Monday, September 30, 2013
If Medusa had a moustache...
If Medusa had a moustache, would it be made of teeny snakelets?
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I would study, but...
I'm worried it would not be productive. It's 3AM. I had extremely productive studies this weekend. I made 100 on 4 quizzes online in various subjects and I think I'm off to a great start for a good grade on my next pathophysiology test. 

My strategy has been to shoot for the middle of the pack, and I seem to be on target. I made 84 on my first three exams-- what are the odds of that??? Anyway, I'm very pleased. Next weekend, though, I'm going to take at least one day for total goof-off.

One big challenge was to figure out how and where to study at home, and I've learned not to try to do reading on the recliner or supine on the sofa, because the dogs pile on and put me to sleep. I've also started printing the teacher's study guides and jotting on my own notes and noting the corresponding pages on the notes in case I need a refresher later. Being very thorough the first time means that my review can be just a read-through of the guide with notes and I'm good to go. It's very noble to plan to read through all the material twice, but it's just not possible-- too voluminous.

Um, it feels really odd that I need to correct the text on this, but in the Patho text where they are talking about drugs, they give the street names for stuff like PCP et al, and they list "blow" as a street name for heroin. Uh, I've always heard cocaine referred to as "blow."  Heroin is "smack" and other illustrious terms, no doubt. This seems significant, because if someone is in the ER with a cocaine overdose, you'd be doing the wrong things for them if you think they're overdosing on heroin. But maybe I'm wrong about this??? I've had exactly zero experience around people on heroin. I hope. Yuck. 
Completely unrelated note: on Facebook about an hour ago, an acquaintance from a past job posted photos of herself and a bunch of friends in a bar doing shots of liquor. Whoopsie! She's just posted that she is in the ER with a stomach problem. I'll bet. Reminding myself to un-friend her. 

Probably a good idea for ER admitting people to do quick searches of FB to see what the patient was up to prior to coming in. Maybe there's a "hey, Bubba, watch this" photo that will aid in diagnosis.

People. What're you going to do?
I gather that folks in the armed forces are shown photos of diseased wedding tackle as an incentive to be careful where they put their own wedding tackle. I have to say my Patho textbook has the most sobering photos of pudendae EVAR.  Srsly.   Remember the driver's ed films with all the crash/corpse photos from the 50s?  Well, this is a sort of equivalent. Definite deterrent material. Yay, penicillin!

I also am more and more convinced I want to work in wound care. With the MRSAs running rampant and diabetes on the increase, there will be more and more call for folks who can help with that. There's a huge psychological aspect, as well, and I think I could do some good there. I have very steady hands and excellent manual dexterity, so I think I'm a prime candidate for that area. I'm generally excited about the prospect of working in a field to help people on the most profound level. I hope I'll find a level of job satisfaction that has heretofore eluded me. 

I'll try to post more frequently, but no promises. Ridiculously busy here, but happy. Going to try to catch some more sleep. Have a wonderful week!

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Sunday, September 29, 2013
Sunday, Puppy Sunday: new collar for Le Chooch
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Saturday, September 28, 2013
Okay. No more coffee after noon.
I need to get into a better sleep habit. This insomnia stuff is for the birds. 
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Thursday, September 26, 2013
Instead of watching the new Madonna art film, I recommend a nice cuppa Sadie!
Here's a performance from earlier in the year by the always luscious, ever-gorgeous Sadie:


I adore how blissful she looks. 
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Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Color theory
Miz Minka has a link to a super-neat color site wherein you can rearrange colored tiles in a spectrum to test your color acuity.  Nifty, innit?   I was very happy with the 15 I scored (my age category has a range of 0 to 1530), but she scored a very impressive 3. 

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Monday, September 23, 2013
Eye-rolling 101
Article:  The Secret American Subculture of Putin-Worshippers


As opposed to the Public International Culture of Obama-Worshippers???

Did  a chill just run down my leg, or what?

Annoying. How could anyone admire someone canny, capable, active and no-bullshit who actually doesn't want to help the people who killed so many Americans on 9/11???  That's just nutty, right???
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Dreaded locks.
I can't believe I'm composing this post. Composting?  Um. If it's funny, enjoy it while you can, because I might pull it back down at any moment. 

