Wednesday, September 26, 2007

All part of a conspiracy to kill me

Once I get my check from my school loans and S gets his, I'm going to feel a whole lot better. Dang, school is expensive, and so is life.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Update on my sister

Andrea got out the hospital yesterday and seems to be feeling better. I know she's kind of depressed about all the diabetes crap and doing the blood glucose testing, but I think once she gets into a routine and finds her groove with it, it will be like second nature. I'm going to give it six months.

In weirdly exciting news, Andrea let me give her a shot last night! One of the first things I asked her when S and I visited her in the hospital on Tuesday was, "Can I give you your shot?" She was like, "Nah, I need to practice," and she did it and we watched, and it seemed pretty simple. So last night, before bed, she said, "You can give me my bedtime shot." I don't know why, but I am strangely fascinated by it, and so I was excited to help take care of my sister.

First, she tested her blood, and it came back at 306. "Holy poop! I'm so high." I laughed, because the Facebook group she joined (and I also joined in support) had a comment from someone who said, "The first person to say 'I'm so high' was a diabetic." Then Andrea used the sliding scale to figure out how much insulin to give herself, and it wasn't very clear so we asked my mom, and she wasn't sure, so Andrea called the hospital and the on-call doctor called her back to clarify. She needed 10 of the slow-acting insulin for her bedtime dose, and then 3 extra of the fast-acting insulin to lower her levels more quickly. Andrea gave herself the first shot and demonstrated, and then she let me do the second one. (I admit she helped guide the needle.)

I think I may cook one of the diabetic recipes from the cookbook I checked out from the library yesterday, Easy, Delicious Diabetic Recipes, which actually look amazingly tasty. Plus, I got a cookbook of desserts for diabetics, and they have real sugar in them, so Andrea will not have to give up her beloved cupcakes, not if I can help it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Thoughts and prayers appreciated

Here's a quick update on the family news front.

My sister Andrea is in the hospital. She was diagnosed with Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes yesterday, after a long weekend of feeling really crappy. I don't really know too much more than that. She's had symptoms for a while (extreme thirst, inability to fight infections like a cold she's had for two weeks, and this weekend, vomiting) and she thought she might have Type 2 diabetes, which runs in our family. I think her pancreas probably just pooped out on her. Bummer.

I'm optimistic everything will be okay, since she's young and she'll just deal with it. I've been notifying her professors and the appropriate co-workers. I don't think anyone has mass e-mailed our family yet, but maybe I'll do that this evening.

My mom just basically can't handle any more than what she's got going on, and my dad is busy tearing out carpet in our house since we're having a family friend install new carpet today. What timing. Anyway, it's going to be a process of figuring out how to take care of herself, so I'm sure keeping her in your thoughts and prayers in the coming weeks and months would be very much appreciated.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sweet nothings

"The engagement ring harkens back to the time of dowries and bride prices," S tells me as we're driving from one end of town to the other.

"Oh yeah?" I say.

"Yeah, your bride price would be, like, 20 camels," he says, in all seriousness. I laugh and ask how many the average village woman's price would be.

"Two camels."

Friday, September 14, 2007

Who would've thought

Seen today on a truck while I was driving to St. Paul to meet with the professor I am doing my graduate assistantship with:

Rajin & Daughters
Your Business Is Our Blessing!

Last night, S and I stopped at the video store to pick out something to watch after our long, hard week of work and school. I was not particularly into watching a movie, and would have preferred watching one of my mysteries from the library (am currently on Inspector Lynley Mysteries... ooh, so good) since they are about an hour and a half long and perfect for my lazy/tired attention span.

So I was there, and I was looking at the new releases, about five feet ahead of wherever S was, and he would point things out to me, like "Fracture," and I would have to back up to look at it with him. I was preparing myself to watch some suspense/action/drama/thriller combination that would appeal to a guy like S. I figured my pick, "Music & Lyrics" would go over like a bag of bricks. In in defense, S did say he would watch it with me this weekend, just not right away. Good man.

So we're still wandering, and it's been a good solid fifteen minutes of hunting for something, and finally I just say, "What are you in the mood for? Because I would watch 'Fracture' or whatever, I'm just tired and want to go home." And S surprises me and says, "Comedy." I was like, "Then 'Music & Lyrics' could be perfect..." but that clearly isn't happening, since it's S's pick. He pulls out a few more titles that look good to him, but puts them away, and finally we walk back to the other side of the store. Which is when S picks up "Happy Feet."

"'Happy Feet'!?!" I cry in disbelief.

"Yeah, this is what I want to watch," S says, in all seriousness.

"I think I'd rather watch 'The Incredibles' again," I say.

"But this is a musical," S replies.

"Oh, boy, you're really talking it up here," I say sarcastically.

"Well, I want to watch it!"

"I was all prepared to watch some suspense action thing thing for guys, and you pick up 'Happy Feet'!?"

The man standing nearby snorted out a laugh.

I caved, rented the two movies we wanted, and then we went home and put "Happy Feet" in. It's not too bad, really, though the music is kind of strange pop songs. We paused it half way since we were both tired. So tomorrow I can look forward to finishing the movie musical about penguins with my boyfriend.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Not quite enough

Sometimes I have delusions of grandeur and think that with just a little more money I could do exactly what I want to in order to have the life I want to be leading. With a bit more in the bank, I could...
...move out more for a rainy day.

I spend a lot of time writing down numbers on little scraps of paper. My monthly income. My monthly bills. My potential monthly bills if situations change, like working more or magically winning the lottery since I never buy tickets.

The thing is that I have this very American mentality of needing more all the time. But more isn't what I really need. I am daily being tested by this. Every day I still live at home with my family, every day I have to drive an hour and a half to school and back, every day I put a little more into my savings account, I think... someday.

Lately, I have been really frustrated with the state of things. I want to be out of here, out of this house, out of this city, and it's a struggle. Not a true struggle like being African American and living in the South post-Civil War, or even being African American and living in the South today, but a struggle and a hardship to bear for me on a mental stability level. I want to be doing more for myself, taking care of myself, not relying on anyone, making my own way. It's definitely a season of wanting, for sure.

I'm really hoping things get better, and I know that some things have changed... I'm moving forward, planning which courses I'll take in order to graduate someday, and I'm loving the autumn weather, this cool air on these windy, brisk, lovely days, and I'm enjoying my tasks at hand, my homework, editing the textbook for my professor, and just living life. Here's hoping this season is entirely the right length.

The things people say

At the circulation desk:

"I thought about being a librarian..." an older man told me as I checked out to him.

"Oh, yeah?" I said.

"Yeah, but the thing is, I never really liked doing what people told me to. I just liked doing whatever I wanted to do."

"Ah, yeah, that would make it harder," I replied.

"Yup, I just don't really get along with people."


"Doing whatever I wanted was better than taking orders."

"I guess..." I said, wondering how this retired-looking man had paid his way through life.

The things people say to me at the circ desk. Sheesh.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A recipe for the munchies

One of the best little snacks to make for a week are these Garlic Ranch Oyster Cracker snacks. I normally associated them with the holiday season, since my former boss would make them and bring them to work in a big red bowl. Well, now I have to say that I crave them and they are a good little hunger squelcher, though they don't make for great breath (carry mints).

Here's the recipe, with my commentary, of course.

2 bags oyster crackers (usually not in the cracker aisle--check the soup aisle)
1/2 teaspon garlic powder (not to be confused with garlic salt)
1 teaspoon dillweed
1 package dry ranch dressing
3/4 cup oil (I use vegetable, but olive oil would probably be great, and some recipes I've seen call for more oil... really, it's not so great to have greasy fingers after eating these, so 3/4 seems about right)

Mix garlic powder, dillweed, and ranch dressing packet together with oil. Pour over oyster crackers in large container, making sure to stir well and let the oil absorb. Letting these sit for a while and absorb the oil is also a good idea. Then... enjoy! They are also good in soup just like regular oyster crackers, but with some punch.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Educational bureaucracy

I just spent about a half hour calling various departments at my school in order to find the answers to various burning questions, such as:

Where is Public Safety located so I can buy a parking permit?
What do I need to fill out tax forms for my Graduate Assistantship?
Do I need to get a new ID for the new school year?
How do I know if my loans have been processed since the website has been completely redesigned?

The girl I talked to (Kelly) at Public Safety gave me good directions, and the lady in the Human Resources office sounded kind of snooty but told me I just need my social security card and driver's license or my passport. The person who answered the general phone line sounded totally like a robot, so when she said, "College of St. Catherine," I paused and said, "Hello?" but she told me I just need a new sticker for my old ID, which is good, because I like the photo that's on it.

Lastly, the woman I talked to in financial aid was having a tough time talking, which I completely understood, and she commiserated with me about the website being different. Seriously, it now takes five separate log-ins to find out about Student Accounts information. Usability factor=extremely low.

So, I'll be off in about an hour to do my school housekeeping details, and I'm also planning to stop at Trader Joe's on the way for some cheap wine. Now, all I need is to find some lunch...

Thursday, September 06, 2007


I was watching "V for Vendetta" the other night with S, and there's a scene at the beginning in which Natalie Portman's character Evey sits in front of a mirror getting ready for a night out. She's sitting there, brushing her curly hair.

"That's so fake," I said to S, all-knowingly. "People with curly hair don't brush it."

S is used to this. He asked me, while we were packing for San Francisco this spring, if I was brining a hairbrush. "Uh, no... I don't brush my hair."

"You don't? What do you do?"

"I comb it when it's wet in the shower, and then I lift it while towel-drying." I demonstrated for him the next time I washed my hair. If I take a brush to my head, it's Frizz City, and my hair, inherited from both my parents, has fairly loose curls which take a bit of coaxing with curl creme, mousse, and air-drying or diffusing. Trying to straighten it completely is a total time commitment, one which I do not undertake often, though my sister does quite frequently with her similarly textured hair.

Then, on Sunday we had family over for a fun afternoon, and in the evening, S popped Star Wars Episode 3 into the DVD player to watch with my little cousin Nick while everyone else played volleyball and talked.

My sister walked through the family room during the scene where Natalie Portman's character Padmé sits—you guessed it—brushing her hair.

"No way!" Andrea said. "She would never really brush her hair!"

"I know!" I replied.

"That's ridiculous."

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

This may be the first time my mother learns about this

On Friday I start a new job.

Yes, I've gone and gotten myself a second gig: a graduate assistantship (forthwith known as my GA) with a professor at St. Kate's. I'll be helping her with her textbook, as she is in the process of getting it published. I'm going back to my English major roots, editing and helping with layout just like my first 'real job' right after graduating from college.

It's limited hours, but it will help with my nest egg, and I anticipate it being an excellent experience. It will also keep me busier than usual, as I'm still working extra hours at the library, and am taking one class. I'll have most evenings free so I'll still get my beauty sleep, even if I am working more than 40 hours in a week. I am undaunted.

Needless to say, I am very excited.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Doesn't that look good?

I am having a very big craving right now for... you guessed it, sushi! This isn't really problematic, except that I'm at work and don't have time to run to the grocery stores in town that sell sushi in their deli sections, and I especially don't have time to go to the one (1) sushi restaurant in my central Minnesota city. So, I have to wait until after work.

I really need to learn how to make California roll, and then I can wow friends with my incredible ability to make them very full after eating only six pieces of tiny food. Mmm, sushi.