3.30.2009

A really close shave

So I think I've finally come up with the perfect shaving situation.

I've mentioned in the past how awkward (and pretty much impossible) it is to shave in the showers here at Grande Ole DreamSchool, namely because they are TINY TINY TINY and there's no way to prop your leg up. Also, since they are so tiny, there's no place to go to escape the shower stream, which inevitably washes off the shaving gel as soon as you've put it on. Plus, y'know, shaving takes time.

So, finally, I invested in this little bugger:



See? Isn't it beautiful? No need for shaving gel, and it takes 30 seconds to run up and down my legs. Voila!

I started off shaving Monday/Wednesday/Fridays, but then I discovered just how quickly the little moisture strips run out. Like, really quickly. And those things are EXPENSIVE. So. I've narrowed it down to a science:

~On a regular week, I shave Mondays and Fridays, knees and below.
~Every two weeks, I'll shave above my knees.
~On weeks I wear skirts with no tights, I'll shave as need be.

I've probably invested way too much time and thought into this. But oh well.

At least my legs are smooth.

3.28.2009

The tipping dilemma

See, one of the bad things about being college students is that at restaurants and such, we generally get lousy service.

Why, you ask?

Well, from my experience (and this is NOT true of everyone and everywhere), college kids give tiny tips, waiters and waitresses usually assume we'll give them tiny tips, so they don't really treat us all that well. So in turn, we give them tiny tips.

It's a vicious cycle.

I usually try to break that--tipping generously for okay service, just to show them that college kids CAN tip well. But sometimes, like what happened last night, I just refuse.

Last night my roomies and I went to a fairly nice restaurant (well, each of our entrees was $10-12, we consider that nice!). We saw our waiter for a grand total of 32 seconds. Seriously. After waiting 10 minutes in a non-crowded restaurant, he finally came over to take our orders. That was it.

Somebody else delivered the food, which is the norm at that restaurant, but our waiter didn't even come back to fill up drinks for us. We had to stop other waiters to ask for bread (which they usually bring out free) and for our bill. It wasn't like the waiter disappeared--he had come several times to the tables around us. But he skimped out on the college kids.

My meal was $11, and I gave him a dollar tip. If he had given me good service, I would have given him $3. It's just a stinky cycle to be stuck in, and I know there are college kids out there who DO give tiny tips, but attn: servers, my friends and I aren't like that!

Harumph.

3.26.2009

At first I was afraid

And I'm still kinda petrified.

See, part of my job in the admissions department of Grande Ole DreamSchool is that I take people out on tour. I was certified last week to do this by myself, or with another new person, without a supervisor leading. And today? I went out on my very first non-supervisor tour. It was just me and James, a fellow newly-certified admission employee. Each tour lasts about 75 minutes, depending on how many questions people ask.

During these tours, we do a LOT of going up elevators in various buildings. I've heard stories about tour groups getting stuck in elevators, but they were always quickly rescued.

Now. I have a bit of an elevator phobia. It's not too intense, but I still don't like them very much.

So of course it figures that today, my first non-supervised tour, we'd get stuck in a flippin' elevator.

Picture this: we're at the last stop of the tour. We've already been walking around and talking for an hour and fifteen minutes. We could have taken two elevators up to the 8th floor, but that would have taken a while since the elevators were busy -- people were going too/from classes. So we all crowd into one. 14 people in an elevator.

We're fine up until the 6th floor. We stop, and a teacher gets in. The doors close, but we don't go anywhere. After a few seconds, James and I kind of laugh and say, "Oh, this happens all the time. Give it a minute." Cause it's true, sometimes the elevators are just slow. It's an old building.

After about a minute, we start sinking slowly. Not gonna lie...I freaked out then. I remember clutching the back of James' arm VERY TIGHT, and we looked at each other in the eye and we both simultaneously thought, "oh SHIT." I pretty quickly went into NannyMode--I had to take care of these people, they were MY responsibility, and I didn't have time to be worried or freaked out.

We pressed the CALL button, and told the operator we were stuck in X building in X car. He replied, "Okay," and then was silent. James said, "Really, this happens, they'll have us out in no time!" and there was some nervous laughter.

