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Dizzying Intellect » My Life, Such As It Is

Category: My Life, Such As It Is


As some of you know, I’m going to be laid off next year. We’re not sure yet whether it’ll be January-ish or June-ish, but it almost certainly won’t be any later than June.

It’s not personal or anything. Our new owners have been very strict about getting rid of any non-essential software, and my package finally stopped flying under the radar.

Anyway, in preparation, I… took the LSAT on Saturday.

Dude, it’s HARD. And I’m a really good test taker, naturally. Thank god I broke down and took a practice test on Thursday night, because I would have been woefully unprepared. It’s not an aptitude test, per se. It’s mostly logic, plus some reading comprehension, and an essay.

Here’s a sample question (not from my test):

1) Five racing drivers, Alan, Bob, Chris, Don, and Eugene, enter into a contest that consists of 6 races. The results of all six races are listed below:

Bob always finishes ahead of Chris.
Alan finishes either first or last.
Eugene finishes either first or last.
There are no ties in any race.
Every driver finishes each race.

In each race, two points are awarded for a fifth place finish, four points for fourth, six points for third, eight points for second, and ten points for first.

If Eugene finishes two places ahead of Chris in the first race, all of the following will be true EXCEPT:

a. Bob finishes ahead of Don.
b. Chris finishes two places ahead of Alan.
c. Don finishes fourth.
d. Bob finishes immediately behind Eugene.
e. Chris finishes ahead of Bob.

I mean, I love these kinds of puzzles — but doing dozens of them, while being timed? Oy. I think I did ok, though. I used some online software to score the one practice test, and it came out to 157. That sounds pretty awful to me, but then I checked, and the median scores for UCLA and UNC are 162 and 163, respectively. And presumably (hopefully) your first practice test would be the worst score you’d ever get…

Incidentally, is the phrase “ambient darkness” an oxymoron?


I’m fine, just totally unmotivated.

Went home for the long weekend, and saw amazing fireworks. We could see at least 30 different major displays at once (plus another dozen little shows, closer), all the way to the coast. The coolest ones? Cubes. I completely don’t get how they do those, and the smiley faces.

Also, did you know that the grip from a 7 iron can peel the flesh right off your fingers, just like skin off a blanched tomato? Hurts, too. I’ve gotten blisters from golf clubs before, but never had it just peel off in a chunk, intact.

What else? I’m fantastically bored. We’re obsoleting my system at work, so I can’t do anything but support. Guess what? Supporting a stable system is cataclysmically dull. Most days I feel like I never even woke up. But I have a job, which is better than many, so I’m not bitching. Mine must be one of those “created or saved,” huh?

Jackson: Meh. Although, I must admit, the “child molester” rants are pissing me off. Nothing was ever proven, and we have that wacky “innocent until proven guilty” thing in my country. Wasn’t he more than trainwreck enough without resorting to that?

Palin: My immediate thought was “oh, so she she decided to run for senate after all.” I don’t presume to know what she’s doing or why, but if she is planning to campaign, for herself or anyone else, I’d rather have her off the public payroll while she does it. Unlike most.


4:47am - Going to get sliced and diced today. I’ll be sure to bitch about it later.

Can I just tell you how much I hate being up for the day while my google fox is still asleep?

Er, gore warning.

Update: So it wasn’t as bad as I expected. The part that I was most worried about was that they were going to stick this metal wire into me, while under compression, that would go all the way into the area that was being removed — so that the surgeon would have a guide, and could work without an xray.

They gave me a local for the freaking IV placement, for pete’s sake — but the metal, stabby, smushing, very-sensitive-area part? Lidocaine wasn’t on the menu for that. They told me repeatedly during both visits that they try to stay away from the “areolar complex” because it’s so much more painful. But that’s where the lump was, so they couldn’t avoid it. During the biopsy, even with the local, I had my fingernails dug into my shoulder the whole time. And now they wanted to do this shit commando? I talked them into a shot, once they looked at the old xrays and saw where it was — and I’m so glad I pushed, because when they wheeled me away from the compressor, there was a huge pool of blood on the platform, and my gown looked like I’d been in a slasher movie. So I’m guessing it didn’t go smoothly. I didn’t watch.

I asked the radiologist how they were going to work the wire, since I had 1-1/2 hours of sitting around, between that and the surgery. How was I not going to pull it out, accidentally? And she said it had a fishhook end, so it couldn’t come out. At the time, I was relieved, because I really didn’t want to redo that experience — but it occurred to me later that it’d have to be removed eventually. So when I saw the surgeon, I asked how they were going to get it out, since the fishhook wasn’t just going to let go, and he said they were going to cut it off. I thought he meant that they were just going to leave it in there, and maybe it would dissolve (like so many medical supplies do, now) but he clarified that they were cutting out that whole area. Fishhook and all. Gave me a ballpark estimate with his hand that makes me think there really will be a noticeable difference — but whatever, that’s what plastic surgeons are for, if it’s too bad.

