Showing posts from March, 2014


One of the post-op remnants of the spinal fusion is that I get some pretty severe back spasms between my shoulder blades. It seems that when I do a lot of physical activity, like I did this past week, they get worse.

My previous neurologist prescribed medication last year, and the stuff worked, but turned me into a zombie. When I saw the new neurologist a few months back, I described the side effects I encountered, and she prescribed a different one. The monograph and bottle both list dizziness as a common side effect. This is not something she'd mentioned when she prescribed it, and I have an appointment with her a week after I return from vacation.

So here I sit, with back spasms, afraid to take the meds, lest they trigger a vertigo episode, which means taking MORE medication.

I need to do something...


This is inspired by a friend's post that I shared, then deleted on FB today. Mainly because it needed further discussion.

My FB feed is much like my blog: all over the map. I post politics, gay rights, recipes, food and kitty pictures, rants, funny stuff, brags about my kids, and basically, just about anything that strikes my fancy. I'd love to post more political stuff, but knowing that I have friends whose opinions I respect on the opposite side of the aisle, I limit myself on that front-there could be a ton more. Instead, I'll like and comment when a friend shares something.

Lately, though, I've noticed a tendency and R's rant today just drove home that it isn't just me. We have 30 mutual friends, but the trend isn't just those people, so maybe it is more widespread: the tendency to spam the feed with one topic. In her case, it is mostly 'rescue this animal' and religion posts. In mine, there is an overabundance of these, plus a heavy …

The Thing About Having Friends Around the Globe

When one pings you on Facebook at 11 at night, you're immediately calculating the time change and asking 'what are you doing up now?' and finding out she's having a diabetic episode. Or another comments on a photo of food and you realize that it's breakfast time where she lives, and might toy with making those tostadas for lunch or dinner!

A year ago, I never would have been able to tell you what time it is outside the US (except for London and Tokyo) with much speed, it would have required counting back from GMT and adding 5 for my east coast time. Now, I can tell you what time it is in Stockholm, Rome, Adelaide, Germany, Turkey, or Christchurch without thinking. Two of those are thanks to classmates being based there, but the rest are the friends in the computer.

I'm able to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius nearly as fast thanks to the weather conversations, but I need more work on the rest of the metric system. Guess I need to get more help on that front…

Coupling and Uncoupling

Yeah, I know, I don't do that much on the pop culture front. Frankly, I don't have a lot of time for it, but yesterday, the news that Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin have split up got an eyebrow raise. "Consciously Uncouple"? Can we say pretentious? Everyone else calls it divorce, Goopiness.

Goop. Like Oprah, Gwyneth seems to have the idea that if she thinks something is wonderful, then we all should like/use/have the exact same things, that our lives are not complete unless we do/buy/use the same shit she does-except most of us are not spending $600 for a pair of pants that are so trendy, they won't be worn next month.

So, I had a good laugh at the 'What would Gwyneth call your relationship?' generator. Apparently, Ed and I are 'mystically coupled'. What was funnier is that one of my Aussie friends, another Tim Minchin fan, took her fandom to another level while also using this generator. Seems C is:

I guess we have to thank Gwyneth …

I Think it Works...

So, my morning routine involved getting to work in the morning, pouring a cup of coffee, then taking my ADHD meds. On the weekends, I would take it a little later, but once I sat at my desk, I'd take that pill. The job contract ended a week ago, which means I don't have that routine anymore.

As the week went on, I could not focus on a darn thing. It has been especially bad the past couple of days. Then last night I realized, duh, I haven't taken my Strattera since I haven't been working!

Thing is, I took the last pill of the old bottle the last day of work and can't remember what I did with the refill. Whoops.

My psychiatrist who prescribes this medication is lovely, we've talked about how I have to retrain myself out of bad habits now that I have the ability to focus (and sleep-my gosh, is it ever good to be able to sleep!). I think she'll be slightly amused when she chides me for forgetting where the meds are, because this week break makes me re…


Today, the DVD set of a season of a TV show I watch was released. I ordered it back in November from Amazon.

Typically, anything I pre-order from Amazon ends up on my doorstep the day of release. This time, I didn't get notification that it shipped until 3pm, while friends got theirs today, ordering after me.


Spring Break

The boys have spring break this week, and I'm currently job seeking. This means we actually have the week off together, which hasn't happened since I was a teacher.

Ed commented last night and I didn't even think about it: locusts in the house for one week-how fast are they going to consume all the food? I had several menu ideas in mind, ones that usually end up becoming two and three meals. Tex Mex chicken, homemade pizzas, mac and cheese, corned beef.

