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8/30/02
I passed the test for Algebra 2, but didn't quite make the Calc one. So I'm going to take Pre-Calculus this fall. I decided to take the two-part course instead of doing it all at once, so it'll be a little slower and not drive me crazy. So I'll take the rest of Pre-Calc in the spring. What does drive me crazy is that the graphing calculator that's required for the course cost more than the textbook! This thing can also cook a meal, slice tomatoes and a tin can and walk your dog. I'm taking that class Tues and Thurs evenings.

OK, I'm off to the city - back Sunday.

8/29/02
Like Mimi, Sheeba likes to sit on my lap and lick my arms and fingers. She's adorable, We're taking her to the vet today for an introduction and quick checkup.

We were out of orientation early today. I drove Yemi up to Perth Amboy (her car is still in the shop, I think she just has to pay the bill and then she'll have it back). Tomorrow we should be out early, too. At least, we'd better be - I have my pre-Calc test at 2pm. I'm going to drive Yemi to Middlesex, too, so she can get her student ID done while I'm taking the test. I got the Fall 2002 sticker for my card yesterday when I was there. After I take the test (and register for whatever math class I qualify for), I'm heading into the city for part of the weekend. I have plans on Saturday with Eric (from the focus group, yay!), and plans with Heather and Michael on Sunday - we're going to the Tugboat Festival, because, well, someone has to go and sing songs from Thou Shalt Not. We will probably be bored silly.

Our Nursing I instructor is the woman who interviewed me when I was applying - we really hit it off then. I talked with her today, too, to ask about whether or not we needed to bring our stack of textbooks on Tuesday to class. She said, "no," and said I could tell the rest of the class. I suggested that she come in instead and say "hi" to the rest of the class so everyone knew her, so she did that. I told her that I plan to be the class president and carry an A average. We spoke to the EAP/counselling woman, too, and she was a hoot. We had to write out cards with something that we liked about ourselves (I said my intelligence and ambition) and what we thought the next three years would be like (I said challenging, fun, and that I planned to be the president of the class - she read that out loud without naming me).

Also purchased at Barnes and Noble last night: Anita Diamant's Choosing a Jewish Life, since I think about converting every now and then; a book about September 11th, put out by the NY Times; and a book of math puzzles and games. I also picked up some small things for Peter and Corrie (which I can't elaborate on, as *ahem* they read the site).

8/28/02
The folks at the post office love me. They gave me a roll of Priority Mail tape of my very own today! I mail out a lot of packages, all of which need to be taped, so I asked if I could have a roll to prepare everything at home. I rule.

I went to Middlesex and scheduled the pre-Calc diagnostic test for Friday. And then went to the bookstore at Menlo Park mall and bought a Calculus study guide. Eek. I know what I'm reading tonight.

8/27/02
Day two was a lot of fun, too. We formed a table in the "vendateria" for second-career nursing students. Heh, quite a few of us.

So we've adopted another family member - a beautiful calico named Sheeba. She reminds me of Mimi - they're both small for their age, they're both six years old (nearly), and they both purr and lick fingers non-stop. Sheeba seems to really like Mimi, but Mimi, understandably, is pretty skittish. But at least they aren't fighting and hissing and scratching. Mimi's been hiding under the freezer for the past half hour or so.

I'm going to talk to an advisor at Middlesex and figure out how I can earn my Associates Degree while I'm there. I figure I have most of the credits I need for a Fine Arts concentration already, so maybe this'll be doable. I also want to talk to the chair of the Math department and try to get into Analytic Geometry and Calculus (yes, that's all one class!) for this fall. So I need to do that this week. If I can, then I can take Physics in the spring. Geek girl.

8/26/02
Day one of orientation went well. I have my locker, key to the building, handbook etc. We read through some of the handbook and went over hospital safety procedures and codes. Also a presentation by the president of the Student Nurse Organization. I've decided to run for Class President, and to join the Grievance Committee. I think it'll be a blast.

I also got my schedule for Middlesex - classes on Mon, Thurs and Fri, all between 11am and 5pm They know me, they really know me. Tues and Wed are nursing days. I'm going to scope out the Middlesex catalog to see if there's something else I can take in addition, since I won't be taking Psychology this semester (or at all!).

