Archive | September, 2014

September Means Studying–goal accountability

30 Sep

This was completed a little hastily, and over a couple of sessions, so excuse any oversights or errors.  I was also hoping for some free time to write a proper post, but alas–school/work/sleep/cleaning left no time.  Maybe tomorrow?  Or Saturday?

Maintenance Goals (from 2013):

-floss daily.

I messed up a couple of times because I wasn’t home in the evening and it threw off my routine.  Now I floss before work (at 3PM) but feel like it might be counterproductive because I eat a snack later.

-drink water.

I am drinking a minimum of 8 cups per day, but also having caffeine and salt.  So I may be coming out even.  Also, I have a thermos for work, which I chug often (on my frequent breaks) but lose count.  It only holds about 2 cups and after the 2-3rd refill I forget how many times I’ve refilled it.  So I have no idea how much water I’m consuming at work.  Hopefully it’s a lot, b/c at 10PM we do pretty vigorous exercise and I’m dripping sweat and losing lots of fluids.  Maybe I’ll take a pen and do hatch marks when I refill. . .

-read for pleasure.

It’s not happening right now.  Between getting home late, chatting before going to sleep with Cool, and studying–I just haven’t at all.  I have a book project for neuroanatomy though so I’ve got to carve time out somewhere.  This is a week later–that I’m writing an update.  I’ve started reading late and until Cool gets home from work (on the days I don’t) and I finished the book.  It wasn’t very good–but now I’m set for all my assignments.

-weekly massage.

Nope never.  Though Cool has rubbed trigger points in my neck, shoulder, and pectorals before I sleep.  My work requires repetitive motion with my arms and shoulders and the soreness I can handle–waking up multiple times a night with dead arms I can’t.  So she’s been lovely to rub them out though I’m out of commission and can’t return the favor.  Though the pain is less and less as each week passes, with this week Hot&Cold taking care of it entirely.

-abstain from drinking.

Done.  And I said no to a tempting invitation so as not to screw up.

-study habits.

I never feel like I have enough time, and I lose the whole weekend for work and tiredness.  Which stresses me out.  What I do have time for this semester is coming directly home and making figures and flashcards, which has helped my recall so much!

January=fitness.

I have managed to run a mile daily, and I’m moving around a lot at work so exercise is taken care of.  Unfortunately, with the increased activity, my appetite has gone wild and I’m eating more food to compensate.  I have a sugar problem, a nightly sweet tooth, and I love all things carb-related.  BUT my excuse is it’s winter.  Still, I have to manage my portion sizes a little.

Feb=have gratitude; say nice things.

I am thankful for my new job with friendly co-workers and very low stress/expectations, for nicer professors, and that this is my last (graded) semester at Riverpoint.  I do give thanks for those new things (as well as some established things) nightly.  Most of the time.

March=straighten out sleep.

I finally had this, but my new schedule un-did all the progress.  It’s a swing shift job, so I have to work til midnight.  Then I’m supposed to sleep in.  But between my own internal clock, the cats, and my class schedule I have been getting up early then being tired all day.  I think what’s really hurting me is going to bed earlier on the nights I don’t work.  My morning person ways sneak back up on me when I do that, then I become accustomed to waking up too early every day (including those I work and the days after).  And that makes me tired and is a recipe for sickness.  So I made a rule for myself:  I may not go to bed any earlier than midnight on any night (and the cats may not have dinner til 12AM so they sleep in).

April=save $$$.

Yes!  This is happening.  Money went IN to my account just today and it was such a relief to see the numbers getting higher, rather than dwindling!  Even a part-time job is great to have to offset the bills.  The fear that I need to save every penny because I don’t don’t when I’ll get another–is gone.  And thank goodness for that.

May=volunteer.

This is not a thing right now.  Maybe once the semester is complete and my application submitted.  Though I did agree to transcribe some more language samples for my favorite professor.  I think I may get something out of it (hours toward credits) eventually though, so it doesn’t quite count toward any service.

June=Cool.

Things were good, then they were not so great, now they’re good.  Seriously, I cannot stress enough how bipolar and anxiety sets the tone of any relationship.  When Cool is stable, and on the right combinations of meds, and feeling good–things are awesome.  Sometimes, she acts in a way I hate, due to her mental illnesses though, and that’s a real bummer for us.  She is going in for counseling and had a new brain-scan thingy to see exactly where her issues are.  This will help get her on the exact right medications, and resolve some of this troubling, persistent symptoms.

July=my appearance.

I have been trying to fix my hair lately.  I don’t want “bad lesbian hair,” I’m self-conscious about the grays and try to hide them under styles, and it’s been a little windy.  I bought a darker box hair dye to try also.  But I just had a neuroanatomy exam today and turned in a big project, so I didn’t feel like doing anything taxing this afternoon/evening/night.  And that’s something you have to pay full attention to to get good results.  So soon. . .

Aug=Worry Less, Thank more.

I had been really good at saying things I was thankful for every night before going to sleep.  And it helped decrease my worry and uplift my attitude.  But with 2 exams in a row, I’ve been going over material in my head before sleep so I stopped thanking.  But now that I’m the furthest away from the next neuroanatomy exam, I’ll resume.  Because I like it very much.  And I think it’s worth mentioning that even though I lost the weekend to work, and didn’t get to really study.  And Cool was being a majorly distracting turkey, I never had a stress meltdown as I have in the past.  I remained pretty calm this test cycle–and it felt so much better!

Sept=make a list, grocery shop, cook ahead.

Cool has been so good.  She went grocery shopping by herself the last 2 times so I could study for my exams.  That was really nice, and appreciated.  Plus I hate shopping.  But I need to reconfigure my schedule to make time to do this.  And I don’t think the weekend will work b/c of the aforementioned work and post-work fatigue.

Oct=don’t over-pluck.

