Monday, November 22, 2010

Stitches and Stale Bread

Sorry I didn't update on Friday. It was the last day of Freshman registration, which meant we were busy all day long. According to my tally, I helped 135 students, took 60 phone calls, dealt with 2 angry parents and was called a racist once.

Today, however, it is snowing, which means nothing can dampen my mood. Despite crashing twice on my bicycle commute to work, the promise of watching a movie with hot cocoa and my hot boyfriend later means I will be in the best of moods all day. Snow also means that very few students are going to brave the weather and come into the office, so as a special snow day treat, I am going to tell you another story of my childhood.I have had two surgeries in my life, and both occurred within a month of each other.

1st Surgery:

Growing up, I would choke on just about everything: salad, pasta, meat, bread, crackers, cheese, and yes, even dog vomit. My parents always insisted that I slow down and chew my food. While they were completely correct, I was eating too fast, there was another reason behind my constant choking:I never noticed my tonsils were anything out of the ordinary, I just assumed I was as inept at eating as I was with every other normal, human activity. One day though, I got an extremely sore throat, and after a few days of whining and refusing to take Dimetapp, my mom took me to the ear nose and throat doctor. He looked at my throat and told my mom I needed my tonsils out right away.

A few weeks later, I not only got my tonsils removed, but my adenoids as well. I spent about a week strung out on coedine, then got back to school. I don't remember much about that week, but I remember having to watch the movie "Josie and the Pussycats" 6 or 7 times to pick up on the subtleties of the plot.

As far as my tonsils went, I wanted to keep them, but I guess they don't let you do that anymore. My mom said the doctor was gagging throughout the surgery because of how disgusting my cystic, enlarged tonsils were. Not only am I bad at being a human being, but my tonsils were bad at being tonsils.

2nd Surgery:

I was a pretty stupid kid (if you are incredulous, click here). Unfortunately, even after puberty, I still had a knack to injure or partially maim myself. This is one such instance.

I was 13 and a half, and my sister was 15 and a half. When you're 15 and a half in Washington, you get your driver's permit, which is just another way of saying you get a license to kill. Anyway, on a lazy Sunday morning, mom and dad decided Kelly should get some more driving practice, so they were going to go to Costco. Mom asked me if I wanted to go, but I just wanted to stay home and read Harry Potter in bed because I'm awesome.

Pretty soon after they left, I decided it was a good idea to eat a little something. We had stale bread sitting around, and that's as good as anything for a sandwich. Especially because I was excited to eat bread again after my tonsil surgery. I hated Popsicles at this point, and I still do today.I suppose I should say before the action begins that my sister's friend Stevie was trying to make some money, so he started selling Cutco knives during the summer. My parents bought some, so we had many new, sharp knives around the house (you can probably see where this is going). I was using the nice, new serrated knife to get through the stale crust of the bread when disaster struck.I cut most of the way through my thumb, directly at the joint. After a bunch of running around the kitchen, I calmed down and ran my finger under water and called my parents. I don't think my dad understood anything I was saying, but he knew he needed to come home.

Recall that my sister was driving. My sister is an excellent driver, but anyone would have a hard time driving with your father yelling out new driving directions at you. I imagine the car ride went something like this:Meanwhile, at home, I had passed out on the floor, giving myself a black eye:
My parents soon came home to what looked like a scene out of "Freddy vs. Jason". Fingers don't look like it, but they bleed a lot.

They took me to the ER and I got taken care of. I cut the tendon cleanly in half, so I had to get surgery so I could bend my thumb again. Afterward, they put a pin down my thumb to keep me from bending it for the next 3 months, and that's how I got to get out of playing piano for the winter of my 8th grade year.

If this story wasn't entertaining enough, here's a picture of my mom with a 12 lb. steelhead she caught because she's a badass:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Freshman Registration

Today is the first day of registration for Freshman. They are all very good at throwing fits and yelling at me. I am getting progressively better at telling people "No". I also am getting extremely good at not swearing when I really want to, but I think I'm getting stomach ulcers as a consequence.

How the Freshman make me feel:When I started making this, a bunch of really nice students walked in and were super polite. Now I feel like a jerk.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My 4 year-old Birthday Party (true story)

I can't keep deluding people reading my blog. If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm not original at all, but I'm pretty good at taking other people's innovative, awesome ideas and making a bastardized half-assed version of what they did. Basically, for those of you that have not seen Hyperbole and a Half, you should check it out. My blog is not the best blog, it is only a tribute to the best blog.

