Saturday, December 27, 2008

Feels Like Home

Well, I have come into a little more free time for myself. The rest of the Zapapi clan have embarked on the long drive back to Denver and Mary has gone in search of an eyebrow waxing, willing to brave the intersection of 82nd and Allisonville for some good self-indulgence. Mimi and Grandad have settled in for their afternoon nap, so I sit here pretending to work on my presentation for grand rounds next week. But really, how does postoperative ileus even begin to compare to blogging? Not very well, I tell you.

Whenever I get the urge to blog lately, it has to do with this feeling inside me to share what it is that makes me feel like I'm at home. It could be something as simple as having a cup of coffee and a Sunday paper to read. Doesn't happen as often as I'd like even though it only takes that little bit to bring some peace and a sigh of happiness into my life. But what I wanted to try to put into words after a few days with my crazy family are the little quirks and unique little tidbits that make them the most wonderful people in the world. What makes me laugh and smile and what makes my heart swell with the sense that I belong. I thought with many engagements and babies happening among family and friends, which has my mind on my own (seemingly distant) future, I'd present my family as I would to an outsider meeting them for the first time. You know, the frantic prep time in the car on the way to meet the future in-laws. Sort of. I'm not going to be able to hit on everybody because it would take until departure time tomorrow. Here are some highlights:

Uncle Dave is a great story teller. Especially when he's talking about Sammy D, his adorable, precocious grandson. (Papa, I got your whoop-butt right here. Papa, I had to poop. And I did. On the big potty. Do you know why? Cause I'm the man.) Aunt Judy makes the best deviled eggs on the planet. Hands down. The two of them combine to make the most hysterical CatchPhrase team ever. Ever. Matt and Jim may look like two different species, but they are in fact brothers. Aunt Ca missed her calling as a nun. Always ask her to pray for you.

My dad has a lot of sisters. Try hard to keep them straight. Don't touch Aunt Marianne's coffee mug. See if Aunt Gail can guess your Myers-Briggs personality. Stand up straight. Do you like salad? Watch out if Grandad asks to play gin. He'll slaughter you with his eyes closed and then act all innocent. Don't let Brian or Patrick near anything that could be considered a projectile weapon, namely wrapping paper. If Mimi offers you a cookie, or a piece of fudge, or a candy bar, be careful about accepting because she'll be around an hour later asking the same thing. I think all the outlaws are permanently stuck in adolescence. At least they are always the first adults with the paper crowns on their heads.

Grab as many sticky buns as possible. They go fast. But don't take the ones without nuts. Those are for Carrie. You're better off starting the food line than trying to be polite and letting somebody else go first. Trust me. Not because you get the best food, but because otherwise Aunt Patty might beat you up. Brad and Mike like to punch each other. They used to punch Patrick until he took up bodybuilding. Aunt Julie, the loudmouth of the bunch, somehow has the quietest sneeze. It's where Mary gets it from.

I think I'm going to stop there because I realize that some of the stuff I might say would be construed negatively on paper (or the screen) when really I mean it lovingly and positively. And other stuff would just take too long to explain. Besides, I'm ready to get back to my book. And Mary thinks I'm in here writing a frickin' novel. So that's it. My nostalgia is gone anyway, because I got interrupted halfway through with the task of putting Calcium Citrate pills in Mimi and Grandad's med trays. And while I'm more than happy to do that, the homey mood was gone when I sat back down. Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Bliss

I have five minutes before Christmas dinner is ready. Kind of an anticlimactic part of the day anyway after the last crazy 24 hours. I wanted to at least comment that I love everything about Christmas in Indiana. The one-at-a-time present unwrapping paired with the obligatory and yet sincere "oh, that's perfect" or "what a great color for you, Dad." It's pretty funny and yet makes me feel so at home. I love the wrapping paper fights and the paper crowns and listening to my cousins laugh. Watching all the little kiddos running around picking up the long-established family traditions.

Oops, that's all I had time for. Time for food. More to come. I hope.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How NOT to spend a day off

I got a letter yesterday stuck in my door saying that for the next week, there would be construction guys doing work on the balcony above me. The letter lied. The guys have been electric sawing and hammering and what-not on MY balcony ALL DAY. It started out promising when their music of choice was Transsiberian Orchestra. But that lasted for one song and has segued into music reminiscent of the derelict painter boys that I worked with at Regis several summers ago. You know, the kind of music that gives you a headache after one verse.

Why have you been home all day? you may ask. Well, today marks the very first day that I have ever called in sick to work. I couldn't even do that right. After a miserable day yesterday, I came home and got 11 hours of sleep, determined to go back to work today. I lasted about an hour before deciding that I wasn't gonna make it. So I still got the benefit of waking up at 5. Don't worry. Here's been my day since then:

Drink tea, watch Mad About You, take a nap, take some drugs, more tea, more Mad About You, another nap, eat soup, more tea, more drugs, eat some ice cream, discover cold feels better than hot, try to nap and get disturbed by aforementioned hammering and sawing, watch Pride and Prejudice (with subtitles because I can't hear anything), drink more tea, more drugs, drive to Starbucks for a Frappucino because I'm out of ice cream, and that brings us to now. I'm about due for more drugs. And because of all the tea, I think I've gone to the bathroom about every half hour except when I've been napping.

Despite the tea and the ice cream and the soup and the Frappucino, my throat still feels like somebody ripped it out, blew it up to twice its normal size, shredded it with a razor, and stuck in back in my body. It has never hurt so bad in my life. If I never had to swallow again, I'd be a happy camper. Since that's not likely, I think I'll try some more soup. And maybe another nap. I hate being sick.

On the plus side, my voice sounds less like a man today. Mostly because it sounds less like anything today since I can hardly speak. "I'm speechless. That never happens!" Okay, I'm done. Back to the couch.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Wish List

Things I probably won't ever buy for myself, but totally would if money were no issue and if I weren't so reluctant on self-indulgent purchases:
  • Cowboy boots- I don't have anywhere to wear them except the once every so many years that I go to the rodeo, but I would totally love to pick some out and pretend to be a cowgirl.
  • Another soccer jersey- probably HAO or Hope Solo, and maybe I'd wait until the WPS started and pick my two or three favorite players (hopefully on different teams) and get their respective jerseys.
  • The entire Harry Potter series in hardcover- this is probably the most likely on the list, and I already have book 7. I'll just probably buy one at a time every year or so once I have a real job, until the collection is complete.
  • A horse- I don't really feel like this one needs an explanation. Of course, to go along with this, I'd need a saddle (maybe one English and one Western), bridle, blankets, new riding clothes, probably a cowboy hat. You know, the works.
  • A leather jacket- all through college, I told myself that my graduation present to myself would be a leather jacket, a Lexus, or a house, depending on how flush with money I was. I bought none of the above (although my Honda sorta looks like the RX-300).
  • A vacation home- either in the mountains, or maybe Pacific Northwest or New England or Kentucky or South Carolina. Somewhere, anywhere, to take extended trips away in a place that I could still call home. Who knows, maybe I'd buy the lakehouse and fix it up a little so the basement didn't scare me and the guest house didn't remind me of bugs. A time share would be okay too.
  • Diamond earrings- I just have such a hard time justifying that purchase when I'm not much of a jewelry person to begin with. Maybe someday.
  • Copa Mundials- Like the cowboy boots, something I would never wear. But if I could drop $100 on cleats, I could probably afford to play in some adult league. This is the least likely on the list, especially since I have a brand new pair of kangaroo leather Diadora kicks in my closet. Seriously, even the horse is more likely.
  • A motorcycle- for my future husband, not for me. I don't know, something about motorcycles is super-attractive to me.
  • A giant Emile Bellet painting- for my beach house. Or my incredibly well-decorated future living room. :)
Well, that's enough of a list to start. I'm going to indulge in a chick flick now. Still trying to decide, but I'll probably flip a coin. Cheers!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Please leave your message after the beep

I got a phone call from my boss today after work. He wanted to pass along a story of two people who were found dead in a Steak 'n' Shake. Weirdest voice mail I ever received. (He had been in Iowa City last week and I told him to stop at the Steak 'n' Shake in Coralville but there was horrible traffic so he didn't get the chance on his way back through to Omaha.)

That's all. Just wanted a record somewhere of the strange call. I think my next blog shall be things I would buy myself if money weren't an issue. But that's for another day. Maybe tomorrow actually, since I'm taking the day off.

Chuck vs. the Ex, here I come!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Of angels

Today when I got to work I had 15 patients. By the time I got around to printing their med lists, I had 14. She wasn't my first patient to die, but she was the first to evoke tears of grief before I managed to pull myself together and get ready for rounds. No, I didn't break down and bawl. She had been a patient a couple weeks ago for an eval, and was discharged as healthy as a baby can be who needs a liver and small bowel transplant. She was admitted last night for reasons unknown to me, but obviously she didn't return as healthy as she left. I'm mildly grateful that the first child I lost was an eval who had only been a patient for a couple days. I have several patients who have been with me the whole month, and while I wouldn't say I'm "close" to them or their parents, I think their deaths would have hit me much harder. Of course, it's tragic to lose a three-month old, regardless of how well you know them. It was with these sad thoughts that I left for home this evening.

