Sunday, September 28, 2008

Odd Dream

I had this dream on Friday night after watching the presidential debate where I was riding a yellow school bus with Barack Obama and he was wearing a blue shirt and a tie. It wasn't just any tie though, it was a live snake that was bright blue and yellow. He kept smoothing it down like it was no big thing, and I kept freaking out because there was a snake that I was sure was poisonous tied around his neck. I was more scared for my well being than his.

I suppose screaming about the snake wasn't a really good way to go about having a calm snake that wouldn't bite me. Because it did. It totally bit me. I woke up shortly thereafter. It was a really weird dream.

I hope Barack never wears a blue shirt with a blue and yellow tie. That would scare the bejesus out of me.

End Blog.

New SNL Skit

Saturday Night Live has done it again. Just more proof as to why I love Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. (By the way, Baby Mama is out on DVD. It's pretty cute in a predictable kind of way. I still affirm it would have been better if Tina had written it herself.)

If you didn't see the interview with Katie Couric, you should probably watch it because it makes this even more hilarious. SNL did one on the presidential debate with Obama and McCain too, but it wasn't quite as funny.

End Blog.

PS, I love, despite its advertisements.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Stealth Remy

Since Remy has been to the vet and got her meds, I took her collar off just in case it was aggravating the itching. So, without a collar, she doesn't jingle when she walks. I also gave her toenails a clip (accidentally cutting to the quick on one of her back toes) and without the long nails, she doesn't click about on the floor either.

It's Remy in Stealth mode. It's really weird. I have no idea where she is in the house anymore. It's like she's not even there sometimes.

Stealth Remy. It's amazing how quiet she can be.

End Blog.

The Painful Week in Review

Miss me? I've missed you too, Internet. You see, I haven't been able to do much recently except lay on my back and sleep. I totally twisted something out of alignment in my back on Monday afternoon and it took me the rest of the week to recover. There's still a lot of tightness in my lower back and some weakness in my thighs, but I'm finally feeling well enough to walk around and sit at my computer.

I'm seeing a chiropractor and maybe finally fixing my back problems stemming from high school band and carrying around drums and whatnot. I truly believe it's where all my problems originate, which is really sad because I loved it so much. I doubt that I'd change anything going back. Maybe instead we can blame it on all the books I had to carry around in high school.

So, I'm seeing Dr. Kelly Baker whose office is just 5 blocks from my house and he is a great man. Not only because he's helping fix my problems but because he explains what he's doing really well. He also has a super awesome table thingie that raises and lowers so that I don't have to try to get up and down with my hurt back.

He took some x-rays and adjusted me three times this week. I go back on Monday for another. They were the first x-rays that have ever been taken of me, so that was spiffy. He said that I have a curvature in my lower spine and that the lumbar vertebrae 3-5 are twisted, which is probably causing the problem. He said he could make the pain go away in 4-5 treatments and fix the curvature in my spine in 22. I find that kind of amazing.

The good news is that with my insurance, I get 26 visits to the chiropractor a year and there is absolutely no copay. I love my insurance right now.

Sadly, with all the adjustment stuff going on, I was still in a lot of pain and went to an emergent care facility to see if I could get a prescription for anything that would help. They gave me a muscle relaxer and Vicodin. I'm not really a huge fan of Vicodin because it made me all lightheaded and weird feeling the morning after I took it, but the muscle relaxer is my new best friend. The only thing that sucks about it is that it's a sedative and I can't keep my eyes open very long if I'm just laying on my back trying not to hurt anything. I tend to fall asleep for hours.

Therefore, I have slept through several BSG episodes and have to go back and watch them again. Funny how I thought it would be work getting in the way of watching the show - as I haven't been to work all week.

Unfortunately, because this happened at work - even though it wasn't work related and I could have done it absolutely anywhere - my boss filled out an injury report. Which means I had to see another doctor. I can't tell you how mad I was about the whole situation. By Friday I just wanted to be better and having to go all the way into the city to see a doctor when I'd already started to take care of the problem on my own made me angry.

