6.2.15

is it caturday yet?

Exhausted, weary, spent, and dare I say dog-tired. That is me after this week. I'm about five minutes away from crawling in bed and passing out.... and it's 8:00 on a Friday night. I don't even care.

It has been quite the eventful week around these parts. Early in the week my dearest, darling, old man cat decided to give me a scare. I'll spare you the boring details, but needless to say we ended up at the VMTH emergency service at about 11:30 at night all to find out whatever was going on had quickly passed and he was fine. I often wonder if parents have that fleeting moment of "I'm going to murder you as soon as we get home" whenever something like this occurs with their children. I'm not gonna lie, it crossed my mind as I forked over my debit card and paid for an hour's worth of exams and questions leading to unremarkable findings. But it was quickly replaced by joy and getting to spend a little more time with this guy. And for that, I am grateful! 

After no sleep that night, I just haven't been able to catch up! Yesterday was one of my clinical rotation days, which are usually exciting and scary all at the same time. I followed a fourth year student around the hospital in small animal medicine all day long. And I mean alllll daaaayyy lonnnnng. About 13.5 hours long. I literally do not know how those students do it. And then I realize that I'm going to be one of those students in just 3 short years and have to go cry in a corner for a minute to calm down. Combine that knowledge and panic with the fact that I'm nearing the end of my musculoskeletal block, which means a written and practical exam are looming on the horizon. Which of course means I have found every method available to avoid finishing my lectures notes to begin reviewing. I've cleaned the kitchen, my bathroom, organized my desk, cleaned off my computer, and I'm about tempted to organize a jar of buttons I have by color and size. Seriously. It doesn't help that today's anatomy lab went horrifically as my team and I tried to locate the blood vessels in the pelvic limb. An hour in I was ready to set my scalpel down and walk out. Which I obviously didn't but still, there's nothing like ending a long week on a frustrating note to just set a bad tone. It also piles up to make you freak out and wonder if you're cut out for this crazy wonderful life that is veterinary school.

But, now that I've showered, cuddled with my furkid and eaten ice cream, the panic has receded (although not about those lectures, that's a must do soon task), and the self doubt has wandered back into my brain for now. It also helps that tomorrow I'm going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium (for free!) which I have never been to even though I've lived in California most of my life and I'm going with the wildlife club at the vet school so we get to see all the behind the scenes stuff!

So now it's time to watch some netflix, get some more kitty snuggles in and sleep away today's worries.

4.2.15

look who's back. back again.

See? Still alive.
A three and a half year hiatus, not too shabby.

But I'm back. Well, sort of anyways.

I can't guarantee I'll post always, often, frequently, occasionally or even sometimes. Let's agree to sporadically.

What has happened in the past three and a half years you ask? So much, and yet sometimes it feels like nothing at all. So where to begin....

I finished my masters degree on time (hard to believe I know) but decided to stay in Texas for an extra year (yes yes, I am a total glutton for punishment) and work. Why you may ask? Good question. Because I was lucky enough to get hired as a veterinary technician before graduating and decided to forgo pursuing the PhD prospects I had already put out into the ether and dive into finally applying to veterinary school like the younger, brighter, version of myself had once planned to do. So I stayed and I worked. First for a veterinary hospital.......

*side note: this hospital saved my cat's life when he decided to stop eating while I went home for christmas that year and then miraculously decided they liked me enough to hire me and teach me SO much amazing knowledge.*

..... then for a low cost spay neuter organization.

 *side note: again, these people were amazing and gave me such valuable experience*

During that time I bit the bullet, applied to veterinary school, went to a couple interviews and by some miracle of miracles made it to one of the best veterinary schools in the world. Which also meant getting to come home to California. And somewhere in there my manuscript from my thesis work got published. Phew!

Vet school life is rough
And now I'm a full fledge first year veterinary student! I have never studied so much or learned so much so fast as I have in the past 6 months. It has been a whirlwind. Besides all the hard work, long days, and bemoaning about normal school woes, I have gotten to do some of the coolest things since being here. Today, I drew blood from a sheep on my first try. That, my friends, is pretty cool. Tomorrow, I get to shadow in the hospital and learn all about being on a small animal medicine rotation. I am doing things and learning things that I never would have thought possible, and I am utterly astounded. I spend my days in a place that houses some of the most brilliant clinicians, researchers, instructors and specialists in the world, all people who have more initials behind their name than frankly should be humanly possible. It's sometimes terrifying but always bewildering, humbling and exciting. It's also pretty wonderful having these people at your fingertips when you
have an almost 15 year old cat who has a chronic illness that you're constantly trying to adjust your management of and often need medical and nutritional support. Ah-mah-zing.

