Monthly Archives: November 2014

It’s Friday!!!

August 22, 2014

Yes, I’m particularly happy today.

  1. I’m officially on vacation for the next two weeks!  On Monday, my parents and I head off to meet my brother and his family in the Outer Banks.  I know that we each have our own room and that there’s a pool.  No clue about wifi.  So maybe you’ll hear from me.  And maybe you won’t.  And maybe you won’t simply because I’ll be too busy eating seafood and lounging by the pool.
  2. Shellfish tends to be low in mercury and fairly safe to consume while pregnant.
  3. Lori wrote me a prescription for 8mg Zofran.  That’s the higher dose.
  4. I had the following conversation with my boss as he was heading out for the week.  (He’ll be leaving for vacation before I get back.)  Dr Z: “I don’t know.  Three weeks.  Have we ever been apart that long?”  Me:  “Yes.  I once left you for a month.”
  5. I had dinner with Meredith and Jenny on Tuesday.  Always good to catch up with old friends.  Yes, they both now know that I’m pregnant.  Meredith thought I looked that way but didn’t ask because one doesn’t ever ask a woman if she’s pregnant.
  6. When I said that I was planning to have a C-section, Meredith’s response was, “Hellz yeah!”  With a high five.  Of course.
  7. Oh, and the following exchange I overheard as some people were walking down the hall by my office.  Person 1:  I have Dixie cups if we need them.  Person 2:  I have paper plates.  Person 1:  It’s soup.
  8. And how can I forget Fiber Fest?  I suppose because it was technically last week, but my mom and I went on Saturday, which puts it in this week’s post.  Jill loved the socks I’d knit out of her Avogadro’s Number colorway.  And since this post will be going up after Mole Day, I can tell you that I’m trying to be good and work on the scarf I’m knitting for my brother’s Pooh Bear out of the leftover yarn.  Trying.  I did kind of cast on a new pair of Cat Bordhi socks.  And unlike the scarf, they aren’t the Same. Every. Single. Row.  I’m being a good girl and only carrying the scarf with me when I go out.  (Yes, I’ll take plenty of other knitting to the Outer Banks.  It’s a scarf for a teddy bear.  It really isn’t going to take me that long to finish.)

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Epic Thoughts

August 20. 2014

So I’ve been thinking a lot about epics lately. Oh, right. You can’t see me. I’m wearing my classics major hat right now. (It’s got laurel branches on it. I try not to sit on it, but sometimes I forget where I set it down…) I could blame Lisa for this since she’s the one who suggested I read the Goddess Girls series, but it’s my own nerdiness that takes it to extremes.

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve read the three classics: The Iliad, The Odyssey, and The Aeneid. I had to read all of them for multiple classes in college. Plus I read The Odyssey at least once in high school. And being the nerd that I am, I’ve reread them since. (Yes, I’ve read Gilgamesh multiple times, too, but that’s a different story.)

But it wasn’t until I read the first Goddess Girls book (Athena the Brain) that I really started thinking about the three biggies as a whole.

The following is not a digression. It’s going to feel that way at first, but I swear it all ties together.

Do you remember the PBS show Wishbone? My favorite episode is when they did The Aeneid.

You see, The Aeneid is really just a rip-off of The Odyssey and not even a very good one at that. It is definitely not my favorite. By a long shot. All of the exciting parts in The Odyssey appear as side notes in The Aeneid. It consists of Aeneas avoiding all of the traps that befell Odysseus and make the earlier epic exciting.

So I found Wishbone’s take on The Aeneid to be delightful. It focuses on how the gods spend their time interfering in the lives of humans. The gods are depicted standing around a big map of the Mediterranean, playing with little figurines representing the human characters.

Athena the Brain takes a similar tack. In Hero-ology class, each student is responsible for leading one hero on a question. Athena, of course, is in charge of Odysseus. The second day of class, Athena discovers a large map of the world with figures representing all of the heroes. Sound familiar?

Yep, it made me think of Wishbone, too.

The Trojan War ensues with the students interfering with the lives of their heroes in an attempt to achieve the best outcome.

And that made me think about the three great epics in general. After all, The Iliad is all about how the gods interfere in the course of human events. And Odysseus would have gotten home a lot sooner if it hadn’t been for his bad relationship with Poseidon, and it’s only because of his good relationship with Athena that he makes it home at all.

There’s an overarching theme that I’d never thought about in all of my years of study. The great epics are, overall, about the gods messing with mortals. Saving their lives. Leading to their downfalls. Or one god staying another god’s hand so that the latter can’t intercede when desired.

And all it took to make me think about this was a children’s book about being the new girl in school.

