Wednesday, October 29, 2008

If it seems like it's too good to be true...

OK, fine, so I'm a sucker. And a romantic. But is that news to anyone, really?!

Well, it was fun while it lasted. Moving on...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

There is no subject for this post.

So my brain is a little

Yeah, that's as far as that sentence got. Reminiscent of another time when I stopped partway through a thought. No, I'm not saying that my brain was a demon.

Hey - another of my hilarious cousins started blogging! Check her out!

And my sister posted about something important - Yes on Prop 8!

And I'm just a leeeeettle obsessed with this right now. I know, we've been over this before, but if I can live vicariously through my curling iron, surely I'm allowed to be really thrilled about someone else's romance. Seriously, grab a cup of hot cocoa and a fuzzy blanket, cozy up on the couch, and start at the beginning. It's a good story. And then you'll get addicted like me and keep on checking for updates 9 million times a day, when digging up citation information and transcribing interviews (1 hr to do FIVE MINUTES of an interview - you have GOT to be kidding me!!) just isn't puttin' bubbles in your milk anymore.

And speaking of milk, did you notice my new profile picture? Here, have a closer look.

So I went to the Minnesota State Fair over Labor Day. This is one of the many fun things I did at the end of the summer about which I have not yet blogged. Like the show in Chicago. And the concert. And the family vacation where I did not lose the pictures but did get to hang out with some of the people in the tractor picture. Oh, and France 2007, which was not at the end of last summer, but which is yet another cool thing about which I have not yet blogged.

But I digress.

So they do this cool thing at the Minnesota State Fair, where you spend $1 for a cup, such as the one I'm holding in the above picture, and then you can get free milk all day long. (And a week later, as long as you bring back your cup, right, R? :) )


:) :)

OK, but really, it's pretty cool. And you can get chocolate or white milk. And it's actually quite hilarious, because, um, everybody's doing it. Really. A couple of the images that I hope I never forget from that fair were of really tough looking guys, or really punk teenagers, standing around...drinking milk. And eating chocolate chip cookies, because someone had the brains to say, "Where there is milk, there must needs be cookies," and so put up a cookie booth. $16 for a plastic bucket of chocolate chip cookies. Yeah, um, we stuck with milk.

And we drank a lot of it. I'm holding up four fingers because I'm just then drinking my fifth cup of milk for the day. Yes, four fingers for my fifth cup of milk. Apparently my brain was a demon that day, too.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The most human-flesh-colored food I have ever eaten*

Salsa scrambled eggs. Mix in half a cup of salsa for every 3 eggs you scramble. It's a yummy variation on scrambled eggs, but the color is a little...disturbing.

* What? You don't keep track of that? That's so weird.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On doing dishes

If you eat today's lunch with the same spoon that you used to eat yesterday's lunch, you too could have curry-flavored apple crisp.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I am drug free, and so is my 5-year-old niece.

Apparently she came from from school wearing a bracelet that proclaimed that she was drug free, but when her mommy asked her if she knew what that meant, she had no idea.

Aah, the power of education.

I, however, KNOW what it means that I am drug free - it means that I have not taken any pain medication since 2:45am Saturday morning - woohoo!

What, you haven't either? Ok, fine, but here's why mine is significant:

So I went to the emergency room at about 12:45 am on Monday morning. My left ear had been hurting for a couple of days, and Sunday night when the pain woke me up, my BFF ibuprofen helped me get back to sleep, but Monday night - no such luck. I called the Nurse Hotline to which I have access with my health insurance, and after ascertaining that I did not have a "foreign object" in my ear (and how could you tell if it was foreign, you ask? by the accent, my friend, by the accent), she said that "the protocol suggests that you seek medical attention within the next 4 hours." I'm not a math major, but 12:30am + 4 hours = the middle of the night. So after sitting on my living room floor crying for a few minutes (no couch to sit on, as of yet) (and no, that's not why I was crying), I decided that this was why they invented emergency rooms, and so I went.

