Showing posts from April, 2013

$250 Later

I have three textbooks for the summer.

One class requires two textbooks, one I rented and the other I purchased. The class will cover two topics that are near and dear to doctoral students: grant writing and dissertation proposals. By the end of the semester, the professor expects us to have written a real or mock grant and have a strong dissertation proposal draft. My soon-to-be major professor was concerned that I'm taking the class now, explaining that it's better to take at the end of the classroom study. However, there have been no guides to the order of courses in either my master's or Ph.D studies, so I opted for my usual method of getting the tough stuff out of the way first.

The other class is in my cognate. I've had several appointments scheduled with my supervising professor for that program, but we keep having to reschedule. I'd like to get in to see her before I schedule more courses in that concentration, because I have two options to foll…

Two Naps, Two Days

Yes, it must be semester break!

Two Semesters Down

Approximately 10 semesters left to go!

I've said to several people that this semester's group was the best experience I have ever had. We all played to a strength, which for me was a little strange because I didn't do most of the writing. Instead, I went for the video production, which is a lot of fun.
The work was mostly completed, except for the final paper. One of my group mates has been awesome at keeping on top of it throughout the semester and another is a strong writer. All I had to contribute was one component, a summary of our research methodology and the processes we used in designing the product.

The group met online together in a Google doc (which we've done several times in the past, but during the class session). In two hours, I wrote my section while others tweaked theirs, we used Google chat to confer with each other as a group and decided that we were DONE for the semester. It was kind of cool to have the semester wrap up as a group, a fi…

Kinetic Typography

I've always been amazed at what some people can do with kinetic typography for songs. Someday, when I have free time...

In the meantime, I found this one from a guy who made it for his Graphic Design class, and enjoyed it:

Lefties Unite!

This afternoon, a few of my coworkers and I were kibbitzing when I returned from lunch. One is expecting, so the conversation involved talking about what the baby will inherit from mom or dad's gene pool.

Then, we found out that we are all lefties.

Usually, I'm the rare one. Here, I'm just another person in their right mind!

Afternoon Naps

Thanks to my erratic sleep lately (thanks, clots and RSD), there have been a few times where I've come home from work and taken a nap to be able to tackle the schoolwork for that evening.

Once, that meant a 4 hour nap, and I ended up staying up until 3am, but I was fine the next day. Today, I got home and found Ed here because he'd had a migraine. I mentioned I was taking a nap and about an hour and a half later, he came in to wake me.

Daylight savings time got me-I thought it was the next morning and I was late for work!

Being Good at One Thing Doesn't Mean You're Good at Everything

I have a few friends who are mildly stressed out right now. Seems their boss came to them with a proposal, somewhat pie in the sky. "Hey, can you draft up something concrete for this idea I have? I'll come back to you in two weeks and we'll discuss." Mind you, this is beyond the scope of what they had to do during the normal work day-that is already full with other things that take priority.

That was in early January. Several attempts to meet up with the boss to specifically talk about this proposal got canceled by the boss. Meanwhile, the friends spent about 15-20 hours of their own time coming up with realistic scenarios and solutions to this proposal. So, they were definitely invested in rolling the project out.

It is now the end of April. No meeting, no nothing.

Meanwhile, boss shares with clients via email and other means "Hey, we're doing this great, pie in the sky idea starting in June. Sign up now!" Well, because they got no feed…

Music to Study (or Read Instructional Guides) By

I like to put music on and repeat it over and over when I'm trying to focus on a task. Thus, my iTunes playlist is stacked with things that peg me as a choir and music geek. Want to take a listen?

Steak Salad at Dave and Buster's

If you're planning on following responsible caloric intake when you're at Dave and Busters, the pickings are slim. However, I ended up with a favorite:

We were celebrating GameTeen's birthday, and he went for what I would have ordered in an earlier time, the Goldfingers. It wasn't worth 1,400 calories, though!

CND Shellac Tutti Frutti plus Purple Effects

I'm a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world...

At least that's the way I feel, every time I look at my nails. The color looks really good, but it really is NOT me at all. I liked the way it looked on Katie's toes, and well, after the fantastic job she did on my nails with Azure Wish and the glitter Effects, I had not a clue of what I wanted this time.

