Friday, November 23, 2007

Take Me Back to that Place

There Are Places I Remember…

The words to that Beatle’s song always tug at my heart, they just seem to fit with whatever is going on in my life, the transitions, the changes, etc.

After my whine fest about not being able to go home for the holidays, I received a VERY generous invitation to head to my Pennsylvania “Family.”
After some heckling with the prices of Amtrak tickets (oh yes, I succumbed to the public transit system) I found myself at 30th Street Station at 3:00 Thanksgiving Day. Despite the fact that I had already been awake for 29 hours, I couldn’t wait to see the gang. Walking into the house I was a) greeted by the dog, b) given a warm welcome by MEMEgrl, and c) hit with the aromatics of Thanksgiving-and how soothing and yummy it was!

When R & J awoke from their naps, I got big hugs and smiles. I really do miss these boys…they are growing up so fast! T took R &J to the party, and I finished up in the kitchen while O got ready. I forgot how nice and luxurious it is to cook where the handles of the pots don’t bang into your back while you are at the sink!

We had a lovely evening and I finally met the entire extended L family. Apparently, they have heard just as much about me, as I have of them, because we were able to pick up conversations like we were old pals. No, I’m serious…it was easier conversation than any ones I’ve tried to make with a person at a bar.

When I took R out of the car last night, he asked T “Is tomorrow a daddy day?” Unfortunately the answer was no. However, I did tell R that I would be there, to which he replied, “A nurse miss Kelly day? Can we have pancakes?” My dear little R…how could I say no to that? And true to my word, this morning we had pancakes. Yummy, whole wheat pancakes, of which each boy at 4. Whole grain….who knew?!?!
Although the afternoon’s plan to make a lasagna was put off, we spent a GREAT afternoon together. Cue the Beetles song! We went to Penn. Yup, I was back at my alma matter. O’s neice is looking at schools and she is up from D.C for the holiday, so of course today was the perfect day for an impromptu tour. After all, she had two alums (one of who is gainfully employed there) to narrate along the way.

When we got out of the car, I got a twinge in my stomach, that little feeling of warmth that happens when you remember all the good and none of the bad. Indeed, I was walking down memory lane.
With leaves crunching under my feet along Locust Walk, passing years of IVY stones scattered along campus, and seeing all things familiar of the past four years, it hit me- my times at Penn were definitely the best four years of my life (thus far). Hill College House- the fortress of my freshman year, The library- study hours during pledging, the Button- I swear I never took place in the infamous acts said to have gone on there, College Hall- where it all began in the admissions office, the Bookstore- oh the things you can Bursar around the holidays, Locust Walk- flyering, oh the flyering, Kappa Sigma Fraternity house-okay, you don’t need those details, Phi Delt- leather sofas + spring weather + boys playing guitars= amazing afternoons, the McNeil Building-home to the writing seminar from Hell and the TA who told me I had a “penchant for writing superfluous nothing”, Huntsman Hall- Chi Omega chapter meetings, class board meetings, the only place where you can find people 24/7 during finals, etc., etc. As we were finishing up our tour, we walked through the Perelman Quadrangle. At one point, when no one was looking, I just stood there and closed my eyes. As I opened them, I slowly spun around….The Amphitheater Steps--- Houston Hall---The big Quad Shield---College Hall and my IVY stone…all the while music box music played in my head...I teared up a little. And then there were the flashbacks: Convocation, the dessert buffet, Bid Day/ Bid Day Night, lunches on the steps, STEP night, Hey Day, the Ken Kweeder convert, and last but not least graduation.

These are just a handful of memories of my four years at Penn and only from this one spot. I’m sure that I could fill volumes with my memories, but I don’t think I’m meant to. I think those memories, those places, are for me to keep and hold onto. They are meant to take me back to that happy place, no matter what is going on in my life. Because it’s just like the Beetles say,
“There are places I remember/ All my life, though some have changed./Some forever ,not for better/ Some have gone and some remain/Though I know I’ll never loose affection/ For people and things that went before/ But know I’ll stop and think about them/ In my mind I love them all".

When I got dropped off at the train station this afternoon, I realized something. Just because I broke tradition, I still had a superb holiday! I got to see my other family and go to my happy place.

