Thursday, September 9, 2010

Update on Miss Lils

I am happy to report that Miss Lily is doing great!  She is 10 days post op and had her first full meal of her regular diet tonight.  She ate all of it, a little slower than usual but she did finish it.  She is still on pain medication and is still taking three different antibiotics as well as pepcid.  She will be done with some of those meds by the end of the weekend.
Yesterday I removed her e-collar while I could watch her because she got her bone and wanted to chew on it, she can't chew it with the collar on and looked pretty pitiful when she couldn't.  Today in the time it took me to go to the bathroom she was barking at someone outside, I of course rushed to get her back inside.  I am sure whoever it was, was terrified of the silly looking dog with the satellite dish on her head!  I am hoping she can have her staples out this weekend after she has her recheck with her doctor.
I am much more optimistic that she will do well now and am only mildly nervous and worried as opposed to terrified for her well being.
Thanks to all who have offered their love and support.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Update on Lily.

So Miss Lily got to come home last night.  She ate when she got here, out of my hand I think she may be getting spoiled.  This morning she ate out of her bowl.  She is really happy to be at home.  The dog pack is happy to be back together again.  Suki gained some weight hanging out in the hospital with Lily all week so she is going to need some exercise.  Lily got to sleep all night (well six hours, before she had to eat and take medicine) with no one bugging her, and she is brighter today because of it.  She is still on a ton of meds, and she is not completely out of the woods but I am definitely more hopeful rather than scared (but still a little scared).  I feel like I dodged a bullet with this.  I managed to get sick since I have been not getting sleep and doing school and work.  So tomorrow we will spend the day together. Here is a picture of her in her bed.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Update on Lily

Just wanted to post a quick update on Lily.  She looks a little brighter today and is happy to see me when I am there.  She had to have a fresh frozen plasma transfusion early on Thursday morning to help with her low protein and it also has great anti-inflammatory qualities.  She is still on three different types of fluids, three antibiotics, pepcid, and anti vomiting meds (all injectable).  Her pain is finally well controlled and she has just started taking one oral medication. She has not had any vomiting but is still refusing to eat. Her prognosis is still guarded, and all is not perfect.  I am still really scared and am trying to spend as much time with her as possible.  I have had very minimal sleep and food but it is worth it to lay in the dog run and take little naps with my Lils.  It was great today to wake up and rub her belly and feel her stretch with contentment.  I will keep updating this so you all know what is going on.  Thanks to all that have offered their love and support, it means alot.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

You Need a Kleenex, but I Promise it's a Happy Ending(so far)

So for the last couple of months Lily has been intermittently vomiting.  Now at my house this is not a big deal nor a tragedy.  Vomit happens when you have 4 dogs and 3 cats.  The rules are: as long as the said vomiter continues to eat, acts normal, does not have diarrhea and the vomiting does not become excessive, little attention is paid to the vomiting.
Well Sunday night while I was at work Lily broke one of the rules; she was vomiting excessively.  She vomited 8 times in a couple of hours.  So she saw  Dr. Turner, and had blood-work (normal) and radiographs (pretty normal), she got a couple of injections and instructions on oral meds and such.  We went home and went to bed, I was exhausted after working all weekend and nervous about the Fall semester starting the next day.  Monday morning I woke up and expected Lily to bounce out of the bed and come eat breakfast and be fine.  None of that happened.  She did not bounce and when I made her go outside, she just lay in front of the door and most alarming she had zero interest in eating anything. Worried, I headed off to my first day of school worried about my dog.  I came home and she was very depressed, would hardly get up and as she came out of the office, she regurgitated water all over the floor at my feet.
Next step, back to the hospital.  She saw Dr. Ramirez and  at that time, had an elevated heart rate (180) and was showing a pain response upon abdominal palpation.  Dr. Ramirez decided it was time to start her on IV fluids, anti-vomiting injections, acid reducers and antibiotics. She was also scheduled for a cardiac echo and abdominal ultrasound with Dr. Melmed on Tuesday.  I helped get her started on all of this stuff and then went home to sleep as I had to start my clinical rotation at the hospital on Tuesday morning, (despite being very worried about Lily, I had a great time). I called and checked on her before I went to bed Monday night and she was basically the same if not more depressed.  Tuesday morning before I went to clinic my phone inquiry turned up more of the same.  As soon as I got home from clinic duty I called again, her echo had been done, her heart looked great however, her abdominal ultrasound was disturbingly inconclusive.  Her stomach was dilated and had alot of fluid in it, she had an enlarged lymph node and several areas of her small intestines were dilated and had thick walls.  Dr. Melmed didn't find any obvious tumors and no obvious foreign body. Lily was still very depressed but had not regurgitated anymore despite the manipulation during her ultrasound.  Dr. Ramirez said that the next step was to do an abdominal exploratory (for the medically uninclined that is exactly what it sounds like, you open the abdomen and explore) or try conservative treatment for another 24 hours and see what happens.  At this point she was worried about some kind of GI cancer that would be hard to see with the ultrasound or x-rays.
So here is what I was faced with at this point.  Something had to be done, when I got to the hospital on Tuesday afternoon Lily was miserable.  She would barely lift her head to say hello to me and was urinating where she lay.  She was extremely depressed and painful.  The last time Lily had general anesthesia she was unable to walk on her own for about 36 hours due to her myelopathy ( nerve disorder affecting her spinal cord, causing generalized weakness in her hind end that makes her gait awkward, lovingly so of course).  Plus Lily is 11 years old, has chronic Ehrlichiosis that keeps her white blood cell (the cells that fix you when you are sick) count low, has had ACL repair (think football running backs) on both knees, back surgery and is allergic/sensitive to a bunch of drugs. Do I let her stay on treatment that isn't working so great and see what happens, leaving Lily to spend what could be her last day on this earth in a cage away from me? Do I cut her open, to see what is going on in her belly and possibly have to euthanize her on the surgery table if she has some sort of cancer?  Do I let her go to surgery and if there is something bad wake her up and take her home and euthanize her there?  This decision had to be made while I was hysterical with grief.
Luckily Dr. Turner was there for me to tell me what she would do if Lily were her dog (and also what Dr. Ramirez already told me she would do), and that was to take her to surgery, open her up and if there was something bad and unfix-able we would euthanize her on the table.  So I took her into an exam room with her fluids, Suki and a bed for all of us.  We lay there like three spoons in a drawer for 3 hours while we waited our turn for surgery saying goodbye to the best dog that ever was.  Any dog owner will know how hard this is, and anyone who knows Lily and myself on a personal level knows how especially hard this was for me.  I thought about all the times Lily was there for me when I was sad.   I told her thank you for all the times she shared my joy and wallowed with me in misery, with her calm quiet wonderful demeanor.
I thought about the first time I laid my eyes on Lily, she was the ugliest/cutest thing I had ever seen.  She was 6 weeks old, and had a dog bite wound on her face which was how I ended up with her. She had a  giant pot belly that was so round and pink and soft. Her foot pads were pink with adorable black freckles on them.  The dog bite wound on her face was swollen but her red freckled nose was adorable. She looked like a soft pink and white piglet.  As we lay there, I promised her I would always remember when she was new.
I thought about and reminded Lily of our many adventures, like the time we drove cross country with My friend Martin and his two rottweilers Buddy and Lady, we spent 24 hours in a car three fun filled days in St. Louis (Martin and I into trouble and drunk and Lily diving and swimming in the pool with Buddy) then the 24 hour drive back.  Martin had to leave his dogs in St. Louis which was sad and consequently, the reason for the trip. Lily kept him company all the way home while he was grieving.  We used to go to the dog beach pretty regularly and sometimes the nude beach where Lily would catch her Frisbee for hours and enjoy her favorite past time, sunbathing.  She kept me protected on my 2 mile walks to work every morning in Long Beach California as well as keeping me company at work all day.  She tolerated countless foster dogs and cats over the years without complaint.  She moved with me to Texas in an over crowded, noisy moving van (another 24 hour marathon no stop trip) also without complaint.
When it was our time to go to surgery I held her in a giant hug and tried not to be too upset because that freaks her out.  I was pretty unsuccessful at that.  I went into the kitchen at the hospital to wait for Lily's fate.  about 30 minutes later I was told that she had a foreign body in her pylorus (the end of the stomach before it enters the small intestine) that extended to her duodenum (first part of the small intestine).  It was a piece of a stupid rope bone that was thrown away a month ago.  That's right my crazy stoic pit bull has had a fairly large piece of a rope bone stuck in her stomach for a month.  This was exceptionally good news considering the circumstances.  We were still unsure as to weather she would be able to walk and the site where the surgery was performed was pretty bad, lots of ulcerations.  It will probably heal but we are no where near out of the woods yet.
After 4 hours of sleep I am here at the hospital sitting in the dog run with Lily, Suki, this laptop and my coffee typing out this blog.  Lily is doing great so far.  She got up on her own and walked outside, she is maintaining her temperature and seems as close to pain free as you can get after major abdominal surgery. The important thing is she is right here next to me and I can touch her anytime I want.  She will have some blood-work later in the day and we will go from there.  The hope is she just continues to improve and can go home this weekend.  I will post updates here for all to see as well as on the facebook.
Looks pretty comfy right?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Life as a Hermit

