Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dayna's Guide to Infectious Disease: How to Prevent Ebola (and maybe the flu)

In my profession, I work with an array of horribly disturbing diseases on a daily basis such as AIDs, Syphilis, and Tuberculosis. More times than not, we don't even know what diseases are being carried in the bodily fluids we receive which includes blood, urine, spinal fluid etc. If your body can make it, we can analyze it! That being said, working in a hospital, we can assume everyone, for the most part, is sick.  So, with all of that against me, I can proudly say that I do not have AIDs, Syphilis or Tuberculosis, and I don't even wear a hazmat suit! The super magical seceret to my disease-free state!? 

I wash my fucking hands.

But, here are some other things that can also help you get through the impending pandemic.

#1.  Vaccinations and Flu Shots

They will not give you or your kids autism. No, really. They won't. Don't believe me? You're a fucking idiot. 
Educate yourself:

Diseases kill people. Vaccines don't. If your un-vaccinated kid dies of the measles it is 100% your fault. Way to go, star parent award. Oh wait, your not a parent anymore because you killed your kids.

#2 Cover Your Dirty Mouth

If you need to cough or sneeze, please do it responsibly. Use your shoulder or elbow and you might get some friends. Sneezing into your hand is about as bad as rubbing your dirty Kleenex in someone's hand. Just stop.

#3 Soap

Important notice: hand sanitizer is not the same as soap. Hand sanitizer which "germ-o-phobes" rely on to function in public actually doesn't really help you from the bugs you really want to kill. It is very good at killing bacteria which can make you sick (yay) but it isn't very effective at getting rid of viruses which make you really sick (boo). Norovirus, the nasty stomach virus famous on cruise ships, is not affected by hand sanitizer. Just FYI, Norovirus is passed by fecal-oral transmission... You get it by eating someone's poo (mmmm). Likewise, Enterovirus D68, the respiratory virus proving deadly to children is also not affected by hand sanitizer. 


Soap is like magic. It works are removing bacteria, viruses and poop from your hands. What's the down side to soap? People don't know how to use it, or are just too damn lazy to save their own lives. Soap works only with physical scrubbing which means you have to move your hands around a little and actually scrub. I know it's asking a lot, but think of it this way... Scrub or die. Soap or Ebola. I know hand sanitizer has the whole 'it burns so you know it working' thing, and it's faster, but I prefer to wash the poop right off rather than just spreading it around.

Good luck out there, and when in doubt, just assume everyone has ebola and you might get out alive.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Population: Suckers

It is my humble opinion that all overachievers need to climb Mt. Everest. 

And stay there. 

I'm sick of my average/normal/perfectly functioning achievements to be brought down by those who seek more than is necessary. I don't want to feel bad that I'm proud of myself for actually going grocery shopping for once, or doing any form of exercise, or even drinking tap water. I'm proud of my accomplishments no matter the scale! 

 I want to be clear though, I don't want praise for keeping myself alive this long (although sometimes it would be nice) and I don't even care if you grow your own food and prepare yourself gourmet home cooked meals everyday. Just don't make me feel bad about my decision to leave the house wearing my left-over clothes. Don't make me feel dumb because I graduated with an average GPA. And please, don't tell me how amazing every aspect of your life is. Everybody poops. Everybody spills ketchup on themselves (organic or otherwise), and everybody has a right to be an average-achiever and not feel bad about it! 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Can someone make a good action film... please?

I recently saw the new Godzilla movie and to say it was a disappointment would be an understatement.  If you haven't seen it and you plan to, you probably shouldn't read this... But don't say I didn't warn you! The movie is called Godzilla, and during the whole 2 hour film, he was present for about 10 minutes.  Granted those were the best 10 minutes of the film, but not enough to call it a film about him.  I would like to propose some possible alternative titles for the film:

-"Military Everything"

-"Crashing Helicopters"

-"Collapsing Skyscrapers"


Godzilla is there somewhere, among the chaos of military and explosions.

