Thursday, October 27, 2011

This week sucks. Tell me a story?

Oh man. What an awful day. But I guess that's about on par with my week.
After another moderately sleepless night I arrived at 7:30 at an office building downtown to spend the day performing health screenings. (A lot of companies will book screenings or flu clinics or health fairs for their employees through healthcare agencies-- the company tells the agency what sort of even they want and the agency will send the equipment and personnel. I've worked for two years doing this sort of thing. It's convenient because you can be on the schedule as much or as little as you'd like. The pay is kind of crappy, though, and there's no guarantee you'll get as many hours as you'd like.)
Anyhow, my assignment today was terrible. The agency sent the wrong kind of lancets for pricking fingers so it was really difficult to get the right amount of blood so that the screening test would, you know, WORK. And all of the components of the machine I was using were tiny and delicate and hard to see and easy to drop.
Plus, the woman who was supervising me was condescending and awful and acted like everything I did I was a huge inconvenience to her. When I asked her for hand sanitizer she tried to tell me I didn't need it, and then huffed and sighed at me when I pointed out I would be working with blood so, yeah, I think I actually do need it. She brought me some, along with an eyeroll.
And I felt like bursting into tears. Or going home. Or both.

This sucks. Everything sucks. I hate everything. BAH HUMBUG.

Have you ever had your heart broken? Tell me about it?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I feel okay sometimes, like I am sort of floating on top of the grief.
And then sometimes I'll have a flash of a memory or find something in the house that reminds me of him and my breath is knocked out of me and I'm just drowning in sadness. Heart-wrenching, aching sadness.

Sadness, because why whyyyyyyyyy? And because oh how it hurrrrrrts. And because he was JUST here. Sunday he was here, and we were together. And now he's not, and we aren't.

And sadness because he doesn't want me. I talked to him on Monday night, foolishly thinking he might give me some impression that he was still reeling, too, or that he still loved me but he just needs a little time. But he was checked out. Distant. Like he had become a different person overnight. He told me to hang in there and that we should work on being friends. And that's when I started to realize that  'I just need to be on my own for awhile' actually means 'I just don't want to be with you.'
He had been thinking about this for awhile before it happened. Weeks? Months? He had been figuring out his feelings and deciding what he needed to do. And so he's had time to process this.

I'm still reeling. Still hurting. Floating sometimes, but still drowning.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I'm gonna find a way to make it, without you

The song is beautiful. The music video is kind of... nuts. But it does help to envision myself a superhero in that badass purple catsuit.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Today. Well. Today sucked.
It started out regular, usual, normal. KC and I went to the flea market and then lunch and then to the cactus store because he loves succulents. And then we came home, took a nap, and hung out for a little bit.
And then we broke up.
I still don't even know how we got from there to here, but basically he says he needs to be on his own for awhile.
Well okay then.
I just don't even know how to handle this.
He's the best guy I've known.
BY FAR the best guy I've dated.
Sure, we've had our issues, but I never really thought that they would result in us not being together.
My apartment is still full of him. His clothes, his hats, his photos. He is right across town but he's a million miles away.
It would almost be easier if he were a jerk. Every other breakup I have had has at least had the silver lining of relief. A feeling of WHEW. GLAD THAT'S OVER. Not this time. I don't want it to be over.
I want to hop in my time machine and wake up and start this day over again and have this not happen. A week ago we had dinner at my parents' house. He gave my nephew a guitar lesson and helped my mom water her garden. Yesterday we drank beer and watched football. Today he told me he can't do this anymore; his heart isn't in it.

I was so broken, so hurt, and so afraid when I met him. I didn't think I could trust again. He  helped me heal and showed me what real trust could be. He brought out the best in me. He made me happier than I knew I could be.
He gives the best hugs.

I wish I hadn't been so needy, so sensitive, so jealous, so available, so weepy, so pushy. I wish he could be sure about me, because I'm sure about him. I wish I could be enough for him.

I miss you already, my love.  I hope you find what makes you happy.

