Monday, December 6, 2010
I had forgotten how nervous therapy makes me. Despite wanting to be a psychologist, the process of laying all my issues on the table is somewhat frightening. The session itself went well and I felt a lot better for it - although I felt weirdly exposed and vulnerable afterwards, and a lot of "stuff" that I need to deal with surfaced. It was good though, and has made me realise that I need to start looking after my own interests a lot more and put myself first a little more often.
The post-therapy weekend was thus somewhat weird. Friday was quite nice, as I worked the morning shift at the vet and then had the afternoon off (I haven't had a proper Friday afternoon to myself in ages!). Sarah and I took her cat, Cassidy, to the vet for it's vaccinations - I went with to help carry the cat while Sarah held Joshua (who is really cute!). Cassidy was far from impressed with the whole thing, but Joshua seemed to relish every second of the outing! The strangest part of the afternoon was Cassidy sitting on my lap and purring - something that she's probably never done to a visitor before, as she used to be extremely shy! I suspect that she was trying to befriend me, so that I wouldn't take her to the vet ever again!
Saturday was a serious emotional rollercoaster. I went for a walk in the morning and found an injured dove which I took to the vet. On the way there, I just started sobbing about the poor dove (and all my other pets who I lost this year), and then had a long sob when I got home. HOMSI and I went out for lunch, and there was more sobbing in the afternoon. Then, all the post-crying endorphins kicked in and the rest of the afternoon was great! We played miniature golf, got pizza and went to see "Spud". I cried in that too, but I'm going to argue that it was a moving story and that crying was acceptable.
I was in a much better mood yesterday. HOMSI and I went to go look at townhouses and apartments, because he wants to buy a place and move off the Sand of Death (i.e. the evil dirt road to his current place, which may have somehow caused the 5 strokes he had this year). We found a really amazing place with 2 bedrooms and a loft area (games room, anyone?) and a thatched double-volume ceiling. The only thing that is making HOMSI think twice about it is that the complex apparently doesn't allow pets (weird because we saw someone walking a dog in the complex). We also saw a really beautiful 1 bedroom place, which had a gorgeous seaside cottage feel to it. I kind of went weak at the knees - everything was grey and white and light and airy and happy. I'm definitely inspired on the decor front - although not sure how I'll deal with white duvets and cats!
In any case, I'm feeling good today and hope that it continues (mostly because the serious mood seesawing is exhausting). Happy Monday!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Last week was just incredibly tough for me. The cabin fever at home was just getting worse, and I was starting to panic about my research (or lack thereof). There was also a misunderstanding between myself and the morning receptionist about December leave, which meant that I ended up being asked to work the last 2 weeks of December, which was a little more than I had bargained for. My mom and I had a fight about the dishes, I got mild gastro and I was just tired, upset and hopeless about everything.
I have no idea what changed everything. I suspect that having a good sob and mini-therapy session at Kirstan's place on Tuesday helped. Playing with her Boston Terrier puppy probably helped too. Either way, I started feeling better and actually managed to get some work done, even though I had to work 2 extra shifts at the vet. And the vet and I just dissolved into insanity on Friday afternoon, which saw us trying to calculate the bill for my cat (who was in a fight with another cat) using a pair of red and black Wine Gums. It is probably best not to ask!
The weekend was utterly insane. As I'm working so much in December, I decided to try to get as much of my Chrismukkah shopping done as soon as possible. It also means I can avoid the huge crowds in December (at least that's the theory). So, I dragged HOMSI off to Eastgate on Saturday. This may sound cruel. but I was hoping to get him to start his shopping, because he usually does it on the 24th of December, amidst the last-minute panic. My efforts were unsuccessful though, as he only bought 1 thing the whole day. I was pretty successful though, and only need to buy gifts for the other receptionists at work now! Win!
Sunday was filled with food and people and more food. My work Christmas function was a breakfast buffet at 10:00, and I then raced off to HOMSI's mom's place for family lunch. After that, it was off to a braai at a friend's house. I got home after 19:00, having eaten dessert twice.
This week has been pretty mad so far. I worked both shifts at the vet yesterday, and my 15 year old dog had to be put down, which was really sad. And my car nearly got stolen - something that I've been strangely calm about. As the saying goes though, there will be days like this.