I think I’ve been doing OK.  TMI:  sometimes I see a stray dark hair where a potential moustache could grow, so I pluck it.  But that turns into a bad decision, because for whatever reason plucking on my face gives way to a breakout.  So you see acne in a moustache line and it’s obvious I’ve plucked at it.  There is not enough to wax/shave and bleaching looks stupid, because then you just have white hairs on your face.  So I guess I’ll leave well enough alone, and hope it doesn’t become an actual stache problem?  As for eyebrows, no problem.  I really had no time to pluck at all, and my face was a mess as a result!

Nov=Increase eye contact.

I forgot this was a thing, but I do come into contact with people now, so I can work on it.

2007 Vet Motivation: MU

27 Sep

Sorry I have to do this to you again.  I’m real, real busy right now.  I’ll try to post something incredible early neek week–we’ll see.

 

I feel most rewarded when I am involved the field of veterinary medicine. At the early age of eleven, I volunteered 633 hours at my local veterinary hospital. This experience provided me with knowledge of the career, and cemented my aspirations of being a veterinarian.

Despite what some may consider negative aspects of veterinary medicine, I love the profession and aim to take an active role in it as long as I am able to work. I learned the work can be physically grueling, mentally exhausting, and emotionally draining, but I am prepared to compensate with the athleticism, analytical competence, and rationality that I have seen my veterinary mentors display. I would be personally unfulfilled if I did not spend time in a veterinary setting.

One day I hope to own a mixed animal practice in my hometown, where I can raise the level of animal care while keeping prices reasonable. I plan to provide high availability to my clients and see a variety of species. Though it has taken me several attempts to get into veterinary school, I have not become discouraged. I want more than ever to become a doctor of small animal medicine with an emphasis on exotics.
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An important trait I possess is people skills, which will help me work with clients, employees, and collogues as a practicing veterinarian. My compassion and patience are evident through my community service work with children, the disabled, and elderly people, as well as my experience teaching clogging classes to all ages in the community. My service-oriented jobs in reception and food services prove that I have the communication skills necessary to speak to clients and educate them on animal health issues.

My academic success, multiple leadership experiences, and good citizenship enabled me to acquire scholarship funding for much of my college education. These traits will serve me well in the field of veterinary medicine when I need to remember a vast amount of information, run a business, and communicate with people. I also have the strength and endurance required for the physical aspects of veterinary medicine. My involvement and achievements in volleyball, cheerleading, and track also shows that I display the responsibility, dedication, and drive required both athletes and veterinarians.

I was instrumental in implementing service learning for school credit in my county. I accomplished this by creating and presenting a power point of my volunteer time at Dayton Valley Veterinary Hospital to the school board. The presentation was well received and the school board adopted the service learning program. Another veterinary-related presentation that shows my enthusiasm for the career is my presentation of my summer internship at Noah’s Ark Animal Hospital. I articulated what I learned to freshmen in the animal science department. It is opportunities like these that show the passion I feel for the career of veterinary medicine.

Satisfaction
Content
Meticulous
Perseverance

My First Week of Work

22 Sep

I mean, not work exactly, but my first non-veterinary/animal-related and non-school job.

It was strange.

duck crossingThe pace is substantially slower.  Like, I could do the whole thing in a very maximum of 3 hours (really getting into details) yet there was 6 of us scheduled and I was there for 8 hours.

It’s a lot of wandering around wondering what else there is to do.  Everyone is in that boat, and we’re on top of each other.  But mostly everyone is good natured about it.  They all know the story.  And I guess better this way then short-staffed like I’m used to.  I’m not used to it, but it’s WAAAAAAY lower stress.

Everyone was nice to me right off too.  They were nicer to me, and included me more on my first day, than some vet hospitals ever had (Emergency, Seattle, Cat’s Meow I’m talking to you).  Which is sad for those past jobs–shame on you.  The gal showing me the ropes said she wished we could normally work together (I’m a good worker, and a nice person if you give me half a chance).  That was something nice.  It’s not like I care what people think about me, and normally the people that don’t like me–well I don’t tend to like them either.  So it’s not that I fret or dwell on the opinion of sheep or $hit-heads as the case may be.  But constant negativity coming towards you eventually drags you down a little.  And that had been happening.  This automatically feels a lot better!

The gal working with me was like, “there’s no way you did a good job–that was too fast.” when we were squeegeeing the milking cowsfloors dry.  But what they didn’t know is I know my way around a squeegee, having cleaned dog runs, cow stanchions, and hogs my entire working life.  So I pretty much immediately became the squeegee super-star of the group 😀

When I showed up on my 2nd day, nobody I knew was working.  So I pretty much had to figure it out and go it alone–I guess 4 hours of training was all I got.  So that was weird, because I still didn’t know a lot of anything.  I wasn’t sure where all the supplies were, what times we were allowed to do certain things, or even what jobs needed to be done.  But I’m used to that story–vets never have time to appropriately train anybody so I’m used to being thrown in the deep end.

My supervisor’s last day was my 2nd day of work.  Which is also a weird way to start a job.  And everyone was so nice to him and made him feel important and special.  I decided on someone’s last day, it’s not only a nice thing, but an obligatory etiquette to, at the very, very least have a card for them.  Which Cat’s Meow didn’t for me.  Nor did Aurora or emergency.  And Noah’s Ark didn’t, but my employers gave me a nice necklace and everyone (important) seemed legit sad to see me go.  And that’s totally on those past jobs, and their bad karma–it has nothing to do with my that they acted so $hitty.  It was nice to see these current coworkers get a card and sign, long messages in it, bake a cake, and invite him out for drinks after work.  All on their own accord.  It wasn’t mandatory or reminded–they just stepped up and did the right thing.  They invited me along too, and it would have been a great bonding opportunity, but there was ZERO chance I could have said no to drinking, so unfortunately I had to decline the invitation.  I’m not a night person anyway so I would have been yawning into my soda.

Here’s my 6th day (2nd week) of work:

-supervisor said I don’t have to do all the work in the 1st hour “pace yourself.”

-supervisor told me I was doing a really good job, going above and beyond and it’s being noticed and appreciated!

