dchenes: (Default)
I need to go look up the Pogo strip in Will Be That Was that starts with "WOWF! I hate this swamp! I hate it!" because that's what I feel like about work in particular (and politics in general) lately. Every morning I wake up and go read the NYT to find out if Trump is impeachable yet. I shouldn't do that, but at least for the last couple of weeks the NYT has been all about natural tragedies rather than tragedies born of the complacency of the average American voter.

And then I go to work and spend my day trying to think of the most esoteric data request the site visitors could possibly make, and then try to come up with results for 2014, 2015 and 2016, and resent the hell out of the site visitors before they even get here.

And today is Sept 11, and all media that isn't rubbing my face in hurricane damage and political idiocy is rubbing my face in that.

HOWEVER. I managed to cook oatmeal without boiling it over, by virtue of setting the clock when I turned on the stove instead of setting the clock when it started to boil, and then letting it sit there and think for a while afterward. This week's oatmeal is zucchini, garlic, and dill, because I wanted a change from tomatoes.

And I went to Sweet Cheeks on Friday night and discovered that what I really want next time is a biscuit and collard greens. I don't know what they put in their collard greens, but I could have kept eating them for quite a while. The pork ribs were better cold the next day.

The eternal question: do I eat lunch now and then go get my teeth cleaned, or do I wait until after I get my teeth cleaned and wind up starving and sore in the gums? (I ate first, and breathed ramen noodles at the hygienist.)
dchenes: (Default)
I am so tired of CODA! While I was on vacation, they decided to amend 2-23e, effective immediately. I swear they waited until after they got our self-study. So we have to add proof of opioid addiction awareness and treatment to treatment of pain and anxiety.

Then there are all the Exhibits for the self-study, which are things the self-study requires, but we don't want leaving the campus (sample exams, student survey results, patient pool demographics, etc.).

Then there's the annual CODA survey, which means we have to send them a whole mess of data on clock hours of instruction per year/per course, teaching methods, etc., etc. We sent them all that in the accreditation documents already, but that's not the same thing, so we have to send it again.

THEN, there's all the "tertiary data" which is data we have to provide if the site visitors ask, but we hope they won't. It's stuff like "all the student immunization records for the last three years", which we have, but we don't want them to ask for because somebody's got to go pull them. How I suddenly got to be in charge of assembling the Tertiary Binder is beyond me.

And I won't mention the logistics planning meetings I've been going to, which are full of things like "somebody has to go to the hotel at 7:30 every morning and put the site visitors on the shuttle" and "How do we clear the breakfast out of a room we're not allowed in so we can put lunch in it?" and "We need a floral centerpiece that will last three days in the main meeting room" and all that sort of stuff that makes me think this is never going to be over with.

BUT, today's Friday and it's a long weekend, and both of those are good. I just wish I didn't feel like somebody put oatmeal where my brain was.
dchenes: (Default)
I've finally figured out that the problem with work these days is it's a dichotomy paradox. The self-study is Almost There, but it's going to keep changing by teeny tiny degrees of Almost There every day until the middle of July, at which point it will be There by virtue of having a hard deadline. The teeny tiny degrees of Almost There are hard to see, though, and living among them is tiring. That's why I keep saying I want to go back to bed and stay there until next April.

On the home front, I managed to give Snip one tenth of a manicure by letting her sit in my lap and get a claw stuck in my jeans, and cutting it before she figured out it was stuck. She thought that wasn't fair, but she's not the one who gets her leg pierced when she gets claws stuck in my jeans. And I'm the one with the opposable thumbs.

Oh, make up your minds, will you? Three months ago the half-day every Friday for six months course didn't need a final evaluation survey, because it was only four hours a week maximum. Today it needs a survey. It ended two months ago; do you really think anybody's going to fill out a survey on it now? ARGH.

Chorus committee meeting tonight. I'm debating whether I want coffee or beer first. Coffee would be a good idea in terms of taking minutes; beer would be a good idea in terms of listening to the same people have the same conversations for a couple of hours (it's supposed to be a one-hour meeting) and yet again fail to arrive at any useful conclusions. However, ubi caritas et amor, dei ibi sunt (which is probably grammatically wrong, but I know what I mean), so I can try to be charitable and not say what I'm thinking.

