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Here I sit, scanning slides. Having had a large amount of cake for lunch (the department presented me with a cake and flowers because today is the last day my boss and I will both be here at the same time), I think I want half a sandwich for dessert.
I have mostly no idea how I'm going to get the flowers home on the train, since it's a moderately large arrangement.

I must remember to buy a bus ticket before I go home tonight. I'm going on a vacationlet this weekend; my sister is in Falmouth for the week, and my parents are going down to see her, and since I'm local and I won't get to see my family before I leave for Ohio otherwise, a vacationlet is in order. Whoops, I have to pack for that too.

Tomorrow is, for all intents and purposes, Saturday. Everybody can take the day off because I said so.
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In the "be careful what you wish for" category, it rained. A lot. I was wondering whether I was going to get home last night before the sky opened up. On the one hand I didn't really want to get drenched, but on the other, I knew there was a thunderstorm coming and I wanted it to start so I could stop feeling frantic. I love thunderstorms, but for some reason I get frantic until they get here. I think I must have some degree of storm sensitivity, whether it's due to the atmospheric pressure or something else. I work in a climate-controlled building and I can still tell when it's going to thunder.

If I hadn't had to go to work today, I would have gone puddle-stomping. The minute I stepped off the front porch, the deluge started. It's impressive when it rains that hard. I was sitting on the train watching people driving through lakes. Some of them actually take into account that there are people waiting for the train, and try not to drive at top speed straight through the puddles. Then there are cabbies. I've seen cabbies change lanes just so they can drive through the puddles and drench everybody waiting to get on the train.

I've definitely got short-timer syndrome now. This is a bad thing, because I'm inclined to apply the Golden Rule in reverse and treat people the way they've treated me. That (a) isn't very nice, and (b) isn't productive.

How can I have so much stuff to do and spend so much time at work and therefore not doing it?
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Ye gods, is it humid out. I wish it would get humid enough for water to start falling out of the air, and get it over with, already.

The mental packing continues. I now know more or less what's going to get packed, I just haven't done any of it yet. Hopefully when I get down to putting things in boxes, it will be easy. I'm starting to second-guess myself, though; now I'm not sure that everything I own will fit in a ten-foot truck.

My sister has reserved a hotel room for apartment-hunting, and I've made an appointment to see an apartment in a housing complex. Hopefully it will be acceptable and therefore the apartment-hunting session will be relatively painless. The hardest part, as far as I can tell, will be getting from the train station to the airport in Providence on the way out. For some reason they never seem to run shuttles in that direction with any regularity, although getting from the airport back to the train station is easy.

The cats are acting odd because of the weather. It's too humid for them to sit in my lap and be affectionate, so they come and hang around in whichever window is nearest to where I am, and suffer themselves to be scritched on the head occasionally. It works out, but when I want to be sat on and purred at, it's not quite satisfactory. (Remove your minds from the gutter; that's NOT what I meant! :)

I need to find some time to nail Dr. H to the floor and have him sign things. This seems to be physically impossible this week. Grr. I think I'm starting to get short-timer syndrome, but at the same time there are things I need to get done so as not to leave somebody else with a problem they have no background to solve. An ironclad work ethic doesn't combine very well with being a pushover, but somehow I've done it.
dchenes: (HELP)
When in danger,
When in doubt,
Run in circles,
Scream and shout.

Or, spend twenty minutes on hold with the financial aid office, give up, go back through the labyrinthine voice mail system again, spend five more minutes on hold, actually talk to a real live helpful person in the Bursar's office, get off the phone and start filling out the FAFSA online. Which is what I did. There isn't enough room in my office to run in circles anyway. Filling the damn thing out wasn't nearly as traumatic as it could have been, since I'm not dependent on my parents any more, my only income is from my job, and 5 do my own taxes. So, the minute I get the PIN code to electronically sign the FAFSA, I submit that and start praying.

This is, mind you, completely separate from anything worklike that actually went on at work today. I spent the twenty minutes on hold making more of a dent in the evaluation survey collations. When I wasn't doing that, I was keeping a mental list of Projects (capital P fully intentional) my boss wants done before I leave, dealing with the fact that the office door lock broke again and the ceiling tiles needed replacing in the library and the A/V cabinet door fell off its hinges, and generally trying to keep my head above the mayhem.

