Friday, January 28, 2011

Things of No Importance

I spent this afternoon at the Anchor Brewing Company, which means that now seems like a GREAT time to share some random thoughts:

1. Remember when I told you about the shows I like to watch because I don't care about the characters? Well I USED to like watching 16 & Pregnant/Teen Mom for that same reason. But now it has become apparent that I actually CARE about Teen Mom 2's Leah. Which means that watching the show makes me a little nervous because all I want to see is her happy with her babies and in love and everything's great la la la!

2. My new People magazine had a story about the chick from all the Spy Kids movies, Alexa Vega. I squinched up my eyebrows and muttered "Alexa Vega... Alexa Vega..." for a few seconds before it hit me. Alexa Vega! From one of my VERY favorite movies of all time: Repo! The Genetic Opera. It may surprise you to know that one of my favorite movies is one from the horror/rock-opera genre given the information in Item 1, but I luuurve it. There wasn't any real point in bringing up the People magazine story, just that Alexa Vega exists and she's in a movie I really like. Oh! And she can sing, in case you were wondering that.

3. My new People magazine also says that Jesse James proposed to Kat Von D. Somewhere, I hope Sandra Bullock is LAUGHING HYSTERICALLY.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Little Fish

My dad used to call me Little Fish when I was a baby, swimming around in my mom's tummy, and when I was a little girl, swimming around in the ocean or a lake or a pool or anywhere because I just loved to swim. He used to say "Little Fish, Little Fish, fly away home!" I didn't know until MUCH later that the actual nursery rhyme is about a ladybug and woah, is it creepy.

My dad. He has always worked long hours, weekends, and holidays. Sometimes that meant celebrating Thanksgiving early or Christmas late and it often meant waiting to eat dinner until around 9 or 9:30 so that he could be there. Even after working 12-hour days my dad was never too tired to spend time with me or play with me or help me with my homework. On the weekends he would take me swimming or on bike rides or we would work in the garden.
"Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow. Gonna plant these seeds, I know," he would sing.

My brother-in-law once told me that one of the reasons he first started liking my sister so much was because of how much she loved her dad. "Most people grow up and stop thinking of their dad as a hero," he said," but it seems like you guys still think your dad is the best guy in the world." He's right. We do. When I was just about thirteen years old my dad had a heart attack and was very sick, so we all know how lucky we are to have him around.

My dad. He writes poetry. He does magic for my nieces and nephews. He surfs every weekend and does triathlons with two of his friends (he's the swimmer). He plays the piano and the guitar and the banjo and the harmonica. He makes up words and often unconsciously makes sound effects for things he does (like if he's pouring something he'll say "glub glub glub"). He calls pancakes flapjacks and an umbrella a bumbershoot. Once, when I lived in LA and had to drive back down there after Christmas, my dad went with me at the last minute. He had to work the next day so I drove him straight to LAX where he caught a flight back home. He had wanted to go with me so I didn't have to drive by myself. When I was in high school he used to drive two hours to come watch my diving meets or my field hockey games (my school and his work were both an hour from our house, in the opposite direction of each other). He taught me to read when I was three by writing and illustrating a story about a dog. He taught me to make a long blade of grass into a lizard-catcher. He taught me to surf and to duck dive. He taught me to change a tire and to drive a stick shift car (although I'm still learning that one). Whenever he calls me on his cell phone he says "Hey Jules! I'm talkin' to ya cordless!"

I think my dad can be difficult to shop for. My mom is easy-- she likes flowers, knick knacks, aprons, scarves, bubble bath, etc. But my dad? He never wants anything. My sister usually buys him clothes, but I think clothes are hard to buy clothes for someone else. I could get him a tie since he wears one to work every day but he already has a lot of ties. Socks? Got him those for Christmas. A book? He has a million books.

