January 2009

1.30.09

I am in a pretty bad funk right now and it's not just because I have pre-cancerous cells growing on my cervix.

I'm just not feeling this semester at all. As much as I complained being at the IFA in the Upper East Side, I miss my cold, marble mansion. This semester I'm taking a class at Columbia and it's weird being on an actual campus. It's weird being "the visiting student" in a seminar. I also don't know anything about Ancient Near Eastern Art, which is what the class is about.

Teaching is going ok but it's a weird feeling. I've been the student for the past 20+ years! This is like the Twilight Zone.

Then there's the dawning realization that this is my last semester of coursework. What the heck? I've been taking classes for the past 20+ years! WEIRD.

I miss JewNick. There's a sign around Columbus Circle that says "Times Square Shuffle"- it helps direct traffic around Times Square. JewNick and I made up a dance where we would shuffle our feet and throw out our jazz hands. The dance was obviously called the "Times Square Shuffle." Yesterday I saw the "Times Square Shuffle" sign and I did the dance. It just wasn't the same. SIGH.

Edouard has to do an externship for his school so I don't get to spend as much free time with him. Nonetheless, when we're together he still cheers me up. He's been making me dinner and chocolate milks in the evening.

Clearly things could be a lot worse. I could have actual cancer, for one. I could also be unemployed, homeless, lonely, or dead. So considering all that, things are fine.

I was able to save enough money this month to put a nice chunk of money into my savings. That was cool and made me feel good about myself.

Jen
1.28.09

I need to do a PSA about women's health.

If you don't want to hear about cervixes and specifically my cervix, please disregard this blog entry.

When I moved to New York and started going to NYU I decided that I was going to start doing annual pap smears even though I hate them and even though there is no history of cervical cancer in my family (I don't think at least). I think I just decided to do it b/c my insurance covered it and because I promised myself I was going to start looking after my health.

Anyway, for the past few years my pap smears always came back normal. This year it did not.

I was a little concerned but people told me not to worry about it. I came back so they could look at my lady parts with this binocular/microscope thing called a colposcopy. The doctor took a look and three samples to biopsy- it was rather uncomfortable. Then she drew a diagram of my cervix, which made me want to go "BLALALARGH" b/c that's how cervixes make me react, and shaded the "bad parts." After that she drew this chart:

I --> II --> III --> CANCER

She told me that the top of my cervix was at CIN 1 (Stage 1 for pre cancerous cells). The other two samples she took from the bottom of my cervix was a little less clear- it was either CIN 1 or CIN 2. I was hoping that it would only be CIN 1 but I just received an e-mail from her today telling me that it was CIN 2, which probably means I'll have to go through some sort of treatment.

People are telling me not to be worried- and I'm definitely trying to keep my cool. I guess I'm just scared that between now and whenever I get treated I'll move on to CIN 3 or cancer or something. I don't know what treatments are available and I'm nervous b/c I don't even like pap smears.

Anyway, I guess I'm incredibly lucky that I decided to do an annual pap smear when I moved to New York. In a few year's time I probably would've been faced with much worse news.

The moral of the story? Just do your annual pap smear- even if you don't have a history of cervical cancer. Just do it. It takes 15 minutes and is only slightly uncomfortable.

Even though it makes me slightly uncomfortable to think that maybe my students who I've just met know so much about my cervix that's ok. If my PSA gets one chick to get herself checked out, I'm happy.

If anyone has any tips for me or any words of encouragement, I would appreciate it. If anyone knows of any non-intrusive treatment for CIN1 and CIN2 cells please let me know so I can ask my doctor about it.

Jen
1.27.09

Happy birthday, Mozart!

This semester already looks like I'm going to be spending the next two weeks at school until 10 pm, when my department's library closes.

My stomach hurts!

AHH!

Jen
1.23.09

Today was my first day of teaching recitations. For any of my students who might have google stalked me and found this site: "Welcome!"

