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30th October 2021

Update

Update

Luckily, only about 15-20 feet of siding will need to be replaced, rather than the 50 that I had feared. The rest of the siding look okay – there was flashing over the foundation further down that drew a lot of the moisture away. I’ll be getting the siding replaced in late January. In the meantime, there’s now a railing so people don’t fall and some plastic to protect the foundation until I can get a landscaper to come in and build a french drain and grate it. I’m thinking about putting down paver stones or tiles, with planters maybe, to make the space more usable and attractive – give me your thoughts!

I had the back portion of the fence removed to access the area. I might put up a gate there, I don’t know.

I also installed a new bit of railing on the front deck. It looks a little awkward, but I’ve had three people miss the two steps when they’ve visited and fall and it’s only because they were friends/family that they didn’t sue.

The gutters got cleaned out thoroughly, though, which is a huge worry off my plate. It should help with the water that collected in the crawl space last spring (and probably collecting again this fall). The downspouts still need to be fixed as does the chimney flashing.

I got somebody to come by to give an estimate for painting the house. It’s been a week and I haven’t heard back. I messaged another company to get an estimate, you know, so I can make an informed, compared decision, and also have heard nothing. It’s majorly frustrating.

I just realized that I didn’t show you all pictures of the deck after it was power washed. It looks good. There’s still a few boards that need to be replaced but I should be able to replace those and get it stained and sealed this spring.

I’ve mentioned that my house is all deck, right?
Before
After
Back deck and landing

All this to just get the house to a “maintained” level.

posted in Adventures in Home Ownership | 0 Comments

23rd October 2021

the rotting state

the rotting state

When we first moved into this house, on the inspection, I noted several boards that were rotting on the back deck. The deck was virtually unusable when it rained (which, since I live in the pacific northwest is often) because it was so slick and it was always covered coated with leaves and decaying matter (landlord had people come through and remove leaves once a year but stopped after I got angry that they were removing ALL grasses on the hill beneath the trees so it was just eroding away). Anyway, noted problems but my landlord didn’t do anything about them.

Last November, I looked out the window and noted that there was a hole in one of the boards and texted the landlord, who did nothing about it.

When I purchased the house, the sale was delayed because the bank wouldn’t authorize the mortgage until the back deck was fixed, which landlord refused to pay for (it was an issue). In the end, I had the worst of the boards replaced and the house closed.

I always knew that I’d have to replace the back deck, so I hired a friend who came out this week and started on the project. He power-washed the front deck for two days and it sparkles – I’ll only have to replace a few more boards there and will get it stained and sealed in the spring and it’ll be nice. I’m excited about that.

But when he moved to the back deck, he noted an area where there was moss and rot into the siding. We removed boards and the rot is more extensive than I had feared. I’m going to have to replace the lower part of siding across that entire side of the house.

We’re removing the deck, all except for the steps down. I have to get a landscaper to come and grate it and put in a french drain to deal with the water and maybe put in concrete. It needs a retaining wall.

I had hoped to paint the house in the spring. But I can’t until these problems are fixed.

(The washer also started leaking and needs to be replaced, although I think I may be able to delay that at least another couple of weeks so I can look for the holiday deals).

(I finally got somebody to answer my emails/texts/voice messages to schedule cleaning my gutters this week. So there’s that at least.)

posted in Adventures in Home Ownership, All About Me | 0 Comments

1st November 2018

1st of November

It’s been over a year since I posted here – and what a year it has been! It’s my 40th year of life, so I have tried to make it My Year.

Unfortunately, I am sick with a cold and I’m on service this week, so you’re not going to get the big update. Maybe daily morsels?

Here’s the sum up: Road Trips (Southeast, Maine + Nova Scotia and Prince Edwards Island, Kentucky/Tennessee, with Oklahoma/Kansas/Arkansas in two weeks). Cruise to Alaska. Hamilton. Visits with my niblings. Harry Potter and the Curse Child. Darren Criss/Lea Michele concert.

Stay tuned. 🙂

posted in All About Me | 0 Comments

1st February 2015

perfect month take two

Six month ago, February 1st started on a Sunday, creating a perfect month. At that time I was going to blog every day that month. I did manage to do it for 14 days before I gave up. I make no promises this time. I still delight over perfect months.

Doing: I’ve had the week off service and I have been utterly lazy. Bad Julia.

Thinking: I made an appointment to see a therapist tomorrow. I mentioned before that I’ve been having some difficulty dealing with things. I’ve been fighting a pretty severe case of “Impostor Syndrome”, some “Single and Unwanted” and “Religious Floundering,” and wow, I have problems with intimacy and vulnerability. I’ve referred people dozens of times to therapists but I’ve never gone to therapy myself. In high school, I was petrified that my parents were divorcing and met with the traveling counselor once, who basically patted my head and told me that I worried too much. It really takes a lot for me to open up: I’m so much more of an active listener. So this is petrifying for me.

Reading: I’m taking a class this semester on leadership. So I’ve had lots of reading for it. Some interesting. Some boring. It’s been a good class – we’re starting to work on some group projects and there are so many good ideas and I’m making connections.

Watching: Glee’s final season started and it’s been brilliant. Utterly brilliant. Witty and biting, emotional, and just tight writing. It’s been everything that I love about glee. I’ve always loved glee, from the very first time I watched the pilot and I am truly heartsick that it’s ending. And it’s also disappointing that it’s had such poor ratings this year. I hate that it’s ending, but I hate more that it’s ending and nobody will remember what a brilliant show it was. I’m also watching Orphan Black, which is also brilliant. I’m in the middle of season 2; I’m dragging out the episodes because I don’t want to it to end; it’s still way too long of a wait until season 3.

Making: Nothing, unless you all want to hear about my failed attempt to repair the LCD screen on my camera.

Writing: I attempted to work on my book chapter this past week. See above’s failure. I have this week off service as well, so I’m hoping to make more progress.

posted in All About Me, Frivolous Fandom | 1 Comment

6th November 2014

we have to go back kate

DSC_0161

 

I went to Hawaii last spring, one of the first real vacations I’ve had in years (most of my vacations have been traveling home or to Arizona to see family). I was so lucky to get to go with my dear Susan and her husband, not only because it was a chance to spend time together, but because they also understood and completely supported my need to get my fangirl on.

It’s been 10 years since it first debuted and four years since it left the air, but there were still many, many remnants of old filming locations of LOST. We were staying on the northern side of Oahu, in a town where many of the flashbacks/forwards/sideways were filmed and I found myself a google map and tracked down as many as I could during our stay. There were a few big ones that I missed, like hiking to the lighthouse and going to the bamboo forest. Luckily I have a friend who lives in Hawaii, also a Lost fan, who has promised to take me anywhere when I come to visit again. I just started rewatching Lost in honor of its 10th year anniversary (wut), and it’s been even more incredible because I have now actually been there.

