Thursday, August 31, 2006

ID Badges

You'd think that making ID badges at work would be a pretty dry activity, right? Well it was for a little while.

So the Case Managers needed badges, mostly because Prevention already has them, so I can imagine they wanted them because they are constantly striving to be as cool as us. It's very hard to reach our level of coolness...especially once we get our new sexy labcoats and safely glasses next week. But seriously, the Case Managers and Prevention peeps generally go places that could require identification - hospitals, jails, meetings, etc. (below is my badge, pretty standard)

Anyway, so I lined the Case Managers against a really boring wall outside the women's bathroom (despite "K"'s plea to be photographed against pink fur that, strangely, is against an entire wall in her cube). I took two pictures for each person, and an extra one of "A" looking evil, just because. The badges are complete, but somehow we got off course.

The photo above is where we landed...with "L" trying to escape from "A"'s office (ignore the fact that the door next to her is open). But was pretty fun, and I totally have to take partial responsibility for the chaos because, after all, I did take the picture.

Let's take a peek at the evil "A" photo, just for fun. :) See "A", isn't this fun?

And THIS, my friends, is why I work at EFA!

Thursday, August 24, 2006


I usually don't use names when I write on my blog, but there is no anonymity in death. My co-worker and friend, Tiawanna, died in a car accident on Monday. She had left our agency 2 weeks ago to start her dream job - counseling elementary school kids. She'd finished her masters in counseling about a month ago.

I've had a really hard time figuring out how I feel. I've had this big, solid knot in the pit of my stomach, and I kept wishing I felt more, because I couldn't feel much about anything. I'm not even sure I'll have much to write about this. I may just kind of "free" write and it may not make too much sense.

So Tiawanna and I started at EFA around the same time. She was the psychosocial support coordinator (planned support groups). She came down to our department frequently, because frankly, we're a lot of fun.

Her cube was right outside our testing room. When I needed verification of HIV rapid test results, I'd swing the door open, twist my arm around so the test was in front of her face. "One line or two? (one line is negative, two lines is positive)". She ALWAYS laughed before answering when we went through this ritual.

She would do anything for her clients...anything. She cared so much about them. She defended them like they were her children.

Anyway, after I first heard on Monday, I had the dreaded knot. It was more of the same on Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday night I was with some friends and absolutely cried my eyes out. It felt amazing. That's not to say I feel better about a beautiful, caring, 30-year-old dying, but I felt like a bit of me was coming back. This morning we had a couple grief counselors come in for the staff. That made me feel a little better yet. It helped to hear that we were all feeling the same way - we're having problems sleeping, we can't focus, everyday tasks seem difficult, and we're feeling resentful when people who didn't know her talk about their problems.

After the funeral on Saturday, I'm hoping for the beginning of acceptance and healing. The main problem is that this doesn't seem real at all. I keep picturing her and wondering what she thinks about all of this. I keep expecting to see her at the funeral. This is unfair. I feel really sad.

And I have to say, I felt really mad when I noticed the news articles were spelling her name wrong.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

This Survey Is HUGE! (But fun)

Massive “Get To Know Me” Survey

This is so long that my family will probably know me better if they can get through the whole thing. Some of the questions are pretty interesting. Good luck with this!

Time Started: 1:52 PM

1.) When showering, do you start the water and then get in or get in then start the water?
Start the water, then get in.
2.) Do you read the labels on the shampoo bottle?
3.) Do you moan in the shower like the people on the Herbal Essence commercial?
4.) Have you ever showered with someone of the opposite sex?
Yes (Mom, Dad, please don’t read anything having to do with the opposite sex)
5.) Have you ever been forced to shower with one of your siblings?
No, I showered with them willingly
6.) Have you ever brushed your teeth in the shower?
Yes, last week at the gym in fact
7.) Have you ever dropped your soap on your foot?
8.) How old do you look?
28 on a good day
9.) How old do you act?
Difficult question, sometimes I act about 6, other times I’d gauge myself at about 45
10.) What's the last song you sang?
Rio”, by Duran Duran – On my way home from work on Friday
11.) Have you recently become a member of anything?
12.) What are your plans for the weekend?
Go to a graduation party for a scientist colleague of The Boyfriends tonight, mow the lawn tomorrow, work at Black Gay PRIDE tomorrow night
13.) Do you kiss with your eyes opened or closed?
14.) Have you ever ridden a mechanical bull?
Yes, twice
15) Do you ever intentionally vomit after eating?
16.) If you were working on a pirate ship, what would you most likely be?
I think I’d be the grimacing one that never showers and tries to start fights. I think I would also curse and growl a lot.
17.) Have you ever called anyone a slut?
18) Have you ever been called a slut?
19). Have you ever smuggled something into America?
20.) Does playing a guitar make someone more attractive?
21.) Do you live in a city with a good sports team
I think so, I’m not really into the whole sports scene.
22). Do you have more enemies or more friends?
23.) Have you ever sent an anonymous letter?
24.) Can you fix your own car?
Some things
25.) Have you ever turned someone down for a date?
26.) Are you smarter than your friends?
27.) Have you ever lied to your friends?
28.) Have you ever been to jail?
29) Do you like the smell of beer?
30.) Have you ever died or killed someone in a dream?
31.) Have you ever given to charity?
32.) Would you kill a dog for $1,000,000?
I don’t think so, but money does strange things to people
33.) Do you sometimes get depressed?
34.) Do you live with your parents?
35.) Do you have plans for your future?