At least next week is graduation, so everybody ought to start being happier by the end of this week. And the weather is supposed to remember it's the middle of May, not the beginning of April, starting tomorrow. That'll help too.
dchenes: (Default)
Sometimes I have to laugh, or otherwise I'll cry.

86 the bean salad; my coworkers object to the smell of it (cauliflower) and it's too cold out to eat it outdoors. So I have a lot of bean salad I have to eat for dinner or throw away.

I have been working on revisions and reformats to an article for submission to the JDE. Today I got it back with final edits and all I have to do is delete one reference, renumber all the rest of them because deleting one throws off the numbering, delete one table and the paragraph that talks about it, reformat all the section headings and subheadings, and submit the thing online (which is a Process all by itself).

Then there's the article I just got, with instructions to "reformat for the JDE". All the references are in alphabetical order and formatted for the EJDE. So I have to number them in the order they appear in the article, and reorder and reformat the references list. Oh, and this article has no conclusion, so I have to write one, and no authors list, so I can't make a title page. And by the way, it has seven tables and four figures, and the JDE won't accept more than four tables and (I think) three figures. And I have to reformat all the section headings.

AND, did anybody give me any questions for the POH retake exam? No? Well, I'm going to get them, because it's happening tomorrow. At least I had heard of it before, so it wasn't a complete bolt from the blue.

AND, the tutors for Diagnosis and Treatment Planning are having a meeting on Monday, so please find a room and some lunch.

AND, the Year 2 course directors are having a two-hour lunch meeting next Thursday, so please send them the final course feedback surveys, which the students have roundly ignored because they're getting surveyed to death, and prepare to spend two hours in the meeting taking minutes.

AND, which version of the HSDM Competencies is the current one? And is it final yet? And what about the grading policy, is that final yet? And please put the competencies in this document in which you already put all the examination methods per course, but it's not the same version as the document you created last year, so you'll have to do it there too, and ask the Registrar to update the list with all courses from both curricula so you can fill in all the information for the old curriculum.


dchenes: (Default)
I was having an interesting dream this morning, half thriller and half sort of romantic comedy. It had something to do with somebody being poisoned (but not killed) by cocaine in food at a resort in Santo Domingo, and the cocaine coming from Egypt smuggled in ancient Egyptian artifacts. The woman (not me) who was investigating this was friends with the guy who got poisoned, and had a couple of other ditzy female friends who did things like get tied up in some sort of resistance bands while trying to do yoga with them. I was observing all of this, but not actually involved in it, and of course I woke up before I found out who the poisoner was. The whole thing might have made a decent novella if (a) I knew how it ended and (b) it had made any sense whatsoever. As a dream, it was entertaining, though.

Today isn't really my favorite day, because people keep asking me for things they could do themselves if they bothered to look for the one piece of information they don't have. That, however, is work, and it's easier to ask me for six things than it is to do one thing.

At least this morning the sidewalks were dry pavement all the way from home to the bus stop. I don't know if it was salt, sublimation, people with ice axes, or some of each, but whatever it was, that was nice. The bus stop is still in the street because there's a three-foot-wide plow berm between the sidewalk and the street, but it's nice that I can get to the appropriate corner without ice skates.

I managed not to go out for a Large Slab of Dead Cow the last time I wanted one, and I probably won't do it this time either, but right now a ribeye sounds like an excellent idea. I suppose I could have gone to Bartley's last night after the chorus committee meeting and had a Large Slab of Ground-Up Cow instead, but I wanted to get home because my brain had quit working. Taking minutes for nearly two hours of half of the committee convincing the other half to spend $2000 on advertising, in order to maybe make money on ticket sales, does that. Besides, it was snot-freezing weather, so the sooner I got the standing around waiting for buses over with, the better. I like Arctic air a lot more when it stays in the Arctic where it belongs.
dchenes: (Default)
What we need is a federal Office of Not Destroying the Country. It wouldn't cost much, because it would consist of two people, each equipped with a taser and a cattle prod, standing behind Trump and Bannon. Every time they want to do anything that would destroy something good about this country, ZAP. Granted, the overtime pay would probably run into the millions, but surely we can afford that in the interests of Not Destroying the Country.

