the sometimes senseless ravings (and the occassional rant) of an aspiring marine ecologist who may enjoy killing things a little too much

Monday, March 30, 2009

You Got the Road Rage in You

like most of us, i do a lot of driving in my everyday life. and as it turns out, i am very susceptible to road rage. i get SO pissed off at other stupid drivers. and i am the type of person who is going to get herself shot dead by someone else who also has the road rage and packs heat, because i am a honker. but i only carry pepper spray. no firearms here. when another driver wrongs me in some way, i lay on my little weenie horn and let them know about it. so, here are just a few of the things that bring out the road rage in me:
  • drivers who whip out in front of me like maniacs, forcing me to slam on my brakes. and then poke along at 30 mph. forcing me to pass their slow asses.
  • drivers who run stop signs. especially 4-way stop signs. especially when someone is already there. it happens more than you might think.
  • people who feel it necessary to put their flashers on just because it's raining. i don't honk at them, but it peeves me.
  • people who don't turn their lights on in the rain. it's a law for a reason, people. i don't honk at them, either, but i do flash my lights at them.
  • drivers who feel the need to come to a complete stop at a flashing yellow light. clearly, you have the right of way. if it's a flashing red light, then you have to stop.
  • people who don't respect the school bus stop sign. it doesn't matter if it's a 4 lane road and the bus is on the other side of a turning lane. you are still supposed to stop, asshole.
  • people who turn right on red when i am turning left with a green arrow. this also happens to me pretty often. like the other day, i was turning left with a green left turn signal (i was the 2nd car to do so), and some old guy making a right turn from a red light whips his lexus out in between me and the car in front of me. seriously, i almost creamed him. you can bet i honked at that crazy old man.
  • people who have their right turn signal on when sitting at a red light but don't actually turn until the light turns green. granted, this only bothers me when i am also trying to make the same right turn and traffic is clear.
  • you know when you see signs warning you that the left lane ends in 1 mile (1/2 mile, 1000 ft., 500 ft.)? so you have to merge? like on eastbound I-10 in mobile right before the wallace tunnel? and you know how there's always some asshole who just keeps speeding along in the left lane trying to bypass all the slower people who actually merged when they were supposed to? because surely someone will let him over when the left lane actually does end? those people make me crazy, and i do everything in my power to NOT let them merge when the lane ends. if i have to sit in slow pre-tunnel traffic, so do you. so when you're sitting there with your blinker on, waiting at the end of the left lane because you're an ass and you tried to pass everybody, i will not let you over. however, if you put your blinker on well before the lane ends instead of trying to beat the traffic system, i am happy to make room for you.
  • drivers who pass you and then go really slow. so you pass them. and start to get some distance away from them. and then they realize that you've passed them, speed up, pass you, and then slow down again. interstate leap frog is not a fun game. pick a speed and drive it.
  • you know how parking lots often have angled parking spaces and arrows indicating which direction you should drive down that lane? people who drive the wrong way in those make me crazy.
obviously, i am easily angered when i drive, and you can be sure that this is far from a complete list of my driving-related annoyances. so watch out, or i might be honking at YOU.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

so, it's been a couple of weeks since i posted, although my twittering has been pretty prolific. i am completely addicted to twitter. it's a fantastic outlet for all of my random thoughts. for some reason, i feel that i need to have more to say when i blog. like, i feel a bit guilty for a one- or two-line blog entry.

