Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving

So I've been pretty much out of the blogging mood for at least a week. Now I'm back. Yaaay!

So, happy belated Thanksgiving!

Things I'm thankful for:
1.) My family, who is just plain awesome.
2.) Going to UND, because I'm one step closer to my dream.
3.) Band.
4.) Living in a country that allows me to say bad things about its leader without having government agents kicking down my door.
5.) YouTube, because I got to see the Persona 3 Portable intro, despite the fact that it's not out in the US yet.

THE AWESOME IS MAKING MY EYES MELT!!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nothing.

I haven't had any new posts lately, because nothing post-worthy has been happening lately. Life's been pretty normal as of late.

So I'll just post news articles for now.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

*slow clapping*

Courtesy of USAToday:

White House: Ill. prison eyed for Gitmo inmates

CHICAGO (AP) — The Obama administration may buy a near-empty prison in rural Illinois to house detainees from Guantanamo Bay along with federal inmates, a White House official said Saturday.

The maximum-security Thomson Correctional Facility, about 150 miles west of Obama's adopted hometown of Chicago, was one of several evaluated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and emerged as a leading option to house the detainees, the official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because a decision has not been made.

President Obama wants detainees from the controversial military-run detention center in Cuba to be transferred to U.S. soil so they can be prosecuted for their suspected crimes.

Thomson was built by the state in 2001 with 1,600 cells, but budget problems prevented it from fully opening, and it now houses about 200 minimum-security inmates.

It is unclear how many Guantanamo detainees — alleged terrorism suspects, many held without charges since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan — might be transferred to Illinois or when. Obama initially planned to close the Guantanamo Bay prison by Jan. 22, but the administration is no longer expected to meet that deadline.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has been hinting at a possible new use for Thomson, and he issued a statement saying he would hold a news conference Sunday to outline those plans.

Quinn's spokeswoman Marlena Jentz did not return a phone message from the AP Saturday.

If the Federal Bureau of Prisons buys the facility, it would be run primarily as a federal prison, but a portion would be leased to the Defense Department to house a limited number of Guantanamo detainees, the White House official said. Perimeter security at the site would be increased to surpass that at the nation's only Supermax prison, in Florence, Colorado, the official said.

The plan has support from Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Senate's second-highest-ranking Democrat, and Thomson Village President Jerry Hebeler, who says the move would generate desperately needed revenue for the town of about 500 residents.

Some lawmakers opposed the idea of terrorism suspects being brought to Illinois. U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, a Republican running for Obama's old Senate seat, circulated a letter among elected officials asking them to write to Obama opposing the plan.

Thomson is not the only U.S. town that had hoped to lure Guantanamo detainees. Officials in Colorado, Montana and elsewhere in Illinois have said they would welcome the jobs that would be generated.

Yes, let's move these extremely dangerous people onto U.S. soil. We might as well be holding a huge sign saying "PLEASE KILL US NOW". Not even Germany was stupid enough to go with that.

Who elected these bozos again?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Final Football Game of the Year

On Saturday, we had our final football game of the academic year.

This wasn't the only reason why it was special, though.

I guess the last football game of the year is also Band Day. This is when high schools from all over northeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota come to play with us. In other words, I got to play the role of "cool college kid" again!

I was feeling much better Saturday than I did on Thursday and Friday, days in which I missed school (and, in Friday's case, spending six hours working on a computer lab that was due the same day that was insanely complex). I got up early, took a shower (and my antibiotics, 500 Mg of Cephalexin), packed my stuff, checked my mental list twice, and head out. The first leg of my odyssey to the Hughes from my dorm (no buses run on the weekends) is straight down University Avenue. The second leg starts when I turn at the Chester Fritz Auditorium. As I already previously established, the President of the university's house is practically right across the street to the Fritz. I pass it every time I go to the Hughes.

I had the fortune to have the President and First Lady drive past me in their car as they left their house. They definitely recognized me as a member of the band, too. They waved at me.

I got acknowledged of my existence by the University President. So freaking cool.

After I dropped my stuff off in the band room, I headed to Wilkerson to get some breakfast...only to realize that, oh yeah, the dining center doesn't open till 11. That has to be one of the most ridiculous things ever. 11 is LATE. Even for later football games, I have to bolt down my food in the instant the place opens so that I'm not late for my call time. Since it was 10ish, I opted to get two jelly-filled donuts at the to-go cafe. At least I'll be hungry for lunch.