So, I went and saw him. I told the nurse I didn't really need to be there because I was getting my own treatment but she said it was good that I was there, although it was a vague reason about workman's compensation... which I didn't need. So, I went through the motions because I thought I had to, the doctor hardly looked at my chart, and he made me do a couple stretches and bends. Then he said he wanted to give me a painkiller and some muscle relaxers and send me to physical therapy.

I told him that I was seeing a chiropractor and that I already had both a painkiller and muscle relaxers and it was all right there in my chart. He told me that I had arthritis in my lower back. I immediately didn't trust anything else he said. Why you may ask? Because Dr. Baker, the Chiropractor who actually took x-rays of my spine, said that I did not have any arthritis.

So, I flipped out on them and said I didn't want any of their dumb pills (they were still trying to give me prescription strength Advil... which, really? I can take four over the counter ones and have the same effect) or the therapy. They looked at me like I was crazy. Why wouldn't I take free treatment? This was for me. They were just trying to treat me the best that they could. Yeah, well, your solutions aren't good enough for me, I guess.

I wonder if I hadn't told them I was seeing a chiropractor if they would have told me to go to one, or if their answer for everything is physical therapy. Because I can assure you that physical therapy alone would not fix this problem of mine.

Anyway, the whole place has lost my trust and I hope that I never actually do hurt myself on the job and have to go there. I had to hand write a letter absolving the KCPD and Concentra of any liability and say that I was seeking treatment elsewhere to get out of what they wanted to do. They don't even have a release form? Weird.

Anyway, that's what I've been up to the past four days. Laying down, being in pain, and sleeping. Thankfully I had 30 some sick days at work and really good insurance. The emergent care only cost me a $30 copay and the meds were $16 total. But my favorite part is not paying anything when I go to see Dr. Baker. He's my new hero.

End Blog.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Battlestar Galactica

Surprise! Brenda put me in the middle of another television marathon this weekend. She supplied me with some (not all) of the Battlestar Galactica series on Friday night, so you pretty much know what I've been doing since then. A few different people have told me that I would like this series, so I was really happy to finally get my hands on it.

The whole thing's pretty confusing. It was a miniseries, it was a television show, it was a movie... it has a season 2.5. I'm not really sure what it's all about because I like not to get into things and spoil myself on story lines. And I'm also really good at ignoring little tidbits I'm not interested in at the time.

That being said, I have one disc left to go in season 2. I'm not sure how many episodes that is, I just know that the next disc says "season 2.5, disc 1".

And I now know what six cylons look like! Six!

I have a feeling that the rest of the week and work and normal things are going to slow me way down on completing what I have, but I do know that what I was given was not enough. Brenda likes to do evil things like that to me - not supply a whole series and leave me in the lurch. *cough* Six Feet Under *cough*

I should try to see if Blockbuster has the rest of series.

So Say We All!

End Blog.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Itchy and Remy

Remy's been waking me up at 3am for the past two nights. Last night I think I finally nailed down why - she's itchy. She's got some red spots on her that look like she's been scratching at herself, but I'm not sure what was wrong with her - if she had a few fleas, if she was allergic to something, if she got stung by that damn yellowjacket... So, today after work, I took her to the doctor.

I basically told the doc the same thing, and she also wasn't sure what was making her itch, so she gave me some doggie antihistamines and an antibiotic for some of her scratched raw wounds. So now the Rem Dog has to take pills twice a day. She's really pleased about it because they're inside cheese.

I also got some Frontline and put that on her, just in case there were fleas somewhere. I hate that stuff though because it makes her fur all greasy, but if it makes her feel better and lets me sleep through the night, I guess it's worth it.

Remy still hasn't gotten a job though and just cost me 109 bucks.

She seems like she's feeling better, so I'm not really complaining. And besides, she's a super famous star now because they put up her "Remy dressing in Royals gear" picture on the jumbo screen at the Royals stadium. Therefore, I think I have to be at her beck and call from now on. You know, I haven't even gotten onto that thing yet!

Check her out - she's near the end.

Here's to recovery... for both of us.

End Blog.