I could make those four and cover the family for the whole week, but that will get me up until Thursday! Guess I need to scope out the pantry and figure out what else we're eating. Especially since all the cereal is gone, too.

Yay, locusts.

Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday

In preparation for 5 nights of progressive rock music, some performed by acts I can sing along with most of their catalog and others whom I'm not as well acquainted, I started a Pandora station for progressive rock. Then, I was pointed to Aural Moon. The headphones have a lot of good music filling my ears, though I find that Pandora's music genome works TOO well. It often pulls from other genres that are on my other Pandora channels. Um, no, Depeche Mode does not belong with Genesis and ELP!

Some of my favorites from the acts performing on the cruise:

Marillion (the number one reason we are booked on this cruise...), The Great Escape from 'Brave'

A little bit of background. Marillion has had two lead singers, and I became familiar with them when 'Misplaced Childhood' was released, with Fish (Derek Dick) was the leading vocalist/song writer. He was a great front man for the band, so I wasn't excited about Steve Hogarth (aka 'H') replaced him…

CND Shellac - Tango Passion

When you spend over two years with the same (awesome) nail tech, you tend to get spoiled. Katie and I settled into a routine where she'd pick my colors and just paint my nails, because we knew she got my tastes perfectly. Many of her clients would put the same color on their nails over and over, so I was the palette to try new things. It was fun.

Mandi is still learning with me. A lot of the things that work for others don't seem to work for me. For instance, she got an OPI Gelcolor because the shade is right up my alley, but I'd told her that the OPI product doesn't last on my nails. It lifts within a week, and did so, no matter what kind of pre-treatment was done to my nails. She also got some nail glitter, and a purple CND shade for me last time, but we went with the Cerulean Sea, which has worn the best since she started doing my nails.

So today, I got Tango Passion with glitter. I had to demonstrate the preferred process for applying the glitter, as I …

A Gift

I am a candidate for a job in my field. The hiring manager contacted me yesterday, telling me that one of the things that they like to do is provide the framework for a learning module, and you're expected to build it with the information provided.

The information I was given was to create an introduction to neuroscience, and how it is used to identify and assess students with ASDs. You know, the content area I've focused all my study on the past five years.

My problem is now limiting the size of this module.

Rita's First Day of Spring Free Ices

For about 4 or 5 years, we didn't miss the free ices from the Rita's in Frederick. Now, we've lived in Lakeland just over 6 years, and we've enjoyed 5 years of free ices. I think I have pictures of Ed at just about all of them!

I was full from our sushi dinner, so half of mine is still in my freezer. Yay!

Why Is It?

That the stylist can make my hair look incredible, and I never can duplicate what she does? I bought a flat iron after my first visit to my new stylist. She touched up my roots today, then flat ironed my hair. It looks awesome.

And I will never, ever, get it to look this good again...


I get many emails about seminars for my field. Most of the time, they're way outside the budget and/or minimally useful to me.

However, got an email today for a free one in Orlando. It's billed as a networking event, and the scheduled corporate attendees are many of the big names in Instructional Design.

Tomorrow, I have schoolwork to do, but Thursday? I'm taking a drive...

Burger 21, Lakeland

As we had plans to visit Brass Tap Saturday afternoon, we set our sights on lunch within Lakeside Village. Ed suggested trying Burger 21, as we'd been looking at the place when it's been closed for the better part of a year. Who was I to argue with that suggestion?

Thankfully, my sister saw sliders on that awning and she was excited at the prospect of getting mini burgers. I have to admit, the idea of sliders appealed to me, too, because it made it easier to pass off what I don't finish to Ed. (final score: 3 sliders for me, 5 for Ed.)

Right outside the door, there's a sign that has menus in the top. Grab one, because there isn't a menu board inside. Oh, and if you're easily tempted by libations, be warned: they've got plenty of beers on ice right there in front of you. Apparently, they have shakes. I say it, because I was blinded by the beers, but not enough to get one-the plan was to get those at Brass Tap across the parking lot.

We all decided…

Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza, Carrollwood

Last week, I had time to kill between work and picking up my sister at the airport, as she had a pretty late flight in from New Jersey. I asked on FB if any friends were going to be around, and was happy to get a response from L, who was one of my cast members at Disney too many years ago. We needed to pick something toddler friendly, and between where she was and the airport. Urban Spoon came to the rescue and I asked if she wanted to try Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza. It sounded good, so off we both went to a new location.

We arrived around 6:30 and there were only a couple of tables occupied, but the staff was moving about, active in the operations. We were quickly seated, then greeted by three different servers. L quite liked this, commenting on the nice view of cute servers. They also were rather polite, because we were yakking instead of looking at our menus. Finally, we both selected pizzas and continued our yakking.