Over the past couple of months I have really embraced my inner hermit.  At first it just extended to my physical body not going anywhere, I quit going to the dog park, only go to the store if I have to, I get all my shopping done at the same time so that I don't have to leave the house more.  I have been doing this for awhile now, and it seems to work for me.  I get to have some rest and relaxation between school and work.  Now it has become problematic, well maybe problematic, maybe not. Now I have stopped reaching out from the house at all, I don't talk on the phone, I don't write in my blog, I don't look at my Facebook or email unless I have to for professional reasons.  I thought at first I might be depressed but after some careful soul searching I have decided I am not, I am perfectly content to be by myself 90% of the time.  Being social is work, sometimes fun work but most of the time it requires showering and making sure you have clothes on.  I have been living in this sleep shirt with the New York Rangers on it that is 20 years old, it is the most comfortable piece of clothing I own. I am reminded of the scene in Mr. Mom where Terry Garr tells Micheal Keaton his flannel shirt could stand up by itself.  I am thinking that once this oppressive heat ends I will want to be out more and at least hit the dog park a couple times a week, but we will see.  I am done worrying about my self confinement and am going to embrace it.  Maybe I will find some more stuff to blog about but I don't know not much happening around here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Revised Academic Plan

Sorry I haven't been blogging (some of you may not care).  I have been really busy with school and home and also have become a little like a hermit.  I haven't wanted to go out, or talk to anyone on the phone, or leave the house at all really.  I was beginning to become a little disturbed about this however, after some thought I ceased to worry about it.  I think it is a defense mechanism.  I feel a little overwhelmed with school and work so any minuscule amount of free time I want to spend that time on my couch in my pajamas relaxing.  It takes a large amount of energy on my part to socialize so I am more relaxed keeping to myself and the company of the dogs and my TV.
Anyway, I have started my RT program at school and am already learning quite a bit about how to take care of humans and how the giant bureaucratic hospitals work.  In the Fall I will start going to the hospital from 7:30am until 4 pm on Tuesday and Thursday and getting hands on training, I was really nervous about this at first but now I am kind of excited.  I can't wait to meet some new people and learn about my newly chosen profession.
The title of this is "Revised Academic Plan"  so I guess I will get to it.  Part of one of my classes is learning about what is available to us after we get through these classes and become licensed radiographers.  Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls Texas offers an online program to receive a Bachelors of Radiologic Sciences(BSRS).  I already have many of the classes needed to go towards this degree and have decided to finish this out instead of getting a BA in biology.  Because the classes are online I will be able to do my new job and whatever hours go along with that and get these done at the same time.  Of course while this is going on I will be pursuing additional licencing requirements for Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and possibly Cardiovascular Intervention (CV).  MSU also offers a Master Degree in one of three disciplines that have to do with the Radiologic Sciences.  Education, or the teaching of RT programs ,management of the RT's at a hospital (which I have no desire to do), and finally you can get a Master of Science in Radiologic Assistance, this is the one I want so I can become a Radiologist Assistant or RA.  RA's get to do some really cool stuff like, perform fluoroscopic exams (this is real time x-ray), manage patients and make preliminary evaluations of images for the Radiologist.  The coolest part of this plan?  When I am done and I become "Cassandra Haskins M.S.R.A., RA, B.S.R.S. RT (R),(CT),(MR),(CV)"  That is ALOT of letters behind my name, which in and of itself is pretty cool but the really great part is that RA's make on average 120,000 dollars a year.  I could go for that.
The hard part is that the masters program for RA's is highly competitive and very limited.  So I have to maintain my GPA as well as be a really good RT once I start and probably get on the good side of some of the Radiologists I will be working with so they can write letters of recommendation, and be a proctor for me if I do get in........should be a piece of cake right?

