30 August 2009

Sun- to the- day

My books came and I put the box on the floor. I would have bet you 50 bucks that the first thing Pumpkin would do when she came in was squeeze herself into that box. And I would have been 50 bucks richer!

I am super annoyed that I can't log in to blackboard right now. I wanted to get started on studying and we have a quiz due on Tuesday. I can't get it over with because I can't access blackboard. Balls.

For some odd reason yesterday some of the buttons on my car radio stopped working. I have the three year, 30,000 mile warranty, and right now I'm at 28000 miles. I need to get my car in soon to get it fixed, but I don't know how long it will take and I kinda need my car to go to class. Ugh.

Financial aid is still dragging ass. It's taken sooo long and I'm sooo ready to have some money!

Despite this post full of gripes I am in a pretty good mood. I've kinda laid around all day and I kinda wanna laze around the rest of the day. Eew, I just realized I haven't even brushed my teeth yet. I'm going to go do that.

29 August 2009

needles & blood

Yesterday was the best day.

I walked into the lab, and saw fake arms, needles, and test tubes. We learned how to draw blood! First we practiced on the fake arms, then we tried it on each other.

It was awesome, and super easy. I wasn't even nervous at all. You just stick it in there and do your thing. I tried three times, and two times I was able to find the vein. The other time I couldn't find her vein, but neither could the instructor. I didn't feel so bad then. I got stuck 4 times, because I'm an easy stick. There weren't even any bruises at all. We rock.

We have to do 25 sticks on actual patients before the end of the semester. Sweeet.

Ok Missy just came over. Gotta end this!

25 August 2009


I want this. But I would use it for all the bobby pins everywhere because I already have a place for my paper clips. (found at Shelterrific)

These past few days have been amazingly organized chaos. It feels like it should be Friday already. This week has been exhausting. You wouldn't think sitting in an auditorium and listening to speakers would tire you out, but it does. There's so much stuff to remember, and so much stuff being thrown at you, and it's at least 8 hours, minus mini breaks and lunch. I swear by the end of today my butt was asleep.

For the most part, it's interesting stuff. We've gone over the patient confidentiality stuff and now we're taking a course on ethics. I was expecting to be bored to tears, but I was really captivated. One exercise we had to do was think about our personal code of ethics. Normally, you don't really think about it, you just know, and you just do it. You don't ever have to put it into words. We had to explain ours to someone else, and it was really introspective and thought-provoking.

Another thing we touched on was decision-making. It focused on the rights of the patient and the principles of informed consent, do no harm, and all that, but one phrase stuck with me: What is more important to me? When I normally make every day decisions, I don't think about them much. I kinda just go with my gut. I like this new idea of stopping and thinking about what is really more important to me when making certain decisions. I think it will make me a better person, and I find it very motivational. If I'm dragging ass about doing something, I just remember that it's really important to me and then it's not so bad.

Even thought it's been tiring, I'm still excited. I love the little things. I feel so freaking cool pulling up to the parking garage, sticking my official badge on the little pad, and the arm goes right up. I felt so accomplished when I managed to navigate my way to the school of health professions this morning, when it's in a strange little corner of the building at the end of a maze of hallways. I'm getting my bearings way sooner than I thought I would.

I have met so many nice people. My classmates are all friendly, every speaker we've heard has congratulated us and welcomed us, and every single faculty/staff member I've met has emphasized the fact that they're here to help us, with whatever it may be. And if you actually ask for help, you don't feel like you're annoying them. I've even gotten warm, friendly reception from the information desk people when I've stopped to ask for directions. Every time, not just once or twice. It seems like these are not just people serving a sentence; they are really happy with what they're doing. It's a very caring, helpful environment and I'm sure it's all to make the patients feel a little better.

One particularly humbling aspect of being at the hospital is all the sick people around you. Any time I walk by a waiting room, wander the halls, eat at the cafeteria, I'm surrounded by cancer patients. Some are in wheelchairs, some are bald, some are wearing colorful scarves on their heads, some look like they feel terrible, some are chatty, some are wearing masks over their faces, and some are only children. The cutest old man started talking to me in the elevator the other day, asking about school and if I'm learning anything yet. You really have to admire these people's courage. If I think I'm having a bad day, I just have to think about the hospital full of people who are having a much worse day and would love to have my "bad day." It really puts things into perspective.