Monday, November 22, 2010
I woke up at 6:00 on Saturday morning and read for a bit before having breakfast. I wasn't in too much of a rush to do anything, especially since I had a terrible headache. Luckily, my headache disappeared, because I ended up rushing to work, because the other receptionist was sick and couldn't come in. I spent the morning at the vet, which was quiet because it's the middle of the month, and then rushed home to get changed before lunch with HOMSI. We had lunch at Sandton (mmmm.... Wraps...) and then spent most of the afternoon wandering around the mall and looking at the camping shops. We should probably start our Christmas shopping, but that just seems a little too scary right now! I have got some ideas for gifts for HOMSI at least (I'm now paying attention to what he eyes in the camping shops). After this, we headed off to his place and spent the rest of the evening looking through the property guide.
Sunday was completely frantic. HOMSI fetched me at 9:30, having navigated his way past the 94.7 Cycle Challenge. The race is fairly problematic for him, as it starts and finishes near where he lives, in Kyalami Estates. We manage to make our way to the Lifestyle Garden Centre to do some shopping though, and then some general wandering around, followed by the most amazing chocolate cake at the coffee shop in the nursery. It had Lindt chocolate icing. Need I say more?
We were reluctant to try to get back to his place in Kyalami, so we decided to go to Cresta to see a movie. This didn't really work out, because the power went off in the centre as we arrived. We then decided to go to Brightwater Commons to see what movies were showing there, and by that time I was in need of lunch. After a toasted sandwich at a coffee shop, we gave up because it was so hot and drove back to Kyalami. We were quite lucky that we did go back to his place, because something strange had happened to the washing machine, which just kept filling with water - water which then ended up all over the kitchen floor. So, a large part of the afternoon was spent sweeping water out of the kitchen. After that, we went for a walk around HOMSI's area. Most of the land consists of equestrian estates, so we walked down to the lake at the bottom of a hill near where he lives and watched the birds which live in the reeds.
I'm now frantically busy with my research and really hoping to make some progress. And wishing that I could get it all done so that I could go on holiday, which is looking increasingly unlikely. Oh well... Happy Monday!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
The end of October and the beginning of November were utterly mad. I had to write a critical analysis of a journal article for my neuropsychology course and ended up being 27% over the word limit and unable to edit anything out. Eventually I just handed it in out of sheer desperation - and was quite relieved when my lecturer took mercy on me and gave me a first, despite my blatant disregard for the word limit of the assignment. While doing the assignment, I also had to mark first year tests and essays, which resulted in quite a bit of insanity. This had a lot to do with a student who had written her essay as a story ("in 1999, lots of people knew about HIV..."), the complete lack of referencing, my inability to give students a first for writing a comprehensible essay and not suspect that the whole thing was plagiarised and the bizarre mention of people being used as "excape goats" in 1 test that I marked. HOMSI found the whole thing hilarious and really enjoyed reading some of the tests (or trying to, given the general bad handwriting trend). I also use him as a testing mechanism for spelling - i.e. if my dyslexic boyfriend can correctly spell a word used in an essay, when a student using MS Word and a spellchecker cannot, I feel entitled to make a comment about spelling in said essay.
After the marking it was onto my 2 exam equivalents. 1 was a mini research project. Luckily, I only needed to make minor corrections from my first draft and handed in a few days early. the neuro exam equivalent was far from friendly, however, and I ended up reading tons of journal articles until my mind was filled with information on the neuropsychological effects of HIV. Somehow, all the articles seemed to cite one another and it felt like I was going around and around in circles. I finished the exam at 10:25 on Friday, 5 November, and HOMSI arrived at 10:30 to repack my backpack and pick me up for the hike.
The hike itself was awesome and deserving of its own post, which will follow shortly, along with some of the 300 photos that I took. After 6 days away, it was bizarre to be back in Johannesburg and general civilisation and I've been having serious withdrawal from not being on top of a mountain or walking through a forest. I also ended up invigilating a 3 hour exam the day after we got back from the hike. After 5 days of walking, my feet were far from impressed about having to walk for another 3 hours!