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Well I finally did it!  I am in the Radiologic Technologist program at TCC.  I got my acceptance letter today.  This has been a long journey and I am happy, and terrified that I finally did it.  It started last summer with the scramble to get all of my pre-requisites done.  I had to take Anatomy and Physiology I in the summer which was a huge undertaking in and of itself. In the Fall more Anatomy and Physiology among other classes.  But they are all done and I start the program June 1st.  I am elated and terrified at the same time.  Elated that I actually got in and will finally start on the road I have been trying to get to soon.  Terrified about the unknown future.  I have been a Veterinary Technician for 15 years and it is part of who I am.  I don't want to brag but I am really good at it.  I only wish I could make enough money to be comfortable without having to work 60+ hours a week.  It will be scary going to a field that I know some stuff about but not the most about.  I am also a little scared of the humans, although I am sure I will be fine.  I feel unsure about my other goals right now as well.  I had planed on getting my BA in Biology and then on to a graduate degree in some discipline of biology but I am feeling a little overwhelmed right now and I am trying not to think about it.  Starting this summer I will have to be in class at 7:30 am....I am already grumpy!  I hope I don't have to sit next to a morning person in class. I haven't had to be up that early everyday in a long time.  Anyway I thought I would post this monumental achievement as I am pretty proud of myself right now.  I only wish my Daddy were here to see and celebrate. Thank you everyone that told me I needed to go back to school, everyone who put up with my grumpy butt because I was tired, my sister for getting and keeping me out of financial trouble and all of my friends and family that continue to give their encourage and support.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Great Kitchen Debacle 2010

Several months ago I noticed something amiss in my kitchen. The floor right in front of my sink had a little rise in it as it came up to the cabinet. I checked under the sink supposing there may be a leak….there wasn't. I being very busy and not all that savvy about things like this thought it was just the house shifting, my house was built in 1951 and on Texas soil, which moves around a lot. So I went about my busy life and ignored the floor in the kitchen until the corner in front of the cabinets became squishy and obviously full of water….damn, now what? I called the company that holds my home warranty out and the guy thinks that it is the aerator on my bathroom sink which just so happened to be shooting water down the back of the faucet, where I couldn't see it (brilliant design) he decided that was the leak that was going under my bathroom wall and kitchen cabinets ultimately causing the problem…I myself thought that was a long shot but went along with it anyway.

A couple of days later I talked my dear wonderful friend Jeff into coming over and taking a look at my floor that was by now badly damaged. He pulled up the linoleum to reveal 3 layers of linoleum and the actual wood floor underneath were all wet. He also pulled up the back board inside the cabinet to reveal that in fact the water was coming from across the wall from the bathroom and perhaps over quite a long time the water could have been coming from the sink faucet.

Here is what it looked like after the first time Jeff came over. I lived with it looking like this for 6 weeks.

 It stayed like this for about a month. I put a fan on it to start drying it out so that the floor could get repaired and checked it every time I came and went to work. All was well for 2 days and then I came home and found that the floor that had been getting dry was in fact soaking wet again. I called the plumbers out again and the guy Joey is his name and he works for Recue Rooter Fort Worth, came turned on all the faucets in my bathroom at the same time and stood looking at the wall and inside the cabinet and decided that the water was coming from one of the things he had running in the bathroom and that the entire kitchen wall would have to be torn up to find out where the problem was coming from. Oh and they don't pay for access so not only was I going to have to pay to have my kitchen torn up so they could fix one little leak in the wall I was also going to have to replace my irreplaceable 1950's excellent condition cabinets and tile counter top. I asked if he would be able to better tell exactly where it was coming from if he took a look under the house. In the same "you're an idiot girl" tone he had been using for the entire conversation he told me that it didn't work that way and you can't see, I would have to tear up my kitchen.

After panicking for about 15 minutes I screwed my head on straight and decided to get a second opinion. I called Ernie's plumbing and Terry came out. Terry did something strange, he actually turned on the faucets in the bathroom one at a time and decided pretty quickly, after getting on his knees and actually looking that the water was coming from the faucet in the tub….now we were getting somewhere! He decided that it was the valve behind the hot water knob, since hot water was coming out in the kitchen. He gave me an estimate and then went to work fixing it. As soon as he took the faucet apart he realized that it wasn't the knob that was leaking. Then he did another strange thing. He put on some coveralls and actually crawled under my house, had me turn the water on and determined that the leak was coming from my tub spout. Terry then told me that he would have to knock out some of the tile in my bathroom to get to the tub spout to fix it but then he did another strange thing, when I suggested cutting a hole in the wall inside my kitchen cabinets where no one would see it he instantly told me how smart I was and what a good idea! Now he would have better access to the problem and wouldn't have to tear up my bathroom in the process. Terry fixed the leaking faucet, and after 586$ was on his way. He was an awesome nice guy and did a great job! Thanks Terry from Ernie's Plumbing!

So back went the fan to dry out the mess. After a month of drying out, the floor was ready to be replaced. So, I called Jeff and we talked about the plan. We decided that Spring Break was the time to do it. I was off of school for 3 days and we could tear up the floor and get it back down. I was optimistic Jeff however, has done things like this before and knows the kind of problems you run into along the way especially in 60 year old houses. We made the first of what was to be many trips to the Lowes to get the supplies we would need for the floor. I had to order the vinyl squares that I wanted online because apparently black and white checker board is not in style in Texas. When we went to Lowes we talked to some guy that I have now decided to call jerk face, and he said that we should use what he called floor leveler but what ultimately turned out to be concrete patch(more on this later in the story).

This is what it looked like after Jeff came over to "get some measurements"  I lived with it like this for 10 days.

Day One:

Monday the 15th of March we started on the journey. Jeff went to work tearing up the old wood floor that was damaged and I went about carrying it all outside. There was cutting, sawing and carrying of the wood outside. Then we had to go to Lowes again to get new tar paper to put between the subfloor and the new wood that the floor would go on eventually.