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Quite a Happy List

August 15, 2014

  1. Something that I forgot to add last week was this clip from The Daily Show.  Go, Jordan!  Yes, I might have cheered a tad loudly when I saw it…
  2. And another thing I forgot to add last week was this delightful number.  I think every med student should be required to learn this dance.  (My favorite is the pacemaker.)  Thanks to my 11th grade math teacher, Marcia, for sharing!
  3. This one is something that I’ve seen before.  A friend shared it on Facebook this week, and I still find it both brilliant and hilarious.  It is an epic theatre fail, but the actor recovers brilliantly, which is part of what makes it as funny as it is instead of merely painful.  And trust me, it’s one of those fails that has the potential to be painful.  If I have shared this before, well, it’s still making me happy.  Thanks for sharing (even though I’d seen it making the rounds a while ago), Kathy!
  4. Every Friday, the Marketplace Tech Report includes “Silicon Tally” a game where the host and a contestant try to stump each other with numbers from the week’s tech news.  It’s usually funny, but today’s episode actually made me laugh out loud.
  5. Thanks to Lisa for suggesting I read the Goddess Girls books.  I started the first one a couple of days ago, and it’s just the right book for right now.  I’m looking forward to seeing how the author continues to work Greek mythology into this charming middle-grade series.
  6. And I know by the time 2018 rolls around y’all are going to be sick of WWI things making me happy, but it is one of my favorite time periods, so sorry-not-sorry.  I heard this on NPR or the BBC this week and thought it was pretty cool.  (I’m guessing it was the Beeb because I couldn’t find an NPR article about it.)  This violinist enlisted shortly after the war began, took his violin with him, and etched a diary of the battles he was involved in on the back of the instrument.  It was one of those reports that gave me chills.  He might not have been a great musician, and the violin is no Stradivarius, but talk about a priceless instrument!
  7. But the number one thing that is really making me happy this week?  My new granny cart!  Okay, so Amazon technically calls it a “utility cart”.  It has a nice load size, sits tidily on the floor of the backseat of my car.  And the best part?  Stair-climber wheels.  It pulls up stairs and lowers down stairs very easily.  Loudly.  But easily.  Now I’m just rearranging my work bag so that it will fit tidily in.  (My nice big Quad Pack has too big of a footprint for it.  But since I don’t need to put my lunchbag in my backpack anymore, I don’t need to carry my backpack to work.  I can downsize my workbag drastically.  You know, to my Book Pack.  Yes, I have a thing for L.L. Bean bags.  For the record, I’ve used my Book Pack since third grade, and it’s still in good shape.  I think my love is justified.)
  8. Oh, wait!  There is one more thing making me happy this week.  I almost forgot because it’s about next week, but it’s something that happened this week.  Next week’s DD meeting has been canceled.  I don’t have to drive across state next week!  Woohoo!  (This is particularly good because two days after the meeting was originally scheduled, my parents and I will be heading off to the Outer Banks, which involves driving across a LOT more than just Michigan.)

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Hiding

August 14, 2014

I had my second appointment with Lori today. And despite the fact that my blood pressure was a lovely 102/60 on Monday, it was 130/82 today. As Lori put it, high for me although not so high that she was worried.

I’m not sure why it was high. Maybe I was a little dehydrated. Maybe it was the stress from this weird nightmare I had a couple of nights ago. It was one of those dreams that you don’t remember when you wake up. It wasn’t about anything in particular. I was in my bedroom. And I’d been warned of something that was coming. Something bad. And when I woke up, I couldn’t remember what the horrible thing was that was coming; all I could remember was the dread. One of those nightmares when you have to turn on all of the lights to banish the shadows.

Anyway, the plan was to take my blood pressure again at the end of the appointment, after we had the reassurance of hearing the heartbeat.

Except Lori couldn’t find the heartbeat. And, of course, she grew equally frustrated and nervous as my mom and I grew closer to a panic. I mean, I should be having symptoms of a miscarriage if there was no heartbeat, right? And I wasn’t; I’m not. So there should be a heartbeat. But she couldn’t find it.

To the ultrasound machine it was. Fortunately, Diana was patient-less at the moment, so she could do a quick sonogram. The first thing she said was “There’s a heartbeat.”

The little thing was curled up in about the tightest fetal position you can imagine and hiding behind the slight prolapse my uterus currently has. There was no way that Lori was going to be able to pick up the heartbeat with her little machine.

A relief, but I can only imagine how high my blood pressure must have been by the end of my appointment! Lori’s response? If she doesn’t hear the heartbeat at my 16-week appointment, she’s first in line to give this kid a smack after it’s born.

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Changing Light

August 12, 2014

I’m amazed at how much less light there already is. I know that it’s still summer, but it’s much darker when I get up to get ready for work in the morning. It’s not dark; it’s just not light yet.

