Sunday, October 26, 2008

first breath.

Life isn't measured by the number of breaths you take, but the number of moments that take your breath away.  -Anonymous

This quote took on a whole new meaning today when I looped to the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit and witnessed my patient (a 16 y/0 girl) take her first breath with her new lungs after waiting five months on a donor list in an extremely hypoxic state. She said to me later on "These are my new lungs? I'm a normal girl now?" It was incredibly moving and even more humbling as I was reminded how much I tend to take for granted, things as overlooked as having two healthy lungs.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Vegas Vacation

Overwhelmed with the amount of new places to see, restaurants to taste test, new job to learn, a new city to discover, etc. blogging kinda got put on the back burner when I first got to LA. But I found this draft that was dated 9/13Because life wasn't hectic enough when we first got to Los Angeles, Carly and I spent our first weekend together in Las Vegas. After staying in a hotel for a week desperately searching for an apartment, we unloaded our cars the second we got our keys to our fab apartment, waited for IKEA to deliver my bed (which we proudly assembled upon our return all by ourselves!) and then immediately hopped in the car to make the four hour drive through Death Valley to Vegas. Totally imposing on their annual guy's trip for Jordan's birthday, we met Carly's dad and brother there for the season kick-off of college football. No trip to Vegas would be complete without seeing Cirque du Soleil (we saw Ka! which was awesome!), a magician (Carly got pulled on stage by David Copperfield to help him make a tissue paper rose explode into a real one), and eating incredibly delicious dinners before hitting the Strip at night. Look, it's Donny & Marie! 

Friday, October 24, 2008

orgasm of life.






Children are the orgasm of life. Just like you did not know what an orgasm was before you had one, nature does not let you know how great children are until you actually have them... or become a nanny. 
- my lulu lemon eco-friendly water bottle ... missing Miss Kate incredibly so these days, i added in the part about being a nanny.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

you know you live in LA when ...

I wish I could say that I knew my recently acquired personal trainer was going to be on the syndicated episode of Two and Half Men tonight because I was randomly channel surfing and recognized him in his short role as a detective but let's face it, I undoubtedly stalked him... but not in the conventional way.. you know... Facebook-- because the word convention is about as compatible with Los Angeles as I am with dating or driving or cooking or any other skills of domestication, really. While people in other parts of the country spend countless hours creeping through myspace pages and FB profiles, here in LA I have learned that the internet movie data base (imdb.com) is a lot more efficient in uncovering juicy details about new acquaintances met in and around Hollywood. While you won't find incredibly embarrassing videos of these new friends doing keg stands wearing a tutu in college, you will find a montage of head shots and them attending premieres. And while you won't find useless information like your activities, interests and favorite movies, you will find a list of all your favorite movies that they've had roles in. IMDB gives you just about as much sense of their character (more so in the literal sense as in what kind of roles they play... hot guy? Detective #3? Bodyguard 14? and not so much in the figurative sense... genuine? funny? romantic?) as any of the other leading stalking-enablers. For instance, when Carly had a coffee date with a working actor a few weeks back (http://carlyhallam.blogspot.com/2008/09/lesson-from-starbucks.html), it was imdb that gave us the (predate) knowledge that not only is he really good friends with Casper van Dien but he also attended Duke University on a full athletic scholarship where he earned a degree in Psychology. Oh ya, and he has a lead role on TNT's Saving Grace. It is imdb that informed me that my trainer was not only the Valedictorian of his class but also studied in the same acting class as Zach Braff at Northwestern University. Oh ya, and has appeared on hit TV shows like Cold Case, Reno 911! and Zoey 101. You know you live in LA when you stalk the people in your life on movie databases... 

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

off the beaten path.