Once the tar paper was down the ¾ inch plywood went on top of it. Here is where it gets interesting. The so called Leveler was supposed to now go on the existing concrete floor in the utility room and was supposed to go over the wood in the kitchen to fill in the little imperfections in the plywood so that we couldn't see them in the finished floor. So we went about trying to do that and to make a long story a little shorter that is not what happened. The first batch was way too thick even though Jeff mixed it according to the label instructions and after we poured it down in the utility room and had a big mess on our hands we were a little more careful about mixing it for the Kitchen. We got that down and Jeff went home for the night, thinking that his stuff was going to be dry by the next morning and we were going to sand it a little and then be able to put the floor down. We were pretty excited and thinking that we might even be done the next day.

Day Two:

When Jeff arrived the next morning, the stuff wasn't dry….at all. So after discovering that the blow dryer made it dry faster we decided we needed a giant floor heater. We went to Lowes, got a few more things we discovered we needed and then went to Home Depot at the advice of the Lowes guy to rent a floor heater. Home Depot didn't have any floor heaters and sent us to Sunbelt rental to get one. We were in Luck they had one. We rented it and headed back to the House with our huge kerosene torpedo in tow. We got it going and got the kitchen up to about 100 degrees in 10 minutes and the floor dry in about 45 minutes.

Now here is where it gets interesting. While I was out on an errand for Jeff, he called me when I was half way home and says we need masks, I was a little scared but turned back to the CVS and got them anyway. When I got back to the house there was a huge dust cloud in the Kitchen that prevented me from seeing the other side. This was by far my favorite part of the project and where the original Lowes guy earned his name of Jerk face. Now everything in my house was covered with a layer of grey dust.
The dust layer in the kitchen...lucky me this is everywhere in the house...although this is by far the worst room.

On top of this we decided that the utility room floor could not be saved and Jeff came up with the idea of putting a wood floor on top of the concrete and then laying the new floor on that. So back to the Lowes we went to get more wood and now more molding and quarter round to finish off the utility room. Lucky for me my other friend Jeff showed up to visit with me and help a little with the floor.

The two Jeffs working together on the utility room floor.

At the end of day two we had both of the floors covered with wood, sanded and the seams filled in.

Day three:

We coated the floor with some kind of latex goo that was supposed to help the vinyl stick better, whatever I guess it did. Once that was dry we started putting the floor tiles down. That was fun in and of itself and seemed to be pretty satisfying after all of the toiling we did on the last two days. By the end of that day we realized that we were not going to be finished and that I would have to take a day off of work to get it done. So I called and got my shift covered and went to bed knowing that we were on the home stretch.

Picture of the moulding /floor goes here.

The molding without the caulk.

Day four:

Jeff slept in, and brought Lisa and Ava with him at about 3 pm.

Cute Baby Ava!!!!!
I had to make yet another trip to Lowes to get some more molding and stuff to finish out the utility room. Jeff worked hard the rest of the day to get the room finished out. Finally at about midnight he was applying the last of the caulk to the molding and it was time to load up the truck and trailer with the many tools he had brought over to do the job. I cannot extend enough thanks to Jeff for sticking through this job until the end. Never once did he get grouchy and kept a wonderful positive attitude through the whole thing. He is my hero! Thanks also to Lisa for doing without him for four days.

Jeff had to custom make some stuff to fit on the thresholds for both utility room doors as they are weird and not standard at all.  He did a great job!
It is still not clean and I am out of time.  I will post some pictures of it when it is cleaned up!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Web Logging

So I am off from school for spring break and thought I would do a web logging! Lucky you. School is going great this semester! I have A's in all of my classes so far and can forsee another 4.0 semester in my future. I love my Biology class and my Biology teacher Dr. Vise…she loves Biology as much as I do and makes it fun to learn, I will for sure take her for Bio II for Majors in the fall. My Comp class sis going great and I have finished 2 papers so far one of them is posted here for you to read and the other is just an annotated Bibliography, kind of a glorified works cited page. Pretty boring to write so I am sure it would be pretty boring to read. My philosophy class is pretty boring which just compounds my idea that I am a biologist and not a philosopher. My American Lit. class is really fun and my professor is great! I am learning a lot about one of my favorite subjects and that is history…I am getting excited about taking my history classes in the summer. I have submitted my application for the radiologic technology program and am nervously waiting to hear whether I got in. The cut off last year was 5.13…this is a weird point system they have where they take your GPA and add bonus points on top of it. As far as I can figure I have a little over 5 points but I am not sure if I am doing it right. I don't know what my competition will be this year so I am trying not to stress on it too much. I will have to just wait and see. I will hear at the end of March whether or not I made it. They choose the top 50 applicants, 30 get in and then the other 20 are alternates, so if someone decides they don't want to go or fail their drug test or background check they put alternates in. I hope I make it in and not on the alternates list. If I don't make it I will just keep plugging along at my AA degree and the core classes for my bachelors degree, get my GPA up through the fall and try again next year. I guess that is it for now, I hope you are all doing well and I will keep you posted on my progress.

Friday, March 5, 2010

House Cleaning Blues.

I can clearly remember the days when my house used to be spotless all the time save for a few dog hairs here and there, and the hairy cat trees that got vacuumed once a month. It wasn't the kind of spotless that some people have, you know those folks that live in a house where you feel like you are in a museum and you can't sit on certain pieces of furniture, mine was the kind of place where you felt comfortable and might even put your feet on the coffee table and wouldn't be afraid to sit on the floor. Those were the days when I thought an un-vacuumed floor meant the house was REALLY dirty.

Then came school, my first semester I stressed about the state of cleanliness constantly and spent every spare moment scrubbing something. I felt so tired and stressed that semester...then I got comfortable in my dirty house. The hairballs in the corners became my friends and "I'll get to that later" became my mantra. When you have a schedule like mine something has to give and in my place the housework was it.

Now on my days off I go to school and or study all day so house work has definitely gone to the way side and the definition of a dirty house has been bent a little to say the least. These days to be considered filthy it must have vomit and or crap on it, those items get cleaned right away but the others can wait. The last time I managed to really clean my house was last Winter break and during that time I had a house guest so the cleaning wasn't nearly as intense as it has been this Winter and the dirt around here can definitely attest to that.

