Friday, September 29, 2006

A Scar is Born

<-- me in the ER being prepped for the OR

This week has proven to be a bit tumultuous. It was going to be filled with school, school, observations, and more school, but instead featured a trip to the Urgent Care Center, blood tests, a trip to the ER, more blood tests, an ultrasound, my first ever trip to the OR, my first ever general anesthesia, and one emergency appendectomy! That's sort of the basics. Now you may be asking, "How did it happen?" Well, I had a gross stomach from the time I woke up on Tuesday morning. I left the elementary school (where I was supposed to be doing observations all day) at 10:00am. None of the "traditional" stomach remedies (i.e.: Pepto, Sprite, Rolaids, bland foods, etc.) would help, so by the afternoon, the above mentioned activities were set into action. Being the dorky student I am, however, I did leave University Health Services' Urgent Care center for about 30 minutes while they were running my blood tests to do a presentation in my Tuesday evening class. That's what you call devotion (or, just stupidity). Brian came and picked me up from UHS and drove me over to St. David's.

the offending appendage -->

Once we were actually in a room, it became the most efficient ER experience of my life. I got into a room around 8:30pm, and was being wheeled into the OR by 10:10pm. Everyone was really nice and young and professional. I'd highly recommend St. David's for all of your appendix-removal needs.

It was laparoscopic surgery, so I only have 3 small incisions across my abdomen (unlike in Luwig Bemelmans' beloved childhood classic tale Madeline). Mom drove in from Clyde and arrived just shortly before I got out of the recovery room. We had a hospital sleepover, all cozy in my room on the heart floor (I was an overflow and was pretty much the only patient on the floor under age 80-- one of the nurses stopped me while Mom & I were walking the hall on Wednesday and told me how nice it was to have young, spry patients such as myself on that floor).
<-- This basically sums up the week.

Mom camped out here in Austin until Thursday afternoon (as she, sadly, had to go home to teach on Friday). Many thanks to Mom, Brian, Janelle, and the fabulous nurses & doctors at St. David's for taking good care of me, and to the many others who keep calling to check up on me. I'm feeling much better now, and will likely be back on a "normal" schedule after the weekend.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Temporary Blog Relocation

The L.* & T.** of m.j.p. will be temporarily down while its author is on location in Taipei, Taiwan.

For updates and musings on her adventures there, please re-direct yourself to the Taiwan blog.

Xie-xie ni.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Lappy's Crappy Attitude

Hello, loyal fans and patrons of the L.* & T.** of m.j.p.

Please pardon my recent absence from the blog scene. SOMEONE (who shall remain nameless, though his initials are D.E.L.L.) came back from technology camp with quite the attitude.

We've been going round and round since his return-- he was lazy and extremely slow moving, but he wouldn't sleep (literally, he would stay awake for hours on end whether or not he was plugged in until I would have to shut him down)! He was making everything so difficult that I didn't even WANT to spend time on-line with him. I don't know what sort of hoodlums he spent his week at Camp Dell with, or what sort of herbal supplements they got into, but he came back a different computer-- like he was trying to reject his motherboard all together.

Last night we had to have an intervention. It got to the point where I had to say, "If you don't straighten up soon, young man, I will format you and reload your operating system faster that you can even THINK!" After some time spent in the care of one who is well trained in the re-direction of misguided youth ("Mitsi, there's not really anything WRONG with Lappy, but we'll see if we can't get some of his memory back.") he is acting much better and healthier. You've just got to be firm as a technology parent-- it's not easy raising computers these days.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Net Flix Fix

Hi, my name is Mitsi, and I'm an addict.

I'm addicted to the internet.

For real.

This realization was made complete today (day 4 without my laptop... ok maybe it's just 3 1/2, but I'm rounding up), after a generous friend* allowed me uninterrrupted internet usage at my leisure. The suspicion was already there (see previous post regarding my reluctance to send off my in-need-of-repair Lappy McLaptop) that I would have some separation anxiety. Sure enough, approximately 30 minutes after packing it up for "camp" last week, I had a mental list of all the millions of things I needed to do on-line: checking my e-mail, looking up the distance from my house to my grandparents', getting the details on the Dr. Pepper Birthday Party in Dublin; you know, basic things crucial to the continued spinning of the globe under my feet.

Thusly, I made an "internet to-do list" so I wouldn't forget to be sure to check Murphy's mySpace and other essential tasks (such as locating Ross Stores near my home and finding the perfect travel purse). Those things have been accomplished in my brief internet interludes over the past couple of days. However, it wasn't until spending 1 1/2 or so today on-line doing things of minimal importance that I felt better. I literarly got my internet fix today.

The signs of my addiction have been there all along... for years even. I take my computer to class daily. Every time I travel, the computer goes along. When I was at Jenny's, I spent time every night on-line before going to sleep. One of my main concerns about Taiwan was the availability/easy accessibility of wireless. A friend and I went out for drinks the other day, and I requested that she please bring her laptop along.

Maybe I have a problem. I'm sort of ok with that. Furthermore, if you're spending your precious time here reading about my problem, you are likely suffering from a similar affliction. When and if you're ready to deal with it is up to you.

