electra310: (Default)
In this period of extraordinary unproductivity, I have finally completed one thing of beauty! I share it with you all!

The same person bought this year's bouquet as last year's, so I tried to mix it up a little. I also took the time to do a photodocumentary, which I present to you here:


It's funny, well, I think it's funny, at least, and it's best viewed by going one picture at a time and reading the captions along with. There are many special guest stars, including myself!
electra310: (Default)
One thing I've noticed while on internet hiatus is that I constantly want to post on LJ, kind of like how you always have itches in the dentist's chair. Rather than take this hour to write seventeen separate entries and have everyone unfriend me in despair, you get capsule summaries.

88 Lines about 44 Topics )
electra310: (Default)
This is just to let everyone know that I am taking a week off (mostly off) from the internet. After this point, I will not be on socially or for fun except for one hour in the day and one hour in the evening until next Monday. I will likely still be technically online as I have tons of research to do, but I can't afford to keep pissing around the way I have been. I have way too much to do. If you need me to pay attention to something in particular, drop me an email about it and I will be sure to look. Otherwise, see you all later!
electra310: (Default)
After more than a year I finally have a new default userpic. Go me! With the two new userpic slots I got this week, I'm at exactly half of my available userpics. Anyone got 71 icons I can borrow? I like this one because it makes me think of Knox, and laugh a Very Evil Laugh.

Mike has been accepted to Cincinnati and Lexington now, so thank God we won't be moving to Mississippi. I do have to start getting prepped for the Kentucky bar exam. The birds are almost done with their 30-Days-of-Hell vet regimen, and I have lost 20 pounds on Weight Watchers since December 6. Today at the gym, I achieved a personal goal and went a mile on the elliptical in thirty minutes. I think I got my heartbeat above 200 beats mer minute for a few seconds on the home stretch, but that which does not kill me makes me strong. And I feel so accomplished!
electra310: (sad zoe)
I can't stop watching the news today, as information trickles in about the shooting at NIU. Virginia Tech was horrible, but I've been to NIU, had friends who went there. A lot of people from my high school go to NIU, and Mike briefly considered doing his master's work there. It's different when it's closer to home.

This morning it's coming out that it was even closer to home than I realized. The murderer was enrolled as a student here at U of I, and he bought his guns in Champaign. I don't know what quirk of his sick fuck mind had him decide to drive up to Dekalb instead of staying in town. But as sad and sick and sorry as I am for the students and family at NIU, I'm also filled with a terrible relief that it wasn't here, though it could've been, so easily. He was right here, in this town, at this school

NIU, fuck. Things like that aren't supposed to happen in Dekalb, or in Champaign, these podunk prairie towns. People aren't like that here. How do you look at the people around you the same way, when you know one of your number could do something like this?
electra310: (Pintsize)
It's been a long time since I posted, but life is just going on, the way it tends to. My grades this term were very good, I would've made the dean's list if I hadn't taken the incomplete in one class. Oh well, still a nice bump to the GPA, and I'm still almost done. My classes this term seem interesting, even if I'll be writing up a storm in the leadup to graduation, finishing all these final papers.

I'm still doing Weight Watchers, doing quite well so far. Since I started, I've lost 12.6 pounds, which reflects itself in pants that fit again. Yay! I'm going to the gym four days a week (not today, since the time of the month dictates that today I will stay at home in front of a heater), and have been very gradually getting a little bit stronger. When we move, I would like to be able to scoff at the stairs and laugh at shlepping boxes to and fro. My more immediate goal is to be able to make the .4 mile, three story pass between my Tuesday classes in ten minutes while still being able to breathe at the end.

With the new year, my thoughts have been turning towards the inevitable move out of here. It's been very expensive to stay here the last couple of years, but I love all the space, and I love Champaign, and I will be sorry as hell to leave. And not just because I hate moving like rat poison on a cracker. I've already begun collecting boxes and storing them in the loft, and giving away bits of furniture. I'm ditching the dresser I never seem to use this weekend, one less thing to move, plus more bedroom space. If we end up in Lexington or Knoxville, both those places have active Craigslist communities, and we'll be able to pick up new pieces easier than moving them in a truck. Much as I love my 2.50 sofa, it's had a hard four years, and it is ready to go to its final reward.