(You can see pictures of my Lost escapades here, although I need to label the locations).

I’m afraid that this activated my travel bug. Now I’m itching to go all over. I have a friend who just moved to Japan – and she’s wanting to go to Italy this summer; another friend is making plans to go to Japan in the spring. Greece is on the list. As is England, and Cape Town in South Africa. And. And. And.

Not to mention my fandom must-sees. New Zealand for LOTR, which needs to be soon since they are finished up with the Hobbit. And I just stumbled upon this, and oh my word, I absolutely have to go on a location tour for Anne of Green Gables. Have to.

I better get that passport renewed, eh?

posted in All About Me, Lost, Passport Stamps, The Great USA | 1 Comment

5th November 2014

polishing the old times

I had lunch with Chris yesterday. I think I mentioned in my sum-up post from January that he had gotten into the surgical critical care fellowship here. We don’t work together at all, although both of our ICUs are right next to each other due to ongoing hospital construction, so there is some hall passing on occasion. I was kinda looking forward to bossing him around. 😉

Things have changed in the 12 years since we’ve became friends. He got married (an event that still hurts to think about how much I was excluded). He has a 1 year old son. We went from seeing each other every single day for nearly 3 years to barely talking on the phone once a year (part of that was definitely me avoiding and licking wounds). So I was understandably nervous about having him in the same state again. Overall, it’s been nice.  I’ve been over to their house for dinner a couple of times and had lunch with Gretchen and Oliver once (a very brief meeting in the cafeteria, mostly spent in preventing a runaway). Chris and I meet for lunch a couple times a month, depending on our schedules. And there’s no denying that I have missed my friend. There are very few people who just understand me and unexpected hallway hugs after a tough family conference are just soul-saving and precious.

Anyway, he is currently interviewing for attending positions across the country. He interviewed at Utah and the interviews went well and they seemed to like each other. He’s got a potential interview here at OHSU. Both would really be a great start to his career with support for research.

His wife wants him to go back to Wisconsin and take a private practice job.

I wanted to laugh at him. Because I could have told him that he was going to get into this 5 years ago when they were in the middle of dating. She was saying then that she loved the idea of raising her family in Wisconsin, because that’s where her folks and her sisters lived, and that she was trying to convince him to not pursue public health because she didn’t want to raise her kids in a foreign country. She went to Boston because it was a short term gig. She came out here because it was only a year. He didn’t ask me then; I didn’t offer because  I like Gretchen quite a lot; she’s a heck of a lot more patient about some of his personality ticks than I am.

His marriage. He gets to have this fight. They’ll figure it out. I didn’t offer any advice, just listened. I don’t know what our friendship is going to look like in the future, but I’m glad for these few moments to connect again.

posted in All About Me, Chris | 0 Comments

1st January 2014

This Is The New Year

(I wrote this on New Year’s and then didn’t publish it. But I felt a strong urge to finish and publish. So.)

2013
January:
-The start of my last 6 months of fellowship. Strange how quickly it seemed to arrive after all.
-Rotation: Anesthesiology. Which went better than the last time, but that’s not saying much. I did about 2 or 3 intubations a day, which made me about as proficient as a first year anesthesia resident, but enough to give me hospital privileges (I still call for anesthesia backup).
– First RealGirl job interviews! I interviewed at Portland Oregon. The interview went really well – I enjoyed the people, the job description seemed like a perfect fit, they liked me, my presentation went well. I had a preliminary job offer by the end of the two days there.
– I then flew to Salt Lake City and interviewed there. The differences between the two programs could not have been more stark. The interviews verged on antagonistic, the department chair had drastically different goals than I did, and it did not feel like “coming home” – I barely recognized the hospital from the 7 years that I had been away. We mutually decided that we were not the right fit for each other.
– Socially, I hug out with my friend Jen frequently. We went to movies and to watch Stanford Men’s Volleyball
– Wicked! First time ever seeing it. Wow. (Until the fire alarm went off in the middle of Defying Gravity – it was a fluke but ruined my favorite song).

February:
-Work: At SFGH on the neurocritical care service. Risk management was called for a different patient about every other day for two weeks. Long hours. Looooong, exhausting hours.
– My attending, who had been my co-fellow the previous year, screwed me over in terms of time off. My friendship with him fizzled at that same time. #correlationequalscausation
– I went to Portland for a second interview and accepted the position. I cancelled my one other interview.
– My car was broken into at the Oakland airport. Nothing was taken, just the lock completely removed. I honestly think that somebody just used it as a place to sleep. I never got the lock fixed, which made getting into my car ever so fun.
– Socially: Virtually nonexistent. My friend Michel and his fiancee Claire came to town – oh, how I missed them. We went to dinner at the best Thai restaurant in SF and our visit was way too short.
– I went to see The Fourth Messenger at the end of February with one of my residents. Lovely musical with gorgeous music by Vienna Teng.

March:
– Still on SFGH neurocritical care. Lots of family meetings and sick patients. I think I worked 22 days straight without a day off (one evening off in that time, the rest of it I was on call). Don’t remember much except an epic argument with said attending above. I was pretty much in charge of everything, and it was nice being able to move into that role.
– Went to Sunstone NW Synposium. A truly lovely day with discussions of progressive religion and meeting wonderful people.
– Did I do anything social? I hung out with my friend Dan and his boyfriend a bit. Dan really became one of my closest friends in SF, despite him being one of my residents (my plans to keep a “professional relationship” aka no friendships with the residents, of whom I was technically in a position of authority died within 6 months because I need friends like whoa).

April:
– Elective this month. I was so burnt out from the last three months that I basically spent it doing paperwork for the new job.
– Social life! My friend Lisa and I went to the Palace of Fine Arts and admired the swans (from a distance as they were nesting). I went to more volleyball games with my friend Jen (she really loves volleyball. I really like men playing volleyball).
– VACATION!!!! Oh, thank goodness for time off. I took two weeks and went on a cross-country trip. Arizona to see my nephews (highlight of the trip: going to the zoo), Milwaukee to see residency friends, down to Illinois to see Susan and then to Pennsylvania to visit with Sam and her brood. By the end, I was ever so grateful for my decision to be child-free but I loved every minute of it.
– I spent a week diligently trying to get tickets to see Darren Criss, only to have them sold out within seconds. I may have cried.

May:
– Rotation: Medical critical care at SFGH. Like last year, this was again my favorite rotation of the year. I worked with some awesome people. It felt like being back in residency in many ways.
– Time definitely started feeling like it was running out in San Francisco. Jen and I went to the zoo and to the movies (Grease Sing-Along!) and to a Giant’s game (I should have gone to more baseball games).
– I SAW DARREN CRISS IN CONCERT. A lovely girl from Tumblr gave me her ticket and I had a fantastic time. Well, except for the fact that they confiscated my camera at security. Still bitter.
– Made a new friend: the girl from Tumblr, Jennifer, and I went to dinner and instantly connected.