-everyone left me and the other new girl (on her 12th day) alone to do the closing tasks.  Which entails clean 3 locker-rooms, by spraying soap on the floors, scrubbing it in, rinsing with water, and squeegeeing it dry.  Then finishing last minute things that require empty rooms, and locking up.

-But the hose only reaches 2 of the rooms, so you have to move it in the middle of the task.

-I couldn’t twist the hose on the nozzle in the 3rd room b/c it wouldn’t thread right.

-Coworker got ready for his date in the locker room so he bent down and hooked it up.  Then he left for the night.

-we couldn’t remove the hose to finish the last 2 rooms.  Wasted 40 min trying to untwist it.

-called co-worker on his date to find out story–left VM.

-That’s OK, I had a plan B and I went to just get another hose.

-2nd hose wouldn’t attach to spout either.

-tried different hook-ups for additional 20 min before my coworker said that hose had been broken.

-That’s OK, I had a plan C, and we used the shower water to rinse (but the hose was still in room 3).

-Finished rm 1 with shower heads and buckets of water.

-Randomly saw big boss who usually leaves at 10 PM, and asked for help.

-Squeegeed floor in room 1 while big-boss worked on stuck hose in room 3.

-he ran in room 1 saying he got the hose off, but the water was on (the nozzle was in my pocket)

-He turned off the water and said the hose pops on and off, it doesn’t twist. . .  Ugh.  Nobody had mentioned that.

-It confused me, because when I tried to put the hose on, I was definitely twisting–it was a twist one and my coworker used that exact same hose. . .

-We felt stupid, embarrassed, annoyed.

-At midnight we set the alarm, and walked to our cars.

-There were 3 additional cars in the parking lot.  Uh oh.

-We had maybe(?) locked the big boss in the building, and alarmed it so touching any door or using a key would set it off.

-BUT we only knew how to arm the alarm–I don’t have or know the disarm code, so we couldn’t turn it back off.

-We couldn’t use our keys to go inside b/c we’d set off the alarm.

-The phone tree is inside the building so we couldn’t call to warn him or ask him how to disarm it.

-The building is too large to knock on doors/windows.

-So we just went home. . .  Oh well.

They may never leave us alone again, I’m not sure.  But I guess that’s not the worst thing.  I don’t always have to accept maximum responsibility at every job I have.  I can just be a worker on the team.

Entitled Man

19 Sep

We had to pick a book in NeuroAnatomy for a series of assignments, and we all had to have different ones.

The prof. started the list around (with my row) and some guy in the back felt like he had the right to jump the line. Even though every single person in that class hoped for a specific book, the dude in the back row felt entitled to stand up, look for the sign up sheet, grab said sheet right out of my hands while I was in mid-word writing my choice, and pick his book! And he acted as if it was nothing new, different, or rude to be doing.

I think he felt this way because he’s male. I can tell you, not ONE of those gals in the class would cut in front of the others, physically take the paper, in order to get her first choice before anyone else.

I was disgusted. Other girls laughed. Entitled dude went to hand the page to the next person in line, and I reached for it, saying I was in the middle of writing. He looked at me surprised (though I don’t know what was so surprising to him) and like I was acting bitchy and he didn’t know why. . .  I don’t think it’s unreasonable to stand my ground.

I get tired of being pushed around and made to take up less space (at concerts) and relinquish my turn (sign up sheet) for others–usually men.

Eff It or F Grade

16 Sep

I have to say eff it to this project or to studying.  And whichever I eff will receive an F (or at least not the A I want).  Ideally, I’d like an A in both, but it seems I’m running out of time.  They are both due Monday (5 days away).  And I lose 2.5 of those days to work.

I know my instructors have good intentions.

But assigning these shirts and swim caps with anatomy structures to be designed on them as a “learning aid” doesn’t work. I’m not learning any structures. I’m doing ratios, measuring, sketching, picking aesthetically pleasing color combinations, and repeating my work when I get an error toward the end.  Always toward the end!

high contrast group

I did 5 muscle shirts before I felt my best work was showcased and I’d be happy with my grade. We got this brain swim cap assignment 9 days before it’s due. Because of work, I miss 4 of those days. I had an exam so I missed 2 more days. That leaves me a mere 3 days.

I spent 4.5 hours on the cap yesterday, only to write “primary” instead of “premotor” in one spot. I tried to erase it with acetone, but that made a huge, purple, ugly smudge that obscured the entire word.

I felt I had to start over. Because I know these projects do this to me, I purchased 3 swim caps on the same (summer) day. Well, after spending another 4 hours on the new one tonight, I accidently got the anterior and posterior turned around, and wrote something on the wrong side of the central sulcus. Then, I tried to fix it by just making the same color line come off the central sulcus, like I meant to have an area outlined in the same color as a sulci. But when I labeled it, I labeled it on the wrong side of that stupid line.

I tried to camouflage the whole errant area, but now it looks really obvious I screwed it up, and since it was such a time-vortex that makes me crazy. 9 hours of artwork and nothing to show for it. . .

THE shirt anteriorTHE shirt posterior

So both my caps are all messed up, neither is helping my study the material I need to know for our test, and I’m pretty much out of time. And I HATE having to turn in an ugly cap that I know is effed up!!! But I also know it’s an OCD-waste of time to begin a 3rd when it might get messed up as well, and when I need to study flashcards and memorize notes to learn.  And yet I feel like I have to re-do it.  I’m probably going to waste more time by turning the plastic cap inside out and starting a 3rd time on that.  I can’t turn something ugly and wrong in for a grade.

So that sucks.

Sunday: Redemption DAVE (+ forgotten details) [4 of 4]

15 Sep

See what I did there?

SUNDAY:

First thing in the morning I went for my run down River Road.  I however, did not repeat Saturday’s mistake.  I started my mile going up hill so that I could finish on a downhill and things worked out much better!  Also, it was beautiful running near a (un-poisoned) river, surrounded by forest and orchards.  Central Washington is very beautiful.  Too bad there’s no jobs.

