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Tree of stars
Wait, where was I?

I worked Thanksgiving and the day after.  Not so bad, as the hospital always puts on a bit of a spread for employees, and our unit happens to employ a transport nurse who used to own a restaurant.  He makes a couple of amazing turkeys every year and we have quite a nice table laid out in the conference room.  People worry so much about staff not getting to celebrate the holiday that we often end up with better food than would have been on offer at home.

I came home Friday night and fell into bed pretty rapidly, without taking the melatonin that allows me to stay asleep through T's nightly assault of coughing and kicking.  Realizing this, he elected to sleep on the couch rather than wake me.

At 4AM on Saturday I awoke suddenly and in the worst kind of hell.  Laid awake for the better part of two hours trying not to move because I was sure things would escape my GI system really from either end if I made the slightest motion.  Eventually made a dash to the kitchen to grab a mixing bowl and then off to the bathroom.  Bed to bathroom was pretty much the only distance I covered for the next three days.  No fever, just tremendous GI upset and accompanying symptoms of dehydration. 
"Food poisoning," says I, when T finally wakes up and makes a startled noise upon discovering me.
Normally we segregate pretty militantly when I get sick, as his immunocompromise makes illness a pretty big deal for him.  I was grateful that we chose not to in this instance (because, you know, he didn't eat the thanksgiving spread that I did), because I haven't felt that bad in years, and he was very kind and also trying to figure out how to trick me into the hospital.
"I work at the hospital, darling," I murmured, "I'm not going unless I can actually already see Jesus coming for me."

By Monday I was fighting off the last of the dehydration andsmall gross medical detail warningCollapse )continuing about my life.

Thursday Travis had a job interview early in the day.  I heard him throw up once, through the fog of my sleep, and figured that he was trying to do really diligent airway clearance and triggered his gag reflex (CF has been, let us say, not a selling point in his interview process, and I've finally convinced him to stop telling people about it).  He got home again before I had woken up and crawled back into bed with me.  A few hours later he kicked me out of bed and I moved to the couch, reading and napping and watching House and occasionally coming to check on him.  Warm to the touch, I decided to monitor him a bit more closely.  An hour later I took his temperature.  When the mercury hit 103 with no signs of slowing down, I started putting on pants and throwing hospital supplies into a bag.  104.2, which is a very defensible "we're going to the ER now" temperature, if the person you're talking to is not delirious and unable to recognize a thermometer. Sigh.

Eight and a half hours in a dirty trauma room (seriously, I stole a housekeeping cart and cleaned it while we were in there) later, we were in the IICU, where we stayed for four days, during which I slept at his bedside, woke at 6 AM and walked down the hall to PICU.

Conclusion of small gross misadventureCollapse )  Saturday night I drove from Stanford to PAMF Mt View urgent care, and that was the only time I left the hospital (for another, out patient hospital) for five days.  Monday I went out and got take-out dinner with a co-worker, and Tuesday I left midday in a flurry of "oh shit our rent". 

His FEV1 dropped from 49 to 35, then finally came back up to 39 before we left.  By the time he got a chem panel back, he was hypokalemic, hypocalcemic, had serious fluid electrolyte problems and a crap anion gap.  Because I hadn't had stomach flu, I had norovirus - there was an epidemic among our staff after Thanksgiving. And I gave it to him.

It was a long, shit admission, and we didn't get out for a full week.  He's still on home IVs, but the norovirus has cleared - now it's all the aftereffects of being dehydrated and immobile and unable to do any CPT for a week.

