Wednesday, December 22, 2010

First Non-School Related Blog, a.k.a "I don't want to get robbed at Target"

Hello Readers!  (I'm making a HUGE assumption with that plural, lol.)

Today I am overwhelmed with the urge to write, and I'm pretty sure it is completely influenced by hormones.  As per usual with anything that I write, I will look back on this post in a few days and think, "silence is golden, I shouldn't have said that...that makes me seem [dumb, impulsive, offensive, etc.]."  Yet at this moment, I am not deterred.

Today is Wednesday and Christmas will occur on this coming Saturday.  I intended to go to Target today to find something for my husband.  He has gotten me a few things, but I have gotten nothing for him.  He fully expects to get nothing, and I would like to defy his expectations, but there are a few problems that will forseeably prevent me from accomplishing my goal, and that is what I will discuss in this blog post.  These problems are as follows:

1.  I slept until noon.
You may be confused as to how this is a problem.  Allow me to explain.  During my early teen years, I developed a taste for extreme sleep.  This continued into my twenties and only recently have I become able to cope with only seven to eight hours of sleep.  While still living with my parents, if I chose to sleep until noon, I did so knowing that I would be plagued with mother-induced guilt for the rest of the day.  "You're so lazy," she would tell me.  "Why don't you get up earlier and be more productive?"  To give her what-for, I would wake up at a reasonable hour the following day, say nine a.m., and spend the day being even less productive than the previous day by watching copious amounts of television and refusing to shower or brush my teeth.  Clearly, I thought, this will show my mother that the amount of sleep gotten each session or the hour of awakening has nothing to do with the amount of production achieved in a day.  In reality, this did not work and my mother still saw me as very lazy.  So, to this day, if I sleep in later than I intend to, I feel terrible about myself for the rest of the day and attempt to achieve nothing at all.  Instead I am content to wallow in my guilt and think about how I am doing my teeth a major disservice by allowing acid-producing bacteria to hang out and destroy their enamel.  Thanks Mom!

2.  It is gross outside.
Yesterday was the first day of winter and the highest temperature I saw displayed on my car's panel was 79 degrees.  Seriously???  A cold front is expected Friday night, but until then, it will be warm and disgustingly humid.  Right now, as I sit indoors, I feel as though I just showered and did not dry myself well.  There is a film of moisture on my skin.  I can feel it in my hair and even in my lungs.  It is gross.  There is no better word to describe it, and if the grossness is this evident inside of my climate-controlled home, I shudder to think of what it is like outside.  So I won't be going out.

3.  People are getting robbed at Target.
It is Christmas time, and lots of people are out shopping.  Actually, this reason is a combination of a few things, the most important being that people are getting robbed at Target.  There is also the road and in-store traffic to consider.  If I were to venture out, I imagine my trip going something like this:  I shower and put on makeup.  As soon as I walk outside, all of my makeup melts off of my face and my hair suddenly feels like I washed it with honey and didn't rinse well (see #2).  I get in my car and head to Target, narrowly escaping several accidents in which people that don't normally drive much, but have to get out and get gifts, drift into my lane and force me into oncoming traffic, pull out in front of me and make me rear end them, or just plow directly into my car because they aren't paying attention, jamming to Christmas music, messing with children, etc.  By the time I get to Target, I have a white knuckle grip on the steering wheel and I refuse to go over 45 mph at all.  I park 4 miles away from the store in the only available parking space, which is between two other poorly parked cars that are sure to scrape or slam into mine as they back out while I am shopping.  I hike into the store and find some jogging pants for my sweet husband.  Two miles in to my hike back to the car, I am robbed by a man with a knife or a gun, and this causes me to release bladder and bowels to defend myself.  This, I think, is really smart because while I may be stripped of my money and my jogging pants, I am pretty sure no one wants to rape or kidnap and girl covered in pee and crap.  I call the police and they take my statement and description of the attacker.  They seem unenthused about catching this person, and I am sure it is only because they are certainly overwhelmed with so many outside of Target robberies this week.  I drive my scraped up car home, now daring that woman in the minivan to pull  out in front of me or that granny to drift over into my lane.  Flash forward to Saturday:  I open my gifts, with which I am quite pleased, and my husband opens his jogging pants.  He feigns delight, but he will always remember the day that his poor, simple wife got him that awful present for Christmas.  It will be that moment that finally brings about his decision to divorce me and find someone that is truly deserving of his awesomeness.  Flash forward a few years later:  I live in a box on the side of the highway and I spend my days yelling at traffic.  I still sleep until noon.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I am not going to Target today.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hello Unit 10, So Nice To See You!

