Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My Bathroom Door

So, awhile back a male friend said something that has stuck with me.  And, while I would never say so, especially to him, it kind of stung.  It stung because I hate to think it's true.

My bathroom door is currently not hinged.  As in, it is leaning against the wall of the bathroom, because the hinges pulled out of the door.  I have tried to fix it, but it was kind of a half-hearted attempt, and it didn't work, and I haven't tried again.  In theory, I know how to fix it.  In fact, I have been given 2 very good options to fix it.  I just need to find the energy and enthusiasm necessary to get the job done.  And since I'm the only one living in my house, it hasn't been a big deal.

While at church a couple of weeks ago, I said something to the effect of I wish I had a man at home to fix it.  My friend was behind me, and said in a shocked voice, "I never thought I'd hear YOU say that!"  He said this without affectation, he was real, this was his actual thought.  That somehow he thought I never needed help or wanted company and was more than willing to spend the rest of my life without anyone else in it.  I'm sure that wasn't his WHOLE thought process...well, pretty sure.  I'm hoping that he was just voicing the amazement that he hadn't, in the several years we've known each other, heard me express the idea that I needed someone to take care of me.  Which I don't normally think.  Normally I take care of things, not because I don't want any help, but usually because there isn't anyone else to do it.  So I do what needs to be done, mow the yard, clean the house, fix the toilet, sand and varnish the floors, paint, garden, whatever I want or needs to be done.  Because if it needs to be done, then it needs to be done, and I don't have the money to keep a handyman on speed dial.

But the idea that I put out the vibe that I would shun, or would actively discourage, help has given me pause.   Do I really sound like that to the rest of the world?  Have I become so jaded and hard-hearted that this is what I present to the world?  Because it isn't true.  Do my friends really think that? Now, for my RL friends who read this, please understand that this isn't a cry for help, necessarily, but I'm voicing thoughts that are rattling around in my head.  I am still single, and I am strong, I can handle most of what life throws at me because I haven't been given any other option.  But that does not mean that I would choose to be in the place I currently reside.  I do wish that God hadn't put me in this place, that he would have given me a spouse, children, a different life.  But he didn't, and here I am, and I have made the best of  it.  I think I have prospered, done well.  I don't for a moment believe that I've done this all on my own, God has made sure that there have been people in place to teach me how to do the things that need to be done, and he has given me the necessary tools to succeed where he has put me.  

But I do hope that God knows that I'm still waiting.  I'm still waiting for rest of my life.  For my spouse, children, all the difficulties and frustrations and HARD days that they bring.  For someone to fix my bathroom door.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Big Experiments, and Sick Days

I like my boss...most of the time.  But he is very good at taking me down, and making me feel quite bad about not doing my job to his expectations.

Example:  We had a HUGE experiment this week.  Monday wasn't too bad, Tuesday was pretty easy, but Wednesday was HUGE, long, difficult day.  4 groups, 5 animals per groups, 5 organs from each animal to be dissected, homogenized, serially diluted and plated.  With 3 people in the animal room and 4-5 people in the lab plating, it would have taken 2 hours to dissect and homogenize, and a couple of hours to dilute and plate all the samples.

I got sick, well, I was sick on Monday, but I fought through it.  Monday night, I had a fever of 101.  Because of the nature of the agent that I work with, I have to report a febrile illness, and I can't, CAN'T, I am Institutionally prohibited from going into our animal facility.  The illness hadn't subsided before Wednesday morning, but I called in to Dr. C and tell him that if they needed me, I'd come in and work in the lab end, just not the animal end.  He told me it would be OK, that they'd make it.  I felt bad, that we had such a huge experiment, and I felt so physically bad, that I couldn't help.  I had such a monstrous headache that it was making me throw up, and the fever wasn't really going away, that was the closest thing to a migraine that I've ever had, and it was a miserable 4 hours.

So tonight, Dr. C called me.  How are you?  Did you go see the doctor? (yes, blood work, x-rays, metabolic panel b/c I've lost 9lbs in the last 4 weeks, didn't even notice).  Oh by the way, we just got done at 7PM.  Do you know what has happened to the animal graphs?  Have they been updated?  Did you know we have an Animal Inspection Friday?  Are we ready for that?