The past few days have been fairly uneventful. HOMSI and I went to the zoo with Sarah, Graham and baby Joshua on Sunday, which was lovely, and then we had lunch with my parents for my mom's birthday. My work ethic seems to have died a slow and painful death, mostly thanks to John van de Ruit's book "Spud". In desperation, I stopped nagging myself about working and finished the book last night, just so that I'd no longer have any excuses about not working! I'm holding off buying the other books until my MA is done!
And now I'm off to sort out some stuff for my research, which really, really, really needs to get going! Happy Thursday!
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
I'm busy transcribing interviews for my research project. Firstly, allow me to reveal that the interviews were, more or less, a flop. I was aiming for about 30 to 40 minutes with each of the 6 students and instead all my interviews (of which there were only 5) were between 5 minutes and 16 minutes. Epic fail. Transcribing is so painful though. It takes about an hour to do 10 minutes of audio, and I'm battling low blood pressure, tiredness and the heat. And boredom. Mostly boredom. It's so bad that I had to make a deal with HOMSI - we can only go out to dinner on Tuesday night if I have finished transcribing. HOMSI has been extremely supportive about all of this though - he treats my transcribing as free entertainment. He sits on the couch and looks through the property section and laughs when I get annoyed with not being able to hear exactly what my participant was saying in the interview or when I subvocalise when I'm trying to remember what to transcribe. Apparently I talk to myself a lot.
In favour of not having to make myself a toasted cheese tomorrow night - and instead being treated to a toasted cheese made by Nino's or Mugg 'n Bean - I will end this post and go back to transcribing. Begrudgingly.
Monday, September 13, 2010
- research... and lots of it. I'm doing a course called "Research in Context" which basically aims to give us, as Masters students, real-world research experience without too much scariness (or remuneration). So far, we've had to put together a Powerpoint and a proposal to meet the clients' brief and now we've got to do data collection. It's like doing a full-blown research project in 2 months. Panic and chaos have ensued. I now have to track down 6 people to interview and get another 50 to complete questionnaires.
- other research... has taken a back seat. Drastically. We will not discuss how much work I have not done.
- neuropsychology presentations. This actually went quite well. I had to put together a detailed presentation on epilepsy, and present to my class. It went really well and my lecturer has asked to borrow my presentation for her third years. Win!
- running. Yes, I've finally started running again, as the ankle is MUCH better! The less said about today's session the better (nasty stitches and weird sinus attacks from all the dust), but I have to get fit, because I'm doing a 5 day hike in November.
- MA interviews. These went relatively well. I got through both M.Clinical and M.Community and Counselling Psychology. There is 1 small snag - I got waiting-listed for both. Again. I think the department are playing silly buggers. Nonetheless, I'm hanging in there and hoping that someone drops out and that I get invited to be part of the class for 2011. Failing that, I'll apply again next year.
- Job interviews. Since I didn't get into a Masters programme for next year, I've got to do my Research Internship. The prospect of earning money is quite nice, but the prospect of having to drive to Pretoria (100km round trip) or Lenasia (86km) everyday is a tad depressing. I'm now hoping to find something closer!
- HOMSI and I are still doing well. It's been almost a year and we're going away for the long weekend in September. Yay!
I think that's about it! I hope to be a better blogger in the coming weeks...
Monday, July 19, 2010
- finish writing tutoring assessments
- answer my emails
- type up research instruments (yes, that one has been on the list for a while)
- go for a run, despite the enormous amount of pain in my Achilles tendon (the biokineticist told me to do it!)
- be pretzelled by said biokineticist
- organise my diary with dates of interviews, marking, etc
- find accommodation for the weekend away
- start my neuropsychology assignments
I think that that's more than enough! Happy Monday everyone!
Monday, July 5, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
- why on earth did I decide to use a modified version of a scale which has changed items from "Do you think that the number 13 is unlucky?" to "Is seeing a lone dove or pigeon flying bad luck?"?!? Yes, I know my study was supposed to be appropriate to a South African population, but I'm not sure that these item changes are actually helping! Argh! *grumble grumble*
- where is my mom? She went for an x-ray and ultrasound on her shoulder more than 2 hours ago. Is it time to send out a search party?
- why is my other ankle now aching?
