Monday, November 15, 2010

Graduation Tickets

As a class we received our tickets for next month's Graduation Ceremony. Only 4 tickets per student. Some people are pissed, but whatever.

I don't have any family coming (since it is such a short and small ceremony, and because I'll be back in Chicago two days later, I told my family to stay home), and no friends coming (who would I invite - the two guys I'm dating??), I gave my tickets away.

But I've been giving it some thought. Maybe I shouldn't have given them away so quickly. There are definitely some people in campus that I would have loved to have invited to watch me graduate:
  1. Cornfed - there's this absolutely hot guy on campus, that I see all the time at the library, that I've named Cornfed. I know nothing about him other than he looks like he was raised on a Nebraska farm and is totally gorgeous. I drool when I see him walk by. Seriously. He could come watch me get pinned. Or, could pin me himself (see what I did there?).
  2. Dry Erase Marker Teaching Assistant Guy - last year I completely stalked this TA who used to come into my Philosophy classroom before class and steal the dry erase markers from my classroom to take into his. He is cracker spreadable, and, unlike Cornfed, I think plays for my team. I figure that since I did him the favor of creepily stalking him for an entire year, the least he could do is come to my graduation.
Two people I definitely would not invite to my graduation:
  1. Creepy Asian Stalker Guy - for about 6 months this guy I know from the gym has been asking me out for lunch, and each time I politely decline. But he just isn't getting the message.
  2. Security Guard/Bouncer at the Lau - this woman likes to wield her fake power by inspecting every bag that comes into the library in case a student, God forbid, brings in a cookie or sandwich. Because that is a violation of Georgetown policy and, apparently, deserves public humiliation on her part. "Sir, you cannot bring that food in here!" Whatever, you unhappy harpie.
Graduation in something like 1 month + 3 days....

Monday, November 1, 2010

Nursing Humor

Yesterday Emily and I watched the Marine Corps Marathon to cheer our friend Danny. During the race, I guy runs past, looking pretty tired.
Emily: "Did you see that guy? He didn't look so good."

Me: "Yes, he looked like he was in some pain."

Emily: "I mean, he was pink. Like a newborn baby!"
Me: "Totally! I wonder what his APGAR score would be? Ha ha!"

Emily: "Ha ha!"

[Everyone else around us: "??? WTF???"

Fine. We're nursing nerds.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Open Letter To My Boyfriend, Ben Zo

Dear Ben Zo:

Since we met about a month ago (can you believe it's been that long? How time flies!), you've completely changed my life. For the better, mostly. You've taken away most of the anxiety of this last - and hardest - semester of school. It's true - because of you, I simply just don't get worked up over the little things. You've helped me see the silver lining in the clouds that make up my sad little student life.

Through all the deadlines, the exams, the quizzes, the care logs, the teaching plans, the clinicals, the senior practicums, the ATI tests, the presentations, etc., you've been there for me, helping me stay calm, stay focused, and keep my perspective. You've taught me that school is just a bunch of random facts and arbitrary rules, and I just need to play the game and get through. For this I am grateful.

You've even helped me relax a little and have fun this semester. I've gone out drinking a few more times than I would have thought; even a few dates. "Who has time for dates?" the old me would have said. But you've changed me. For the better. And again, for this I thank you.

Even my friends have noticed the change. "You seem happier, less stressed this semester," they say. "What's your secret?" And of course I tell them it's you, Ben Zo.

Not only that, Ben Zo, but you've completely changed my eating habits. Yeah - it's true! I'm not hungry - like, at all. As in: at no point during the day do I get hungry. I have to remind myself to eat! And because I no longer seem to have the time to exercise, since you've come along you're preventing me from ballooning into a stressed-out fattie!

However, as much as I love you and thank you for changing my outlook and helping me get through school, we need to talk about this whole sleeping thing. It's like this: Since we met, I just don't sleep.

You keep me up at night

And on the one hand, staying up late is helping me crank through some homework (why, just tonight for example, after midnight I read a whole Saunders NCLEX chapter! Yay for me!). But on the other hand, lately
when that alarm goes off early in the morning, I am bleary-eyed and simply unable to get out of bed because I'm plain tired.

You see: it is now 2am and I'm (still) wide awake (btw, I need to get up for clinical in just 4 hours), contemplating going out for a 5-mile run just so I will fall asleep.

See my point? When it is two in the morning and all I want to do is go for a fucking run through the mean streets of Columbia Heights and Logan Circle, I think it is safe to say we have a problem.**

So I guess what I'm trying to say here is that you need to cut me a break, OK? I love you, Ben Zo. But let me get some sleep. Please.

Thanks and good night.

** And yeah, before you even ask: I already masterbated tonight and that didn't do anything.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I Accidentally Got Drunk...

Is it bad to show up to a second date drunk?

I had no choice, really. This week was mid-term week, and it was hell. I pretty much bombed two of my three exams, and after the last one ended this afternoon, a few of us headed over to the closest bar to blow off some steam. And sorry, but if you put half a pitcher of beer (or more) in front of me, I'm going to drink it, goddammit. So sue me.**

Besides, I am kinda nervous about this date, which starts in about 15 minutes. I'm not sure I'm very compatible with this guy. He's really cute and very sweet. But personality-wise we may not be in sync. So a little alcohol-fueled bravado might be a good thing. For me, anyway. Maybe not so much for him.

But anyways...

** PS - In case you were wondering, I was drunk when I wrote this post. Yay for me.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

These Are Days

The semester continues to freight train down the track, and I'm barely holding on.