If you have dogs, then I'm sure like me, you've noticed that a dog hair occasionally gets in your mouth, right?  Well, it stands to reason that they would occasionally ingest some of our hairs, right?  What is problematic for my dogs is that my hair is fairly long.  I don't know that Chuy has ever swallowed my hair, but in the past with dear, departed Valentine and definitely with Praline, there has been an occasional uncomfortable *aherm* outcome related to having ingested my hair. 

Ever-so-long ago, I noticed Valentine had been in the yard for a great long while and when I called her to come in, she seemed embarrassed, still hunched over in mid-poo stance.   I went to see what was the matter, worried I'd find distended bits of innards only to find that one of my hairs was embedded in a dangler and the end of the hair was still in cheekero.  I looked around and found a leaf from a tree, grasped the pewp with the leaf and pulled the rest of the hair from her bum and bob's yer uncle.  Had to do that from time to time.  No idea if she intentionally ingested my hair or not, but it was something to watch for.  To my knowledge, no deleterious health effects resulted from these hair events, other than the embarrassment of a rather tidy little dog.

Flash forward to Praline, who is bizarrely fastidious(she'd rather die than have an accident indoors), and when she has a dangler (rarely), she is very embarrassed about it.  She would probably spraddle-walk the yard for an hour if I didn't come to her rescue, poor darling, but even then, she'll get embarrassed about her sorry state and will try to hide her shame.  It's comical (and heart-rending) to chase her in that state, because she is mortified.

Mochi, as I've mentioned, is nomnivorous and is ever trawling the universe for something in appropriate to ingest.  Seriously.  She LOVES chewing up pens.  Unraveling a chenille bedspread is a great joy to her, and I once had to pull a chenille strand of about 18" from her mouth and it was quickly apparent the strand had traveled a goodly distance into my long little doggie.  Goober.  She's a walking hazard and there's no telling what she's eaten. *sigh*

This morning, it is particularly fine and beautiful, so I stood on the back step when I let them out.  Mochi was having a poop event, and the, um, ejecta seemed unwilling to disengage.  I watched her for a wee bit, but quickly realized it was in some way attached.  Like a good mommy, I scanned the area for an amply-sized leaf with which to liberate the reluctant turd.  Mochi was most amenable to having assistance, to my relief, because I didn't want to run all over the place bare-foot.  Come to find it wasn't just one hair, but a fairly dense mass of the things that had formed a little dreadlocky turd thing with hair extending up into her bottom.  Seriously, it was a fairly impressive tangle of hairs, and it actually took a little tug to get it the rest of the way out. Wow.

Made me think of what my mom says about dread locks-- she said they remind her of those monkeys (or apes) that roll dung in their fur?  Anyway.  I hope this does not become a regular thing around here-- Mochi seems precisely the sort who would get bored trying to lose it and would just flounce her dreadlock back into the house.  Ew.
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Sunday, September 22, 2013
Sunday, Puppy Sunday: Praline the vigilant
Late in the day, Praline is watching through the uncovered windows, lest anything need its arse kicked or neck wrung. 
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Saturday, September 21, 2013
I'm a busy bee.
Had two massive tests and a group project this week. Freakishly, I made an 84 on both, to my delight. On one, though, I worried that I got a 48 and they accidentally transposed the numbers and they'd tell me later. This perhaps conveys the level of anxiety, to some degree. 

It's good, though. I'm finding a great deal of satisfaction in the process.  Also, finding my way a bit with Excel, with the help of some good friends. I was lead on a project for statistics class and that has been something of an ordeal, to say the least. I hope I should do as well as an 84 on that, but we shall see. 

Busy weekend. Lots of quizzes to take. Major test on Tuesday. At least the weather is finally cooling off, thank goodness!!!
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Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Just a hunch, but
I'm guessing Miss Mochi harvested the sharpie from the pen cup on the desk. 

Crap. She's a monkey-dog. Everything not bolted down will need to be under lock and key. And she's nomnivorous-- she'll nom anything she can get her paws on. 