When I got back, I spent my sweet time repacking everything in my hat box and putting on my uniform. The buses came earlier than usual, causing us to leave at 11:15. The e-mail we got a day or so earlier said to be at the band room at 11:15. This resulted in a few people missing the bus, luckily not including me.

After getting to the Alerus, we discovered that we couldn't practice at the moment thanks to the Southern Oregon Raiders practicing on our field. Luckily, they were gone after we spent time putting all of our crap in the stands, so we got to practice our pregame and our "halftime" shows.

"Halftime" is in quotes because our normal halftime show would not be played at halftime. Instead, we were going to play it for four-hundred-or-so high school kids in the stands before the game, and play with them in one huge formation during halftime.

While I was feeling better than I did the few days before, I was still sick. My bronchitis reared its ugly head after our rehearsal of halftime, when I had a really bad coughing fit. Like, dry-heaving and stuff, it was that bad. I held off on using my rescue inhaler, though, in part because it would've made me shaky before causing me to crash, and in part because I stopped coughing by the time I made it to my seat in the stands with all of my stuff.

The kids started flooding in shortly after. We broke up into sections and got into circles so that the incoming kids would know where to go. I call them "kids" because they seemed so damn young! And I thought I was oh-so-mature in my senior year of high school!

We had about 40 people in our high woodwinds group, a good amount of them being flutes. Thankfully, we outnumbered the stupid trumpet section. The poor french horns had, like, seven people. And we had a TON of tubas.

And then the issue came of setting everyone to their spots and practicing the halftime show.

Here's the thing: we rehearsed the music for this on Monday's rehearsal and Friday's rehearsal. The previous post titled "Horrible" was posted on Monday, before the scheduled band rehearsal, which I ended up not going to due to a fever. There was no rehearsal Wednesday, and I missed school on Friday, when there was another rehearsal.

Which pretty much meant that I was winging this, while sick, on a new 3 1/2-sized reed (which is harder to play on than an already broken-in, 3-sized reed).

I still kicked ass.

Afterwards, they spent forever getting their butts in the stands (it did NOT help that they had to be in alphabetical order), and the line was long enough to be winding on the field, which we were setting up for our "halftime" show on.

And then we played it (Caravan, I Just Wanna Celebrate, a scatterdrill so we could get to our spots, and The Pretender). And, yet again, I kicked ass, in part because of the new reed; the bigger the number, the thicker it is. The thicker it is, the harder it is to play on, but the trade-off is that you can play much louder with far less squeakage. Which makes it very, very useful for marching band shows.

We had to really book it afterwards, though, because we had to play for our arriving team.

Lunch was weird. It took forever, for one, because all of the high-schoolers got to line up first. There were only two lines, and the food was nachos, so it took a while. I spent time by passing the line, getting a cup of water, and using it to take my antibiotics (three times a day!), then going back to the stands, grabbing my Nintendo DS, going to the back of the virtually non-existant line, and playing it.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'll get past all of the boring shit. Hold your horses.

Fast-forward past lunch and the performance for the tailgaters. Our pregame had to be performed earlier than usual, because there was some special stuff going on. This "special stuff" was for things I forgot to mention earlier on in this post. You see, while we the band thought of the game as Band Day, the football game was really special in that, one, it was senior day for the football players, and two, the game was in dedication to all military vets and service members (police officers, firefighters, etc.). So some things were happening differently.

For instance, while walking over to my side of the field pre-pregame, they were playing the music video for Citizen Soldier on both viewscreens.

During pregame itself, after we were awesome and made of win and sitting on the field in our UND formation, they took their sweet-ass time calling out the names of the football players. This kind of pissed me off, because my band director last game had to rush through the names of the seniors during halftime to make sure we wouldn't cause the other performers during halftime to be late.

After pregame, they had members of the Army ROTC rappelling from the ceiling, one of them doing it head first.


From up here.

...however, since I was on the sidelines in full uniform, I didn't have my camera with me, so I couldn't take pics of them doing it. It was really cool, though.

