Monthly Archives: December 2005

Year In Review: 2005

Don’t tell anyone, but my favorite week to work is btwn xmas and nye. Sure, it’s better to have it off. But everyone is relaxed, there’s just a few last minute end of year things to do, and most of the PMs have vacation time that they HAVE to take before the end of the year or they’ll lose it forever.

So, here’s my month-by-month year in review. Some of this is on the webpage, some isn’t for no other reason than I just never got around to posting it.

January Start using wordpress on this here page. Still working on thesis, last minute reviews taking a very long time. Go for a week visit at gramma’s house.

February Sort of officially finish thesis. Still working on campus. Begin short-lived reviews of PGH fish sandwiches. Write a crafty book review of a crafty book. Crafty retreat in catskills, followed by nearly crashing my car. If by nearly you mean bouncing it off of a tractor trailer wheel while everyone proceeds down the highway at 80 mph. Begin “things on crackers” diet. Get job offer for CurrentJob, after a really fun and satisfying phone interview. Begin salary and vacation negotiations, which are very scary, but very important.

March Accept CurrentJob. Begin obsessive research about n. nj and her library system. Try to find an apartment in a blizzard, and decide instead to be homeless for a month while I find a place to live. And by homeless, I mean, crash at the beau’s. Break up with Pittsburgh and with Michelle. Discover that I am contaminated with little to no mercury. Start new job. Am walked in on in the shower while living with 500 boys at the beau’s.

April Try to determine best way to deal with infestation of dirty dishes. Learn how to inject molasses into the ground. Get an apartment, a work laptop, and a birthday all on the same weekend. Obsess about driving to work, but determine that contrary to all rumors, NJ is actually very pretty in the spring. Go to the Netherlands. Return, find a CSA.

May Marathon weekend of moving from Pittsburgh. Paint living room and kitchen, nearly develop rotator cuff injury, promptly run out of steam. Return to PGH to officially graduate. Get a digicam. Join a gym. Flip out at predatory lending credit union who is taking advantage of my baby brother. Mommy’s lump is a non-issue, and Daddy goes to hospital after walking around with chest pains for a week. Marathon trip to PGH to help Michelle move, via Albany to visit the dadster.

June Frantically sew dress. Wear it to Paulina’s wedding in Miami. Dadster remains in hospital for 2 weeks, getting home in time for father’s day. Go to renn fair with Fabulous Matt M. to see Fabulous Gabulon. Put name on list for honda civic hybrid. Begin obsessive research about new technologies involved. Start CSA season, and also, start really truly trying to eat all of those darn vegetables. Make Tang Pie. Attend Ron and Caroline’s wedding.

July Buy paint for hall and bedroom. Put it down, and don’t pick it up again for quite some time. Lose my voice. Begin summer of guacamole and mojitos (not related to each other, or to the lost voice). 3-D birthday party in albany. Learn to make green curry. Drive to western NY to pick up diesel camper van Wayne with superhero brother and sidekick nephew. Begin period of crushing self doubt at work.

August Add weekly 3+ hour PE review course (located up to 2 hrs away from work) to my crushing slate of activities and responsibilities. Go on vacation at Assateague. Come back. Experience sensation at work quite like a house of cards falling about my ears. Continue period of crushing self doubt at work, see also, addition of only negative feedback received into professional life. Finalize thesis, for real, this time. Find out new civic will only be CVT, not manual transmission.

September Become livid and sorrowful about poverty and structural violence in our country. Sew another dress, wear to Brian and Lynn’s wedding. Start to lose battle against the mountain of vegetables, but continue to give it best shot. Continue work and PE review course, crushing self-doubts, negative feedback. Begin reading productivity books. Also begin secretly planning to get an insight instead of a civic.