I turned on my car to Trans-Siberian Orchestra rocking out the Christmas tunes. I traded my thoughts for ones of a more cheerful nature and beat my fingers to the music. As I was pulling into the parking lot at my apartment, I reached the end of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." After a year of waffling, I have come to the conclusion that this is indeed my new favorite Christmas carol. I still hold a special place in my heart for the memories of Tennessee Christmas. And O Holy Night will always be near the top (it's genetic, dontcha know). But Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas sparks certain emotions in me that are singular to that song. It brings cascading images of couples strolling hand-in-hand down the sidewalk as snowflakes slowly fall, of a crackling fireplace, of families laughing as a puppy plows through the wrapping paper, of a horse-drawn sleigh, hot cocoa, mistletoe, everything it means to be home. The song is equal parts romance and nostalgia to me. How can it not be my favorite? The deciding factor that clinched the deal was the fact that I love the song no matter who sings it. Other Christmas songs (or any song for that matter) are dependent upon the artist who is bringing the words to life. Take for example Little Drummer Boy. Jars of Clay? Brilliant! Ashlee and Jessica Simpson? Not so much. Granted, I don't love every version of HYAMLC (so much faster), but for the most part, it warms my heart if it's sung by man, woman, old, young, boy band, whoever.

And with visions of sugarplums dancing in my head, I'm going to have dinner and sit on my couch and relax until Chuck is on. And then I'll have a different source of romance and nostalgia to occupy my time.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Number 3

Friday, October 24th:
Michelle says to Coco, "Hey, the next time I pick up a shift for cash, I'm buying this North Face coat."

Monday, October 27th:
Kristin emails Michelle (and several others) needing somebody to pick up a 14OE shift (that's an order entry shift that starts at 1400. You know pharmacists and their abbreviations.)

Friday, October 31st:
Michelle will put in a 14-hour day, make a little cash, help a fellow pharmacist in need. And avoid all those dastardly Halloween events. (Yet still get off in enough time to hang out with MJ in a non-Halloween manner)

Saturday, November 1st:
Michelle will return to the scene of much trying on and debating (Dick's Sporting Goods) to purchase said North Face coat.

How exciting is that chain of events? SO COOL! (done with appropriate arm gestures) I may even treat myself to the TNF hat that reminds me of Hope Solo. And like Kassie said, there will be enough left over for dinner.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Orange MUSH

Apparently it was too much to ask for the impressive play to hold out. Since then, Cutler has turned the ball over twice and completed 0 passes. I'm not going to blog anymore throughout the game lest I jinx us. And I should probably focus on work anyway. Grrrr.

Orange CRUSH!

If I have to be at work, at least I have the comfort of watching Cutler go 7/7 for 67 yards on the opening drive. (we're pretty slow right now in the pharmacy) Go Broncos!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The WPS Update

So I gave 10 minutes to analyzing the general draft. I haven't heard of many of the players, but I read a little of the analysis. I decided to independently rate teams based on WNT selection, international draft and domestic draft. It was too hard to subjectively think about the teams as a whole because I'd be disappointed in Washington's international draft picks but found it hard to balance that with a great WNT showing. Vice versa with Bay Area who of course got the first international picks due to poor WNT selection. So in a semi-objective manner, still highly biased toward my favorite players, here is my new ranking with minimal comments:

1- Sky Blue FC: I still just think that they have a lot of potential and a lot of personality. They'll be great for the league.

2- Chicago: While I don't think they did as well with player selection, I think that coaching will play a big factor for this team based on what I've read.

3- St. Louis: Technically based on my numbering system, they should be fourth, but I really think that their international draft will go a long way. Plus, remember, I love Hope Solo.

4- Boston: Did better in the second two rounds of player selection.

5- Washington: Despite their strong showing of WNT players, they somehow fell to fifth on this list. Maybe tied for fourth would be better.

6- Los Angeles: I think this team more than the others has a lot of potential to be great but perhaps need a lot of things to click at the same time for this to happen.

7- Bay Area: Good thing I still have a fairly definite last place.

Okay, apparently the international draft is still leaving a lot of questions in the air in terms of contracts and availability, so this is all subject to change based on official signings. Also, if I'm not going based on a points system, I think my top three teams would be NY/NJ, St Louis, and either Chicago or L.A. I'm thinking this may depend on L.A.'s mascot and logo. :) If I'm spending this much time thinking about it now, imagine how awful I'll be once the games start.

And I've missed the first 10 minutes of The Office. Blast!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Barbie, Johnny, Bobby, Pat...

I think there's a Kathleen, Janie, Michael, Jimmy, Margie, Kelly, and one more. The Fitzgeralds, who only my mother, Laura, and the Fitzgeralds can name. I always got stuck after Pat. Anyway, one of many references from my conversation with my mom this evening that made me smile. It was a nice reminder of how my family understands one another and how we're one of a kind. In a "don't call K-LOVE if you want your fitted sheets folded" kind of way. Seriously, an outsider might think we're weird and may run away from reprises of The Singing Nun or not laugh at my made-up memories (and ducky songs). They won't understand the joy of hearing my dad say "that's why you skateboard" or the ever-repeating refrain of, "You should make it again some time." They don't laugh at/with Kelly singing the harmony on the Lamb of God ("of the world") or reminisce about the Moon Room and the Bugger. Was it the Bugger or the Buggy? I think Bugger. Anyway, my point is that of all the things that are "mine", I am the proudest to claim my family.

Today was not a good day: I had to get up at 5:15, my "low tire pressure" warning light and gas light came on while I was driving to work, I screwed up on rounds when my preceptor asked me a question, I was hurried in writing some orders and wrapping things up before my lunch meeting, my phone died, I spent over two hours at the dentist getting three fillings...

And yet, I had conversations with my mom, my dad, and two of my sisters (after I recharged my phone), I arrived home to find two packages even though it turns out one wasn't supposed to be for me (my dad is pretty funny), I got a great email from a good friend, and I enjoyed some much-needed fellowship at my ENDOW study. So today was not altogether a bad day.

If that's the worst thing that happens to you dad's favorite cure-all saying. I heard a new "worst thing" today. My great uncle Bud died of melanoma of the eye. My eye, MY EYE!! Suddenly my day doesn't look so bad. And it's largely due to the influence of my crazy, brilliant, indefatigable family. I don't think we're indefatigable, I just wanted to use that word.

Now I really have to read about the differences between Mycophenolate Mofetil and Enteric Coated Mycophenolate Sodium before I go to bed. Cheers!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

WPS...let the fanfare begin

So, nearly a week after the allocation of the USWNT into the seven teams of the upcoming WPS, I sat down to think for 10 minutes about where my loyalties might lie. When the allocation was first announced, I stared at the teams wondering how I could possibly pick a favorite. Wondering how I could tolerate my idols losing week after week (hey, as long as somebody is winning games, somebody is losing). I have outlined a preliminary ranking of the teams based strictly on the three WNT players that have been assigned. These rankings will only adjust slightly as the teams are filled out, as I am fairly ignorant of the players who participated in the recent combine. It's mostly W-League players so far, although I'm sure some current NCAA standout seniors will be breaking onto the scene come spring. The rankings are likely to change more based on where I end up next year (won't matter much if it's Colorado), how much research I do, and how the teams perform early on (nobody likes to back a losing team).

In order with minimal commentary, here is the list:
  1. Sky Blue FC: Rampone, O'Reilly, Kai--not hard to see why they top the list. I love all three of these women and I think they bring the best combined talent and diversity of any threesome.
  2. Washington Freedom: Krieger, Wambach, Whitehill--hard not to root for Mia's alma mater so to speak. Of course, I gotta cheer for Abby. But I'm also intrigued by Ali Krieger after reading about her European conquests when she was named an Olympic alternate.
  3. Chicago Red Stars: Lloyd, Markgraf, Tarpley--despite not being able to get behind the team name, I think this should be a good group. I hope Tarp starts showing more of the spark I know is in her.
  4. Los Angeles: Boxx, Cox, Wagner--Still trying to decide where Cox lies, but Boxxy and Wagner in the midfield are going to dominate possession and distribution. It will be nice to see Wagner get some substantial playing time so the rest of the world can see her stuff.
  5. Boston Breakers: Hucles, Lilly, Mitts--excited to see Lil back on the field. Hucles was impressive over the last couple months but she hasn't completely won me over. Lilly is keeping this group ahead of St. Louis.
  6. St. Louis: Solo, Chalupny, Ellertson--haven't seen much from Ellertson in a while. It kills me that I don't think I can root for this team more, because you know my heart is 100% a Solo girl.
  7. Bay Area: Barnhart, Buehler, Osborne--a fairly definitive last place. Not that I don't like these players, but look at the other trios they are up against.