You are
[ ] under 5'4
[ ] 5'4"-5'5"
[ ] 5'5"-5.6"
[ ]5'6.5 - 5'7 ''
[x] 5'7" - 6'0
[ ] 6'1 and up

[ ] blonde
[x] redhead
[ ] brunette
[ ] dirty blonde
[ ] brownish
[ ] dark brown
[ ] black
[ ] auburn

[ ] blue-eyed
[ ] brown-eyed
[ ] green-eyed
[ ] Hazel-eyed
[ ] gold/gray-eyed
[ ] silver/gray- eyed
[x] blue/green-eyed
[ ] green/gray-eyed
[ ] blue/gray-eyed
[x] they change colors
[ ] steel gray, cold gray
[ ] Brownish greenish

[x] glasses
[x] contacts
[ ] neither

[ ] short hair
[ ]medium hair
[x] long hair

Your favorite color(s) are?
[x] red
[ ] khaki
[ ] aqua
[ ] pink
[x] hot pink
[ ] yellow
[x] black
[ ] green
[x]lime green
[ ]blue
[ ] white
[ ] turquoise
[ ] purple
[x] silver
[ ] brown
[ ] orange
[ ] grey
[ ] fuscia
[ ] maroon
[ ]gold
[ ] teal
[ ] clear
[ ] bronze
[ ] I don't really care

Some things you've done?
[x] ice skating
[x] hiking
[x] kayaking
[ ] rafting
[x] water skiing
[x] camping
[x] horseback riding
[ ] bodysurfing and skim boarding
[ ] snowboarding
[x] skiing
[x] dancing
[x] skateboarding
[ ] cheerleading
[ ] lacrosse
[ ] street hockey
[x] gymnastics
[ ] martial arts
[ ] flag/rifle/baton spinning
[x] swimming
[ ] wakeboarding

Your personality is sometimes...
[x] talkative
[x] shy
[x] funny
[ ] serious
[x] laid back
[x] strict
[x] hyper
[x] weird
[ ] ditzy
[x] sarcastic
[ ] slow

You like listening to?
[x] pop
[ ] country
[ ] Christian
[ ] orchestral
[x] techno
[ ] oldies sometimes
[ ] opera
[x] 80's punk rock
[x] disco
[x] rap
[ ] classic rock
[x] punk
[x] metal
[x] reggae
[x] rock
[x] alt./indie rock
[x] brit/foreign rock
[ ] beach music

The pets you have
[3] cat(s)
[ ] dog(s)
[ ] lizard(s)
[ ] rat(s)
[ ] ferret(s)
[ ] bunny(ies)
[ ] fish
[ ] duck(s)
[ ] horse(s)
[ ] bird(s)
[ ] frog (s)
[ ] hermit crab
[ ] turtle
[ ] hamster
[ ] snake
[ ] gerbil
[ ] guinea pig
[ ] pig
[ ] goat
[ ] chinchilla
[ ] tarantula
[ ] geese
[ ] baby chicks
[ ] none
[ ] hedgehog
[ ] snail
[ ] piranha
[ ] seagull
[ ] newt
[ ] turkey
[ ] rooster