Mom and I drove down to the SPCA in Eatontown. We got there just as they were getting ready to close - so we just played with the kitties for a while - so adorable! All of them! I want them all. We're going to back tomorrow after my orientation, since they don't deal with adoptions after 4.30pm.

Ack! A site reader pointed me to: this site, where they have some of my old web stuff archived - how cool!

Tonight I took the stereo out of the Tank (fairly easy), and the stereo out of the Geo (what a pain in the ass, there's no room to move under the dash). I made an attempt at hooking the Tank's stereo up to the Geo (remember? The one in the Tank has a CD player, and it was expensive), and managed to get the power on, but I didn't get them all hooked up. I'm going to ask Mom to have the Chevy guy do it tomorrow when she takes the Geo in to get its oil done. That's right, tomorrow I'm driving the Saturn - yay!

And Debra, who reads my site and sends me funky books ever now and then, sent me a book called Wasted Moons, which I didn't remember putting on my wish list. So I went to amazon.com, and now you can send books to anyone, right from the book's page - that is so cool. So a big shout-out of "thank you!" to Deb (whose email address, of course, I cannot find).

8/25/02
Back again! The focus group was a blast - a mock trial that I can't talk about. But I'm happy to report that I was the jury foreperson in our group, and everyone complimented my skills at managing people, processing information and generally kicking ass.

I also asked out one of the guys in the big group, who said yes :-) I never ask people out, so that was gutsy.

Now I'm home and tomorrow I start orientation at nursing school!

Oh, and I passed Algebra with a 4.0. And I finally got the paperwork from my dentist. And I'm taking penicillin for the root canal infection, and it's clearing up. And I'm switching to a new (lower) dosage of Paxil. That's it for random news.

So I bought the Geo from Mom, in name only. We're going to switch the title and insurance over in March when the current insurance is up. The Tank is going to stay in the driveway (once we pick it up from the mechanic this week) until at least October, when the woman I bought the carburator from will be in NJ; she said she'd look at it.

Oh my, I think that was the first ever semi-colon on suck-my-big.org!

Speaking of the site, I've been re-reading some older entries. Every now and then I go back and see what I was doing a year ago. I wish I'd archived the original site I had up ("Jesus in Trunk," after a "Baby on Board"-type sign that I wish I'd had), so I could see what I was doing 7 or 8 or 9 years ago (hot damn, I am old in Internet years), but unfortunately, I never kept track of the old site. Somewhere on a zip disk I have an archive of how the main page looked when I last took it down, but of course, the zip disk is for the Mac, and I haven't owned a Mac in a few years, and come to think of it, I have no idea where the zip disk might be - I think I threw them all away when I sold the Mac, in which case, there is no archive of even that page. Huh.

And heck - ain't this the truth!

8/22/02
I was selected to do this three-day long focus group in the city, tomorrow, Sat and Sunday. And at the end, they'll pay me $500 for my opinions. And feed me. I can't wait. I'm going to head to the city tonight and stay at Dad's.

8/21/02
Another day of sore arms. I had my lab work done for nursing school this morning. They drew a whole lot of blood. Good thing I don't mind needles.

I stopped at the nursing school afterwards to see if the secretary (who needs to approve my used textbooks) was in, but she's on vacation this week, so I'll have to bring in my books to orientation.

So, I don't think I'm going to have the repairs done on the Tank. It's going to be a lot of money that I just don't have. I don't know if I should sell it, or hang onto it until I can afford to have the work done. I guess I could try and sell it for a good price, and if that fails, then just hold onto it.

The children next door (all forty-seven of them, it seems) need to be throttled. I'm not a parent, but I can't wait for school to start.

When I was at QuickChek, I ran into Joe, who I went to high school with - he also moved back to Matawan. I'm so glad I'm not the only one!

8/20/01
I still haven't made up my mind about the Tank.

Mom and I talked about adopting more kitties to keep Mimi company. So while I was looking at the SPCA site, I noticed that they recently took in 30 cats from two cruelty situations, and they're overcrowded. If you can, go adopt a cat or kitten. You won't regret it, and you'll be giving a good home to an abandoned pet. I'm going to go down on Thurs (they're closed tomorrow) or Monday and play.