I kid, of course, but only slightly. What I'm not kidding about at all is this: We need to make the willfully ignorant people in power aware that we won't put up with them doing awful things, and I'm not sure anything short of a taser or a cattle prod would do it.

Let's see, are there any Good Things to remember? I went to my first protest on Sunday. My back wasn't happy about that yesterday (standing up and not moving very much annoys it, as opposed to standing up and walking), but it did finally let go yesterday afternoon. I'm glad I went to the protest, but I don't know if it actually did anything other than let us yell for a couple of hours.

One of my coworkers got a kitten last weekend (finally, after she was supposed to get him at Thanksgiving, but he hadn't been neutered until mid-January) and she's discovering Life With Kitten. Also known as Not Getting Sleep Because Feet Under Covers Need Constant Attacks. Been there. Also been in the middle of Midnight Tag Team Wrestling Matches All Over Bed. But kittens are awfully cute.

It's not pitch dark out at 5:00, finally. Maybe there's hope for it being spring someday.
dchenes: (Default)
I didn't go to the Boston women's march, because huge crowds are not my best thing. (Although I was OK with the Patriots game I went to. I think maybe it was because there were seats.) However, I have been thinking about what I can do/should do/want to do about the whole situation. I can't change the whole situation, but I can do something about part of it. The question I keep coming up against is which part. I believe that abortion and gay marriage should remain legal, but apparently my opinion doesn't count on gay marriage because I'm straight. I believe in the Golden Rule and that the Golden Rule should be colorblind, but apparently my opinion doesn't count because I'm white.

I would dearly love to tell one of my straight white relatives-by-marriage to haul his Catholic head out of his Libertarian ass for a minute and think about what happens if abortion is illegal and the country is awash in children their parents can't afford. He objects to abortion, and he's firmly in the "I get mine and I don't pay for anyone else's" camp, and that makes me incredibly angry. If he's going to insist that all children must be born, he damn well can't insist that he doesn't have to help pay for them. End rant.

I'm most of the way through The Pillars of the Earth, and wondering whether pigheadedness was an actual survival skill in 1100s England or whether it's just the way the author thinks. Pigheadedness seems to cross all classes, professions and sexes in the book. No wonder there was a civil war going on?

I bought some disinfectant/anesthetic gel for Lily, and she promptly washed it all off (it's safe for feline consumption). It seems she doesn't want any. Fortunately she seems not to really need it either. I just wish the fur would grow back, because its absence keeps reminding me that there's a hole in the side of my cat. Snip is, as usual, washing the living daylights out of Lily's head, but stopping there.

Remembering the Good Things, the weather on Saturday was a revelation. I feel like it hasn't been sunny on a weekend since before Christmas, so I went out grocery shopping (I had to do that anyway) and indulged myself shamelessly on the way home by going to both JP Licks and Union Square Donuts. And now I have satisfied my sugar craving for the next couple of months. I may have to do something about my chocolate craving eventually, though.

Then I came home and played a complete game of Civ 5 for the first time, and won it by cultural victory. I don't think I've ever won a game by cultural victory before; usually I win by building a spaceship first. Then again, I've never played as the Celts before either. I didn't really intend to spend five and a half hours doing that, but I didn't tweak enough settings to make it shorter, either. Next time I should see if I can tweak the shape of the land masses, because being stuck in the middle of a very long, very narrow continent was a pain in the ass. At least it meant everybody wanted open borders with each other. And I do have to admit it was fun clearing out barbarian axemen by sailing a destroyer up to their islands and going KABLAM.
dchenes: (katana)
Oh, I wish I hadn't come to work today. But if I hadn't, I would be getting this case of ulcers with even less time to do anything about it, so I suppose it's good I'm doing it now. Suffice it to say that the Advanced Surgical Treatment course is mine to schedule again. It starts on January 30 and the course director's department still wants nothing to do with it. The course director himself probably wants nothing to do with it beyond showing up and giving lectures once in a while, because he's only here to see patients two days a week anyway. And now I have to make space in the course for six or seven half-day treatment planning exam sessions. As I say, good thing I found out about this before the winter break, because now I need a vacation.

