Thursday, 28 February 2013

Marfan's and Me

I really didn't expect anyone to correctly guess the potential genetic disorder that I have. But well done Lizzie, most of the time I've given you shout-outs because of recipes that I've tried to copy from your blog. But today, it's because you were the only person to guess what health problem I might have.

The rest of you get a gold star for effort.

Or an A if you want.

But what is Marfan's? Basically, it's a connective tissue disorder. Tissues that support various organs in the body may not form or develop as they should. Some people get faulty skeletons, others get hearts that don't work as efficiently as they should, and unsurprisingly I think I got stuck with defective lungs.

There were numerous reasons why I was suspected to have Marfan's. Fairly tall, thin, with elonganted fingers, small chest indentation, narrow face, the collapsed lungs and lung cysts, sleep apnea, general fatigue, poor blood circulation.

It's not surprising that my friends are dubbing this "Slenderman Syndrome".

Close enough.

But as most people would guess, it's the inefficient heart that are the killers in this disease. Weakened heart tissue and valves are not something to be taken lightly. This is why I went for the echocardiogram the other day, to see if my heart has any problems yet.

Lots of people generally go for heart surgery to try and fix things up. The technician for my echocardiogram was telling me how she had a friend who had Marfan's, and said friend needed the surgery so she could give birth safely.

However, I still think the scariest thing about Marfan's is that I could be dead by 30. 30.

Remember, I'm only 22, turning 23 later this year. 

Did I mention that Marfan's has no cure?

Luckily, there's heart medication for me (if I should need it) and that'll extend my lifespan to about 70. Not optimal, but still a huge improvement.

My doctor also didn't seem too worried, because a lot of the health problems I have are could simply be due to being so tall and thin. And again, not much they can do for me anyways even if I am diagnosed with Marfan's besides what I'm already doing. Which is dealing with the symptoms as they appear.

I'll have something more concrete in April when I see that specialist. My doctor hasn't called back about the echocardiogram yet so I guess that means everything is fine?

I hope.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Assortments Post

Another post not consisting of much. A random assortment of things to discuss really of varying importance. First, my break has ended. I slept in, I relaxed, could have used more time, but I'll take what I can get. I have a midterm coming up and I'm sort of prepared.

Well, as prepared as a guy can get. I mean seriously, does the idea of spending your weekend learning about how little kids mispronounce words sound fun to you? Who knew there was a term for dropping the first syllable of a word or adding new sounds to make it easier to pronounce.

Seriously, this is what they sound like to me.
In other news, my echocardiogram went well. Well, I think it went well? Maybe I should have gone into medicine so I'd have at least some idea of what was happening on that screen. It was a bit disconcerting to see my heart beating in black and white. 
It was also uncomfortable as the technician pressed the scanner repeated into my ribs and the scar tissue of my past surgeries.

Seriously though, I could see the valves opening and closing and as neat as it was, I couldn't help be bothered as I watched a little flap of something swing wildly with every pump of my heart. Is this normal? Is this healthy? I have no idea, and I won't until my doctor takes a look at it.

Looks fine to me.

Last but not least, who remembers Patt? My awesome prof from last term who I went to the pub with for drinks every week? The guy I was also going to get a reference letter from? He's a interesting guy, really nice person.

Who has suddenly, and inexplicably gone insane.

Within the span of a month this man has lost his mind. We don't know what has happened, or why he's suddenly lashing out at students and peers but something in his head has snapped. This is very uncharacteristic behaviour because I've known him for years, fellow students have known him for years and he has never acted like this. Always calm, pleasant to be around, funny guy.

Not someone who goes into fits of rage over nothing.

His research students are actually making back-ups of everything in case he destroys everything.

So, looks like I'm going to need a reference letter from someone else now.

Enjoy your week guys, I'll relax when my midterm is done. See you on Wednesday.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Not much to say

Uh, I really don't have much to say here. I mean, my life has been pretty plain these last few days. Other than lots of writing and sitting in front of the computer I haven't been up to much. Have I been productive? Yes. Is it really that interesting to talk about? Probably not.

