Archive for March, 2009

30
Mar
09

just one of those days

Every now and again, despite numerous attempts to thwart it I succumb to what I call “stupid” days. These are days wherein I feel that I have not learned anything in the X number of years I have been in school. That all this time was spent on wasted education since I did not retain anything. These days are filled with self-doubt and self-tests. I start asking myself questions that I feel I should already know…basic information taught in Neuro 101. The combination of self-doubt and the added pressure of needing to answer correctly typically results in disaster and I fall deeper into the abyss of “stupidity.” Yes, it is completely illogical and a bit neurotic yet I cannot help it. I have tried to determine all the triggers, but I have only scratched the surface. Today, for example, was relatively unexpected. I went to bed last night with optimism regarding my to do list today. Two hours into my waking state and my optimism spiralled downwards to negativism. Thus, I am sitting in front of my computer wondering if what I’m blogging about even makes sense. The sensation that I have such limited vocabulary that I cannot acquiesce to the cacophony of fecklessness. See? As I am writing, I am trying to challenge these irrational thoughts. *sigh* This will be a long day.

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29
Mar
09

Randomness Sunday

– Purchased generic baby wipes for Simon (we have started to call him Simey for short) so I can wipe his paws and butt after being outside. Having a starving student mindset, I also cut the wipes up in half, one for his AM walk and the other for his PM walk, to stretch the buck…all of the $1.50 for 42 wipes.

– In a couple of weeks, we are probably going to purchase flea prevention products for Simey. Sun City is slowly getting warm which means flea and tick season is approaching. Once again, an ounce of prevention is worth a lb of cure.

– Lately, there has been a lot of talk about legalizing marijuana. I contemplated blogging about it, but somehow I just could not bear to be political this morning. People need to ease up and stop demanding so many things at once. Obama does not have a magic wand. Relax. He hasn’t even been president for a year!

– I have to transcribe my mock interview session today. I’m not looking forward to it. Not to mention, good ol best partner in the world did not include her interview on the VHS copy she gave me. This means that in order to provide an accurate critique of her counseling skills I would have to rely solely on my memory. Luckily, I have the audio for both the interviews so at least I’m not completely SOL. I cannot wait for this to be over. *sigh*

– I admit it. I finally caved in and signed up for Twitter. Sadly, I did not really have an epiphany about my decision. I just woke up one day and said hey why not!

– Catguy, one of Mr Shell’s friend from work, gave us a slow cooker over the weekend. These past couple of months, I’ve been on the fence regarding purchasing one. My mom does not like them and has advised me against buying one. She said it will make the apartment smell like food all day. Isn’t this supposed to be a plus? Besides, I would not mind coming home to the illusion of a home cooked meal waiting for me.

– Hives are doing much better. The 4 drugs really helped with the itchiness which means my arms are not permanently covered in calamine lotion.  *cross fingers*

27
Mar
09

Drugged Up

Due to the hives breakout and extreme itchiness that accompanied it, I have been rendered hostage to benadryl. Much to everyone’s knowledge, benadryl makes one very drowsy. Essentially, I was in a zombie state these past few days. Today is the fifth day and I have a doctor’s appointment. The itchiness isn’t as bad now, but it still comes and goes. The intermittent itchiness is driving me crazy. Calamine lotion only provides temporary relief. I primarily rely on an oatmeal paste; however, a major downside to it is when it dries it flakes off. Before I realized it was falling off, Simon kept following me around as he wanted to eat the oatmeal that was falling off my arms. I had to quarantine myself in the bedroom until it all dries so I can shake it off and vacuum right after. Quite a chore. I’m hoping the doc can shed some light on my allergic reaction. This is the first time I ever had hives in my entire life.

On a different note, this will be my first visit to a US doctor. I have been calling different insurance companies over the past few months to see if I would be qualified for health insurance. I do not like the health insurance offered by the university. Other than it requiring me to pay for the whole year up front (for a ridiculous amount especially to a student), I can only sign up for it either in September or January. It also has a pretty high copay so I decided to shop around. It’s not easy to find health insurance here. Almost every single company I contacted cannot insure an international student. It was a tad frustrating. I was left with either the university health insurance or Blue Cross. These were my only options. Until I saw the No Insurance Club on the news. For 12 visits/year, it only costs $480 with no copays per visit. Of course, it has to be paid up front, but I thought about how many times I actually see my doctor back home and I realized it did not even  come close to 12 visits. I figured this is the best deal. To anyone still seeking for an alternative to the typical health insurance, check out the No Insurance Club and see if they are active in your area.

