Category Archives: Plans



I’ve been thinking a lot about my pet options for next year, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t start my dog-owning life off with a toller- they’re just too challenging a breed for a first-time dog owner, and they require too much exercise for a new nurse who works 12-hour shifts and doesn’t have anyone to help or money for doggy daycare. Instead, I’ve decided to…get a corgi next year! Corgis are cool. Exhibit A:

Corgis are also way more chill than tollers. They still take a lot of exercising (which is a good thing!), but I’m fairly certain a corgi will be less insane, and certainly less scream-y.

Corgis are also freaking hilarious. I dare you to watch this without laughing.

Didn’t work, did it? I thought not.

Corgis are smart, and affectionate, and can do agility training, and wear rugby jerseys (probably. Maybe this one), and there are so many good corgi names! I’m partial to Bertie, but really anything British would work (Downton Abbey alone provides great name-fodder. Carson! Sybil! Thomas (he’s kind of evil, but he’s an out and proud old-timey gay guy, and I like that). Ok, probably not Thomas, but maybe Edith. And then there’s Call the Midwife! Chummy the corgi would be so cute!).


Edit: I somehow forgot Harry Potter names! Neville the corgi! No wonder the Queen has so many- there are just too many good corgi names!

I know they’re a super trendy breed right now, but they’re also timeless- the Queen has had them for years. I’ve admired corgis for some time now, and I feel good about this decision (and there’s a breeder in Rochester! I love how people in Rochester breed all kinds of things- hedgehogs, tollers, corgis). I’ll get a corgi, and then a kitten, and then someday I’ll get a toller, and then I’ll have all the pets and it’ll be awesome.


Don’t call me contra


I left the dance early tonight because my back was sore, but it was still a great time, AND there were more free onions. Truly Wednesdays make up for Tuesdays. I’ve heard really good things about the dances in Rochester, which is good, because I’ve kind of sort of decided to move there next year (provided I can get a job), and I want to keep dancing. With any luck the Rochester dances will be a younger crowd, and I’ll get a dance-y boyfriend, but I also love dancing with old guys, so there’s no losing outcome here. It’s kind of nice having a plan, and I feel pretty good about my Rochester decision (it’s close to home, but not so close that I’ll be tripping over high school classmates, and I’ll be able to see my family for the occasional Sunday dinner), but now that I know what I want I need to actively make it happen, which means contacting hospitals. It’s all well and good saying I want to live in such and such neighborhood, but right now it’s just a daydream, and daydreaming about Rochester feels weird- New York maybe, but Rochester? It’s what I want though, for several frivolous reasons (Carbon Leaf plays there when they’re in Western NY, and it’s close enough to Buffalo that I can go see shows there if someone awesome comes through (Great Big Sea is playing in Buffalo in April, and I’m seriously tempted to go up to see them. There’s also the potential to see Carbon Leaf multiple times in the same week because last time they were in WNY they played both cities but no one wanted to drive out to see them twice in two days with me), the bars will probably play Sabres games, and I’ll be close enough to maybe go to a game if I have time/money, I like lilacs, and Rochester has a whole Lilac Festival, someone once told me they got their toller from a breeder near Rochester- the reasons are endless), as well as two good ones- proximity to family, and (supposedly) good opportunities for new nursing grads.

Earlier today I thought I would give my TOMS new life by dyeing them using my pomegranate tea (it’s a lovely pink, but too sweet- I like my tea as bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword). I thought it would work, but instead they’re just beyond saving. I’ve had them for a couple of years, and they’ve served me pretty well, but now they’re tired, so it’s with a heavy heart that I’m retiring them (i.e. throwing them away).


I’d like to get another pair, but I’m not sure when that’ll happen since they’re mad expensive. There are all kinds of things that I’m living without and not experiencing any great hardship (new TOMS, a food processor, a toaster, a car/bicycle (though I wish I had one or the other, since my clinical group is going into a high school tomorrow to talk to the students about good nutrition and it’s in a bad neighborhood but no one can give me a ride. I’ve been told that wearing scrubs and a stethoscope marks you as someone who is there to help, so I’m hoping to get in and out unmolested, but it’s irritating, and I’m slightly nervous), and a microwave all spring to mind, but I would like to have these things eventually, once I have an income. I have all the debt, but I can also kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I should at some point have money that I can spend on things like $58 mesh shoes.

