Monday, June 27, 2011

14. give someone something I love

This is Sunny.
I know I've mentioned this before but this girl is the human embodiment of a ray of sunshine. She's bubbly and happy and sweet and genuine. If you're feeling nervous about clinical or giving a presentation, Sunny's right there, ready with words of encouragement. "You're AWESOME," she'll say with bright, earnest eyes and a big smile, "You can do it!"
She'll tell you you're a rock star and she means it, and then you start to believe it a little bit too.
I met Sunny at in September of 2009, the very beginning of my Master's program. She was in my class, another ger1atr1cs specialty gal. I remember on our first day we were all sitting in a classroom listening to announcements and whatnot and sizing each other up. I remember seeing her then, wearing some brightly colored long-skirt-over-leggings outfit and I remember thinking maybe I'll be friends with that girl. That's pretty rare for me. I don't tend to like people I first meet, especially before I've even talked to them, and especially when I'm in a brand-new social-anxiety-inducing situation. But on the third day of school Sunny came up to me as I was just getting settled in the back row of the big, auditorium classroom for one of our 200-person classes. "Hey, Julia, do you wanna come sit down there," she said, pointing to a cluster of seats in the fifth row, "with some of the girls from our specialty?" I told her, no, I always sat in the back because I didn't like being up so close.
"Well," said Sunny, "If you want to have friends, you should come up and sit with us." She actually said THOSE words to me and THEY DID NOT COME OFF SNARKY. She was smiling and inviting and actually gave me the impression that she wanted to be my friend. Oy, I feel like I'm telling a story about preschool, not GRAD SCHOOL, but yes, this is how socially awkward I am.
So Sunny and I have been friends since that day. We were partners in our assessment class and I am CERTAIN that I wouldn't have gotten through that first quarter of the program without her. Sunny barely knew me but she pulled me aside and asked what was wrong the day I came to class crying. She came over to my house and taught me how to assess the lungs after I missed that day of class. For two years she's been there for me whenever I needed to vent or cry; for two years she's been telling me that I would get through this program, we both would.
Sunny says I'm the strongest woman she knows, I say I'm only as strong as my friends have made me. Because I couldn't have made it as far as I have or gotten up after falling spectacularly without people like her willing to catch me.

Today Sunny and her fiance packed up their last few things and headed off on their long drive across the country. They're moving out east and getting married in August. When you see the two of them together they just make sense.
Sunny brings out the best in everyone, but Nick brings out the best in her.

At their goodbye party on Friday Sunny mentioned that she had been meaning to buy some glitter eyeshadow like mine but had kept forgetting to ask what it was or where I'd gotten it. I had wanted to give her some kind of going away present but I hadn't been able to think of anything so I decided to give her my eyeshadow.
I would have actually bought her some but this weekend happened to also include a quick jaunt to Tahoe (if the definition of the phrase 'quick jaunt' can be stretched to include 'five hours of me driving while KC napped'). Anyhow, I didn't have time to run to the store to actually buy her the eyeshadow since KC and I barely made it back in time to catch Stealing West. Sunny's been singing backup for her bro-in-law's band for awhile now and they put on a spectacular performance at the festival last weekend and again last night, their farewell show.
Several members of the band are moving soon, so the house was packed with their friends, cheering, dancing, and getting teary-eyed. After the set KC and I said goodbye to our friends. We hugged Sunny and Nick and promised to visit someday, maybe next year or the year after that. Sunny told me I'm a rock star and I'm going to be a great NP and I gave her my eyeshadows. Now her eyes can sparkle almost as much as her personality.
I'll miss you, girl. Go light up the world.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Not that it matters. But STILL.

The other day I hung out with a friend of mine from college who I hadn't seen in awhile, let's call her Chloe. We talked about this and that-- what we had been up to since we had last seen each other, what our mutual friends had been up to, etc. Being girls and all (not to sound sexist but come on), we eventually landed on the topic of boys. Now, this friend had knew me in college so she obviously knew my college boyfriend, let's call him Jerky.