WHAT???  I have been sick, I have a hard time thinking right now.  I am still fighting a fever.  I'll find out tomorrow sometime if this is a viral thing, or a more systemic issue that has been lingering and causing weight loss.  And yet, I will go in tomorrow.  I will go in and make sure the animals are ready for inspection.

How can this man actually make me feel like a wimp, p*ssy, weak-@ss b!tch because I didn't go in today and help them?  and yet, I do.  I should have been stronger, healthier, had more foresight to see and circumvent this illness.  I should have known what medicine would have helped me get over this faster, so that I could have prevented this.  Especially THIS week.  Of all weeks.  It feels like a weakness to succumb to this, to be put in this position, that I am somehow abandoning the group, that I am lazy and just should have tried harder, and I'd have made it.  I hate weaknesses, and this feels like a weakness.

UPDATE:  I didn't go in. I still have a fever, cough, and pretty bad headache.  I figured Grad student can handle this.  At least, I hope she can...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Going Out

So, I went out with Cousin and her friends the other night.  It has been several years since I was a 'Party Girl' in my town.  So when we went to go out, and the town was DEAD, I was speechless.  WTF?  Where did all the people go?  What happened to the bars?  And what is with this 21 and over???  When did that happen?

Anyway, we found the ONE bar that was 18 and over, and we went in.  One of the girls was 20, so she was the DD by default, but took her job seriously, so I felt good about them not driving drunk.  The 4 Young Women were very pretty, all dressed up and ready to go.  This was a dance club, but when we went in, there weren't very many people.  Then, the assistant bar manager came over and offered the table a round of drinks.  The girls were a little nervous, taking drinks from a strange man, but I talked to him, and figured out what was going on.  They wanted these 4 Pretty Young Women to stay, so they made sure they were having fun.  They started to dance, drink a little more, just have a great time.  I took a picture of them dancing on the bar (which the asst manager ok'd and helped them climb up), and they almost had a fit!  They had DANCED ON A BAR during Spring Break!  And they had  pictures!  The manager bought them more drinks and shots, and they danced more.  I left at 1:30AM (because I had a 10AM Meeting!), with a promise from the manager that he'd keep an eye on them (we had bonded during the couple of hours I was there-more on that in a later post), and I wished them well.  I got a text at 3AM that they had made it home safe, and had a GREAT time.

I was so glad to have helped them have a great last night.  It was such a fun time for them, free drinks and dancing in a bar with cute guys and pictures and shots, and probably a hang over in the morning.  A great last night, well documented with pictures and video.   

Dear Lord, thank you so much for good times, for good friends, and for good memories.  Thank you for spring break, and being young and crazy, and thank you for me being past that.  Amen

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Youth

My cousin, who is only 21, is down in my area for Spring break. She is with 4 of her friends. I took them out to eat, for 2 reasons: 1) Young, spring break, thought I'd save them some drinking money and buy them a meal, and 2) I haven't had time in several years to just sit and talk to my cousin.

It was an interesting and fun evening. They discussed where they lived, jobs, guys, driving down here, the Time-Share condo they're in, tattoos, piercings, and life in general.

3 of the 4 girls have decided to get a tattoo while they are down here for Spring Break 2008. They have all decided to get a small tattoo on the back of their foot, at the heel. OUCH! Cousin is worried her dad will see it, as her dad told her that if she came home with a tattoo he would stop paying for her college. I told her she could totally use me as an excuse..."But COUSIN Found the tatto parlor, and Told us who to have it done by". I'll back her 100%, and laugh while I do it. I have 2 tattoos, and she's an adult, so I have no problem with it, and I like the idea that I've corrupted my cousin. :)

And while these young women are fun to hang around with, (and I promised I'd go out with them drinking either tonight or thursday night) and they make me laugh, I do not envy them, or want to be that age again.  I envy the freedom they have at the moment, I envy their perky breasts, and unlined eyes, their youthful enthusiasm and belief that they really can do anything they want.  But I look back on these last 10 years, and I have no desire to do it again.  The lesson's I've learned have been hard, but well learned.  I'm finally in a job I love, and I'm GOOD at.  I am at peace with myself, with who I am and what I look like.  I have enough money to get all of what I need, and most of what I want.  I have a nice little house, good friends and family, and I have to say, for the most part, I am at peace in my world.