That was a deeper post than I thought I'd write, but overall I am very glad to be part of such an amazing institution. It is so much more than I thought it'd be.

22 August 2009

how to make cornstarch beads & jewelry

I don't even know how I got started on this project, but I ended up spending most of the day on it. I don't have any purple necklaces and I've been wanting one, so that's the color I decided on. Yes, it is actually purple. Like, Barney purple. For some reason the camera made it look blue. The batteries died before I was able to capture it, but it still looks good as a blue necklace. :o)

To make the dough, use:

1 c. corn starch
1/2 c. salt
1 c. baking soda
1 c. water

Mix all of the ingredients in a pot, and set it to medium heat. Stir constantly while the mixture starts to thicken. This will happen quickly. Once it is about halfway thickened, turn off the heat and keep stirring until a thick paste is formed. Spoon it on to waxed paper until it is cool enough to touch. This whole process only takes a few minutes.

When you're working with the dough, the salt might crystallize as it cools. If you want a finished product with a smoother texture, knead it back in before making beads.

Poke a hole in the bead with a toothpick. If you opt to dry them in the oven, the hole will shrink but it will still be big enough to thread.

Air-dry the beads, or if you're impatient like me, stick them on a cookie sheet and put them in a 250-degree oven for an hour or two. After the first 15 minutes, give the sheet a little shake so the beads don't stick to the pan. Check again after 30 minutes. Once the outside has dried, you won't have to shake them anymore. While they're in the oven, it smells like you're baking corn chips, haha.

Once they've hardened and cooled, it's time to paint them. You can either use spray paint, acrylic paint and a glaze, or you can use nail polish. You'll probably need a few bottles of nail polish. Round beads are tricky to paint. I ended up putting a toothpick into the hole and painting them, then I poked the toothpick into a bit of styrofoam while they dried.

To string the beads into a necklace, I used a thicker carpet/ button thread, but you can use whatever you want.

I like that the beads aren't perfectly smooth and round, and I think the next time I make one I'll thread a small glass bead between each clay bead. Maybe I'll even paint some with glitter.

Oh, and not that it really matters, but this necklace is gluten free!

More importantly, the dough can be used as a gluten free play-doh. Of all the random things, Play-doh is not gluten free. I remember trying that stuff when I was a kid- it was really salty- and full of gluten!

Anyways, gluten-free tangent aside, this was fun and I can't wait to wear it!

20 August 2009


What a day. I'm all tuckered out. Yes, it's perfectly okay for an almost 25-year-old to be "tuckered out." At five o'clock.

What I'm eating:

18 August 2009

Here I come!

What a morning! I am totally stoked about this new year. Today was pre-pre-orientation.

I woke my ass up at 530, and got to the building on time and without any major mishaps. I met some of the Junior CLS students and I met the two other new Senior students, who are both really nice. One girl reminds me SO MUCH of Serenity. Everyone was really friendly and I got good vibes. I exchanged numbers and emails with several people. Yay networking!

The staff is really small, and it sounds like a tight-knit program. They actually give a crap about you instead of you being one of hundreds of students. The main people that I will be interacting with are awesome. They're not going to kiss your ass, but they're approachable. Nice balance. I'm diggin' it.

I know I'm going to have to work my ass off and it's going to be a busy year, but I'm so excited. Bring ittt.

In addition to the school info, I was excited to actually have a reason to dress nice! I wore this new necklace that I just love.

I don't know why the color of the shirt looks funny and swirly in this picture, but check out the "modesty panel." That top was too cleavagey to wear alone and it's too damn hot to wear two layers, so I got one of those tube bras. Instant modesty without the layers! Win for Jen.

Now I'm tired and have a heachache, but I'm going to forego the nap and keep truckin'. I need to get my sleep schedule on track.

14 August 2009

running, gardening

I have become aware that when I run, I do not run alone. I have two angels sitting on each shoulder. On one shoulder, I have a fit, athletic angel. On the other, a lazy, slothful angel. As I'm running and I start to get tired, they start arguing. My internal struggle goes something like this:

"Whew, I'm starting to get tired."
"No! Keep going!"
"But I'm tired- listen to my heavy breathing!"
"In the nose, out the mouth. You can do it."
"But it's hot and I'm sweating. Can't I just walk?"
"How are you going to get any better if you stop the second you start to get tired?"
"Huff, puff, gasp, etc"
"Okay, you can make it to the end of the bridge/ to the park/ that crack in the sidewalk up ahead."

