Sunday, September 26, 2010

Broken Window - Part II

Yes, I went to the movie tonight about Mallory's expedition to the summit of Everest. As I think I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I am tentatively going to Nepal and Tibet in a year to hike to base camp one, a mere 17,000 ft above sea level.

Anyway, the movie was escapism in finest form... I needed that tonight. The last three weeks have been an emotional roller coaster.

Movie delivered! Yeay me!

Came to truck to warm up, and found back side window smashed out, MY backpack taken... with my research papers, books, TI-85 platinum calculator, notes, misc pencils/pens/highliters, and "cheaters" ...

The thieves did not take my son's backpack, we don't live in the "hood" - the area where I was at is supposedly pretty nice. Have been going there for 10 years and never had an issue.

Until tonight.

Damn, it was cold outside driving home!!

Make yours a good day for me, thank you :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Saw something hilarious today, hopefully, this will come through well:

So, we've had what, 100" of rain in last 24 hours? Streets are a little flooded, puddling on roads, storm drains are full, water is very fluid (haha) and certainly abundant right now, right?

My son has his math class M-F at 9 at the U (still doing very well). He needed a ride home today at 2 as he was studying at school longer, wanting to make sure he understood every concept for tomorrow's exam. Meanwhile, I think I saw "cows" in the raindrops that were falling, it was getting worse.

I am driving along Huron and see that the buses are in front of me, which is a bad thing because I can't get into the pick-up area in front of son's building then. However, I stay the course... driving slowly (killing me), worried said child is getting wetter.

As I follow this one bus down the road, he starts to speed up. Then he carefully, and almost it seems maliciously, aims his tires for the big pooling streams along the sidewalk... Sure enough, VICTIMS!

With walls of water streaming down, the students were drenched. At first I thought it was a mistake, but no, the idiot bus driver splooshed, splashed and drenched walking students. They'd try to shield themselves with their umbrellas to no avail; umbrellas curled up, 5' walls of water streaming down, they were soaked.

The last two victims were walking in same direction as the traveling bus. They had no idea Typhoon MTA was on the way. Sure enough, without pretense or hesitancy, the 6' wall of water rained down on them.

It is one of those things I wish I'd Youtubed. While I feel completely terrible for the people who got drenched, I must admit, I still howl and could not breathe when I picked my son up... he too saw it, the other students in line were laughing... Typhoon MTA wins the day!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

From Lump of Coal, To Success

Click Here: Lump of Coal

He is pre-Susan Boyle, and in my unasked for opinion, far better and far more interesting.  He broke the mold for those that win the competition, she reaped the rewards.  Kudos to both of them... but this video, still brings a smile to my face.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Make That PhD

Meeting is set for Thursday afternoon for me to discuss doctoral programs.  First thing the coordinator said (not a PhD) is that most of the time the people already have their masters in public health before pursuing the PhD program.

Eeek!  I don't want to get a master's degree then doctoral... ick.  Nothing wrong with master's degree and if I were ooooohhhh, about 15 years younger, I'd go that route and then M.D.

Sigh.  I will figure this out.

Oh, and I have a possible job opportunity working in marketing for a big company!  :D

For AJ

Or this one from Andrea Bocelli - who I got see perform live at the closing ceremonies of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. Amazing voice, amazing man.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Considering it for now.  Epi.  Boo's mom should be happy with that :)

Anyway, still trying to find a means to get school paid for.  While doing a master's is not ideal, worst case scenario, I get a master's degree closer to what I want to do and a job in that field, while trying to pursue prereqs.  Best case, I end up with my master's, the prereqs taken, and an acceptance letter.

Seriously.  Who cares if ultimately I go to the Caribbean school to get my M.D.??  I mean, I'm not looking to be the greatest anesthesiologist or cardio-thoracic... right?  I just want to be a rural family med gal.  And it seems to me, epi would fit nicely with that...

Stay tuned.  Not down, and certainly, not out!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

24 Years Later - To Austin

My son, Austin, would have been 24 this year but instead, I'm honoring him on the anniversary of his passing.

I often think back to my life then.  Beyond poor, I survived on a pail of ice cream and Hershey's syrup each week, waiting for handouts from friends.  Austin was fed formula and natural fruits and veggies.  I did my best to keep him in clean new clothes, with clean, disposable diapers.  With no clue what I was getting into when I kept him, I did my best.  Read books, asked friends, talked to professors teaching child development, read more books, and went to school.

What I learned from AJ was the complete and utter giving of myself to someone else without abandon.  I also learned to cope with a grief so deep and so vast, that some days, I did not know how to survive.

