Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Child Abandonment (edited)

It is making news around my hometown.  A father raising his son alone because the mother is apparently unfit, abandoned his son in the middle of the night.

The story weaves that the father had lost his job, was not able to find another job (he's an architect in an abysmal economy), was not able to provide for his son so after the son went to sleep one night, the father wrote two letters and drove off into the night.  When the son awoke, he realized he'd been left behind.

I was aghast.  Most people are aghast.  Anyone with a slight ticking in the gray matter is aghast and appalled by the behavior of a well-to-do, educated man.

When my job ended on December 4, 2007, I worried greatly how it would affect my then 15 year old son.  I worried about how I was going to provide a decent Christmas for him and my ailing parents.  I worried how I was going to feed my pack of dogs (6 at the time: two great danes, a golden retreiver, a basset hound, a cross-bred pit bull with rhodesian ridgeback, and the dachshund).  I worried about the equity in my house, I worried about the payments, I worried about my 401k, I worried about my IRAs, but of course, my 2,000 shares of Lehman Brothers was standing by to help me IF things went very wrong.

As, you all know, things did go very, very wrong.  When they did, I worried about the 6 dogs and I living in my truck and how I'd shower every day to get to job interviews (which never came because of ....).  When things got worse, I worried that my truck might not hold all of us and no campground would take the 8 of us.  When things went from worse to hell, I worried about eating.

NEVER once did I think about abandoning my son.  NEVER once did I think he'd be too embarrassed to be with me.  NEVER, EVER would I have left him behind to move along in my life to a sunny locale to just "be" and forget.

The paternal chromosomal donator in the story from this summer still had his house, still had time to live there, still had time to figure out a life path in which to keep his son.  He makes me sick, he makes everyone sick... and sadly, the worst of it is, the child will someday forgive that idiot and call him, "Dad" - which makes it even worse.

There is no excuse for the actions of the man.  I hope the courts see it as such as well.  I guess it makes me angry that I went through hell and never once considered leaving my son.  If life goes to hell, who else is still going to love me?  And if that one person is the only one on Earth to say, "I love you" why in the same hell would I leave him behind?

Well, I wouldn't and I didn't.  I feel if I can survive and thrive after the debacle that was my life, so can others.  I'm NOT unsympathetic to the plight of those under or unemployed, I'm unsympathetic toward people who think the best option is getting rid of their children.

Link to the disgusting waste of homo sapien:  http://www.startribune.com/local/south/128653803.html

(P.S.  I edited this because in my angst of reading the story, I missed some important words... like NOT...)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mastering Biology

Okay, I'll be really honest (not like I have not been for almost three years already!!) but biology scares me. I remember well the dissection of fetal pigs, cats, horses, dogs, worms, grasshoppers, and a shark in high school and how I thought that was fascinating. What I also remember is how easy it was for me and how little I studied (read: did not study at all).

Which is why when I was a freshman in college back in Fall 1982, I started failing Anatomy. Partially I was still drunk going to class and partially because I took it for granted that I would just wheeze me way through the course. Ha! I got a "perfect" 0.0 that semester.

So, ochem does not terrify me. I'm kind of excited about that class, ordered my molecule kit (I don't like the plastic jobby that you get in the bookstore).

What to do about biology? The professor has a terrible reputation but was the best of the three teaching this semester. So, do I get the mastering biology online tutorials? Apparently, that has some test like questions, gives quizzes to test knowledge and tips on how to master the chapter.

Anyway, I'm eager to start back. Scratch that, things have fallen into place and I'm excited!! Great boss supporting me to do this, home without bugs crawling on me in the middle of the night, a son who is doing well in his own schooling...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Officially, I Am Back

And my feet are still not quite touching the ground. Organic chemistry and biology the only courses this fall, which is perfect given I'll be working 35 hours a week.

Making today that much more sweet?

Not sure if you remember the story of how my neighbors of 10 years snooped around my home in 2010 as I was getting ready to hand the keys over. Never once did they ask what they could do to help during the three years of drama; never once did they ask if I could use a diet coke or a plate of nachos; never once did they concern themselves about how we were coping.

What they did wonder quite bluntly (and rudely) was if I was going to sell the house at auction (the owner does not sell at auction, the mortgage company's attorneys do). What they did do was send their young daughter to my house to ask who the new neighbors were going to be and when they were moving in. What they did do is snoop through the house while I was packing (they did not offer to help with that either) to see what they might like to buy, as if anything was for sale (it was not).