If I have to commit one more responsible adult action today, I think my head is going to explode.
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It never ceases to amaze me how many things can be covered by the simple statement "the printer isn't working". This time it was the fact that the paper tray was not only empty, but jammed crookedly back in its slot. I had to unplug the whole works to get it at eye level to get the paper tray out. However, once I got it out, put paper in it, put it back in and reconnected the printer, it worked like a charm. Sometimes it's easy. Then again, sometimes it's a network problem. Sometimes it's a problem with whichever computer is being printed from. Sometimes it's a complete mystery, but I somehow manage to fix it anyway. And sometimes I just hate being The Person Who Knows Stuff About Computers.

In other news, Galileo has been a complete freakazoid for the last two days (cue theme music from "Freakazoid", which I've had running through my head every time I've looked at Galileo lately). He's been tearing around the apartment and wasn't interested in anyone touching him. He got somewhat calmer last night, to the extent that he let me pick him up and flip him over on his back and purred at me when I asked him what the deal was. I don't know if I made him feel any better, but at least he started acting more like his usual self afterward. Now why can't I do that for myself?

I need to decide when I'm going on vacation. Next month sometime, probably. I also need to figure out what I'm going to do for vacation, since the Cape house is booked solid all the way through to September. I could stay with my grandparents, but although I love them dearly, staying with them can be wearing.

Time to (finally) go pick up my T pass for July. Forgetting to do it last month has cost me $6 so far. Shame on me.
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The dinner last night went well, although it was just a touch warm to be standing outside waiting for the train for fifteen minutes. As it turned out, a train derailed right before the B line goes underground at Kenmore, so they kicked us all off the train, put us on buses, took the buses exactly three blocks, kicked us off again to go get on trains underground, and then didn't run enough trains to account for the sudden glut of commuters. So, I got to the hotel fifteen minutes late, and spent the reception running around taking attendance (sort of) and handing out tickets so the waitstaff would know who was having what for dinner. It all ironed itself out in the end, and I stopped caring whether or not it ironed itself out at all after about the second glass of wine.

I had this morning off and actually used it to accomplish things. I took a shower and put laundry in the dryer and packed to go visit my parents this weekend and paid bills and did the calisthenics I didn't do yesterday (not in that order). After I ran out of stuff to do, I decided to come to work anyway, since there's air conditioning here. So, here I am, and it's Friday, and I hope I get the thunderstorm in Connecticut that Boston is supposed to get tonight or tomorrow. I also hope I don't fall asleep on the train tonight and wind up in Bridgeport; I'm tired.
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It's a bit warm out.

I just came back from the Bursar's office, to which I had to go because somebody gave us a $10,000 check to install a projection screen and a ceiling-mounted LCD projector in the library. If I had a check that size with my name on it, I would pay off the last of my student loans and still have $400 left over.

This time of year, work-wise, is insane in almost any way you could think of. This week is the worst of it, though. I suppose it's a good thing I started in January four years ago; if I had started in June, I don't think I would have stayed here.

Question for the more knowledgeable about fashion than I am:

Given that it's bloody hot out, and given that I have to go to a not-quite-semi-formal event tonight, can I get away without wearing stockings? Given that my legs are about as untanned as they can get, should I wear stockings anyway?
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Yeek! So far today I've been busier than a one-armed wallpaper hanger. I've been on the phone for the last hour and a half. First I was trying to order a camera and accessories for the department, which I couldn't do all at once because of the limit on the university credit card. So I had to call them back and split the order. While I was doing that, the hotel catering department called me about the dinner tomorrow, I got two calls from two different people at the same temp agency wanting me to know that they exist, and a patient called about her daughter and mumbled so much I couldn't understand anything of the message she left.

On top of that, the campus recycling representative showed up to talk about putting bins in the lab, one of the incoming students appeared, a meeting tried to wedge itself into the same room a class is currently going on in, the Clinical Affairs office had to reschedule something that was supposed to happen this afternoon, and the general insanity that serves as background noise around here continues.