All of the above titles would be more appropriate considering they happened in more abundance than Godzilla. Besides the apparent absence of the main character, there were many other inaccuracies that made it difficult to watch the film, such as at LEAST 10 helicopters in every scene, flying very low and completely unnecessarily.  Also, a nuclear bomb fell 200 feet off of a train bridge and nothing happened, and someone survived after the train fell onto him, in a quickly flowing river, full of train debris WITH a monster terrorizing everything.  If that wasn't enough, no one seemed to have any observational skills.  They kept investigating sites of these monsters and it always took them several minutes to discover things like, a giant hole in the side of a building with a monster walking away, or a nuclear submarine sticking out of the jungle.  All of these things do not require 'special teams' to investigate.

I know there are going to be inaccuracies in any movie. I just don't like when it completely take away from the film.  Or when a woman in the front row yawns as loudly as possible and everyone makes a noise of agreement.  Will someone please make a good action film?

Why are you still talking.

I have a history of being caught by people at pet stores who feel the need to tell me gross and disturbing stories about their animals.  I must have one of those faces that says, "please, tell me more" but really I'm thinking "shit, don't make eye contact". So far the don't-make-eye-contact thing isn't working. The past two times I have visited a pet store, I have been victim to these crazies, and that is NOT ok with me. I need to work on a face that says "I might have rabies, you shouldn't talk to me", or "I'm going to snap at any minute". You know, something super extreme so people are actually afraid to be around me let alone talk to me. Something like this perhaps:

So here's what happened.

Pet store #1

By no ones fault other than my own, I started some small talk with an obviously shy and uncomfortable employee working at the register.  Never again.

Me: Those look really dangerous (referring to a 6 foot long rawhide bone sitting by the counter).

Awkward Employee: No, my dog eats those all the time.  Except, I used to have this really fuzzy blanket and he ate one of those bones on it, so now it's just full of chunks of rawhide, so I gave it to my dog. He loves it.

Me: (Starting to see my mistake already) Oh yeah, that happens. (How do you respond to that?)

Awkward Employee:  Yeah, my dog has pretty much taken over all of my blankets, and pretty much everything else. He pretty much uses all of my blankets now. Hey, you are buying cat food. Lucky you, it's on sale! My mom has a cat.  It's really mean.  For a whole year it lived inside her mattress and peed on everything.  I have to take care of it.  It didn't like me.

Me: -Silent and terrified. What the fuck is going on. Why won't she stop talking. I gave her my money, what else does she want from me!?

Awkward Employee: Yeah, my moms cat is like 18 years old and it wont die.  Its KIND of nice now but not really.  I still pees on stuff but not as much. I have to cut its claws and it doesn't like it. It lives in my moms mattress under that weird layer of fabric. I got sick of trying to get it out of there so I cut it off and now it can't hide in there.--more random cat nonsense later--- That's a really good deal on cat food.

Me: This lady's house must be absolutly disgusting. Dog breathe and cat pee aroma, chunks of rawhide and dog teeth in the carpet. Cat claw marks everywhere. How do I get her to stop talking!?

After taking several steps to the door and looking outside every 5 seconds, she finally got the picture. She probably recognized the signs because I resembled a dog having to go outside to poop, and I'm sure her dog has chronic diarrhea if she feeds it 5 yards of rawhide everyday. After standing in line for 5 minutes with 4 bags of cat food shaking in my arms, I saw my window of opportunity to leave.  Maybe she was just pausing between stories, I will never know. Either way.. It was a horrible experience. It was a good deal on cat food though.

Pet store #2

I did not ask for this one. I was casually buying some kitten Fancy Feast several weeks later because my kittens are turkey pâté junkies, and it started a very unfortunate conversation.

Seemingly normal employee: aww, how many kittens do you have?

Me: Two, they run around a lot.

Seemingly normal employee: How old are they?

Me: 3 months

Totally normal and acceptable conversation up until now... But it then took a turn I was reeeally not expecting.

Seemingly normal employee: I got a kitten that when it was 3 months old. I didn't think it was going to live through the night. It had been hit by a car.

Me: oh, that's not good. Whaaat. Does this girl just pick up dead kittens on the side of the road on her spare time? 

Seemingly normal employee: Yeah, I took it to the vet in the morning because it actually lived. And the vet I took it to does animal chiropractics (that's a thing?). Apparently it's neck was out of alignment and he just poped it back in place and the kitten stood up and it was fine. (I'm sure it was not 'just fine')

I honestly did not know how to respond. I'm sure the look in my face must have been priceless because I was actually pretty horrified. I wasn't sure whether to be disturbed, impressed, worried for this kittens, or afraid of this girl. So many feeling...