8/19/02
Well, the Tank still has issues. I talked to John the mechanic today, and he fixed the carburator, but the car is still overheating. He isn't sure what's causing that - could be a cylinder or a valve problem. I'm going to ponder it overnight and figure out what to do with the car. I do love the car, but it's going to get to the "money pit" stage soon.

Today I get to go and get my second round of immunization shots for school.

I started reading one of my nursing school books - called The Nurse Communicates. It's really good - all about "what is communication" and how different types of communication are used in different medical situations and with different people.

I think one of the reasons I'm going to to enjoy nursing is that I like to make sure people are comfortable. I remember when I had my last heel surgery, when I was waiting in the pre-op area and had a minor panic attack and started crying, one of the nurses came over with tissues and just sat and talked with me until I calmed down. And that was amazing, I really appreciated her for that. And that's what I want to do - make other people comfortable. Just not at the expense of my own emotional well-being. Anyway, so far it's a really good book.

Now that my hair's short, it stands on end in the morning. I used to be able to just shake it out with my fingers and have it stay put, but now I have to actually wet it and brush it. Who'd've thunk that short hair would require more maintainance?

8/18/02
Home from the weekend in DC... I'm tired.

After my (easy) Algebra final, I drove my co-nursing-student Yemi home (I'd been doing that all week, her car is in the shop, too), and then headed into the city. I met up with Trisha and Michelle to give them the videos of their cabaret show from last weekend. It was so hot out that I decided I wanted to cut the rest of my hair off, so I went to Trisha's salon and now it's a nice pixieish SHORT cut. From the Julie Andrews bob to the Audrey Hepburn gamine look. I love it. It's so less hot. Just a little gel and I'm outta there.

I stayed over at Steve's on Thursday night, and Friday morning we picked up Wayne and Robert and drove down to DC. Where it is also hot. We saw the other three Sondheim shows, and I caught the matinee of the Aida national tour while I was there. I still love the Kennedy Center, and they did really terrific productions this summer. I'm glad we all got to go.

I had brunch with Kati and Bill and Bill's brother, Sean, today in Bethesda - it was cool to see them. We went used-bookstore exploring afterwards, always fun for all of us.

Steve dropped me off in NJ on the way home so I didn't have to go into the city and then take the train home again. Mom's in Vermont (or something) with Grandma this week, so the house is mine. I have my doctor's appt tomorrow, and my lab work on Wednesday.

And all of the nursing school books I ordered via amazon.com have arrived now. I'll have to take them to the nursing school to have them "approved," as I didn't buy them from the school. Feh.

8/14/02
Dear Alan Greenspan,

Please do something about this economy. I would like someday to purchase a nice home in Vermont, but at the rate my portfolio is disintigrating, that's not too likely.

Thanks,
-catherine

One more day of Algebra! I'll miss it. I will not miss the textbook.

Today's goal is to find where I can go next week, when I have Wed-Sun free. In the Tank, which means it must be near a service station, and not have much heavy traffic. I have no idea where to go. But it must be cooler than it is here, and cat-friendly, since Mimi wants to come. And have nice sunsets.

I've got some pretty nasty bugbites on my legs. One of them, near my right knee, has the bite in the center, and then it radiates red for about an inch around it. I think it's Malaria. And the gum of my tooth where I had the root canal done has been swollen for a few days and it's sore. It looks like there should be a cold sore there, but doesn't feel like it - I never get swollen when I've got cold sores, and never that painful. Must call dentist.

8/13/02
A quick perusal of the college bookstore revealed that the books for Chemistry and Anatomy are going to come to a whopping $360. I cannot believe that I have to pay $185 for an Anatomy book that I will never use again after December. And then pay the same amount for another book for the Spring semester. I'm looking online, but since these are the "new" editions, no one has them used yet.

On the plus side, we get to spend $11 on a disection kit, which means we're cutting up animals.

