Friday, May 27, 2011


About a year ago I had a conversation with my sister in which she discovered I had never watched Glee. I don't have cable, you see, and I pretty much only use my TV for DVDs. And I have a reallllly hard time starting to watch a new show unless someone else makes me. Case in point: a few years ago my roommate had to sit me down and force me to watch The Office because I thought it sounded dumb. Yeah, I don't make the best snap judgments. Anyhow! My sis couldn't believe I hadn't seen a single episode of Glee... and three days later the first season DVDs appeared in my mailbox. And I LOVED it, of course. Because who doesn't wish their life was more like a musical?
A few months ago my sister sent me a text, "Do you want tickets to Glee Live for your graduation present?"
I thought you'd never ask.

And so on Tuesday night we went!
I wore leg warmers on my arms and KC wore his letterman jacket. Because we are extremely cool. Obviously.
(Please note KC's ENORMOUS HEAD).
I won't tell you my favorite part, but it rhymes with smingle smadies shmance.
Oooh. Or maybe Britney/Brittany was my favorite part.
(This was one of the few photos I took before KC took over as photographer. Mine are a lot blurrier and less zoomed because I was hopping up and down with excitement).
Oh hell. I can't choose.
I loved it ALL.

It was such a great show. I feel like they could have had half as many cast members and half as many songs and STILL packed the house. But they had everybody and did tons of songs and it was just fantastic, I don't know how else to describe it.
And it was, I dunno, three (ish?) hours in which I did not think about ANYTHING else, just enjoyed the music and the dancing and the show and the popcorn chicken and beer and the awesome.
 Happy Jules.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rain Rain That's Okay

When I first moved to San Francisco I was NOT PLEASED with the weather. I had just come from LA, where the rainy season is approximately two hours and it could be 75 degrees in the middle of January. I wore flip flops all year round!
No I didn't.
Why? Because I was USED TO IT. I got used to the hot LA weather and became a giant weenie. (One might argue that I was always a weenie but to them I point out that my sister and I used to regularly go surfing in the dead of winter. We would go several days in a row so we'd be pulling on wet, sandy wetsuits. Also, our system for deciding if it was time to stop and go home was whether or not we could still hold our hands together with straight fingers. Because if we couldn't control our fingers then we couldn't get the key out of whoever's wetsuit it was in and unlock the car. See? Not always a weenie).
So when I first moved to SF I would be standing there waiting for the bus, shivering even though I was wearing all of my jackets. Gradually I learned the art of layering so the cold, foggy weather didn't bother me quite so much. Basically, I submit this paragraph as evidence that I would never survive if I lived somewhere with SNOW.
Where was I? Right. The cold weather was okay but what I couldn't STAND was the rain. The raaaaaaaiiiinnn. I didn't own rain boots when I first moved here so I would wear sneakers which would (surprise) get soaking wet. For two years I had wet shoesies and pant cuffs and socks. I didn't buy rain boots because I was too indecisive. I thought maybe I would like to get some of those rubber galoshes with some cute pattern like they sell. But I could never make up my mind of which ones to get and I thought about buying neutral colored boots but, ugh, that's just boring isn't it?

Until this year. I bought THESE:
They're from Timberland and oh oh oh I love them. I don't know if the photos do them justice and maybe I'm just overly excited because of my two-year wet feet interval but oh man do I love them. If you ever hang out with me when I wear them you'll notice that I tend to announce at random intervals "BY THE WAY HAVE I MENTIONED HOW MUCH I LOVE THESE BOOTS?" Yes, in all caps.

Seriously, they make me so happy. I wear them every time it rains or looks like it might rain or I want to wear stretch pants.
Now I just need a new raincoat. Because I, erm, prematurely sold mine to a used clothing store before I  bought a new one.... Apparently I'm not meant to own an entire set of rainy day attire at the same time.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I can't believe I used to...

... hate drinking water.

... wear sparkly eyeliner and bright purple mascara. To class. In high school.

... only own sports bras.

... use ICQ.

... eat a Lean Cuisine for lunch every day at work.

... share an apartment with two girls who hated me and not confront them.

... be in a sorority (I joined my sophomore year and quit within a few months).

