Monthly Archives: December 2010

it was a nice christian god's birthday!

i made bread with ross. had dinner with some atheists. and watched some movies. me and elena kana! andreas and i watched bad santa. which was bad, even with the happy ending. it made for a nice day, actually. i didn’t even realize it was christmas and that was nice. it is such a wasted day for me. like easter weekend in germany if you haven’t made plans to get out of town.

while ross and i were making bread i suddenly decided i wanted to make a coffee cake. but then i discovered that i was under a mistaken impression. coffee cakes don’t have coffee in them. they are a type of cake you eat with coffee. so then i searched for coffee cake with coffee in it and found this awesome link!
coffee cake literally
the comments are hysterical and though it seems like there is probably 100 calories per slice (1 POUND of powdered sugar in the frosting) it sounds fabulous. i am going to make it tomorrow (er, later today)

i got a scary letter in the mail recently. it was a letter saying “if you lost your job with hewlett packard company between X/2009 and Y/2012 you may be eligible for a federal training program called TAA! you should sign up for unemployment and the program at your local workforce solution office.” the scary part? i am already IN that program. so why are they sending me this document? did i get kicked-out? was there an accidental key stoke? i called and left a message for my representative. she sent me an email saying “look at that you qualify for this new petition, and it has better benefits. i am going to try and move you to it”. i liked that as an answer. though some of me worries that the system is working right now, we shouldn’t mess with it. but whatever. i’ll just deal with it when it comes.

i estimated my taxes tonight. even if i don’t get the education credit i think i should get. if i just on straight income, deductions and tax rate, i should break even and not owe anything. yeah!! if i get the tax credit, i’ll get $2000 back. i am going to look into the health care tax credit again. i should be getting that and it would reduce my taxable liability even more! the more i get back, the better.

i spent a lot of money this year. way more than i should of. i had my good months and my bad. the beginning of the year was especially bad as i was paying my credit card bills to europe. things are more stable in my life now. my rent is way cheaper. if i can get my health insurance bill back down to $200 a month, i should have plenty of breathing room. plenty of money to finish my program. that is quite a relief. i have been worrying about money a lot lately. my spending habits have been coming down too. i do not expect any sympathy for my financial position. it has been my fault that i wasn’t able to rein in my spending as soon as i lost my job. but i know me pretty well, and i am happy where i have made it to now. and i am confident that i can make it through to the end of this program without running out of money and/or having a nervous break-down because of money concerns. (none of this means you can’t offer to pay my health, auto or renter’s insurance for me…that would just mean more money stays in my retirement…i just know if you don’t want to, my predicament is all mine)

so i guess i have a new to-do list…get my paperwork in for the health care tax credit, find new health insurance, bake a coffee cake with coffee in it and finish harry potter book 7. i have my work cut-out for me…the healthcare stuff will be a serious amount of work (thank-you health insurance company process vs. government program requirements)

things seem to be moving along is a positive manner for me (even if i did get that letter from financial aid saying i had timed out of my program…an obvious error) as this year comes to a close. when i look at myself in the mirror i see how much i have aged in the last year and a half. part of it is the weight i have gained, so hopefully, with my new year fitness plans, i can reverse some of it. but a lot of it is just the stress i have lived under with my life in such limbo. sure, i was confident i could do it. but at what price? and here i am now, getting into the groove. though i can’t say i hated 2010 (i did get into my program this year) i am looking forward to 2011 being a better, more efficient and relaxed version!

the holiday season

i keep asking people what they are doing for the christian god’s birthday. i only ask this of people i know are not strictly devote. me? i am planning of having dim sum with the atheists, and if i can’t find them, i am going to have chinese. then i am going dancing at elysium. i think it is awesome that non-holiday celebrants are getting more things to do on this christian holy day. ross and i are going to make bread too.

kinda bored. having a hard-time motivating. there are things i need to do, like estimate my taxes, but i just don’t want to do anything but eat. have done some time at secret oktober. doing more tomorrow. so that gets me out of bed at least. need to go check on the scooters too. they haven’t been started in too long. updated addresses today. called unitedhealthcare. my policy (health and dental) are $548/mo. no way i will be able to maintain that after cobra is over. andreas has kindly offered to make some phone calls for me. i am figuring i can afford like $175/mo (which was my subsidized amount that ended in Nov). but with my friend Troy in rehab, looking at a number of months until fully recovered (though only a couple of weeks in rehab) i want to be sure i have coverage if something similar happens to me (another car crossed the center line and hit him head on). it is frustrating though. i think i deserve healthcare. and yet, i am not guaranteed a policy until 2014. let alone one i can afford. we will see.