Since NJ is the land of the mall, we went to Brunswick Square Mall tonight - a place I haven't been in years. I picked up two Rick Steves books - one on Europe in general, and his book on Ireland - didn't even know he had one, it must be new! I also bought a funky glitterly lamp, kind of like a lava lamp, but with glitter. It's so cute. Mimi is adoring it. Oh, and I bought a magazine called Weird NJ, which is full of, well, interesting and weird places to go and visit.

8/12/02
Yay, my new carb arrived today - so tomorrow I can take it down to John Falco to get it installed. Hopefully we'll be saying "goodbye" to the Tank stalling every time I slow down now!

And on the way home from school today, I stopped at the Scrub Store to buy shoes for nursing school. I'm going to look so... white. As opposed to wearing black in the city (which, as we know, is what New Yorkers wear, at least until they come up with something darker than black).

I'm still phlegmatic. Phooey.

8/11/02
I've been back in NJ for three weeks, and my body has finally realized that it's allergic to the Garden State. I've been a big ball of phlegm all day, and done nothing but sniffle into tissues and read. I finished Bill Bryson's book about Australia, and am about to go and start the book that Josh recommended.

I cooked ziti for dinner, we have lots of leftovers, which should last about a day and a half. I've been eating like mad, and I've gained two pounds since I've been home.

Tomorrow is the first day of the last week of my Algebra class.

8/10/02
Et voila, I'm back. The cabaret last night was fun, if the girls can get past the nerves, it'll only keep getting better! After the show, Michael, Tesse, Jonathan and I went down to Marie's Crisis (no, really? go on...), and I stayed til about 1am. I was really tired. I stayed at Dad's last night, and was happy to see that he had pulled out the couch for me, so I didn't have to fall asleep on top of it. Then today I went up to the Ho Ed for a burger (which I had to send back, as it was pink, and then it came back as a hockey puck), and then met Jen for Rent. The show's in pretty good shape, which makes me happy. We talked to Kenny before the show (and he waved to us up in the mezz). Joy of joys, we went backstage after the show, so we could avoid the "We love you, Joey Fatone" crowd outside. Kenny introduced us, which was pretty cool, and we talked for a few minutes more. After that, Jen and I met up with Dona, Sue, Trisha et al at John's Pizza for dinner.

And now I'm back home - that was it for my exciting day.

8/9/02
I'm off to the city to see Trisha and Michelle's cabaret tonight. I'll be back tomorrow.

later on 8/8/02
I washed and waxed the Tank, and it didn't make any difference. I have no idea why people find that an enjoyable activity.

We also bought Lord of the Rings, and so I finally got to see it. I know, I know, only eight months after it came out... I'm so behind the times. I liked it - didn't love it. I did quite enjoy the Blouse Man tho.

8/8/02
We went to the city last night to see Proof - using the past-dated tickets that we didn't use in March because my heel was a mess. The show's in pretty good shape. The bad part of the night was sitting in traffic at the Lincoln Tunnel for an hour. Ugh. Luckily, there was no traffic at all coming home, so we zipped right back to Matawan.

This morning, I did the rest of my paperwork for nursing school (except that my dentist hasn't sent in the papers he was supposed to YET - I called and left a message, will try again tomorrow). We also got fitted for our uniforms. I must say, I look sassy. We all do. I tried to ask if they could shorten it up to my crotch and make it out of leather, but the guy said "no," unfortunately. One of the girls in my algebra class is also in my nursing class - we just realized it today when we ran into each other at the nursing school. Small world. I'm glad I'll know someone when I start in the fall. Oh, and they accepted my Psych and English credits, so the only classes I have to take this fall are Anatomy and Chemistry. Then I'll have another semester of Anatomy, Microbiology and Sociology, in addition to the Nursing classes. That lightens my load a bit.

later on 8/6/02
Drat - to get historic plates, your car must be "at least 25 years old, owned as a collector's item and only used for exhibition and educational purposes by the owner." Well, that excludes the Tank.

8/6/02
Woo hoo, it's "Celebrate Downtown Matawan" day - we went and got our maps of the town, a book on the history of Matawan (which I had tried to find at the bookstore, but they were sold out), and a Huskies license plate frame (for only $1!).