- ooh... Just found a slab of chocolate in my desk drawer.
- where am I going to find 50 people to participate in my research after having used pretty much all my friends last year? Oh dear.
- why is the femur/hip currently the bone of choice to break or injure? I know 3 people who've had to have pins put in their leg/hip or are having operations on their hips - and none of them are older than 30! Strange!
- why does it get cloudy and freezing cold when I decide to go for a run? I'm just saying...
Thursday, July 1, 2010
- sort out my research. This basically involves organising and typing up the questionnaires that I plan to use. I also need to start finding participants (i.e. lab rats), which usually involves using and abusing friends and relatives. Having had no time for my research for the last 3 weeks, I now really need to get cracking, especially since my supervisor sent me an email yesterday (probably to check if I'm still alive!).
- finish my application forms for Masters courses and get all the documentation together. Yes, I'm putting myself through the process again!
- edit and put up photos from the World Cup and graduation.
- finish decorating my study. This involves touching up some of the paint, finding my gran's collection of Buddha's, moving the TV set into a less annoying position and buying a thrown and matching cushion
- sort out the chaos which is my bedroom cupboard (and maybe go for counselling afterwards - it's that bad!)
- bake biscuits for He of Many Sports Injuries, who is having a really tough time at work at the moment.
I think that's it. Probably not, but at least I'll be busy for a while - and still have enough time to relax a bit before term begins!
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
I'm not quite sure what I've been doing that the time has crept away from me so quickly. I certainly haven't been doing my research. In fact, I haven't done anything research-related in over a month - and I was hoping to have half my data collection done by now!
I have been going to my regular biokineticist sessions. It's actually been going very well. My back feels infinitely better and I'm not nearly as stiff and sore (or grumpy from being stiff and sore) as I was! I've also been given lots of exercises to do at home and this is really helping (and confusing my cat, who assumes that I'm lying on my bedroom floor because I want to pat her. Why else would I be down there? Duh!) The biokineticist is now also fixing my ankle (yes, the one that I hurt falling down that hill over a year ago!) and the torturous manipulation and feeling of my ligaments going in strange new directions is actually kind of nice. I'm praying that my medical aid actually pays for all of this though!
I've also been spending a lot of time baking! In the last 3 weeks, I've made 4 batches of cupcakes and 2 batches of brownies, for everything from a baby shower to my birthday picnic and for work. The brownies are a new recipe, and have little pieces of peppermint crisp in them. They are particularly lethal and He of Many Sports Injuries has grown rather fond of them, so I'll probably be making quite a few more batches.
Aside from baking, I've also been working at the vet a lot more than usual. The morning receptionist was away for a week, so I worked her shifts, and then the other receptionist fell ill, so I ended up working for her. This afternoon is pretty much my first afternoon off in a very long time and I'm quite enjoying not having to go to work, because it's freezing!
The other thing that has been a) very time-consuming and b) horrible was my bank card being cloned. Money has been disappearing out of my account for the last 3 months, and since it was only about R200 at a time and my bank statements arrive months late, I didn't really notice. I got a call from my bank's fraud department last week, asking whether I'd just bought something for R2000 and since I was sitting in my room, reading, and not doing any late-night shopping, I immediately asked for the card to be stopped. Since then, my days have been a blur of police statements and calls to the fraud department. Most of it is being sorted out and it looks like I may get at least some of the money back.
I'm now attempting to make some major progress on my to-do list, which includes some fairly important things, like MA applications, and some random things, like editing photos for Facebook and buying a throw for my study. I just hope it warms up a bit, because it is freezing! Happy Tuesday!
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
It's got groove, it's got meaning
Grease is the time, is the place, is the motion
Grease is the way we are feeling...
On Sunday afternoon, He of Many Sports Injuries and I headed off to the Teatro at Montecasino to see Grease. As anyone who knows me is aware, I absolutely love musicals and Grease is no exception! If anything, it has a particularly special place in my heart because it was the major production which I took part in when I was in matric in high school, and, as well as knowing all the words in the script and all the songs, I also have a lot of very good memories associated with it!