Next week is Mardi Gras, and I’ve decided to make something Cajun-y to celebrate. I haven’t been cooking this week, and so I’ve been living off of popcorn, which is officially gross and not cutting it. I know I want to use okra, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. Gumbo? Etouffee? Red beans and rice? Jambalaya? I haven’t decided, but there are lots of options, and now I really want a catfish po boy. And beignets.



I hate to jinx things, but I think I’m moving this weekend. If it happens (which it still might not), I’ll be thrilled to death, even with packing up all my stuff and selling my table on pretty short notice. I still like my room, and it certainly feels like home, but there are still times when I’d honestly rather buy a train ticket and run away from home than deal with my living situation. To that end, it’s hard for me to accept that my roommates are getting off scott-free for what has been months of psychological torture. It’s pretty tidy on their end- they’re just getting away with everything, and won’t even have to pay extra rent. It’s rather galling actually, especially because while I think I’ve been annoying to them, I’ve mostly been a blip, like having a mosquito in the house, while to me they’ve become larger-than-life monsters who have had an enormous impact on my time in nursing school. It doesn’t seem fair, and so I’ve been wracking my brains trying to think of a (legal) way to get back at them. In a purely fantasy way I thought about hiding bits of raw meat around the apartment so they would rot and smell bad, and probably attract rats. I thought about going to the school and reporting them for being bullies, but that would be a huge pain in the neck, and those things never seem to work out in favor of the bullied. I considered forwarding their bitchy messages to their boyfriends, so they could see who they were dating, but that probably wouldn’t do anything either. Honestly, they worked this whole thing perfectly, and there isn’t anything I can do. Sometimes bad guys win, and this is one of those times. They’ll probably go on to have nice lives, and the fact that they acted horribly won’t matter at all. They don’t think they did anything wrong, so they won’t learn from this experience, and that’s that.

It’s pointless, but plotting revenge is fun. My friend Alex thinks so too, and so he and I brainstormed about it today at school. He suggested all kinds of over-the-top things, but my favorite was that I should buy bedbugs and plant them in the apartment. It would be hard to trace back to me (as long as I bought them with cash, and didn’t you know, blog about the whole thing for the internet to read), and in many ways it would be perfect, because it would cost money to deal with cleaning everything, and it would be inconvenient, and physically uncomfortable, and kind of stigmatizing, but not life-threatening. He looked up places to buy bedbugs, and we had a good laugh (the kind of laughing where tears run down your face, and people on the bus smile at you because it’s nice seeing someone having such a good time), and suddenly I felt better. There aren’t very many successful revenge stories anyway- it usually backfires and ruins the life of the person seeking revenge (even more than it already was ruined and prompted him to seek revenge in the first place), which is probably not accidental on the part of authors. It’s all well and good to giggle with your friends about filling an apartment with crickets, but actually doing it brings you down to level of the people who wronged you. Even harmless stuff (my aunts suggested that after I move I send hundreds of pizzas to the apartment) is damaging, and while I usually sort of stink at letting things go, I’m really hoping to never think about these girls again after I move. I never like hearing it, but living well may actually be the best revenge.

I had a long day at school, and then I had to stop at the pet store to buy cage bedding for Flora, and on a whim I bought her the really nice kind. When I got home I emptied out her crate, and washed it, and filled it back up with lovely new bedding, and took out the trash. I actually really like taking out the trash- it’s one of my favorite jobs because then you get to start over with a fresh bag, and I felt really peaceful. I came up to my room, and sat on my bed, and listened to some music, and it hit me that I wasn’t angry anymore. I didn’t want revenge, I didn’t want anyone to suffer, I just wanted to move and move on. It might not last, and if my roommates come home and give me a hard time I’ll probably fall back into daydreaming about dumping glitter all over the apartment (including in the fridge), but I’m hoping to hang onto this calm. I don’t want to be the kind of person who wants to be the cause of anyone’s suffering.



It has been quite a week (It’s felt like much longer. Months. My pharmacology test was so long that halfway through I was pretty sure I had always been taking it- I was born in the testing room, and would in all likelihood die there). I’m close to the other side of things though, so now things feel more ok, and I’m almost nostalgic for the good old days of studying all the time. I miss my study buddies.