I also called a woman that had a sign posted about kittens - she has two left, and is waiting to hear if her neighbor is going to adopt them, we're next on the list if she doesn't.

Oh, and at "Celebrate Downtown Matawan," I talked to some of the guys who had their classic cars there - it turns out that to get "historic car" plates (and discounted insurance), your car just has to be more than 25 years old. The Tank is 32. I'm going to do some research at the DMV.

In that spirit, I came home and washed the Tank, and then gave the engine a once-over with the goo-be-gone stuff that we picked up a few weeks ago. I can't say that it made a gleaming difference, but it got some of the gunk off.

The nusing school sent me a list of books I'll need for the fall, and a note that says they'll cost $330. I found them all online at amazon.com for less than $210. Plus Mom has one of the books already. I need to call the school tomorrow to ask if I can purchase them myself. I also need to ask the school if they're accepting my Psych credits from Montclair, so I know how much to get a bank check for - my tuition money for Middlesex is due on Thursday when we register for classes. I met someone in my Algebra class who's also planning to be a nurse, he's taking Chem and Bio this fall too, so maybe we'll end up in the same classes.

8/5/02
Algebra is half-over, the class is just breezing by. I was a bit upset to learn today that we're stopping in Chapter 9, which isn't the end of the book. In fact, we aren't going to get anywhere near the bits that I missed on the placement test. In which case, why are they testing students on things that aren't in the syllabus?

I'm catching up on my reading. We saw a preview for a movie called Possession, so I picked up the novel that it's based on. Josh also recommended a book to me that I want to start reading. I'm waiting to hear back from him about the weekend before Labor Day - I think we're both free and I'm thinking about going to SF that weekend.

8/4/02
There must have been some special promotion on NJ Transit this morning - bring a screaming child along and ride for free. Between the screaming children in every car, and the people next to me who had just bought a new cellfone and wanted to try out all of the rings... ack.

Mom and I went to her coworker Teresa's wedding yesterday - I didn't like the bit about "OK, this is where you give up your individual life and become of one mind" but other than that it was fine. I left the reception early, since I had to get into the city to go to Peter Shankman's birthday party. Well, I really need to get a new train schedule - the one I have says the train leaves at 8.15, but it didn't actually arrive until 8.40. So I got to the city at 9.45pm, and since I was supposed to meet Steve and a friend from England in midtown at 10.30, I ended up not having time to go to the party. Went to Marie's after that, and then I stayed over in the city and took the screaming child express home today.

later on 8/2/02
Well, not exactly out of the heat, since we had this killer thunderstorm that flooded the roads, blew out the streetlights and cooled things off! We drove through said storm to the movies. I have to say, I liked Signs right up until the end. I thought it could have used some more resolution and explanation.

8/2/02
One of the perks of living near the shore is that we don't have to drive there! The traffic on the Parkway and rt 35 is crazy.

I am a world class idiot! The car wasn't going in forward because I left the emergency brake on! Duh!

Tonight, we're going to escape the heat and go see Signs, the new Mel Gibson movie.

8/1/02
Yay, the Tank is back in the driveway. Picking it up wasn't a hassle, and I was happy to find out that the garage tightened up the brakes without my asking (and without charging). So the Tank is richer by a new battery, a new alternator, a new regulator and a(nother) new starter. I, on the other hand, am poorer by $520. Current cost of repairs to the Tank: $1600. Original cost of the Tank: $1200.

So I drove it home, and then something funny happened. I backed out of the driveway so Mom could get her (new) car out to go to work, and then I couldn't put it in forward! It just sat there. It reversed OK, so I backed it into the fire department lot across the street. I gave it a half hour and started it up again (ahh, starts so nicely now), and it groaned and chugged very very slowly forward. I managed to get it back across the street in Drive, but that was very odd. I wonder if it's connected to the carburator issues, I'll have to call John the mechanic tomorrow and ask. Oh, and the woman who's selling me her rebuilt carb is going to mail it tomorrow or Sat, so I should be able to get it installed next week.

In happy news, I FINALLY bought a new stylus for my Palm Pilot. I lost mine six months ago.

-catherine

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