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Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016
11:22 am - Jonas
My mother keeps telling me I should write things down. Every time I call her to rant about life in New York City, or crazies at work, her response is that I should blog about it. I don't have a blog, or the self discipline to maintain one, so I figured I'd start here, back at my old haunt from high school...

After living in the city for a little over a year and a half, I feel like I have fewer crazy NYC stories-probably because it no longer seems so crazy. If I really stop to observe, though, I can probably still find some moments.

Take this week for example. We are in the process of recovering from "Winter Storm Jonas," which buried NYC in over 2 feet of snow. The days leading up to the storm, and those that have followed, have provided a concentrated dose of crazy.

I work at a very busy grocery store on the upper west side. We normally have a long line to check out, and occasionally have to shut the front doors for crowd control on our busiest days. Jonas hit us right around 11pm on Friday night, in the form of light flurries for the first few hours. As early as Wednesday we had insane crowds of people on our normally least busy days. I didn't really notice a difference in what people were buying...there just seemed to be many more of them. Thankfully for my sanity, I didn't work Thursday or Friday, though I heard the situation just escalated. I did not participate in the buying frenzy--The storm was only supposed to last for 24 hours, and even if we lost power, there was plenty of food in the apartment. We wouldn't starve.
Friday morning, I had waked to find that the water coming from our taps was dark yellow/brown and contained sediment. Filtering it through a Brita pitcher did little to clear it, nor did it alleviate the stench coming from the water. Discussions with my roommate and overheard conversations at the liquor store revealed that there was similar water in the University buildings and other apartments in the area. Apparently an issue at the Port Authority had messed up the water for all of Washington Heights and Inwood.
The city's response to this issue, in the face of an impending blizzard and below freezing temperatures?

Open a whole bunch of fire hydrants to flush the system.

Yup. Lets create rivers of water all over the (very sloped) streets just in time for it to freeze and hide under snow. Fun.

On the plus side, it did have the intended effect of clearing up the water.

Saturday morning-the day Jonas hit with full strength-we opened as usual, and I was scheduled to work from 3-11 pm. I left early, anticipating delays, but the trains were running smoothly and got me to work early. Even at 2:30, we had a long line of people waiting to check out. What struck me was that many of these people weren't there just to pick up a few forgotten essentials or emergency supplies. They literally were doing there normal stock the fridge kind of shopping. I guess they figured it'd be a nice quiet time to shop. In all honesty it was-compared to our normal days!
As the blizzard worsened, a travel ban went into effect and then above ground trains stopped running. Our already understaffed store suffered even more as many of the staff left in order to make it home while they could. I stayed, having multiple train options to get home. At 6, our manager declared we would be closing the doors at 7, with the goal to get everybody out by 8. We almost made it! At 7:45 we ushered the last customer out of the store and took the next half hour to wrap up whatever we were doing. At 8:15, the remaining staff met up for a final check-in. There were roughly 20 regular staff, and 4 or 5 assistant managers, as well as the manager left at this point. We were thanked profusely for our dedication and sent on our way with a small goody bag of snacks (trail mix, chocolate, fruit).

My usual route home is via a train which has 1 above ground stop on my section of track (more later), so I figured it would not be running. I decided to walk the two long-blocks to the Central Park station and catch the C train instead. The normally short walk took me over 20 minutes as I waded through drifts of snow that came to mid thigh in places, trekking through eerily deserted streets, save for the occasional pedestrian wandering down the middle of the road taking video. Getting into the station itself was a bit of a trick, as the snow had blown down the stairwell to the point that it looked like a giant curved slide. No steps were visible, and my descent involved clinging to the hand-rail and essentially skiing down. After waiting nearly a half hour, I discovered that, while my normal train had indeed been running, the C was not. Thankfully, a local A eventually arrived and I was able to get back to Washington Heights. Here I encountered a new obstacle. The travel ban combined with the residential/campus nature of my area meant that the streets between the subway and my apartment had become nearly impassable. Broadway had been plowed, leaving 5 foot walls of snow lining it in an unbroken wall that required some serious mountain climbing to cross. My next challenge was St. Nicholas which appeared to have been used as a dumping ground for the snow cleared from nearby streets. Halfway across the wide street, I became mired in a drift that came nearly to my chest. It took me nearly five full minutes of struggling with all my strength to yank myself free and stumble home. I crashed through my front door utterly exhausted and wheezing with an impending Asthma episode.
Thankfully, the warmth of the apartment and a few needed puffs of my meds and I was fine, if a bit drenched from my escapade.