So for my dad's birthday this year I decided to paint him a picture. I'm not much of an artist but I'm happy with how it came out. The canvas is small, only 5 x 7 inches.
I call it "Little Fish."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


For someone who doesn't have cable I've certainly been managing to watch a few too many episodes of both Gossip Girl and The Secret Life of the American Teenager (hereafter referred to as Secret Life as that title is far too long). Actually, I don't have the attention span to sit down and watch shows, but I do like to have some noise in the background whilst I'm puttering around the house and washing dishes and such.
I find it interesting that these two shows have captured my attention because Gossip Girl is full of characters I CAN'T STAND and don't sympathize with and don't like ONE BIT (Why did you become such a tool, Dan? Why?) and don't care if bad things happen to them. But then Secret Life is full of characters that are likable and who I can sympathize with despite their poor choices and ... Oh wait. I figured it out. It's because I don't actually care about any of those characters either. Neither show has me INVESTED enough to care if something bad happens to their characters. In other words, neither show can HURT ME. Yes, that's what I said. Because I didn't think reading the Hunger Games series could hurt me even though it was violent and mind-boggling but oh ho ho, the author managed to kill off the ONE character I LOVED and so I read the rest of the book(s? [no spoilers here]) feeling wounded and mad. And I don't like to feel wounded or mad when I'm listening to TV and folding my laundry so that means I can't get too invested and I guess that solves the mystery of why I like both Gossip Girl and Secret Life. Glad that's settled. As you were.


I was going through the photos on my phone yesterday and I found a couple that I thought I would share in sort of a randomly assorted kind of way.

I decided to take a shortcut through an alley a few months ago. I was just walking along, minding my own business. And then I came across THIS:
Of course. Why am I even surprised at the things I see on the streets of San Francisco, anymore? Coffin boxes. Rainbow-dyed dogs. A whole horde of people dressed as Santas. There are usually plenty of interestingly dressed people but my favorite by far was a man I saw just a couple weeks ago while walking down Polk Street. Amongst the flamboyantly dressed and leather clad citizens of the Tenderloin this man was delightfully understated, wearing jeans and a tee shirt with long hair and a handlebar mustache and just a hint of something extra-- a pair of long blue dangly earrings.


I went to Chinatown awhile back and stood in front of this display for a rather long time.
I must have some sort of sensory issue because all I wanted to do was stand there and fondle those small objects. I particularly enjoyed picking up one and squeezing it in my hand. It was HIGHLY satisfying.


Um. One of my chairs broke. Actually, only the seat split in half first. KC told me he could fix it. And then I tried to move it aside into the corner while I was doing something at the table and it ended up like THIS:
Apparently I do not know my own strength. Ha ha. Just kidding. The chair must have been held together with wishes and spit because anyone who has met me in real life knows my arm muscles are purely decorative.


The other day I wanted to make my bed. Bowie was on the bed and would not move. So I made the bed with him in it.


I have clinical tomorrow. My preceptor emailed me and said she'd prefer if I stayed the full 12 hours so we could debrief and plan out the rest of the quarter. Twelve hour shifts were the norm during my first year (the RN part of my program) but for the past year and a half we've switched to the kinder schedule of 6-8 hr days. And those days are intense enough, I'll tell ya what. I'm usually exhausted after them. Anyhow, most of my preceptors have not been on the 12 hr day schedules but this one is and she'd like me to stay that long. And so I will. But right now I'm sort of worrying about how on earth I'm going to cram enough snacks into my bag for tomorrow. For an 8 hour day's snacks and lunch I usually bring fruit strips, string cheese, a sandwich, an apple juice, crackers or pretzels, a granola bar, some berries, and a big bottle of water. So what am I supposed to add on there for a 12 hour day? Gah. Interesting how I really ought to be worrying about understanding EKGs and identifying heart sounds but no no here I am spending my time fretting about SNACKS.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Important Things Basket

This is one of those things that I'm going to have to file under the category of: Think of That Sooner, Why Didn't I?

Allow me to explain.

My mom asked me if I needed a basket and I told her I didn't think so. But then she showed me the basket and told me how useful baskets could be and offered to keep it for me just IN CASE I ever felt like I needed it. So then I put Bowie in the basket and carried him around for awhile and attempted to scare my parents' cat with the cat/basket combination. And I decided that maybe I did need the basket.

I put the basket in the front region of my car, between the two seats, wedged in so it wouldn't fall over.