Too weird for words

In my dream last night:

John Wirtz telling me that I need to spend more time with the amazing Gonzalez family before they head off to Eastern Europe. Because, you know, they are gold medal winners among other things, and I should take advantage of being in the same city as them. (What?? They aren't really gold medalists)

Being in a desert canyon surrounded by local soldiers with guns. The guy with me pulls out his gun and takes three shots to kill a little green lizard who starts oozing green gunk. The green gunk forms a waterfall of sorts down the canyon and all of a sudden rocks start magically flying to form a path over the green gunk. Only we can't run down the path forward. We have to run down it backwards or we'll fall. (Double what??)

Something involved sitting on blankets in campout style with dozens of other people, but that one is fading from my mind. I know that Kelley was there.

Okay, I had to get that out while I ate my oatmeal. I got ten and a half hours of sleep last night for anyone who cares. Pretty awesome. Now I'm going to go work out (or at least pretend for half an hour), shower, head to Barnes and Noble for a little guilty pleasure shopping, then to Target for a new travel mug because I lost mine. And somehow I only had one. I only go two places: work and my apartment, so I don't know how I lost it or how it was my only one, but now I have to get a new one. Cheers!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

This turned out a lot more mundane than it was supposed to:

Let me start by saying that The Office is awesome!!! I love Jim and I love Pam and I love when Jim reprograms Dwight's phone to ring to his earpiece.

Let me continue by saying that the only thing that kept me motivated during my workout today was that Friends was pretty darn funny. "Act nonchalant...that's not nonchalant." "I have no idea what that means." And it's a good thing I worked out. Because I had a piece of cake before and after my workout. Yup, two pieces of cake. One with frosting, one without. Two.

Thirdly, "it was love at first see, with my ears," where do they come up with this stuff? Awww, and Jim's gonna propose tonight (not really because I've seen this one before and Andy ruins everything, but it's still cute.)

You know that scene in Garden State when Natalie Portman says "this song will change your life," or something to that effect? Well, I was thinking a lot about that scene as I listened to the new version of "Many Sparrows" by Dan Craig. I loved the song to begin with, but I really could just listen to it all day now. I'm not saying it's changed my life, but when I listen to it, I just want to get together with everyone I know and force them to listen to it with me. Because it's so good. And they would never hear it if it weren't for me because who has heard of Dan Craig? I feel like there are a lot of songs like that, little known (yup, Michael just confused Yoga and Yoda. Made me laugh out loud) artists who have a pension for writing songs with passion and emotion and meaningful lyrics and soulful melody. Anyway, that's really all I have to say about that.

Even though I posted it on facebook, go here and check it out. The player at the bottom left of the page will get to Many Sparrows eventually. The other songs are good too.

And let me finish by saying that I was going to spend the entire hour of The Office creating this great blog to make up for the fact that I haven't blogged in a while. I don't think it's going to happen. I have nothing to say. Except that I am highly looking forward to a great weekend. Maybe I'll have something to say after that.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Planting seeds

I used to get frustrated at the lack of fruit produced from my spiritual endeavors. I would use the concept of planting seeds as a comfort and reassurance. I was simply called to plant the seeds that others would come along and cultivate and water and grow and harvest. It was somewhat of a comfort, but also an additional frustration since I figured that the planter isn't always around to see the finished product (pronounced fine-ished, like finished and final).

God granted me the grace to see the harvest shooting out of the ground. And while I used to think that sometimes planting the seeds was the hardest because you have to break the rocky ground where nothing has gone before, I've learned that maybe I had to plant the seeds because I didn't have it in me to make them grow as well as those who came after me. Case in point, the fruit of my labors: The Saint Peter Canisius Society.

I don't think I ever would have had the strength to see it through like the passionate and faithful ones who picked up the reins. I was on their website today--yes they have a website--and saw that their entire semester is planned out with brilliant topics and brilliant speakers. They are digging deep, hitting stuff like faithful citizenship and papal infallibility, stuff that wouldn't have made it within a five mile radius of campus five years ago. Not even a month into school, they've created (what I hope is the first of many annual) Roman Week, to collaborate with Catholics in every manner possible: fellowship, entertainment, prayer, discussion. Pray for the week's overwhelming success, that the fruits continue to multiply.

I am humbled by the wonders that have been wrought from what I'm selfishly claiming as my seeds. I think looking back that I gave pretty much all I had. God obviously knew this better than me and called on others to finish the job. Or finish the start. Because I pray it's not even close to over. I pray that another 5 years from now, I may contact Canisius Society and find an abundance of young Catholics evangelizing and growing in their faith. So that I can write them a big fat check to host more amazing events. And maybe even come and be a guest speaker. Until then, I'm content to watch them run the race. Because they are running to win.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

As it should be

What could make day 11 of 19 in a row at work bearable? Oh, only the magnificence of a gold medal. Vindication. Pride. Teamwork. Passion. Heart. Courage. My girls stepping up when it mattered most and making the big save, the big tackle, the big goal! I could write all night about the joy it brings me, but instead I'll post a few of my favorite pics from the day's events and head to bed.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Way too early

Just sitting here at 4:19am (hey, that's my birthday), watching a little soccer. When I first woke up, it didn't look like the game was online. It just showed the Sweden game and I was like, oh well, too bad, I guess I get to sleep another 3 or 4 hours. But no, it's posted and now I am watching. No excitement yet, at least not enough to really get me awake and alive (and alert and enthusiastic).

I'm still just so exhausted from the week. Lots of hours at work, lots of work from home, lots of early mornings and very little sleep. [sidenote: good save Solo! nice grunt too] I hate being this tired. And of course, I probably could have slept through the game and not told anybody and they'd all assume I'm still my avid fan self. I may still sleep through the second half.

I wish I could be more coherent. That would make for a much better blog. I also wish I could remember all the funny quotes from this week. Stuff like "You're gonna die. Ha, just kidding, but your [GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL] hiccups are gone." Wow, what a beautiful hit from Lloyd. Upper netting from outside the 18. Anyway, the hiccup comment was after one of my patients had been prescribed prn Baclofen for hiccups and then another pharmacist said she had been asked the day before what the doctor could order for hiccups on a different patient and she had told them something else. And we were joking that you could write the order "scare patient prn hiccups". Hence the death sentence.

As a side comment, the NBCOlympics commentary on their streaming video is lousy. About like the commentary on Mary's state soccer game. I'd much rather read the commentary from's MatchTracker. But it's not posted. Seriously, my brain is mush. I'm gonna stop writing now. USA USA USA!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Grace for the day

Or week, or whatever:
+++ Had a great week on OHSCU (oncology/hematology special care unit), training for my staffing shifts and getting used to things before starting my oncology rotation tomorrow. The pharmacists were great and allowed me to kind of take over and run the show which boosted my comfort level immensely. I pretty much staffed by myself on Friday, with the occasional (or frequent) question for the real OHSCU pharmacist who basically got to just hang out for a day. I finally feel like I'm getting used to the hospital and starting to get into patient care which was the whole point of the residency anyway.

+++ The fam was in town for a brief not-quite 20 hours. It was so great to go to Mass as a family (well, most of us anyway). I commented to my dad that during the processional hymn, the song hit a high note, and my mom and dad and I all sang the same note which happened to be about a note-and-a-half flat. What a gene pool! Dinner at Olive Garden and breakfast at VI topped off the weekend, and I even got leftovers and an iPod out of the deal.

+++ I rearranged my furniture. This may not seem like a big deal, but you should've seen it before. A large living room and sparse furniture doesn't mesh well, and the TV was about 20 feet from the couch. Now I think it's about 12-15 feet away, the room looks much cozier, and I have a consensus of where to hang all of my pictures. Also on the furniture front, I finally bought a bookcase, and I'm so excited to have it all put together and functional so that I can get rid of the stack of boxes currently housing all of my bookshelfy things.

+++ I'm reading "What's So Amazing About Grace?" and finding lots of extra graces in my week for having put forth a tiny bit of effort into my spiritual life. The homily last night fit so well with what I've been reading in the book and discovering throughout the day. It's like God knows what He's doing or something. :)

+++ I'm finally driving my new car---named Stella---and I really like it. Stella was the family consensus, especially after discovering it was my great-grandmother's name. We always just called her Bobo and I don't know that I ever knew her name. Glad I went with that great-grandma name instead of Wilda. Poor Wilda never recovered after I let her bird Pepe out of his cage. If I decide the car needs a boy name, I'm going with Emerson, which was my great-grandfather's name (Wilda's husband). Coolest name ever! I'm still taking suggestions on a vanity plate for my car. So far, leading options have to do with Colorado (DNVRGRL) or me being a pharmacist (PHARM Z; DR ZAP), or something like that. Please help!

+++ Mary's naming the Seadoo "Phyllis" which I think is hysterical. Not really a grace for the day, but I thought it deserved a comment.

Okay, I have to go now so I can continue my nosocomial candidiasis research. I have to get a good chunk of it done before I work out this afternoon (right now exercise is scheduled for 3pm because Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is on TBS at that time, and I have to have good TV while I run). And I have to do laundry. Yuck!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Little Extra Olympian Love

So I'm having a lazy Sunday, not feeling so hot, so not feeling guilty about alternating my ACLS reading prep with lots of TV. AVP was on and I love watching Kerri Walsh and Misty May about as much as I love watching anything. But my favorite part of the match had nothing to do with volleyball. After championship point (killer kill by Walsh down the line), Misty turns to the camera as she usually does to say hi to the folks back home. She says, "Hi everybody back home" with the double hand wave and then starts to say something else that I caught only the tail end of because the crowd was so loud. Replay allowed me to read her lips:

"Hey Abby Wambach, I hope you're feeling better. Keep your head up. Stay strong."