 What advice would you now give to someone writing his/her first scientific paper?

Good question.  Most importantly, I would say don't overthink it, keep your research organized, and don't be's just writing.
         What areas do you feel you strengthened in the past 10 weeks?
I'm not sure, really.  I don't know that I've made any huge improvements. 
         What areas do you feel still need improvement in regards to writing?
In high school, mainly for standardized tests, we were taught how to write 5 paragraph essays, and I've noticed that it has been difficult for me to break away from that mold.  Professor Barb suggested on my final paper that I could have made another paragraph about the opposing view.  I did consider this, but as it didn't fit into the 5 paragraph mold, I didn't do it and it cost me points.  I need to remember that not everything has to be a 5 paragraph essay.
         Any final thoughts or statements to make before we wrap up?
This has been kind of fun, and I'm very glad that it is over now.  I wish that I could have attended seminar with Professor Barb and the rest of the class, but that day did not work with my schedule.  I enjoyed Professor Zang's seminars, though.  I think that I will continue to post to this blog, though the tone will probably change as I do, since I'm not necessarily posting for credit any longer.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Don't know what to talk about today.

I looked at the blog suggestions or whatever they are on the course page, but honestly, I'm kind of tired of talking about/thinking about my paper.  At the same time, I need to blog for credit but I cannot think of anything I want to write about at the moment.  I don't have to work this weekend, so I get to be one of those "it is Friday...woo hoo!" people that normally make me want to punch them in the jeans.  Mostly, I am pretty excited about the weekend.  I do have quite a bit of school-related work to do, though.  Oh, and I just found out that I didn't make the score required to skip other assignments and seminar on the prequiz for my A&P II class.  That's a bummer.  This is the first time that I haven't scored high enough, excluding that one time that I took the dang quiz and it never reported (or I guess, saved) my score.  I am really curious to see what the correct answers were because I remember being really unsure on a couple of questions, but not as many as I missed.  Sure, it is possible that I did get them wrong, but each week the instructor posts something about how a question or two on the prequiz were invalid for some reason.  Of course, we don't hear about this until the unit is over...I'm really looking forward to the course/instructor review for that class.  I will have a lot to say about it in general, not much of it very good or nice.  Not for this class, though.  This class has been great.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Winding Down the Term!!

Today begins week 8 of this term and I couldn't be happier!  This term has been especially difficult for me, with taking A&P II along with this Comp II class.  There has been a lot of work to do every week and I will admit that I haven't done my best this time around.  I let easy points slip away by posting late or incompletely to discussion boards.  My only excuse for this is that I just didn't want to do it when I need to.  Tomorrow I will be working on finalizng my paper.  I ended up really pleased with my first draft and I got some good feedback on where I could improve the paper from my classmates and teacher.  Right now I don't think that creating the final draft will be that hard, but once I'm knee-deep into it tomorrow, I will probably change my tune.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How do you feel about peer reviews? What have your experiences with them been like?

Peer reviews.  I think this is a good thing, but it is difficult to submit your "baby" paper for others to scrutinize and comment on.  This time, however, I am not worried about what others say about my paper because I know it has problems and I already plan on basically rewriting the whole thing.  If I felt really pleased with my first draft, I would probably be a little more reluctant to hear what others have to say about it.  I know that it is constructive criticism, but I have a history of issues with criticism of any kind because I'm kind of sensitive.  I think this is because I grew up with a hyper-critical mother, but that's a topic for amateur psychology hour or something, not this blog.

It may sound silly, but I think the biggest hinderance in my writing process so far has been not having a printer to print out my research articles and organize them.  I've been saving some info to a jump drive and sending it with my husband to work so he can print stuff out for me, and this is already helping to keep me more organized.

So that's about all I have to say for now.  I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

I went back to pot.

I don't even know why.  It is just easier.  I found some better research stuff to use, but I still need to find more.  First draft is finished, but it stinks and I know it.  Luckily, I think I can see the flaws and I know what I need to do to make it better.  I have this one paragraph about this study that was done where marijuana was used to shrink lung tumors in rats.  Really interesting stuff, but there are a few problems.  First, I cannot find the actual study to cite.  I can find references to the study, but I am not certain how to cite those properly.  Secondly, a lot of this referenced information is really complex and looks like some kind of advanced chemistry jargon to me.  I don't want to put a bunch of stuff like that in my paper because I don't want to seem pretentious or something.  If I don't even understand what I'm talking about, how can I expect my readers to get it?

Any way, I am glad I have the skeletal "first draft" done.  That means we're so much closer to being done.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Topic Change?

