Monthly Archives: December 2011

Sometimes

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You know how they say that some people have all the luck? Today I was one of them. The day started out like any other, with planking around, and not knowing quite what to do with myself, and vacillating on whether or not to go to the gym, but it ended up being pretty special. I never used to carry my phone, but since I’ve been on call for my mentee’s birth I’ve been way better. It’s been charged and ready to go, but today, for the first time, I put it out of sight while I was at the gym, and wouldn’t you know, I missed the call. The call I had been waiting for, on the edge of my seat, hoping, willing it to ring. It was something of a blow. When I listened to my voicemail though, it turned out that my mentee hadn’t called for a ride, but had instead taken an ambulence to the hospital, and the social worker suggested that I might want to pop ’round. Fortunately, my gym is right by the hospital, so it was a quick walk/run over. I was still hoping to catch the birth, but (spoilers!) I didn’t. I was so looking forward to crossing something off my Buffalo Bucket List, but it wasn’t meant to be. I wouldn’t have made it in time even if I had gotten the call right away, because her labor was so fast that she was barely in the hospital half an hour before her beautiful little boy was born. She was all alone for the birth, which seemed terribly sad to me, but she took it in stride, and when I arrived at her bedside she was watching soap operas and seemed happy and relaxed. I kept her company most of the day, but I eventually had to get home for my family birthday party, so I said goodbye, and promised to come back soon (not that she understood, what with her total lack of English, but she was in good hands, and I’ll stop by tomorrow). I was still a sweaty mess from spinning class, but I felt terrific walking home from the hospital. Even though I didn’t get to see the birth, I felt good. There’s a new person in the world today (ok, there are lots, but I got to see one of them! He has teeny tiny fingers, with surprisingly long nails, and the softest cheeks in the world. He has a full head of hair too, and a mom that knows her way around a receiving blanket (she swaddles like a pro), and breastfeeds like a champ). When I got home I checked my email, and my professor had responded to my slightly-panicked request for help with recommendations. He was one of my favorites, but I only took one class with him, so it was wonderful to hear that he remembered me, and had kind things to say. He’s such a nice man. I knew that, which is why he was one of my favorite professors, but his email, and the follow-up email he sent me with the link to a Jeeves and Wooster video made me feel like a hundred dollars. So today, things are beautiful. Things are optimistic, and loving, and great. Today was the kind of day that keeps you warm at night.

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Happy 23 to me

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Birthdays are challenging, but today is ok. It’s even kind of nice. My godmother took me out for breakfast, and I ordered a delicious salad with mango, banana chips, strawberries, mandarin oranges, and coconut-crusted chicken. Salad isn’t a standard breakfast food, but it was just the thing, and there was so much of it that I ate the rest for lunch. Sadly, my camera batteries had to be sacrificed to the thermostat, but I am resolving to take more pictures of my food in the new year, so maybe that’ll happen. It was a beautiful salad though- very colorful.

Today is also apparently National Haircut Day, because I had to go to five salons before someone was willing to take me without an appointment. I had a short list of things that I wanted to accomplish today though, and a haircut was on it, so I kept trying, and it was 100% worth it, because the haircut I finally got was awesome. I love the feeling of someone else washing my hair, and even though she didn’t do anything crazy as far as changing hair styles, it made me feel pretty. And relaxed. It was a delightful little birthday treat.

I’m still hoping for a birth today, but my mom and I took my mentee’s husband to the store to wrap up their WIC shopping for the month. Tops is usually great, but they’ve taken all the WIC labels off the shelves, and so now it’s extra challenging, and I managed to get the wrong kinds of both bread, and juice. It wasn’t the end of the world, and they are very accomodating, but I don’t understand why the store would do away with a policy that makes a difficult system easier. Earlier today Lillian and I were strategizing for how I’m going to live when I’m in nursing school and can’t work, trying to come up with foods that are cheap and nourishing, and won’t result in my getting scurvy. It sort of reminded me of playing the Sims (without cheating, which I almost never did), but she thought it was grim, so we stopped. The thing is though, that I will manage. Even with zero income, I will make it work. People do it with less all the time. It’s slightly unfortunate that I vowed to never have Ikea furniture (it sounds dramatic, but I seriously hate Ikea furniture. An Ikea dresser nearly resulted in a mass homicide incident in my house once when we tried to move it up the stairs, fully assembled. It was not pretty, and from then on I swore I would never have any Ikea furniture in my own home. Which is sad, because that probably means my apartment will be very empty/I’ll have to make all of my furniture out of stolen wooden pallets), but it will be ok. I remember reading once in Dwell that you should prioritize nice pieces instead of wasting your money on crappy furniture anyway. And I like the look of empty rooms- they’re good for dancing around.

Ok, that wasn’t quite where I meant to end up in my happy-birthday-to-me -I-got-a-haircut-and-now-want-to-buy-a-hair-straightener post, but it all comes back to me feeling lucky today. I’m very blessed. 22 was a good year (for the most part), but 23 feels like it’s going to be awesome. I’m excited to see what 23 has in store for me.