Awesome. I second that sentiment. I'm gonna try for a movie now, provided my internet works. And then back to analyzing cardiac rhythms and dosing vasopressors.

P.S. Went to Pettit's for the first time this morning. (How is it that my sister, who's been in Omaha all of a year, has been to more Omaha landmarks that I have?) Let's just say it was the most amazing way to start a Sunday. I had a raspberry bear claw with glazed almonds on top followed by a German Chocolate magical pastry with coconut pecan frosting filled with some sort of bavarian cream or something. Half for breakfast, half for lunch so I didn't make myself sick. I could have something new from there every week for a year and still not try everything. Seriously mouthwateringly delicious. Yes, I just said mouthwateringly.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Game Day

A few pics of the day:

The defense prepares for a free kick

The signs that got us on the jumbotron

A few of the girls warm up ---->

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

USA USA USA (pronounced oosa)

Yes my friends, I did in fact get the chance to watch my many talented idols play in person. Things conspired to put a damper on the experience--the 8 hour drive awaiting me after the final whistle, the raw memories of a 4-0 slaughter, the 100-degree heat, sitting behind what turned out to be the wrong goal, the pathetic optical zoom on my camera--but nothing this monumentous was going to disappoint.

We arrived early enough to get brilliant parking next to the few tailgaters, and waited outside impatiently for the gates to open. The comments on our signs began early and we had to clarify that while 129 is an impressive number for caps, it was in fact the number of international goals Kristine Lilly had scored (her caps are well over 300, despite the baby bump that interrupted this year). We brought along goals #100 and #101 just in case, but alas, they would not be needed. Once inside the gates, the field was remarkably empty, but when the team assistants started bringing out the ball bags, we knew greatness would surely follow. Sure enough, we got to watch from directly overhead as the USWNT processed out from the locker room and onto the scorching field for warm up. The aforementioned camera did little justice to capturing the pre-game routine of soccer icons Abby Wambach, Christie Rampone, Hope Solo, and Kate Markgraf (accompanied by an attractive mask), nor the up-and-comers Natasha Kai, Carli Lloyd, Heather O'Reilly, and Lindsay Tarpley (all landmark players in their own right). Not wanting to distract the players, we quietly snapped our shots and then started to head back to our seats. Laura tried to catch Wambach's eye with our clever support for hitting the century mark, but that woman is all business. I wasn't as subtle as my parting scream of "Hea-O" turned Heather O'Reilly's head. When she saw the sign sporting her nickname, she gave the oh-so-suave head nod. Awesome!

Eventually we had to take our assigned seats. They weren't great seats for watching soccer necessarily because we were directly behind the goal and thus small portions of the field were obstructed by the net and crossbar. However, they were great seats for seeing players up close. Like the agony of Natasha Kai after running down a rebound on the goal line and trying to cross it for a certain goal, somehow coming up empty handed. She still got raucous cheers, don't worry. They were also apparently great seats for getting on the jumbotron. Twice. If anybody was watching ESPN, we were the girls shown right at the end of halftime with the two coolest signs in the park. Seriously.

At first I was only slightly disappointed with the game, seeing how tired and hot the players looked and trying to figure out why our midfield looked a little haphazard and discombobulated at times. Then I found out later that Brazil was playing with 5 midfielders. 5 fast midfielders and 2 lightning-quick forwards. That would tax even the world's best. So I didn't feel so bad anymore. Plus, they won. Granted it was not Abby Wambach's 100th goal, and it only came about because a Brazilian defender misplayed Wambach's cross, but A-Rod made them pay for it with a beautiful finish. And there was some excitement throughout the game, a couple of yellow cards, some really bad not-calls, some near misses, dangerous set pieces, etc.

I'll get some pics up later so you can see the players in all their glory. And me with my signs. But I've rambled enough for now.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Breathing easy...for the most part

Reasons for sighs of relief today:
Abby Wambach did not score her 100th goal. Still thinking up cool sign ideas for the game next week.
OPPD is not disconnecting my power.
I survived the first week of residency (it was really only three days, probably shouldn't count).
My furniture fit through my door.
The fireworks did not keep me up last night.
I have plans for tonight that do not involve sitting by myself watching one of my three TV channels.

Reasons my weekend isn't as good as it could be:
Despite only being three days in, my residency is a little overwhelming. I have to choose topics for my Grand Rounds and my research project within the next couple days.
I had to drop $50 on scrubs and a lab coat. Not cool.
I have to review Biostats today. More severely not cool.
I haven't figured out how to get Fox on my TV.
Still not sure if I can get off for Brady's wedding. Don't think I'm scheduled to work for Marie and Bobby's.
Checked the Creighton soccer schedule last night. Only gonna be able to make about half of the home games. Stupid staffing.
My bank account is protesting the purchase of my bookshelf. The one piece of furniture I deemed mandatory, to show off all my lovely novels in my attempt to mimic my grandparents' house, may have to wait until my first paycheck. Boo that.

All in all, not too bad I guess. Until I get about a page into Biostats, and then I might vomit. Cheers.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Purple Toe Syndrome... indeed caused by warfarin. Just one of what I'm hoping were many questions that I got right based on pure gut instinct (which of course is based on something my brain learned at some point in the last 4 years). Yes, my friends, I am officially done with my board exams. I took the NAPLEX this afternoon and there were definitely "easy" questions and "hard" questions and "you seriously think I need to know this by memory?" questions.

After three tests, my "shoulda's" are few. (As I typed that I heard in my head "After my second, my regrets are down to one.") I should have glanced at my biostats notes. I should have glanced at a list of drug references and their basic contents. I should have found a Colorado pharmacist who knew the legal duration of a C-II Rx. (But I knew that before the test.) I should have focused a little more on adverse effects of medications. And I should have made t-shirts to sell at the Greek festival. I could have paid for my living room furniture. Blast!

The exam writers should have a few regrets as well. The NE MPJE folks need to learn how to write a clear question with equally clear answer choices. The CO folks need to learn how to write statutes. The NAPLEX folks need to realize that Aricept and Lithium are NOT the two most important drugs. And somebody needs to write a test that assesses more than 5% of my drug knowledge. That's about it. I think for the most part everything went okay. We'll know here in a few weeks. I probably am not allowed to say anymore about the test because any specifics could be construed as unethical.

And that is the last I'm going to think about it. I am going to enjoy this week by doing the following: highlighting Kelly's hair because I promised, sleeping in, reading for fun, laying out in the sun, going on walks, seeing some Totus Tuus folks and hopefully other miscellaneous friends, mooching off my parents as much as possible, maybe making it up to the mountains for a day or two, and doing all-around recreational relaxation or relaxing recreation or anything not remotely related to pharmacy. Call me if you want to hang out (and are in Colorado).

Oh, and I'll probably watch Sleepless in Seattle or Steel Magnolias or both because my awesome sister got me awesome movies.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Closing in on 100

P.S. Abby Wambach scored goals 97 and 98 of her prodigious career yesterday. Here's hoping she saves #100 for the July 13th game. Nothing like a little Mile High love to help her celebrate the century-mark.


The scene at Panera:
I'm through three cups of coffee (about 42 ounces by now), the second two were decaf. Since I haven't had coffee all week, the first cup of regular was enough to give me the shakes. But it was hazelnut and thus totally worth it. Three of my classmates are here, also studying for their boards. One took the CO MPJE last week (my test for tomorrow) and another takes her NAPLEX today. Yikes. It's actually quieter in here than I would have thought, although as the lunch hour is beginning, I notice the noise level rise a little. I've been taking practice tests all morning and after averaging about 80% on my last ten tests, I scored a bang-up 66%. Back to the drawing board I guess.

Yesterday was a big day (not for studying). I bought a couch, loveseat, coffee table and matching end table. The entire living room set is pretty sweet and I'm very excited (though $900 poorer). I also tried a dark beer last night that I actually like--some sort of vanilla porter at Old Chicago, brewed in Lincoln. I could look it up, but that would cut into the 7 minute study break I'm allowing myself. Mary would be so proud for "celebrating" properly. I wasn't celebrating anything for me, but it was Marijo's birthday and thus celebration-worthy. We also got a free big cookie a la mode. Yum.

Alright, study break is over. I'll keep you posted as I find out my test scores. Or maybe I'll just hide my head in the sand.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Slowly but surely

Apartment update
I now have the following:
a new set of stainless steel pots
a slotted spoon
a can opener
a bathroom rug and toilet seat cover
cooking/baking essentials (except the vanilla, somehow forgot that)
cleaning supplies

I still need:
cutting board
furniture (couch, loveseat, tables, dining room set, bookshelf)
TV (it's at home)
internet (I'm mooching for now)

That about sums it up. I'm doing pretty well I think on everything except the furniture, but hopefully some of that will be taken care of tomorrow. Hasta pasta!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Feast Day

Tony, Tony, please come 'round.
My brain is lost and can't be found.