So we talked about Jerky for a little bit. I told Chloe that it was funny, I had sincerely thought I Fixed him when I broke up with him. He was so sad and heartbroken about me deciding to finally, FINALLY, end that train wreck of a relationship that I thought he was Fixed. Jerky had learned: he wouldn't treat anybody else the way he had treated me, he would stop being such a douchebag, he would be nice to his girlfriend and commit to her instead of sending mixed messages and stringing her along, hell I halfway figured Jerky would marry the first girl he dated after me. But, no, it turned out that I hadn't Fixed him-- threeish years after our breakup he was still exactly the same, still acting shady and not being honest with his girlfriend.

Chloe said she wasn't surprised that Jerky was still acting like that. Then she asked me if I had heard from our other friend, let's call her Amanda. No, I said, I hadn't talked to her in a couple years.
And then Chloe told me that while I was dating Jerky he had hooked up with Amanda.

Oh, awesome.

I knew that Jerky was a shady dude. I didn't fully trust him while I was dating him, but I did believe him when he told me things. If you don't know this about me already: I DO NOT LIE. No, really. I don't lie. It is hard for me to pick up on people who are liars or fakes because I AM PHYSICALLY INCAPABLE of doing this. So, while I knew that something was amiss with Jerky, I never actually thought that he cheated on or lied to me.
 After I had broken up with Jerky and I learned a little bit more about this great wide world, I started thinking that he might have cheated on me during our relationship. The clues were there, you know? Didn't want to say I was his girlfriend + didn't want me to hang out with him and his friends + secretive of his phone and emails + weirdly suspicious of me and angry about me talking to any other dudes + told me I wasn't as pretty as I used to be. Oh, what? You thought I made up this stuff?

Anyhow, I thought that he had possibly cheated on me, but suspecting that and knowing FOR SURE are two different things. Thinking that Jerky possibly cheated on me with some random girl is also very different than knowing FOR SURE that he cheated on me WITH ONE OF MY FRIENDS.

I've tried to write this post several times over the last couple of days but I have been holding back because I'm not sure I'm getting across exactly what I want to say and I keep falling into being yelly and capslocky. I'm not dating Jerky anymore. Our relationship was done years ago and I'm with somebody else now (somebody great-- love you honey, don't ever cheat on me). So on the one hand I feel kind of indignant and mad, but on the other it seems like it shouldn't matter since none of this has anything to do with the current cast of characters in my life.

But, I mean, STILL.

I just don't understand cheating. I don't get it. Why do people do it? WHY? More specifically, why do people cheat and they carry on with their lives, LYING to their significant other? HOW DO THEY SLEEP AT NIGHT? I mean, besides the fact that they're so exhausted from carrying around the charade of their double life and the great burden of their many sins.

ALSO. Why have I gotten screwed over SO MANY TIMES BY SO MANY PEOPLE? I had thought that The Crazy Ex (hereafter known simply as Crazy) was miles and miles ahead of anybody else, in terms of horribleness. He was SO horrible he kind of made Jerky seem Not So Bad. When Crazy stalked me and stole my social security number, all of a sudden Jerky started to seem like one of those okay guys with whom it just didn't work out for one reason or another. But HA HA joke's on me! Jerky cheated on me with one of my friends.

Not that any of this matters now. But STILL.

The lying, you guys. The LYING. Why are some people such LYING LIARS WHO SIT ON A THRONE OF LIES?

Being lied to in a relationship makes you feel crazy. You feel confused and suspicious but also that it might all just be in your head but why won't he just talk to you instead of yelling and making you feel stupid? If I had a nickel for every time I should have listened to my gut feeling I would probably have enough cash to invent a machine called The Gut Feeling that would analyze the situation figure out the truth for you in an objective, fair manner. If you ever wonder why I might have Trust Issues it's because I have been right far too many times.

