Thursday, March 30, 2006
I think I'm in!
I went to the school today to go to advising to make sure my application was in order for fall quarter, since I hadn't heard anything about spring quarter, which starts Monday. And when I told the advisor who I was and that I'm the first alternate for spring quarter, she said, "Hasn't anyone called you yet?" and I said "What?" and she said that someone in the spring class had called her yesterday and told her that he had broken his arm and that the nursing program director told him he couldn't enroll in classes this quarter, because you can't do clinicals with a broken arm. !!!! So I went over and talked to the department secretary, and found out that there is indeed a broken-armed student who will have to withdraw, and that the secretary is waiting for confirmation from the program director that I will be plugged into his spot.
You would think I would be overjoyed. But I am anxious as hell - I'm not ready!!!! I need office supplies and a student uniform and confirmation of my TB test results and another Hepatitis B shot and and and... you get the idea.
Anyway, stay tuned. I think I'm about to become Girl In Greenwood, Nursing Student!
Thursday, March 23, 2006
book report: Wicked
by Gregory Maguire
What a fun book! I read the Oz books over and over as a kid, so reading a "grown-up" take on Oz was fascinating. I'm glad this book wasn't around when I was a kid, though - the level of the writing was not too complex for me to have understood while still in grade school, but the subject matter would've been awfully disturbing to me, I think.
The Wicked Witch of the West begins life as a small green baby named Elphaba with pointy teeth and an inborn fear of water. Her parents are a slutty noblewoman and a zealous traveling minister. Elphaba is, unsurprisingly, not all that popular with the local kids, so she becomes a sort of loner/nerd. She goes away to school in the big city, where Glinda (the future Good Witch) becomes her roommate. They aren't friendly at first, but over the course of their time together in school, they become quite close. Elphaba's little sister, Nessarose, also comes to school a couple years later, but she has to be supervised by their childhood Nanny because Nessie lacks arms. Their father dotes over Nessarose and gives her the ruby slippers as a gift.
So what would I have found so disturbing as a kid? Well, for starters, there's a not-insignificant amount of sexual contact between various characters. It's not explicit or anything, but jeez, I don't remember any sex in Oz from childhood! There is also an ongoing debate in the society of Oz regarding the rights of Animals (the ones who can talk, e.g., the Cowardly Lion). The Wizard is portrayed as a dictator who came to power by a coup d'etat.
I really liked the backstory of how Elphaba became a Wicked Witch instead of just a green girl. She's a much more sympathetic character in this book that she was in the Oz books or the movie. Pretty fascinating on a psychological level.
Best of all, my friend E* told me on the phone yesterday that there is a now a sequel, about Elphaba's son!
Labels: book reports
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
he's not dead yet.
Last night was the first time I've seen him act like he genuinely feels better - not just slightly better, but actually good. While I was cooking dinner, I heard "Meerrrroow!" issuing from the office, accompanied by the scratching sound that means he's either stretching up against the wall (like you see leopards do against trees in nature programs) or trying to open the wardrobe. So I called him and he came jogging out of the office, and I tossed him a fuzzy toy. He was thrilled, and proceeded to bat the toy around, pounce on it, bite it, and even shake it like he was breaking its nonexistent, fuzzy neck.
Monday, March 20, 2006
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
doing all right
In other non-news, we decided that we're not going to go to Ireland with my folks in the fall. We just couldn't bear the idea of leaving Mr. Black Cat alone (or boarded at the vet) for 10 days or so with his advanced age and fragile health. Ireland will still be there next year, right?
book report: Imago
by Octavia Butler
With the untimely passing of Octavia Butler, I plan to read more of her work. I both enjoyed and was repulsed by the Xenogenesis series, of which "Imago" is the third and final installment. I wrote about Book 2 here, and Book 1 here.
In this book, another one of Lilith's hybrid children, Jodahs, undergoes metamorphosis to adulthood and discovers that he is growing up to be an ooloi. The ooloi is the third sex of the Oankali race, and controls the reproductive capacity of the species. Jodahs leaves his family and runs into a secret human population. Due a genetic mutation, these people have been able to reproduce sexually, but the inbreeding has resulted in severe genetic disorders. Jodahs attempts to forge a connection with the secret population, in order to become a part of it.
This story is kind of an analogy for the larger story of the Oankali takeover of Earth. While Jodahs' intentions are not evil, the humans are not so sure they want any part of the trade he offers them.
I think I liked this book the best of the three. It was easier to focus on the idea of hybridization and the sacrifices demanded of the human population when it was taking place on an individual-to-individual level. And Jodahs seemed to grapple with the implications in a more personal, accessible way.
Friday, March 10, 2006
my cat has the sugar
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
book report: Coraline
by Neil Gaiman
I read in Wired magazine that "Coraline" is being made into an animated movie. And based on how very much I have loved Neil Gaiman's novels for adults, I immediately rushed to the library (well, the website anyway) to request "Coraline" for myself.
Wow. It's really good. It's scary but not horrifying. Gaiman manages to be rather profound without being condescending or too intellectual for kids to grasp. Coraline as a character is strong without being violent, and smart without being a prig. I would have LOVED this book when I was about 8.
The short version of the plot - Coraline finds a door in her house that leads to another world - the other world is like a funhouse mirror of her house and her family. The "other mother" in the other world is evil and frightening and wants to keep Coraline with her "for ever and always." Plus, she's friends with the rats. Eeeeek!
Now I can't wait to see the movie.
