May 28, 2015

Seven More Things You Don't Realize Until You're Engaged

May 26, 2015

Everything has Changed

May 23, 2015

The Great Unprofessional Career Fair:
Kiersten the Paralegal

May 22, 2015

Dealing with Rejection

May 20, 2015

A Firsthand Account of the Fatal Nepal Earthquakes

The picture above was taken on April 7, 2015, in Vienna before the Slovak expedition team departed for Kathmandu, Nepal. Miki is third from the right holding his 15 month old son, Dani.

A lot of the stories I tell on this blog are silly nonsense. This is not one of them.
This is the story of my best friend, Erika's, cousin Miki, a mountain expedition guide who climbs mountains all over the world. On April 25, 2015, Miki was climbing Makalu, the fifth highest mountain in the world located south of Mount Everest in the Mahalangur Himalayas on the border between Nepal and China. April 25, 2015, is also the day of the Gorkha earthquake, a massive earthquake in Nepal that killed more than 8,000 people and injured more than 19,000.

When Erika texted me in April worried about her cousin who was stuck on the side of the mountain, waiting for rescuers who would hopefully save him from becoming one of the 8,000, I was terrified for her. Luckily, Miki and his team lived to tell their story about the horrific event. The story below was first published on Miki's blog, and has been translated from Slovak by Erika for my U.S. readers.


May 18, 2015

Six Not-Pinterested Approved Ways to Cope With Stress

May 11, 2015

The Accident

The first thing that you should know is that the title of this post is a total lie; there was no accident.

In fact, I paid nearly $200 of my own hard earned money to have someone deliberately do this to me.

You see, even though I'm only 24, I still get that womanly urge to make myself feel younger. You know, that little tickle of delight when someone cards me at Applebee's. And this weekend was no exception; I got all sorts of aging-lady thrills from getting my wisdom teeth removed, something most of my friends did a decade ago.

Because I'm a weenie who doesn't like needles, drills, or those horrendous pointy dentist things, I opted for general anesthesia for the removal of my four impacted wisdom teeth. And it was a great decision, let me tell you.

The only downside was that I needed to get an IV stuck in my arm. But even then, immediately after the needle prick, the nurse called my mom back to the waiting area with me and told her that I "was so brave." It was like that ego boost you used to get as a kid at the doctor's office after you only cried a little bit after getting your tetanus shot.

(Sadly, however, there was no prize box or stickers this time for my job well done.)

My mom and I chatted in the waiting area as they pumped me with "something that's like Gatorade" until about half an hour later, when I was strapped onto a stretcher in my surgical gown. After I was pinned down, my anesthesiologist told me that he was giving me "something that will make you relax." The last thing I remember is my nurse singing softly in my ear about pina coladas.

And then I was awake.

I've never had surgery before, so the anesthesia was a really wild experience; the first thing I asked when I opened my eyes is, "Is it over?" The second thing I asked was, "Can I have a lozenge?"

Turns out, I could not have a lozenge. Instead, I was asked to rate my pain on a scale from 1-10. I was drowsy but still determined to answer this one question as accurately as possible; I told my nurse I was at about a 2.7

However, I quickly decided that a 2.7 was a bit dramatic for a sore throat (although I would have appreciated that lozenge anyway), so I spent the next 30 seconds in a state of flustered indecision, going back and forth between a 1.6 and around a 2.5, until the nurse suggested that I close my eyes and try to relax a bit.

So I did for about five minutes, until I woke back up again, really wishing I had that lozenge. I didn't ask for it again out loud, but I did give my nurse "the look," hoping that she remembered my request and that I was at approximately 2.3 on the pain scale, after all.

She didn't give me a lozenge, but she did give me some applesauce topped with an oxycodone. Which was nice for several reasons: I was starving from not eating all day and the oxycodone made me just loopy enough that when I got in the car, I wasn't too bothered by what I saw in the mirror.