June:
– Last rotation of fellowship: on the UCSF stroke service. I was pretty much the attending for the first two weeks (my supervising attending actually was out of town for 5 days).
– I missed my own graduation party because of a sick, crashing patient. I think that really sums up my training.
– I flew to Portland to look for an apartment/house to rent. Stressful, so very very stressful, but in the end, I found a cute little bungalow that captured my heart.
– Good-bye bonfire on the beach for my friend Dan. Wearing 4 layers of clothes. Yep, that’s SF for you.
– Went hiking and camping in Calaveras Big Trees State Park with church friends – such gorgeous large redwood trees.
– Marched in Pride again, which was extra awesome because of the repeal of DOMA and Prop 8. Again, such a powerful, spiritual experience.
– Visited with Susan. Sadly, due to many circumstances our visit turned into just an evening together, but so wonderful to reconnect.

July:
– As of July 1st, I was no longer a “physician in training,” but an actual attending. 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, 5 years of residency, and 2 years of fellowship to get me to that point. Surreal.
– I had the month of July basically off. I did some board studying, but mostly spent it saying goodbye to friends and San Francisco. Highlights include going to a local karaoke bar (It’s Raining Men has more than just the chorus, sadly), dinner at a Moroccan restaurant where I belly-danced with my friends, dinner with Lisa, another trip to the zoo to see the baby tiger, tour of Pixar, going to the Legion of Honor and admiring the Rodin sculptures and impressionist art (my favorite era) and kite-flying on the beach.
– I moved! The movers came and packed up my stuff and I flew to Utah that afternoon for a few days before we drove the rest of my stuff to Portland.
– I almost rolled the Jeep and trailer in Idaho – when they tell you to put all of the weight towards the tongue, believe them.
– My parents and sister helpd with the move. So good to spend time with them.

August:
– August 1st. Started the new job: Assistant Professor and Attending Physician.
– The first month was spent setting up my office, trying to figure out parking and doing Epic training for the 4th time (seriously, why can’t I test out of this??). Never thought I’d ever get paid for picking out pens from Staples… I do have a fantastic corner office with a beautiful view of Mount Hood.
– Toronto for a weekend to see my friends Michel and Claire get married. Beautiful ceremony and reception. It was the first time I had been to Toronto. I went to a baseball and fulfilled a 20 year wish to see my beloved Blue Jays play.
– I then promptly flew out to Chicago, where I parked my butt in a hotel conference room for 6 days straight for a neurology board review course. So boring, but it did the trick and helped jump start my studying. I did get to go up to Milwaukee for an evening to see my friends.
– Chris, my BFF from med school, came out to Portland to interview for fellowship. As always, his visit was abbreviated, but I did feel like I had healed a bit over the hurt at being excluded from his wedding last year. Our relationship is different, so different and will likely never have the same level of intimacy that it did before. He and his wife had a new baby, Oliver (the irony) in May, so there’s that factor as well. I don’t know whether I want them to move out here or not.
– I bought a car! My dad and I looked at cars when they moved me to Portland. I initially decided to wait, but my little faithful Ford Escort was having more and more problems. I am now the proud owner of a pretty little cherry red Ford Fusion Hybrid. I spend way too much time monitoring the amount of time I’m in the electric mode and recharging the battery.
– The last week in August was my first week on service. It wasn’t as horrible as I had feared. Nobody died unexpectedly (hooray!) and no codes. I struggled with figuring out how to direct a team of medical students, midlevel providers and a fellows from a variety of specialties. I still don’t know how well I’m succeeding.

September:
– I had two weeks off of service to study for the boards. It consumed the majority of my September.
– The test was much better than the previous year. I did not start crying 50 questions into the test, I didn’t almost go home at the lunch break and I didn’t cry the entire way home.
– I reconnected with my friend Shanae! Austenland, an after-performance visit after Les Miserables, lunch at a cafe (Portland has the best Reubens).
– Visit up to Seattle for the weekend to visit Brooke and her family. We visited the Aquarium and Pike’s Market.

October:
– Another week on service, where I was the only one of my partners at the hospital and I was horribly, horribly sick with the cold from hell.
– My newest nephew was born! I didn’t get to meet him but I can vouch for some adorable toes in pictures.
– Weekend drive to the coast of Oregon. Ocean, I missed you!
– I dyed my hair for the first time ever. One of the hardest parts of getting older is having my hair become more and more dull in color. So I paid a heck of a lot of money for highlights and my hair looked exactly the same afterwards. I’m going for henna next time.

November:
– Birthday! I worked that whole week, so my new coworkers brought in treats, mostly pumpkin related. One of my residents made me a pumpkin spice cake.
– Vienna Teng concert. Her new album, Aims, may be my favorite yet and the concert was electric. I got to meet her prior to the performance and may have fawned too much over her.
– Brandi Carlile performance with the Oregon Symphony – amazing. Just amazing.
– Thanksgiving was spent at my bishop (church leader’s house). Nice but dull and I didn’t know anybody. I worked the next 5 nights.
– Chris got the fellowship position. I still don’t know how to feel. I guess we’ll find out in July.

December:
– Neurocritical care boards. Hopefully the last test that I will have to take for 8 years. The test was so terribly difficult. I really fail to understand why, after 7 years of training that I should walk out of a test feeling like a failed every time.
– The pipes froze in my toilet (yeah, don’t ask me how I can move to Portland and deal with frozen pipes for the first time). Am I ever glad to not be a home owner!
– I am starting to realize how much of my career revolves around working with neurosurgeons. Since I made the decision years ago that I didn’t want to be a surgeon, this is unsettling. Work was hard – too many patients with terminal illnesses that I was given futile care to. Too many family conferences.
– Work Christmas party. Where I knew 4 people and mingled awkwardly. The department of neurology is huge and each subspecialty is isolated from each other.
– Portland MoFem (Mormon feminists) Christmas party – so much more my thing. I am so grateful for these people because I feel like I have ready-made friends.
– I had a couple of days around Christmas off, so I spent Christmas at home in Utah, visiting with my grandma and then going to my hometown for Christmas day.
– Back to work for a couple of days, then off to Arizona to see my sister and her kids, where I’m currently at. I have a brand new nephew to admire and shower with love. I’m here for the rest of the week and then to San Francisco for a mini-vacation and a conference.