Fortunately, she doesn't have thumbs (yet) and may never achieve her plan for world domination. Still, she'd be a wonderful little dictator. Come to that, I'd prefer her to other "leadership."  Next time, write in Mochi on the ballot. Chew-pens for every pot!
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Big birds.
About a mile from my house on Saturday I saw a bird so enormous that I doubted my senses. The wingspan had to be at least 6 feet- it definitely seemed wider than my car-- breathtaking!  Then I saw its mate sitting on top of a telephone pole.  A pair of Golden Eagles.   I've seen Golden Eagles here before, but only a couple of times and farther out in the country. I saw a Bald Eagle about an hour away from here in winter about 4 years ago(I 'bout dropped my transmission- I was so excited), so it's not the first time to see a massive raptor in the region.  It was the first time to see one so close to home. 

I realize their primary diet is little morsels like prairie dogs and the like, but it did not comfort me that when I googled images of Golden Eagles, I found one of a pair feasting on the carcass of a fox in a treetop.  Um.  That fox probably weighed about the same as any of my furballs, or more.  Made me nervous, so I voiced my anxiety to Himself, who said that in light of their huge wingspan, the canopy of my huge pecan trees would make them unlikely to come to my yard for easy puppy pickins.

I hope so. Still, I'm going to be a lot less casual about leaving them free-ballin' in the back yard for long periods of time.

Is it wrong that I hope the incessant yappers one block over would pull focus?

Um, scratch that. I don't want any raptors feasting on any dogs in my neighborhood, because sooner or later, they'd set their sights on mine.  Bird sanctuary be damned.
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Monday, September 16, 2013
Thoughts and prayers going out to all the folks in the Washington Navy Yard
Such horrid news. :(
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We are going to be friends.
Fall and school always make me think of this wonderful song by the White Stripes, beautifully rendered here by Jack Johnson.

Stop motion animation charmingly rendered by Alison Work.
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Sunday, September 15, 2013
Sunday, Puppy Sunday: Chuy has a proper lie-in
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The pup-deck has been shuffled!
Awoke to find Praline under my arm/on my pillow, Chuy against my stomach and la Mochi at my calves. Very odd shifting has gone on here!

Sweet, cuddly puppy dogs. 
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Saturday, September 14, 2013
Calamity J by Juliette Has A Gun

When it comes to perfumes, I'm something of a tart: I fall in love easily with a beautiful fragrance, and I voraciously desire to have not one but many of the little darlings at my beck and call.  One which has captivated me since the Spring is Calamity J by Italian niche perfume house Juliette Has A Gun.

Starting in February as I was recovering from surgery, I began spending a little time researching perfumes and I started reading perfume blogs and discussion boards, and I confess the name of this perfumer caught my attention.  Their styling is in every way edgy and distinctive, and their fragrances are fine quality juice for reasonable rates, so I tracked down some samples.*  I tried Citizen Queen(gorgeous, but not my style) and Midnight Oud which I ADORE but I would not wear frequently enough to justify more than keeping sample size on hand. 

Calamity J has captivated me. The prominent notes for me on this are patchouli/amber/musk, as I don't like my 'fumes too florid or sweet, but spice does make me happy in my pants.  The array of my frequent fliers all contain patchouli and/or amber and would be classified pong-monsters, so I just spray once and only very briefly-- I wear my perfume for myself, and not for the folks in the next county.   Calamity J has a synthetic civet thrown in the mix for my preferred present-but-not-screeching degree of skank.  The amber and patchouli dance divinely and to beautiful effect - at the end of the day yesterday, I pulled the fabric of my bohemian blouse to my nose and drank deeply of the lingering fragrance therein-- absolutely beautiful.  Other accords here include cinnamon, Tonka bean, Labdanum and iris.

I TOTALLY want a Bullet Spray from Juliette Has A Gun, too.  This little deadly is a portable atomizer you can fill with any fragrance at all.  Nice.

Check out this and other JHAG fragrances-- you won't smell like everyone else, unless you end up smelling like me.

