Thursday, June 21, 2007

Writing the Future

Last night was wonderful. I had two of my best friends from high school over for dinner. We all went our separate ways after graduation in 2003 (SS headed to Harvard, CM headed south and then abroad to Oxford; and I went off to Penn). There were the occasional phone calls, the summer visits, the rushed holiday dinners, but really- we were not nearly as involved in each others lives as we once had been. I met SS in 1994 at swim team- the friendship was instant. I'd known CM since we were in kindergarten, but we didn't get to be friends until 1997 (I can't believe we hadn't hit off before then!).
I am truly feeling nostalgic because on Friday, our pasts will really be "in the past." SS is getting married and moving out to California the very next day. It seems so strange, but she is leaving behind our adolescence, high school "drama", college naivete, and post graduate bewilderment and she is marrying her sweetheart. I couldn't be happier for her. CM and I are also onto new beginnings. CM is leaving to go to upstate NY to pursue an internship and then hopefully land a research job, and I'm off to the city to "save lives on hospital bed at a time".
Dinner last night reminded me of something out of a lifetime movie. We sat outside on our newly landscaped backyard, drinking wine, eating an artfully prepared Italian feast (I had so much fun the kitchen all afternoon), and catching up on what has occurred these past four years. At first I thought, oh no- this is the end, but then I realized, , its the beginning of a new chapter in all of our that we can continue to "write and edit" (maybe occasionally censor?).
Yup, I think this is good. A brand new chapter, a fresh white page...

Friday, June 15, 2007

all that and a gallon of milk

I am going out of my mind here people. I have been home for 9 days. It's agony. Now don't get me wrong, I love my family, I am thrilled by the birds and greenery that surrounds me, I love taking my 85 pound golden retriever for walks (or maybe he takes me for walks), and it's great catching up with old classmates, friends, etc...but I loathe having to drive everywhere. The past four years have spoiled me. I could walk to the movie theater, the grocery store, the gap, even Trader Joe's for god's sake! But here I am, living the suburban dream, and simultaneously draining my bank account.

Today my mom asked me to run to the store and pick up a few items. I must have looked at her like she had ten heads when she asked me, but I swear she had just been to the store (and indeed she had, but she "forgot" a few items). So I climbed into the "Virgy" and drove off, only to realize that I needed gas big time. Knowing the time of day, the path that the school busses take, and the general soccer mom rush to the athletic fields, I took the cut through to the grocery store and figured that I'd get the gas on the way least I wouldn't have to turn against the traffic.

Perusing the isles,I grabbed the items my mom requested: carrots (the baby ones, god forbid we not have the *diet* treat for the dog), minced garlic, hummus, eggs, blueberries, and milk. As I walked up to the milk section I was overwhelmed. I'm so used to grabbing my soy milk, that I had to glance around for the skim milk that my family drinks. So many options...Calcium fortified, Vitamin D + Calcium, Fiber plus (for milk, seriously?), Plastic Bottle, Glass Bottle, organic. I went with the organic. Then I just happen to glance down at the prices. $3.09. Okay, I guess their bones are worth it, I thought.
I cashed out, loaded up my car, and took off for the gas station (by this point my gas light was on and it was making that obnoxious "ding"..."ding"..."ding"; just in case I wasn't aware that I was running on fumes).

Apparently I wasn't the only one who needed gas, the line was 5 cars deep (oh well, if I'm going to run out of gas, this was the place for it to happen). As I waited in line I looked up at the sign, "$3.39". Holy crap I thought, gas now costs more than milk. Wait on second thought, next time my mom sends me to the store, I'm not buying milk, I'm going to a cow....and then I'll ride it home.

Friday, June 08, 2007

stuck at 144, 145

Last summer, for the first time in my college career, my parents allowed me to have my car in Philly. Maybe they were just in denial that I wasn’t coming home for the summer, or maybe they realized that they didn’t need a third car here in Boston, but either way…my trusty 1993 White Toyota Camry made its maiden voyage to Philadelphia.

This car and I have been though so much. It was/is the first thing that I really felt a sense of ownership over and the first thing that made me truly feel independent. Equally important were the lessons that I learned while driving it.

#1-the impact of an accident on car insurance (lets just say, lesson learned….1988 Volvo’s don’t dent….hoods of Camry’s become accordions)

#2- the less than happy reaction of P &S Sessler when I “got caught” riding with friends in the car

#3- the fear I held inside for 4 years about having gotten pulled over for speeding less than 5 months after getting my license (I finally admitted this to my parents the other night)

#4- gas is not cheap. When I first got my the car, I complained because it cost me all of $18 to fill my tank (gas was at an all time low of $0.98/gallon)….little did I know that 6 years later, I would be filling up for $3.44/gallon

#5- no matter how hard you try, its impossible to take off an sweater and drive at the same time

#6- you can’t trust the city, your car WILL get broken into. Use the CLUB, seriously.