Everyone stood around and said what a good girlfriend I was for not leaving the bedside. How lucky he was to have someone who worked in medicine (and I did tap every favor and connection I had to get him moved from IICU back to pulmonology, because Medicine residents are not as good with CF as they like to imagine they are).  Really, though, how much longer am I going to keep working in ICU and risking this all the time?  How good a partner am I, when I'm the reason he was so sick?
He forgives me, and he'll be okay, but still.  I need to make a change.
Sad blanket
Awake at 2:30, tried to get back to sleep for an hour, then gave up and came to internet forever until the alarm goes off.  We mentioned Travis' terrible quality of sleep last time we were in clinic and Doc referred us to sleep medicine for an overnight study, although none of us thinks he has apnea.  Maybe it will help, but I hold little hope.
Either way, I'm deep in the middle of a depressive swing, and sleeping til noon would probably be my M.O. anyway.
Travis still hasn't found a job, hasn't gotten any callbacks, which is difficult for him, and tends to cause him to sort of catastrophize everything, which is difficult for me.

Nothing seems positive when you wake up before three AM on a day when you have to be up at five anyway.

Jan. 17th, 2012

Freeze ray
Okay, who authorized this cold weather?? >:|  Starting THE DAY Travis got on the plane, it has been so cold here that I just wear blankets like pants, and quilts as capes.  I had so many grand plans for re-organizing the house while he was gone, but they've come to nothing because it is COLD, and I DO NOT OPERATE in cold.
Most of this would be alright, because we do have indoor heating, except that it is in these like... low register things that are at the base of the walls, all along the walls, throughout the house.  It seems that turning on the thermostat turns them all on, which would be great, except for the ones under the bed, or behind the entertainment center, etc, which may be full of dust and which I cannot access in order to selectively deactivate them HUZZAH.
So, in the choice between being cold and fiery death, being cold is winning.  FOR NOW. >>>:|
This problem will be temporarily solved tomorrow, when Frank comes down for Baking Day.  I forsee myself preheating the oven at, oh, 8AM. >.>

I also got two new bookshelves this week, which I am working into the house floorplan.  The first one is being trialed in the dining room, and the second will replace the one that the boys FUBAR'd during the move into this apartment.  The second one can't actually move into this space just yet, as I have two boxes STILL PACKED from said move blockading the old bookcase in place, and the prospect of getting out from under the blankets long enough to unpack said boxes has been too daunting.  Sigh.

Will is here tonight, hanging out.  Keeping me from getting too lonely.  All of our efforts to do any gaming together were thwarted by PS3 updates, so we listened to SModcast instead.

Okay, so I would try to make a less self-indulgent post, but mostly I feel like my posts for the last few months have been "I SURE LOVE MY BF, HE IS TEH BEST" and while I COULD improve my content by doing a link post, links mean moving fingers out of the blanket-hut in order to use the mouse.  And it is cold out there.  Keyboard fits under blanket.  Keyboard is life.

Night night.
Adulthood [allie brosh]
Buh? Urgh.

I was crushed by midterms last week (two Bs and a we'll-see, which I hold little hope for, sadly), and then worked two 12.5s and a 16.5 over the weekend (ugh, 41 hours in three days?).  The house has become a disaster area in the span of a week wherein all I did was launder all the things.  Today is phase one: The Kitchening.  I've cleared out the fridge, emptied and filled the dishwasher and dishrack, almost cleared all the dishes in the house, scrubbed counters, dismantled the stovetop to clean it, and de-greased all the things.  All that's left is re-covering the stovetop reflectors and re-assembling the stove, then the floor.  This will all have to wait, as dishes are still drying, and the reflector pans go in the next dishwashing load.
I have discovered the streak-free-shine additive stuff for dishwashers (you fill the whassit once a month), and it is a beautiful thing.  All is beauty and cleanliness.
Grocery delivery is tonight, so I probably won't get to actually scrub off the fridge shelves.  Might try to do that after the new year, when we deplete our cupboards in preparation for our week in the cabin and the fridge is less full.  I work tomorrow for the holiday, but at some point in the next couple of weeks, there's a giant turkey in the freezer that will need dealing with.  I need a bucket...