At least last night Liz and I proved that it's her freezer that didn't work, not her ice cream machine. We made chocolate ice cream with chocolate and peanut butter chips in it. It didn't quite freeze before it got late, so we probably could have eaten it with straws (providing we had had straws that wouldn't get blocked up with chocolate chips). It was very tasty anyway, though.

This morning I had to get up early to shower, and I interrupted a rather odd but pretty nifty dream about going fishing in a bookstore and catching a tennis ball, and having to keep the tennis ball away from my dog (who died when I was 16, but who just loved to play with tennis balls).

By the time Friday finally shows up, I'm going to need to get out of town. Which reminds me, I have to buy train tickets. I think the Amtrak automatic ticket machine is the greatest invention the rail industry has come up with in years. I would have missed at least two or three trains if I had had to stand in line to buy tickets.

Must go catch up with my phone tag and make a list of the stuff I should remember to do outside of work today.
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All of a sudden, about half an hour ago, I felt like singing for no reason at all. I haven't felt that way for about two weeks. Since unaccompanied singing in my office is a good way to collect odd looks, I'm playing Blues Traveler instead and singing along with it.

I'm still short 22 dinner orders for the Event on Thursday, but I've decided if the students can't be bothered to tell me what their guests want to eat, they can bloody well get what I order them. I've only been reminding the students for about a week now. I believe I've reached the point at which I've decided it's not worth stressing myself about any more. Thank goodness.

It also helps that Dr. H is in a good mood today. Apparently he was out playing golf at 5:30 this morning. Better him than me. I woke up sometime around then this morning and noticed that the bookshelf beside my bed was lit up orange (because of the sunlight coming in, but I didn't get that far) and for some reason I thought that meant I had left the light on last night. Then I noticed that the light was off, decided it wasn't worth getting excited about, and went back to sleep.

Off to collate more data from faculty performance surveys. This year the students seem to be being honest about them, as opposed to putting down what they think the faculty want to hear. Maybe it'll actually mean something in the long run.
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This weekend was productive, mostly. On Saturday, before it rained, we went out with friends to scope out furniture options for them. I was sort of looking for a new dresser, but I didn't find one I couldn't live without. They made a list of stuff they wanted, and then we all went to lunch, and then they went off to do other things. We came home and then went off to the Arsenal Mall in search of a fleece blanket that would actually fit my bed and some various clothing. I found a blanket, and was presented with a copy of the new Harry Potter book as an early birthday present. I came home and proceeded to practically inhale the book (we got home sometime late afternoon-ish, and I had finished the book by half past midnight). I won't say anything about the plot for the sake of those who haven't read it yet.

Yesterday we went out with the furniture-shopping friends while they bought (and ordered, when they couldn't buy) miscellaneous bookshelves and other necessities. Then there was lunch, and ice cream, and we came home again. I had offered to embroider a pair of linen pants for Hillary, so she picked out a pattern she liked and I started in on the embroidery. I think it works out to about 40 count, if not smaller. At any rate, it's going to be something I can only work on in daylight if I don't want to get a headache. I'm modifying the pattern slightly, because it's sort of rosette-like and the middle of each rosette has about five colors in it, and I'll go blind and insane trying to make that happen.

So, life progresses. I'm going to visit my parents for at least part of next weekend, because my aunt and uncle from Seattle will be in this end of the country for once, and I haven't seen them in years. The last time I saw my uncle, he looked exactly like the Swedish Chef from the Muppet Show, only with slightly tamer eyebrows.

I looked up the weather (since NPR is doing its second beg-a-thon in as many months, and they don't do weather when they're begging) and it says showers today, partly cloudy for the rest of the week, thunderstorms Saturday, rain Sunday and partly cloudy for the rest of next week. Sometimes I wonder where the weather gets its timing from. Can't it rain during the week when I have to spend most of my time indoors?

The annual graduation dinner at work is on Thursday. I wouldn't go if I didn't have to. At least I don't have to pay $60 for it like everybody else does, because I plan the damn thing.