saw tron. impressed. the sound track kicked ass. there is this awesome scene where they are in a club and the bad guys show up. fighting ensues. the DJs (both in full helmets) look at each other, nod and change the beat to match the fighting groove. and the furniture in jeff bridges really cool hide-out is all philip stark. nice taste.

i am sort of proud of my congress these days. this lame duck session has been nothing of the sort. a lot of very important legislation has been passed. it hasn’t all been passed in formats that i appreciate, but i understand compromises are required on some things. gay marriage, not so much. but one step at a time.

i have a photo of myself in my vintage nurses uniform, but i am not completely happy with it. others have had VERY positive things to say. but i want to try for something i am more happy with. if it takes too long, i promise to just post it

went roller skating last night and i am not horrible sore. surprising.

oh yeah, i rock…call me nurse heather*

i got As in Clinical (the thing that had the rotation), and Intro. i got Bs in Skills and Pharm. i might have gotten over 90% in skills, but an A in nursing is 94%….whatever. ANYHOW…being that intro and clinical were 3 units and the others 2 units, my GPA is 3.6 i made honor roll again! i am very proud of this fact. you don’t really get anything for it, just to say you are in it. looks good on a resume. but i did it. completed it and completed it well. i am so happy and proud of myself. no i pack the house to move back to austin for a month. the cats are suspicious. anyhow…i am just really happy with myself. i had a plan and i made it happen and i did a good job on top of it all! what more is there to ask for?!

*i won’t actually be a nurse until i graduate and pass the NCLEX. but still. i am a nurse tech now. you can call me nurse heather, i don’t mind. i know what you mean.

i am seriously done with this

tomorrow is pharm. have 13 pages of notes. i am brain dead (so i don’t suppose i should drive a car to the exam…or bother with taking the exam). i haven’t actually STUDIED my notes, but i find making the notes the biggest learning experience. i want to do well on this test because i think the teacher deserves it. i figure i will pass but would like to do well for her. today’s intro exam was dumb. very common sense. i can totally see myself missing only like 2 questions. certainly see myself getting an A on the exam. though i don’t think that would quite get me to an A in the class (because you have to get 93.5 or better to get an A in a nursing course). but a very high B i can be very proud of. i believe skills went better than i think it did. a B in that class is just fine. got an A in clinical. B in pharm. so much for the honor society.

tomorrow at 12:30pm i will have done a great thing. i will have completed my first semester of nursing school. i mean, think about it, in 4 weeks, summer before last, i lost my job, got hit by a car and turned 40. lots of reasons to give up, or at least struggle. and though i feel i have struggled, it has been to get where i am am, not because of what happened to me. i am impressed with me. i think i have done a pretty awesome thing. i have picked myself up, put together a plan and executed on it successfully (well, assuming all goes well tomorrow on pharm). anyhow, feel free to congratulate me, tell me that you are proud of me. flowers are good. jewelry is really too much (besides, i am fussy about jewelry). i dunno, i just think i deserve a “well done heather, i’m proud of you”. i am not usually the “want appreciation/acknowledgement” type, but today (tomorrow) i am. because, damn it, i kept going.

the waiting!

the waiting is killing me. of course, i do need the time to study, but i just want these tests to be over. i don’t remember ever feeling this way about finals in the past. i’ll tell you a secret though…***shhhhhh*** i have to whisper…in reviewing my notes, and all the stuff i learned this term, i can’t wait for the new term to start. i want to learn more cool stuff….

i use to spend the majority of my time on this blog talking about how i saw the world. what my experiences were and how i reflected on them. i think that is a luxury the financially secure have. with my life still sort of up in the air, with working hard to learn a new trade, i haven’t had much time to focus on anything but learning and studying. i just don’t have time to contemplate things that happen because there is too much happening. or at least too much homework. what does that mean? my therapist and i had a conversation (ages ago, when i was still seeing a therapist) about morals and having time for them. if you live hand to mouth, you live on minimum wage, do you have time for morality? seriously, aren’t you just trying to get by day-to-day? and even if you do have food and shelter, when you life is constant toil with all the plenty around you yet out of reach, do morals (like don’t steal/cheat) really make sense? i saw one scene from Titanic. a woman was in the stairwell with her daughter. the daughter asked what was taking so long. the mom said “they have to let the 1st class passengers in the boat, then it will be our turn”. a stampede for the boats wasn’t the answer, but why let 1st class go first? should people just accept their socio-economic position and the struggles that come with it? one might say, “well, study hard and do better!” but how is that reasonable when our schools are not a right but a privilege (a privilege that is required until you are 18, which seems contradictory). anyhow, not having time to think about morality because of the changes going on in my life right now makes me wonder how reasonable it is to expect everyone to be “moral”.