Woodchuck is the most troublesome cat.  He has a habit of eating by picking food up and then jerking his head back to propel it into his mouth, but sometimes he... misses?  and flings food onto the floor all around his dish.  It's ridiculous, but also causes problems, we have learned, when he throws the food into the waterfall water thing they have and clogs the works.  We didn't properly realize what a problem this is until it had burnt out the motor, so we switched back to conventional water bowls.
Except he won't drink from a regular water bowl. Noooo, he needs running water, fresh as a mountain stream.  He follows us into the bathroom and jumps either into the sink or the bathtub and waits for us to turn on the water.  This is literally the only time he would drink water, as standing water bowls are clearly for commies (and Clementine).  Since we just finished forking out roughly $800 on fixing kidney problems in this cat, we dealt with this quirk begrudgingly, but since we were both raised in drought-era California, we can't just leave water drizzling all night without thinking about farmers weeping and penguins dying.  So it's a lot of up-and-down and carrying the cat into the bathtub to see if he'll drink some water now, because I'm about to leave for class.
I went in search of a new waterfall fountain (that shit is expensive, and clearly we need some kind of industrial grade one), and lucked out in finding one at Pet Food Express that was on close out.  It's actually one of the really high-end ones (~$75) that was 60% off, and I walked away for like $29.  I set it up today and moved the food dish to the other side of the room to promote general longevity.

Other news... I got Travis a balloon for his birthday (among other things), and he has found no end of joy from clipping the balloon to the cats.  They are baffled, at best.
I have gotten a tremendous jump on giftmas shopping, and have pretty much everyone squared away (Frank! I have bought the calendar! You are warned!), and just need to start on the card list.
The end, I need to get ready for babysitting.
destroy everything
Internet! *clings*

When we moved in to the new place, Travis set up a broadband account with AT&T.  A couple of days later they called and said that since he's on a state insurance plan, he's eligible for a low-income phone line and that they would give him a $5/month write-off for having the line.  A free phone line, and every month our bill is cheaper? Sure.
So they set that up.

Our internet was terrible.  Slow, awful.  If he was gaming on one computer, it could take me ten minutes to load a two minute youtube.  We looked at other places that we could switch to, but no one came even close to matching the deal we get with AT&T, and Travis is notoriously circumspect about monthly expenses (I can often talk him into splurging on day-to-day things, or one-time expenses that will serve us well in the long run, but he's got a strong visual idea of how much his savings shrinks per month while he's in school).  Additionally, Travis is of the understanding that in areas with a high population density (like a 70-unit apt complex), there can be a lot of interference from competing wireless signals that simply causes lag, so we might make an expensive switch and end up with nothing better than what we have, so: we try to tough it out.  Last month we got a bill for about four times our agreed-upon rate, and a notice saying that the high bill is because we owe them back-pay for the last five months.  What?
He calls and finds out that when we agreed to the new phone/'net bundle deal, they opened a new account for that... and never closed the other one.  They just forgot to bill us for it through the on-line bill pay that we set up, so Travis was ignoring the monthly paper statements that came, because a payment was auto-debited each month.
He had the extra account turned off.

And then our internet went dead.  And our modem sees no internet signal anywhere.  I went out and bought a handset (we've never used the household phone line, goodness no), and there's no dial tone. 

AT&T says we have an open account, but they certainly can't help us with anything involving a modem we didn't buy from them.  Unless (unless!) we want to pay them $60 as a one-time fee to get one-time help from the guy who knows something about our brand of modem. 
Why no dial-tone?  We apparently need a small item that no one sells anymore called a DSL filter, before we'd be able to use our home phone line.  Hm.  None at the drug store where I bought the phone, nor at radio shack, nor at the AT&T store (though they would be happy to send me to a distribution center in San Mateo where I can rent this $4 device for the low, low rate of $1/month!).

The modem has a help line!  It's free!
But our warranty ran out last month, and anyway - they don't deal with AT&T lines.

nom noms
Glowing bandages! Such a cool HAI prevention measure, and combined with the glowing kittens news that was all over the web earlier this week, I'm pretty excited!

American public education isn't great, but at least our leaders don't have to step in and tell us that a phone number can't kill us.

Have we considered that post-mortem barhopping might have been this bloke's last request?