... only buy brand name over-the-counter meds.

... hate hiking.

... not like guacamole or beans... but somehow love Mexican food.

... think Hummers were cool.

... get up at 5:45 every morning to shower and wash my hair, and then let it air dry all day.

... not want to live by myself.

... not know how to dress in layers.

... think online dating was weird and definitely not for me.

... shop at Urban Outfitters.

... cook and eat jalapeƱo poppers and pizza rolls for dinner.

... not want a digital camera.

... get As in math.

... feel certain that I did not want to work in healthcare.

... pay $650 per month for a shared bedroom with no lock on the door.

... love getting tan.

... want to live in LA for the rest of my life.

Original post here. I thought it was a good time for an update!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Warm Fuzzies

In case you were wondering, I'm feeling much better about the school situation. I was totaaaaalllllyyyyyy dreading going to class this week and seeing the gals in my program as well as my advisor who, BONUS, is also my professor. I guess in my head I was imagining that all my classmates were going to think I didn't pass the Giant Paper Thing because I'm stupid. But! Surprise! Nobody thought that. Or at least nobody gave me any indication that they thought that. Everyone was just really nice and supportive and sympathetic. Like one girl said to me "It really could have been any one of us." I dunno. It just made me realize Ohhhhhh. I'm not an idiot. THIS PROGRAM IS JUST HARD.
I've also heard a lot of stories from friends, family, members, acquaintances, etc about how they tried to do something and it didn't work out. "I graduated late from dental school." "I failed the Network Administrator exam the first time I took it." "My advisor failed me for some research units in grad school." "I walked in my college graduation ceremony in June but took classes over the summer to finish my degree." And on and on and on and on.... Every single one of these stories makes me feel better, so if you have shared one with me then I thank you.

Also, a friend of mine told me today that IN OUR PROGRAM she knows several other people who have to turn in their Giant Paper Things this summer. Maybe we'll start a club.

Something else that made me feel better?
Receiving this in the mail!
BROWNIES from Rachel, AKA Doing My Best. What a sweetheart, she saw me whimpering on Twitter and offered to send me a little pick-me-up. She sent TWO flavors-- chocolate and chocolate with butterscotch chips. They were nummy, in case you wondered.
She also included these:
A bag of mini Snickerses "for extra padding to protect the brownies." Oh, Rachel, I like the way you think.
And a Crappy Day Present! I opened it pretty much right away (which is why there is no photo of it still wrapped) and it was a little bookmark with a happy quote. I also like the fact that the bookmark is (perhaps unintentionally) shaped like a wee snowboard.

Other good things, now that I'm on a roll:

I've treated myself to lots of comfort food and a new pair of jeans (partly because of all the comfort food).

My parents said they would like to give me an early graduation present-- a new stethoscope! Well. I'm excited about that.

KC told me he ordered me a graduation present.

And then today at Costco, after many many months of not having them in stock.... BEHOLD.
BOOYAH. That's a rap word.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Swimming Parallel

This past week I've been trying to put a little extra good karma out to the universe.

I participated in a food drive.
It was probably the easiest food drive to ever exist. All I had to do was fill a (provided) bag with nonperishables and leave it by my mailbox. Easy peasy.

I made an extra effort to be polite and a good tipper.

I sent encouraging text messages to people who I know are going through a rough time.

I donated $50 to Greenpeace.

Annnnnnd then today I got a parking ticket for $50.


Ahh that explains it.
Must remember to swim parallel to the suck.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Disjointed, Disheartened

Before today, if someone had asked me whether or not my moods control the weather, I would have denied it. I went to the school bookstore this afternoon, killing time before an appointment. I was looking at the sweatshirts when I happened upon the graduation regalia display. The empty cap and gown, standing there on its flattened wire replica of the human form. I stood for a moment in front of it, sighing, reaching out to touch the blue velvet sleeve with my fingertip. "Motherfuckers" I muttered to myself. Or, more accurately, to the gentleman I hadn't noticed was standing directly beside me. As I walked out of the bookstore, feeling generally droopy and sorry for myself, it began to rain. Not that I think myself so high and mighty that the very clouds change course in accordance with my sorrows, but these past few days have had coincidentally good weather for moping and brooding and imagining setting fire to various items in the office of my Giant Paper Thing's reader. Not that I would do either of those things for realsies-- neither inflict gloomy weather upon my fellow San Franciscans nor practice arson. Nope, not me.


