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May 17, 2007

I'm a Doctor...NOT a Secretary!

So for all of those confused, I thought this would be the perfect time to clarify that I am a DOCTOR...not a SECRETARY. Not that there is anything wrong with being a secretary...I have alot of respect for them because they take care of things and know stuff I wouldn't even stop and consider! I know of a "secretary" or two that is a DOCTOR as well...go figure!

Why am I ranting about this? I got a phone call on the lab phone today asking for one of my co-workers. Said co-worker wasn't here, so I offered to take a message and the person on the other end identified himself as working for a publication or something or other. In any case, the person asked if I could possibly verify the details of my coworker. I replied with "I'll try", figuring that most of these calls are just to verify that the person still works here, that their mailing address is the same or something like that (just to make sure they still receive the publication). Then the person on the other end asked "Does he receive a digital copy of our magazine?"...to which I replied "I don't know". The person then asked "Is Mr Geoffrey interested in receiving a copy of our magazine via email?"...again...I said "I don't know". The person then asks my name (which I tell him), and immediately follows with "you are the secretary that arranges things for Mr. Geoffrey, correct?". I answer..."no...I work in the lab with him." The person on the other end continues with "May I ask what your current position is?" I answer "I am a post-doc"...apparently he didn't understand that, so I repeat "I am a post-doctoral scholar here." Still...the person doesn't understand what I am saying, and asks me to SPELL IT. So I spell out "Post-Doc" for him. After which...he says "So you aren't a secretary? "You arrange things for Mr. Geoffrey?"

GRRRRRR...I am figuring this person must have been Asian (because he kept saying "Mr. Geoffrey") and also having NO CLUE because he kept thinking I was a secretary! How hard is it to understand "Post-Doc"...and not to mention, and I am probably interpreting this way off...but just because a female answers the phone...do people automatically assume that it's the secretary?!

I've held my degree for over a year now...and it still seems funny to me when people refer to me as "doctor." More often than not, I am confused for an undergraduate or graduate student. I'm not entirely complaining about the fact that I probably look younger than my actual age. Talking to a sales rep on the phone the other day (different than the one who called today!), I actually say "I'm just a post-doc" to him, and he replied with "Aww...don't say JUST a post-doc...that's an important title to have!" But, at the same time, it's also strange to me because in the type of work I do...there are ALOT of PhDs. ALOT. So, naturally, everyone doesn't go around calling each other Dr. Such-n-such.

Anyway...that's my rant. I really wish people would get beyond the stereotypes and not ASSUME that a woman who answers the phone is the secretary. I think that irritates me the most, even if I wasn't a DOCTOR.

Posted by Amy Coon at 03:06 PM | Comments (0)

February 13, 2007

Valentine's Day...the Day Before

It is that time of the year, once again. The time of the year when love and lust overcome all of us because some little baby-dude that fires arrows into our ass makes it so. As soon as the clearance Christmas decorations have disappeared from the stores, reminders of Valentine's day are upon all of us, whether we like it or not.

Okay, so here goes the run-through of the past 30 Valentine's Days.

My very first Valentine's Day was spent all nice and cozy in my mother's tummy, since she was still pregnant with me at the time. I don't know how much that actually counts, since I wasn't exactly born yet. In pre-school years, I don't really remember liking or disliking Valentine's day, or even whether I was aware of it and what it was supposed to stand for. Probably best that I didn't.

As soon as I hit school age, Valentine's day was one of those particularly exciting holidays to celebrate in school. As with other major holidays, we got the class parties with cookies and punch, but Valentine's day was always EXTRA fun, since we got to make little mailboxes and trade those little Valentine cards! I remember each year sitting down with my Mom a night or two before with the class list, making sure that everyone in my class got a Valentine from me (not that I liked everyone in my class, it was pretty much the rule that everyone gives one to everybody so no one gets left out...it ain't a popularity contest y'know?). The cards themselves got to be cooler and prettier every year, and it was fun to see each year what kind of cards my Mom bought. One year, maybe it would be Strawberry Shortcake...the next year Care Bears (if you see a theme there, my dad worked for American Greetings until I was 9...so we tended to go for alot of greeting card items from AG). Each box of cards always had a few "special" cards too...a little bit bigger or a little fancier for giving to the teacher or your best buddy in the class.

