Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Ham is now on the "ewwww" list of foods

I had class this past weekend and got to see all sorts of gooey things. We had a forensic entomologist team, a forensic odontologist and a cadaver dog demonstration. The entomologists were exactly how you would think of a bunch of people who love icky bugs. But man, they were entertaining and fun. They set up three mock crime scenes for us to work so that we could identify bugs and where they are at. The first was an indoor scene that they recently removed a body, the second was a skeletonized remains scenario outside. The third was a pig. Not a fake pig. A real pig. A real DEAD pig. Smelled wonderful...kinda reminded me of sunshine and rainbows. Really though, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and I could handle it completely. We collected maggots from the decomposing body and got to keep them in a little vial. Heh. My poor husband...wonder what other souvenirs I'll come home with.

But now, I've got somewhere in the neighborhood of well over 160 pages to read, and two papers to write. I'm an official CERT dropout now. I just emailed him this morning with all sorts of apologies. It's just that work just keeps piling it on. I can't do all the stuff now, so CERT has fallen to the wayside. Our structures are getting worse, not better and we added a work study that I have to train, also the website needs to be completed as our computer girl is now officially on her way to India. So, it's up to me to do that. Also, training the other lab members on how to run a program which I just learned last week. I was stressed out yesterday, but feel better today since I dropped out of CERT.

Been following the hurricane news and am so bummed that we never did get to New Orleans. I hope the damage isn't too bad in all the coastal regions and that the loss of life is a minimum. Just one more reason to not live in the coastal areas! Scary. Well, I'm going to go watch the news this morning and clean up my study area a bit, since I just passed out last night and left it scattered everywhere.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Gots a Full Mouth

Well...I believe I may have bitten off a tad more than I can chew. Months and months ago at a community watch meeting, I'd volunteered for a CERT program training session. This stands for Citizens Emergency Response Team and is where if there's a disaster (natural or otherwise) in your neighborhood, you can help "bridge the gap" between when it happens and when the professional emergency team can reach you and your neighbors. Turns out (of course) that it started about a month ago. Classes are every Tuesday from 6 to 9 pm. Well, I missed one week because of my boo-boo (some of you know that story...not to worry, I'm all better now--insert big fat smiley face here) and now I've missed tonight as well. I'm not a skipper. I attend every single class that I am physically able to attend. I rarely missed in school. I feel horrible about missing tonight, but work is my priority and we had a small emergency situation. Not a true "emergency" but we are under a lot of pressure since about a month ago, we found out that another team is trying to solve the structure we're in the process of solving. Well, the last couple of weeks our structure expert is taking some time off to study for a test which ultimately decides whether he stays in graduate school (and in this country!) so it's been up to me and me alone to try to refine the structure.

Well, this past week, I had to take a day to get all the software back on my computer at work (we upgraded to Windows XP-oh joy) and my boss went on a two-week vacation. So...also had to take a couple of days to train our new undergraduate researchers. So...also had to leave work early last week for a doctor's appointment. So...also have to miss work every other Friday to get to my graduate class. (Are you getting the picture yet?) Yesterday, our structure calculation program decided to not work anymore so I've spent the last two days trying to get the mother-humping thing to work. Still no juice. I was at work until 9 pm trying tonight. No dice, baby. Hopefully, my narrowing the problem down and at least identifying where it was at will help me figure it out tomorrow (insert multiple cuss words here). If not, I may go on a hammer rampage. Or just get really freakin drunk. Anyway, long frustrating day and now I can't sleep. Sigh. The life of the stress insomniac. If that isn't a diagnosis, dammit, it should be.

I'm off to try to get some sleep, but the whole point of this blog is that I think I'm going to become a CERT dropout. I just can't see it realistically fitting into my schedule right now. I still have three chapters to read for real school and I have to get a paper written by the 10th of Sept. which is creeping up on me. Oh, did I mention trying to plan my parent's anniversary party? Heh. Shit.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Yay!! I've got a kitchen!