Unless you want like a second-by-second monologue of how I typed paragraph after paragraph on a keyboard. It would probably read like a bad fanfiction if anything else.

Insert reaction from my followers.

Unfortunately, all the interesting things that happen to me will happen at the end of the week. Like the clinic appointment that I got. I'm an getting an echocardiogram which is basically an ultrasound for my heart. I mentioned before how I think I figured out the cause of all my health problems and this will be the first step to determining if my doctor friends and I have been correct.

And then in April, I have an appointment with a specialist who can have the final say. But you know what the great thing is? Even if I'm correct, even if I do have this genetic disorder, there's nothing they can do for me. There is no cure.

Anyone who guesses correctly what it is gets a shoutout. Otherwise I'm keeping my mouth shut unless I've confirmed it.

In the meantime, you can go into WebMD and input all my health problems.

In other health related news, I think I ate something bad because right now, my gut is in a lot of pain. Kind of killing my productivity because instead of typing, I'm clutching my stomach. No idea what it is, but what I do know is that I'm in a great deal of discomfort.

Maybe I should call off drinks with an old friend tonight.

Nah, I'll be fine.


Monday, 18 February 2013

Reading Week

Ah, University's equivalent of Spring Break has arrived and I'm looking forward to it. It's always nice to have a bit of a breather to catch up and get your bearings back. I've been trying to do several things, the first of which is sleep in.

Which is exactly what I did over the weekend. My parents hate it when I sleep in past noon because they think I'm wasting the day away. Well, I guess in a sense I am but I see no issue with this if I'm up during the night doing work.

I prefer to work during the night, so sue me.

But being free gives me time to visit with old friends and catch up with them as well. Whether this is via gaming or going for beers, I'm not too picky. Well, catching up with people that actually make an effort to get back in touch with you. Some people are really annoying in that they'll complain how they're losing touch with all their friends and yet do nothing about it. Not sure why it would take someone over 24 hours to respond to a text.

But I guess that's better than people who don't reply. I have another friend who I've been trying to get a hold of but it's clear she's ignoring me. I remember her saying once that if Theresa and I broke up she'd never talk to either of us again. I don't see the logic behind this, but I guess she's staying true to her word.

She always was a bit crazy if that helps explain anything.

Lastly I have plenty of time to get as much work done as possible on my respective projects. Things have been getting delayed due to various unforeseen circumstances. I'm aiming to have at least 5000 words in total written for all writing projects, and time will be allotted to the projects as opportunities become available.

Oh right, I have another midterm to study for after the break ends. Sigh. Fun times.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Happy Birthday Bree!

It was my sister's birthday today so happy birthday to her! Even though you have a tendency to take forever to get my birthday gifts. No seriously, Bree's gift for my birthday last year just arrived. Either the postal office hates her or she doesn't consider me important enough to do these things properly.

MEANWHILE, I on the other hand have her gifts ready. Well one of them is going to be late but I can't help that. Plus, at least I have some of your gifts ready weeks if not months beforehand.

I know Bree will never read this blogpost (because virtually no one I know in real life knows that I even have a blog) but I hope that somehow she feels guilt tripped. Because I'm that awesome of a brother.

That's right, I'm awesome.

I think I only have one follower who is familiar with MS Paint Adventures. So I don't expect anyone else to recognize the intentionally horrible companion webcomic: Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff. I don't know how much work was put into this monstrosity to have it look so bad.

In fact, it was so bad, they released a hardcover book. Which also had a lot of work put into it to make it intentionally bad. You can purchase on Topatoco if you so desire. Which is what I did for my sister.

They even made a commercial for it:

I have no idea how they got the scratch and sniff part to work. Also, it smells disgusting.

Another thing that my sister had a fascination for were these miniature food items. They're kind of a fad in Japan I think at the moment. What you do is you take the various powders, add water, and with a little work you too can create tiny versions of real food.

Some of them actually taste like the food they're supposed to replicate (e.g. curry and rice or egg omelets) but the sushi ones I got for my sister taste pretty gross. Maybe I'll order her some of the other ones in the future.

