Archive for the '[Etc]' category

Fun Time for #ManiMonday

May 23 2016 Published by under Beauty

My sapphire blue tweexy

My sapphire blue tweexy

This weekend I tried out my new tweexy, a manicure aid. This silicon device holds your nail polish bottle on your hand while you paint its nails.

The device worked as advertised. My only issue involved lighting. I sat on a sofa with a nearby table lamp, and the nails on my left hand got shadowed by the tweexy. Having a more flexible light source would help the situation.

I used my tweexy to apply Afternoon Delight, a subtle lavender from Deborah Lippman Gel Lab Pro Polish. This base, polish, and top coat set provides a long-lasting manicure, even for someone who is hard on their nails. I typically get 5 days of wear with this system (vs 2-3 with regular stuff).

Afternoon Delight by Deborah Lippman

Afternoon Delight by Deborah Lippman

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Non-Apologies

Apr 18 2016 Published by under Blog Maintenance

This post is an apology of sorts to new commenters. I have things set so that once you have an approved comment on my site, all future comments will ultimately appear immediately. Even with an effective, aggressive spam filter, two or three inappropriate things try to get through every week or so. To know that there are comments awaiting moderation, I have to sign into my site.

I no longer do this every day because, life.

Anyway, that's why some of you, even though your comment was inoffensive and even welcome, saw a lag before it made its public debut. I am sorry for that, but not sorry enough to change my moderation habits.

In other words, deal with it (although you're likely on the good list now)!

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For Better, For Worse

Apr 14 2016 Published by under Random Thoughts

Today I took my husband to Grand Rounds, a Pediatric Educational Lecture (for my non-MD readers). I noticed on the announcement yesterday that a person he knew well from our St. Louis days was giving a named lectureship in honor of the retirement of a colleague here at Oklahoma. I asked if he wanted to go; he said he would.

He arrived bright and early, and quickly impressed people who knew of his illness and issues with his stamina and resilience. He paid enough attention to the lecture to get upset when I scrolled through non-emergent messages on my phone. He chatted with colleagues at the reception afterwards, until I retrieved my bag and took him home.

He slept most of the afternoon (while I went to the dentist for a tooth repair), ate a quick dinner, and then retired again for the night.

During the marriage vows, one typically swears in front of god-and-everybody to stay together through a number of circumstances, including for better or for worse. So far, 2016 has been a butt-load (to use the technical term) of for worse. Today, I finally saw some for better, even if it did wear him out.

I will take what I can get right now.

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Random Thoughts From the Restroom

Apr 11 2016 Published by under Random Thoughts

Yesterday while picking up some groceries and assorted items, I required a trip to a public restroom that contained 10 stalls. As I took my seat I noticed nice shoes under the partition next door. Now, these shoes looked feminine, but frankly, I have no idea what the chromosomes or genitalia of that person were. I could not tell, even at those close quarters, if this person had a vagina or penis. For all I know, they might have been cursed with two penises or a persistent cloaca! They might have been XX, XY, or some other combination of DNA units. I don't know if this person was doing #1, #2, or something else in there.

All I know is that their outer appearance, based on shoes, was female. AND NONE OF THE REST OF THIS MATTERS ONE BIT WHILE I'M PEEING!

If someone presents themselves to the world as a woman, they get to use the women's restroom. And vice versa.

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Thoughts from the Front Lines

Feb 04 2016 Published by under Wackaloonacy

Clean-Up Guide

Remember, no matter what you must clean up, you have earned that drink or candy or other treat. Enjoy!

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I Beg To Differ: My Avocado Slicer

Jan 04 2016 Published by under Gadgets, gizmos

Just before Christmas gift exchange, I heard Alton Brown discouraging the use and gifting of single-use kitchen tools. I also used to pooh-pooh such things, and some of the items discussed in his interview his interview truly perplex me (a square hard-boiled egg?). However, one such tool has a permanent place in my gadget drawer:

The main blade is all plastic. While it easily slices the skin and flesh of the fruit, you would be hard pressed to scratch yourself with it. The only metal pieces are within a cupped area. They are not sharp enough to cut skin, yet they grip the pit and easily twist it out. Finally, the plastic blades in the slicer easily cut through ripe fruit, but I cannot imagine anyone hurting themselves with it.

I used to dismiss these things as nonsense; I could use a chef's knife! Then, I cut myself pitting an avocado and ended up in the emergency room. My payment for that visit (not to mention the subsequent infection) would buy more than 45 of these tools. One of my nurses suffered a very similar injury this fall, also while pitting the fearsome green fruit. I gave her one of these devices.

We are worth it.

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Happy Holidays

Dec 22 2015 Published by under [Etc]

RedcupJoin me in raising a plain red cup to the winter solstice and its celebrations in all cultures and communities.

To my friends and acquaintances in the southern hemisphere, fear not. You will get your winter in 6 months.

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Gifting Adventure, Steampunk Geek Girl Style

Dec 11 2015 Published by under etc, What I'm Reading

Click to order

Click to order

Looking for a great gift for a tween/teen girl? Or even someone a bit older (hey, I'm over 50)? Look no further.

