Showing posts from October, 2013


Today, I was supposed to meet with my new neurologist.

Alas, we had three cancellations and schedule changes from her office, and when I finally got this appointment, I changed the date on the card I had, but not the time.

I showed up for the appointment 20 minutes late, and she doesn't see patients who show up more than 5 minutes late. So now I'm rescheduled for the day before Thanksgiving.

The only silver lining is that I had an online class meeting for my hybrid course. I'd planned to stick around on campus for it, as I'd probably come out of the appointment too late to safely get my butt back home to log in by 5:00. Now, I could drive home.

At 5:05, the instructor sent out a message that too many students had emailed that they wouldn't be there because they were bringing their kids trick or treating. I was already sitting at my desk at home. I wouldn't be thrilled if I'd been in Tampa when I got that message.

Four weeks to go...

Going Global

Back in middle school, I had a couple dozen pen pals all over the world. Several kept in touch over a few years, a few were just a half dozen letters exchanged back and forth. Before the days of the Internet in every home, it was a very cool way to learn about other cultures. Learning about different customs and cultures really fueled an unrequited desire to travel the world.

In fact, I've even said here that if I won the lottery, I'd become a permanent student, and take my breaks to travel. Now that I am approaching the midpoint of classroom studies for this doctoral program, I've even done some preliminary research into fellowship opportunities abroad. Considering the research studies I am citing in my proposal come from Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, it makes sense to try to get myself some time with those already exploring the topic, even if it isn't directly what I'm exploring.

Then a curious thing happened: through social media and a message b…

Preparing For Next Semester

This semester, I'm in a class that my major professor teaches, on that combines us with the other technology-based students. However, the follow up class only is offered for my major, and this semester's class is a prerequisite. However, there are only five of us taking it from my major, and generally, classes in our college need 8 students to be offered. (I do know of one exception, the class from hell had 6 of us, and really should have had 8.)

We students had gone with the assumption that the class will be offered, but my professor sent an email out Friday to us, asking if we intended to take it this spring or in the future. Four of us are in our second year, one is four classes away from defending her dissertation. That email made me a little nervous that I have to wait until next spring to take it.

I have twelve classes left to take, so today, I spent a little time finding out which of the classes on my list are offered. It ends up that none of the 'hands on&…

Preparing Your Child For The Path

Ed and I parent our children differently, as they have very different needs, but the philosophy that best matches our point of view is preparing our child for the path. In other words, giving them support, but letting them both know that the world isn't going to view them as speshul snowflakes-they will have to pull their fair share to get good grades and good jobs.

Chef has taken some lumps on that front, because we don't nag him to do homework or study. We ask and take him at his word when he has none. This has resulted in two trips to summer school, which is something he does not want to repeat. In this sense, the message was received that it's not Mom or Dad that has to do the work-it is completely up to him.

With GameTeen, it's quite another story. We might as well be talking to a brick wall, as the child is convinced the world revolves around HIM. There are battles about showering properly, cleaning, doing his chores, and pretty much everything. The …

Balloons Over Disney

Saw these yesterday as I was driving I-4 at 7:30 in the morning.

Couldn't get a good shot, but there were about a dozen balloons, all really colorful. It seems appropriate that they'd be heading over Disney.

Poster Child For Compliant Patients

The only thing that one really can do for a blood clot is wait it out. I'm impatient, though.

Nurse M tells me that I am the poster child for compliant patients. Basically, I've had everything go wrong that can, so I know how to deal with it.

So, for now, the things I am doing to make this clot resolve:




Benedryl cream for itchiness

Aleve for pain (hasn't needed more, but I have if needed)


Waiting is not what I am good at doing. The rest, however, I can handle.

Acropolis, New Tampa

One of my co-workers and I take a class together and as a result, we occasionally go out to lunch together. This past week, she suggested Acropolis, and I agreed-because hey, I can never enjoy too much Greek food. The second reason for going is that I've been to their Ybor and Riverview locations, both of which have been great. The New Tampa location is in the same strip mall as Mr. Dunderbak's, also reviewed here, so it was about time that I switched from driving by to dining in.

When dining with my companion, there will always be an appetizer. Today's choice was the Tirosalata, a dip that is similar in texture to tsitsiki sauce, but made with feta, oregano, and olive oil. It was rich, garlicky, and creamy, served with warm pita quarters-and they brought more when we spread ample amounts on the pitas supplied, quickly running out. I actually ordered Chef's favorite from Acropolis, Pastitsio, a cousin to baked ziti. It's pasta tossed in a tomato sauce, …

Good Changes

I've been an officer in a student organization for a little over a year. Before, it seemed like the advisor was just going through the motions, but that was how the organization had been run as long as I've known about it. Until the leadership changed with four of us last year, I can't think of a single activity that occurred. Heck, we lost an officer somewhere along the way because we were pretty stagnant.

