Thursday, May 27, 2010

I'd Laugh, But It Hurts

I woke up this morning like any other normal day....I pressed snooze at least 5 times until I realized I was now running late. I jumped out of bed and headed for the shower. My chest felt a little funny but I didn't notice anything was seriously wrong until I tried to shampoo my hair... lifting my arms above my head (in particular my right arm) resulted in excruciating pain in my chest that felt like a knife was being jammed in between my front ribs to my back ribs. Worst chest/back pain I have ever felt in my life! What the heck is this? I didn't really believe I was in pain at first because A) I just woke up and B) I hadn't done anything physical that would result in injury. Why would I be in pain? I didn't know why, but I was. Just to calm all you worry warts.... it was definitely not any chest pain related to my heart. The pain was up on the right side and it definitely only hurt when I moved in a certain direction. Leaning my head back to try to rinse the little amount of shampoo I was able to reach in my hair was equally as excruciatingly painful. I got out of the shower and laid down immediately. Something was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I couldn't even get up out of bed on my own, Trevor had to pretty much pick me up and set me straight.

I called my chiropractor doctor friend and described my pain to see what her immediate reaction was... Should I be concerned? She took a look at my back, and sternum, and ribs and came up with a pretty accurate diagnosis...slipping rib syndrome or the good ol' rib-out-of-place phenomenon. Sounds pretty awful, huh? Well, let me assure you it is as uncomfortable as it sounds.

The worst part is I saw it coming. I didn't know it would come today or that it would be this painful...but for the past year or so I have been carrying around an enormous purse stuff full of junk that I rarely need but for some reason feel the need to bring everywhere! My shoulder and back have hurt before because of carrying around such baggage but Trevor was always there to ease the load. For the past 3 months though my poor right side has been lopsidedly toting around an extra 15 pounds by itself. I knew I was doing my right side a disservice....and my ribs finally slipped....

I'm sure the last straw was dragging my 200lbs of clothes and souvenirs home from Denmark, but I am fairly certain this injury has been a long time coming.

As a warning to all the big-bag fans out there...beware!...pack lite...


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nervous Pervous

I was asked on Monday if I wanted to do a 15 minute presentation at a meeting on Wednesday. It wasn't a real question in that I couldn't say I didn't want to if I wanted to even though I did want to say I didn't want to. (You follow that one?) It was more of an assignment and the question was only asking me if there was any reason why I would not be able present on Wednesday, and unfortunately there wasn't.

Public speaking is something I always wanted to be better at but never EVER wanted to practice. I know I would never try it on my own so I was slightly happy that I was given the opportunity to test it out with only a 15 minute presentation. 15 minutes is nothing! baby steps! I was still pretty worried about how it would all play out.... I knew I was going to be nervous, but I didn't realize how crazy it would make me.

On Tuesday, all I did at work was work on this presentation....adding slides...removing slides...rearranging sentences... deleting words. I spent a ridiculous amount of time OCD-ing over this presentation. I thought about it the whole drive home from work...I missed my exit because I was so concerned about it and I wasn't paying attention to where I was going. If you told me something Tuesday night, I probably wasn't listening because this presentation was the ONLY thing I could focus on. This morning I missed a meeting because I thought it was at 8:30am east coast time or 11:30am CA time, but no it was really at 8:30am my time and I didn't get to work until 8:50! Can I still use the excuse I'm not used to the time zone? jet lag? I've been home or a week and a half! No way! My only excuse is that I'm a complete spazoid and the threat of this impending presentation is destroying my normal train of thought. This was a bad start to my day. A day filled of...guess what? Re-arranging and re-wording this dang presentation up until meeting time (3pm)!

This presentation was really not a big deal and I kept telling myself that, but the sole word "presentation" just completely messes with my mind. If I went to the meeting with no prior mention of the word "presentation" and someone asked during the meeting if I could summarize my results in 15 minutes, I would be totally fine and happy to do so. I know I can communicate, I know how to think and talk and form complete sentences....But knowing that at this certain time 8-10 people will be silent, and look at me, and listen to the words that I say,and read these slides I put together, and will expect to learn something from it, and form questions that I may or may not be able to answer... Holy Anxiety Attack!

So it's meeting time. Someone else gave a presentation before me...on what? I have no clue because all I was thinking about was what I will say and kept going through possible questions people might ask me and how I'd respond... Then it was my turn. My heart was beating so loud I seriously thought it was going to make me throw up, and for a few seconds I really had to focus on keeping my composure to avoid getting sick... I nearly passed out. Once I got past the first couple slides and a couple of cracks in my voice, I felt fine and a decent amount more confident. I hope no one noticed how badly I was shaking when I clicked for the next slide...