there are some things that i have wanted to blog about, but i haven't really found the time for some reason.
  1. it *really* bugs me when people take my child and just walk off with him without so much as a word to me. especially in a public place. i don't care if those people are his grandparents. i feel pretty possessive when it comes to max. in a "my preeecioussss" sort of way. so when we're at a wedding and you want to show him off? give me a heads up first. and don't keep him too long. because he's mine.
  2. the next time i want to go to old navy, someone should shake me and firmly tell me no. seriously, i went to old navy the other day to buy a pair of shorts, and i bought shorts. but i also came away with a dress, a half-sleeve cardigan, and an adorable eyelet-trimmed yellow top. i mean, everything is totally cute, and everything i bought was under $20, but really. i have no self control. i think i should limit my solo shopping endeavors to stores like NY&Co or the limited or the gap. when the regular price of clothes i look at is mostly over $30, i find it easy to resist impulse buys (buy one shirt at $39.50, get the second 50% off! um, no thanks). but when most of the clothes i'm looking at are $20 and under, i just can't stop myself. i'm like, "ooh! what a cute top! $15? sure!" i mean, i don't buy tanks from old navy anymore because i discovered that i can get almost the exact same thing from walmart for $4 (and no, i have no problem buying a $4 walmart tank top instead of an $8.50 old navy one. seriously, they look exactly the same). so, i am price-conscious and sort of thrifty. i just also happen to be lacking in the impulse control department.
  3. i got my hair cut the other day (not the same day i went to old navy. it was the day after). i had the length trimmed about an inch and got long bangs angled to the side. it looks really cute, but i am slightly disturbed by the way it reminds me of the way my hair looked in 6th grade when i was growing out my bangs. only the overall length is shorter now. and i like to think i'm a lot more fashionable now (and a lot more skilled in the application of makeup), even though vanessa says i haven't changed since middle school. i don't know if that's a good thing or not. if that's true, no wonder i always get carded at bars.
  4. i am sick of rain, and it is only the second rainy day in a row down here. it is supposed to be rainy until sometime saturday. boo. all this rain is making my sweet new haircut look like ass when really it's cute. also, i really want to wear a skirt or a dress. or both. on consecutive days, not the same day. but i don't feel that sun dresses and skirts are appropriate rainy day attire. so come on, weather. cooperate.
  5. yesterday, max took a nose dive into the side of his toy box, and it scared the crap out of me. the side of his nose turned purple (but only for a very brief time), and his forehead was bright red for a while. i tried to put ice on it, but you try holding a towel filled with ice on a squirmy toddler's face, and let me know how successful you are. max is fine. he cried for a little while, understandably. but he was completely fine after two minutes. he has a little red line between his eyes a slightly larger red line/splotch on his nose. otherwise, he is fine.
  6. except for the teething and the not sleeping. OMG, i hate molars. they are the most recent bane of my existence. one of max's molars is just barely peeking through (even though his cuspids/canines/eye teeth have not come in yet. he does have all 8 of his incisors), and that tooth has not been an easy one. so once again, the cranky baby has been sleeping in mommy and daddy's bed every night. for the past 7 weeks. because he started sleeping with us every night when he was sick before the hives fiasco. and we haven't convinced him to sleep in his own bed again yet. but at least the hives are gone.
that is all. for now.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Just a Quick Note

mmkay, i have a really long and busy day planned, so i'll just hit the high points of what i want to tell you here.
  • i think max's hives might finally be gone! so yay! and keep your fingers crossed.
  • frank is getting married TOMORROW. which means i have to buy a wedding gift TODAY.
  • i am waging war on the dust mites in my house. and by God, i am going to WIN.
  • maybe i should have said this first, but i took max back to the allergist yesterday, and she pretty much figures the hives were indeed caused by amoxicillin. and also, max is allergic to dust mites, thus the war waging. but dust mites probably didn't trigger the hives, just his many runny noses (which can lead to ear infections, boo!). so in the future we should avoid penicillin-based antibiotics at all costs. because i can't deal with another month-long war with hives.
  • the weather this weekend is supposed to be gross. i.e., rainy and stormy and possibly lightning-filled.
  • ...which means that i need to do my grocery shopping TODAY instead of saturday morning like usual. plus, there's frank's wedding saturday afternoon in atmore.
  • i have to take max for more blood work sometime today because i refused to do that and allergy tests all in one day (remember how we have to repeat the thyroid test b/c his antithyroid antibodies were elevated 2 weeks ago?). as it turns out, though, the allergy tests weren't so bad, and i think max rather enjoyed running around shirtless in the doctor's office for 20 minutes. plus, i put his sunglasses on him, and all the nurses came in to ooh and ahh over his irresistable cuteness. he obliged them with big grins and lots of baby jibberish.
and that's the day ahead of me. i must be off now.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wasting Time

mmkay, so i'm home (well, i've been home since sunday evening). the trip was long but good, and i am very excited to be home and hang out with max. well, actually he's at daycare today, and i really should be working on the dissertation. but i feel the need to blog out my various frustrations first.

first, my house was a complete disaster when i got home, and now i have to waste a bunch of time cleaning it and putting things back where they belong. seriously, i don't think the floor got mopped once while i was gone because it was disgusting. also, none of max's plastic/vinyl bibs with the pocket to catch dropped food got cleaned either, and they were just piled on the kitchen counter, covered in dried-on food. actually, every square inch of counter space was piled up with something. which makes cooking a bit difficult. also, the dishes that i washed tuesday night were still in the dishwasher, even though i specifically told chad that they needed to be taken out because the plastic cups and bowls don't get dry in there, and leaving them wet invites mold and germs. gross. there's really no excuse for not keeping up with household chores because his mom was here wednesday through friday, and she took max to spend the night at her house friday night and brought him back saturday before dinner. i think she hand-washed some dishes, but she didn't take the valves out of max's sippy cups, even though once again i specifically told chad to take the valves out and wash them separately in the basket in the dishwasher. if you don't take the valves out, milk/juice gets trapped between the valve and the spout, and the cup isn't really clean. i couldn't find a clean cup for max sunday night, so i had to wash one, then chad told me the dishes in the dishwasher were clean. but they were the ones that were still in there from tuesday night. and all the plastic things still had water on them. not cool.

