Thursday, November 30, 2006

MRI saga

today I had my MRI. A number of things went wrong.

The exit I was supposed to take was under construction and closed. The exit the signs said to take were not marked with detour signs after exiting. I finally figured it out, but I was about 15 minutes late.

Signing in and filling out paperwork was easy. But then they told me to take out my earrings. I had managed to get out 7 of my earrings, but I couldn't get out the one right next to my head in my lobe and my cartilage. The nurse helped me get out the ones in my lobes but we couldn't figure out how to get the other ones out. The doctor told me to come back at 8:00pm tonight after I had gotten them out. I went out to my car and was about to leave when the nurse came running out telling me they had found wire cutters. So she cut out my other pair of earrings. I feel so naked without my earrings, they have never been out. I then went back out to my car to leave and the nurse came running out again. She commented that she needed to lose weight. I hope she did because she was so nice. The person who was supposed to go after me hadn't shown up yet, so they would do me then.

For the MRI they put they put this cage thing over my head. I felt like Hannibal Lector. You're not supposed to move at all. It was like some weird science fiction ride at Busch gardens or something. They give you ear plugs too. The machine made some of the weirdest noises I've ever heard. And it vibrated a lot too. I just tried to pretend on was on a ride to keep from moving. Finally it was finished, only it wasn't. They had to insert some liquid into my veins and then do the whole thing all over again. But it wasn't that bad and I didn't cough at all. I have been coughing all afternoon though. I hope it doesn't last long.

Monday, November 27, 2006

It's all good

My finger is recovering nicely. At first we thought the dangling flap of skin would fall off (it's about the size of a tic tac) but now it looks like it has re-adhered itself. It still hurts if I touch it too hard, but for the most part, it is usable.

We had the kids for thanksgiving and we had ham. No one likes turkey enough for me to have 17lbs of left-overs. So now I only have 7lbs of left-over ham. I made photo-albums for the kids and they really liked them. They wanted to know why there were only two pictures of me. That would be because I'm the one taking all the pictures. But it made me happy that they wanted more pictures of me. They also promised to come visit me when Wes is gone. His ex is cool and said I could come visit them any weekend I wanted and stay there. I'll also get to have them here. I get them for Christmas too and my parents are very excited that there will be kids for Christmas. I'm excited too, although nervous about flying with kids, especially since they're not mine and we have different last names.

Allison also asked for a little sister. Apparently she had asked her mom and her mom told her she was old (she's 4 or 5 years older than me) and to ask me. Thanks. Even though I'm not in school anymore I still haven't been bit by the kid bug. We'll discuss it when Wes gets back.

Now, I don't know what I'm going to do. I guess I'll start with some serious cleaning and organizing. And relaxing and reading. I'm fighting a cold too, causing me to break out the vitamin C. I'm getting together with a friend tomorrow for dinner and a movie. Right now, all things considered, it's all good.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Do Not Try This At Home

or anywhere else either.

This would be the incorrect way to use a food processor. No, I did not put my finger in it when it was on. Regardless of how stupid my advisor thinks I am, I'm not that dumb. But, I did reach in there to remove a piece of jammed onion without removing the blade first. That was pretty stupid. And painful. And I'm really impressed with how well I type without my right index finger.

Quick update. The kids are here for the week: so far, so good. Wes will be gone by the end of the month. I had my neurologist appointment. He thinks I'm just having migraines from stress (stress, what stress) and gave me samples of an anti-depressant/anxiety drug. I can't wait until they kick in. I'm also having an MRI next week, just to make sure there's not anything else wrong. No one has called about a job yet, but that's ok. I finished a Smithsonian magazine. It was from April 2004 so I'm farther behind than I thought.

Thanks to everyone for the e-mails and calls of support. It's meant a lot to me to know that so many people care about me and don't think I'm stupid or a quitter. I have been thinking about my next move, but my husband (probably wisely) suggested I just enjoy this time for awhile before thinking about going back to school (yes, I can't stay away).

