Friday, February 29, 2008

Babysitting

My obnoxious grad student and I were having a circular conversation this morning.

I say that if I put an event on the calendar, and everyone signs off that they have seen it, and it REMAINS on the calendar, it therefore becomes everyone's responsiblity to know that said event will be happening at the specified day and time, and that each person knows his/her tasks related to said event, and that they should arrive that morning fully prepared to proceed with said event.

She says that since I'm in charge of the event, and that since not everyone looks at the calendar regularly, that I must email everyone several days in advance of said event to remind them it is happening, and what their job is.

Also, the current and approved protocol has been inserted into the calendar information section, and if you have a question about a protocol, you should reference this protocol. I send this out with the original calendar event, and if I update it, I send out a copy, stating the correction.

She says I should make sure that everyone has a current copy of the protocol a couple of days before the event, just to make sure that everyone has the copy.

I'd like to get other people's opinions, so please, leave a comment and let me know what you think. Am I being overly optimistic that an adult in a given job should not be told multiple times that an event is happening? or should I just suck it up and babysit everyone along the way?

Monday, February 25, 2008

settling for a good man

In defense of settling

This is a couple of paragraphs from the article linked above. It's a very good article, well written, and worth a read if you have 8-10 minutes to do so.

What I didn’t realize when I decided, in my 30s, to break up with boyfriends I might otherwise have ended up marrying, is that while settling seems like an enormous act of resignation when you’re looking at it from the vantage point of a single person, once you take the plunge and do it, you’ll probably be relatively content. It sounds obvious now, but I didn’t fully appreciate back then that what makes for a good marriage isn’t necessarily what makes for a good romantic relationship. Once you’re married, it’s not about whom you want to go on vacation with; it’s about whom you want to run a household with. Marriage isn’t a passion-fest; it’s more like a partnership formed to run a very small, mundane, and often boring nonprofit business. And I mean this in a good way.

I don’t mean to say that settling is ideal. I’m simply saying that it might have gotten an undeservedly bad rap. As the only single woman in my son’s mommy-and-me group, I used to listen each week to a litany of unrelenting complaints about people’s husbands and feel pretty good about my decision to hold out for the right guy, only to realize that these women wouldn’t trade places with me for a second, no matter how dull their marriages might be or how desperately they might long for a different husband. They, like me, would rather feel alone in a marriage than actually be alone, because they, like me, realize that marriage ultimately isn’t about cosmic connection—it’s about how having a teammate, even if he’s not the love of your life, is better than not having one at all.

It’s not that I’ve become jaded to the point that I don’t believe in, or even crave, romantic connection. It’s that my understanding of it has changed.

And no matter what women decide—settle or don’t settle—there’s a price to be paid, because there’s always going to be regret. Unless you meet the man of your dreams (who, by the way, doesn’t exist, precisely because you dreamed him up), there’s going to be a downside to getting married, but a possibly more profound downside to holding out for someone better.

But then my married friends say things like, “Oh, you’re so lucky, you don’t have to negotiate with your husband about the cost of piano lessons” or “You’re so lucky, you don’t have anyone putting the kid in front of the TV and you can raise your son the way you want.” I’ll even hear things like, “You’re so lucky, you don’t have to have sex with someone you don’t want to.”

The lists go on, and each time, I say, “OK, if you’re so unhappy, and if I’m so lucky, leave your husband! In fact, send him over here!”

Not one person has taken me up on this offer.

Being 33, single and slightly settled in life (I've bought my own house, have good job, and have been on the lookout for a Good Guy for several years now), this strikes very close to home. To settle with a good guy, who would love me, take care of me, be a good dad, not cheat on me, not drink/gamble/smoke or in a multitude of other ways not harm my life or finances, but maybe doesn't quite Light My Fire? or to wait for the Fire Starter, knowing that those relationships in the past have failed, every time. I've had a couple of Fire Starters. They're fun, but can be emtionally exhausting, and the last one wanted to continue seeing me after he got married...to SOMEONE ELSE. I guess he was settling, too.

On the other hand, a little imagination and a couple of drinks, and my fire really isn't that hard to light.

How long is too long to wait? Until he moves on, deciding that he's tired of waiting for me to make up my mind? Do I just take the plunge? Like diving into a cold swimming pool. It's a shock, but your body adjusts shortly? or wait for the warm water that may already be past?

Lord, show me the way. Amen

Friday, February 22, 2008

Men

I have finally come to accept that I cannot resist a man in uniform. Police, Fire, military, you name it. I even like those stupid blue one piece jump suits? Yeah. It's my dad's fault. He would leave at night in his uniform (when he had extra jobs), and then change into a suit the next morning. He also always used Old Spice. I still like that, too.

mm mm mm, I love a nice uniform.