The meds are definitely helping, though. Thanks to the benzos, I can barely care about anything. It is a beautiful day today and here I am holed up in the library, trying to study for my Complex II exam on Monday.

I know I should be more freaked out about the semester and all I have to do, but I'm not (again, thanks Klonipin!). After class yesterday, instead of heading to the library, I met some of the Cobras for a beer at Epicurian (ugh). A beer turned into a pitcher but who cares, I was surrounded by good friends.

The evening ended with dinner for Gina's birthday at a Mexican restaurant in Glover Park. Gina's a private person, but someone needed to tell the waitstaff to sing her happy birthday. She wanted to kill me, but hey. This is life.

These last few weeks have been different for me. It is as though things are clicking in ways they never did before. Warm sun in the afternoon but cool evenings. Days and nights of The National, Band of Horses and Arcade Fire. But I'm not sleeping well - pools of sweat at 2 am. Is it the meds?

Nine weeks from today is graduation. Yay. And Yikes.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Open Letters to My New York Tricks

I see you after midnight, towards the back of the bar, talking with someone. My friends are ready to go, but I’m not, so I walk up and said hello. I tell you you’re the Hottest Guy in the Bar and we talk.

After awhile, you excuse yourself to the bathroom and not long after I follow you and soon we we’re making out in the downstairs hallway near the exit. PDAs aren’t my thing, but what the hell I’m in New York and I’ll never see these people (or you) ever again. In the cab back to my place I kiss your neck, your chest, lifting your shirt to kiss your stomach.

For hours we share each other, and I fall asleep in your arms. In the morning you walk with me and the dog to a West Village cafe. You buy us coffee and we sit on the step. We exchange numbers and say goodbye and now you leave messages, calling me by my full name in your French accent, saying you want to see me again. But there’s something I should have told you: I’m No Good at This Type of Thing. A relationship with you, or with anyone, is the last thing I need right now.

I’m a bit damaged goods. Can’t you see that?


First I see you standing against the wall. You’re handsome. And blonde. A short time later I see you again, this time near the dance floor and as I walk by you say hello.
O God, are you Australian? As you talk, I look at your blue eyes, your wet lips and tell myself, That fucking accent. Don’t do this. Then you kiss me, right there, and not long after we’re walking back to my place.

You’re funny and smart and that goddamn accent and by the time we get to the apartment our hands are all over each other. At 5am we finally convince ourselves to get some sleep, and the next morning my exploration of your body, your sweet smell and soft skin continues.

And now I’m on the bus back to DC and can’t stop thinking about you and then you text and we’ve already got these inside jokes to each other and I let myself wonder what it would be like if you weren’t just vacationing here. And you’re asking me when I’ll come back to Sydney and it’s probably time to tell you: This has been a fun little game, but you know, I’m not good for anyone right now and this could never possibly work out.

I’m a bit damaged goods. Can’t you see that?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I Still Love You, New York

I’m sitting on the bus, heading back from an amazing weekend in New York City. It is my first time back in about three years, and it had been a long time coming.

I love NYC, but it turned into a complicated relationship a few years ago. Back when I lived in DC the first time, I spent some time working a job in which I spent 3 days a week in Manhattan and 2 working from my home office in DC. It was a really difficult time in my life personally, and I was miserable through most of it. I was walking wounded, living in a daze in Manhattan, not happy and not wanting to be there. That was 5 years ago, and before this weekend I’d only been back to NYC one other time. And until this trip, it’s been hard to think fondly of it until now.

The Manhattan of this trip was different than the last, concentrated down to the West and East Villages, SoHo and Greenwich Village. There was no Midtown, no Upper West Side. Aside from a trip to the City Café on 18th with Jacob, a run along the Hudson River Greenway all the way up to 33rd, Friday night in Chelsea and Saturday night stops in the East Village, I never moved north of Waverly; never further south than Canal; never more than a 15 block radius of the apartment. In fact, the days seemed concentrated on four-block concentration between West Broadway and Bowery.

Weekends like this make you think; make you marvel at the way life can unfold. Drinks with friends at the Lakeside and Cherry Lounge in the Village, and raiding bodegas at 3 am can do that. I had brunch at Freeman’s with three great friends. We all used to work together in London five years ago, and now we’re all living in different places. And yet, here we were at a table catching up and laughing like old times. It was a genuinely perfect moment. And reminds me that even though school is rough right now, there is a world outside of it with people who care about me.

It’s a lesson I’ve known my whole adult life, but often forget: Time is a great healer. The pain and memories from hard times, difficulties and heartbreak get replaced with new experiences that can heal you, give you some good perspective. Sitting at that table at Freeman’s, surrounded by old friends, good food and good energy, reminded me of that.

Monday, October 4, 2010

You Have Nice Veins (Or: The Best Complement From an Anesthesiologist, Ever)

Last week during my clinical rotation, I was assigned to observe an open heart surgery (which was awesome and deserves a separate post, but HIPAA compliance prevents me) where one of the anesthesiologists came up to me and initiated the following conversation:

Anesthesiologist (pointing to my hand): "You have really nice veins."
Me: "Oh, um. Thanks."
Anesthesiologist: "Trust me. I'm someone who appreciates good veins, and you have good ones."
Me: "Ahh. Um, thanks."
Anesthesiologist: "No, seriously. I know people who work their entire lives to get veins like yours."
Me: "...Thanks."
Anesthesiologist: "I work out all the time and don't have veins like those. Do you work out? You must..."
Me: "I swim. And run."
Anesthesiologist: "Well, keep up the good work."

