Next week is Geneseo Women’s Rugby Alumni Weekend, and I kind of want to go. I know I said last year that I had closure, and I wasn’t going to go again, but I want to. I don’t have Friday classes, and I’ve been thinking that I should use my long weekends for trips and adventures, and this sounds like just the thing. I’ve worked out the kinks from last year (wear sunscreen, drive myself, don’t put my stuff in someone else’s car, put on more sunscreen, immediately wash bloody wounds with warm, soapy water, don’t kiss idiot stoners, don’t stay overnight, put on even more sunscreen), and if I leave early Friday or after clinical Thursday I’ll have time for a decent visit with my family. Of course it comes down to more than just wanting to go- there’s cost involved, and homework, and other people’s schedules, but it could be a lot of fun if it works out.
I had a pretty awesome day. I wrote essays, and went to Mass AND the gym, and picked up a book at the library (after being helped out by a friendly librarian). I went on a prenatal visit, and out to dinner with a classmate/colleague, ate a tasty burger, and came home and read. My apartment smells like (pilfered) flowers and cookies, and I’m tucked into a bed with freshly laundered sheets that I successfully whitened by boiling them with lemons.
And I just found a beautiful new song. Ok, not a new song, but new to me.
And this one!
It’s so pretty! I sometimes forget how much I like The Decemberists, but that just means I get to re-realize how great they are every few months. It’s like discovering a new band, only lazier!
It’s gotten cold again, but I’m too stubborn to put my duvet back on my bed, and so will instead just sleep in heavier pajamas. I actually like the chill- I’m leaving my window open, and it’s nice.
I vividly remember sitting in the dining hall in college and having a girl from my house plop down across from me, tell her friend that she had just run home from UMass, and then sing a little song about her salad. I had never seen someone so excited to eat a salad- even between bites she would exclaim “Salad!” and do a little wiggly dance in her seat. It clearly left an impression (I don’t remember her name, but the salad song stuck with me), and I think about her whenever I’m excited about salads.
I’ve been in a good salad-eating place lately- all my classmates love them, and bring them for lunch most days, so I hopped on the bandwagon. Tonight’s salad was standard stuff- kale, carrots, celery, and cabbage, with some roasted red peppers that I made a few days ago and have been storing in olive oil, and topped with chicken. The chicken was the star of the show- it smelled incredible while it was cooking (I just roasted it with olive oil and Cajun spice), and made the whole meal more satisfying. I dressed the salad with a dressing I made myself using lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, a tiny pinch of brown sugar, and olive oil. Salad!
I think it’s important to have a good breakfast party piece. You never know when it’ll come in handy- friends in from out of town, friends in from the same town, random brunch event, it’s always a good idea to have a nice go-to dish. I’d like to be able to make delicious pancakes, but that’s still a work in progress. Instead, this morning I made a really special dutch baby.
My dad occasionally makes a dutch baby that I really love- it’s lemon-y, and sweet, and it has a nice, kind of dry edge that I adore. I’ve never been able to reproduce it on my own, but today I made something that was very different, and very, very good. Dutch babies are supposed to puff, which mine only did around the edges- most of it settled into a fabulous custard.
I made it using Martha Stewart’s recipe, with the addition of strawberries. I think the extra liquid kept it from rising, but it was still delightful. It’s the perfect breakfast for a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning- it makes me wish I had a deck, and a newspaper, but mostly someone to share it with, because it’s truly too good to be eaten alone.
Step 1: Buy TOMS online, despite not having any money. Just do it. Everyone at school has TOMS, and they’re perfect for contra dancing. Dancing in boots means having to wear pants, and it’s too hot for that. Get a darker color than last time though, because canvas-colored TOMS show dirt instantly. Black ones have buffalos on the inside! It’s a sign!
Step 2: Have a schedule that keeps you out of the house all day, and causes you to miss the delivery guy the first two times he comes.
Step 3: Look up where the UPS store is to see if it would be possible to pick up the package.
Step 4: Realize that it’s insanely far away. Swear. Curse not having a car. Curse the decision to buy shoes when you don’t have any money. Curse the UPS people for coming at stupid times and having a far-away location.
Step 5: Skip school. Plan on having the package magically come in the morning and making it to class late.
Step 6: Waste the whole freaking day being stuck at home waiting for the doorbell to ring.
The doorbell never rang. I’m not sure if the delivery person rang the wrong bell, or didn’t ring the bell and just expected me to wait on the stoop, but I never heard it, and now my TOMS are stuck at the UPS store, and my feet are bare. I missed two classes, and a workout class that I really wanted to attend and I have nothing to show for it. It’s very aggravating.