In the meantime, we found out that one of the moms on tour is REALLY claustrophobic. We barely had room to breathe in there, so she was trying hard to remain calm. So James and I were trying to distract her by telling stories about us, DreamSchool, puppies, ANYTHING! And everybody else in the elevator was helping too.

After ten (yes, TEN) minutes, we finally call the operator back. He tells us they're still working on it.

After fifteen (yes, FIFTEEN) minutes, we hear somebody banging on the outside of the elevator. A guy yells, "HEY, WE CAN'T GET YOU OUT SO WE CALLED THE FIRE DEPARTMENT."

Oh good, great. Thanks.

After twenty (TWENTY) minutes, we called the operator AGAIN, and were told that the fire department was stuck in traffic and wouldn't be there for "a while." The poor woman with claustrophobia was really having a hard time, so one of the moms called 911 on her cell phone and demanded that we get let out immediately, somehow, but NOW.

After twenty-five (TWENTY-FIVE) minutes that felt like an hour, one of the dads suggested we pry the doors open. We didn't know where we were in the building, but we decided to give it a try. Three guys were able to pry open the first set of elevator doors, but we were greeted with two concrete doors.

After some pushing and shoving and grabbing various levers, the guys FINALLY got the second doors open. We were down halfway below the basement--we had to crawl up out of the elevator and into the basement. But we were out.

James and I apologized sixteen million times...we were both so embarrassed, but there was nothing we could do. James was late to a class of his, so he took the people who wanted to leave back to the visitor's center and went to his class. I, meanwhile, had to finish the tour alone. We didn't want to take the elevator so we walked up 9 flights up stairs, talked about the area, and walked all the way back down to the first floor, and the tour was over.

It was about then that the adrenaline started to wear down. I was shaking from the rush and utterly exhausted from everything. It was pretty crazy, let me just tell you that. Now, several hours later it's like it never happened--like it was a weird bad dream.

I will say this: NO MORE LARGE GROUPS IN ELEVATORS FOR ME, that's for sure!

Edited to add: My mom asked how far the elevator actually sunk--6.5 floors.

I'm not gonna brag, but...

Dennis Quaid *totally* called my office today. I didn't get to speak with him, but...

I *might* get to take him out on tour. Also, she's not too famous, but...

I got to cover *Project Runway* WINNER Leanne Marshall during a press conference last night, and...she's adorable.

That's all.

3.22.2009

Twenty-twelve

I met up with a bloggy friend this afternoon today (and her baby boy, who is just about the most delicious baby I've ever laid eyes on).

We discussed, among other things (dorm rooms, tornadoes, Easy Bake Ovens) the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar* and how some people say the Mayans are predicting the world will end -- or something otherwise catastrophic will happen -- in December of 2012. (Normally I don't take much stock in these things, but from what I've heard/read the Mayan calendar has been eerily accurate about other things, so...)

Now, y'all know me, and y'all know my anxiety problems. I would think that I'd have anxiety over this, but I really don't...I'm really just fascinated to see what, if anything, happens come Dec. 21 three years from now.

What say you guys? We gonna die?

*Here is the ever-credible Wikipedia page. Scroll down to read about it. Though the more I read about it, the more I think it's just a bunch of hooplah.

3.20.2009

The Left Boob Chronicles, Part V

The Boobday Girl

I had called and made a follow-up appointment with the breast surgeon for the week of spring break. It just happened to fall on my birthday -- happy birthday to me! So I scraped my tired (and sick -- I had a terrible cold that had just knocked me on my behind) bones out of bed for a 9:30 a.m. appointment.

My mom went with me again, but waited in the waiting room as I went back. I told the surgeon that I thought the lump had gotten bigger, and after feeling it, she agreed with me. She told me that she wanted to a biopsy, and that since the lump was bigger she could just do a normal (as opposed to surgical) biopsy right there in the office.

As in that day.

Like, right then.

That kind of freaked me out. She explained the procedure very simply and gently: she'd inject Lidocaine into my left breast to numb it, and I'd feel it sting and burn for a bit, and then I'd have no feeling. After that, she'd make a small incision about 1/2 inch under my nipple, through which she'd insert the biopsy stick (for lack of a more scientific term...), get a few samples, and then suture the incision back together. She assured me it wouldn't take more than 5-10 minutes, which would mostly be set-up and clean-up.