I hope you all had an excellent Thanksgiving and that maybe, you too, were able to go back to your “Happy Place.” I’m sure glad that I did.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Total Randomness

Question #1: Something that keeps you going everyday?
my morning workouts

Question #2: Do you own a gun?
that would be a no

Question #3: Do you like who you are?
for the most part yes

Question #4: Do you have A.D.D.?
no, but I can be really random

Question #5: Any food preferences?
Vegeterian-nothing that oinks, moo's, baaa's, cluck's, gobbles...but I will eat eggs

Question #6: Aren’t thunderstorms awesome?
yeah. when i was little my mom told me it ws angels bowling in heaven

Question #7: Who is your cell carrier?

Question #8: Would you rather be rich or famous?
rich, so i could do good deeds anonmyously and stay out of the tabloids

Question #9: Do you like the cold?
only if it's a tasty refreshing beverage

Question #10: Are you happy you are alive?

Question #11: Do you think gay marriage is wrong?
in a religious context, I guess it's taboo, but I do think two people have the right be unionized

Question #12: Do you like looking up at the stars?
of course

Question #13: Would you ever cheat on anyone?
no, becuase I've been cheated on and it sucks

Question #14: Do you want to move?
for the time being, I am quite content where I am

Question #15: Do you burn or tan?

Question #16: Are your parents still married?
26 years and going strong

Question #17: Are you happier single or in a relationship?
guess that depends on the status of the relationship

Question #18: Do you have any children?
not that I'm aware of, haha

Question #19: What other languages do you speak?
I'm fluent in 'Spanglish' and, of course-whiny patient

Question #20: Do you daydream a lot?
it's the best way to escape

Question #21: Do you like swimming?
love it

Question #22: What is the make and model of your phone?
Samsung Sync (but for the record, its a POS and I am not al all happy with it)

Question #23: Would you ask your crush out?
maybe after a glass (or two) of wine

Question #24: Do you like the ocean?
its amazing how one thing can span the entire world

Question #25: What are your thoughts on stay at home moms?
as long as they are happy, who am I to judge

Question #26: What are your thoughts on abortion?
I think it's something personal to the people it affects

Question #27: Do you floss?
I try to everyday (okay, when I remember)

Question #28: Who did you last get angry with?
the customer service rep at Apple

Question #29: Do you still live with your parents?
no, but I do miss them

Question #30: Coke or Pepsi?
no soda for me, but back in my Hey Day, I was all about Coke Zero and diet Pepsi

Question #31: How many credit cards do you own?

Question #32: Liberal or Conservative?
i'm undecided

Question #33: Would you ever go skydiving?
i'm hoping to do it this upcoming year

Question #34: Have you lost any one close to you?
sadly, yes

Question #35: How many times did you hit the snooze button on your alarm clock this morning?

Question #36: Do you think you are smart?
I think I have some natural abilities, but I worked my tail off in school

Question #37: Talk to any of your ex's
yes, still not sure if its for better or for worse

Question #38: How old were you when you got your first kiss?
(mom, cover your eyes) neve should have let Jeff and I alone on the swings

Question #39: Do you do your own laundry?
I have since 4th grade

Question #40: Do you want to get married?
a black tie affair

Question #41: Do you want kids?
if it's in the cards, of course

Question #42: Are you shy?
i'd say more reserved

Question #43: How many times have you moved?
states, twice. residences, five times

Question #44: Do you hear voices?
if you are questioning my hearing, I only ignore whiny people

Question #45: Who is the last person to call you?
my mom

Question #46: How many e-mails do you have?

Question #47: What is in your nightstand draw?
flashlight, bandaids, eye glasses, chap stick, coasters (hey, I don't want water rings)

Question #48: Are you religious?
i would say more yes than no

Question #49: How do you feel when someone betrays you?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

On Tradition

What is to become of me?

I have never been away from my family on a holiday, but all that’s about to change. I am going to miss Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Welcome to the world of healthcare professionals. It’s not that I’m sad about the holidays themselves, I can still “celebrate” them here, but I’m devastated on the traditions and familiar atmosphere that I will be missing.

Thanksgiving, a holiday that never really wow’s me- I eat enough green beans and sweet potatoes during the year to sink a battle ship, just isn’t the same without the smell of cinnamon lurking in the air, the first spin of the Christmas CD’s, seeing that slimy ring in the bottom of the sink after rinsing the dishes, the site of my entire family each lying on a different sofa grabbing their stomach and swearing that they won’t eat for a year, or the post dinner walks, the dog licking the desert plates left on the coffee table, the dog licking the dishes in the dishwasher, and last but certainly not least-the dread of getting up the next day at the crack of dawn to hit the Black Friday sales…something my mom, her sister, and I ALWAYS have done. I guess I Really feel bad for my mom in this regard because it’s a tradition that she carried on from her mom, someone who passed away when I was 4, and someone who I know my mom misses dearly.