October Discover phenomenal bloody mary’s at crab house in edgewater. Buy an MP3 player. Read an excessive number of comfortable books. have a glimmer of positive thinking, but still feel overwhelmed at work. Am accepted to present in an as yet still upcoming professional conference. Move to new office space in Edison. Cram cram cram for PE, take it, feel very vague and ambivalent and that at least it’s over, and I can’t do a thing about it for another 4 months+.

November Go to PGH for mariss’ 30th birthday. Begin getting professional help for blueness issues, including also relationship things. Surreal anniversary with the best gift ever for matt. Crafty retreat with girlfriends! Fog over professional life begins to lift. Paint hallway (finally!). Order insight! Begin obsessive research about insight, tax deductions, etc. Discover my ACL is totally missing, schedule surgery for ASAP.

December Have surgery. Go to dad’s house to recover, come back, watch DVDs constantly, begin to feel like a shut in. Arm wrestle with honda dealer to get a car in a timely fashion. Get internets at home. Return to work, start physical therapy, become very emotional. Wayne gets too cold to move, have him towed to a brilliant diesel mechanic one town south. Office holiday party. Attempt to attend PGH holiday party, but am stranded in Somerset PA over the weekend. Winter solstice, aka, shortest and darkest day of the year: “it’s all brighter and better after this!” Pick up new car! Xmas in Albany, DanAaron , winning best brother of the year award foshizzle, drives Wayne home to live behind the barn for the winter. Fog begins to lift over personal life as well. mourn flo as I arrange to donate her to charity.

And that brings us to today. This year was tulmultuous, busy, crazed, and full of life changes. I am exhausted just compiling that list! I have to quit the internets for a while and get some coffee and chocolate to recover.


at xmas with mom today I took a bunch of old photos and scanned them. you can see them here, but because I’m not shy and am feeling really great about how good, albeit goofy, I looked as a teenager (why were were so tough on ourselves?) you can see the expecially special show of the school photos featuring my brother and myself. Gosh, hair was hard in the early 90s.

And there’s this exceptionally cute photo of me, too:

Old Car


Originally uploaded by karinajean.

Oh, Flo. How I love you. We’ve shared so many good times together, and been to so many different places together. You’re falling apart and you sound terrible and you’ve got an unknown and excessive amount of miles on you, but you’re still a good friend with a lot of heart.

I called charity cars today to see if they could pick her up and hopefully find her a new family, some poor person who needs a ride badly. So by this time next week, poor flo will be off on a new adventure without me. It really does make me sad. I thought that I’d be with flo when she stopped running. No one ever thought she’d last as long as she did or take me as many places as she did – when I took her over 3 years ago dad said “take the car – it’s not safe for rachel to drive”. What a trouper, and what a fine automobile. Full of joy and zip and loving fast speeds as much as I do. I feel so sad, and so guilty, for giving up on her before she gives up on me. I’ve never walked away from a running automobile before! I am the life cycle finisher! And Flo, I think, has at least another 25K of fun and adventure to give some lucky person.


New Car!

side view of insight

Originally uploaded by karinajean.

it came, and it is twee and wonderful! I’ve been zipping along for 1 1/2 days now, and I’ve worked the mileage up to 47 mpg. to get it higher than 50/55 I’ll probably have to change my driving habits a little, but it’s worth it. seriously, y’all, this is the CUTEST CAR I’ve EVER driven.

first physical therapy

went to PT last night, and it wasn’t horrible torture like I was afraid it would be. there was a period of being very scared as she tried to bend my leg backwards, but other than that it was pretty great. It took a long time, though, I was there for 2 hours. I’ll be going for the next 12 weeks (or as long as the insurance lasts) 3 days a week. how time consuming! but also, I guess, how great, that I’ll be able to get this taken care of.


nongruesome photos of my knee post-surgery are here.