This is what I have now:

What I did not consider is the items in my wardrobe that aren't in the blue/green/purple palette. I went to put on a red shirt today and it clashed. Then a salmon colored shirt and the same deal. Soooo, the next three weeks will be spent planning ahead, instead of grabbing the top shirt of the pile when I get dressed in the morning!

Record Store Day

Billy and Bobby Alessi, also known as Barnaby Bye, a Long Island act...

Ed and Chef among the records. Ed scored a half-dozen albums on his very long 'seek and acquire list'.

The decor at our local record store

Things You'll Want When You're Presenting At An Academic Conference

Well, the first one is under my belt! The poster presentation was a lot busier, but there was a lot of good interaction with the people who were there.

So, the things that make things run smoothly?

Print out your materials ahead of time.
(I did this, but my professor made some last minute modifications, so we had to print out new slide outlines.)

Make sure you have all that you need to hook up to the AV equipment on site. Unless you're presenting at Apple, this means you want an Apple A/V dongle for your iPad or your MacBook.

Oh, speaking of-the Apple remote does not work with a MacAir, but it does with a MacBook Pro. However, I don't like to stand behind a podium, so I'll be getting one of these before I present again.

Another thing that a group mate suggested is a power strip with a long cord. I have the one pictured for my light kit, but if you have electronics to support your display, do NOT assume that the power outlet is near your booth/table!


One Down, One To Go

I had the final in my Stats class tonight. It was a first for me since I've returned to college-I walked out knowing that I probably have a C in the course. It's what I deserve, I didn't put the effort into it that it deserves. The content wasn't difficult, but it's a logic language that I should have looked more often than I did.

On the other hand, the class in my course of study is going phenomenal. My group has wrapped up our A, I present at a conference in the morning all about it, and our work is being turned in a full week early. I just have three videos to complete between now and then, which is easy stuff for me.

It's good that we're getting this semester done early, it gives me a three week break before it starts all over again. I'm looking forward to some downtime!

Flash Mob!

Alas, as soon as they're done, I want to launch into the tenor line of 'Fortuna Plango Vulnera'!

The Plan for the iPad Comes to Fruition

When we got Ed his iPad nearly two years ago, I wouldn't touch it, lest I get the gimmes. Awesome husband that he is, though, he asked me what I wanted for my birthday a few months later and without hesitation, I asked for my own iPad.

Mine gets used more by the kids than me, but that doesn't mean I don't use it. I have textbooks, journal articles and a few fun things for me. (I prefer playing Song Pop on it, over the computer or phone). While teaching, it was used to occupy one student who wasn't keeping up with his peers in the computer class, and another student who couldn't use the computers because they triggered seizures.

When I asked for it, I told Ed that there would come a time when I'd need to develop content on it. It wouldn't be right away, but eventually, the materials I created would also be created for iPads. I felt it'd be better if navigating it was second nature, rather than learning a new device and new software.


Regression Equations, Oh My

Working on the take home portion of my Stats final tonight. Tomorrow night, my other class, then working on compiling my data from my research for Stats. Hopefully, this leaves all of Wednesday to study the statistical terms I need to know for the in class final Thursday.

If you hear me talk of significance and effect sizes, I'm in the zone. Just walk away until Friday...

Apparently, April Showers Bring Tornadoes

Last year, when I was considering doctoral programs and had a few serious conversations from a school in Tornado Alley, I did not give the school more consideration because tornadoes are the one weather situation I will do my best to consciously avoid. I grew up with blizzards and hurricanes, weather events you know about well in advance and can do *some* amount of preparation for. Yep, earthquakes and tornadoes are things I will try my best to not encounter.

Yet, in the past couple of years, we've had quite a few tornado warnings, had some touch down within five miles of home and generally, because this state is Kansas flat, seem to be in a trend to have them more. Oh, goody.

However, there is something to help prepare and it is one of the BEST apps you can get for you phone. Storm Shield It functions like a weather radio, going off when an alert includes your zip code or general area. You can even set it to the local zip code when you're traveling, too.