Kaspar?  Is that you?

Holy jesus lord, dinosaur feathers!

True story: we don't give vaccines for funsies

All my ladies!  Double check your birth control pills: Qualitest recalls BC with packaging errors that could lead to unplanned pregnancy

Sesame Street roadshow dedicated to finding ways to help children deal with grief.

Decided to try something new this week with the grocery order, wherein I planned five full meals (for the two-week period between grocery deliveries, which tells you something about my free evenings to cook dinner) and bought ingredients for those, plus general we-can-make-food-in-thirty-minutes-or-less stuff.  The grocery bill was about $40 more than it usually is, but holy christ, we have a fully stocked kitchen.
My mom has bequeathed me her awesome Farberware indoor grill that we had through my childhood.  It's a beast of a machine, and comes with a rotisserie.  I used it last night to grill up some steaks in Szechewan marinade (and one in Caribbean jerk), and made a semi-pre-planned pasta dish on the side (onions, asparagus, heirloom baby toms, bacon, and angel hair tossed in parm and bacon drippings).  Since this was not one of our pre-planned meals (I just threw this shit together!? I'm... a grown up lady?!), it was nice to have a bonus evening of just sitting down to dinner with my love, chit-chatting about our days.  It's nice to have lives that are separate enough that we only really update one another once or twice a day.  He says he misses having me on campus and getting to have lunches together too.  I say this comes from his tendency to talk so freaking much that he needs several hours a day to get it all out.
Also, nights when we sit down for dinner tend to end in sex (possibly because I strip off all the cooking-stained or dishes-damp clothes I was wearing and sit across from him in my undies for forty minutes.  possibly).  Worth it!

Our cats have gotten weirder.  Also: more territorial about their food.  Woodchuck is putting on weight like we told him the starving season is coming.  Clem is still relatively limber, but I think it's because she gets so much exercise with the turbo spinner toy.  All of this will change when the weather cools down, of course, and she grows her two pounds of puffles and stops running around because her stump hurts. :(  In the meantime, she has adopted Travis, and we've developed a ritual wherein he lays on his back, I lay on my side next to him with my head on his chest, and she curls up on his other side so we can both pet her while she licks the salt off of him.  It's pretty cute.

What else? Oh! We got a good deal on gym memberships, so now we both have Bally's cards.  There's one a mile down the road, one right by campus, and one with a pool over near his mom's.  We're trying to set up a regular schedule to go, which I figure will probably look like Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.

Whoops, battery low, and I need to go frost these cuppies.  Later, loves.
Eternal sunshine clementine hm?
The semester is officially underway now.  On-line courses are more of a hassle now that they aren't so new-tech - my anthro prof has us sign in and make discussion board posts on three different days of the week for full credit, which inhibits my get-it-all-done-today plans that I entered the term with.  Still hitting my stride, but it's coming along alright, and I'm still getting A's on each of my postings, so.
Notsomuch on my game with the History class.  I just can't match this guy's testing style, where he gives five multiple choice answers and three are correct, but you're meant to choose the most correct one, based on historical analysis.  Since the information comes from four sources (two textbooks, an online ppt, and lecture notes), my notes are out-of-order at best, and I'm just not... synthesizing things as well as I need to to succeed here.  Need to step it up, as the midterm is this Friday.  At least this weekend there's an essay assignment, so I can sparkle.

Pretty lather, rinse, repeat.  I've been working some overtime and picked up all the holiday shifts lately (Labor Day and then Patriot Day), so my paychecks have been healthy, plus I'm babysitting at least twice a week, usually more.  I was finally able to call my mechanic yesterday and tell him that I can pay him half up front to start repairs on my car (the Jetta has been broken down since JUNE.  I've been driving Travis' car, which he has been so, so kind about, but which is starting to be a strain on us).  Having my own wheels again sounds like this impossible dream.  Travis has been so generous and absolutely acceeded to my basically taking over his car, but I (of course) never wanted to use it for extraneous trips, or really anything that isn't necessary for either a financially beneficial reason or to get to school.  Also, the millenia is Travis' first car, so it's kind of old.  We took it in a few weeks ago when the check engine light came on and threw $1400 under the hood, only to have the light come on again this week - I've never really felt like "Oh good, I have guaranteed transportation home from work tonight" so much as "oh god, I hope Travis has his phone charged and turned on so that he can give me the AAA phone number" when I'm relying on it.