I'm not sure what I managed to say in response, but I'm sure it was something unintelligible like "huh" or "wow?" 

Without even a pause she tore off my receipt and told me about a coupon I received at the bottom and wished me a great day...

Apparently the kitten is about to celebrate its first birthday. And my cat food was also on sale that day.

Friday, May 23, 2014

I work with robots. And machines.

I often have more in common with my work computer than my fellow "human" co-workers. The computer knows what it is capable of, unlike my co-workers who apparently have no limitations. It enjoys displaying pretty pictures of scenery and cute animals, whereas my co-workers think I care about seeing pictures of their fat ugly dogs and kids. My computer also has more creative potential than all of my co-workers combined. Based on these simple facts, I have deduced that my co-workers are in fact robots, and apparently not very sophisticated ones. In all fairness they probably see me as a flamboyant free-spirited hippy-nerd that doesn't contribute anything to society and they are mostly right.

As my co-workers see me (left).    My co-workers (right).

See, if you look closely, you can tell they are not human because they are metal. Also, they have buttons and wires.

For instance, upon arriving at work yesterday with a drastically different haircut, someone asked me, "Why did you get your hair cut?"..... Really? WHY? I thought about her question for a long time after my logical response of "it was getting long". Why would someone ask that? Was she curious because she is unsure of why she gets her own hair cut? Or perhaps she's wondering about the timing between haircuts? I finally decided that everything pointed to just one conclusion. She is not human. She does not understand the biology behind hair growth, and the constant need to maintain a reasonable hairstyle suited to the individual. This got me thinking..

At work we have this very fancy centrifuge (it spins stuff) that uses compressed air to spin it even faster. It always makes a high pitched rocket-type noise that makes me want to hide behind something so I don't get blasted in the face, but so far I've kept my skull intact. Anyways, inside is a metal disk that has two halves that screw together to hold the specimen in place. (See diagram)

 Well, I got the metal disk very very stuck. So stuck, I think I almost broke some bones in my hand trying to unscrew it.. Almost. I had all the tool boxes out, I used tourniquets to cut down on friction.. I wasted a lot of time on this while trying to use science at the same time. (I promise all of this is relevant). I finally decided to ask for help, which is something I try to avoid doing at work all together..

Three co-workers later and some very stupid ideas from my 'peers,' the last co-worker shows up. We are all 20-something females around the same weight, none of us brag huge muscles or softball-player type builds. This particular co-worker grabs the disk bare handed and proceeds to try and unscrew it without the use of any tool after watching us fail over and over again... She of course also failed. What an unreasonable expectation. She must ALSO be a robot. Even a computer could have figured out the odds of the situation. Turns out putting it in the freezer for 8 minutes shrunk the metal enough to unscrew the piece of shit. And who came of with the idea? Me. How? BECAUSE I'M NOT A FUCKING ROBOT! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Doom in a cookie

It's happened. My death has been predicted, and I think it's closing in fast. I casually stole a fortune cookie from someone's Chinese food at work, cracked the mediocre origami folded piece of almost-cardboard cookie in half and it was fucking EMPTY!  I've never noticed how dark and creepy the pockets of a fortune cookie are until now... I looked at it with terror and shoved it into my mouth as fast as I could. Maybe I was trying to forget the whole thing happened? Maybe I was pretending some Asian man didn't just predict my doom. Maybe I was just hungry...

 I don't even eat those cookies for the fortune, I eat them because they are called cookies. I don't care that most of the time they taste like the plastic they are wrapped in, they are classified as a cookie and as a general rule, I eat cookies. But as it happens, apparently I rely on the fortune more than I thought even though they usually make absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Maybe no fortune is a GOOD omen? I mean really, it makes more sense than most.. NOTHING. But, I'm still going to be extra cautious today... Just in case.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

It's a crusty life.

I have allergies. Hello, my name is Dayna and I have allergies. Whew it feels good to say that out loud. Not *sniffle sniffle* allergies but ACHOO ACHOOOOOOO HOOONK HOONK SNORRRT COUGH ahem.. Allergies.  I am crusty all the time. My head is constantly oozing god knows what. I have most definitely destroyed some small Amazonian village due to deforestation to support my constant Kleenex needs.  I also have an unhealthy addiction to eye drops. My eyes typically feel like they are made of chunks of rock candy that have been dropped in sand. Sharp angles and grit.