I truly have much to be thankful for. I hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Just guess

Guess whose husband is leaving next week and will be gone for six months?
I know this one!!! That would be MY husband!!!
Guess who is no longer a UW doctoral student?
Guess who has to get up at 5:00am on Friday to get a Will made, in case her husband is killed while he's gone for six months?
Guess who is going to the neurologist next week to find out why she's having headaches in which the left side of her face goes numb, she loses vision in her left eye, and sometimes it feels like there's railroad stakes going through her left eye through the back of her head (like right now)?
I know this one too!!! It's me!!!
Guess who, at age 32, just got kick dropped by a bitch of an advisor and now, after 12 years in college, doesn't know what she's going to do with her life?
That one's easy! It's me again!!!

Wasn't that a fun game!!! Only it's not a game; it's my life.
I'm trying to stay positive about all of this, but it's really hard sometimes. It's hard to know that within the last 10 months I've gotten married, moved across the country, become a step-mom, lost my life dream and now my husband's leaving for six months and the only two people I consider friends in VA are also leaving. All my friends have been very great and supportive throughout this whole ordeal that has become my life. I'm very thankful for that and for my friends. But in some ways, this is still something I have to do by myself.

Things I can now do that I never had time to do when in graduate school:
Catch up on my Smithsonian subscription. I am currently 2 years behind in my magazine reading. Now I know that "normal" people would just throw them out, but the fact that I spent 12 years in college should have already proven that I am not normal.
Read lots and lots of novels. And not feel guilty about it.
Strangely, I want to read history books. But not about Russia. I know very little about the rest of the world. I think I'll just start checking out general history books at the library. I think that would be fun.
I can cook!!! If you have read this blog for any amount of time you know that I often complain about not having time to cook. I now have time to cook.
Learn more about finance. My husband is really interested in stock, options, and futures. I should learn about them to keep him from losing all our money (just kidding. He wouldn't lose ALL of it).
I would love to learn more about bird watching and photography. I know this area has clubs for both and with my free time (since my husband will be gone) maybe I can do that and meet people.
Try to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I sent out two job applications yesterday. They were for community colleges. Today I think I am going to look into substitute teaching at highschools. I think teaching highschool (not subbing, but being a teacher) might actually pay more and offer more benefits than community colleges. And who knows, maybe I'll really enjoy it.
Spend more time with my plants and learn about them. I'm not even sure what some of them are.
Learn to play piano again.
I guess this list is long enough for now.

Today I have a ton of stuff to do and I don't want to do any of it. I really just want to crawl back into bed and sleep all day. But, this is the last day my husband works before he leaves, and I'm putting together a photo album for him from the kids. I guess I should do that today, because I really don't think he knows. I'm also making ones for the kids. And the house is a mess. Sometimes, it doesn't really matter though. Hope everyone has more direction than I do.

Friday, November 10, 2006

As promised

Pictures of Washington DC

These are the flowers that Wes ordered for me.

You should know what this is.

The only picture of us together.

The view from our hotel room.

This was one of the cool flowers at the botanical gardens.

I'll post more later.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The interruption of my life schedule

I finally spoke to my advisor today. After telling me for 30 minutes that I can't write, she basically told me to quit. She tried putting a nice spin on it: "Stacy, you're such a good teacher and positions at the Ph.D level are so competitive anyway that you'll probably end of teaching someplace you don't need a Ph.D." Yes, I'm upset that she thinks it will take forever for me to write a dissertation. Yes, I'm upset that she thinks my dissertation will not be good enough to get a job at a "real" university or college. But, part of being a "grown up" (which I became when I re-married and gained step-children) is figuring out when things just aren't going to work out the way you want them to and letting go gracefully. I'm not saying that I'm just going to quit; I'm saying I really do need to think about the situation. It's not just me anymore. I can put "life" on hold for myself and it doesn't hurt anyone. Putting "life" on hold for my family is a different story. We want more kids and a house and while I'm playing student those things aren't really attainable. And I'm tired of being a student. I'm tired of feeling like life is passing me by. I'm tired of being tired all the time and of having constant headaches. I want to read a book for fun. I want to relearn how to play the piano. I want to become more active in my community. I want to learn about more than just Russian history and right now I don't feel like I have time for any of it. I'm not saying I wouldn't ever consider going back for my Ph.D. I'm just saying that maybe right now it's not the right time. Maybe it's time for something completely different that I never planned for.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Stupid computer

I have a ton of pictures, but for some reason, my computer refuses to accept them from my camera (like they're a crappy gift or something). So I'll just write about the parts of the weekend I don't have pictures for and then post the pictures after my husband fixes this for me.