Because of my TA position, for now I'm making my facebook profile private. Just as I'm sure any of my students would be horrified if I saw drunk pictures of them on facebook (particularly since most of them are under 21 tsk tsk) I would equally be horrified if they saw me as a real person with friends and a social life that includes drinking. I'm kidding of course- I mainly don't want them to see the pictures of me from 8th grade.

If you are a regular reader of CLV you are still more than welcome to add me as your friend. Also remember that CLV has a facebook group that you can join.

Huzzah!

Jen
1.18.09

Well the big day is Tuesday- when Obama is sworn into office. I hope that this administration doesn't let us down.

I know of an acquaintence of a friend on facebook who is very conservative (like, leaning so much to the right he might as well lie down) and I find that disagree with him on numerous political and social issues. (not to mention he's from USC <insert mandatory UCLA/USC rivalry joke here>). Anyway, most recently he put up a status message saying that the end of waterboarding is an indication that Obama will lose the war on terror and also embarrass himself on foreign policy.

First of all, I can't believe this country ever condoned torture. I find it appalling and I believe that its use is an embarrassment on our "foreign policy."

I understand that torture is obviously an "effective" way of getting information out of people, but has it really helped "the war on terror?" RAND's research has found that global terrorism has actually increased in the last 8 years, with a particularly strong spike in 2005, suggesting that waterboarding and Bush's administration did not necessarily make our country safer or more secure.

Anyway, I guess time will ultimately tell.

On the lighter side of things I decided that with some of the money I'm going to get for teaching this semester, I'm also going to buy myself an NYU dental plan- it's called the StuDENT program. Get it? DENT is in the words "student" and "dental."

Isn't that clever? NYU! You're so witty!

It's been a while since I've had my teeth cleaned- the last time was when I was still able to be on my dad's health and dental plans (2006). Since then however, I've been on my own. My health insurance is covered by my fellowship but my dental is not. I know it's only been 2 years but my toothies feel groders and want to be cleaned by a professsional.

Jen
1.12.09

I guess it's good that I came back to NY about 3 weeks before school started. Even though things are calmer than normal I'm still finding ways to be very busy such as taking care of things I neglected during finals (such as cleaning the apartment and doing laundry), and preparing for the Spring semester (such as filling out forms to take a class at Columbia and preparing lesson plans for the class I'm teaching). Ah yes, and returning library books.

I've also grudgingly returned to my WiiFit routine. Everyone who knows me is aware that I don't like doing things that require me breaking a sweat (funny since I used to play varsity tennis in high school- with a very good tennis team, I might add) so getting back to the WiiFit after 3 weeks was no fun. Amazingly though, I didn't gain any weight over the holidays. I'm guessing it was a combination of learning how to ski (one of the most terrifying experiences of my life) and having a stomach flu.

Edoaurd taught me how to ski and was very patient with me, except for the last day when he was getting frustrated with how reluctant I was to go down hills (in my defense, the second mountain we went to was a lot harder than the first one). Ed's been skiing since he was 3 so he has a hard time understanding why shooting down a mountain with cliff sides might be scary. He kept telling me that I was ready to go down the intermediate slopes on my second day, but I wasn't having it. I think at one point, while sliding sideways down one of the steeper intermediate hills, I started crying.

The first day of skiing was fine, but the second day was more frightening than amusing. To be honest, I think I'd be perfectly fine never skiing again. Edouard, however, really has this thing about me getting good enough at skiing so I can follow him down black diamond slopes. I think he's being overally optimistic, but I'll try because it seems to be somewhat important to him that I make the attempt.

(BTW, in case you were curious- the WiiFit skiing section is of no help when it comes to actually skiing =P)

I hate mountains.

Jen
1.04.09

I receieved an e-mail from someone telling me that they're interested in translating CLV into Italian- I haven't had the chance to write back but I just wanted to say here that I think that's awesome and they should do it. Anyway, just wanted to make it known to that person that I saw their e-mail and will write back soon.