Carly and I started a new tradition (and by tradition I mean the past 2 weekends in a row): hiking on Sunday mornings. This past Sunday we found ourselves on a bit steeper of a climb than the previous weekend but it was worth the aches and pains because we had an incredible panoramic of LA and could even see the ocean. Our path kept dividing or as Robert Frost put it "2 roads diverged in the woods" and we would have to decide which way to go...Much like in our own lives, we always took the road less traveled and that has really made all of the difference. 
We always talk about how we are the only ones that we graduated with
 that aren't even close to settling down.. They are all engaged, married, having kids while we still live with our college roommate and can't even commit to getting a cat. We used to say "oh my gosh, so and so's engaged or pregnant or (insert huge life event here)" because it was surprisingly rare but we are the minority now. It's strange that we aren't. It's strange that we're in LA following our dreams. Maybe one day we'll settle down but for now, we get our fill when through our really close friends by living vicariously through their planning... wedding arrangements, baby showers... but to envision myself having to make any bigger commitments than to pick out what color of scrubs I don in the mornings seems unfathomable to me.   
Having an incredibly challenging week at work, I found myself questioning what I was doing and thought about how easy it would be to take the short cuts, the beaten path that doesn't have the roots that trip you up or the steep inclines that make it harder to reach the top but I decided the view from the top is worth the extra effort in making it there.  

Monday, October 13, 2008

i.v. league

I am currently in a nurse residency program which consists of about 75% of the time working as an RN in the NICCU and 25% of the time in a classroom. The first few weeks are loaded with lectures and then slowly we've been spending less time in class and more time on the unit. In about 2 weeks, we will be down to 2 class days every other week for the remainder of the program with the majority of the time on the floor. Last week we had a skills lab day where we given the opportunity to start intravenous lines on each other, for many of us it was our first time! I did not volunteer my own veins because I am extremely afraid of needles and get diaphoretic/tachycardic when I even smell the alcohol swipe getting close to my skin. If only my tiny patients' baby veins were as easy to stick as these ones...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Kara & Knoxville

For those of you who don't know (whoever you are... I'm not really sure who reads my blog ... but I always get excited when I start to tell a story and someone responds "Oh, I read that on your blog".. I digress) Kara moved to Tennessee almost a month ago to start grad school at South College. Working to obtain a degree as a physician's assistant, it is really competitive to get into PA programs and I am incredibly proud of her for wowing the panel that granted her admission into their program. She moved to Knoxville with her friend Monika, who also interned at the dermatology office she worked at in Tallahassee. Every time I talk to her she's studying but she seems to be meeting a lot of great people and exploring the new area lots in what little free time she has. I was thinking about us growing up so close in age and how we did everything the same. Mum dressed us the same in the hideous tie-dye dresses. We went to gymnastics together. We were in band (one of us by choice, the other by sheer force... that was me.) we spent every holiday, every birthday and every milestone together. It's weird how much our lives are different now. My day is just beginning when hers is half over.She's in class and I'm working. We communicate through Blackberry messenger and sending pictures. She's frolicking in autumn leaves and I'm shimmying up palm trees. Okay. Not quite but it's strange being so far away. I'm not sure I like it so much. 

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Celebration of Babies

When I first began the job search in the LA area, I contacted a woman from the March of Dimes who was familiar with the NICUs in this area. She recommended CHLA to me and because I absolutely love my job, I feel indebted to her. To begin paying her back for finding my "dream job," if you will, I volunteered last weekend at the Celebration of Babies for MOD. Held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, it was a fabulously fun event! Beginning with a silent auction of possibly the cutest baby accessories ever and little shops set up by all the high-end baby boutiques in this area, my job was to register all the 300 guests ... some of which you may know (including Jennie Garth, the Master of Ceremonies, pictured above). Also in attendance was Melissa Joan Hart, Jodie Sweedin, and Kellie Martin and a few other random celebrities. Once the live auction began, my job was to swipe all the black American Express cards to charge everyone for their purchases... All together, we raised over $200,000 for premature babies! It was a fabulous day! =)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Happy Fall, Ya'll!





