I gotta tell y'all, I was pretty nervous. I asked the nurse to get my mom from the waiting room cause I wanted a) to run things by her and b) her hand to hold. She came back, and the surgeon explained everything to her, and we decided to go ahead and do the biopsy. The surgeon reiterated that she still wasn't very worried, but this would really be for peace of mind.

I was in one of those damn paper gowns again, and the nurse had me lie back completely. Let me just tell you, those paper gowns are HARD to keep things covered with since they open in the front! But my mom promised not to look anyway :-)

After a few minutes of set up, the surgeon explained that the biopsy stick (or was it the needle? I can't remember--Mom, do you?) would make a loud popping noise when it went in, sort of like a cap gun going off. Uh, whaaaaa? Sure enough, she tested it out for us, and it made a loud crack. It was weird!

The surgeon got the needled all ready with Lidocaine, and I looked straight at my mom (NOT watching that needle go in, no way!) and squeezed both her hand and the nurse's. It did sting a lot as it went in, and kept stinging as the Lidocaine filled my breast. I just remember begging my mom to talk to me to distract me! Soon, though, I couldn't feel a thing. I didn't look for a few minutes, but then curiosity took over. All I saw was blood on the surgeon's glove, and some gauze with blood on it. Yup, that freaked me out! I looked away quickly and didn't look again.

Just a few minutes later, everything was over. They bandaged me up and sent me on my way! And let me just tell y'all--my boobs are not small, and I can feel them bounce when I walk. To have one numb boob and one un-numb boob was SO WEIRD. I can't explain the feeling...it was just like my left boob wasn't there!

I had a bit of pain and discomfort over the next few days, and my boob turned rather spectacular 47 different shades of blue, green, purple, red, and yellow. It's still pretty bruised up over a 1.5 weeks later--my friends call it the RainbowBoob :-) Definitely an interesting thing to look down and see is a multi-colored boob!

So, the results. I got them back 3 days after the biopsy. My doctor called me personally, and the only time I was really worried was waiting to talk to her. That's when I allowed the anxious thoughts of "what if..." to enter my head--what if it was cancer? Would I have to start chemo immediately? What about DreamSchool? Would I lose my hair?!?!?

To be honest, when I started writing The Left Boob Chronicles, I didn't know the results of the biopsy. I didn't know that everything was okay. In the first 2 posts, I was very cheery and cracking jokes, I think to make up for what little bit of nervousness I was having. But I got the call that everything was okay, that all is well, and I just have a bump of extra-dense breast tissue in my left boob! (EWWWWWWW!!!)

So, thus ends The Left Boob Chronicles. All is well, and the RainbowBoob lives on.

P.S. Comments are FINALLY open. If y'all have any questions about this, ask away, I'd be happy to clear any confusion up. I know my medical-speak is not quite up to par, hah!

3.18.2009

The Left Boob Chronicles, Part IV

Slice 'em and dice 'em

Jan. 12 rolled around, and with that came my consult with the breast surgeon. Just like with the breast ultrasound clinic, I was the youngest one in the room by a LOT. My mom had come with me and I think most people thought I was there with her, not the other way around.

Eventually I went back to talk with the surgeon. She examined me and definitely felt the lump, but didn't seem too worried. After she was finished, she told me that she thought the lump was just very dense breast tissue. Normally she would have done a biopsy on it, but since the lump was so small and in such a weird position, she would have had to do a surgical biopsy -- I would be under anesthesia, and she would have had to go through my left nipple to get it.

First, that would have been unnecessarily invasive since she wasn't too concerned about the lump. Second, having to go through the nipple would potentially cause problems down the road and hinder my ability to (one day, hopefully) breastfeed my children. So she ultimately decided that I should just keep an eye on it, but not be too worried (I wasn't), because it was 99.9% nothing. She wanted to check up on me again when I was home in March, though, just to be sure.

---------------------------------------------

Fast-forward to late February. I was up at DreamSchool again (I returned in mid-January) and back in the swing of school. One night I decided I should do a BSE again, just to check on things. I found the lump in my left breast and I could immediately tell it was bigger. I'm not going to lie, that freaked me out. I'd estimate it was probably acorn-sized, whereas previously it was lima bean-sized.

