Thursday, February 22

I feel like crap - back on advair again. Sadly. my doc thinks I need it. I don't know. I think I'm coming down with another cold. Like for the 3rd or 4th time for the year and it's not even March yet. The advair is in inhaler form now so hopefully I won't get as many of the side effects as I had before. My head hurts like there are jackhammers going off behind my eyes. My nose has been bleeding off and on today and my nose is clogged with blood. I can't blow it else it'll start bleeding actively again.When I saw my doc Wed, I didn't feel as bad as I do tonight. Sounded a bit congested though, partly why she changed me to the advair. She said she wanted me back on lower dose of flovent which is what's in the advair in addition to the long-acting bronchodilator serevent. The things I've read about serevent scares me. I try not to think about it too much though.
It's better than being on prednisone/which she told me was another possible alternative - oral steroids lead to much more exaggerated side effects than inhaled steroids.
I really have to just stop reading about it. And just take it and hope that I feel better soon. The tremors have started already and it's only been a couple days. Had to do several TLCs today and my hands kept shaking every so often.
I tylenol I took is finally starting to kick in - jackhammers have toned down to chopsticks drumming behind my eyes.
Whenever I go to the allergist's office, they take my vitals incl my weight and height - every time. I was wondering why they take my height, I'm way past the age of growing. So I asked and the nurse told me that many asthmatics eventually end up on prednisone long-term and it causes you to lose bone density and people start shrinking so they take your height so they have an ongoing monitor of it. How about that to look forward to? Hopefully I can manage without reaching that stage

I'm going to bed.

Friday, February 16

snow has finally stopped...fri at last

It seems like with every week that goes by, I keep looking for Fri. This is not normally the case. I usu can wait but recently, things have not been great, it's been really sucky sometimes and I can only wait for Fri. It's all I can do.
I've been feeling down and out most of the week, had a really bad night Mon, cried and cried and cried. For no specific thing...just everything seemed wrong and I just couldn't seem to shake it or stop. All I've been listening to lately is angry or sad music. Usually, my playlist is mixed and has some upbeat mixed in with the sad. The angry is usu good if I'm in a bad mood or while working out.

My playlist lately looked something like this:

The Carpenters "goodbye to love" and "i won't last a day without you" and of course "rainy days and mondays"
Three Days Grace "just like you" and "scared" and "home"
Avril Lavigne "slipped away"
The Cranberries "daffodil lament"
Don Henley "the heart of the matter"
Hootie & the Blowfish "goodbye"
Joni Mitchell "both sides now"-version from love actually soundtrack
"cora" from Last of the Mohican's soundtrack
Air Supply "here i am" and "i can wait forever"
Bryan Adams "do i have to say the words"
Backstreet Boys "safest place to hide"
Toni Braxton "i don't want to"
Smile Empty Soul "who i am"

many celtic songs including
...the lakes of Pontchartrain / benedy glen - Deanta
the curragh of kildare / john of dreams - Cherish the Ladies
sunlight on the water - Phil Coulter
the bantry girl's lament - Reeltime
darkness, darkness - Solas
skye boat song/mist covered mountains - Culture Ceildh Band

Tonight was the first night I've felt like something more upbeat. I felt really weird this week.

Something good today - my new group leader called me into her office today for a minute. I shipped out 4 compounds since I've been on the project, compounds they've been waiting on to test further b/c the initial results from them were promising. She wanted to congratulate me on getting them shipped. I was very pleased. Maybe I will have a chance to prove that I'm worth more than the things those bastards put in my evaluation. I'm not going to think of that now.

My back and shoulder and calves hurt like hell this week - with all the shoveling I did Wed (5 times) and Thurs morning again.

Wed night around 11pm, I started panicking b/c my car was stuck/parked on the wrong side of the street with our snow emergency in effect. I was suddenly afraid that I'd be towed. Especially since I was watching the local news and heard people talk of being towed. Luckily one of my neighbors was outside shoveling his walkway. He offered to help me dig my car out. it took us about 30min and we had to keep stopping every time there was a really strong wind gust. The kind that literally takes some breath away. He even helped me by pushing and giving me direction-go forward/reverse/turn right/reverse/etc - so that I could get onto the "road". Said "road" had about 4-5inches of snow/slush on it. My girl(that's my car :), she didn't like it at all. She grunted and spun her wheels.

