Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, I love you and hate you all at the same time

Yes, this is a picture of a floor. Whoop-dee-doo, right? Well, look a little closer and you'll see why I'm blogging about a floor. Notice any lighter, more clean tiles? Yeah, so do I every time I walk into the room. Here's how it all went down...

In light of all the freaking beer we had in the fridge and to celebrate our neighbors finally moving out, DJC and I invited a few people over last weekend. This meant some serious cleaning ahead of time. DJC spotted some scuff marks on the floor of one of our rooms where people usually congregate. He asked me if the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser could take care of them. I crouched down on the floor and began scrubbing. Sure enough, the scuffs came right up...along with god only knows how many years of dirt and grime. And then, it happened.

Once I saw the clean tiles, I couldn't stop. I scrubbed until my arm was totally fatigued and cleaned up quite a bit of schmutz. But the bad thing is that I eventually did have to stop well before I had a chance to do the whole floor. Reason 1: My arm was literally shaking. Reason 2: I completely used up the entire Magic Eraser. Reason 3: People were due any minute.

Now, our floor looks splotchier than Michael Jackson's once-black skin and face (forgive me, MJ!). I recently brought home six Magic Erasers to finish the job. I figure if I can knock out several tiles at a time over a period of a few days, I won't get burned out. But, it does have to happen. The splotchiness is killin' me! Thanks, Magic Eraser. Thanks a pantload.

My life these days

Get out of bed, despite how nice and warm I am. Drag self to the gym on Monday and Wednesday mornings. Drag self to nutrition and pathophysiology classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, despite the fact that the nursing schools that require these classes have already had their lotteries for their 2010 classes. Guess who didn't get in. Some days, I'll do laundry in the afternoons. Sometimes, I'll go to the gym in the evenings instead of the mornings. Most days, I need to figure out what DJC and I will be eating for dinner. Have hour-long conversation with my mother about cupcake liners, cupcake trays, flower arrangements, invitations and various other wedding things. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Honestly, I just don't have anything to blog about lately. I'm trying to figure out where the hell I'm going to go from here in terms of my schooling. I seriously looked into Heald College's Medical Assistant program, but when I got to the financial aid step, I tromped on the emergency brake. Hard. Even though all of my previous classwork would only make my education commitment 12 months as opposed to 18, I couldn't see shelling out nearly $16K for the possibility of getting myself a $20/hr (max!!) job.

I did look at another school in Berkeley whose program was only 5 months long and roughly $4,500. I spent all of five minutes at this place before bolting for the door. The "admissions counselor" didn't even have an office to take me to, and there were four (count 'em, FOUR) armed security guards at the entrance to the school. The place is located right across the street from Berkeley High School and apparently, they've experienced a few violent crimes inside the school. Great. Clearly, this was not a place that encouraged learning. I was out the door and still had 40 minutes on my parking meter.

Recently, at the urging of a friend in the program, I've started to look into UC Davis's Physician Assistant program. I've previously applied to various other PA programs and didn't even get an interview. My GPA isn't the greatest and PA programs are traditionally very competitive. After my previous disappointment, I ruled this out as an option. But since I've been taking classes towards fulfilling nursing requirements, my GPA has risen a bit. I've been reading about Davis's program and I'm seriously considering giving it a shot. I will have to take three classes this summer (one English class, one math class and I'll have to re-do anatomy because its been more than five years since I last took it), and start volunteering at various free clinics that offer medical services to underserved populations.

I'm going to Glide Memorial Church on Monday to see what I can do there. And I will be volunteering for the Shanti Project in August. I'm really looking forward to actually doing something with my time. And hopefully, my volunteer experience will help set me apart from other PA applicants. Hell, I have all the time in the world right now. I might as well do something worthwhile that may help me in the future.

So, there you have it. This is what I've been up to lately. Boring. So very boring. If you need a nap after reading this or feel asleep in the middle, I totally understand.

Monday, April 19, 2010

In the fridge currently...

5 cans of Moose Drool Brown Ale (Note: Icky name. Decent beer)
2 cans of Ten Fidy Russian Imperial Stout from Oskar Blues
4 cans of Big Swell IPA from Maui Brewing Company
1 can of Siamese Twin Ale from Uncommon Brewers
1 12oz bottle of Aprihop from Dogfish Head
2 12 oz bottle of Mission Street IPA from Trader Joe's.
1 24 oz bottle of Bear Republic XP Pale Ale
1 24 oz bottle of Wilco Tango Foxtrot Ale from Lagunitas
1 24 oz bottle of Green Flash Imperial IPA
Half a bottle of Chalone Vineyard Chardonnay- probably should be thrown out.
Half a bottle of Spinyback Sauvignon Blanc- Ditto here. Didn't even know we had this as it was in the WAY back.