News and events that were note-worthy:
– The Kenya massacre. Such tragedy to a country that will always have my heart.
– Overturn of DOMA and Prop 8. It was a magical time to be in San Francisco.
– Women prayed in my church’s biannual conference (yes, it’s pathetic that it is 2013 and this is big news. But. It was big news and it made me cry)
– Cory Monteith died on July 13th. I was utterly crushed and grieved for days. I’m still grieving in some ways.
– The Oakland, California and Texas brain death cases. So much misunderstanding about brain death.
– “Obamacare” rollout. I still feel passionately about access to health care and while I still hold out how for a single payer system, this feels like the best temporary solution, but man, I wish it had not been fraught with so many technical difficulties
– Gay marriage is legal in Utah. Legal. In Utah. Being on facebook when the news hit was the best thing ever. I was in med school in 2004 when Amendment 3 passed and it was the first time that I faced the question of what would I do when the beliefs of my church and my religion didn’t match mine. I wasn’t vocal against it, more just uncomfortable, and was relieved once the election was over. This really was the best news of the entire year – I was so overjoyed to witness the happiness of my friends.

Overall themes: I hate moving. I hate saying goodbye to my friends and to the city that I love. I hate being a stranger in a new place. I don’t transition well. But Portland is lovely and I am falling in love.
– I still don’t feel like I’m ready to be an attending. And yet here I am.
– If I never have to take another standardized test, it will be too soon.
– I am more and more comfortable with my singlehood, more so than any other time in my life. I toyed briefly with online dating once I moved here and then didn’t, partly because of body and emotional issues, but partially because I am baffled as to how somebody would fit into my life – and also because for the first time, I don’t need it. I can foresee a happy life being completely and totally unpaired.
– Faith transitions, even if they’ve been ongoing for years and you still believe to a degree that varies week to week, are painful. Particularly when people are telling you that you shouldn’t even bother.

Books read this year:
– The Book Thief (reread, but I pretty much had forgotten it all. Including the very unforgettable ending.)
– Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (must read. must read. must read)
– Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell per Becka’s recommendation (if there was ever a book that almost completely encapsulated my college years and my fandom life, this was it. Adorable.)
– Tankborn and Awakening by Karen Sandler (a friend of mine works for the publishing firm and recommended. I enjoyed it quite a bit. The world building was quite incredible. Looking forward to the last book of the trilogy).
– The Fault of Our Stars by John Green (I liked but I wasn’t as in love with this as others.)
– Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall (again recommended by my friend. Not as good as Tankborn).

Movies seen:
Struck By Lightning
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Iron Man: 3 (I haven’t seen 1 or 2)
Star Trek: Into Darkness
Grease Sing-A-Long
The Princess Bride (absolutely timeless)
Girl Most Likely
Despicable Me 2
Monsters University
Austenland
42
Much Ado About Nothing
The Great Gatsby
(Still to be seen: The Hobbit, The Book Thief, Frozen, 12 Years a Slave)

TV Shows:
Glee (Favorite episodes: ‘The Quarterback,’ ‘Love, Love, Love,’ ‘Puppet Master,” ‘I Do,’
Dancing With the Stars (yay, Amber Riley!)
A little bit of Castle, but not consistently

Favorite songs of 2013:
Rihanna (feat. Mikky Ekko), ‘Stay’
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lambert, ‘Same Love’
Pink (feat. Nate Ruess), ‘Just Give Me a Reason’
Lana Del Ray ‘Young and Beautiful’
Fall Out Boy, ‘My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)’
BOY, ‘Little Numbers’ (it was released earlier as a single, but I’m counting it anyway)
Sara Bareilles, ‘Brave’
Maroon 5, ‘One More Night’
One Republic, ‘Counting Stars’
Darren Criss, ‘Words’
Of Monsters and Men, ‘Silhouettes’
Vienna Teng, ‘Landsailor,’ ‘Copenhagen,’ ‘Goodnight New York’, ‘The Human Experience’ (yeah, I can’t pick)
Bastille ‘Pompeii’

Favorite Glee-Covered Songs
All You Need Is Love
Got To Get You Into My Life
Come What May
If I Were A Boy
Seasons of Love
Make You Feel My Love
This Is The New Year
Piano Man
Marry the Night

posted in All About Me | 0 Comments

8th November 2011

halloween!

My stolen internet is down again. Why can’t people be more reliable in the things that I am mooching? People these days are so inconsiderate! So this won’t be posted until the morning. It’s probably for the best, because otherwise you would have to endure me swooning about Glee and how perfect Darren Criss is as Tony and oh my word, did you see his arms and those eyelashes that go on forever??  See, much better.

Instead, you get pictures of my nephews in their Halloween costumes. I know, Halloween was a whole week ago, but their preciousness is timeless. 🙂 

Carden loves trucks and cars. Loves them so much. So he got to be a policemen in a police car, while his brother David is a fireman in a firetruck. Are they the cutest boys ever? I’m so sad that I don’t get to see them for a while.

posted in All About Me, Family | 0 Comments

4th November 2011

Richard Brautigan, ‘Real Estate’

Real Estate

I have emotions
that are like newspapers that
read themselves.

I go for days at a time
trapped in the want ads.

I feel as if I am an ad
for the sale of a haunted house:

18 rooms
$37,000
I’m yours
ghosts and all.

posted in All About Me | 0 Comments

21st August 2011

Randomness

Randomness

1. I am exhausted and have a headache. I haven’t been sleeping well recently. I was on night float last week and did a really good job of switching my schedule to sleep during the day and be awake at night. I’m naturally more of a night-owl anyhow so that wasn’t difficult, but the converting back has been dreadful. Add in the stress of looming boards (Aug 24th, as in 2.5 days from now) and the house situation, yeah, insomnia and I are becoming good friends. It’s 19:30 now and I think I’m going to try to go to bed by 20:00.

2. I have 228 unread messages on my email. For those who understand the signficance: I miss you! [info]bjorks_defender has been making me feel all nostalgic and remembering LJ from 5-6 years ago and how much time I spent on here and how few are still around. I’m so glad that I’ve reconnected with [info]shirerain again and I’m going to try really, really hard to start writing here more often.

3. Did I mention that my test is on Wednesday? I’ve done pretty well studying over the last couple of months, getting in an hour or two after work. Haven’t been so good this week. Mostly because I’m emotionally and physically drained. I’ve been studying for the last year for this thing. I will never be able to differentiate between all of the different pulmonary fibrosis/interstitial pneumonias. I will probably miss most of the cardiology EKG questions because I will overlook a U wave or not see that the QRS is widened. I will probably give a patient methotrexate for the autoimmune disease and the answer will be to give the azathioprine. I will completely overlook that the kidney patient has Fabry’s disease or some form of renal acidosis (Type II or IV) and will diagnose them with Wegener’s or something like that.