33rd birthday camping 021

We hung out with Cool’s friend awhile longer before getting ready to go back to the Gorge.  I tried to fix my hair as I had planned and practiced, but traveling always makes my hair icky.  Maybe my travel shampoo is crummy. . .  My hair was very fly-away and I could tell I was going to have to stand there fighting with it for 40 minutes to get it to do what I wanted.  Instead, I took the easy way out and asked Cool’s friend (who owns her own hairdressing business) to do 2 french braids.  She asked if I wanted 4, and not wanting to take advantage or suck up her time, I said I thought 2 would keep my hair out of hair sundaymy face alright.

The wind was Kra-zzzy! It was reminiscent of Nevada. I wished I had asked for 2 more french braids because my hair would not stay out of my face for 0.2 seconds. I hate that!

Our tailgating was fun–Cool beat me in 3 straight rounds of Go Fish and even let me draw an eyeliner Firedancer on her forearm.  I looked at the sticker on her car window for proportions, but it’s hard–and you can’t (easily) erase errant marks when working with skin and eyeliner.  I did the best I could, and Cool looked a little skeptical of the results and said she might remove it.SEATS-the gorge 042

We continued to eat and drink our snacks, having plenty left over for the ride home, and the next week even.  It was fun and everyone was on their best behavior and getting along.  Soon, random people parked in our vicinity came over to ask about Cool’s home-made arm tat.  They exclaimed at how awesome it looked!  I was like, “Thanks for coming over–she didn’t like it!”  And the gal said she’d tried to draw one too, but it proved very difficult–even though the Firedancer looks simplistic.  The guy agreed it was a good rendition, and they walked back to their car.  After that Cool seemed proud of it.

I had to change out of my super-cute flip flops.  Because my feet were still boneless, skinless chicken from the plastic damage Friday.  And they matched my outfit and necklace PERFECTLY!  But alas, I had to put on my sensible running sneaks, and thankfully they were orange and matched my outfit.  Though They were certainly not as cool or cute.

no more flops

We went into the venue early again to check out that night’s poster and merch.  Before we went in I should mention that I checked, confirmed, and double checked with Cool whether we should bring the poster along.  It was very, VERY windy and gusting terribly, and if she wasn’t going to hold it, I didn’t want to bother around with it.  As a matter of fact, had we actually held it Friday, I wouldn’t have taken it around again, because the wind was so severe.  She said she wanted it, so I carried it around, in the wind, again.  That night’s special collector’s edition poster was a dinosaur!  So we bought it to commemorate the occasion, as well as a shirt for whoever would win the setlist game(I knew I would!)  that night.

We went looking for our seats knowing these would be further back (row 22 vs 13 on Friday) and realized that our section was much closer!  We were actually front and center, rather than skewed to stage right, and 22 rows counted the pit!!!  We were actually 7 chairs back 😀  These were amazing tickets (thanks Mom and Dad!) and this was going to be a good, good time.

They also have a (new?) viewing area we had never noticed before.  It was immediately adjacent to the stage and overlooked the gorge canyon and Columbia River.  It was a beautiful view except for 3 things:  They made you wear an alcohol arm band to get in, after checking IDs (apparently kids are not allowed to look at nice scenery), the wind was crazy on an edge, with no wind barriers, and there was so, so, so much TRASH.  People from the venue had tossed or lost their empties.  Or the wind caught it and the staff didn’t bother to pick it up.  It really marred the vibe and made me disappointed in humanity.  Such a nice spot ruined by beer cans. . .

20140829_15523620140831_163117

Dave always does this really cool thing and comes out to personally introduce the opener.  It makes the audience feel like Dave likes them so we should give them more of a chance–which is neat.  Because usually, the crowd is a little disgruntled and unaccepting of whoever is keeping them from the headliner.  Dave came out (per the usual) to warm us up to Brandi.  But I was unimpressed by what he said about her, “She’s hot.”  Instead of saying how talented she is, or how nice, he decided to objectify her.  Which I’m sure he did for the testosterone-fueled fratty staple fans, to get on to her.  After all, the dude knows his audience–but I didn’t like it all the same.  And he did this both nights we attended, adding in Sunday the twins were also hot and he’d follow the band around to look at them *gag*.

Brandi played almost the same setlist all 3 nights. Which was good, but she has a large enough catalogue that she didn’t have to. And even if she wanted to stick with covers instead of all her own material I think Johnny Cash would have gone over well. And John Denver. But no complaints here–she is always a treat to watch. I just wondered about the rationale.  But the crowd caught on big-time to her (they always do) and filled in much earlier then they had Friday.  I was glad to see Brandi had made so many new fans.  Though also unhappy because the more fans she gets, the harder it will be to meet her–and the more crowded and expensive her concerts.  She’s no longer our little secret.

Cool and I did some swaying together during her set, but the wind was outrageous, and kept blowing my hair in my face.  Which I can’t stand.  And Cool wanted to hold the poster instead of propping it under a chair as we had Friday, so she really had to work to hold it.  But we had fun together anyway.  We were out to have an exceptional time on Sunday.

We held our “Raise Hell Brandi” sign up high and since we were close and center, she actually saw it and pointed at it, Brandi with our sign 2acknowledging us!!!  What a moment!  I gave her a thumbs up, not knowing what the procedure is supposed to be when a famous person points at the sign you worked so hard on, carried through gusting wind for an afternoon, and held up with a death grip to keep from blowing away.  After that, I got cold and wanted to put on my sweatshirt–but just in case Brandi saw us later or wanted to meet these fans who made HER a sign at a DMB concert, I wanted to be sure I was wearing the same, recognizable bright tank I’d been wearing when she pointed at our poster.

