According to Tim: 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Some Good News
My mom came home from the hospital today. Yesterday, she had a defibrillator and pacemaker implanted. It's good to have her home, even though she has been sleeping most of the time. But she needs it. We did have a little scare, but it was a just a side effect from one of the meds she was on. We goes for a follow up next week as well as a meeting with the transplant team (this is only a last resort). She was told it will take 6-8 months to know whether or not the drugs are working. So we are praying for the best.

Now the not so bad stuff
I haven't had a good night sleep for over a week now. But that should get better now.

My notebook computer is a expensive paperweight now. I need to buy a new one. So James or Andy, if you have any suggestions I'd be glad to hear them.

I took a practice MCAT on Sunday. My score improved over the diagnostic I took, but I'm still below my original score on the official test. So more studying. Fun.

And because of the events of last week I'm foregoing the drink of the week. Next week expect something good.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Update on My Mom
We were told that my mom could come home today, but things have changed. The drugs have not been too effective in controlling her arrhythmia. Because of this, she is going to spend the weekend in the hospital then be transferred to Washington Medical Center on Monday. There they are going to put in a defibulator. This will hopefully control the arrhythmia. We knew this was coming, just no one thought it would be this soon. She continues to be optimistic and so do the doctors. But the road to recovery is still a long hard journey.

But in all this no one has questioned why. I'm talking about the metaphysical "why" that places blame on God. I think we all realize that this is part of some divine plan. But we have questioned how it happened. My mom exercises like crazy, diets and keeps track of herself. It just doesn't make sense that this happened to her. Even the doctors don't have an answer. If only the "how" was answered then I think I could start having some closure and peace of mind.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

There is some good news today about my mom. She was moved out of the critical care ward and on to a normal cardiac floor. She is up and moving about. She is being constantly monitored by telemetry. So no bulky machines are physically attached to her. She just needs to wear a transmitter and she can be tracked throughout the hospital. There is even a possibility that she could be released by the end of the week, which means she gets to come home. Unfortunately, we are not out of the woods yet. We won't know anything definite for several more months. But she is really optimistic about everything. She keeps reminding everyone that this is not a death watch or death sentence. It is just a hurdle to get over. And in typical fashion, she is not following the rules. She was told to limit her visitors. Well, that hasn't happen. Every time I go in has been a party. Which I think is really good for her. She is always surrounded by friends and family. And before people leave, they stop and pray over her. It is really something special. Even I the emotionless one have been moved (sometime to tears). So for everyone that is thinking about us and praying for us, I just want to say thanks and ask that you keep at it. It really is an encouragement for us. I'm just thankful to be with a group of people who care this much.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

And it continues...
On the advice of my parents I went to class last night and today. But my mind was not focused on my studies. That's what happens when your mom is in the hospital. She as cardiomyopathy. Her heart is enlarged and weak. They are continuing to give her medicine in the hopes that it strengthen the muscle and increase its pumping activity. If this condition is hereditary, I'm going to have to go for tests. But we'll see. I'm just trying to keep positive.

Monday, February 16, 2004

From Good to Terrible
The Good
This weekend started off on a good note, except for the 3 hours of sitting in traffic as I try to go to Messiah. But I finally made it and saw Vikki. We went to a good restaurant on Friday and walked around Harrisburg for awhile. Then back to her place where we met up with everyone else for ghetto tripoly. Saturday was an interesting trip to see my grandfather. Even he claims that my mother is a nut. The scary thing is I may be the only sane member of this family. Oh well. But 2.5 hours of drinking at the Outback was great. Good food, good booze and good friends. What more could you ask for.

The Terrible
To every Yin there is a Yang. I returned home on Saturday and went directly to bed. At about 4/4:30 my dad woke me up and said he was taking my mom to the hospital. Well, that was no good. I was told to go to church and class as usual and I would be posted. During one of the breaks, I received a call from my dad. He said my mom has congestive heart failure. The normal heart pumps at about 60% of its capacity; my mom's was at 10%. They don't know why since she is healthy otherwise. Her heart is just weak. So she is being kept there for a few days for observations and medication. To make matters worse, in my class we talked about the heart and circulatory system the entire time. So my mind was racing. But they are saying things are going to be all right. She just needs to make a few life style changes and she should be able to do everything as before. We are all praying things work out as well as the doctors say.

Drink of the Week
Because of the trying weekend I had I figure a drink that would easy my mind would be appropriate.

Mind Eraser
0.75 oz. Kahlua
1.25 oz. Vodka
1 oz. Tonic Water

1. Fill a rocks glass with ice
2. Add Kahlua and Vodka
3. Top with Tonic
4. Stir slightly
5. Drink with a straw in one shot.

Bonus Drink
This one is for Jimmy.

Bubble Gum

1.5 oz. Vodka
1.5 oz. Banana Liqueur
1.5 oz. Peach Schnapps
1.5 oz. Orange Juice

1. Fill a shaker with ice.
2. Add all the ingredients
3. Shake
4. Pour into shot glasses. (Makes 4 shots)

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

The Night from Hell
My mother finally found out about the bat. But that's not even the half of it. Our furnace gave out, so we placed an emergency call in. The guy came out fixed it and cleaned some stuff. After he left, then my mom came home and complained that something was burning. So a call went back to the repairman and he traveled all the way back here. He fixed the problem then left. This was about 11:30. I'm trying to get to bed because I have to be at work early, but that didn't matter. My mom started to complain about the bat and she was scared, so my dad went to the basement to find it. My brother went with him. My mom made me sit up with her because the bat was going to eat her. This was all over by 1 AM. Don't forget I had to be at work at 7:30. I finally got to sleep. But the night was not over. At around 3:30 G. Scott starts screaming (very reminiscent of Ryan Watson's screaming when his legs cramped freshman year). That was last night.