And then kickoff happened and we went back to the stands. The Band Day kids were in a portion of the stands next to us. Though they had their instruments (with the exception of the drumline), we were the only ones allowed to play.


The high-schoolers are the ones in white. They got free T-shirts.


Don't worry, the student section was actually relatively packed a little while after I took this picture.


The drums of the high-schoolers were too big to put in the stands all together (as they would only fit in the very first row), so they were left sitting behind the endzone.

Here's the thing about the Southern Oregon team: they're the Raiders. Texas Tech, which we were against during our first game of the academic year, are the Red Raiders. As a result, we took it upon ourselves to mock the Southern Oregon team by acting like our hands were pistols and shooting them in the air, just like the Texas Tech fans. Also, everything was in RAIDER VISION*.

*(what the viewscreen would say in Texas Tech before a replay of what just happened)

Here are some random football pics:


Getting ready to kill some brain cells.


The people on the other side, which basically consists of anyone who isn't a student.


...and brain cells have been killed. People were joking that they were watching hockey, because we actually had a few fights and dogpiles start up.

In the stands, I usually sit next to a clarinet player named Phil, who is a freshman. He also happens to be a stage actor, and performed in one of the latest shows on campus, "Godspell" (even the plays here are religious).

Well, during the second quarter, since things were different halftime-wise, we had no idea when to come down to the sideline. The drum major said that herself, that she would basically have to tell us to come down at a moment's notice in full uniform. The senior low woodwind section leader transcribed this to us, and the last thing he said was "Be prepared".

The first thing to pop up in my head was The Lion King. This also happened to be the first thing that Phil thought of, too, because he and a tenor player sitting behind literally started, word for word, acting out the dialogue in the middle of the song in The Lion King. It was absolutely hilarious!


Phil (on the left) also sang "Poor Unfortunate Souls" (and the dialogue in the middle of that) from The Little Mermaid during the football game before this one. It was also hilarious and awesome.

Long before we left the stands, the high-schoolers got on the sidelines, behind the endzone. Five game-minutes afterwards, we finally came down. At this point in the game, we were losing, 3 to 17.

But something awesome happened after that. I guess the combined awesomeness of the high-schoolers and us on the sidelines did something, because we got a touchdown and a field goal. And then, in thirty seconds we tied with them, 17 to 17. It was one of the most amazing things ever.

Halftime was interesting. Five hundred people on the field in arcs, playing three songs. Nothing noteworthy happened.

After halftime, I no longer had the stress of wondering when exactly I had to be in uniform, so I started taking lots and lots of pictures. There was also the fact that the game took an eternity.


Yet another dogpile.


Our players.


Us doing one of our cheers.


Bass drums!

It turned out that I wasn't the only one taking pictures.


One of the colorguard members. We both took a picture of the other with our cameras in our faces. She's apparently a photography major.

Speaking of colorguard, a good number of them have these band shirts that they like to wear. For the longest time, I've found them hilarious, but I now finally got a picture of one.


It says:
Colorguard Scoring Guide
on the field, if you hit...

Another Flag = 0 points
A Flute = 10 points
A Clarinet = 10 points
A Saxophone = 15 points
A Trumpet = 20 points
A Trombone = 25 points
A Baritone = 35 points
A Sousaphone = 50 points
A Drummer = 55 points
A Drum Major = 65 points
The band director...RUN!


In high school, we always joked about how we'd get more points in our scoring if a flag hit a judge on the field. Oh, and just so you know, "Sousaphone" is another name for "Tuba", specifically, the marching tubas. Pretty sure they're named after John Phillip Sousa, he of a hundred famous marches that sound exactly the same, but don't quote me on that one.

And speaking of cameras, we actually had a cameraman come up to us in the stands to film two of our drummers yelling "We are North Dakota!" to the camera.


I mentally responded shortly after he left that the two drummers had egos the size of North Dakota.

During one of the time-outs during one of the later quarters, this guy takes a random person from the audience and asks them three questions. For every question they get right, a T-shirt is flung to a designated section. The last one is always ridiculously easy to ensure that one shirt is always thrown.


For the lulz, we always collectively yell "False" to throw the guy off. During one of the hockey games, it actually worked! And yes, there is a "False" choice, I just managed to get a picture of the viewscreen after they showed the correct choice.