We had a wonderful weekend. We travel very well together and have very similar interests (except for him dragging me to the postal museum because he collects stamps and they had on display the only two known stamps of this one printing. And that museum was way far away and we walked it after walking all day. We pretty much limped to the hotel after that). We also managed to get to a ton of stuff. And somehow, we only managed to get one picture of us together the entire weekend. We even dressed up to go to the Kennedy Center and we didn't get a picture of that. We're pathetic.

On Friday we started with the Holocaust museum because we knew it would be depressing and we didn't want to end with it. Wes really doesn't know that much about the Holocaust (only what they taught in highschool) so he found it very interesting and very sad. We then went to the Freer museum which was Asian art. After that, the Natural History museum to see the Hope Diamond (and other jewelry that Wes promises to buy me) and the insect exhibit. After that, we walked all the way to the postal museum. And then back. We then enjoyed a very good meal with a bottle of wine and dessert. Hey, we were on vacation and we walked a lot.

Saturday we slept in a bit. Then we went to the Smithsonian sculpture garden where we took a ton of pictures (and got the only one of us). Then we went to the US National Art Gallery (or something like that) and went through their sculpture garden. The Smithsonian's was better. We went to the Art Gallery and walked through more than half a wing and got tired (and hungry). After we ate we went to the Botanical Garden (where we took a ton more pictures). The Botanical garden was really cool, but they didn't have a gift shop or anything, which was a bit weird.

That night we went to the Kennedy Center. Wes and I met in highschool band, so we both enjoy classical music. We saw the National Symphony Orchestra, directed by Leonard Slatkin. They played two short works (Wagner and Bruch) and two longer works (Mozart and Beethoven). We splurged and bought expensive tickets so we were in row K, dead center. There were three rows of "box" seats on the stage, directly facing the audience. I commented that I wouldn't want those seats because 1) the sound would be distorted, 2) everyone could watch you. After the first three works was intermission. It was freezing in the concert hall, so I thought it a bit strange that the woman sitting dead center, first row in the "box" seats on the stage had removed her jacket and was wearing a sleeveless shirt and was still fanning herself with her program. The final performance was Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 in D major. There were four movements played. During the third movement, the woman's companions began fanning her vigorously as she began slumping in her seat. Finally, they tried to get her out, but she was in the front row (directly over the stage with a very short "wall,") and she looked like she had passed out, so this was difficult. During this time the break between the third and the final movement occurred and the director waited for these people to leave. After several minutes, he turned to the audience and asked "Is there a doctor in the house?" When the audience began to laugh he said "no, seriously, I think that lady needs a doctor." About 10 minutes later the movement was finished and as we were leaving an ambulance pulled up. We never found out what was wrong with her.

Sunday we visited the Smithsonian modern art museum and part of the Air and Space museum (most notably the food court and the gift shop). Then we went home. All in all, a much-needed wonderful weekend. As of now, I still have not heard from my advisor, which is starting to worry me. I'm trying not to think about it while cleaning my house and preparing my grant application. I'll post pictures as soon as the computer is fixed. Hope you all had as good a weekend as I did.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Happy, happy, joy, joy

No, I haven't heard from my advisor yet (actually, I haven't checked my e-mail yet because I didn't want to ruin my good mood yet). But, my husband came home yesterday, 10 days early. And. . . he has a three day weekend!!! We're going to Washington DC!!! I just booked the hotel (right on the river, less than 2 blocks from the Smithsonian). I'm just so excited I can't sit still. I'm going to go shopping for a dress to have dinner in (no, I actually don't own any non-summery nice dresses). I have only been to DC once in my life, and I was 15 years old. I can't wait! I'm excited! Even if I get bad comments back from my advisor, I don't really care right now.