For the years after he died, I prayed that God would make sure I never had another child.  I vowed to help others who were less fortunate than me... despite that I ate nothing, and had nothing.  My time volunteering went to really sick kids and their parents, I studied a little harder but so wrapped up in grief, I fell short and just wanted to graduate.  Get the paper, get out, get a job, move on  My life's dream did not matter anymore, not much did.  Nothing made sense, nothing helped soothe the heartache and loss so dark.

But helping others did help me cope. It forced an acknowledgment that despite my own pain and suffering there were others with far greater pain, and greater suffering.  Forced to focus again on someone else, my own pain lessened... as the pain of death always does.

The memory lives on in the way the survivors help others.  The memory lives on in the manner that we honor those who have since left our sides.

This clip is from the movie, "Pay It Forward" which came out about 10 years ago or so.  Fabulous movie, the ending was the only time I saw someone with a stone cold heart, cry.

And Austin, if you know and hear my heart, know I'm still trying to pay it forward.  As I will, for the rest of my life in your honor.

Love you,

~ Mom

Monday, September 13, 2010

Reminded Yet Again... Why

Found a possible grant for women in sciences.  I know its a long shot as generally those are for the women who have not yet failed in life and are still young, energetic, eager, and hardworking.  All the things... well, I was young and energetic once, the hardworking part, not so sure.

Anyway, there is a grant out there for women pursuing science related degrees and professions.  I'm going to apply.  It can't hurt.  If I don't apply, it will be no.  If I do apply, and get told no, at least I tried another avenue.

As I banged my head on the proverbial nail in the wall wondering how the heck I'm going to do pay for school this year, and my son's (did I mention he's now decided that he'd like to attend the university on part-time basis to prove he's worthy of admission?)... I digress... as I was wondering, a woman walked by me, limping,  The shuffling sound of her feet were easily noticeable.

I turned to ask her if she was alright.  She was deaf.  No one was helping her.  I don't sign... other than, "I love you" to my son.  So, through written paper and hand signals, I got her to where she needed to be ~ the health clinic which was the opposite direction of where she wanted to go.  In helping her, she asked what I taught at the school.  I giggled, motioned that I was not a teacher... I'm a student.

As we walked the sidewalk to the clinic, the conversation meandered to my path.  Hard to walk and write at the same time but somehow we managed.  I told her I was still trying to do the unthinkable at an age where ... well, I've heard "No" a lot in my life, and suspect I may well hear it many more times from schools.  Possibly even before I apply.

Anyway, she said thanks for helping her.  That much I understand in sign.  Then she furrowed her brow and said,

"Don't quit."

I won't... as long as a contract comes up soon, or I am able to squeak under the aggregate loan limits for funding.

Gah.  If only 28 years ago, I'd been this dedicated.

Make it a great day!  I'm going to bed now to dream of grant funding and scholarships :D

Sunday, September 12, 2010


So, while perusing this site:

Mastering Organic Chemistry

I found this site:

Pre Med Wiki

The PreMed Wiki site appears at first glance to be a pretty solid site for testing and prepping for the MCAT.  While I have the entire EK set, I'm thinking once I get really started on preparing for the test, I could go to Wiki Pre Med.

Guess you know what your dorky blogger is doing this fine, amazing, wonderfully fallish afternoon!

I really hope I'm able to officially register again... with all the help that is out there, and my own sheer determination to do well, I have no doubt o-chem would not best me!

Post Bloat - Into The Pasta

Decided now that I'm trying to be in college again (contracts where art thou??), that I need to quit eating at BK and Wendy's, and cook at home.

Went yesterday afternoon and le' gasp, to the grocery store. Odd place I very infrequently visit. It has these really lonnnng rows of boxes and cans and fruit, oh my! I was mystified at my choices!

Trying to conjure dinner for the week was a bit amusing. "What do I put into that, again?"

Down the pasta aisle I went. Full egg wide noodles? Dumpling noodles? Egg noodles?

Decided on full 2-pound bag of dumpling noodles for my stroganoff (which by the way is on my other blog about food recipes). Checked out by myself - when did grocery stores install self-service?? Drove home. Put fresh meat and veggies into the fridge. Left cans of tomato sauce and pasta noodles on the counter. Went for a drive. Upon arriving back at home I found...

empty pasta bag. Mind you it was SEALED at the factory, not twisty tied. Apparently, Storm dragged the bag to the floor, Hope ripped the bag open and they had what appears to be a doggy picnic of crunchy, dry pasta noodles on the floor of the kitchen.

Seriously, dry noodle picnic for the dogs... what kind of furbrained dog thinks DRY CRUNCHY pasta is tasty!! Should have taken a picture. Hope had one sticking out of her mouth as if to say, "Waaat? Whatchyou lookin' at?"