I just finished Gail Carringer's Finishing School series. As noted in the first book:

It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time.

Set in a steampunk version of Victorian England, the stories focus on Sophronia, a 14-year-old girl who would rather take things apart than flirt with boys. She gets sent to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality (always pronounced quali-tay), a school set in interconnected dirigibles so it floats above the moors. It rapidly becomes apparent that this is more than an etiquette academy. Soon Sophronia has learned how to use a well-timed faint to her advantage. She excels at fighting with a fan tipped with steel blades.

This being a steampunk world, homes and school have tracks laid for mechanical servants to roll about and do their jobs. These same servants in the school can help enforce curfews as well. In addition, the world is inhabited by immortals, including werewolves and vampires. The latter live in hives, with mortal human drones who provide a food source for the vampires. Werewolves also tend to run in packs and cannot float, so a werewolf cannot board the school. Becoming an immortal is not as straightforward as in the usual literature; transition to either species is difficult and often not survived.

In addition to the mechanical slaves, there have to be human servants. For the school, the giant steam engines run through the efforts of sooties, black youth who shovel coal and fix the riggings. One of these young men, Soap, becomes acquainted with Sophronia as she galavants about the blimp against all the rules. Can you see the forbidden love interest from here?

Conflict occurs and drives adventures through 4 books. The Picklemen want to rid the world of immortals by taking control of the mechanicals that serve society. Of course, Sophronia and her entourage save England from an ugly fate. Her colleagues include immortals, a girl who lives as a boy, and a mechanical steam dog.

These books provide a lively romp through an alternate history. I just love imagining all these proper young ladies learning the feminine arts while doing very untraditional things. I also greatly appreciate that Sophronia chooses a nontraditional lifestyle in the end, rather than the politically influential marriage that most of the spy-maids enter. I won't spoil the ending, but it is worth every moment.

These four books seem to close the saga. I really wish they didn't and we could go on with Sophronia's adult adventures.

I also believe that this series could be the next big YA movie franchise. Are you listening, Hollywood?

 

3 responses so far

My Privilege Triggered TSA Action

Nov 25 2015 Published by under Travel, Wackaloonacy

Drugmonkey has a series of vignettes he uses to launch a discussion of privilege and disparities in NIH funding. The first of these reminded me of a recent event in my own life. Briefly, it involves a guy with TSA PreCheck status who gets a secondary bag search and the dude is SO INCONVENIENCED.

If you fly more than occasionally, the TSA PreCheck rocks. You take your passport to a center where you get photographed and fingerprinted. After a background check, you are assigned a known traveler number that you enter when you book an airline ticket. The security line is generally shorter. You pass through a metal detector instead of the scanner. You still run your bags through the x-ray machine, but you can leave laptops and CPAP machines in your case, as well as your bag of tiny liquids. You still only carry on 3.1 oz bottles in a sandwich baggie, but you don't have to dig everything out and repack. You can also leave on your shoes, unless they set off a metal detector. I would like to thank Tory Burch for putting so much metal in the logo on my ballet flats that I still get to wander through barefoot. All things considered, my PreCheck status is well-worth the $85 I paid for 5 years of facilitated screening. For my travels, that works out to less than $1.50 per security screen.

This last return trip, my purse got a secondary search. They had looked at its x-ray for a long time, so I knew something had piqued their curiosity, but I had no idea what it might be. I had added nothing since my uneventful screening en route to Baltimore.

Here is the culprit:

Expensive but gorgeous; click to Sephora

Expensive but gorgeous; click to Sephora

Apparently they had not seen Louboutin's lovely lipstick before. It costs enough and it's new enough to make it scarce in the TSA world (it's clearly a symbol of my socioeconomic status and privilege). They handed it to me and had me show them how it worked.

I am glad that they take screening duties seriously, even though I am sure they felt a little silly making a fuss about a lipstick. The whole thing was pretty hilarious to me, and it barely slowed me down. Finally, I'm so grateful to not unpack laptop, liquids, and that damn CPAP machine that I can handle occasional nonsense like this event.

I hope the people Drugmonkey documents can learn a lesson from their experiences although I doubt that it happens. If you have not read his post yet, what are you waiting for? I'll even put the link here again, just in case scrolling up to the first paragraph is too inconvenient.

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Burned Out But Back

Nov 19 2015 Published by under Blog Maintenance

Life has been hectic for several months, full of changes and plans. As pressure built, I felt like something had to give. In my case, it was blogging. After all, I write here as a hobby with no financial reward. The police weren't going to show up if I failed to blog. Even though I use my real identity, I doubted that any readers would grab pitchforks and light torches if I didn't post. I was right about the lack of external consequences.

I was also wrong.

I have felt horribly burned out for a while. Focusing on full-time patient care is exhausting. I need to process thoughts and write to feel whole, even if it takes some time out of my day.

Thanks to everyone who still follows this blog. I look forward to being myself again.

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