Lord, Thank you for showing me all that I have, for the years that I've already lived, and the ones that are still coming.  For the lesson's that I've learned, and hopefully won't have to relearn, and for the ones that hopefully will come a little easier as I age.  Amen.

Friday, March 7, 2008

That ugly green-eyed monster

Jealousy is a useless emotion. Pain has a purpose. It lets you know something is wrong, and with treatment or time, it is healed. Anger has a point. It helps you right wrongs, correct injustices, makes you stand up for yourself and what you believe. Fear even has a point. Fear makes you aware, makes you take action to avoid something that might give you pain, or even make you angry. But Jealousy has no purpose. It shows you something you do not have, but no way to get it. Jealousy points to what someone else has, and it does nothing to help you get it. All Jealousy can do is build inside you, build up pressure in such a way that there is not a way to release it without hurting someone else. Jealousy will make you unreasonable, will make you lash out at the people you are close to, it can even cause you to act in destructive ways, as in, If I can't have it, NO ONE can. No good can come of Jealousy.

And yet, how often do we all feel it? How often do we look at our friends and family, the very people we care the most about, and wish them ill? Wish that we had what they had, that we would be happier than they, that they don't deserve their happiness, and that if you could, you would take it away from them. And even in the midst of this misery that we create ourselves, we often wish others were with us, as miserable we are.

But there is a light. It is the peace that only God can give. Peace to know that while things might not be the way you want them, they are not (usually) not nearly as bad as they could be. Peace with going to God in prayer, showing Him this ugly, useless, destructive emotion, and having Him calm that beast within us. It doesn't always come easily, or quickly. Sometimes that jealousy will sit in our bellies for months at a time, lying dormant. It will come to life when you least expect it, and it will take you by surprise at the ferocity of it. But there is always God's peace.

Teach me, Lord, how to find your peace. Show me how to silence this beast within my own heart and mind. Give me the strength to look past what I don't have, and find all of the good things that I do have. Amen

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A Dangerous Job

I don't generally consider my job a dangerous job. I'm not a wild-animal photographer, where there is a possibility that I may get attacked. I'm not in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines. I'm not a cop, or a firefighter. I'm not FBI, or DEA. I'm not any of hundreds of types of jobs that I would consider dangerous.

But today I had a conversation that reminded me of how dangerous my job could be.

I work with a bacterial agent. It is lethal. There are strains that are resistant to all but 1 or 2 antibiotics, and we routinely work with those strains. Now, don't be too alarmed, we work very carefully, we work in Biosafety Cabinets, wear masks and, in certain rooms, full body Tyvek suits. When we work with infected animals, we are careful, wear double layer gloves, masks, hats, gowns, and shoe covers, in restricted access rooms with air flows designed to reduce exposure to the agent.

But still. If an accident were to happen, a mouse bites me hard enough to break both pairs of gloves, or a flask breaks, or a tube falls and it breaks open and the agent is aerosolized, there is a danger.

At 48 hours, we cannot rescue our animals. That is, if the infection goes untreated for as little as 48 hours, we cannot save the animal. There is no amount of antibiotic that we can give that can prevent death. This is the same for humans. If I spike a fever, I better be in an ER within hours, because 8 hours one direction or another can be enough to kill or save me. If the ER room doesn't respond properly, they put me in mortal danger, and risk exposing everyone in the facility to the agent.

I don't usually think of my job as a dangerous job. But I guess, when I look at it this way, my job is probably right up there.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I'm such a dork

So, I love my new computer.  I've also gone ahead and splurged on cheap ATT DSL.  I discovered (rather late, I admit) that I can watch old tv shows on youtube. 

YIPPEE!!

So I sat tonight and watched Are You Being Served, an old 1970's british sitcom.

Did I watch the Primary results?  No.  Did I watch the Caucus's?  No.  I watched a 30 year-old sitcom from across the pond.

I'm such a dork.

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