I broke up with Jerky after several years of dating. I was exhausted and drained from the relationship and I just didn't want to try anymore, not even one more time. And I also had a crush on another guy and tried to see him a little after Jerky and I broke up. You see how I did that? I waited until AFTER I had ended my relationship to start anything with somebody new.  I was in a relationship and I didn't want to be in it anymore SO I ENDED IT. Ta freakin da.
There were a gabillion and one legit reasons to break up with Jerky, but one of the reasons I did it was because I wanted to date somebody else. I didn't pussyfoot around and cheat and lie and go behind his back. No, I womanned the hell up and told him I was done with our relationship. Not that it matters! But STILL!
I don't usually get up on my high horse about things because, pshh whatever, we all do stupid things and everybody's got their own opinions and blah blah blarg. But when it comes to cheating I am very far up on my high horse. In fact, my horse is so high I'm just a DOT to you people. MY HORSE IS VERY VERY HIGH AND LYING IS BAD.

So, okay. Deep breath. Apparently not being yelly and capslocky was not in the cards.
The most important thing that I have to remind myself here is that this is all from long ago and that none of it pertains to my current situation. My life is good, I'm happy in my relationship, I've done a lot of healing from past hurts, etc. So that stuff from the past doesn't matter.
(But still.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

It really is beautiful today. But I'm CRANKY.

Allow me to explain. What's that? You didn't ask? Well TOO BAD. This is ALL I HAVE FOR YOU TODAY.


My apartment building is situated very near... well, let's just say it's near a collection of very popular, trendy restaurants. These restaurants tend to be pretty happening sometimes and there can be large crowds of people around. It makes me very glad that I have a parking space in my building's garage because otherwise I would be spending a lot more time cursing and hollering than I already do. There are several parking garages near my street so the area around my building tends to get rather congested with both pedestrian and automobile traffic. And leaving or coming back to my neighborhood at certain times of the day or having people over can be a little tricky. Basically the situation is kind of annoying but, whatever, it's fine.

About a year ago the city repainted my street so that the two lanes became one lane plus a bike lane. That was kind of annoying but, whatever, it's fine.

About six months ago the building down the street started a large construction project. That was kind of annoying but, whatever, it's fine.

About a week ago I received a notice that a mobile food company has applied for a permit to park a food truck right outside my building. And that will be kind of ann OH HELL NO, MOTHASUCKAS.

When I look out my window I see traffic and confusion and pedestrians jaywalking across a busy street and bicycles zooming between cars and cones blocking off parts of the sidewalk and big construction vehicles taking up parking spaces and parts of the street. My garage entrance often gets partially or completely blocked and oh oh guess what? The food truck wants to park right next to my garage entrance! Because who cares about the people trying to see if cars or bicycles are whizzing by when they are turning onto the street? {Sarcastic Jazz Hands}

Apparently there is going to be a hearing at the courthouse about the food truck. I will probably go and I think it will be hard to voice my concerns as anything but "I'm sorry, but how could you even THINK about adding another element to this clusterfuck? COME ON."

Really, if all of those other variables weren't already in place I would probably welcome the food truck (or at least, not feel such firey rage against it). Obviously if I could have PICKED I would have chosen a food truck over months and months of dusty, loud construction. But I didn't get to pick and those other things already exist so, I'm sorry Mr. Food Truck but my displaced anger is getting saddled squarely onto your shoulders. I don't care if you are delicious, YOU HAVE BAD TIMING.*

*I think I may have just found my new catchphrase.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hamburger Ranch

On the way back from camping, we stopped at this barbecue place that somebody had recommended. We hadn't really planned to stop for a full on lunch since we took off pretty soon after breakfast, but the guy had REALLY talked this place up and it was right on the way back to SF.

"Hey," I said to KC as we pulled out of the parking lot, "Should we stop at that place the dude told us about? What's it called, The Human Barbecue?"
"What? That's not the name."
"Well I know that's not the NAME. But I feel like it's something kind of like that..."
"Hang on, lemme think. It's called, um... Hamburger Ranch! Yeah let's stop there."

(I do that sometimes-- If I can't remember the name of a restaurant or store I'll just substitute something I think might be similar. Like "What's that place in the East Bay called? Harold and Juffey's?" or "I went to this awesome vintage store called Moondoggie's or something." But, I mean, that still doesn't totally explain why I thought this place was called THE HUMAN BARBECUE which sounds like a horror movie or death trap of some kind, doesn't it?)