Some of the high-schoolers left directly after halftime, while some stayed longer, depending on what school they were from. The ones that stayed got to join us in playing a little bit. One of the songs was "Hey Baby", which, as Mom remembers, was a song we played a lot in high school. Hilariously enough, it is the exact same arrangement!


High schoolers in our ranks. I actually kinda "recruited" the girl on the right. She said that she'll be coming here in two years (she's a sophomore).


More high schoolers!

And now, a word on who conducts us.

The person who usually does this is the drum major. We have two of them, so they alternate between quarters. I couldn't get a decent pic of the one who does the first and third quarters, so here's the other one.


You can just see the mischievous glint in her eyes!

I guess one of the traditions of Band Day is to let the seniors conduct the band through one song. That was added to my list of "stuff I can't wait to do when I'm a senior".


He's technically an alumnus, but he got to conduct us anyway. He's pretty nice.


A tuba player. He sure looks happy to be on the ladder!


Corey, one of the many obnoxious trumpet players. The fact that he gets to play all of the solos in our halftime tunes (including The Pretender) doesn't help this. Even his conducting is overdramatic, though he did this for comedic effect.


The infamous tenor player who is always the ringleader behind the drumline's many shouted insults. I couldn't get a pic of him conducting, so here he is on the sideline.


The low woodwinds section leader. He's pretty nice, too. He abhors the idea of going here for graduate school (and being in band during graduate school) for some reason, and he's actually graduating this semester.


A colorguard member. She's the one who let me photograph the back of her shirt.


A french horn player. He's pretty cool.

You might've noticed that I didn't mention any of their names. This is because I'm extremely bad with names and I don't remember any of them.

After a fourth quarter that seemed to take FOREVER, we finally ended the game on a winning note. The score was something like 30 to 22, with us winning.

And now, finally, what you've all been waiting for!

I badgered the colorguard member with a camera to take a picture of me in full uniform.

...wait for it...

...wait more for it...




TADAAAA!


Ok, so my hat's crooked. Whatever.

In years past, they've actually had chains on the front of the uniform, with braiding on the shoulders, and a half-cape. This is rather plain in comparison.


And so ends this academic year's marching band season. It's been rather fun. I still have hockey games, and I was able to enroll in Marching Band for next semester, so I'll still be taking game pics.

Oh, did I ever tell you my classes for next semester?

Communications 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking (Honors)
Computer Science 161 - Computer Science II
Math 208 - Discrete Mathematics
Music 271 - University Band
Music 272 - Marching Band
Physics 110 - Introductory Astronomy
Space Studies 410 - Life Support Systems (online course)

It would be really nice if I knew what the hell Discrete Mathematics was.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Post about Saturday

Will be coming up very, very soon. Now that those 20+ pictures are resized and I finally have some free time, I'm going to be finally writing that post.


...after I take a shower and get ready for class, of course.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The shit just keeps piling up.

Things on my mind lately:

- My declining grades. Getting As and Bs in Honors classes in high school? Piece o' cake. Getting Bs in normal classes here? Really, really hard. It doesn't help that taking notes in normal Computer Science class does me no good, because everything I learn, I learn in Lab, by actually coding things and experimenting. This makes it extremely difficult for me when the normal tests come around, because I have a hard time explaining what goes on behind the scenes as I spend six hours on 134 lines of code. Space Studies is going great (teacher says you need to score above the mean on the tests, and I've been consistently doing that), but I have a C in Honors right now. Both band classes are guaranteed As, but I'm not sure if they can keep my GPA up to a 3.0 needed to renew a scholarship I got.

It's extremely frustrating going from always getting As and Bs every year to having Bs and Cs. EXTREMELY frustrating. Especially when one those classes is the basic class for your major and you wanted to get an A in it.

And I can't just study for hours upon hours like my roommate does. Just...can't. For Honors, what do I study? Really, what do I? We go over different things every week. We don't have a set textbook whatsoever. Our classes consist only of discussion and our homework consists only of reading. Computer Science? I can't. YOU try "studying" a textbook of computer code. It doesn't work for me. HTML/CSS I learned by myself, by looking at the source code of others and figuring how they did the things they did and what would happen if I tweaked it. The test today in Computer Science had things that I could remember BECAUSE I worked for six hours on a lab that greatly involved those "things". None of my classes are ones you can really outright "study" for.

