My doctor's office is affiliated with one of the local hospitals. My doctor is good - I like him. And his nursing staff usually does the specimen collection. Except my veins like to hide, so they rubber band my arm and search for a vein (and then they do the other arm, all puzzled). If they can't find one easily they send me across the waiting room to the "lab." The "lab" services all the medical offices in the building (because they are all affiliated with the same hospital and the "lab" is also attached to that hospital). My GYN is in the same building as my regular doc- in a different office and different practice. Sure enough, I got sent to the "lab" for my blood draw today.

The lab tech at the "lab" part of the doctor's office is a lovely woman who takes drawing blood as SRS BIZNES. She takes it as a personal failing of hers if I bruise from getting blood drawn. She looks at my alabaster-white skin (she is beautiful dark chocolaty color) and says with dismay "you bruise easily, don't you?"

And I admit, well, yes, I do. I try to be as comforting as I can. But when she can't find a vein she likes, she is disgusted with herself if she has to go for one of the bigger veins "that bruises more."

I'm really okay with it. I mean, you puncture a vein to take out blood, some is gonna leak. Hence the bruise. Today, she found one of the smaller side veins and tonight all I have is a small red puncture mark. No bruising visible! Well done, Lab Tech! Well done!

Lately, my doctor has been mentoring medical students of various stripes and flavors, so the last few times I've been in he's had a different student and his nurse always asks me if I am okay with the student coming in to see me. I ALWAYS say yes, happy to discuss anything with them. Today's student was a nursing student- she is going to be a practical RN. His last two students have been studying to become doctors - MDs. I have to say, bar none, the nursing student was more thorough and more hands on than either med student - they talked a lot and asked questions, she really looked and listened and felt as well as asked questions. She is going to be terrific.
I took the red-eye home last night but we were delayed two hours on the California end which means it took me an hour to get home in morning traffic and not the 25 minutes in pre-dawn traffic. It was a fairly uneventful flight - I put in my earplugs and put on my eyeshade and pretty much dozed the whole five plus hour flight. It was not restful, and it certainly was not peaceful, but it was as comfortable as an uncomfortable place could be.

Besides being uneventful, the flight home was a little stinky. Someone near me had gas. And the young man next to me needed a shower (ETA - although faint BO is far preferable to cologne of any kind - there is so much cologne out there I am allergic to. BO is just the human condition). I was a little queasy by the time we landed. "Fresh," cold, tarmac-tainted air never smelled so good.

Had a conversation with CoWorker A before I left the office on Thursday. She got engaged in October, and is getting married in April. We have a mutual work trip the last week of March. She'll get back to her home in the DC area seven days before her wedding which takes place in Texas.

She isn't really freaking out at all. She is actually remarkable sanguine about the whole thing. The venue has its own caterer so she doesn't have to vet a caterer. She is not all about the long white dress (and she isn't sure if "white" would even be part of it) - she was looking at dresses from JCrew (yes, they have a wedding and party line) - and they ship in five days. She said she did boutique shopping and hated everything she saw (plus with her timeframe they were all like - uh, possibly not possible).

To her, it is NOT "all about the dress" - to her it is more about standing up in front of friends and family and being married. And by the time our work trip to Paris happens in March she hopes to have all the details for the wedding taken care of. She was contemplating that she might fly direct to Houston from Paris, but I pointed out that Paris in March is much different weather-wise than Texas in April. And she'd need a change of wardrobe at the least.

She said both her and her mother wouldn't know what to do with themselves if they had more than six months to plan the wedding. They'd likely wonder what the hell they were doing taking so much time and energy and making it not what she wants it to be (she really wanted to do it in her parent's backyard but they nixed that idea, which made her sad).

Also spoke with CoWorker S about her want of a dog. She and her intended just bought a house (as in JUST - closed at the end of October) and she wants a dog. First they need to put a gate up at the side of the house - they have a fenced yard, but it opens to the driveway, and they want to install a gate so the dog has the run of the yard. I don't think it should be difficult to do, but then I don't know how handy L, her intended, is.

CoWorker C and I spent the week in one of the small conference rooms. I enjoy the way C doesn't require conversation. We can work separately but together, and only speak when needed.