Here's a few pics of the new kitchen that Paulie did a wonderful job on! It looks amazing compared to the old kitchen. I did a little pretty decorating stuff tonight, but we still have things to hang on the wall yet. All that's left is dealing with the moulding around the top and maybe some handles, although we're sorta edging away from handles. Pretty darn good for a rookie! I added the same before picture so you can all ohhhh and ahhhhh along with me! The man definately earned a cookie for getting everything done so fast. So, mom and dad...thanks for coming and visiting...it pushed him into doing something amazing!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Whoa...graduate school...who me?

Last week, we got the cabinets all mounted and Paul got the sink in and all the plumbing hooked up and a new disposal in so that was very exciting! Still haven't taken any pictures of the new kitchen yet, so apologize for that. Paul was his usual busy self over the time I was gone and got the new light fixture installed. It was a chain-pull, but we found a handy-dandy little wireless get up that allows us to install a switch. It works really well and I would definitely recommend it to anyone with a problematic chain you want to get rid of.

I started my graduate program this weekend. We had an orientation on Friday and all the instructors and assistants gave a little presentation and basically scared the bejesus out of us. This is going to be a lot of really hard work, but I'm confident I can do it. We give a presentation with a group at the end of every class and we investigate a "cold case" and we have to do our own research and know what to ask for in that research to answer the questions our instructor poses to us. Our case is a woman who was murdered in 1966 and is sometimes thought to be an early victim of the Zodiac Killer, one of the most famous unsolved serial killers in the US. He told investigators through letters that he'd killed 37 people, but there's only 7 that they definitively have attributed to him. So, I'll be getting immersed in his world for the next two years. I'm absolutely convinced without a shadow of a doubt that you can find whatever you need on the internet these days. Our group wanted to request the autopsy report from our instructor (who has a case file of some sort, but she won't tell us what she has in it) and lo and behold...I found one on the internet. Sheesh...how'd we ever do anything in the old days? We also have to do two internships, not one like I thought. We do a short two-week, full-time one in the summer coming up where we just do observations (um...of 6 autopsies and we go to one crime scene, yikes!) and then a much more involved one after classes are over. Then we basically write a thesis and give a dissertation defense. So...um, yeah, I thought this was NO thesis, scary! But it was so much fun on Saturday (actual first day of class). I already feel as though I've learned a ton of stuff, now I just have to get back in the habit of studying and all will be fine. Heh. I have about a ton of pages to read before next class and want to get started on writing a paper that's due on Sept. 10th and then I have a take-home test due on the 24th, so I'm now a bit overwhelmed! Bye-bye little bit of social life I once had. Ah well...all is good.

So, be prepared to be bored to tears with school crap for a while (two to three years to be exact) and everyone, please say a sympathy prayer for poor Paul, who belatedly realized he's in for it now! LOL!


Sunday, August 07, 2005

Blah, blah, blah

We're getting even closer on the kitchen. Yesterday, hubby and I mounted the last of the countertop and several days ago we got the sink in. We picked it up and checked it out and both of us were surprised at how big it looked. I don't think it's going to be a problem at all! It's 8 inches smaller than our old sink, but I just can't see it. Paul was so convinced it must not be the right sink, so in the middle of Lowe's he had to measure it. It is, in fact, 25" big. Just very deep. So, we plan on trying to get that done tonight, depending on when Paul gets home from work. It's been a challenge to find time to do this stuff as it takes two people to get 'er done. But hopefully, later on this evening, I will finally have my sink back! I'm so excited about that. I'm going to go do some running around today and try to find some organizers for the cabinets. I'm definitely going to try to get the most out of the space, so there's not one square inch that can't be used. I'm also going to get and put on some of those felt buttons so when we close the cabinets, it doesn't make such a loud banging noise.