In short, there is still a lot that I don’t know, it’s overwhelming. I have oncology and hematology left to review and then it will be trying to memorize a few tables and going over questions so that hopefully something will stick. The passing rate is about 85-90%, so I’m trying not to get too worked up, but there is still that possibility…

4. Adjustment to SF has been hard. My roommate and I get along pretty well and she moves in a couple of days, but because of work and board studying, I haven’t been able to see the city at all. I’m lonely, I miss my friends and my very comfortable lift back in Milwaukee so much. So much. I’m making “acquaintances” but things are different. Residency almost came with ready made friends – since we spent pretty much every waking (and sleeping) moment with each other, it didn’t take long before they were your best friends. Here, there’s a smaller number of fellows – there’s only 4 neuro critical care fellows total, and 2 are the year ahead of me and I’ve never even met them – and we’re all on different schedules and at different hospitals. I’m slowly getting to know a few people, but not enough to have somebody to go to the movies with or out to dinner or just wander the city. And I miss that.

I’ve also become somewhat agoraphobic and/or social phobic over the last several months. I’ve talked myself out of taking the bus to the movies or to the grocery store. I’m not sure why, the few times I’ve been out I’ve been safe, but I’m just so completely out of my element that I just cling to what is familiar. I felt the same when I was in the Netherlands and in Ireland that last day and I was all by myself: both times I could barely get myself to leave the room and see the city. In the Netherlands, I met sombody and we ended up spending the rest of the day with each other and it was fantastic. It’s one of the reasons that I don’t think I could do one of the “backpack trips across Europe” by myself – I need to have somebody else with me to share the experience. I’m trying to do better.

5. I made brown rice, black beans and corn for dinner tonight with a balsamic vinaigrette over it. It was not my best experimentation. It really needed cilantro and I didn’t have cilantro. The balsamic vinegar with raisins and mandarin oranges, chopped almonds and pecans topping that I made last week was incredible, however.

6. I go on “vacation” in 3.5 days, after I finish my test. So excited. I’m flying home to Utah, going see friends and family for a few days, go through all of my stuff that is being stored at my parent’s house and then driving back. It’ll be nice to spend almost a week in the same place. Then I work for a couple of days and that weekend, I fly to Phoenix to see my nephews. Who are adorable and are just waiting for their Auntie Julia to spoil them.

7. As of tomorrow morning, my house will be coming off the market and I am so sad about it. One viewing. I thought for sure somebody would fall in love with my house because it is perfect, but it didn’t happen (I thought for sure that someone would fall in love with me and that also hasn’t happened, so I probably should have had lower expectations). I’ve learned from this experience. One is that when I try to sell it again, I’m getting a different agent. I liked her – she’s the one who helped me buy the house in the first place, but she usually deals with more expensive homes and I don’t think really devoted her attention to my home. The pictures that were initially taken were awful (my roof looked like it had holes in it. The rooms looked dark and scary). And she never had an open house and it felt like I was doing all of the work trying to come up with creative ways to get it out there. So next time: new realtor with new perspectives.

I haven’t been able to talk to a rental manager (see #3 above – that’s sort of been my life), which of course is freaking me out, because I really have to get this house rented in the next month (preferably by September 1st). Thanks again for all of the advice and links, it’s given me a lot to think about!

And now it’s 8 and I still have dishes to do and bed is sounding like a really good idea.

Toodles!

posted in Adventures in Home Ownership, All About Me | 0 Comments

30th November 2010

vacay

I did not succeed on my Nablopomo quest. Being away from a computer for 5 days puts damper on even the best-laid plans. I thought about cheating and going back and filling in some of those days, but man, am I tired. It’s okay; I was doing it more for the principle of getting into the habit of blogging more and documenting my life, rather than the prizes. Right? Right. And there’s always next year. In any case, I had started doing the two 30 day memes because I didn’t think that I could find words of my own to fill a month. I underestimated myself. I hate leaving things incomplete and I’ve put a lot of thought into some of upcoming questions, so I guess I’ll be continuing this into December. Should I make a “Blog Every Day for 365 Days” goal? How did everybody do on their Nanowrimo/Nablopomo projects?

My “vacation” was lovely. I arrived in SLC around 1:30 on Thanksgiving; Dad and I traveled down to Provo where we had a mighty feast and gorged on pie (death by pie would be a lovely way to go) and then played Dominoes into the evening. Friday was spent renewing my driver’s license – since my car is registered in Utah, I’ve kept my Utah license, but they wouldn’t let me renew in online; it’s one of the reasons that I jumped on the chance to go home. We then visited my aunt and cousins and little 1st-cousin-once-removed Cora (hee) who was quite adorable. We actually did participate in Black Friday and bought shoes. For me. Specifically these shoes. I’ve wore these shoes pretty much every day since third year of medical school – super comfy and padded; I can endure marathon rounds without too much pain. Alas, they don’t last forever (but this is only my 3rd pair, so they are pretty durable). I also found a pair of fluffy slippers that are definitely what I needed in this cold weather – my feet feel like they are blanketed in feathers.

Saturday we spent with my dad’s family. My cousins and their kiddos drove all of the way from Connecticut (and managed to skirt most of the storms), so we had a second Thanksgiving dinner with them. The kids were entertained endlessly by moving small toys around and hiding things and crawling up and down stairs and playing with the swinging doors that lead into the kitchen- I had forgotten how fun this age can be. We capped the evening by visiting another cousin, Sara and her 3 week old baby. He is a doll. 🙂

Sunday, I slept in. 🙂 Karin and I finally manged to get ready and surprised my friends Laura and James by coming to church with them (ignore the fact that we arrived late). I have to say that when I walked in and Lucas (their 7 yo son) lit up and hugged me was one of the best moments ever. I lovelovelove and adore all of my friends’ kids, but Lucas has a special place in my heart – he was the child that I watched grow up. I went over to L&J’s house virtually every other week during his first year or so of life. Being away from these kids, all of them, having them grow up without me has been hard – but having Lucas recognize me and hug me: heart swelled big time. I almost started crying. It’s still hard to believe that this baby:

can now write me notes during church.

After church, we went over to Laura and James’ house, where Liz and Edgardo and daughters braved the weather and joined us for dinner. Such a wonderful, companionable evening that was over way too soon! Oh, oh, I’ve missed my friends – it’s hard to believe that we’ve been friends for more than 13 years at this point. It had been snowing all day long and I really, really, really hoped that it would have snowed enough to cancel my flight, giving me one more day. Alas, my flight actually departed on time, getting me back to Milwaukee in the wee morning hours.

I didn’t take as many pictures of the weekend as I wanted, as I was too busy lapping up the company and conversation. But you can see a few pics:

And now, off to bed. I’m determined to make it to Board Review tomorrow and 6 o’clock arrives way too soon. Ugh.

posted in All About Me, Family, Friends, Plethora, Social Life | 0 Comments

17th November 2010

we used to wait

we used to wait

Both my dad and sister reminded me that I had been there when Laura was burnt by the tar. Apparently, my mom, sisters and I had gone on a bike ride and Laura had ridden her bike directly into the hot tar pit. So my memory was correct!