I’m working the night before Thanksgiving, so technically I get off work at 8 am on Thanksgiving. I guess this a year to start some new traditions. Maybe I’ll go watch the parade, maybe I’ll buy a to-fruky and whip up a little meal myself, or maybe I’ll just go for a run, come home and go to sleep. More than anything, I want to avoid coming home to an empty apartment.

Now Christmas, this is a different story. As commercialized as this Christian holiday has become, it’s still one that captivates me. I feel like I float through life from the day after Thanksgiving until the day after Christmas. My mom decorates our house beautifully-the two trees, one all white, gold, and glass, and the family tree with colorful lights and ornaments spanning the decades. The excitement and sense of mystery of my dad’s office/workshop being off limits has always filled me with an electric energy. Shopping for Christmas gifts, hunting for something special, saving up to get something that’s unexpected. Heading to church on Christmas Eve, dressed up (matching when we were little), and listening intently to the story of Jesus’ birth. Going to my godfather’s house on Christmas Eve-my dad and I would stay late, my mom and sister usually headed home early…I’ve NEVER missed a Ventresco Christmas Eve open house in my 23 years of life. Christmas Eve was Kelly and Dad time. We shared some good wine, some good stories, I occasionally learned a few things about my dad’s youth from his buddies who are all there-sometimes a little TMI, and there was always the joke of who should drive home. We would arrive home and I’d go to bed, my head and heart full of holiday joy.

And then there is Christmas morning. When we were young, we’d get up at the crack of dawn, but as we got older, my sister and I would sleep in (a little) and go into our parents room. We’d proceed through the kitchen and have to wait to hear the ‘okay’ from mom and dad before racing to the living room to see what Santa brought. Santa didn’t wrap our gifts, and the looks on our faces were priceless…the excitement and joy of a child. Then we’d do stockings. We all have stocking knit by my mom’s mother, a cherished gift for sure. My parents stockings are 4 feet long (no joke) and they are always bursting at the seams. I think my parents spend more money on each others stockings, as some families spend on gifts (it’s kind of sick, but it’s tradition). My sister and I have normal stockings, but they are always full of thoughtful items; although, there was the year that mine was full of socks and underwear and breath mints…I was starting to develop a complex.

After stockings we always proceed back downstairs to have a family breakfast. The smell of bacon, the tea kettle whistling, the coffee pot percolating, the smell of fresh baked bread (the one time a year the bread machine actually gets used)…it’s make my homesick. As I got older and developed my passion for cooking, I took on the task of Christmas breakfast…baked stuffed French toast, apple cinnamon pancakes with cinnamon infused maple syrup, frittatas, homemade muffins, etc.
After breakfast we’d head back upstairs and open the family gifts. As the years passed, it seemed like this took longer and longer (Christmas is out house is rather obscene), but it wasn’t about the things, it was about seeing the joy and excitement, recognizing the thought that went into the gifts, and of course the joy of shopping for all the stuff.

The afternoon was always full of family. We’d either travel, or they would come to us. The day after Christmas was always that post-holiday let down, but as soon as the holiday cd’s were turned back on, all I had to do was close my eyes and remember the magic of the day before.

But this year, it’s time for something new. I’ll be working Christmas Eve, and again Christmas Day, and again the day after Christmas. I’m hoping to get home to see my family that weekend. I know it’s my job, and that someone has to be there to care for our patients, but I’m having hard time coming to grips with the new plan. Maybe I’ll try midnight mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, maybe I’ll join the Jews and go see a movie. Either way, my biggest fear is not feeling that holiday electricity that keeps me going. I’m afraid of becoming Scrooge and just being person who goes through the holiday motions.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Oh No You Didn't?!?!

Sorry folks, I have been MIA lately. Work, I tell ya, it's all consuming. I've finished my 16 week orientation ( cue the angel choir!) and I'm on my own. A real, not a student, not a grad 'awaiting to take the NCLEX', not an orientee, not a preceptee, but a real, full-fledged nurse. And that's what I've been up to.

I have finally adjusted to working nights, well at least as best I can. However, I think my body still gets a little confused. I try really hard and hold it together for the patient's and their families sake. I speak coherent sentences, I avoid yawning when talking to them, I write down what I want to tell the docs before I page them to avoid the dreaded,
"Oh yes, hi Dr. X. I'm calling about, umm, patient, in room.......oh, room.....X. "
Over the last few hours the trends have been X, do you think we should try X?

