Showing posts from September, 2012

Chicanos, Lakeland

Blame Denny Hamlin.

There's a NASCAR commercial on right now and in it, the driver's favorite Mexican Restaurant is converted to a Christmas Tchotchke store. The owner of the store sees the driver get out of his car and asks "Senor Denny" how he is and he answers 'No bueno, Carlos', which I find very funny every time I see it. Of course, it came on as Ed was about to take me out to grocery shop and well, we both wanted Mexican food.

Tapatios on Memorial is closed on Sundays (no Bueno, Tapatios!), so we resorted to the Urban Spoon shake and it hit upon Chicanos. A couple of former coworkers would visit this location fairly frequently and spoke highly of their food and margaritas, so we figured we'd give it a try.

I'm glad we didn't dilly dally, because we got there at 5:30 and they close at 7pm on Sundays. There was one other table occupied, and honestly, there were never more than 5 tables with patrons, which surprised me.

The menu ga…

Stir Crazy

Years ago, I had a problem with anxiety. I learned my trigger was feeling like I wasn't in control of a situation-which is the exact scenario that caused it to erupt in the first place. As a result, for a very long time, I could not spend a whole day at home-I had to get out and DO something, even if it was going down into town to put gas in my car. Weird quirks, thy cause is anxiety.
,br /> Many years have passed, and I am happy to report that I've had only a couple of anxiety attacks in the past few years, and they definitely were brought on by not being in control. It is part of the reason why GameTeen's school situation is different, because I felt the people who didn't care about his needs were calling the shots.

Anyway, the residual thing is definitely being at home too long. I'm not allowed to drive yet. I even wonder how I'm supposed to be cleared to return to work if I have to wear this neck brace for another 85 days, but I won't dwel…

Gelish Magneto-Inseparable Forces

After my last manicure with CND's Shellac Black Pool layered with Hotski to Tchotchke got so many rave reviews from the nurses, I thought I'd go with another Black Pool layering effect, but Katie had other plans.

She got in the Gelish line, which means she now has CND, OPI and Gelish. I'd heard some so-so reports on it, but she found that it's been working well-and wanted me to try the magnetic polish. I think the tipping point was that she had some samples to show and a lovely blue, Inseparable Forces.

If you were wondering about the Gelish Magneto colors, it does take a little digging online, as the Nail Harmony page only describes what it does, rather than giving the palette of colors. There are other pages that show six Magneto colors, I've seen three-the plum hue and the blue really caught my eye, and I can't wait to see the green.

Anyway, I was in on trying something different, and in the same amount of time as any of my other gel manicures, I …

Nap Time

I don't have much to say, except that I hurt and want sleep. So that's what I'll do...

Hitting the Wall

Day three after surgery is supposed to be the worst. I'm not sure how the rest of the days will go, but today has been rough.

The pain isn't touched by the meds and the neck brace is very irritating to my skin. I'm sure hoping this is the worst...

Home Again

I was released from the hospital today. It's good to be home, but at the same time, it's rough to get comfortable. This neck brace has to be on 24 hours a day for the next three months.

I think the hardest part will be that I can't side sleep.

This is what a Spinal Fusion looks like

C5-C6 Discectomy. I now will set off airport metal detectors. The pain is about what I was experiencing before surgery, so I suspect this will eventually be in improvement.

In other news, the numbness and jittery hands are not present. I'll take it.


The boys are 16 and 13, they're in their rooms, but Ed and I are watching PB& J Otter, a show from their toddler days. It's easily been ten years since we've seen an episode, but Ed and I know what catchphrases are coming and sing along with the Noodle dance. Who says we have to grow up?

Harry's, Lakeland

This is one of those hole in the wall places that looks horrible from the outside, but delivers solid breakfasts and lunches. Heck, even inside looks a little run down, even with it changing hands a couple of years ago-but sometimes, the cosmetic doesn't tell the whole story.