So the kid I babysit for has had a couple of incidents of essentially fat-shaming me in the way that eight-year-olds do.  Not outright, but certainly unmistakable.  I blew it off the first time, and then night before last overheard her having a "Tara's so faaaat" conversation with Travis (who I brought with me to their house for the evening) and wasn't sure what to say, especially over the internal 'Wow, it sure does still suck to hear that from kids, almost as much as it did when I was a kid'.  I chose not to engage with her, and instead mentioned to her mom that it seemed like kiddo felt that she needs to see what it will take to make me really mad, or what I would do if she provoked me.  Today, Nhai and kiddo showed up at my apartment (which they've never been to, a thirty minute drive from their place) with flowers and a homemade card, and I realized that I am now the person that kids' moms make them apologize to?  Whatever.  I love the kid, but she tests everyone at everything, and it's been our thing lately that I'm just constantly batting down her power plays and reinforcing that I'm not interested in tolerating her poor behavior.  Thursday I was there for ten hours, and by the end of it I was exhausted at the idea of one more "No, Cosette, it's time for ________" (insert: dinner, brushing teeth, bed, lights out, etc), and began to think that a fair amount of child-rearing could be done with a small recorder that will repeat key phrases at intervals.
Anyway, the flowers are very pretty (she wanted me to know that she bought them with her own money from the farmers' market), and the card contains the phrase "I like the way you tell the stories of the things you do" and a drawing of me... saving the world?

There's something on your fantastic tits.
Er.  Something alive is crawling around on your shirt.
I don't remember most of these people.  I know Travis, but I've met him before.  And I recall his lovely companion, but not her name so much as her enormous tits.
I have a fascination with any boobs that are larger than mine, and I've been staring at these all night.

Solar system friends cut
First week of classes = DONE.  Well, almost.  I very brilliantly forgot to change my shipping address with Amazon, so two of my textbooks are sitting at Josh's house while he is in SF this weekend for a wedding.  One is the second of two books for cultural anthro, and the other is rock history.  Luckily, neither of those classes have had any work that actually requred reading or facts this first week, so I'm not technically behind.  One of my books is still being shipped by BWB (one day I will actually think about how long their shipping time is when I look at their beautiful low textbook prices), but since it's the second book for my history course and I've read the chapter from the other book and twice-read the lecture, I feel prepared for this ten-question quiz.
I am still waiting for WVC books or Barnes and Noble tech support to get back to me about my Nook e-reader textbook.  It was $86, so it would be SUPER NICE if I could, you know, download it at all.  Monday, the fires of hell will rain down upon them.  Luckily, this teacher is obsessed with technology, so hopefully if the worst happens and I don't have a book for a quiz next week, a detailed email will explain the situation.

Travis is away at a con all weekend.  It's actually in Santa Clara, so he's driving home every night, but not till 2AM, so it hardly counts.  He got home early last night (midnight), and we sat up for a couple of hours talking about mountaineers and climbing accidents and how he should come camping with me. ;)

Our first Farm Fresh To You box came yesterday!  Nom nom nom.  I am working on cooking up some wild rice with squash and carrots, now.  Also, realizing that I need to plan these recipes in advance, so that additional ingredients can be bought in our Safeway orders, which come on alternate Fridays (opposite those weeks on which we get our farm box).

I work on Monday, which means time and a half for a holiday I've never really celebrated.  "kickin rad", as T would say.  I've also been pulling in a little money on the side with babysitting for a coworker.  He has three girls, from 19 months to 7 years, and I've been enjoying spending time with them.  The money certainly doesn't hurt, and I've been socking it away in savings to pay for my car repairs as much as possible.