I'm keeping this conversation in my back pocket. You know, for those times are tough. Life may be kicking my ass on a regular basis, but you know, at least I've got good veins going for me.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Something Close to Grace (And I'm Not Even Religious)

It's pouring rain - the first time this season - and Yep, suddenly it is really, finally Fall. September 30th and for the first time this year it feels like Fall.

Students are walking through the lounge here in Leavey, shaking off the rain drops from their heads and umbrellas, dressed in jeans and windbreakers. Not a pair of flip-flops in sight.

Perhaps it is because of the weather that tonight I'm acutely aware that this experience is coming to a close. Thirteen months down an just three more to go. Holy crap. I'm giddy and relieved and scared and sad by this reality. School makes me anxious and fills me with dread and most of me wants it to be over. But on a night like this I realize that I will miss it very much when it is.

I sit in classrooms pouring over material that is more often than not difficult to grasp, yet I am surrounded by people and relationships I cherish. It can be as simple as a teacher making a joke, or a classmate rolling his eyes, or my partner in crime Lisa, reaching over to me during an ATI test, with a gentle hand on my elbow saying, "You're fine. It's going to be alright."

I called my parents tonight and had the typically short conversation with my Dad. Although brief, it seemed different. He seemed different. He asked how I was doing and I said, "You know, I'm surviving. It is tough and I'm stressed but getting by." Then he asked me if I was alright. I said, "Yeah, I'm OK."

And then he said, "You know, if there's anything you need, all you have to do is ask. You know that, right?" It was all at once so pure, loving, joyful and completely unexpected that it made me laugh. Genuinely laugh. And I thought back to that afternoon in April 2009 when I told him I got into Georgetown on a scholarship and he hid his eyes from me and started crying. I may not be the smartest kid here in my program, but who gives a fuck - there are people that love me and that I love right back. And this place, this program and me being a part of it is an amazing experience.

I've been here on campus all day - over 14 hours - and I have so much work I could easily stay another 5. But I'm looking out this dark window out at the football field, which is all lit up even now at 10 pm and I'm watching these crazy kids on it playing ultimate frisbee in the pouring rain and I think life is funny and this is a cool moment and maybe I should just enjoy it and give myself a break. The work will get done.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Open Letter to the Computer Lab Nerds

Dear Computer Lab Nerds:

If it were up to me, I would not be in here right now trying to finish up a report and print it out, but I don't have a choice. I'm here and you're here so let's get used to it.

I understand that the 5 of you are working on some kind of project together, but you're obviously not working on it that hard if you're sitting around your table talking about popcorn and candy bars.

So forgive me if I wish to spend a few minutes getting my friend Emily caught up on my activities over the last several hours, instead of typing on a computer.

But seriously. You can put a clamp on the weird, inappropriate and disapproving stares at us just because we've interrupted your Nerd-Fest. If I want to discuss with my friend the "quality" of my sex life (or lack thereof) and my explosive diarrhea, then goddammit I will. You don't see me hating on your thrilling conversations about peanut allergies and gene splicing.

PS - You guys look like the Nerd Addams Family.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Letting Go (Or: When Throwing Out a Pair of Shoes Isn't Really Only Just About Throwing Out a Pair of Shoes)

[RIP, faithful friend]

I did something Sunday morning of great significance and courage and defiance. I threw an old, yet favorite pair of shoes into the trash.

And right now you’re thinking: Old shoes in the trash? Big effing deal! So what?

Let me explain… It’s true that I tend to hold onto things for too long – feelings, thoughts, possessions, what have you. I just have a hard time letting go. I get ridiculous amounts of comfort from objects that have long since served their purpose. I own socks and pants and underwear with holes in them, but dammit they’re comfortable and make me feel happy. So sue me.

Right now, things are a little rough for me so I look for any small measure of comfort any place I can get it. Sometimes that comfort comes in the form of, say, a comfortable pair of jeans with a bunch of holes, or a pair of underwear in which the elastic has stretched out beyond purpose, or a Culture Club song from 1985 (don't judge, bitches). I don’t care – it gives me a little comfort and helps get me through the day. I’m simple like dat.

This is a problem, I know, because this clinging to the old and familiar also bleeds into every other area of my life, particularly emotions and feelings. When things are bad, I start to daydream about simpler times when things were good - it's only natural. I get sentimental over memories and spend too much time looking back when I need to be moving forward.

Anyway, six years ago I brought a pair of green low-top converse shoes (pictured above) as part of a Halloween costume. They soon became a favorite, and they’ve seen a lot of action. They’ve been a faithful companion to me for the last few years. We've had some good times together.

Last week I was wearing them at the library and I friend, sniffing something suspicious in the air, asked me “Is that smell coming from your shoes?” And the answer was: Yes, yes they are. So I put them away for a few days, knowing that a few days of airing out would freshen them up. (Because better to de-smell a pair of nasty-ass shoes then to simply replace them, right?)

Then on Saturday during my Portland visit, I was walking in the rain and realized that the holes at the bottom of the shoes were sucking up the water, drenching the bottom of my feet. When I mentioned to my friend Shauna that my feet were completely soaked because of this, she asked me a series of completely logical questions, like: “How old are those things, anyway?” and “Why do you still wear those? and “Why don’t we just replace them with a new pair?” I tried to justify the reasons why I held on to them, but as the reasons came out of my mouth (“Because they’re comfortable.” and “They fit my feet really well.” and “Because I love them.”) I realized how ridiculous it all is. What, are these the only pair of green low-top converse available? Can I not afford the $30 it would cost to replace them?

They’re familiar. They’ve been a part of my life for the last 6 years. I don’t want to part with them because I crave the familiar. Familiar is comforting. Familiar is not scary and doesn’t make me anxious. Is that so wrong? Nevermind that familiar sometimes smells badly and makes my feet wet.