I need to get myself motivated and clean the house. I don't feel like crap every day, but the house is always messy. I shouldn't be so tired that I can't just get up and work on it some. That's my next resolution. Lose weight, get in shape, clean the house. Heck of a list. Maybe I'll train the birds to help, like in Cinderella. They're the ones who make half the mess, anyway.
electra310: (burning goodness)
I exercised today! I'm very proud of myself. I spent most of the afternoon going from store to store trying to find fat-girl sweatsuits, making up for the time I was losing by parking further away than I had to. The car died once, which was kind of weird. Luckily, I was already in a parking spot. When I started it again, it was fine. I finally got a cute lavender sweatsuit at Catherines, on sale even (and with sparkles!), and went to the gym. The gym, apparently, is closed for renovation. I knew that, but the website said the East Wing was open for students during the renovation. A closer reading would've informed me that by "East Wing" they actually meant "A totally different building that we're giving a clever name to in order to torture and manipulate you."

I never did find the gym, but at least I got fifteen minutes of walking exercise out of it. I'll try again tomorrow. Not wanting to waste my truly fabulous sweatsuit, I went to Family Video, where they let you check out exercise DVDs free. Score! They also let you check out kids DVDs free. Score! I got Kronk's New Groove, an exercise video called Cardio Fusion, and King Kong, just so I'd actually be renting something and not wasting their time. It was fifty cents, because I am a new member. Score! Mike will like King Kong. Then I bought some reduced fat ice cream sandwiches from the Schwans' Man in the parking lot. It was sort of like a drug transaction, but with calorie counts.

I went home, ate an ice cream sandwich, and proceeded to make an utter fool of myself. This video is not aimed at my demographic. I think dancer-type people and people who can do things like balancing on one foot while having their body in a straight line parallel to the ground are who they are going for. I knew I was in trouble when I couldn't get into a third of the positions in the warm-up section. But hey, I did what I could, I danced around like a madwoman, I shook it like a holy roller, I waved 'em like I just didn't care, and I got a pretty good workout. The birds laughed at me, and I had to lock Victoria up when she decided she wanted to stand in exactly every space where I was exercising, but I feel good. I also vacuumed the floor, so I actually accomplished two socially redeeming tasks today. I need a break!
electra310: (Fooker and Ki laugh)
Merry almost-Christmas, everyone! We're back from Asheville with a load of presents and a couple of days before it's once more into the breach on St. Nicholas' Day with my family. After six days absence, the cat and surprisingly, the lovebirds, seemed to miss us. The budgies, of course, didn't care. Victoria got a felt mouse and some cat grass, and the lovies got a piece of junk mail to destroy. Everyone is happy. I am very happy to be done with flying for awhile. Mike and I visited the Build-a-Bear Workshop in Greenville and built Kepler, a very studious young bear with jeans, a t-shirt of the solar system, and glasses. He rode with me on the plane to protect me from turbulence. It worked pretty well, at least we did not crash.

We took extra suitcases on the trip with us, to account for shopping and presents. One entire suitcase on the trip home was filled with presents and groceries. I took advantage of the wonderful stores in Asheville and my wonderful MIL's largesse to stock up on infused oils and exciting varieties of salsa. When all was said and done, I was transporting about fifteen glass bottles and jars. I wrapped them all individually in newspaper, packed them in amongst Mike's new clothes and our other gifts (We got a Tomtom! We know where we're going now!), and then filled every empty space in the suitcase with more newspaper to keep things from shifting around. It was a very elaborate affair, and really quite heavy. I made Mike stand on the scale with it to make sure we came in under the requisite fifty pounds (barely).

It must have also looked dash interesting on the suitcase X-Ray machine, since when I got home and opened the suitcase, it was to discover one of those TSA "O Hai!" placards, that tell you they've searched your bag. I had to laugh at the probable dismay of whoever opened that suitcase to see the three layers of wadded up newspaper covering couscous, a Tomtom box, a bunch of clothes in plastic wrappers, and so many individually-wrapped newspaper mummies. Nothing broke, and I really didn't see much evidence of anything being unwrapped and redone. I have a sneaking suspicion that they may have thrown up their hands and tossed the card in. They also checked two of our three other bags, the ones that were obviously part of the same luggage set as the oddball. Wonder what they thought of my Magic Wand. Heh, c'est la vie.