Aw, Swell

I thought I'd share my left ankle bee sting with you because it's remarkably swollen for a silly little bug bite. The internets say that I'm okay as long as it stays localized, isn't over 3 inches, and doesn't last for more than a week. So, hopefully by Monday, it will no longer look like this:

Gross, huh? It's swollen enough that when I try to bend my ankle, it hurts a bit. And it's super itchy. I've been doing my best not to scratch and been doing a pretty good job of it because when I scratch it, it hurts... so that's a pretty good deterrent.

I'm gonna take another Benadryl and go to bed because it's just going to knock me out anyway. Joy. On the upside, maybe I'll finally sleep well. I just killed a really loud cricket who has been making it hard to get to sleep, and Remy's hopefully not going to wake me up at 3am again.

Here's to recovery!

End Blog.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Escape from Certain Death

It was really nice out yesterday when I got home from work. Kinda cool, but not cold, and sunny. I thought that it was prefect weather to cut my lawn and hoped that it might be the last time this season. The grass was kinda high and ugly and had gone to seed, and as I was mowing, like 5 other people in the neighborhood had the same idea.

I finished the front yard and was hoping that I had enough gas to finish the back, but only a few passes into the backyard and the mower died. So, I went to the gas station and got some more, came back, and continued mowing.

When I had about 1/3 of the back yard yet to finish, I was trying to get this really big weed along the fence out of the ground, and I felt this sharp pain on my right hip. I thought maybe something small shot out of the mower and hit me, even though it would have been a ridiculous angle to do so. Then I felt another sharp pain on my left ankle. My next thought was that there was some sort of thorn or something that I had picked up while trying to tame the jungle along my side fence. I looked at my ankle and didn't see anything hostile.

My hip was still hurting though, so I looked at it again and rubbed it. As I did, I saw a yellowjacket, pulled my hand back, and let's not sugar coat it... I panicked. I know that yellowjackets are evil, so I was scared. The devil's minion was out to get me. I know this because yellowjackets 1) are evil, 2) can sting more than once, 3) release pheromones calling their buddies to attack you as well, and 4) I wasn't sure if I was allergic to them or not. I've only been stung one other time by a giant wasp in high school, and I know that sometimes you don't develop allergies until after you've been stung.

This picture is so creepy!

So, I felt that panicking was an appropriate reaction. All of those things ran through my mind in a split second and I knew I had to get out of there or face the wrath of 9 million other angry yellowjackets.

So, because I'm smart, I had left the back door locked, and therefore had to sprint all the way around my house to the front door. I was flailing my arms and hoping that the yellowjacket I saw was not tangled up in the shirt I was wearing, and 9 million other yellowjackets were not following me. (I've seen My Girl, I know how this could end.) I got inside and headed to the bathroom to assess the damage. I'd been stung through my clothing.

I looked at my hip and ankle and saw them starting to swell around the sting sites. I was on my way to get some ice when I realized that I had spots on my inner thighs that were also very painful. Was I stung more than twice outside? Did I just get stung again?

You thought I panicked before!

The first thought I had was, "There's a yellowjacket inside my shorts!" I immediately ripped them from my body, along with my underwear (because who the hell knows where the yellowjacket is!) and threw them across the floor. Remy was excited by my actions and I said to her, "I'm so scared of my pants!" It was kind of pathetic, but in retrospect funny, so I thought I would share.

I ran into my room and put new underwear on, because I didn't want to run around my house with bee stings AND no underwear. It's one or the other - not both. You just can't do both. Plus, if I was about to go to the hospital because of anaphylactic shock, at least they would be clean.

Then, avoiding my pants of death which likely contained a living yellowjacket, I got some ice and tended to the swelling. In all, I managed to get five - count them, FIVE - bee stings. Luckily about this time, Carolyn called me, and foregoing whatever it was that she wanted to talk about, I asked her to be the best person in the world and go buy and bring me Benadryl so that I wouldn't die. She kindly obliged. I suppose that's bad timing on her part, eh? "Oh, and, while you're out doing that, could you pick up a gallon of milk for me?" (I was planning on going out for one later, but I knew this had pretty much done me in for the night.)

