Today, I spent about two-hours cleaning my car. I never made it to the outside – I’ll have to work on that tomorrow. Still, it feels so nice to have no trash in sight (or out of sight for that matter), no stains or scuffs, dirt or dust. In about three-months, I won’t have a car until I don’t even know when. For now, I’m going to take care of my little car child while I can.
Today, I had a meeting with one of my service line reps in the Laboratory. We scheduled an hour to go over a newsletter and some tactics to change the way that doctors order tests. Basically, because the standards of lab testing change so often, and certain tests not only have to be taken by the correct method (blood, urine, saliva, etc.) but also have to be stored/labeled correctly (different color vials actually contain different types of plastics that can alter the test results) there is a lot of room for error, which means a lot of error occurs. So learning about that was all interesting enough, but we didn’t even make it to this part of the meeting until an hour after we were scheduled to because we got caught up talking on the Lab tour.
I was with my manager as well, and we started out the meeting by taking a tour of the lab which includes several departments. There is the area that works does dissections, then microbiology, pharmacology, molecular biology and a few others that I don’t even remember. Once we got into the molecular area of the hospital – the department where my service line works – we not only got a tour, but a lot of in-depth information about what type of virus/bacteria are processed in her lab. Most of it was for STDs. There were separate machines for herpes, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, along with machines that test for the flu and some basic genetic mutations.
So naturally, we launched into a discussion about STDs, the growth and spread of each, and especially of herpes. I was surprised how much knowledge I have locked away about STDs. I’ve been lucky to never had to deal with anything like that in my life, but I apparently have done enough reading and research to know a fair amount about them. Even information about symptoms and spread that the molecular biologist didn’t know. I did learn that Symplex 1 and 2 can now be found on either area of the body where walking in I thought Symplex 1 was only found on the mouth and face. We were told that both Symplexes attach to the base of the spine; I corrected the doctor and told her that Symplex 1 actually attached behind the jaw. She said that wan’t the case. Me, being the egoist that I am, looked it up when I got home, and found that Symplex 1, does in fact, attach behind the cheek bone.
So I’m not trying to brag that I know anything about anything because I know I don’t. I just surprise myself every once in a while by pulling out some old files that I have stored away in my brain, brushing them off, and still being able to make out the handwriting. Even if it is something that most humans are equipped with, the ability to store and recall information is pretty outstanding.
After getting rear ended about two-months ago, I’ve been going to the chiropractor about three times a week to work out some very stubborn knots in my back and neck. It’s been such a hassle- scheduling appointments, driving out of the way, waiting to be seen by the doctor and paying a $1,000 deductible, yet to be offered any settlement.
About two weeks ago, my doctor added deep tissue massages to my regimen. Holy cow. I had no idea how fabulous massage is. I’ve had them at resorts and spas before, but a deep tissue massage to get the kinks out is a very different experience. I had nasty little bumps and crap-deposits (that’s obviously not the medical term) that have been building up and hurting in a slow way that I learned to ignore. After about three massages, so much of my pain is completely gone.
My masseuse also has a passion for aromatherapy and is studying reflexology which was definitely an added bonus. She talked me through a theory about vibrations in oils and how they interact with the vibrations of the cells in your body… I didn’t even know such a thing existed. I love random little opportunities to learn something new. She also gave me some lavender oil to take home so I can fall asleep a little faster tonight. I hope it works because I’ve only been getting 4-5 hours a night this week.
I can’t wait until I get to go back Monday! Hopefully I’ll have a little more knowledge about the oils by then and can pick out a few to start working into my life!
Today, I’m thankful for one of my best friends on the planet, Ms. Carrie Stribling. I could have easily written this post last week, while I was in Phoenix and staying with her and Jake. We had a great time entertaining ourselves all week, the same way we have since we were in grade school. But, after talking to her until late last night because I was upset, and continuing our conversation again throughout the day today (thanks to Voxer… you’ll get a post soon too my little voice-activated friend) I realized how valuable a friendship is that you don’t have to be physically around for.
So, let me take a minute and tell you why she’s so great. First. She works really hard. She not only works a full time job, but she also runs her own photography business, and she’s actually really good at taking pictures. I’m not saying that in an obligatory ‘she’s my friend so I have of’ sort of way. When I first saw her work I was shocked. Not because I didn’t think she was capable, but because I didn’t realize we were at a place in our lives where we were able to be really good at something. She’s creative not just in her job, but in the rest of her life as well. She’s planning an adorable wedding, she can draw, she blogs, photographs, works for a design company… she has a vision and she makes it work. She took a risk to do the thing that she loved, even though a lot of people told her that it wasn’t a stable form of work. She started out slow, but now she has a steady stream of work, and her skills continue to grow with every shoot. You can see for yourself here.
So there’s that. The hard work, integrity thing that makes you say, “wow, that person really gives a shit about their life.” I can’t help but admire that in a person.
Second. It’s who she is as a person. It’s only fitting her “pet name” in high school was Care Bear. (Sorry, “nickname” wasn’t quite the right word there). Carrie doesn’t only give a shit about her life, but she gives a shit about other people’s too. We were joking tonight that we will always be the people that cling onto the leg of a person trying to run from us, the way a toddler does when it wants to be picked up. