Thursday, December 18, 2008

Seriously? Seriously.

Dear Powers-that-be,

THIS is how you're gonna be? THIS says "Happy Holidays" to you? I've had it with you and your bad gifts. I mean, really, put some thought into it next time. It takes a real idiot to think that my mom having to have a thyroidectomy because of some potentially cancerous nodules would be a nice treat. Especially two years after presenting my dad with leukemia, the gift that keeps on taking. All I can say is that this better work out okay, or next year you don't get a Christmas card.

Your friend (for now),


update (april 10, 2009): mom's hanging in just fine! had treatment dose of irradiated iodine, lost voice and sense of taste, regained both. scan will be in july or august. expected results = super awesomeness. whew!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Half full

Being positive is hard. See? I was just negative about being positive. Oops. I've been trying to be more positive lately, and it's been a challenge. It's alerted me as to just how negative I am. I can't imagine that I'm all that pleasant to be around, what with all of my complaining and my negative attitude and such. I'll keep trying, but no promises. I mean: I'm sure it'll be great! I'm also trying not to swear, and it's really tricky, that one. I've tried before unsuccessfully. I think I may have been a sailor in a past life, and I brought the mouth with me.

Anyways, I'm getting out of town for a couple of days and I'm so excited! I haven't been out of town just for fun in quite a while. I think it was in late May when I went to San Francisco for a conference and stayed 4 extra days for a mini-vacation. Which was awesome and incredible and briefly made me want to be a northwest coaster. Then, I looked up cost of living info, and that's just not gonna happen. I've got student loans. And a habit of eating. Plus, I'm a tad nervous about earthquakes and giant wild fires. But that's just me.

So, NY here I come! When I get back, I'll review the MVP bus company (supposedly there's wifi on the bus for those of us who have panic attacks when we're away from the internet for more than an hour at a time) and all of the delicious food I eat (vegan Thanksgiving and veggie dim sum!). I won't review the couple of friends I'll get to see, as that might be inappropriate and anyways, I expect that seeing them will be a five star experience. See, I'm all about being positive.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's baaa-aaack.

And I'm not talking about the snow. Rawr.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Descriptions of some things that are pretty and some that are not

Dear Internets,

Today it snowed. It was AWESOME. I woke up, fed the cats, went to put the cat food can in the recycling, and there it was right outside my kitchen window. Snow. Giant, fluffy, white flakes of snow. Gore-gee-us. More please. It made me happy all the day long.

Also today, I went to my orthopedist to follow up on my infected surgical incision (see below for whining). It was quite a surprise when he decided to clean it out with pointy tweezers and sharp scissors. It's amazing how deeply those implements can go into a completely un-anesthetized leg. Did I mention that the pointiness? And the sharpness? And that there were no drugs involved? Not even a good knock over the head with a blunt object so as to dull my senses, particularly the one of pain. Why why why? There was bleeding and gagging and hurting and gnashing of teeth, and that was just the doctor. Ba-dump bump. Any-who, there is no longer any visible white or yellow grodiness on/in my leg, thanks to pointy instruments and the weird fascination my ortho has for gross things. Hopefully, it'll be all healed up soon! Just 5 more days of crazy antibiotics.

Fingers crossed! You know -- for more snow and less pus.

Yours in the spreading of unsolicited information,


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Ice Man Cometh

Did I miss fall? Did I sleep through it? I mean, I know I like a good nap, but I'm no Rip Van Winkle. I remember a couple of breezy days, noticing that the leaves were changing colors. One day, I relished the canopy of red and orange that I drove beneath on my way to school. The next, I became downright giddy when I turned a corner after driving to a friend's house (to pick her up to go to school -- do you see a pattern?), and there were leaves covering the street and the baseball diamond in the city park to my left. Gorgeous fall. And then it was gone. Now, today, a high in the low 30s. A wind chill of 15. Nearly all of the leaves have been blown off of the trees. How did that happen so quickly? The saddest part? I only got to crunch through the leaves once. There's always next year, right?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My, but you've changed.

Where have I been (when not oversharing about leg grossness)? Not procrastinating! I've surprised myself, my friends, and my advisor by actually doing some work on my dissertation. Weird! I might actually finish the program one day. A girl can dream...