Well, their labs have second please, they have been.....uhh, shoot, I need to pull them up...
Dr. getting pissed at having to wait and the lack of organization

You get the picture. So I get my job done, but when it comes to taking care of myself, I'm a bit of a train wreck.

I still haven't trained my body to eat at 3 or 4 a.m. breakfast? dinner?; I’m back on the caffeine wagon (coffee and tea, still NO SODA!); and my bladder gets neglected.

Take, for example, Wednesday night.
→Upon arriving at work, I was sipping a large coffee from Dunkin Donuts (7:30pm).
→My stomach is growling (midnight), but I'm in the middle of burn care.
→I want to eat something, but realized I forgot my food at home, all hospital food areas are closed, and I can't go outside because I'm in my scrubs (certain units wear hospital issued scrubs for infection control and cannot go outside in them, or else they have to change...and who has time for that?!?! (1:30 am)
→I scrounge $1 in change for the vending machine, and stand there aimlessly looking, seeing NOTHING appealing. I don't usually eat this prepacked heart attack in a package crap, and I don't intend to start now (at almost 2am)
→I notice some sunflower seeds (hey, protein and a little bit of health oils). I hit F6. Cha Ching! Food. I open the bag and pop the seeds in my mouth. They feel a little odd, and kind of gritty in my teeth, but I just figure it's been a while since I ate sunflower seeds, but I’m ravaged and the salt tastes so good. However, the seeds do seem rather large in size. I wolf down a palm full of seeds and head back to my patients, just in time for 2am vitals.

I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off, when all of a sudden I am hit with these awful stomach pains. My stomach feels so bloated, and the pains are radiating to my sides. WEIRD. I run to the bathroom, nothing. I go back to work, moving slowly because I feel like I'm going to pop. I grab some TUMS, they DON'T help!

At this point it's 4:30 am and I'm riding the nausea wave. Not being able to hold out any longer, I bolt to the bathroom and heave....and out it comes! (sorry, TMI). So what do I see? Hmm, interesting...seeds, lots and lots of seeds, and these woody looking things, ick!

I go to my locker to get my toothbrush and see the rest of the seeds in my bag. Clearly, I won't be eating these, so I pick up the package to toss them. Just out of curiousity, I look to see the expiration date. Maybe they were bad? Nope, they were good, at least until 9/2008. But wait! What does the package say? Oh yes people, "To eat, simply crack open the shells, remove seeds and enjoy!"
YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME?!?!? Well, mystery solved, I ate the shells.

So now, just like I always check meds before giving them to my patients, I'll check my food before I eat it.
So folks, that's my sotry.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Local Tourist

When you live in a bustling tourist area, it’s easy to take all the sights and sounds for granted. I’ll admit it, I’m guilty of this crime.

I grew up 30 minutes outside of Boston, but didn’t go on one of the Duck Tours or walk the Freedom Trail until I was 20 years old. I spent 4 lovely years in Philadelphia, but never saw the Liberty Bell, ate a Cheese steak (Well, there is the whole ‘I’m a vegetarian’ issue), etc. However, now that I live in NYC, I’m determined not to let 4 years go by before I have seen the sights. I don’ t want the tourists to have a better grasp on the attractions than I do. I must admit, I’ve got the shopping hot spots, the quirky coffee shops, the amazing open air markets, the crazy parades (I swear this city has a parade for every ‘Ode to Tree’ holiday that exists).

I’ve shopped at Saks, I’ve dined at the Ritz, I’ve rubbed shoulders with the celebrities at movie premiers, but up until yesterday I’d never seen the bird’s eye view of the city.

Amy and I were both off yesterday (shocker, I know!), so we decided to wander around the city and do things like the tourists. We went and watched the Veteran’s Day Parade, actually we watched separately and then met up afterwards- he dad, the General, was marching with 1500 of his troops; we went to Rockefeller Center and went to Top of the Rock to see the city from 68 stories above, we dined at a midtown bar and watched the football games (okay, so we do this every weekend, but oh well…we ar eon the hunt for boys), went to mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and then went to a movie premier (okay, maybe tourists don’t get this opportunity.)