NE MPJE today. I'm torn between anxiety and calm, between panic and just wanting to have it over with. Mass helped. I think I'm going to the grocery store for some chocolate chips so I can make a Deluxe to eat on the way to the test. That will help too. And I've decided to do a throwback to P3 year and watch the 11-minute Alias outtakes clip to keep my spirits light. That should be around lunchtime. Until then, I've decided to keep reviewing. Even though my brain has deserted me because it got too full it had to jump ship.

Speaking of Deluxes, I've decided that if pharmacy doesn't work out (or even if it does), I'm going to market a candy bar called "Deluxe" that is dark-chocolate-covered layers of graham cracker filled with alternating peanut butter and fudge. It will be pretty amazing. And probably about 8 inches tall. Oh well.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Right About Now

I could really go for:
-Toblerone Cheesecake (even if it is no longer on the menu)
-a warm summer rain
-losing the mosquito bite on my ankle
-a week without studying
-squishing sand between my toes
-some fresh flowers in a vase on the counter in front of me
-a big tall glass of iced tea
-being a couple inches taller
-a grande half-caff, non-fat, extra-hot, one-pump sugar-free vanilla, upside-down caramel macchiato
-a nap
-a Baci truffle

(this idea stolen from Que Sera Sera archives)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I don't wanna grow up

I've been thinking about updating my wardrobe to reflect a more grown-up me, and while I recognize the need to replenish some work wardrobe staples in my closet and add a few business casual and dressier items, I have decided that I'd really just rather wear t-shirts. Every time I want to go out somewhere, I'm all like, oh I don't have anything to wear, and I either don't go (classic Michelle wuss-out) or I wear a t-shirt. Which isn't very feminine or flattering.

You know what? Screw feminine and flattering. If I wear some generic sweater or cute top, it may look a little more grown up than a t-shirt, but it says nothing about me. I love my t-shirts because when I wear one, you know a little of me. I haven't bought a t-shirt at a store in a few years, and yet still they overflow--evidence of pieces of my life. My t-shirt may tell you that I love soccer (or more specifically, Creighton soccer or ABK or Abby Wambach). It may tell you that I am proud of my family (Rule #77: Made with Greek parts). It may tell you that I like animals (pio, pio; bone appetit), or gee, perhaps that I went to Creighton for a long time and was in Phi Delta Chi and that I obviously kicked butt in intramural sports. I have the occasional "I care about cancer victims/survivors" and the enigmatic yearly LP9 editions, and a few that prove my existence in Omaha (homaha, Marian football). I want my clothes to say something about me, yeah? So maybe I'll add a few actual pieces to my wardrobe in the coming weeks. But the t-shirts stay.

Okay, lunch is ready and I'm starving. My stomach growling can be heard in Kuwait.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

How 'bout a little rematch?

There have been a few firsts for me in the past year, notably first degree (happens to be a doctorate), first salaried job (yet to start), first time living solo (again, yet to start), first professional and college football games. But I'm pretty sure that the "first" taking place on July 13th will top all of those...well, maybe not the doctorate. It's certainly going to be more entertaining and exciting for me though.

Check it out here!!!!

That's right my friends! I am going to see Abby Wambach, Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo (hopefully), Heather O'Reilly, and all of my other fave players at Dick's Sporting Goods Park right here in Denver. Who'da thought? For years I've been complaining that all the WNT games are played in L.A. or NY or D.C. or any other number of two-lettered cities. But the best women's soccer team in the world is coming to my doorstep. Or my old doorstep, because by then I'll be in Omaha and I still have to convince my boss that I deserve a day off two weeks into my residency. It's a Sunday so my chances are slightly improved but the Med Center still owns me for 365 days.

The game will be televised on ESPN, so mark your calendars and watch for Laura and I in our (sort of) matching Abby Wambach jerseys--hers is gold, mine is white. I'm also pushing for a massive sign, wordage yet to be determined.

And did I mention that the game happens to be against Brazil who seriously massacred us in the semifinal game of the WWC last year? We are looking for some revenge against one of the most individually talented teams out there. My nerves probably won't be able to handle it. But at least this time when I'm screaming in frustration or celebration, it will be along with 14,000 other rowdy fans and not in my living room at 4 in the morning. Plus, maybe this time we'll start the right goalkeeper, and if the six-goal stomping at Canada's expense is any indication, our offense is hitting their stride as well.

In a final sporting world comment, here's my well wishes for Big Brown to tackle the Belmont with flying colors in three weeks, because 30 years without a Triple Crown is a little too long.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Whatever gets you through the day

I have a new favorite blog to read. It is to be found at and it makes me laugh, which I of course love. This is yesterday's post.
I had to try not to laugh out loud because I'm getting my computer completely wiped clean and I'm supposed to be following instructions.

In other news, I'm graduating in approximately 52 hours. That's right, I will soon be a "doctor". Okay, I really have to go now.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I'll be kicking myself later

Okay, so I'm supposed to be studying, right? I realize that. And I realize that the overwhelmingly common theme to my professors' advice when it comes to studying for my boards is "don't tarry." (Dr. Keefner's words, not mine) But I finished reading a somewhat depressing--yet thoroughly classic me--FBI thriller novel about government corruption and terrorism this morning, and I needed a pick-me-up. I got a little bit of productivity in, covering cholinergic and adrenergic drugs briefly and finishing up with the top 25 nutraceutical products (still not quite sure that it's necessary for those to be on the NAPLEX), but overall the day was a wash. Until...

Sundays at Tiffany's. Seriously. I love a good James Patterson novel as much as the next guy. His Alex Cross books can be a little too dark and serial killer-esque for pure enjoyment, but Women's Murder Club rocks my face off most of the time. And Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas and Sam's Letters to Jennifer prove he's not a genre writer. I even like what I've read of the Maximum Ride series (does this guy ever stop writing?). But none of his books have hooked me like this one. I read about it online and rushed to Target to buy it. Lack of willpower disaster #1. Then I thought I'd use it as a study reward and I could only start reading it if I had a brilliantly productive day, or week. Disaster #2. I started it today and the only reason I haven't finished it yet is because I'm savoring it, reading far more slowly than normal, trying to prolong the escape it provides. It's escape as only books can give me, and it's been perfect. I could write how well-written the characters are or how realistic the dialogue and sentiments have been. Or how the descriptive prose makes New York come to life for someone who has never seen it with her own eyes. But really, as usual, the enjoyment comes from being able to place myself in the protagonist's shoes as she discovers the love of her life. Sigh. I'm not done yet, but when I am, I'll be telling everyone I know to go find a copy and disappear for a few hours into a wonderful fantasy world. And it is fantasy, because I haven't even told you the worst part. It's a book about a woman who falls in love with her imaginery friend from childhood. Yup, I've gone off the deep end.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It's baaaaack!

I did it again. Two times. First, I pulled yet another classic Michelle wuss-out. I ditched my final class party at Barrett's. Second, I once again ditched my friends (this time a kayak polo game of Marijo's) in favor of television.

However, I am not at all ashamed because the new writers and producers gave me a fabulous new Women's Murder Club episode to keep me entertained while I was missing all that other fun. Hazzah! Seriously, I don't know why everyone isn't hooked on this show. I love Angie Harmon and I just want her to fall in love so her personal life can be as successful as her detective life. And how adorable was Cindy "Pancake" Thomas? So cute. And the coffee stand guy who is offering to play matchmaker, and Tom standing up for Lindsay even though she broke a few rules. And no annoying Heather to barge in and ruin stuff. I'm just so incredibly addicted to this show and the warm fuzzies it gives me. Pretty sad that a show with "murder" in the title gives me the warm fuzzies. Oh well.

Note to all you non-fanatics out there. WMC is on Tuesdays at 10/9c for at least two more episodes. Give it a shot. Yay!!!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Homeward Bound

I hope I never grow out of the excitement of returning to colorful Colorado. Part of me wishes the draw wasn't so strong because it would make being away a little easier. But then again, if home doesn't feel like home, I think that would make for a sad existence. Granted, some would take the time to point out that you can establish a new home that starts to feel like home, but I don't think you really get to pick where your heart feels at home. I was watching First Daughter today (lame, I know) and I love the line when she says, "I love who I got to be with him." Colorado is kind of like that for me. I love who I get to be in Colorado. Maybe that has more to do with the break from school or work or whatever, but I think it has more to do with who I get to be around when I'm home. All you Omahans, don't take offense. I love who I get to be when I'm with you as well.

Take-home point: I'm ready to go home for a little while. I'm ready to celebrate my bday with my fam, I'm ready to give Laura her bday present, I'm ready for the Chuck Wicks concert if we ever get on the ball enough to get tickets. I'm totally stoked for A Man For All Seasons, for hanging out with Kelly who always wants to hang out with me, and for running in the neighborhood with my puppy. Okay, back to NAPLEX review.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Well, it was far from being the perfect day...tough to get out of bed, got wet walking to my car, got wet walking to the hospital, my little baby got much worse yesterday and through the night and essentially nullified any progress we had made, I had to be nervous about my presentation all day, got done later than I had hoped, got wet walking to my car, forgot to ask for decaf on my celebratory Americano, was freezing during Mon's soccer game and for about 2 hours afterward, etc.