Friday, October 21, 2011

25 Things

Okay, I'll play this game. Here are 25 Things that you may or may not know about me:

1. My pillow is named Lumpy. There are four other pillows on my bed. None of them have names.

2. For my middle school graduation the guys wore suits and the girls wore white dresses and all the graduates had to recite a poem. Not together, I mean, individually. You had to write a graduation poem, wait for your turn, and then go up to the podium and read it. I'm sorry, EVERYONE WHO ATTENDED THAT CEREMONY. That's an unreasonable amount of terrible symbolism to have to sit through. I don't remember (or, more accurately, I have blocked out) my poem. I only remember this one guy's that started with "June fifth, it's a beautiful day." It was a freezing cold and foggy day but now every time June fifth rolls around I STILL think "June fifth, it's a beautiful day." And now maybe you will, too.

3. I hate the texture of terra cotta.

4. In first grade I would sometimes get in trouble for playing with my toys inside my desk instead of concentrating on our lessons. There was a boy who sat next to me. I don't remember his name, but I distinctly remember the know-it-all quality of his voice when he would say "Teacher! Julia's playing with her Sharing toys!"

5. I will be forever grateful to my field hockey coach for her zero-tolerance policy on wimpy handshakes. "If I teach you nothing else this summer, every one of you will have a NICE FIRM HANDSHAKE by the end of it." And, BY GOD, we did.

6. My favorite pen is the Pilot EasyTouch fine point.

7. I never knew either of my grandfathers. They both died long before I was born.

8. In sixth grade I switched to a school that had uniforms. You had to wear your uniform except on "free dress days" or special occasion days like Halloween. I remember that Halloween I decided to be a tourist. I went all out-- goofy high up shorts, Hawaiian shirt, binoculars, big camera, travel books, fanny pack. When I tried it on at home I thought it was hilarious. Once I got to school, I realized all the other kids had worn 'cooler' costumes (I don't remember how costumes were deemed cool or not cool, only that mine fell decidedly into the not cool category). I spent the day shedding pieces of the costume. That's pretty much a metaphor for my entire experience at that school.

9. I never order chicken at a nice restaurant. I learned that from my mama.

10. I used to get grossed out by blood. Just thinking about blood going making its regular ho hum journey though the heart, lungs, and body made me start to get queasy. I got over it when I took my EMT class at age 24.

11. In my high school psychology class we had to do that thing where you carry around an egg for a week and pretend it is your baby. I named mine Conrad. It was a girl.

12. Senior year in college my two friends and I lived together in an apartment building with a strict 'no pets' policy. We had two kittens and a lizard.

13. I think Hugh Jackman is hot, but only as Wolverine.

14. I think Eddie Izzard is hot, but only in full makeup.

15. Some dumb things I remember doing as a kid: cutting my thumb because I was SHAVING a bar of soap, jumping off the stair ledge and doing a front flip onto the couch, climbing around on the bookshelves, and asking my mom was it okay with her if I stuck this piece of jagged metal into the electric socket?

16. Speaking of which, I got shocked by an electric socket on my El Salvador trip when I was trying to plug in my dad's laptop (so he could study up on the complicated surgeries he was performing). After I got shocked we still needed to charge our various electronics so we decided to try the other socket in our room. We got into an argument about who would test the next socket. His point: he was the DAD and I was the daughter so it was his job to do things like test electric sockets. My point: I was a nurse and he was the SURGEON-- his hands were far more valuable than mine on this trip. And then I shoved him aside and tested the socket. It didn't shock me.

17. I have a crease line on my nose, commonly known as the allergic salute. KC has one, too. So does my littlest niece.

18. One of the first tattoo ideas I had was a pair of wings on my back. I thought that was a super cool idea but I decided not to do it because (1) I found out it is totally cliche, and (2) it would have bothered me if the wings weren't big enough to support my body weight.

