Desk, Day 2


Day 2 3/8/13

7:32 A: Ok, my right leg, which has the extra blood vessels near the ankle, is very…achey? this morning. Feet feel fine, but I have on my rain boots instead of my normal Merrell Barefoot, uh, well, I’d link them here, but apparently they don’t make that style anymore. It’s like a work sneaker made of leather.

9:10 A: Sat down for a bit to work on some stuff at a meeting. Back up now, but heading down the hill in a bit to work on a computer. Jerry gave me an old box that’s about 6″ tall to prop my right leg up on, just to take some of the weight off it. I also ordered anti-fatigue mats for everyone.

9:28 A: I can’t tell if I have to go to the bathroom more often because I’m standing or because I’m standing, it’s easier to just walk over there.

10:11 A: Ooh, a chair (I’m in our satellite office that has a wall-mounted desk, not standing). What a novel concept

2:56 P: Well, I was down the hill sitting for a couple hours, and then we went to Ikea to get drawers for the new desk and I’m just getting back now. My feet are so hot that I took my boots off and now I feel short in relation to my desk.


3:54 P: Time to go. Didn’t spend a lot of time at my desk today.

The Standing Desk


Ever since we moved up the hill to our current building/shack/lean-to, we’ve all had these VERY SOLID oak desks that predate computers. They were in the building before us. We had various configurations–there were a couple L shapes, several just straight desks, one small one, etc. My favorite feature was that someone had drilled holes into the tops for cable management–but drilled them IN to the drawers. Very useful.

My desk was a behemoth. It had two giant banks of drawers on either side and one tiny cubbyhole that Penny was always trying to co-opt as her cave. It was just big enough for my legs. I just spent an inordinate amount of time looking for the picture where we did a fire drill and I tried to get “under” my desk in a crazy pretzel formation and didn’t fit. At all. Anyways.

Here is a wideshot of my side of the office after we reorganized it sometime last year.
photo (1)

And here is Penny trying to co-opt my cave.
photo (2)

Sometime last fall, we took some ergonomic surveys, and then had an ergonomic evaluator come out and …evaluate? You have to do this for UCSD’s ergo program to pay for some of your new equipment. In January, we visited the showroom where they had desks and gear on display.

And then, it actually happened. We actually ordered new desks!

I started cleaning the day before they were due. I had 6 drawers full of cruft. Highlights of the cruft:

  • expired Souplantation coupons
  • an entire set of workout clothes I had forgotten about
  • a card from Anna when she first started working at Beyster and send me something in campus mail “just because”
  • an opened packet of hot cocoa (yes, opened. Ew.)
  • so, so many pads of paper and pens and pencils.
  • untold amounts of paper I had squirreled away, including my last 3 merit raise notices from 2006, 2007, 2008. Yeah, back when the university had some money.
  • nametags from someone who retired 5 years ago (WHY)

Cleaned out, cleared off, I AM READY

From Work

It took them about 45 minutes to assemble each desk’s legs and screw them into the top half. Here is mine assembled and in place:

From Work

It’s actually a few inches longer than my old desk, so I have more work space (which I am entirely not using).

But I was, however, able to move everything over to the left, which is less glary and gives me a nice space on the right to work on other computers. Plus, I can see my corkboard, yay!

From Work

I am making a concerted effort not to move the desk back down to the standing position for 1 week. So far, it’s been one day 🙂
photo (1)

Must not lower desk


Standing Desk Diary

Day 1

7:40 A: We have arrived at work, the dog has inspected the new desks. I’m feeling good, but the wiggliness of my monitor is annoying. The building is so severely slanted (as much as 2″ drop in 5 feet) that it was impossible to level the new desks perfectly.

8:08 A: I’ve sat down twice–once to play fetch with Penny and once to coerce her with treats until the custodian left.

8:23 A: My heels hurt.

8:58 A: Caught myself with my left elbow on the desk, slouching to the side. Feet are doing ok? A mat would be nice. I scorn my chair.

9:23 A: My laptop screen (off to the left) seems small. I keep leaning over to squint at it

9:29 A: I remember when I worked at Disneyland, and my legs would be EXHAUSTED after standing all day. And I remember being super envious of the pregnant cast member who got to lean against a stool.

9:33 A: Sat on the couch for a minute. My feet are tingly.

1:32 P: Back from dr. appt, walking up the hill (no parking), walking down the hill, lunch, and back. Standing!

2:00 P: Feet hurt. Right leg is kinda achey. Co-worker is sitting down.

3:21 P: Been shifting my weight a lot back and forth. Heels hurt. I find myself leaning forward against the desk so my weight is off my heels. The dog does not care.


3:40 P: Ok, back.



I have a prescription that needs to be refilled by Friday (so, Thursday PM, really). I still have a refill, so I called the pharmacy, and they informed me that the prescription expired last week. GAH. Why?? They said they’d fax over the refill request right away to the doctor (also, why fax? You’re probably in the same building? Couldn’t you walk over there and be like, “hey, this is cool to refill this thing that you’ve filled many, many times before?”

So I called the doctor’s office to encourage them to approve it asap and got the standard “It’s a 72 hour turn around time.” Well, that’s great and all, but that puts us AT Friday, and then the prescription still isn’t even filled yet. Which is why I called on a Tuesday for a seemingly simple refill.

I’ve stuck with UCSD’s pharmacies so long because they charge you for 2 months and give you 3 months’ worth. That’s pretty nice.

But, we literally have to do this every time it needs a manual refill. One time, it took nearly two weeks for the doctor to get around to filling it. Argh, so frustrating!

I wonder how Costco’s pharmacy is…

Pool Party!