Anyways, it was so fun to be tourist in my own city. When I walked around, I walked slowly, took in the sights, and didn’t take the fastest route from A to B. I avoided the subway, bought some roasted chestnuts from a street side vendor, I really wanted to take it all in. The weather was brisk, but the air was refreshing and it felt so good to breathe in that smog filled air (sense the sarcasm?). At one point, it felt like a scene from a movie when I was surround by a group of Asian tourists and all around me was a melody of, “hoy, cha, nee, so, ma” and lots of digital camera flashes. IT was really entertaining. There really is something magical about walking through the theater district, looking up at all the bright lights and billboards in Time’s Square, starring in amazement at the size of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, or the sheer grandeur of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Now that I’ve taken my day to see the city through the eye’s of a tourist, I encourage you to get out there and see what your city has to offer. You may end up pleasantly surprised.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

When Coutning Sheep Fails

my dear, loyal readers (um, all 4 of you) let me tell you something. I have lost any/all sense as to what time of day it is. (Yes, I also know that one should never end a sentence with 'is', but this is my blog and I just feel being grammatically incorrect). Eek,s I'm a little grouchy and here's why...I am currently doing my stint working nights. August-October I was having a lovely time working days. They were long, but I had some semblance of a life. However, for the next month I am working nights. Normally I am a great sleeper. I can sleep anytime, anyplace, and I function marvelously on 4-5 hours (sick, I know).

Let's just say, Wednesday was ugly. I worked Tuesday night (7:30p-8am Wednesday). Try as I might, I could not sleep Tuesday afternoon in prep for my all nighter. However, the night flew by without any hitches. The night shift is a different atmosphere. Yes, the pumps still ding, call bells still ring, and vital signs and neuro checks are done on the hour, but it's quieter. The night shift is missing the brigade of residents moaning and groaning about how much their life sucks, it's missing the "Well when's..." from the families, but it's also missing the life and vitality of the nursing staff. Everyone just sort of goes about and does their thing. I guess they chat, but I feel lonely working nights. Maybe I just need to warm up to the staff, but I miss the day staff...the support of my friends, the hilariousness of B and R's tales, and even listening to the residents get grilled during rounds by the attending. (not going to lie, it's a little bit of an ego boost when I get to speak up and clue THEM in...makes them realize that I'm not some dumb sh*t who became a nurse because I couldn't handle medical school). *fyi- for the most part, the residents are great, but there have been a few who enjoy putting everyone down and acting as demeaning as possible*

But I digress.

Back to why I am confused. So I got home at 8:30 am on Wednesday. I skipped the coffee, hopped into the shower, and tried to sleep. I turned off all the lights, closed my room darkening curtains (that my mom so fabulously made, thanks!!!), turned on the fan for white noise, and tried to sleep. I tossed; I turned; I hopped out of bed and turned away the birthday card with the silly monkey face because I was convinced that it was looking at me; I tossed; I turned; I put a sheet over my clock so I would not stare at the time... I could not get to sleep.

At 11:30 I got out of bed, threw on my gym clothes and went for a workout. Well let me tell you, I have never felt so rubber legged in my entire life. Thank God you don;t need a license to ride the stationary bike, because I would have been pulled over for reckless riding. I was shocked that after my workout I didn;t feel better; I felt worse. Now I was even more tired (going on 30 hours with no sleep), but my body was energized from the cardie. I showered up and didn't go right home. Instead I called my sister, called some friends, wandered around the upper east side, started to cross the street at a red light and stood there once it turned green...I think you get the picture.

I made it back to the apartment and called L & N. N was great and listened to me whine and biatch about how I couldn't sleep. Actually, she sympathized because she is adjusting to this whole day/night flip-flopping as well. L, N. & I decided that we would go to the movies @ 7pm. I picked American Gangster. In the few hours that I had to wait before the movie I smelled more peppermint, soaked my feet, and put cucumber slices on my eyelids (it felt so glamorous, ha!!).

