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Jan. 16th, 2017 @ 11:55 am School and hobbies.
Current Mood: productiveproductive
Current Music: Doobie Brothers - "Listen to the Music"
School has begun, and I've simultaneously resumed two of my most time-consuming hobbies: cross-stitch and Sims 2.  Whoops.

Microbiology is going to be fun.  It's super-interesting so far, and I feel like I understand the nut-and-bolt concepts waaaay better than I did in undergrad.  Plus, it's one of the most upper-level bio classes at Durham Tech, so most of the class is bringing their A-game.  I counted no fewer than five sets of scrubs (including my own), and would estimate the median age of the class at 26-27.

Chemistry, I'm just going to have to duck my head down and power through.  It's the equivalent of a freshman-level university chemistry class, so the median age is somewhat younger, and the gender ratio skews more heavily male than my micro class.  The professor has this edgelord persona which I think is meant to appeal to the 18-20 year old boys in the class, and I would not have been the least bit surprised to find out that his thermos contained straight whiskey.

The day after Christmas, I finally finished the samurai and peacock I've been working on for bitterslumber for something like five years now.  It had been finished except for the detail work for...probably three years.  So I finally sat down and powered through the detail work to finish it.  Huzzah!  I also finished a small kitchen tableau piece around New Years - I'm intending to give that one to my parents.  So at the moment I have three projects in progress: one of wolves in the snow, which is complete except for the detail work (again), one of a lighthouse above waves crashing on rocks which is about 75% done, and a garden scene which is maybe 10% done.

I had to put my Sims 2 game to the side for a while because many of my storylines were getting stale.  But I've been accumulating ideas for how to shake things up, and I started playing again this weekend and have already put one of my shake-ups in place:

Daystar and Elena were the perfect couple.  Started dating in high school, got engaged as soon as they were old enough, and started their family a bit earlier than planned with an unexpected pregnancy in college (the stuff you can do with the Tombstone of Life and Death is pretty cool).  But they made it through the tough times, and by their late thirties they had five children and waaaay too nice of a house for a pseudo-celebrity web developer and a stay-at-home mom.  Turns out Daystar had been smuggling and dealing drugs for the mafia.  Some kind of deal goes bad, and Daystar turns up dead.  Elena is inconsolable and almost catatonically depressed.  She drowns in their swimming pool a few months later.  So!  What to do about the kids?  The two oldest are in college so they're fine, but there are still two teen boys and a girlchild who need looking after.  The teenagers are far too irresponsible to look after themselves and their little sister, so they've been farmed out to various aunts and uncles (Tombstone of L&D at work again).  Shake-up number 1 complete!

I've got at least two more big overhauls planned: First, I'm going to create a new Town Lothario, because I haven't had one in a while.  I've got at least two discontented housewives lined up for him to woo, one of whom is married into a very prominent family, so that should be fun.  Second, I'm going to break up one of my couples who I never thought really "fit" together to begin with, and make her into the Town Whore.  Her first conquest is going to be a guy she had a fling with in college, who also happens to be the husband of one of the discontented housewives I have lined up for the Lothario.  Town Whore's husband is going to move in with a recently-widowed female cousin he's always been fond of.  He'll either take their daughter with him or send her to live with her grandparents, I haven't decided yet.  So, exciting stuff!

Writing all this up has made me realize that I really do need to put some of my Sims 2 narratives into written form, as a writing exercise and for my own entertainment if nothing else.  
About this Entry
Dec. 31st, 2016 @ 11:33 pm 2016 end-of-year retrospective.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: Strauss
1. What did you do in 2016 that you'd never done before?
Got written up at work.  Also got sort-of-promoted-except-not at work.  Traveled to a visa-restricted country.  Been the finances-handler of a household.  Had sex.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more this year?
Both of my resolutions fizzled out toward the end of January unfortunately.  I'm not making any official ones for this year, but I do want to take better care of my appearance (hair, makeup, clothing on non-workdays, etc) this year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
A few people I went to high school with.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My cousin Jeffrey died February 11.