19. I had a radio show in high school. I played a lot of disco.

20. One day in second grade I brought to school this really cool set of erasable crayons that my grandma had given me. I noticed that the eraser had gone missing after recess and I had a feeling that this one mean girl had taken it. I waited until the next recess and I checked inside her desk. THE ERASER WAS THERE. So I took it back and put it in my desk. And then I chickened out and put it back in her desk so she wouldn't notice that it was missing and think I had taken it.

21. I like having long hair, but I hate having hair touch my face, or the back of my neck, or my arms, or my back. Especially when I'm sleeping. When I lie down, I sweep all my hair straight up atop my head so none of it can touch me.

22. I've always loved being read to. Still do, in fact.

23. My favorite year of college was sophomore year.

24. I have rather large and too many teeth for my mouth. My front teeth are big and my adult canine teeth grew in at the top of my gumline, like fangs. It took two sets of braces, 9 tooth extractions (some of baby teeth), a jaw widener contraption that someone had to crank every night, retainers, and lots of hours spent lying on the couch with an ice pack on my face to get this fabulous smile.

25. I'm named after my mom, sorta.

Friday, October 14, 2011


When I am confused I make this face.
Annnnd I just figured out why people think I'm angry when I'm actually confused. Squinty angry eyes and mouth set in a WHAT BITCH line. But, no. Confused. This is the face of someone actively trying to understand what is going on, what someone said, or what something means. The wheels are turning when this face is on.

I have examples! Three, in fact. They are kind of random in that they are three very different events separated by long periods of time. I don't want you to think that these are the ONLY times I've made my confused face within the past year. No no, I make my confused face on a regular basis-- it is squarely in the rotation of frequent facial expressions. These are just examples of times I've been particularly perplexed by a stranger's apparent perception of me. You'll see what I mean....

1. A year or so ago I was hanging out at the beach with my sister and her family. One of my sister's friends showed up with her own family. My sister introduced us. Her friend said "Oh, oh you're [my sister]'s sister with the tattoos." The italics in that sentence make it look like maybe I'm exaggerating but, really, she did say it like that. Like, OH I've heard about THIS one. And I was confused. Because what... does that mean? I'm her sister with the tattoos, am I? Not her sister with the giant cat? Her sister with the master's degree? Her sister who is tall and has brown hair? Her sister in nursing school? I am defined solely by my tattoos and all that they imply (WHICH IS WHAT EXACTLY?).
Confused face.

2. About a month ago I was at the county fair with Jenny and Gabriel, wandering around that area with booths representing local businesses that were giving away information packets and freebies like pens and stress balls. Gabey wanted to play this spin-the-wheel game at one of the booths. He won a pen. Jenny also won a pen. I won a pencil sharpener. The guy running the booth told me I could trade for something else if I wanted, "Because you don't seem like a girl who uses a lot of pencils." Jenny said he was probably trying to flirt with me but... what the? What was his angle? I don't seem like a girl who uses a lot of pencils because I'm stupid? Because I'm too pretty to do math? Because I'm that confident in my writing that I go straight to pens LIKE A BOSS?
Confused face.

3. A couple days ago was my first day volunteering at a clinic. I shadowed one of the nurses and learned how to triage and discharge the patients. At the end of the shift the woman in charge was introducing me to some of the other volunteers who had arrived after I had already started working. One of the NPs asked me a bunch of questions like where I had gone to school, when I finished, and what my specialty was. Then she asked if I had done the M3PN program and I said that I had. "Oh yeah," she said. "You seem like someone who hasn't worked as an RN before."
Confused. Face.
I seem like someone who hasn't worked as an RN before? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? And how did I seem like that in the four minutes this woman saw me? Because I was following another nurse around and asking where things were? Because I looked somewhat lost and confused? IT WAS MY FIRST DAY.
How is one supposed to interpret a comment like that? I AM someone who hasn't worked as an RN in a clinic setting before, but would I be carrying myself any differently if I HAD? I keep trying to spin it like she was giving me a compliment. Like maybe I looked out of place in my business casual clothes when most of the other nurses were wearing scrubs or jeans...? I wish I could go back to that moment and ask "What do you mean?" when she made that comment, instead of what I actually did which was say "Okayyy...," make my confused face, and then obsess about it for two days.