The ER was fast (read: "empty") and by 2:15am I was home with amoxicillin for the infection and vicoden for the pain of the partially ruptured eardrum. (The PA told me they'd give me amoxicillin for the infection, and then he looked at his watch (1:30 am) and then at me, and said, "And since you're here now, we'll give you something for the pain, too." I about fell off the hospital bed with gratitude.) The PA that gave me the vicoden told me that it would make me, and I quote, "drowsy," and asked how long I would be able to sleep the next day. I said that I had class at 9:30, and he looked at me like I was an idiot, so I said, very insincerely, "...but I'm not afraid to miss class." I mean, come on, I know I'm kind of a wimp when it comes to pain, but miss class?!?! Whatever, dude. Give me the drugs and let me go home. College students go to class feeling "drowsy" all the time.

Well, he was right about "drowsy," if what he meant was "totally incapacitated." Oooh, the nausea, the nausea!! When I got up at 9:30am and called my boss to tell her I would not be coming to work, I had a hard time staying vertical long enough to call her. She was like, "Uh, I'm going to hang up before you throw up!" They had prescribed hydrocodone, which I took as prescribed until that afternoon, when I decided that if they said, "take it on a full stomach" and the taking emptied the stomach, that was not acceptable. Then I called around until my doctor (who I've never met) told her nurse to tell me to stop taking the hydrocodone (duh! yeah, I maybe could have thought of that on my own if I hadn't already been totally out of it!), and to resort instead to my BFF ibuprofen. LOTS of it.

So I alternated ibuprofen and Tylenol, as even prescription-strength ibuprofen didn't kill the pain long enough for me to make it from one dose to the next without being in considerable pain. And this worried me, because the PA at the ER had told me that the antibiotic would take 24-48 hours to kick in, and I assumed that that meant that I would then be able to reduce my pain meds. But no. Whether the amoxicillin kicked in or not, I was taking full doses of pain medication all through Friday. (I'm going to the doctor this afternoon to make sure that the healing is proceeding as it should.)

Side note: After walking around for a couple of days cupping my hand over my left ear (the pressure helped alleviate the pain a little), I laughed outloud when I realized where I had seen people doing that before--on trains in Romania! There is this old superstition in Romania about "curent" - a draft or blast of air, or a cross-breeze. The idea is that you don't want a breeze to blow "through" your head--that is not good for you. So, for example, you can have the two right side windows of a cab open at the same time, but not both front windows - the cross-breeze is bad for you. So we'd be riding on trains in the middle of the summer, and when we'd open the window to the train AND the door to the compartment, any old Romanians around would cover their ears, and often their whole heads!, to avoid the badness that would come with the "curent." Apparently they didn't hold with our feeling that surely any "badness" would be more manageable than the discomfort of suffocating heat and still (and usually smelly) air. We now return to the regularly scheduled program.

And as fascinating as you find your field of study, throbing pain in your ear is a LEEEETTLE distracting. I was fine until I'd try to sit in one place to read (oh wait, that's all grad students DO!), and then all I would think was, "language learning...PAIN...Contrastive analysis hypothesis...can I take more medication yet?...midterm next week on this stuff!...PAIN."

Yeah, it was pretty rockin' awesome.

So when I woke up in a GREAT mood on Saturday morning, it took me about 15 seconds to figure out that the reason I was so cheerful was because my first thought was not "PAIN." What a glorious feeling that was!

And so gentle readers, I have now been drug free for two and a half days, and while I am not pain free, I am so eager to be drug free that I'll put up with the minor pain that kicks in now and then.

And this is already really long, but I have two final thoughts.

First, I really need to not get sick for the next, oh, 5 years. I was comatose for one day, and not good enough to be up to studying and attending class the next day, and I am AMAZED how far behind I got!

Second, I have no idea how an eardrum can be only "partially ruptured." I feel like that's a binary (that word's for you, Jer) condition--an eardrum is either "ruptured" or "not ruptured." Whatever. It hurt A LOT.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Today I got my first paycheck as a grad student TA.

This I do not love about being a student.