Also, found out that I'm going to be taking over the webpage responsibilities at work. Which is a bit of a challenge since I know absolutely nothing about it. I'm learning though and have until around December until I have to officially take it over. HTML is somewhat complicated, but I'm getting the hang of it with a fabulous online tutorial. We use Microsoft FrontPage, so I'm sure that will be my biggest challenge since Microsoft is famous for making the simplest things way too complicated, ie look at Word with it's "automatic" formatting. I hate that program. I would use Appleworks all the time, but can't if it's something someone else may have to look at.

Here's a story for ya'll. So, I'm really sensitive to changing out laundry detergents. Pretty much allergic to almost anything brand-name. Well, on Fri. and Sat. I was feeling a little uncomfortable in my "nether" regions...ie, my ass. So asked Paul , kinda desperately, if he'd bought and used something different when doing the laundry. Turns out he did and when we looked at it, turns out the Target brand of fabric softener is, in fact, made to be like Bounce. Ugh. Fortunately, the only piece of clothing I was wearing that he had washed with it was underwear. Unfortunately, it WAS underwear, which sits right next to my skin. So, today I will be re-washing those clothes with my old fabric softener and Paul has learned a very valuable lesson about his poor wife's sensitive skin, lol.

My toad has moved on to greener pastures I guess. I haven't seen him in the onions for a few days, so hopefully, nothing bad happened to the little guy. I guess when I moved the pot around while he was in it, he probably felt like there was an earthquake. But I was spraying my tomato plants with a pesticide and didn't want any to get on him. I got the most environmentally friendly product Lowe's had available, but it's still harmful to fish. I'm glad that I'm doing container gardening, so none of the nasty chemicals will reach the earth's soil. I resisted doing that for as long as I could, but eventually just had to as these little buggers are eating away at my plants. I've got some tomatoes growing, but not as many as I would like, so I've been diligently feeding the plants yummy things that they need to produce. Speaking of, that needs to be done today, so add that to my list of things to get done.

Well, I think that's about all I can think of right now. I'll be sure to post some pics of the kitchen if we get something done tonight!


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Kitchen Update

We're getting really close with the kitchen. We now have the countertops on, but not yet mounted. But I'm attaching a picture so you can judge for yourself. I'm really pleasantly surprised with how nice this has turned out. Now I just need to get in there and start organizing like crazy. Oh yeah, and a kitchen sink would be nice. I'm starting to get sick of having to go to the bathroom to wash anything or get water for anything. Right now, the stove isn't hooked up, so we can't cook even if we wanted to. The sink should come in tomorrow and then I hope we'll be able to get it in and take care of it. Tonight, I think I'm going to go buy a faucet set for the sink as Paul has given me free rein over that one thing.

Paul wanted a kayak for his birthday and is right now on the lake enjoying himself and getting some exercise. I'm all for anything that will help keep him around longer, but I hope he sticks with it when the weather is nice. Otherwise, we'll have a great big kayak to sell, lol.

As for me, I'm getting really excited about starting school. I've got a week and a half until my first class and then I'll be able to see just what this is going to entail as far as time is concerned. That's my only worry, is that I'll not have enough time to keep working my 40+ hours a week and till do well in the program. Fortunately for me, my boss is very understanding and says that school will be my number one priority and I'll be able to modify my work to fit my school. I got my trusty old bookbag out and it was like seeing an old friend! That's how pathetic I am! But I must say, my mom bought me that bookbag after I'd complained that I'd gone through one every semester because I was buying cheap ones. We got it on clearance so it was only about $40 and I'll tell ya. That thing doesn't look a day old. There's absolutely no wear on it, even after lugging 50 lbs of books around for two years. The master's program luckily doesn't have a lot of really heavy books so that's helpful.

Preparations for the 40th anniversary party are in full swing, but it's sure sneaking up on me quickly. Just like school did. I can't believe they're finally going to be here in Oct. I really miss my parents once in a while and get awfully lonely around here since I have so few friends. That's probably a big component to my excitement over school. I get to go home every other weekend and see all my friends and family a lot more often. The downside is that I won't be seeing Paul as much, but I think we'll be okay. Well, I'd better get off to work!