Monday, September 26, 2011


it's monday... it's not even 10am... and my weekend is already shot. why oh why can't we get things done in the 40+ hours we're here during the week?

to quote my friend ben, "i have 2 days, you get 5. it's already unfair."

Friday, September 23, 2011

also, harvey update

harvey's fate is still unclear. my heel seems to be healing, but there's a scab (that i've been told to leave alone) and we can't tell what's going on underneath. i have a doctor appointment in 3 weeks, hopefully things will be cleared up enough to know then whether or not harvey lives. IF he lives, we are putting the hammer down. harvey will be forcibly removed, with a knife and hopefully lots of lots of anesthesia.

i hate coasters

i hate them. i have always hated them. they suck.

but i still use them. just now i picked up my glass of ice water. it has been sweating, so there's a puddle on the coaster. incidentally, earlier today my coffee cup was on this coaster. the coffee cup is the reason for the coaster. our coffee pot leaks, there's no way to get around a ring on my desk from my coffee cup. so i use a coaster.

so my coaster has coffee on it. and now, since it's afternoon, it's wet from my sweating ice-water glass. enter brand new white dress shirt that i chose to wear today. coaster sticks to to glass, just long enough to hurl itself at the front of my shirt. my brand_new_white_dress_shirt. did i mention it's brand new? white?

i hate coasters.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

the conker

yesterday i got to see the conker. i wish i could say, "yesterday i got to see the conker in action," but alas, it wasn't to be.

the conker is a very cool machine, a very cool HUGE machine (like 4 stories tall, i had to take TWO pictures to get the whole thing! note the tiny chair in the picture of the bottom part.). it can deliver up to 10 million pounds of force. MILLION. TEN million.

i read an article about it a year or so ago in popular science. almost immediately after that, we had the opportunity to submit a bid on a NIST contract. i was SO excited. no one else here had a clue about NIST. only me, the science nerd.

so the doc told me to stay off my foot and give harvey a chance to heel, but then i got an email about space surveys and i saw that the conker's building was on the list. harvey could have grown two heads and started singing show tunes and i would have not missed this opportunity.

here's a link that talks more about the conker... or, as it is technically known amongst people not in the inner conker circle, the Large Scale Structures Testing Facility.

Monday, September 19, 2011

just when you wanted to shoot someone

another someone makes it all better.

coming from celeryville, i grew up accustomed to people caring about their jobs, their integrity... each other. i did not expect to find that here in the big bad city. today, when i called CVS to find out where my wound dressing was (they had to order it), my expectations of the big bad city proved well-founded. their supplier didn't have the exact right thing so they didn't send anything. apparently they didn't call or make note of it, because surely if they had, the pharmacist at CVS would have done something... right? like call and order an effective substitution. then they would have called me to let me know. but no, no one called me or anyone else. apparently the thought of trying another supplier, or ordering another dressing never occurred to anyone. so now i have nothing.

so just when i was SO angry about this, Nancy, from my doctor's office called. this is my primary care doc, on friday she referred me to a specialist. so everything is in the specialists' hands now right? no. not the way my doctor works. while yes, she is leaving treatment up to the specialist, i am still her patient and she still wants to know how i am... and also, ask if i need anything.

so while sometimes the big bad cold city can be just as big and bad and cold as you expect, there ARE really awesome people to be found here.

monday monday

i failed miserably this morning with the directive to keep harvey dry. i feel like really simple things are just really hard for me. i am not sure why. i used 3 plastic bags to protect him during my shower, all i did was fill 3 plastic bags with water... oh, and almost killed myself. slippery suckers.

in good news, i did a decent job of staying off the foot this weekend, as directed. good for me anyway... which, is better than anyone can really expect. harvey hasn't been really painful, little twinges here and there. there was a fair amount of itching, which led me to unwrap him and scratch... not directly on him but around him. that was strictly forbidden but how many rules can one girl be expected to follow?

anyway, i am now waiting for a call from CVS because they didn't carry the wound dressing my doc wanted me to use and had to order it. meanwhile, i wadded up some toilet paper and spit on it until it was good and saturated... that should ward off any infections for a couple days.

omg... KIDDING. geeze. i'm not THAT bad.