For more (and much finer) analysis of perfumes, I encourage you to check out the marvelous Katie Puckrik's blog and video reviews.  If you want to explore perfume, your taste will evolve on your own trajectory and at your own pace, but Katie's love of perfume is evident and delightful, and her knowledge is encyclopedic and may help you find your way. It's great to have resources that help you deconstruct the elements of what makes a particular perfume work for you, and that really helps you to choose your path forward, if you want to broaden your fragrance horizons.  Plus she is beautiful and stylish, and we really like that. :)

*On the subject of pricing for perfume-- everything is relative, right?  A 100mL bottle of Calamity J is $135 from LuckyScent**.  You could have the 50mL bottle for $105, but the pricing is far more cost-effective to buy double that amount for only $30 more.  Simple math, there, folks.  As for spending one or multiple hundreds on a bottle of perfume, the lovely perfume site Now Smell This has a fantastic post on how much use you can get from a bottle of perfume.  Scroll down far enough, and you can see that if you have 100 mL and spray 3 times per wearing, this bottle will last 491 days. (mind, this is on an average sprayer-- some spray more and some spray less.)  I rotate my fragrances, and though I often reach for Calamity J, I expect this $135 investment to last me for years, as I rarely spray more than 2 sprays at a time, and it probably costs me less than .25 per wearing to smell like I just tripped through a high-toned bordello with a side excusion to the Garden of Eden - a mere pittance. Also, your fragrance says something distinctive about you that is utterly of the moment, and that extra sensory fingerprint merits the expense.***

** I recommend you buy your niche fragrances from Lucky Scent when possible.  The perfumes they offer are not cheap, but they are of excellent quality, if you care what you smell like to other people(see *).  Also, for less than $10 in almost all cases, you can order a sample of most of the fragrances listed so you can explore without breaking the bank. 

***ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS keep your fragrances in a cool, dark dry place to protect your investment.  I reach for my Coromandel more than any, and because of this, I invested in a 250mL bottle(thank you, BONUS!!!), but I keep it in the original box on a shelf in the coolest, most central part of the house.  Oxygen, heat and light all degrade the essences in your perfumes.****

****The greater the concentration of essential oils in your fragrance, the more stable the fragrance will be.  Essential oil will be most long-lasting, kept in appropriate conditions.  Parfum is perfume with about a third of the juice being essential oils.  Eau de parfum will be somewhere around 10%, while Eau de Toilette will be around 5% concentration.  Of course, the greater the concentration, the less is needed to convey the scent, thus the less will you use.  Eau de Toilette will be the cheapest of these, but will the first to go bad sitting on your vanity tray.
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My velvet furboy and the inherent rightness of doggie philosophy
Dogs really know how to live. 

I woke up about 4 am to find Chuy asleep with his head on my arm. I petted his ear leathers, scratched under his collar and his suede little chest. He is so soft and cuddly. It's different with each one, but I feel a profound connection with all my dogs, and Chuy on a soulful level. 

Given the opportunity with secure environments, I think all dogs can be lovey doveys. Chuy loves to love and be loved.  He is not perfect and any defect in his behavior is my fault, but he is so very dear to me. 

Did you ever notice that dogs never hold their breath?  They wag, eyes sparkling and tail going ninety-to-nothing, never indulging in the folly of trying to hide their enthusiasm. Good on them!

Praline has laser-like focus. She is a loving little girl who is so eager to please that I am very careful not to rebuke her rare transgressions because she feels naughty far too easily.  Mochi larks about with a glee you'd never expect to find in one so neglected/abused in early life: her exuberance is defiant of what would tell her to be sad in life. Excellent!!!  Then of course, there is my little Chuybaby, who will stand by the bed to be lifted up, because it's a bit of ritualized sweetness. 

All these lovely little instants make me remember to savor life and not hold my breath but to take in deep draughts of air and appreciate the moment. 

Thanks to my doggies, I'm daily reminded of the sweetness of life. 
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Friday, September 13, 2013
On hauling coals to Newcastle:
I've seen this in pop-up ad several times online recently and I just had to share it here.

I saw this image and thought WOW! What a holster! You've got room for knives, your tactical spork, all kinds of crap!

Is ossum.

So I clicked on the link and it turns out it's called a Beauty Bottom Lift. 