As I got older, there was no more of the class parties in school, no more trading of cards amongst classmates. I don't recall particularly hating or liking Valentine's day in middle school, but I was starting to get to an age where it started to "mean" something. Some friend's and I would hand out candy and things, and it was still a decent holiday even though none of us had love interests.

After starting high school, it was more apparent that Valentine's day was a HUGE holiday for couples. Expectations were high for people who had boyfriends or girlfriends, and girls would carry around and show off the flowers, candy and/or balloons that their boyfriends had bought for them. I didn't have a boyfriend my freshman year, but I wished long and hard that some secret admirer would send me one of those flower-grams or candy-grams that the cheerleaders would sell around that time. I did see tons of other people in various classes of mine have them delivered...some really popular people had recieved them from several people!

My sophomore year things started looking brighter for me around Valentine's day. Our school didn't have a Valentine's day dance, but they did have a dance called Coronation that fell right around that time. I had gotten up the nerve to ask the guy that I liked (and who I was pretty sure liked me) to the dance, since it was a girl-ask-guy dance, and he said yes. It was the first time I was excited about it being Valentine's day and actually feeling like I had a reason to celebrate. As great as things were then, the following year was not so cheery, marking probably the first really bad Valentine's day. While the guy I was dating and I didn't break up on Valentine's day (that would have been WAY worse), we did break up the Friday before. To add insult to injury, we had both sent each other candy-grams and I was pretty miserable recieving it, knowing it had been ordered BEFORE the break-up.

On a happier note, my senior year, things returned to the same cheery-fun stuff, giving out candy to friends and stuff once again, but not feeling really all that bad that I didn't have a boyfriend.

I went off to college and dated a few people my first year. The longest relationship my freshman year...yeah...you guessed it...ended around Valentine's day (not the day of though!). Yes, I do consider myself fortunate to not have been dumped on the day itself, but it was starting to seem as though I'd not really experienced a true Valentine's day with someone. In the case of the boyfriend in high school, we weren't really "dating" officially on Valentine's day, but it was the closest thing since we had the date to the dance around that time. So, once again, in college, I had no one to celebrate Valentine's day with. At least I got cards from my mom and my friend Rick (who was greeting-card happy...he sent cards whether it was a holiday or not!). Yes, I dated...but I always came up short on Valentine's day.

And now for the time where it's probably best to cover your eyes and plug your ears, or else be prepared to do some head shaking. After graduating from college, a few months later, but still missing Valentine's day by a long shot, I started dating someone. Things were going okay, and Valentine's Day of the following year starts to approach. I was excited, since I'd actually have a real boyfriend on that day, but I didn't want to have really high expectations for the day. And it was a good thing that I didn't...because it was just like any other day. He was still in college, so I ended up just passing it off as either not having alot of money to spend on the day, or being too busy, or some other reason. The following year rolled around, and I figured it was going to be about the same as the last. Only this time, everyone that I saw on that day at work or otherwise began to ask me what I had gotten that day, or what the plans were for that night. Even better, I got to hear about what everyone elses husband or boyfriend had gotten them, or where they were going for dinner that night. I got the double whammy from a boyfriend-girlfriend pair at my work, who each offered up the gifts/plans that they had for each other. It wasn't meant to be mean...they were excited, and I don't blame them for that. And they also had no way of knowing that I had come up empty handed on Valentine's day, once again. The following year, I tried to put the day out of my head, but I was reminded of it by people at work. I was doing lab rotations and someone who knew the boyfriend worked in that lab. She was quite angered by the fact that he did NOTHING for the day, and threatened to call him to make sure he did something! I felt a little bad, since I didn't want him feeling personally threatened or put down, or much worse, angry at me! Instead...what happend after made me wish that he'd forgotten Valentine's day existed at all. The day after Valentine's day, we went to Target. All of the candy and things had been marked down, and he was a sucker for anything with a clearance sticker on it. So he goes and picks out (and buys) a chocolate sampler, figuring I should be all happy that he got me something for Valentine's day. I ate one piece...he ate the rest. Very generous. The following Valentine's day...I went away to a meeting, and while the meeting ended before noon and I could have come home on that day, I decided to spend an extra day there just to avoid him. I think I was feeling more doomed than ever for any sort of happy V-day.