Anyhow! We ordered the combo plate with a full rack or ribs plus brisket, mac n cheese, and baked beans to share. And it was OMG delicious. I like ribs but often feel like they're difficult to eat because you have to wrench the meat off the bones and it all gets stuck in your teeth and the sauce gets all over your hands and face and why don't they ever bring me enough napkins? But THESE ribs were, according to the menu, slow cooked for a long time and the meat was so tender you could cut it with a fork. Not that I actually wasted my time cutting it and I didn't even care about the sauce getting all over me-- with KC around I have to be a bit grabby of the food I actually want to make it into my mouth. The rest of the meal was great, too, but the ribs were definitely the star. We also enjoyed sitting outside in the shady patio, listening to the live band, and sippin on soda pops. KC's one complaint was that the spicy barbecue sauce wasn't hot enough for him. Pshh, whiner. And the total cost for two people so full they could hardly stagger back to their car and bicker over who had to drive the rest of the way home? $31.
Hamburger Ranch: two very-sticky-with-barbecue-sauce thumbs up.

Monday, June 20, 2011

fun fun fun weekend

Oh man I'm tired. Not really 'tired tired' but more like 'looking around my apartment with eyes at half-mast wondering where all this crap came from and where to put it all and OMG the laundry is spilling out of the basket and blocking the entire kitchen/hallway and I've already washed three loads of it and I still have to unpack the cooler and take my camping things and costume bins down to the storage room and I have to finish critiquing an article today and do my clinical log at some point and gah Bowie threw up in my beach glass....'

Anyhow. This weekend was REALLY FUN. I was happy to be out of the city and in an area with open spaces/trees. And then I arrived at the campground and spent the weekend having picnics, swimming, lounging, listening to fantastic live music, and wearing costumes. Basically a bunch of my favorite things to do all in one weekend: FUN.

Here are the things I ended up packing. I'm posting this because I'd like to have it written down somewhere and also I've never been what might be considered a 'light' or 'efficient' packer-- I usually tend to bring OPTIONS of different outfits, even if I'm just going somewhere overnight-- but THIS time I actually did a pretty efficient job of packing. It was still a ridiculous amount of stuff, but there were only a very few things we didn't end up needing/wanting.

Camping things
- tent
- sleeping bags, blankies, pillows- last year I was FREEZING at night but this year I was actually okay, probably due to the combination of the different camp site, sleeping bags, and this blanket.
- air mattress- the one I ended up getting was kind of ridiculous because it was so high up it looked like a full sized bed. But it was the first air mattress I've slept on that was actually comfortable.
- bug repellent lotion
- sunscreen lotion- spray things tend to bother other people.
- flashlight

Clothes and such
- 1 skirt- I felt like maybe I should have brought more than one after I spilled coconut milk goo on it while I was helping out in the kitchen but, meh, camping.
- 4 pairs of pants (capri lounge pants, regular lounge pants, sweatpants, purple leggings). I should have skipped the sweatpants but, again, I was anticipating being COLD at night. Also, I generally don't like the idea of wearing regular clothes as jammies but I neglected to remember that when I'm camping I ALREADY feel/am grungy so wearing my clothes to bed probably isn't any more gross.
- 4 shirts
- 2 undertanks
- socks, underoos- I was particularly happy I brought THESE:
Toe socks! For wearing to bed and getting up in the middle of the night to pee and stepping out of the tent and into my flip flops with ease!
- swimsuit, towel
- hat- I just renewed my driver's license and now I must wear corrective lenses when I drive so I've been doing a lot of driving with my glasses plus a billed cap.
- sunglasses
- 1 pair boots, 1 pair sneakers, 1 pair flip flops- I'm sure this sounds like a ridiculous amount of shoes but for ME that is actually a pretty conservative number. I wanted to bring another pair of boots to go with my costumes, but I decided to just wear the boots that fit in my duffel bag since they would actually go with both costumes (western AND cosmic). I also thought about bringing a pair of slidey-on sneakers for getting up in the middle of the night to pee, and that's how I came up with the awesome toe sock ideer.
- clothes for swap- I actually brought more clothes to donate to the swap than I took home. Success!

