Friday, June 26, 2009

he offered her the world....

...she said she had her own.
I've been doing a lot of brainstorming as to what the next chapter of my memoir I will one day write will be and feeling like I have the world at my finger tips... I'm not too sure where I will go from here. The world is my oyster, as they say (whoever they are), so I've been weighing out all my options and I have been trying to come up with one of those "five year plans" all those adults talk about... Mr. Hallam once told me that you have to begin with the end in mind and so I have been trying to visualize where I see myself at the age of 27 and because I can't seem to get past how old that sounds, I have not successfully envisioned myself doing anything at almost thirty... I know what I would like to see on my resume: a masters degree at the University of Texas in Austin, a membership to NANN, the critical care nurse certification, volunteerism. I know I will like to have traveled: backpack Europe for a summer, travel nurse in Australia, hike the Inca Trail. I know I would like to keep challenging myself: triathlons, standardized tests, etc but none of these life experiences seem to be pointing in a direction that brings me any closer to settling down or attaining any sort of stability in my life. While I love the fact that I honestly cannot remember the last time I have felt "bored," I know that I cannot average 2..5 hours of sleep a night and still function for forever. I have about six months (this is a self-selected time frame of just how much longer I can physically/mentally handle living in LA) to figure out what direction I will go in from here... I could head back East and move to NYC, get it out of my blood to live the Carrie Bradshaw life of Broadway plays, art gallery openings and great sushi on every city block. I could go north and breathe fresh air for awhile, explore the Great Outdoors and get away from city life for awhile. I could go abroad and immerse myself in a fabulous culture refreshingly different yet slightly similar enough to still work in the same profession... like Australia! =) It's tough making life decisions that will impact the course of the rest of your life. Tired of being an oyster, I've decided to try life as a pearl for awhile ... by spending the next seventeen days re-entering into my pseudo-retirement with Grams.  

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

dirty dancing.

Carly, Paige and I had the time of our lives when we went to see the classic Dirty Dancing in an interesting musical/play/dancing stage show at the Pantages Theatre a couple of weeks ago! =)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

summer solstice.

Carly and I will be enjoying some R & R this weekend at the Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa in Scottsdale!! What better way to spend the longest day of the year than by soaking up the Phoenix sun laying by the resort's "water playground"! The most exciting part of our trip will be meeting up with Megan and her boyfriend, David, who are in Phoenix on holidays!! =)

Monday, June 15, 2009

spirit of adventure.

Weather in the valley has been extremely overcast recently and to beat the June gloom on my weekend off, Carly and I donned some super cool 3D glasses Saturday afternoon and headed to the ultra-touristy Hollywood/Highland to watch Up! at El Capitan. It was amazing! Not only was the movie super cute (it had a hot air balloon, my fave!) but the whole theatre palace experience was indescribable... there was a stage show with Disney characters and an organist who played all the clasic Disney songs!! NBC/Universal offers free screening of two movies a month to their employees in their private theatres on the Universal backlots. From the heart of Hollywood, we headed over to Universal Studios in Burbank to watch a screening of Away We Go before spending the day in Santa Monica Sunday to watch Angels & Demons with our book club. This weekend has me still feeling like a tourist in my "hometown"...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

my days are numbered.

After spending the entire week frantically searching for my planner... I finally found it in my beach bag amongst three bottles of tanning oil, four packets of Splenda and a tube of chapstick. After carefully reviewing all the things I missed this past week and ensuring my life is still on track for the next 6 months, here's what I have come to realize:
Five more days until I am basking in the Phoenix sun poolside with my besties.
Fourteen days until I will be boarding a plane to Canada for a fabulous seventeen day holiday by the lake!
Ninety days until I am completing my first triathlon in Malibu.... which means twelve weeks until Danny (Megan's fiance!) and I run the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach the weekend before my tri!
Three weeks until Country Fest ...
Five weeks until Megalina comes to Los Angeles to "eat good food and lay on a beach!"   
Eight weeks until I am in Knoxville volunteering at a summer camp for kids with terminal illnesses as the camp nurse with Kara and her PA class!
One month until I start the Scratch DJ Academy.
Three months until Grams and Auntie Linda come to LA.. which means only three months until I turn twenty-three!
Five months until I am bridesmaid and Megan and Danny tie the knot!! 
Six months until Kara's white coat ceremony...

Throw in Christmas and the New Year and that's where my planner ends... 

Thursday, June 11, 2009

love is a mix tape.