Speaking of nostalgia and memories, have you all seen the latest Arcade Fire video? I shared it on my Facebook a couple of weeks (maybe even months now!) and I still love it. Go here to their website, type in your address (nostalgia is one of the ingredients to making it powerful and mindblowing – it’s best if its the address of a place you grew up) and wait for it to load. It only works on Google Chrome or Safari and it also uses a lot of memory and processing ability, so it is best if you only have that one program open. And then after you see it, read/listen to the interview on NPR about how they made the video. It’s amazingly magical.

The video of where I grew up: http://www.thewildernessdowntown.com/#1339+E+Allen+Rd,+Tucson,+AZ+85719,+USA. The first time I saw it, it made me cry.

All About Me Day 07- A picture of where you live
I’ve inundated you all with pictures of my house over the last month. Does anybody not know what my house looks like?

Instead, pictures of my other “home”: Read the rest of this entry »

posted in All About Me, On doctoring, Resident Life | 0 Comments

15th November 2010

brain ded

I’ve had a bad tension headache/migraine for the past two days. My fellow let me leave work early and I came home and crashed and if it wasn’t for my grumbling, hungry tummy, I’d slept longer. The muscles in my neck are really tight and tense and I got dehydrated which triggered everything. Anyway, there’s the explanation for the lateness in some of my blogs. I can sleep in a little tomorrow, but I’m still kinda achy so I think it’s off to bed again. I’m behind in the 30 day memes, but promise to resume them tomorrow.

How was your weekend?

posted in All About Me | 0 Comments

8th November 2010

antigua

antigua

I got my flu vaccination last week – as a health care provider and one who has gotten the flu before, I get one every year. This year, I went for the nasal mist. I’m working on the consult service, so not in as direct of contact with the immunocompromised patients (those on chemotherapy) and I’m not that fond of shots. Both forms don’t reach full immunity until approximately 2 weeks after and the spray is a little bit of live virus which can make you feel a little ill. I woke up this morning with the sniffles (I initially typed “snuffles” but found out that that is a upper respiratory infection of rabbits and since my name didn’t change to Harvey overnight (oh I kill me), I had to be accurate and change it) and have been feeling just a little less than healthy today – not terrible, not enough to try to go home or even beg for chicken soup, but just bad enough that I think I’m making it an early night.

All About Me Day 5 – A picture of a place where you have been. I really should just remove the “A” from all of the questions and make it plural, because there’s no way I’ll ever be able to limit this to just one.

First stop: Guatemala. March 2004.

Tikal

I went to Antigua, Guatemala to learn medical Spanish. It was a course for intermediate to advance speakers – and I didn’t know a word, but the program agreed to let me go. So at the last minute, I asked for a rush passport (with truly the most terrible passport pic ever. No, believe me, I win), bought a ticket and away I went.


Tina and I, early morning in Tikal

My traveling companion was the unlikely combination of a procrastinating perfectionist. She would always put off doing important things, but then wouldn’t hurry up because everything had to be just so and we were often late. Very late. We almost missed the plane down there. And the plane back up. And the bus from Tikal, etc. It was the first time she had ever left home (except for her mission) and she had to talk to her parents every single night -which mean we missed out on seeing a lot of the city. I was much too nervous to break out on my own and go sight-seeing.


Antigua

We were there for just over three weeks. During the day we went to spanish language lessons or to programs around the city that provided care to the poor and the ill. We visited orphanages, an AIDS clinic, a poor farmer’s hut, a primary school, the mental hospital, a nursing home. The weekends we took trips: up north to Tikal and then to Lake Atilan.


Lake Atilan

Some of the culture was overwhelming. I never got used to the begging of the children, which usually occured only at the tourist sites. When we stepped foot out of a bus or a boat, they would come swarming. I hated haggling prices for souvenirs – I didn’t know the language and I found it frustrating. The food was pretty incredible, though and cheap. And the scenery more than made up for the frustrations.


Learning how to Salsa with Antonio


Tikal ruins

Learning the language was extremely difficult for me. The only language I had attempted to learn was sign language and there was very little cross over (the few months of online German in the 7th grade does not count either). I spent most of the month not knowing what anybody said. I had difficulty with the grammar and the pronunciation – I have a hard enough time with English, you should hear me slaughter drug names!


Admiring silk blankets

So while I came home only knowing how to say about 10 phrases (and I’ve forgotten most of those now), what I gained was an appreciation for a beautiful culture and the desperate need that other countries had. I realized how very spoiled I was by the American culture. I stayed in a middle class home, but even there, the showers were limited, the plumbing was fragile, electricity and food was very carefully utilized.


Colored sand with borders of flowers and fruit arranged in a Catholic cathedral for Semena Santa (Easter) Festival

I know it’s an overused phrase, but I can honestly say that Guatemala changed my life. It opened a thirst to see and experience new cultures and to make a difference.

I think I’m going to extend this over the next couple of days, because I’m am becoming more and more stuffy and my head is aching. Bed sounds really, really good right now.

posted in All About Me, Guatemala, Meme me, Passport Stamps | 0 Comments

4th November 2010

sing me to sleep

sing me to sleep

It’s already interview season, where the neurology department interviews nervous 4th year med students who are eager to find the perfect place for residency. Five years ago, that was me. The best part is always the dinner the night before – we take out all of the applicants to a nice restaurant and spend most of the time catching up with each other. 🙂 Tonight’s dinner included pumpkin cheesecake which brought out Homer SImpson-type salivating.

I was a little miffed at the dinner, as two of the neurology fellows came (it’s supposed to be the residents only) – and one brought his girlfriend. Really? The department is paying for it, and you’re going to turn it into a free date? Scuzzy. Haven’t decided if it’s worth it to rant to the program director yet.

I’m mixing and matching the 30 day memes, because I thought some of the questions on the original one were lame, so I googled for other memes to supplement.

All About Me Meme Day 02 – Where you’d like to be in 10 years.
In 10 years, I will be finally, finally completed with my medical training (I hope), and finally, finally in a real job. Right now, it seems too distant of a hope. Everybody always asks me where I want to end up and the answer is always “I don’t know.” Honestly, I have loved living in the Midwest more that I thought I would. I miss the mountains and the quick easy getaways to nature, but I love this little city and I love the surrounding farms and villages, so there are times when I contemplate coming back. It would be fantastic to be closer to home and be able to see my family and friends more often. I’m missing my nephew growing up, not to mention all of my friends’ kids. My grandparents are getting older and frailer. When I interviewed at Portland, I could easily see myself settling there – the fellowship program was too weak for training, but as a job once I was done: pure heaven.

I do hope that I have a life where I’ll have some free time so that I can become involved in all of the little hobbies that were dropped once I started med school: some painting and writing. I’d love to be involved in community theater and take some real photography courses. I’m also hoping for enough flexibility that I can do some international work; while I no longer have the burning desire to flee to another country for several years, I think that spending 1-3 months at a time in needy areas would be more my style.

