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The Laursonian Institute

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I’ve been much betwitter lately.  I got a cute twitter client and now it just sits there, running, filling with goodness.   Yay for summertime amusements.

I know I haven’t been doing a good job of blogging lately.  There just aren’t that many nights when I feel like I want to be on the computer, thinking about my day.  But today is a hot, lazy night.  It was really hot today – 100ish – but it’s pleasant now.  Breezy and cooler.

Much triumph was had, regardless of heat.  We had some lumber delivered this morning for our gate project (splitting the big unusable double-wide gate on the side yard into two openable doors) and the lawn edging.  They came way earlier than they quoted us, thus both Lewis and I were in bed when they showed up.  They didn’t even actually knock, though, they just sorta dumped the goods in our driveway and took off.  Not that it matters much, we didn’t need to sign or pay for anything.

Went to the doctor after that at my sister’s behest.  Have a good summer plan in the works to test out whether my birth control is having anything to do with these migraines, and then I have a back-up plan appointment with the neurologist at the end of summer.  All in all it was a good appointment.  I’m feeling well, all my vitals and blood work checks out, and other than these headaches, there doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with me.  Yay!  I’m glad to have an action plan for the time being.

Spent much of the afternoon car shopping with Lewis from the comfort of the internet.  Thought we were going to go see a car, but we wanted to price out some insurance quotes on various vehicles first, and called Lewis’ dad to see what insurance company they use.  Didn’t get much further than that – I guess Artie and Francie had been discussing selling us the car we’ve been borrowing, so he said he would give us a good deal if we wanted the Accord.  It blue books for more than we can afford, but Artie seems pretty serious about making sure we don’t put ourselves out.  We also called a family friend who owns the local Honda dealer to see what sort of back lot stuff he has in stock, and ironically he’s also getting in an almost identical Accord that is cheaper than the car we were going to go look at today…. so car plans are much altered in favor of someone in Davis doing us a good turn.  I suppose that is good news, though the prospect of paying car insurance next year is pretty dismal with our much-reduced income.  The other grad students make it happen somehow… I do suspect more than a few are still on their parents’ ticket.

I’ve been really enjoying cooking lately, since I have all the free time in the world these days.  I roasted a chicken tonight, with some red potatoes, and it turned out really well.  I probably could have devoured my whole half, but we squirreled away some nice leftovers.  It sure was good though – it came out beautifully crispy skinned and juicy. Mmm.  Had a really nice after-dinner walk through the fields behind our house.  It smelled really nice, like dry grass.  Davis is a nice place, even when it’s hot.  Next hot day will surely call for heading over to the Lawyers’ to abuse pool privileges!


It’s another feeling-late night (though I know it’s only 11) and that means list time:

  • saw a lovely phlebotomist, got labs done
  • headed out to 3 Palms to check out plants
  • hit up ace, picked up sharpened knives!
  • planted procured flora
  • almost planted dwarf lime tree…
  • hung out with heather and kevin!  symposium, davis creamery, “the meaning of life”

Tomorrow… I’m going to mostly chill the heck out.  And go to a Bollywood movie with the KEs!

Lessons in Obvious

It’s been a most triumphant spring break kind of day.  Got up early to go to the doctor… turns out I have twelve kinds of stress.  Or at least I have enough stress I’m failing to do anything with that I’ve racked up three stupid body things this quarter – migraines, heart palpitations, and a knot in my neck that feels like a tumor.  Anyway, doctor checked everything out, and he’s going to do some routine bloodwork, but otherwise I’ve been prescribed some chilling the hell out.  So… yeah.  Like I said yesterday, I guess I need to take this seriously.  That’s a really difficult thing to get ones mind around – seriously needing to chill out.  It’s a lot easier to think you’ll get to chilling out at some point when all the important stuff is done, instead of the chilling out being part of the important stuff.