According to Google Maps it would take 99 hours to drive from Buffalo to Anchorage, stopping in Columbia, MO (to see Emily and Joshua), Berkley, CA (to see my friend Riva), and Bellingham, WA (to see my aunt and uncle) along the way . Of course, the downside to driving is that I’ll right off the bat be adding almost 6,000 miles to my car, but it might be worth it, just for the trip (if I just go through MO it’s only 78 hours, which is a pretty significant difference in time, and less than 5,000 miles, but the journey is the destination. If I don’t go through MO it’s only 72). My mom has said she might come with me, which would be a ton of fun, and I’d love the opportunity to see the country. We’ve only just started talking about it, but that would be great if it worked out. It would be less fun to go by myself, but I can think of a few people who might do it, and I know a lot of people from school are moving back out West. Even if that didn’t work it might be a good kick-off for my adventure to hit the road on my own- I’d have time to get used to being independent (and I’d get incredibly comfortable driving).
I’ve been applying for lots of jobs. It feels a little weird, since I don’t have any experience, but I keep telling myself that everyone has to start somewhere, so I shouldn’t feel self-conscious.
I had planned on hiding away yesterday, but it didn’t actually happen. Instead, I went to the Spring Fair, had a postpartum visit with a Birth Companions mom, and played the Game of Thrones with my friends until the wee hours of the morning. I haven’t seen the show or read the books, but the game was still really fun (it’s sort of like Settlers of Catan). Even more than the game though, I loved my friend Sarah’s cats. It was my first time going to her place, and she has two beautiful, giant Siamese. They’re really friendly, and I got to cuddle one in my lap for a nice portion of the evening, which gave me all kinds of oxytocin. They actually really reminded me of the racist Siamese cats in Lady and the Tramp (but in a good way).
Today I’m social-ed out. If I had a car I’d love to drive out to a hiking spot and spend the whole day by myself in the quiet. Because I don’t have a car I’ll probably just walk over to Druid Hill Park and hang out there, but that should also achieve my goal, because more than anything I just need to spend some time by myself.
I went to two parties last night, and while they were both interesting, they were also incredibly draining. It started with a barbeque with some classmates (though not my usual crowd), and then somehow I ended up at an art show in a basement surrounded by hipster art students drinking wine out of jars. Everyone I encountered last night was nice (if not necessarily my type), and I even had a good time, but now I’m done in. There was some talk last night about going to the Spring Fair on campus today, but I emphatically don’t want to do that, especially not with the people who made these plans, because I don’t know them very well, and I don’t have it in me to get to know them. It’s a rare thing for me, but I don’t want attention, and I really don’t want people to flirt with me. I’ve gotten too much of that recently, and it freaks me out, and makes me feel like I’m cold inside when I can’t respond to them in the way they want. I can give the right impression, but I can’t actually meet them halfway, and it’s distressing. I want to be open to new people, but I’m kind of just…not. At least not right now. I wish I had a dog to keep me company today- people are too much, but a dog would be just the right amount of interaction.
Because it’s Spring Fair there were fireworks on campus Thursday night, and because I can’t resist fireworks I dragged my friends away from their homework to check it out with me. I was actually really impressed by the display- it wasn’t some teeny little sparklers event- they went all out. Fireworks are legal in Maryland, so I suppose it’s probably a higher bar than what I’m used to, but I was impressed. It was 100% worth abandoning my schoolwork for a couple of hours, even though I then had to stay up until almost 1:00 in order to accomplish everything I had to do. Granted, most of what I had to do was baking- it’s standard practice to bring food for the clinical floor on our last day, and I also wanted to bake for my instructor.
I haven’t been feeling terribly inspired lately, and so I actually bought brownie mix to just throw something together. I misread the box though, and actually followed the recipe for brownie cookies. In an attempt to not feel like I was totally phoning in my contribution I decided to use browned butter instead of oil, two eggs instead of one, and lightly sprinkled them with sea salt. It worked too well though, because they were a hit, and when people asked for my recipe I had to sheepishly admit they came from a box.
I also made a loaf of cheese bread, which I think turned out well (I didn’t try it, but it made my apartment smell like heaven. Delicious, cheesy heaven). I sort of followed this recipe, but I also made it my own with replacements and substitutions. Instead of using cheddar cheese I used Manchego, and I used more than it called for- I joked that I used a 1:1 cheese to bread ratio, but I did use about as much cheese as flour. I didn’t have any fresh herbs, so I just tossed in some dried thyme, I used half a head of fresh garlic instead of 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and yogurt instead of milk (because I didn’t have any milk). It was fun to play around a little, and I’d like to make another loaf for myself to see if it’s any good. Normally I don’t try new recipes when I’m making food as a gift, but none of my tried-and-trues appealed, and I’m glad I got to experiment.
I had my last final today, which filled me with a very misleading sense of freedom. I still have to wake up at 5:30 for clinical tomorrow and Friday, despite feeling like I should be on summer vacation. I don’t have any homework though, so after my test and Transitions interview (which I think went well, though I kind of doubt I’ll get a pediatric psych rotation) I felt free to come home and plank to my heart’s content. This took the form of going to the grocery store, watching The L Word, and going to the gym for an extreme HITT class. I was the only person who showed up, but the instructor held class anyway, and gave me one heck of a workout. I feel all noodle-y, but in an accomplished, satisfied way. I need more workouts like that. I’d like to go to Spinning tomorrow, but I’m not making any plans because I’m on Baby Time- one of my moms is in labor-ish, and so I have to be ready to rush to the hospital at a moment’s notice. It hasn’t actually been that long at all, but it feels like I haven’t been at a birth in eons, and I’m excited, especially because this mom is delightful. Of course being on call means I can’t drink to celebrate the end of exams, but it’s worth it, and I have a pleasant alternative.