Studying for daaaaaayyys
Now that I'm back in California, I get to spend more time with the family, and I'm not going to complain about that, not even a little bit. I had my first Thanksgiving with them in three years. This year I'll get to celebrate my nephew's birthday with him. My heart is full. I know that as I progress through this program I won't get to go home and see them as much as I would like, but having the option is enough in my book. Of course moving meant leaving people I adore behind in Texas and beyond, and I do miss them terribly. But it also meant getting to meet so many new wonderful people here. And also not so wonderful people, thought I got to leave some of them behind too. I guess it all balances out. That's life.

Thanksgiving!
I also just accepted two position at the school, yay employment! I have the pleasure of working as a barn nurse in our livestock barn at the hospital and in the hospital pharmacy. So bring me my calendar and some coffee because my life is about to get busy and scheduled down to the second. And I love it! It's not all work though, there are a lot of opportunities to do fun stuff outside of school and work. Like getting to go to Monterey Bay Aquarium this weekend, for free, and behind the scenes! Or getting to do a high ropes course at the beginning of the school year.

That's about it. Sure there's more happy stories and blood and gore somewhere in those missing years, but frankly I'm tired and have to get up ridiculously early so let's just leave it at that shall we? Here's to a crazy four years (and beyond) and since so many people have asked, I'm going to try to keep this as up to date as things allow.

Go Aggies!

22.9.11

quick, dirty and boring.

I'm still alive and kicking, just incredibly busy. Who knew grad school meant you had no time? Hmm.

I basically live on campus between my own classes, teaching labs, office hours and doing my own research. And, FYI, I'm finally getting a decent amount of awesome cell growth, it only took 3 months to get 6 total kick ass culture flasks, some mediocre ones, and then a slough of crappy ones. But hey, that's science right? However, because it's taken so long, I watch over those babies like a hawk. You know how a lioness protects her cubs at the cost of her life? Forget that, I'll protect them at the cost of your life because if anyone jacks with them I fear I will not be able to control my inner beast! Rawr.

When I'm not holed up in this building....never seeing the light of day....I'm actually hanging out with other grads and co-workers, which is pretty spectacular. There are some awesome kids here and that makes the pain a little easier to deal with, as does the beer. Beer, in a dry country, what? Let's hear it for some loophole allowing bars and restaurants to serve booze.

A few weeks ago I flew home for a whirlwind trip to LA and Disneyland to run the half marathon again. We finished, 10 minutes faster than last year amazingly enough, but my god was it bloody painful. That's what happens when you move several months before a major run and have zero time to train. But it was great to see the fam, especially that ADORABLE and chubby nephew of mine. He's absolutely gorgeous!

Things haven't changed much as far as everyday life goes. I still maim myself frequently, I was sporting a bruised goose egg on my arm for a week or so from running into the lab door. I now have the marks of a molecular biologist: bruises on the undersides of my forearms from working in my culture hood. Schveet.

The temperature has dropped a bit, so I don't feel quite like I'm living on the surface of the sun still, which is fantastic. I can actually go outside and enjoy it!

That's bout it, boring I know, but unless you want all the nitty gritty details on cell culturing, that's all I've got folks! Time to go study for my first round of exams, joy.

7.8.11

this has to make me like a black belt in bad ass or something.

What makes a good day go bad fast? When you set your washing machine to do a quick load, run an errand and come back to find that the water is still sitting in the tub.

Seethe.

Weep.

Then get pissed. I pulled out the tools, ripped the back of the machine off, read the technical papers, googled the shit out of the problem, cuss, sweat, cuss some more, finally think that maybe it's something simple and not a grand technical issue that's going to require you to hand bail out the water in the tub and wring out the clothes before throwing in the still functioning dryer, and take a screw driver and JAM it in the spot where the lid switch is....

and the machine springs to life and spins.

Really?

REALLY?!

So what does one do to avoid having someone come in and dismantle the beast to replace a freaking plastic thing that's no longer poking down far enough?

Well this chick learned from MacGyver, took a waxing stick (think popsicle stick), snapped it off and tapped it to the plastic thing that's supposed to activate the switch.

And guess what?



It bloody works.

Can I get my belt now? I really need to go serve up some ninja justice.

i think i'd make a pretty hot alien.