At least my boss told the medical school that they were absolutely not moving the oral health session from February 8 to January 18. No way could I have sorted that one out in 15 days after break. Even assuming we could get supplies for 200 students ordered, received, and sorted out, I couldn't have gotten enough faculty supervisors.

Lily went and got sneaky on me. She knows I watch her eat her pill pocket, so she does that...and then when I think she's done, and stop watching her, she spits out the pill. Fortunately the pills crush fairly nicely, so now she's getting crushed-up pill mixed with mangled pill pocket in the morning, and crushed-up pill on her wet food for dinner. I'm supposed to be smarter than she is, right?

My great-aunt Gabrielle turns 100 sometime soon (if not already; I don't think I ever knew when in December her birthday is). Sometime in her 80s she was in a car accident, and it kicked off some kind of dementia. As of yesterday she doesn't recognize anybody and has lost her hearing, but can still speak French. But because she can't remember anything, she doesn't worry about anything, and her heart and lungs are still good. She could keep living for another fifteen years. I keep wondering whether that's a reasonable thing to hope for in my old age. It's hard on her kids, but I don't have any for it to be hard on.

The heat is still working (as it should) and I am still very grateful every time it goes WHOOSH. Being cold might have been building character, but I really truly hate it. So I'm grateful every time I come home and I can tell the heat has gone WHOOSH recently.
dchenes: (katana)
I knew the end of this week was going to be tough, and I was right. Especially yesterday. Thursday I merely got to work at 7:05, helped set up breakfast, and started taking minutes for the CODA Standard 2 mock site visit at 8:00. Half an hour of break at 1:00, back to it again until 5:15. Dinner out (Taberna de Haro, which was good, but the chairs are too high and I had to mountaineer myself into mine). Home, feed cats, fall into bed.

Yesterday, there was all of the above except dinner, and added fun involving the CODA meeting being in the new building and the clinics being closed for staff development. Everybody at HSDM cuts through the clinics on the first and second floors when they're going from one building to the other. But when the clinics are closed all day, the doors are locked and you can't cut through. (The clinic director thinks that's stupid because nobody's going to be smuggling patients in and working on them. But the facilities director had a fit about security.) Usually you can also get from one building to the other by going outdoors, but the main building entrance is closed for the next several weeks while they rebuild the outdoor stairs. So the only way into the main building (where my office is) when the clinics are closed is through the new building via the basement. Not Useful. Probably also not legal in terms of fire exits. However, also not my problem, because I'm taking the first half of next week as vacation. Therefore I don't have to think about it at all.

Lily likes chicken-flavored pill pockets, thank goodness. We're training each other on acceptable usage thereof; if I put it on the floor, she'll eat the pocket and leave the pill. At which point we try it again, and so far she'll eat the pill the second time. But if she takes it out of my fingers, she'll eat the whole works the first time. Maybe she thinks she's getting away with stealing it if she takes it directly from me, and has to get rid of the evidence? I don't know.

Snip has recovered from her cold, or at least I assume so because her Niagara of the Nose is gone and she doesn't sneeze when she wakes up. She thought I needed to be Washed Properly this morning, which I was inclined to let her do; she wouldn't be trying to sand the skin off my nose if she didn't feel like doing it.

I have to go out at some point today and buy some more pill pockets and run various other errands. This is the first time I can remember since summer that I'm not feeling like I Gotta Do Everything NOW. I wish more of my life felt like that.
dchenes: (katana)
LONG week, this week. Not helped by the second year students complaining about anything they can think of to anyone they can think of.

Meanwhile I got handed the completed procedure data for the classes of 2014, 2015 and 2016. Problem is, what I got handed was what the electronic dental record system could export, which is every procedure code completed by every student. So if student 15001 did 37 instances of procedure 1110, that's 37 rows of "15001/1110" in the Excel sheet. I swear I could make a million dollars by writing an electronic dental record system that can export useful data. Or at the very least, I could make half a million dollars by writing an appendix to the existing system that can export useful data. HIPAA has its merits, but we're an educational institution and we need this data for accreditation, so we can keep being an educational institution. So I've been staring at Excel for most of the past two days and I'm not even through one class yet. And my boss keeps wanting me to go to more new and different meetings, now that I'm the Senior DMD Curriculum Coordinator. I still don't know why I went to the "nobody cleans up after themselves in the lab" meeting.

Meanwhile, last Friday I picked up my newly framed embroidery and nearly gave myself heat stroke hauling it home in the humidity. It came out 35" x 38", and it's gorgeous, but I'm not sure I trust the plaster walls to keep it hanging. So right now it's leaning on my bicycle, until I decide whether I want to buy a floor stand for it and whether that would be a good idea in the first place. It was a better idea before last night, when the Hairy Beasts were playing tag at about 40 mph for about half an hour. Which goes to prove that even though Lily is skinny, she's still herself, and I should find out why she doesn't eat her dry food these days. It isn't tooth problems this time, as far as I can tell.

I can't decide whether I want a Large Slab of Dead Cow because I want meat, or because I want umami. If umami, a box of mushrooms is cheaper than a Large Slab of Dead Cow. But I do love a ribeye, and I haven't had one in years. Decisions, decisions...but it's probably not going to be Large Slab of Dead Cow tonight because the Red Sox are playing. Maybe next week when they're out of town again. Baseball season is at least three months too long, and I mean to bring that up with the Minister of Convenience the instant we appoint one. As long as it's convenient, that is.
dchenes: (katana)
Took Friday off, because I had spent so much of the week putting out fires. I still had a lot of suspiciously smoldering ashes, but I was at the point where I was just as likely to throw kerosene on them as water. So I took the day off. I spent the first part of it spending $1200 on embroidery framing, but I go to these framers because they're good, not because they're cheap. Then I went grocery shopping, and then I went home and did less than I probably should have for the entire rest of the weekend. But at least I didn't answer any emails, even though I was reading them (see "suspiciously smoldering ashes").

I hate being at the point where I have done everything I possibly can to fix a situation that isn't really my fault in the first place, and things are still going wrong, and even though there's nothing I can do about that, I'm going to get blamed for not fixing it. (My lab supplies were supposed to be delivered on Thursday. I don't have them yet. I need them for 1:00 today. The tracking web site says they're in this zip code, but they're not in this building. This is going to be my fault, even though there's nothing I can do about it.) It's turning me into a neurovore (thank you, Terry Pratchett, for inventing that concept!).

I have never come closer to kissing a complete stranger than I did just now (it was the deliveryman with the lab supplies, who delivered them at 12:40).

Maybe I'll survive the rest of the week after all...
dchenes: (katana)
If I had been wearing a slightly fancier shirt today, I would have taken myself out to a fairly expensive steak house on Beacon Hill for dinner. Fortunately I wasn't wearing an upscale steak house sort of shirt, so I took myself to Harvard Square for a large cheeseburger (the BBQ Gronk: BBQ sauce, bacon, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, hold the onions) and ice cream. I shouldn't have done that either, but today was not my favorite day ever, because Craniofacial and Neck Anatomy has reared its ugly head again.

In the old curriculum, CNA ran concurrent with the medical school's first-year gross anatomy course, so the medical school used the cadavers from the neck down and the dental school used them from the neck up. In the new curriculum, it doesn't work like that. So the medical school provides the heads, but they've decided it's the dental school's problem to provide anything else (like aprons and goggles and lab coats and dissection tools, and lockers. They finally coughed up 18 lockers for 35 students.). Which, of course, they didn't tell us until today. Which, of course, meant I had to beg them to send me the list of vendors so I could order the stuff myself, because I hadn't heard of any of this before today and the dissections were supposed to start yesterday.

The discipline director for anatomy is one of those faculty members who wants to stroll in on the appointed days, do her thing, and stroll out again. She is rather displeased with the fact that we don't have all the equipment for the dissection lab sessions. Guess who she's mostly displeased with? (Hint: not the medical school.) Oh, and by the way, she wants me to recruit a postdoc student to help with the histology lab session, and what about the histology microscope slides?

Her final exam is 21 working days from tomorrow, and then she leaves me mostly alone again until next August. I can't wait.
dchenes: (katana)
What, I ask you, is the point of having a FINAL schedule if people keep changing it? (I suppose the point is to make them only change one version. But what I'd really like is for them to stop changing any version at all.)

I'm mildly grumpy today because the Journal of Dental Education editorial staff probably thinks we're all idiots, because I've submitted and then had to have them unsubmit the same article twice now. That's what happens when my boss tells me this is the final version and please submit it, so I do. When I do, all the authors get an email. Then one of the middle authors realizes he has more edits. There's no way for the submitter to recall an article; you have to email the associate editor and get them to do it. Which I have, twice, for the same article.

Oh, and after they finally fixed the air conditioning issue, now we have an issue with the "pH neutralization tank", which means the building smells like sulfur. I think we should just all work from home until after Labor Day. That ain't how life goes, though.

At least I got to grin this morning because it was New Crunchies Day, which is Lily's favorite day of every month or so. She heard me throw the dregs of the last bag in the trash and launched herself off the top of the living room bookshelf, and came barreling down the hall for breakfast. That's as animated as she gets in the morning when it's hot out, and sounds like this: *THUD* *galumpfgalumpfgalumpfgalumpf*mrrw? Mrrw! *crunchcrunchcrunch* Snip, meanwhile, knows merely that it's breakfast time and Lily's interested, which means Snip ought to be interested, but what's holding up the breakfast?
dchenes: (katana)
I tried, I really did, but by the end of today I just plain hated every human being I came into contact with. They consisted of:

- Pushy salesmen (referred by the Dean, so I couldn't just tell him to pound sand)
- Pushy students (no, I can't print this recommendation letter from this faculty member on our letterhead; the faculty member is not a member of our office, and no, I don't know who in their department can do it for you)
- Confused faculty (no, I don't know who's giving this lecture; ask the course director, and no, I don't care that they told you to ask me, because they haven't told me who it is, so I still don't know)
- Faculty with legitimate but stupidly complicated questions (yes, that is a legitimate course, but it's part of the old curriculum and only a month long and no, I don't know when during the day it happened)
- Confused coworkers (no, I don't think renaming all of these two-hour lectures as "interactive sessions" is going to keep them from being two hours of Powerpoint slides, either, but that's what I was told to do, so I'm doing it.)

I also was not fond of the fact that the three (and a half, because she's filling in while two co-directors of the same course are on vacation) Year 2 course directors, the instructional technologist, and myself, all seem to have different versions of the course schedule. We have a Dropbox folder precisely so we can avoid this sort of issue. I have no idea which version is the one being argued over.

So I called my parents and said "Set the clock" and got it mostly out of my system, and went home by way of a bookstore and a liquor store. Turns out the new Harry Potter book really is a play, and I've never been able to get anything out of reading plays, so I came home with The Golem and the Jinni instead. The woman I sat next to in dress rehearsals for chorus was reading that in the spring and I thought it sounded interesting.

Good old cherry mead. All of the above are still aggravating, but I don't care nearly as much as I did half an hour ago.
dchenes: (katana)
Went whale watching yesterday (humpbacks, minkes and a fin whale) and turned myself into a crispy critter. To the point where I almost didn't come to work today because I didn't want to have to say "No, it doesn't hurt" to everybody I talk to. But it was fun, as it usually is, and I got some decent video of humpbacks. I have finally learned that taking stills of whales with the camera I have is an exercise in futility, because by the time the shutter closes, the whale is elsewhere. But I do love my camera for taking still pictures of things that don't move very much.

It's been long enough since we (meaning I, because I'm the one who always does it) submitted an article for publication that I forgot how the dance goes. It goes like this: boss asks me to submit article. I confirm authors, confirm order they should be listed in (it matters) and confirm that I have the version of the article we want to submit. I go through the six or seven variations on username and password for the article submission site until I get the right one. I fill out all the information and upload the files and submit the article, which sends all the authors an email. At least one of the following happens: 1) one of the authors wants to be removed; 2) boss realizes the version I submitted isn't actually the right one, despite my asking; 3) somebody else who read the article and made comments has to be added to the authors list; 4) the journal has changed its formatting requirements and bounces the article until we get the formatting fixed and resubmit. (Today's winners are #2 and #3.) I don't know why I bother submitting anything the first time if the chances of having to resubmit are better than 50%.

My shoulder hurts. It must be humid again. (It is; I was outside for lunch and it's disgusting.) I almost wouldn't mind getting caught in a thunderstorm before I get home, white shirt notwithstanding, if it would clear the air out a bit. But the thunderstorms always break up before they get here.
dchenes: (katana)
My parents have a button that says "Make the scary Republican go away". I'm feeling a bit like "make the goddamn election go away" is a better idea. We don't need a Clinton dynasty any more than we needed a Bush dynasty, but I WILL NOT vote for Trump. And that is all the politics I'm going to discuss.

I've gotten sucked into another data entry project which is going to become a data analysis project and probably an article. But now I know that we have to explain very carefully that the fourth-year students should not be evaluating first-year students on the "self-evaluation" side of the form, because some of them were still doing it in May and we started using these forms last September. But my brain is now leaking out of my ears, practically, because I've been entering 240 student surveys and 90 patient surveys since this morning. And now that I'm at the end of them, I refuse to get sucked into anything else complicated until Monday.

It's approximately a zillion degrees outdoors, and humid, and I'm sorely tempted to stop on the way home and get summer rolls for dinner and then eat them in a cold bath when I get home. I can't decide whether that's the best idea I've had all week, or whether it's slightly more than slightly silly. This here is ice cream weather, but I can't get it home before it melts, so no ice cream. I don't need any ice cream anyway. (But I want some.) I might go whale watching if I can't go swimming tomorrow. I would almost run off to the Cape this weekend, except I don't have the whatever it is to deal with the current crop of kids down there, which consists of five boys under the age of seven.

I was promised a thunderstorm tonight and I bloody well want one. So there.
dchenes: (katana)
Snip is lucky she's cute. Last night I bought myself a new laptop, and transferred everything to it from the old one, and was just about to start erasing the old one when Snip popped the 2 key off it. I tried for the next four hours to get the spring back on the computer and the key cap back on the spring, and couldn't do it. By now the spring is probably inside out, upside down, and backward, because I reassembled it so many times. I am not about to pop another key off on purpose to see what the spring looks like, because the way this is going, I'll end up with two keys I can't fix. And the Computer Loft is closed this week, so I hauled the laptop to work today for nothing and my shoulder is not pleased with me. And the pull chain for the lights in the ceiling fan in my office at home is stuck (off) too. That's less of a disaster than it might be because I tend to sit in there in the dark anyway when I mess around on the computer, but it would still be nice if it hadn't decided to break last night.

Remembering the Good Things, however, the new laptop is very nice. Continuing the tradition of naming computers for bands that don't exist, the new one is called Huge Happy Hedgehog Face. And the fan part of the ceiling fan still works, and the chain repair doesn't look like it's horribly difficult even if I do have to buy a new switch (I hope not, but I'll probably have to anyway). And at least I have a ladder, so I don't have to improvise with the kitchen chairs. But I have to not electrocute myself, because it's an aluminum ladder.

Still haven't decided what Sunday is going to consist of. Right this instant I'm tempted to run away and eat a lot of something I most likely shouldn't. But that's because I want the computer and the ceiling fan fixed and I want not to be at work and I want a lot of other things that I don't have any particular control over. (Why is it so impossible to get human beings to stop shooting other human beings?) (Don't answer that. It was a rhetorical question and I don't want to discuss it.)

I suppose the fact that the weather is cold, humid and solid overcast is pretty appropriate. I'd rather have London's weather in London, though.
dchenes: (katana)
Made it to Thursday, despite not having seen the sun since Saturday (cold, cloudy and windy when not actually raining; when did I move to England?).

Not-so-good stuff:

- I want to go home and hibernate until the sun comes out again. If that happens on Monday, it'll be too long, and if it happens tomorrow, it'll be another work day anyway.

- It's performance review season, which always gives me a lack-of-self-esteem problem. And I had one before performance review season started in the first place.

- Due to lack of self-esteem, one of my worse eating habits is back. Time to stop buying certain sorts of edibles, because if they're around I will eat the whole thing at once, or damn close to it.