This place does a solid breakfast and a decent lunch full of basics. You want meatloaf like mom used to make? This is your place. Burgers with a good char? Definitely up for the challenge. Good, old fashioned southern sweet tea? This place has the best in town.

Unpretentious is the word to describe it. I mean, take a look at our lunch choices: 3 If you want fancy, this is NOT the place for you. But if you want honest comfort food, well prepared, at a good price, then you will not be disappointed. Just get there before 3pm, otherwise, you will be left hungry.

Spice Thai and Sushi, Lakeland

Despite enjoying various Asian cuisines and liking spicy foods, the only time I have ever had Thai food is when I managed the meal prep kitchen. We had some wonderful meals with red curry paste, coconut milk, and other staples of Thai food, but without a frame of reference, I wasn't sure if they were accurate representations of that nation's food. I did know that if they were, I wanted more.

Now that I have a comparison, yes, those were the real deal and after visiting Spice Thai in Lakeland, I definitely do want more. Especially if it is here.

For a few years, I'd heard that Spice is a very good restaurant, but once in a while, I'd get a bad report. Still, it was rare enough that I was willing to give the place a try. Last night, Ed and I decided to have a meal without the kids (yay for teenagers!) and this came up. Once again, we wonder why we waited so long.

Our server was an older woman who was very attentive and kind to the first-timers. She aske…

PreOp Testing

Today was supposed to be a day off from work, so I could go do pre-admissions testing for surgery. Instead, I ended up working five hours, getting some work done at one location, and fixing the router that got messed up at our other location.

So, after doing that first part of the above work, I drove over to Tampa and got poked and prodded for a while. Of course, I thought they'd take a sample, so the one time I don't visit a restroom before my visit, they don't need me to pee in a cup! Blood pressure looked good for me, everything else is good to go, and I have an eviction notice for the pain in my neck!

Then, my boss told me the router was broken in our other campus. Rather, someone unplugged something, so other things got plugged in, the reset button was pressed and of course, they had no internet! Now, they're good to go, but I added a bunch of 'to do' items to my tech log for when I return from my time off.

No rest for the weary.


I took psych stats two years ago, with an amazing professor. His philosophy was that we needed to know all the functions, not the computer software, so we learned everything and calculated by hand. Heck, my first test, I got everything right, but got a 78-because I did not show all my work. I learned my lesson.

That's the class where I earned an 89.9, then argued that .1 was insignificant, regardless of measurement used, so I should really have the A. I got it, because it was a valid use of the material he taught.

On the other hand, students on the Tampa campus taking that same Psych stats class learned the software. Now that I'm taking a grad level stats class, I am so very happy I had the professor I did and had to learn things the 'old-fashioned' way. It stuck with me.

I know the stuff, I remember the formulas, but now I need to learn all the Excel formulas to use in a different statistical analysis software. Still, most of the midterm will be definin…

The Ethical Divide

Sometimes, people don't understand that while I may have more knowledge about a topic (or even any knowledge, for that matter) than the average person, it does not make me an expert on it, and as such, I cannot in good conscience portray myself as an authority.

I know a lot about Chiari, but there is a lot more I don't know. If you want me to talk one on one with a parent whose child also has Chiari, I will absolutely share my experiences and what I've learned, maybe even share info about the doctors I've heard about. There is no expectation that the conversation should be taken as the gospel truth about the topic-just my interpretation of my own situation.

Where it becomes tricky is when someone else says "Hey, Suzanne is an expert on that", and urges Suzanne to have a meeting to tell others what to do. I can't-especially in my role as an educator. What has worked for me may not be the right thing for others. Add to that the fact that these peo…

Applying Knowledge

All through my Instructional Technology program, every class tied back to Bloom's Taxonomy, an ordered system of how we gain knowledge. From the simple knowledge, where a student will repeat information back to you, to the complex, where you present course content, the student processes it and comes up with a thoughtful analysis, independent of their book learning, it is a key concept of education.