That's how I've managed to walk/run a mile most days this week. I'm running about 60% of the mile, so that's not bad. Much better than when I first started and a quarter mile nearly killed me.

It doesn't hurt that Chris has been trying to get in shape before he leaves for the Marines in January. I decided to work out with him some days, and he doesn't put up with my excuses when I try to be lazy- exactly what I need for motivation.
He's also been good for my eating habits. When I'm about to grab something that he knows will make my stomach hurt, he gives me a look or asks if I really want it. He will also remind me to slow down when I don't realize I'm wolfing down my food. I guess it takes someone else to remind me when my terrible eating habits become so routine that I don't even think about it. And, of course, when I don't eat that pint of ice cream or that bag of chips, my stomach isn't upset. When school starts and food is not constantly available, this will be much easier.

Speaking of school, I am rapidly becoming broke again, and have no idea what's going on with financial aid. I also have to get some lab math quizzes done before school starts, and of course I'm putting it off. I plan on doing it next week when I'll be there anyway and feel more motivated. This is my last weekend of summer and I plan on doing nothing. :o)

One more thing to note: Most of my garden has failed. The pea plants hung in there, until a couple weeks ago they all just shriveled up and died, despite extra dirt and plenty of water. I guess it's just too hot for peas. The zucchini also died, but I can try planting those again soon for a fall harvest. The peppers are hanging in there. They've gotten bigger but don't show signs of either flowering or fruit. I blame the dying plants on these super hot days and the drought.

Thank you, natalie dee, for this perfect visual of my gardening.

13 August 2009

Nirvana Rick Roll

This comes together wayyyy too well.

11 August 2009

not much time

What a busy morning. I woke up at 5:55 am and laid there till about 7 thinking about all I had to do. Getting school stuff together. It doesn't officially start until the 24th but next week will be full of orientations, buying parking passes, stuff like that. Financial aid, blackboard.com, textbooks, figuring out where the hell I should be going on that huge campus, filling out yet another form, sending transcripts... OY!

I'm so tired. Haven't slept well the past few nights and I had a killer headache yesterday. I'm fighting it today. Hopefully it will hold off until I get my errands done. School supply shopping! Buying scrubs! Excitement!

I got a new planner and I love going through and putting stuff in it. It's like a fresh start, ready to be filled up with random uber-important scribbles.

I also got my new glasses today. I'm getting used to them. It's a new prescription and they're kinda tight on my ears so I'm trying to gently bend the ear pieces. I had to get the little kid frames because the big people frames were all too big for my face, and they would always slide off my little head. Other than that, they look pretty much the same.

In the meantime, jam out to this:

10 August 2009

coming soon

I saw this in Academy yesterday. Quite possibly one of the most hilariously horrible things I've ever seen.

I'm starting to get emails about starting at Hospital A. I'm so excited!! I just need to figure out this financial aid crap. As usual it's not just a streamlined process.

Also, today I realized that I am one of only three new students coming into the program as a Senior. The rest of the students all participated in the program last year as Juniors. (there are two different ways to do the program)

I wonder how that's going to be, coming in as one of the "new girls" while everyone else knows each other? I hope they're nice...

In the meantime I feel like a badass because I'm one of those three new students. I thought all 15-20 students were new applicants. This means that there weren't as many spots as I thought there were, and I was good enough to make it in. Hellz yeah!

09 August 2009

sunday morning cranial activity

Today it occurred to me that I haven't checked my grades from last semester yet. I really had no desire to check them, but I did in case there was some problem or something that might be relevant later on down the road. I was nervous.

I got two A's in biodiversity and psychology, a B in calculus and a freaking C in evolutionary bio. That was the most poorly-taught and maliciously evaluated class ever. I have had some hard classes that at least tested fairly, and you could be proud that your 48 was the best you did, but that class really was ridiculous. I would still say that even if by some miracle I made an A.

Moving on. In about an hour I get to see Julie & Julia for $5. Gotta love the matinee.