The last week of school as I was studying for my finals I remember taking short breaks and looking around at the mess that is my house and daydreaming about cleaning it. I even had dreams about vacuuming out corners and dusting the tables. My constant companion during my studying on the sofa was the filthy ceiling fan above me in the living room. That fan didn't seem so bad until it got cold enough to have to turn it off and only then did the real filth reveal itself. You see, when you have cats and humans for that matter with long hair the hair gets stuck on the leading edge of the fan as it turns and cools you off. Well you can imagine what one year worth of dirt looks like on the leading edge of a ceiling fan.

My last day of school was two weeks ago, I spent my first day off lazing on the sofa drifting in and out of sleep and watching movies I had saved on my DVR. Day two was more of the same, a trip to the dog park, a nap, some good snacks. Day three I felt rested and so in between TV, Face book and Farm Town I spent a little time picking up things and putting them where they belonged...putting my books away from the last semester, storing away notes and cleaning out my backpack. it felt great to transfer some of my things into an actual purse and not have to carry around the 100pound pack all the time.

Wednesday I actually went out and was social for a couple of hours and had fun having a couple of beers and some good laughs. Thursday morning is when it happened... I was sitting at the computer playing with the facebook and contemplating cleaning the bathroom, when it began, the systematic cleaning of the office. Everything off the desk, all the hairballs vacuumed from under the furniture, shelves dusted, uneeded clutter thrown away, ceiling fan cleaned and before i knew it I had a clean office. Not only does it smell better but it is so nice to relax in a clean space! I didn't want to go any where else in the house because it seemed that much worse. That day I had to go to work at 6pm and so I was finished for the week but now I have some momentum going.

This week I watched movies all day on Monday...I forgot what that was is hard to relax when you feel like you have something to do all the time. It has taken me awhile to get used to the fact that I can lay on the couch for an entire day, not miss anything and not feel guilty. Tuesday I managed to get my bedroom cleaned up. The amount of dust in there was pretty amazing as well. I pulled my bed out from the wall and found many treasures including lip balms and a bunch of hair scrunchies...I wondered where those went...I had been blaming their disappearance on Stan but it seems he only ate about half of those I had originally assumed. I also remembered how much I hair was everywhere in my room. I got everything cleaned and dusted and I think I slept better in there last night than I have in a while. It is amazing how much better I feel when my house is clean.  Like the air somehow circulates better.

Wednesday and now I am scrubbing the bathroom...I am ashamed at how dirty this room has become! it is the kind of mess my grandmother would see and say "Oh Cassandra!" I have decide that the bathroom would be much easier to clean if I had all of the hair lasered off of my body. My behemoth of a tub is really hard to scrub and I have to turn myself upside down to get to all the corners. It is soaking in a film of comet right now.

I know i am gross.

Will try harder this year to keep up chores.

Thank goodness for hard wood floors.

dog beds, more hair.

I must find a way to make sure I can do some chores while I am in school.

You may be wondering what the hell is going on there at the end well, funny thing, I found this unfinished blog while I was going through and organizing and decided to publish it just like it is.  The first part is done and quite fabulously fantastic so I left it but the end is still in the beginning phases.  I thought I would leave it alone so you could see how this happens, how I put these together.  Most are not done this way, those ones about just regular stuff that don't need all that much creativity or thinking just get typed out, checked for errors and then published.  The rest however, the good stuff, the ones that make you laugh or cry are done in this fashion.  It starts with random thoughts blurted out on the computer screen, kind of like a list.  Then I go through the list and put it in a more orderly fashion, then I write a paragraph about each list item, and then revise,  leave and go do something else, come back revise, revise, revise, sleep for a night, come back revise and then publish it when I am satisfied.  Apparently I slept and then forgot about this one, which is too bad because it looks like I was on a pretty good role...I make myself laugh anyway.  Hope you enjoy it!

Essay One for Comp Class

This is my first essay written for my Composition class.  We were asked to take any short story from our text book and wind our own personal narrative in with relevant quotes from the authors story, as well as provide a summary.  This seemed impossible when I started but once I got going it turned out to be pretty great.  I am proud of this piece of writing as it is very personal and took some guts to get it out and onto paper.  I am providing a link to the short story if you want to read it first. I highly recommend it, it is funny and wonderfully sarcastic.