After driving a couple blocks, still no parking in sight on the right side - my girl got stuck. Wouldn't move forward or back. I saw a couple college kids crossing in front of me - intent on sledding I think - if the sleds in their hands were anything to go by. They offered and tried pushing but still my girl just wouldn't go and I could smell rubber - not a good sign. Finally one of the girls tapped on my window - she told me that she could get it to move for me. I was so fed up by this time that I just got out and stood by while she got in the driver's seat. By that point I just didn't care. She got in and moved it in a flash. Unfortunately, she turned in the opposite direction of where I'd intended to go. She didn't realize that I wanted to go the other way. No matter, I said, and thanked them and her and just drove down that hill into a spot. Well it was almost a spot, much closer to the middle of the road than the side of the road but I didn't care at all by then. I then had to hike back the 4 blocks to my apt. Through the unplowed streets and sidewalks. I ran for some of the way b/c the wind was really fierce in addition to the below zero wind chill.

Thursday morning I had to walk the 4 blocks to my car with my handbag, lunch bag and shovel and snow brush just in case I needed them. So glad I left my shovel in my apt b/c I had to shovel my walkway to get out to the street. Also glad I took the shovel with me to my car b/c there was a good bit of snow stuck in front of the undercarriage and front wheels. Took me about 10min to get it dug out so not too bad. Then I prayed she would just go and she did. I almost got into an accident. Some silly old man opened his car door out wide just as I was going past his car. I started to swerve to avoid hitting the stupid man's door and my car started skidding. Luckily there weren't any other cars on the other side of the road else I would have been screwed.

Wednesday, February 14

still more snow

My unshoveled walkway

Shoveled walkway - sorta. I was able to see the ground briefly but it soon became snow-covered again

Never really shoveled a walkway before today - never had to. My landlord doesn't live on the premises so I'm not sure what he has organized to take care of that. I took some more pics and shoveled againup to the sidewalk in front my walkway. By the time I got to the sidewalk, my steps and walkway were covered in snow again. I did want to make a dent in it though b/c I'd like to be able to get to my car eventually.

Why is this crazy person out in this snow?...walking?...maybe getting food?...crazy!

snow pictures

The dips in snow around my car are the places I shoveled to try to clear it.

car close up

my steps/walkway 20min after I shoveled it

outside my front stoop - see how high the snow is in relation to the truck/SUV, my corolla has no chance - now I understand why people want SUV/trucks

my snow covered street

The garbage truck was coming up my street just as I was shoveling my walkway and one of the guys asked me if I would come over and shovel his walkway after I was done. Not a chance buddy! I took most of these pics from my front porch and my camera still got a little wet b/c the wind keeps blowing the snow everywhere. The snow keeps coming down and is expected to keep coming until 6am tomorrow.

the snow is here to stay

Stayed home today - already 6-7" snow out there but that's not why. I removed the snow from my car and even tried to shovel some of it from around my car but after beign out there for 20min my fingers were too numb to function and my car still wouldn't budge. There was about a foot piled up behind my car and about half a foot in front of it. I just called in and told them I was taking the day off. I went back ot there for another 20min and shovel my walkway and around my car. I was able to move it finally. I wanted to get it mostly clear b/c with the snow emergency in effect, I have to move my car to the other side of the street by 8pm tonight. Can't move it to the other side now b/c there's too much snow pileup on that side of the road. I hope the plows come through and clear the snow else I don't know where I can move my car to. At it's moving now though :).
I need some serious winter gloves b/c the wind chill is -8°F out there and that's no joke. My fingers felt like they had frostbite. I could barely get my gloves off the first I went out there this morning. I'm having a leisurely breakfast now. I'm going back out in a bit, maybe take some pictures.
It's still snowing and they expect it to get more intense for the rest of the day. Yay?

Tuesday, February 13

snow snow snow

I'm excited for the snow storm that's coming. I'm also kinda dreading it b/c I will be expected at work regardless. The only way they cancel work is if the power goes out...a rarity.

I'm going to bed soon b/c I need to be up early to shovel out my car if necessary. Also need to get an early start to avoid the crazies on the road who drive like condition are perfect regardless of how much slush/ice is on the road.

I skipped the gym tonight, it was just too cold (currently it's 9°F, wind chill 0°F). I wanted to get home early to get a decent parking spot.

Instead of boxing class at the gym, I did 20min of this kickboxing video I bought a while ago. When I first tried it, it seemed impossible and I couldn't keep up/follow her moves. But tonight I was able to keep up with most of it. I'm very sore now though - she did this drop down push-up thing that looked impossible at first. I tried it and found it was possible - my hip really aches now though so I don't know how great an idea it was to try it. I feel really good about being able to do it - finally! Plus I'm glad I didn't totally wig out on my exercise for the night.
Even made it to yoga on Mon - lots of aches/pain during. I think I've been away from it for so long that I've lost most of the flexibility I gained from it.
Time for bed.