Anyway, I started Weight Watchers a couple weeks ago, which has been interesting. I lost a little bit my first week, then had this week where we were eating one or two meals a day in restaurants, and nothing in the house was fat free except the unsalted plain rice cakes that were bought for my diet food. Pleh. I still tried to be very good, and I was certainly much, MUCH better than I would've been otherwise. I'm going to weigh in tomorrow, so we'll see how that went. I know it's going to be a slow process, but I have to do something before none of my clothes fit. I'm doing most of my venting on their forums, so I don't bore anyone else senseless with diet talk. I shall report back when milestones are reached. For now, there is shopping with gift cards to be done.
electra310: (sad zoe)
We lost Dani today, she wasn't yet five years old. I took her in yesterday when Pigwidgeon went in for her well-bird check, because she was looking eggbound. She hadn't been sick-bird-syndroming, exactly, but she hadn't been herself, and I'd been keeping an eye on her. From Tuesday night to Wednesday morning, her abdomen swelled up, so that it was easy to see something was wrong. She was still lively, and I guess I can't beat myself up about it, because I don't think taking her in on Monday would've changed anything that happened.

The vet checked her over and said she was definitely egg-bound, and that it was one egg giving her trouble for some reason. He wanted to keep her and try oxytocin, and then if that didn't work, a hysterectomy. He warned me there was a five percent chance the oxytocin would kill her, and then a fifteen percent chance the surgery would. She handled the oxytocin, but didn't pass the egg. They did surgery this afternoon, and she went into cardiac arrest on the table, two thirds of the way through. They'd been breathing for her, but they couldn't restart her heart.

There were, incidentally, two eggs, one that didn't have a shell and had formed wrong. There was no way she could've passed the first egg, and no way to see it, even on the X-Ray. How in the fucking hell does she have so much calcium in her bones that they couldn't push a catheter in to keep her alive, but not enough to put a shell around an egg? I know it speaks to a problem in her body, and not anything I did or Dr. Welle did, but it still hurts. How can you do everything right for a pet and still have her die young and in pain? The fact that it hasn't been more than three weeks since Casey was euthenized for cancer doesn't help that feeling much.
electra310: (academia)
I did a variant on this quiz two years ago, with different names. Here it is again! I like it especially because it makes its own cut text. Is that considerate or what?

Click here.
Take the quiz.
Post your results.
See electra310's results. )
electra310: (Default)
So my friend [livejournal.com profile] euphoric_goth sent me a song that made her think of a character I play in one of her games. It's the end credit song from a video game, by the same guy who did Re: Your Brains, Jonathan Coulton. I listened, and laughed. And listened again. And again. It is not even funny the way this song is stuck in my head. But it is a very funny song. So here, I give it to you. Still Alive
electra310: (the plot thickens)
Yesterday was bad, but life goes on. I delivered an absolutely kickass cross-examination of the defendant in our fake murder trial, letting him tell his entire story, and then taking it apart meticulously through four pages of cross-examination questions. The judge complimented me on my exquisite control of the witness, not letting him get away and run down any weird tangents. Cross-examination is where the lawyer gets to talk and the witness says yes or no. It was awesome. It lifted my spirits considerably.

Today I am imaginary-shopping on the internet. I am drooling over The Kitchenaid Artisan Stand Mixer, complete with wire whip, flat blade and dough hook. It's on sale, and still way outside my price range. Beautiful, though. I could see myself making many wonderful things with it. It would be even better with the attachments, including the citrus juicer, the pasta roller and cutter attachments, and the truly awesome ice cream maker attachment.

What would you buy if you had a thousand dollars to shop with?
electra310: (sad zoe)
Okay, I am ready for this semester to be over. Or maybe just these two weeks. When did everything turn to shit? I was going along just fine, and suddenly I have pleurisy and a heart condition. I know, I'm lucky it wasn't a heart attack and that I have insurance, I should suck it up and deal with it. The fact that I have two papers coming up due that I've done nothing with is not a respecter of my health, that's for sure.

I could deal with that. But now Mike's mom has cancer, even if it's a mild, treatable form of cancer, and we're terribly worried about her. They won't be coming up for Thanksgiving, and we're going to have to try and squeeze in time after finals and before Christmas if we want to spend time with them this year. Now there's the little voice in the back of the head that says "What if?" and the compulsion to keep the phone nearby all the time, just in case. It's another thing to think about, but what is there to do but keep going?

Then this morning my mom called. Last night I talked to them because Casey, my budgie on semi-permanent loan to Kirsten to keep her Pigwidgeon company, had a red bump on her wing that she was picking at. I thought it might be a bloodfeather and advised them to get her into a vet. Casey hasn't been to a vet since I gave her to Kirsten several years ago, when we lived in Chicago. My mom managed to get her in at a decent vet this morning. They found out that the red bump was a tumor, and that she had more tumors all the way up the inside of her wing as well. It was cancer, spread all over, and the only thing left for Casey would be suffering. They euthanized her this morning, which was the responsible thing to do. I just found out a few minutes ago. Four and a half years is not a long enough life. She should've had twice that. My poor baby. I can't help wondering if I'd have noticed something sooner if she'd been here, if I or Dr. Welle would've been able to save her.