Ah well. I am going to have dinner with my folks tonight since I am working on the Nutcracker all weekend. Can you also say "not finished with holiday shopping"? Yeah. I've got a few things to pick up. But it totally does not seem like the holiday season even with the xmas music all over the place.
On Tuesday I fly to Taipei, Taiwan. The temperatures in Taipei currently are between 67 and 85 degrees. It snowed here last weekend. It seems weird to me to be packing summer clothes when I am going to have to wear a sweatshirt and coat to the airport at ass-o'clock Tuesday morning (and since my flight leaves at 6am I will likely forgo my usual tradition and won't be calling [ profile] gwendolyngrace from the airport. Maybe, if my flight is on time, I'll call from San Francisco in my hour-and-a-half layover, but not from Logan. You don't want to hear from me at five-thirty AM, right?)

From San Francisco it is the wicked long flight to Narita (Tokyo, Japan), and then on to Taipei. I land in Taipei Wednesday night around 10:30pm (which will be Wednesday morning at home). I will likely spend LOTS of next week offline and befuddled.

I come home over a very very very long November 19th. Leaving there in the morning and arriving home that same evening - but there is about twenty-one hours of travel between 8am and 8pm.

I fully expect to spend the week after in a complete fog - napping through Thanksgiving and my (mmrphle) birthday.

Got my new glasses today - I'd been putting off getting a dilated eye exam for a long frickin' time, because I have a huge phobia of stuff going in my eyes (why I will never wear contacts). I spent a lot of time apologizing to the person examining my eyes because I was a real handful. I even had to sit on my hands at one point. My new glasses are pretty cute.

On the plus side (sorry if this is too TMI), I got my period today, fully two days early, but that means I won't have it for the bulk of my travel - just a very little bit at the beginning. Way to work with me there, body!

Ugh - I have a ton of things to finish up doing before I go! (And, if the world is really working with me, then the leaves will all be off the trees and there will be no snow on the ground yet when I get back so I can spend the times I AM awake Thanksgiving weekend doing some yard clean-up - I can't do it before I go since my oak tree is still all over leaves. I'm never this lucky, but I can hope!)
Hacking up the Tylenol you just took because your throat is so sore and swollen it didn't actually go down the first time HURTS. Don't do it. This is why you *have* the liquid children's Tylenol. For the sake of your poor aching throat, suck it up and take the kids stuff, OMG.
Fall in New England. Is there any more beautiful time of year? We are expecting peak time for peeping at leafs this weekend and all next week. Coupled with the brilliant blue skies lately, it is almost magic. Pumpkins have been showing up on doorsteps, and halloween decorations have begun to appear. It is still nice enough to only need a sweatshirt or sweater until the sun sets most days. Then you are likely to need a coat. The heat has kicked on exactly twice (I've got it set on 62, and haven't felt the need to raise it yet) when the night temps plummeted.

Typical New England activity in the fall - I went apple picking last weekend with some local friends. Have more apples than I really know what I'm going to do with - but they are good eating. The gala apples are my favorite, but the cortlands have been good, too. I also picked a few macintosh. It was a lovely afternoon wandering amongst the trees. The farm we went to had free-range bunnies and free-range chickens, piglets in an enclosure, and another enclosure with goats, geese, and a donkey. And hay rides! The farm also does pick-your-own berries in season (as well as pears and peaches and pumpkins). Maybe next summer I'll go back for that. The farm was wall-to-wall children - big family outings. Bet they are even more busy this coming weekend for their big harvest festival.

Saw my folks on Sunday. My mom and I talked most of the afternoon as my dad was off golfing with my brother. My brother is installing baseboard heating in his house, and my dad is helping him. My dad's price? Go golfing with him! So silly.

Had my yearly physical today - although I haven't had one in a few years so calling it "yearly" is not accurate. Got a tetanus shot (ow), a flu shot (and ow), and they tried to take blood (ow again - needles! what is with these needles?). My veins, they hide. They had to send me across the hall to the lab for the experts to get the blood (so feeling like a pin cushion right now). Will find out the results of all that in a week or so, but I am not anticipating anything unusual. Other than my doctor wants me to take a calcium supplement with vitamin D. So health-wise, I seem to be doing well so far.

I am planning my entry to Project Wizard for Azkatraz. I think I've decided on my time period. Now I just need to plan it all out. Fabric choices, color choices! What do I have, and what do I want? I'm still thinking it through. My deadline for the design is November 12 - since I leave for Minneapolis on November 13 and will be there until November 22 - I've got to turn it in early. It will be fun!


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