chad got his mom to do max's laundry, but i'm pretty sure she either used the scented dryer sheets or put fabric softener in with his laundry, which means i have to re-wash all that stuff. when i opened the drawer to get out an outfit for max to wear yesterday i could smell the strong perfume-y smell before i even picked anything up. even if he didn't have hives, that would be bad for max, what with the eczema and all. what's the point of using hypoallergenic laundry detergent if you're going to use a scented dryer sheet or liquid fabric softener? anyway, i had to do max's laundry yesterday anyway because he only had one clean pair of pants, and his sheet, changing table cover, and high chair cover didn't get washed while i was gone. again, even though i specifically told chad that he needed to do laundry one day while i was gone and to make sure he washed those things. he could have at least passed that message on to his mom.

chad has been working on getting the dining room/foyer prepped for painting for a while now, and while max was at his parents' house he painted the ceiling, baseboards, and trim in there, including the columns and shelves that separate the dining room and foyer and the closet door. he also changed out the light fixture and the doorknob on the foyer closet. i appreciate that he wanted to improve the look of our house, but he left crap piled up everywhere, which makes me crazy.

oh, and i have a cold or something. i feel like complete crap. i kept waking up last night because my throat was hurting. it still hurts. and i am So Tired. i don't want to work today. i'd rather sleep all day. but then i'd feel bad for taking max to daycare today, even though if he were here i wouldn't be able to nap anyway.

yesterday, max had his appointment with the allergist, and that was a big fat waste of time because they can't do allergy tests until thursday. max actually looks a lot better now, even though he hasn't had any atarax since thursday. he still gets a few welts here and there, and they get pretty bad after a bath or when he gets hot, but they don't really seem to bother him.

anyway, so the allergist asked a bunch of questions yesterday about when max last had atarax, what he eats on a regular basis, previous illnesses, if he's ever had peanuts/peanut butter (yes, twice), etc. to determine what allergy tests they need to do. food allergy is definitely a possibility, and some of max's stomach viruses might not have actually been stomach viruses but a reaction to food instead. same thing with his cold/runny nose. she looked in his ears because he kept rubbing his ear (i thought it was itchy; he's been rubbing them ever since he got hives, and then they turn bright red), and they looked fine. she also looked in max's nose, which has been runny again for a week or so. she said one side looked like a cold, but the other side was paler, which is indicative of allergies. she also said that hives caused by antibiotic allergies can last for up to a month, so it could still be the amoxicillin. for now, she said they'll have to treat him like he's allergic to penicillin.

anyway, the reason they couldn't do allergy tests yesterday is because atarax stays in the body for 7 days (even though they told the nurse from pediatrician's office that we had to keep him off it for 5 days). the doctor wrote us a prescription for orapred (if he has to take it, this will be max's 3rd round of steroids) and said to use that instead of atarax if we need it because it won't interfere with the allergy tests. umm, the pediatrician so could have done that. i'm so pissed. we wasted so much time in there, when they could have told the pediatrician that we had to take max off atarax for 7 days (not 5 like they said) and that we should use orapred instead if needed. but no, instead we wasted a day just talking to the allergist (she was really nice, though), and now we have to go back thursday, which is when max is supposed to have more blood work to test his antithyroid antibody levels again. but i might wait for that until friday, because i don't really want to take him to get that much blood drawn and get allergy tests in the same day.

ok, frustrations vented. time to clean/work.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Corpus Christi

so, i'm here in corpus christi, and it's halfway through the trip. i miss max like crazy, but it's not as bad as i had anticipated. mostly because we've been hella busy since we got here.

also: i did not bring enough clothes. just two pairs of jeans, nice pants for my talk, one shirt for each day plus one extra shirt. and that is not enough. because i did not anticipate that one of my pairs of jeans would get beer splattered all over them. but i'll tell you about that in a mintue.

it took us 11 hours or so to get here. which means the DISL crew was actually traveling for almost 12 hours, since they picked me up in mobile. the drive wasn't so bad. there were 12 of us split between a 15 passenger van and a suburban. those of us in the van stopped in houston, and nate's parents graciously bought 7 hungry grad students pizza (really good pizza) at a place called star pizza. so that probably made the trip longer than necessary, but it was totally worth it. plus, we got to meet nate's parents.