She also bought me a box of cereal to go with my milk, which I didn't ask for. It was kind of her, except for the fact that she obviously just did it to MOCK me. The cereal she bought was Honey Nut Cheerios.

She bought me BEE cereal! I could have been dying while waiting on her Benadryl delivery!

She claims that it was unintentional, which is sad because it's probably the most hilarious thing anyone has ever done to me. So, I had cereal for dinner, which was nice because I didn't have to cook or worry about what to eat at all. And... really... hil-aaaa-rious!

Meanwhile, I'm still afraid of my pants of death and to finish mowing the last of my yard.

It didn't help that Belinda told me a story about her dogs being attacked by yellowjackets who had an underground nest in her old yard.

Even covering everything and then mowing isn't a good idea because it stung me through my clothes! Or, quite possibly was somehow inside them. I'm still not sure how it happened.

The Benadryl knocked me out though (I took only one) and I slept from 8:30pm to 7:00am. And even though it was ten and a half hours of sleep, it was drug induced and I didn't really feel that well rested this morning.

The added bonus is that the stings still hurt a wee bit and now have become super itchy.

Bee venom, I hate you... Yellowjackets, I hate you more. I always thought people that ran away from them were crazy, that if you didn't bother them, they wouldn't hurt you. I have a sneaking suspicion I'm going to turn into one of "those" people after this.

Five times!!

End Blog.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tina Fey Returns to SNL

Okay, it might have been a one night only engagement, but I surely hope they let her come back to spoof Sarah Palin more often. One of the saddest things about Hillary Clinton not winning is the fact that we're going to see less of Amy Poehler playing her.

If you missed the opening to the new season on Saturday, watch this. (Excuse the ads, I pulled it from Hulu because some of the youtube ones got yanked.) It's almost too perfect for me to even comment more on. There's so much to love about this. I adored it.

I love it when she says, "And I can see Russia from my house!" I think that line makes me laugh the most.

Hey, the neatest thing about this is that one of my coworkers actually knows the cop that Sarah Palin tried to get fired. It's true, everyone from Alaska knows each other!

End Blog.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Bloodstain Pattern Analysis

This last week I attended a 40 hour bloodstain pattern analysis class taught by Mike Van Stratton, Holly Wasinger, and Kevin Winer. They are three of only 32 certified bloodstain pattern analysis experts in the United States. Maybe some day I will join their ranks, because I know that I would love to.

The class involved lecture and practical exercises where we broke into teams to observe first hand what types of patterns blood makes when certain events occur. After learning all of the various patterns possible, we determined the characteristic size, shape, appearance, and distribution of stains, learned how to describe them, and how to document a scene.

The final exam included a written test and a practical exercise where we had a staged crime scene. This was probably the most fun and educational training I've ever had. Where else do you get to throw blood around?

Here are some pictures of my team in action. Here we are observing target surface effects on the bloodstain patterns.

This is an experiment observing blood dripping from tools or other possible beating instruments. It's surprising how much blood must be on an item to actually drip off of it.

Here we are putting blood on objects and looking at transfer and contact patterns. I also had my hand in blood, which makes this picture of a bloody hatchet even cooler.

We also did impact pattern studies where we made our own stains. I just got finished hitting a pool of blood with a hammer. Don't try this at home. It's really messy. Even in my Tyvek suit and face shield, I still managed to get blood on my neck. You can see the stains on my clothing and face shield, but if you look closely, there are even impact stains on my neck. Awesome.

This is a projected bloodstain, and a really neat picture. There was some force here, as seen by the spines and radiating stains.

Here one of our instructors is demonstrating another kind of projected blood characteristic of arterial spurts.

This was our first stringing project. We did really well on it, as our area of convergence and area of origin are relatively small. Turns out trigonometry is useful after all.

This is my favorite target. I made it myself! This was blood dripping down a pipe which was then rolled across the floor. Notice the repeating pattern and dilution as it moves on. Someone else liked it too because I didn't take this picture, another team did. Obviously I have a future in modern art.