New Plan!

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Ten more schools. Probably about thirty more recommendations. Lots of dollars spent on application fees. It’s the price of peace of mind though, so I’ll pay it. Fifteen schools total. One of them has to take me.

Edit: Ok, it’s been pointed out to me that fifteen schools is possibly too many schools. Only four of them have applications that are due before I’ll hear back from my first wave of schools though, so I’m going to play it by ear. Maybe I’ll get in somewhere on my first try, and not need to broaden the search!

Tonight we are young

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We had our annual winter picnic today. My grandparents love to go out to Chestnut Ridge and have giant bonfires, and we don’t let little details like the nasty weather get in the way of tradition in our family, so today we cobbled together a picnic and made the journey out. It’s one of my favorite traditions- we huddle around the fire, and chat, and in that way it’s a lot like most of our traditions. We walked around a bit, but mostly we just planked, and enjoyed some good company, and what’s not to like about that?

Tonight the older cousins got together for our grown-up gathering. We wanted to go to trivia night, but there wasn’t any this week because of the holiday, so instead we had a drink (I had an Angry Orchard cider, which was delicious, and tasted like regular old apple juice. It presumably wasn’t though, so I only had one because I’m on-call) at Thirsty Buffalo and then relocated to a bar with pool tables. Emily (my older sister) didn’t feel like playing, so we did a brothers and sisters game, with me and Joshua against my cousins Sara and Alex. Have I mentioned lately how much I love having a big brother? We won both games, and he high-fived me so hard, it was awesome. I love games. There was a couple at the bar that was playing all the games, and it was so nice to watch them, because they were so into each other, and having such a nice time. Eventually the holidays will be over, but  I love having my family all together.  I’ve felt so lucky lately.

Spin Sisters

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I had a lovely Christmas. I got all kinds of beautiful things (including a mandolin! Of my very own! I immediately broke a string trying to tune it, but I went to the music store today and they fixed it and tuned it for me!), and had nice visits with my family. My aunt gave me a milagro in the shape of a man’s head in the hopes that it will help me find a husband, and even though I didn’t ask for it, it was a nice gesture. I’m not quite ready for a husband, so I think I’ll hold off on activating it (apparently you take it to church, light a candle, and leave the milagro there and wait for your miracle), but it’s nice to have in my back pocket, in case I’m suddenly ready. Christmas dinner was delicious- turkey, and trimmings and whatnot (I exerted my influence and convinced my parents to include brussels sprouts and kale in the menu this year. People scoffed, but they were delicious, and the bowl of kale was empty at the end of the night), and it went off without a hitch. I love being part of the hosting team, even though it means missing out on a hot meal, and we pulled last night off like pros. My little sister could be a great head waiter if she wasn’t going to do other things, because she’s cool under fire, and doesn’t abandon the misson to eat some stuffing while it’s still warm, unlike some people (me). My family has a lot of Christmas traditions, so it’s always kind of the same from year to year, but this Christmas was very nice, and slightly different, because my brother-in-law joined us for the first time. My aunt also brought her boyfriend, so our circle is expanding in a very nice way.

My sisters and I were going to go to the gym this morning, but instead eased into the day with kale eggs and hanging out, which was nicer. We eventually mobilized though, and I took them to spin class at my gym. Neither one of them had even tried spinning before, and while they didn’t like it, I did. There was a different instructor today, and while he was very nice, he had terrible music. Who works out to jam bands? The songs are impossible to follow! How are you supposed to know when the end is near? Music aside though, it was a great workout, and I loved that we got in some sister time. I was going to propose that it be a Boxing Day tradition, but with any luck I won’t live in Buffalo next year, so I won’t have a gym membership anymore (fingers crossed).

Now I’m planking around, warming my gross sweaty self in my bed, and trying to motivate myself to get up and shower. My family is getting together again tonight for dinner at my aunt’s house, and then we’re voting on the Big Pink Hall of Fame. The grown-up younger generation is going out for drinks tonight, and then all of the cousins are getting brunch tomorrow. Christmas goes by so fast- I love that my family draws the festivities out a little bit longer (three days until my birthday!).

Saying a little prayer

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It won’t be the end of the world if I don’t get into a grad program this go ’round. It’ll feel that way, but only for awhile, then I’ll move on, and try again. Except if I don’t get in because my applications are incomplete because my references never send in the forms. Then I will lose my mind. It’s one thing if I’m not good enough. I can accept that, and try to be better. If this doesn’t work out because my applications were incomplete though…that’s a horse of a different color. That will break my heart. SO. Even though the semester is over, I am going to track down my professor, and actually talk to him, out loud (on the phone), and refuse to be ignored. Which sucks. I hate asking for things that people don’t want to freely give. I don’t like confrontation. Heck, I even hate talking on the phone, but I don’t have any choice. It shouldn’t be easy, but I don’t understand why it has to be this kind of hard. What does this say about my worthiness of becoming a nurse, that I have to put my future in the hands of people who don’t honor promises?