I got i…

When Work and School Efforts Help Each Other

If you've attended a college or university in the past ten years, your school uses a Learning Management System (LMS) to house all the course materials, whether your class meets face to face or you take courses completely online. Since returning to school four years ago, I've actually encountered three systems, because the state college used one (PAL), and USF used another (Blackboard), and this semester, one course is in the new LMS, Canvas.

My group project in that class is to create tutorials for the instructors within Canvas, to explain how the new LMS will make their lives easier. Truly, it is a much more user friendly product that what we've used-even we tech savvy students have complained about Blackboard for years. So, since January, we've been learning how to use Canvas and doing tons of research in it to go beyond the traditional 'this is how you do this' experience. Our client wants instructors to know not just how, but WHY this product is a go…


Game Teen's school had a fundraiser tonight at a local restaurant. We did not attend. Mind you, my child wanted to go, even tried saying "I am going to the fundraiser" as a means of getting mom or dad to take him.

It was at Chuck E Cheese, home of lousy pizza. Add to that GameTeen's obsession with video games AND his sensory issues with loud noises and bright lights, there is no way in hell I'm subjecting myself to the place.

Which begs the question, if most of the students at the school have sensory issues, and teachers are gently reminded that a loud classroom is not good for the kids, why hold a fundraiser at the place where Dora could be drowned out by the competing sounds?

When, Not If

Blood Clots. The bane of my existence.

In 2006, my vascular surgeon told me that I was on my last strike-the next one would mean lifetime blood thinners. In my case, that means either Heparin or Lovenox, because I'm one of those freaks who metabolizes Coumadin in a strange way.

Then, right after my hysterectomy in 2009, I got a blood clot-and a pass. We both agreed that my lack of activity post op and the abdominal surgery were responsible for that one. So, I've been on my last strike for over three years.

All things considered, my surgeon is probably stunned that I've gone this long. I moved to Florida with a clot and saw him within a week of moving here permanently. For a long time, I was in his office weekly.

A few weeks ago, I noticed the signs. A warm spot on my leg, the colder of the two (thanks to RSD, my left leg is 10 degrees colder than my right). Pain upon touch, and skin changes. I made a quick call to Nurse M, who agreed.

At that time,…

So Many Choices

It has been quite some time since I've held a job with benefits. Like, five years ago, in fact.

The thing is, most of my employers in retail gave you one, maybe two options for health insurance. Dental was offered by most, but it was a take it or leave it plan. Vision wasn't covered by all, but I worked for higher end specialty for my last four employers, so it was covered. Heck, it was a big deal that three of them offered chiropractic and extended podiatric care-most retailers didn't.

Now, I'm in a benefited quasi state job, so I get most options through the state, then a few that are unique to my employer. Then a few more because of my employment category. No more 'you're this, so you either get this or that, take it or leave it.' Instead, the majority of the calls I'm getting at work are people who want to help me with my enrollments.

Disability. Cancer plan. Dental-HMO, PPO (tier one or two), or Catastrophic? Retirement. There are m…

Crunch Week

Graded Homework Assignment

Final Project Proposal

Journal Article Analysis

Take Home Final

In Class Final

Research Project

All due in the next nine days.

Then, in my other class:
six videos

presentation paper

Both due by the 19th, one day after all that other stuff...


I participated in a weight loss challenge at my old job. My team won, and I lost 11 pounds. Our price is a gift certificate for the four of us to go out to dinner together. I'm not sure when or where we'll all get together, but it should be fun.

The upside to a 12 week competition is that I kicked some bad habits. Like soda. I've been really good about drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day.

Im hoping the fact that I'm in the habit of using a website to track my intake will keep me on this good path, now that I don't have a competition to motivate me...

New Ownership

Our favorite restaurant was sold.

I should have realized, the last three or four times I got pizza for take out, the always present Manuela was not in the kitchen sporting her ubiquitous pink baseball cap. Still, the pizza was as good as always, so I assumed that I was picking up on nights she wasn't there.

The other night, though, my friend Allen suggested Italian for dinner and Romeo's is always my first choice for that. Our server was one I didn't know. He answered my question about Manuela not being in the kitchen with 'Oh, you didn't know? They sold the restaurant a couple of months back.' This was before our entrees arrived, and I said the pizza was just as good. He told us that Manuela and Lino sold the recipes along with the restaurant, so we should expect the same quality food.

