Wednesday, January 31, 2007

White clothe-ing

Isn't this cool?

Thing like that are what make me wish that I'd gone with archeology instead of photography. I considered it, but there were a few problems.

1) I hate bugs. All bugs, of all kinds, everywhere in the world. (and if there were bugs on other worlds, I'd hate them too.)
2) I think that the golden age of archeological discovery on Earth is over. There is still alot out there, I'm certain, but it seems to be in places like South American (bugs, heat, and drug cartels...hmmmm...NO.) mostly, or specific finds. Also, I think that people are less tolerant of someone coming onto their land and looking around these days.
3) I am not, nor will I ever be, a female Indiana Jones and, well, that sucks. But we all have to realize our limitations. And if I can't be Indiana, I'll just be mediocre.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Little drops of goodness

When I left the gym this morning to walk to work, it was snowing. For some reason, it made me feel like Christmas. Sometimes the smallest thing can make a whole day better.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow and the State of the Union

It snowed! I woke up this morning, feeling crap and horrible, totally not looking forward to walking to work in the rain (as it sounded like it was doing in the night). I stepped outside to find that central London (except the streets) was covered in a thin film of snow. It was on cars, and looked splendid in the park I walk through on my way to work. I didn't have time to grab my camera on the way out the door, but I took some pictures on my phone which I will post after I get home.

You can tell I'm busy at work today because I've watched all 50 minutes of Bush's State of the Union address from last night, as well as the Democratic response. I enjoyed greatly watching half of the hall stand up an applaud, and the other half sit there and glare. I wish there were more people in office that wanted to create a better America for the American people instead of get re-elected, and who cared more about making things better 100 years from not instead of pursuing their pointless religious agenda. But hey, that's just me. More on this after I've had time to think about it.

Monday, January 22, 2007

This song is for you

I've been attempting to make a mix cd for my cousin, who I saw when I was in the States last during a fairly mind-numbing family reunion. It's difficult as I like quite a variety of artists and sounds (Tool + Death Cab + Pink Floyd + Dixie Chicks + Staind = Insanity). Also, the only thing I heard him listen to in my whirlwind 3 days in Wisconsin was the Killers album that made them popular.

How do you make a mix cd when you have no idea what the person listens to? Or really even know the person? This is the first time I interacted with my cousin as an adult, and as I wasn't the most filial child growing up I certainly didn't see him much. He's six years younger than me, and lives in the middle. You know, the bit that is only good for flying over. I know he's got an apparently rabidly christian (but lovely!) girlfriend, goes to community college, and is my cousin. That's about. So, how do you pick songs?

It's a dilemma.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Free healthcare and the NHS

Sunday night the right side of my neck started hurting, badly enough that I was having a hard time sleeping. I didn't think much of it until the next day when I noticed that my throat had really swelled up (basically it bobbed up and down when I swallowed, and looked really odd). Since I could still breathe and swallow, and although it hurt a bit it didn't hurt very much, I figured it would probably go away in a few days.

Yesterday, I finally gave in and went to see my GP (General Practitioner) at the surgery I'm registered with in London (For those of you not familiar with the UK's arcane and bizarre health care system, to get free health care you have to register at a doctor's office, which is called a surgery. Surgery's can be "full", and some only accept new patients at certain times of year. I am lucky in that mine is only about 10 minutes walk from my flat. Without being registered with a surgery, you have to go to the A&E - which is what the Brits call the ER - and speak to someone there.). At any rate, my surgery has a 1 hour walk in appointment system at 10am every day, mostly because there seem to be quite a few students registered at my surgery. So I took the morning off work yesterday, and dragged myself up the road in the pouring rain to my surgery. I waited for about an hour, and finally got to see the nurse (you will almost never get to see a doctor before a nurse sees you. They're not normal nurses, but a different class called a nurse practitioner, and they usually handle most of the routine and easy stuff). The nurse looked at my neck, poked my neck, called in another nurse to look at and poke my neck, and then told me that they thought that the doctor should look at it.

I marched back to the waiting room, and waited about another hour for the doctor to see me. The doctor looked at and poked my neck, and called in another doctor who looked and poked. They then had a discussion which was about me but not with me, and decided that I needed to go to the Royal Hospital and see a specialist. So I got a letter and was told that I needed to be at the Royal Hospital, Ear, Nose and Throat (RHENT) specialist unit at 2pm. Oh, those two hours waiting at my GP's were well spent.