I Can and Will, Do Anything I Want

            Margret Atwood’s “Happy Endings” gives us a satirical glimpse into the cliché Atwood thinks is the middle class life most of us muddle through on a daily basis.  She starts with two characters appropriately named John and Mary, I believe Atwood uses these generic names to get her point across that society today continues to be quite stereotypical, sexist and unfair.  She says “if you want a happy ending try A” (394).  A describes the cliché of modern middle class life, or what it appears to be on the surface.  “John and Mary fall in love” they get great jobs, buy a house, have kids that turn out great, they have a good sex life, great friends and vacations. Eventually they retire and get hobbies, and then they die, “This is the end of the story” (394).  Atwood is giving us her interpretation of romantic fiction, which also, Atwood believes, happens to be the dream of a good portion of the modern middle class.
For a long time I thought this was my dream as well.  Everyday I thought about having a husband and a house and possibly a kid or two.  I looked on with envy as all of my friends and siblings got married and started their lives.  What about me?  I thought, why can’t I find a great guy?  Why can’t I have that kind of relationship?  What is wrong with me?  Then when I really started looking through the cracks in the wonderful shell, I realized that these are not storybook romances, these are two real people struggling to keep it together. The more I look in the cracks in some of these relationships, the better a spinster’s life seems to me.
            Several years ago I met a guy that I thought was perfect.  We spent two and half happy years together and I thought one day we would get married.  While I was reading “Happy Endings” I realized how close our relationship mirrored B.  I met this guy and we fell in love.  I always felt like I loved him more but that didn’t matter, I had found Mr. Right.  He wasn’t perfect but he seemed to be a great guy and who is perfect really?  I did many things to try and make him love me.  I cooked great meals; didn’t at all mind doing his laundry and put up with his football addiction. Occasionally we went out to dinner I made him look good in public and in return he made me feel good about myself.  Sometimes I would bring up marriage but he would always change the subject or tell me that his business wasn’t as great as he wanted it to be; all the same he kept me hoping. 
As was with Mary, I too thought, he’ll come to depend on me and we will get married (394). I spent countless hours trying to make myself available for this man. I tried really hard to make him comfortable at my place. He even moved in for awhile but then after a year or so of this he told me he didn’t want to marry and didn’t want kids.  We split up and had an on again off again, mostly sexual, relationship for another two years. 
Eventually I found out that he had been seeing someone else throughout our entire relationship.  My friends said he was “a rat, a pig, a dog, he isn’t good enough for her,” trying to make me feel better about myself, which is after all, what friends are supposed to do.  I felt like such a doormat.  Why didn’t I see what was going on?  I kept thinking that I could change him.  Atwood says it perfectly “Inside John, she thinks, is another John…This other John will emerge like a butterfly from a cocoon, a Jack from a box, a pit from a prune, if the first John is only squeezed enough” (394). How did I get to this place?  I had always considered myself an independent, smart girl.  I can only imagine that I got here with my incessant drive to live the middle class American dream.  I was willing to put up with more and more crap to get what I wanted.  I had lost sight of myself completely.  Some of my friends had noticed early on that I was doing things I had never done before.  Like eating poorly and spending more time alone, but I blew them off, I was happy dammit!  How dare they try and ruin my happiness!  They had their happy little lives, they had their husband and house and baby on the way.  I finally had a great guy that thought I was pretty. I just knew he would come around and marry me someday, how foolish I was, how disillusioned I had become, and all for this dream of a life that really is just a cliché. 
Atwood has Mary kill herself in the end and that is where my story differs from hers.  I didn’t kill myself far from it, I threw that jerk out of my house followed by his stuff and told him to leave, never come back and don’t even think about calling me.  Of course he has called however, all calls save one that I used to make him feel like a small piece of nothing, have been ignored. 
Atwood then moves on to C.  This is the married man and younger women scenario.  I have never done this but have met people who have and it always seemed like a bad idea to me.  The end of C rings truest for me, “Madge after a suitable period of mourning, marries an understanding man called Fred and everything continues as in A”(395) I am unsure as to how many women I have met that have a marriage, are unhappy, get divorced and then are dating and have an engagement ring on their finger six months later and divorce papers in their hand two years later.  I wonder why they don’t figure out that they might be making bad choices.  Why don’t they figure out that they don’t need a man to feel good about themselves?  Of course that wasn’t so easy for me either.
D, E and F all explain different scenarios and F even gives us an intriguing relationship between “John a revolutionary and Mary a counterespionage agent” (396) in fact, no matter what you try and insert into the story the endings are all the same, you still end up with A. Atwood mentions that “though in between you may get a lustful brawling saga of passionate involvement” she also explains that “the endings are all the same however you slice it”. She warns that we shouldn’t “be deluded by any other endings, they’re all fake, either deliberately fake, with malicious intent … or just motivated by excessive optimism if not downright sentimentality.” (396).  I learned after the break up with the long term man that my happiness is based solely on what I think it is, not on some contrived notion of the masses.  Like Atwood mentions, “True connoisseurs … are known to favor the stretch in between, since it’s the hardest to do anything with” (396).  I think she is telling us what I learned after my bad relationship that, we need to savor our time on this earth or the “stretch in between” if you will (396).  I take time daily to look at the positive things in my life.  I have a house, a car, matching silverware, my dog pack.  I am grateful for the little things that make me happy, the smell outside after it rains, the way my dogs feet smell when they are clean, a romp at the dog park, the way my cats fur feels on my bare feet, the softness of flannel sheets, a good cup of coffee or a great book before bed.  We shouldn’t be so worried about what others think or see as the perfect life.  Your perfect life is the one you live for yourself not someone else.  We shouldn’t just revel in the beginnings since “they are always more fun” or in fact go back to them when times get rough or things aren’t going our way (396).  I think Atwood is correct in saying that the true connoisseurs of life are the ones that relish the time we have in the middle when we are young and can do anything.

Making my Butt Smaller

On January 15th I started keeping track of everything I eat on a website one of my friends showed me. It is called Livestrong and they have a feature on it called The Daily Plate. On this thing you input your age, height, activity level and how much weight you want to lose per week. It then calculates how many calories you need to achieve this goal. So I started it and have lost 12 pounds! I have been struggling with my weight my whole life and have never found anything so easy to stick to. The magic of it is you can eat whatever you want as long as you stay in your calorie goal. The other night I ate Girl Scout cookies, ice cream and Doritos for dinner. The program doesn't judge it doesn't say "are you supposed to be eating that?" or "that isn't diet food" I am pretty optimistic at this point that I will be able to stick to this program. Another great thing about it is it also keeps track of your fat, fiber and protein consumption among other things. I realized pretty quickly when I started logging that I was eating too much fat (a remnant from the low carb diets I have been trying to stick to for years) and not nearly enough fiber. I have adjusted and seemed to have made some great changes that have helped me not only lose weight but also be healthier. Of course now there are groupies that want to be healthy as well. I have started looking better and so people at work are asking me what I am doing so I explain the site and they are trying it too. It is pretty awesome I have to say. I decided to include some food pictures in this blog for you guys. I love to take pictures of my food and haven't really had an occasion to share them but now seems like a good time. I will also include a link to the website in case any of you want to check it out. Until later bon appétit!
The Site,

In-N-Out Double Double Animal Style 690 calories (and worth every one!)

New England Clam Chowder at Horatios in San Leandro Marina Ca. 557 calories.

Sourdough Bread Horatio's 110 calories

I am not even going to guess how many this had...but it was divine!  And so rich. Crab Stuffed Mahi at Horatio's.

Jason's Deli California Club 826 calories

M&M's 240 calories

Shrimp Tacos I made, 660 calories for all three. 

Gummy Bears 130 calories

Lucky for me coffee has almost no calories.

Strawberries covered in Splenda, 45 calories

He He He.