I've been reading a number of memoirs recently... possibly subconsciously researching how to write my own memoir one day. While I can't currently put my finger on just how I want the tone of the book to come across, I found this book "Love is a Mix Tape" by Rob Sheffield in the autobiography section and I quite liked it. I loved how he compared a relationship and the loss of that relationship to a number of playlists in each chapter.  While I wouldn't use this as a template for my book (it's obviously already been done).. I did decide to make a play list about love of my very own: 
1. Marc Cohen - True Companion
2. Avril Lavigne - Why
3. John Mayer - Comfortable
4. Snow Patrol - You Could Be Happy
5. Rod Stewart - Broken Arrow
6. Keith Urban - Stupid Boy
7. Anberlin - Inevitable
8. Ben Harper - Walk Away
9. Adele - Make You Feel My Love
10. Matt White - Best Days
11. Zac Brown Band - Got Whatever It Is 
12. Colbie Caillat - Magic
13. The Wreckers - Leave the Pieces
14. Lady Antebellum - All We'd Ever Need
15. The Fray - Over My Head
16. Josh Kelley- Tidal Wave
17. Taylor Swift- Picture to Burn
18. Brett Dennen - Just Like the Moon
19. Sugarland - Happy Ending
20. James Blunt - Goodbye My Lover

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Yay!! So You Think You Can Dance has started again!! The one show I make a point to watch is back on FOX Wednesday and Thursday nights for the entire summer! Watching this season brings about a whole new feeling of familiarity now that we have met My Nigel and all the judges/choreographers at the all access party after the LA show of their tour last October!! I was completely enamored by C and I's first "SO LA" experience and this is still one of my favorite memories living in LA!! =) 

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

weight of the world.

For most people, scent is their language of memory and distinct smells bring back the most vivid memories. While certain fragrances do remind me of significant places and people (jasmine reminds me of Italy, Gap cologne reminds me of Australia, patchouli reminds me of my mum, creatine reminds me of ex-boyfriends)... it's music that brings back the most memorable moments for me! Outkast - "Ms. Jackson" will always remind me of keg parties in high school. Lifehouse - "You and Me" will always remind me of rocking Kate to sleep as a baby. Black Crowes - "She Talks to Angels" will always remind me of myself. Rent - "Seasons of Love" will forever remind me of dance parties with my roommates in college. Justin Timberlake - "Chop Me Up" will always make me smile thinking of road trips with Jess, particularly to Panama City Beach where we caught the flu and sang Rascal Flatts - "Stand" for weeks until we were well enough to stand again. Jessica Simpson - "With You" will always remind me of my first love and Avril Lavigne -"Why" will always remind me of when that love ended. Buckcherry - "Crazy B*itch" will always take me back to a chick swinging from a rafter at a biker bar in Phoenix. Taylor Swift - Mary's Song (Oh My My My) was the song that evoked the most butterflies when I realized I would have said yes and her "White Horses" is what got me through never getting the opportunity to. Kid Rock - "All Summer Long" will always remind me of driving across the country with Grams last summer and more recently, Beyonce - "Single Ladies" will always remind me of my time in Los Angeles! 
But there is an entire cd that got me through one of the most trying times of my life .... Chantal Kreviazuk: What If It All Means Something. For the latter half of high school, I spent most nights crying myself to sleep wondering what it all could mean and there is one song that I feel like got me through it - "Weight of the World" - where her lyrics became my mantra and I really did go from carrying the weight of the world to spreading my wings... to fly! 

It seems like I got off on a bit of a tangent writing this post... I was originally just going to say that seeing live shows at hotel cafe is incomparable to anything else and that I was amazed again last night when I went to see Chantal Kreviazuk perform ... but I guess my preface gives you insight of why I thought she was just so fabulous! 

Saturday, June 06, 2009

allow natural death.

One of my favorite parts about being a nurse is how much you never stop learning. I can honestly say I learn something new (more often like ten new things) every night and it's exciting to me that no shift is the same. No patient is the same. No disease is the same. And most certainly, no twelve hours are the same. While this is the most exciting aspects of my job, at times, it is also the scariest. I have spent the last three years desperately seeking all the knowledge I can in order to make the most informed decisions when advocating for my patients. I spent the first two of those years learning an overwhelming amount of information that felt like was spoken in a foreign language. Once I became fluent and started being in a practical setting where I can apply all that I have learned, I realized I wasn't taught anything that I use on a daily basis and honestly do not apply any what I learned in nursing school. Neonatal nursing is so specialized, we didn't learn much of anything that is applicable on my unit and unfortunately, I feel like I have forgotten so much of it already -hypertension, diabetes, etc. It would be impossible to have a Guide to Nursing for Dummies containing everything you need to know because you just cannot be taught it all in a classroom and I have learned to be conscious of the fact that I don't know what all that I don't know and still frequently ask questions just to triple check; I have a tiny life in my hands and the smallest mistake could mean life or death in a neonate.

