- The reading requirements for this program have us all in fits. Hundreds of pages per day of complex medical information. I swear my brain has stretch marks. I am actually growing new neural pathways, and that causes real pain. This is the exact reason college students need alcohol. It is anesthetic.
- I have some brand new medical equipment to play with. I am having fun getting to know my new stethoscope. For some reason, owning a stethoscope makes me feel like the real deal.
- I'm sticking to my healthy diet and exercise plan. I'm even squeezing in short trips to the gym on days that I would normally have blown it off in favor of going to get a coffee. I am proud of myself for that.
- I can already see where I have some tangible strengths to bring to this program. All that time spent talking to the patients at the VA has given me good tools for assessment and other communication skills that are going to come in handy.
- I need to work on the technical side of things, and learn to handle the equipment confidently. I already know how to give injections, but all those tubes and wires are hard to handle gracefully. I have a bit of trepidation about learning to draw blood and start IV's, but I am lucky that one of my fellow students is a phlebotomist from one of the local hospitals, and he seems like he would be helpful.
- There are tons of interesting people taking the program with me. We are all getting to know each other. I have had lunch with different people every day. I have even proposed getting a study group together with other students who have kids, so Little A can get some play dates out of it, and maybe Tony can get some support from their spouses.
- This is going to be a really rough program, but so far I still feel positive about it. I'd like to think I can thrive, since I seem to manage under stress even if I do whine about it. I have a lot of homework to hammer away at over the weekend, but I am scheduling some leisure time.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I was archiving some OLD blog material from my tribe.net blog, and came across this post this morning. This is from December 2006, but remains true today.
Things just are what they are. So far, my time travel experiments have only yielded the ability to be hurt like a child, to be immature like a teenager, and to be saucy and jaded like I was in my early 20's.
Just when I think I really have found myself and I know who I am, situations come around to challenge those assertions.
And who I am versus what I represent to other people in my life seems to be vastly divergent at times.
Here's what I know (or think I know). I have been known to be totally wrong.
1. Some people see me as a difficult, temperamental, prickly and disagreeable bitch.
2. Some people see me as a warm, funny, caring, affectionate, fun loving, happy-go-lucky party girl.
3. Some people see me as a hard-driving intellectual, perfectionist academic with no sense of humor.
4. Some people see me as a pragmatic, spiritual, deep and earnest soul with something to teach, something to learn.
5. Some people see me as an unrelenting artist with endless creative potential. Some think I'm a flake that squandered a promising career as a chef.
6. Some find me to be a sex-obsessed pervert, while others think I'm a bit uptight.
So, which of these is true? All of them, I guess. Or none of them. What other people think of me only has a limited relevance in the long run.
All I know is I can still hurt like a child, pine like a teenager, and ache like a woman. As I hobble toward my geriatric years, I just hope that I don't have to taste too much regret.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Granted, I have had a horribly busy week that isn't even over yet, but even so. I guess it is a good thing that I was using my brain for the scheduled activities at home and school. But it usually goes without saying that Iceberg was, up to now, pretty memorable. My love/hate relationship with him lasted a pretty long time.
I doubt he lurks around my blog anymore, but I still feel bad that I forgot. So there you have it, John T. If you are looking, I did eventually remember. It isn't like the old days when I would splash out on elaborate gifts for you, but considering how much is on my plate these days, it will have to do. I won't be e-mailing you, so this is your lot this year.
I wonder if your tailor remembered to send you a card. Lord knows your relationship with your tailor was more important to you than I was. You used to laugh about it. Yes, I know how hard it is to find a good tailor. Point taken.
Anyway, Happy Belated Birthday.
Last night I had a dream that Tony and I were walking down an alley in San Francisco, and there was a guy walking really close behind us. So I turned around and confronted him, and it turned out to be a cop.
Well, not a cop exactly, it was a totally cute flaming boy in cutoff cop shorts and going by the hustler name of "Officer Nasty". It turned out we were on his proverbial street corner and he thought we were potential customers.
Once we worked out the misunderstanding, he conducted us further down the road to where an impromptu disco party had broken out in the street, complete with disco ball. We found ourselves dancing in with a bunch of gay men in colorful costumes.