I think the reason I find Hyperbole and a Half to be the best blog I've ever read is because the writer takes already awesome childhood stories and illustrates them with awesome pictures. It's like reading a really sarcastic kid's book. I'm discovering that the best stories that ever get told always start out with "When I was a little kid, I did something stupid and the consequences were hilarious" or "When you were a little kid, you did something stupid and we both had to deal with the hilarious consequences." Mom, Dad, Kelly, and Max, thanks for dealing with the consequences of my 4-year-old birthday party.My sister and I have our birthdays 4 days apart. Growing up, my mom could only handle one party at a time, so Kelly and I would switch off every year, who got a party (YAY!), or who got a special dinner with the family (Boo...). I loved turning even ages because that meant I got a party and Kelly could suck it. For my 4th birthday, I wanted Mexican food and I wanted all my friends over. I loved tacos, refried beans and mexi fries (tater tots), and my mom was nice enough to feed all my friends my special meal.
Before dinner was served, we were all running around the house hyped up on the promise of cake and presents. My mom was cooking and doing pretty well keeping her cool despite the crashing and thumping coming from the next room. She was almost finished cooking, and I was getting hungry (I was and am always hungry). She was just pulling the mexi fries out of the oven to cool, and one feel on the floor. My dog Max was quick to get it.The mexi fry was extremely hot and dead set on ruining everything (as you can clearly see above). Poor Max burned her stomach on the evil, molten fry, and ended up getting sick in the dining room.Mom was trying to finish cooking and getting all the little kids ready for dinner, so she sent dad to clean up the vomit. While he was getting a rag and some cleaning spray, I wandered into the dining room, ready to sit down and eat. I found the pile of vomit, but had no idea what it was (I was not familiar with the dark brown color and lumpy texture of canine ralf).After that, I threw up. Everywhere. I remember my mom giving me a bucket and rubbing my back while my dad was on the phone with poison control (the one and only time they ever needed to call poison control). While my dad attempted to explain exactly HOW his daughter ended up eating dog vomit, my mom tried to get all the kids to the table and ignore the retching sound coming from the kitchen.

For some reason, I remember my parents laughing the whole time I was throwing up.

After that, I felt totally fine. Poison Control said I would be ok, and that dog vomit is non-toxic. When the mess was cleaned up, I sat down and ate my whole meal, including the refried beans (like I said, I'm always hungry) and, despite the attempts of the evil mexi fry, actually had a pretty good birthday.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wolf Shirts

For those of you that don't live in the Seattle area, let me give you a clue to what the weather is like today: cold, cloudy, and wet. It's on days like today that I need a little something extra to get me through the day. Due to my aversion to drugs and my laziness keeping me from brewing coffee, I have a special go-to-pick-me-up:
Granted, my wolf shirt doesn't look like that one, but you get the idea. Already being late to work and feeling extremely sick this morning, the wolf shirt was an excellent choice.
In addition to my wolf shirt, I got a new sweatshirt last night and have been basking in the glory of new-sweatshirt-feel all day, you know, the fleecy feeling of a new sweatshirt before it gets all pilly on the inside. I feel like I'm wearing pajamas today. I'm glad I'm also wearing wolf shirt, otherwise I would fall asleep from not having the sheer force of wolf adrenaline running through my veins.
I think I may get some Pho later. If I do, then a trifecta of awesome will soon occur, and I can conquer the world.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fun With Graphs

One of my new favorite websites is Basically, it's where people use graphs to represent daily phenomenon. I've spent the last 3 hours on graphjam, and it's inspired me to make graphs of my own:

Happy (belated) Veteran's Day!

Happy day after Veteran's Day everyone! I would have updated yesterday, but I was too busy building a couch fort and watching episodes of Star Trek. Today, I will give my special thanks to veterans in my family for all the things they've done.

First, I would like to thank my brother-in-law, John. John is a member of the Coast Guard Reserve, and has done a tour in Iraq as well as guarded the base at Guantanamo. Whenever I tell people John is in the Coast Guard, they say, "Don't they rescue drunk people on their yachts?" Clarification: that is the Coast Guard, not the Coast Guard Reserves. Although John could rescue you from drowning on your yacht, he would probably choose not to because you are being an idiot.

The Coast Guard Reserves symbol has, in my opinion, needed an update for a long time. The current symbol is as follows:And the re-imagined version is as follows:One of my favorite relatives that fought in the Korean war is my great uncle Dick. He's the kind of guy that used to ride motorcycles, works at a gun range, went on safari's in Africa, and drinks scotch like a man. He looks something like this:Note: Mustaches that you see here are smaller than they appear in real life (true story).

Other relatives I know that have served are my cousin Elizabeth, who is working as a midwife, my uncle Mal, former navy, and my grandfathers Richard, navy, and Richard, army. Thank you all for your time serving our country! And I'm glad you all survived so I could get to meet you and find out what incredible people you all are.

