29 December 2011

Hunger Games- my thoughts

So now that I have a Kindle, I have been reading books in record time. Finished the Hunger Games books.

I thought they were entertaining, but, as usual, overrated. Especially the last book.

I think the thing that bugged me the most is how... whiny... the main character is. She's not a very strong female character. I kept waiting for her to man up, stop feeling sorry for herself, and kick some ass. She was pretty much forced to kick any of the ass she did kick, with people coddling her the whole way.
The way she keeps blaming all the deaths on herself... it's a freaking revolution, bitch. People die in revolutions. It was going to happen eventually anyway. They are not all directly related to you. So stop being such a weenie whiner and start being a leader.

And then I got to thinking, maybe that's what the writer wanted- to portray the other side of this type of character. To shed light on how hard it is so be in that kind of situation and still care about and worry about your loved ones, and how a support system is crucial.

But anyway, the books were entertaining and, apparently, thought-provoking.

24 December 2011

be nice to people

So this is Christmas... Eve. When did this sneak up on us?

Things are new this year. We're starting new traditions. I have to work tomorrow, and so does my brother in law. Instead of waking up hungover at the ass-crack of dawn and tearing through presents with one hand and sipping spiked coffee with the other, we are waiting until the evening to have a nice dinner and open gifts. How very adult-ful of us.

It's a little sad that this is the first year we have to break tradition. But, it was bound to happen eventually, with all of us growing up and moving away and whatnot.

Instead of feeling the Christmas cheer, or even greed, I find myself a little detached- standing back from it all and just feeling incredibly grateful. I'm surrounded by an un-falteringly wonderful family, an amazing fiancee who returned from a war zone unharmed and ready to marry the shit out of me, understanding friends, supportive coworkers...

There are plenty of shithead people in this world, but there are also a ton of incredible people. It feels like I'm surrounded by all of them.

And I feel like I don't deserve it.

I'm not an especially kind person. I used to be, before the stresses of the world made me crabby and tired, and, overall, I slowly started caring a lot less about people. I used to be the girl that was always smiling, always had energy, always went out of my way to help or listen, always ready to give, always had a way to brighten someone's day.

Now, I'm the one who's flicking you off when you're driving too slow, scowling when you've held up the line at the grocery store, blowing you off when you need a hand. Holy crap, when did I become such a bitch? What happened to the kindness of stangers?? When and why did I become this person?

I was browsing pinterest the other day and caught this: 

The pinner had placed it next to her door so she'd see it on her way out every day, as kind of a daily motivation.

And I thought of how I'd change things if I had that near my door. I certainly work hard, but I'm not especially nice to people. I've noticed the harder I work, the less nice I am to people. And I also decided that there's no reason I can't work hard and also be nice to people. It's just got to become a habit again.

Maybe it's time to re-learn how to be one of those incredible people that I'm surrounded by.

22 December 2011


Do I know my body, or do I know by body? I knew I was going to get sick.

I woke up this morning about 30 minutes before my alarm went off, in a state of fever-induced shivering. Still, I forced myself out of bed and figured that I might feel better once I got to work and started moving around.

Nope. Awful decision. I spent the most miserable hour and a half of my life at work before my boss got Andrea to come in- on her day off. I felt so bad making her come in. But I haven't been this sick in a long, long time.

When I got home I took my temperature (103) and fell into bed. I woke up a few hours later and took some medicine, and I could literally feel the heat leaving my body as the fever slowly went down.

I'm feeling ridiculously better now that it's under 100, and I'm not sure if it's run its course or if the medicine is just still working. I still can't shake this headache though.

I figure it's just a random bug that I happened to catch. Hopefully it's a 24-hour thing, because no one wants to be sick around Christmas.

21 December 2011

hey ya

Christmas party at work today. I may bitch about my job, but at the end of the day I've got some amazing coworkers and a kickass boss.

I feel like I'm definitely going to get sick. That achey, tired, slightly headachey feeling that comes the day before you get a massive cold or flu. Drinking tons of fluids and plopping some airborne into my drinks, lots of vitamin C. I don't want to get sick!

Reading the second Hunger Games book on my new Kindle. I love that thing. One-handed reading and page-turning. Diggin' it.

Still smitten every time I get a glimpse of my ring. Reaching for something, making a turn in the car, putting it back on after a day in the lab. I'll just notice the sparkle when I'm doing everyday things.
It's not only that it's absolutely stinkin' gorgeous, and sparkly and so damn perfect, it's the thought behind it, the idea that it represents. Still takes a few seconds to sink in. Gah, I'm so happy. I'm so lucky to be so happy.