*The author is most grateful to this same friend who has ever-so-generously allowed her to borrow his laptop while hers is away. May you be blessed to the highest of bandwidths and may your screen never go dim!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Technology Camp

Ah yes- Technology Camp. The words bring tears of joy to the hearts of most little dorky kids like me.* However, this summer's technology camp is a different sort, more of the heartbreaking variety. Indeed, for the next 10 to 15 business days, my technology is going away to camp.

It started with Lil' Blanco (my iPod), who began giving me sad iPod face:

45 minutes into my long-ass 7 hour haul from Austin to Lubbock last Friday. Even the singing of the
"Growing Pains" theme song served as no source of comfort to Lil' Blanco in his time of crisis. Fortunately, there are 5 days remaining in his window of warranty. His box (via FedEx) should be arriving soon to take him off to exotic New Jersey where he'll spend the next two weeks and come back completely brainwashed (ie: sans music).

The second little big issue has been brewing since before Christmas, but I was hesitant to do anything about it because I knew what it would mean-- living WITHOUT MY LAPTOP for some duration of time. Finally, today, I could take it no more. See, there's some sort of problem where the AC adapter has to be plugged in to the AC power port at exactly the right angle in order for the computer to operate on AC power and also to charge the battery. Apparently that little glitch indicates the need for some internal re-circuitry. Lappy McLaptop (who has no actual name, unlike Lil' B), will be going to Camp Dell (location undisclosed) for the next week to receive a new
motherboard. The hardward support man assured me that DHL would take excellent care of him on his way to and from camp and that he'd be all new and refreshed upon his return. I'll always have his memory (literally, I have to take out the hard drive before sending it away).

I guess that everyone has to let go a little bit at some point. If you live anywhere near me, though, be prepared because there's a good chance I'll be popping in to check my e-mail, hear some tunes, and maybe blog a little while the kids electronics are away.

* The author never actually has been to a technology camp, nor is she sure if such things actually exist, although she's positive that somewhere there is a grey, windowless room filled with little kids with big glasses who spend their summers writing code 'til all hours of the night. There are no arts and crafts at technology camp, but internet dating is huge.

Monday, May 29, 2006

While the cat's away...

As you likely know (if you've talked to me at all since last September) I work part-time at a store belonging to a rather well-known and widespread chain that contributes to the well-being of society through massive caffeine consumption (in addition to other principles). I really quite enjoy my job there, although lately I may have become somewhat extremely bitter, which isn't a thing one should be when simply pouring coffee is at the center of one's required duties.

Nevertheless, I ADORE the people with whom I work (for the most part), and truly enjoy getting to spend time with them. It's a lot of fun. We sing and dance and laugh and talk to customers and make drinks and occasionally clean the drains (or do some other not-as-fun tasks).

The other morning during a slow part of our day we were engaged in enjoying our time at work (aka: playing around). Somehow, the practice of holding up signs in front of the security cameras to be read by the person(s) in the back room was begun. It was funny. Really funny. However, signs didn't seem to be cutting it, and-- having seen MI3 a day or two prior-- I thought it would be hilarious to draw pictures to put in front of the security camera. In retrospect, this may not have been my most shining moment of ingenuity (hmmm... they are SECURITY cameras after all... they are being VIDEOTAPED... they are there to document any sort of HIJINKS that might occur in the store), but it was really early and I had little sleep in me from the night before. Entertainment value was premium in the moment.

I drew a picture. We came up with a way to rig it so that it would be visible in the camera. We checked it out on the security screens in the back. We modified the plan so that the drawing would appear less blurry. We decided the picture should be bigger. I drew a new picture, we re-modified the attachment apparatus, attached it to the camera, looked at it, laughed, noticed that there were still some problems (the bigger picture and longer support device were dropping below the view of the camera). However, before there was an opportunity to troubleshoot for maximum silly picture viewing potential, the store started to get busy and we were pulled to other tasks. The illustration and assorted sundry items keeping it attached to the camera (stir sticks, stickers) were left in place, but they were far from our minds.

That was until our manager came in.

He seemed to sneak in-- although he came straight to the register-- noticed the appendage to the security camera, had us remove it, looked at it in disgust without saying a word before carrying it and his beverage to the back. We were mortified. Goofing around is fun, until you get caught. Then it sucks.

The picture was pretty hilarious, though, although now I'm not sure exactly why. Why is it more fun to look at an image of something through a camera than in person? Maybe it's not, but it sure was funny that morning. I snatched the contraband sketch off the back desk before leaving and scanned it so that you can make your own judgment call- it's still pretty great to me. Oh, and we didn't actually get in real trouble. Not yet, anyway.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Mild Superlative

I have recently come to discover the beauty of the usage of mild superlatives. Yes, mild superlatives. Let me explain. I was recently talking with a friend on the phone [wonder of wonders] about plans to get together to work on papers and/or get some food in the process. She made the statement, "I AM a little bit starving," which gave me pause and planted the seed of the concept of the mild superlative.

A mild superlative is simply that-- taking an extreme situation and watering it down. For example:
I'm a bit exhausted.
I kind of love it.
It's slightly miraculous.
He's moderately gorgeous.

I called my friend out on her comment and we discussed the topic a bit more in depth, along with the sociolinguistic notion that gender might have some effect on the usage and emission of such devices.

Really though, I think the concept, the product, and catching people using mild superlatives in real life is a little bit hilarious.