He was right. My favorite, Penne alla Russa, was just as creamy as always, the garlic knots left me wanting to lick the plate, and I ordered some desserts to go,…

No, I Don't Have a Favorite Color

It's never more obvious than when I do three weeks worth of my clothing at one time...

CND Shellac Azure Wish with CND Additives

In the time that I wasn't getting my bi-weekly manicures, CND came out with several blue and green shades that I have been working my way through. The last manicure featured Pretty Poison, the one before that Limeade. I just saw a layering of the two that makes a nice Kelly green. That idea is getting tucked away for next St. Patrick's day.

Meanwhile, on the blue front, there was Azure Wish (nice nod to Princess Bride, IMO) and Midnight Swim to try. Fortunately, my nail tech knows my love for the blue, green, and purples, and she stocks them as soon as they come out. This time around, it was Azure Wish, but I mentioned to Katie that I thought it needed a little more pizzazz, like maybe a layer of Zillionaire. This was while texting back and forth to change my appointment time to a day earlier (several clients asked for mani-pedis when they'd just booked the manicures.). She even played around with my layering suggestions on her sample nails and sent me pictures.


The past few months, I've either gone to get food for my coworkers or cooked for them. This is fine, as I enjoy cooking for others.

However, my new coworkers love to have any excuse for a potluck. For instance, the fact that two of us have joined the staff is the perfect reason for one. So tomorrow, they get strawberry salad.

Looking at the sign up sheet, it appears we are heavy on the desserts. < br />
It's probably a good thing that I'm going for my final weigh in at the old job BEFORE lunch. :)

Autism Awareness Month

He'll be 17 in two weeks. 

He still behaves like a three year old. 

Like tonight, the second night of him having a 500 page essay for repeatedly sleeping in class.   One he refuses to do.  No matter what I say, yell, take away-he is adamant that he won't do it. 

He refuses to go to bed at night, we could call it 'Song of GameTeen'

"I'm in the middle of a game!  I'm not ready for bed!  I'm not tired!  I hate bedtime!  I'm not sleepy!  You're not being fair!"

Then, he wakes in the middle of the night, and if we're all asleep, he forages for food, hunts out the game systems out of whatever new hiding spot we've found (seriously, we go through hiding spots at a breakneck pace) and then sleeps in class. 

The psychiatrist we got this year is completely ineffective.  He's on the highest dose of melatonin they suggest for ADULTS, a high dose of OCD meds, a high dose of meds for Aspergers, and ADHD meds and she didn't want to give…

Tooth Rescue

So, my tooth is salvageable. I got some minor treatment done to it, then a bondo-type substance-and a quote for a crown to top it all off. Ooof, it will be rather expensive.

I drove to the walk in dentist (an hour away) and was patient number 3-when they only take two. The first two were a couple who, between them, had FIVE broken teeth! They'd been trying to be the first two for a week, so this morning, they got there at 6am. Instead, I called around to other places that take emergency patients. One in Brooksville (2 hours away) had an opening. Thankfully, I found one here in town and they could take me in 45 minutes!

As I mentioned yesterday, my dentist in NY was incredible. Any dentist that comes after has big shoes to fill, but the office I went to today had very friendly staff, a great dental assistant and the dentist was rather pleasant. This emergency helped me to find our permanent office, because it felt just right. They are 20 minutes from home-and they do …

I Guess 30 Years is Good

For a root canal to last! About half my tooth decided to make a break for it today during my lunch. The sad part is-I didn't even realize it until later!

It has been mentioned here before that my orthodontist kept the same bands on my teeth for six years. Many of my friends were getting theirs taken off for twice yearly cleaning, but mine stayed on through it all. Within days, one tooth disintegrated while eating an ice cream sandwich-a very soft ice cream sandwich at that.

I spent a lot of time in the dentist's chair after those braces came off. Fortunately, Steve was good. Really good at what he did. Long after I moved to Maryland, I made twice yearly trips to my NY dentist, which he used to full advantage when patients would complain about their 10 mile drive. There were quite a few root canals performed between my junior and senior year of high school.

Steve told me a long time ago that the normal root canal shouldn't last as long as mine had-when I had …