Orange 62 calories.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Update on School Progress

I wanted to write a quick blog on what is happening at achool.  Last Fall I droppped my Math 350 (Intermeadiale Algebra) because I was getting D's on exams and just not getting it.  I think it was due to my instructor.  He wasn't a bad teacher but he is a calculus intstructor at heart and teaches algebra like it is calculus...which is not good for me at all.  Anyway, I went to the advisor in the health sciences department to find out some info and she informed me that I could not get accepted into the program without that class.  She gave me an alternative which involved taking my placement test again to see if I could test out of that class.  I have been studying weekly with my sister and thought I would do good on it but after taking the test this last Thursday, I realized that it was harder than I thought and I didn't test out of the class.  I went to the Health Science office feeling pretty defeated but thought I would make sure there was nothing else I could possibly do to apply for the program this year.  At first she told me, that no there was nothing I could do except take the class again in the fall and then wait until next year and apply again.  As I was getting ready to cry, she remembered that they made a mistake in the catalog and for the RT program only, you only had to have Math 304 (Elementry Algebra)  Which I have already taken and passed with a C.  I gave her my application and she said that I would hear at the end of March whether I am in or not.  So now I am not so patiently waiting to hear about my fate for the next couple of years.  I am a little nervous because I looked at the stats for last year and 297 people applied and there are only 30 places in the class.  The high score was 5.97 and the lowest was 5.13.  I am going in with I think 5.0 points, but I am even unsure about that because the advisor told me that you get .1 points for every 13 credit hours you have taken which would give me 5.21 points.  I am unsure what I will be up against this year but I guess we will find out.  I will post again when I find out.  If I don't get in this year then I will keep pluging away at my AA and BA degree for another year, get my GPA up another point and add some more credits onto my transcript to make my score higher.  I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Some of you may have noticed the picture I posted on Facebook.  Here is the explanation as to what happened.
Several months ago I noticed the linoleum in front of the sink was bowed slightly, fearing that water was leaking under the sink I checked under the cabinets expecting to find water.....there wasn't any so I just chalked it up to the house shifting.  It is an old house, built in 1951, it has a pier and beam foundation and is sitting on North Texas soil so it moves a bunch all the time.
And so it was ignored for a long time.  Then this last month during my cleaning frenzy I noticed that there was a ton of water under the bathroom vanity after I was running water during cleaning.  I called a plumber and when he came to investigate the problem he discovered that the areator on my faucet was clogged with "old pipe junk" and was shooting water out the back of the faucet under the sink.  Apparently this had been going on for some time unbeknownst to me.  Well I guess the water had been leaking through the wall and under the cabinet in the kitchen and then under the floor.  So lucky for me I have a good friend with the handiest husband on the earth.  He came over and after tearing up a bunch of stuff with tools, discovered this mess.

Under the three layers of linoleum was a primordial ooze of water and 60 year old dirt.  SO now my kitchen floor looks like this and will have to stay this way until it is dry.  Lucky me, I get to have my kitchen cabinet and floor torn up until this dries out....probably a month or so and then I get to spend money I have in savings (that I wanted to use to go to Las Vegas next December) on fixing this little problem.  Oh how I love having my own house!
On a good note I am lucky that Jeff is a great guy and is good at helping females in distress.

My Academic Plan

Well some of you have been asking me what I am up to at school and since it is quite a long story I decided to post it here.

I am currently working towards getting into the Radiologic Technology program at the community college I am currently attending.  I will be applying to the program next month and hopefully will get in.  I have one more hurdle to jump before that can happen.  I have to pass the Math portion of the placement testing to apply.  I am currently stressing on this quite a bit.  I have procrastinated and have one chance to take it and pass it.  If I do get in I will receive an associates of applied sciences in Radiologic Technology.  Once I have this degree then I take my state examination.  Once I pass that then I will be able to work in hospitals taking xrays.  Eventually I want to get certified to run the CT and MRI.

In addition to that degree I am also going to finish my Associates of Science at TCC.  This should give me a seamless transition into the four year college.  I am planning on going to University of Texas at Arlington to get a bachelors of Arts in Biology and then hopefully be accepted into their graduate program to get a masters in biology as well.  Once I do that I want to go on to get a PhD. in some biology concentration (as yet to be decided) so that I can teach college biology when I am really old.

Well there you have it.  I have a long road ahead of me but I can't think of doing anything better than learning stuff for the next 8 years or so.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants"

Today in Comp two we analysed Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants".  This is a short story that Hemingway wrote in the 20's.  It is a very short story about one page total and although it is quite short, it packs  a whollop!  I think that Hemingway may become one of my favorite authors.

The story is set in Spain at a train station bar and has three characters total.  A man simply referred to as "man" in the story, Jig his female companion, and the waitress that brings them their drinks.  The story is basically an exchange of dialog between Jig and the man.  The conversation they engage in is very tense and argumentative.  Jig is sarcastic and antagonistic from the start in that sweet way only  women have mastered. We, the audience are just bystanders watching this exchange and are not given access to what each is thinking in keeping with Hemingway's existential style..  This story has been analysed relentlessly since it was written and many people have many ideas as to what the meaning is.  Only Hemingway can tell us and since he is 1) dead and 2) was quite insane, it is difficult to know with one hundred percent certainly what he really meant by the story.  It is clear in the story that the couple is unmarried, and most would agree that the couple is talking about Jig having an abortion.  She is unsure and he, being a typical unmarried man, does not want the responsibility of a wife and child.  They have been traveling the country as is evidenced by the luggage they have with them.  Many have discussed what they think the refrence to the white elephant is and there are several ideas, I maintain that Hemingway meant for it to be the "Elephant in the living room"  It is there and it is big but everyone is talking around it.  You read the short by yourself and leave me a comment on what you think about it.  

"Hills Like White Elephants" By Ernest Hemingway
I promise it is short, and you will enjoy it.  I have read it several times!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The First "Real" Book I Remember Reading

This is the first homework assignment for my Comp II class.  We are supposed to write about a piece of Literature that changed our thinking about Literature.  I chose to write about the first real book I remember reading.  I am sure there were others however, I read these until the covers fell off.  Enjoy!  Oh, and if you haven't seen the movie.  You should.

