UUUuuuuugggggghhhh. Et cetera.

I am made of phlegm.

Aren’t you glad I’m posting, so you got to see that? 😉

Apparently, in Michigan, I get sick once per year instead of “never.” And when I get The Thing That Gets Me Sick, it makes me very, very sick. Since last Sunday, my throat has been on fire, and I have coughed up the equivalent of 148 lungs. I’ve had to excuse myself from several classes to go have coughing fits in the halls, lest I make everyone crazy.

Ever since early childhood, I have loathed Chloraseptic. It is the product in the world which most tastes like its color. Green Chloraseptic tastes unabashedly green, and not in a fun way. Red Chloraseptic tastes like the foulest perversion of “cherry” ever conceived in hell. They’ve come out with a new flavor, “Orange.” “Orange” is ostensibly “Soothing Citrus” in taste, but in truth… it just tastes orange, with undercurrents of green.

Also, in reading the directions, I was astonished to find the following. Bear in mind, this is throat spray. Spray that is applied to one’s throat.

“Apply to affected area. Allow to remain in place for at least 15 seconds, then spit out.

SERIOUSLY?

If you can apply anything to your esophagus (or better yet, to your oro- or laryngopharynx, which is what’s really hurting in my case) for “at least 15 seconds” and then spit it out, I will give you a dollar.

The rest of my life, briefly:

Nose to the Grindstone
Have a job – making minimum wage, but at a very, very cool pet shop here in Lansing. Love the people, love the philosophy, love the place. Come visit me at Preuss Pets!

Work and school are not good bedmates. Additionally, Anatomy, Micro lecture, Micro lab, Phlebotomy and Techniques of Study and work are really not good bedmates. At all. I got my first “B” on an exam – not happy. This past week, I had an Anatomy lecture exam Monday, a Micro lab exam first thing Tuesday, immediately followed by an Anatomy lab exam, immediately followed by a Micro exam. Monday night, I worked a killer 7-hour shift during which I had almost no assistance due to 2 people being sick. Worked til 10, was absolutely fried that night and couldn’t study. Thus, I got 3 out of 30 wrong on my Micro lab exam and got a damn “B.” It’s only a 1-credit class, so if I had to screw one of the four exams up, that was the one to biff. I got the highest score on my Anatomy and Micro lecture exams, though, and I suspect I aced my Anatomy lab exam, too – all good news.

Bad news is, most of my exam schedules will go this way – one exam Monday, and then three more exams on Tuesday. Or, one on Wednesday, and three more Thursday. I do not recommend taking Anatomy 4 days per week, and I hesitated doing so because I worried about this very reason: We get new material every day, right up until the day before the exam. This sucks.

Bad Volunteer
I have not had one single volunteer shift at the ED this year. I haven’t had the time – I’m not sure when I’ll be able to go. This is miserable, because they’ve moved into the new (presumably gorgeous) ED. I have yet to see it. This also sucks.

“Honestly, it’s just from school…”
Phlebotomy is very cool, but daunting. Also, I look like a junkie with bruised and tracked arms.

One Class, One Year
I had wanted to apply to the nursing program in June of this year. However, since I will not have completed Physiology by the time that deadline arrives (I’ll have just started the class in June,) I will not be considered. Applications are only accepted once per year. I have to wait until June of next year to apply. This is a good-news/bad-news-type deal. On the one hand, I don’t have to take Physiology during the 8-week summer term, and I’ll have time to take Spanish or some other interesting courses during my extra year. On the other (sucky) hand, I have to wait a whole nother year.

Critters
Dogs are good – spending a lot of time at Mom’s, so they aren’t home by themselves all day. I have not adopted any kittens from work, despite bonding hugely with several of them.

Inclement Awesomeness
We’ve had a snotload of snow lately, and it’s very cool. The Forester mocks the snow and most of the cars on the road. It rocks, apart from burning a lot of oil – that sucks.

The Fine Art of Negotiation
Two days ago, two enterprising young neighborhood kids knocked on the door and offered to shovel our (very short) driveway. “How much,” I asked. The older kid looked at the younger kid, and they pretended to consider it very carefully. “What do you think, ten bucks?” the older kid asked. “Yeah,” the younger agreed. It was already about a third of the way done, but I considered how much my time and back strain was worth. I countered with $5. They took it and I ended up giving them $6. I figured 20 minutes of study time and a lack of back pain was worth two gallons of gas.

Remaining Unspoiled
In this day and age, it’s incredibly easy to be inadvertently spoiled for something, like the Harry Potter book or Battlestar Galactica. However, I have managed to remain as pure as the driven snow on two things: 1.) Anything related to Harry Potter after the second movie and 2.) Anything having to do with the television series, “Lost.” Generally, I shy away from things that are All The Rage. “Lost” was so hyped, I didn’t bother, even though Wendy swore it was the best thing ever. My Dad, step-sister, and step-mom, however, convinced me to give it a shot. I watched all of season one in the course of three days. Then, I convinced H to watch it and we spent New Year’s Day and every waking moment following watching season one and two. We were utterly blown away by every episode.

