Friday, May 30, 2014

A particularly marvelous concerto

I listen to soundtracks quite a bit, but I also have a Baroque music channel on Pandora (called "If It Ain't Baroque" - see if you can subscribe- the more the merrier!) and I have often admired a Concerto Grosso for 2 Violins by Geminiani for it's start similarity to the marvelous music of the Pirates of the Caribbean films - indeed, I think this music was the template on which the film's composer embroidered. I love this piece of music.

It's about 12 minutes, but in my opinion is sublime listening for still moments, or while doing other things. Breathtaking, inspiring, and timelessly lovely.  Magnificent. This has made my day beautiful. :)

I hope you will enjoy it, too.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: now I have 3 murder machines

Mochi is killing stuff now. Woe betide the little furballs and birdies who wander into my back yard. Himself was able to get this bird away from her before she ate the rest of it, but the bird was a former parrot at that time. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

That's not it...

I have loads of samples of perfume, and I tried one for the first time today that was primarily a musk. Now, most musk on the market is synthetic, but this may have been civet or somesuch. Went by a friend's house briefly and her 2 of her 3 pit bulls (the big ones) could not get close enough to me. The perfume is actually rather nice, but, uh, pit bulls is not the target audience I'd like to please!!!

I'll be able to wear this several more times, but I'm going to be careful about where and when!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Onwards and Onwards

Two weeks ago school concluded and I miraculously passed everything, and I continue quite busy, though without the extraordinary stress of school. Thursday I went back to the dr about my knee for the results of the MRI, and was told I have a Grade I tear to my meniscus-- not really a complete tear but a bunch of tiny tears to the tissue. He said it's also stretched out which is why it keeps wanting to pop out so easily into that unnatural movement that caused so much pain in the first place.  I will start spinning class on June 2, so yesterday for the first time I went to the gym at school and got on a stationary bike, and it was a revelation. I limped the 150 yards or so from my car to the bike, and after 20 minutes on the bike, my knee actually felt much better and my limp was gone. Looking forward to strengthening my knee and getting back to normal. I haven't worn anything but sensible shoes for two months, a state which feels wholly unnatural to me. I miss all my hooker shoes.  This needs to be ended ASAP.

I'm working part time back at my old job at the salt mine, and I'm grateful to be back there. It's better , though, because I'm doing a broader variety of things. I'm on the phones taking incoming calls and sometimes placing outgoing, but when I arrive, I tidy up the correspondence emails and faxes of paperwork, so I'm able to do those woodshedding things at my own pace. I find I enjoy working steadily at my own pace, and I'm untroubled by boredom or the personal politics that seem to plague office environs. Then again, it's possible that some folk there are not happy about my presence and status, but no one has voiced this to me. It's been generally nice to see everyone again.

Last weekend was the May installment of the antique market where I have a booth. Business was very slow.  One weekend a month from Thursday through Sunday, I'm quite occupied with this task. I enjoy it, but over the next three months, I'm going to need to see a serious profit, or I'm going to have to pull out before the Fall semester. It's one thing for summer, even if I have a job, but I can't afford the time drain from valuable study time if I'm not seeing a bigger return on the time investment.

Today is my first fully free day since school ended, and I have quite a bit of cleaning and organizing to do. I also have a couple of small writing projects I need to work on, so I've got a full roster, if I can but keep myself motivated.

I finished a book I started in the middle of the semester, American Gods by Neil Gaiman.  I bought this book when I still lived in Dallas and a friend a couple months ago mentioned that it's an excellent book.  I was pleased to see a character therein who was pivotal in Gaiman's Anansi Boys, which I loved. If you like fantasy or magical realism, I can't recommend strongly enough the audio version of Anansi Boys read by the brilliant Lenny Henry.  I loved Lenny in the Beeb's Chef!, and he delights with brilliant accents for the many characters in this book.

Today during my first couple hours of cleaning, I'm listening to the movie Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer. The narrator in the film is the ever-compelling John Hurt, and the soundtrack is sublime. The film features passages of overwhelming beauty, but contains some ghastly bits as well, so it's not all sacred, and there is rather much of the profane. Still, it makes for nice listening, and when one of the surpassingly beautiful scenes occurs, I can stop my task and gawp a few minutes. 