Eye drops make my life possible. They just feel like they just went through a car wash, one of those cool touch-less ones that just blast all the shit off your car.. Or your eyeballs. Because of my love of eye drops, my mother misinterpreted this as a sign of  chronic drug use in my teenage years.

Mother: Can I ask you something?

Me: Um.. Ok. (Nothing good ever comes from that starting statement)

Mother: Are you doing drugs?

Wham! Just like that! No small talk, no precursor. I'm sure at that moment with eye drops running down my face I looked very guilty, which for the record I was not.

Me: Like, Benadryl drugs?

Mother: No, like illegal drugs.

Me: Ooooh. Ummmmmm.... No.

Mother: You just use a lot of eye drops, and I read in my magazine that can be a warning sign of drug use.

Me: Really mom? Is that the only warning sign that applies to me?

Mother: Yes

Me: My eyes just feel like sandy rock candy.

Mother: Are you sure you're not doing drugs?

Me: Just Benadryl mom.

I'm  not sure she believed me. I probably wouldn't believe me! But in all reality, I really just used them to make my eyeballs feel less horrible.

The thing about allergies is,  they don't go away. Colds you can sleep and drink orange juice and take a bunch of drugs and lay around looking like death for a few days until it passes. Allergies don't pass!  You can lay around looking like death all you want, it's never going to get better. The only drugs available put you in small comas and when you wake up,you're  even more crusty. And orange juice? Doesn't do shit!  Moral of the story:  If you don't have allergies, you're one lucky bastard. 


I would like to talk about sarcasm for a minute. Not everyone gets it. In my life I have encountered many people that have never fully grasped the concept of sarcasm and most likely have never understood humor in general. I am going to call said group of people Herd Laugh-ers or HLs for short. The term refers to those people who only seem to know when to laugh based on a laugh track featured on mediocre sitcoms for your viewing pleasure. You know who I'm talking about.  The scope of humor for HLs includes pie-to-the-face type situations, or moments like "silly me, I accidentally used a blue pen for this important document". Sarcasm is typically outside the scope of their humor-radar.

I have never encountered more HLs in my entire life, as I have at my current place of employment. I seriously feel like Kevin Bacon in Footloose only instead of dancing I am forbidden to laugh. Or perhaps Spongebob in Squidville and everyone keeps telling me leaf blowers and not a toy. I'm just doing normal human things and everyone keeps looking like I'm pooping on a sidewalk.

Now, I'm about to get graphic and go mad scientist for a moment. Just pretend I'm Doc McStuffins and I'm referring to fluffy unicorn stuffed animals and their various polyester stuffing. I work in a hospital laboratory and frequently deal with disgusting things that sick people produce. I recently received the most foul urine a human body could possibly produce. It resembled something closer to an incredibly spoiled fermented vanilla McShake than the normal clear yellow liquid one would expect (see diagram below). Definitely nothing I would ever want coming out of my bladder.

So  I'm sure at this point you are wondering several things like:
1. Why the fuck did I go to college to do this? (Maybe that's just me questioning that)
2) Why would you talk about such a horrible thing?
3) What does this have to do with sarcasm?

Well, I'll tell you the answer to number 3 because that's the only question I can answer right now.  One of my responsibilities as a lab rat is to describe the color and clarity of the urine I analyze. This particular one I decided to ask my co-worker for help.

Me: Would you call this clear or slightly cloudy? *Note Sarcasm*

Coworker: it's TURBID. Why would you even ask?

Sarcasm. Not everyone gets it.

Most of my coworkers probably wonder how I graduated from elementary school, and I'm wondering where humanity went wrong.  Life is to shitty to take seriously.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Crop circles

To be completely honest, the idea of blogging terrifies me. It's on the same level in my mind as cave drawings and crop circles. We all know they happen, but don't know by who or why.. Magic may be just as responsible for their occurrences as people. Why do I think this? I have no idea. Maybe I'm afraid of a blog failure which really just means  this could be the only post. Actually, This particular blog has had many failures/past lives (we won't talk about the others. Lets pretend they got infected with a rogue human to robot strain of tuberculosis and had to be 'put down'). In any case, this is happening and just maybe it will live longer than the others. Maybe aliens were afraid to start making crop circles...