Several people have told me about times when they failed something. Like the text message I received from a friend in a PhD program, "Did I ever tell you that my advisor failed me for some research units? I was sad/angry etc. But now everything is okay." Stories like that have unexpectedly helped me feel better because I don't feel so completely ALONE IN MY MISERY.
I THINK I am ready now to hear things like "It will be okay! You can do it!" but even when I wasn't, when all I wanted to do was whimper and feel sad, it did help to hear other people's stories of crappy experiences like this and their positive outcomes. Even though I couldn't yet imagine that MY situation would turn out okay, it was nice to hear that other peoples' did. It helped me imagine that there might be a time wherein I could imagine that everything might turn out okay.
This is how I cope with bad things-- I catastrophize. I wallow in pain and make lists in my head of all the terrible things that are happening and dwell on them and cry and feel generally woe-is-me about them. And then after a little while I start to feel better and am able to move forward.


Today I realized that one of the reasons that I've been SO devastated about this whole situation is because graduation meant more to me than just finishing school in general or this program specifically. It meant closing a chapter of my life and starting fresh, something I hadn't realized that I was looking forward to so much. Because these past three years have been... DIFFICULT.
The first year I was in an emotionally abusive relationship.
The second year I got out of that relationship and had to get a restraining order.
The third year I had to deal with emotional aftermath and PTSD related to the first two.

A lot of wonderful stuff happened in those years, too, of course. I don't want to make it seem like these years are framed in my mind ONLY by those events. But, I mean, they were tremendously difficult things to go through and they did coincide with school. I remember last year (the second year) when I was in the midst of being harassed and threatened and felt like I was teetering on the edge of sanity. I felt like I was very close to having some sort of breakdown. I remember I kept thinking "I can't do this. I CAN'T DO THIS." I had trouble paying attention, I cried in the bathroom and on the train, and I had to turn in some assignments late and leave a class early because I had a panic attack. But I did it. One friend helped me with my research and another helped me with my assessments and my professors gave me extensions and I DID IT. I made it through that year. And this year I felt like I just had to keep plugging along and I would graduate, nothing could stop me!

And now it feels like I was so close. I was SO CLOSE. But I just couldn't do it.

I have been trying to reframe this in my mind-- because this is a thing, right? A lot of people graduate from a program and then have one stupid thing left to finish over the summer or the next semester, right? People do that.
I can do it.
I guess.


I honestly don't even know where I am supposed to begin in terms of revising this paper to turn it in again. I haven't gotten all the comments back yet and I just recently took a look at the ones I have received. Some of them don't seem to make sense and some are so JERKY that I can't read anymore because either my eyes are either filled with tears or clouded over with PURE RAGE. I find myself yelling at the computer.

Plus! I had two readers who left comments. They both had very strong opinions.
For example:
Reader 1: "Great discussion of a cutting-edge theory."
Reader 2: "There was no theoretical framework presented."
Reader 1: "Significance poorly defined."
Reader 2: "Significance of the topic was presented well."


Friday, May 13, 2011


That? That's a picture of my old planbook and my new one. Also, me, peeping out to make sure the photo booth thingy was working.
My old planbook, the larger one, has all of my assignments and clinical dates and whatnot and also a very excited all-caps "GRADUATION!!!" on June 9 (both in the week and month views). As I've mentioned before, since I've been a student for so long I tend to buy a new one every new school year so I'm on a July-July planbook rotation system. I had recently purchased the new, littler planbook basically to keep track of my summer plans-- vacations, visitors, friends' weddings, etc.

Today I wrote "New Paper Due!" on July 19 in the new planbook. It almost looks cheerful! HA HA HA. No it doesn't.

When I learned that I can 'walk' in the graduation ceremony on June 9 but my degree won't actually be conferred until September, I turned into some kind of howling banshee.
Anyone else: Well, that's good news! You get to walk!
Anyone else: Sure it does! It is a big accomplishment!