I needn’t have worried, because I did not see Brandi after she left the stage.  Of course.  But the DMB fans were filtering in, and I was really hoping the crowd around us would not be pushing and smoking this night.  Dudes sat next to us.  One was asking me all kinds of questions, and I couldn’t tell if he was a friendly sort or getting his flirt on.  But then he asked me who I came with (Cool was in the bathroom at the time) and I said my mate.  Nobody understands what the Fu(k that means, but I like it.  And I absolutely HATE “partner” or worse, “lover.”  And “girlfriend” doesn’t really do us justice anymore, so “mate” it is–confusing or not.  Another drunk dude stumbled slowly down our row, and my neighbor said he was surprised when rainbow 8that dude passed us, as he thought it was my mate.  I had to explain that oh no, my mate is a short gal.  And my neighbor immediately turned to his friends–I’m pretty sure to say how unlucky he was that the chick he’s trying to scam on is gay.  But I couldn’t hear the, so maybe not.  When Cool came back, he of course made some suggestive jokes about a threesome–as ALL dudes do when confronted with lesbians.  But he was more funny than disgusting or offensive so we took it light-heartedly, and continued joking around with him throughout the night.  He didn’t come off as an aggressive creeper, and we were determined to have a better night.  And none of the people around us smoked!  Thank goodness.

I forgot to mention in the first writing that I got up to get water between acts.  The Gorge water is in some kind of milk carton.  It’s recyclable, and they can ship it flat for efficiency, and it was a huge hit in our seating area.  Everyone first wanted to know if I was drinking milk at a concert, then wanted me to read the carton’s benefits off the side for them.  When I came back to my seat, I thought somewhere along the line I might have stepped in $hit?!  I even checked the bottom of my sneakers (thank goodness no flops), but they were clean.  I looked about, thinking there must be poo about because it smelled.  I never did find it.  Maybe it was always there but the wind had been so wild it carried away the odor.  With all the people surrounding us the wind wasn’t so drastic, and I think it was settling down toward the evening.  But the smell–was awful!  Some super-drunk dude went down our row, talking as he stumbled.  When he was passed, one of our new seat buddies said his breath smelled of vomit.  He puked on the ground behind us apparently, and the venue did their best to clean it up amongst all the people, but could only do so much without chemicals and a hose.  I wondered what you have to eat for vomit to smell that bad.  It smelled like he ate $hit and vomited back out.  And that sort of lingered throughout the concert, lucky us.

Right before the show, of course, a tall, broad shouldered man stood immediately in front of us.  I’ve come to expect that, but this dude was like 6’5″ or taller, and his wife was an amazon too.  It pretty much obscured our view unless we craned around them one way or another.  Still, we were going to have fun, and going to see the stage since we got such stellar seats!

stage--gold light-blueDave came out and we held our sign up several times.  We played the setlist game and the people around us offered their inside knowledge of Saturday’s setlist and suggestions for what would get played this night.  Also, the people around us were quite excited about our sign, wanting to know what it said, encouraging us to hold it up, spotlighting it with a flashlight, and offering to get us Carter’s drumsticks if he threw one toward our poster.  It was a great vibe.

Ugh–the Lovely Ladies showed up. I can’t stand the way they change the sound of DMB, and they were a huge factor when I wasn’t an earlier fan of the band. Crash was amongst my 1st 12 CDs ever, but I hated Lovely Ladies and thought they were permanently part of the band’s sound, so strayed away from their music. I could ignore them on 2 songs, but they absolutely ruined “You and Me” which is normally one of my faves, and Cool and I were swaying to it–having a moment.

Cool and I danced, sang,  and got along famously throughout the whole show.  At one point we laughed and laughed because as Dave was singing “Squirm” the lyrics went “open your mouth and $hit comes out” which reminded us of the vomit.  And it was much better then Friday.  I had a DMB blue green lightsreally nice time at the show, and with her.

They ended the encore with “Shake me like a monkey” or as we like to call it–kick in the dick. Sorry Dave, you just can’t force a closer. If a song isn’t encore material, no amount of playing it last will make it so. Next time–“2 step.” Or just stop at “The Stone” because that would have been different and awesome.

I had to clean Cat’s Meow one last time, and thought I might try to get it done Monday.  And I thought I should do some studying the next day.  The concert ended at 11:35 PM (I just checked my FitBit step time to confirm this).  So instead of camping again (though it’s lovely) I decided to be a big-girl and drive us home that night.  What I didn’t anticipate was all the (drunk) traffic.  It took us a literal 20 minutes just to get out of our parking spot.  Then, it took another half hour to slowly wind through the dark, unmarked roads to I-90.  With normal traffic it takes about 15-20 minutes total.  So we didn’t really get going until 12:40AM (I know this because we stopped at the first rest stop to get snacks within reach and pee–and my FitBit recorded those steps).  It’s a 2.5 hour drive, but I can never fall asleep in a non-bed situation.  Cool stayed awake and talked to me the whole time, which is unusual and awesome.  Having company without nagging for it worked out a lot better!  I started getting really tired around 2:30AM, but we were IN Spokane, so we didn’t have far to go at all.  And I have to say, that drive was much better in the dark.  Between Mosis Lake and Cheney, there is nothing but dirt, so I actually felt like the time passed faster.  Maybe we’ll drive in the dark again next time we have to go through there. . .

I wasn’t as productive as I had hoped Monday, and of course I couldn’t clean work because the book-keeper was already there when I showed up.  But it was nice to be home and have a whole day to rest before school and work resumed.

Sunday panarama

So there it is–the whole Labor Dave Weekend + Brandi Carlile story of 2014.  Cool has been to the Gorge to see DMB 24 times–and saw him in CA an additional 3 times) so she’s a big fan.  And these were my 3rd and 4th shows.  I wish it could be an annual thing, but I’m afraid this might be our last year.  Next year, we’re (barring school rejections) moving to Utah, and it’ll be too far, and too expensive to go during the school year.  Maybe DMB or Brandi or both (are you guys reading this???!!!!!  Hint, hint.)  will play Red Rocks and we’ll get to go there instead. . .

LaZY DAVE Saturday [3rd post of 4]

11 Sep

Sorry for the delay!  It’s been a busy coupe of weeks shifting into all my new schedules.  And I already have a test next week!  And I’m having to go to work (4 hours) extra for obligatory training.  So blogging has been low on my priority list.  But I’m waiting to go into work for an hour–so here it is:

SATURDAY:

We didn’t get tiks for Saturday. Because they’re too expensive, we’d be too tired and dirty, and the crowd is over the fratty line for us.