I’m making headway in that direction though.  I toured a gym today, and I think I’m feeling settled on joining.  It seems like a great place – a separate women’s workout room, classes are all free and are all drop-in, towel and locker service… they even put shampoo and conditioner in all the showers, have free towel service, don’t play any music, have the TVs all on mute, and give you two free sessions with a trainer.  The class schedule looks nice, the fees aren’t terrible, and there’s no contract.  The people in there today also seemed really reasonable – no crazy bodybuilders, no meat market feeling, and a surprising number of middle-aged folks and seniors… just the sort of folks I want!  Plus, it’s just a stone’s throw from the Center (where I have a class, and will be doing research at next quarter), thus not far from the house, and also could be made to be on the way to campus.  I don’t see how there’s a downside, other than general gym-phobia.  But if yoga classes and some regular working out-type exercise make me feel better, and maybe teach me to release some stress… it’s got to be worth it.  And maybe I’ll stop having panic attacks and migraines!  I’m pretty excited, if somewhat aprehensive.

So post gym and doctor today, we spent the whole day working in the front yard.  I put together a little master plan for what I want to do with the front garden, and we got a really great start today!  I spread out the whole pile of dirt that was left over from the palm tree stump’s removal.  We’ve been letting the pile decompose for a while hoping to make dirt out of palm fiber, and it was looking really nice when I got into it today.  So I flattened all that, and trimmed the front hedge, and helped Lewis remove some small tree things.  It’s amazing how much nicer it looks already!  Thursday is going to be our big nursury trip, I think, to get the plants and vines and whatnot we’d like to put in.  I’ll post pictures as soon as there’s something more than excitingly flat dirt.  I’m very excited!


Blog, blog, blog.

It’s spring break!  I’m not doing a very good job blogging.  I got all my papers turned in, and I think all is well.  I’m attemping to not think about school, though I had to go to campus today to drop off the graded finals for the class I read for.

Sadly, I’m going to have to go to campus tomorrow too, boo.  Though this should be a good trip, I guess, as I’ve got an appointment with a doctor to talk about these heart palpitations, and the notted mess I’ve made my neck.  I seriously need to find a way to destress this next quarter, because I spent way too much of this one feeling crap.  Plus I’m sure it’s just not good for me, and feeling unwell stresses me out double.  Urgh.  Anyway, I’m pretty nervous about tomorrow, but I’m hoping that by lunch I’ll be full of relief at finding out that as usual I’m worrying about a mountain when faced with a molehill.   Yup.  Sigh.

Spent today running errands of many types around town, which was great.  Had a lovely lunch at Kathmandu, and picked up some tasty goods at the Co-op.  It’s so nice to be around town without any particular aim and with no time constraints.  Lovely day.  Capped it off by daydreaming through what I wanted to do with the front yard and garden, and hammered out some semi-concrete plans with Lewis.  I’m rather looking forward to some yard work, maybe tomorrow, and I hope the weather warms up a little, it’s been really breezy.

Daylight Somethings

I have not adjusted to this time change.  It’s 10:00 and here I am, completely exhausted again.

It was a pretty darn good day, though.  It’s always encouraging to start off the last week of school!  And as a bonus, we had a Quechua linguist-guy visiting our class this morning.  He was only going to sit in for an hour or so and watch us work, but in fact he gave us a very interesting 2-hour lecture and used up all our time!  So we didn’t have to do our dialogs, and didn’t even correct or turn in our homeworks.  Thus, we also didn’t get any more work assigned!  Best class yet.   Neuroimaging was good and short today (as it is every Monday), so it was a real smooth day.

I did also go to see the doctor (nurse practicioner, it turns out) about these migraines though.  I was looking forward to having that taken care of.  So there isn’t actually any real news from the visit.  My nurse is great.  She thinks the headaches are some combo of hormones and stress, and that I don’t have to do anything about them unless they really get in my way.  We can try messing with my birth control perscription, or they could perscribe me migraine medicine or something that has the effect of migraine mitigation (anti-depressants, blood pressure medicine) if I wanted… but one crap day a month sounds a hair less bad to me then being on medicine every day I don’t really need.  So for now, no change.  But good to know that it’s non-life-threatening and that I’ve got escape plans if I need them.  Nurse said I could even see the neurologist if I wanted… ooo.  Anyway, sort of a relief to know the headaches are not a huge deal, just another minor annoyance to deal with in life.