Does anyone else get this awful feeling? How do you get passed it? It's terrible.

I am just glad it's over with!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Soap Dyslexian, Pale Complexion, Pepper Selection, & The Chicken Connection

Ever put the conditioner on first instead of the shampoo? That always confuses me. Like when you go to wash your hands in a new bathroom and you mistake the lotion for the soap. It feels so wrong.

I am so pale! How pale am I, you might ask?
I am so pale I have no tan lines. No bathing suit tan lines. No farmer tan lines. Nothing!
I am so pale you cannot see a difference between the outside of my arm versus the inside of arm.
I am so pale that Trevor is tanner than me.
I am completely one color, WHITE!
I let my skin see the sun for the first time in a long time this weekend, under the lather of SPF70.

I also made my Danish friend's watermelon salad again this weekend. But something went horribly wrong... It was way too spicy. Everyone was huffing and coughing while eating it even though they still assured me that they liked it through teary eyes. I don't know what went wrong, but I'm going to blame it on the jalapeno.

This time I used:
1 small watermelon, cubed
1 package of cherry tomatoes cut in half
1/2 a red onion, chopped
1 cucumber diced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
& a dash of balsamic vinegar and oil

I'll try again..... You should try it too, it is refreshingly delicious!!! But keep the jalepeno content under control!

I saw this chicken at a fair and it reminded me of Trevor:

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fly Me to the Moon

These are the fly pictures I tried to post earlier. They are not by drawings. They are the ones from the e-mail that gave me the idea...

The Morning News

The other morning I was lying awake in bed when I heard Trevor's phone ringing in the other room. I looked at the clock and it was before 7 o'clock in the morning. Trevor was still sleeping and I didn't want to wake him up. I still had fifteen more minutes before my alarm went off, so I lay there and let the phone go to voicemail. But then I got to thinking....I wonder who is calling this early? Who does not know that it is 6:45am and that Trevor is rarely ever up at 6:45am? ..... Oh well, I'll check it when my alarm goes off. (I will not get out of bed before I absolutely have to no matter what!). But then I started thinking what if Trevor has an important class, or a test, or a presentation and he forgot to set his alarm and overslept and that was one of his classmates calling to see where he was? Or what if it's one of his classmates who has a test or presentation and their car broke down and they called to see if they could get a ride to school? Ugh. Why do I do this to myself?! I still have five more minutes of precious laying down time, but now I have to get up and see who it was....

Phew, It was Trevor's sister. Hmm I better wake him up though because this sounds like it might be important. She should know it's 7am here.... which kinda makes me worry.... maybe the baby is sick? or got hurt? No, she probably wouldn't call Trevor for advice about that... I wake up Trevor and tell him his sister called and then head for the shower. Meanwhile, I am still trying to piece together a logical incentive for his sister to call so early. The only thing I can come up with is.....she's preggers.

Babies, babies, babies! I go through my daily routine a bit quicker this morning and excitedly get out of the bathroom and see Trev is still on the phone. He looks at me and says, "Bev has a statistics question"....Oh boo. I am momentarily disappointed and we start chatting about columns and charts and how to make graphs. Then Trevor interjects with.."Oh yea, AND she's pregnant!" Minor detail...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Webpage Formally Known as Copenbloggin

Dear Friends,

Now that I am back in Santa Barbara I have felt the need to officially close down the Danish blog and update it with a new title and a new look. After hours and hours of brainstorming, this is what I've come up with. I hope you like it.

Other candidates for the new name:

Santa Barbloggin
Coping... Blogging...
Blog you very much
Son of a Blog
The Webpage Formally Known as Copenbloggin
I Love Science
Tales, You Win!
I Think I'm Gonna Blog
The Bloggy Bottom Boys
Sponge Blog Share Rants
The Blog Days of Summer
Foggy Bloggin (in SB)
Bloggin Thru the Fog
Card Catablog
My Shakespearean Monoblogue
Bloggin from my Noggin
Just Need to Blog My Memory
Blogs About Jogs
What About Blog?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Blog Bless America

Snail in the garden:

After a sleepless night followed by 20+ hours of traveling with 150lbs + of luggage... I made it home.

The plane touched down with no delays into bright and sunny Santa Barbara airport. I called Trevor when the plane pick-up. I called him when I got off the plane...still no reply. I didn't see him out by the curb and got a little worried. I called him after I got my luggage but still no answer. Well this is a little anti-climactic.... He calls back a few seconds later huffing and puffing he's on his way! He's running a little late....he had lost his phone. A happy and sweaty Trevor picks me 5 minutes later and I have officially made it home. I unpacked...