But it was still a good oatmeal tasted especially delicious because I was starving when I woke up, I got two free lunches at work, kicked some serious rear on my presentation, got a glowing eval (you should always have people tell you how much you excel at least a couple times a year), talked with Kelly for a little while, talked with Dad for a little while, Marian won 2-0, talked with Laura for a little while, ate my second free lunch for dinner so I didn't have to cook, and now I get to go to bed early and sleep in as late as I want. Yay for me.

Having now made it through 40 weeks rotations, 7 different hospitals/clinics/pharmacies/companies, three different cities, 8 preceptors who all have different expectations, dozens of Attendings to be scared of, and 8 A's, I am officially done with pharmacy school. All I have left is graduation and those pesky board exams. Pssshhht. Piece of cake. The task I'm more concerned about is finding myself an apartment for next year. Hmmm. More intimidating than boards I think. In the mean time, I think I shall have a fantastic birthday weekend, some productive studying and then a well-deserved trip home for some various exciting events and relaxation to the max.

Here's to 12 hours of long overdue sleep!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Distracto-Girl Strikes Again!!!

It doesn't take much to get me distracted these days. Having never gotten to fully experience senioritis, I am in full swing as I endure my last week of rotations. Here is what has me distracted today (besides blogging, obviously):

-The far-fetched dream of vacationing on a cattle ranch, participating in a cattle drive, horseback riding for a week straight, eating campfire food, sleeping in the mountains, hiking, relaxing, and being worked to the bone as a paying ranch hand. Check out these websites: and and
Those are my top three choices. Now I just have to find somebody to go with me. I don't know why this appeals to me so much, but reading the descriptions and looking at the pictures (and yes, shopping online for boots and other appropriate cowgirl apparel), I just feel like I was made for this vacation. We'll see what happens.

-The gorgeous weather. After a couple weeks of way-too-cold-for-April weather, it finally got sunny and warm. I went for a run. After months of sitting on my butt, probably not a good idea to tackle the hill up 144th St. the minute I stepped out of my house. I got to the top of the hill and started seeing spots. Running down was much easier, although by that time I had been alternating walking and running for a couple miles and my heart rate was back below 150. Note to self: I'm out of shape.

-Brilliant television. Okay, this hasn't actually distracted me yet today, but boy am I counting on it starting at 7:00. One night with the first new Bones episode in 4 months and the season finale (perhaps the series finale depending on the faith of the network execs) of New Amsterdam. I think I enjoy having a new TV show to be obsessed with as much as I actually enjoy the show, but either way it has been highly entertaining. And who can argue with me dropping everything to watch the drama unfold between Bones and Booth? "Serious as a gas attack."

-The CONCACAF Olympic qualifying. Again, this didn't distract me today, but boy the last week or so I've been worthless during the games. I mean, everyone appreciates a nice suspenseful game and a nail-biter victory, but let's please dispense with the shootouts. I hate them, can't stand them, want to pace in my room and scream and throw things. It's not a pretty picture. Here's hoping the game against Australia is televised (I seriously doubt it). Props to Natasha Kai for a couple of clutch goals and to Nicole Barnhart for being the most unlikely hero. And to Pia for a promising couple of months.

-Writing a funny little message for Laura's birthday card to go along with the sick present I got her. That's all I'm saying.

-Designing a flyer/postcard/announcement for my graduation party that I'm finally planning. Any of you in Denver following my mundane jottings, it will be May 16th. Come celebrate and call me Docta'!

Alright, I really have to work on this presentation I'm giving on Thursday since obviously the rest of my night will be in shambles. Happy distractions!

Friday, April 4, 2008


Lauren Cheney makes it 2-0 in the 23rd minute! And now I think on that note I shall go to bed.

Priorities...and some randomness

First off, I just wanted to say that after trying very hard to find something worthwhile on TV tonight to destress from my week and in general relax, knowing that tomorrow will be a long day at the retreat center, I finally decided it was time to call it a night. Bones was decent, What Not to Wear was cute, but neither really made my night and I was super excited to get some great sleep (especially after last night--see below). Right before I turned out the light, I decided to see if there was an update on the WNT blog. They are in Mexico right now for Olympic qualifying and there had been some decent blogs of late, so I thought I'd make a last minute check before snuggling under the covers. Much to my dismay, their first game against Jamaica has just started and I can follow along with MatchTracker. Minute one of the game resulted in a play-by-play scroll that read, "We're only 25 seconds into the game and Abby Wambach has already put the ball in the net!...unfortunately..." That's all they said. And I'm sitting there like, okay I need to get some sleep. Tell me what happened already. Well, the goal was called back because of a previous foul, but of course, now I'm hooked and I have to decide if I want to stay up for the game which I can't watch real time and can only follow on MatchTracker (if you have ever tried to do this you know it is extremely frustrating). I think I will stay up for 12 more minutes until 10:00pm.

In order to pass the time until then, I will tell you about my crazy dream last night. So we're at my cousin's wedding (my cousin isn't even engaged, so I don't know who he's marrying) and whoever his fiance is, she isn't Catholic, but we're still gonna do half the ceremony in Catholic (like Catholic is a language, whatever). And all my favorite STMers are there. Who knows? Maybe they are secretly great friends with my cousin. And Pete is wearing a blue shirt and a purple tie which happens to match my purple dress and I bring up the fact that we match. And Jon Weisiger comes up and says, hey I match too. And sure enough he is also wearing a blue shirt that very much matches Pete's. So then we do the first reading and the psalm and then we sing the Alleluia while the priest and the bridal party processes up the aisle and then the rest of us who are already in the pews process up to receive communion (here's the part that's not Catholic, because there has been no consecration yet and I overhear a little girl ask her mom if she is supposed to receive it because it isn't the Eucharist). It was super weird. There were other details I remembered right after I woke up, but I won't bore you.

The funniest part about the dream was that last night when I talked to my mom I was explaining about how [update: the WNT just scored, Wambach to Lloyd to make it 1-0 in the 18th minute] long-winded my preceptor is and how you ask her a question that could have a two-sentence answer and she does a five-minute discourse. And my mom says, "so kind of like when you tell us about your dreams." Yeah, exactly like that.

So now I'm done with this lovely blog and I still have four minutes to follow the game. My priorities could change in the next four minutes and I could decide that sleep is so not worth it (I have an audio imprint in my head from My Big Fat Greek Wedding when Ian is getting baptized and Toula is talking about how any minute he is going to say "you are so not worth this") and end up staying awake for the whole game. Who knows. If I'm this random, anything is possible.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Yay God Sunrise!

Colorado may have a rather large market share of top-notch sunsets, but my drive to work has been chock-full of the most perfect sunrises the last two weeks. I like to pretend that it's God's morning present just to me. Like, "Hey, Michelle, congratulations for pulling yourself out of bed. Your reward is gorgeous pink and orange peeking through the clouds. Tune in tomorrow as I try my hand at a brand new design." Nice, huh? It sounds a little goofy and corny, I know. But mornings are tough for me, more so lately than in a long time. So it's nice to have a reason to smile as I start my day.

I had every intention of turning this into a much longer blog and writing about everything that has inspired me in the past couple weeks. But I am watching 'Music and Lyrics' to decompress from a long week. I should be studying because Relay for Life and the Spring Banquet are this weekend and I won't have enough free time to both sleep and study. And we all know which one I will choose. So, I guess the brilliant blog will have to wait.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Livin' on luck, bettin' 10,000 to 10

I wouldn't say I've been lucky so much as blessed, but it's been a good week. My ranking is officially in—nearly exactly backwards of how I would have ranked a month and a half ago—and I know with certainty that a residency is the right choice, and I know with near certainty that I have ranked the programs to the best fit. (No decision that big can be made with 100% certainty, at least not coming from me, the indecisive princess of the universe.) I had a wonderful time at a fish fry last night with an old friend who I see very little of, and we saw a surprisingly good movie that had me laughing and smiling for most of the night. I realized how wonderful it is to spend time with people whose faith is important to them. The night ended with words of “I’ll pray for you” and a hug coming from someone I had just met a few hours before. So cool to have an instant foundation for friendship. Some friends of mine got engaged last night (do a little happy dance) and I couldn’t be happier for them. I recall a conversation from a couple years ago where my friend, in talking about her then-boyfriend/now-fiance, said “He’s so holy! I’m used to being the holy one in the relationship, but he’s so holy!” It struck me how beautiful it was that she was dating somebody that she could say that about, and now two years down the road to know that they get to spend the rest of their lives sanctifying and loving each other, it gives me so much joy. I was reminded this week of the blessings of my friends and family so many times. It amazes me how easily I forget, but sometimes that makes the reminder that much sweeter. I can only pray that I can be as supportive for all of them as they are for me. Alright, it’s time for lunch, which happens to be a pathetic left-over peanut butter and jelly. How does someone have a left-over peanut butter and jelly, you may ask? Well, I took it for lunch yesterday, but we had tumor conference which provided lunch for us (and cherry pie!) so I was stuck bringing home the PB&J. It obviously didn’t get eaten last night since I was having fish, a baked potato, and german chocolate cake. One last happy note—supposed to be gorgeous weather next week. Finally!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Lunes de Miel (you know, like Luna de Miel, only my Monday was pretty sweet)

(Not including my pounding headache and the fact that I almost walked out the door today in my slippers and the nastifiable weather outside...) today was pretty darn good for a Monday. You wanna know why? I'll tell you.