that's a funny way to study

i went to the gym. i walked on the treadmill (at various inclines) for an hour. then i lifted some weights and did 135 sit-ups. i am guessing i won’t be able to hold up my pencil tomorrow. but hey, i was sick and tired of sitting at coffee shops.

tomorrow is skills, tuesday is intro and wednesday is pharm. i need like 70% to pass the classes (though technically that is failing the test). as i was frustrated by a great deal of the teaching in skills and intro, i don’t have an overwhelming desire to do well. i really like my pharm teacher so i want to do well for her. but i still need to pay attention, so i am reviewing and reviewing.

so a good friend was in a devastating car accident this week. guy came over the center line and hit him head on. many broken bones. but he is doing well otherwise. i was very impressed with his first physical therapy session (which i happen to be on-hand for). he was able to sit-up, rotate and hang his legs off the bed. the PT held the legs so that gravity did pull them down too fast, but the rest of it was all my friend. seriously impressive.

he will also need aid when he gets home from the hospital. both of his legs were broken, one more than the other (haven’t even been able to do surgery on it because it was too broken and swollen…tuesday is the day for that). so transfers are going to be a big deal for a while. he and his best friend discussed me as an assistance, and i have offered my services as a nurse tech (what i am qualified for upon completion of this term) for the month i am out of school. i can help on weekends when i am back in school, but i don’t think it is practical for either of us during the week. i am honored that he would like my assistance. of course, i make a damn cute nurse and it helps to have something cute to look at! i was just very flattered he wanted my help. of course, i baked cookies too. a cute nurse who can bake, i mean, seriously, it is a no-brainer. (i did emphasize i am NOT a nurse. i am a first semester nursing student, but i do have some basic skills for assisting with limited mobility and such.)

gifts

i don’t need this incredibly geek-cool pi-pizza cutter, so i won’t buy one. i don’t eat that much pizza at home. but if someone wanted to buy me one, i would certainly love to have something that geek-cool around my home. perhaps i would eat more pizza.

“hello? yeah, i want to order at margharita pizza for pick-up. oh, and please don’t cut it. i have a pi-pizza cutter!”

i could be studying right now

but since that is ALL i will do starting monday, i figured i would give myself the weekend off. and LOOK! i caught up on some past events i wanted to share and EVEN CHANGED MY FASHION PHOTO!!!! i got these bloomers from secret oktober for covering the register last weekend. i’ll be covering a couple of days while cassandra is in poland later in the month too (after finals). kitsune, a friend here in town, made the bloomers. i got lots of awesome comments, along with “oh my god, you’re wearing pants.” the flower in my hair came from secret oktober too. kitty korvette made it, i think.

here are the photos from the pie event i went to at the museum. i think i was the only non-professional baker. the woman who organized the event, Andrea Mellard, even talked about how we met and that is seemed like providence in having a pie event. i lost my flier, so i don’t know the names of all the business, but i took pictures. i only had time to make one pie, and it got gobbled up quickly! lots of interesting flavors. a couple of savory, like minced, and some with hot peppers. got to say, i am preferential to dessert pies. i’d like to try a savory though. i mean, i have made chicken pot pies before (yes, with dough from scratch) but that doesn’t seem the same. or is it? should i give myself credit? i should make another one of those. they would be good for a potluck since they are huge. took my 5 days of 2 meals a day to finish it. anyhow…got into a conversation with my GP about rendering your own fat to make flakey pie crust. he got fatty pork, cooked it down, mixed with butter, froze. said his crust was super flakey and he was very pleased. i was impressed. my crusts tend to be flakey if i use Crisco and i don’t think i am big on rendering my own fat. but it was seriously cool to hear about. he wants an animal tattoo as well. but he wants the BEST animal tattoo artist there is to do it. he’ll fly to europe if he has to. pay BIG bucks. wants an owl in attack flight mode. anyone have any suggestions? i totally want to help him with this. wait, wait, i am getting off topic…the pies:

here i am prepping my pie

my pie…soon there after

the monument cafe brought some pies!

then there were some companies i can’t remember:

then there was texas pie kitchen. it is a training program! they teach them to cook, specifically make pies, and they sell them to the public. i would LOVE to volunteer there! but i just don’t have the time. i don’t have time for anything but school really. when i finish though, and start working, i am TOTALLY going to volunteer there.

and here is my pie at the end of the event (well, it had been like this for a while)

the event was super fun and i was SO flattered to have been invited to provide a pie. it was a great idea for a fundraiser and a delicious experience!

my fashion photo doesn’t look very sharp, but my pie photos do. same camera. what am i doing wrong?