So anyway, the next morning as I was packing my back to head back to DC I put the shoes (still a little wet from the afternoon before) into my bag. Then I thought about it: It’s time to start letting go. So I took them back out of my bag and threw them into the trash and walked away. For a few moments, I thought about turning around and rescuing them back out of the garbage. But no, it is time to move on.

Things change. Life, circumstances and people do, too. They move forward, or sideways. Time marches on and if you don’t try to keep up, no matter how scary it seems, you’ll get left behind. And here I am, more often than not, clinging to the past like a lifejacket; a buoy in the sea. This is not a good place to be. I need to spend more time looking forward than hanging on to the past.

So you see on the surface the act of me throwing out a pair of old, smelly, hole-y and just plain nasty shoes is, well, nothing more than throwing out a pair of old, smelly, hole-y and just plain nasty shoes. But really, it is a symbolic act of changing my behavior. Of adjusting my attitude and outlook on life. It is an act of defiance; an act of bravery.

Goodbye shoes. You’ve lived a good life. But if I’m really going to start letting go of the past, it has to start somewhere and it might as well be with you. RIP, buddy.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Obligatory Complaint About the Weather

I know it's boring blogging about the weather, but Christ on a Bike I am so effing tired of this heat. It's the fucking end of September -- yesterday was the first day of Fall, for fucksakes -- and tomorrow is going to be almost 100 degrees? Fuck you. This was perhaps the worst summer of my life, and it won't ever end.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

10 Things I Learned On My Whirlwind Visit to Portland This Weekend

[Avocado Daiquiri - How I've Missed You!]

  1. When you know you’re going to Portland for exactly 39 hours to surprise a friend for her birthday it’s pretty much not worth it to tell most anyone else in town that you’re there. I mean, what’s the point? You won’t get the chance to see them anyway.
  2. It’s a crime to spend only 39 hours in Portland.
  3. I’m too old for the red eye.
  4. Your life automatically gets better the moment you step into Powell’s Books.
  5. Sarah Blasko’s cover of “Flame Trees” is perhaps the best song I’ve heard this year, and totally appropriate for this visit.
  6. The boys here are prettier. True story.
  7. The air in Portland at 7 am is unlike anywhere else, anywhere.
  8. I forgot that an Avocado Daiquiri (pictured above) might be my favorite drink of all time. And yeah, I am aware of how ridiculous this sounds, but unless you’ve had one from Mint you just don’t get it.
  9. It gets harder and harder for me to rationalize why I’m not living there anymore, each time I go to visit.
  10. Team Lulu in 2011. It’s time, bitches.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Complaining is Fun

I stopped blogging for several months. Then Sunday I wrote a post. And then within a few days I get lots of comments to it, mostly from locals. Which is unusual, since I hardly ever get any attention, especially since this blog is pretty much DOA. And then I think, "Hmmm, I must have been featured on DC Blogs or something." Which is cool (thanks guys).

The comments were good and it is nice to see people standing up for DC. I don't think it's necessary to comment on what some people replied, because for the most part everyone had good points. Most people who know me know I have a self-deprecating sense of humor, which is to say that when I say I hate DC, I might not really mean it. I do like it here.

I just like to complain. Complaining is fun. True story.

However, I still stand by my assertion that I think it is pretty shitty that in this specific situation, nobody offered to help. Also: when somebody says to me, "If you don't like it here you should just get the hell out." If it were that simple, I prolly would have. But I signed a legal contract which states that I shall live and work here for three years once I graduate in December. So there.

Moving on. I ate half of a cherry pie for dinner tonight. So I got that going for me. Discuss, I you will....

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Why I Hate DC: Reason #101

[This was me Saturday morning, minus the track part.]

Saturday morning I went out for my usual run through DuPont Circle and Columbia Heights. On my way back, approaching the busy intersection of 16th St./U St./Rhode Island Ave. (ed note: it was really New Hampshire Ave. - thanks U St. Citizen), I tripped into a small pothole and took a major spill - we're talking an almost-face plant - onto the street.

There were easily a dozen people around/near me who witnessed my fall. For about 15 seconds, I was on all fours because I could feel a strong pain in my right ankle and could not put any pressure on it to get up. Once I did get up, I spent another 30 seconds hopping on one foot to get to the sidewalk to assess the damage. I was bleeding from the scrape on my left knee. My right ankle was already beginning to swell. I was in pain, fighting an urge to start crying.

Not a single person - either walking by, standing at the bus stop, or enjoying their coffee at the Starbucks right in front of me (of course this kind of thing would happen to me there) - asked me if I was OK or if I needed help.

In fact, a woman with her dog
walked around me while I was on all fours in the crosswalk, completely ignoring me.

"I'm fine, by the way, thanks for asking," I said to her as she went past but of course she ignored me.

This kind of thing would never happen in Chicago or Portland. And yet I'm stuck here, surrounded by these kind of people, for the next 3.5 years.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sunday Funday (Or: It's Official - I Am a Binge Drinker)

Sunday was Sunday Funday, the first of the new school year. Sunday Funday is an occasion for me and some classmates and other honorary Cobras to take advantage of the rare 3-day holiday by getting together to drink, catch-up, share stories, drink, have fun and drink. But mostly it is an excuse to drink.

By my recollection, we've had three previous Sunday Fundays, all of which were happy and successful times, but all of which ended in my getting completely shitfaced. This time was no exception. But really, how can it be helped when the day starts off at a bottom-less bloody mary/mimiosa brunch followed by $2 Skyy vodka drinks at JRs? It would be a crime NOT to get completely shitfaced.