There's a guy on Youtube who records himself making these things. Below is one of the sushi kits I got for Bree:

Last but not least, remember the high quality resin ponies I got for Theresa way back when? This time I got something for Bree. There was a fan comic of her favorite pony so there, ordered her a  custom figurine of Woona.

It's scary how popular the creator has become. If you don't order within the first 30 seconds that commissions open up, you won't get a slot. And because it takes her months to finish each set of commissions you're going to have to wait for a while.

Which is also why this is the present that Bree is going to have to wait for. Too bad. At least I gave you part of your gift on time.

 For the record, my sister has terrible taste in ponies.

So happy birthday Bree. You're getting old now, just like me.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Happy Singles Awareness Day

It's going to my first Valentine's day as a single for the first time in well, 4 years I guess. It's not like I did much on Valentine's day to begin with but the holiday only serves to rub it in if you don't have a significant other.

I haven't made an effort to go about telling people that we're no longer together. Most people think we're still dating. Of course, we also made sure to keep things as quiet as possible. Neither of us are attention-seekers, making passive aggressive status updates on Facebook and calling people on the phone in tears.

Neither of us are a big fan of drama.

The thing is, my relationship with Theresa hasn't really changed. We ended on very friendly terms. But besides the fact that we no longer have a verbal contract stating that we are in a serious monogamous relationship we still act almost exactly the same to one another. Well, minus the couple talk. 

I see her just as often and we talk just as often. It almost feels like we're still dating.

And I'm not sure how to interpret this or if there is anything to interpret. We broke up because she felt she needed more time for herself and yet we're still spending nearly the same amount of time together. And yet here we are, meeting up when she has spare time and talking online in the evenings.

Is she just being nice and keeping me company because she's worried? Or is there a chance we could still get back together?

Or am I overthinking things?

I know I said I've moved on but I'll be honest, if she wanted to get back into a relationship with me, I'd happily go back. Does this make me desperate or mean I haven't actually moved on? I don't really know. I expect someone like Fang to let me know. He can be kind of blunt with his comments but I appreciate it.

That being said if I found a perfectly nice girl and we connected I could start a relationship with her with no negative feelings or baggage. The chances of me finding such an individual anytime soon however are slim to none. I still feel that things between Theresa and I could still work. 

I just don't know how I could bring the subject up without sounding clingy or creepy. Maybe I shouldn't even be thinking about this at all. Maybe the fact that I still think like this at all means I deluded myself into thinking I've moved on.

That be great, being in a state of denial.

I don't enjoy talking about my failed love life but its been at the back of my mind, only to be brought forth with Valentine's day. I don't enjoy getting comments about this topic because there are other bloggers who could use the attention and sympathy better than I could. And I don't enjoy talking or overthinking like this. I know in a few weeks I'll reread this post and say to myself, "What were you thinking? Why would you post that?".

Will Theresa read this? I don't know and the offchance that she may read this isn't going to change what I post. I won't deny that I still have feelings for her but I'm not holding my breath hoping that she'll change her mind.

Happy Valentines day to everyone else who's taken.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Happy Chinese New Years!

Happy Chinese New Years! Hope everyone who celebrates this day had a good one. So we move from the year of the dragon onto the year of the snake. I'm kind of ambivalent about the whole thing because I'm a horse so my zodiac year will be next year.

I spent it in front of a computer (as usual) and then meeting up with family for food. I know that pizza and sushi aren't traditional Chinese foods but I'm not complaining. I think I've eaten enough rice for this lifetime.

I'll pass.

I'm going to keep this post short. I usually do for holidays and what not. Plus, I really don't have much else to say other than yay for red pockets. When you're as in-debt as I am, every bit of money is appreciated for whatever occasion.

In less happy news, I think I may have found out why I'm so sickly. You know, the collapsing lungs, the sleep apnea, etc. etc.. A doctor's appointment later this week followed by some tests may confirm this.

I'll see you guys Wednesday.

Obligatory snake picture.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

End Midterms Round 1

I'm done my first set of midterms and I'm not happy. Well I haven't gotten anything conclusive back from the exams but I don't feel comfortable about anything. I've left both my Sociology and Linguistic's exams with that nasty feeling in your gut. Basically, I'm uncertain about way more stuff that I feel comfortable with.