Anyway, enough shmoop.

I just overheard my mom talking to my sister: "This year is going to be epic. People are going to be going apeshit over this 2012 thing. I can't wait to see all the crazy people!"

19 December 2011

here & there

You know it's time to shave your legs when your boyfriend  fiancee gets a good look at them and says, "Good Lord, woman!" To my credit, this is the first time he's noticed and I haven't shaved them in several months.

Like most of us, I've been trying to get my Christmas shopping done. I've still got a few stragglers, mostly because I have no idea what to get a few people. I usually don't have this much trouble trying to find gifts.

Nothing much else new. Only been working 3 days a week so there are no crazy work stories. Been spending as much time as I can with Chris and it's so nice. This morning I woke up sandwiched between him and Pumpkin and feeling quite content. I could get used to that.

Meh, have to get up for work tomorrow. Meh.

12 December 2011

oh, happy day.

This weekend was fantastic.

Chris came home a day early and surprised me. I came home from work Thursday and when I opened the door, I saw a camouflage backpack on the floor and some boots. And just like that, he was home.

We planned a trip to San Antonio just to get away and take a mini-vacation. So we spent some time on the riverwalk and had a fun, relaxing weekend. It was like he never went away; again, he just fit right back in where he was supposed to.

And, also, because it's late and all of the details aren't that important anyway...

Someone got engaged this weekend!

Completely caught me off guard, wasn't expecting it. Absolutely thrilled.
I adore that man, for so many reasons.

Requisite picture of the bling:

click to enlarge-- do it!

The picture does not do it justice. It's absolutely gorgeous. I love it, it's perfect. I never want to take it off. It sparkles like a holiday. Holy crap, I'm engaged. I love it.

My family's reactions were awesome. Amazing. Champagne on the back porch on a Sunday night- that's how we roll.

I just... no words are happy enough to describe this.

05 December 2011

yeah babay

Today I ran. My goal was 6 1/2 minutes. It's in the 50's, nice and cold, so I learned from past experience and put on chapstick beforehand, covered up my ears, and stuck a couple of tissues up my jacket sleeve.

I warmed up with brisk walking to a peppy song. Then I started to jog.

At first, it wasn't bad. Then at about 3 minutes I felt like I wanted to die. I was tired, I was chilly, my muscles were stiff, it was hard to breathe, every part of me was yelling- no it was more like whining- stopppp. There was no way I'd make it to 6.5 minutes. But I kept going. This feeling continued up until about 5:45, when I started to feel less like I wanted to die and my body got warmed up and started running on autopilot.

Then as I hit 6 minutes, I knew I'd be able to make my goal. Then I hit my goal, and didn't immediately feel like I needed to stop. So I kept going, feeling good. I'd zone out and check the time every 30 seconds or so, assessing how I felt and deciding if I wanted to stop or not. At about 8 and a half minutes, I really, really wanted to stop. But I figured I went this far so I kept it up until I had ran an even 9 minutes. Then I slowed to a brisk walk, and felt like I wanted to barf. But I didn't. I breathed instead.

And I felt proud that I had run that long.

DIY Safety Cat Collar- Tutorial

Remember the incident where I swore I'd only put safety collars on Pumpkin from now on?

Well, it's become a pain in my ass. She loses her collar at least once a week. Sometimes, they only stay on for a day. It's getting to be expensive and it's annoying to run to Walmart all the time. And in the meantime she's running around all free and naked like a wild cat.

So, I decided to make my own. It's super easy and way cheaper.

You just need fabric scraps and heavy duty velcro. You can use the non-adhesive kind, which I plan to eventually do, but I found some adhesive stuff stashed away in a junk drawer. It sticks surprisingly well to fabric and releases with about as much force as the regular safety collars.

Step-by-step: (click to enlarge)

1. Grab a piece of fabric that will fit around your cat's neck, with enough room to put two fingers under the collar. I found 9 inches long and 2 inches wide fit nicely.

2. Fold your fabric hot-dog style and iron a crease in the middle.

3. Unfold the fabric and fold one side of the fabric towards the middle.

4. Iron a crease.

5. Repeat with the other side, with both sides meeting in the middle.

6. Fold along the middle crease so that the raw edges are completely inside the hot dog bun.

Sew along the edge of the strip. Do the best you can with such a thin strip. Your cat won't care if its not perfect.


You will end up with your collar. If you'd like, fold down the ends and sew so they won't fray. I'm not bothering, because I know she'll lose them soon anyway.

Attach your velcro, cutting it to fit if needed. Just sew around the edges if you don't have the adhesive kind.