Have a great day!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: hanging with momma

The brown ones are larking about the house, but Miss Praline is hanging out with me. She is a sweet little thing, true to her name!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sad but true

Feeling less zombie-fied by the day.

My dr appointment for the follow up on my knee MRI is Thursday.  Meanwhile, I have metric butt-tons of stuff to do. When will I ever learn to scale it down a few million notches? 

Good thing is that at least for now, I'm in fun-zone and it's not so stressful-scary as school. I could use a few more days to sleep in late, though.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: sunbunny trio

The pups have been enjoying the warm weather, and they've enjoyed me being home more the past five days. I can't begin to tell you how strangely good the weekend felt as it was devoid of any anxieties related to assignments due by 8AM, etc. This school's out stuff is terrific!!!  Also, on Mother's Day, all my children have four legs, and I'm so thankful for these wonderful, happy-making little dogs. 

Happy Mother's Day

Though this comes late in the day today, it is no less heartfelt.  Mom, you and Dad have been such a great support to me always, and you've been a huge emotional support during this difficult semester.  Your sympathetic ear and advice has been a great comfort to me at the most difficult moments, and I knew I had someone rational to pour out my heart and anxieties. Your belief in me means so much - I know you see my best qualities and that you love me in spite of my worst, as well. :)

 Thank you for all the times you've been there for me.  I hope your day was filled with the knowledge that you are treasured by all your kids.  I love you very much!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A cautionary tale on the known quantity

I've seen this attributed to Aesop as well as Ambrose Bierce, and I find it again and again with the concluding line as "I already knew that you were a skunk," but I prefer the version in a print copy of Ambrose Bierce witticisms that concludes as below:

  A Needless Labour

  AFTER waiting many a weary day to revenge himself upon a Lion for some unconsidered manifestation of contempt, a Skunk finally saw him coming, and posting himself in the path ahead uttered the inaudible discord of his race.  Observing that the Lion gave no attention to the matter, the Skunk, keeping carefully out of reach, said:

  "Sir, I beg leave to point out that I have set on foot an implacable odour."

  "My dear fellow," the Lion replied, "you have taken a needless trouble; 
 I already knew that you were not a rose." 

I love Ambrose Bierce.  How did anyone get to be so cynical before there was the internet or an IRS?

Thursday, May 08, 2014

School's out for summer!

Spent my first day of summer break on a major tidy-up. Have done oddles of laundry and organizing piles and piles of paper from school. I bit the bullet and sorted through them all, placing the keepers in their corresponding notebooks, and adding hundreds more pages of paper to my recycle bag. I'm to the point where it's getting to be a challenge figuring out where my books are going to go. I currently have a book cubby, but I think I'm going to have to expand to a second, larger cubby, because I need all the books at hand for reference and easy access.  This is doable, but I reserve the right to grouse about it anyway!

Still, I'm ecstatic that school is out.  Ecstatic.

This semester a couple of times I wrenched my right knee pretty badly- once when sliding behind the wheel of a borrowed pickup when I was having car repairs, and the other time when sliding in that same direction into a fixed chair in a lecture hall with grippy upholstery- the chair wasn't moving, my butt wasn't sliding, and my knee is what gave out.  Super ouch.

I had an ear infection shortly thereafter and that pulled focus and I didn't ask the dr about it. I've had several days recently wherein I limped around pitifully. It's to the disastrous point that I can't even wear my hooker shoes.  Heck, I can't wear my modest shoes with a heel. DISASTER!

Went to the dr. on Monday. I thought I have a torn meniscus, but the more I consider, I think it will prove to be the MCL, because I have a horrid bruised feeling in the middle on the front below the knee, which would be the insertion point for that ligament onto the bone.  Ouch.  I suppose we'll find out. In the morning I have an MRI scheduled.  The metal in my maxilla is a titanium alloy, so hopefully it won't be a problem. The MRI tech told me just to tell her if it heats up during the MRI. Somehow, this does not comfort me, but odds are, sooner or later, I'll need an MRI for something really ominous, and it's better to know now if it's workable for me or not.

I applied for a job at a hospital and really hoped to land that,  but in light of the knee problem, it's probably for the best that I have the summer NOT running around as a patient assistant all summer. I've got 3 good months to recover in time for clinicals in the Fall, whatever this is.