Anyway, enjoy your rainy, Northwest weekend! Get out in the torrential downpour and do something fun!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Adventures with Bibble

I have recently been attracted to the sight known as "". For those of you that don't know, cuteoverload is possibly the best way to waste time on the internet, just so long as you're in a social situation where exclamations of "Awwww!!!!" and "SO CUTE!!!!" are acceptable. I'm at work, but have very little shame, so the students in here can go ahead and think I have Tourette's.

As my mom very well knows, I want a puppy right now more than anything. I want a miniature doxin, and I want to name it John Avery Whitaker ("Whit" for short). Being both poor and not at home very often, this is a problem; however, I have decided I can delay my need for a puppy for a few years and, instead, get a momonga.A momonga is a Japanese flying squirrel, and they're the cutest damn thing I have ever seen. If I had one, I would name it Bibble, and we would have awesome office adventures every day. Pets in the office aren't strictly encouraged, so I would have to keep her on the down low, but I think I could manage that. The following is an average day with Bibble:Although Bibble could fly directly to work, chances are I would beat her and/or she would be harassed by the local squirrels, who are much fatter and meaner than sweet Bibble. Having been a child mocked by my peers, I would not wish that upon my pets.
Due to a general lack of safety and concern for my corporeal well being, I have a tendency to run into solid objects on a regular basis, so pocket carrying is out of the question. Bibble can ride around in a fancy top hat instead. Not only will I be transporting my pet safely and in style, but as we all know, top hat = status, so I'll be impressing the boss as well.While I "work", Bibble could take ample naps in my desk drawer and chew on old post-its if she's feeling motivated. Due to a significant lack of supplies in my drawer, she could effectively have her own private studio for the day. When advisers are in meetings, I would sneak her out and play games like hide the saltine and jigglyball.Bibble, however, would not be the best for my love life. After work, I would take Bibble with me to the local bars, but would become too distracted and, sequentially, forget about beer, my date, and nachos, thus defeating the purpose of going out to a bar. I would, thus, need to get a Bibble-sitter, but the whole "not having money" thing would prevent that. I would have to pay in MS paint drawings or paperclip statues.

So, if you are looking to get on Santa's nice list this year, remember your good friend Lauren and her desire for a momonga. If not, a momonga sized helmet would suit me just fine for the time being, or at least stave off my need for a puppy....

Introduction to self.

For all of you out there that have recently graduated college and are discovering what paying bills is like, welcome. Maybe you don't have a job, maybe you have a job that blows (like me!), or maybe you are fortunate enough to be doing something you really like and are making bank off it (bastards...). I intend to make this blog be something you check in between doing "actual work" and checking for the 15th time. I have absolutely no direction and no method in making this blog, but I find it to be a better use of my time than sitting around wondering if drinking the bottle of Purell next to me will make me go blind and/or get me drunk.

So, an introduction to me: my name is Lauren, and I recently graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Mathematics, which is said to be the most employable major presently. Well, I do have a job! I work in the math office at the university I graduated from, and my job is to help other math kids graduate. The irony is borderline poetic. Basically, I deal with variations of Past Lauren (who can be a real jerk sometimes) and try to guide him/her through the murky bog of undergraduate education. It's not very glamorous. Past Lauren would shake her head at future Lauren if she knew all the complicated proofs she did would amount to dealing with pissed off undergrads and reading fail blog 6 times a day.

Today, as a distraction, I have made an illustrated example of my roots! I only know a limited amount about my ancestry, but this is what I do know:

My father was born to Richard (of French roots) and Ruth (hella Irish). The snobs and the bog people rarely get together, but I guess I'm lucky they did, otherwise I wouldn't be here.
I have no idea where my mom's family came from. All I know, is we all ended up in the Washington/Oregon area and we're all extremely Catholic. When I was inquisitive as a child, I would ask my mom "What country are we from". Her response would be something like, "Huh, I don't really know. A little English, German, Danish, Swedish, Italian, Norwegian, you know, whatever. Shut up, you're American." So while my friends were flaunting their "Norwegian-Polish" heritage or "German-Spanish", I was left thinking my ancestor was merely the bastard sea creature that crawled out of the hot tub after what was probably an insane, violent European orgy:
Morning After:
So, through years of calculated, intellectual breeding, we get to me, the mathematician/bike mechanic/aspiring chef/waitress/time waster/ginger/BLOGGER! Enjoy this blog before my ADHD kicks in and I abandon it just like an orphaned snob-bog-Euro-trash-orgy-baby!