Kombucha! This is my first time trying the High Country kind, and I like it. It’s actually more boozy than I’m used to- it tastes a lot like a raspberry wheat beer (it only contains less than 0.5% alcohol though, so doesn’t count as drinking). It’s also less vinegar-y than other brands that I’ve tried, and less mucus-y, which is nice. I love kombucha, but there’s always that element of anxiety that I’ll get a mouthful of cultures, which is always a shock. It looks like there are a lot of great flavors, and I’d especially like to try the chai spice one (this warm weather has me craving iced chai. They sell dirty chais at the coffee shop in the study center and it’s the best vehicle for coffee I’ve ever had), but they only carry elderberry and goji berry at the grocery store, so I’ll just have to keep any eye out.
I also treated myself to a delightful post-test Reuben for lunch, so I’m having a very delicious day.
I’m pretty sure the 1,000 Island dressing is the best part, but the whole concept is just awesome. Reubens might be my favorite sandwich. It’s a bold statement, and there are lots of strong contenders, but there’s a real case to be made.
Walking to the gym having a mental conversation with my friend (I want to tell him he’s been making me unhappy, but I stink at expressing hurt feelings in a constructive way so instead I’m just pretending to tell him in the hopes that will help me feel better) I decided that I’m usually at a baseline of 7.5-8/10 happiness. That doesn’t seem like that much happiness, but it’s a baseline, so if something good happens (as is frequently the case) I bump up to 8.5-9.5 (and maybe an occasional 10). Right now, sitting on my bedroom floor, listening to The Civil Wars, feeling tired, and warm, and utterly at peace feels pretty terrific- 9.4, easy.
I can’t throw a frisbee. I’ve known it since my freshman year of college when I went on an Outing Club hike and gave a girl a black eye when the disc I had meant to send across the circle flew into the face of the person next to me instead. I’m not sure I’ve thrown one since then, up until today. Today when it was just too beautiful to stay inside and study for a moment longer my friends and I took a frisbee break, and it was great. My friends are outdoorsy types, so they pretty much grew up playing frisbee, and have all been on Ultimate teams, and can do all kinds of fancy things that are really intimidating to novices, but my friend Alex very sweetly offered to teach me to throw, and so gave me a little frisbee clinic. I’m still not good, and I broke two nails (which I always find funny- it’s such a high-maintenance kind of injury), but I had a ball. Throwing, and especially catching is incredibly gratifying. I was actually ok by the end, though we never joined the others, and now I want to play more. I want to play catch, and Ultimate, and be outside, on the grass, in the sun with my friends. (I especially want to do it if my friend Sam will take his shirt off again, because he did today, and it was quite a sight. That boy is built, and even though he’s my buddy, and I’m not attracted to him it’s still a nice view.)
I’d like to have a bonfire. School is never-ending crazy, and even though this week is finals we’re just jumping into the next semester without any break, so I don’t know when there will be time to go camp, but a bonfire should be do-able. I’d like to roast marshmallows, and get smoke smell in my hair.
This has been a roller-coaster of a week. I’m kind of processing everything that has happened and that I’m feeling, but it’s complicated stuff, and I’m glad I have such good support in place.
My friend has a new girlfriend, and today she stopped by the library while we were studying to deliver a care package of some farmer’s market smoked salmon. He’s a lucky guy- no one ever brings me salmon, and he very generously shared it with everyone. I hadn’t given it a lot of thought before, but sitting in our study room devouring delicious fish it occurred to me that next year I’ll be able to go and catch my own salmon if I want. If I do, I’ll need to get a smoker, and then I’ll send fish to all my loved ones in the lower 48, which will hopefully soften their hearts to the whole living-in-Alaska thing. Whenever I think about it (the Alaska part, not the salmon) I get excited- it’s going to be so incredible, and in so many ways that haven’t even occurred to me, just like living in Baltimore has been wonderful in all kinds of unanticipated ways. When I picture it I imagine hiking, and snowboarding, and rock climbing, and kayaking. I see myself cooking fresh-caught fish over a campfire, and going to the Anchorage Folk Festival, and spending long dark days watching Doctor Who with friends. Things are crazy right now with finals and life stuff, but it helps to have all of that to look forward to.
I need to learn to knit. I think it’s a good skill for a doula and midwife, and I like making things. I’d also like to get back into mandolin, though I keep saying that and then not practicing. One of the thing that has been causing me a lot of angst lately is my dating life, and I think I’ve come to some important conclusions. I need to do the things that I like. It doesn’t mean I’ll meet someone while doing those things, and even if I do it doesn’t mean they’ll be a good fit just because we both like ice fishing or tap dancing. I just need to do them because they make me happy.