While we were having fun, I saw Officer Nasty slip away and "arrest" a dude in scrubs. After a thorough frisking, he dragged him back to the alley for some business time.
Fucking weird dream, but really funny. I love it when my dreams make me laugh.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I don't want to be a thorn in your side
But I can't help it; I'm so prickly.
Poking in your sensitive ribs
When all I want is a soft embrace.
Always surprised when you look inside.
I want to show you something beautiful.
More often than not I spill my guts
And you see me in imperfect light.
I want to be gentle for you
Easy going and soft beside you,
But the world chafes my skin
And I bristle instead of kissing.
I don't want to make you weary
Because I love, love, love you.
Forgive me if I wear you out
With all my endless being.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Mostly it is that I am still figuring out what my ultimate schedule will be. I have not gotten my "sea legs" yet.
Breathe, Stacie, breathe.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Toasted shelled pumpkin seeds
Toasted Sunflower seeds
Raisins (not too many)
I also have a bag of dried mango for when I want something sweet.
Any other suggestions?
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I am actually not too stressed, yet. I just keep telling myself that the first few weeks are going to be an adjustment, but that I have a plan. That plan involves being kind to myself, doing healthy things like eating well and exercising, and getting some rest.
It is going to be okay. Yes, it is a rigorous course of study. I am just going to do it in the most centered way that I can, and when I get harried I will remember all the wonderful people that are pulling for me and that want to see me succeed.
And Tony just told me that he is getting me a new laptop this weekend! Yay! How timely. And my campus is wireless-enabled, so I should be better able to keep up with things. Good, good stuff. Amazing what a difference stuff like that makes.
I just got back from bellydance class. In keeping with my plan to be kind to myself, I am not going to go into a diatribe about how hard it is to look at my body being this out of shape. I am going to the gym and this dance class, so the fact that I am working on it will have to be good enough for now. But oh! *slaps own hand* Ok, enough whining!
I am just going to stay in the space where I am grateful. That does seem to help.
- I have a generous scholarship that is going to take care of the money so I can concentrate on my studies. Other students are not so lucky.
- I have a loving family.
- I have wonderful friends that inspire me to be the best person I can be.
- I have the tools and the skills and the brains to do this.
- I can be confident and trust that this will work out and I can thrive where others may falter.
- I am strong and have the spiritual backbone to weather the challenges.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Day one of orientation went great. I ran into some familiar faces, and like me they are just glad that we are all finally in the program and can get on with it already. Those "weeder" classes were murder, and we feel like old war veterans already.
We all looked pretty glassy-eyed by the end of the day, but even though I am tired and get to go for another day of orientation tomorrow that is even longer, I'm buoyed by the prospect of being in school full time. Since I have been working in some form or another since I was 13, this will be a novel experience for me.
Just a few more days and I can kiss my office goodbye for a while. This is going to be exhausting, but great. I feel really good about it.
Monday, August 18, 2008
It is a white cake with chocolate mousse filling and cream cheese icing. It is a total gut bomb and the sugar is going to put me into orbit, but it makes me feel good that they went to the trouble.
Cake for breakfast is okay sometimes, right?
Friday, August 15, 2008
I have a few letters to write and some organizing to do to make this easier on myself. In retrospect I should have taken vacation time for next week, but alas.
I finished that novel I was reading, and don't want to start anything new because I won't have time to finish it. It is gonna have to be comic books or poetry or something for the next week.
But most of all, I need to find my center and just settle down. Any interpersonal stuff that isn't resolved now is just going to have to wait. That was the whole point of visiting as many friends as possible over the summer. The social calendar must now be stripped down to the bones at least until I get into a workable study schedule.
That is the hardest thing for me, pulling away from the loving arms of my friends to go bury my nose in a book, or in this case, a stack of books that measures from the floor to my waist. Juggling all of that is going to be interesting.
I will continue blogging, but volume is sure to go down. Either that, or I will have to put gross-out warnings on the posts that discuss my fascination with epidemics or other health-related issues. I promise to keep the images of rare skin diseases to a minimum.