What is wrong with people? What's wrong with that bottom just going though its life, doing bottom things, being a bottom, and appearing in the shape of the bottom it was genetically coded to be? People need to stop messing with things.  That bottom did not require lifting.

Yes, yes, I know what you're thinking: we don't want to see that thing on a bottom that has taken an earth-ward trajectory, and I quite agree.  How about one just cover their saggy bottom entirely? 

Of course, this is not meant to be outerwear (I hope), but it does look positively Lara Croftian, dunnit?  And you could sure strap a lot of gadgets on it.  Still, I'm not looking to pay $200 for a neoprene holsterish carry-all.
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Thursday, September 12, 2013
Please be kind if I'm a mess.
Cigarettes and chocolate milk
These are just a couple of my cravings
Rufus Wainwright

Okay, I'm craving neither cigarettes nor chocolate milk, but the chocolate in Homemade In The Shade by BlueBell is a frequent flier, and I have thought wistfully of nicotine patches of late.  Love love love this superb composition by Rufus Wainwright about things for which we long that are maybe a little less than entirely healthful. 

About 8 or 9 years (or 10???) ago I quit coffee cold turkey.  I was addicted.  I would drink a whole pot and clean like a domestic fiend.  Yes.  Cold turkey.  My house has turned for the decidedly messy these intervening years.  Went to an Italian eatery with Himself a couple of years ago and the lovely North Italian waiter brought us a complimentary cafĂ© Italian with our dessert.   This turns out to have been a gateway coffee, as I've been off the wagon and consorting with the demon bean ever since to varying degrees.

Yes, I'm drinking so much coffee lately that I'm referring to it as the demon bean.

Um. I sort of have to.  I have metric butt-tonnes to read and do for school, and still working one day a week at the salt mine.  It's sort of not a question of whether or not to drink coffee.  I do try to stop at noon.  The first couple of weeks with school, insomnia was a problem, but I seem to be settling into a bit of a routine and sleeping more soundly and for more of the night.  When I feel I have my mud in more of a ball (after the 3 tests I have next Monday and Tuesday), I'll return to yoga and that will surely help.

For now, though, I'll keep fires on the shrine of the demon bean burning.

The song above is one of my all-time favorites.  You can see the absolute mastery of Rufus' playing.  Rufus is obviously a classically trained musician, and both his parents are famous singer/songwriters in their own right, as is his sister, Martha.  One startling thing about Rufus is the exquisiteness of his voice production, an absolute rarity in the non-classical realm.  You can hear that his voice is very even, and you can always tell it's the same voice from the top to the bottom of the range, and this is a hallmark of good quality singing. In fact, I expect that if he lives to be geriatric, he'll be able to sing in this sublime manner well into old age.  This is why you have many opera singers performing well into their 60s and 70s - the instrument is well cared-for and properly used.

On the songwriting, this number is structurally superb.  The minor modulation and oom-pahpah underpinning is almost like a carnival calliope, giving the song a sort of melancholy sweetness. Nostalgic.  Each new passage of the melody climbs a beautiful arpeggio to leap to a top interval that astounds and is tonically delightful, wonderfully unexpected.  This is, in my opinion, one of the finest songs composed in my lifetime.

So... I'm getting through my days, trying to concentrate on what I have to learn, but I am sustained by coffee, ice cream, the attendant talisman of beautiful perfume and the thought of music which delights me. 

Here's to coping mechanisms. Long may they keep us waving.
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Rather tuckered out...
School seems going well, though it is generally quite tiring. 

Most of my classmates could be my kid. 

Here's to late bloomers, eh?
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Tuesday, September 10, 2013
I love my Velcro puppies...
...but why must Praline hook her claws into my calf in the middle of the night?
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Monday, September 09, 2013
Oz, The Powerfully Grating
Saw the recent Oz movie on DVD this weekend. James Franco only ever plays James Franco. From the Judy garland film, we already knew Oz has feet of clay, but JF is so abidingly unctuous and weasel-like that I sometimes longed for this to be a stoner comedy. 

Great job on effects, and Mila Kunis was great as the green witch. Nice touch with the acid tears burning her hide. She was less one-dimensional than you'd expect. 