All in all, a storm to remember, and a day that could have been much worse!

Little did I know that the real crisis at work would come in the days following the blizzard...

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Saturday, January 29th, 2011
12:44 am
i wonder if anyone still reads this...or is even on lj anymore

oh well

so it is my tenth and final semester of undergrad, thank god...i'm so ready to graduate. Everything just seems like a chore these days, even my fun class (japanese) sometimes seems like one more blech (homework wise)...mostly because the kids that had the other prof last semester and are now with us this semester are not only behind where we were, but they seem really rude.
I used to revel in the fact that as soon as Beeken sensei entered the classroom everyone shut up and they continued to do so throughout class--when we were in the middle of partner work and sensei said one word it would be dead silent.
Now, everyone just talks and talks, even when sensei is trying to lecture its constant blah blah in the background...it's getting out of hand and pisses me off.

On the subject of japanese, I have applied for the 2011 JET programme...we should find out next week if we get an interview so fingers crossed...

orchestra is going fairly well...there was a massive seating shake up this semester (including concert mster becoming principle second, principle second becoming assistant CM...and I got moved from assistat CM to third chair, while our third char became CM...) While i'm not super disappointed cause i've still got a good chair, i'm a little sad that i didn't get to finish things out as ACM...would have made it exactly half my undergrad career sitting there...
Our first concert has real potential to wow...if we can get it up to snuff :)
Its main feature will be Shostakovich symphony 5 which we will also play for the All state kids.

...and my jaw still hurts from getting my wisdom teeth out...makes violin slightly more difficult

and so on

current mood: tired

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Saturday, May 29th, 2010
10:44 am
hmm....long time no babble.....
and i dont even really have anything to say...

Another semester over, halfway through summer class...managed a third straight semester of 4.0 by the skin of my teeth. really ready to graduate...but don't know what comes next. I'd love to move to japan for a year with the JET programme. but even if i get in, i haven't got a clue of what comes after

guess we'll just wait and see

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Friday, August 1st, 2008
4:52 pm - crabapples!

the crabapple tree outside my apartment

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Sunday, June 22nd, 2008
12:29 pm
Robert Kiefhaber, my Opi

Rest in Peace

You were funny and happy, playful and silly. You gave me a glimpse of what my father was like, and for that I thank you with all my heart. May you see your son again now.

current mood: numb

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Tuesday, June 10th, 2008
2:30 pm
an update-

Basia is doing a little better. Her gums have pinked up and she has a little more strength. The vet says that it is either heart disease or cancer. If it is heart disease, it will be treatable. If cancer...

Anyway, the hope is that she has heart disease so we can treat it and at least get a little more time.

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Monday, June 9th, 2008
11:40 pm

She is in the hospital, maybe with congestive heart failure.

She may not live through the night.

Im so scared

current mood: worried

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Saturday, May 10th, 2008
3:28 pm
so our conducter recently announced some pieces for next semester/year

Mahler 1
scottish fantasy
and more :)
--needless to say, im getting excited for the program!

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Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008
5:25 pm - life...and the lack thereof
so this past weekend, we got a call from germany

it appears that my grandfather has metastesized malignant melanoma, the worst of the skin cancers. He has done his first chemo round and handled it well, but he probably wont be alive much longer, as malignant melanoma is one of the fastest moving cancers there is. In addition, we also found out that his wife's granddaughter has died. When we were there over christmas, we learned that she was 18 and had been diagnosed with aggressive bone cancer, and that they had already had to amputate one of her legs. I know she was suffering a lot, but this is yet another loss that my new grandmother is having to deal with.

so now i have to decide whether or not i can or should go to germany to hopefully see him one last time. I know my mom will pay for me to go over so that's not an issue, but Im not sure my being there would be best for them there. I don't want to force people to put on a false front, or have to be sociable when it's to hard for them, and im not sure i am close enough to them for me to be seen as the type of family you dont have to be perfect for, the family you will let see you with your barriers down. I might me too much of an intruder.

