Friday, January 25, 2008

The News from Here

1. I officially got into the clinical vet tech program!!! OK, it was unlikely that I wouldn't, but that didn't keep my hands from shaking when I opened the letter. Next stop: Modell's, where I can finally cash in an old gift certificate for my first set of scrubs! (And possibly a Giants cap, for obvious reasons.)

2. Skype kicks Yahoo Messenger's ass, yo. I mean, I've been trying to get this VOIP thing going for months so I could record my AC consultations for my clients, and I could not stop my calls from getting dropped. First the headset was for crap, then I was afraid it was my cable connection. Now I know I just should have been paying the extra money for Skype. It's worth it to actually be able to hear both ends of a conversation and not have malfunctions every few minutes. Now, if I can just get my recorder to register both speakers at a reasonable volume...

3. I still don't have a job. But! I had two AC clients today, a follow-up on a web job, and a referral from a classmate to an opening at the vet hospital where she works. Progress?

4. I am disturbed to inform you that now I cannot look at my cats without imagining their skeletons. Unfortunately, my first cat dissection will finally happen on Tuesday. I think I'll get through it okay; I just hate the thought of imagining slabs of dessicated meat every time I hug my critters.

5. Tomorrow night we see Kathy Griffin! Woo!

Further bulletins as events warrant, y'all.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008

Did You Ever Have One of Those Moments

... where an entire song you wrote when you were maybe seventeen years old, but had completely forgotten, comes back to you in its entirety, and you think "wow, that was actually a really good song," but you realize that, although you could put so many deeper nuances of emotion into it now that you are older, you probably can't sing all that well, anymore, and maybe weren't as good at the time as you thought, either?

No? Well, then.

P.S.: I had a really intriguing job interview yesterday. As in, I'm beginning to think it might be possible to have an interesting job I care about while going to school to study something else I care about. Hmmm.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What I Learned In Lab Class

Behold the lamprey: not quite an eel, not quite a fish, not even quite a vertebrate. In other words, one weird-ass mothafukkin animal, my people. Damn.

What you see at its front is essentially an extended upper lip with nary a lower lip in sight. Lampreys are jawless. They sort of have heads, but you'd be hard pressed to find exactly where they end and the body begins (not to mention their brains are barely more than a cluster of cells). Their front ends are basically sensory organs with that big mouth at the end, which functions like a suction cup with teeth in it. They glom onto a hard-spined fish, stick to them and rasp away with those teeth, ingesting the fish's blood and tissues. Their tongues even have teeth on them!

Their skeletons are cartilaginous, like sharks, and they have both a nerve cord, which is similar to a spinal column, minus the vertebrae, and a notochord, an early version of the vertebral column which is much less rigid, and is now found in mainly lower forms and embryos (yes, you had one, too, early in your development). A bizarre throwback to ancient times, fossilized records show that they may not have changed in over 360 million years. Judging from the condition of our dessicated dissection specimen in lab class, it was probably among the first.

My first dissection went fairly smoothly, considering the condition of the specimen and the fact that the scalpels in those dissection kits are about as sharp as prison-issue sporks. The lamprey was actually pretty small, so it's a stretch for eyeballs over thirty years old to see all the mushy parts, especially since doing so meant getting close to that smell. However, I did it, and I made a new friend in one of my new lab partners. It turns out she is a geeky gay white girl, too. In fact, she's so gay, geeky and white, she makes me look like Snoop Dogg. Let me put it this way: we ended our conversation by talking about the origin of slash in Star Trek fiction. For further research in lab: how did the idea of Kirk, Spock and McCoy all getting it on at once not kill slash in its infancy, if not actually kill homosexuality altogether? Discuss.

After a long-ass lecture, delivered in an outrageous French accent by our professor (thank goodness I did the reading), I filled in an application at a local vet's office, and then went home to find my lab coat had arrived in the mail. Question: if you found out your animal health care professional had run around the house in his or her lab coat and underwear singing "(s)he's the one they call Doctor NOOOO PAAAANTS!", would you entrust him or her with your beloved pet? Does it help to know it was to the tune of an old Mötley Crüe song?

All in all, a very productive day. I think I'm going to enjoy this class. It makes me feel AAAAWL RIIIIGHT!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

May Your Life Be Interesting

What do staring up at a giant whale shark, joining in with a sing-along in a nursing home, getting frisked in an airport after losing your i.d., getting scheduled for a root canal after experiencing blinding pain, purchasing a dissection kit, being called by a NY Times reporter for an interview and having sudden onset diarrhea on a mass transit train all have in common?

These are just a few of the things that have happened to me in the last few days.

I'm going to take a nap now.

P.S.: My cat has just decided for the first time in her life that she must watch me from atop the monitor. What is God trying to tell me?

P.P.S.: Please don't say it's "vote Romney."

P.P.P.S.: Go read Water for Elephants now. It will make you forget all of this kind of shit. Really.