Defeating the witches without bloodshed, though?  On second thought, maybe this was meant to be a stoner comedy. I wouldn't try listening to Dark Side Of The Moon to it, though. 

China Girl was particularly adorable. Colors were rich and beautiful, and the soundtrack was excellent. Worth seeing if you like that sort of thing. I am thrilled to report it's not a musical, either. 
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Happy late birthday to my handsome young nephew. I was so excited about the weekend that I lost track of dates. 

I'm very proud of this fine young man. :)
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Thursday, September 05, 2013
"Why are you so cheerful?"
Went to work at the Salt Mine yesterday, on the phone all day as is my duty.  The 24 year young woman in the next veal cube sounded openly disdainful that I'm so cheerful on the phone to customers and vendors as she asked why. I patiently explained that I'm determined to have a good day, and to be kind and helpful to all I can be. 

Is that so difficult to understand?  I'm not trapped there forever. I'm moving forward with my life and working hard to achieve my ends.  Even if I were in that job the rest of my life, though, what does it serve me to be sour or touchy to people who depend on me helping them?  That would only ruin my day, and this is a precious day of my one life here.  There's enough nastiness in the world to go around without me generating more.  My day is mine and I choose happy.

Holy crap, I've got SO much to do-- it's affecting my sleep.  I've been frantically rushing from one assignment to the next because my pre-ordered books came in late and one class started with a big project due today.  It's been many years since I had 4 classes at once, and I never had 4 such demanding classes at one time, so the time management issue is a major challenge.  I'm going to get a working schedule for my study time structured within 24 hours and no more of this rushing-about. 

And still, I am cheerful.  It's going to be a great day!
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Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Um, maybe McDonald's workers DO need a raise...
The customer is always ri--  wait.  On second thought...

[profanity alert]
I hope this is fake.  The audio doesn't sound right to me, but the video looks real.

McNugget Rage.


People say and do pretty terrible things to folks working in customer service.  Living in the future is a little ironic, because since I was a tiny kid, Dad always said "don't ever do anything you'd be ashamed to have on the front page of every newspaper in the world."  At that time, of course, such a thing was absolutely not possible, but it was a very valid rule of thumb: don't do things you'd be ashamed to own publicly.  Period.  This video won't end up on any front pages, but I hope that people who know this woman call her out on her bad behavior.  There is no such thing as anonymity, and odds are, any acting out you do IS being documented in some way. 

We live in a graceless age.  There is a good possibility the woman in the video would not be ashamed if confronted with this video.  She was having a bad day over something, and I can guarantee you it wasn't the McNuggets, but the minimum wage guy at the window or the woman at the laundrymat or the disembodied voice at the end of the phone is a great place to dump a lot of baggage.  I've been angry about something before, but I've never felt entitled to abuse another person who was just trying to do their job. People should think twice before they say and do hateful, horrible things to other people.  I think the big brother thing of cameras and recordings everywhere is creepy, but that's another issue.  People who behave in monstrous fashion should be held accountable.

I hope that McDonald's is prosecuting.  They must have her license plate in their surveillance archives.  I know it's unlikely, but I hope this woman is ashamed of herself. 
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Sleeping fitfully. 

Bleary eyed, something flashing under the cover. 

Am I dreaming?

Tiny firefly. I deliver him from the folds of the coverlet as Mochi looks on. 

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Monday, September 02, 2013
Had a generally productive weekend...
But I'm having some frustrations with the material/technology on one course. I'm sure ill be able to get it sorted tomorrow, but for now, it's slightly vexing. 

Made a 93 on my first quiz on pathophysiology, then failed to learn a lesson there and got tripped up on more trick questions on the second, and made an 82 there. Oh well. 

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Fibrin mesh
So cool!!!
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Sunday, September 01, 2013
Sunday, Puppy Sunday: pup me in the morning
I debated showing this one in all my morning glory, but Mochi was so sweet. I think it's a result of
all the time she spent alone as a pup, but she obviously wants full body contact when she sleeps. Yesterday morning, I snapped this photo when she was asleep ON me. Sweet baby. Love her so much. 
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Name: Phlegmfatale
Location: Elsewhere, Texas, USA

I'm not whining;
I'm unburdening.

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