5. What countries (states) did you visit this year?
Hawaii in January/February for my grandmother's inurnment, and Russia in July/August.  Both trips were fantastic.  Of note is the fact that 2016 marks the first year since 2008 that I did not set foot in Scotland at all.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
A clearer idea of where I'm going, although this is definitely taking shape.  Also nicer clothes.

7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
February 11 - Jeffrey's death.
February 20 - The funeral.
April 1 - The day things went tits-up at work.
September 15 - The day I surrendered my v-card.
October 3 - Lab go-live at work.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Handling the lab changeover at work.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not standing up for myself and my coworkers more.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I'm still struggling through a sore throat I caught earlier this month.  Otherwise this has been a pretty healthy year.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Game of Thrones season 6 on DVD.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Roy Cooper.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Pat McCrory.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Bills and sushi.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My trip to Russia, and some particularly good Star Wars fanfics I've been reading.

16. What songs/albums will always remind you of 2016?
Dave Matthews Band - "Don't Drink the Water" (my own personal theme for 2016)
Depeche Mode - Violator
Wax Audio - "Whole Lotta Sabbath" (Lance Herbstrong mix)
The Chainsmokers - "Roses"
Crowded House - "Weather With You"
Sia - "Cheap Thrills"
The Chainsmokers - "Don't Let Me Down"
Dave Matthews - "Stay or Leave"
Dave Matthews - "So Damn Lucky"
Dave Matthews Band - "Eh Hee"
Dire Straits - "Money for Nothing"
The Chainsmokers - "Closer"
Electrasy - "Cosmic Castaway"
Sia - "The Greatest"
Dionne Farris - "I Know"
Jeremih - "Don't Tell 'Em"
Paula Cole - "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone"
Alanis Morissette - "Head Over Feet"
Placebo - "English Summer Rain"
Placebo - "The Bitter End"
Placebo - "Every You Every Me"
Sarah McLachlan - "Sweet Surrender"
Shawn Colvin - "New Thing Now"
Allman Brothers Band - "Whipping Post"

17. Compared to last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?

ii. thinner or fatter?

iii. richer or poorer?

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Agonizing about work stuff that doesn't matter.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Spent it at home with the extended fam, as usual.

21. Did you fall in love in 2016?

22.  There is no 22.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
There are still only two that I watch regularly: Game of Thrones and Outlander.  I do want to check out Westworld and finally finish The Wire.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Hate is a strong word.  But I've definitely lost faith in and respect for some people I thought I could trust and depend on.

25. What was the best book you read?
Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles by Margaret George.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The Chainsmokers, I suppose.  Yes, it's basically techno-pop by millenials, for millenials, but fuck me if it isn't catchy.

27. What did you want and get?
More solid finances, and a trip outside the country.

28. What did you want and not get?
A trimmer physique.

29. What was your favorite film of the year?
I think I might have only seen one film in the theater this year (apart from SWep7), and that film was Rogue One.  I enjoyed it, especially the last half hour, but am in no great hurry to see it again.

30. What did you do for your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 28 this year.  Three of the docs I work with took me out to lunch on the day, and I had dinner with my parents the following night.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Fewer dust-ups at work.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
Scrubs.  All day erry day.

33.  What kept you sane?
My therapist gets credit for this one once again.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Adam Driver.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Between Trump and McCrory, too many to name.

36. Who did you miss?
My FWB when he inexplicably goes incommunicado.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
My lab trainer.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016:
Poor stupid white people can usually be counted on to vote against their own best interests.