It was fairly miraculous that the evening happened at all, since He of Many Sports Injuries has been completely overwhelmed with work and most of our Saturday and Sunday nights have been interrupted by phone calls from the office, with people asking him to come in and fix a printer at 7 o'clock at night. Luckily, he was just as tired of the constant phone calls as I was, so he left his phone in the car and we set off for the theatre.
Of all the places in Johannesburg that I like the least, Montecasino is fairly near the top of the list. I can't stand the faux Tuscan look, both inside and out (and I hate those wretched cobblestone walkways! I spend the entire night waiting to slip and fall on my face!). The Teatro is quite nice though - it's a magnificent theatre and the main seating area is great, even if the balcony is a bit far back to be able to see everything properly. The only problem that I have is the sound quality - the sound is just too "big" for the size of the theatre, and it means that vocals tend to get lost in the music.
The production itself was fantastic though! The costumes were gorgeous, the sets were really well-utilised and the acting, dancing and singing were excellent! I had my usual moment of envy during the performance - I would love to be involved in a musical again! The actors definitely got it right though and Jonathan Roxmouth was brilliant as Danny. I've seen him progress over the last couple of years, from the RAPS play festival to Cats and he really is ridiculously talented.
He of Many Sports Injuries and I followed up our very sophisticated trip to the theatre with some less sophisticated takeaway wraps from the fast food outlet, while watching the Japanese tourists taking photos of one another next to the fountain at Montecasino. We then nearly lost the car (why do all the entrances at Montecasino look identical?!?) and then drove around and around the traffic circles outside Montecasino, for no particular reason. As I discovered on Sunday night, letting my boyfriend eat a roll of Mentos, a packet of Jellytots and drink a Coke and a Coke Light is a very bad idea. He tends to become extremely hyperactive and we end up doing very silly things! It makes the evening very interesting though, so it's worth it!
Have you seen any good stage productions (or eaten too much sugar and had interesting experiences as a result of it) recently?
Monday, June 7, 2010
In my defence, things have been somewhat crazy over the last few months. I find that craziness is best expressed in bullet-points, so here goes:
- I had a research meltdown - the kind where your supervisor starts asking whether there's "anything else" that you're interested in researching. This is never good, especially when you've already written your literature review. Fortunately, the research was resucitated and I now have ethical approval. *sigh of relief*
- I have marked 90-something essays written by second year psychology students, which has lead to be becoming increasingly concerned about the South African school system (or even just the general inability of most students to use a spell-checker). Apparently, "woman (yup, singular) are made of ovaries". True story.
- I completed the Hike of Doom, complete with Chiara's death march, my own death march and the ladder of death. More details and photos will follow soon! I have to brag about how I didn't fall down and hurt myself!
- I went on holiday to the beach, for 5 lovely days of sea and sun with Graham, Sarah and He of Many Sports Injuries. It happened to coincide with He of Many Sports Injuries and my six monthiversary. Lame, but lovely nonetheless. As usual, pics and details to follow!
- Every second person I know is getting engaged. So, I've been going to lots of engagement party-type things. It's still somewhat unnerving to know that this is "the age" when everyone gets married. I may or may not be contemplating some major commitment-phobic issues at the moment.
- I finally finished reading Jane Austen's "Emma". It only took 4 months - I think.
- I wrote the stats test from hell. Blegh! And got 75%. Oops.
- I wrote the 6 hour exam from hell... And I'm still waiting for the results.
- I'm going to be tortured by a biokineticist on Thursday.
The biggest news of all - at least in terms of this blog - is that, in an effort to be able to blog more often, I'm going to be changing the format of my blog slightly. When I started writing, I tried to base each post on a movie title. While this has made me feel very clever when I've made a witty link between my writing and a suitably apt or ironic title, I've also written some very lame posts, with some cringe-worthy titles. I also have loads of things which I'd like to write about and which I don't write about because no one has ever made a movie about MA interviews or research projects or lasagne or... Well, you get the point. So, while the format of the blog will remain the same (i.e. my random ramblings), the titles will no longer be movie-based (unless, of course, I manage to come up with some brilliant link between my post and a title). I hope that this change will mean that my writing process will become easier - and my posts more frequent!