So, today, my first teacher in-service, we spent a lot of time covering this important tool in creating student assessments and lesson plans. Instead of being overwhelmed, this topic comes easily, because I covered it in at least eight of my classes, and then facilitated instruction of it in two more.

Pretty darn cool to have a bunch of resources at my disposal beyond what we were given-then pass them on to others.

Country Ribs-Low and Slow

I went to the market today for something to make for dinner. They had country ribs on sale, which I love-but I didn't feel like parboiling them. I figured I would put the GMG grill to work, and oh my, that was a smart move.

You can do this in the oven, but if you have a grill that you can turn down the temperature to 250, go that route-especially if it is a wood fired or pellet grill. Basically, I took the ribs, rinsed them, then put my own pork rub on them: 1.5 cups brown sugar 1/2 cup kosher salt 3 tablespoons onion powder 1 teaspoon mustard powder 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon cumin 1 tablespoon paprika Then, they went on the grill. I didn't touch them for 90 minutes. Then, I turned them every half hour. Three hours in, I turned the thermostat up to 350, because I had chicken I wanted to grill (that same rub works fantastic on chicken, too).

Thirty minutes later, we were enjoying ribs without sauce-they didn't need it, as well as some rea…

Invite With a Laugh

My academic department has a club, one that leans more towards socializing for networking, rather than formal events. After a time of it laying dormant, a friend now heads the group and is trying to organize parties and potlucks. Thus, an invite arrived in my email earlier this week.

I looked at the date, determined that it's almost two weeks after surgery and I'll probably be a bit stir crazy, so I RSVPed that the family would attend. On the eVite site, there's a little message board, and I asked for suggestions of what I could make.

The friend and I had chatted on Facebook already and I leaned towards making Strawberry Salad and Baked Ziti, two things that got raves each time I bring them and make the vegetarians happy (we seem to have many of them in our department-I eat enough meat to make up for them!). Not ten minutes after she and I had the conversation, someone else asks 'Ziti? Strawberry salad?'

Both items don't require a ton of work, so t…

Nap Time

Pain is an interesting thing.

I am tired all the time, probably because I am doing everything I can to give the students 100%, then spend several hours getting the technology stuff squared away. As soon as I get home, I end up napping for 2 to three hours.

Will the surgery fix this, too?

I sure hope so!


I visited the neurosurgeon yesterday. He seemed concerned about the numbness, and was relieved when I said that I wasn't waiting until the semester's end to have this surgery. Sooo, in just over a week, I'll go under the knife.

There are two routes to go with this, and the NS is actually going for the more conservative approach to preserve my range of motion. I'll be having a C5-C6 laminectomy, where the herniated disc will be removed, a curvature in my neck will be repaired, and a bone spur will be excised. I'll be in the hospital overnight and in a neck brace until the graft agent starts knitting properly.

This will get rid of the numbness ASAP. Apparently, that is a sign of permanent nerve damage, and Monday's EMG shows no issues, so we're nipping this at just the right time. However, I've been in some sort of pain for over three years, it'll be nice to leave it all behind.

Let's get this show on the road...

Mr. Dunderbak's, Tampa

One of the Tampa restaurants we've been visiting since soon after moving to Florida has been Mr. Dunderbak's. Thanks to a chance stop in a downpour at Epcot when the boys were small (we're talking 2 and 5 here), we found that each of them loves German food, and as a result, we try finding more places serving wursts and spaetzle. After Gameteen's first visit at the current psych practice, we visited University Mall, where Dunderbak's was a surprise find, shoehorned into a storefront.

The've long since moved into a strip mall on Bruce B. Downs that has several quality restaurants, and several storefronts that lie vacant, but Dunderbak's has always been the draw for us. We pretty much plan that if GameTeen is seeing the doctor, we're having a German meal.

Operant conditioning came into play the other day, because I had the doctor's appointment, Ed needed to drop me off on the USF campus and GameTeen was with us-all factors that scream Dunderbak…