And then I put my CD cases in the basket. And a box of tissues. And my emergency-boredom book. And my two audiobooks from the library. And my phone charger. And my sunscreen.
And then I wondered: HOW HAD I BEEN LIVING MY LIFE WITHOUT THIS BASKET? Actually, I'll tell you how. I was living my life without this basket by doing a lot of fumbling around and reaching under seats and into seat pockets and under floor mats. And it just hadn't occurred to me that there was some other way to live. I figured I was supposed to use my car's provided storage space the way it was intended and keep my CDs smushed betwixt the emergency brake and my seat and the phone charger under the mat on the passenger's side. How wrong I was, indeed. No more fumbling and feeling around under things. No sir. I need a new disc of my audiobook? Important Things Basket! I forgot to put on sunscreen before I left the house? Important Things Basket! I need to rap someone firmly on the hand for being ungentlemanly? Important Things Basket!

Important Things Basket! Win.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Apparently it is that time of year where bloggers ask their readers to delurk themselves, complete with a creepy graphic!
Yoo hoo! *Waves* Hi there! Can you see me? I can't see you. I don't have the sort of thingy that shows me how many hits my page gets or where they come from or how often they occur. Whatsit called again? A site meter? Anyhow, if you're out there I don't know it. Unless you comment.

Would you comment today? I don't like to be pushy for these sorts of things but I would like to get to know you.

So. Who are you? What's your favorite color/flower/sports team/food/mythical creature?

My answers: I am Superjules/Julia/the lady of the house/the person who writes this here blog. Purple. Poppy or plumeria. USC Trojans. Cheese. Unicorn.

See? Easy peasy mac-n-cheesy! (Mmmm, cheesy).

Anyhow, thanks for stopping by to visit my corner of teh Interwebz. Lovely to meet you.


I guess I needed a couple weeks to marinate on it but I have come up with some resolutions. I think I did a pretty good job of keeping last year's, so here we go again:

1. I will try to use my fluoride mouthwash every evening after brushing and flossing.
I forgot about/put off going to the dentist for about a year and I PAID dearly for it this summer and again just a few weeks ago. I'm tired of being drilled and filled and buffed and sanded. So I'm upping my already persnickety tooth care routine.

2. I will try to get the most out of my clinical experiences.
Yesterday I had my first day with a brand new preceptor in a brand new clinical site. My preceptor is a cardiology expert and I really want to improve my cardiac exams and assessments. She seems nice, so far, and she has already given me some tips and told me about a book that might help me. I ordered the book, I'm going to study it, and I'm going to go to clinical bright-eyed (even on the days it starts at 6:30 am) and ready to absorb all the information I can. I only have two (!!!) quarters left in school before I graduate and have to be a REAL Nurse Practitioner and know my shiznat so I'd better take advantage of all the learnin I can get.

3. I will give compliments to people I know AND people I don't know.
Everyone likes getting compliments. And I don't know about you but if I'm having a really crappy day and someone tells me they like my sweater or my earrings or my super awesome Timberland boots?
It helps. So that's what I'm trying to do-- brighten people's days on a small scale.

4. I will try to not be as snippy to store worker people when I can't get my way.
Oof. I had an appointment at the health center a few months ago. I got up, took the train over there, and arrived 15 minutes before my 8 am appointment. And then the front desk guy told me it had been canceled because the doctor I was supposed to see had called in sick. And I got frustrated and snappy at the guy because why didn't they CALL ME? Because didn't have my correct contact info after I changed my phone number. Oh. But then why didn't they EMAIL ME? Because that's not their policy.  Oh. And? The front desk guy was nothing but apologetic and polite to me even as I argued with him. So then I felt really bad. And I'm going to try harder. Because it wasn't HIS fault. Nor is it the tired, grumpy cashier's fault that the store doesn't do refunds, only exchanges. Nor is it the frustrated-with-her-boss receptionist's fault that my clinical paperwork didn't get approved. So even if the store workers aren't nice to me, I'm going to be more polite and less bitchy because, as my mom says, "you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar."

5. I will not drink soda every day.
I will not drink soda every day.
I WILL NOT drink soda every day.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Phone Anxiety: I haz it.