It never rains but it pours, I guess, and there's no time to take a day off and just put things back in order in my head. I shouldn't be writing this, I have to prepare for a cross-examination and write an outline and eat some food so I can take my medicine. I wish I could find a picture of Casey. I think there's one somewhere on Mike's computer. I would like to have it.
electra310: (Lingerie night)
I got the heart monitor this afternoon, the one I'm supposed to wear for thirty days. I have had it on for eleven hours or thereabouts, and it is driving me insane. It's not the wearing of it. That wouldn't be so bad. I could wear a heart monitor for thirty days, no problem. It's that the thrice-damned thing won't stay on. It wont allow me to wear it. I've gone through five fricking sets of sticky electrodes in eleven hours. I don't move that much, I'm not sweating, I'm not wearing heavy clothes, I wipe with the alcohol prep pads and don't pull on the wires. They just fall off. It's making me insane. I'm paying six hundred dollars for the damn thing, it could at least do me the courtesy of working.

Tomorrow I'm going to call the clinic and ask for better stickies, or at least some skin-appropriate tape to hold them down with. I'm getting tired of having to excuse myself to go spelunking inside my own shirt while I'm at school. Tonight I think may be a lost cause, because there is no possible way that these electrodes will stay on. I'm going to give it my best try, though. I think I may still have some spirit gum that hasn't totally dried up in my makeup kit. If anything will hold a recalcitrant electrode against my skin for a few hours, that will.
electra310: (sick day)
Today is apparently a no-breathing day. I don't know exactly why, I've been taking all my medicine as scheduled. This gets pretty intense at times, since aside from the prescribed anti-inflammatory, I've been put on deglycinated licorice, 1000mg of calcium, and 1000mg of magnesium. I was doing better, but today it feels like there is a weight on my chest and I can't take deep breaths. I've been told the Albuterol inhaler isn't going to help, but I'm tempted to take a few puffs anyway, just to feel like I'm doing something. Not having my breath makes it hard to concentrate on anything else. I also find myself yawning constantly, though I'm not tired, because my brain keeps sending out the unoxygenated signal. This is sort of amusing in class, because I keep making other people yawn when they look at me.

Tomorrow I go in to the cardiologist's office to get hooked up with an event monitor, but I don't think that's going to do much for my lungs. I'm more than halfway through my stomach-thrashing anti-inflammatory, so I guess if my lungs don't ease up, I'll have to go back in next week. On top of all my breathing sadness, I went to McDonalds this week and got the wrong sandwich. I got a plain sausage biscuit instead of a McGriddle, and I couldn't go back because I had class and I needed the food to take my medicine. That was rather depressing. Sausage biscuit without even any cheese is a very boring, dry breakfast, especially if you paid for a McGriddle.

This afternoon I have an outline to work on, so I'd better get my head back in the game, regardless of what my lungs are doing. I'm quite fed up with my body messing with my life, it needs to be grateful for all the medicine I've fed to it and start turning around.
electra310: (rubbing alcohol)
I am not dressing up for Halloween this year. I'm just too doggone tired, and so is Mike. We had all our adventure last night, thanks to a wee-small-hours trip to the emergency room. Apparently severe and radiating chest pain is not only a symptom of heart attacks, but also of pleurisy, which is what I have after all. Go Mike and your crazy internet diagnosing skiis! (But he thought I said Blue Roses!) So it was a scary evening, and my chest still doesn't feel good, but at least there's a diagnosis. In other interesting news, I got an EKG done just to be sure I wasn't having a heart attack, and they discovered I have a crazy heart. Something funny showed up on the EKG, a latent tendency towards palpitations. So I have to see a cardiologist about that.

In the meantime, Mike and I each got a bit less than five hours sleep, then had full days of work and school to tend to. So tonight we're relaxing, eating the Halloween candy we bought at 4 this morning while filling my prescription, and watching Dracula in black and white. Even without costumes, Halloween is still Halloween.
electra310: (Bonk)
I have decided that in the future, I will not attend homecoming events on the campuses of the schools I used to go to. You know why? Because everyone hates you when you go back for homecoming. Sure, the school may lay out the red carpet, and you get to see some old friends, but you remember. You remember what it was like to be a student, to have your eating places closed down, your activities canceled, your study spaces limited due to alumni functions. Homecoming just made it harder to do the things you need to do, and it created a burning resentment in your gut.