I debated between a 12" traditional and the…

St. Paddy's Celebration, But No Green Beer

Well, we went out for a St. Paddy's Day celebration with my sister, which involved gourmet sliders for lunch, Guinness for me, cider for Ed and my sis, and lots of laughter.

Now I can't say I don't go out for St. Paddy's day-but I still have not consumed green beer.

Membership Has Its Rewards

As an Instructional Designer, researcher and academic, there are quite a few organizations that I can join to keep up on cutting edge research, as well as network. Until recently, I'd opted not to join any of them, as four memberships would be a little pricey.

My major professor told me she actually rotates through these professional groups, taking membership with ASTD one year, then AECT the following year, then AACE. The two classes I've taken with her have relied heavily on content from AACE, including the textbook, so I took the plunge and joined.

Many of these associations publish quarterly journals from which those of us pursuing doctoral studies draw foundational information to inform our research. I'd forgotten about AACE's journal, so it was a pleasant surprise today to find this in my mailbox:

So, I open it up and see the list of articles contained within. Usually, I'm searching the university library database and requesting articles through Illia…

Lakeland Food Truck Rally

30 trucks, three hours. Three hungry people meeting up with family. Will we see it all?

Once again, we failed in seeing every option before the clock ran out, but we got to try some new goodies and I got to introduce family to several favorites from the USF Health lunch trucks.

Shopping Disconnect

I have a distinct shopping style: go in with a rough idea of what I want, don't dilly-dally, get my butt to the checkout and leave. It is most definitely one of my more type-A traits.

Imagine spending time in a store with someone who likes to meander through the aisles, seeing what's available, because hey, that might be something good to buy, too? Yeah, spending 2 hours to do something that probably could be accomplished in 30 is not something I'd be willing to do on a regular basis, to be sure. At least the company was fun to be around.

And it's probably why that person spent a lot more than intended during the shopping trip. I cop to maybe picking up one or two items 'off list' when I do shop, but that cart was filled with quite a few things that weren't on the shopping list! On the plus side, the parties at home who got to unload and put the purchases away were excited at all the 'bonus' purchases.

Maybe I can talk Ed into doing the shop…

Thinking Like a Photography Pro

Recently, I saw someone get chewed out for something that wasn't entirely her fault: she inadvertently deleted the only copies of some photographs she'd taken in a professional capacity. Part of the problem is that she hadn't backed up the raw images to multiple sources, but the other big part: there was only ONE SD card (and a small one at that) to handle the many events she is asked to photograph.

Many years ago, when my dad purchased my first SLR camera (Minolta XG-1, Christmas 1980), he also supplied me with two of Minolta's basic photography books and a two year subscription to a photography magazine. I learned quite a bit from those resources, but the magazine was amazing for little hints from professionals. It is responsible for my patience in shooting pictures of animals, for instance.

One of the tips that definitely stuck with me was: be prepared and carry spares. In those days, it meant an extra roll or two of film. If you're shooting an event, e…

Dinner with a Friend

This evening's plans included picking up my sister from the airport. As the flight was late, I posted a message on Facebook asking if any of my Tampa friends wanted to meet up for dinner. I have quite a few friends from my tenure with Disney and a couple from other employers, and even a few from USF, that it seemed likely one would be free. A message arrived from a favorite cast member, one who has never lost touch with her inner child.

She's a mom now, and plans included her adorable little girl, so we opted for a pizza place I found on Urban Spoon (review coming). While we interact somewhat regularly on Facebook, it was especially nice to get to catch up on more of life. That little girl, a divorce in progress, her return to school, a new job. We talked about my studies as well, and that she's planning on becoming a teacher.

Her little girl faced some challenges a year ago that resulted in some early intervention and she has made tremendous progress, to the point…

Vera Bradley Quilt-After

The lovely Kate, of Katie Mae Quilts, is responsible for me finally owning something I've been collecting fabric for over four years-a quilt consisting of Vera Bradley scrap fabric!

She details the process of creating the quilt here, and it is amazing. I knew the fabrics would need some negative space, but I loved this quilt and thought it might have enough of that space to work. Unfortunately, the piecing this one required would hide the patterns that are in these pieces, so we went back and forth and I happened on the one you see in the pictures below. It must be kismet, because she had the pattern.

Kate is a speed demon, finishing this in less than a month. It languished as a 'would like to do' for so long, it was surreal to send her a box at the beginning of the month, and get one back so soon. The timing was especially good, I'd spent a good chunk of the day out in the cold (for Florida) and had popsicle toes. This is a lighter weight quilt, so it was g…

CND Shellac - Cerulean Sea


Nicktoons Hotel