What brought this on? I was walking down the hall at work, and at the end of the hall were 3 campus cops, the uniforms are a dark gray-blue with dark accents, and I thought, mm mm mm, men in uniform. I couldn't even see what they looked like. Given what I know about most of the campus cops, they were probably in their 40's, all married, out of shape, they didn't have much hair, but it was hard to tell if they were bald or shaven.

An old friend from undergrad and I used to laugh, put us in a group of 100 men, she'd find the only musician, I'd find the only one with a military affiliation.

I know, it's a sickness.

But I still love a man in uniform. The only thing I might like more than a man in uniform is a cowboy. God help me if I ever find a single Marine from out West.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Good News

So, last week they did a whole body scan on mom, the cancer has NOT spread to any additional lymph nodes. The cancer has grown some while she was in the hospital, but only a little bit and not more than it was originally.

She is eating regular food now, and while she gets tired very easily, she is doing stuff around the house and helping the best she can. She and dad are also walking to the post office most days, so she's getting lots of good exercise.

They started chemo again yesterday, at the Small Regional Hospital she was initially going to. All of her doctors got together, and since the scan showed such good results, they decided that moving her to a Large Cancer Hospital was not necessary at this point. That's good, it makes going in for chemo easier, and cheaper.

Thank you everyone for all of the prayers and support. God has indeed answered our prayers, and given us the gift of Time. Time to make more memories, take more pictures, enjoy each other's company. This happened so suddenly. I knew academically that tragic things can happen suddenly, but I didn't know it personally. Now I know, how little time we really do have, and how much life can change overnight.

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of time, family, and friends. Amen

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Family

This past weekend I went home. While I was there my brother called me on my cell phone, and we talked. Well, he griped, complained, yelled, grumbled, and whined, about mom and dad, mostly dad, life, his wife and kid, job, and just about everything else in this world. It left me very, well, I guess upset is the best word for it. He actually brought me down. I felt bad that he believes that everything in his world is bad. I want to fix it for him. Not only can I not do that, I can't even convince HIM to try to fix it.

One of the things that bothered me the most was how he talked about our dad. My father can be a rather difficult man. I have learned to accept this. He's been this way for 59 years, and he's not going to change now. I have learned when it's worth it to fight it, and when it isn't. My brother hasn't learned this. He's 4 years old than me, but he still won't learn this lesson.

Part of what my brother said was that since he and dad were having such a hard time getting along, he, my brother, my brother's wife and child (Emma) would no longer be coming to the house anymore, that my brother's family would no longer have contact with mom and dad. This really did upset me, that my brother was so selfish as to deny his child contact with her grandparents. He and dad might have problems, but the solution is NOT to cut Emma's contact with her grandparents. They might have problems, but the problem isn't how the grandparents interact with Emma, it is how dad and brother interact with each other.

Also, he said that his wife was upset at how mom and dad treated Emma when they had her in the morning. Emma is dropped off at mom and dads' in the morning, they feed her and take her to daycare. According to brother, wife felt that mom and dad were unhappy with the arrangement, and that mom and dad acted as if this was a huge imposition, and therefore would be stopping the arrangement as soon as she could.

However, I spoke with wife last night. We're on our way to becoming friends, and I really like that. I want to be friends with my sister-in-law, I feel like it is important for our family to really be a family. She said exactly opposite of what my brother said, that she was so happy that mom and dad looked after Emma in the mornings, that Emma loved the time she spent with Papa and grandma, and that she was a little sorry that the situation would change when she stopped student-teaching.

Now, I'm an optimist, I know, but I felt like that when sister-in-law was talking to me, she was being genuine, and I believe what she said was true. I am relieved to be able to discount what my brother was venting about as just his constant displeasure with life, and need to blame all the perceived bad things in his world on someone else.

My very good friend made a very good point. Some people are only happy when they are unhappy. I guess that's true for my brother. Now, though, I feel bad for another aspect of the original conversation. I feel bad that my brother feels like everything in his world is bad. I feel sorry for him, to never be able to find goodness in this world. I feel bad that when he looks at his daughter, he sees a mistake, not a smart, funny, healthy, happy child. He looks at his wife and sees a discontent unhappy woman instead of a smart, attractive, sensitive, adult woman who brings love into his world, in spite of having a hard time at teaching right now. How sad a life that is.

Lord, give my brother healing of his heart, that he may see all of your goodness in this world, rather than all of the pain and difficulties. Amen

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Passover feast

Mark 14:13-16 (New International Version)

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society


13So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, "Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. 14Say to the owner of the house he enters, 'The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?' 15He will show you a large upper room, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there."

16The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.

This was part of the reading from church last night for the Ash Wednesday service. As it was read, I wondered about the owner of the house. What kind of divine intervention was it that his house should prepare the passover, and then have other people come in and eat it? Do you suppose he knew who was going to be in his house? Maybe he had prepared the feast, then the original guests cancelled, but he already had the feast ready, so when the apostles came up to him he was ready? Or maybe it came to him in dream, that he should prepare the feast, and that there would be guests to eat it? Do you think that, if his household knew who was in the room, that they were listening at the door? Do you suppose he kept it a secret, or that later he told others who had been in his house that night? Was it a Mary/Martha kind of day? Do I clean my house or prepare myself for the Messiah?