Monday I start back on a part-time basis at my old company. I'm grateful they'll let me come back, and it will be nice to see some of the folks I've been missing.

And speaking of old jobs... I don't recall if or how much I mentioned it here, but in mid-December I took a job as a part-time/relief dispatcher in a small town PD.  It was supposed to be 8 hours a week and then fill in when needed. My Mondays and Tuesdays for school would not be touched, and it seemed like a perfect fit. There was also the promise that when fully trained, I could study at work when the phones were quiet.  This just seemed like a win/win.  Things were seemingly going well. I was definitely progressing and felt good about my prospects there, and some of the folks were starting to feel like family. 

Abruptly, on February 19, the manager called me into the office when I arrived at work and told me it was "not working out" and that they were letting me go. The paper they gave me said the reason for my "resignation" was "training issues."  I was in a state of shock, but it did not break my heart, because I'd been training around 30 hours a week and they still wanted me for more hours. It was killing my study time, in truth. I'm glad it ended when it did.

Still, it felt terrible to be let go. It was a blow to the ego, and I wondered if I was crappy and a barely concealed joke, since I had NO IDEA there was any issue with the way I was progressing.  I mean, if I was failing at something, I'd have a pretty good idea it's going on, wouldn't I?  I never cried or panicked, even when juggling 911 calls and various local drama all at the same time. I thought I was holding my mud in a ball quite well. I felt certain that I was going to be a fantastic dispatcher eventually, and that I could even use this experience possibly in my future career as an RN. I left and I'm still friends with a couple of folks in the department.

Flash forward to today, and on Facebook I saw a video of the woman who had been "training" me mentioning all the department's dispatchers, particularly mentioning a new name-- her sister. It's as if the whole picture just came into focus: it wasn't me, it was THEM. I was apparently a convenient place-warmer until the time so-and-so's sister became available. In a way, it was a gift to see that video, because it confirmed that it really wasn't me at all. I was just convenient, and for a moment, they were convenient for me, too. Still, if people are that vapid and openly licentious in their dealings, I don't want anything to do with them anyway.  I'm too good for them, and well-shed of them. As my sister said when she was a wee girl: "good rivets."

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

you never knew the name for it, but you knew what it was.


Petrichor is the scent of rain on dry earth

What an incredible day this has been. I studied quite a bit in recent days, knowing the pressure was on. I met with my Pharmacology professor on Thursday who told me (I can't remember which) that I needed a 72 or 74 on the final exam to pass the course. I wasn't confident, but I worked steadily as though passing was completely possible.

This morning I thought the test was easy, actually, but I was absolutely certain of only 62% of my answers. I didn't dare to hope that I'd pass. I waited. Finally, the final grade came through, and I scored 74 on the final, and passed the course.  I'm relieved and sort of in shock.

I passed my semester, passed everything. All is finished for now, all is good.

This evening brought some rather violent storms that raged and blew, but cruelly brought nearly no rain to this drought-stricken place.  I went out back to watch a huge cloud as it passed over, looking very unusual. I couldn't help noticing a definite pattern of rotation as it moved off to the northeast. It was surreal, with blobs of cloud being caught up into the rotation like the white bits swirling in an egg drop soup. Surreal.  The worst of the storm moved on off, and hopefully no tornadoes formed, or at least none hit any populated areas.

Despite the lack of rain, the air was perfumed with that wet, pre-rain smell. It's glorious. It's a nice break from the 100+ degree heat we've been enjoying, and it was a nice start to the summer. I'm so relieved. Hopefully some of the storms forecast for tomorrow will bring rain and no scary clouds.  Whatever comes, I'm so glad to begin my summer.  I have big plans for what I'll get done this summer.  Tomorrow starts a brand new day and it's going to be great. :)

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

The Coyote Semester

If my last final exam were not in the morning, I'd be chewing my own leg off to get away from this semester. 

I hope in the name of all that is holy that none of the coming semesters excel this one in terms of sheer suckularity. 

I'm not exaggerating. It's been one thing after another. I am well shed of it, and shall not wish it back. 

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: study helpers

Studying for my Basic nursing exam tomorrow. Listening to blood transfusion lecture. They are very supportive.