There's been a change in advisor and this seems helped matters. I pointed out things that I felt we should be doing for the students and the list was reviewed by faculty and they agreed. Some of them were done with a speed heretofore unseen by any of us. Our president had way too many demands on her time, so we are down to two officers-and whatever we've suggested in meetings has been enthusiastically received.

We met today, reviewed some things that have been on the to do list for a while, all had been accomplished. The two faculty members with …


When I was pretty young, like before I was a teen, I was given an etiquette book as a gift for either my birthday or Christmas. With my tendency to devour the printed word, I'm sure the giver knew that I'd read it from cover to cover and take it to heart.

It being the 70's, many of those rules do not apply today. Still, I know the proper way to address letters, the order of introducing people to each other, and how a proper place setting should be prepared if I ever decide to break out the fine china and good set of silverware that resides in a box within arm's reach (my Dad bought my flatware as a wedding gift, I like having it close). Later, I'd read Miss Manners and update myself on things, as the Emily Post book really was intended for a modern woman of the 60's and had obsolete topics about calling cards and when to wear white gloves.

Many rules haven't changed, though-and those typically are the ones that have to do with weddings and showers a…




One friend lost a job and is struggling. Another lost a job, couldn't find another-and decided to ditch what wasn't needed, pack what is and is moving where a job is much easier to attain.

I would love to know what that difference is that makes one person freeze and the other say 'screw it, I can't change the situation here, so I'll change MY situation?' I'd love to know, so that I could give the one who needs it a dose, because it is so desperately needed.

Meanwhile, I usually walk around with a mostly happy outlook on life. Sure, I bitch and complain, but generally, once I do, I'm okay. Foul moods don't stick around for long. Which is why I'm not enjoying the current state very much. Nurse M and I had our check in this morning and I was told I should be the poster child for compliant patients. It was good for a few laughs, which we seem to squeeze into phone consultations that deal with serious crap. Right now, though, the PMA is…

A Productive Day...For Others

My day started at 4:30. I got up, got out the door, ran an errand to Wal Mart-then picked up my friend Allen and loaded up the van with his belongings that he was selling at the swap meet. Too damn early for my day off, in my opinion. We stuck around until just before noon, he had a financially successful effort.

Brought him back home, unloaded his stuff, then came back to my house to prepare for a study session I was to lead. Well, there have been some conflicts between the old roster of the student organization and us setting the students up in the new one. After spending a lot of time on it Friday, we thought it was resolved. It wasn't. So I spent the hour before the session scrambling to enroll the participants so they could log into the session.

The session went very well. But, from there, my energy was zapped and I hardly got any of the work done for my classes I had planned for today.

Can I have a do-over on my Sunday?


Nine people dining, the 'cousin' who brought us to our table told us about the delicious bread. Gave us five loaves, but the three veterans warned the newbies not to load up on it. So, all took a small piece off ONE of the five loaves given.

Appetizers have changed a bit since I was last here: the honey coriander wings are still there, and delicious, and they come with lovely wontons. The salad now has a pomegranate vinaigrette that is fantastic-still, saving room for THE MEAT. Which was awesome, though my 'cousins' didn't listen when I'd ask for one of something...

All in all, great, filling dinner, then a nice evening hanging out at Kidani with lots of laughter. It's really cool when you can attach voices to the faces and words on the page. Even better when they truly are how they present themselves online. Now looking forward to a repeat of this next year...

Friends in the Computer

Are going to become three dimensional tomorrow!

Last October, I met up with four of the members of a message board that is an offshoot board of an offshoot board, but we all were members of another board that banned us. That dinner at Raglan Road was full of laughter and good food. My only complaint was that the music was too loud to hear everything well.

That trip went so well that a return trip was planned, and more people jumped on the bandwagon. Several are already here, with more arriving in the morning. The plan is to meet up with several at one of the Disney restaurants, then head to one of the resorts to hang out with those who didn't want to eat at that restaurant. I suspect I will have a headache from the non-stop laughing that typically happens when we chat in the Facebook group that replaced the message board...

I'm bringing Ed along, so he can see my friends in the computer aren't psychos. Well, they are-but in a good way. These are his type of pe…

Time Off For Good Behavior

The rewards of a being a compliant patient-Nurse M told me I could monitor this myself after I triaged myself over the phone. It feels weird to have a clot, for both of us to agree this is a superficial clot and not be going in for a doppler study.

I'm supposed to check back with her in the morning. It looked worse this morning than it did last night. If it levels off, it sounds like I'll be using heat and the compression wrap I picked up today until it resolves.

I'm impatient, I'm grumpy, I hurt, and I hate that I have no control over this stupid leg.


Not if.

When you deal in chronic issues, you learn to expect the other shoe to drop, because it will drop. You just don't know when.

For some chronic issues, the people who have them know how to avoid the 'when'. Managing their diet, getting enough sleep, avoiding places with blinking lights. Basically, knowing the triggers that change the situation from 'if' to 'now'.

Until now, I've had four 'when' episodes. Two earned me a pass because they happened right after surgery. I've had extra at bats with my doctor, a ball four when it should have been a strike, walked instead of being struck out.