We woke up at our secret camping spot (feathers) which is a GORGEous location to wake up and I’m not sure why so many people pay big bucks to party on top of each other, when this is a few miles away, quiet, FREE and relatively empty (4 caps Friday night) but I’m glad they don’t.  It’s lovely to have it to ourselves.  I ran my obligatory mile.  I didn’t notice anything awry on the way out of the camp site, other then loose gravel on the road that was a little slippy for my liking.  But on the way back, I found that it was UPhill all the way.  And against the wind.  Needless to say, I got my sweat on.  But it was one of the most beautiful runs ever, overlooking a canyon with bay salt walls, with windmills in the distance.

SEATS-the gorge 023

We take pictures at this beautiful scene each year we attend the concerts.  But I should have done it before my run, because I look sweaty and windblown and none of the pics are suitable for Facebook.  Then, we ate more of our wonderful snacks and smoothies on the way to River Road where Cool’s friend lives.  We had wanted to visit her for several years, but 2.5 hours proves to be a bit too far for school, and 2 different work schedules to manage.  Mostly, we’re locked in Spokompton–which is why this summer was special with only a few hours of my time scheduled and just Cool’s job to work around.  Anyway, we did plan on seeing Cool’s school pal this time. I was excited for a shower, Cool was excited to go to the lake and sleep in a real bed. And we were ready for a BBQ (having brought brats, dawgs, and chips from home). But our host had a migraine and was out of commission.

Which ended up working out OK, because we were tired, and recovering from our fight from the night before. So we showered, napped, watched TV (we’re now hooked on “Criminal Minds” on Netflix) and vegged out all day.  But then our host’s father (who was supposed to BBQ) needed stitches so those plans were also off.  But Cool’s friend started feeling a little better.  I had asked Cool when we arrived at 10AM if she had her pills, and she said she didn’t.  Cool finally LOOKED to see if she brought some Rx migraine pills, and turns out she did, so her friend got a pill around 4PM.  We got to chat a little, and went to bed relatively early, missing Saturday’s concert as planned.

SEATS-the gorge 032

And of course (as is our luck), fans are calling Saturday the best show of 2014. The setlist we’d die for occured.  Here’s some stats from AntsMarching:

Fri:

= 16.7% Away From the World

= 4 star rating

= rarest song is Rapunzel

= rarity 7 of 42 summer concerts; overall = 26.32

Sat:

= 20% Remember Two Things

= 4.5 star rating

= rarest song is So Much to Say-Too Much tease-into Halloween!

= rarity of 8 of 42 summer shows; overall = 24.76

Sun:

= 21.7% Under the Table and Dreaming

= 4.5 star rating

= rarest song is Loving Wings or Steady As We Go (played once during the summer tour)

= rarity of 2 of 42 summer shows; overall = 26.19

I have no complaints about our setlists, but you always want what you don’t have I guess.  I had put “So Much to Say”-tease-closer on my setlist wishlist and that would have been amazing to see.  And obviously, we were devastated Brandi did a duet with Dave (only on this night). I heard rumors Brandi did a meet & greet Saturday.  Of course.  Because that’s my luck.  If we had gone Friday and Saturday, this would have occurred Sunday.  If we had gone all 3 days, it wouldn’t have happened at all.

But we got clean and rested and did some visiting Saturday so we had a good time and didn’t yet know what we had missed.  Next up–Sunday, the final concert!

Fri-disappointment [post 2 of 4]

8 Sep

FRIDAY was not our worst Gorge experience ever.  In 2010 we had tickets and got there Sunday for the show–only to find out our tickets had been for Saturday.  And the venue was $hitty about it and wouldn’t honor them even though they could tell they’d never been scanned.  And they wouldn’t even downgrade us to lawn.  They said we could purchase 2 lawn tickets for $100 (extra).  So we went home, having missed out.  So this wasn’t that bad, but it’s a close 2nd worst.

I wish I could say Friday was amazing and everything I’d been looking forward to for so long. It truly makes me sad I can’t.

There was a parking situation.  They made brand new paths to drive on–which is a lot better because they criss-crossed the whole lot.  So there would be less waiting in line to leave when that time came.  Our flag lady, however, was not doing her job.  She didn’t indicate which path Cool should take.  We rolled down the window and Cool asked and received a reply I didn’t hear.  Later, Cool told me she said, “follow the path and park.”  NOT helpful.  But Cool didn’t persist for clarification.  And the thing about Cool is she folds under pressure and recedes inside herself when presented with any kind of choice in a perceived pressure situation.  She has generalized anxiety on top of her bipolar.  For me, it means she totally shuts down and freezes, doing nothing.  Meanwhile leaving me, the passenger, to control the situation–from afar.  It’s stressful for her and frustrating for me.  Well, that happened, putting damper #1 on our time.

But we were ready to tailgate!  We had all kinds of snacks, and bevs, and playing cards.  Before the concert we had fun.yellow skirt tailgate Fri

At 3PM, the venue opened for the Caravan Acts (we didn’t care about).  But I like to be early and we both wanted to check out the merch before it got picked over so I grabbed our awesome poster and we lined up.  Smokers were in front of us and behind us in the line.  I realized how spoiled we are as Washington residents, that not a staggering percentage of people smoke.  But there were a lot of out of staters for the crux of the summer concert series, so we had to endure it.  But not without some loud grumbling.  The poster was a little unruly to carry because the wind kept wanting to gust it away.  So I had to use my arm muscles to keep it from bending or flying away.  It would be well worth it later!  As we approached the front of the line, I noticed there were 8 security stalls, all of them manned–but people were only standing at the first 2.  And the security people at the later stalls were goofing off.  I told Cool to follow me and went from the 2nd long line, so the 5th completely empty stall.  And made it all the way inside in about 2 seconds.  I turned to celebrate with Cool, and no Cool.  Where did she go?  I waited on the other side of the lines expecting her to come right through.  Nope.  I went up to the gate to look for her.  Not only had she not followed me, she was no longer in any line.  She was waiting in a random area–crumbling from the pressure.  Again.  Frustrated, I yelled for her.  Her hearing loss and panic prohibited her from hearing me.  I had to go back out and grab her and get her.  I actually was so frustrated at her inability to function enough to go through an effing line I thought about just going to our seats–but she was holding our tickets.  When I grabbed her she said she lost me.  Even though I wore a bright yellow skirt and was holding a large, colorful poster. . .  Damper #2 on our time.