...and life is back to normal again.

The first few days back were cloudy, chilly, and rainy. Still warmer than Denmark though...

It was really strange to see American money again and I had trouble counting coins at first. I tried to buy a Twix bar from the vending machine and thought a nickel was worth $.10, but I was 5 cents short...

Driving a car for the first time felt a little funny for the first couple turns, but I got used to that again easily enough.

The first couple nights I had a hard time keeping myself awake past 5pm, but now I'm doing ok. It is a lot easier adjusting to the time zone when you travel east to west....

I forgot what it's like to understand everything strangers say. I miss people speaking Danish all the time and zoning them out as background noise. I remember thinking I wish I could understand what people were talking about, but now that I can I wish they would keep quiet. I don't want to hear other people's conversations. They don't have anything good to talk about...

I still instinctively say or at least think "Tak" instead of "Thank you."

I miss the Danish work culture a lot. I knew I would miss the coffee breaks, and the really nice people, and the group chats even though most times I had no idea what was being said. It at least made you feel like you belonged to part of a group. I noticed I've been hanging out in the CA break room more often and chatting it up with whoever comes in... trying to start up an American work social life... maybe I need to start bringing in bread...

In other Danish news, my Smashing Debut "I Love Science" video was played at the all-staff meeting today in front of hundreds of people. How humiliating that my awkward Danish experiences have come full circle. I was warned by the Danes who had their all-staff meeting the day before that the video was going to be unveiled.... I cannot help but cringe every time I watch it. I was shaking with embarrassment for the entire duration. I was reassured it was not as bad as I thought it was, but I still think it is unbearably awkward to watch. "I love science".....who says that?!

I was having a hard time deciding what to write for a "last blog entry" so I have decided to continue this blog past my Copenhagen experience. I can't promise it will be as fun, awkward, or interesting as Copenbloggin, but I will try my best and we'll see how it goes... I am going to keep the webpage as since you already know where to find me (and since I have no idea how to change it).....but, I need to think of a new title since "Copenbloggin" no longer applies...

I was thinking "Blog Bless America" but a quick google search shows this blog title already exists. To be honest "Copenbloggin" already existed before I used it, but I swear I had not learned of this until after I started mine and I felt silly changing it mid-way.... And since since I am coming clean with my unoriginality, that fly thing wasn't my idea either. I never claimed that it was, but I never said that it wasn't.... The drawings in Copenbloggin were original. I drew them. But I got the idea from an e-mail...

So anyone have any other blog names I can plagiarize?

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Scandinavian Hero

"My belt holds my pants up, but my belt loops hold my belt up... So which one's the real hero?"
-Mitch Hedberg

A wise woman once said...

"Wherever you wander, wherever you roam, be happy and healthy and glad to come home."
-Grandma Rita's embroidered picture

"There's no place like home."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I Put the "Mental" in Sentimental

May 12th, 2010 journal entry on the bus to work:

"Last day at work... It is cold (6 degrees Celsius) and raining. It feels very strange that this is my last day. Yet I don't really "feel" anything at all. I don't feel happy, but I don't feel sad. I just feel sort of strange. I knew there would be a "last day" to this trip. I knew that day by day this day would get closer and closer until it's finally here. And tomorrow it will be gone...."

Now can I please get through today without crying? chance in hell.

I wouldn't say I am the type of person who wears their emotions on their sleeve. I think I am pretty good at hiding if I'm mad or angry if I want to. But when it comes to the sadness induced by saying good-bye, I lose complete control whether I want to or not. The day I left California I cried the week before, the night before, the morning of, and the entire way to the airport because I was dreading saying good-bye. We stopped at Taco Bell on the way and I blubbered through ordering my taco and burrito. The clerk must have thought I was mad and that someone died or something awful had happened. That's what I would think if some crazy person walked into my taco shop full of tears.

My co-workers had a little going away party for me today at work. I didn't expect much. I expected some cake because they will use any reason to bring in cake. But I didn't expect them to get the biggest craziest Danish Lady Cake and buy me so many nice presents:

They also got me some Danish liquorice that tastes like poison so I can bring it back home and trick my friends:

A Danish National Soccer Team jersey:

Some candle holders (no picture)

AND these little salt and pepper shakers:

In case you can't see them clearly in the picture the shakers are a little black ghost hugging a little white ghost. They are so cute! I saw them in a restaurant when my cousin was here and I have been looking all over for them in the shops. It is on my "to-do" list to look for them one last time on Friday. I must have mentioned it to one of my co-workers.... I was so surprised they got them!!!