Once I calmed down (and called my parents to freak out to them), I decided I'd call the breast surgeon to schedule my spring break appointment in March. It was only two weeks away, so I was okay waiting til then to get the lump checked out again.

Part V (the last one!) to be continued...

3.16.2009

The Left Boob Chronicles, Part III

Christmas Eve didn't gel with me (ha, ha)

The next morning was my boob ultrasound appointment. I still wasn't very nervous about anything -- I really was just filled with a calm feeling, no panic at all. And for someone as anxiety-ridden as I am, I was grateful for that!

I was the youngest person at the clinic by about 30 years. I think the staff didn't know quite how to treat me...they were very awkward. I stripped down into another flimsy paper gown (opening in the front for easy boob access. Which also means easy access elsewhere. I was suddenly regretting my choice not to wear granny panties) and hoisted myself up on to the table/bed/thing.

The gel they squirted on me was surprising--it was really warm. It looked and felt a little like thick Purell (hand sanitizer). The ultrasound tech smeared it all over my boob and went lump huntin'. She didn't say anything at all but snapped a few pictures and called it a day. I didn't think she was very thorough, but she said she got what she needed, so I didn't push for anything.

After conferring with the ultrasound expert (not sure of his official position), the ultrasound tech came back in and told me everything looked okay -- the lump was really too small to see much, but what they could see didn't look suspicious. They said they'd let my gyno know the results and that I was free to go.

The next week I got a call from my gynecologist's nurse. She was glad the ultrasound looked okay, but wanted me to get a second opinion with a breast surgeon. I called and was able to get an appointment for Jan. 12.

Part IV to be continued...

P.S. Thanks for all your sweet comments, tweets and e-mails for D. She's doing better today, and so am I. We've talked a LOT and have figured out various ways to still see each other even from far away! There's one more Ivy League school she's waiting to hear from that's IN DreamSchool City, so there's always the hope for that.

3.14.2009

Interruption

D. didn't get into her dream school. Crushed is too light a word...she is beyond devastated. We're halfway across the country from each other and I ache for her. I wish more than anything I could give her a hug right now.

This rejection brings up a lot of questions we didn't want to consider. We're both just flattened. We had so much hope that she'd be up north in my city. Now it's looking like the closest she might be is 9 hours away by bus.

I got into my dream school, why couldn't she have? I just want my best friend to be happy. For us to be in the same city would have been a dream.

The Left Boob Chronicles, Part II

At least I'm not crazy

As Dec. 22 approached, I grew more and more worried that the lump was made up, that I was making a big deal out of nothing. I felt calm, though, about the lump itself -- for whatever reason, I was fully confident that even if it was an actual lump, it was okay.

Finally the day arrived, and I went off to the gynecologist's. I love her. She's awesome AND has warm hands. What more could I ask for?

ANYWAY. I changed into one of those flimsy-ass paper gowns and hauled my butt up onto the table. Or really, jumped. Cause I'm kinda short, and I have to place both my hands behind me on the table and propel myself up and backwards to make it up there. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't...regardless, I was grateful I was alone in there.

Eventually, my gynecologist came in, I explained the lump and where it was, and she had me lie back so she could examine me. She found the lump pretty quickly -- I could tell by her face, because her brow furrowed a little bit, which of course made me feel ALL calm and relaxed inside. She asked again about my family history, and did a thorough breast exam of both my boobs, and my underarms.

Once she was done, she had me sit up and I desperately tried to cover myself with the paper gown thing. (I like to retain a modicum of dignity by not exposing by breasts everywhere. Oh, and when I sit up, my belly pooches over my jeans in a rather unflattering way, so I wanted to hide that.)

She explained to me that she definitely felt the lump, but she wasn't too worried because I was young, and the lump didn't feel suspicious. But she did want to make sure that it was nothing and ordered that I have a breast ultrasound (which, by the way, I didn't know existed. I later found out you can give pretty much anything an ultrasound. I believe my mother's had her arm ultrasounded) as soon as possible.

The minute I left her office, I called the diagnostic center downstairs. They had already heard from my doctor and could fit me in the next morning (Christmas Eve) at 8 a.m.

Part III to be continued...