I've also been doing a hella lot of cooking. I think it's fall motivation. Soups galore, blueberry oatmeal crumb bars, and plenty of other yummy stuff. Yay for fall!

Well, I think I'll go do some laundry and draft a general cover letter for job searching purposes. Ah, the exciting life of a grad student.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The never-ending saga of Leggie 2.0

I was so proud of myself. I didn't whine when I had my two leg surgeries. Sure, they were uncomfortable and they inconvenienced me, but they really were far easier than I had expected, and I was grateful. The right leg (the first surgery) has healed amazingly! The scar is small and is bound to fade away to almost nothing. All in all, the whole experience has been pretty positive. Below is evidence of smooth-sailing.

That's all over now. One word -- infection. Yup, the site of my second surgery is infected. It's runny and gross and, according to my orthopedist/surgeon and his new physician's assistant, it smells like feet. Apparently, that's a sign of a particular bacteria.

Here's how it went down. Skip this paragraph if you're easily grossed out or are eating dinner. Okay, I went to the doc Monday for what was supposed to be my final follow-up appointment. I even brought some muffins for my doc and his awesome receptionist to thank them and say goodbye (I've been their patient for over a year now). BUT, when the doc took the steri-strips off of the cut, it exploded. Goo everywhere. The looks on the doc and PA's faces were a touch worrisome. They were seriously freaked out. They stammered amongst themselves, squeezed it, smelled it (what a horrible job!), squeezed it some more, pulled the edges apart (the whole length was open and you could see down into my leg -- the incision had basically not healed at all), and discussed some options. They mentioned giving me an immediate antibiotic IV, mass doses of drugs (varying depending on what kind of bacteria it was), and scheduling me for surgery the next day to open it and clean it out.

Thankfully, they went for the relatively most conservative approach -- drugs. So now, I'm on a crazy huge dose of Augmentin (1000 mg twice a day! Thank heavens I don't have a negative reaction to amoxicillin -- I hear it can be pretty awful) to try to knock out the nastiness. I go back to the doc on Friday to get it checked out. If the drugs have done their duty, yay! If not, I "get" to go back into surgery Tuesday to get it opened up and cleaned out. Charming.

Meanwhile, I'm taking photos once a day when I change the dressing so that I can track the healing. My doc called today to check on it/make sure Wound (its nickname) hadn't exploded again or begun attacking small animals and children.

I wasn't prepared for this stuff. And I'm afraid that I haven't handled it in the best way possible. I have become super grumpy. Yesterday, I was so whiny that my office mate brought me lunch to try to cheer me up. I can't deal with the idea that there is this extended family of bacteria hanging out in my leg. It's just really disturbing. So, fingers crossed that Wound makes a hasty farewell, never to be seen again. Goodbye, and good riddance!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Things I thought about last night when I couldn't sleep

1. Games to play at a bar or in your nearest hipster hangout:

Hipster or lumberjack?
Hipster or Matt Dillon's character from Over the Edge?

2. How delicious would it be to pan fry patties made from vegan cheese grits and serve them with collards and red-eye gravy?

3. I really need to get a back-up drive for my dissertation stuff.

4. OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The end.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

It's for your own good.

I'm taking a brief hiatus from posting. I have a cold and am quite whiny about it. Apparently, leg surgeries I can handle; congestion and sore throat makes me into a tiny baby. So, I'll see you when I'm well again. Which may be never. Did I mention the whininess?

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Happy Halloween everyone!

Yep, that's about it. The end.

Monday, October 27, 2008


In 42 minutes, I'll be this many:

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hell froze over, but I did not

I do not like to heat my apartment. I sleep with my window open in the middle of winter (please don't tell the neighborhood miscreants). And yet, last night I turned my thermostat to 60 until I went to bed. I have given in, and it's only October! But it was really hard to make dinner with mittens on to keep the chill away. Geez, Louise; I'm so weak.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

PPS -- Play a Game, Save a Life

I don't know how to do the html stuff, so go old skool -- copy and paste.

PS -- send cupcakes

Seriously, folks, I'm dying over here! Must have!

Chances are...