39: Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"Sometimes I feel like I've been tied to the whipping post...good lord, I feel like I'm dying."  Allman Brothers Band, "Whipping Post"
About this Entry
Dec. 27th, 2016 @ 09:25 pm 2016: a timeline, UPDATED 12/28
Current Mood: pensivepensive
Current Music: Dave Matthews Band - "Grey Street"
January 5 - Pierre Boulez dies.
January 10 - David Bowie dies.
January 14 - Alan Rickman dies.
January 18 - Glenn Frey dies.
January 28 - The Zika virus outbreak officially begins.
February 7 - North Korea launches a long-range rocket into space.
February 12 - Murder-suicide at Independence High School in Glendale, Arizona - 2 killed.
February 20 - Shooting rampage by an Uber driver in Kalamazoo - 6 killed, 2 injured.
February 29 - Shooting at Madison High School in Middletown, Ohio - 4 injured.
March 22 - Suicide bombings in Brussels - 32 killed and 250 injured.
March 23 - HB2 aka the transphobic bathroom law passes in North Carolina.
March 27 - Suicide bombing in Lahore - 75 killed and 350 injured.
April 2 - Deadliest day of the Four-Day War in Nagorno-Karabakh - 193 killed.
April 6 - Merle Haggard dies.
April 21 - Prince dies.
April 22 - Mass execution-style shootings in Pike County, Ohio - 8 killed.
May 19 - EgyptAir flight 804 crashes - 66 killed.
June 1 - Shooting at UCLA - 2 killed.
June 3 - Muhammad Ali dies.
June 8 - Shooting at Burke High School in Dorchester, Massachusetts - 1 killed, 3 injured.
June 10 - Christina Grimmie dies.
June 12 - Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando - 49 killed, 53 injured.
June 19 - Anton Yelchin dies.
June 23 - The Brexit vote passes in the UK.
June 24 - Flooding in West Virginia causes 23 deaths.
June 28 - Suicide bombings at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul - 48 killed, 230 injured.
July 5 - Alton Sterling is killed by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
July 6 - Philando Castile is killed by police in St. Anthony, Minnesota.
July 22 - Mass shooting in Munich - 10 killed, 36 injured.
July 28 - Paul O'Neal is killed by police in Chicago.
August 1 - Korryn Gaines is killed by police in Baltimore.
August 11 - Arrests of protestors at Standing Rock begin.
August 13 - Kenny Baker dies.
August 22 - Flooding in Louisiana causes 13 deaths and billions of dollars in damage.
August 29 - Gene Wilder dies.
September 9 - Murder-suicide at Alpine High School in Alpine, Texas - 2 killed.
September 11 - Alexis Arquette dies.
September 16 - Terence Crutcher is killed by police in Tulsa.
September 23 - Shooting at a mall in Burlington, Washington - 5 killed.
September 28 - Shooting at Townville Elementary School in Townville, South Carolina - 2 killed, 2 injured.
October 2 - Neville Marriner dies.
October 8 - Hurricane Matthew makes landfall in South Carolina after causing more than 500 deaths in the Caribbean, and proceeds to cause 49 additional deaths and billions of dollars in damage in the US.
October 23 - Pete Burns dies.
November 7 - Leonard Cohen dies.
November 8 - Donald Trump is elected president of the United States.
November 24 - Florence Henderson dies.
November 25 - Fidel Castro dies.
November 28 - LaMia flight 2933 crashes - 71 killed.
December 5 - Jayalalithaa Jayaram dies.
December 6 - Peter Vaughan dies.
December 8 - John Glenn dies.
December 18 - Zsa Zsa Gabor dies.
December 19 - Terror attack in Berlin - 12 killed, 56 injured.
December 25 - George Michael dies.
December 27 - Carrie Fisher dies.
December 28 - Debbie Reynolds dies.
About this Entry
Nov. 19th, 2016 @ 06:47 pm Spring 2017 schedule
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: Spinal Tap - "Listen to the Flower People"
Job: MTWThF, 7:30am-4:30pm.

Bio 275 - Microbiology: MW, 6:00pm-8:45pm.