All the presents and the party were really sweet and sentimental gestures. I was really happy....AND....No tears! I actually convinced myself that I have finally grown out of my cry baby phase, and am mentally patting myself on the back for a job well done, and welcoming myself into the grown-up, professional world where people don't break down in tears when they have to leave. I am so impressed with myself.

If I left work right after the party I would have been scot-free. But before I leave I have to label my slides, organize my paperwork, clean out my desk, scrub down my lab bench..... Meanwhile tomorrow is a holiday which means people are leaving early. As I scramble to finish up, I keep getting interrupted by co-workers coming in to say their final farewells. Now everybody said some nice things at the cake party "Good job," "Nice work," "Thanks for coming".... but they really saved the juicy, sentimental stuff for these last one-on-one good-bye hugs...and that is when I lost it. The first good-bye hug, I teared up a little...The second, obvious to the bathroom, clear off my face, breathe, relax, OK back to normal. Third good-bye hug, full blown tears, soaking wet face, trying not to stopping now...the flood gates are open.

Good-byes will always get the best of me.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Gratuitous Baby Blog

Got a case of "The Mondays?" These guys will cheer you up...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Is that a danish in your pocket or can I eat that danish?

I had a completely Danish conversation yesterday. I was on the train sitting next to the window and there was a fellow sitting next to me. My stop was coming up so I said "Unskyld" or "Excuse me." He got up and I said "Tak" or "Thank you." I am so Danish.

Last night I went out in public wearing black spandex pants (without shorts over them...yikes) for the first time since my mother used to dress me. It was dark out. I hate spandex pants, but the Danes love them. When in Rome...

I rode my bike to work today. Somehow it felt like both ways were uphill. I dropped the bike off to it's rightful owner on the way home. Back to walking everywhere again.... My friends' who lent me the bike have 3 kids ages 6-8. I've been over their house a few times for dinner, but the kids never paid too much attention to me. The one little girl would often stare at me and when I'd smile at her she'd smile back shyly. Other than that they would be off in the other room playing by themselves. Oh boy, tonight was a different story. We really had a breakthrough. The kids now have a trampoline in the backyard and they are just mad about it. "Yulia, Yulia blah blah blah blah blah!!!" they kept screaming at me. They were so excited to have me jump with them on the trampoline. It was really fun. They also play the "popcorn game" which I could have sworn me and my childhood friends made up, but I guess it's just a natural instinct to play this game when you're on a trampoline. I was exhausted afterwards. The oldest girl got me a cup of water. Then it was bedtime for them. The girls were all wound up and giggly and kept peeping around corners and running away and then running back and giggling. Then they ran out to me in their pjs with toothbrush in hand and I brushed their teeth for them. Hahahahaha ahhh it makes me laugh out loud when I think of it. It was a bit funny. I was cracking up at the time and so were they. They kept running to their bedroom and then running back out with a flower and a ballet slipper, and then running away and running back out with a watch and sunglasses. Every time they gave me something I would put it on and make a funny noise or say something that didn't make any sense to them... Hahaha I had no idea what they were saying the whole time and vice versa, but they thought I was hysterical and I was having a good time too. They gave me hugs and kisses before bed and then ran back out for second and third rounds of hugs and kisses. It's amazing how far a little trampoline action can get you...

I started packing up some things over the weekend and I am amazed by how much stuff I brought that I never used. I found a bathing suit. Ha!! I don't know what I was thinking when I packed that! Just looking at it makes me cold. I also found a 20 pack of small batteries and I could vaguely remember packing them and thinking I was so smart for bringing them. I couldn't remember why though. As I went through my drawers I found a head lamp I bought right before I left. I knew the days were going to be short in February and I wanted to make sure I had light for when I would go on jogs in the evenings after work. Because, ya know, I won't know anyone so I might as well get in really good shape and run everyday. Ya right! I never once used the headlamp. I went running the first day I got here and then stopped for like a month. It was way too cold! (I had packed the package of batteries for this headlamp). I also found a box full of medicine that I never needed (allergy medicine, cough medicine, inhalers, tylenol, band-aids, Ace bandages, gauze pads, medical tape, wart remover, cough drops, airborne, etc. slightly paranoid maybe?), a drawer full of short-sleeved shirts and skirts that I never wore, a pair of high heel shoes, and a couple pairs of sunglasses that I had no use for. I also never used my blow dryer and I didn't read any of the books I brought with me.

Things I would not have survived without:

That's all you really need.

Here's my pillowcase design I've been working on: