my ass. I also have to add that instead of filling up on vegetables and small portions that I need to turn to more “nutrient” dense protein and fat, otherwise I am light headed (and f-ing hungry).

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Conference Call Hosted by United We Dream

This evening, I attended a call hosted by United We Dream (UWD). Here are my notes from the meeting. 

Attendees: UWD Moderators were David Chung and Greisa Martinez (Advocacy Director) and over 100 participants.

Today the United States Supreme court made the decision hear the case that has been stalled in Texas. This means that "we are getting our day in court". DAPA would grant deportation relief to 5 million people. Greisa noted that she is a DACA recipient. Her mother would qualify for DAPA should it come to pass.

What this means is that the State of Texas and the US Department of Justice argue in front of the Supreme Court on why DAPA should and should not happen. Each side gets about 30 minutes to present their case. We will know later this week when the two sides come before the US Supreme Court.  The main question to be addressed is if President Obama had the power to grant work permits to potential DAPA recipients. UWD notes that DACA 2012 was within the President's powers.  

UWD expects oral arguments from both sides to happen in April.  If so, a decision from the hearing might happen in June. Timeline will be confirmed by the end of the week.
Currently we need 5 out of 9 Supreme Court judges to be on our side in order for DACA/DAPA to "become a reality".

UWD's goal is to defend the DACA 2012 victory.  UWD aims to ensure the American people know who we are defending. Their job is to "lift up stories" of people we love so they can be heard. We need to put a face on our community members. 

Currently, Justice Kennedy might be the deciding vote towards this victory and hat Chief Justice made "the right choice". In defending DACA/DAPA we are defending DACA 2012.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Dating While Undocumented. MyDocumentedLife.Org Blog is Calling for Submissions! is a blog with up-to-date information and resources for undocumented immigrants. The blog is releasing a series called Dating While Undocumented and is calling for submissions! Dating while undocumented is tough and the blog aims to start a much needed conversation.

Dear Readers of My UnDocumented Life blog,

While looking for a partner, we all hope that he or she has few skeletons in the closet. At the very least we hope to be acquainted with said skeletons. Well what if said skeleton is your immigration status? Welcome to the wonderful and complex world of dating while undocumented. As much as we would like to put our best foot forward as undocumented young adults, organizers, students, and potential partners, we all know reality is full of gray areas. So let’s talk about it! My Undocumented Life is calling for submissions* for a series called Dating While Undocumented.

It is our hope to start a much needed conversation, start a few support groups and also brighten the experience with more chocolate. Who doesn’t love chocolate and sharing messy dating experiences? Judge me by my feelings, my love of chocolate but not by my lack of papers! Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of judges– members of the My UnDocumented Life blog team. The winner will receive a box of Chococurb!
The My UnDocumented Life blog team

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Commence Weight Training

I had what might have been the most spectacular wipe out during a run today. It didn't happen on the glorious Forbidden Drive trails. It was 50 feet from my door over an uneven sidewalk. When I started, I passed an older gentleman with a grocery bag with what seemed like his lunch. I must have been a sight because even though my legs didn't catch up, my arms spread out like a drunken Spiderman to keep from eating concrete. When he caught up to me, he asked if I was okay.

In any other circumstance, I might have been able to catch myself with my feet but not today. After torn tights, a boo boo on the knee and a missing ear bud, I kept going.

2 days ago I decided to purchase a training plan from UpLiftTraining. One of the women I have run with in the past is the owner. I kid you not she looks like an off duty super hero. I have overheard her discussing ultra marathons with the other women and that she had a toddler. While I also have a toddler, I do not look like an off duty superhero. More like working mom that gets asked occasionally if I am expecting. All I do is run. Its on my to do list to do "other stuff" in terms of fitness. So, I am doing "other stuff".

I am starting to see my grief patterns. Whenever something happens to upset the balance in my world (usually a broken heart), I throw myself into something new that usually hurts like school or more fitness.