Today is the first day yet that I haven't spent most of the day either feeling waves of ferocious rage or sobbing inconsolably. I've spent the past few days going back and forth between beating myself up over this and feeling SOOOOO VERY WROOONNNGED, but right now I feel more 'meh' about this whole situation. It still sucks. It's still a tremendous disappointment. It still makes me angry and sad, but I think I'm past the Howling Stage of my grief.

I will get through this. I will. I'll rewrite the stupid fucking paper for the stupid fucking readers and I'll stupid fucking resubmit it this summer. And they WILL STUUUUUPID FUCKING LET ME GRADUUUUUUAAAAAAAAATE.

Hm. Well. Perhaps I'm not quite out of the Howling Stage.

Mother's Day

I wrote this mostly yesterday and then Blogger crapped out, ate my most recent post, and wouldn't save this one. So here it is, only slightly delayed.

OHMYGOD let's focus on something else for a moment, shall we?

Would you like to see what I gave my mama for Mother's Day?

I painted her a picture.
My mom loves gardening and flowers and trees and flowering trees so I thought she would like it. (She did.) I'm not any real sort of artist but I enjoyed painting this. It was a nice evening of listening to music, doing something creative, and thinking about my mom.
The canvas is small. I meant to include some 'for-scale' item in the pic but I forgot, so I'll just tell you that it is approximately 5x7 inches. I've found that the littler canvases are a good size for me. I think bigger canvases can be overwhelming for painting (aack I have to fill ALL THAT SPACE) and also for displaying (aack this is going to take up SO MUCH SPACE) and also if I make some big mistake it doesn't take long for me to paint the small one all over in white and start again.

I wrapped it up in one of the scarves I bought at the white elephant sale. I thought my mom would like the scarf and also appreciate that its purchase benefited the Oakland Museum. (She did.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I just found out that I get to 'walk' in the graduation ceremony in June but I have to resubmit my paper this summer and the earliest I'll get to graduate is September. Which, I mean, come on that just sucks. Because two days ago I believed that I was within one month of graduation. After how hard I've worked and all the shit I've been through these past three years, it was amazing to know that I was almost finished. And now I'm, well, not.

When I'm ready to joke about this maybe I'll say something like "I guess this means everybody has to get me TWO ROUNDS of graduation presents, right?"
But right now all I can do is cry.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Yesterday I found out that I did not, in fact, pass my Giant Paper Thing. What does this mean? Basically that now I have to work closely with my advisor to rework the paper, turn it in again, and hope it passes this time.
I might also have to work closely with the readers, AKA THE PEOPLE WHO FAILED ME. Oh, hello humiliation, so nice to see you again!
I may or may not get to graduate in June. Basically, my advisor said that I would redo the paper and they would get people to read it this summer. I was shocked-- THIS SUMMER? I stammered something about graduation and she said "Hmm. Well, I don't think it will affect graduation much but I'm really not sure. Let me look into it." Yes, DO LOOK INTO IT.

Things that make me feel better:
- receiving texts, emails, tweets of the "I'm sorry, that SUCKS" variety.
- hugs and snugs
- thinking about how my sister didn't pass the bar exam the first time she took it but she passed it the second time and now she's a kick ass, sought-after lawyer.
- junk food
- soda
- listening to music
- maybe showering? I haven't done that yet but I suspect it will help.
- Bowie cuddling with me
- KC bringing me dinner and taking me to a movie last night.
- thinking about how, even though this paper did not pass, it isn't a reflection of my skills as a clinician.
- being excused from class today