As a nurse, you strive to do everything in your power to heal your patient. It's that innate drive to want to rid someone of their pain, to help them to heal and grow stronger... but what do you do when you are ordered not to? What questions do you ask when your patient is too sick and any intervention would just be causing more pain? Delaying the inevitable? When there is nothing else we can do. When no medical intervention would serve any purpose but to prolong death. When treatment would only cause more harm than good. This is the ethical dilemma that is becoming more familiar to me ... to allow natural death. By setting aside all the life-saving skills I have been taught. By watching a mother stand over her child helplessly crying at the bedside. By watching a patient slowly deteriorate until finally they are at peace.

It's a strange phenomenon that it appears as though certain defects or diseases come in waves on my unit. Trisomy 18, gastroschisis, TAPVR... and the current theme: Allow Natural Death. As I sit here for the fourth night in two weeks watching a baby gasp as he takes his final breaths, I try to look at it from a medical prospective. The baby is better off. He is no longer in pain. He is no longer suffering but there is a part of me that cannot disengage. Cannot let go of the fact that this is not just a disease; it's somebody's child. A baby with a name, two eyes, one nose, ten fingers, ten toes...

As I watched a family be informed that there was nothing else we could do to save their baby for the first time back in December, the chaplain that was called to the bedside told me "The day you stop crying is the day you should quit your job". Fearing I might drown in my own tears tonight, I have a feeling I will be a nurse for a long time.

Friday, June 05, 2009

lifelong learners.

While I don't often blog about our Society of Promoting Intellectualism (mainly because it's impossible to put the enlighting meeting into words) Carly, Lindsay, Angie and I do meet at local coffee shops about twice a month to discuss fabulous topics/current events to further our learning. We recently chose to present an artist by taking a field trip to a local art museum to see their art. Last Sunday, we went to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena and I selected the French artist, Henri Matisse, whose illustrations of love poems are currently on display. It was a lot of fun to look at the art and walk around the sculpture garden. My favorite part (and most blogworthy aspect) of our meetings are the reaction we get from the spectators eavesdropping around us. "Oh, honey, look... it's a self-help group." "Wow, I really learned a lot from listening in on your meeting." The best reaction we got was from a man who offered to take a picture of us in the sculpture garden. "Oh, are you guys art majors?" and without hesitation (or pretentiousness) Lindsay responded "No, we're just lifelong learners." I am currently researching the Galileo Affair for my next assignment when me and my fellow literati meet to watch and review Angels & Demons next Sunday! =)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

acqua al 2.

When Carly and I studied abroad at the Apicius Culinary Institute of Florence in Italy a few summers ago, one of our favorite meals was a blueberry steak from a local favorite, Acqua al 2, in Florence. Only a few days after trying this amazing entree, the man who prepared the steak showed up as a guest professor in my cooking class! I never really knew what happened to our original chef but I wasn't complaining when Stefano, the adorable executive chef who owned Acqua al 2, would greet us each morning not only adding his own flare to our traditional textbook recipes but also preparing things completely separate from our course... including this amazing fruit tart he taught us how to make using extra supplies in our kitchen! Before leaving Florence, he insisted we come try his seafood restaurant for our last meal where he brought us out all kinds of things to try... including octupus that still had it's tentacles! I was so excited to try his restaurant in the Gaslamp district of San Diego while we were there! The ambience was the same. The menu was the same... and the blueberry steak was just as amazing as I remember! The only thing missing was my Italian amore. I dream of the day I'll return to Firenza to find him again...

san diego zoo.

As you can see by this map, the SD Zoo is huge!! There are so many exhibits and so many different animals, it was awesome! We saw elephants, monkeys, chimps, gorillas, polar bears, otters, pandas, koala bears, zebras, giraffes, rhinos... we spent the entire morning looking at the different species and left around 2:00 when all the children in the park were ready for their naps! 

san diego.

Because I have spent my time home from San Diego working 2 22-hour shifts, 2 12-hour shifts, falling in love, survived one killer hangover (maybe I'm not as mature as I thought!) at an art museum and concluded my crazy weekend with a 24 hour nap (that's right... I lost an entire day of my life to sleep!) before heading over to Last Call's studio to watch a Greenday concert with Vanessa Minello yesterday, I have neglected blogging the past few days... Here's the highlights of our heart-healthy weekend away to San Diego for Memorial Weekend...
learning a lot by the pool...
twenty-two and still find the carousel incredibly invigorating...
our extra ordinary dessert
The Shout House - where I have to credit my Canadian citizenship card (where I am 5 y/o in the picture) to getting me in!
the view of our pool from our balcony
waiting in line at Extraordinary desserts.

the view of the bay from twenty-one floors up

taking Sydney's Eos for her first (of many to come!) road trip!