I don't like talking on the phone to people I don't know. When I was doing the online dating thang I liked the email, then text, then meet route. Because I can be awkward and squeaky when I talk on the phone to my FRIENDS so I can only imagine how I might sound to a stranger/potential suitor.
I have gotten better at calling the health center or the hair place to make appointments but I still hate calling to order from takeout places or calling businesses to ask questions. And if I have to call my new preceptor who I haven't even met in person yet? GAH.
Sometimes writing out a little script helps. Just so I hit all the important points and don't get trapped in the neverending circle of "Okay, just let me know what works best for you, thank you. I'm sorry again for calling so late, just let me know what works for you, okay, thanks again...."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Flea Market Finds

Approximately six months ago I ended up at a flea market by accident. We had meant to go to the farmer's market but went to the site on the wrong day. I've always liked thrift stores and consignment shops and yard sales and random little antiquey junk shops but I hadn't really ever been to a flea market (as my dad would say "who would want to buy fleas?"). So it was on this particular Sunday that I discovered THE THING THAT HAD BEEN MISSING FROM MY LIFE. Because! Flea markets! OMG.

You would THINK that flea markets embody many of the things I dislike-- being watched while I'm shopping, being spoken to by salespersons, and HAGGLING. This is true. But those factors are counteracted by the numerous things I DO like about it. Namely:
- shopping
- rifling through other people's stuff
- acquiring unique, often antique things
- buying items used and cheap
- TOUCHING THINGS, particularly smally trinkety objects

I bought a set of four of these trays on that first day.
The woman who sold them to me was something of a self-haggler. By that I mean that I asked her how much she wanted for the trays and she said "Hm... uh, eight dollars?" I think I must have looked surprised at the price (I was expecting it to be around $20) because then she said "Five dollars?" And I handed her five dollars. I kind of felt like I had to stop her before she went even lower. But I LOVE the trays and I use them all the time.

I bought this little ceramic watering can because I have plants and therefore I NEEDED a watering can. LOGIC.

This is kind of a sheisty picture of the little jar set and lazy susan I picked up at the Alameda Antique's Faire. Trust me when I say it is adorable. I think it is supposed to be used for condiments but I'm using it to store buttons and clothespins and other things of that nature.

Quilted dog (?) couch pillow thing! LOVE. I thought it was a steal at $2.

A touch of class for my apartment. Even though I've moved on to glass bottle Cokes, I'm still a Pepsi (or Pezbi as I tend to pronounce it) gal at heart.

Okay. This is my herd of Breyer horses. I started buying them a few months ago because they cost quite a pretty penny to buy new and I have several nieces who very much like them. So I would pick up a horse here or there when I saw it and I planned to give one to each of my nieces for Christmas. They ended up being a big hit!
Unfortunately this photo was taken yesterday and it represents my post-Christmas stock of Breyer horses. I'm not sure how long I can continue to use my nieces as an excuse for buying them.



I seem to have a thing for cups.
And do you spy the wee baby Breyer horse?

Something that happens as the flea market is coming to an end is that some of the booths drastically lower their prices. The owners will start yelling "ONE DOLLAR ITEMS HERE!" and people will flock over, frantically searching for something to buy. It's not unlike last call at a bar when everyone's got their beer goggles firmly in place, scouring the crowd in desperation for someone to take home.
Last Sunday I was looking at this little box just moments before they announced that items on the table were one dollar. Score.

But my FAVORITE thing I got last Sunday? OMG.
I had been keeping my eye out for a rotary dial phone ever since I decided that I WANTED one. I'm surprised I found one so clean and pretty and bright blue and cheap. Go ahead and dial that number-- it isn't mine.

One of the things that I learned from my MAGIC BOOK (One Year to an Organized Life, by Regina Leeds) is that it is okay to spend time and money on things for your home. Your home, she explains, is where you spend the majority of your time-- it should be a sanctuary, a place where you feel comfortable and happy. The objects you choose to have around you should reflect your personality and your taste. Looking back over these photos it appears that my taste is not unlike that of a 7 year old girl. The book has a lot of explanation about how not to have CLUTTER AND CHAOS in your home but on the other hand it is okay to have THINGS as long as they are serve a purpose. I'm interpreting that to mean that something doesn't have to serve a functioney purpose (like this is a plate and I'm eating off it) but it can be decorative or collecty and still increase my ZEN. Erm. I think.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I know it's a bit late to talk about them but it is easier for me to remember my holiday traditions once they've freshly occurred. So! As my sister says, you get what you get and you don't make a fuss.