HP Meme Day 2: Your favorite movie.
I don’t have one – they provide a couple of hours of entertainment and that’s about it. The first two movies were just glorified picture books. The third spent so much time concentrating on floating leaves for “atmosphere” that there wasn’t enough time to explain anything. The fourth had the needlessly long first task and then skimmed over the return of Voldemort. The fifth: okay, I loved Luna and Umbridge, but I only saw it once. The sixth: the fire at the Burrow, Ginny tying Harry’s shoes, Ginny feeding Harry food – yeah, haven’t seen it again either. It’s not that I’ve hated them, but as they came out at the same time as Lord of the Rings, which besides the murdering of Faramir’s character, was the most perfect adaption of a book that I have ever seen, I have been disappointed. I AM looking forward to Deathly Hallows – it looks awesome. But not awesome enough to get midnight viewing tickets.

posted in Frivolous Fandom, Meme me | 0 Comments

3rd November 2010

Meme-me

So, um, posting every day is really hard. Especially when you’re out of practice blogging and the most exciting thing going on in your life is the fact that you forgot you had an early morning meeting AND your parking badge didn’t work, making you really, really, really late.

So, I’m making it easier by doing a couple of 30 day memes that were floating around the interwebs a few months ago.

Snagged from [info]claidheamhmor : 30 days of me:
Day 01- A recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself

This is a couple of months old, but I really like it:

Broke that board with one blow, yo.

Facts about me:
1. I am unable to tie shoes properly. I learned the “bunny ears” method when I was 4 and any other way feels wrong to me. I can do a mean surgeon’s knot, now, thanks to the hours spent tying threads as a med student. I prefer an instrument tie- it just feels tighter to me.
2. I wrote a limerick collection to memorize the brachial plexus in med school. It was fabulous. I just found it again tonight while looking for an old “25 Things about me” meme that I started and never finished two years ago. Look for it tomorrow. Be prepared to be astonished (in all definitions of the word!).
3. It’s taken several years, but for the most part, I’m okay with the fact that I probably won’t ever get married. I’ve wanted to be in a relationship since I was a teenager, but it’s only been in the last 2-3 years that I think that I could be a good partner, but I also know that it’s not very likely. At least not until I’m 60-70. I’ve got great teeth and I expect to be quite the hit in the nursing home.
4. I’m a road trip junkie and want to see every state of the USA. I’ve got 16 to go, all of them in the south, except for Delaware and Maine. I’ve been within 20 miles of both of those states, but still couldn’t manage to cross the line. I’d love to take a Yay! Residency’s Over!! trip this summer and see the rest of them, but since I’ll be spending a fortune moving, that’s not the wisest decision.
5. I still want to do international work, once I’m done with residency/fellowship. But the thought of doing it alone without friends makes me really nervous.
6. I used to read voraciously and was probably the only kid who was ever forbidden to go to the library by their mother. Now, I read about 5 books a year if I’m lucky. The last series of books I read was The Hunger Games Triology. I chewed through them during my flights back and forth from SF: incredibly good.
7. I have a genetic bone disorder called Hereditary Osteochondromatosis. I’ve had 10 surgeries so far, with scars that crisscross my knees, shoulder blades and hip. The most obvious deformity is my shortened R ring finger – its just about the same size as my pinky. Most people don’t notice it. Because it’s short I tend to type with just my index and middle finger on my right hand.
8. My feet are horribly ticklish. The one and only time I got a pedicure was the most tortuous experience of my entire life. I don’t care how thick my callouses become–never again!
9. I can’t fall asleep unless my feet are warm. Hence, I wear socks pretty much every day of the year.
10. I can’t wear high heels. No really. I never learned how to properly walk in them, so I tend to clunk heavily and they cause so much pain to my ankles
11. Logically, I’m okay with getting older every year. But I find it unbelievable that it will shortly be 10 years since I graduated from college (May 2001) and almost 5 since med school, and wow, I feel like it was just yesterday and I can’t possibly be that old. But I guess I am.
12. I miss having summer vacations. If I had one now, I’d become a campground host for a remote place in the mountains, sit by a campfire, meet and greet people from all over the country, make sure that the pit toilets didn’t stink too much and sleep under the stars.
13. I worry everyday about my decision to do critical care. If I had known me when I was making the decision for residency, I would have just done internal medicine and would have been quite content as a hospitalist. Or at least, I think so. I’ve worked many, many months in the ICU and love it, but I worry about finishing at the end, still thinking that “yep, could have been a hospitalist.” That said the decision to do the double residency and move to Milwaukee was one of the clearest answers to prayer that I’ve ever had and I don’t regret it either. When I visited and interviewed in San Franscisco, I felt the same sort of “This Is The Place rightness” – something that had been lacking in my other interviews.
14. I go back and forth daily about whether or not to sell my house now, or wait for things to recover. I’m not sure how much of it is emotional attachment to my home; even with all of the multiple water issues and heating issues, it’s been my home and the thought of somebody else owning it is heartbreaking.
15. I can remember random numbers really well. A patient’s temperature curves. Or their lab results for the last 3 days. I wish that it would cross over better into actual academic learning, but sadly, I seem to have very poor retention of details related to what I’m studying. It’s making me very nervous for boards in (eep!) 9 months.

And in honor of the last Harry Potter movie coming out: 30 days of Harry Potter
Day 1: Your favorite book.

The Order of the Phoenix. I know, it’s everybody’s least favorite. Harry’s so whiny and angsty. It’s so long. And it is – I definitely think that Rowling’s needed an editor at this point who slashed away the fat – and it only got worse). I’m partially sentimental because my roommates and friends read it aloud to me that summer, which was really awesome. My sister Karin does an awesome Delores Umbridge impression. I loved the twins. I loved Dumbledore’s Army and Harry waking up to the fact that he could be a leader. I love the plot – it was well-crafted and made sense and didn’t seem to have a lot of dei ex machina plot fillers that populated the later books. The death of Sirius was so tragic – I seriously cried for days. And Luna!! Oh, Luna is the best!

posted in Meme me | 0 Comments

2nd November 2010

The 30 Day Memes

So, those at home can follow along. 🙂 I mixed and matched questions because I didn’t want to answer lame questions or the same question, just asked in a different way.