22
Mar
09

itchiness

I woke up at 3 AM this morning feeling very itchy. My arms were so itchy it actually woke me up. I got up and washed my arms to soothe the itchiness. I tried to go back to sleep and I just couldn’t. The itchiness consumed me that my mind went on overdrive. Thoughts of fleas…flea infestation….images of fleas stuck to my skin…I never went back to sleep. When Mr Shell woke up, I showed him the bumps on my arms. I brought up the flea issue and we went to check Simon. He’s clean. This was no surprise since he has not really been scratching. I”m a little perplexed (and still itchy). I started researching flea prevention, as the last thing I want would be fleas in the apartment. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! However, as my research progressed, I realized that this may be an allergic reaction. The more I thought about it the more it made sense. Mr Shell has no itchiness or rash. Simon has no fleas. I’m only itchy on my arms – the places where Simon has been licking me every time I pet him. I did not think there is such a thing as being allergic to dog saliva, but it looks like I actually am. Now, I’m in the process of buying this pet allergen spray to put on Simon’s coat and he is not allowed to lick me anymore 😦 . Oh well, c’est la vie.

21
Mar
09

2 out of 3 ain’t bad, I guess

I have to admit that it was not the smartest thing for me to have 3 credit cards and live the student lifestyle. It takes a toll on my finances and requires crazy budgeting skills on my part. Nevertheless, I have good credit and I am always diligent with my payments. Being a diligent consumer, I decided yesterday to contact the 3 companies and alter my method of payment. Typically, I pay through online banking from my Cdn bank; however, as the funds in that account is slowly dwindling it required me to continuously wire transfer money from my current US account to my Cdn account in order to pay for my credit card bills. After doing this for 2 months and costing me an extra $50 on wire transfer costs, I opted to stop this insanity and start mailing cheques. Ideally, I wanted it to be an autopay with my US account, but, to no one’s surprise, this is not feasible. Thus, I stuck with option B, cheque mailing. I wanted to ensure that a note was placed on each of my credit card account regarding this change of payment and so begins my phone calls to each one of them. Company A and B were a breeze. Both csrs I spoke with were pleasant and helpful as usual. The transition was quite smooth. On the other hand, Company B, which btw is one of the largest banks in Canada, proved to be difficult. First call resulted in me ending the call frustratingly since I could barely understand the csr. I waited 10 minutes and called again hoping I could actually communicate effectively with a different csr. Yeah, I wish! It was the same situation. To make matters worse, csr #2 informed me that I cannot send US cheques because it’s a Cdn credit card and they can only accept Cdn money. WTF!!! This was honestly the most asinine logic I have ever heard. Money is money! They are going to turn down someone who wants to pay! Regardless, I gave csr #2 another chance. Is there any other way I can pay by US cheque? His solution…I have to personally go to one of their branches. At this point, all I could do was let out a big sigh and ended the call. I did not bother arguing with someone who clearly does not know what is going on not to mention he kept confusing the word credit card with bank account for some bizarre reason. I was pretty frustrated now. Immediately, I phoned one of my friends, who actually works at one of the branches, to verify this false information. Of course, csr #2 was completely uninformed. Apparently, mailing US cheques is a common occurrence. I have to admit that this experience surprised me since this bank has had amazing customer service for the past 5  years (that’s how long I’ve been with them). Unfortunately, my friend informed me that their call centre may have been recently outsourced. This is a little disconcerting to me. They really should guarantee that their outsourced employees be knowledgeable and be able to communicate effectively to their customers.

18
Mar
09

Intro to Simon

Simon has been adjusting well. Surprisingly, he has not had any accidents (#1 and #2) in the apartment yet. He’s really good at letting us know that he needs to be walked. Actually, on the first day he farted (twice!) while we were sitting watching tv. We had to rush walk him right then and there. He pooped relieved himself at the first patch of grass he saw. He still needs to be trained on properly walking on a leash and he is still learning that he can’t jump on the bed. He is a very sweet dog and we’re very happy we adopted him 🙂  Also, we determined that he is a Chihuahua-MinPin mix.

sleepy Simon on the couch

cozy Simon

cozy Simon

Simon asleep during 24

Simon asleep during 24

15
Mar
09

the World of Shell update

– Ethics was as interesting as it was dry. The discussions did not disappoint. Prof exceeded my expectations. Presence of the token annoying and condescending classmate. What else can one ask for in an ethics class?

– ‘Twas the Week of Shell. Animal rescue lady and a classmate shared the wonderfully common name of Shell [of course, in real life the name is not Shell 🙂 ]

– Informed that imminent career falls under the “recession proof” category. Networked future connections in aforementioned career. Contemplated, and still contemplating, a life altering step that could resolve certain issues I am having at the moment.

– Desperately seeking a vcr. Videotaped mock session was placed in a vhs instead of dvd by partner. As of today, still empty-handed.

– Slowly improving in replacing Cdn spelling with American spelling.

– Saw his pic online. There was something about his smile. He was just so adorable. First phone call seemed hopeful. Two days later, he came to visit us. Mr Shell and I did not need any convincing and finalized the paperwork. He became officially a member of the World of Shell today. His name is Simon and he is a chihuahua mix.