Beginner’s luck

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The night before my A&P final I felt too jittery to sit in my room studying, so I went downstairs and made toffee. Incredible, beautiful, delicious toffee. It was my first attempt, and I’m not going to lie, flying solo on candy and having it come out tasting like mana from heaven made me feel like a badass. “What were people talking about when they said making candy is hard?” I thought to myself. “This is so easy! Maybe candy-making is my secret gift! Maybe I’m like the Harry Potter of making candy!”. Well…I’m not. I’m sorry world, but you are not about to be taken by storm by an up-and-coming young candy- maker. I attempted to make another batch of toffee last night (the first batch…vanished. I suspect alien involvement), and it was not good. I don’t think I let it heat long enough, or something, because it looks like I tried to make candy out of melted Barbie dolls, or beige crayons. It’s greasy, and sad, and the excess butter leached through the tinfoil, grossly. The failure was a blow, but I was mostly bothered by the waste, because I used a pound of butter to make that mess. My mom tasted it, and said that it wasn’t that bad, and we could still put it out for Christmas dessert, and it isn’t inedible, since it’s made of sugar, butter, and almonds, but I have mixed feelings on the subject. I want to try again, and if there are two batches of toffee, and one looks delicious, and one looks mutant-y, which do you think people will eat? And which will be left over for the hosts (us) to deal with and guiltily consume? At least our peppermint bark came out nicely, despite a slip of someone’s hand with the peppermint extract. It isn’t as pretty as professional peppermint bark, but its way cheaper, and once it’s in your mouth no one wants to see it anyway.

Our tree is beautiful. It looks fake. It’s all symmetrical and gree, and nice.

As promised, behold: Santa De-Clawed! She prefers wet food to cookies, and can walk through dollhouse doors, so chimneys aren’t a problem. Plus, she brings joy to all the good girls and boys. 🙂

Other people’s relationships

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When I was at Smith I sort of crossed paths with this girl, to the extent that we became friends on Facebook, but probably never had a real conversation. She seems like a sweet girl, but I don’t know her, and I’ve been trying to sort of cull my Facebook friends herd, and yet I know I will never unfriend her for one simple reason: her relationship. I love a good love story, and these two are so over-the-top that it’s easy to follow, and I don’t even need to creep, because they fill up my newsfeed. Partner A posts about how much she loves Partner B. Partner B likes the post. Partner A likes that Partner B likes that they like it, and so on. I know a lot of people hate this kind of thing, but these two are just adorable. As far as I can tell they aren’t doing it to show off how in love they are to their friends, or upset their exes, which is something that other couples do, that is legitimately hateful- they seem genuine. People are so jaded about college relationships (myself included), and I’m guilty of eyebrow raising when two young people get married, but I kind of like the idea that people are looking for their mate, or their second-half, or bashert, or what have you, and sometimes that person can come into your life at an early age. I want examples of people who are deeply in love, they’re encouraging.

My phone rang earlier today with an unfamiliar number, and I had a heart attack, thinking it was my mentee. It was my dentist. Fail. 🙂 It’s going to be like this until she has the baby, and then for the rest of my life once I become a midwife. You know what though? It’s 1,000,000% worth it to get to be a part of something this special.

Fingers crossed

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Today is the only day I don’t have access to a car, and so my mentee cannot go into labor. I’m really hoping it happens on my birthday actually (December 29). I have a pretty bad relationship with my birthday, and attending a birth would be just the thing to make it better. Also, it’s one of the only days between now and her due date that I don’t have plans.

When I was in college I always asked that my family wait until I got home to get our Christmas tree. I’ve always been a member of the tree-picking committee, and since we host Christmas Day, it’s important that it be an awesome one. Mostly though, I just like going out to the lot, and standing in the cold, looking over all the trees. We’re lucky, and have high ceilings, so we always get a big tall one, which is good, because when it comes to Christmas trees my family does not go the tasteful route. Every scrap of macaroni art gets hung- one year a fork found its way into the box of ornaments, and it’s been a part of our decorations ever since. We don’t cotton to classy white lights, it’s colored all the way, with a strand of bubble lights thrown in for good measure. It’s eclectic, and the end result is just beautiful. My younger sister is slightly more mature than I am (she would never think to ask people to stay out of the backyard all winter), so she let us get our tree before she came home, and so we picked one up yesterday. My mom stayed in the car while my dad and I wandered through the mini-forest in front of the nursery looking for the tree of our dreams. It’s pretty late in the season, so pickings were on the slim side, but we wound up the proud owners of a very pretty pitch pine (I’ll post pictures later, because I found a camera cord (a Christmas miracle!)). The cats love it, even Flora (my hedgehog) seems kind of into it. Thank you Estonia and Latvia, for starting this awesome tradition (also thank you Wikipedia, for telling me where Christmas trees originated).