Personal Update

My first year working on my Master of Public Health is done.

I’m doing a summer internship at Franklin County Health Department. It’s a great place to work, and I’m really enjoying it. Right now I’m analyzing the data from a project on infant mortality in Ohio. My supervisor has also arranged for me to go on some inspection tours, once he learned I wanted to be a registered sanitarian.

I’ve actually been working at this internship since May. This little personal update is almost two months late.



When the worst happens…

…I don’t know about you, but I almost go insane.

Ever since Tuesday night, I’ve been having panic attacks, breaking down in tears, and feeling ready to vomit. I’m sure for lots of people, Tuesday’s election turned about to be the greatest national tragedy since 9/11. I understand completely how they feel.

I’m white and from a Judeo-Christian background, so I’m luckier than a lot of other people. At the same time, I’m almost completely helpless. Without any income or independence, I can’t do much.

And if that man causes another recession and rolls back environmental protection laws, where will I be? My chosen career path will become all but obsolete.

And if that happens, I can look forward not only to a life of extreme poverty, but smug, self-satisfied Trump supporters telling me I’m just lazy, I should work harder, I expect handouts from the government, etc., etc.

Needless to say, I’m not happy.

News and a Cool Article

I haven’t been updating this blog, but I’ve been doing fine this summer. Unfortunately, the temp job has ended for good, but I’m going to get a Master of Public Health from Ohio State, starting this fall, and I’m excited about that.

I also have a link to an article at the Food Revolution Network:


In the years since I’ve become an environmentalist, I’ve hated lawns.  This article confirms that the problems with growing lawns far outweigh the benefits.

Employment Angst

Last Thursday, I got a phone call that shocked and confused me.  The temporary situation with the Data Entry Company (TDEC), which was supposed to last into June, was going to end that Friday, because the New Jersey State Department of Taxation, their client, had just contacted them that afternoon and asked them to let all the NESCO employees go.  Apparently, they didn’t need the temps anymore, because there were no longer enough forms to fill out.

I had to  get used to this idea.  I had gone from a full-work schedule to a no-work schedule, and even though I wasn’t upset, because this time it wasn’t personal, I had to change many of my goals for the summer and plan out things that I could do now that I had no work.  It took some time, but I managed to come up with a tentative schedule and a few goals.  I was going to do more exercise and lose some weight, practice my flute more, and prepare for school this fall, as well as find some new recipes and cook more.  So far so good.

This morning, I got a phone call from NESCO saying that the Data Entry Company wanted me back at work, at least the rest of the week.  They just got a huge influx of forms, which, apparently, the New Jersey State Department of Taxation couldn’t have predicted.  So that means I have to throw out the plans I’ve made and try and get used to a full work schedule again.

You may say I’m being overly sensitive, but I’m extremely angry about how the New Jersey State Department of Taxation is handling the situation.

Because it’s not like they could have predicted how many forms would be available for employees at TDEC to work on and sent TDEC a plan for the temps ahead of time.  It’s not like they could have kept the NESCO employees hired only, say, part time, just in case such an increase of forms would happen and they would have to work full-time again.  It’s not like they could have even given TDEC and NESCO  warning of these changes a week or even two days ahead of time.

No, they have to just let us go, only to hire us back four days later and tell us to come in immediately, with no consideration for possible changes in our schedules, how we were feeling, or how quickly we’d get the latest influx of forms done.  I’m not sure whether this is normal for data entry technicians, seeing as how this is the first time I’ve got a job as one.  I don’t know whether the New Jersey State Department of Taxation really has so little concern for the employees who do its data entry work or if I’m just imagining it.  But I do know that it shows an appalling lack of foresight and really poor planning.

Understand that I’m not blaming NESCO or TDEC for this.  It’s entirely the New Jersey tax department’s fault, and it’s the  people there who handle contacts and form exchanges with TDEC that I’m blaming.  I can only hope they do better next fiscal year.

Views of nature from work.

I work at the Data Entry Company in Worthington.  Although it’s located just off the highway, there are also some nice apartments nearby, with lawns and trees.

TDEC Canada Goose 1

In fact, the lawns are so lush that they’re a paradise for Canada geese.

TDEC Canada Goose 2

It was a rainy day today, so there were quite a few geese around.  They’re considered a pest around Columbus, you have to watch where you step, and sometimes you have to wait while they cross the road.  But if you have a 15-30 minute break, it’s relaxing to just stand and watch them.

TDEC Geranium

There are flowers outside the building, including this orange geranium…

TDEC Flowerpot

…and this pot of flowers.

Sadly, the inside of the building is not nearly as nice as the outside.  The office where I work is all gray carpet, bare white walls, and fluorescent lights.  Thankfully, on nice days, I can go outside on my breaks and get some sun, fresh air, and views of flowers, greenery, and geese.

A Change for the Better?

I’ve been away for a long time–a long, awful time.  I was fired from Silliker at the beginning of December and was unemployed until recently.  I’ve been struggling with depression, misanthropy, and physical sickness, including terrible migraines.  My grandparents have been very sick, and my grandfather died on the Tuesday after Easter (thankfully, I got to see him on Easter Sunday).  I don’t want to go into details about any of this, but things seem to be changing at last.  I have a data entry position with Nesco resources, and, even better, I’ve gotten into a Master of Public Health program at Ohio State University.  I want to try to change both my life and my attitude in the future.

Friday Foodie: B Spot

The Love Bungalow

Apparently, there exists a celebrity chef named Michael Symon who started a chain of “industrial-chic” burger spots after a successful run on Iron Chef. Never heard of him. But I have heard of spiked milkshakes, so after learning they were being served at the newest B Spot location on the north side of Indy, I made a trip to the Ironworks building to try them out.

Moral of the story? Don’t go.

B Spot offers “gourmet” burgers, but the toppings are nothing new, unless eggs, BBQ sauce, and chorizo suddenly became gourmet while I was on Christmas vacation.


And that’s all they serve! Like you better like burgers or you’re left with a couple salad options or a chicken sandwich. And the boozy milkshakes? You get 1 oz liquor compared to the 20 oz milkshake, so the taste is long lost in chocolate foam.

My friend and I split the…

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