The finished product:

I tried to get a picture of her wearing it, but she was more interested in playing with the camera strap than modeling her new collar.

I made about 10 of these in less time than it took to write up this post. And, if she loses them quickly, I'll have another one waiting to be put on. I win, cat!

P.S. For identification, I print out my phone number using a label maker and loop it around the collar. No sense in spending money on tags that will just be lost. I'm sure there are quite a few collars with my phone number strewn about the area.

04 December 2011


I don't believe I've ever told you about the time that we got a really unique order for a culture.

It was pretty early in the morning and I was on autopilot, entering lab orders into the system. A phlebotomist came in to drop off some specimens, and stopped to show me an order.

I looked at it and did a double take. It was an order for a culture, and they have to fill in the source. The nurse had written, "Pussy Discharge."

Oh, my.

We sat there for a minute, amused and a little shocked. Usually they write "genital" or "vaginal," but this nurse apparently decided to use a different word. Then I looked at the patient's information, and noticed that it was from a male patient. Hrm.

Now, I have seen a few transgender/ transsexual/cross dressing patients, but they are usually biologically male. Thinking that there may have been a mix-up with the paperwork and/or specimen, I checked the actual swab. Sure enough, the name matched the paperwork, but the source was specified as something like a right elbow wound.

Then it occurred to me. PUS. Infection. Pus-like. Oh my gosh, this nurse meant to describe the pus from a perfectly respectable wound site, but instead wrote something much more vulgar. Hilarity. I wonder if she ever had any clue or just hurriedly filled out the paperwork. Regardless, we had quite the laugh.

Just another day at work.

03 December 2011

fight for red & white

Oh my gosh.
I hurt everywhere.

Just as I was winding down for the night, my mom bursts in saying the neighbors are having a garage sale and they have a nice dresser. Just yesterday the most frequently used drawer in the old hand-me-down I'm currently using broke and I started looking for a new one.

So I crossed the street, and handed over $100 for a very nice dresser, two matching night stands and a mirror, and a really cute kitchen table with chairs. STEAL. Then of course there was a flurry of moving everything in & out and switching things around. I could barely keep my eyes open towards the end of it.

I figured I'd be a little sore but damn. Even my boobs are sore. Although I'm not sure that has much to do with the insane amount of cleaning/moving I did yesterday; it just rounds out the whole-body aching-ness.

Today, my coogs are going to kick some ass. Akhtar took it upon himself to purchase a ticket for me, and it couldn't have been a better idea.

Every time I get ready to go to a game, I can't help but reminisce about alllll the crazy fun I had at these things when I was a student. Those were some of the best times of my life.

02 December 2011

hey heyy heyyy

I love sticking my nose into Pumpkin's fur when she comes in from outside. It smells so fresh and cozy.

Today I cleaned. And when I say cleaned, I mean cleaned. I scraped unidentifiable scum from behind my stovetop. I found things I thought I'd lost. I found dead bugs. I made my vacuum cleaner quit working because it got overheated. I dusted. I scrubbed. I bleached. I swept. I mopped. I laundered. I freaking cleaned. And apparently I haven't done it in a long time because shit was nasty.

Then I shopped. I bought Christmas gifts. I got retail buzzed. I just might go back out and get some more shopping done.

Or, wine and some Will & Grace while I organize my closet/ pack away some summer stuff and pull out some winter stuff.

Good day.

Fabric framed mirror

Just wanted to share a quick little project that made a huge difference...

I had an old framed mirror hanging in my bathroom. It was a cheap plastic frame that had been dropped and cracked and glued together... very unattractive.

So today I finally decided to do something about it.

The easiest way to make it pretty and cover up the crack was to cover it with fabric.


First I pried the mirror off of the back. It was just glued on so it wasn't hard.

Then I cut strips of fabric that were wide enough to go around the frame.

I used hot glue to attach the fabric. Important: Glue the fabric coming from around the outside edge of the frame before gluing the fabric from the inside. If you do it the opposite way, you'll be able to see the edge of the fabric reflected in the mirror. Also, make sure the edges of the fabric are glued in the middle of the frame so no frayed edges will poke out on either side.

First glue the short sides completely, trimming any excess. Then glue the long sides, but leave the fabric long so you have enough to cover the corners.

Once you've got your sides glued, form the corners like this:

They will end up looking tidy:

And the finished product:

Glue the mirror back on to the back side, making sure it's secure. Then hang it up and admire how un-ghetto it looks.


It really makes a huge difference in that corner of the bathroom- it's lighter and looks more put-together and infinitely less crappy.