To wit: On Monday morning I was talking to my friend Kelley, trying to piece together the blurry memories and activities from the previous day's events when I looked down at the socks on the floor, the same socks I wore for Sunday Funday, and the following conversation ensued:
Me: "Hmmm, I'm looking at the socks I wore yesterday and noticing that they are completely filthy. I wonder why that is."
Kelley: "I'm not 100% sure, but it might have something to do with when you took your shoes off in the bathroom so that we could swap clothes with each other."
Me: "Hmmmm. Yeah. I guess that would explain it."

At one point during the afternoon, Kelley and I thought it might be a good idea to wear each other's clothes. Why? Not sure. 'Cuz we thought it would be funny. Seemed like a good idea at the time. (PS - I am a boy and Kelley is a girl, in case it isn't clear.)

Also, I crawled on all fours through her legs at the bar. Again, not sure why I thought that would be a good idea.

The evening ended with dinner at El Tamarindo and me aggressively making out with a guy in his car, before riding my bike home and passing out by 9:30 pm. 'Cuz that's how I roll.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Nats Win Weanamin

Saturday night Emily took me to the Nats game. First time at the new park in the year I've been back. We scored sweet seats and had a good time, catching up on each other's lives over the last month, drinking summer shandys. The Nats won.

It was my first Saturday night back in town, and it was the perfect way to ease into the new (and last, praise baby Jesus) school year.
Of which I am petrified. But anyways...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Chicago Love Letter

[The view from Rebar in the Trump Tower, during drinks with my friend Mark, 8/16/10.]

I haven't blogged about my time back in Chicago these last few weeks because 1) I haven't been blogging much, period; 2) I've been busy doing other things; 3) it's been kinda strange/difficult to put the last few weeks into words.

Where can I start, really? I miss this place. Lots. I've developed schemes and thought about ways to get out of my contract in December and just move back here, working as a nurse at Northwestern (which I think would be a dream job), getting a place (a lot cheaper than in DC), finding a cute dirty hipster boy (of whom there are plenty here) and settling down.

I miss my family.
I miss my friends (most of whom I didn't see as much as I wanted, or even at all).
I miss the neighborhoods.
I miss the Lake.

Wicker Park, Filter, Lakeview, Intelligentsia, Logan Square, the El, Michigan Ave., Danny's, Division, Swim Cafe, Penelope's, Untitled, Reckless Records, the Art Institute....

It was a good break. Not awesome - some things (OK, one thing in particular) could have gone better - but still good. As I drove out of the city Friday at 5:30 in the morning, heading south on the Dan Ryan with the skyline in my rearview mirror and the sun starting it's ascent into the pink sky August sky, I felt a bit battered, a bit wounded, and a bit sad. I thought about how it seems that everyone's lives were moving forward - relationships were starting, or ending, or moving forward; job promotions were made; babies were born and kids were getting older; marriages; divorces; - and my life still seemed to be on hold. I know it isn't true, but that's certainly how it feels some times.

As I started the long drive back to DC, I wish I could say that I was looking forward to this last semester of school and being back in DC, but I just couldn't muster the energy. The truth is, this last semester is going to be really tough and I'm more than a little nervous about it, considering how the previous three semesters really kicked my ass.

Coming back to Chicago was a shot in the arm - I needed to be around people who would comfort me and encourage me and help remind me that I was making good choices and that everything was going to be alright.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Pictures In My Head

I took you to the airport, helped you get your bags out of the car. I hugged you goodbye, telling you: Be Good. And also: Take Care of Yourself.

I turned around, got into the car, drove away, and didn't look back. And it was one of the hardest fucking things I've ever done in my life -- not holding you longer, not getting one last look at you, not kissing you goodbye. Because this was likely the last time I will ever lay eyes on you. Because the chances are good that I will never see you again.

Holy fucking shit - I May Never See You Again.

My heart is broken by the thought. Part of me wants to, of course, because you meant everything to me. I'd convinced myself that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with only you. But I need to let go, in the same way you have.

I got back to my brother's place, where he got me to sit down to dinner with him and his friends, filling my plate with food, trying to get me to focus on the present, and not the awfulness of these last 24 hours. He didn't say anything, he just reached over and put his hand on my shoulder. And that broke my heart a little more.

There's a Matt Nathanson song I love, called "I Saw" with a line that I've sung countless times but never really understood until today: "And I'll forget about you long enough to forget why I need to." And understanding what it means breaks my heart a little, too.

I've taken down the framed photo of you from my mantle. I've un-Skyped you. I've trashed every e-mail you've sent me since we first met. I've promised myself not to call you, not to text you. When I'm lonely at 2 am on a Saturday night I won't stalk your Facebook page, looking through your photos. I won't lay there, wishing I was there with you. I won't wonder if you wish you were here with me. I won't. I. Won't.

I don't want this for myself. And I don't want it for you, either. I just want to move on.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hawaii Toast Song

Discovered this via Bee-Spot and Europopped.

It is Alexander Marcus and it is Hawaii Toast.

I don't know who the hell he is, and I don't know what the fuck Hawaii Toast is.

The only thing left to say is: You're Welcome.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How Not To Pick Me Up in a Bar

If you're trying to hook up with me, don't admit you're doing so because you're essentially blind.

Scene: Sidetrack Sunday night. Stopped in to meet a friend for a drink. We're talking and he excuses himself to use the restroom. A guy standing next to us moves in and and starts talking to me.

Him: "How's it going?"
Me: "Good, thanks. You?"
Him: "Good. But I'm drunk. My friends and I have been drinking all day."
Me: "Hmm. Sounds fun."
Him: "Yeah, so drunk! I can't even see straight!"