Clothing Brands you like?
[ ] Delia's
[ ] American Eagle
[x] Hollister
[ ] Buckle
[ ] Abercrombie & Fitch
[x] Target
[ ] Wal-mart
[ ] Wet Seal
[ ] Forever 21
[ ] O'neil
[ ] Pac Sun
[x] Gap
[x] Banana Republic
[x] Aeropostale
[ ]Dickies
[ ] Quicksilver
[ ] Anchor Blue
[ ] Guess
[ ] Lucky Brand
[ ] Champs
[x] Salvation army/goodwill/value village
[x] Old Navy
[ ] Name brands
[x] Victorias secret
[x] whatever is at the thrift store
[x] H&M
[ ] Eddie Bauer
[x] Hot Topic
[ ] BCBG
[x] Anything

Shoe Brands?
[ ] Rainbows
[ ] Nike
[ ] Adidas
[ ] Reebok
[ ] Billabong
[ ] Roxy
[ ] Puma
[ ] Jack purcells
[ ] Uggs
[ ] Etnies
[ ] Reefs
[ ] Converse
[ ] K Swiss
[ ] Adios
[ ] DC
[ ] I Path
[x] Steve Madden
[ ] Timberlands
[ ]Vans
[x] If I like something I'll buy it
[x] New Balance
[ ] LEI
[ ] Payless
[ ] DVS
[ ] Es
[ ] Macbeth
[x] sketchers
[x] anything

Your confessions:
[ ] I hate silence
[x] I am ticklish
[x] sometimes I'm afraid of the dark
[ ] I've collected comic books
[ ] I shut out others when mad
[ ] I open up to others TOO easily
[ ] I read the newspaper when people I know are in it.
[ ] I love Disney movies
[ ] I am a sucker for gorgeous eyes
[ ] I don't kill bugs.
[ ] I have "x"s in my screen name.
[x] I bake well.
[x] I have worn pajamas to class
[x] I love Martha Stewart
[ ] I am guilty of tYpInG lIkE tHiS
[x] sometimes I am self-conscious
[x] I love to laugh
[ ] I can't swallow pills
[ ] I bite my nails
[ ] I play computer games when I'm bored
[x] I've gotten lost in the city
[x] I have gone out in public in my pajamas
[ ] I have made out in an elevator
[ ] I have been skydiving
[ ] I have been bungee jumping
[x] I have bitten someone
[ ] I have dressed up like the opposite sex
[x] I have smashed a car
[x] I have been fired
[x] I have been skinny dipping

Have you ever...
[ ] kissed in the rain
[x] danced in the rain
[x] seen a shooting star
[ ] proposed to anyone
[x] Gotten stitches
[x] Eaten Sushi
[x] Gotten the chicken pox
[x] Ridden in a taxi
[x] Been on a cruise ship
[x] Driven over 400 miles in one day
[x] Been on a Plane by yourself
[x] had surgery
[ ] seen a movie more than 3 times in the theater.
[x] been on stage
[x] gotten a black eye
[x] memorized all the dialogue in a movie
[x] watched an entire baseball game

Do you like...
[x] old movies
[x] musicals/plays
[x] blasting music in your car
[x] foreign foods
[ ] Pokemon
[x] Christmas time
[x] donuts
[x] animals
[x] coffee
[x] tea