Make it a great day ~ I'm off to get pasta noodles for dinner tonight. Last night, it was a BK run, yet again.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Doctors on O-Chem

There are a few of you - already granted the title, and those already admitted to the programs - who will shake your head like a fluffy wet golden retriever, and subsequently, thank God, that you're done with organic.

My professor even said as much.

Apparently, a few years ago he was walking up the sidewalk in the middle of a winter in some place where water freezes to pavement, and walking on such frozen surface can, and often does, cause slipping and falling. To those of you in warm locations, I realize you cannot relate (your loss!).

Anyway, the professor broke his arm. Just so happened he was across the street from the medical center so he loped across the street, swaggered into the e-room for an eval, and waited. Doctor was examining the arm, very kind, patient, calm... asked the professor what he was doing outside on that winter's day.

See, up to this point the doctor had been all that we strive to be (or at least some of us). He had been engaging, bedside manner supreme. But with that one question, it all changed.

Professor T quietly stated, "I was going home after teaching."

Doctor asked, "Oh really. What do you teach?"

Professor T, "Organic."

And with that the doctor's demeanor changed and with an exclamation stated, "That is by far the worst class I have ever had to take" with the temperature rising in the e-room, "can't fathom why on earth I was required to take the (insert blankety blank blank) class..." and left without much discussion in a rather rapid pace; almost as if he were chased by demons not seen.

Apparently, that happens a lot to organic professors when out in public with medical personnel.

It's almost like organic needs its own medication regiment for those that survive, and thrive, to help others.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Contract Opportunity in Research

An opportunity to work with clinical researcher has arisen. It would not pay overly well, but enough to keep the cave's roof over my son's and my head. In addition, I believe I would be working directly with the PIs in helping them through grant funding requests, payments, and newsletters.

I'm excited! What a perfect way for me to work and still go to school!! Sitting in o-chem today, the professor walked by as I was working on some really easy Lewis structures, and then commented to the entire classroom:

Many of you are starting in the wrong place making carbon be the central atom in the molecule. It should be oxygen. I looked down, and sure enough, mine was right, including the resonance structure.

Oh... how glad I am to leave gen chem behind! I did very well on the ACS exam for gen chem but man, I love ochem. Love it!

So, looking for a contract; looking for a way to still keep the cave over my head, and the path to medical school still lit.

Aside from the centipedes I routinely wake up to in the morning, or the spiders, or the red bugs - do not know what they are and have never seen before - I do not overly mind living in a small house... it is the end goal that matters, not the here and now.

Make yours a great day! I'm ever hopeful (again).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Into Our Lives - Author Unknown

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people (anyway they are, even if they are slightly cracked); and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

So remember, you don’t necessarily decide who walks into your life, you do however, get to decide who you let stay, who you let walk away, and who you refuse to let go...

Amazing Gen Chem

hahaha. So glad that is behind me but must say, I was excellently taught the subject.

As I sat in biology today, and watched lipids being built with angled structures, I saw a hydrophilic head, and hydrophobic tail... The reaction between glucose and fructose lopped off a water in a condensation reaction making sucrose. HA! I had that 15 months ago, and I still remember it.

Also wrote the registrars office asking for a refund of my tuition from last fall. Am not going to belabor that semester here, which has already been done numerous times.

I'm hopeful I can register soon and it will be official. Continuing to look for alternate sources of funding to continue my path to application cycles next summer turned up another tidbit.

Will be checking the tidbit out, but a good contract right now would suffice. I have no problem paying my own way instead of begging for handouts, either way, I'd be able to march to the finish line.

So, hooray for g-chem being done, and hooray I was taught well last year! Still clear in my head... who'd have thunk!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ooo oo chem is try, Thy Fine Electron Pair

How I've missed thee. The condensation reaction notwithstanding, the Grignard so easily perceived, how could I, oh o-chemistry have forsaken thee for so long.

OOOOya. The girl is back in school! (haha, slight issue with officially registering but will be able to soon; then I'll work on scholarship apps, and maybe, I'll find some money... or another great gig!)...

Moving electrons, breaking bonds, building bonds, condensing water... oh, I think I am in love.

Is there a doctor in the house? This seems rather ... ahem, pardon me ...

SICK! but true.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I Am Good @ Royally Screwing Things Up

Dear God,

Please help me to keep my head on straight, to focus on the present and not 20 years into the future, to engage in life as it is, not how I fantasize it to be. Please give me the strength to endure, persevere, and be stable.

That is all. I seriously think, some days I could take distilled H2O and make it look like mud.

//bonk on me


Monday, September 6, 2010

The Ava Post

Many years ago, almost 24 to be exact, my son died of SIDS. Back in 1986, my son's physician stereotyped all single mothers whose children were fatherless. Heathen despots without any regard for conservative morals. Essentially, single mothers were seen as low as could be - whorelots, and worse.