Purely for your reference, here is my actual angry face:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Oh, it's complainey day? Well don't mind if I do!

- While I was in school for the past three years I had the school health insurance, which is on a September to September cycle. This means that the people in my program who graduated in June got a nice little buffer of time wherein they could take their certification exams and find jobs and THEN their health insurance ended. My health insurance ended on September 7, the day after I 'technically' graduated. Which means no buffer for me, even though I could really use it since right now I am in the looking-for-a-job-and-studying-for-my-certification-exam stage. Further punishment for failing my Giant Paper Thing the first time, I presume?

- The insurance program for which I applied, that I was willing to pay for, sent me a rejection letter yesterday. I had to CREATE A USER NAME AND PASSWORD just to go on their stupid web site, download the letter, and find out that apparently I have too many preexisting conditions and I have done reprehensible things like GONE TO THE STUDENT HEALTH CENTER WHEN I WAS SICK.

- My toaster seems to have two settings-- barely heat at all and BURN-- and I'm always prepared for the wrong one. Sometimes I jump up every thirty seconds to check on the bagel and usually find that it takes four to five press-downs of the toaster button for the bagel to end up sufficiently golden brown. But when I resolve to SIT HERE DAMMIT until the toaster decides that the bagel is done then I end up with a burned bagel. Woe.

- I bought a new litter box for Bowie at the thrift store. It is much nicer (if 'nice' is indeed a word that can be used in reference to a litter box) than the old one in that it is covered and larger but still fits in the same nook. It results in fewer, ah, messes and spilled litter behind the box that I have to clean up but it also results in a small amount of spilled litter in front of the box, which means I step on it and AHHHH if there is one thing I hate it is encountering granules of cat litter with my bare feet.

- I emailed the company where I have worked seasonally giving flu shots for the past two years to ask about their schedule and when they were going to need me. They said they were sorry but it looks like all the flu clinics are all staffed already, thanks for my interest! So... they just didn't bother to let me know they were planning the schedule? They would rather hire brand new nurses than use one of their experienced employees? Great. I can't even get a job that I am hugely overqualified for, where I have worked for the past two years.

- Generally speaking, when people listen to a story I am telling and say "Oh, well *I* would have...." and then proceed to explain how they would have cuttingly told off the person who was mean to me or found a quick and easy solution to some big problem I am having. Shut up! No you wouldn't have! I don't care, just shut up!

Recent Purchases

Recent flea marketing excursions have returned many lovely treasures.

I seem to have a container-buying compulsion. But, pretty! Look how pretty!
I could keep any sort of collection of tiny objects in them: buttons, toothpicks, paper clips, uh... jewelry, beads, kitty toys, ummm... other stuff.

This I will admit that I bought purely for aesthetic purposes. I don't intend to spend the time or money getting the clock to actually run because I feel like ticking of any sort would drive me into a Captain Hook-esque frenzy.
You think that's cuckoo? Maybe YOU are the cuckoo one. The clock will be right at least two times per day, ever think of that?

I fished this pot out of a jumble of assorted cooking supplies and also managed to find a lid that fits. I don't think it is the original lid, but that's okay.
 It definitely goes with my retro kitchen style.

I thought this little box was cute. And bonus! It has six coasters inside.
For all of my coasting needs.


On a completely different note, but still falling into the 'recent purchases' category, I bought some toys today. They're for the tots.
I recognize that Christmas is a long way off, but Swistle gave me a good idea with her spreading-out-gift-card-purchases plan for the holidays. Last year I bought a whole buncha toys all at once, which was fun and I didn't have a whole heck of a lot of other options since it was already so close to Christmas by the time I decided to donate toys. This year, I'm going to try and spread it out better, for ease-on-the-wallet-and-transporting-home purposes. So I started today. The local Walgreenses in San Francisco seem to have this great toy deal every year wherein you buy two toys and then get a third for free, which works out to about $5 per toy. They seem to be pretty good quality, or at least BETTER quality than one might expect for a $5 toy. And SOMEtimes the deal switches to buy one get one free, but if I remember correctly that was a lot closer to Christmas and there was less variety of toys and more people grabbing at them. Today the store was nice and empty, with lots of different toys to choose from and plenty of room for me to stack them in the aisle while I made my decision.