Until today, that is.

There was a stinging in my ankle earlier today, a burning sensation that made me think I might have had a bug bite-but there was none. The leg felt a little warm when I rubbed on it, but I didn't realize it until later, when I was in the restroom outside the classroom, the brightly lit one-where I saw my ankle…

Don't You Hate It When

You're swayed by the number of pieces of candy in the bag, and thus, pick up the assortment of Halloween candy that doesn't have a single one of your favorites?

I should have grabbed the other one. At least it had Almond Joys and Milky Way bars...

Twin Peaks, Orlando

Twin Peaks is like Hooters, if it was up north and in the snowy mountains. Servers in short shorts and plaid tops from which those 'twin peaks' runneth over is the uniform, but other than the sex appeal, this isn't a Hooters rebadge.

For one: Twin Peaks offers up their own beers (two varieties), as well as a plentiful assortment of other brews from smaller companies, and the small print at the bottom of the beer menu indicates they have those major label brews. Still, Ed was tickled to get a manly sized Bell's Oberon, while I went with a girl-size of Abita's Purple Haze. I saw that they had the lovely Leinies, but the hanging decor indicated it was Canoe Paddler, which we'd tried last month and weren't thrilled with. Beers are served extremely cold in frosty mugs-in fact, mine developed icebergs!

The menu is small, and leans towards hearty, manly-type meals. This is a good thing when you're feeding two locusts and a husband with a big appeti…

Velcro Cat


CND Shellac Dark Dahlia

My nail tech is psychic. I got there and she had a bottle of polish tucked behind the UV 'box' used to cure the UV gel manicures. She showed me the new colors done on sample nails and when I picked my color, that was the one she'd had ready. She gets my tastes.

What I wanted was PURPLE, and Dark Dahlia delivers it. It's like a nice glass of bordeaux wine, but it looks much darker indoors. I really like it.

Morning Fog



The first night of one of my classes, a classmate promptly earned the moniker 'Storm'. The reason is a Tim Minchin video about a hippie with that name. Warning: some of the language is NSFW.

Anyway, I was sitting before class with a friend, chatting, she who is now known as Storm came in, greeted my friend and commented on our conversation. Next thing I know, she's saying to friend "I believe in YOUR God, too", as well as some other rather vacuous statements. In the subsequent weeks, there have been more statements that fill the hole with pigeon.

Tonight took the cake. As our field works in technology, there are components of it that we are expected to have basic knowledge about, so that we can guide others in their use. This is especially important with popular social media sites and those from which educational content can be used. She pronounced YouTube as 'useful content and smut', and Twitter 'not important', and further went on …

Things You Do, Then You Don't

I have been modifying my hair color in some way, shape, or form since I was 16 years old. At first, it was a little bit of peroxide to bring out more of the red highlights. Hint: If you do this before you take a 10 day college course that involves spending your entire day out on the beach or hiking on a tiny island, your hair goes from a medium light red to a light strawberry blonde.

Eventually, using peroxide or Sun-In evolved into using hair color. I stayed to the lighter end of the red hues. If my hair were to be returned to the natural medium brown with hints of red, people would think I was unwell. That's what happens when you have fair skin and somewhat dark hair. Other than two times that I was convinced to go back to that brown, I've been in red. And other than 4 times, I've been the one coloring it.

It got harder to complete this task when my neck and shoulder got bad, and while recovering. A few months ago, I went to buy more color and found that on…

My Online Friends are Enablers

Makeup talk, then more makeup talk, resulted in me buying this over the weekend:

I spent more on this than I've spent in a year on cosmetics. That said, I suspect that six eyeliners will last far more than a year for me!

Oh, and I think I convinced others to get UV gel manicures over the past couple of years, so maybe it was my turn to spend some money as the result of all the makeup talk?

Trying to Figure Out How to Resolve Health Issues

That's a tough nut to crack, how to prevent or reduce episodes of a health issue when you have another few weeks before seeing the doctor. At least, in this case, I noted all the physical manifestations prior to my O.V. episode and now can recognize when conditions are ripe for one. Kind of like a tornado right now, in the sense that I can predict what may occur, but I'm powerless to stop what is going to happen.

In exploring the interwebz, I see that dehydration is a trigger, as is fatigue. Well, I've upped my water consumption considerably, but the fatigue is weird-I am exhausted from going to a shower yesterday! I'm thinking that my body is fighting something that may be triggering the O.V., but I don't know.

More reading brings up that I should cut out all caffeine, which is going to be HARD. I love my coffee, iced tea, coca cola, and chocolates. I can probably cut out the first three, but no chocolate would be a challenge. However, I responded to …

Ten Miles From Home

Yes, I'm heavy on photos lately. Tired and/or spinny, so I'm packing it in early tonight, but you get to see how rural it gets close to home.

Sun Dog

The colors washed out, but this was the first Sun Dog I'd ever seen that wasn't someone else's picture.