Monday, April 30, 2007
A couple pictures of Kismet being fierce and bitey...
Monday, April 23, 2007
how cool am I?
I also got up my nerve and called the ICU at Fancy University Hospital where I had a fantastic observation experience last week and asked them if they had any jobs. I spoke to the charge nurse and while she didn't have any answers for me off the top of her head, she was very nice and enthusiastic and said she would discuss with the nurse manager and call me back.
So it looks like I will have an income again, someday. And when I do, I have a rapidly growing list of things on which I wish to spend my money, including but not limited to:
getting my highlights touched up
buying a metric shitload of new bras
buying some jeans
getting a new coffee doo-dad such as this one (my small size french press broke after 11 years of faithful service. RIP, little press!)
additional old lady support stockings (I did nursing science last week and wore support stockings one day and no stockings the next day. Day 1 = no sore feet. Day 2 = sore feet. Conclusion: support hose are where it's at.)
My desires are pretty simple! Now just cross your fingers that I land a good job.
book report: Men at Arms
by Terry Pratchett
Another fun Pratchett book. This one is all about the Night Watch in Ankh-Morpork. Their captain is about to retire to a life of luxury as the husband of a noblewoman, and the Watch is in turmoil due to recent affirmative action hires of a troll, a dwarf, and a werewolf.
The plot is not really the point, as usual with the Discworld books - instead, it's about the satire. This book features scary clowns, a talking dog, a new weapon, dwarf vs. troll politics, and a possible new king. It's funny.
Labels: book reports
book report: Lost and Found
by Carolyn Parkhurst
I enjoyed reading this book a lot. I picked it up after reading Dogs of Babel, and was hoping it wouldn't be as sad. Happily, it wasn't!
The premise of the book is that the characters are on a reality TV show called Lost and Found, which is a lot like the Amazing Race. Each team consists of two people and they receive clues to locate their next destination or task. The narration of the book changes to a different contestant every chapter, which allows the reader to see the action from different points of view. Nearly every contestant has a secret that they're keeping.
Cassie is a teenager competing with her mother, Laura. Laura thinks that by going on this adventure, she and Cassie will redevelop their bond which was shattered when Cassie had a baby after hiding her pregnancy for nine months. Cassie is not so convinced that anything is going to change her situation with her mother.
The most interesting characters to me were Abby and Justin, a married couple who met at an ex-gay ministry. Abby believes that Justin is strong in his conviction of being straight, but she is not as certain. However, Justin is hiding his doubts and his lapses from Abby.
The whole story was pretty interesting. I know Cassie was supposed to be the main character, but honestly I was most interested in the ex-gays. That entire concept fascinates and horrifies me.
Labels: book reports
book report: The Paperboy
by Pete Dexter
For some reason, I end up reading a lot of books that I don't really like all that much. This was one.
It's set about 30 years ago in a small town in Florida. Jack is 19, recently dropped out of college, and is working for his father who runs the hometown newspaper. His older brother, Ward, is a journalist in Miami. Ward comes home to the small town to investigate the conviction of a hillbilly swamp guy for the murder of the county sheriff - there are questions about the fairness of his trial. Swamp guy has acquired a fiancee/pen-pal named Charlotte, who has apparently made a hobby of befriending murderers in various prisons. She says she wants to help them.
Jack and Ward get caught up in Charlotte's zeal to get her swamp murderer boyfriend a new trial, but none of it works out as well as they had imagined. By the end of the book, Charlotte and Ward are both dead and Jack is just as confused and lost as he was at the beginning.
It was certainly interesting, and had some things to say about the nature of trust and sexuality and human motivation... but I can't say I enjoyed reading it.
Labels: book reports
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Waterhouse Books in the UK has been open since 1982. To celebrate their 25th anniversary, they compiled a list of their favorite books published in the last 25 years. I am surprised at how many of them I've read!
Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, so there is some talk that tryptophan supplementation may help people with depression... and one of the best sources of tryptophan is cheddar cheese. I knew it! I was self-medicating with all those grilled cheese sandwiches!
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
book report: Decipher
by Stel Pavlou
I borrowed this book from my dad when I realized that I was about to depart on a family vacation without a book to read. My dad volunteered that he had a novel he hadn't started yet, and I traded it for The Forge of God so he would have something to read, too.
This should have been a decent sci-fi book but it wasn't. The author is apparently a screenwriter, so the story came across very visually, which was cool. But the meta-dialog ("She revealed" "He shouted loudly" etc) was pretty stilted and crappy. I tried to skim the dialog and stick to the action, which worked out okay.
So, the story. It's about the impending doom of planet Earth which is about to be bombarded by a storm of solar flares, the likes of which has not been seen in 12,000 years. There's some interesting stuff about how many world religions point to the current time (the novel is set in, um, 2012? something like that) being the end of days. You've got your Armageddon, your Kali-yug, your end of times on the Mayan calendar, and so on. I did enjoy that aspect of the book. The sort of silly, action-flick part was about the discovery! of! Atlantis! which for some reason was stashed at the South Pole under a mile of ice. Oh, and it's made out of diamond-like carbon material. And is inhabited by sentient nanobots. Or golems. Or something.
It was an okay vacation read, and it did pique my interest in reading up on world religions, especially the genesis of pre-Christian stories that got absorbed into Christianity (did the Sumerians really have a Great Flood story, minus Noah and his meathead sons?). I just wish I could've imagined someone other than Jeff Goldblum as the nerdy guy.
Labels: book reports
1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte) [I’ve started it several times & never finished it]
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks) [saw the movie, does that count?]
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible [I'm such a heathen, I've read very little of the Bible]
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She's Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens) [I know I've read this book, but I can't remember anything about it except the opening lines... "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."]
53. Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller's Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolsoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davies)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares) [and all the sequels, too]
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery) [not that I claim to understand a bit of it]
71. Bridget Jones' Diary (Fielding) [I read part of it and got bored]
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje) [saw the movie]
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett) [I read this approximately one million times in grade school]
76. Tigana (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte's Web (E.B. White) [I stopped counting how many times I'd read this book when I reached 11 reads]
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard's First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley) [shamefully, I've never read this book, but I did see a miniseries version on TV. And I know the bit from The Tempest that the title comes from.]
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum) [saw the movies]
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)
Saturday, April 07, 2007
taking on the second half
I saw my dentist this week and he asked me how nursing school was going, and did I do stuff like give people shots? And I was all like, "pshaw, give shots, that's no big deal." One year ago, I think I would've fallen out of the dentist's chair at the very idea of giving injections.
So what am I doing this quarter? Well, I've got two days of lecture on campus, and two days of med-surg clinical at Awesome University Hospital, and one day every other week in the inpatient psych unit at Big County Hospital where I was last quarter for med-surg. I feel pretty positive about the med-surg class, and about the psych nursing theory course, but I am scared to death about the psych clinical. I don't know if I'm scared of being around crazy people, or if I'm scared that I will be horrible at dealing with crazy people, or if I'm scared that I am not that far from crazy myself and that I will end up a patient instead of a nurse. I am hoping this is just anxiety and I will be fine once I get going.
I am making a big effort this quarter to build in more healthy habits, so I have been working out in the mornings before I go to class, and have been eating right. Yogurt or high-fiber cereal for breakfast, salads for lunch, protein and veggies for dinner. And have I lost any weight? No, no I have not. Sigh. At least I'm doing all the right things.
Okay, back to studying.
Labels: nursing school