What was very cool was that I had absolutely no idea what was coming – I’d never seen a preview or heard any rumors. It was as fresh as the morning dew. We immediately launched into season three, and midway into it (for reasons into which I shall not go) I got up and walked out in the middle of an episode, disgusted with the lack of creativity. Eventually, I came back and watched all of season three, too, and I’m watching season four as it unfolds – but only grudgingly and for a sense of eventual closure.

“Lost” seems to have lost its luster, and this makes me sad.

Drips
Every single plumbing fixture in our house, bar none, has leaked or is currently leaking. Our landladies are not, shall we say, “into spending money.” Still, the house is very cozy, thanks to H’s knack at decorating.

Schools of a different variety
My aquarium is doing very well, happily. I love it, and spend a couple of hours a week just sitting and enjoying it. There’s always something absolutely fascinating going on in there. I’d like to grow my school of Harlequin rasboras to 12ish, and my Celebes rainbows to more like 8. I’m less enamored with the Cherry barbs than I initially was, but they do nibble on algae. If they’re not nibbling on algae, they are spawning in the hornwort or in the polysperma. I love my little albino bristlenose pleco, who is a total spaz. My amano shrimp are utterly fascinating, and every time I see one of them swimming freely, all I can hear is the sound the flying cars made in “The Jetsons.” My couple of dozen snails of various sorts are more intriguing than I could have ever imagined, and I can literally sit for an hour watching them alone. The borrowed betta was donated, because his previous owner was concerned I’d become too attached to him. More correctly, I was concerned that the betta had become too attached to his palatial estates and wouldn’t be happy in a small home.

Thus far, the contents are as follows:

Fauna:
8 Cherry bars
5 Harlequin rasboras
4 Celebes rainbows
7 amano shrimp
1 betta
1 bristlenose pleco
30-ish snails, ramshorn, nerite and Malaysian trumpet snails

Flora:
Hornwort
Dwarf baby tears
Anubias nana
Ludwigia perennis
H. polysperma
Cabomba
Bolbitis
Echinodorus “apart”
Amazon sword
Water lettuce
Red tiger lotus

Filtering everything is a Fluval 305 canister filter, and it’s lit with 78 watts of Hagen GLO HO T5’s. Much of this aquarium has come together through the generosity of friends – good people!

Which brings me to…

Conflicting Interests
Working in the pet industry is a double-edged sword. I’m not going to go into it much right now, but we sell live insects, live arthropods, live fish, and live rodents as feeders. I’m not entirely comfortable with this. We also sell kittens (though not as food,) and I am adamantly against selling dogs or cats in pet stores. We’re not buying from “kitten mills,” but it’s still an uneasy feeling. I love being able to help educate people about how to properly care for their animals, and getting people excited about pets in general, but there’s a certain sense of betraying my little animal friends at times. I do good where I can.

Wrong Number
Even though I only worked at the motorcycle shop for 8 months, and even though that was over a year ago, I am frequently battling the urge to answer the phone at work, “Parts, Erin speaking.” Thus far, I’m winning. At some point, though, there will be at least one very confused customer on the line.

Airborne
There is a cold remedy product out there called “Airborne;” many people swear by it, and it seems to help me a tiny bit. However, should a chunk of the fizzing tablet not dissolve, and should said chunk come to rest on the tip of one’s tongue…that chunk will burn the living shit out of you as it effervesces. Ouch.

Red, Hot & Bald
captainblack Must be so loving all of this cold weather. I know I am, because (evidently,) I am either entering early menopause or have some other disorder. I am flushed and hot most of the time – not just in flashes, but like 80% of my entire existence. This has been going on since before I came back to Michigan – it’s just gotten worse here. Also, my hair is falling out. I’ve lost half of my hair. This totally sucks. If I become even slightly warm, I turn beet red. Thus, I’ve been loving the freezing temperatures. I never wear long sleeves anymore. I have no clue what I’ll do when warm weather returns, other than flee North.[EDIT, years later: It was the Niacin I was taking. Fun!]

The State of the State
Fleeing North (and West) is incredibly appealing in so many ways, because I am very angry with pretty much the entire state of Michigan – but mostly with Michigan’s politicians, present and past. However, I have obligations here for some time, and just have to do what I can to try and help in small ways.

Done.
I think I have to be done now – my head is going to explode from coughing too much. Maybe lying down will help. I still haven’t read anybody’s anything in months. I’m torn between doing that versus maintaining a 4.0 and detoxing in front of the fish tank. 🙁

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