Everyone was super nice and friendly, from the nurses to the surgeon and the anesthesiologists — which I’ve often heard about that hospital. I don’t remember the surgery. It wasn’t general anesthesia, and I couldn’t get a really straight answer from anyone about if I’d be asleep or just relaxed. I had heard the word “cauterize” several times during my previous visits, and wasn’t interested in experiencing that, funnily.

I mentioned that to the anesthesiologist, and I don’t know if they have some leeway in how deeply they can knock you out, but I remember the mask, and trying to say “Oh, that smell tastes nasty” a few times but not quite getting the words out, and then I woke up in recovery.

One weird thing, several nurses in the past two months have looked at my age and asked me, “this was your baseline mammogram?” with various inflection. At first I was responding with my standard “I’ve always been an overachiever” reply, but it eventually made me start feeling sort of pitiful. Some of them were obviously just going “aw, that sucks.” But a few yesterday genuinely looked like “good luck making it to forty, tootsie.” Not in a freakishly bad bedside manner kind of way, but just plain old worry. That’s the first time I’ve really gotten, like, I’m really going to have breast cancer within the next few years if I don’t keep repeating this surgery. Which, I mean, I can do that. It’s just unsettling.

I got home around 1pm and vegged around. You aren’t allowed to drive for 24 hours, although I was perfectly clear-headed and I think I would’ve been ok to drive if I’d needed anything — but I’d picked up groceries the night before. Took a couple ibuprofin around 3pm, but wasn’t in much pain. And wide awake. Twittered a little. Dialed in to work to see if a production change I made on Thursday worked. I broke down and took a vicodin at 9pm, even though it didn’t hurt yet, because I was still not getting sleepy at all, and this stupid support bra kills my back.

I’d never taken a vicodin before, and I’m really susceptible to stimulants and depressants, so I expected to either keel right over, or start giggling like a maniac. I mean, one benedryl knocks me completely flat in ten minutes, and the one time I took a painkiller at home — when I had an excruciatingly painful e.coli infection in my kidneys — I was up and literally rollerblading in the living room twenty minutes later, with my poor long-suffering boyfriend alternately trying to get me to go back to bed, and following me on his bike. But this just knocked out the back pain and I was still up til midnight or so, trying to finish slogging through annoying, depressing King Lear. Then I woke up at 3am. Going OW OW OW OW OW OW.

Now it hurts. And it’s really swollen and jacked up. Not sure whether ice will help at this point or not. I’ll take the bandages off around noon and see if it’s as mangled, contorted, and bruised as last time.

On the other hand, I’ve got to seriously look into this whole spray-on tan thing. The parts of me that are still covered in betadyne (the recovery nurse said they just dump the bottle on you) look hot. I mean, it’s orangish, to be sure, but I look good with a tan, y’all. Who knew?

Nobody cares except me, but…

My student loans are completely paid off.



Yay! (And the payoff amount was apparently off by 42¢. Think they’ll send me a check?)

Girl talk, part 3

Noh Boyz Alloud

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More Girl Talk

I had a flat tire on the way to work today. In 15°F weather, with an inch of ice on the ground for me to play slip-n-slide on. Fortunately, I noticed it right before I got on the highway, so I was able to park and call AAA, instead of having it shred at a high rate of speed.

As I dropped it off to have the tire replaced (or patched, they haven’t told me which yet) and prepared to walk the rest of the way to work, in the cold, arriving an hour late — I thought it probably couldn’t get much worse.

Then my boss sends an email hinting that Something Bad™ has happened in my users’ department, and we need to discuss what it means, in terms of my position. (Update: Not nearly as ominous as it sounded. Phew.) Now it really can’t get worse, right?

Guys, just skip it.

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Girl Talk

I don’t know if there are many women left around here — I get a few comments from them, here and there. If so, keep reading if you want. I just have a question.

Guys, you can probably skip this one.

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Freaking out. Can’t talk about it.

Wish I lived in the 1970s, so I could drink at my desk.

Update 11/7: Still freaking. Hoping for resolution next week. Luckily, drinking at home office desk is a-ok.

I know, your aim is improving.

Sorry, life interferes sometimes. Crazy, not so good week.

On a lighter note, via Joan of Argghh!, google “kerry ahead of bush in the polls october” (without the quotes) and ponder. Quite a few for Gore mixed in there too, actually.

Not empirical data or anything, obviously, but it’s interesting, and a tiny bit reassuring.


So I got a $50 gift card as an “award” for a project I worked on early this year, and I’m having trouble figuring out what to do with it.

I really don’t have the shopping gene. I don’t even buy clothes or shoes unless I need them for work. I feel like I should spend it on something that I’d never buy for myself normally, but I can’t think of anything — and the card actually starts losing money if you don’t use it within a specified time limit.

So help me out.

I’m not interested in, like, massages or spa treatments (not that kinda girl). I already pre-ordered the forthcoming JK Rowling book. There’s a necklace I’d like to buy on etsy, but I don’t think you can use it with paypal, and I really don’t want to screw up my paypal account by trying. I’m halfway tempted to buy something insane, that I’d never, ever use, like these or this, but I’m actively trying to de-clutter my life, not make it worse.

So what would you buy? Give me some ideas.