I know this week we're supposed to write in response to another blog, but I feel I have bigger things I need to write about this week.  After being completely frustrated with the lack of credible information about medical marijuana, I have 95% decided that I will abandon that topic in favor of another that I have access to much more information on.  My new topic will be heartworm disease.  Yes, heartworm disease usually affects dogs, but did you know that you can get it too?  Shocking!  But, since people are not the preferred host for the parasite, it manifests in other ways that maybe aren't as dangerous but can still cause problems.  In my paper, I intend to discuss these problems and their treatments, as well as discuss how preventing the disease in dogs is the best way to prevent it in people.  I'm not certain this is exactly what I'm supposed to do or if this topic is acceptable, but I've already got an outline going and have paragraphs floating about in my head, so I think I'm going to go with it no matter what.  Unless my professor tells me "if you write about this, you will get a zero."  That would probably change my mind.  Just a few days ago in seminar, the instructor mentioned some students change their topic two or three times and I thought "that's nuts!"  Now here I am, being nuts.  Sheesh.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Today is International "Get Irritated" Day!

I am celebrating by being unable to take my AP II prequiz, being unable to reach my advisor with an important question, and having some random number call me every hour and try to fax my cell phone.  Also, it is very windy outside and I REALLY DON'T LIKE WIND!  I know it is necessary and has many important functions, but it messes up my hair and makes it ten times colder than it really is, so wind needs to literally "get out of my face."

Moving on...

I did some hardcore writing yesterday.  The assignment for my anatomy class was to take a "fantastic voyage" up the femoral vein, into the lungs, battle bacteria there, then scoot out through the nose.  I have a long history of turning in papers that are not quite what was asked for, but still cover the basics and are just so darn entertaining that they get A's anyway.  This particular paper features three characters, a fair amount of dialogue, and a summer blockbuster-style action sequence involving a rogue macrophage.  I'm quite proud of it, though I don't think I will receive full credit because my relevant content isn't all it could be, especially towards the end.  I am certain, however, that it is at least a passing grade paper, and after the week I've had, I'm fully prepared to roll with that.

I really want to thank everyone for your comments on and about my blog.  It reminds me so much of experiences I had with writing in elementary school.  For major holidays, teachers would hand out sheets with drawings of something like Santa with a large bag, and the bag would have lines in it for you to write on.  The students were supposed to write a story about Christmas, or Easter, or get the idea.  Well, I would write stories with multiple pages and the teacher would be so entertained by them that she would read my stories to the rest of the class.  No one else's stories were read aloud, only mine.  I was painfully shy, so I would excuse myself to the restroom while my story was read, and I could always hear the entire class laughing down the hall.  When I came back, they would clap for me and the teacher usually had tears in her eyes from laughing so hard.  I cannot remember what I wrote about, but I remember how good it felt to know that I had entertained others with my work.  It wasn't until later in life that I learned just how hard it would be to make writing a career.  It is something I still think about and wish that I could do, but it wasn't in the cards for me.

In closing, today I am going to attempt to embed a video to my blog post. This is a hyperlink, which means that if you click it, it will take you to my theory. Check. It. Out!
Oh, it isn't "my" video.  I didn't make it.  Actually, one guy made the original, then some other guys auto-tuned the audio and put it on youtube, and I got it from there.  So as you see, I have nothing to do with the video other than sharing it with you!

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Weekend Wrap-Up

Here is a what Idid this weekend.

Saturday I got up early and went to work for a little bit, then I came home and reconfigured the furniture in the living room.  I also put down a rug that I've had for a while, and the cats and dog were delighted with that.  It was like they've been waiting their whole lives for a rug.  The cats scampered around on it, fascinated with their new discovery of "traction" and its effects on their kung fu.  The dog wallowed on it like the pig dog that she is, and thankfully no one has vomited on the rug as of yet. 

After that, I repotted my rubber tree and my tai plant that will be coming inside soon for the winter.  I had intended to repot my plumerias, but they will be going dormant soon and won't need nice fresh soil, so they didn't get any.  They'll get theirs next spring.

Saturday night, my husband and I ventured out.  Before leaving home, we decided we would not see a movie, since nothing of interest to either of us was playing.  I was hoping to see "Let Me In," an American remake of a Norwegian film I really enjoyed called "Let the Right One In," but it was no longer playing.  My husband tried to talk me into seeing "Paranormal Activity 2," but I didn't feel like spending hours trying to fall asleep while fearful that an invisible demon would drag me out of bed again, like I did after the first movie.  Instead we ate a very disappointing dinner at an Italian restaurant and went to the bookstore.