It was more windy then it had been at our past concerts.  Wind is my least favorite weather.  But my hair was back out of my face in a cute hairstyle, and my skirt had built in shorts and looked cute and flouncy when it whipped around.  BUT I forgot my fire shoes. Sneakers that matched my adorable outfit, yet were comfortable to walk across dirt, weeds, and up & down all the hills. So my plastic flip-flops ate the skin off my feet and got wet and sweaty.  I also forgot a coat/sweatshirt/longsleeve Sidenote: I really cannot change plans at the last minute. I was going to wear my whole outfit in the car and had it all (including the 2 aforementioned articles) set out. Then, I decided I didn’t want to get car slur on my nice stuff so I’d wear grubbies on the 2.5 hour drive and change. Back to point. I (we both) got cold. And there was nothing to do except A) be miserable and distracted for 7 hours or B) buy expensive outerwear at the merch stand. So I shelled out $65 for a sweatshirt and Cool $65 for a zip-up. Which we will both wear, but probably wouldn’t have bought if temperature wasn’t a factor.

sweatshirt on Friday

Brandi Carlile did an awesome job!  As always she got the crowd going, and I think made a lot of new fans.  They added banjo to “100 years” and it sounded outstanding-I hope I can get hold of that live version!  Also, Brandi ended the 1st song, there was a pause, and it looked like Brandi saw our sign.  Then she said, “Raise Hell” (our sign said– Raise Hell Brandi), there was another pause–then they played “Raise Hell.”  I’m pretty sure because of our sign.  So that was awesome.  She also did a rockin’ cover of Fleetwood Mac and “Nothing Compares to You,” in which the band ROCKED OUT.  It was amazing per the usual.  Though she played as a true opening act, doing covers instead of her own extensive, and popular, catalogue.  But honestly, I like anything Brandi Carlile does, so I didn’t mind at all.

There was a half hour break between sets and our section filled in.

We had seats pretty close to the front (row 13) but any seat at all is better then none.  Except we got surrounded by smokers. row 13-section 104--FriReally?! I guess cause Friday is big for out of staters who have to start going back home on the later days? Go home now!  I absolutely hate smoking, because I have to smell it and stink too.  And Cool hates it because her mom (who smoked for 40 years) is on Oxygen due to severe COPD.  And it was on all sides and disgusting and obnoxious. And since they were also drunk (I had never noticed before that everyone is) they had no consideration and chain-smoked puffing right on us.  Gross!

Cool was seated by Mr. Obnoxious. He was a drunk smoker, he was loud and pushy, and he crowded both of us out of our space. Like far away, so that the people on the other side of me were skewed also and complaining.  Cool was in front of my seat and I had to cram between my seat and the person on the other side of me.

When Dave Matthews got on stage, we held up our poster.  But Cool tried to pull it down after only .4 seconds.  And I was like, what’s going on–hold up our awesome poster!  She refused, not wanting to hold it at all.  She tried to renege on holding up our poster 😦 Which had been her idea, and we worked hard on it, and it looked amazing, and I had to carry it around in the wind pre-show.  But she wouldn’t.  Damper #3 was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  I became infuriated and disappointed with her. I was really pissed at her and it really made my time worse then it could have been.

stage--brown-plum

 

The setlist was great. We were at the Gorge! We had seats! Yet, things weren’t right with Cool and me, so it sucked.  I almost cried when “our song” “Crush” got played.  We were not in a good place, so it was really sad and sucky.  And the band played every sexy and romantic song they had because Dave’s wife and kids were in the audience–so fighting with Cool was the worst!

stage--red

But I was really mindful about tuning out the extraneous (anger/disappointment in Cool, SUPER-Douche crowd around us, and non-stop smoking) and look at the lighting, the band, the stage, the sky.  Think about how lucky I was to be there, and in good health, and have seats, and be sober.  Lucky

Still, I ended the night in crocodile tears, very disappointed in how the day was ruined.

Next installment, Saturday of Labor Dave Weekend + Brandi–away from the Gorge.

2 Nights of SEATS [post 1 of 4]

7 Sep

We looked forward to the Gorge all year, really.  Last year we saw 1 of the 3 shows (Sunday) from the lawn.  Sunday is a great vibe, and my favorite crowd.  A lot of the out of towners start home to make it back to work.  It’s also a really good crowd because travel, camping, partying, and carousing for a few days and nights prior, really does a lot to mellow everyone out.  a.k.a.–the fratty and crazy people act less douchi because they’re tired and hungover.  The downside to Sunday is the venue runs out of everything!  Which, they know DMB is all three days of the weekend, and they’ve been doing this for over ten years so you’d think they could have some numbers expectations and a little pre-planning, but noooo.  It was especially a problem for beer (in the past, when we drank) because all the good kraft beers were long gone by Sunday, and I hate fratty, cheap piss-water, and refuse to drink it.  And that makes sitting back in the grass with all the obnoxious weirdos difficult.  You have to have a buzz on to tolerate it at all.  SO this year we wanted to do it right and get seats.

But seats are expensive.  And tickets went on sale during my last week of work, when I had already quit my job, but before I had any new work (income) prospects.  And my hair gets too greasy to camp for multiple nights in a row without showers.  And with little sleep (camping conditions) I get crabby and Cool is completely non-functional.  So we planned to take Saturday (peak fratty audience day, peak attendance) off to relax.  And my parents bought me an early, early birthday present of one of the four tickets–meaning I could get closer seats, because I was only paying for half of the pair.  YAY!!!  And employed Cool got the others pair, which were slightly further back.  But let’s face it, even the farthest back seat in the venue is still a SEAT and still better than lawn.  So things worked out perfectly (for finances and sleep and showers).  More on this later.