Thursday, February 25, 2010
I really didn't have the most productive weekend. He of Many Sports Injuries was away, and so I had hoped to sort out my research and find sandals and a million other things. It didn't quite happen, because I spent Saturday morning at Makro, buying an office chair, and then spent most of Saturday afternoon constructing said chair. For the record, the guy at Makro said "It's really easy! Anyone can do it!". I'm pretty sure he lied. It was a mission! And I'm pretty good with screwdrivers and bolts and stuff! The chair is now in 1 piece though, and has yet to fall apart, which seems like a good sign!
I spent Saturday night at a Chinese New Year celebration in Cyrildene, with Sarah and Graham and Sarah's parents. It was really fun, and very interesting. All the Chinese restaurants along the road just put out tables into the street, and each restaurant has a set menu of 8 dishes. Everyone just sits around and watches the dragon making its way up and down the road and watching the fireworks. It took me ages to find the "fireworks" setting on my camera, and the finished products weren't too amazing, unless you look at them in a kind of "modern arty" sort of way...
I've spent enormous amounts of time at the vet where I work, because I had to organise stock-take. It actually went pretty well, all things considered - I think it had something to do with the cup of coffee that Kath bought me. I don't drink coffee, but I woke up on Tuesday morning with a huge headache and I had to be at work by 7:30am. I figured that the coffee probably couldn't make me feel any worse, and I was pretty amazed by how quickly the headache disappeared and how productive I became! I didn't even mind counting out whole bottles of tiny, tiny pills!
I am relieved to announce that I do still have a job. It was all a little touch and go in the last few weeks, because the other receptionist who works afternoons wasn't sure which afternoons she could work, and my hours aren't as flexible as they used to be now that all 2 of my lectures are in the afternoon. It's all been sorted out though, and I'm breathing a sigh of relief!
Finally, my research is coming along slowly - better slowly than not at all, I suppose. I'm look at the neuropsychological aspects of superstitions, which should be really interesting, given the diversity of cultures in South Africa. Before I can go any further with it though, I need to read 6 chapters for a meeting tomorrow, where I'm getting the 50 second year psychology essays that I have to mark! The topic is related to gender, and I have a sneaky suspicion that I'm going to be marking at least 45 essays on Caster Semenya...
Saturday, February 20, 2010
I know that it's a week after Valentine's Day, but I thought that I'd write this post anyway, for 2 main reasons: a) I was too busy during the week and b) He of Many Sports Injuries is away for the weekend on a work-meeting-thing near the Kruger National Park. I'm coping pretty well with him being away - I've been insanely productive, which has been awesome! And my airtime isn't taking too much of a knock either, because there only seems to be 1 tree which he can stand under and get cellphone signal, so contact has been somewhat limited.
I've never had a boyfriend on Valentine's Day. I met Justin on Valentine's Day and ended up dating him a couple of months later, but I've somehow never had a boyfriend when the 14th of February rolls around. I don't really mind. In fact, this year I was planning on having a dinner party with all my single friends to celebrate our "singletude". With He of Many Sports Injuries being in the picture though, the idea was obviously put on hold. Oddly enough, He of Many Sports Injuries has never had a girlfriend on Valentine's Day and that seems to be the reason why we both went a **little** over the top last weekend. In our defence, it was also a mini-celebration of him coming home from hospital and getting the all-clear from his neurologist after the strokes.
We started talking about what we wanted to do about 2 weeks before, and were both amused (and surprised) that we had had EXACTLY the same idea - i.e. romantic candle-lit dinner on He of Many Sports Injuries' patio. We thus opted to divide the labour - I would make dinner, and he would make dessert and set the table. I really got the easy part - I made a salad and an alfredo pasta dish which I know he loves. He, however, decided to be creative with the dessert and wanted to make creme caramel - a dish which is pretty advanced, by most baking standards! He did 4 practice runs - and ended up with exploded creme caramel all over his oven at one point. We eventually ended up at Pick 'n Pay on Valentine's Day, buying fruit salad and custard, just to avoid any more baking disasters.