I think I moved to the surface of the sun. And because of the non-stop triple digit heats plus humidity, my life outside of work has been decidedly dull as the thought of going outside induces my sweat glands to enlarge in preparation, it's just not worth it.

For example, I had to run a shite-ton of errands yesterday, so I get into my boiling hot car, crank the A/C, which takes until I get several miles down the road to blow even  modestly cool air thanks to how hot it is, park a mile away at the mall on a Saturday (kill. me. now) and then zip through as fast as I can through all the teeny boppers and families to get what I need and get the hell out. But that ALSO makes you hot and sweaty. It's like a bloody catch-22. At least I was able to do a sweet photo bomb with this group of adults, but I blame them for taking a candid photo...in the mall.

I've also been working just about 7 days a week, but it's not so bad. It's nice and cool in the lab :) The project I'm working on basically requires constant monitoring, so I have to go in almost everyday to at least check on my cell cultures so they don't die. Dead cells = one pissed off grad student.

Despite the heat I have been getting mighty crafty lately. I think I'm trying to get it all out of my system before it gets crazy busy in a few weeks. I made this sweet little wall decor/craft supply holder deal a couple weeks ago.


It's not 100% done, but I like it!

And that's all folks. I'm hot. I've been working. And having some fun here and there. Heimy is still a lazy crabby cat. So basically life is normal. Of course, my co-workers and I? Not so much.

14.7.11

quite frankly, it might be more enjoyable to google maru, the box loving cat.

The following is a collection of random posts that were started and never finished. I'd say it's my gift to you but it'd be a pretty shitty gift. ....


..............


It’s official.

I’m either developing some weird case of narcolepsy or this air mattress is going to be the death of me. It seems like no matter how much sleep I get, I’m still tired. I passed out on my living room floor after working at the lab yesterday for almost 2 hours and really could have just gone to bed except it was still exceptionally light outside considering it wasn’t even 6:00 pm.

So unless there is some weird atmospheric pollutant making me tired all the time, I’m blaming the air mattress and the apparent lack of quality sleep.

But if you see me passed out in my soup, help a sister out.

...........

Texans are like Californians, except with bigger guns and slowly spoken insults. 

...........

I have the best job ever now. Of course I may not be saying that come October when I'm eyeball deep in cell cultures, paper grading and classes, but right now? It's pretty much the shit. 

In the past 2 weeks I have had the weirdest and most hilarious conversations of my entire life with my lab mates. No topic is left untouched. None.

Now, if I can keep the sticky fingers from stealing my pens and supplies, life would be swell.

And if I didn't sweat every time I even thought about going outside, life would be splendid.

...........

What do you get when you put 1 PhD student, 2 masters students, 1 undergraduate and 1 high school student in a car with 4 snow cones and a crazy driver?

1 undergrad and 3 grad students covered in sticky spray.

...........

I think I'm living on the surface of the sun. Literally.

If it gets any hotter I won't have to worry about trying to lose weight, I'll just sweat it off.

But I'll need to invest in a year's supply of underwear.

Ew.

............

There you go, I told you. Shittacular gift.

You're welcome.

10.7.11

reason #23987 why moving is worse than riping fingernails off one by one with rusty pliers.

I have three words for you that should strike fear into your heart:

Coin. Operated. Laundry.

Who ever created the idea of having to have a billion and a half quarters just to wash your chonies and shirts and jeans because it's really freaking hot and humid where you (now) live so you have to change your clothes a lot because yes, you are the sweaty kid, should be tarred and feathered.

My stuff is still commuting towards me, which means I don't have my washer and dryer yet, and thus, had to conquer the coin operated laundry.  This adventure began by first having to go in search of where the nearest laundry room was. LOCATED! success. Then the dread hits....quarters. Need quarters. Need cash to get quarters. It's Sunday, so no just going into the bank.

Piling into the hot car, I locate an ATM and pull out some moola, having to pay of course because I haven't transferred all of my funds from my local bank and I didn't want to spend the time looking for one that wouldn't charge me. Flip a U, find a place to get a soda to make small bills. Success! Flip another U and head to the coin operated car wash to, you got it, use their change machine! and vacuum up the cat food and kitty litter that was left in my car from the trip East.

Finally loaded down with quarters I lugged my laundry down stairs and towards the laundry room. Here is where I feel I should mention that the temperature is over 100 and the humidity today? 58%. That laundry room was a hot sweaty beast.

All of that just for some clean underwear. 

I'd say I need a beer, but I'd have to drive out of county to get one and it's just too bloody hot.

Take that Coin Operated Laundry, I defeated yo ass!