Saturday, February 28, 2009

birthday wish.

For Kevin's birthday, we headed down the coast to check out Huntington Beach and watch the surfers' soak up the not-so-sunny weather which only resulted in big waves... After a delicious meal and heart-to-heart over home-brewed beverages at a local brewery we headed to the Hollywood Hills so Kevin could see the infamous (but for me, kinda getting old...) HOLLYWOOD sign. I thought it would be your seemingly everyday hike taking you just below the sign which always makes for a nice photog spot with the sign touristy-screaming in the background. What I forgot was that I was hiking with Kevin.. who wanted to touch the sign ... who had been apparently dreaming about this one birthday wish for two weeks and he wasn't getting on a plane later that evening without getting up there. Well a big believer in wishes, I couldn't be the one who prevented this dream from coming true so next thing I know Kevin is pushing me up the side of a mountain (literally!!) through itchy plants and steep inclines. I hike quite often on my days off but this trail honestly was incredibly challenging. In addition to me and my fear of breaking the rules, the law, security and sensor system and a huge fence wasn't going to stop this wish from coming true either...  

Thursday, February 26, 2009

turn of a (quarter) century.

Kevin, Kristy, and I had a fabulous few days celebrating the old man's birthday!! Placing his hands in Clooney's at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, checking out the pre-Oscars party at Kodak Theatre, (window) shopping on Rodeo Drive, partying with cougars down at Hermosa Pier, and watching the street performers in Santa Monica (Kevin's is the 4th bum from the right) were just some of the ways we celebrated in the short visit! 

Sunday, February 15, 2009

broken hearted heart breakers.

what is life?

What is life? 
It is a flash of a firefly in the night. 
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. 
It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset. 

Friday, February 13, 2009

the heart of LA.

Home to the best pediatric heart surgeon in the world, CHLA really is located in the heart of LA... To give you an idea of where my hospital is (although I still expect everyone to come see it in person!), it is the smaller group of buildings to the front right in this photog - the hospital, its parking garage, research buildings and the new wing that will be done next spring. It is located on Sunset Blvd about two miles down from the infamous Kodak theatre and Chinese theatre. You can see the Hollywood sign from the top of our parking garage and directly behind us (about five miles) is the downtown area with all the skyscrapers, Staples center and Nokia Theatre LA Live. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

griffith park.

One of my favorite places to run in LA is through Griffith Park. It reminds me so much of Central Park in NYC and Stanley Park in Vancouver! Complete with it's own zoo too, it's smack dab in the middle of the Hollywood with trails that lead incredibly close to the HOLLYWOOD sign. Since graduating from the residency last week, I worked Sunday all on my own (and not a single patient died!) and have four entire days off to run, hike, read, photog and blog...  

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

off the record.

One of my favorite parts about Los Angeles is when celebs do things off the record ... and I am there to witness it. If I am at the Improv watching a comedy show and Adam Sandler just decides he wants to show up in character and do a set to promote an upcoming movie ... I didn't mind. Or Teri Hatcher wants to light our local Christmas tree. Or Natalie Portman and Jessica Biel want to play with the kids at my hospital... whatev. But my favorite things to experience "off the record" are acoustic shows that lead singers of bands do just because they feel like singing... Back in December, I went to a benefit for Invisible Children where the lead singers of Switchfoot (Jon Foreman), Saves the Day (Chris Conley) and Thrice (such an amazing musician... Dustin Krensue) all played an acoustic set in a really intimate venue and it was incredible. Last night, I experienced amazing acoustic again when Ed Kowalczyk (lead singer of one of my all-time favorite bands Live) played at Hotel Cafe and it was unreal! Lightning crashes, overcome, dolphin's cry ...Ed played the perfect set and it was awesome. 

Sunday, February 08, 2009

self-indulgent scones & pretentious pie.