We did some other experiments as well, but I either didn't want to bore you or didn't have really good pictures of them.

The last pictures are of our final scene. It was a domestic dispute in the kitchen. We determined it was a beating with a cast iron frying pan.

This says: KU, KSU: A marriage made in heaven. Heaven was crossed out in blood and hell was written by it. I pretty much just laughed the whole time. Also - see the phone on the floor in the picture above? When we turned it over, the 9 and 1 had blood on them: Somebody called 911. I thought that was a pretty nice touch for a mock crime scene.

Here is our scene as we started stringing the impact sites. We had three of them in all, which was the most out of everyone. I think they just like making me do math a lot.

Overall it was an excellent class. I had fun learning (because I'm a big dork) and met some great people. I think my team did a good job as well, minus that pairing knife that was stuffed inside the oven mitt that took us forever to find.

I think I'm now one step closer to having my own TV show. Just call me Dexter.

End Blog.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Remy's Wardrobe Malfunction

I've been at a bloodstain pattern analysis class this week (just call me Dexter) and have been coming home later than usual. Instead of 4:30, it's more like 6pm. Remy's a big girl though, so I wasn't really worried about her having to wait an extra hour and a half for me.

However, when I came home on Monday, she didn't greet me at the garage door. I thought maybe she was taking a nap since I was so late. I took a step into the kitchen.

"Remy?" I called to her. "Where are you?"

I heard little clicking toes approaching the kitchen and a little nose poke around the corner of the cabinets. Bending down, I slapped my thighs and called to her again. "Come here, Sweetie."

She took another tentative few steps and I saw it: threads from a blanket that was living on the back of my couch tangled in the metal ring holding her rabies and license tags. Remy's new blue collar was now home to a blanket. I burst out laughing.

"How long have you been like this?" I laughed while trying to find my camera. She followed me around, looking for help to free her from her entanglement, but I had to get a picture first.

She had a hard time sitting somewhere away from me so that I could get the shot. She kept trying to cozy up to me for help. It was hilarious. I laughed the whole time.

Then I unhooked the threads and let her out to pee. But once she was free, she grabbed her duck, then saw the open door, bolted for it, and took duck with her. She peed while holding him and then wanted to play with me. Here she is outside with duck, which was almost as funny as the blanket malfunction.

What an amusing way to come home. I wish I knew how long she had been like that. For all I know it could have happened right after I left the house.

End Blog.

Remy's New Threads

I bought Remy a new collar. Her old one was getting kinda gross and even though I washed it on her the last time she got a bath, it was still kinda smelly from the float trip in July. We decided it was time for a new wardrobe and settled on a brighter color instead of that silly orange she's become so sick of. While we were at PetSmart, she also talked me into buying her a bone, and she spoiled her dinner that night by eating junk food instead of dinner. It was like her birthday or something, and since she's adopted, it very well may have been. So... happy who knows when your birthday is, Remy!

Here's a picture of the pooch in her new threads, eating junk food for dinner.


End Blog.

The Chipotle Ban

Last Tuesday I went to Chipotle, my favorite lunch venue. I ordered the same exact thing that I always order: Chicken burrito, rice, black beans, medium green salsa, sour cream, cheese, guacamole. I also picked up some chips for my coworkers (I don't like the lime flavor). When I got back to work to eat my meal, there was not a speck of chicken on my chicken burrito. I double checked the order and my receipt. Both had the word chicken. Coworkers informed me that the chips were also stale.

"How can you not put chicken on a chicken burrito?" I ranted. "I'm still hungry!" I exclaimed. "I'm banning Chipotle!" I threatened. "I'm writing Chipotle a letter!"

In fact, I actually did have a sit out on Chipotle last Friday. When it was suggested, I made everyone go to Planet Sub instead. That's how serious I was about my missing chicken. And, I did write them a letter.
Dear Chipotle,

I've absolutely loved the Waldo Chipotle store in the past; they had quality food and excellent customer service under manager Angela Manning. I've always ordered online and picked up my food and Angela has known me the second I walked in the door, always greeting me with a friendly smile. It felt like my Cheers. I ate there so often she recognized my voice on the phone when I'd call to confirm my order.