I'm not really sure why I picked American Gangster, I guess I thought it was something else, but it turned out okay. It was LONG...3 hours...and by the time it was over I had been awake for 40 hours and needed my sleep. N told me, "Kel, when we got to the movies you looked a little tired. But when it was over, you looked bad, like real bad."
Brace yourselves... I took a cab home!
I get in the cab and he asks, "Where to?"
To which I replied, "Home."
"What? But where is home?" the cabbie muttered
"uh, um, 76th and um, um"..."76th and first"
"You okay miss? You sure that's where you want to go"
*Great of all the nights to get a cab driver who speaks English it has to be the night I'm a royal mess.*Upon approaching 76th and 1st the cabbie says, "What side of the street?"
"On the left miss?"
"Miss...left? or right?"
"Uhh, right. Yes right, sorry"
*Wow, I look like a dumb a$$*

So I get out, on the right-the correct-side. I make it into the apartment, throw in my pajamas, and hit the sack. My intention was to set my alarm for 4am, get up, go to the gym at 9, then come and sleep again until 3. Change of plans! When my alarm went off at 4, I jumped out of bed, pounded the clock, and went back to sleep until 9. I trained with my trainer at the gym, whose only comment was "ohhh, this is ugly", and then came home and went back to bed for a few hours.

I wish I could say that I felt refreshed and perky when I woke up, but I'm satisfied that I felt human again.

I hope that I can learn to switch over my clock, quite frankly, I hate not knowing if I should be awake or asleep, if I should be eating cereal or salad, or what the heck the date is becuase technically I've been to work twice in one day.

If any of you night owls have any suggestions, I'd greatly appreciate them because I just don't think the the world ready for sleepless Kelly.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A Marathon of Celebrations

I attempted to publish this post 3 times,but thanks to the battery recall on my computer, I kept loosing it. Alas, here it is...

Where to begin?
Okay, Friday was my birthday, the big 2-3. I’m old. I’m single, ugh…it’s depressing.

After a LONG day at work, I was minding my own business, walking up the street to grab a salad on my way home from work. No matter how hard I try, food at 9pm, after being elbow deep in bodily fluids all day long is not my favorite part of the day. But I digress. So yeah, I’m walking down the street and this dude wearing green scrubs and a lab jacket walks up next to me and goes, “Long day?” “One of the longer ones, yeah.,” I replied, “Not quite how I wanted to spend my birthday.” “Oh, baby, it’s your birthday, oh well, at least you can go home and that nice boyfriend of yours will take you out for a nice dinner.” (Seriously, was this guy trying to make me feel worse about myself?)
“Ha-ha (I tried and laugh it off), no fancy boyfriend dinner for me, it’s a single spell right now.” Clearly, now, this man felt awkward, so he said, “Bye” and turned into the bodega. I proceeded up the street to get my salad. I turn around and who is standing there? Yup, the man. He come up, wraps his arms around me, says, “I’m sorry, I just had to give you hug. Goodnight.”
And just like that he left. Ummmm…okay?!?! I’d like to say that he came back again, swooped me off my feet, bought my dinner, and we lived happily ever after, but I cannot. However, I did go home and have the worlds SWEETEST and most adorable message from R & J that made my grin from ear to ear. After that, I went to bed.

Saturday- Birthday outing with the roommate.
Lovely early matinee movie (oh the early bird specials!!) and dinner before 8pm (granny and grampy time). Interesting point of the night, “I took the city bus!” (A first for me, and probably a last…but my roommate doesn’t travel by subway, so we saved our money and took the bus instead of a cab)
We saw Gone Baby Gone. Let’s just say it takes place in the vicinity of my youth (well, sort of). Let’s just say, there is scene in a bar, with a bunch of fat, toothless, tattooed drunks who speak improper English, swear like truckers, and drink beers that college frat boys wouldn’t touch. For all future posts, any shady place will be referred to as a GIG (gone baby gone) place. Then after the movie, we went to Josie’s. Food right up my alley. Healthy, organic, not a bank breaker. However, staying true to my reputation, after 2 drinks I was done, finished, all out chatterbox. We took a cab home. I was sound asleep by 10pm. And, oh yeah, no one told me about Daylight savings time.