01 December 2011

IUD Adventures

Continue reading at your own risk if you're afraid of periods and uterus talk and all that jazz.
When I was doing research about this, I would have loved to come across someone talking frankly about what really happens- rather than the product websites and message boards which spout gloom and doom and side effects and problems. So this is how it really went.

My uterus is now practically an impenetrable fortress.

That's right, I'm walking around with a flexible t-shaped piece of hormone-coated plastic inside my uterus. Baller.

But let's break it down a little.

The doctor instructed me to come in for the procedure during my period, for two reasons:
1. He wanted to be sure I wasn't pregnant, and also so it would be effective right away.
2. The cervix is a little more dilated when you're menstruating.

When I went in to the doctor's office, I peed in a cup and they made sure I wasn't pregnant, then I got undressed from the waist down and sat there with a paper cloth over my lap on the examination table, eyeing the rather long box on the counter.

Now, I swear this always happens to me. I never, ever go to the gynecologist without ending up with a student observing. Do I just happen to always choose the teaching facilities? But anyway, he said that there were 3 students who had never seen and IUD insertion before and would I mind if they came in? Nah, send 'em in. Let's have a party where we all stare at my vagina.

They were actually 3 really nice girls, coming in and introducing themselves and shaking my hand. While I was naked from the waist down. Surprisingly not awkward.

The insertion procedure was like a really intense pap smear. You get up in the stirrups and scoot your butt down to the end of the table (Does anyone else feel really strange scooting your nether regions towards the gyno's face? I always feel strange doing that).

Then, I tried to watch him take it out of the box but the girls were blocking my view. It's got this device that has a long tube, and I'm assuming the IUD is at the end of the tube. The handle of the tube has a switch, much like you use to slide a flash drive out of the stick. They stick the tube up past your cervix and with the flick of the switch, deposit the IUD into the uterus. Then you're all done. Yeah, easier said than done.

Since I have not had children, my cervix needed to be dilated a bit. I was thinking, "Whoa, is he going to give me drugs?" No. It's just a fancy way of saying that they're going to stick this long metal thing up there and mechanically open the cervix. Fun.

At that point I had three girls intently staring between my legs while the doctor did his thing, and I was trying not to be a wuss, but I did give an "ow" and try to find something to grab on to- which ended up being the side of the examination table. The procedure took about 3 minutes and was only about 30 seconds of pain, but imagine a really sudden, really intense cramp. The kind that makes you hold your breath. Then, it was over.

I got dressed and they gave me some meds for pain, which I didn't end up needing. Then I went grocery shopping.

I had pretty significant cramping on & off for a few weeks, and very light spotting the first day, but that was it.

The other night I was talking with my aunt, who is the one who originally suggested the IUD, and we got to comparing birth control methods. I don't know why I didn't do this sooner. It's kind of a no-brainer for me.

First, consider the cost.

The Mirena cost $45 for the actual IUD, and $115 to insert it at the doctor's office. Total of $160.
The Pill, with my current insurance, costs $45 a month.
The Mirena is good for 5 years. So over the course of 5 years...

Mirena- $160
Pill- $2,700


With the Mirena, your periods gradually become lighter and they usually stop altogether. You don't have to take a daily pill or change a monthly patch or go in for a quarterly shot. It's also one of the most effective methods of birth control. Also, most of the hormones stay inside the uterus- only a small amount gets into the bloodstream. Basically the only thing you do is stick your fingers up there once a month and try to find the short strings that tell you that it's still in place. (To date, I have not been able to locate mine.)

Not to say that there aren't potential side effects and problems, including problems with pregnancy, embedment to the uterine wall, perforation of the uterus, and infections. I mean, that's to be expected when you put a foreign material inside your uterus.

However, cost-wise and practicality-wise, I'm very glad I decided to try this.

One last thing- the doctor mentioned that my partner might be able to feel the strings at first, because they're kind of coarse but soften over time. He told me, "But don't tell him that, because then he'll feel it for sure. If you don't mention it, he probably won't even notice. You know how guys are- don't give him a reason to complain."

I had to laugh. I get to test it out in about a week, so we'll see.


After having the IUD for about a month and a half, here's some thoughts:

I had pretty significant cramping for about a month, and when I got my first period, it started on time and lasted about 2 weeks. Mostly light spotting, a couple days of light bleeding, and more spotting. The spotting lasted forever and was kind of annoying, but the cramps eventually went away.

The fiance could feel it- he described it as "scraping" which made me cringe, but he said it wasn't that bad.

Other than that, I'm hardly ever aware of it and have had no other side effects. I still have not been able to feel the strings myself.

See the conclusion of this adventure here