Friday, February 9

I love mozilla firefox. Why? Cooliris for one thing - I love being able to see tons of other pages real quick just by gliding the mouse over the link. I also love the remembering passwords feature.
Took a little while to get used to the whole-tabbed browsing thing but now it's great. I can open all the blogs I read with one click. How cool is that?

Compulsive breakers - these are the drivers who break for no reason at all...there's no car in front of them, there's no stop sign...yet they break every few seconds like they have some kind of tic or something. What is wrong with them? I saw one tonight who kept breaking for no reason every few seconds, then he sailed right through the stop sign. This is beyond my understanding.

Thursday, February 8

Books 2007

Not all the books I've read this year but only the ones I really enjoyed...

1. It's Not You, It's Me...Alison Rushby

2. I Hunger For You...Susan Sizemore

3. I Thirst For You...Susan Sizemore

4. Master of Darkness...Susan Sizemore (best one from Sizemore)

5. You Don't Know Jack...Erin McCarthy

6. A Taste of Darkness...Nina Bangs

7. I'm In No Mood For Love...Rachel Gibson

8. Scarlett...Cathy Cassidy

9. Atlas of the 20th Century History...Richard Overy

10. Salaam, Paris...Kavita Daswani

11. Indigo Blue...Cathy Cassidy

12. Just For Kicks...Susan Andersen

13. In Plain Sight...Tara Taylor Quinn

14. Abstract Painting, Concepts and Techniques...Vicky Perry

15. Dizzy...Cathy Cassidy

16. My Pet Virus...Shawn Decker

17. Hello Gorgeous...Mary Janice Davidson

18. Paths to the absolute: Mondrain et al...John Golding

19. Rogue's Salute...Jennifer Blake

20. Causing Havoc...Lori Foster

21. The Kept Woman...Susan Donovan

22. I Burn For You...Susan Sizemore

23. Somebody's Hero...Marilyn Pappano

24. Cold As Ice...Anne Stuart

25. Icing On The Cake...Laura Castoro

26. Extreme Bachelor...Julia London

27. The Perils of Persuing a Prince...Julie London

28. Sleepless in Savannah...Rita Herron

29. Natural Born Charmer...Susan Elizabeth Phillips

30. For a Few Demons More...Kim Harrison

31.Real Women Don't Wear a Size 2...Kelley St. John

32. Pushing 30...Whitney Gaskell

33. Desire After Dark...Amanda Ashley

34. Virgin River...Robyn Carr

35. Shelter Mountain...Robyn Carr

36. Blameless...Thom Lemmons (reading)

37. Whispering Rock...Robyn Carr

38. Never Too Late...Robyn Carr

39. Wicked Fantasy...Nina Bangs

40. Smitten...Janet Evanovich

41. Simon Says...Lori Foster

42. The Way Life Should Be...Christina Baker Cline

43. Steps Through The Mist...Zovan Zivkovic

salsa, the perfect snack

Salsa is the perfect snack. It goes well with so many different chips and fruit. I've been adding fruit to my fav brand of salsa and I haven't been sorry yet. It makes it even more delicious. Tonight I had avocado salsa. This salsa is chunky and tastes really fresh - it has to be refrigerated - it calls itself "premium fresh salsa" and that is no lie. I always get the 'medium'. Mild is too bland and Hot is a bit much for me. Medium's got just enough of a kick. I've added mango - both ripe and half-ripe - both really good. Papaya's my favorite but it has to be almost ripe (fun fact, trinis say pah-paw not papaya :). I don't care for half-ripe/green papaya though I do enjoy green/half-ripe mango.

this week

This post is not entirely coherent, but I've decided not to fix all the errors like I normally would - getting it all out was cathartic so I'm just going to leave it at that.

I nearly had a fit just now - freaking spammers. I check my spam box regularly to make sure real email doesn't get lost/deleted if mistakenly sent there. I really need to just delete stuff I don't recognize instead of opening. Occasionally I have found legitimate email in there but most of the time it's spam. Tonight I saw an email supposedly from mcafee. So I click on it and it says that they've just billed my $78 for my renewal. I started to panic - thinking that I don't have that money right now and I hope it doesn't come out of an a/c I closed. Then I got a little mad thinking that they would just automatically renew without my direct say-so. I never authorized them to renew automatically so I was pissed that they'd try. So then I frantically call their phone help line - closed for the day until 6am tomorrow. Now I'm really panicky. Then I think that Maybe I should log into my account and check to see when my actual renewal date is. So luckily I don't click any of the links in the email (at least I'm smart enough no to do that). I go to my account and find that my renewal is not due until 2nd week in March. So now I'm certain it was sent for some nefarious purpose. I look at the email again (much calmer now) and notice that they have a date, my full name and an amt paid but no card numbers. They always have the last 4 digits of your card number. Huge sigh of relief.
Life lesson here: do not open spam! do not open suspect email! do not believe suspect email is real!