So I triumphantly rode home, got all my work done, baked cookies, and concocted dinner.  I’ve discovered that one of my best cooking resources is some innate ability to conjure up a version “KC’s Rice Surprise”, my Dad’s magical never-the-same-twice refridgerator meal.  Boy, Laurie’s Rice Surprise was sure good tonight.  Verrry spicy, and full of kale and collard greens and rice and red beans and ground beef.  Mmm.  It did have the odd effect of making my fridge as seemingly full as when I started though, since I somehow managed to create twice as much rice surprise as the rice I was attempting to use up.  Ended up going right back in the same tupperware it came out of!  Oh well!  It’s at least a little tastier now.

Nutation, n. (1a, obs.)

Deep breath, Laurie, deep breath.

It was a wonderful day.  I’ve been inordinately cheerful lately, a most unusual occurance in my normally staid life.   I liken it to the rush of endorphins you get when you spend the proper time eating well and exercising.  Instead of my body being filled with energy (though that too is true) it’s as though my mind is getting all the mental nutrient and exercise required and it’s just ready to go, all the time.  This is a good thing.  I just can’t help but feel really optimistic about my life and my studies.  That post this morning about job prospects was meant to be more tongue-in-cheek than it came off.  To be honest, I just can’t bring myself to care much about the job market.  I like what I do, I’m going to keep doing it, and I’ll work better under my own direction and with fewer outside pressures than I would work with an eye on the future.   Like I said, I think linguists just like to talk about how doomed we are!

It’s almost awkward to write about what a cheerful day I had when I find myself so exhausted at the end of the day.  Unlike the last few entries, tonight is one of those nights where the body is awake and the mind started dragging its feet and snipping tiredly hours ago.  This is entirely due to having slogged through a massive neuroscience paper I just finished reading.  My brain is now completely done.  I couldn’t do more work if I wanted.  I can barely speak English.

Other great things that happened today.  Had a fantastic semantics class.  I really, really enjoy computing truth conditions and mussing with the combinatoric denotations.  By gum, I’m even a little jazzed about this Boolean alegebra business.  It’s not often you hear the word “septuple” in a linguistics class, let alone get to talk about this much math.  I like math.  I think that’s the only academic thing I got done today, actually, besides this triumphant finishing of neuro paper.

It seems quite distant now, but I also took several long walks and got a lot of life-administrata done today.  Saw the doctor for a general check-up; all is well.  I’m feeling like I’ve just been tuned up, having been to the eye doctor last week, and the doctor doctor this week.  I’ve even got a dentist appointment next week!  I’ll be in ship shape.  Better than new.  Anyway, speaking of optometrist, I also picked out my new frames with help of Lewis today, and had a grand time at Dr. Guerreri’s office per usual.  It’s so handy to have family friends who are doctors and dentists.  And as a special treat, Lewis took me to get some delicious frozen yogurt after we made it through all our chores.  Lovely day to sit in central park and have a little chocolate-peanut butter frozen yogurt.  Mmm.

Ever since then I’ve been sitting here, in my desk chair, ticking things off my Tasque list.  And lo, that list is done.  It must be time to retire.

Nadezhda na zavtra…

Lazy, lazy day.  Took a nap.  Did very little reading.  Did go to the one class I had, and made the photocopies I needed for the weekend.

I’m feeling rather nervous about a doctor’s appointment I have tomorrow.  Nothing but a routine check up, I just hate new doctors and all the rigamarole.  And I have a class off campus tomorrow morning that’s complicating matters a bit.  I decided that if I drove to that class, instead of biking, it might make me feel less stressed and pressed for time.  I can drive there, have a leisurely morning, not stress about the bike, then head home, bike to campus, and make it to my appointment without issue.   Or so I hope.  Sigh!

This is no time to stress.  I think I should go to bed!  I’ve got some Dostoyevsky waiting for me, and a big day tomorrow.  I do hope the doctor is not too icky!  :-\