Flash-forward to Sunday morning.
My alarm goes off at 7am. I hop up, get dressed, and rush to the gym. I had to get in my workout early because at 9am they were closing First Avenue for the marathon and I wouldn’t be able to get across to the gym. When I walked outside I couldn’t figure out why it was so dead, why it was so dark, and why the lights at the gym were OFF. What the H-E- double hockey sticks?!?!? Oh my god! I look at my cell phone, It’s only 6am. Shite! I walked home, sat on the couch for 54 minutes then went back. Grrrr.
I was home by9 and rushed to shower, so Amy and I could go the screening of Fred Claus (go see this! Adorable!)
However, getting there, another adventure. And you all know my love/hate relationship with traveling….
Since we couldn’t cross First Avenue to get to the subway, we had to flag down a cab on York, head south under the bridge, cross over 1st avenue at 57th street (where they were allowing traffic to cross) travel though midtown fighting the traffic of every idiot out-of-state diver here to spectate the marathon and angry cab driver. 50 minutes later, we arrived at the theater. We didn’t have to wait in line because one of Amy’s old coworkers was at the front of the line (seriously, is there anyone this girl doesn’t know??). Amy waited from her friend E and I saved the seats. Two hours later the movie was over and we battled back though the city to the Upper East Side where we had glorious plans to meet up with our friends (Amy’s cop friends and my nurse friends) to watch the marathon and have a few drinks (yes folks, drinking was the trend of the weekend…one that my liver still has not forgiven me for). However, to prevent it from being a huge shite show, we figured we would get some lunch. So we walked and walked and walked and walked….we couldn’t find anything that wasn’t a crowded bar or where we could get something light. Sushi before drinking didn’t seem like a good idea; however, if we had only known…
We ended up at the sketchy hole in the wall Chinese joint where I played it safe (or so I thought) and ordered a hot and sour soup. Yes, I know, this really wouldn’t absorb any of the copious amounts of alcohol that I was about to consume, but live and learn. Amy got the steamed veggie dumplings and rice. I had one dumpling. Honestly, not the tastiest food, not anything close too it. My soup tasted like cow poop smells…do you know what I’m talking about?
We people watched out the restaurant window and saw the people run/walk/drag their sore bodies along the route. Don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for all those who participated, but at 3pm these people were only at mile 16…they had a LONG way left go!
Not wanting to look too eager to meet up with the boys (we like playing hard o get), we ceded to go the bar next door. Only one comment…GBG!!! Inside there were babies (yes, I said babies), toothless men in neon 1980’s windbreakers, a motley crew of over-aged football fans, and oh yes, a gaggle of folk who looked like they were plucked straight off the Beverly Hillbillies set. Amy had two drinks, I kept my sober state, then we went to the meet up spot.
Upon entering the bar, it was packed with eye candy! Old, young, fun, sporty, preppy (yay!!), jockey, tall, etc. However, we thought we got stood up…but after 30 minutes, Amy’s friends approached. Well, I guess thats where our joint adventure ends. Her cop friend was less than friendly to me, and even less so once his friends go there, but Natasha (my friend) showed up and we began our own adventure. After scoping out the cute Columbia law students (all of whom were awkward and WOULD NOT initiate conversation), we decided to head to a place where we knew we would have a good time…Saloon! (ugh, this awkward brood of boys reminded me of my days at Penn) . Alas, we were off! Let the games begin!!!

Now this is the beginning of the end, but oh so worth it.
Outside Saloon, we took out our ID’s and were recognized as locals and allowed to ‘skip’ the line. Inside it was packed wall to wall. We weren’t 5 feet through the door when I felt someone grab my arm; It was Patrick! (Nurse that we work with, aka Captain of Team ‘SO FUN”!!!) He was sorely dissatisfied with our empty hands, so he quickly fixed that. So much for saying sober this day. Then we met his friends Meg and Mary….also so fun! It was Mary’s bday so she just kept on buying drinks. Before I knew it, I was doing Yeager bombs (ouch people, ouch!). I’m not really sure where the time went, but at 9pn after watching the end of the Pats v Colts game, and some serious dancing on the dance floor, I knew I was done and decided to head home. After getting my bearings, I took off for home.

Thhe following event is why I think cell phones need to have built in breathalyzers… to prevent the infamous drunk dial…especially when the drunk dial is your mom and dad. Thank God my parents found me entertaining, but my rant about ‘Getting the game’ of football was more than I would have wanted to hear. Oh man, live and learn.

My story ends there. I came home, and passed out. Oh yeah, I did realize that Amy was home because all of her stuff was dropped in the front hallway…strewn about. Let’s just say she was ‘under the weather’ come Monday morning. Oh yeah, we both also fell victim to the Chinese food…thank heavens for Pepto Bismuth (indebted to the pink stuff!!) However, for my friends who did stay, they closed out the bar. Actually, they ended up taking Patrick's cousin to the ER after he fell and broke his ankle with his mean dancing skills. I’m kind of glad I wasn’t there because they took him to your place of employment, flashed their badges like they were VIP’s, and I’m sure were entertaining to the entire ER waiting room crowd at 2am.