My life in general and my mental state have improved so much in the last six weeks.  I knew that living in that awful apartment was bad for me, but I think I didn't realize how much of my hopelessness and feelings of powerlessness stemmed from my total lack of control of my living space.  This house is much more manageable, and of course I have a partner in Travis, who isn't great about chores, but isn't bad, and if I leave a note saying "hey, can you do the catbox and the stove top? <3", I can be reasonably certain that it will be accomplished within 24 hours.  Also, at its very worstest, it takes me about two hours to get this place ship-shape, which is a far cry from the problems of the last place.
At any rate, I'm aware that I still have some capital P Problems, but I am, you know, getting out of bed and carrying on with my life in a way that is more responsible than before.  I still don't really leave the house unless I have what I feel is a serious obligation to do so, but I'm also more willing to obligate myself / not back out of obligations.
Adulthood [allie brosh]

16 pound newborn clearly sign of apocalypse
  My womb hurts, guys.

Babies being abandoned in African desert as families flee to refugee camps  Drought is no joke.

Two more species of tuna added to extreme risk list; Bluefin species collapses

No more penis for you

Snail does not GAF if you eat him.

New gonorrhea strain facile mutator, difficult to eradicate

'Lost' Michelangelo painting found hanging in Oxford  Can we also talk about why a UK uni can afford to go to Sotheby's and bid on art for a residence hall, and SJSU can't afford to admit students to a major? :[

First war crimes trial against a leader of the LRA begins What, what are you talking about those 53 kids left their homes and started murdering people on their own.  Not me.  Def not me.

GHOST OWL  okay, maybe not actually a GHOST OWL.  But that definitely would have been my assumption, especially if I wasn't at home when it happened.  "Oh, okay.  My house is haunted by owls, now."

It's rediscovered-Masterwork-painting day, guys  This one by da Vinci

Justin Timberlake has taken internet trolling to the streets  'You need to do this for your country'?  orly?

DNA of bin Laden family was obtained through fake vaccine program

Moving daaayyyyy it is soclose.  Still going through my stuff and throwing out/donating as much as I can.  Today I filled the entire back seat of the car with clothes (we're talking stuffed full, road hazard type of filled) and books and took them to donation stations (Goodwill and Santa Clara Bookcycle, respectively), and then came back and re-filled it with books (not so full, this time, but still probably about $300 worth of books, all told).  I still have about 15 full-size boxes worth of books, and so when they are split between enough boxes to make them manageable to lift and carry, it turns into like 45 boxes. >.>
Mom has come twice to help me pack and has actually been tremendously helpful both times.  She is one of the only people that I have allowed to see the house I live in right now, so she's been instrumental in doing the things that require two people, like dismantling the bed and carrying bookcases downstairs to the 'staging' area where I am planning my escape.
The actual logistics of Saturday/Sunday still scare me, since I'm working Friday-Saturday-Sunday.  I got someone to cover the last 8 hours of my shift on Sunday, so I can be back here by noon to get things going with Will.  I guess I will pack up this computer on Friday night and put it in the 'too precious to go in the back of a truck' pile (with, for the curious: my harp, my kitchenaid, my cat, and my Ultimate Sandman collection.  Priorities, I haz them).
Clementine still not so sure about this packing process, but at least she has stopped having the anxiety-vomits, since I have been home for the last 4 days pretty much continually, she hopefully no longer feels the threat of imminent abandonment looming larger with each sealed box.

One of my friends and coworkers died last week.  The service was yesterday.  Very Catholic, very impersonal, very sad.  The circumstances of her death were such that I was able to have a conversation with my mother, after the service, about making a safety plan for herself so that my father doesn't in fact kill her.  She is suddenly 500% more amenable to this, which I appreciate.  It's just such a thing that I don't want to be a part of my story.

Tomorrow I get to pick up Travis from the airport!  I have missed him.

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December 2012



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