Now for my Poor Gal's Tips to Looking Fab:

1) If you're headed to an important meeting/date/appointment, set aside some time to go to your local Sephora to sample their makeup- in the process I'm sure you'll come up with a refined look for wherever you're going. =P

2) Invest in makeup wisely- for foundations and lipsticks it's better to just go to the drug store and get something cheap- colors are pretty easy to match and even though they're cheaper, their application is just as nice as the more expensive brands. For things like eyeshadow, I recommend investing in more expensive brands. I use MAC, costing about 15 dollars a color, which is fine b/c it usually takes me about 5 years to go through one, making it about 3 bucks a year- more than reasonable. I use more expensive eye shadow brands b/c they apply onto the eye much more nicely. HOWEVER, if you're going to invest in a makeup that is more "long term" be sure to not pick "trendy" colors- go for the neutrals or colors that are most likely not to fall out of fashion.

3) Invest in classic clothing and only shop sales or discount stores like Ross or Filene's Basement. I got my black wool/cashmere Donna Karan winter coat at Filene's Basement for only 130 dollars, which isn't too much more than the cheaper coats you find at places like K-Mart (I saw some coats there that were running up to 100 dollars but were not as nice as mine). Shoes are good investments b/c obviously your feet don't fluctuate that much in size- just make sure you take care of them.

4) Magazine perfume inserts? Yeah, no one can tell if you've rubbed it on your body. Otherwise, ask for samples at your local department store.

5) Make sure your clothes fit well and are made well- even expensive clothes that hang poorly on your frame look cheap.

6) Buy clothes that can be worn in multiple ways- it expands your warddrobe at half the cost.

7) Buy heels, flats, and sandals at the end of summer and boots at the end of winter. I purchased a pair of Via Spiga boots, normally retailing at about $400, on sale for about $130 at the end of May. (For people who don't know how much city boots cost, anything between $60-150 is a good price- depending on the brand as well, of course).

8) Moisturizer? Cheap brands are fine- Neutrogena and even Vaseline are good.

9) Clip coupons- there is no shame in it. You only look stupid for spending more money on something you could've had for a lot cheaper.

I think that's all the tips I have for now- remember to always distinguish between need and want and to not live beyond your means. I remember hearing some other 20 something year old whining about how much she "needed" a pair of 600 dollar fuzzy pink boots. Honestly, who needs fuzzy pink boots? That probably goes with like, one outfit- if that.

Oh and not that anyone cares, but I'm really excited about this pair of gloves I found on the way to Laughlin, NV (my family and I drove there when I visited LA). There was a Coach store at this outlet mall in Barstow, CA and I went in hoping that maybe the recession forced Coach to drive their prices way down- I still wasn't willing to pay 100 or 200 for a purse that I would rarely use (and I don't like the majority of their purses anyway), but I did find a pair of leather gloves with a cashmere lining - something I desperately needed since I've been living the past 2 winters in New York without any hand coverings. They were originally 100 dollars, but I got them for 30 bucks.

Nothing is happier than a good bargain.

Jen
1.03.09

Thanks to whoever got me those markers! If you want, e-mail me and let yourself be known so I can thank you personally!

Sorry about the lack of updates on this site- I went to the boonies for New Year's and didn't have an internet connection. I was hoping that DAVID would've updated for me, but oh well *snicker*- anyway, I'm updating 12/31 comic and David's coming on later tonight to do the 2009 comics (happy new year btw!). Why is he updating the 2009 comics? Because he's the one that's doing the new 2009 archive calendar for the site.

Anyway, I'm not going to write much now b/c I'm not feeling well- I got the stomach flu on the night of the 1st, spending the next 24-30 hours barfing and you know what.

Remember, my gocomics.com site updates automatically, so you can always check there if there are no new comics here.

Jen