I got two books.  One is a novel called "Alas, Babylon," and the other is a book about botany.  I started reading the novel today and I like it so far.  I find it a little technical as far as some of the military stuff is concerned, but it is making sense.  I am very glad to have something to read, it has been a while since I've cracked a book for pleasure. 

After the bookstore, my husband came up with the idea of getting a video game we could play together at home.  We went to Target, but they didn't have the game we wanted, which is called "Dead Rising 2" and involves zombie hordes that need slaughtering.  We found a copy at Best Buy and went home.  After loading the game, we discovered that you cannot, in fact, play two players in the standard fashion, being each person has their own controller and they sit in the same room and play together.  You can, however, connect through the internet and play with other random people.  This made no sense to either of us, so we took turns slashing down crowds of wandering undead with weapons such as two chainsaws attached to a double-ended paddle, a baseball bat covered with nails, and a power drill attached to the end of a spear.  We did this for most of the night and we stayed up way too late.

Sunday, my husband and I parted ways, his way being into the bedroom to watch football all day and do whatever he does on the computer that involves fake football and gambling, and my way being continuing the fight against the video game zombies.  Once I grew tired of that, I scanned the DVR list and found a show I had been looking forward to about the earliest life on Earth, and hosted by #1 top-notch nature documentary dude David Attenborough.  I even think he's a "sir."  I've loved him since I discovered nature shows as a child, his soothing British accent always primes my brain for learning new and interesting things.  I was pleased to see that even well into his eighties, he is still agile enough to traverse the Burgess Shale and the Canadian Rockies to look at fossils of tiny arthropods that lived millions and billions of years ago.  I am a great appreciator of a good nature/science documentary-type show, and this was a good one.  The images of the trilobytes unearthed in Tunisia were astounding, very detailed 3D fossils meticulously chiseled from the rock looked as if they couldn't possibly be real, like models from a sci-fi movie.

So all in all, it was a great weekend.  I didn't do everything I had intended, but I never do.  If I did, what would I do next weekend?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Here is what's on my mind today!

I have had the travel bug for a while now.  I live in Texas and I have been virtually nowhere else in my thirty years thus far.  For the continental U.S., I live so close to Louisiana that I've been there more times than I've been to any major city in Texas.  I've driven across Mississippi, without stopping, to get to Alabama.  My grandparents drove us to Arkansas once, but we didn't even have to drive across any other states to get there.  I also flew to Virginia a few years ago.  I've never been west beyond San Antonio, and lately I've been longing for a change of scenery.

Basically, I want to drive west across the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico to the California coast.  While there, I want to visit the Monterrey Bay Aquarium and go out on a boat to look at white sharks in person.  From there, we would travel north along the coast, stopping to check out the forests, maybe do some camping, just take in the natural beauty.  Then we could hang out in Seattle and check that out before hopping off into Canada so we could say we've been there, plus check out whatever Vancouver's got going on. 

Coming back, and time permitting, I'd like to meander down around the Rocky Mountains.  The only mountain experience I have is the Ozarks.  They are some of the oldest mountains around, so they're not as...I don't even know...mountain-ey?  They're more like super big hills.  I'd at least like to say I've seen the Rockies, but honestly, if I get sick like I did in the Ozarks, I'd rather just drive straight south across the plains states.

Clearly, this is a huge trip, like retirement-level in life huge, and it ultimately may have to wait.  Fortunately, there is some talk about a trip to Europe going around the house now.  I have always been an anglophile, and I would love to visit the UK, as well as many other European countries.  I will admit, though, that Europe is a little scary to me, not so much because of terrorism or things like that, but because of those terrible Hostel movies.  They've given me the idea that all Europeans want to kidnap and sadistically murder me.  Mainly, I want to visit the museums and look at awesome stuff until I can't even stand it any more. 

I would also really like to visit Japan, but my husband isn't to keen on that because he thinks he would literally "not fit in," and he's probably right.  A man of his stature could never sleep in a nap pod.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happy Wednesday!!

I LOVE WEDNESDAY!  Pretty much because I'm off all day!!  This is my day to do as much school work as I can.  In a little bit, I am going to sit in the bath tub and read all about the circulatory system, then think about and post my discussion for APII. 

I am still trying to think about what I can do my research paper on for this class.  I have a few topics floating around, but  none of them are creating a spark with me yet.  One thing that has been on my mind lately is this fascinating tv show I watched a few weeks ago about all of the different people that definitely have or may have reached North America hundreds and thousands of years before Columbus "discovered" the continents.  I am trying to think of how I could turn this into a research topic.  It isn't really medical, but I don't think our paper topic necessarily has to be medical.  Also, what would be the point I would be arguing?  I suppose it could be informational in nature instead of persuasive.  Hmm...maybe this will work.  I have been wanting to learn more about the recent archaeological discoveries made concerning these travelers, this would be a great opportunity to learn more.  I do wish I would have DVR-ed that show though.