Last night, I crashed at about 8:30. Then I woke up and noticed the light coming through my window. It wasn’t light out, but it wasn’t really dark either. “Wow,” I thought. “I slept really well.” But since the alarm hadn’t gone off yet, I snuggled back in and closed my eyes to wait for it.

Then I woke up again. And I noticed it was dark out. And I realized that the first time I’d woken up hadn’t actually been morning. I looked at my clock. 11:30. Yep. It was still yesterday.

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A Day Late

August 9, 2014

I’m a day late writing my post on this week’s happy things.  That’s because I had to go to Traverse City for work.  And the conference group rate was only available the night before the conference.  And it’s summer.  There was no way I could afford a second night at a hotel on a Friday night in a major summer tourist town.  It was late enough by the time I got home that there was no way my brain could handle writing any sort of post, even a list of happy things.  So you’re getting it a day late, but hopefully not a dollar short.

  1. Waze is making me happy.  For those of you who aren’t familiar, this is a crowd-sourced GPS app.  It asks users to report accidents, construction, congestion, you name it, and it uses that data to help everyone find the fastest route to wherever they’re going.  Obviously, the more people who use it, the better it functions.  There may not have been a lot of Wazers Up North, but that didn’t really matter.  It got my mom and I to the hotel with great ease and back on 131 Friday afternoon.
  2. Road construction.  I hear you, I do.  We saw a lot of construction signs driving back, all preceded by signs saying that construction would resume on August 11.  Darn.  It’s a long drive, but it made me smile every time I saw one of those signs and then blew right through the construction zone at 70 mph.
  3. Being in Traverse City.  Sure, I was there for work and didn’t get to spend a lot of time out and about, but the evening before the conference was beautiful.  And I’m a Michigan girl, so it was lovely to be so close to the Lake.
  4. The conference let out early.  How can that not make a girl happy?  Sure, it would have been even nicer if I’d been driving home this morning, but having an extra 30 minutes?  Fabulous.  My mom and I thought we’d get home no earlier than 7.  We got to her house by 6:30, and I was walking into my apartment at 7.
  5. My mom and I did a gelato crawl for dinner Thursday night.  (Okay, so it consisted of two scoops at two different shops…  But it was pre second dose of Unisom, so I wasn’t very hungry yet and I had a rice cake and peanut butter and a peach a few hours later after the drugs kicked in…)  If you are ever in Traverse City, I highly recommend that you go to Ambrosia for gelato.  There are a lot of places in this country that claim to sell gelato.  They don’t.  They sell very good ice cream.  Gelato should be made fresh each day.  Storing it overnight means it starts to crystallize, and the texture is wrong.  Sure, it’s still really good ice cream, but it isn’t gelato.  Ambrosia makes gelato.  It was as good as I’ve had in Italy.
  6. And since every week needs some absolute whimsy, please enjoy these corgi puppies playing at Georgia Tech.  Sure the beginning is rather twee, but take the still at the end of the article as incentive to watch till the end.  It is adorably worth it.  Thanks, Rams, for finding this!

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What’s Making Me Happy

August 1, 2014

I can’t believe that it’s already August!  My mom always said that summer flies after July 4.  This year that has most definitely been true.

  1. Faygo sparkling water is making me happy.  It’s unsweetened and has just a hint of whatever flavor you choose to buy.  (I prefer lemon-lime or grapefruit.)  It’s been a struggle to find something I can drink in quantity that will sit well and stay down.  This has been the ticket.  It’s water with just enough going on that it doesn’t quite taste like water or sit heavily in my stomach.
  2. We finally got our accreditation decision.  We are fully accredited.  And although we do have a progress report due in March, we were only dinged on 2/3 of a three-part criterion.  The only other criterion we didn’t meet was one of the commendation ones, so we really rocked it this cycle.  (And we knew they weren’t going to be happy with the criterion on which we’ll have to submit the progress report.)
  3. George Takei is an amazing man.  I am regularly overwhelmed by the grace he exhibits in talking about his childhood in the internment camp and his life as a gay man when it really wasn’t acceptable to be gay.  He was on Fresh Air this week.  Enjoy.
  4. One hundred years ago, war was officially declared by Germany this week, and the dominoes of pre-World War I alliances began to tumble.  NPR did a great report about the music that was written during the war and later by composers who served.  The recording of “Over There” sounded a little odd to me.  Then they pointed out that it was Enrico Caruso.  I had no clue that he’d made a recording of it!
  5. And since some of these are kind of serious, here’s a little fun.  Remember Pinky and the Brain?  What if the Brain really said what he was thinking?  Thanks to Betsy for finding this!  Definitely not for children, possibly NSFW!

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