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I should not be at work today. I'm fighting an overwhelming urge to pick up the phone and say "Well, what the fuck do you want now?". Mostly because whoever it is is not going to get a different answer than they got an hour ago, and yesterday, and the day before that. We still can't assign new patients until October. It's not my idea, and it's not done specifically to piss people off. It's done because the students we have now just can't handle any more patients. When we get new students, and they're done with their preclinical work, then we can assign new patients. I'm tired of explaining this and getting "But I can't wait that long, I want my work done NOW!" I've had calls like this, back to back to back, all week.

OK. Breathing. Breathing is good. So is a change of subject.

I brushed the cats last night. I didn't quite get enough hair to knit some new cats, but I got a respectable fuzzball. Apparently Zoe is an attention sponge. It doesn't matter what you're doing to her as long as you scritch her on the head while you do it. The others aren't quite sure about this "being brushed" idea.

I'm starting to wonder if I've found a wrong way to do pushups, because they don't make my arms hurt anywhere, and I know I don't have a whole lot by way of arm strength. I'm doing what I thought were regular pushups, with my legs straight out behind me and my knees off the floor.

My back is another story entirely. I'm considering getting a massage again because it's so tight back there. I can even sort of afford it right now.

Of all the unreasonable things I want right now, the major one is a fried egg sandwich on the bread my mom makes, with ham and cheese and too much ketchup. So there.
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Starting at 1:00, I have to go to two and a half hours of "finance forms seminar". They lock us in a room for two and a half hours and tell us how to fill out forms. If I had a pager, I'd be begging you all to page me. And why, you ask, do *I* get this privilege? Because my boss doesn't want to.

Now, to lighten your day, a funny story:

On Saturday morning I was taking a shower, as usual. Since the bathroom door doesn't shut completely, the cats generally wander in and out. So there I was in the shower, and suddenly the shower curtain comes flying in at me like it does when the heat comes on. I know the heat isn't on, and assume one of the cats jumped up on the sink and is batting at the shower curtain, so I go on washing my hair. Then I hear an odd noise from somewhere overhead, and look up. There's an extremely confused cat hanging onto the shower curtain rod with all four feet. Having gotten up there, she can't turn around and she can't jump down. I'm not tall enough to reach her and I'm soaking wet anyway. I had to get Hillary to remove the cat before she fell into the shower with me. I wish I had had a camera. The look on the cat's face was marvelous.

I'm reading "The Peshawar Lancers" by S.M. Stirling, and enjoying it immensely. The basic premise is that in 1870, a swarm of comets hit the earth, and due to tidal waves and human migrations and such, the British Empire, the Japanese Empire and Russia are the major world powers. The book is set in India, which is the capital of the British Empire. I like to read Kipling, and Stirling has done his homework, so it's mostly believable. Too bad I can't smuggle it into the seminar.

Oh well. At least it isn't raining.


Jun. 6th, 2003 10:55 am
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Last night I made Vietnamese spring rolls, and discovered that the cats like cooked rice noodles. This does not compute. Cats are supposed to be carnivores, right? On the other hand, they like bok choy, too, so what do I know? (They also like shrimp, but I had a reasonable expectation of that.)

This morning, the person doing the NPR weather forecast called today's weather "seasonable". That's the first time this year I've heard that.

Dr. H is in New York today, which begs the question of what I'm doing here when it's this nice out. (I'm doing the time entry for the staff, and faxing things to the Saudi Cultural Mission.) If I didn't have to be at work, I'd be lying around in the grass someplace with a book and a cooler with lunch in it.

The only thing I really have to do this weekend is hunt up a stepladder and replace about five light bulbs in various places. I really hope the problem with my bedroom overhead light is with burned-out bulbs.

I'm out of embroidery again. I don't have the linen for the next project yet. I may have to put it off anyway, because it calls for cream or white linen, and I know better than to try to do that in the summer since my hands sweat a lot.