Anyway, this is another of those times that the bible doesn't give us the complete back story, but it was interesting to think about. There's an old story about an old lady who sees in a dream that the Lord is coming to see her on a given day, so she cleans her small house and makes a pot of stew, and waits for the Lord. The first knock is a small lost cold child, so she feeds her, warms her, and takes her home. The second knock was a beggar with no shoes, so she feeds him and gives him some warm clothes. The third knock is a tired traveller, so she gives him a place to rest. That night in her dreams, she asked him Lord, why didn't you come today? The Lord said I came 3 times. I was a lost child, I was a homeless beggar, I was a tired traveller, and you served me 3 times today.

Do you suppose this was a Serve the Lord moment for that man that day? The Lord said in a dream, Prepare the Passover feast, and I will come. Do you suppose he went to bed that night and asked, Lord, why didn't you come? The Lord said, I sent you my Son.

Dear Lord, help us to look for You always, and in all ways. Give us faith to trust that You are where You say You are, and that You will do what You say You will do. Amen.

He's...special...

Funny Pictures
moar funny pictures

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The spike in our own eyes...

Very nice blog on our sins, and the sins of others. Very well written, although I did indulge in watching the SuperBowl.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

That's a BIG needle!

I've been sick for a couple of days...alright about 6 days. Ear ache, runny nose, crusty eyes, sore throat. I thought it was just an ear ache, so I gave it a few days to run its course. Didn't work. I was surviving on generic Advil and Sudafed. Finally, monday I gave in and went to the urgent care clinic, because I couldn't get an appointment with my PCP. No fever, but I've been on advil every 8 hours for 6 days now, so no surprise there. He looked in my ears, yes, the right one was pretty infected. Looked in my throat, and said wow, very inflamed (REALLY???). He asked if I've ever had a strep test, he thought it might be strep. He took this nifty test kit, a long tube with some substance in the bottom, and 2 q-tips on 2 sticks, rubbed the 2 sticks on the back of my throat and on my tonsils, told me the test took about 10 minutes. Very CSI, it was cool. Anyway, he came back in the room about 3 minutes later.

Me: Wow,it must have been REALLY positive.

Doc:(laughing) yes, it turned positive right away. So, you can get oral antibiotics, or to get a shot of penicillin. You'll need 7 days with the oral, or 48-72 hours with the shot.

Me: (Before he was done with the question) Shot, please!

Doc: (a little shocked) Really? Are you sure? It kind of hurts.

Me: Bring it on. I don't have time to be sick for another 4 or 5 days, I need to be at work and functioning as quickly as possible.

Doc: Sure you aren't allergic to penicillin?

Me: I never have been in the past. Bring it on.

Nurse: Ok, I have to give this in your hip.

Me: (dropping my drawers) Will it hurt?

Nurse: Yes. It's pretty thick, and so we have to use a big needle, and there's a lot of it.

I was shocked! There was about 3ml of this thick white fluid in a syringe with a 18 gauge needle. No wonder it hurt! I'm also pretty sure it was mixed with Aluminum Hydroxide, which is what I use as an adjuvant in my mice. That makes the solution a very viscous, thick solution. I will be so much nicer to my mice in the future. They will be fully anesthetized before I do any AlOH injections.

I jumped when she put the needle, and it hurt going in, but OMG, do I feel better today. I stayed home from work today, because I'm still a little contagious. I slept this morning, and I'm ready for bed tonight, but I'll be able to sleep flat. I sleep much better when I can sleep flat on my stomach. First time in more than a week that I'll be able to do that.

Totally going for the shot next time. It hurt temporarily (well, ok for about 12-18 hours at the injection site), but the results are so good.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Lenten Sacrifice

Every year I try to give up something for Lent. It has varied in the past from easy, to darn near impossible. Last year I tried to fast every wednesday (as a sort of remembrance of Ash Wednesday). I lasted 2 wednesdays, then I failed. Not surprising, but I thought I'd have a little more self-discipline than that. Oh well. I have also given up coffee, caffeine, sodas, sweets, chocolate, meat, and tv, all to various degrees of success.

This year, however, I think I'm going to try to give up something I have been meaning to do for some time. I have, in the past several years, developed quite a potty mouth. Like, it's gotten pretty bad. And I have several friends with small children, and I hate that I sometimes cuss in front of them. In a burst of inspiration this year, I am going to give up cussing. I'm hoping that 6 weeks will break me of this rather immature habit, and make me sound much more intelligent and more like the Christian I am.

God, please help me watch what comes out of my mouth,just as I watch what goes into my mouth. Amen.

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