One of our friends has an aunt and uncle with a big house with a pool. Apparently, they only live there 6 months of the year and invite their family to take advantage of the pool during the summer. Yesterday, our friends hosted a pool party and Penny got to come along.

Penny is excellent about not wandering *too* far away. She’ll go exploring, but I know she’s nearby. Their yard was not entirely fenced though, and she was not “at home”, so I had to pop out of the pool a lot to go find her.

She was NOT interested in the pool. She is not, shall we say, a water dog. It was probably close to 100 F outside and there wasn’t really any shade near the pool, so I eventually got out and took her inside. Too hot for the fur coat.

Other than some intermittent barking at innertubes and odd décor choices, she did really well. She didn’t steal anyone’s food (not for lack of trying) and was not hyper or crazy or anything (is she ever?). The low-carb, gluten-free cheesecake that I made went over pretty well, too. The crust didn’t taste like graham crackers, but the texture was pretty good.

We left the party a little early to go to the dog park. Penny loves nothing more than to be chased. She’ll try to bait other dogs into chasing her and it’s really entertaining to watch. She’s picky about who she’ll run with, though! Mike walked her home (and I drove the car back and made my breakfasts for the week). When she got home, she snarfed her dinner down. Which shouldn’t be unusual, but it is for her! 🙂

Sadly, no pictures. I can’t seem to remember to take any..uh..ever.

Agility: Week 4


Penny has come a long way from a month ago, when she was scared of the table at her agility class.

Just check this out from last night:

She ran! The dog that never runs! (Unless there is another dog and they are playing…) We also practiced the plank (walkit) and the hurdles (hup!). I’m thoroughly enjoying the agility class, mostly because she is so well behaved and seems to be thriving.

Man, I had a great post in my head this morning while I was getting ready for work. I can’t for the life of me remember what it was about.

Cheesecake for breakfast?

From Random

Never fear, it’s actually a low-carb cheesecake topped with almond and flax meal. It’s pretty tasty, actually.


Minute Microwave Cheesecake
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp sour cream
1 egg
½ tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp vanilla
4 Tbsp sugar replacement sub
Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high heat for 90 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds incorporating all ingredients. Refrigerate until serving.
Optional: Top with fresh fruit, whipped cream and nut meal.
Makes one, one-cup serving.
Nutritional Information per serving: Calories: 299, Carbohydrates: 2.5 g, Fiber: 0 g, Net Carbohydrates: 2.5 g, Protein: 11 g, Fat: 27.6 g.

(I mixed it in a larger bowl and whisked the heck out of it so all the ingredients were smooth and incorporated. I then nuked for 90 seconds, but our microwave is powerful and I think maybe 80 would have been sufficient.)

Mike and I have been trying to reduce the sugars we eat, so this is a yummy dessert/breakfast?? 🙂

Puppy Agility


What’s this? I have a blog? Oh right!

So, Penny & I started a beginning dog agility class three weeks ago. We’ve done four different kinds of obstacle introductions thus far: table, plank, tunnel, and jumps.

Each time, it goes like this:

Penny & I approach the obstacle.

Penny pulls away and looks terrified.

I drag Penny up/across/through, she resists the whole way and is terrified.

We get back in line.

Penny & I approach the obstacle.

Penny hops up and does whatever it is flawlessly, like she’s been doing that her whole life.

I internally facepalm.

She’s still a fearful dog, but now instead of running away from everything (she still does that too, sometimes), she barks and growls, especially at carts, skateboards, children that are running towards her, surfboards, anyone who happens to be walking near our building at work.

It’s not all woe and despair though! She now no longer is crated at all, day or night. We leave our bedroom door open and she wanders around the house. I have no idea where she goes, but Mike reports she’s often on the tile by the front door if he’s downstairs. We started this after one night she woke us up frantically nosing/pacing back and forth because SHE HAD TO GO OUTSIDE RIGHT NOW OMG OPEN THE DOOR. We knew she knew not to go indoors and to take all necessary measures to find a human. (Two nights ago, she resorted to barking at the front door until someone got up.)

It’s a lot easier not to have to worry about where she is at all times and if she needs to go outside. She (sort of) can tell us.

I suppose my next goal in dog-dom is to actually be able to leave her at home while we go to work. I know tons of people must do this, but it seems like such a horribly long time. It’s probably my problem more than hers.

With that, I leave you with Vulture Dog.

From Penny

We are very exciting lately


Our evenings have looked like this:
4:30-5p: Get home
5p-5:30/5:45p: Play with dog/talk about day
5:45p: Make dinner
6:30p: Eat
7:30p: Time for walkies
8:30-9p: Home from walkies (yesterday we walked to Golden Spoons, but Starbucks is also a popular destination)
9p: TV
9:30p: I wake up and realize that Mike and I are asleep on the couch and Penny is asleep either on the tile by the door or at our feet.
10p: I wake up again, drag myself to the bathroom and get ready for bed and fall into bed. Penny drags herself into the bedroom and lies down in “her spot”

From Penny

10p-10:30p: Mike rallies and takes Penny out again for a pee break, and then somehow magically finds more energy to stay up and play games/read/do music/website stuff. I pass the heck out.

And then I get up around 5:45-6a and it starts all over again.

Pink Ombre Cake


This cake requires 3 boxes of white cake mix. I made each box, and then split the batter in two, by weight. After all six were in bowls, I used a chopstick to dole out red coloring.

Batter all colored and ready for baking.

6 layers cooling

LOTS OF FROSTING. I am lazy and bought the tub from Michael’s.

Smooooooooth it out

And cover the sides

Ready for decor

But first, this still looks uneven.


Enjoying some cake scraps

The striation

Cake interior