Despite the dessert failure, he really did a good job with the table (he even bought candles!) and managed to keep the frogs and mosquitoes at bay (the frogs were cute though!). And he definitely out-did himself of the giftage front. ****WARNING: extreme nausea may follow!!!**** I got 40 red roses and 2 necklaces (because he couldn't choose between them. I love having an indecisive boyfriend!). And I got him... Wait for it... Bath towels. In my defence, he is a bachelor who owns nothing but towels with "Energade" written on them, and the new ones match his bath mats.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
That is why I'm resorting to bribery this morning. I'm determined to come up with a potential research topic before my lecture this afternoon, and email potential supervisors as well. I'm also hoping to keep myself distracted until I hear from He of Many Sports Injuries, who has gone for a follow-up appointment with the neurologist. I have no idea why I'm feeling so bleak and uninspired today, but I suspect that it has something to do with me not sleeping well and being worried about my boyfriend and his near-death experiences. So, in an attempt to motivate myself, and feel a little better, here are 10 things that I'm looking forward to in 2010:
1) doing my Masters!
2) having Claire back in South Africa, even if it's just for the year
3) an April holiday at the beach with He of Many Sports Injuries
4) starting swimming and running again (especially now that my 'flu is gone)
5) my Masters neuropsychology course. Yes, I still like brains.
6) Valentine's Day. Yes, as lame and nauseating as it sounds. In my defence, I've never had a
7) going indieing and souping with Helen and her hat - and my new mascara!
9) some sort of holiday in June or July. Please? Pretty please?
10) finishing my study - it's nearly done, and photos will follow soon!
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Since my last post, I haven't been doing much. In fact, I really haven't done anything. I've been battling the evil germy-bug things that appear to have originated from He of Many Sports Injuries' nephew, Kael. Kael is 2 and a half, and adores me. I suspect that this is because I don't like children and they can smell fear. Because of this, Kael usually drags me off into the garden to play golf or catches or to throw a ball at me (I try to throw it back - he's a bit useless when it comes to catching things). Ignoring him is pointless - he'll wander into the lounge and say "Candice?!". Because I know where the whole situation is going, I'll say "Kael!". This will go back and forth for about a minute, until he grabs my hand and drags me outside, while I mutter things under my breath about how "Uncle Garrith" should be teaching him to play golf!
In any case, I spent the night at Garrith's brother and his sister-in-law's place on Saturday night, after Richard and Kath's wedding, which was in the north of Johannesburg. Since He of Many Sports Injuries isn't allowed to drive at night at the moment because of the mini-strokes, we figured that staying at his brother's place was the easiest option. I was greeted in the living room on Sunday morning by Kael, in all his snotty-nosedness. I was more than half asleep, and so I was quite relieved that he seemed preoccupied with cleaning the living room (mostly by moving the TV and DVD remotes from 1 coffee table to another). I was exhausted for most of Sunday, which I attributed to getting no sleep on Saturday night because of a very sore throat, but by the time I woke up on Monday morning though, I was well and truly sick.
Thus, this week I have:
- gone to work twice
- finished Dan Brown's "Angels and Demons"
- started Sarah Addison Allen's "The Sugar Queen"
- gone to the GP twice and Dischem once
- watched a lot of South African soap operas
I am now also taking:
- an expectorant
- more antibiotics
- cortisone (for my chest)
- some probiotics
- a nasal spray
I'm pretty frustrated - I had wanted to finish the study and start my research project, but instead I've been keeping my cat company in bed(although she's definitely not complaining!). At least I'm getting better though - and I've managed to update my blog twice in one week! The part that has kept me the most amused though was the episode of "The Big Bang Theory" which I watched on Monday night. Sheldon got sick and proved to be the worst patient ever - so much so that all his roommates and friends abandoned him for 48 hours, while he wandered around his apartment shouting "Leonard! I'm sick! I want soup!". I love it!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I have spent far more time in hospitals in the last 2 weeks than I have ever wanted to. My boyfriend (a.k.a. He of Many Sports Injuries) was feeling a little weird at work on a Monday morning 2 weeks ago. So, he walked to the shops and still felt weird. So, he bought and ate a chocolate and walked back to the office and then decided to call his brother to take him to the GP. The GP sent to him to another doctor to have some blood tests done, but his brother decided to take him to the hospital. It was only when he couldn't walk properly that they decided to have him examined by a neurologist. A lot of x-rays and blood tests, an fMRI, a lumbar puncture and an angiogram later, they discovered that he'd had 4 minor strokes in the space of 2 months. This is spectacularly strange, considering that he is 35, doesn't drink or smoke (and never has), plays loads of sport, has low cholesterol and eats more salad than I do (and I'm vegetarian!)! The general consensus seems to be that the blood clots in the artery in his neck are the result of trauma, which could be the result of anything from too much volleyball, golf, squash or even just the way he drives down the dirt road to his house. He's now on medication to thin his blood to dissolve the clots, because surgery isn't really an option because of their location.