The RHENT (what a fantastic acronym) is about 20 minutes walk from my flat, so I set off at about 1:30pm. Finding the building was easy enough, and I managed to make my way through the labyrinthine corridors to arrive at what I can only assume was the correct hallway at about 2pm. I filled out the forms, gave them my letter of recommendation, and sat down to wait. A nurse saw me after about 10 minutes, and told me that I needed to wait in a larger waiting room for my name to be called to see the specialist.

At about 4pm, after I'd been sitting in the larger waiting room for over an hour and a half, a nurse came out, said the doctor had been called away on an emergency, and that some of the people waiting should speak to the receptionist about making another appointment as it would take quite a long time. I however, had to stay, as I needed to be seen RIGHT THEN. Oh the joy. I'd finished my book at least half an hour ago, and just wanted to go home.

Finally, at 4:30, I got called into a room. There was a doctor, but he didn't bother to introduce himself, which is always encouraging. He looked at my throat, prodded my throat, said he would be right back, and reappeared with a long thin tube. This tube, apparently, was going to go up my nose and down my throat so that he could look at whatever it was that was in my throat. The tube, I was told, might cause 'some discomfort'. I wasn't really given much of a choice of whether or not the tube was going in my nose, but about half way through when he asked if I was alright I was tempted to slap him and ask if he'd ever had the tube up his nose (I'm guessing the answer was no, because there was considerably more than 'some discomfort'. It hurt. Alot.). After that fun and enlightening experience, he took me into the next room and sat me on a chair. He yelled for the nurse as he couldn't find whatever it was he was looking for, and when he turned back to me he was holding a syringe with a needle about 6 inches long. This, apparently, was going into my neck.

He stabbed the needle in, drew some fluid out after squeezing the lump in my neck hard enough to bruise, and then told me that I needed to get some blood work done as well as being scheduled for an ultrasound.

At no point did anyone explain what they were going to do before I was presented with whatever they were going to do it with. They didn't ask if I wanted a camera down my nose, or a needle stuck in my throat, and barely addressed me as a person the whole time I was there. No one seemed to know what was going on, and I have no idea if I was supposed to schedule my own ultrasound or if there were doing it for me, when I might hear back about what is wrong with me. I was at the RHENT unit for over three hours, but they didn't have any water available in the waiting area, only a vending machine that sold soda.

Free health care is amazing, and the Brits are lucky to have it. At the same time, the NHS doesn't seem to treat people like people. The doctor barely spoke to me, I have no idea what is wrong with me, and my throat hurts today like it hasn't ever during this whole thing. I think I would have been better off going to a voodoo priestess because at least I would have been a person instead of a problem. has not been a good week.

Monday, January 08, 2007

One toke over the line, sweet Jesus

I'm getting too old for this.

Matt and I met up with some friends of ours, D and J, this Saturday for 'a drink or two'. I think that D is a bad influence, as 'a drink or two' somehow turns into a night of drunken wandering meeting people named Simon who does something involving millons of pounds and buildings. We went out with the two of them, along with our neighbor, his girlfriend, and on the 30th and ended up staying out until 4 in the morning. The last time I was did crazy clubbing like this on a semi-regular basis I was either a) visiting home, or b) 5 years younger.

Getting old sucks. I wake up the next day, it feels like a pig shat in my head, a moderate-sized herd of horses are attempting to break free from my stomach, and the light is stabby. Please remind me that after 5 pints a Long Island Iced tea is not what one should be drinking.

But it's also nice to have some people that want to get together and hang out, go drinking, and just have fun with. The social scene is getting much better in London. So now, when people come to vist me (and why haven't you yet, I ask???) know at least 3 crappy clubs, and one or two really excellent pubs, to take them to.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

So this is the New Year/ and I don't feel any different

Happy New Year everyone!

I considered returning to my angsty teenage years and posting all the lyrics for Long December by Counting Crows. Then realized that I'm trying to move past that song, so maybe I should post the lyrics from The New Year by Death Cab for Cutie instead.

However, because I'm having a whimsical day today (perhaps due to lack of sleep...) I'm going to think about the good things. Instead of how crap the year was, and how I didn't really get anything accomplished that I really wanted to.

So, 2006. I got my first proper job that wasn't in retail where I was working full-time and not planning to quit when I went back to school. I moved to London. I got to go home and watch my best friend marry the only person I've ever thought might just be good enough for her (you guys rock! ^_^), and who makes her happy every day. One of my sisters finished her basic training, and is finally happy with what she is doing. I got to know my youngest sister a bit better, and that makes my life a better place. I made some new friends, and got to see some old friends, and said goodbye to some friends that needed to be said goodbye to. I got a better job, and then got promoted to a more interesting one. I started thinking about my book again, and decided that 2007 is the year it's going to be sent off to publishers.

So all in all, I think it was a good year. Hope you all thought so too.