Not fun.

Well I guess I'm somewhat to blame. Let's be honest here, I wasn't taking either class too, too seriously. Sociology has always been in my eyes soft Psychology so I don't respect it as much as I should. If there are any Sociologists reading my blog, I apologize. A little.

But asides from the assigned readings, notes in class I thought I'd be safe for it. I get the general idea of what the course is about.


Oh, and here's some questions and specific things mentioned only once in this paper we didn't talk about in class.

Hoo boy.

Ok fine, Linguistics. Round 2. Maybe it'll go better. You know, especially since he has practice exams and exercises for us online to do. Also, he told us in class that the midterm would be like the practice stuff.

So I go about doing these. No problem for most. Basically fill-in-the-blank, some multiple choice, translate a few things. He said there'd be some short answer but not too much otherwise.


Luckily I can still redeem myself for these courses. What with papers and/or secondary midterms in the near future.

Still, that doesn't make me feel any better with regards to the midterms already done. I apologize for not visiting everyone this week but it's likely to happen again. And when it does, know that I'm actually working hard and not passed out in some corner.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Projects Update

At the beginning of each month I've decided to give an overview of all the projects I'm working on. Whether it be updates, information on new projects, or letting one go, it's important to stay on track.

Also it keeps me kind of pressured to work harder on these things. Few things look worse than people who claims to be doing tons of stuff and only a few weeks later do you realize they stayed at home all day and looked at pictures of cats.

Or ridiculous pictures of dogs.

Project Pitch:

Yeah, I've hit a standstill with this one. 4 pitches, 3 rejections, 1 pitch still sitting in second level editorial. It's been sitting there for weeks and I'm not sure why the editors are ignoring it.

Unfortunately I haven't had time to research a new pitch to submit. It generally takes me about 2-4 hours to research enough content to submit one, and about another 1-2 hours to fix it up to the moderators liking so they can advance it to stage 1 editing. Also unfortunate is that stage 1 editing is where most my ideas go to die.

The most common advice I've gotten is that my ideas aren't outlandish enough, so I'll keep that in mind.

Project Derp:

Progress is going good in Phase 2. It's nice to see virtually instant proof that the work you're doing is actually getting results. That's one of the biggest motivators going for this project.

Unfortunately it's still not enough. I know I said I wanted to have moved onto Phase 3 of this project by the end of January but I realize that was unrealistic. I'd have to write ~1500 words a day for all of January to have achieved that. At my best I managed ~1000 words a day for a week and I was exhausted.

So at this rate I'm probably going to set my expectations to mid-March. Still need roughly 100 more hours of work to do before I'm satisfied.

Small estimation error on my part.

Project Vegas:

Oh boy. Good news and bad news. Quick recap, Project Vegas is me exploiting a loophole that Americans have in their system. Good news is that I've found the Canadian equivalent of said loophole. The bad news? I don't earn/spend enough to properly exploit said loophole.


I have another reason to get Project Derp to phase 3. Don't worry, I'm not going to go broke or to jail for doing this.

Project Cold 2.0:

This a new project that I added. The idea was to expand on concepts learned from my Psychology classes, namely, persuasion. I needed somewhere to practice this AND I wanted to earn money at the same time. Unfortunately the original concept was borderline unethical and it wasn't working.

The new direction that I'm taking has 2 phases and I'm fairly optimistic about it. An added benefit is that I'm running around outside so yay, exercise.

At least, it'll be better once the snow melts.

Project Copy:

Another new project that I took up. This one is supposedly going to indirectly help all of the above projects. And if done correctly could help with other projects and have real world applications. This is also the only project at the moment that has cost me something and has no immediate monetary benefits.

But it's only an hour a day, practicing a specific technique for the next few months, 5 times a week, so nothing too strenuous. Will it work? I don't know. But for the amount of work put in for the potential skill gain, I'm willing to try it.

That's all for now. I've actually halted all work on projects for this week. Things will resume once midterms are done.