This is after I polished off a 4 pack of Allagash White Ale this weekend and DJC drank various bottles of his swill of choice. Rumor has it that there are at least 12 bottles of Session Black Lager from Full Sail on their way to the fridge later today. Damn ya'll...that's A LOT of alcohol. After I came home from the grocery store today and could barely fit a bag of salad in there, I knew I had to take stock of what was occupying all the space.

And yes, I sat in front of the open fridge while I cataloged its contents and didn't care how much energy I was wasting. My dad would be so disappointed. Hee-hee!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

True life

DJC and I have been sitting on our butts, hour after hour, engrossed in the Life series airing on the Discovery Channel (Careful, the video on the site will play automatically. You can watch all of the episodes there, though, and that's nice.) Animals are so freaking cool, ya'll. Despite the fact that Oprah Winfrey narrates the whole damn thing and the ever-present condescending tone in her voice can be heard even when she's just reading a script, the cinematography is some of the best ever.

In that same amazing vein, check out this video that was brought to my attention by a Facebook friend. This is an awfully curious little critter:

I know that videos don't replace actual content. I've got several new posts in the works, but for now, this should keep all five of you entertained. =)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I bow

All the things I've wanted to say at various times, but have never had the eloquent means to do so. I love this man. Like, lots.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I joined the current century!!

I finally broke down and bought a new phone. It was time. In a sea of uber-connected Twitter, Gmail, and Facebook mobile freaks, I believe I was the lone hold-out. My old phone was good for two things: Making actual phone calls and sending old school text messages. No music. No Youtube. No tweeting. It had a camera, but I can't say I used it all that frequently. I was, as my sister kindly put it, living in the stone age. Not that I was terribly bothered, though. For whatever reason, I just could never pull the trigger on a new smartphone.

But this past weekend, in a drunken, no-neighbors-in-site, euphoric haze, I gave in and upgraded. My carrier, Verizon, offers a "new every two" program, where they give you a $50 credit towards a new phone every two years. I had not upgraded in nearly three years. I checked the available phones online and found that they were offering the Palm Pre Plus for the bargain price of $49.99. With my credit, the phone was free. WOOT! Free is good, especially when you're hesitant to buy a new phone in the first place.

(A tip to Verizon folks...if you're in the market for a new phone, NEVER buy one in the store. Whatever you're looking for is almost always cheaper if you buy online. Verizon sometimes offers ludicrous online discounts of $100 or more for some phones. Yes, the instant gratification of holding new things in your hands is hard to resist, but if you can wait a day to have it shipped overnight, which they'll do for free, its always a better deal to buy online. My new Palm would have set me back $150 even after the discount had I purchased it in-store. You're welcome!)

Anyways, my gorgeous little phone arrived today. Ever since I picked it up, I've been confused. After spending nearly 40 minutes on the phone with customer support trying to get the thing programmed, I then had to set up a Palm profile, and sit through a five minute video demo/intro. There's nothing like outdated technology (and the Palm is outdated already) to make you feel like a total moron! Thank goodness for DJC who has managed to figure out more about my phone's inner workings in 30 minutes than I was able to work out all day. Awesome.

All in all, though, I'm very happy. I've got 16GB of flash memory to fill with all kinds of stuff, a Facebook app, Gmail, Google Maps and a bunch of other cool things to play with. In time, I will get more comfortable and feel less technically inept. Wonder if they have a Blogger app...

Sunday, April 4, 2010 hear that?

That's right...there's nothing to hear! That's because our ass-tastic neighbors have FINALLY moved out. Actually, to be more exact, they were evicted. It only took months and months and MONTHS of complaining from myself, DJC and the landlord's own brother (who lives on the ground floor) to get their disruptive asses out. But no matter...they're finally gone. Holy shit.

At 6:15am yesterday, the ruckus, hooting and hollering began. And I won't lie about wanting to stomp down the stairs and beat some serious fat kid ass. But, in my sleepy haze, I realized what was happening. They were MOVING. They'd recruited everyone in a five mile radius with a crappy, run-down minivan to help and were schlepping their second hand Ikea furniture out in waves. Could this really be happening? I thought it was all a dream. It was WELL before 7am, after all. I might very well have been dreaming. Seeing them haul their possessions out of the house is a dream I've had many times, naturally.