It's putting an insane amount of pressure on me. INSANE. I'm afraid that I might break...

- Money. It just frustrates me that I can't get the things I want, but I can't get a job because of my schedule (well...actually, with no more football games and with hockey games being late at night, I might actually be able to get a job now - the bookstore that's a five-minute walk from here has a big "Now Hiring" sign up). Every now and then I find myself looking at my Amazon.com wishlist and becoming extremely depressed. Yeah, there's Christmas, but I'm not exactly going to be in a set point around that time, thanks to my next point...

- So a few hours after deciding it, I just got informed by my mom that she'll be moving to Texas. WELL THANKS A FREAKING LOT. All that planning I did? Gone. Those plane tickets that I spent hundreds of my leftover financial aid money on? Useless. She says she'll help work it out, but I seriously doubt it, she's not getting paid enough to accommodate a move AND buy at least $400 worth of plane tickets. And if we're moving, I can't even get anything for Christmas, since I don't have an address to send it to. Furthermore, this will also undo ALL of the address-changing I've been doing regarding my "home address", so I'll have to contact Tricare and a bazillion other people to change it yet AGAIN. I know it's selfish of me, but after all of the other times she said that she'll move or go here or there, having to change EVERYTHING for something that doesn't even have a set date adds a whole lot more stress to my already overstressed life.

Why me? Why the HELL does it have to be me? Everyone else has family close by. Practically everyone I know has a stable home with two parents, and a house, and they've STAYED IN THE SAME FREAKING PLACE all their lives. They go home during a weekend and see everyone. I can't. I can't freaking do that. I MIGHT have a chance to see my old high-school bandmates again ONE more time before I help mom move to Texas. And then after that, I can never see them again. Or the people at the allergist. Or my old dentist. Hell, one of the things I wanted to do when I come back to Las Vegas was to get a new set of retainers at my ol' orthodontist, since my old ones are wearing out. CAN'T DO THAT IF I HAVE TO LEAVE THE NEXT DAY, NOW CAN I? And my A key on my computer has been acting up again, I wanted to go to the store where I bought the laptop and use my shiny warranty so they can do some heavy-duty work on that goddamn key.

Everyone else has a freaking car because their relatives live around here. Me, I'm by myself. I'm a freaking adult and I still have to rely on others to get to places like I'm back in high school. I still have to beg and plead my bandmates to take me to the practice field every Marching Band practice. I'm all by myself here. And I'm sad. And lonely, because no one knows what the FUCK it is like to live outside of North Dakota. Everyone can go home over thanksgiving and hunt some deer with their families, while I'm stuck here by myself. I'm an agnostic in a highly Christian town. And you know what? Now Mom's leaving, going somewhere else, where I'll STILL be a complete and utter stranger to everyone, and faced with the EXACT SAME PROBLEMS I have here with people, when I expected to catch up with the familiar faces I've known for years and spend some time in a city that, while I completely HATE its GUTS, is at least FAMILIAR.


...it's late. I'm tired, strung-out, stressed-out. But I need SOME way to vent my feelings about everything, before I snap.

Thanks a lot.

To the guy who saw me on the way to Wilkerson yesterday, thanks BUNCHES for NOT telling me about the Computer Science test we were going to have today. Thank you SO FREAKING MUCH.

You have me in TWO classes, one of which is Computer Science. I was absent from both of those classes on Friday. Did it EVER occur to you that I might not know what the hell we did on Friday? Instead, I got a very cold "hi" from you, and that was it.

You know, in high school, any time I saw someone who was absent for a class I had them in, I filled them in, and was happy to do so, even if they say "[insert student here] already told me, thanks".

But you didn't even bother to, not even when you sat down at another table five feet away from me and looked at me from the corner of your eye! Thank you so freaking much, my grade is going to go down more, and it's going to be harder to maintain that 3.0 GPA that I need to renew that scholarship. Thanks.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Good news and bad news

Good News: I don't have the flu anymore.

Bad News: It's bronchitis.


Today, I woke up feeling a lot crappier than usual, and really, really congested. I was out of energy, too, and had trouble getting out of bed; this, I remedied by hooking my arms around my bent knee and flexing my thigh, pulling me up in the process (like getting up from a squat, except sideways. Or a really screwed-up sit-up).