i feel so lost

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Monday, March 3rd, 2008
9:38 pm - yay....dead
Yay for Mono and cytomegalo virus!!!

so late last week i started noticing that i had a really swollen lymph node on the right side of my neck. It didn't hurt, it was just annoying. Then saturday night i discover that although the swelling has gone down, my throat is exceedingly painful to the point where i am having trouble swallowing. So i look at it in the mirror and it is red and has white bumps on it. great, im thinking strep. Urgent care here is way the fuck away from where i am and i dont feel like driving so i decide to go the the health center today.

So today at the health center, the intake nurse says its probably strep, and she will send me to my doctor to get a culture. fine. the second nurse takes my temp with a really wierd device that she rubs on my forehead and behind my ear, and tells me i have a fever. great. So i finally get in to see my doctor, she asks me a few questions and prods me some. Her thoughts- yes i probably have strep, yes my nodes are swollen (and i have tonsilitis). her worry- the lack of stuffy nose or nausia plus the pounding headache, fever, and swollen painful throat =MONO. greater. So now she gets to gag me with a swab (aparently strep often goes with mono) AND send me to get my blood drawn. I am to wait for the results and take them back to her.

The results: totally annoying, i am negative for BOTH strep and mono ... so WTF??? Her response
A) It is mono-i just havent hit the end of the lag phase where the test is actually truly viable (because my lymphocyte count is suspiciously high) and i get to come back on friday for a second blood test to check.
B) It is Cytomegalovirus, a virus just like the Epstein-Barr virus that causes Mono (both are forms of herpes) that causes mono like symptoms but results in a negative mono spot test. Joy
C) It is yet another wierd virus that they dont know how to identify. superjoy

In anycase, there really isn't anything to be done about it except sleep and relax--not likely considering its midterm week, but i would really like to be able to name this, if not just to validate my crappy feeling-ness, but also to have something to tell professors that will actually make sense to them--everyone knows that mono totally drains you etc...

so we wait and see, i feel like crap, and sleep instead of studying for midterms i desperately need to ace...

current mood: sick

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Thursday, January 3rd, 2008
3:39 pm
yay, home from germany...ugh, so tired and dead...must sleep...

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Thursday, December 13th, 2007
10:20 pm - finally!
So today was my last final, although it didn't really count because it was orchestra. My other finals were pretty much crap although biostats wasn't bad at all. O-chem and human physiology were Evil and the grades are still not posted (curses). Orchestra was ok today because it was a short rehersal, only two hours, but we even though ive been done since 4 i cant go home until sunday cause the orchestra has to play commencement. ergh. It's fun music and all, but id really rather go home instead of sitting through 4 hours of blah blah blah. Oh well, at least i can catch up on sleep and clean my apartment.

today i managed to find athena's favorite mouse toys and she's been going wild ever since...although, truth be told, she's perfectly happy attacking bubble wrap or empty two-litre bottles (both of which are on the floor in various rooms. Im really looking forward to break and seeing people again-although it'll have to be in january--can't wait to go bug dr mason, haven't seen her in a long time. Oh well, i guess ill go read my book in bed for a while.

current mood: tired

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Friday, January 12th, 2007
1:07 pm
So, as requested, here is my address at school---

Kathryn Kiefhaber
101 Ingersoll Hall
Fort Collins, CO 80521

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Monday, December 11th, 2006
12:01 am
so i had a fun-fucking-tastic weekend...
well, actually, it started out ok

on friday i went home to celebrate my grandfather's 84th birthday by going out to dinner at the Cork in Boulder. It was wonderful. I had a 10 oz. steak with crab on top and covered in holendaise sause (it was absolutely to die for). Then, since the waitor had overheard that it was my grandpas bday, he brought us a slice of ice cream cake big enough to feed a refugee family. All in all, a really good day.