Tonight, I was getting my mani done at the spa. A tiny, petite, pretty young woman smiled broadly and said, "AD2B!!!!!" It was the neighbor's daughter. She was excited to see me, excited to tell me about her new school year (she will be a sophomore in high school), excited to ask about my own son. I told her she should stop outside to say hi to him as he was sitting in our Escalade.

I will openly admit there was a bit of satisfaction to be able to say that. Escalade holds a certain sort of connotation: of having made it, or in my case, made it back.

Even better was the daughter walking out with her mom who asked who she was talking to, "AD2B!!" "Ad2b?" asked the mom. "Ad2b our old neighbor!"

Needless to say, the mom didn't bother to say hi as I dried my nails. Needless to say, they left hurriedly as if afraid that my bad luck might rub off on them, or perhaps afraid that I would remember how shabbily they treated me as my life went down the sewer, or how poorly they acted when in my house one last day.

I can only say that through the grace of good friends, my family, and those that I came to love was I able to survive with grace, dignity, and hope intact.

Pretty sure that mom and her husband will not fare as well for in treating me like they did last year, and again today, they showed who they really are: classless, lacking grace, no tact.

Best part of all that?

I don't care. I WILL be a doctor. Next step is in 11 days :)

Make yours a great day as well!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Why I Love Dogs

The video is looped for emphasis. Tragic and haunting, showing the love our furred friends give us all our lives, and even after we're gone.

Jon was one of the 30 Navy Seals killed by the RPG in Afghanistan.

Walking Into Work

I saw this moseying along, minding it's own business. I know it is a caterpillar but my question is, what will it turn into?

It was about 3" long, 3/8" wide, 1/4" tall, no furry hairs, no apparent legs...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


My well bred, sired by OFA Excellent/OFA Good parents, CH pedigree through 5 generations - one Ch winning Westminster, genetic guarantee to 2 years old... has severe dysplasia. Hope, Hopinator, Hopealong, Hoper, Hopee limps. Actually, she not only limps, she holds her leg up off the ground.

At first I thought maybe it was something she'd stepped upon but after a full 24 hours, I took her to the vet and the x-rays confirmed the worst. Severe dysplasia with arthritis.

She is possibly a candidate for titanium hips (yes, they do that for dogs now), devenation therapy (which is a band-aid in my opinion as it does not fix the underlying genetic disease state but merely removes the pain sensing nerve), or conservative medications.

If you've followed my blog, Storm's story... Hope, upon vet approval for the procedure, will be the bionic, titanium Golden Retriever. I'm crossing my fingers the vet will say she is a candidate.

She's miserable. I feel horrible that she's been so stoic for so long. My son is worried. We all are.

Back to work... so I can invest in new titanium mines!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ahhh Yes...

Today, I turned 47.  Thanks to Chuck who posted on last year's post :)

The day was spent in grand fashion talking to my g-chem II professor and his counterpart in the lab.  Ran into a former classmate of mine, she's now a junior, and if in organic this fall at that university, she'd be my TA.  Haha.  I giggled at that.  She did too.  Then mentioned she'd do what she could to help me get another coveted "A"...

I was supposed to talk to the biochem department today about PhD, glide year between med school application cycle and acceptance/waitlist/denial.  My thought had been to get all remaining coursework done, apply next summer, then during glide year take the calculus I need and genetics + microbiology.  The calculus would not help in med school, if accepted, but is required for PhD programs nationwide... whether biochem or neurology.  The genetics and microbiology would help me in med school and in PhD program, I think.

The TA and I talked a lot about her pursuit.  She's thinking PhD in medicinal biochem and we giggled again: if she actually does do medicinal biochem and I get accepted to med school here... ahem... she'd be my TA in organic AND  my TA in medicinal biochem.  LOL.  Good thing about her: she rocks!!  (Kedesha - you're awesome!)

So, I spent far too much time on one campus, never made it to the other, came home to a mowed lawn (thank you my awesomest son, G-man), went to have lobster, and then ... relaxed.

Overall it was a great day!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Borders Books

Pretty sure I'm taking ochem this fall as well as biology.  Ochem in spring and biochem.  Borders, sadly, is going out of business but man did I find some savings today!!

Biochem, microbiology, organic, and physics DeMystified, ExamKrackers 1001 questions for general chemistry and organic chemistry, and 1001 verbal reasoning questions (to go along with the EK set I bought two years ago).

Total price for 9 books?  $212.50... saved almost $350 off list price...

Great day!