And... SCENE.
At this point I excused myself and walked away.
I mean, really. Granted, I'm not in the market for a hook-up; and even if I was, I don't expect it to be meaningful (this is Sidetrack, after all), but c'mon even I have some kind of standard. I would hope the guy would be able to distinguish between me and some blob standing against a wall.

Friday, May 7, 2010

I'm Not Dead...

... just in school hell. Which sucks.

In the meantime, I've joined Diaspora.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Recurring Dream

I have a recurring dream in which I'm always late getting somewhere important. The setting and scene is always different, but each time, I'm in a situation in which I'm trying to get somewhere, and for various reasons I just can't get there.

It causes a lot of anxiety for me, and I wake from it feeling stressed and anxious. I had one of those dreams this morning. I was in Chicago (I think) and it was snowing. I was rushing to get somewhere - where I don't exactly know, but it might have been a party or something like that. The snow was slippery, making it hard to walk. But the worst part is that I was weighed down by my Pharmacology textbook.

In real life, this bastard is big and heavy. When I stuff it into my backpack, it is pretty much the only thing that will fit. It is a bitch. And in my dream, it was so heavy I just couldn't get to my destination. I remember cursing and wondering why the fuck I needed to pack it with me.

Some might say that this dream clearly shows my reluctance towards school, and how I feel it is keeping me from living my life or preventing me from doing fun things. Or something like that. Although it prolly isn't an accident that I had this dream during Spring Break, where I spent 6 hours at the Library while it seems most everyone else is... well, not at the Library.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Saddest Question I've Ever Uttered

"What are your hours during Spring Break?"
- me to the Lau Library front desk this morning.


So Spring Break begins today in about 2 hours, right after my Med-Surg class. I'll be staying here, using the time to catch up on schoolwork and relax a little. Try not to be jealous. It's not going to be all boring, though. I plan to get sufficiently knockered one or twice as well.

In an ideal world, I'll hit the books a few hours a day so that by next Sunday I am completely on top - or maybe even ahead - of my studies as we move into the last half of the semester. Although the more likely result will be that I sit around and don't get shit done.

I do wish I were heading back to Chicago for at least a few days, but it is probably best that I stay here.

Portland in a month, though, which will be sweet.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Open Letter to Dick Cheney

Dear Dick:

I just read you're over at GW Hospital getting a coronary angiogram. (You didn't tell me you were here in town - why didn't you call? Anyway...) Total bummer. Did the doctors have trouble finding your coronary arteries? I mean, on account of you not having a heart and all?

Haha. Just kidding. A little medical humor there (I couldn't resist).

Anyway, I'll make this short since you don't seem to have much time left. Here's the thing:

You should just stop already.

Seriously. You've given it a valiant fight, but time to hang it up. I think your many and endless years of ornery-ness, bile, lies and general asshol-iness have (finally) taken their toll and you should read the signs and just retire for good. While you still have some time.

I mean, c'mon - you showed up to Obama's Inauguration - your last day in office - in a fucking wheelchair for fuck sakes. You should have just gone quietly into the night back then.

But Christ on a bike, you rose back up (kinda reminds me of the old Friday the 13th/Jason motto - "Nothing this evil ever dies" - hahahah. Just kidding.) and started to do the whole Sunday morning talk show circuit. What was that all about, anyway? I mean, we didn't hear two peeps from you for that whole 8 years you were our fucking Veep. Then, when you're done supposedly co-leading our country, we can't get you to fucking shut the hell up. Shouldn't it have been the other way around or something?

Anyway, haven't you had 4 heart attacks already? I think somewhere around myocardial infarction #2 you should have been thinking, "Geez, maybe I should slow down or something." I'm still just a nurse in training and perhaps not really qualified to make the following assessment, but: As Roxette would say, "Listen to your heart, when (s)he's calling for you..." And just take a permanent break.

So in closing, I guess what I'm saying is: I think it is time to give it up. Retire -- for good this time. The country is really trying to move on from those 8 years you were around, and so should you.

Peace out.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

24 Hours...

As of 1 pm today, I've been on campus for 24 hours straight. As in, I arrived on campus yesterday afternoon and haven't left yet. I studied at the library until about 2 am, headed over to Dahlgren and went to bed on a couch there.

I didn't really feel like cycling home in the cold over the snow and iced streets, only to turn back around and head back four hours later.

There's a first for everything, I suppose. On the plus side, I got an A in my exam this morning, but in general I am getting my ass handed to me in a soup bowl this semester.

Slow News Day, NYT?

It's midnight, and I'm at the library spending more time avoiding studying for my Healthcare of Women exam (in about 9 hours) than I am, well, studying.

Anyway, I open and this is their (online) top story.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Icing on the SnOwMG Cake...

The school has taken away our scheduled three-day holiday weekend. We no longer have President's Day off and are expected to come in tomorrow like it is a regular Monday.

If my spirit wasn't already broken from Noro-geddon, the subsequent quarantine, the snow, and Friday's soul-crushing Med-Surg exam, I'd prolly be quite upset. But no: at this point, I'm officially beaten into submission.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Maybe It Truly is the Snowpocalypse...

This afternoon around 3pm I was walking towards DuPont Circle. I get to the corner of Columbia Road and Connecticut Ave. NW - a very busy intersection. There's the Washington Hilton, and Churchill Hotel and a Courtyard Marriott; lots of people around, etc.; you can see for yourself here.

And I witness I guy in his car pull up to the red light, get out of his car, walk over to the curb, whip out his dick and take a piss right there on the sidewalk. In broad daylight, in public, with lots of people walking around.