Lately I haven't seen much of Angela, and I don't know if she's left the store or has different work hours, but since her observed absence, the overall quality has gone down. I love Chipotle and still frequent the store, but will likely go there less after today's meal. I ordered a chicken burrito and chips and when I got back to my office to eat, there was no chicken in my chicken burrito. Even my receipt claimed it was a chicken burrito, but not a bit was found. It was sad and unsatisfying and when I turned to my bag of chips for solace, I found them stale. It was a disappointing meal that left me hungry - the first time in history Chipotle has done so.

I miss the quality that I had grown to love from that store. I don't know when I'll be able to return, for fear of more holes in my burrito tortilla shells and the dreaded missing meat. I don't want to stand in line to supervise the making of my meal, especially when it's been done so superbly in the past.

Tell Angela I miss her. She was always my favorite part of giving up the money to pay for my food anyway.
Today I got a reply email from Dawn Dillon. It seems her job title is Mojo Mama.


I'm sorry we have disappointed you at our Waldo location. I am not aware of where Angela may now be, perhaps she received a promotion and moved to another location. Regardless, you should still be able to count on the service you receive and feel confident that your food will be made correctly. We will check into this further right away.

I would be glad to replace this chickenless meal with another so please give me your address when you have a moment. I will mail you a burrito buck to use.

Thank you for writing to us. We'll see if we can find Angela and will pass along your message to her.


Dawn Dillon
Mojo Mama

I'll let you know if I ever get my burrito buck. I emailed her my address tonight. Also, I really do hope that they track down Angela. She was really good at her job and I doubt she was ever recognized for it. That place is not the same anymore.

I wonder if I'm on some sort of Chipotle watch list now. How many free burritos do you think I can get?

End Blog.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Chiefs v. Rams, Preseason

I've been trying to get this blog up for a few days now, but since I'm downloading and burning a project to DVD for a coworker, things here have been moving slow and slow makes me frustrated with computing in general. So, instead of trying so hard, I've walked away and ignored it... until now.

Here are some pictures from the Chiefs and Rams game I went to with Carolyn, her coworker, and her coworker's friend.

It poured before the game. I mean, POURED. Hell, it poured during the game, too. There was hail and lightning. It was a pretty bad-ass storm. So, we sat in the parking lot for almost an hour and a half and drank beer. It was a pretty good time. But then we decided that we better brave the weather and go in or miss all of the game. We got pretty wet on the way to the stadium, but it had gotten better by the time we actually moved from the safety of the car.

Once we got in we found out that the game hadn't even started yet. They postponed it temporarily for all the lightning. So we found our seats and had another beer! The people sitting around us were all super awesome and every time the Chiefs scored, there were high fives all around. Football games are 20 billion times better than baseball games.

The Chiefs even won this game! Look at how empty the seats are since the weather was so bad and it was "only a preseason game". Whatever. Any football is fun to watch. It's sad that the place wasn't packed. I bet the Patriots and Giants and Colts preseason games were all at full capacity.

I took this picture near the start of the game. Look at the color of the sky! What a weird storm. It looked grey-purple. I'm not sure if the picture really does it justice.

The seats we had were awesome. We were under the overhang so when it started raining again, people flocked to our area. We didn't even have to wipe down our seats. And do you see how close we were? Totally cool.

Look at the deluge! Haha all you other people (including the players)!

It was a super good time. I'm looking forward to Sunday when I get to go see the home opener against the Raiders. Let's hope that if that game comes down to making 5 yards in 4 downs again, they actually DO it this time.

Sadly, Croyle is out this week with a shoulder separation so Huard is quarterbacking. That's a little disappointing, but maybe he'll prove himself this week.

I'll be happy enough if Bowe doesn't drop the ball.

End Blog.

PS - I lost my fantasy football game by 0.40 points this week. I blame Peyton Manning. Does he even remember how to play?