30 Days of Me
Day 01- A recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself
Day 02- Where you’d like to be in 10 years.
Day 03- A picture of you and your friends
Day 04- A habit that you wish you didn’t have
Day 05- A picture of somewhere you’ve been to
Day 06- Your earliest memory
Day 07- A picture of where you live
Day 08- Bullet your whole day
Day 09- Your hobbies
Day 10- Songs you listen to when you are Happy, Sad, Bored, Hyped, Mad
Day 11- Your views on religion
Day 12- Your current relationship, if single discuss how single life is.
Day 13- Somewhere you’d like to move or visit.
Day 14- A picture of you and your family
Day 15- Put your iPod on shuffle: First 10 songs that play
Day 16- Favorites: movie, tv show, song, color, food, actor/actress, book, quote
Day 17- Someone you would want to switch lives with for one day and why
Day 18- Something you love about yourself
Day 19- Nicknames you have; why do you have them
Day 20- Someone you see yourself marrying/being with in the future
Day 21- A picture of something that makes you happy
Day 22- What makes you different from everyone else
Day 23- Something you crave
Day 24- A letter to your parents
Day 25- What I would find in your bag
Day 26- What you think about your friends
Day 27- How important you think education is
Day 28- A picture of you last year and now, how have you changed since then?
Day 29- In this past month, what have you learned
Day 30- Who are you?

30 days of Harry Potter:
Day 1: Your favorite book.
Day 2: Your favorite movie.
Day 3: What house would you be in?
Day 4: Least favorite female character and why.
Day 5: Favorite male character and why.
Day 6: Moments in the books/movies that made you cry
Day 7: Favorite female character and why?
Day 8: Hogwarts subject you would most like to take
Day 9: Least favorite male character.
Day 10: Horcruxes or Hallows?
Day 11: What character would you say you are most like.
Day 12: Favorite ship.
Day 13: What aspect of the books has been best translated to film?
Day 14: Your favorite villain
Day 15: Who would be your best friends at Hogwarts? (three only)
Day 16: Favorite professor?
Day 17: Are you excited about The Deathly Hallows movie or scared it won’t do the book justice?
Day 18: Least favorite book
Day 19: Favorite book moment
Day 20: If you had to meet one member of the cast, who would it be?
Day 21: Out of all the characters that died, if you could bring one back, who would it be?
Day 22: Harry Potter or Twilight?
Day 23: Any part of the books/movies that makes you cry?
Day 24: Any particular scene you wished would have been put in the movie but it wasn’t?
Day 25: Nineteen years later. Are you happy how it turned out, or do you wish something was different, ie Neville married Luna?
Day 26: If you could be able to work one spell without a wand what would it be?
Day 27: Would you rather own The Invisibility Cloak, The Resurrection Stone or The Elder Wand?
Day 28: Fandom: discuss and share
Day 29: Favorite quote
Day 30: What affect has Harry Potter made on your life and how much does it mean to you?

posted in All About Me, Meme me | 0 Comments

28th October 2010

channeling count von count

2 windows! 2 pretty windows done! Bah ha ha!

posted in A Picture A Day, Adventures in Home Ownership, All About Me, Photography | 0 Comments

27th October 2010

Oct 27 pictures

The great achievement of the week:
Destruction:


Construction:


We have installed one of the six windows in my basement! It’s not perfect, but it looks like it will do the job. We’re hoping to get another two done before Dad leaves on Sunday. Plus finish pulling up tile, caulking the basement joint, applying sealant to the walls, clean out gutters and maybe redo the trench in my front yard. The weather hasn’t exactly been cooperating – it rained most of the day yesterday, the wind was atrocious today and it’s supposed to be cold tomorrow – which has made things much slower going than hoped.

I have to head back to work tomorrow (grumble, grumble), but yay for progress!

(FYI, for those who read my blog via Google Reader, my RSS feed wasn’t working last week, so you may have missed a couple of entries. It seems to be back now.)

posted in A Picture A Day, Photography | 0 Comments

12th August 2010

HOW TO BE ALONE – Tanya Davis

HOW TO BE ALONE - Tanya Davis


If you are at first lonely, be patient. If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren’t okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find it’s fine to be alone once you’re embracing it.
We could start with the acceptable places, the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library. Where you can stall and read the paper, where you can get your caffeine fix and sit and stay there. Where you can browse the stacks and smell the books. You’re not supposed to talk much anyway so it’s safe there.
There’s also the gym. If you’re shy you could hang out with yourself in mirrors, you could put headphones in .
And there’s public transportation, because we all gotta go places.
And there’s prayer and meditation. No one will think less if you’re hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation.
Start simple. Things you may have previously avoided based on your avoid being alone principals.
The lunch counter. Where you will be surrounded by chow-downers. Employees who only have an hour and their spouses work across town and so they — like you — will be alone.
Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone.
When you are comfortable with eat lunch and run, take yourself out for dinner. A restaurant with linen and silverware. You’re no less intriguing a person when you’re eating solo dessert to cleaning the whipped cream from the dish with your finger. In fact some people at full tables will wish they were where you were.
Go to the movies. Where it is dark and soothing. Alone in your seat amidst a fleeting community.
And then, take yourself out dancing to a club where no one knows you. Stand on the outside of the floor till the lights convince you more and more and the music shows you. Dance like no one’s watching…because, they’re probably not. And, if they are, assume it is with best of human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely to beats is, after all, gorgeous and affecting. Dance until you’re sweating, and beads of perspiration remind you of life’s best things, down your back like a brook of blessings.
Go to the woods alone, and the trees and squirrels will watch for you.
Go to an unfamiliar city, roam the streets, there’s always statues to talk to and benches made for sitting give strangers a shared existence if only for a minute and these moments can be so uplifting and the conversations you get in by sitting alone on benches might’ve never happened had you not been there by yourself
Society is afraid of alonedom, like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements, like people must have problems if, after a while, nobody is dating them. but lonely is a freedom that breaths easy and weightless and lonely is healing if you make it.
You could stand, swathed by groups and mobs or hold hands with your partner, look both further and farther for the endless quest for company. But no one’s in your head and by the time you translate your thoughts, some essence of them may be lost or perhaps it is just kept.
Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those sappy slogans from preschool over to high school’s groaning were tokens for holding the lonely at bay. Cuz if you’re happy in your head than solitude is blessed and alone is okay.
It’s okay if no one believes like you. All experience is unique, no one has the same synapses, can’t think like you, for this be relieved, keeps things interesting, life’s magic things in reach.
And it doesn’t mean you’re not connected, that community’s not present, just take the perspective you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it. Take silence and respect it. if you have an art that needs a practice, stop neglecting it. if your family doesn’t get you, or religious sect is not meant for you, don’t obsess about it.
You could be in an instant surrounded if you needed it.
If your heart is bleeding make the best of it.
There is heat in freezing, be a testament.

posted in All About Me | 0 Comments

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    • the common denominator November 3, 2021
      When I was cleaning up the cross-post yesterday, because the wordpress plug-in I use always leaves all of these spaces between each paragraph, I accidentally clicked on one of the tag links on the side bar. Liz. My old college friend and roommate. Two posts down, I noticed that I had said something about how […]