Sunday, August 24, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Enchanted Highway

We had only been driving 6 hours when I accidently missed our very first turn off in North Dakota that was to lead us to Mount Rushmore (because my navigator was sleeping with the map tucked under pillow). We were re-routed by the visitor center near Bismark to take a shortcut called the Enchanted Highway. I kid you not this really exists and if you don't stop to take pictures of the landmarks every five miles, it is actually quicker than the major interstate to reach the Black Hills. It was created by Gary Greff in 1989 to bring people to his small community. Inspired by a hay-bale strongman built by a farmer, he created the World's Largest Scrap Metal Sculpture to see if people would stop to see them. There are seven scrap metal sculptures total which include but are not limited to pheasants on the prairie, a family of tin (Tin Ma, Tin Pa and Tin Son), Theodore Roosevelt riding a horse, grasshoppers in a field and geese in flight.  

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

worth it.

I'm slow to trust but I'm quick to love
I push too hard and I give too much
I ain't saying I'm perfect, but I promise I'm worth it

Saturday, August 09, 2008

off the beaten path.

On a recent attempt to the explore the great outdoors, Matty and I set out to hike a 9.6K trail around Moon Lake. Soons pretty fabulous... until you arrive ready to follow a cleared path and discover that the trail hasn't been kept up with in what appears to be years. Twenty minutes in, we contemplated turning around but decided since we managed to find motivation (see art of relaxation post) to drive all the way up to the lake, we were going to finish the trail. We weren't about to quit. Well, our estimated one and a half hour leisure walk simply trying to connect with nature while enjoying the company of an old friend turned into a three hour, tretrerous climb over fallen trees, not to mention wading through mud pools and balancing on loose stones in cold streams, all while fighting off nettles and killer mosquitoes. Throughout the hike I kept wishing I had paid less attention to rugged, shirtless six pack of Bear Grylls and more attention to the survival tips he talked about (so eloquently in his English accent, distraction #2) on man vs. wild.

Friday, August 08, 2008

relationship vs. responsibility

When I think of the word relationship, I can’t help but exclusively associate words that possess a positive connotation such as “complementary”, “akin”, “reciprocal”, “connected.” Sure, any kinship takes a little effort but when you are ready to take the risk, this supposed “work” shouldn’t feel like drudgery at all but more of a natural devotion, an innate investment for we all know nothing comes free in life (even if the price is concealed in simple stares and clavicle kisses) and like all else, hard work (in theory) should pay off (even if the reward is internal).
I guess it lies in what you consider a successful gain to gauge if your effort was worthwhile or, on the contrary, if your judgment (for one reason or another) was completely jaded and really your attempt never had any real potential of capital gain. Simply put, if two investors (or friends or family members or lovers) are working towards the same outcome (i.e. for the other one to be happy) their goal should ultimately be met (love will be all around) if adequate effort is put forth. It is when a vague, undefined goal is set (or not set, really) that makes it much harder to make advances towards anything, for what you are working for is left unknown (which may be perceived as amounting to nothing). The ambiguity can be frustrating; if you let it I guess.
Digressing back to the notion that no relationship should be viewed as work, it should also never feel like an obligation or some sort of sacrifice. Lost in a confused thought about how one could possibly compare a relationship to that of a negative resonating word like “responsibility” (for all my responsibilities are usually something that I don’t particularly enjoy doing but, quite unfortunately, I am obligated to uphold them), I consulted Webster to clarify the huge difference between the two. A relationship, merely a state of affairs existing between those having relations, can be a romantic or passionate attachment or the way I see it is an “added happiness” that signifies a special cognation between two individuals. A responsibility is that of a moral, legal, or mental accountability: burden. I may be going out on a limb but I’m assuming that anything that feels oppressive or worrisome will never elicit satisfactory results or ever be considered a worthwhile investment. I’m no financial planner but it seems plain to see that anyone who felt as though something as significant as a relationship is nothing more than a tyrannical fret, that the next logical step would be to back out before you lose it all, to cash in your chips and reinvest in something that makes you genuinely happy or start saving up for something really spectacular, like a pink house.
Rereading this reminds me of my first semester of college when I would literally pull all-nighters bullshitting papers for philosophy. I had no idea what I had actually just said; I just thought of an idea and ran with it. Nonsense or not, I always got an A.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

dream kitchen.

My dream kitchen would consist of….

A coffee pot that brews the perfect blend of beans... not just aromatic water.
A pan that fries... but never burns.
A corkscrew that effortlessly removes the cork... in one piece.
A knife that perfectly slices, dices and chops food... and not my fingers.
A pot that always boils, even when watched.
A cupboard full of all the right ingredients... instead of a freezer full of frozen dinners.
A box of delicious recipes to replace my drawer of take-out menus.
A dining room full of my favorite people visiting over a perfectly prepared meal... a pinch of fabulousness hidden in every bite.

Abandoning the concept of a dream kitchen, I have decided that a dream chef to make my dream kitchen a reality will certainly suffice.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

art of relaxation.

If there is one thing I have mastered this summer, it is the art of relaxation. I have never operated well under conditions that left much room to relax so I must admit when I first arrived, I was absolutely terrible at it. At the end of the day (which consisted of sleeping in, playing around the lake, squeezing in a round a golf, and maybe watching an episode of So You Think You Can Dance, before heading back to bed for a solid 11 hours of sleep) I was feeling quite worthless. I would wake up (halfway through the day) and attempt to write a to-do list, which is habit for me as much as it is for some to scratch an itch. When the only bullet the list would consist of is study for my boards, I quickly kicked this habit, replacing it with a much less productive one- embracing the fact that I am unofficially retired and therefore I didn’t actually have a damn thing to do that day, except relax of course! It was very unlike me to spend an entire day stagnant. I felt oddly selfish relishing in all the things that I loved to do day in and out - read, run, and ruminate with Grams. But 6 weeks later of nothing but rest and relaxation, I am a natural at it. I proudly wake up quarter past noon looking forward to the day filled of nothingness that awaits me. I now feel incredibly accomplished at the end of the day having read an entire book, ran an entire four miles and reminisced for an entire twelve hours with Grams. As the end of summer (and consequently my mini retirement) draws near, I’m beginning to wonder if it will be easy to transition back into a bussling routine at the start of my career when I arrive in Los Angeles?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

ach liebe

Because I have been retired for almost a month and half now in a foreign country with limited access to communication, I am excited that my absence has inspired all the people (that I used to blog about) that I wish I could have had in my everday life for forever to start a blog of their own. Carly's been unloyally posting on her blog ( since graduation but Megan has just relocated to San Francisco (pictured here with the man of every girls' dreams) and is documenting it all on Ach Liebe ( I'm so proud of you, not just of your blog, but also of your amazing internship in Cali and for finding a way to be within driving hours of me, your eternal roommate.

Friday, August 01, 2008

J. Kirk, RN

I wrote (and passed) the NCLEX last week and I am excited to announce that I am officially a registered nurse! Leaving for California two weeks from today, I will be starting my career as a neonatal nurse at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles in a Level III NICCU. I have been accepted into a 22-week pediatric nurse residency program, where I will be able to hone in on my skills specific to neonatal nursing through an intense preceptorship 75% of the time and in a didactic classroom the other 25%. I am super excited for this next chapter to begin!