This week has been long but I've managed to get through most of it. The exercise is the only thing keeping me sane. The more I exercise the better I feel. Boy did I need the extra endorphin boost this week.

Mon - yearly a word...demoralizing. I don't want to talk about it. I only spoke to one friend about some of the details and I just want to forget about it now. It just left me feeling depressed and I realized that I will never get promoted. I thought my last boss was the best one I've had so far but he let/allowed our group leader to add some things that were mostly true but there were extenuating circumstances that he omitted. The result is that I can't deny what's written but to has a great year of work on just that without explaining anything...I just look incompetent...after 4 1/2 yrs of being there. My only consolation if that they haven't fired/issued warning/put me on probation. So maybe the upper managers will look at all the other evaluations I've had and realize that there must be some sort of discrepancy b/c surely such things would have been noted before if they were absolutely true. So with all those thoughts in my head, I had to go to the gym. I felt it would be the only thing that would help me take my mind off it. And it did help. I did weights then 45min cardio. This was a little too much at once I think b/c I hurt by the time I was done. But it at least it was body soreness and not heart-soreness.

Tues - boxing. That girl who really irritated me last week, still a weirdo but I'm less annoyed by her this week. Progress?

Wed - no gym, had Chinese takeout for dinner, my first of the year.

Tonight - weights then boxing. I feel really energized now.

My new project is going well. I'm getting my 1st product shipped out and I have 3 more that will go out soon. I have to take more of an initiative with this project/my new supervisor. It's new for me b/c I used to supervisor wanting to more or less dictate my day. This way I have to make more decisions on my own...not a bad thing. I felt really isolated when i first moved to my current lab but now I'm feeling more at home.

I've decided to make a commitment to exercising 4-5 days a week. I don't have a weight goal in mind per se. I would of course like to get rid of my love handles/backfat. I also want to reduce my BMI by 4 or 5 points. How likely is this? I'm not sure. I was talking to one of the ladies in boxing class and I told her "I work out so that I can eat what I want". This is basically true. I do try to stop eating before I realize I'm full. I eat when I'm hungry which works out to be ~5 times a day. This works when I do it. I usu forget to eat something around 4pm b/c I'm usu in the middle of stuff in the lab. tonight it was 5pm before I realized that I hadn't eaten. Not good since tonight was gym night. So I stopped and had bag of pretzels - the only low fat/low calorie food in our vending machine. I don't like to eat too close to my workout b/c I end feeling really ill once I start moving around. It was too bad but I did feel a little sick during my weights routine. I was fine by 7pm/boxing class so that was the main thing.

Tonight during my weight routine I saw my friend P. Well he's not really my friend exactly, he's a guy at the gym who works out usu on the same days I do. He and I often have a quick chat, sometimes I go over to the machine he's on and chat or he comes over to mine. He's a cute guy. I think he's gay though i'm not certain. Well as of tonight I'm not certain. He spoke to me more than usu and even let me listen to the tunes he was working out to. We also had kind of a flirty converstion.
Anyhoo, my friend G from boxing asked - so...who's the guy?
Me - what guy? oh that guy, he's just a guy I talk to here
G - hmmm, just a guy, I saw you two tonight and he seemed like more than just a guy
me - really? hmmm. maybe I should ask him out for drinks sometime?
G - definitely, he's very cute, you're both young, why shouldn't you?

Yeah well, I don't know. I could suggest it and if he is gay, then maybe I have a new friend and if he's not...who knows, maybe more. I've actually thought about asking him to hang out before b/c he seems like a really cool and interesting guy. And he's funny. I gleaned all this from our 5min conversations during our workouts. We don't always chat, mostly we just wave and smile. He's got these in his ears and quite frankly, they scare me a little. My ears aren't even pierced ordinarily so I cannot really understand why anyone would want such huge holes in their ears. I try not to look at them. To each his own I guess.

Saturday, February 3

friday at last

The Nightguard stayed in my mouth all night and was much more comfortable (well as comfortable as having a piece of plastic in your mouth can be) than the one I'd used befor - it would fall out several times during the night or become dislodged and wake me up.