Like most people who are trying to lose weight, I wish I could just wake up tomorrow morning and be 20 lb. lighter. It always seems to take me ages to lose any weight. Most of the time I don't care what I weigh, but lately I don't want to think about how my bathing suit would fit me. I don't object to exercise, either, but I object to the idea that the only exercise that's good for all parts of you is running. I can walk for hours, but running is Right Out. I hate it. There is no bra tight enough to keep running from being painful, for starters.

Well. I didn't intend that to turn into a rant, but it sort of did anyway.
Computer abuse )
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I am such a sucker. I let the cats stay in my room last night because I know I'm going to be leaving them home alone until Sunday. Therefore, I didn't get any sleep worth speaking of. I knew that was going to happen, too.

It being the last day of work before I take time off, it is, of course, insanely busy here. I don't know if it's just me, but it seems that everything is unnecessarily complicated lately. Dr. H's other office left me voice mail asking me to call them. When I did, it turned out that what they wanted was to ask me to ask Dr. H to call them. Why couldn't they have either (a) left me voice mail asking Dr. H to call them, or (b) called him directly and told him what they wanted?

Second example: Earlier this week, Dr. H emailed the Dean of Admissions with cc to me, asking the Dean to admit a "special student" (which merely means a clinical observer who doesn't treat patients) for six months starting in January. He didn't tell me that what he wanted was for me to write a letter to the Dean asking for this, so this morning he asks me if I wrote "letter for applicant" yet. Huh? I thought the e-mail was the request for the admission process to get started. It turns out the e-mail was the request for the letter requesting to start the admission process, except I'd swear that wasn't what it said.

Anyway, here I am, waiting for a lecturer and the lunch for his lecture to show up, playing Carmina Burana to attempt to keep my brain awake, looking forward to 4:30, and hoping it doesn't rain tomorrow. Happy weekend, all!
dchenes: (HELP)
Galileo got the rest of his front claws trimmed last night. Opposable thumbs come in awfully handy (if you'll pardon the pun). 4 down, 2 to go, and the 2 in question belong to the same cat.

There's an unwritten rule that since the entire department is in seminars on Thursday morning, all morning, Thursday is the day emergencies happen. The department seminar is sacrosanct, and I'm not allowed to go interrupt it to get anyone out. So of course, on Thursday mornings, I get more phone calls than I get any other morning, all demanding to speak to somebody NOW.

I wish the hell that's going to break loose starting on Friday would hurry up and break, already. I keep forgetting things. I know I'm supposed to be making key lime pies tonight, but I forgot what time the event the pies are for is supposed to start tomorrow. I know I'm supposed to be going to a party on the 10th, but I have no idea what I'm going to bring to it by way of food. I know I'm going home on the 16th, but I forgot that I have to buy train tickets in order to get there and back. I keep forgetting that doing laundry is no longer something I really should get around to one of these days; it is now a screaming necessity, but I keep forgetting to do anything about it.

I need a spare brain. Or three wishes, the first of which would be for unlimited funds. The second would be for more hours in the day and fewer of them spent at work. The third, I haven't gotten around to thinking about yet, and I'd probably forget it existed anyway.

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One of my great satisfactions is doing something right the first time. Unfortunately, work seems designed not to work that way. For instance, I type the treatment plans a student gives me, and then two days later the student comes back with changes to every single treatment plan I typed. Policy states that I can't go back and change what I typed two days ago; I have to start over. Some patients have seven or eight different treatment plans on file because the students keep changing the options.

I have just printed out treatment plans from two years ago for one of the students. What probably happened was, the patient agreed to one option, and then something happened and that option changed, but the student never bothered to redo the treatment plan until the patient's work was done. In order to clear the patient off the student's roster, the treatment plan has to be both accurate and signed by the patient, so I'm going to get to type a retroactive treatment plan.

I also have a bit of a rant about dates. Treatment plans say, basically, that "if you want this treatment option, you must sign this document within three months of the date on it". The problem is, the students tend to overwrite old treatment plans with new ones, and as long as the old one had a date on it, they don't change it. So, unless I'm careful about it, a new patient can get a treatment plan dated 2001. I caught one once that not only had a very wrong date on it, but also had the wrong patient's name where the patient has to sign. The top said "John Doe" and the signature line said "Jane Smith". Sigh.
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Been busy today. We had a staff meeting instead of lunch, and immediately after that I got slammed with paperwork.