20140829_155236

Sitting in SEATS is better for a number of reasons:

-weirdos are on the grass (I mean, they are insane:  bras and no shirt, hard-core making out, drunk, screaming, smoking, generally being super-annoying)

-it’s colder and more windy on the grass

-the grass is far, far away–even the jumbo-trons look small.  The (cell phone) pictures are teeny or with editing look pixelated and crummy.

-you do not have an assigned location of the grass = people get in your grill or sit/stand/dance immediately in front of you obscuring what little view you had.

-Since the bathrooms are in no way gated off, they’re inconvenient to get to, and get a lot more use a.k.a dirty–er.

What Went into SEATS at The Gorge:

We planned to have incentive/reward for no alcohol with actual seats at the Gorge in November

We saved our money to buy tickets since Christmas

We purchased our tickets in Feb

We planned our visit/shower/bed with Cool’s friend almost immediately after the tickets were purchased

We planned our food and bev all summer

We planned and made our poster all of August

We prepped everything for 2 weeks in advance

We got car chalk to feel cool during the drive and painted slogans on the windows–“Labor DAVE weekend!!!” “DMB or BUST” and “Brandi Carlile <3”

 

walk about day 2 001

This is the first semester at Riverpoint I’ve ever had class on Friday.  They used to only have courses Mon-Thurs, but last year the main campus in Pullman had issues with drinking and debauchery, so the WSU system put classes every day to break those party days up.

Which is irrelevant for our branch campus for many reasons:

-we are a medical campus (hello, hard-science students have to actually STUDY)

-being a branch campus, there are substantially less of us

-mainly older students attend Riverpoint (Juniors and up) so we’re generally not as adventurous/stupid

-there are no dorms/frats here

-the economy is $hitty = less restaurants/bars/clubs to be naughty

But they don’t care, it’s a WSU-wide thing, so I have to attend class (Neuroanatomy, unfortunately) Friday from 11-noon (late!).  It’s very inconvenient for me, and in the past would NEVER have worked with my Forster-fire Fridays.  Which was one of the 3 full days I worked consistently my whole duration of employment (Monday and Saturdays were the others).  It would have been awful if this had started ANY sooner then it did, I would have been forced to quit Cat’s Meow sooner, because getting rid of Fridays was not an option and leaving in the middle = impossible.  This year, I just had the concert to contend with, not work (thank God!).  As such, I skipped class for the first time in the 6 semesters I’ve been attending school here.  And normally, I would have felt guilty, worried about what I’d missed, and stress out more then it was worth–but I’m the new, relaxed version of me now.  So I skipped and had fun and tailgated as planned.

IMG_20120901_174716                                                                                                              pic from 2012, obviously

Speaking of Drinking–We Weren’t/Aren’t

I was a little concerned about not drinking.  At a concert(S).  That’s historically been a big part of the whole tradition, as well as a means to survive all the crowds, the dirty SaniHuts, and fratty D-Bags.  BUT we got the seats, and we found awesome machtail recipes and spent a week making them and froze them in water bottles so they would even be cold for tailgating.  And really, I didn’t miss drinking during tailgating or the concert at all.  Inside the venue, the Gorge must have contracted with Bud Light because that was the only beer we saw, and believe me I was not jealous or tempted by that.  Also, I had never previously realized that 99% of people at concerts are DRUNK.  Like acting obnoxious, smelling strongly of alcohol, slurring, staggering, some falling.  That was weird.  But being sober around it didn’t ruin my time at all.  And I didn’t feel inhibited about dancing or anything, because no one around us A)  mattered B) was aware enough to notice us C) was going to remember it.  Sobriety at concerts was just fine–a non-issue.  But only from SEATS.  I would have hated the shenanigans in the grass without something on board.

I was going to have a big master post, but changed my mind.  I know you guys wouldn’t read an entire looooong thing.  And also since I’m getting into the groove of school, work, and studying, posting multiple parts will help me give more (real) posts.

Standby for the story of Friday, coming next.

Tough Job Interview Q’s. . . And Good A’s for Them

6 Sep

I plan to write a post about my new job, but I’m tired right now.  And I have to go there in next to no time.  And I still have to finish my Labor Dave Weekend post.

So until then, here’s a draft from the summer when I was interviewing so much.  I’m not super great at interviews, just because I’d really only had vet interviews, which as I’ve mentioned are a whole different thing.  Here’s some common questions and what I think maybe would go over well.

I skipped the what’s your greatest weakness, or give a specific example of a problem or failure and how you handled it.  I have no idea what to say to that one, and I’ve fallen flat on that a few times.  Next time I am on the job market, I’ll have to think of something good for that.  I did include just a couple that might help:

vet tech what i really do

1.  Why do you want to work here/what makes you best for this job?

Give an example of something you like about the company–a core value.  Say that since you believe in this philosophy also, and it’s easier to work diligently when your values align with the company’s. That internal motivation to work succeed for the company provides more incentive than anything else.

2Handling a Challenging Customer
Handing a challenge does not always have to do with previous experience because what happens before to a challenge is a specific situation which ends up creating a challenge or an obstacle for someone .How I handle a challenge is by first understanding what the real situation is which led to this problem/challenge or an obstacle,second by defining the the challenge with broad picture,third suggesting possible solutions and selecting one solution,forth understanding what impact will the suggested solution will have on the business/operation of the business and lastly implementing the suggested solution not forgetting to make follow up on the suggested solution.

3.  How do you handle simultaneous people while maintaining outstanding customer service?

In-person takes priority over the phone, so let voicemail get it or get a phone number if possible.  Always acknowledge every customer with at least eye contact and hopefully “I’ll be with you in a moment.”  Help people in the order they arrived.