my talk was yesterday, and i totally nailed it. so Yay! me. dr. v. said, "that was your best talk ever." it made me happy. not that i thought it wasn't going to be awesome. i pretty much told everyone i saw to come to my talk because it was going to be the best one of the meeting. plus, the one in the other session (there are two simultaneous sessions of talks) was lame. you could tell by the title. i know, i'm so modest.

there are 14 grad students/interns/postdocs from DISL here, plus dr. v. one of our postdocs just moved here, and charlie flew in early, so only 12 of us drove down. of those 14, there are 3 matts. so i have started using their last names instead of their first names. but i'll just use initials here.

anyway, to celebrate my life-changing, earth-shattering, completely amazing talk, marissa, charlie, matt k. and i skipped out on the last session of afternoon talks and decided to have a drink at the hotel bar instead. matt k. bought drinks for everyone because his advisor is giving him per diem, and we have to pay for everything. it was nice of him to think of us. and nice of us to help him take full advantage of his $55 a day. ;)

then we went to the poster session and looked at the posters (you have the option to do an oral presentation like i did or present a poster outlining your research at meetings like this) before matt j. took a bunch of us to a sweet mexican place for dinner, where we had good cheap food and good STRONG margaritas. well, not matt j., because he was driving. all the matts were there. only matt k. had a margarita, but i didn't question his manhood. pat did it for me, and it was a pretty funny conversation.

after mexican, matt j. dropped us off at an irish bar near our hotel, where i got an appletini. but i sort of spilled some of it. twice. umm, i can't really drink from a martini glass when i'm not sober, apparently. so i asked for my second appletini not in a martini glass. and the bartender didn't even laugh at me. because he saw how clumsy i was, i guess. oh, and nate bought me a hard cider, which was pretty good too. and i didn't fall off of any bar stools. and i was the only one of our entire group to get carded. WTF? i am 26 years old. marissa just turned 22. i am older than half of our group. but the bartender only carded me. i order an appletini (actually, i asked if they had mike's first, but no one around believes in serving mike's apparently), and he says, "do you have i.d. sweetie?" but he doesn't ask anyone else for i.d. boo. everyone else said it was a good thing.

then marissa made matt k. drop his beer. so the glass shattered. and splattered all over my foot. and my jeans. so now they smell like ass, and they will have to be my smelly bar jeans for this trip. but anyway, matt grabbed a broom and swept up the glass, and really i'm surprised we didn't get kicked out of the bar after that. but we didn't.

later i went to the bathroom and noticed blood on my big toe, and i was like, "wtf? i'm bleeding!" but i didn't feel it. and when we got back to the hotel i noticed that my other foot was bleeding too. but i didn't feel that either. they were teeny tiny little cuts.

so that's what's been going on here. max is still breaking out in hives, and chad is having to give him his medicine even though we're supposed to be taking him off of it. oh well. i miss them both, and i'm sort of ready to go home.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Walking Skillz

so, i just read an article on about walking. it had all the usual "most babies take their first steps around their first birthday, etc. etc." but then it went on to inform me that several months after he starts walking, my baby will be able to do things like carry a toy or throw a ball while walking. umm... max can drink from a cup and walk at the same time. and he's only been doing a lot of heavy-duty, really coordinated walking for about a week or two. he was carrying his cup around with him the day he started doing a lot of independent walking. i mean, he spent a few weeks in the 'step, step, fall' phase and really didn't walk much without encouragement, but as soon as he got going on his own he started carrying things around, drinking, and putting towels on his head while he walks around the living room and kitchen. we have to go take the towel off max's head for him because he can't see with it over his face, and he runs into things. but he doesn't care. anyway, the point is, i don't think it takes several months for babies to progress from walking to carrying things while walking.

but anyway, i leave for corpus christi tomorrow for a conference, and i won't be back until sunday. i'm wigging out just a little bit. because i don't want to leave the max. i know he'll be fine with chad, and chad's mom is coming over to watch max while he's at work, but i'm gonna miss the little guy. chad made me make him a list of things for max to eat, even though he knows what max eats every day, what max likes and doesn't like, etc. the thing i'm most worried about is the fact we're supposed to take max off his antihistamines starting thursday, and i'm afraid he'll break out like crazy. i told chad to try not giving him atarax and see how it goes but to give max a dose if he needs to. hopefully, it won't be too bad. and even more hopefully, the hives will just go away, and max won't need any atarax. but i doubt that will happen.

anyway, i need to run so i can do a couple of last rehearsals of my talk (i made some changes after i went over it with dr. v. yesterday). thankfully, it's on thursday before lunch, so i won't have to sweat long. poor charlie's talk isn't until late saturday afternoon.

crap. i also have to pack. and then go pick max up from daycare so i can get lots of baby lovin' before i leave early in the morning.