- beef jerky, cheetos puffs, PB&J fixins, cookies- breakfast and dinner were provided but lunches were on our own.
- cooler with ice, beer, sodas, string cheese.

- lemons- one of the main kitchen people had sent out an email that they needed lemons and my parents have a lemon tree so I volunteered to bring some.
- potatoes- everyone is supposed to bring a vegetable so I brought potatoes.
- cups, plates, bowls, utensils
- water bottle- there was a filling station.

- toothbrushes, toothpaste
- baby wipes- very useful, particularly since I didn't shower....
- hairbands, hairbrush
- deodorant
- benadryl
- makeup & glitter

Costumes and Accessories
- western outfit- long skirt, western looking sweater
 The boys had pretty great interpretations of western wear.

- cowboy hat
- orange outfit- I needed an orange outfit for Saturday afternoon so I bought an orange skirt and some tall orange socks and a scarf at a thrift store.
- cosmic outfit- a zodiac print skirt, pink tube top, sparkly leg warmers, and colorful arm warmers.
- glowsticks- I brought six tubes of glowsticks. I didn't realize there were FIFTEEN glow bracelets in each tube so we had enough for both nights and plenty to share.
- magic wand
- earrings
One thing that I was really happy I did was figure out my exact costumes ahead of time and pack them in ziploc bags. Like I said, I usually like to have options, so this was a BIG DEAL.
I also brought a few things that were interchangeable. Like the purple leggings I took would work with the one regular skirt (for either driving or lounging around if it hadn't been super hot like it was) and they could go under my long western skirt or under my zodiac skirt to keep me warmer at night. I also wore my orange head scarf a lot. In fact, I'm wearing it right now.
Yes, I have showered since I've been back. I just haven't washed my hair yet....
I should have brought- a couple cloth napkins or an extra towel, hairspray or hair goo of some kind. I went for a swim on Saturday so my hair was pretty coarse from the chlorine and stuck together nicely when I put it up in my crazy cosmic hairdo.
I didn't need- so many dang jackets, book, earplugs, spray sunscreen.

Did I mention it was a lot of fun?
Sunny is moving across the country in about a week (WAAAAH) to get married and start her big grownup professional life but she said that she'll keep going to S0up, so I can look forward to seeing her again next year!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I'm going camping this weekend and packing for this trip is... difficult. Allow me to explain. You see I'm going to this annual Bay Area festival type thing called 'S0up' that's kind of hippyish and Burning Man-esque and they rent out a whole campground/compound area for 300ish people and you camp and there's music pretty much all day long and 'playshops' (like workshops, but for fun things) you can attend or not attend as you like and everybody hugs you.
I went last year with my friend who I'll call Sunny because she's basically the human embodiment of a ray of sunshine, but if you meet her I swear you'll like her. I know what you're thinking-- you're thinking "Pshhh, I won't like her. I bet she'll just annoy me." And I'm telling you SHE WON'T. I tend not to like most people I meet but I liked her instantly and she's happy and bubbly and sweet but not in an annoying way. And I wish I could tell you her real name but it's very unique and internet-searchable so for now she'll be Sunny.

ANYHOW. Sunny invited me and our other friend T last year and we had a blast. Evidence:
That's Sunny in the middle and T on the right.
She's also good at singing (and dancing and hula hooping). You'll like her, I swear.
The food was terrific.
I'm glad I took this pic last year-- there won't be a dragon at the new campsite.
Swimming in the pond!
So since I attended last year I'm invited back and I'm allowed to bring a guest. I talked KC into coming with me and after months and months of S0up being in the distant future it is suddenly THIS WEEKEND. And we have to pack. Last year the theme was Sea (can't you tell from our costumes?), this year the theme is Cosmic. I posted my packing list last year and it's even more extensive this year, partly because I know a little bit better what I'm getting myself into and partly because the theme is different.

sleeping bags, blankies, pillows
air mattress
bug spray
flip flops
Betsy (KC's guitar)
glow sticks
magic wand
baby wipes
sun hat
clothes for swap
lougey clothes
underoos, socks
cups, plates, bowls, utensils
water bottle
cowboy hat
orange outfit
space outfits
rubber bands
cooler with ice
folding table

Why do I feel like I'm forgetting something?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gradumication Day

So... this happened.
Check out the awesome Ger1atr1cs specialty pin and the fake diploma. Oh yeah.