The next Valentine's day, things were definitely looking up! The old had gone out, and I was in with the new...the new man being the one I love more than anyone in the world! I wasn't expecting anything, and Valentine's day was on a Sunday, so it was a nice stay-at-home and avoid all mention of it at work day. A phone call mid-afternoon from the flower shop said they'd be dropping something off for me! I was so excited when some roses came for me, but not so excited when the ex showed up, questioning who the flowers were from. A day of ups and downs, to be sure. Mike and I did celebrate in person later that week when he flew down to visit. The next year, things DID get better...we'd moved to Reno (and I was flying back to Tucson for work/finish up school stuff), and I got to spend the actual day of Valentine's day with Mike for once. Although, I had to fly out on that day, I did get to spend some time with him and it was the happiest Valentine's day ever in my life!

Of course, I didn't say that it was the best Valentine's day ever, it was just the best that I'd experienced up until then! A year later, we're engaged and moved into our house! Mike surprised me so many ways with so many little things and a dinner out...it still amazes me how he is still able to surprise me and I love him more and more for that! I realized then that the day wasn't so bad, and it wasn't about all of the stuff and expectations, but it was just taking the time to realize that you are really loved...and you can sit back and feel all cozy and comfortable with your life. That's the best...and that's the real meaning of Valentine's day for me.

So this year, there's no way I can be disappointed with anything having to do with the day, because I am at peace with the holiday now. I'm VERY happily married this year, and it's great to have that "first Valentine's day as a married couple" to look forward to and look back on afterwards. Last year was the best Valentine's ever, thus far, but I'm sure this year will be the best...and next year, and next year and next year. As long as there's candy. And Mike...candy just isn't the same without Mike.

Posted by Amy Coon at 06:47 PM | Comments (0)

May 08, 2006

Argh...Weight Gain Sucks!

Before I get any comments about how I am far from being morbidly obese, I'll just state that I'm not looking to be super super thin, but rather in better shape!

So what has sucked in recent years is the up-and-down weight that I've had. I'm either a little on the fluffy side, or I go to the other extreme and don't weigh enough to donate blood! I was reading through blog entires from a few years back and looking at my weight as being 110-115 (when I was going thru my Bridgette Jones' Diary type entry phase). Well, to tell the truth, I was actually lower than 110 lbs at that time.

Now...not so much. As I look at myself in the mirror trying on the shorts that I wore last season and having them be too tight, I realize that I've gained more than I really wanted to in that last year of grad school. And with getting married in less than two months, of course I wish I was more on the slimmer side than the not-so side! Even if I didn't look in the mirror, the size on the clothes (and the wedding dress!) reflect it too!

Weight loss is kind of a slippery slope. It takes a while to get motivated to reach a weight goal, but it seems like things keep sliding and moving further downward, for me at least. I think things would be great if I was at a weight that was middle ground, and I didn't have to worry so much about it. Is there anyone out there who doesn't worry about weight matters in the slightest (whether it be up or down...based in reality or not?) It's one of the few worries I have left!

Posted by Amy Coon at 07:58 PM | Comments (1)

January 27, 2005

Fog

I suppose I'll start off one of the first entries of the new year with a little bit of a rant. After all, isn't that what these things are for?

Anyway, if anyone was wondering, the big move went off pretty much without a hitch. Kitty cats were introduced with expected results. And now with all of my furniture moved to Sparks, I start the commute to and from Nevada each weekend for a little while.

As I said, moving went off without a hitch. The flight back was good too (if there can be anything good said about having to leave Mike and the cats). Southwest is absolutely wonderful, as I managed to catch an even earlier connecting flight between Las Vegas and Tucson, meaning I got home an hour and a half earlier.

A couple of days later, my weekend flight between Tucson and Reno. First flight delayed due to weather in the city the plane was coming from. But the flight between Las Vegas and Reno was delayed too. As I sit in the airport and wait, the gate agents make the announcement that they are looking for volunteers (with compensation). Since I wanted to get to Reno that night, of course I wasn't giving my seat up! But, just as the plane arrives and boarding starts, I'm pulled out of the boarding line because the Las Vegas-Reno flight has been canceled. Now if I would have just taken compensation in the first place!

So I wander back home, slightly depressed (although the parking people were extremely nice and didn't charge me!). I wake up the next morning to catch the 7:15 flight. That goes off okay, and I make it to Las Vegas. The problem happens when FOG is not allowing planes to land in Reno! So...the end result is that I don't get to Reno until around 1:30pm. Keeping in mind I have to leave Sunday evening!