First of all, somebody at work made cake. It was the closest I've had to my grandma's mayonnaise cake in about 7 years. I'm not sure if it was mayonnaise cake or just yummy moist chocolate cake with the really good white frosting, but it was great. I didn't need two lunch desserts (I also brought a cookie from home), especially with my pint of chocolate-chip-cheesecake frozen custard in the freezer, but it made the afternoon a lot more tolerable.

Second of all, best conversation so far at rotations... revolved around how we need to find one of my professors/friends a nice man to drag her away from the ungodly hours she spends in her office. So my preceptor tells me that my job for the next month is to find said man for this professor. (Apparently every time my preceptor asks the other professor how the love life goes, the other professor says "non-existent, Amy" in a very sassy voice--that's supposed to be my line.) So of course, I tell my preceptor that my job over the next month is to find myself a nice man. And I tell her how Denver is this hotspot of great young Catholics ('cause her complaint was that if you go to Church to meet guys, everyone is too old) but that all the great guys are in the seminary. So she says maybe I'll just have to steal one away (and then cringes and says, "is that sacreligious?"), but then recanted and said that we really need good priests. When you have a preceptor who can lament about my lack of a love life with me and at the same time stress the need for good priests, I'd say that's enough to make my Monday. On a side note, she's happily married with two adorable boys, but she told me to take heart that she was almost 27 before she got married, so I have time.

I got a lovely email today from a rockstar in the Canisius Society (for those out of the loop, read: Catholic Student Organization) who has apparently taken it upon herself to make a weekly calendar of all the Catholic events occuring on campus. Granted, a good chunk of space is filled up by the daily Masses and confession that have always been here. But if you were to look 6 years ago before I got here, that's all there would be. And that puppy was FULL! Adoration, rosary, night prayer, morning prayer, extra Mass, more adoration, fish fry, Stations of the Cross, other student meetings, etc. The group has a softball team and a Saint of the week and tons of other amazing stuff. And I just get to sit back and bask in the fruits that are finally growing. (Because this is a list of highs, I'm going to ignore the fact that I haven't been to any of these events yet because I'm selfish and lazy.)

Even though it's a week away, I got to look forward all day to my trip to Indy this weekend. A-woo-hoo. It's gonna be fairly low stress because everyone is either in Florida, or spending Saturday in Bloomington, or spending Sunday and Monday in Brown County, or whatever. But I still get to see some family and then stop in Des Moines for a little Kiel-time on the way home. There might even be some Steak'N'Shake involved this weekend.

And finally, my board review arrived today which means I no longer have to be so motivated to work out a study schedule, because I can just read a chapter a night and answer the practice questions. Best part is, I can probably get through two chapters tonight before the cheesy Lifetime movie is on. In a departure from the depressing women's issues Lifetime movies, this one has Dean Cain and steals a line from The Wedding Planner. It also has Denise Richards who hopefully plays a wedding planner better than she plays a nuclear physicist. We'll see.

Here's to a week as good as my Monday, and a little of that Denver sunshine coming my way to melt this horrible snow.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Cheesy boy band gets it right

I don't listen to the Jonas Brothers, but their new song was a Yahoo feature today and I really love the words. So here they are:

If the heart is always searching,
Can you ever find a home?
I've been looking for that someone,
I can't make it on my own.
Dreams can't take the place of loving you,
There's gotta be a million reasons why it's true.

When you look me in the eyes,
And tell me that you love me.
Everything's alright,
When you're right here by my side.
When you look me in the eyes,
I catch a glimpse of heaven.
I find my paradise,
When you look me in the eyes.

How long will I be waiting,
To become a better man?
Gonna tell you that I love you,
In the best way that I can.
I can't take a day without you here,
You're the light that makes my darkness disappear.

When you look me in the eyes,
And tell me that you love me.
Everything's alright,
When you're right here by my side.
When you look me in the eyes,
I catch a glimpse of heaven.
I find my paradise,
When you look me in the eyes.

Every day, I start to realize,
I can reach my tomorrow,
I can hold my head high,
And it's all because you're by my side.

When you look me in the eyes.
And tell me that you love me.
Everything's alright,
When you're right here by my side.
When you look me in the eyes,
I catch a glimpse of heaven.
I find my paradise,
When you look me in the eyes.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Songs about me

As promised, a blog of songs I wish had been written about me.

**"Take Me There" by Rascal Flatts
As in Waitress, I think it is so easy to get addicted to saying things and having them matter to somebody. This song is about having someone who wants to know the deepest parts of you, your past, your family, everything that makes you 'you.' We all know how much I love to talk, especially about my family and fun memories and about myself. So of course, I would love to have someone whose desire is to "know everything about" me.

**"That's What I Love About Sundays" by Craig Morgan
Kind of an odd choice I guess, but every single time I hear the first verse of this song, I get this incredible longing to have a Sunday of Church, brunch, and a backyard football team. So I guess I wish the song had been written about my future life and future family and all our future Sundays together.

**"Out There" by Sister Hazel
A beautiful song about trying to find your better half. Lyrics like "Take me to sunrise from indigo." Enough said.

**"Ladies Love Country Boys" by Trace Adkins
It's no secret that I like cowboys. Maybe someday I'll come home with one. :) Also in this slot could go a song like "Good Directions" or "How 'Bout Them Cowgirls" etc.

**"What I Really Want to Say" by Steven Curtis Chapman
One of my favorite songs of all time, and definitely in the running for my wedding first dance. I want to find somebody who feels this way about me, but I think more than that I wish I had somebody that I could have written this about. Everyone wants somebody who can give them a place to come alive.

**"More Than You'll Ever Know" by Watermark
I would hope that despite my hang-ups on falling in love, that my life can speak to how I may have shown God to another. Or that the fruit of my prayers for others will bear fruit.

**"Comfortable" by John Mayer
I used to dislike this song because of the insinuation that somebody with a foul mouth was more desirable than someone with a clean one. But I realized it wasn't about the language; it was about having somebody that you were comfortable with and used to and that you could be yourself around. Plus, who doesn't want to have shopping cart races and crash into magazine racks?

**"Baby Girl" by Will Hoge
If my parents had any lyrical or musical inclinations, they may have written something like this. Of course, I have no doubt whatsoever of their love for me, and for all of their guidance and protection and prayers, this song could have been written about me. I'm still waiting for when I'm ready for "one never-ending kiss."

**"Come Away With Me" by Norah Jones
Except I would want to walk through the fields on a sunny day.

**"Almost Like Being in Love" by Frank Sinatra
The day where you're walking around and the sun is warmer and the flowers are brighter and your favorite song comes on the radio as soon as you get in the car, the days (per Susan) of wearing a skirt just because and seeing people that you know at every turn and having that glow about you that leads others to say, "Isn't it obvious. Michelle's in love." Only I'm not. Or I could be, but not in this song.

And of course, any classic love song like "At Last" or "To Make You Feel My Love". There are many others, but it's 9:00 and I have to study chemotherapy now. And do laundry. And call Student Health so I can get my TdaP. Woo hoo.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten...everything I'll never need to know, I learned this week.

I really do enjoy learning, and I realize that this is probably a good thing as I have chosen a profession that, perhaps more than any other, will require me to be a lifelong learner. However, I discovered this past week or so that some things I enjoy learning will offer me absolutely no benefit in my career or otherwise. For example, in micro rounds this week and last, I learned that pseudomonas aeruginosa smells like grapes or corn tortillas depending on the person who is smelling (I smelled grapes, and I always thought that was typical, but two people smelled corn tortillas). And eikenella smells like bleach, very strongly. When is that ever going to benefit me?

There are things I have learned this month that will help me: itraconazole needs an acidic environment to be absorbed orally and is thus recommended to be taken with a cola; CMV pneumonia is common in transplant patients while CMV retinitis is very common in AIDS patients; haemophilus species are the only gram positive coccobacilli; tigecycline covers pretty much everything except pseudomonas and, my life sounds incredibly dull when you put it on paper. Aren't all of you glad that you don't have my daily routine?

I also learned that I like Chuck, the TV show, not the name. I mean the name is okay too, I don't think I know anyone named Chuck. I learned that ham stays good for a really long time. I learned that you don't turn around when you are almost home. No matter what. And I learned that sometimes at the end of the day, if all you're able to be certain about is that being Catholic is exactly what God is calling you to, even if you have no idea what else your vocation entails, it's okay to have that be enough.