  • Turkey with all the trimmings. Our stuffing always has pieces of sausage in it. I thought everybody's did but I guess that's not the case?
  • A pre-dinner walk on the beach.
  • This year was the first time I actually did any Black Friday shopping-- my sis and I hit up Target a 4am and then Toys R Us at 6am (I had my eye on a temporal thermometer because I am super awesome). It was actually really fun to do that once. Plus if you spent $100, which I OFTEN do at Target, they gave you a $10 gift card. You could theoretically buy something, get the gift card, and then return the stuff you bought. I didn't do that but I'm just saying-- you COULD.
  • I like to make Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches: sourdough toast with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and a smidge of cranberry on it.
  • KOIT starts playing Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving. So that's the day my radio station gets tuned to  96.5 until they stop.

  • My mom and I pick up crab for dinner and eat lunch at the Fish Market on Christmas Eve.
  • Christmas stockings always have an orange in the toe.
  • We have Christmas dinner and open presents on whatever day everybody can be together. This year was the 26th.
  • Champagne.
  • We open one present on Christmas Eve. Maybe two. Okay, maybe three but that's IT.
  • My mom's gingerbread cookies. She starts making them every year around October. They're heavenly. This year I helped frost and decorate (with M&Ms only) the last of them. These were the cookies that had been at the very bottom of the foot-tall cookie tin. My mom kept pulling out handfuls of broken gingerbread bits and saying "well we should just throw these away." But I talked her into frosting and decorating ALL of them since they're so delicious. So this year we had a lot of gingerbread amputees and miscellaneous gingerbread appendages.
  • Christmas Eve children's mass with the kids and Christmas Day mass with my parents.
  • Christmas Day breakfast of eggs, sausage, OJ, and homemade brioche. OMG so delicious.
  • Watching the Muppet Christmas Carol.
  • My newest tradition that I definitely plan to continue is buying lots of toys for the tots.
  • I give my parents and my sisters photo calendars that I make every year. I used to just give them to my parents but then everybody liked them so now everybody gets one.
  • My mom made a family cookbook that she adds to each year. It's actually just a binder and she gives us 3-hole-punched pages for it with favorite family recipes like fat-free scalloped potatoes (they're seriously num), stuffing, gravy, ratatouille, brioche, cinnamon buns in the shape of a lamb for Easter, butter in the shape of a lamb for Easter, and of course her gingerbread cookies.
  • I give gifties my parents, sisters, all my nieces and nephews, whichever friends I currently see the most, plus my two neighbors I see every year at Christmas. My family used to try and do some type of 'pull a name out of a hat' thing but it somehow ended up being more complicated and less fun so we just went back to getting everybody gifts. I don't get gifts for my bros in law-- I usually get my sisters the calendar plus some other thing and I figure the calendar is a 'family' present.
  • Martinelli's sparkling apple cider.
  • My parents always have a big, tall Christmas tree decorated with strings of beads, white lights, ornaments we made as kids, ornaments the current kids have made, store-bought ornaments, silver bells (one for each year our neighbors have lived nextdoor to us), and a ballerina on top. This was the first year I got a tree of my own and I LOVED having it. It certainly put me in the Christmas spirit all month long.
  • One of my family's favorite Christmas songs is Joy to the World. We sing it in church every Christmas but sometimes they don't have everybody sing all the verses. If that happens we tend to say "We didn't get to repeat the sounding joy," which is an expression that can also be applied to other instances. Like if I'm frosting the gingerbread cookies and someone trying to interrupt me I might say "just give me a minute, I'm repeating the sounding joy over here."

New Year's
  • Chinese food. I don't know why but that's what we always have.
  • A New Year's Dip. It counts if you either jump in the ocean or a pool and you can wear a wetsuit.