My goal for future flights (coming back from Reno, primarily, hehehe) is to see if I can get compensated for giving up my seat between Las Vegas and Tucson. Free hotel in Vegas...my one way ticket...$200. I want!

Ah well...perhaps one of these times!

Posted by Amy Coon at 01:14 AM | Comments (0)

December 29, 2004

Merry Grinchmas and a Happy Who Year

Be prepared for the rant...it's going to be long. There's just so much to cover, that I might end up putting all of this into separate entries.

*Deep Breath*

My first rant is regarding the ridiculous nature of Christmas shopping in Tucson. Starting the day after Thanksgiving, there is a mass migration to the local malls and shopping places. I started to get a little clammy shopping with my mother in Phoenix the day after Thanksgiving, but that was really nothing compared to what I would encounter later in Tucson. I am a typically patient person, but people shopping at places like Walmart have very little respect for personal space, or even as much as being aware of who is around them as to not bump into them accidentally. I slowly started to panic each time I had to go out shopping, which made me sometimes forget what I had gone out to shop for in the first place!

Second rant...Christmas music. Starting the DAY BEFORE Thanksgiving, the radio stations start playing Christmas music non-stop. Okay, so that makes me a bit of a grinch, perhaps, but I'll note that I also sometimes hum "Jingle Bells" in July. The fact of the matter is that there are limited Christmas songs, so they start to repeat rather quickly. In a typical day, I could hear "Silent Night" or "Winter Wonderland" about 6 different times, each by a different artist. It really starts to drive me crazy after a while.

So the Christmas holiday was rather uneventful. Got to see my Grandma and aunt as well as my family and the newly-adopted-indoors cat, Pinky.

Mike started moving to Sparks on the 26th (packing up). He got there on the 28th and got everything moved in. My flight there was due to arrive on the 29th at 8:59 am.

That's where the fun starts. And now I start my rant on America West Airlines.

I am officially boycotting America West Airlines. So help me, I will never fly America West unless I am totally despirate to fly somewhere, or for some unknown reason, someone else is foolishly making the reservation. It isn't worth saving a couple extra bucks to fly that airline. Really.

The morning of the 29th started out rather early. 3:15 am in fact. That's when the first alarm went off at my place and my cats were sleeping peacefully and encouraging me to stay in bed. I finally dragged my sorry butt out of bed and got into the shower and hurriedly got ready and everything taken care of. I wanted to get to the airport 2 hours early, but that would have meant leaving at 4am, and I was running a little later than that (I left the gas station in Tucson at a quarter to 5).

The drive to Phoenix was rather uneventful. I made pretty good time, and got to the airport, found a parking spot, and the bus came to take everyone to the terminal. The line for the check-in kiosks was long, but moving quickly. I checked in, handed over my two pieces of checked luggage and went up to the security checkpoint. That, too, went rather quickly.

I arrived at the gate (Gate A21) where it flashed a continuous "On Time". Good sign I thought. Until 45 minutes before take-off they just announced "Sorry, but the flight has been cancelled due to weather." The lady at the check-in counter couldn't say whether it was weather in Phoenix or weather in Reno. So we all dash over to the customer service counter (which is just opening) and quickly reschedule flights. Luckily I hauled arse over there and was the 3rd person in line. Rescheduled for 11am. Bummer.

So I sit in the airport, pondering all of the missives I'm going to write in the future about this airline. I call Mike, inform him of the bad news, but at least good news since I got rescheduled for that day at least. I go and sit down at the new gate (Gate A23, right next to the old one) with my People magazine and just wait it out. After a flight boards, I notice that the next one listed at the gate ISN'T the one I'm on (and it's scheduled to take off after mine would), so I get up and go to look at the boards. I almost have a heart attack when my flight isn't listed on the board anymore! Luckily, about 5 minutes later, it reappears on the board.

So, they told us it was that it was A23 before. We all go and sit there. Then suddenly they up and change the gate! Gate A11, which isn't as close as it sounds. 4 moving walkways away (which amounted to a 10 minute walk), we're at the new gate, waiting again.

And now the airline is claiming that the rescheduled flight that I'm on is still "On Time". Although, at the time of boarding, the plane still hadn't arrived at the gate. I seriously questioned how "On Time" the flight was going to be. But they kept insisting that it would.