Things that don't make me feel better:
- talking on the phone about it (leads to crying)
- talking about it in person (leads to crying)
- sleeping (leads to crying)
- being asked questions like "why didn't it pass?" Well, gee, if I knew that then IT WOULD HAVE PASSED. If I knew what was wrong or missing or WHATEVER I would have FIXED IT.
- being told to look on the bright side "I'm sure it'll be okay!" "I bet they'll let you walk in June!" "Don't let 'em get you down!" Look. I appreciate what you're trying to do, really I do. But I need to be allowed to be sad for a few days. I was living my life under the assumption that things were going to turn out a certain way and now they are not. I already put my heart and soul into writing that paper. I spent hours and hours at coffee shops, in the library, and at my desk cranking out 30+ pages. I sent it out to be inspected by an APA expert, a content editor, and a neurobiologist. I WORKED MY ASS OFF AND IT WAS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. And now I have to do it again and I just don't know if I have it in me. So if I need to feel crappy about this for a couple of days then BY GOD I'M GOING TO.
- thinking about spending another howevermany hours working on the paper all over again.
- thinking about how hard these past three years have been and and how MUCH crap I've been through and how hard I have worked.
- thinking about the graduation festivities I was starting to plan.
- thinking about how I never, ever, fail ANYTHING. I am good at school. I don't know how to strive for anything but As so the only papers on which I've ever gotten lower than A grades have been papers that have been half-assed. But I did not half-ass this paper. This paper was FULLY ASSED. Which makes me think there was some problem with the assignment or the readers or SOMETHING. This does not make me feel better, you see, because it doesn't change anything. I still have to redo the damn thing, so feeling like I was cheated somehow does not improve my life.
- thinking about how I have clinical tomorrow and I hope I don't cry.

Friday, May 6, 2011


I think enough time has elapsed that I can talk about this.

When Valentine's Day rolled around last year I was dating KC but we had only been seeing each other for a couple months. I spent some time fretting about what level of present to get him. Something nice? Romantic? Nothing at all? A card? Something I make? Just dinner? The best situation would be that we both got each other something nice/romanticish or that his gift to me would be slightly MORE romantical than my gift to him. Which is basically what happened. And there was peace and prosperity in the kingdom.

This year was a little different.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are dating me, here is a handy tip: I will always expect the highest level of affection/attention that you have given me.

The HIGHEST level. Of affection/attention. THAT YOU HAVE GIVEN ME.

What does that mean? It means that if you take me out for a lovely, romantic birthday dinner one year then the next year I will be somewhat crestfallen when you say "Uh. I dunno let's just get pizza" without looking away from the TV. It isn't that I don't LIKE pizza or that I wouldn't ENJOY spending the evening snuggled on the couch or WHATEVER. That's not the point. The point is that you set the bar HERE once ----- but now you're only reaching for HERE ____ (not to scale).

You'll notice that I emphasize that my expectation of an attention/affection level is what YOU have ever given me. So it's not like I'm comparing you, potential boyfriend, to EVERYONE I'VE EVER DATED. Just your own actions. (Although truth be told if I WERE to compare you to everyone I've ever dated then you probably wouldn't have to worry at all because most of them set the bar NICE AND LOW. Birthday text message breakup, anyone?)

Anyhow. Are you following this highly logical logic? If you act a certain way in the beginning of the relationship, I will go ahead and assume that you will continue to act that way, unless something largely changes. Obviously if we are in the middle of a big argument or breaking up or you're stressed about work or your grandmother dies then, yeah, you're off the hook.

Extenuating circumstances aside, if you do something nice for Christmas or my birthday or fillintheblankholiday one time then my expectations for the next time will be in that RANGE. It doesn't mean that ANYTHING ELSE IS UNACCEPTABLE. Showing me that you care doesn't always LOOK the same. I'm a reasonable person. I understand that taking me out to a fancy restaurant is awesome but that taking me out to my favorite cheapie place is ALSO awesome. Buying me a fancy cocktail is EQUALLY nice as buying me a Pepsi in a glass bottle becuase you know how I love Pepsis in glass bottles. Basically I want to make it clear that if you show me you care about me once I'm not expecting you to fall all over yourself trying to show me in bigger, grander ways for the rest of my life. I'll settle for a somewhat consistent level of showing that you care.

But, say for instance that on Valentine's day last year you got dressed up and took me out to dinner and gave me a lovey, nice present and generally made me feel all fluttery and sappy.


Yes. This year for Valentine's day I got KC something that I thought he would like and use and would tie in nicely with his birthday present and he got me THIS.

I was. Um.
I was um, surprised.
I went home and did an internet search. I found that he bought them off of a web site. A web site that sold OTHER TYPES OF MICROBES.