In the midst of all of this, I have spent a stupendous amount of money on petrol and have become rather adept at driving across Johannesburg to places that I could barely find on a map! I've also gotten to know his family rather well! His mom even flew up from Cape Town, and so I finally got to meet her. Granted, our meeting took place in fairly unusual circumstances - she came with me to his house to help clean up and sort things out for when he moved back home. Vacuuming your boyfriend's house while meeting your potential mother-in-law is a slightly nerve-wracking process!
He is at least out of hospital now, and stayed with his brother and his sister-in-law for a couple of nights before going home. He's in good spirits and has gone back to work - although he's only allowed to be there part-time at the moment (doctor's orders). He even came with me to Richard and Kath's wedding over the weekend! The only downside is that I now have the 'flu, thanks to his 2 and a half year old nephew, who absolutely adores me (the feeling isn't completely mutual). Alas, my immune system is no match for Kael's bugs, and I have thus spent the entire day in bed, reading Dan Brown and getting up only to find chocolate or watch yet another South African soap opera. Pathetic, I know! It's also the last way that I want to be spending my last week of holiday!
And in case you're wondering about the title of this post, "3 lbs." is a mini-series about a group of neurosurgeons - sadly it was cancelled because it was deemed to be too similar to "House". That said, it's a really good show - all 3 episodes! It's also how much the human brain weighs.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
December has been one long month of Christmas shopping, baking, late nights, lots of DVD's and a fair amount of socialising. And kittens - lots of kittens! Christmas shopping wasn't too bad, although He of Many Sports Injuries proved to be both a help and a hindrance to the process. It is very useful to have someone to carry loads of heavy things across shopping malls for you. It is also very annoying when said person decides that every single homeware shop must be examined before a gift can be bought (even though the ideal salad bowl was found at the first shop)! Nonetheless, Christmas shopping was mostly painless (although my bank account doesn't quite agree). On the receiving front, I got loads and loads of chocolate, a CD voucher, some cute t-shirts and DVD's. The best gift, however, has got to be the Chocolate Kittens that I got. Yes, Chocolate Kittens.
New Year's Eve was rather fun. We actually closed the veterinary practice at 17:30, which is pretty miraculous, and He of Many Sports Injuries and I spent the evening at Paul the Frog's amazing house, which overlooks Johannesburg. His sister and her boyfriend and a whole bunch of other friends were also there (most were of the barefoot hippie variety - these are obviously the people Paul feels most comfortable with) and we spent the evening playing "Cranium" and throwing vegetables at one another (okay, mostly at me). We saw the New Year in by standing on Paul's balcony, watching the moon and the fireworks display and playing with glowsticks.
So far, 2010 has been off to a fairly slow start. It's been difficult to do anything because I've been working most afternoons and Saturdays, endeavouring to see He of Many Sports Injuries (boyfriends are strangely time-consuming) and I've been out of action for about a week because of a bizarre neck spasm which was so painful that it reduced me to tears (and not even torn ligaments make me cry). I'm slowly getting back into running, and I'm going to university tomorrow for my Masters orientation day. It seems a bit weird to be doing Masters, and I haven't quite got used to the idea yet. I was chatting to a client at the vet and he asked what I did aside from being a receptionist and I told him that I was doing my Masters in Research Psychology. He was utterly amazed and gave me the same look of awe that I know that I've given to people doing their MA's or MSc's or PhD's. It was kind of cool - and very surreal! I'm getting a little panicky though, because I have no idea what I want to do my research on this year. Updates will follow though...
Finally, I have to mention my resolution for the year, which is to blog more consistently! I've been really bad at it, but I'm hoping to get better and have a little bit more to say in 2010!