In fact, I was so loopy that I had no problem sending that selfie up there to my fiance.

Now, normally Derrick appreciates any picture of me but I think this time he was only being nice; this selfie was horrifying. I had red marks from all the tubes they taped to me (some of which were covered with neosporin), dried blood in my right nostril and the corners of my mouth, which was a shade or two darker than the wet blood goozing out of my newly-unoccupied sockets.

Overall, I can't say the experience was really worth feeling 15 again but thanks to my mom, it certainly wasn't as bad as it could have been. There's just something about homemade soup and jello that warms your heart, even when you can't move your jaw.

Strong opiates aren't the worst things in the world either, though.

May 09, 2015

The Great Unprofessional Career Fair: Haley the Pharmacy Technician

May 06, 2015

This Is for the Runners

May 04, 2015

Are My Wedding Colors Ugly?

May 01, 2015

Abusive and Neglectful

That's how I would describe my relationship with blogging this week.

I've been neglectful, ignoring that my blog exists for all but an hour and a half. And when I do acknowledge it, I use it to tell stories like the one I'm about to tell. Somewhat suspenseful, exceedingly anticlimactic, and otherwise pointless stories like this.

(Abusive, I know.)

A little background on the events that are about to unfold: If you think back to third grade, when you were assigned a two page, double-spaced report on the life of Harriet Tubman, you might remember that you had to include a bibliography at the end. That dreaded list of books and websites, filled with "Sherman, Willis B."s and punctuation that didn't make sense.

Well, that sort of thing also happens in Patent World. It's called an Information Disclosure Statement, also known as an "IDS."

You see, for every patent, you have to submit a list of all the references that are relevant to your invention. A grown-up bibliography, if you will. The number of references you cite varies significantly with the invention; sometimes it's two or three, sometimes it's 20 or 30.

Sometimes, it's 300.

Yes, sadly, I found myself Monday faced with about seven folders filled with scientific journal articles that I needed to cite for a patent I'm working on. Seven folders filled with 300+ "Sherman, Willis B."s. (Or, if we're being honest, seven folders filled with 300+ "Wei, Zhang"s.)

Basically, I started my week with the first of 300+ articles which I needed to download, one at a time, from a website designed in 1995, and then cite correctly on an IDS.

To be honest, it wasn't that bad; once I got a system set up, and I moved fairly quickly through the list. And it was also pretty mindless, so I was able to listen to Mike and Mike podcasts while I downloaded, cited, and repeated.

Repeated. Repeated. Repeated. Repeated.


But although it wasn't horrible, you can imagine my relief when, at 4:30 Thursday evening, I downloaded the last Zhang Wei from folder seven. Sweet, sweet relief. Now, all I needed to do was transfer the articles associated with my list of 305 references to a shared folder so someone could submit them to the Patent Office.

Except there were only 297 files in the folder.

Luckily, my office door was closed because that moment may have been filled with more expletives than the Wolf of Wall Street. Then I banged my head on the keyboard and, literally, shed tears of pure, tired, 5-PM-and-I'm-hungry frustration.

Because I was going to have to go back through 305 references and see which ones I missed. Or maybe it was 297 references? I had no idea, hence the f-bombs and ugly lady tears.

But then, Jesus Himself whispered in my ear, "Check to make sure your list is numbered correctly." Okay, maybe it wasn't Jesus. But it was a miracle because when I did check my list, I realized quickly that Microsoft Word had inexplicably decided to skip over a few numbers. As in, my list skipped from 14 to 16, then 31 to 33.

Basically, Windows was just effing with me.

But the bright side was that a few elementary school level counting tricks later, my list was numbered correctly with 297 references. If ever there was an appropriate time to use the handless salsa lady emoji, that moment was then.

I have no good segue for this so, I'll just say it: This is the end of my story. And there's really no point to it besides to curse Microsoft and its questionable numbering. That, and so I could post this:

Happy Friday.
No, but seriously. Happy. Mother Effing. Friday.