We started our afternoon in probably the diveyest (diviest?) of dive bars, The Hot Spot. It was close to the graduation ceremony location and we figured it probably wouldn't be crowded.
The gorgeous lady in the adorbs pink hat is my friend D, of the m1dw1fery specialty. She and I have been friends since our first year (the RN part of the program... it's confusing) and I don't know how I would have made it this far without her. And her hat is amazing.
That glass of champagne was free, btw.
I happened to arrive at the bar about thirty minutes before any of my friends or our families showed up. So I sat at the bar and made friends with some of the, erm, characters of the Tenderloin. Eventually everybody got there, but you'll have to take my word for it that my family was there since they're internet-shy. They were there with bells on, and they made for quite a boisterous cheering section.
Some of my favorite peeps from the 1st year of the program, outside the symphony hall where we put on and tried to figure out how to make our hoods lay the way they were supposed to and also not choke us.
More kids from my specialty, hanging out backstage before our spectacular entrance. Ger1 Gals... Unite!
We did it!!!

After the ceremony there was lots of milling around, hugs and handshakes with my professors and friends, and photo opportunities. Then it was off to Sushi Toni for delicious food and drinkies with the fam (I swear they were there), not to mention PRESENTS! And party favors! KC redeemed himself and gave me a gorgeous purse and my parents gave me a string of pearls which I think is very proper and grownup and ladylike.
A good time was had by all. But mostly me.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Letterman Jackets

"That letterman jacket is pretty awesome."

"I know, right? I haven't gotten to wear it since high school! Check out all my letters!"

"What are they?"

"This one is academics. And three for track."

"Wait, I only see two for track!"

"The letter counts as one."


"So how many letters did you get?"

"More than you."

"No you didn't!"

"Let's see... two for field hockey, two for track, and four for diving. That's EIGHT. HA!"

"Yeah? Well where's your letterman jacket?"

"Girls didn't get letterman jackets at my school."

"Then what did they wear?"

"The guy they were going out with's letterman jacket."

"So basically you're telling me that you went to high school in the 1950s...?"

Monday, June 6, 2011

Geri Gals Shenanigans

My good friends from my specific specialty (Ger1atr1cs) and I went out on Friday night, to celebrate FINISHING OUR PROGRAM!!! We got dressed to the nines.

I can't believe we won't have lectures and seminars and lunches out on the lawn together anymore. I can't believe we won't study together and gossip while we are supposed to be working on a group project and text each other "save me a seat!" before class.
I can't believe we won't see each other every week, like we have for the past two years.
The past two years have crept by but at the same time they've gone by in naught but the blink of an eye. These ladies and I have seen each other through... a lot.

The past two years have included:
One horrible preceptor.
One horrible site visit.
Two sociopath ex boyfriends.
Several deaths in the family.
Two births in the family.
One torn ACL.
One broken hand.
One restraining order.
Countless douchebags.
One engagement.
Three car break-ins.
One allergic reaction to antibiotics.
Four surgeries.
Two spectacular falls with skinned knees while running for MUNI.
One misdiagnosis of IBS.
Three meltdowns in class.
Several breakups.
Several makeups.
Lots of papers and projects and clinical days.
Four certificates of completion.
And four new paths to take....

I'm gonna miss these gals something fierce.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Celebrating like I mean it.

I've decided that I am indeed going to participate in all of the graduation festivities because, you know what? I EARNED THIS. I worked my ass off for THREE YEARS and I'm going to celebrate, dammit. So, when I talk about graduation I'm not going to include any sort of asterisk that reminds us all that my degree will actually be conferred a couple months after I walk in the commencement ceremony. I'm choosing to live an asterisk-free lifestyle. Join me, won't you?