I don't know about you, but, to me? STD Microbes just don't say "I love you."

If anything at all STD Microbes say "I'm giving you STDs for Valentine's day."
Even the BOX! Tell me the flaming V part of the heart shaped box doesn't scream FIRECROTCH to you.

I went around in circles trying to figure out WHAT he meant by this gift. It must be a joke, I thought. But HE KNOWS I don't LIKE joke gifts. So then maybe it is because I am a nurse? But I'm not, like, an infectious disease specialist or anything. Is it because he knows I like cute, little things? But they are STDs. The fact that they are STDs OVERRIDES their cute littleness. I DON'T UNDERSTAND.

"I don't understand," I told Jenny. "What do I do?"
"Well," she said "You could let it go."

Ohhhhhhhh. I could let it GO. I could do what my sister has taught her daughter to do-- say "Thank you! It's just what I wanted!" I could accept this gift because KC spent money on me and spent time looking for a present for me and gave me something that I guess he thought I would like (?) for some unknown reason. I could let it go.
Or I could stew about it for a couple hours and then give KC tearful speech about gift giving and how I didn't understand what this meant and how I felt like maybe he doesn't 'get' me and how he was supposed to show me he loves me and STD MICROBES DON'T SAY I LOVE YOU.

I'll leave it up to you to guess which one I did.

Just the other night, KC and I were watching TV and there was a girl on the show who was trying to hint around for her dude to talk about their relationship since he was about to be moving far away.

"She's being so obvious," I said.

KC snorted "Not as obvious as you would be!"


"I just mean that, you know, when you have something on your mind you have to SAY it."

"But I-," I stammered, indignantly. "Is that bad?"

"No it isn't bad. It's just you."


But maybe putting up with a gal who always always ALWAYS says what's on her mind and really listening to her when she feels like she has something important to say and validating her feelings and telling her you love her and apologizing when you hurt her feelers, maybe that does.

And bringing her this?
Well, it sure doesn't hurt.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Sometimes it gets cold here in San Francisco.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Graduation Gifties

Now that I've finished with my Giant Paper Thing people tend to assume that I'm done with everything. "So you're done!" they say. "What have you been doing with yourself?" And I have to explain that, no no, the Giant Paper Thing was due in the middle-beginningish of the quarter and actually I still have a full month left of classes and clinicals. Plus, I've been doing all that stuff I put off while I was frantically working. I'm really still just as busy as I was before, but now I shower.

My sister has been bugging me to come up with a graduation gifty list (assuming that the next month or so goes according to plan and I do indeed graduate). TWIST MY ARM, I said to that.

Here are some things I like, just in case you had a hankering to buy me things or if you were looking for inspiration for your own wish list. Or whatever. This was basically just an excuse to troll through Etsy and find things I like.

All photos are from their respective Etsy sellers.

I decided I would buy it for myself as a Happy Graduation to Me present. But then I tried to contact the seller twice about special ordering one and she never responded. SADFACE.

Moving on.

I also like this rainy day pillow.

Or this rainbow tree pillow.

Non-white handkerchiefs like this one would be useful.

How sweet is this little poppy blossom clutch?

I'm not sure what I would keep in it but I'm sure I could find a use for this bunny pouch.

This owl purse is too cute. Or do the eyes make it creepy?

At $400 this tree shelfy thing is obviously not something I would ever expect to receive as a gift. But I'm including it because I find it adorable. Actually, the $800 one is even cuter. WHY IS ARE THESE EXTRAVAGANCES SO DAMN EXPENSIVE? Oh, right.

This sweatshirt is cute.

Oh, wait, so is this pillow from the same shop! But why is it $82?

Actually I think I like this one better. And I like that it is $28.

Speaking of pillows (again), I like this seat cushion. It would have been nice to have it for my tush while I was stuck for hours and hours writing my Giant Paper Thing.

Oh GOODNESS. A fox on my shoulders? Don't mind if I do.

Also in the category of 'I wouldn't want someone to actually spend this much money on me'-- this wall decal.

Okay I must stop now. It is bedtime. Perhaps I got a little carried away!