But as I saw them drive the first load of shit away, I realized that yes indeed, they were leaving. HOLY SHIT. But because it was all of 7:30am, I went back to sleep. They came back at least two more times before I got out of bed for good at around 10am (so obviously they're not moving that far away), and then it got really quiet around here. Like the kind of quiet we haven't experienced for over a year and a half. It was totally amazing. Peaceful. Blissful, even.

In light of the human trash dump that was happening downstairs, DJC and I decided that our place could use a little cleaning, too. So we promptly packed up six garbage bags full of old clothes and shoes and dropped them off at the Salvation Army. Then we spent the rest of the day cleaning, de-clutterizing, and organizing. It's quiet AND clean in here. I freaking love it.

Never again will we have to endure the orangutan hooting and body slamming at 7am on a Sunday. Never again will we be subjected to Big-Tobacco's nasty habit (The other day, DJC actually saw him bend over and allow a finished cigarette to simply fall out of his mouth. He immediately replaced it with another one. Ick x1000) and smell his two day old nicotine funk everywhere he's been. Never again will we have to deal with the fat kids playing video games at ridiculous volumes (hooting like animals all the while) and throwing their processed food trash all around the property. We'll never have to listen to them shouting anymore. We don't have to put up with the whole family's uncooperative, holier than thou attitude. We'll no longer wake to the five car alarm warning beeps every time a semi-loud vehicle goes by or to their front door being slammed when Big Tobacco comes home from whatever he does until midnight every night.

Dear lord, they're gone. I can't tell you how nice this feels. Our place is again somewhere we feel comfortable and at home. Especially today when its raining and blustery outside. We can curl up together and actually hear the rain without the downstairs bullshit too. And because I'm sure they absolutely trashed the place (I've seen in the kitchen and Big Tobacco regularly smoked inside), its going to take quite a while for the landlord to have it ready to rent again. We've got at least two, maybe three months of QUIET in the mornings!!!! AAAAAAH!! Its like a dream.

All is right in the world....finally. =)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Plan B...and C...and maybe D

Nursing schools, prerequisites, the lottery system, impossible odds of getting selected. All of this stuff has really been on my mind lately. Mostly because this year's applicant pool is more impacted than ever. Hundreds of us are vying for, like, 20 spots at each school. Its depressing when you really sit down and think about it. My chances of getting in are about as great as if I woke up one morning to find that I'd been reborn as a supermodel. See what I mean? Depressing.

In light of this fact, I realized need a backup plan. I've started looking into LVN programs in the Bay Area (LVN stands for Licensed Vocational Nurse...not quite an RN, but still employable). Problem here is that most of the schools want the anatomy requirement to have been fulfilled in the last five years, which means I will have to take yet another semester of effing prerequisites. Most RN programs, by comparison, don't have a time limit on when that class was taken. I checked my transcript...I took anatomy in 1996. Eeek.

Then there's the Western Career College problem. They offer an LVN program which, by all outward appearances, looked attractive. I went to the informational meeting, where the presenter glossed over the cost of the 16 month course of study, but it did not escape me. Mostly because my mouth was literally hanging open. They spend an extensive amount of time on financial aid in this presentation because tuition there will set you back nearly $45,000. FORTY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS for the privilege of take classes at a vocational college that's located inside a mall. That's right. During your lunch break, in theory, you could go out and buy a pair of jeans and grab lunch at the Chili's all without walking outside. That is, if you could afford jeans or food after being raped for a cool $45K.

So, Plan B is out. Next, I've started to look at Medical Assistant programs. They're short (about 8 months), not prerequisite heavy, not terribly impacted, and MAs are fairly employable in all types of medical settings. See, the goal here is to gain medical experience and continue to support myself while waiting for my name to get drawn in the nursing school lottery. This, kids, is plan C. I am going to check out two such schools next week to see what the story is. The cool thing about the two I've chosen is that they offer a phlebotomy certification along with your MA license, which makes graduates instantly more employable. Bonus! Hopefully, they won't be outrageously expensive.

If neither of those schools work out, plan D involves finding an office job. Easier said than done right now, though. I've sent in some resumes, but I don't really expect to hear back from anyone. Those looking for jobs right now run into the same problem that nursing school hopefuls already know all too well...tons of applicants, one or two spots.

Plan B, C and D = one big FML.