Austin's pediatrician started in on that train of thought. Critical of everything I did - from making Austin's homemade applesauce (now seen as organic) to buying the best diapers I could, to taking him to class with me.

I was a senior in college. My son was fatherless. His father having abandoned and abusing me, before I left him for the confines and seclusion of the university housing. He denied he was the father up to the day I signed my termination rights, then he acknowledged he knew better about me and was indeed the only plausible father.

I digress.

Fast forward, I kept my son, named him Austin and tried to be a good parent, without any support or help. My parents having disowned me when I was pregnant, still were not speaking to me. In fact, when they found out I'd kept him, my parents walked away and hissed at me.

The pediatrician did much the same. Blamed me for my son's lack of weight gain, blamed me for his lack of urine output stating that he gained weight in the hospital but then lost it at home. Twice that happened. The last time, Austin was brought in I had to sit in front of a panel of social workers, physicians, police officers, and hospital allied staff to explain what I was doing with my son.

A friend of mine offered her dad's phone number. He was an active, very well known attorney in town and might I add, well respected. I responded to the "team's" questions... the team decided to keep my son longer this time and thoroughly investigate all manner of disease states.

For sure, the first two days he gained weight. And then sure enough, on the day after what would have been my day to bring him home, he lost it. In the hospital.

They were puzzled. My pediatrician horrified. I asked the ped what he was doing to my son to make him lose the weight. My point was well taken.

One week after being released, my son Austin, never opened his mouth without having food put into it. I was terrified the medical community would label me a bad parent, and worse, crucify me. I was terrified my son would be taken from me despite all that I was doing to help him.

And then, Austin died.

The autopsy performed said SIDS with no indication of wrong doing. I was cleared. It was not my fault.

But for 24 years, I've carried all the guilt with me, wanting to spare another family the pain and anguish when their child passes. For 24 years, I've changed from hoping to do oncology, to wanting to be a ped onc.

I follow posts of kids recently diagnosed through their remission and in some cases, graduation from high school. I also follow the paths of those less fortunate.

And yesterday, the path of Ava on this earth came to an end.

Like my son, she was gorgeous, curious, happy, smiling, bright and apparently, witty. There is a picture which I'd like to post of her father and her before "Daddy/Daughter Dance" that is sublime. Poetic in all of its essence, tragic knowing the outcome.

It is stories like Ava's, and Henry's that stoke the desire to become an onc... a ped onc. It is knowing how I do the fresh pain of a child lost that might help another parent overcome the seeming insurmountable anguish of the child's death.

I only need to find the way to make it so... and I'm struggling with that. 24 years ago, I was on the medical school path ... here I am trying to do so again.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010

No Words Required

This is not the official video for the song whose album is being released on September 21st. The video is/was being shot on the ocean.

Welcome back, Nelly!

i was thinkin about her
i’m thinkin about me
i’m thinkin about us
where we gunna be
open my eyes…
and it was only just a dream

so i travel back down that road
wish you come back
no one knows
and i realize, it was only just a dream

i was at the top
now its like i’m in the basement
number 1 spot
now shes finding a replacement
i swear now i cant take it
knowing somebody’s got my baby

now you wait around, baby i cant think
i should put it down, shoulda got that ring
cuz i can still feel it in the air
see your pretty face
run my fingers through her hair

my love
my life
my shorty
my wife
she left me, i’m tight
cuz i knew that it just ain’t right

i was thinkin about her
i’m thinkin about me
i’m thinkin about us
where we gunna be
open my eyes…
and it was only just a dream

so i travel back down that road
wish you come back
no one knows
and i realize, it was only just a dream

and i be ridin’
and i swear i see your face and every time
i try to get my usher on but i cant let it burn
and i just hope that she notice she the only one i yearn for
no more sooner will i learn

didn’t give her all my love
i guess now i got my payback
now i’m in the club thinking all about my baby

she was so easy to love
but wait, i guess that love wasn’t enough
i’m goin through it every time that i’m alone
now i’m wishing she would just pick up the phone
but she made a decision that she wanted to move on
cuz i was wrong

i was thinkin about her
i’m thinkin about me
i’m thinkin about us
where we gunna be
open my eyes…
and it was only just a dream

so i travel back down that road
wish you come back
no one knows
and i realize, it was only just a dream

if you ever loved somebody put your hands up x2
and now they’re gone and you wish you could give them everything (x2)

i was thinkin about her
i’m thinkin about me
i’m thinkin about us
where we gunna be
open my eyes…
and it was only just a dream

so i travel back down that road
wish you come back
no one knows
and i realize, it was only just a dream