The first real book I remember reading as a kid was “The Black Stallion” by Walter Farley.  At that age, I thought reading anything that was considered a “book” a pretty big deal.  Walter Farley wrote his first book titled “The Black Stallion” in 1941 at the age of 26 and it continues to be in print to this day.  I didn’t concern myself with things like that as a child; the only part I concerned myself with, was the book had a horse on the cover.  As a child and truthfully, into my teens, I was one of those horse crazy girls.  I remember sitting in my room reading that book all day, every day until it was finished.  Walter Farley easily transported me into the world of Alec Ramsey and his horse friend, The Black, and I had to tear myself away. 
The story begins with Alec Ramsey, the main character, on a ship with his dad.  Also on board is a mysterious horse that belongs to a crazy Arab man.  The horse is unruly and causes quite a bit of commotion on the ship when he boards.  Alec’s father gambles with worldly men to pass the time and returns to their cabin with many treasures.  One of the treasures he decides Alec should have, a small metal statue of a horse.  His father claims that the statue is of Bucephalus the big black horse that only Alexander the great can tame and ride.  That night the boat catches on fire and sinks, Alec falls over board and the horse saves him.  They end up on a desert island together and after many days the horse, shy at first, begins to trust Alec.  They eventually become best friends and Alec calls him the Black.
Eventually, they are rescued and taken back to New York and Alec’s mother is grateful to the Black for saving her son, but is also wary of the bad tempered black horse in her suburban backyard.  The Black escapes from the yard and ends up in the stable of Henry Daly, a former race horse trainer.  Alec wants to race the Black, but Henry tells him that would be impossible, the horse is wild and does not have the proper papers.  Alec eventually talks Henry into it and they train the Black in secret, under the cover of darkness.  They enter him into a match race with two great thoroughbred race horses which he wins as the mystery horse.
As a young girl I was enthralled with this story from start to finish and read every word many times.  The book was made into a movie in 1979 which I saw for the first time much later.  The movie carries the same title as the book and was produced by Francis Ford Coppola.  This movie continues to be one of the most breathtaking movies I have ever seen.  The imagery is incredible and some of the actors are well known.  I am unsure as to who plays Alec; I have not seen him in any other movie since however, Henry Daly is played by Mickey Rooney and Alec’s mother is played by Terri Garr.  The Black is played by Cass Ole, who was a very famous and prized Arabian horse.

Later I found out there was a series of Black Stallion novels that began with “The Black Stallion” and then went on to the “Black Stallion Returns” and “Son of the Black Stallion”.  I think there was also a story about an island stallion, probably 5 or so in the series.  I remember many a lazy summer spent in my room reading every one of these books from start to finish many times.  I wanted to live in Alec’s world, to be him really.  I still watch the Black Stallion movie occasionally, I always appreciate its beauty and I remember my wonder of it as a little girl.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Spring Semester 2010.

Spring semester started this week for me on Tuesday.  This should be a great semester for a couple of reasons 1) I don't have to take a math class this semester and 2) All of the classes I have are fun and intersting.  I am taking English Compsition II on Monday and Wednesday from 12:20-1:40.  I have the same instructor I had for comp I that I loved so it should be great.  Also on Monday and Wednesday I have Intro to Philosophy from 1:50 to 3:10 pm.  I didn't get to meet my Philosophy professor because we did not have class on Monday due to the MLK holiday and then on Wednesday I had to get my wisdom teeth removed at 3pm.  I made the appointment months ago before I signed up for his class.  Wisdom teeth removal was NOT fun let me tell you...I don't think my body has been so violated ever.  I can't believe I have two giant holes in my head that I elected to have put there.
Anyway moving on.  On Tuesday and Thursday I have Biology for Science Majors at 11am.  This class will be great fun this time (see dropping biology blog April 2009) because I have an instructor who cares about whether or not we learn, and I am taking this class with a coworker/friend that is also super smart.  After Biology on Tuesday I have my American Literature up to 1865....this would be really boring if it wern't for my super cool ex-hippie cigarette smoking professor!  She is really cool and I think she will make this class super fun.  Also on Tuesday I have my Biology lab with the same caring instructor as for lecture and my same super smart friend.  So tuesday is the long day...starts at 11am and doesn't end until almost 5pm.  It is Okay I will take snacks.
So far I think this semester will be great fun and possibly even relaxing.  I think I will learn a fair amount of history in my Lit class and I get to write which is my favorite thing ever.  I will post anything I write here for you guys to read...but I warn you it will be about Literature so you may have to do some reading of Lit to understand or care about it.
The only thing that I do not like so far is the parking.....but most of them will be weeded out by the next month and closer to the end of the semester I can pretty much park where I want.
As always thanks for reading.

Monday, January 18, 2010

San Fransisco Trip Part I

Okay I know it has taken me forever to get around to this but I have been working every day since I returned and then there has been a problem with my photos of the trip.  Some of these are still not what I wanted them to be but I am working on trying to get the rest of the pictures.  There was a mishap with the pictures.  My camera is fine but some of my pictures got left in San Fransisco.  Kind of like a heart I guerss.  So here is the best that I can do for now.

My trip was great and I had a blast!  The trip started with the surprise visit from some old friends from LA!  They came up when they heard I would be there.  So Friday night was PARTY time!  We drank and laughed and played Wii.  Here are some pictures from that night.

My brother showing off the hat Joules made for him and his golf swing I guess.

Let the games begin!  We amused ourselves with the Wii for awhile.

Nikki never puts down her beer...or spills it.

Fun Times.

The next day we woke up hungover but managed to get cleaned up and headed out for downtown San Fransisco.

Piled in the car on our way to the BART station.  The BART is a metro rail that goes all over the bay area.

This pack of bike riders was cool.

My brother has to finish his smoke before we go down into the station.

Arrived at the BART now off to the train.

And so it begins.

Cool ceiling in the BART station.

I wonder why they didn't include defecating, urinating, bathing etc...

All of us waiting for the BART train.

The train finally got there.

Speeding past my brother and I.

Joules and John on the train ride into downtown.

Downtown San Fransisco.  Union Square.

These guys were tap dancing in the square.

The architecture was AMAZING!

The architecture in SF was amazing.  Most of the buildings are really old and the city seemed to have this layered look and feel to it.  I felt like I could have walked around all day taking pictures of all the amazing buildings I saw (much to the dismay of my travel buddies).

Out the window of the greasy spoon place where we had breakfast.

After a few stops for drinks and food (we were a little lit at this point) we arrived in china town.

The gateway in.

Joules found a froggy golf buddy.

This place was packed and the store goods spilled out into the sidewalk.

This guy was playing traditional Chinese music on what looked like a tin can violin thing.

This cristian like church was in the middle of China Town ....I wonder why?

One of the best photos from the trip, China town light post, check, cool China Town building in the background, check, the name California, check, genuine Cali graffiti, check.

The Trans America building taken from the streets of China Town

We are boarding a bus to head off to fisherman's wharf.  And this is where I leave you this time.  I have tons more photos and will share them with you another time..hopefully in better shape than these are.  I had an awesome time and San Fransisco comes highly recommended.  Make sure you bring a back pack and good walking shoes!