Labels: book reports
book report: Weight
by Jeannette Winterson
I actually didn't mean to read this book first. I meant to read "The Penelopiad" by Margaret Atwood instead. But then I saw "Weight" was part of the same Myths series and I had really enjoyed reading "Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit". So I grabbed "Weight" first. And honestly, I was disappointed. Don't get me wrong, I really like Winterson's conversation tone and deftness of imagery. And I loved the idea of Heracles just dropping by to see Atlas, out there in the universe with the world on his shoulder. But I thought Winterson put too much of her own feelings & story into the book... it was enough for me to know that she felt compelled to write about Atlas. I get it, she feels she has burdens of her own, we can all identify. But to rattle on about her process interrupted the story for me in an unpleasant way.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I still really want to read "The Penelopiad."
Labels: book reports
book report: On Basilisk Station
by David Weber
I picked up this book after reading that Jo at Head Nurse enjoyed it. And I think Jo is the coolest so I requested it from the library right away.
At first the book moved kind of slowly - we're introduced to the main character, Honor Harrington, and there's a bunch of political plotting stuff that doesn't seem very relevant at first. But then Honor is assigned to a destined-to-fail position by an officer who has a grudge against her... and things actually got interesting! And Honor is a kick-ass starship captain. Best of all, there wasn't any hint of romance between Honor and anyone on her crew. It irritates the crap out of me when a romance is forced into an action novel just because there's a female character.
Apparently there's a whole series of Honor Harrington books - I plan on reading the rest with relish.
vain things I have done recently.
I also bought this nail polish. I like to paint my nails, especially because it keeps me from chewing on them (and man, it is a terrible idea for a nurse to be a nailbiter!), but since I use my hands a lot it always seems like my polish last for a day or two tops before it starts looking awful. I've had this ColorStay stuff on for 5 days and I only have one serious chip. I'm very pleased.
My mom turned me on to this face scrub. I LOVE it. My skin is annoying - I break out sometimes, have trouble with clogged pores, peeling, and flaking, and definitely have what the beauty press refers to as "combination" skin. In other words, I have both dry and oily skin on the same face, not to mention both zits and wrinkles. And this scrub is really, truly helping my skin straighten up and fly right. Since that has been working out so well, I also got this day moisturizer and this night moisturizer and am happy with them as well.
When I was putting together a Valentine's Day gift for R*, I decided to get a print of a digital photo of me and put it in a frame for him to have on his desk. (I am not making the big bucks, you know?) But when I pulled up the photo I wanted to print, I said to myself, "Jesus Christ, my teeth are yellow!" So I used Photoshop to fix the photo. And then my friend H* at work, she of the most beautiful shining white teeth in the world, came to the rescue with a recommendation for Crest Whitestrips Premium. She also said the Target house brand version works just as well (and costs about $10 less!). So I picked them up and have been using them for 4 days and can definitely see a difference. In fact, one of the ladies at The Home told me yesterday that I have beautiful teeth. She wears pretty thick glasses, so I'm not sure I trust her opinion, but it was still nice to hear.
While at Target, I also picked up some fake bling for playing dressup. The ring I got looks something like the one in the picture - the stones on the side are set flush, though, not tiered like that. My husband totally doesn't understand, but the girls at work all chorused, "Awesome!!" when I wore it yesterday. Silly, I know, but sometimes a girl likes sparkly things!
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
R* and I went there with two friends on Saturday, and had a great time. The ambience is lovely, the food is all vegetarian (despite having names like Shrimp Roll and Kung Pao Beef), and the jasmine tea is fragrant and good. One of our friends is sensitive to MSG and believed she was having a bit of a reaction to the food, but R* and I felt great afterwards. In fact, we felt better than we feel after eating dim sum at House of Hong because the vegetarian food seemed lighter and not as greasy.
The only bummer is that they don't drive the little carts around - you order off a menu. On the other hand, you know what everything is that way! And besides, we ordered sesame balls and they came out FIRST. What's not to like?
If you're in Seattle, and you're a vegetarian, I really recommend this place. You can have the whole dim sum experience without worrying about what's inside those dumplings.
Friday, March 03, 2006
I had a hard time emotionally at the meeting... everyone else there knew for sure that they'll be starting school in a few weeks, and I felt so left out. It was hard to get excited because I know it's likely that I won't be joining this class. And I am so, so ready to go to school for a couple of years. Some of the current first-quarter students came and talked with us, and they seemed to be having so much fun, even though they were telling us how incredibly difficult and rigorous the program is. I am so looking forward to being part of it. It actually crossed my mind to get up and leave because I didn't want to start getting emotionally engaged if I'm just going to end up waiting another six months to start. But the faculty told me to go ahead and turn in all my paperwork and everything, and that they would call me if there was any change. They even said I am welcome to attend the first two days of classes, just in case someone drops out during that first week of class. Another student told me that she did that last quarter, though, and no one dropped out.
We shall see.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
book report: The Family Tree
by Carole Cadwalladr
I think I spotted this book on some kind of bestseller list, and subsequently put it on hold at the library. I'm often disappointed when I read bestsellers - I'm looking at you, Da Vinci Code - but this was a nice surprise.
Rebecca Monroe is a pop culture researcher married to a geneticist. They're debating whether or not to have a child, which inspires Rebecca to take a closer look at her family history. She has a lot of material to examine - her mother committed suicide when Rebecca was little, and her grandmother and grandfather are first cousins. Rebecca wants to come down on the "nuture" side of the nature vs. nuture debate, especially since her husband is completely certain that everything is determined by genetics.
I enjoyed the story of the novel, but what I liked better than the story was the structure. Each chapter has some strange insert, like an annotated family tree or a blip from Rebecca's research about pop culture in Britain. I read this book all in one evening because I was so sucked in by the mysteries in Rebecca's family, and by the odd little additions to the story.
Labels: book reports