...that I will never become an addict. At least not a narcotics addict. Why? Because I'm not sufficiently committed. Specifically, I would never be able to get past the constant, maddening itching. See, that's what happens when you're allergic to them, among other things (rash, swelling, severe dizziness, and trouble breathing). Thankfully, I only got the itching. But, heavens to betsy, I can't stress enough how freaking ridiculous it was! Argh!

As it turns out, you can develop a narcotics allergy. I was never allergic before. I took Vicodin after a root canal a few years ago. All it did was make me sleepy. Same with codeine in cough syrup. Nada. Just immediate sleepiness. Then, a month and a half ago, I had leg surgery. They gave me tons of Percocet. I mean, enough for the entire east side of Baltimore to enjoy themselves for months. And three days in, the itchiness. And the sleeplessness. And the fidgety wired-ness. So this time, I got smart and asked for something else, and they gave me Vicodin. In recovery, the I.V. pain killer wasn't doing the trick, so the nurse gave me a magical pill. Trusting her, I took it, only to find out seconds later that it was Percocet. Thanks, lady. So, I itched and then itched some more. When it wore off and I needed some drugs, I popped a Vicodin. Still with the itching. I just figured that the Percocet side effects were hanging out for a while. Then it got worse. Then I started leaving scratch marks on my legs and arms and face and neck and, well, you get the idea. Called the doc, and I'm allergic. So, now, it's me and my new bestest friend Advil. And it tries, it really tries. It genuinely wants to make me feel better, and it wants to make me sleep through the achiness (it's really not as bad as it could be, so I swear I'm not whining). But alas, it's only an over the counter NSAID, not a narcotic. This is my boring story for the week. Sorry folks, but if it's not happening in front of me while I'm laying on my couch, it's not happening. Stay tuned for thrilling tales of carrying food in plastic bags from the kitchen to the living room, getting my hair washed at the Hair Cuttery, and avoiding tripping over cat toys on crutches. Oooo!!!!

Anyone else have any war stories? Weird drug allergies? Suggestions for non-narcotic pain relief?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Mixtape for the ages

So, I found some old mix tapes the other day and popped this one into my tape player while I made dinner. I was pretty happy with how well it held up. I kind of can't stop listening to it, even though I have several more to catch up on. Of course, there are some pretty kitchy songs that I wish I didn't have to fast-forawrd through, but it was 13 years ago, so whatever.

I think I made this in my 4th year of undergrad. Notice that I didn't say "my senior year". That's because someone transferred a zillion gajillion times.

Anyways, here's the playlist. I don't know all of the band names. For some reason, I didn't obsessively list both the title and band on this one, like I usually did; thankfully, I didn't name the sides of this one cutesy titles, either. And some of these songs were straight from mix tapes other people made me. There's no tracking it back. So, if anyone knows who played these (or if I made any mistakes on band names), please please please let me know!

side a

equalized -- jawbreaker
gov't/satellite -- ???
cause -- swiz
my manacles -- edsel
me and you -- egg hunt
our secret -- beat happening
feeling good fixation -- unrest
time expired -- slant 6
some things -- rastro!
hello kitty -- cub
fly away -- tattle tale (by far my favorite re-discovery on this tape, the Jawbox song was a close second)
suggestion -- fugazi
day ditty -- shudder to think
bee stung -- kristin hersch
the end of a love affair -- matt dennis and red norvo

side b

cool schmool -- bratmobile
that girl -- that girl
what's new pussycat? -- tom jones
lucky -- ???
good guys -- minor threat
why i oughta -- blast off country style
youth -- fish + roses (beat happening cover)
impossible figure -- jawbox
baby blue -- ???
stay away -- heavens to betsy
word traffic -- jenny toomey
more of the same -- coral
12th street rag -- lawrence welk
she said -- bratmobile
i'll take you down -- autoclave
here again -- bratmobile
dig your own grave -- heavenly
yesterday -- ???

Does anyone else have any old mix tapes you still listen to?

Does anyone know how to get cassettes to CD or MP3?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Yep, I'm that good.

I even procrastinate procrastinating. It was April when I said I'd use this as a way to avoid doing my dissertation. That's about.....5 months ago. Oops. More to come, I pinky swear.

Friday, April 25, 2008

So totally procrastinating

i thought having a blog might be more fun than doing actual work. plus, it'll keep my friends from having to hear me blab on and on about myself. now, it's for everyone! take that, school!