Monday, October 10, 2011


On Friday my car got broken into for the second time this year, because why not?
The last time was in February so I am starting to feel like an old pro at this. I drove straight to the auto glass place and they had the window fixed in a couple of hours. They also kindly piled up the items that were strewn about my car's interior (mostly maps and papers from the glove box) and vacuumed up the broken glass. They also gave me a deal for being a repeat customer. The only real downside of this place is the fact that my old windows were tinted and these guys don't do tinting so now my car is starting to look like an odd patchwork of windows.

Despite the quick fix, this sucks and I'm annoyed, particularly since my car was JUST robbed in February. These robbers got all the stuff that the others left behind-- a bag of clothes, my phone charger, my tire iron, the REST of my CDs, and my Important Things basket. They also took some things that I had just bought but hadn't carried into my apartment yet-- some sodas, kitty litter, and toilet paper. I had thought there was nothing of value left in my car after the last time but now there REALLY isn't. These thieves have been thorough. They yanked out my change drawer and moved the seats around, presumably checking for hidden valuables. They grabbed a box from the front seat and threw it in the trunk, probably after realizing it held nothing but scrap glass (for crafting). It is creepy to think about a stranger being in my car, going through my stuff, and taking what they think is valuable. Jerks.

On the plus side they overlooked my sun shade, my picnic blanket, and my flip flops.

That? Is a Wild Turkey glove. I don't know if it was an accident or some kind of insult because you'll notice that the middle finger is cleverly marked "Give 'em the Bird." Were the thieves sloppy? Or are they flipping me off?
Either way, joke's on them because all I've got to do now is find the person with the OTHER GLOVE.
Hello, my name is Superjules. You stole my Important Things Basket. Prepare to die.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Tortilla Soup & Crispy Bits

I called my sister recently to ask for her recipe for these little crispy bits she makes out of tortillas. Well, I guess you would just call them tortilla chips. But they're extra delicious and crispy and that doesn't seem to capture it entirely. Anyhow the conversation went something like this:
Me: Hey how do you make those tortilla crispy strip thingies?
Her: What?
Me: You know, those crispy tortilla strip things you make with tortilla soup?
Her: Yeah.
Me: How do you make them?
Her: You just... fry them in oil.
Me: But what kind of oil? And for how long? How do I know when--
Her: You just fry them in vegetable oil or canola oil and take them out when they're done. It's really easy.
Me: Okay. Thanks....
Her: Are you making tortilla soup?
Me: No.
Her: WHAT? You have to! It's easy! Do it!
And then she texted me the recipe. And I bought some unfamiliar spices and have since entered a new era of my life full of deliciousness.

So! If you are looking for a yummy, relatively easy, very healthy recipe then... look somewhere else. But if you are looking for a yummy, relatively easy recipe then by all means continue!

Tortilla Soup & Crispy Bits
package of corn tortillas (I usually get a 30-pack)
petite diced tomatoes
chili powder
cayenne pepper
chicken broth
optional- chicken, rice, spicier things
garnishes- tortilla strips, cheese, sour cream, avocado

Start by putting some rice on to cook, however much you'd like to make. I'm not here to micromanage you. I like to cook 1 and a half cups of rice along with a half cup of quinoa. Also, if you want chicken in your soup now it the time to start that as well-- cook and then shred or dice it.