Work and boredom
The fun continued today at work. I was late for work because of traffic, but I was in before anyone else. I had to run HPLC (don't ask) to purify a dye conjugate for my project. I could only inject small volumes (10 -100 microliters) dye at a time. Each run takes 40 minutes to complete; I had about 2-5mL of dye. You do the math. I was interrupted and a visiting researcher bumped me to do the same thing with his prep. He came in at noon and I had done only a handful of runs. So I went to my office to wait until he was finished, which didn't happen until I was leaving for the day. So I have to do the whole thing over again on Friday as soon as I get in. But it did give me time to do some homework. At least something was accomplished.

By the way, we had an exterminator come for the bat. The bat apparently left the same way it came in. The exterminator sealed the probable entry. And that was that. And Scott was having back spasms last night that are still continuing. As long as I get some sleep tonight, I should be fine considering I deal with the brilliant minds of Towson tomorrow.

Mindless Fun
Smack the Penguin

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Friday Night, Ed and Long Distance Phone Calls
I just want to clear up something about last Friday night and the whole Ed thing. I was hesitant about doing this favor for everyone because I didn't want to run up someone's phone bill. Excuse me for being conscience to plight of the poor college student!! Now that that is said...

My New Job
Apparently I have a new job. I am now a caterer. I had to deliver food to my mother and her friends tonight so that they wouldn't have to leave the office and get right to the card playing. I cook, set the table, deliver and clean up. Anyone hiring?

Our New Pet
After visiting my mother and the card game, I returned home for dinner and a surprise visitor. We discovered we have a bat flying around in the basement. We have no idea how it got there or how to get it out. I know what you are thinking, "You're a biologist. You should be able to take care of this with no problem." There is a problem. I only work with two types of organisms: prokaryotes and humans. For those of you who don't know generally prokaryotes are bacteria. So I'm open to ideas...if you have any.

In light of all that has happen, I proudly bring to you...
The Drink of the Week
This week's drink is a tribute to that "holiday" at the end of the week. For those of you not dating I'm referring to "Singles Awareness Day" or to the rest of the world "Valentine's Day" (Yes, I'm being all inclusive). So this week's drink is...

The Kiss
1.5 oz. Vodka
0.5 oz. Chocolate liqueur
0.25 oz. Cherry liqueur
0.75 oz. Heavy cream

1. Fill the mixing glass with ice
2. Add vodka, chocolate liqueur, cherry liqueur and cream
3. Shake
4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass

It would be nice to garnish this drink with a strawberry.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Can't we just get rid of the stupid people?
I'm always amazed about how much of an idiot my brother is. For instance, I've been taking care of our neighbor's pets for the week. Today, I had class until 9:00pm and didn't get home until after 10. He was asked to take care of the animals for me tonight. The only thing he did was to bring the dog over here. He didn't even feed her or the cat. So when I got home, I sat down to eat dinner and I find out no one has fed the animals. The dog begins to prance because she has to go out. So he took the dog out but refused to feed her. So I had hurry up and eat, brave the bad weather and take the dog home and feed her. All because my brother is a moron. There should be laws against people like him.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Road Conditions
In true fashion, the only thing we have is ice. Wonderful black ice. And I fell victim to it last night, literally. I was walking over to let the neighbor's dog out. Slipped on a patch of ice and fell on my bad hip. So I've been sore all day. Then this afternoon I slipped on the same patch, but I did not go down.

Fun and Games
I spent the majority of the night teaching my mother how to play tripoly. And surprisingly she picked it up pretty fast. The game combines rummy, hearts and poker. It's a good game, but then again I never pick a bad game.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

You know what happens to liars...
...They get jobs doing the weather on TV. We were promised a big snow storm for today, and do you think we got it? No! Wait, that's not just a no, but a Hell No!! I was hoping not to have class today. Frankly, everyone including the professor didn't feel like being in class. But we went on with the lecture and recitation. On the bright side, I did come up with a really good analogy for the immune system. If you want to know what it is just ask.

Money and Games
I think I am single handedly keeping American Express in business. I have spent over $100 on games from a store that is closing. And everything has gone on my AmEx card. But you know what? They are really fun games, including 3 "How to host a Murder" sets. If you have never participated in one of these mystery parties, I highly recommend that you do sometime. They are not the cheesy type as seen on "Ed". Ask Vikki (or Ryan Watson (if anyone gets ahold of him let me know)), she'll tell you how fun they are.

And now, what you all have been waiting for...

The Drink of the Week
This weeks drink is the...
Little Purple Men

1 oz. Sambuca
1 oz. Chambord

Pour the sambuca and Chambord in a brandy snifter. That's it.

In honor of James' recent blogs on quantum physics and such, I thought this drink follows nicely. It has been reported that after consuming 2 or more these will result in seeing little purple men.