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Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
6:07 pm - Prop 8 can go die in a fire. And look, it did!
I haven't updated in awhile. I know some people have been worried. I'm sorry for that. I've just been busy and haven't had much to say. I'll make a real post later. But for now, I wish to commemorate the historic occasion of Prop. 8 smackdown.

Thank goodness.

(3 Honeycombs | Make honey)

Monday, June 28th, 2010
7:59 am - Back in Bordeaux
I am back in Bordeaux and will be for the rest of my trip. Yesterday I moved in with my host family. They are extremely nice and speak very beautiful French. I can understand almost everything they say. Today I start my language class at the Alliance Française--truthfully, I am a bit nervous, since I hear the teachers can be quite cruel, but I am also really excited.

Bordeaux is a beautiful city. Last night, Gérard gave me a tour of the city. There are many beautiful buildings from the 18th and 19th century, as well as early 20th century. There are also lots of ornamental cow statues around the city. They gave blank cows to a bunch of different artists, and they all decorated them. Sometimes people play jokes by switching the cows around.

Unfortunately, my camera died. I'm pretty upset about this, because I haven't taken many pictures yet. There's no way I can afford a new one, even if I wasn't in France. I will probably ask for one for my birthday, but that leaves me camera-less in a foreign country. Guau. I guess I will have to buy a disposable camera.

I have more to say, but I need to leave for my class now. I'm filled with butterflies.

(7 Honeycombs | Make honey)

Friday, June 25th, 2010
9:36 am - Ici, enfin
As of noon today, we are in Bordeaux, by way of the TGV from Paris.  From what I've seen of the city so far, it does not disappoint.  It is not unlike Paris--not as metropolitan, of course, but there are the same narrow streets, the same juxtaposition of beautiful old buildings with modern shops and flashing signs.  I'm already impatient to move in with my host family, excited about the prospect of being a student rather than a tourist.  But first, there are sights to see.

Today my mom and I rode their sleek little commuter train to a botanical garden, where I was DELIGHTED to find a large number of bees.  Alas, my camera ran out of batteries so I could not take any pictures of them.  I will attempt to describe them instead.
--Two species of Bombus.  One is black with a beautiful orange butt.  The other is larger, with a white rump, and two yellow stripes.
--A few different Halictids, which look just like the ones here, although I'm sure they are different.
--A striped, smooth bee which may be a Megachilid or something else.
--Apis mellifera, for once, as a native.
--A black bee--maybe a Ceratina?

We also saw a frog, some lizards, and huge numbers of chublet tadpoles.

I am practicing my French, and doing a pretty fair job of it; unfortunately, as soon as I hesitate, whoever I am talking to always switches to English, even though I'd rather muddle along in French.
If you would like a postcard, please leave your address here.  (Comments are screened.)

(Make honey)

Thursday, June 24th, 2010
9:21 pm - Grève
 Due to a transit workers strike, our flight and most subsequent flights to Bordeaux and other parts of France were cancelled.  We had to go from Charles de Gaulle to Orly (45 minute shuttle ride, which Air France refused to pay for) and then wait at Orly for 5 hours before giving up and finding a hotel.  After much back and forth and round and round, we are taking the train to Bordeaux instead.

(1 Honeycomb | Make honey)

4:14 am - Merde
 Arrived in Paris, but our flight to Bordeaux got cancelled due to a strike.  Traveling disagrees with me.  I am very tired and having hot flashes and my muscles hurt.  And yet, I am happy to be here, happy to be hearing snippets of conversations in a language which is not my own, but that I understand nonetheless.

How bizarre and beautiful it is that this place feels at once, both comfortable and foreign to me.

(5 Honeycombs | Make honey)

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
5:16 pm - A break in the clouds
I just found out that I made Dean's list this semester. I did not think it was possible for me to do so, since I'm unable to take a full load. But somehow, I did, nonetheless.

current mood: pleased

(3 Honeycombs | Make honey)

Thursday, June 10th, 2010
11:49 pm - Surgery
The surgery went fine. Thanks, everyone for the well wishes. I'll be in the hospital overnight. I'm not feeling too badly so far, nowhere near like the last surgery. My pain is being adequately controlled, and it's not too severe anyways. They un-puffed most of the air from me, so that's not too bad. I ate some food and am trying to walk around a bit to get the rest of the air out. There are four incisions, but they reused two from when they put my stimulator in. (Speaking of the stimulator, I had to drive to SF this morning to get it turned off. Hoping to have time to get it turned back on tomorrow--having it turned off is unnerving to me.

I've been pestering the hell out of them asking if I can keep my gallbladder in a jar. I want to be like an Egyptian pharoah of yore. They say it's unlikely, but they'll see what they can do. I'll be pretty sad if I don't. I'm also just interested in seeing what it looks like. Furthermore, it is (or was, I should say) part of me. I'd like to keep it even if it's no longer attached to me.

(5 Honeycombs | Make honey)

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010
1:23 am - Surgery
So, I'm having my gallbladder out Thursday afternoon. I'll stay in the hospital until Friday so they can monitor my condition. The surgery is laparoscopic, with four small incisions. I have to get my stimulator turned off beforehand and back on again afterwards.

I'm a bit stressed, but hoping that this will help me feel better in the long run.

I will keep you all updated on how I'm doing.

(4 Honeycombs | Make honey)

Friday, June 4th, 2010
6:50 pm - Surgery
I have to have my gall bladder out before I go to France. I had a really bad attack on Wednesday, for which I thought I was going to have to go the ER (fortunately, it stopped after about 20 minutes) and we don't want to get to a situation where I am in a foreign country and needing surgery.