Chem 151 - Chemistry I: TTh, 5:45pm-7:00pm.

Chem 151 lab: Th, 7:05pm-9:45pm.

I have officially decided to bail on the PhD plan and pursue the PA plan instead.  Chem I and Micro are the first two of the six prerequisite courses I need to take in order to get in, the other four being Anatomy & Physiology I and II, Chem II, and Organic Chem.  My goal is to apply during the 2017 application cycle.  So basically I'm going to be hating life, particularly Thursdays, for the next wee while.

Here's the rub: class schedules during summer term are such that I can probably only take one evening class; the other will have to be taken during the day.  And organic chem may not be offered in the evening at all.  So I may end up transferring to one of the urgent care places in May, or just quitting work altogether, in order to accommodate my school schedule.  We'll see.

I've decided I'm doing LEJOG in the early part of 2018, fuck the weather.
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Nov. 9th, 2016 @ 10:33 am 2016: a timeline.
Current Mood: depresseddepressed
Current Music: Allman Brothers - "Whipping Post"
With 50-odd days remaining in 2016, this may be added to.  But I felt like it was time to start compiling a timeline.  Please let me know of stuff I've overlooked.

January 5 - Pierre Boulez dies.
January 10 - David Bowie dies.
January 14 - Alan Rickman dies.
January 18 - Glenn Frey dies.
January 28 - The Zika virus outbreak officially begins.
February 7 - North Korea launches a long-range rocket into space.
March 22 - Suicide bombings in Brussels - 32 killed and 250 injured.
March 27 - Suicide bombing in Lahore - 75 killed and 350 injured.
April 2 - Heaviest day of the Four Day War in Nagorno-Karabakh - 193 killed.
April 6 - Merle Haggard dies.
April 21 - Prince dies.
May 19 - EgyptAir flight 804 crashes - 66 killed.
June 3- Muhammad Ali dies.
June 10 - Christina Grimmie dies.
June 12 - Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando - 49 killed, 53 injured.
June 19 - Anton Yelchin dies.
June 23 - The Brexit vote passes in the UK.
June 28 - Terrorist attack in Istanbul - 48 killed and 230 injured.
August 11 - Arrests of Dakota Access Pipeline protestors at Standing Rock begin.
August 13 - Kenny Baker dies.
August 29 - Gene Wilder dies.
September 9 - North Korea conducts its biggest nuclear test to date.
September 11 - Alexis Arquette dies.
September 28 - Malaysia Airlines flight 17 is confirmed to have been shot down.
October 2 - Neville Marriner dies.
October 23 - Pete Burns dies.
November 7 - Leonard Cohen dies.
November 8 - Donald Trump wins the US presidential election.
About this Entry
Oct. 25th, 2016 @ 07:29 pm A thought that finally crystallized:
Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: Billy Joel - "And So It Goes"
I allow the men I become involved with to have too much power over my emotional well-being.  WAY too much.
About this Entry
Sep. 20th, 2016 @ 09:58 pm Crackpot GoT theory time!
Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: Tonic - "You Wanted More"
Crackpot Theory #1: Quaithe is Arya.  I'm basing this mainly on two things: First, when Jorah asks Quaithe who she is, she answers "I'm no one."  Second, Quaithe's hair is styled kinda similar to Arya's in her Lana the Oyster Girl persona.  I'm still working the kinks out on how this would actually work, but the general idea is that Arya turns out to be a greenseer like Bran, and somehow wargs into the past to communicate with Jorah.  (Jorah is the only character who speaks to Quaithe, or even appears to notice her.)  Maybe there's an alternate future in which things go very wrong for Dany in Qarth, so Arya had to come back in time in order to warn Jorah to take extra care.  It's been generally agreed-upon by the fandom that Quaithe's presence in season 2 is important, otherwise they wouldn't have bothered to cast her and write exactly two scenes for her.  So that's my theory and I'm sticking to it until proven otherwise.  :P