After reading Susan's amazing blog about the way life changes for you when you are in love (and sometimes changes even when you aren't), I was hoping to be able to write something truly inspired and witty. But when you spend your day talking about bacteria and yeasts and moulds (don't ask why they spell it like that), it's really hard to come up with something that would just knock your socks off. That's alright. That's why nobody is paying me to be a writer. Actually, nobody is paying me anything right now. Maybe one of these times I'll write a blog about all my potential future blog topics to give me ideas when the creative juice is all dried up. Stuff like my top ten favorite movie lines. Or which song I wish was written about me. Or why I think God uses my enjoyment of food to help me build relationships. You just wait. That life-changing blog is out there somewhere, just waiting to be written. Until then, I'll stick to writing about the telltale odors of microbiology.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Always look on the bright side of life (doo doo, doo doo doo doo doo doo)

Well friends, it's been a rough couple of weeks for me. I've struggled with physical ailments (temporary, then permanent, crowns on two teeth; another filling; the never-ending cold; extreme tooth pain; many sleepless nights), mental anguish (despairing over the thought of never finding a fulfilling career, having idiot moments in my first residency interview, having biggest idiot moment of life during the worst rush hour Denver has ever seen--don't want to talk about it at the risk of getting worked up again), spiritual ups and downs, having time slip by and realizing I only have a week left in Colorado, being a bad friend and not returning phone calls, etc. But, in order to not be in a bad mood when I go to sleep tonight, I wanted to take a look back over these two weeks and pick any shining moments of joy or peace or consolation.

Tonight tops the list (if I ignore my tooth pain), with a couple wonderful hours spent at STM for the clergy appreciation Mass and dinner. Of course I would have a good time because it's all my favorite people: Tschumpers, DeBarts, Weisigers, Contrerases, Stempers, Mama Sue, and so on. Food was good, Mass was pretty good (I mean, it's Mass, so come on...but I was a little distracted), company was great. And of course I'm ignoring the fact that I have to leave all this in a week.

My ice cream that I ate last night--extreme moose tracks--to console myself after the traffic fiasco was very consoling.

We had a potluck at work this week, and in typical me fashion, I didn't bring anything and ate plenty. But we had leftovers for the rest of the week, so I don't think anyone felt offended. Pretty good sandwichs and amazing cookies.

Last weekend, I got to relive the innocence and freedom of a high school freshman, or several, at the Machebeuf bball game. I think maybe I should be concerned that I fit in so easily with a bunch of 14 and 15-year-olds. But really, the whole night was about reminding me how much I love to laugh, and how easy it is to fit in with people or feel like you've known someone forever when you spend the whole night doubled over in hysterics. Plus, pie and icecream. Definition of cool.

My highlight of last week, during the week at least, was my Chuck sandwich that I got to share with Kelly. I had never seen Chuck before and we got to watch two episodes on Thursday. So high quality. Very innocent, fairly clean, cute and funny. I just wish there were more new episodes to look forward to.

We had a great conversation at Oasis this week when we were supposed to be discussing Screwtape Letters and actually ended up sharing how we deal with desolation and dry prayer spells and so on. It was great to have a real conversation, both serious and humorous at times, with people that I didn't know very well but still felt very comfortable with. And then we played Apples to Apples, which usually turns out to be a good time. Even when the card that won for "depressing" was "my love life."

I've had amazing breakfasts for the last week week with minimal effort on my part--tomato and red pepper quiche or leftover gravybread or peanut butter pancakes drenched in syrup. Yummm. In fact, many of my brighter moments over the past couple weeks have been food related. Oh well. Even Thomas Smith said God uses our love of food to bring us close to Him. Well, not in so many words.

Speaking of Thomas Smith, 10 points to STM for an awesome (pre)Lenten series. I love learning about our rich history and tradition through the eyes of someone who knows Hebrew and the Bible like the back of his hand.

Well, there you go. I had some pretty good things happen recently after all. And I think to celebrate that discovery, I'm gonna go have some more dessert (cake was at the dinner tonight) and watch some movie trailers online. And then I'm settling down for a good night's sleep (which, by the way was the top answer in a poll of 50,000 women who were asked what they wanted most. Romance was last. I'll take both if someone's offering.)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

holy random batman

random musings to help distract me from my headache and my growly tummy:

*we had a "code pink" yesterday. the bad news is "code pink" means somebody stole a baby and we had to stand lookout in the stairwell. the good news is i think the baby was taken to get a scan or test done or something and they forgot to tell somebody they were taking the baby. regardless, the baby was found and everything was hunky-dorey.

*note to self: if someone asks when you are available for an interview, be specific when you answer. otherwise you get a request for an interview the same day you are supposed to start what is supposed to be your favorite rotation.

*i'm not entirely sure that the role of clinical pharmacist is for me, which is scary. it's just a lot of walking around and making recommendations that don't get taken. although mostly today was bad because i was too much of a sissy to page the doctor by myself while my preceptor was in meetings. maybe when i'm a pharmacist, i will feel more confident about it. somewhere out there is a job i will love. i just haven't found it yet. like hilary says, i need to find my "dare to be great" job.

*hot water with honey and lemon soothes the throat better than hot tea. thanks to anastasia/anya for the idea. that one worked out a lot better than the whole oreos in apple juice fiasco courtesy of buffy.

*i wanted to do a whole blog on my favorite things about the catholic church. you see, when i think about what makes me unique, or what i have to offer, or the gifts i've been given, the best i can come up with is an unfailing and passionate love of the church (with a capital 'c' but i decided i'm not in a capital letter mood...we'll just pretend my shift key is broken, which it clearly isn't since i have used a colon). i thought maybe i should just pick my five most favorite things and blog on it. but i'm having trouble with the five. so i'll start with my number one and maybe one day down the road, i'll be able to think of the other four. i love, love, love the red candle. i love that i can walk into any catholic church, chapel, or otherwise designated room (including a peace hut), see the red candle burning, and know that jesus is there. it's something that no other church can claim. and it makes me feel like home.

*in typical father/daughter fashion, my dad and i have come up with yet another cheesy tv show to share. although i will admit that 'terminator: the sarah connor chronicles' is faring far better in terms of critical acclaim than i'm sure any other of our shows did. i mean, some have been decent, but i don't think that xena, the sentinel, 7 days, the profiler, or star trek voyager was on the top of any emmy lists. we'll see if terminator holds our interest. shouldn't take much considering that the writer's strike has destroyed television as we know it.

*i think when i'm pregnant, i'm going to have to have my doctor put a calorie limit on my diet. otherwise, i know that i will justify indulging every possible food craving (or boredom snack) by claiming i'm eating for two, even at 6 weeks. i'd become the goodyear blimp and i might stay that way after delivery. so, while i may give in to weird food-combo cravings, it better not result in constant consumption. of course, that's so far into the future that by then, they'll have some magic diet pill or machine that just wipes away the baby fat with no adverse side effects.

*i want a puppy. and a horse. and somebody to ride my horse with. first i better get a real job.

*sometimes i like to imagine how i would act and what i would say and how i would interact with fans if i were a famous sports player or musician. we've all seen my acting ability and know that there is no use fantasizing fame in that field. come to think of it, we could probably rule out the music industry too. it's kind of like when i pretend my life is a movie and i write scripts in my head. since i'm left-brained, i usually come up with about 15 seconds of dialogue before the creativity dies. that's okay, because that's about as long as my fame would last anyway.

*i'm very happy for kristine lilly and her husband dave and the baby on the way. but what is women's soccer gonna do without her? i mean, mia hamm and julie foudy were amazing, but lil has played in every world cup and olympics that the uswnt team has ever played in. what a legacy! these up-and-comers have some big shoes to fill.

Friday, January 4, 2008

...and a happy new year

My New Year's Resolutions (a couple days late)
-do atleast 50 situps a day (a very do-able physical resolution that I hope will motivate me to do more)
-say a decade of the rosary every day for my vocation (a very do-able spiritual resolution that I hope will motivate me to do more)
-read 6 nonfiction books about topics that will teach me or inspire me (last year's resolution worked so well, I thought I'd try again in a way that would broaden my knowledge; a very do-able mental/intellectual get the idea)

Your New Year's Resolutions (based on my successes and failures of 2007)
-see dolphins up close
-spend quality time with quality friends
-go ahead and eat the chocolate
-challenge yourself
-get a dog
-do something totally new at least once every couple months (duck racing, marching in a parade, going to an art auction, ice skating outside)
-try new foods, even if it doesn't sound good
-go to the rodeo
-get outside as much as possible
-don't be afraid to stay in your comfort zone as long as you aren't afraid to leave it either
-read a couple really good books
-watch your favorite movie again
-surround yourself with people who make you laugh
-go to a really awesome Sushi Bar
-sleep in
-buy fun socks
-go to a professional football game
-be really passionate about something (even if it causes you to get up at 4am and nearly have a heart attack)
-recognize how awesome your family is
-play Quelf
-meet new people

Happy 2008!
I reserve the right to make this blog as worthless to read as I feel like, and also to write as infrequently as I deem necessary. Just thought I'd let you know since I finally decided to share my blog.