I'm going to see the surgeon on Tuesday, and the plan is to have the surgery a week from today, if we can make it. That gives me about a week and a half before I leave for my trip--cutting it a bit close. I'm not sure what else to do though. I am annoyed and somewhat stressed about the scheduling of it all, and also somewhat annoyed at some of the logistics--you know, my scars from my last surgery are JUST starting to look good. I'm also amused at the fact that I cannot seem to avoid having surgeries lately. I've had some kind of surgery every year since 2007.

I'm also going to have to miss about a week of work, and I'm really pissed about that, because I'm feeling like I'm JUST starting to get the hang of all the protocols and everything. (Plus, of course, I'm really enjoying my job and don't want to stop.)

Gall bladder removal is a pretty safe, common procedure, and they usually do it laparoscopically.

There is so much to do beforehand. I really need to clean my apartment. Sigh.

If any local people would like to keep me company during my recovery and help out with walking Ray and stuff, it would be very much appreciated.

(4 Honeycombs | Make honey)

Sunday, May 30th, 2010
5:18 pm - Sengis
Here is your daily dose of nozz.

(3 Honeycombs | Make honey)

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
8:52 am - Good fiction
Here's a request: good books. I haven't read for pleasure in awhile. It's something I used to do constantly, but I got out of the habit. Does anyone have any recommendations? I'd like something that's thought-provoking, not fluffy, but easy to read. Something I can really sink my teeth into and enjoy.

(12 Honeycombs | Make honey)

Thursday, May 6th, 2010
8:09 pm - One year ago today
I woke up early and drove to CPMC with Evan and my parents. I checked in and put on a silly cloth gown. They walked me down a hall to a very cold room. They put me on a bed and I went to sleep. They cut me open and put an electrical device into me to attempt to shock my stomach into motion.

It worked.

And here I am today.

current mood: introspective

(10 Honeycombs | Make honey)

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
8:48 pm - [Jewelry post] Fusing away

Earrings that match the necklace posted earlier.

London blue topaz, fused fine silver, and sterling silver findings. That one stone cost $25. The swirly texture is kinda fun.

Erk, terrible picture, sorry. Fused fine silver, amber, and spinel.

More shots of the same things, because I am anal-retentive about this stuffCollapse )

(Make honey)

1:02 pm - Feria Urbana
For those of you who are local, I'm going to be a part of Feria Urbana this Friday (just in time for mother's day). It's part of the Oakland Art murmur, will be from 6:00-9:30 PM at the New Parish, located at 579 18th St (at San Pablo). I'd love it if you could stop by.

Here's an example of some of the new stuff I'll have:

Fused fine silver, white topaz, iolite and aquamarine.

(8 Honeycombs | Make honey)

Monday, April 26th, 2010
12:23 am - I wish I had a boyfriend
So I could ask him to buy me this starfish locket. It's so pretty.

I suppose it's just as well I don't though. It's got a magnetic clasp--I'm not supposed to be around magnets, because they can interfere with my pacer.

(Make honey)

Sunday, April 25th, 2010
11:46 pm - RIP Alicia
Alicia Parlette, who was diagnosed at 23 with a rare cancer, died the other day. She was 28. She chronicled her struggled and I followed it the whole time. She was a terrific writer, and I know from personal experience how incredibly difficult it can be to openly discuss one's health. Her story made a huge impact on many people's lives, and it won't be forgotten. Rest in peace, Alicia.

current mood: sad

(1 Honeycomb | Make honey)

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010
5:21 pm - Weight/health
Steady as she goes. 99 lbs. Weighed myself last week and today. I feel like I've been eating more, so I'm a little frustrated that it's not sticking. I guess I just need to keep it up.

It'd be so awesome if I could gain 5 lbs.

My symptoms have actually been pretty good lately. I've only needed to take dilaudid 2x in the past week, and Zofran 3x, I think. It's coming up a year on my surgery date, I'm sure I'll have more reflections on that soon.

(Make honey)

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010
11:06 pm - A joke
A physics professor and his assistant are working on liberating negatively-charged hydroxyl ions, when all of a sudden, the assistant says, "Wait, professor, what if the salicylic acids do not accept the hydroxyl ions?" And the professor responds, "That's no hydroxyl ion; that's my wife!"

(3 Honeycombs | Make honey)

Friday, April 9th, 2010
3:31 pm - It's bee season
Coming home from class, I saw these kinds of bees:
--Anthrophora urbana (lots)
And a giant osmia.

I miss my thesis.

(Make honey)

Sunday, April 4th, 2010
5:43 pm - [Jewelry post] Fusing, chain, and some thoughts
Here's some metalwork I've done recently.

Unisex rubber and sterling silver bracelet. I love this design.

Bubble tea earrings. Fused.

More earringsCollapse )

I've been seriously considering raising my prices. I've said this before, and I've raised them a tiny bit since I started, but I REALLY MEAN IT THIS TIME. Materials costs keep rising, and at this point, it is barely worth it for me, in terms of the time and energy I put into it. It's not sustainable, and I've considered stopping. I'm always worried that if I charge more, people won't but it, but I see a lot of stuff that doesn't use my quality of materials, that goes for two or sometimes three times what I charge. At this point, I'm amassed quite a bit of experience and training, and I wonder if by charging such low prices, if I'm not devaluing myself as a craftsperson. On the other hand, I'd like my stuff to be affordable for students, or other people who don't have a lot of income. Any input, friends?

(15 Honeycombs | Make honey)

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