The staff meeting was kind of fun, in that the fact that I might be leaving scared Dr. H. He now wants me to rewrite the office procedures manual and my job description so that if I leave, he doesn't get left with an utterly clueless replacement. Hee hee. It was less fun in that since the staff meetings always take place at lunchtime, I get the choice of either eating with one hand and taking minutes with the other, or not eating at all. On top of which, I wound up spending $5 of my own money, on top of the office money I took out, to buy lunch for the rest of the meeting. (I reimbursed myself, thank you very much, but still...)

I'm starting to feel like I need to do something different with my hair again. Last time I had short hair I looked silly, though. Methinks this requires research.
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This morning I was having several very odd but interesting dreams, and then my alarm went off in the middle of one and I really want to know how it would have ended.

Work this morning has sucked, rather. I've been working on a mass mailing for the scientific committee of a dental organization, which wouldn't be so bad if my boss hadn't submitted a report to the president of the organization that said the mailing went out last week. So, since the mail goes out at 2:00ish, I spent the morning frantically stuffing envelopes, interrupted by:

1. My boss wanting me to tell him why his computer is running so slow and fix it
2. My boss telling me about three or four other projects that have to be done by the end of next week (which is what he means when he says "no rush")
3. A trip to the photo developers to drop off film that has to be developed by this afternoon
4. Miscellaneous interruptions trying to drag me into organizing the March-birthdays lunch for the department
5. A request for the addresses of any alumni we have in Colombia
6. Two separate UPS deliveries
7. The normal clinical paperwork that happens every day
8. The facilities department showing up to duct-tape the carpet to the floor so the door will close again

Normally I don't mind dealing with weird things like the request for alumni addresses, but when I'm desperately trying to get 60-odd mailings collected, addressed and sealed, interruptions of any kind make me want to commit homicide.

The birthday lunch, however, was rather nice. Free pizza, which I got the last slice of because I finished sealing envelopes before I went in for lunch, and a very nice cake with strawberries in the middle. It's amazing what food will do for your outlook.

Speaking of food, the red-bean popsicles I'm addicted to at the moment are only 85 calories each. Go me!

I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow morning, because I'd really like to be able to walk to Harvard Square. Oh well, if it does rain I can stay home and do dishes instead.

Happy Friday!
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Boring work stuff )
It feels a lot later than Wednesday.

I learned a couple of new things on Monday. One, it takes me 20 minutes to walk from Kenmore to Brighton Ave. Two, Japanese noodles should not be left sitting in a strainer while you stir-fry the rest of the veggies and such. (I had to soak the strainer to get the remnants of the noodles off.) It was a really good stir-fry, though. It had bok choy and baby corn and water chestnuts and two kinds of mushrooms in it, in addition to the noodles.

I am very carefully not thinking about the Iraq situation, because I refuse to be told by the media what I should think. What I do think makes me angry, so I'm not thinking about it at all.


Mar. 7th, 2003 01:49 pm
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There's procrastination, which is why I didn't get my grad school application mailed until February 28, and then there's PROCRASTINATION, which is why I've spent almost the entire day so far copying and/or printing out everything having to do with a student who is apparently suing the school. I found out at about 10:00 this morning that all our records regarding him had been subpoenaed and are due somewhere else on Monday morning. I have another eye appointment at 3:30, so I had to get everything copied before that.

Speaking of eye appointments, the retina man poked and prodded and shone lights in my eyes and said "Oh, look at that, you've got a small tear in your left retina", and shot a laser at it to build up scar tissue so it won't tear any further. The laser treatment gave me exactly the same kind of eye-socket headache I get when I have a migraine, so I wonder if the migraines tore the retina or if the retina tearing gave me the migraines.

Anyway, today I go to my regular eye doctor for a new contact lens prescription, which I also need. Next week I go back to the retina man again to make sure I'm healing the way I should. I think I'm going to be tired of eye doctors for quite a while after this.

Happy Friday, all!
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