Have we truly lost any sense of decorum or common decency because of this snowstorm? In what universe is it OK to expose your cock and urinate on the sidewalk, anywhere, at any time of day?

If this is what we've devolved to, fuck the cabin fever - I'm staying indoors until the snow melts and people regain some self-dignity. Which should be sometime in April.

Why Is This Even Up For Discussion?

Cabin Fever.... Need... to get... out of apartment....

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


So due to SnOwMG, school has been canceled for the last two days. Which is good considering I've been sick and unable to study for Med-Surg or do any other kind of homework. But some of my professors seem to be going ape-shit because if this. Seems our semester is so tightly scheduled that to miss even one day (let alone 2 or 3 - - my prediction: no school for the entire week) throws everything off-kilter.

Regardless, I've been informed that due to the weekend's norovirus, I am to stay indoors through tomorrow. Quarantined to my man-cave apartment. At some point I need to get out for some supplies, maybe a little Chipotle action, maybe a salty-sweet cookie from Sticky Fingers (if they're open) but I need to be stealth about it and not breathe on anyone.

The thing is: I prolly would have stayed in and laid around anyway, but once you're told that you have to stay in, that's when I start to lose my shit.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

This Is Why I Hate Being Single II (Or: Noro-Geddon)

I'm gonna spare everyone most of the details, but while the rest of DC was out playing in the snow Friday night and Saturday, I found myself spending that time alternately doubled over the toilet vomiting and shitting my innards out, or curled into the fetal position, shivering and sweating, praying to God for a quick and merciful death.

I caught a Norovirus (see image above) from working at the hospital Thursday, and I was its little bitch for about 24 hours this weekend. At first I thought it was food poisoning, but after some emails and phone calls I discovered on Saturday that it was a nasty acquired virus.

The worst part: by about 2 am Saturday morning, after a few hours of dry-heaves and delirium, I began to feel like I was going to die. Alone. Even my landlords, who were in Colorado on vacation, were not around to rescue me if I needed them. I began thinking that I was somehow going to die in my bed that night, and it would be a week - at least - until anyone found my dead, dehydrated carcass.

It was enough to make a guy start to weep. Which I'm fairly certain I did. Although I can't be 100% confident since I also seem to recall having a deep and insightful conversation with my ceiling fan and barking like a dog before finally succumbing to fever-induced sleep sometime around 3 am.

Moral of the story: Find a boyfriend or girlfriend. That way, if you contract a norovirus someone will know if you die from it.

Friday, February 5, 2010

This Is Why I Hate Being Single (Pt. 1)

So the Snowcapalypse 2 - Electric Boogaloo has hit. More like Snow-My-God-People-Are- Already-Pissing-Me-Off-And-It's-Just-Started.

The snow began falling this morning around 11 am. I could see it through the window in Med-Surg class. Not that I wasn't paying 100% of my attention to Med-Surg.

But anyway: Last night after class I had to go to Giant to get some dinner. I really wished I didn't have to go, because I knew it would be filled with idiots and desperation - people who think that 18 inches of snow is going to destroy their lives, so we'd better stock up on Eggo Waffles and roasted chicken. Even at 10:30 at night, when I arrived, it was pretty ridic - the place was packed with people freaking the fuck out. Nevermind that the woman with her cart filled with Totinos Pizza Rolls hasn't realized that she's fucked if the power goes out in her apartment, which it often will during a snowstorm. These people are amateurs.

But anyway: I get my bread, turkey, tomatoes and cheese and get into the 12 items or less express lane. And this line is fucking
looooong. Fine, this is what I get. Immediately in front of me is a young couple, who get in line together and I notice they got nothing in their hands. Then the guy leaves his girlfriend there and returns about 10 minutes later with some stuff. Then they tag team: he's now staying behind while she goes and gets more stuff. Like they're playing fucking Supermarket Sweep or something. God, that kills me.

You can't do a preemptive line placeholder at the supermarket! You can't get in line until
after you collect your purchases! This is bullshit!

So once they have their items, I say loud enough so they can hear me: "Jeez, it sucks being single." Which is, at least in this instance, true. It isn't so much that I'm pissed at them. It's more like I'm jealous. Crafty bastards.

Monday, February 1, 2010

It's February and I Haven't Blogged in a Month...

... let me get you up to speed:
  • School is already turned into one nasty little bitch. Last semester I'd heard rumors that 2nd semester was supposed to be easy, or at least easier than first semester. This is turning out to be entirely untrue.
  • Despite this, I've been hitting the gym on a very regular basis, which has been good. Not only am I doing this in order to keep sane, but also because a few weeks ago I volunteered to participate in my swim team's fundraising bachelor auction to be held in about a week. What the fuck was I thinking? Apparently the idea of humiliating myself on a stage in public is something I'm open to.
  • In theory I'm no longer celibate. That ban officially lifted on Saturday, Dec. 19th, 2009. And yet here we are, 6 weeks later, and I'm just as horny and un-laid as I was then. At least from August through late December I had an excuse. But now: well, this is just kinda pathetic. So I think I'm going to employ a new strategy: tell people I'm still celibate, then drop the act the minute someone even remotely attractive shows the least bit of interest. Either that, or slip a mickey in someone's drink.*
  • While riding my bike home from school one night this week, I got doored by some asshole who: 1) obviously didn't look into his mirror before opening his door, and; 2) tried to say it the whole thing was my fault, and; 3) threatened to call the cops once we got into a shouting match and when I said, "Please DO call the cops because I think they'll see things my way!" totally backed down and eventually apologized. Which is all I wanted in the first place. I know it was an accident and I know that when you bike in this city you need to accept that things like this are going to happen. But when he said that I need to be more careful and the whole thing was my fault, well, that's when I lose my shit.
* This is a joke, people. As someone who was once on the receiving end of a roofie, I know that shit just ain't cool.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Back to DC

When I woke this morning around 7, there was already a surprising amount of snow on the ground. I immediately thought that I should implement a plan (and why didn’t I think of this last night?) to get to the airport quickly to catch an earlier flight out of the city. I cleaned the guest bedroom and began packing. Christ, I acquired a bunch more clothes over the break. Bob and Kari dropped me at the Blue Line and by 9:15 I was on a train heading to O’Hare.