I wanted to do some sewing yesterday, but for some reason I was so tired and sluggish that I just laid around. I swam at my uncle's pool for a few hours, and I think all the sun was the culprit. Maybe today I'll get that done.

You know what else? It is so annoying that the local libraries are closed on Sunday. It's the perfect day for lazing around with a good book. During the semester, when I'd have an exam on Monday, I'd always want to study in a library without driving 30 minutes, but I couldn't. Lame.

Another little note: You know how Bank of America has that "Keep the Change" program? It's the one where they round up your debit/ credit card purchases to the next dollar, and deposit the extra into your savings account. When I opened my account last year I opted for that, and I've saved a couple hundred bucks that I didn't even miss. Crazy!

07 August 2009

beach adventures

This is for you Akthar.

Yesterday Missy and I went down to Galveston to hang out with my mom's friend Kay. I've known Kay's family for a while. I used to babysit the girls when they were younger, and now they're in college and high school.

Anyway, Kay had rented a beachhouse for the week, and invited me to come along. Never mind that she invited me to try and hook me up with her daughter's good friend who, as I hear it, is a great guy and just happens to be loaded. He had left by the time I got there, though. Leave it to Kay to try and pimp me out.

Back to the story. We were swimming, and there were a bunch of fish jumping out of the water here and there. There were a bunch of huge birds that kept diving into the water and eating the fish. It was all very entertaining.

As we were swimming and trying to catch a wave on the boogie boards, all of a sudden I felt something hit my head. I thought Missy had accidentally kicked me. When I got my bearings, I noticed her feet were nowhere near my head. She had a strange look on her face, probably because I was looking at her like, "What just happened?" Then I heard Kay laughing.

Apparently, a huge fish jumped out of the water, smacked me in the side of the head, and fell back in the water. It certainly felt big- it hurt! I do remember seeing something grey out of the corner of my eye right after I got bitched slapped. I guess it was the fish!

04 August 2009

battling the puff

In the last few weeks my gym membership expired, and I have done my best to get up early enough to run before it gets to be unbearably hot. I've succeeded exactly twice. My alarm goes off at 645, but I don't get up until 8-something at best, pushing the snooze button every nine minutes. Then, you know how it goes. I -say- I'm going to work out some time during the rest of the day, but it never gets done.

I've also been eating whatever I want. I thought about this: during the summer I eat constantly throughout the day, because food is there when I'm bored. During the school year I'm always going somewhere, or in the middle of class, and I don't eat every 10 minutes. Even then, I pack healthy snacks instead of scarfing on the junk lying around the house.

Pairing lack of exercise with stuffing my face is not exactly what I was hoping for when I said I should start eating healthier and working out at the beginning of the summer. I feel crappy.

Is it any wonder that last night I woke up so bloated and puffy that my skin actually felt stretched? I guess sub-par dairy-free ice cream and chips & salsa before bed will do that. I laid there at 2am, tired but unable to sleep because of the random gurglings. I took some meds, popped in Return to Oz, and fell asleep after an hour. I still feel gross and puffy this morning.

So, today I'm going to go on one of those fruit and veggie "fasts." I think it will work okay, because I feel so funky that I don't even want to eat. Maybe that will kick-start my healthier eating habits. I will think, "do I really want to eat that and feel puffy and uncomfortable all day?"

So. Off to the store. I hope they have good produce!

02 August 2009

bitch n moan

I am so frustrated.

Today we had a bbq, and for dessert my mom picked up one of those glazed chocolate sock-it-to-me bundt cakes. It's about half gone and it looks so moist and smells amazingly delicious. My mouth is watering just thinking of it.

I have such a huge craving. I don't want to start a cake-making venture this late, so I've tried eating chocolate, starburst, chips & salsa... pretty much everything. I still want that freaking cake. Bad. I'm debating eating some but I KNOW I will regret it later. I can't get it out of my head. I was watching tv and there was even a commercial for chocolate cake.

DUDE Celiac SUCKS sometimes. Why can't I just eat a freaking piece of cake?? It would make me so happy. I think I want it so bad because I know I can't have it.

In the meantime, failblog.org is keeping me entertained.

I also have a copy of Return to Oz that I can't wait to watch.