Chop up an onion and then brown it in your soup pot.
Cut or tear up four corn tortillas and add them along with 1/2 cup of diced cilantro. Cook that for 4 minutes. I don't know why it is 4 minutes; I don't make the rules.
I usually tear or cut up the tortillas smaller than I did in this batch. This one turned out fine, though.
Add 28 oz petite diced tomatoes and bring to a boil.
Yah, sorry, some of these are crappy cell phone photos and some are from my camera. Because these photos are actually from two different times I made this recipe. I figured it was better to be thorough than fancy?
Add some spices:
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
I find it easier to measure these into a separate bowl first before I toss them in the pot with the rest of the soup-- less opportunity for the lid to fall off the cayenne pepper bottle and ruin my day.
And 2 things of chicken broth (or 8 cups). If you are using chicken add it now, too. I usually don't.
Simmer for 10 minutes. Done.

You can make your crispy tortilla bits and soup at the same time or separately. Either way, here's whatcha do. Cut up the rest of the corn tortillas from your package (you won't be sorry you used them all, trust me). Fill up a pan with canola oil (or some kind of oil). Heat up the oil. Put the tortilla strips in.
Take them out when they are crispy. Let them drain onto paper or cloth and sprinkle generously with salt.
It's really less of a "sprinkle" of salt and more of a "handful."

I throw a clump of rice in a bowl, then cover it with soup and garnishes. KC does the same, but he usually chops up a spicy pepper and adds that to his.
Really, this soup is more of a vehicle for garnishes, so here's where you want to get out your avocado, sour cream, cheese, and of course your crispy tortilla bits.
That is the photo I took and sent to my sister the first time I made the recipe. Really, my setup looks more like this:
Soup, garnishes, and beverages. I like to dip the tortilla strips into the sour cream and then float them in the soup. Annnnnd now you know why I don't call it healthy.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I visited my sister recently and she LOVES her new tea set. She keeps it in her kitchen cupboard and uses it every day. It is pretty cute to see her kids pouring milk for breakfast out of a teapot.
Her friend came over while I was there and said "Oh I love your dishes! They look like fine china!" Then she turned a dish over and said "It IS fine china!"


I got an email from Operati0n Rainb0w over the weekend-- apparently they are already scheduling their missions for next year. I'm hoping to go on one of the trips. If I do it will likely be to either El Salvador again, Ecuador, or the Dominican Republic, depending on when my dad wants to go, when my friend from last time wants to go, and if Operati0n Rainb0w, y'know, wants me back.
If I DO get to go I will bring the following:
- Sharpies
- Earplugs
- Fanny pack
Yes, apparently I have reached the point in my life wherein I wish for a fanny pack. It just would have been so convenient for running around to the patients' rooms carrying pens and meds and my notebook and my stethoscope and my chapstick. I spent so much time and energy searching for some good scrubs that fit okay and had lots of pockets and it turned out to be a waste of time since we only wore scrubs in the ORs. I had only brought scrubs for wearing in the hospital because that was what I had thought that was what I would be wearing, but since I spent most of my time in the patients' rooms and not the OR I ended up needing to wear other clothes. And the only other clothes I had brought were jeans (WAY TOO HOT) or shorts and tee shirts. I was WITHOUT POCKETS; it was tragic. So now if I do end up being able to go on another mission I think I will invest in a fanny pack, along with some of those way-too-expensive fancy traveling clothes that are meant to look nice, not wrinkle, and wick away sweat. And I definitely won't bring jeans.


I have been watching Toddlers and Tiaras on my computer. I am disturbed by MANY things in this show, not the least of which is their use of the word "crowning" in reference to the time in the pageant when crowns are awarded.


I am currently looking for a job. I am also preparing to take my certification exam, volunteering at a couple of clinics, and doing a hospice volunteer training program. I am getting a little tired of being asked how my job hunt is going. I know the asker always means well and is probably just curious and attempting to engage another human being in conversation, but I have been asked the following things so many times that I'm getting a little ON EDGE.
"Why don't you just get an RN job?"
"It must be easy to find a job since you're a nurse, right?"
And I say, as nicely as possible that yes, I am applying to RN as well as NP jobs and that no, in fact it is NOT easy to find a job just because I am a nurse since I am a nurse without experience.


Flying kitties!
No cats were harmed in the making of these photos.