- I can almost recite CODA Standard 2 from memory. It's got 25 parts and part 2-23 has 15 subparts. I am so sick of CODA Standard 2, I could scream. But I'm stuck with it until at least July 2017, when the self-study document has to go to the site visitors.

Good stuff:

- My boss hates performance review season as much as I do. We both consider it a waste of time.

- Pret à Manger will do catering for less than 10 people. They'll even do it on short notice if you go in and beg at 8:30 in the morning, but you have to pick it up yourself (not a problem). And their sandwiches are pretty tasty.

- I've been feeling somewhat more human again since the retreat/dress rehearsal/concert weeks are over.

- I've only had to go to two lunch meetings in four days this week.

- The Hairy Beasts are still glad to see me when I get home, and are still breathing in both directions (in and out).

- New Avengers movie coming out this week. Maybe in two weeks or so I'll be able to get a ticket.

- It's going to be sunny again at least once before the end of May.
dchenes: (katana)
Yesterday was a calzone and beer and be damned to responsible adulthood night. I should have gone to chorus rehearsal, but I just wasn't interested. I needed to go home by way of the liquor store, and since the pizza place was between me and the liquor store when I got off the bus, and I can take a hint, there you go. So I ate an entire calzone and drank a very large bottle of 9.2 beer (Stone Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout), and didn't give a damn about the fact that I should have been at chorus rehearsal. It was going to be a question of whether I went to chorus and committed homicide, or went home and marinated myself. So I marinated myself, and then woke up once an hour between 1:00 and 4:00.

Today is somewhat better, in that the retreat schedule and the small group consultant session schedule have been released into the wild so people can stop asking me for them and start complaining about where they appear on them. And I only have to deal with the lunch order and the dinner reservation at Eastern Standard, not the breakfast and the midmorning and afternoon snacks.

However, I'm pretty thoroughly pissed off at the "send an inspirational quote to the first person on this list, add yourself to the end and bcc 20 other people" requests I'm getting FROM THE MEDICAL SCHOOL (I know, because the message says "this was started by the admissions office and leadership.") I've gotten two now. I will not be spamming 20 (or should it be 40, since I got it twice?) other people. If it were three or four people, I might have, but no way am I doing it to 20. Or 40. Especially since most of them would be faculty and students, and the faculty I deal with wouldn't appreciate it, and the students wouldn't read the email anyway. I suppose at least it isn't threatening me with deadly diseases or loss of limbs in vehicular accidents if I break the chain. But that's all I have to say for it.

Right. Rant over. On to the good stuff, like the sunshine, which is almost warm enough to sit out in and drink coffee. I know that because I tried it at lunchtime. And there was lunchtime. And coffee. And the new copy of my birth certificate arrived yesterday, so I can stop worrying about the old one falling apart (which it is). I haven't actually needed my birth certificate for anything since I stopped being a graduate student, but it's nice to know I have a copy that will survive being sneezed at. I'm not sure the old one would have.

Not necessarily good stuff, but silly: Since Lily's cyst is making a noticeable-from-a-distance lump (it sticks her fur up in odd directions), I've taken to calling it Marlene. (Lili Marlene, get it?) The vet says if it doesn't bother Lily, I have to learn to live with it, so I'm calling it Marlene so I can stop taking it seriously. I think it really does help, but I don't have a clue why that is.
dchenes: (katana)

Last night I wasted half a pound of butter and almost three pounds of Meyer lemons on "lemon bars" that turned out as "lemon-flavored rubber on top of barely-cooked shortbread burned at the edges". Stupid oven.

Today I discovered that when I reserved the medical simulator room in January, I should also have reserved Media Services. Not only did the simulators get moved to somewhere else, it takes an hour for Media Services to set them up. But the new room reservation system doesn't tell you that, so when I reserved the room I thought that was that. Nope. I got the room with nothing in it. Yes, this is my fault, but (a) how was I supposed to know if nobody ever told me, and (b) it would help if the system would tell you that you can't do simulation exercises without Media Services. I told the room scheduling people that, and got an email back that said (paraphrased), "What kind of idiot are you?"

And because today is the day it is, I get to go and get shouted at about Mozart for two and a half hours after work. Might as well, since I don't have any self-esteem left anyway.
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