The plane finally arrived from whereever it was coming from (Hartford, I think) and we start boarding. I settle down in my seat and doze off a few times. When the main door closed and I had to turn off my cell phone, the time was already 15 minutes past scheduled departure. In the terminal they claimed we'd be "On Time", alternating that with "We should get you guys to Reno about 15 minutes later than scheduled". How the F*(K is that on time?!?!

Again, I doze. It seemed to take forever to finally take off. And aside from the bumpy flight leaving Phoenix, the rest of the trip was fine. After snacks, I fell asleep until we landed. And I flip on my cell phone...12:45. Yes, a whole 45 minutes LATER than the scheduled flight! And according to Mike, who had been waiting that entire time in the termial in Reno, they were in denial about the fact that the flight was late! 45 minute delay on the rescheduled flight. I actually arrive 4 hours later than I wanted to originally anyway!

Screw America West Airlines!

As a final bit added to this entry, I'll mention the speculations that were made by various passengers that I either overheard or I heard say to me. There is a great amount of speculation as to whether the weather was really the problem or not. Southwest Airlines had flights to Reno around the same time, and while they were delayed slightly leaving Phoenix, they were NOT CANCELLED! Therefore, the conclusion that some people made was that the cancellation had nothing to do with weather, but rather that the airline had too few passengers on the 8am flight, so they just cancelled it. Hey, why should they not have a little inconvenience for the fine people that fly their airline.

Take home message: Don't fly America West Airlines. Southwest Airlines is my airline of choice, and Delta a close second when Southwest doesn't fly to where I'm going. This isn't the first time something like this has happened to me on this airline. I should have known better than to trust the snake again not to bite.

Posted by Amy Coon at 04:49 PM | Comments (0)

November 06, 2004

The Weather

It seems as though I've heard this phrase many times, as applied to many places: if you don't like the weather now, wait 5 minutes.

But for some reason, people not from Arizona tend to laugh when they hear that applied to the weather here. Isn't it always HOT here? And DRY? Not quite, boys and girls.

So here's an example from just recently. I looked on the weather.com page to check to see what the weather was supposed to be like today. This was at around 10:30pm last night, and I had heard from various other weather sources that this weekend was supposed to be in the low 80s and sunny. The Weather Channel page showed the same, big bright sun icon, no partly cloudy or anything like that.

I wake up this morning (uh...this afternoon...hehe), and it's dark and cloudy! Yeah, it was still on the warm side (this isn't Montana or Alaska after all) and it was sprinkling rain off and on. So much for clear skies!

Anyway, that's just another thing to rant about.

Posted by Amy Coon at 11:37 PM | Comments (0)

January 19, 2003

The jerkstore called...they're all out of you...

I've been meaning to write on this subject for a few days, but apparently it has withstood the test of time in my mind, making it blog-worthy :)

So I'm walking out to the parking lot and, just like every day, I pass by the UMC hospital main entrance. All of the patients being discharged and waiting for their rides kind of congregate here, and people are coming and going towards the visitor parking garage.

This, being seemingly like any other day, I hear this lady shouting at someone near the entrance. I pass by, and the lady is screaming at a little girl (presumably her daughter) who is cowering in the corner, about to start sobbing. The lady is yelling at the kid about the fact that she has no money to give to the girl so she can buy candy from the gift shop.

Now, tell me, what is the point of yelling at a small child over something like that? Is it really necessary to make a scene? Moreover, the lady produced a dime from her pocket and threw it at the kid and said "here...go buy your damn candy...a dime won't get you much!" Again...is swearing at a child really accomplishing anything.

So, feeling really bad for the kid, I think about it a bit more as I make my way to my car. Driving along the ring road that circles the hospital, I see the same lady (complete with the kidlet being yelled at as well as 3 other kids). She's dragging that kid by her arms, and smackin another one. Sheesh.

My point of this being that, yes, I understand children have off days. Yelling at them and embarrassing them and yourself in public doesn't accomplish anything. Should children be punished for politely asking for money to buy candy? (Now, I don't know whether this kid was polite in asking, but I don't think any child deserves the treatment that lady was giving to her).

Ok...that's my story for the day :)

Posted by Amy Coon at 04:44 PM | Comments (0)