Today Carly and I hosted our second S.P.I. meeting disguised as a tea party complete with cucumber sandwiches, hummus and self-indulgent scones ... I was kidding about the self-indulgence, they were lemon poppy seed but I can't help but feel like we should be serving slices of pretentious pie with our cups of vanilla caramel truffle tea when we gather for these meetings. Like always (and by always, I mean just like at the last meeting) we started out with our cocktail chatter (Obama's economic stimulus plan, abortion clinics in Miami, ways to go green...) we then each presented a new vocabulary word before endorsing such things as brazilian waxes, skype, podcasts (they're free on Itunes... seriously, they're cool!) before we moved on to our homework assignment: creatively describing another member of the group.... Angie told a story about "Olivia Wilde", Lindsay's Parisian alter ego, here Lindsay is pictured reading her Native American fable about a crow who finds herself (complete with tribal music) to Angie, I made a scrapbookesque frame to show Carly's beauty and creativity and she wrote this fabulous piece about me:

If she were a quote she'd be "Everyone is the hero of their own story."
If she were a good deed she'd be volunteering.
If she were a place she'd be Sorrento, Italy.
If she were a class she'd be leadership.
If she were a disaster she'd be a tornado, just look at her room.
If she were a common courtesy she'd be saying good morning.
If she were a body part she'd be a smile and an ear and an eye, she'd be a face, without the nose.
If she were a lyric she would be I'm slow to trust but quick to love.
If she were a form of exercise she'd be a sprint.
If she were a song she'd be Akon's remix of She Talks to Angels by the Black Crowes.
If she were a magazine she'd be People.
If she were an abstract concept she'd be a wish.
If she were a tree she'd be a bonsai, hard to take care of but worth the effort.
If she were a feeling she'd be excitement.
If she were a bad habit she'd be eavesdropping.
If she were a reaction she'd be overreaction.
If she were an emotion she'd be love.
If she were makeup she'd be blush.
If she were a sound she'd be a giggle.
If she were an inanimate object she'd be a camera.
If she were a time she'd be last minute. 
If she were media she'd be a blog.
If she were a cliche she would be perseverance in the face of adversity.
If she were an adjective she'd be caring.
If she were an adverb she'd be cheerfully.
If she were a preposition she'd be despite.
If she were a way to kill a cat she would be curiosity.
If she were a piece of paper she'd be a greeting card.
If she were a pitch she'd be high.
 If she were a color she'd be pink, and glittery.
If she were a relative she'd be a mom.
If she were footwear she'd be a running shoe.
If she were a dessert she would be a cupcake with sprinkles.
If she were a pattern she'd be a polka dot.
If she were a person she'd be the kind you want in your life.


Thursday, February 05, 2009

Versant RN Residency Graduation.

[Click on the title of this post to see the slideshow of my residency!]

Today I graduated from the Versant RN Residency Program! It was a fabulous celebration! When I first moved out here, I quickly befriended all the people in my cohort that were also from out of state that much like myself, didn't know much about LA or know many other people here. L to R: Afton (Minnesota), me (Florida), Stephanie (Delaware), Troy (Michigan), Laurel (NYC), Adam (Philadelphia), Rebecca (Connecticut) and Sydney (St. Louis).

Carly was able to sneak away from the bungalow for a couple of hours and be a part of my celebration. It was super fab having her there as she has been there for me after every shift that I return to the apt in tears emotionally traumatized by what I had experienced on the unit that day. She even got her own tour of the unit and got to sneak a peek at all the super sick babies.

Adam, my Pennsylvanian passion from the PICU, has been an extra special element to the program definitely aiding in the highly encouraged "take care of yourself first" mantra... always available to try new restaurants, go on stress-relieving hikes, browse the boutiques in Los Feliz or hit up happy hour at breweries within walking distance of the hospital after class. 

 It was a fabulous celebration filled with all my fabulous friends I have made the past 6 months at CHLA including these four lovely ladies who work in the NICCU with me! It's been so wonderful having them to share my neonatal residency experience with!

Having preceptors to give me wings to fly on my own (my first independent shift is this Sunday!) has been the most beneficial aspect of the program. I have learned so much from Kim (pictured above) and have made a best friend in my saving grace, Dana (pictured below)! I am soooo lucky to have them in my life and cannot thank them enough for all their support and encouragement!
A marathon runner, avid spinner, lover of Lulu lemon, married to a Gator alum and owner of a yellow lab named Gracie ... could we have been more of a perfect match?! I think not! 

the ceremony.