Two Things That Scare You:
Snakes and people I love dying
Two of Your Everyday Essentials:
Water bottle and chap stick
Two Things that Appeal to You In a Guy/Girl:
Quirkiness (and an appreciation of my quirks) and sense of humor
Two Things You Want Really Badly:
To change the world and a satellite radio receiver with an mp3 jack for my car
Two Places You Want to go on Vacation:
The Grand Canyon and Italy
Two Things You Are Thinking About Now:
Wishing I’d bought the right color of red spray paint to finish painting my desk (I got Apple Red instead of Colonial Red), a tiny bit of self-loathing for not working out today when I had plenty of time.
Two favorite animals:
Cats and horses
Two Reasons you're doing this survey:
Introspection is fun and this survey is different than most I’ve seen
How many pairs of jeans do you own?:
What color(s) do you wear most often?
Last song heard on the radio?
Ridin’ Dirty
What's for dinner tonight?
Leftover pan-seared trout that I didn’t eat last night (we went to Drussel’s and I ate too many chips and clam chowder to eat ANY of my food)
Are you happy with your life right now?
Shockingly happy
Tell me a secret about one of your siblings.
I’d rather not (payback’s a bitch, and they could probably tell worse ones about me)
Who did you last call?
Do you own a...
What’s that?
Again, what’s that?
No – I have two super snappy Creative brand mp3 players
Do you shop at stores like Hollister, Abercrombie?
Regrettably, yes
How do you make money?
Manage the Prevention Department at an AIDS service organization
Last thing you bought over 50 dollars?
A 2006 Honda Civic
How's the weather?:
Overcast and cool…with a faint threat of humidity
When did you start summer break?:
I’m not a student – I have neither Spring, Christmas, nor Summer break (funny, some grown folk still pout over giving these up…it’s called BEING A GROWN UP!)
One word to describe you?:
Favorite pair of shoes:
Purple and pink Sketchers Do you own big sunglasses?
Of course Do you find yourself attractive?:
What would you rather be doing right now?:
Nothing, I usually do what I feel like doing
What should you be doing right now?
Cleaning or working out
Last text message you recieved?
From ElanFlux verifying she was somewhere she was SUPPOSED to be that she didn’t WANT to be.
Who did you hug today?
The Boyfriend
How many beds did you lay in yesterday?
What color shirt are you wearing?
Name one thing that you do everyday
Take ritalin
What’s the color of your bedroom walls?
How much cash do you have on you right now?
What’s your favorite sport?
To play – Volleyball, not much of a sports watcher
I cant wait till..?
The Boyfriend is finished with his thesis and graduates. I really want him to feel good about his graduate work and get a regular schedule so he can do things that make him feel fulfilled.
When was the last time you saw your dad?
Father’s Day weekend
Who got you to join myspace?
What did you have for dinner last nite?
Chips and clam chowder
Look to your left. What’s there?
A periwinkle colored wall
What website do you visit the most?
Do you have plants in your room?
Does anything hurt on your body right now?
Where was your last taxicab ride in?
To and from the airport
Do you own a picture phone?
What’s your favorite starbucks drink?
Chai Latte
Recent time you were really upset?
Wednesday night – unidentifiable anxiety

Last person you...
1. Saw:

The Boyfriend
2. Hugged:
The Boyfriend
3. Talked on the phone with?
4. IM:
I don’t IM
5. Told to fuck off:
A driver that honked at me – but they didn’t know it

Time ended: 2:27 PM

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Step Back In Time...

Our internet is out at work. Yes, that's what I said. This catastrophe has all but halted our productivity. That may be a little far fetched, but the case managers are seriously hindered in serving their clients. They've worked out staggered schedules working from home, but it's a real inconvenience.

What has this situation meant to me? It's held me back from writing on my blog!!

I often used my lunch to write a quick post, but now I'm checking my emails from home and it doesn't leave much time for blogging. I try to limit my computer time as much as possible...ok, so I have very little time when I'm actually home and can use the computer without completely shutting out The Boyfriend.

I have to admit that it has been kind of an eye-opener. When I was in college, we didn't use email or internet for anything...and I graduated in 1997!! Not that long ago! This makes me realize how reliant we've become. Don't get me wrong, I love being able to communicate over the internet "tubes" (that was a shout out to CR), but it also weakens our actual communication skills. We now have to CALL people if we want to set up a meeting or RSVP for a program, and that takes, like, so much time.

Perhaps I'll meditate and put some good vibes out for our internet to be restored (I think that just might bring some iffy Karma my direction...maybe I'll just wait patiently).

Anyway, a couple updates:
  • I am home today because I have extra hours and I feel completely run down. I've been working kind of hard lately and my body told me to stay home so I can continue to do so. I should also mention that I'm feeling particularly fulfilled at work, which is usually when I'm working hard - go figure.
  • The Boyfriend is on the home stretch of his thesis (something about computational biology, hidden Markov models, genetics...I assure you, I KNOW this stuff). He's holding up as best as can be expected. I keep meaning to send his parents a quick email to let them know he's doing fine.
  • I should be working on my Law School applications and personal statement right now. I can't get the applications to work on our computer, and I don't want to write the personal statement. Bah!
Alright, I'm going to go pick some tomatoes, then start the personal statement.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Morning After Pill - Over The Counter?

I tend to be pretty liberal (ok, REALLY liberal) on most social issues. I feel confused and torn about the Morning After Pill being over the counter (OTC).