My appetite is still wonky, but I’m being better about eating even without feeling hungry because I got really hypoglycemic the other night and it was not good. Feeling hungry and then eating is so great- it’s one of those feelings you don’t necessarily think about all the time, but you miss it if you don’t feel that way for a week. They had free breakfast at school all week and it felt like such a waste because I love free food but I couldn’t enjoy it (at least not as much as I would normally).

Assuming I passed everything I’m halfway through my nursing program. Every semester feels like a full year in and of itself, and this one was very full. Full of stress, and tears, and worries, but even more full of new perspectives, and growth, and joy, and wonderful people. This program is so intense that the bonds we make are extra-tight because we all really rely on each other for strength and understanding, and I would be lost without my friends. They’ve been incredible, especially lately, since I’ve been spending almost every waking hour with them and my life has been more or less falling apart. I can’t believe the program is half-over and my time with these incredible people is going to have to eventually end (we’ll stay friends, but it’ll be different).

Last night I went out for a celebratory dinner with my friends Scott and Judy. We had Mexican food, and then strolled over to 34th St for some holiday cheer.

I didn’t take any pictures (that one is from National Geographic), but it was really terrific-just another great thing to add to my list of reasons why I love Baltimore. I especially like the neighborhood where they do the lights- it’s called Hamden, and it kind of reminds me of Allentown in Buffalo. If I stay here I might look into living there- it has a nice sort of blue collar/hipster feel that I enjoy.

I don’t have much of a plan on the day, which feels a little weird. I need to go into school for a bit to hand something in for Birth Companions, and there’s an end-of-the-semester party tonight, but other than that I’m free. I might go to the movies (there are lots of things playing right now, but I’d really like to see Silver Linings Playbook, or The Sessions), or Christmas shopping, and I really should go to the gym. I have the whole day ahead of me.

I love this song. My friend is going through a breakup right now, and The Lumineers are his breakup soundtrack, which makes me feel a little conflicted about how happy their music makes me, but it’s so nice when you have the same taste as your friends.

Belly burgled!


I’ve been pretty lucky so far when it comes to collaborating with other Birth Companions, but the truth of the matter is that we’re a group of students who all love births, and getting to support a laboring mother is way more fun than sitting in lecture, so sometimes it’s hard to share. Most of us want to attend births full time, and I know it would be hard to pry me out of a birthing room if I had to leave, but I’d like to think I would go and let someone else have a turn. There will always be more babies, or at least that’s what I’m telling myself to soothe the sting of being boxed out of a birth today. On the one hand, I hadn’t met the mom (she was early, and my co-doula didn’t invite me to the prenatal appointment), so I know it might have been weird for her to have a total stranger come in and coach her through pushing. On the other, I was signed up for that client, and the other doula skipped class to stay, even though she knew I was there, ready and waiting, and we have support for that very reason, so Birth Companions doesn’t interfere with our primary job of going to class. I’m letting it go though. The mom was supported, and I’ll have other opportunities (I just won’t sign up with this doula again. It’s nothing personal, but I don’t want to get rack-jacked out of another birth).

Even aside from Doula Drama today was not my favorite. It was Career Day at the School of Nursing, and now I’m worried about what I’m going to do with my life. It could be worse though- one of my classmates recently found out that nursing jobs don’t qualify for work visas (…for…some…reason? I don’t know why), so several of my international classmates will have to either go right into Masters programs or leave the country with degrees that won’t get them nursing jobs anywhere else. And Hopkins-level debt! I may not have a plan or any prospects, but I really don’t have it bad at all.

On the bright side- deliciousness!

I’ve been bringing beautiful yogurt parfaits for breakfast this week. From the bottom this one had frozen blueberries, yogurt, frozen raspberries, yogurt, and pomegranate arils.

Sriracha kale chips! I’m so addicted to sriracha popcorn that I knew I had to find an healthier alternative (it’s all I’ve wanted for dinner all week). These weren’t quite as good (what could be?), but they were super tasty.

I’m very on-edge this week- I think it’s the lack of tests. Hopefully that means I’ll be super zen in two weeks when finals hit.