That's the position I'm in today, certainly, and it has firmed up my resolve. I had Mike drop me off at school so I could work all day on this damned paper, figuring I could get my meals and caffeine in the cafeteria. Unfortunately, the cafeteria, and the cafe within it, have been closed for an alumni function. I can't even get to the vending machines, as that area is full of hot carts and equipment for providing lots of food to the alumni. So here I am, hungry, unfocused, uncaffeinated, and full of helpless rage. Why would I want to put anyone else through that?

I am issuing a call to all my brethren in higher education: Don't go to Homecoming! Encourage everyone you know not to go to Homecoming as long as it is held chiefly on campus! Go back and visit, mingle with students, have off-campus parties like crazy. But don't make life more difficult for the kids who are just trying to live through college, law school, or their graduate program. Don't kick them out of the Oak Room or the Huezinga Commons or anywhere else they need to get food. It's not right, and they will hate you. Hate, hate, hate.
electra310: (academia)
Hey, after a long summer of no tornadoes, today we have our first tornado watch of the season! Is it wrong to feel excited about that? I guess maybe I really have lived in Illinois too long. I should go to bed soon, but I was so thirsty earlier that I made a pot of iced tea (and drank most of it while it was still pretty warm). I just have to be up early enough to get the lovies to the vet by ten. Well bird check day!

I took myself to the people vet the other day because I wasn't feeling good, I had a nasty tight feeling in my chest that hurt when I took a deep breath. Mike suggested pleurisy, but it's not that bad. ("But he thought I said 'Blue roses!'") The nurse practitioner, who was the one I was so unimpressed with when he was wielding a speculum this spring, had no idea what was wrong with me, but gave me an inhaler anyway. It helped somewhat. I can't quite pin down the scent/flavor of Albuterol. I get an image of opening a box of fresh office supplies every time I get a whiff. Sense memory is weird.

All right, Alton Brown has imparted his wisdom to me once again, so I'mma head to bed. Someone wake me up if there's a tornado.
electra310: (Default)
Look at our new babies!

And more here: http://pics.livejournal.com/electra310/gallery/000231ka

These little sweethearts are Priscilla and Aquila (for now, at least). We adopted them this weekend, after spending most of last week preparing for them and working out the details. Aren't they precious? They're cremino peach-faced lovebirds, which basically means "Yellow lovebird with peachy face." As you can see in the pictures, they're special needs birds, they have badly splayed legs that make it very hard for them to get around on flat surfaces and do things like land after they fly. Aquila is particularly bad off, he can only scoot around on flat ground, and he sometimes falls from precarious perches. We're going to talk to the vet about it on Thursday, but the prognosis isn't great for them ever getting much more use of their legs.

Luckily, they're very healthy, happy, active little guys for all that, and I think we're going to get on famously together. I can just sit and watch them swing around the cage and laugh at them climbing on each other. They're siblings, and totally bonded, to the point where most of the time, they want to be occupying the exact same space in the cage. Tomorrow afternoon, the big order I made to Windy City Parrots will be delivered, and we'll have the cage really kitted out for birds who need lots of stable, L-shaped places to perch. The timing really worked out well here, since we got a 135 dollar windfall from the electric company that's paying for all these perches and toys. The adoption fees and vetting means watching the budget carefully for a little while, but hey, we can do that. Luckily, Mike does not, in fact, need glasses, so that's another big expense that didn't happen.

The budgies are very interested by all these developments. I bought thirty feet of palm-frond shredding ribbon and a new mineral treat for them so they wouldn't feel left out. They know there are new birds in the house, and the contact calls are sometimes intense. For all they are smaller, budgies actually have lower voices than lovies, I was amused to find that out. It's a lot of fun learning about these new birds, how they act and sound and move. I've been taking lots of pictures, so expect that gallery to expand soon.
electra310: (sexy party)
I have given the birds pumpkin puree along with their pellets tonight. They are deeply suspicious. Right now they are vultching in various positions above the food, keeping an eye on it and making sure it does not get away. They usually like it when I mix pureed vegetables or organic baby food with their pellets, but every time I stop for awhile they forget and have to remember again. I have some more in the freezer to give them tomorrow, I imagine they will like it then. I also have pumpkin seeds! Some for them, and some for me. Yum!

December 2009

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