#7- cars aren’t good hiding spots for Christmas gifts (for a few reasons…) a) food will perish and/or freeze with New England winters, b) fragile things break, c) little sisters always seems to look around while you leave them alone when you run into the store

#8- leather burns your things in the summer, and freezes your bum in the winter! But it’s oh so chic! ☺

#9- sticks and stone can break bones AND car windows!

and #10- it’s not worth driving over pot holes, just so you can go see the HOT guy that works at Sullivan tire….a front end alignment, doesn’t equal the cost of a date (Even at the VERY expensive restaurant)

Although I am thrilled to be moving to the big apple where I don’t have to drive (I must admit, the city and walking/public transportation has really won me over), I’m really sad to be leaving the Cam-cam behind. This just seems sort of symbolic, but when I drove the car back to Philly this January and filled up at the gas station, the odometer stopped working, as if time was to stand still. I thought that it would just start working again (maybe a loose wire) but it didn’t. I know I should have gotten it checked out, but I really didn’t know a good mechanic. Needless to say, I’ve been driving around since January with the same 144, 145 reading on my odometer. But then the oddest thing happened, as I was filling up at the gas station to begin my drive home to Boston, (I hit the reset button, out of habit) and the odometer began working. A symbolic act, if you will. Time was not longer standing still. I had been able to “freeze” my last semester as a college student, and now I am able to begin the journey into life as an grown-up.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Glimpse into Healthcare

For all those of you not involved in health care, your best bet for getting a glimpse of the good, the bad, and (oh yes) the ugly is to spent just a few hours, no wait, even just a few minutes in an ER....Here is my advice:

ER Etiquette

Don't hurt yourself.
You can't hurt a dead man.
Never yell at the nurses
Don't get excited about blood loss-unless it's your own.
Don't hit patients or doctors-unless necessary.
SEX isn't everything, but it's a hell-of-a-long-way ahead of anything that's second.
The pain will go away when it stops hurting.
A strawberry by any other name would be a heart with acne.
Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
If nothing has gone wrong, you've obviously don't understand the situation.
He who turns to run away must first sign out AMA.
If you can keep your head among all this confusion, you obviously don't understand the situation.
Uncommon manifestations of common diseases are more common than are uncommon diseases.
Death is a severe stage of shock, or shock is a pause in the act of dying.
In medicine, always remember never to say always and never.
Everyone gets treated exactly the same in here ---until he pisses you off.
The pit is a mixture of can do, can't do, and why the hell not!
To be right is only half the battle; to convince the patient is more difficult.

*Found circulating at San Francisco

Monday, June 04, 2007

Life Size Post-It

More than anything, right about now, I would like to have a huge giant post-it note filled with "To-do" things...already crossed off.

Do you ever just reach a point in your life when you feel like you have more loose ends than you know what do with? Well for me, I have now reached that point. Seeing as I am a typical, "type A", that likes to have a plan and have everything come together nicely, these last few weeks (and a few more to come, I'm sure) have been quite disgruntling.

And just so I can vent and feel better about it all, here is my list of unsettled business...

1. Housing- I am still homeless in New York; I have spent hundred of dollars traveling back and forth to see places and yet, I am still not an inch closer to finding a home, even as the deadlines fast approached.
2. My foot/ankle....the swelling hasn't gone down, the pain has increased, and I am loosing my mind not being able to go to the gym, or even take a walk for that matter
3. My car- about 2 months ago I went out to my car after 3 days of rain, only to find 2 inches of standing water on the passenger side (front and rear floor)....well now I am still not sure where the water is coming from (although I have a hunch it's the sunroom) and I cringe at the uncertainty of what I will find in my car following each rain storm
4. Taking my boards- so yes, I still have not received my ATT (authorization to test) because my transcript wasn't sent, because there was a random $2.27 charge on my student bill from May (interesting, considering that my bursar was cut off in April!).....which penn didn't inform me of until today, at approximately 5:54 am via email
4a) the fact that I was p at 5:54 am today....let's chalk it up to an adorable but very cranky 2 year old who didn't enjoy sleeping in his new crib on vacation...but he's so damn loveable, I ‘m just shrug it off, and pray for a nap
5. Living out of a suitcase- after my dad came and took most of my stuff back to beantown on a Tuesday, living out of a suitcase until the following Wednesday when my lease ran out, and then moving into the people who I baby sit for 's house, (spending 5 days there), and then driving away on vacation with them (which brings me to where I am now) -feel like a disorganized, wrinkled, gimpy mess
6. Standing in front of the refrigerator, hungry, but not enticed or satisfied by anything. I open the door and see salty pickles (or ketchup ,yum!) but then the fresh summer berries look so good, but the idea of hard boiled egg makes me salivate, or a nice crisp refreshing diet soda might be what I'm craving, or no, what about carrots and hummus. Dammit, why do I have to be healthy...why can't I just "bend" my own food rules, and go for a real "diet break" and eat the freaking cookie
7. Humid weather....right about now my hair resembles something from the Don King family photo album
8. Getting back to MA- so either way, I have to drive my car home. It’s a good 7 hours from where I am, but there is no room for passengers, so it’s just going to be me, my car packed to the brim, and the 400+ miles of road

so I think I am done venting for now...but at least now you know what is weighing on my shoulders. Do you have any suggestions for making the little things seem more manageable?
Maybe tonight I'll go to bed dreaming of making huge check marks on my imaginary post it note. Pathetic, yes; satisfying, even more so!