Where to go next


I did a quiz to find out where I should live and it said Connecticut, which has never even been on my radar. It might be nice though, and I do need to start thinking about applying for jobs soon-ish. People keep telling me that my CristyOff The Map, Everwood plans of immediately jumping into working in a tiny rural community are ill-advised. I’ve never had a real career, but when I leave Hopkins in July I’ll be starting one, and that’s downright terrifying. I got over the whole living-independently thing, so that doesn’t seem scary anymore, but I don’t feel grown up enough to really be a nurse and have a real job and real coworkers (I’ve had jobs, but they were always short-term- semester and summer stuff, because my real job has always been being a student). I know my first job isn’t going to be my last, and I’m going to move on in a couple years anyway to go back to school so I can level up and become a midwife, but it’s still scary. I’m so happy at Hopkins, and it’s due almost entirely to the incredible people, so I naturally don’t want to leave. I’ve literally never felt like this before- I was thrilled to leave high school, relieved to shake the dust of Geneseo from my boots, and more than ready when it was time to say goodbye to Smith, but I finally feel like I’m in the right place and I don’t want it to end. All of this makes planning my next move really scary.

While the future is uncertain, I am still in school for the time being, and so last night I attended to some psych nursing homework and went to an AA meeting. I had never been to one before, and while the speaker was dull, the experience itself was rather interesting. It was bigger than I expected- there were probably about fifty people, and even though it was an open meeting, so non-addicts were welcome, I felt like a fraud. I couldn’t think of a graceful way of explaining that I was there as part of a school assignment, so I just didn’t say anything and let people assume that I had a drinking problem. The crowd was pretty diverse, ranging from sorority-type girls to blue collar men with mustaches, so I didn’t stand out at all, and I did my best to go unnoticed. I did have to raise my hand and say my name when they asked if anyone was there for the first time, but aside from that I just observed and was grateful for the fact that no one approached me. It was a lot like the AA meetings you see in movies and on tv- someone got up and told their story, there was a strong smell of burnt coffee, as soon as the meeting broke up everyone went outside to smoke, but I could see how it would be helpful to have a community supporting you while you get sober. I’d actually like to go to more meetings, not in a Fight Club way, just to see what they’re like, and how they’re different. Is that bad? I’m really concerned about being inappropriate or insensitive, but I’m also interested. I don’t think I’ll make a habit of it, especially not while I’m in Buffalo and worried about running into people I know, but addiction and recovery are interesting parts of the human condition, and I think learning more could help me be a better nurse.

One big push


I have to write a paper and sit for a test and then I can do whatever I want for a week (if what I want to do is listen to online lectures. At least I get to do it in my parents’ house). I’m tired, and I have some kind of mystery ailment (allergies? a cold? a sinus infection? an ear infection? Who knows, I’m just a nursing student), but I can be disciplined for another 72 hours and not only do the things I have to, but do them well.

Thursday was incredibly exciting, but recaps aren’t, so I’ll be quick. After clinical we had a simulation class at school, but my instructor let us out early to give us plenty of time to get to school and get food, and relax (it was supposed to go until 8:00, which is a long day, even for people who weren’t up all night at births). Instead of doing any of those things though, I went across the street the the hospital and attended another birth! I was lucky enough to get to be there for both of my moms, and I got to see two beautiful little girls be born in one 24-hour block. Both babies were very considerate and arrived around my schedule (baby #2 cut it close, but she came in time for me to get to my simulation). Now I’m addicted though, and want to spend all of my time in delivery rooms, forget school. It’s been days since I’ve seen a birth and I’m starting to have withdrawal symptoms. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m going to do after I graduate (it’s coming up scary fast), and I’ve been thinking I would like to work in an ED for a couple of years before getting my Masters in midwifery, just to shake things up, and round myself out a bit. Now I’m wondering if I want to do that. (I’m also really mixed up about where I want to live. My lease is up in May, but school goes until July. I was talking to my friend the other day, and she said she was thinking about sticking around for another year or two, and asked if I’d like to get an apartment with her and another girl from our class. And then she said we should all go to Brazil after graduation. That could be so nice! One of the things I’m dreading about school ending is leaving my friends, so it would be nice to get more time with them. I do like living in Baltimore, I just don’t know…) I thought that working as an L&D nurse would be weird and frustrating because they don’t get to stay with moms for the entire labor and they’re supposed to nudge the mom towards interventions that I don’t really believe in (gently, but nudge nevertheless), but I want to go to all the births. It doesn’t help that L&D jobs are very hard to come by, so if that’s what I really want to do I’ll have to be flexible about where I live. It’s all a little overwhelming, and really not what I should be focusing on right now anyway since I have more immediate things to deal with, but I can’t help looking ahead.