Oh the adventures of my life.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I've been MEMED

Okay, since I’ve been tagged by Anjali, here it goes…

Number of books I own:

Well before I moved to my miniscule (compact) fabulous NY pad, I probably owned over 200 books. Although some were for pleasure, others not so much i.e. Principals of Advanced Anatomy and Physiology, Advanced Chemical Concepts, etc, my book shelves were sagging. However, with the move, I donated many of them to a book return and for more than $800 worth of books, I think I got about $50. Oh well, I hope other get as much joy out of them as I did. Here in NY, my book collection is scant. I am a huge fan of the library, although it’s a bummer that I can’t get the latest releases, I suppose I don’t have THAT much time to read right now anyways… But in the end, the books that I kept (and will forever keep) are my cook books, with their folded pages, helpful comments, splotches of the recipe dotted amongst the pages. Ahh yes, looking though those books brings back memories of the meals shared and stories of great company.

Last book I read:

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but it was Double Cross by James Patterson. I wish I could attest to something of greater substance, but I love the mindless, easy reads. However, the last real book I read was the Kite Runner. Excellent book, slow in a few parts, but nevertheless a book that makes you be thankful for what you do have, and even more thankful for what you don’t.

Last book I bought:
Love in the Time of Cholera. Actually, I didn’t buy it. My roommate’s company is producing this movie, so she gave me a copy (ahh the perks just keep on coming, thanks amy!). I fully intend to read it BEFORE the movie comes out. And when I do, I’ll be sure to pass along my thoughts.

5 Meaningful Books

Well, these books have been particularly meaningful in my life.
The Old Man and the Afternoon Cat- my dad used to read it to me before I went to bed. I can still remember nights, even with the shelves and shelves of books that I had in my ‘library’, where after going through dozens of options, I would always default to this favorite.

My Sister’s Keeper- the first book that I read after fall semester’s final exams sophomore year. Despite having been reading my notes/textbooks/power point presentations for the two weeks straight, I managed to read this entire book in three hours, with tears rolling down my cheeks, and realizing that the ethics class I had sat through the previous semester had truly enhanced my life and the way I view the world.

Full Lives- life isn’t about what the scale says, it’s about what you make of it. If you waste too much time striving for a number, you’ll miss out on too much of the meaningful stuff

The Great Gatsby- it’s amazing how one book can elicit so many things to so many people. I will never forget the discussions of this book in my 10th grade English class. Mrs. B was am amazing facilitator and we all learned so much about each other’s beliefs that I actually felt as if I grew, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually, after reading this book.

Number the Stars
- I didn’t understand the magnitude of the holocaust until I read this book in 4th grade. It was the first time that I saw how war and hate could affect someone my age. To quote Oprah, reading this book was one of my life’s “Ah-ha! Moments”

Now you now a little bit more about my literary background, so why don’t you share a little bit about yours??

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Come Out Come Out…Wherever You Are

In a city where approximately 1 million people live, how is it possible that I cannot find a boyfriend??? Yes, I have my quirks (don’t we all), but I would like to think that somewhere, in this vast city, there is someone for me and that I’m not a total reject.

At a carnival a few years back, I got my palms read. The lady told me, “Ahhh yes, I see power. And someday, you will meet who you don’t intimidate”

Great lady, I paid $5 bucks for the cheap, fortune cookie knockoff answer?!?!

Alas, is an Ivy league education and down and dirty job preventing me from finding Mr. Right??

Here is what I do know…I have some (but not many) standards

1. Sense of humor
(when the going gets tough, sometimes all you can do is laugh)

2. Nice shoes and tasteful clothing
(yes ladies and gentleman, I want a boy who knows what DRESS shoes are, sneakers don’t cut it for formal events!)
**I can justify this standard because in college:
1) I took A to semi formal sophomore year. He worse a suit from the
salvation army, 2 sizes too small, 4 inches too short, 3 decades out of
style, 3 different textures, and the worst moth ball stench ever! Oh
yeah, he was wearing dirty white sneakers

2) I took K to formal sophomore year; he wore dirty black cross trainers

3) I took R to formal junior year and he wore sandals

3. He must be nice to his mom (but not in the creepy D.H. Lawrence Son’s and Lover’s kind of way)

Seriously people, is this too much to ask for? Apparently it is. When I was talking to one of the residents the other day, he asked me WHY I was single (okay, awkward…I’m a reject?!?!?!), I told him my criteria. He then looked at me point blank and said, “Well Kel, you just eliminated 2/3 of the male species and of the remaining 1/3, 90% of those left are gay.

Great, I’m looking for gay man, maybe that’s where I’m going wrong.