3.12.2009

The Left Boob Chronicles, Part I

Note: I've kept something from y'all for a few months now. I'm not quite sure why, but I've finally decided to share this. Comments are off until the last entry. And just an FYI--some of this gets graphic. *Gasp* I'll be talking about my BOOBS!

I thought it was "hump day," not "lump day"

In early December, both of my breasts became very sore. This was nowhere near ovulation time for me (and I'd never had sore breasts with ovulation) or my period, so it was pretty random. But I didn't think much of it.

After they were both painfully sore (my left one more than my right one) with no discernible reason for over a week, something in my tiny, crazy mind told me to do a breast self-exam (BSE) one night. I'd done them before without really knowing how to do them, but on this one (I think it was the second week in December), I was more thorough.

On my left breast, on the bottom, I came across what felt like a small lump. I didn't feel it in my right breast, or anywhere else on my left breast. I'd estimate it was about lima bean-sized. I wasn't too worried about it, but decided to call my gynecologist the next morning, just to see what she'd say.

I was a week away from going home for Christmas, and though I have a family history of breast cancer (my maternal grandmother had it before she was 50, which is apparently a red flag), my gyno told me to wait until I was home, and then come in right away. I scheduled an appointment for Dec. 22. In the meantime, Auntie Flo had arrived, a full week early, randomly.

I continued to do BSEs every few nights. I wasn't worried about the lump, but I *was* worried that I was just feeling tissue or something and making a big deal out of nothing. I was terrified (unnecessarily) that when I finally made it to the doctor, she wouldn't find anything and I'd look like a fool.

But she did find something. (I *had* to leave y'all with a suspenseful ending!)

Part II to be continued...

3.10.2009

Confession time: Year II

Okay folks! I'm turning a ridiculously-old-I-don't-wanna-think-about-the-number age today, and to take my mind off any potential grey hairs I'll find (or be looking for...) it's confession time again!

Here are the rules again:

1. Post an ANONYMOUS comment--of a secret, confession, like, dislike...anything you want. It can be happy and light, it can be deep and depressing. WHATEVER you want.
2. There will be NO judging or cruel comments about anybody else's secrets.

The end!

Any "I hate you, Nanny"s can be sent to theonlinenanny@gmail.com rather than in the comments section, please :-)

Remember, all comments are anonymous...unless you really, really want to share your secret publicly, in which case, be my guest.

I'll be hiding my own secrets (I have one or two or seven to share) deep inside the comments section, so y'all better give me lots of comments in which to bury mine. And no, I have NO idea how to track who left what comment. And I have no desire to know. This is anonymous!

Have fun!

3.08.2009

Home sweet TEXAS

Y'all, it is SO GOOD to be home. I can't say that enough.

It's sunny and beautiful outside -- I've been living in skirts and shorts and it's been heaven! I also just feel happier. I didn't realize how much the weather affects my moods. I love DreamSchool city, and I'm happy there, but I'm pretty much ecstatically happy here. LOVE me some Texas sunshine!

Also, being with pupster Max and my family and D. (who, by the way, got into an Ivy League school last week! GO GIRL!)...it's just so nice. I never realize how much I miss being home until I'm here.

What's interesting, though, is that this trip home I feel differently about something. I've mentioned in the past how it was really weird/hard for me to get used to CONSTANTLY being around people, especially while going places -- either on the subway or on the street, there are people *everywhere*.

But now? I'm so used to it that I hate being in my car alone. It's very weird to be flip-flopping like this :-)

Bottom line, I love DreamSchool and I love being home. I'm just a ridiculously lucky gal.

P.S. The big Confession post is coming in 2 days! WOOT!

Somebody was happy to see me


(And the feeling was mutual.)

3.06.2009

It's a bona fide MIRACLE

Today? I traveled. AND GUESS WHAT.

It was easy.

I KNOW. Easy travel? Me? OH YOU ARE SO FUNNY, my friend. But it WAS! I'd give you the rundown but I'm exhausted, so I'll give you an update in the form of tweets/texts/timelines that I sent throughout the day. Cop-out, I know, but I'M TIRED.

4:40 a.m.: Roommate wakes me up in a panic. "WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE???" she shouts. (Answer: because you misread the clock and I don't have to leave for another hour. But thanks for the heart attack anyway!)