Friday, September 16, 2011

so operating on yourself turns out NOT to be a good idea

who knew?

as i left the doctor's office today, an image popped into my head of this one de-motivational poster that is captioned: "it may just be that your one purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others."

it looks like there may be an infection. also, it seems that the 2-day curriculum with the apple cider vinegar isn't to be "tweaked" into a 3-week treatment.

doctor can't tell anything right now because, as he said, "you messed harvey up bad." but he cauterized it, did some other stuff, and now i have to stay off it for a week with the possibility of surgery to follow.

i really do feel like that poster... the image was of a shipwreck.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


so this is harvey. harvey is a cluster of warts on my heel. i am trying to kill harvey.

i have gone to a doctor that injected chemotherapy drugs into harvey. he didn't die, he multiplied.

i have frozen harvey with liquid nitrogen. again, harvey didn't die.

now, apple cider vinegar. i believe harvey could be dying this time. he's putting up a good fight, the firey needles of pain he shoots up my leg tells me he is NOT amused. harvey is stubborn, but i'm more stubborn. he thinks if he causes enough pain i'll give up. oh harvey, you foolish foolish mortal.

i've been at this for almost 3 weeks now. a weaker wart would have been dead and gone after two days. but not harvey. i believe harvey is part chuck norris, and we all know chuck norris doesn't die.

he probably wouldn't be sportin' a sponge bob bandaid either, but hey, that's how harvey rolls.

Monday, September 12, 2011

i'm blogging again and i may be dying

i've been cut off from facebook. the place i used to go to post this absurd snippets. so i'm blogging.

and, i could be dying. i could also be a lottery winner, though unlikely since i don't buy tickets. perhaps a sweepstakes winner is more feasible.

here's the story. i notice a voicemail on my phone today. it's a woman, addressing me as mizzzz holthouse. i need to redo something and come by as soon as possible.

the most reasonable explanation is that my one security clearance that hit a small hiccup last week (i need to quit joking around about turning to a life of crime) has hit another snag. i am guessing that whatever form i filled out TWO weeks ago had some kind of expiration date that has since expired while waiting for the aforementioned snag to be sorted out. which it has. been sorted out i mean. the expiration date thing is pure speculation.

BUT, the caller left no name, no phone number, did not mention her organization... just my name, i need to redo the unintelligible thing, please stop by asap.

now i'm waiting to see what the most reasonable suspect has to say. meanwhile, what if it's not them? what if my doctor has called to tell me something tragic? what if the DMV has finally admitted that my new license picture is indeed too heinous to be printed on my ID? what if whomever took over for ed mcmahon has 20 million dollars waiting for me?

it's been like 3 minutes now since i called and still no word. this is a debacle.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

sept. 11

that was a terrifying day. i'll never forget walking out onto our patio and seeing the smoke from the pentagon. i left work around 11, put an 8 hour tape in my vcr, tuned to cnn and went to bed. that's how i deal with stress. took me a couple years to watch that tape...

wednesday morning i walked outside and all i smelled was smoke. it was sickening. it made it real.

i didn't lose anyone i knew, but i knew people that did. my friend and colleague, helen ginsberg at epa lost her cousin, my friend deb lost a friend in new york, the company we shared office space with had their NYC headquarters right next to the twin towers, my parents had friends that lost a nephew... that kind of thing.

years later i worked on a project for a world trade center insurance company and re-created plans for the restaurant, windows on the world. it was a spooky and poignant experience for me.

more directly i have been impacted by a good friend and two of my nephews going to war. i couldn't watch the news, i couldn't watch war movies... i prayed a lot and held my breath. they all came home safely and it was a big relief... every day i'm grateful our family never got that awful news.

in the last week i've watched a lot of specials on 9-11. specials highlighting the tragedy of lives lost as well as the heroism of ordinary people. i watched specials on the monument being built, the people involved in it. it's amazing what we're capable of... what we can give and how we can care for and nurture and comfort each other. it sort of makes me wonder why we don't do it every day, but i remind myself not to think that way, to look at what people DO do, rather than what we don't.

so many lives lost in this war with terrorism... that day 10 years ago, and and still now and we continue to fight to secure freedom for everyone.

i don't like to get dramatic about things, and maybe this is why i'm writing in my blog rather than going to any anniversary event... but i think probably on this terrible anniversary, we've all stopped to remember, to say a prayer for the families, for our service men and women and for our country. i think maybe we should do that every day.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


last week, when i realized i would be incurring no more business expenses for the month, i did my expense sheet EARLY. this is unheard of. not in 43 years has this been done.

i had all but one receipt, which i knew was in my car. so i set it aside, i'll get that other receipt tomorrow, turn it in, get reimbursed... ON TIME (also unheard of).

and every day... and i do mean EVERY day, i forgot that receipt. until today. oh joy oh hallelujah. it's only sept. 6, i might still get reimbursed on time... or, at the very least, avoid the usual threats i get.

meanwhile, back at the ranch, the weekend has been worked, presentations have been done, i've hosted many a visitor in my guest chair... the chair people refuse to accept as a work surface and continually move things from. yeah, that chair.

all the receipts i had been so mindful of... gone.

and you think that's the end of it? oh no that's not the end of it. it also appears that i paid for everything with cash this month. something i N E V E R do. but i checked my credit card statements, and my debit card statement and nothing is there. NOTHING. it's like last month didn't even happen. like maybe it was all a dream and all i really did was sit here like an automaton cranking out presentation after presentation. never leaving this cube or this chair. it's possible i have not showered, or changed clothes, or even eaten.

well, i think i ate.