April 27, 2008

Humboldt in 1990

Filed under: Humboldt '90 — Tags: , , , , , , — denise @ 3:07 am

Cal State Humboldt is a hippie/granola/peace/love dumbed-down version of Berkeley in Marin County, California. I went there for one semester in 1990 and lived in the dorm and tried to fit in and failed miserably.

I’m going to try to document some of the goings on of that semester for your amusement (and my ongoing humility).

The “Suite”

I lived in a “suite” in the Chinquapin co-ed dorm.  By co-ed I mean that every other floor was a different gender and I think there were 6 floors.  Occasionally (every weekend), one would find a very drunk, very confused, sometimes naked boy lying in our hallway but room assigments were strictly with the same gender.

A suite consisted of a room the size of a large walk-in closet with two smallish closets that each housed 2 of the 4 “suitemates”.  We had bunk beds, a dresser and each of us a desk… though 2 of the desks were out in the public area of our communal space. There we had a love seat, a table, a 13-inch tv, a mini fridge and a phone.  And a pot plant. And lots of tie-dye.

The Suitemates:

Noelle was sweet and quiet and wispy and maybe stoned.  She never had much to say and mostly contributed to conversations with, “What? Oh! Wow. Right on! That’s so groovy. What? Oh!”  I had almost nothing to do with Noelle other than that I used to go drinking with her boyfriend Vince, whom she adored. Vince was a charmer with a touch of the SKEEZ about him…  but fun to drink with. Noelle was just under 5 feet tall so she was one of those girls that all the boys would scoop up and carry around and she would climb up on people’s laps like it was the most natural thing. IT BLEW MY MIND.

Here’s what I remember most about Pamela: she had very cool clothes (for 1990) and I tried virtually every single thing she owned on while she was in class.  Even things that still had tags on them.  I’m not proud of this.  It’s actually quite embarrassing to admit, but she was not an attractive girl but she had GREAT CLOTHES.  Oh, and those boots!  There is a reason I know those boots were buttery soft. Probably, it’s because I wore them around our room every moment my roommates were gone. Sadly, me home in the suite while the rest of them were off doing stuff was not as uncommon as I would have liked. I came in mid-year and didn’t know a soul on campus.  It was a tough time.  The boots eased the pain.

Sophie was my actual roommate, but she actually SECRETLY lived with her boyfriend off campus.  I essentially got our room to myself and just had to tell her mother she was in the library/shower/on a date every time she called and then call her at her boyfriend’s house and she would call her mom back from there.  Pre-caller ID, pre-cell phones.  Back in the good ole days.  Sophie was born and raised in Switzerland and went to school in England and like, BURMA or something like that.  Consequently, she had this great accent.  She didn’t shave her armpits or her legs and walked around naked ALL THE TIME to my total horror and discomfort (though I coolly tried to pretend otherwise). Her boyfriend’s name was Bruce or Bryce or Ben and he was pre-med and I had a terrible crush on him… and I could never stop thinking about how it was possible that all her body hair didn’t bother him?  Fortunately, she wasn’t at our room very often other than to study (her boyfriend had 6 or 7 roommates, himself) and I just forced myself to stare at her face any time we had a conversation.

To be fair, here’s me….  more later on why I came here, why I didn’t stay the the many adventures I had while there.


April 26, 2008


Filed under: Deranged Denise — denise @ 8:15 pm

I pulled through just fine.  Being totally wasted on drugs, being force-fed barbeque chips and homemade caramels (ok, maybe “force” is strong word) and watching,  “Knocked Up” totally helped.

I’ve slept about 16 of the last 24 hours… waking in the middle of the night just long enough to catch up on 3 back-to-back Battlestar Galactica episodes and HOLY FRAK, that was mind-boggling.

I’m achey and tired… but I’m hangin’…. I’m hangin’….

April 25, 2008

Here we go…

Filed under: Deranged Denise — denise @ 7:47 am

Today is my first chemo iron infusion in 2 years….


The stuff they gave me two years ago, they longer use.  Dextran, evidently, kills people. In fact, they lost a few patients while they sat there getting their infusions.  They didn’t go into details about it, but I have to assume anaphylactic shock, since that was one of the big concerns with Dextran.  And why I would have a panic attack whenever I had the treatment.  And why they started “pre-medicating” me with tranquilizers before the treatments… you’d be surprised how much a full-blown panic attack and anaphylactic shock resemble one another, in appearance…  it’s really quick embarrassing.  They will be “pre-medicating” me this time around, as well… which is why Kory has to be there to drive me home.

So, Dextran having been retired, they are now using something called Venofer .

It doesn’t require a test dose (which is a huge time saver) and doesn’t have that scary black box label and is supposed to be much, much safer – the iron is attached to a different sugar and seems to work well.  I need 1000mg and it will be given in 4 250mg doses over the next 4 Fridays (including next Friday which is MY BIRTHDAY *sigh*).

Kory:  Can we just knock her out and give her the whole dose in one shot?  (he’s been through this several times with me and he knows how physically and emotionally draining it is for all of us)

Doogie (my doc, who looks like a 10 year old Campbell’s Soup Kid):  No, we can’t do that.

Me:  How about 2 doses of 500?

Doogie:  (looking on the computer)  Well, it does say in the protocols that 500mg should be safe, but I think it would be really hard to talk the nurses into doing it.


Doogie: Exactly.


Doogie: Exactly.  (smiling)

Doogie is one of those let you come to the correct common-sense decision all by yourself kind of doctors.  Smart guy, really, as by the time we left I was stomping around, demanding to come back 4 times for 4 treatments.

I’ve been bamboozled.

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