Everything was extremely tender and painful; combing my half-dry hair after the shower caused some tears. I took a very hot shower, but the steam did little to help with my congestion. After a brief moment of thought, I decided to use my rescue inhaler, since I already have asthma and I didn't want to take chances; the bad thing about this is that it makes me extremely shaky, because it's albuterol. I hate that stuff. But it definitely helped with my congestion.

My "Horrible" post was on Monday. Tuesday and yesterday, I felt a lot better and actually went to my classes and Anime Society (yesterday). Today, I've gotten worse, AGAIN. I called Mom in the hopes of feeling a little better, and she insisted, very forcefully, that I should go to the clinic, since I've been sick for a week.

So I did so - after hanging up with Mom, I called the clinic (see, this is why I don't throw any of my previous appointment slips away, because I was able to find their number in a few seconds) and scheduled an appointment for half an hour from the present time. I usually schedule appointments with them every two weeks on Tuesday for my allergy shots, so they kind of know me over there. Furthermore, the lady thought I sounded really congested over the phone, so she happily offered an earlier time than I thought was available (because everyone is sick).

Shortly after coming in early, I was taken back and was asked basic questions by the very, very nice nurse. I apologized for my vagueness, as everything's kind of a blur when I'm sick and my symptoms varied from day to day. After she left, the doctor came in. He was really nice, too. He did the usual doctor-y things, checking my lungs and and all that jazz. He said that he suspected that I had the flu, but wanted to do some bloodwork (he first asked if I had insurance, of course). I was very surprised when he said that there'd only be a 15-minute wait to get the results.

Here's the thing - usually, when I get bloodwork done, the doctor sends the blood to an external lab, like Quest Diagnostics. As a result, I would always have to schedule a return appointment in at least a week to discuss the results. So the fact that I would only have to wait a little bit before discussing the results was a bit of surprise - granted, I bet that they weren't running the full elaborate battery of tests, but they were still looking at teeny-weeny microscopic little cells in a lab that was probably already looking at other people's teeny-weeny little cells because everyone is sick.

I was escorted to the lab, sat on a bizarre bench (it had swiveling armrests on both sides) specifically for getting my blood drawn, and was attended to by yet another very nice person. She was not only nice, but skilled - after checking both arms for my veins, she decided on my left and struck the vein on her first try. Within what had to be an absolute MAXIMUM of twenty seconds, she had the blood she needed, with minimum pain and external bleeding (she put a bandaid on after I held a cotton ball on it for a few seconds, but I honestly didn't need it, because I wasn't bleeding anymore). She put a drop on two slides, smeared them, and then asked me to go to the lobby and wait. Of course, I did what I was asked.

Now, while I was sitting in the lobby, there was a TV with CNN going. Why they do this is beyond me, as this place is more conservative than Las Vegas. Let me elaborate on this. On my way back home, I passed a car with a McCain bumper sticker, and I've seen practically no cars with Obama ones. In Las Vegas, you'll find a TON of cars with pro-Obama (or even old ones, like Kerry) on their cars. Here, you have people talking about the fact that they'll miss school because X day is the first day of deer hunting season. I've seen some army ROTC members in the parking lot with geese they've hunted (those suckers were HUGE, I didn't even know they got so big!!!). People I know in band have guns at home, and know how to use them. You know the drill. In Las Vegas, if you criticize Obama, you're racist, if you're anti-illegal immigration, you're racist. But people seem to have no problems with that here.

Back to CNN. How President Obama can blast Fox for "having a perspective" and not CNN is beyond me. Oh, wait, it's because they praise him every five seconds. When I first sat down, they were gushing about all of the black women Obama had in his Administration. That's all fine and dandy, but what about the other people in the Administration? Are they just not as important because they're white or male? They were just as qualified to be chosen. So why aren't they as special? I dunno, maybe I'm looking too much into this, or maybe it's because I'm still so bitter about the fact that it was extremely difficult for me to find scholarships that were open to whites (so many scholarships wanted "minority" races, despite the fact that there was no freaking way I, or thousands of other "whites", could ever pay for college with my own money).

And then they had a brief segment "linking" obesity with cancer, even though they explicitly stated that they couldn't justify why without using a bunch of quote-unquote "theories" that were incredibly vague (and barely scientific). One of these was that being fat apparently hinders the immune system. Bullshit. My mom was easily the healthier of the two of us, illness-wise, even before she lost weight. I got sick more often than she did, and she worked in a medical office, with sick people! And then after that, she massaged people from all over the world, who may or may not be sick at the time. I briefly mentioned that my mom was healthier than me under my breath while I was sitting there, and I girl sitting across from me smiled and agreed. And even if she secretly didn't agree with me, I would've gotten a dirty look or something if I was in Vegas.

I got called back, and the doctor went over my results. White blood cell count is established on a scale of 5 to 10. I was 12 (or, specifically, 11.5); he said that since I was younger, my body could put up more of a fight than, say, his (he was old enough that his hair was silvering), hence the past-10 number, something that someone his age wouldn't be able to pull off. However, something involving lymphs had barely risen, despite all of the other specifics being high, indicating that it wasn't a virus (and thus not the flu), but was instead bacterial. He said that, given my high congestion symptoms and the fact that it was bacterial, that it was most likely bronchitis, or something that could also be killed with antibiotics. He said that combined with the previous incidents of chills and fever, there's a chance that, earlier, I could've possibly had pneumonia instead of the flu.

He prescribed me some antibiotics (that I had to take three times a day for ten days) and cough medicine to help me sleep (as I had run out of my NyQuil) and help with my mid-sleep coughing fits that have apparently been waking up my roommate. And then I was escorted out and I thanked him and left.

I've never felt so nicely treated by people at a medical clinic before, with the exception of the people at my allergist, but they were specialized and thus were more able to get to know everyone. We're talking about the ONE student health clinic on campus that sees EVERYONE for EVERYTHING. They were very nice and extremely timely. I felt very satisfied by the care I had received.

On the way home, I opted to walk to the pharmacy, since I figured that I was outside anyway, and I needed to pick up two regular prescriptions I had called in online earlier today.

The people at this pharmacy, despite not being related to or even in the same building as the medical clinic, were also very nice. Even as they were having issues processing things with Tricare, they still filled my prescriptions and let me pay for them and take them home.

About this. Apparently, Tricare likes to change things sometimes. Unfortunately, this means that they get overwhelmed and their servers go down. I sat for about twenty minutes in the pharmacy as the poor ladies kept trying, over and over again, to make my shit go through to Tricare. Ladies and gentlemen, government-run health insurance. Now imagine if Tricare covered millions more and included a lot more people that got drugs the instant their kid complained of a headache or a cough (in comparison to me, who has regular prescriptions picked up once a month and only gets meds when I'm really, really sick). I can see why the pharmacists are not at all happy about this idea.

After I walked back with my meds, I immediately took my antibiotics and asked the RA to get me a sick tray. After eating THAT, while typing this up, I got really sleepy (in part, I think, because I'm crashing from the inhaler) and took a cough-filled nap. And then I woke up and finished typing this.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Public Service Announcement...

Hey, you guys up in the White House. Maybe the fact that the Republicans won a few elections will give you even the vaguest hint of an idea that some people *GASP* AREN'T happy with what you and your Democrat friends have been doing!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Horrible.

That's how I feel. The illness decided to flip me the bird and undo any kind of recovery I've gone through over the past day or so, becoming a gazillion times worse. Fever, chills, stuffed nose, sore throat, oh my! *crawls back into bed and "dies"*

Sunday, November 1, 2009

So...

...here I was, watching the third episode of the anime Trigun that was in a boxed set lent to me by the same guy who lent me the Evangelion boxset.

And then something really, really awesome happened.



...imagine, a textbook example of why the populace should be armed, in an anime from a country with strict gun control laws.

(the episode itself involved a gunsmith, who turned out to be the guy with the beer bottle, who ten years prior to the episode gave all of the citizens guns he himself made to fend off reoccurring bandits. He stopped, also several years prior to the episode, when a bank robbery happened that led to his wife and kid being caught in the crossfire and dying; it was committed by a guy who was personally given one of his guns. Also, in case you didn't get it, the guy in the red coat is the real Vash, which is something that you should already know, even if you haven't seen it, because Trigun's easily one of the most famous 90s [or early 2000s, can't remember which] animes ever.)