Friday, October 15, 2010

It is 6 you know where your dog is?

I do.  She's outside, incessantly barking at the kids next door.  They are jumping on a trampoline, and I can appreciate how a dog might be put off by that activity.  At least these kids do not tease my dog like my old neighbors.  Those boys were so bad.  Many times I had to tell them to get off of the fence, stop beating on the fence, stop poking sticks through the fence, etc.  I used to get a kick out of fussing at them when they did not know I was outside, and I would peek over the fence and scare them, then say, "If you do that again, I am going to knock on your door and talk to your daddy.  I know he's home, I saw his truck in the driveway!"  They didn't like that at all.  Usually that would stop their bad behavior.

Right now, my husband is tending to our nephew, who is like seven or something.  Anyway, my husband just came in here where I am and told me we are never having kids, never ever.  Fine by me!

So today I worked.  I don't think I mentioned it in my first blog post, but I am a veterinary technician and I've done that for going on eleven years now.  Honestly, I do not enjoy it.  The majority of my patients are badly behaved and have owners that think they know everything already, or straight don't give a crap.  It is endlessly frustrating and I often wonder what the point of it all is.  However, I do have a handful of patients that are great pets and some owners like to learn new things and do give a crap about their pets.  When they all show up on the same day, its pretty awesome, but that rarely happens.  Today wasn't awful.  I met a lady with two puppies that she is working with and they are very well behaved.  They will probably grow into excellent pets, and she intends to do pet therapy work with them.  I was really impressed with her, and I told her so.  I can't wait to see her and her dogs again.  On a side note:  I am generally terrified of birds.  Thankfully, the practice I work at does not see birds.  Today, however, someone brought in a very sick duck from a local park and it had to be put down.  My boss needed me to "hold" the duck while he did this, so I got a towel and tossed it over the duck while he did the injection, and the whole time I was saying, "It's going to quack at me and I'm going to pee's going to quack at me and I'm going to pee myself!"  It did not quack at me, so I didn't pee myself, but my boss thought this was pretty hilarious all the same.

One thing I do like about my job is the occasional "medical mystery."  It is lots of fun to crack open a book and sit down with lab results to look for answers.  Unfortunately, if you do have to do this, it is likely that the answer you find won't be good, though.  It is always hard to give people bad news.

So, that's it for today's blog.  Have a great weekend!  I will enjoy Saturday, but Sunday I will have to go take care of dogs.  Dogs that are hanging out in the kennel while their people are off doing something fun probably.  Fun things that I can't do...because I have to go take care of their dogs!!!  It's a vicious cycle.

Oh, one more thing...since I am not very familiar with this blog site, I want to experiment with putting pictures or videos in my posts.  So below this, there may be a picture, or a link to a picture, or maybe just some hieroglyphics or something.  I don't know yet, that's why this is an experiment.

Lookout!  It's a LOLCAT!

That was easier than I thought it would be, which is always nice.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

So this is my school blog!

I used to keep a blog back when I used myspace.  In that blog, I usually vented a lot about work and talked about movies.  This blog will be no different, I'm sure.

There isn't much going on today that is very interesting.  I am trying to map out my classes for this term and make sure I don't have any surprise assignments or things like that.  Tonight I am looking forward to watching tv.  Thursday night is my favorite night for tv because many of my favorite shows are on NBC.  I don't know what's going down with the dinner situation tonight...I can't remember the last time I cooked anything, so my husband and I usually pick something up.  It isn't ideal, but that's how we roll for now.  When I finish school and start working from home, I plan to spend some time in the kitchen and start cooking more at home.  I hate to think about how much money we could save by eating in, but we'll get there eventually.  I also really need to do some laundry tonight.

Tomorrow, I will go to work and be glad that it is Friday, I guess.  Maybe others that work on weekends can appreciate this...but when people are too excited that it is Friday, it kind of irritates me.  Sure, if I was off for two whole days after each Friday, I might get real excited about Fridays too, but I'm not so I don't, and I don't necessarily want to hear anyone else going on about "oh yay, it is Friday, whoopdeedoo!"  In this particular case, I can be a little bit glad about it, though, because I am off on Saturday...but not Sunday.  Tomorrow I plan to give approximately 75% of a care that it is Friday, and to anyone who is off Saturday and Sunday, I wish you a great big TGIF!

Alright, first blog knocked out!