Walking in the rain


I love wet chilly weather best of all. Our handyman came over to fix my roommate’s leaky window today, and when I let him in and felt the cold, damp breeze I knew I had to go for a walk (I was also crawling the walls after being cooped up for two days).  I don’t actually have a raincoat (it seems like an oversight given all the rain Baltimore gets), but I pulled on my Smith hoodie and forest service jacket, and laced up my hiking boots (I have mixed feelings about hiking boots in the city, but they’re my only water-proof shoes), and ventured out to see what was left of the city after the hurricane. Everything was fine. There weren’t even downed branches- the trees still had leaves, everything was wet, but you would never think we had gotten giant school-closing weather.

I walked over to the Homewood campus, and then on a whim went down into a little park that I’ve passed a million times without a thought. It was slippery, and the path was really more of a trail, which totally validated my choice of footwear, and at the bottom there was a pot of gold. Ok, not really, it was better than that- at the bottom was the Hopkins men’s rugby team. They weren’t playing on a real pitch, there weren’t any uprights or anything, but I found their practice field, and I was very pleased and filled with Feelings. I miss rugby very much. I kind of told myself that I was done with team sports because I’m never any good, and I always end up feeling underutilized and frustrated, but I love rugby so so much.

While I was walking I wished I had a dog to walk with me. At the time a corgi in a raincoat seemed like it would be pretty terrific (there are so many good corgi names but I think if it was a boy I’d call him Bertie, and a bitch would be either Cora or Sybil), but I’m still thinking I want a toller. Tollers don’t need raincoats, and a Google Images search didn’t turn up any pictures of them wearing jackets just for fun, so that’s a shame, but I think a toller better suits my dog needs, particularly if I go to Alaska, or some other cold, remote place next year, which is my current plan.

(Ok, I’m just going to write this down so it’s out there, and because I’m thinking about it, and maybe if I say it it will come true. I don’t know where I want to do Transitions because my lease is up in May and I don’t want to renew it, but I don’t know where I want to go. After I graduate I want to work with either the Indian Health Services or National Health Services Corp. for two years so they’ll at least make a serious dent in my student loans, and then I want to go back to school, maybe full-time so it’s faster, and get my Masters in midwifery. Once I have my Masters I’d like to give a couple more years of service to pay back my new loans, and beyond that I don’t have any plans. I’ll be 30 though, which is weird, and hard to imagine, but lots of my friends are in their 30’s now and they still seem youthful, so I think it’ll be ok. That’s what I want. Now I just need to figure out how to get it, but I can do that. Pressure makes diamonds.)

Promises promises


In 70 days I’ll turn 24. That’s pretty old. On the bright side, my life is super awesome, so it’s not like I’ve been wasting the past 23 years (Walking Dead marathons not withstanding- good thing I never wanted to sleep again now that my brain is full of zombies). Honestly, 24 isn’t that old though, which I’ve learned from having friends of all ages- most of my nursing friends are in their late 20’s/early 30’s and they all seem about as young as I am, just more together, so if you get to stay fun but stop having popcorn for dinner and do your laundry on a regular basis then I say bring it on. If that’s what getting older is like then sign me up.

I would like to run 100 miles before my birthday. It seems do-able- I like to do between three and five mile runs, sometimes more if I’m with someone else, so that’s like twenty-five runs in seventy days. I can do that.



I meant to have another dinner party after last semester’s success, but I never got around to it. It’s hard hosting by myself, and while I’ll eat Everything Stew, it isn’t the kind of thing I would serve company. The other day in class I started mulling over dinner party planning, and I came up with a really delicious-sounding menu: cheese straws, beef stew topped with bacon, kale cooked in the bacon grease, homemade bread, and ginger bread with whipped cream for dessert. I figured I could mull some cider, and maybe have rum on the side for those who care to spike their drinks (my friends are all such grown-ups, with their liquor cabinets that even though I don’t drink very much I feel like I should at least be able to offer something), and pumpkin beer. We have a (non-functional) fireplace in the dining room, and I’d like to carve a pumpkin and put it in there, with leaves decorating the mantlepiece, and maybe mums on the table. It makes for a lovely picture in my head, but I’m not sure it will ever go beyond that. School is crazy, and because most of my friends from last semester are on an opposite schedule to mine whenever I have a spare moment they’re furiously busy. It would be a lovely party though.

(Pictures are all from Pintrest- a.k.a. party planning lust central.)