When the train emerged from underground after the Division stop, the white sky and snow were almost blinding. I looked out on Milwaukee Ave., peering at all the familiar shops, restaurants that I used to pass by all summer long. And then before that, on my bicycle every day when I lived in Logan Square. I hadn’t walked down this street once in the 16 days I’d been back, and I wondered what the hell I’d been doing with my time. And I thought about the people here I didn’t see, or the people I barely spent any time with. The Boxer Rebellion’s beautiful “Soviets” played on my iPod, and when the line “And all I can see is that I’m sorry, sorry...” it made me sad. I thought of what a lovely break it has been for me, like a vacuum, but outside of that the world is still turning and time marches on and people get older and relationships fade when you don’t take time to care for them.

And I’m sitting here pondering the next semester of school and the next chapter of my life in DC. I’m excited but also uneasy. I should know what to expect, having survived the first semester, but I feel like maybe up to know has been a fluke and now the real experience begins, which is of course ridiculous. I think this uneasiness stems from the in-between time. I’m not sure I’m so good with life in DC during those rare times when I’m not a student. Because that is what I am – a student; it’s why I’m here. And when school is not in session – well, I’m not really sure what I am.

School just needs to start, I’ve decided.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

An Open Letter to 2010*

Well, we're off to a good start, aren't we? Which is good. I think the events of NYE and yesterday's Polar Plunge bode well for the rest of the year, don’t you?

And before I forget, nice job on the whole Roman Numeral thing - "MMX." That's badass. Also: what exactly are we calling you? I prefer "twenty-ten" - I think it is concise and clean. Not a fan of "two thousand ten" - I think that's kinda lame.

Anyway, I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself since we’re going to be spending some time together. I think we’re going to have some fun.

You know, as your predecessors could tell you, I’m usually really big into resolutions for the New Year. They’re a big deal for me. For example, in 2007 I made some resolutions to try to get my life back on track (after a few years of setbacks); in 2008 I resolved to study my ass off to get good grades in my pre-req nursing classes; and then last year I had two main ones – choose I good nursing school and live less inside my own head (something I tended to do) – and happily I met those goals.

You’ll be relieved to know that this year, for probably the first time in as long as I can remember, I don’t have any resolutions. So you’re off the hook.

I bet you’re thinking. Seriously. I thought about it for a long time and I’m actually quite content with my life right now, so I’m not making any resolutions. There’s not much I’m trying to change about my life or self this year. I feel like I spent the last few years changing things around, and I’m pretty happy with the results. So I’m taking a break from all that.

That’s not to say that you get to coast through. O no. In fact, There will be some big happenings I need your help with. Like: I graduate this year, thankfully; and I’m really hoping to get a trip to Europe in – either London or Spain – before the year is over. And there will be other, smaller things: Portland in April; a few jaunts up to NYC; forging ahead with new friendships while also doing a better job of strengthening existing ones; keeping disciplined in my studies.

But for the most part, my year is pretty much mapped out, thanks to school. For example, I know what I need to accomplish in February, what will be happening in July, what needs to get done in October. In a few ways, it will be a year of Auto Pilot, which I’m quite OK with.

So let’s agree to play it Cool for the duration, alright? You know, keep things slow and steady along the course. No big surprises. No games. No bullshit. Let’s just keep it nice and easy.

Remember these things, and I think we’ll get along just fine.

* With thanks to GFC, who I stole this post idea from.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ice Ice Baby

[That's my knee, right after the Plunge.]

As is becoming tradition, this morning I joined a couple friends for the annual New Year's Day Polar Plunge in Lake Michigan. And I have the battle scars to prove it.

When we arrived at noon, I was feeling really nervous, like suddenly I no longer wanted to do it. See, the Plunge is a crazy thing. There's really nothing else in my life I've ever done is messed up as this is. There's no other situation in which I completely force my body to do something it does not want to do. It was 17 degrees, and the water temp was 35. There were 4-foot waves with large chunks of ice floating through it. It was pretty much hell on Earth.

I've figured out that the Plunge is kinda like dying: you may enter the water surrounded by friends, but in the end, it is you and you alone. Mark, Katie and I waded into the water, dodging ice flows and waves, and went down on the count of three. But in the moment, when you say "three" there's nobody dropping you to your knees. It's only you and the big, cold abyss. Death is like that, I suppose.

Anyway, after climbing out of the water onto and over the ice to get back to our clothes and towels, we were all scraped up, bloody and bruised. As my friend Colleen, who was there to take pictures of the whole incident, commented afterwards, "There's a lot of blood on this beach."

Did I mention that it was 17 degrees and the water temp was 35? At this point, as I sit here much warmer but physically exhausted, it was totally worth it. But if the conditions next year are like they were today, I will definitely have to think twice.

But regardless, you never feel more alive then you do once you submerge yourself in near-frozen water, I think. It is perhaps the best possible way to start the New Year.

Which, btw, Happy 2010 bitches!