Much like at my graduation from nursing school last spring, I walked across a stage and received my diploma, was pinned with the Magnet pin and then read the Magnet Oath. It's an honor to work at a Magnet hospital; only 3% of hospitals in California and only 5% of hospitals in the US are recognized as being a magnet hospital. It was super special when Mary Dee Hacker, our CNO, gave us each a replica of the "two-story house" that was the first CHLA building in 1901 which only had one (volunteer) doctor and a few nurses. Later on, I got to talk to Mary Dee at our luncheon and she told me she drove out to California in 1975 with her college roommate after getting snowed in for two days at the hospital she was working at in the midwest. Much like me, she had never even been to Cali before she made the move across the country with her college roommate! ha.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Eleven years ago, I took Carly to see Phantom of the Opera for her eleventh birthday. Eleven years later, I got to take her to Phantom again ... now for her twenty-second birthday which was the week before last! It's still just as amazing as I remember it!! The monkey musical box still sings the sweetest song and the Phantom is still incredibly sexy in his white mask! =)

Monday, February 02, 2009

indefinitely definite.

This Sunday was our first Society for Promoting Intellectualism (S.P.I) meeting and I have to admit, it was supernerdycool. Carly's temp roommates [Lindsay, Angie and Mindy] and the two of us have decided to expand our first 13 years of learning into this next chapter of our lives and culture ourselves with frequent meetings/outings to gain insight into worldly happenings we don't know much about already. The meeting was called to order over bagels and fresh squeezed orange juice. We first discussed our Cocktail Chatter in which we all brought current events - the octuplets born near us, Obama's plan for "change", the high school basketball team that beat the other team 100-0 and I brought the political cartoons because nothing serves as a better measurement of your knowledge than how much humor you find in them (which is a direct measurement of how much you understand them!). Carly's article sparked the googling of the term "tarp funds" ... I'm sure you have heard this word used a lot in regards to Obama's bailout package but do you know what they are? We do (now)! From here, we slurped OJ over our Endorsements section in which we shared anything we found interesting that we would like the rest of the group to know about: the SPIs recommend reading Chuck Palahniuk, listening to podcasts, I recommended knitting and Carly recommended seeing Val Kilmer as Moses in an upcoming musical at the Kodak theatre called The Ten Commandments. From here, we each presented our homework which was assigned to us last week - to creatively use the word indefinite. Not the most profound piece of creative writing I have ever submitted but applicable to my current stream of thoughts....

Indefinitely enamored by a modern-day fairy tale, so divided.
Indefinitely engulfed in a burning love story, so unrequited.
Indefinitely searching for another fragile slipper to complete my pair.
Indefinitely disguised as the half of my heart that breaks when I awake and you're not there.
Indefinitely hurting by your sudden, unexplainable disappearance.
Indefinitely masking a broken heart with a reflexive smile and perseverance.
Indefinitely wondering why our love has slipped away.
Indefinitely hoping your white horse accidently led you astray.
Indefinitely praying you will be able to pull in the reigns.
Indefinitely wishing it will lead you to me again.
Indefinitely dreaming of how our love story should of been.
Indefinitely denying our perfect carriage has turned back into a pumpkin.
Indefinitely convinced under your slimy, spotted skin was a prince.
Indefinitely kissing oh! Romeo ever since.
Indefinitely decided that I want my cds, I mean heart back.
Indefinitely summoning the mice to sew it back intact.
Indefinitely brewing a pot of frog leg stew.
Indefinitely believing I will get over you...

I can hardly wait for our next meeting this coming Saturday ... it's a tea party!! =)

Super Bowl Sunday.

The best part of Sunday was leaving our S.P.I. meeting to cleverly serve cocktails at Carly's cousins' Super Bowl party that afternoon. When the jerseys the guys ordered us didn't get delivered in time, Carly and I had to throw together some impromptu outfits consisting of black and white stripes. Fashionably late (although we were there before kick-off!) to our first moonlighting gig, everyone (including the slightly older women) were super excited to have referees serve them drinks throughout the game ... combined, we made a total of $165 ... Nothing beats getting paid to watch commercials!! Creative juices still flowing from our previous meeting, we served red Cosmo shots for the Cardinals fans and black Rum & Coke shots for the Steelers fans. At half time, we even served touchdown tequila shots that really got the tip tray filled... Do I even have to say it ... okay, today was so LA!! =) {This is a picture from a Cardinals game I went to in Phoenix earlier in the year ... I didn't even know AZ had an NFL team at this point... who would of thought they would go on to play for the championship?!}