We had flurries tonight. SO much that I had to brush the slush off my car. Left work later than I wanted to and by that time it was really coming down. I was supposed to go over to C&Ts for dinner and Wii gaming but was thinking of bailing on the drive home b/c it was not very pleasant outside. Then I couldn't figure out what to have for dinner. Or what to watch on tv or if I should get a movie. So I went home, took my night meds and went over. They live 5 min from me, 2 by car when the conditions are perfect so I figured it shouldn't be too bad coming back home. I'm glad I went b/c I had a nutritious dinner-avocado salad with grilled steak topped with freshly made lemon-mustard dressing. It was delicious. T's on Atkins for a while. Then I played on the Wii with C for 3hrs. My arms are sore. First I made an avatar and that was very fun. then we played boxing, bowling, tennis and baseball. The boxing was fun and I knocked him out several times and won :) I didn't like the tennis very much, it was too confusing since you have to play doubles and it was actually true to life - in real tennis, I can serve no problem, I just can't volley. The baseball wa fun but only when it was my turn to pitch. I couldn't hit anything. the best was the bowling - highest score ever. I even beat C once. At midnight we decided to call it a night.

It's finally stopped snowing out and the neighborhood's very pretty. I love it when it midnight and the sky is so cloudy that it seems light outside. You can really see all the houses clearly. They're all snow-covered and there's a dusting all over the trees and ground. Wish I had my camera with me b/c I'd have pulled over and gotten some shots. My windows don't look out at anything cool anymore. All I can see are the windows of the houses on either side. I miss the great views I had from my old apt.

I am, of course, still too wired for sleep so I figured I might as well read some blogs. Going to bed soon b/c have much to do Sat. Hair appt at 11am then oil change/new wipers for my car. Then have to get a few groceries for party later - wine & cheese thing, should be fun. I'm hoping I can bum a ride there with E. Have to call tomorrow and ask but I'm pretty sure she won't mind. that way if I want to drink/taste more I can safely do so and just sleepover.

Thursday, February 1

mixed bag

Long day. I miss my old group. I'm not part of it anymore and I know this b/c when I go visit, the jokes are often on me instead of about others for us all to enjoy :(
My new group is ok. I'm friends with one of the girls and she's cool. The other's are ok but they are still...the others. I don't feel comfortable with them. At least not comfortable enough to joke around in the same way I was able to in my old lab.
Also, I've been working 1-2hrs more a day on average than I did in my old group. Even though I've also been getting to work 20-30min earlier than I used to. It's 5pm and they are all there chit-chatting, as if it were 2pm. Bizarre, no?

My stuff is ready for me to prep to ship-1st compound out, Yay! I have a couple others that should also be ready soon. Good news. I've decided that I need to give my new supervisor as little info as possible, ask him as few questions as possible. this can work b/c he's in the adjoining lab and they are others in my lab who are working/have worked on similar targets. So at least I can go to them for some advice. He does not know how to give general advice. He keeps focusing on shit that I know or have figured out already...4 years ago. So my new plan of action is: just do/don't ask unless absolutely necessary.
I used to have this saying that I said for the general amusement of my friends whenever they asked me about my job:

Drones don't think. Drones don't ask. Drones just do. I'm a happy drone.

So now I'm going to just be a happy drone.

Went to gym tonight after much deliberation with myself...went to the library, wandered around in there for a while. forgot my watch so couldn't keep track of the time. Left and went out to the car. still had more than enough time to get to the gym for class, so I figured I might as well go. I was really worn out after it all. I'm a bit sore now. That's what I get for being a lazy bum and not going to the gym for 2 weeks. My treat for making it to the gym...probably negated all the work I did tonight...buffalo chicken kickers/garlic bread from Domino's. I love Dominos.

What I really wanted tonight was Mallowmars but I didn't realize this until I was 2min from my apt so that's when I thought of Dominos instead.

At the dentist office: i love my dental hygienist. She very pleasant and always compliments me on my regular flossing. My dentist did some filing/polishing on my teeth to help improve "my bite" which he thinks was most likely causing some of the sensitivity I was having. Main reason though - I'm probably grinding my teeth at night b/c of all the recent stress. So he suggested I get Nightguard and see if that helps. I do have a history of teeth-grinding that I only know of b/c when I was visiting my sis, she said it woke her up...she insisted I wear the Nightguard thing. It was one of the most uncomfortable things I've had to use. I hated it.

A fitted nightguard from the dentist cost ~$300. Way out of my budget and my insurance doesn't cover it so I got one from CVS tonight. It's a different brand or at least looks different and seems like it'll be more comfortable as it can be molded to my teeth. Still looks weird though, not that I have to worry about anyone looking at me-who knew living alone could be a blessing.