So, my lovelies. I LOVE you! Remember that and forgive me if I suddenly stop stalking you and calling you and forcing my dippy little personality quirks on you. I get a short break in December (announcement of birthday details forthcoming when I have them) and a longer one in May.
In the meantime, I'll be practicing being quiet and applying bum glue to my office chair.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I couldn't have said it any better myself, Ted. Brilliant insight, as usual. And brilliant, I might say INSPIRED cocktails. That Elderflower is a revelation. The cucumber gimlet was fucking rad, too. What was the third one? The Aviation? I remember it was good but things were fuzzy by then.
Dinner at Fish&Farm was great, and I loved that raw oyster with the granita, yum. The chilled corn soup amuse buche was so intense it made my palate leap with longing. I had the duo of lamb and Ted had the fish & chips. I had to know any place Ted would take me would cook their pommes frittes in duck fat. That sazarac almost put me out cold, but it was outstanding. The rye was surprisingly good. It turns out that I do like whiskey, it is bourbon I'm not crazy about. Great company, and I don't know when I have laughed so hard for so long. My sides ached. I love that we drank enough to be at the "I love you, man!" stage. It leant itself to some earnest mutual appreciation.
But I am getting ahead of myself. Before all that drinking, there was more drinking with John at lunch. We went to Cafe Metropol and I had some Grey Goose L'orange cosmopolitans (2) and a nice cappuccino with lunch. We talked about everything and nothing, and generally enjoyed each other's company. Then we went into Teuscher Chocolates and got some gianduja truffles (my absolute favorite of all time) and champagne truffles. These we took with us to the bar at the St. Francis and ate them with some champagne. Decadence is its own reward, plain and simple.
After treating myself to a breakfast crepe at Honey Honey, I had a nice, easy drive home today. I'm only a little head-achey and tired, but I daresay I am blissed out. Hedonism like that makes me happy. I did all the fun things I like to do that break no laws or marital agreements. It was, in essence, a whole day and evening of pleasures at table. As you may know, that is pure heaven for me. Sharing a well-crafted meal and clinking glasses with a good friend whom I trust and adore (this applies to both John and Ted) is my number one recipe for a perfect time. I am so fucking fortunate to have both of them in my life. It makes me feel pretty special to have such amazing friends. They are my wealth. I am truly blessed.
I am spiritually realigned. I can face anything now. I have been emotionally petted and stroked, expertly fed, socially lubricated and ego-lifted. I could probably dead lift a car right now. I feel strong and funny and sweet and loving and beautiful (!) and capable.
Now I am finally ready for school to start. I am fortified.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
I am often right about these things, and I hate that. I'm just trying to BREATHE, because I am on the verge of a panic attack over nothing. Just because I am paranoid doesn't mean the world isn't out to get me, you know? :)
If you read this and are in the inner circle, drop me a little note to let me know you are cool, okay?
Otherwise, soothing noises and petting are in order. I will chill eventually, but if bad news happens today, consider yourself warned.
Nothing in particular is up with me. Other than the fact that the vet wants to do an ultrasound on Sasha (our black lab mix doggie) to see if she has liver cancer. But that isn't scheduled yet.
****UPDATE, 8:26 am*****
I figured it out within 2 phone calls. My dad has another intestinal blockage. This has almost killed him a number of times, and he had a pretty major surgery for it last year that removed a section of dead small intestine. I will await further news.
Monday, August 11, 2008
- Little A got some quality "grandma time"
- Highly gratifying cupcakes purchased at Dean & Deluca.
- Shopping for Little A's fall wardrobe
- Cool wildlife in the protected marshland next to mom's beautiful new house.
- Lovely scenery around the wine country, as pictured above
Now for the not so great stuff
- Little A gets bored in the car and keeps trying to get us to turn around and look at her, and gets cranky when the driver can't do it because they are, like, driving.
- Long drives and sightseeing schedule throw off nap/sleep schedules, making for a cranky kiddo overall. Various headbutting ensues. Adults get snappish. Kiddo engages in various acts of not so civil disobedience. Luckily no major public meltdowns, but every little thing was a battle of wills.
- Noisy geese among cool wildlife in protected marshland decide to honk up a storm at about 6 A.M. resulting in everyone getting up. I was the only one not really on board with getting out of bed that early on a Saturday.