so, here’s where I fell:

bathroom fall

and our safety apparatus installed after I fell:

here’s my fat knee 3 days after the surgery
my two legs

and here’s my less fat knee 7 days after the surgery

looks not so different, I guess…

today I made it to work but it was really hard getting here, and I’m so tired. I was out too late last night and should have gotten more sleep, but I didn’t, so that might be coloring how I feel today. sigh. plus, I don’t know what to do with myself here at work. one of the problems with insisting on not being that important and having the ability to leave work at work when you’re out? you’re not sure where to start when you’re back. sigh.

crafty electronics

this computer science doctoral student is so cool, with her DIY electronic sewing kits. seriously, what a rock idea. The quilt snaps are also amazing.

she writes:

I am very interested in integrating “feminine” activities like sewing with computer science, mathematics and technology. I think that social issues more often than lack of talent discourage women from entering math, technology and science related fields, and I hope to help create environments where women’s interests are explored and represented.

The Craft Technology Group is pretty neat, too.

doctors visit

yay, the appt. went very well! of course, I had to rouse myself from the most peaceful 20 minutes of sleep all night (achieved by taking a percocet after getting up at 7:45 to pee) to get sponge-bathed and out the door and up to the doctors. That’s ok, though, because I’m not allowed to wear the immobilizer anymore. YIKES. well, he said “if you go somewhere dangerous, like the giants game this weekend, wear it. but otherwise, don’t.” YIKES! I had a little meltdown getting back into the car because I’m so nervous about stepping out sans my full-leg brace that includes 3 metal strips (what I like to call the boning on my leg corset). I was nervous to bend my leg enough to get it into the front seat, and I was nervous that it would hurt to keep it bent for so long. happily, it was just fine. but I was so overwrought that I cried a little! I laughed hysterically and said “what does a PA do, anyway! who is HE to tell me not to use the immobilizer! what if I NEED it?”

After spending some time crutching around my apartment I’m doing pretty good, though. I’m about to venture down to the drugstore to pick up my new prescription of non-narcotics. That’s right, y’all, I am supposed to stop taking narcotics. Because they have lots of hidden side effects besides putting me to sleep soundly: they also CONSTIPATE you. it’s absolutely true.

So I’m supposed to start physical therapy any day now, the doctors office is going to call me back with details. And then I will need to go back to work, sadly, on Monday. Le Sigh. I will need to borrow a car or get the camper van running prior to that, and figure if I”ll be able to sit still and drive for 30 min. 2-ways each day. Oh, the excitement never ends!

don’t worry, I have more gruesome photos from today. Nice bruising, a couple of incisions. the PA couldn’ t tell me the tendon’s name, but he did say that I could probably track it down by getting my chart from the hospital and calling the tendon supply company. I think going to that level of effort might be excessively creepy, and not weird-charming like talking about the donor tendon has been here-to-fore.

GRUES0ME photos to follow

Thursday I had my knee surgery, and by all laymen’s accounts I’m doing marvelously well. you may or may not know that I’ve lost my ACL – old frisbee accident, don’t you know [how unglamorous!] so I’ve had it replaced with an allograft. If anything goes wrong I can blame it on the other guy, and I’m going ot press my doctor tomorrow for this fellow’s name. Everything so far seems to be going as planned, with the only hitch me falling down and hurting my shoulders the night after general anesthesia. I passed out, you see, while I was on the can, and was lodged between the toilet and the wall. I pulled something muscular while pulling myself out. and perhaps I’ve left my sense of propriety and shame down there too, because I don’t know that I should be posting this to the internets, much less telling my colleagues at work about it (um, check.)

Tomorrow is the doctors follow-up visit and I’ll hopefully get a rehabilitation schedule and a timeframe for return to work. though I’m quite happy not being at work. ahem. I need to get off the narcotics and into physical therapy. I also need to borrow an automatic transmission as my poor manual transmission won’t be much help to me now. And as I’ve left my camera cord at work, I need to get a card reader the better to upload embarrassing and grotesque photos to the internets for illustration of snappy blog entries.

And all that said, this is the first blog post written from my at home-cable internets. how thrilling! the power of the W3 is at my fingertips!