Pros For The Morning After Pill OTC
  • I really do value life, really...but I also value living beings that are already out of the womb and trying to make the best of a sometimes difficult world. I rejoice at the idea of a friend or relative helping a teenaged girl that's been raped to acquire the pill to prevent a pregnancy that would turn her life upside down - both physically and emotionally. Some girls aren't ready to face what's happened and go to a hospital or the police...and we have to accept them where they're at. Some hospitals won't prescribe the morning after pill because they have religious affiliations.
  • Any FDA or legislative act that leans towards Pro-Choice I think is A-OK. While I feel morally against late-term or partial-birth abortions, I would back policies protecting that right for women. Any steps backward on this issue takes us closer to overturning Roe vs. Wade. I could never get a partial-birth abortion (I'm not even sure I could get one in the first trimester!), but it's not for me to say whether it's not right for someone else...especially if that mother could lose her life giving birth. Whose life is more valuable?
  • The Morning After Pill has a lower impact on the body than a surgical or chemical abortion.
Cons For The Morning After Pill OTC
  • This is where the slope gets slippery for me. Working in HIV/STD PREVENTION, I have some real concerns about what ramifications this decision will have on STD rates. What about a college student that doesn't learn that protection is important because she has the security of using this pill after a one-night-stand? She's treating one symptom of a dangerous decision - pregnancy. What about HPV, syphilis, gonnorhea, Chlamydia, HIV? Pregnancy really may end up being the least of her concerns.
  • This pill could take away people feeling they need to make responsible decisions. It's, as the pill is already called, a "Plan B". "Plan A", which I feel needs to be using condoms consistently and correctly, or abstinence, may slip to a lower alphabetic priority...making the pill the first option.
  • What are the long-term effects of this pill on a women's body when used as birth control? And let's be real, some people WILL use this as birth control.
  • What kind of backlash will this being OTC have with conservatives, and will it stir them to action to take away reproductive freedoms?
My Verdict

I don't think I have one yet. I've discussed it with some colleagues and friends, we're all pretty much on the same page (and I have some L-I-B-E-R-A-L associates). With freedom comes responsibility. I'm not for it, I'm not against it. I think it may be kind of off my radar. I'm watching curiously, and won't be upset either way.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Biggest. ADD. Tangent. EVER!

I'm back in the saddle...oh, wait...out of Texas, back to Missouri (no saddles).

I took Monday and Tuesday off to make up for working over the weekend. "A" and I were exhausted after hauling all those texts back in our bags. Our biggest challenge was disguising the fact that we (ok, I) had 3 carry-on items. She would have, except she had a bunch of random loose belongings in her hands.

Anyway, I've spent my two days off getting my life back in order. And by life, I mean the basement...and by in order, I mean my jewelry-making and crafting space. My life is more in order when I have a great studio to work in. The Boyfriend's life is in order when I have a great studio to work in - in the basement. For a period of time, I'd been dragging all my stuff in front of the TV, and then would leave it there. I think he may have broken up with me if I hadn't resolved the issue (maybe not break up with me, but he would have thrown out my jewelry-making supplies and then I'd be forced to break up with him...either way, there'd be some breakin' up).

Here's the big tangent: I started with the basement. Things were going really well. I was organizing, I was dusting, I was putting everything in a logical place. Oh wait, that desk is kind of dull and boring. I think I'd be WAY more creative if I made the desk prettier.

The desk in question is a hulking gray beast that my Uncle J (actually my father's uncle, and my Godfather...a fabulous bachelor creature that's in his 90's and eats pancakes in the middle of the night) used at the block plant long before I was around. My dad had a hard time getting rid of it, so, as many things my parents can't part ended up in my basement.

Ok, so dull, boring...I'll paint it! That's a splendid idea. I took the handles off, dragged everything to the back yard, and primed them. A coat of glossy cherry red paint followed. The handles are now black. Lovely.

Did I mention we're having a heat wave? It was over 100 degrees, and my main challenge in my painting project was the constant flow of my own sweat, which kept landing on the fresh paint. Repairs were made...still lovely. I'm painting everything but the top, which is an army green material that's kind of soft. Not really soft, but not really hard either. I'm not sure how paint would work on, I'd kind of like to leave an original feature.

I'm getting all my crafty-trinkety-jewelry-artsy-stuff away before I do the frame of the desk (I learned a valuable lesson when I spray-painted my bike in the basement...I painted everything else around it, and the floor now has unusual spots where objects served as accidental stencils).

The Boyfriend came home and instantly knew something had happened. Besides the house smelling like spray paint, he said I looked guilty. "See, I was working on my studio, and I thought that I'd like it better if...". He'd already seen the drawers propped up on bricks outside. I rationalized a little more, he smirked and mock scolded me.

I think this post will probably make my parents happy. That desk represents something special. I just needed to make it my own!