Carly and I visited a pumpkin patch recently to pick out the perfect pumpkin for carving. Happy Fall, ya'll!

hollywood hills hike.



Carly and I set out on a hike through the Hollywood Hills this weekend. We knew we would get to take in fresh(ish) air. We knew we would see spectacular views (a little clouded by smog). We even knew we would get a great workout (the trail was on an incline the entire time). But what we didn't know was we would be hiking behind our future husbands or what we can only hope our future husbands to be like... With their daughters on their backs, two stand-ups guys set out for an early-morning hike to compare how fabulous their "how they met their wives" stories were. Call me a hopeless romantic but it was adorable.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance!

Carly's love for dance got me hooked on the show So You Think You Can Dance! 2 summers ago when I was trapped in Gainesville taking care of psych patients and she was in LA taking care of celebrities needs at Last Call. She called me raving every week and looking for a mindless escape from the nursing school summer from hell, I decided to see what all the hype was about. Finding ourselves a million miles away from each other again this summer, SYTYCD became the only constant in our lives, yet again. It gave two unemployed college grads something to look forward to every Tuesday and Wednesday night and because Carly is awesome.. she surprised me with tickets to their live tour at the Nokia Theatre LA Live (where the Emmys were just filmed) for my birthday!! My bday present became even more exciting when her boss (who knows someone at FOX, because everyone knows someone in this town) got us backstage passes to meet the entire cast! Probably the highlight of my night was when we happened upon Adam Shankman (one of the judges) canoodling by the bar with Lance Bass, former member of NSYNC. When we interrupted their lovefest and took this picture with the two of them, Adam snickered and said "2 girls, 2 gays. How funny."











NICCU Reunion

The first weekend that I started my job, I was invited to attend the NICCU reunion- an annual event to see how all the past patients are doing. 3 of the Nurse Residents who are also NICCU nurses joined me (and over 900 past patients and their families) for snow cones, cotton candy, train rides and live music in Griffith Park - a massive state park in the center of LA with trails, horseback riding and even a zoo. I can't wait for next year's reunion when I get to see babies I've actually taken care of happy and healthy.  

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Post-Production Production Assistant's Assistant


Post-Production Production Assistant's Assistant- This was the title I gave myself when I embarked on an incredible journey the other night with Carly, one of which that would only happen in Hollywood... because I am quickly learning that a lot of things that I have been experiencing on an almost daily basis could only take place living in LA. When Carly's movie-editing cousin recently called her to offer her a position at a studio for a pilot he has been editing, she accepted not having much insight into what the job entailed; all she knew was it would take up all of her time... running around into the wee hours of the night was not the time she expected her temp job to consume. Having to distribute watermarked dvds of the roughcut of the pilot to all the important people involved in the creation of it (producers, directors, etc.), she spent the day mapping out her route around LA county. She picked me up around 11:00 pm and we headed to the Duplication Station to pick up our first run... 5 watermarked copies to be "left on the doorstep" in Santa Monica, "given to the building manager" in West Hollywood, "dropped in the mailbox" in Encino. Having what could possibly be TNT's next hit show in our possession, I felt like we held the genetic formula to the cure for cancer or the recipe for Coca-Cola. The fate of the world, or atleast Ray Romano's career, was in our hands. Quietly sneaking up the front steps of each amazing destination to the next, we successfully delivered all the copies of the pilots to their respective creators, creators that had names that couldn't have possibly been real, and stumbled back into our apartment at 3:30 am.  

Friday, October 03, 2008

Aquarium of the Pacific.
















6 of my new friends from the residency program and I took advantage of free admission (for being a Children's Hospital employee) to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach last week and spent our first day off together petting sharks, playing with sea otters and watching an awesome sunset over the harbor enjoying $1 tacos and margaritas for happy hour! They surprised me with cupcakes to celebrate my birthday!  

jellyfish.

newport beach.

walk away.























When you walk away, I count the steps that you take ...