Crackpot Theory #2: Bronn is a Wildling.  This is based largely on the information we learn during the drinking game he plays with Tyrion and Shae in season 1.  During the game, we learn that he's been north of the Wall, and his first kill was a woman who swung an axe at him.  While there are certainly axe-wielding women in Westeros (Asha Greyjoy comes to mind), they're much more prevalent north of the Wall.  So I think that Bronn is a Wildling who came south, probably sometime in his teens, and assimilated into Westerosi society.  Or maybe he got on a ship in Eastwatch and went to Essos first, since he's apparently been there as well.  But the point remains, he's been north of the Wall because he was born there.

That's all for now.  There may be more as I continue my re-watch.
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Sep. 6th, 2016 @ 09:54 pm The sky and the dawn and the sun.
Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: Billy Joel - "Keeping the Faith"
I've begun my re-read of Symphony of Ages.  I haven't read these books since my first year of undergrad (which is now a decade ago - God I'm getting old), so this is going to be interesting.

Anyway, I'm currently about three chapters in to Rhapsody and I have some thoughts:
- Gwydion is alarmingly unfazed by being abruptly and inexplicably hurtled back in time.  I dunno if it can be chalked up to whatever that shit was that Meridion put in his eyes, but I found it a bit hard to overlook this time around.  Emily takes his sudden appearance in stride because she just assumes she has wished him there, and he seems to just take his cue from her and come to his own conclusions about why he's there, but the fact that he isn't more freaked out to begin with is a bit baffling.  I dunno.  Maybe Outlander has ruined unplanned time-travel for me.
- I'm really looking forward to the passages that outline the backgrounds of the various humanoid races that populate these novels.  I seem to recall that we learn about them little by little throughout the novels.
- Also, the musical and elemental lore.  I had forgotten just how much of it there is.
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Sep. 5th, 2016 @ 01:12 pm I can't even, part the second.
Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: Madonna - "Frozen"
I have been assured by various people that HCA Boss has no idea what she's talking about.  I feel only marginally better, because the fact remains that we have only 19 working days to get everything figured out that needs figuring out.

Anyway, I'm currently at 70 successful sticks, and feeling pretty good about the actual day-to-day operations of the lab.  I'm still just trying to wrap my mind around the amount of paperwork that's going to be involved.

In other news, I took the GRE on Saturday and did well, so there's one thing checked off the list at least.
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Aug. 31st, 2016 @ 11:21 pm I can't even.
Current Mood: angryangry
Current Music: Dvorak
Late this afternoon, the boss of several of the HCAs (including my own) rocks up to the clinic where I am training.  Ostensibly she had a meeting with their HCA.  Whatever.  Anyway, she seeks me out in the lab area and proceeds to tell me how excited she is that I'm training there, that I'm taking on the lab responsibilities at my clinic, yadda yadda.

Then she starts spouting some nonsense about how they (she, my nurse manager, the HCA, the lab administrators, etc) are trying to get some "confusion" cleared up about what my exact job title is going to be, and how much she wants me to have an opportunity to climb the CMA ladder and expand my CMA skills and other assorted bullshit.  I interrupt her gaslighting long enough to say "The lab admin and I talked about this last Thursday, and it's my understanding that this was going to be a semi-lateral move from CMA II to ClinTech II?  Plus I'm not even eligible for consideration for a promotion from CMA II to CMA III until next February, since I don't have enough experience yet?"  To which she fluffs something about how they don't want to split hairs about the exact job title, they just want me to be happy in my new role, etc.


I know exactly what they're doing.  They're trying to find away to dump all these new job duties and responsibilities on me without having to actually change my job title or pay me more money.

The more I'm thinking about this, the angrier I'm getting.  I attempted to go to bed early tonight, since I have to be at my training clinic super-early tomorrow morning, but I've been lying in bed for the last two hours chewing on this and feeling more and more mad.

Fucking hell.
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