- Possible food poisoning incident causes Tony to need the car pulled over by a busy freeway so that he could violently vomit on the side of the road, all over the lovely scenery. Then Little A started crying that SHE wanted to throw up. It took several hours longer than usual to get home.
- Roadkill-big dead deer edition. Bummer.
- Almost road kill-People edition. Big traffic backup and trying to assure Little A that despite the man on the stretcher and the crunched pileup of cars and the 4 ambulances and the fire truck, that everything was fine. She wasn't buying it.
- Getting home and needing to launch into massive loads of laundry.
That is all.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Things are going to change, big time. After an extremely long quasi-gestation, I have this: an egg. Rather than a live birth of my new world, it is going to come in stages. I'm looking at the next few years as a time to nest and keep this egg warm until it hatches.
The original cosmic egg was thought to contain many varied things. Multiple cultures have used this symbol in their beginning-of-the-world mythos. Some eggs contain sea serpents, gods and goddesses, and light. In some cases, the bottom half of the shell became the earth, and the top the heavens or the sky.
Mine contains a Nursing degree and a new career where I will make more cash and use my brain in new and interesting ways. As a bonus, all the things I am about to learn will doubtless be incorporated into whatever art I will make along the way or after I am done. It might be safe to say that I will be a largely new person once this is complete.
In honor of this change, I am putting a plan together to enhance my health and well-being. My life is going to be pretty structured, and it is going to take some pretty strict time management. I am building exercise and healthy eating into my schedule, as well as what little free time I have for family and friends, and maybe the occasional bit of contemplative solitude. I am going to take care of myself to the best of my ability. While I may be up for the occasional cocktail, more than likely I will be in hermetic aceticism, at least until my summer break in May. Better still to bring me coffee. I am going to need it.
I will likely still blog as a way to let people know what is going on with me, and you will still be able to e-mail me, etc. Please drop me a line from time to time to remind me that I am doing this for very sound reasons. Remind me about my cosmic egg if I get discouraged or overwhelmed. There are bound to be some unexpected things in that egg along with what I anticipate. I'm looking forward to seeing what they are.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
I like getting so into fiction that I can just live there. I like reading it, and I love writing it. Now, that isn't to say that I like LYING, because I think that there are some incredibly true things in fiction. Things are condensed to their essence and, to a degree, simpler.
Maybe fiction is the wrong word. Imagination may be a better expression of the concept I am kicking around, here. I have been thinking about my erstwhile romances and other relationships of old lately with fresh perspective. Some of the people I dismissed out of hand seem more interesting now, whereas people I was over the moon for leave me scratching my head. Why did I cry so hard when that guy cut me loose? Why didn't I take that one seriously or realize that they actually really liked me? It is odd. Makes me feel a little lame.
Of course, I married Tony, who I both did and didn't take seriously in turns over the years. I suppose that makes sense. I always wanted to take him seriously but for some reason I resisted doing so for a long time. In retrospect that was probably a good thing because it forced us to develop a strong friendship that was based on actually liking each other's company.
Although I suppose I earned my "Fickle Fairy" nickname. I was a bit flighty, and ran from committment much of the time. Incidentally, the guy that nicknamed me that broke up with me before I even realized we were dating. I was like "Wait? What do you mean it is over? We were dating? I thought we were just hanging out."
Clearly, my perception of what is going on around me is skewed. I already know that I just don't seem to react to the world in the same way that others do. I have to chalk that up to my imagination running away with me, rather than a lack of observation skills. I fill in the blanks with whatever embroidered bit of poetry suits me. Thus my relationships with people take on a mythic quality, based on who they are as people and the ideals and qualities I attach to them, usually to their benefit.
I wonder if that is hard for people to live up to. If I make an epic hero out of you in my mind, how easy is it to let me down? If I paint you a villain, how do I ever forgive your actual transgressions?
In literature that seems to work out okay, but in real life it is a bit messier. Maybe it is good for the egos of my friends that I hold them in such high esteem. I seem to forget that they are people, though. They are larger than life to me. I love them, though, whether that is based in reality or not. The love is real.