Then on saturday, we mostly ran errands. In the afternoon, i suggested we take the dogs to the dog park for a romp. boy am i stupid. We got there and it was a mud pit. but like all stupid people we figured "oh well, we brought the dogs, we may as well let them run around for a while." so we let them in and lo and behold, they didn't really like the mud so we only stayed for a little bit. When we took them back to the car, i decided to hold onto jazz's collar while i opened the trunk so that i could maybe control her and keep her from jumping over the seat

however, i underestimated her enthusiasm, and she jumped as soon as i had the door open a crack. my fingers were stuck in her collar and so my hand got slammed into the edge of the trunk door with rather a lot of force. It is now 36 hours later, almost, and my hand is balloon like. It is a little red/purple/green although not much. the base joint of my thumb is way bigger than normal and kind of bruised spotchily. The worst part is that i can't really grip anything, it is chronically sore and the worst pain seems to be in the actual joint of my wrist-its extremely sensitive to even the lightest of touch.....oh yeah, and i have juries on tuesday. (i can make it through my concerto but my wrist/hand is so cramped up by the end that i have to physically pry the bow loose.)

so tomorrow, in between studying for my chem final and finishing my portfolio for comp and practicing for juries, i will head over to the health center for x rays---oh joy.

cant wait to see you all at winter break, looking forward to it :)

current mood: in pain

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Friday, September 29th, 2006
5:20 pm
so, i have to come home this weekend at some point to pick up some stuff i left behind last week. I really would like to make it worth the trip by hanging out with people. so, "Hey People! Let's do Stuff!!"

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Friday, September 22nd, 2006
12:03 am
yay, im coming home tomorrow. ah real food, i can taste it now...
yeah, so, if anyone wants to hang, im definitely up for it

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Thursday, September 7th, 2006
5:24 pm
so for anyone who cares to trek to fort collins, our orchestra concert is on september 20, 7:30

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Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006
10:05 pm
fuck life, the world....wait, no, just fuck R.F. and the fucking csu music department which has randomly decided that they no longer really want any non music majors in the orchestras, so it is required that all violin members of the orchestras be in lessons and violin studio. as if i didn't already have enough shit in my schedule, i now have 18 credit hours, and the only reason i don't have more is because the computer system wont let you regester for that many. And to top it all off, the computer regestring program for classes at csu doesn't really have the right times. so, for instance, it thinks orchestra is from 330 to 5, try actually 2-5. and R.F. said the violin studio class meets on tuesdays at 5, well the computer thinks it meets mwf at 11am. so life is all fucked up right now. Tomorrow ill try to talk to rf but it looks like ill either have to drop orchestra (and all the baggage that comes with it) or german, and even if i drop german, it'll still be crazy hard to fit everything else in.


So in other news, our floor in our dorm is pretty great, i like my room and christie - you rock :)
chem and bio are huge classes (250-360 people) but i think im really going to like the teachers. my bio teacher(s) are a man and his wife from holland-i will have to try extra hard to sit up front to make it easier to understand his accent. On the subject of german, i may drop it for academic reasons anyway. The thing is, i really like german, and would love to have a german class, but when i went yesterday, the people in the class had atrocious accents- (not that there was much talking in german, the teacher didn't even speak german half the time)-but i accept that i will have to deal with american accents, but the thing was that the syllabus seemed to cover all stuff that i learned at the goethe institute. so, i also have to have a talk with the german teacher tomorrow.
Composition will be a pain in the ass, but shouldnt be too hard academically speaking, it'll just take time to do the work.

blah, blah, blah...ill probably be back on later to rant more.

current mood: seriously pissed off

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Wednesday, August 16th, 2006
11:10 pm
GOD Fucking DAMNIT!!!

I just, TODAY, (tomorrow we move in mind you) received an email to tell me that my english class was cancelled, and i have to find a new one...
WHat THE FUCK???!?!?

I had a very tightly scheduled...schedule, and now everythings going to get all fucked up because, of course, this late in the game, all the sections are booked, in fact, they were booked out weeks ago, because it's a required class for freshmen!!!


current mood: seriously pissed off

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Monday, July 10th, 2006
1:40 pm
yay, im really happy i have real time off this week. mon, tues, wed, fri. so, if anyone wants to do something or something, now would be a really good time. :)

seriously, please rescue me from dr mason's insane animals!!!
tolouse keeps trying to eat my face!


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