5:40 a.m.: Leave. Since the subway isn't open, I take a cab. OH GLORIOUS INVENTIONS: I didn't have to drag my 80 lbs of luggage up and down the subway! Sure, it cost roughly 9 times as much money as the subway would have, but have I mentioned how easy it was?!?

6:07 a.m.: My suitcase that I was checking ended up being 52 lbs but the VERY nice attendant pretended to look away and ignore that. Bless her, I might have cried if I had to repack.

6:10 a.m.: Oh GOOD: two girls in front of me discussing Lost and its plane crash. SO not helping the anxiety.

6:31 a.m.: I have a parfait in one hand and a scone in the other. Nothing like food to placate anxiety.

6:57 a.m.: They are playing The Shins' "New Slang" on the plane. I feel infinitely better.

7:05 a.m.: Takeoff.

9:48 a.m.: After a VERY shaky takeoff and an okay flight, I've landed at airport #2. Thank god.

10:33 a.m.: Dear airports #1 and 2: two strikes and you're very nearly out in the food department. NOT LOVE, Nanny. (Explanation: My scone from airport #1 tasted like gasoline and I am so not even kidding. And my sandwich from airport #2 had cheese in it and ZOMG I DO. NOT. EAT. CHEESE.)

10:45 a.m.: Oh god. There is an entire gaggle of teenage girls who have just spotted a baby. The squeals are deafening.

10:55 a.m.: Takeoff again.

12:30 p.m.: LAND IN TEXAS, BABY!

See??? Relatively uneventful! It was amazing! And will probably never happen again! But now I'm home, LOVING the heat, I've shaved my legs and painted my toes and ingested an inordinate amount of guacamole. Oh, and pupster Max is cuddled up at my feet. And I get to see D. in a few hours!!! I IS HAPPY.

RA update: I got put on the alternative/wait list, which I'm okay with! Apparently they went through the entire wait list last year, so there's definitely hope!

3.04.2009

New clothes

My apologies to you guys--I've been a terrible commenter/blogger as of late. Bare (bear? I'm too exhausted to remember) with me, it's midterm season and I'm also particularly swamped at work. I find out tomorrow about the RA situation, and I've made peace with the decision either way. If I get it, that's great, the money is very much appreciated (though it'll be an enormous amount of work). If I don't, I'm set up to be in a suite with 5 of my best girl friends up here, and that will be great as well.

I'll be flying home for spring break in a few days and I'm trying to not let the flight anxiety get to me too much. There have been a few too many plane crashes lately and I'm absolutely freaked out. If only Texas were closer to DreamSchool city! :-)

OH--about the title. I've gotten some really cute and really cheap new clothes in the past week or so! I found a great thrift store nearby so now I have 3 new skirts (that I can wear on a daily basis, they're pretty casual but can be dressed up), a two sweater/wraps, 3 camisoles in various colors, a scarf, and several pairs of tights. The materialistic side of me is screaming in pleasure!

3.02.2009

Today I took a walk...



...but I couldn't sit down because of the SNOW.

'Snow school

As pretty much everyone knows, a rather large chunk o' the country was hammered with snow yesterday and today. DreamSchool City was no exception, and last night before bed everyone was SO. JONESING. for a snow day today...lord have mercy, I cannot tell you how excited these people get over the idea of that.

Example: My roommates made me get up out of bed and turn my pajamas inside out because that, apparently, helps to bring on the snow.

So this morning, with no DreamSchool cancelation in site (though plenty of other schools were canceled), I dragged my sorry, tired derriere to the shower.

Two minutes in (there was just enough time for me to GET REALLY WET) my roommate ran to the bathroom and screamed, "NOSCHOOLNOSCHOOLNOSCHOOL!"

GREAT THAT'S WONDERFUL BUT WHY COULD WE NOT HAVE FOUND THIS OUT BEFORE I GOT INTO THE SHOWER? Le sigh. I lead such a troubled life.

But then came the quandary: do I get out of the shower right away and go straight back to bed, and have to shower later, OR should I get my shower in now and THEN go back to sleep?

Oh, the choices.

I chose the former and headed back for some extended Zzzz's. It was delicious and just what I needed. Please don't hate me too much. But it was wonderful.