In my mind, most people are like characters. If a person is of particular significance to me, they inhabit an almost physical space inside me. I lovingly flesh them out in my imagination. If it is someone new, I am insatiably curious about them, adding each new thing I learn about them to my mental picture.
I try to be accurate, but I have been known to either soft-focus people or be utterly wrong about them. I have to say it is pretty jarring to have the real person turn out crueler, or weaker, or less brave than I expect they will be. I want to think the best of people, and hope they see the good in the way I see them.
The opposite is also true. The villains of my life are equally built up, resting on the foundations of what are basically just flawed or twisted people. But I guess it is easier to see them as their acts of wrongdoing than to have empathy for what made them the way they are. I can slay a dragon, but real, nuanced people are another matter. I might have to forgive them to a degree, and sometimes I am reluctant to do that.
So, if you are in my life and I apparently like you, then you shine radiantly to me. You have a halo-like glow that sets you above mere mortals. You matter more. You get to reside in my artisic and imaginative heart. I hope you like it there. I try to make it just a little better than the real world.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
- Ironing: I consider it a mark of my feminism that I don't iron unless it is really important. Almost nothing is that damn important, and if it is, I get Tony to iron it. He's a whiz at ironing, and I just dissolve into cursing when I iron in more wrinkles than I take out. I will cook a Thanksgiving dinner for 15 without breaking a sweat over it, but burst into tears over ironing the tablecloth.
- Vacuuming: I really hate the vacuum. I will do it under duress, but if I can trade for cleaning the bathroom, I totally will.
- Windows: Is that smear on the inside or the outside? After 2-3 passes on each, I will blow it off. But it will really bug me if I can't get it totally clean. And that is just one window. It is just too frustrating.
- Cleaning off my desk: Oh my god, my desk at home is a disaster right now. I tore it apart last week to look for something, and still haven't fixed it. I just don't have the space for all that paper! Gah! In fact, by writing this blog right now I am staring at my monitor and not all the paper that I need to sort through that is on the side of it. Yay, blogging!
- Dusting collectible crap: I solve this one by not collecting stuff. Oh, I have had a few half-hearted attempts to collect various things, but as soon as they start collecting dust and I have to clean them, I pack them in a box. There are a lot of boxes in my garage. I used to collect kitchen gadgets, but I can argue that that stuff is like, totally useful. Especially that giant hook I use once a year to lift the turkey out of the roasting pan. But that goes in the dishwasher and I don't have to dust it.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Then, my e-mail is acting up and for some reason I can't seem to check it remotely at the moment. I feel cut off from the world.
If you are looking for me, I'm at work and you can call me there. I know this sounds nutty, but I don't have voice mail at my desk, so if you miss me, try again later.
I am having the strangest day. I'm so much ditzier than usual. I forgot to eat breakfast. I left my wedding ring on the bathroom counter. I'm just absent-minded in the extreme. I might be just tired, but seriously!
Sunday, August 3, 2008
I had a nice run of a writing jag yesterday. The whole story for the collaborative project I am doing with Kathleen, "Twinkle", got written start to finish in a few hours. It is sweet and kinda funny and gentle. I can't even begin to describe how delicious that felt.To put icing on that already scrumptious cake, she liked it and it will need very little revision.
Some interesting things are happening to me lately. I have tapped into this unexpected wellspring of tenderness and sweetness in myself. Not in just a sappy sentimental way, although there are some aspects of that. I just have more energy for my friendships and this overflowing LOVE feeling.
I had really come to believe that all of the innocence of my youth was gone, and with it all the hope of any kind of bliss. So many disappointments and hardships have drifted under my bridge that I have been quite cynical for a long time. I am both surprised and confused to be wrong. It is like feeling good is a foreign sensation.
But it feels good to feel good. It is a revelation. The muse is awake and on the job. I feel like I am being given amazing gifts every day, almost as intimate as kisses. I have an increased awareness of the beauty around me. It isn't bliss so much as a hint of a promise of bliss.
Even if my muse leaves me, I have to be grateful for the breath of life he has bestowed upon me. It is like I have been sleepwalking and am finally aroused from slumber. I can only hope it lasts and that I maintain his good graces. A girl could get used to this kind of thing.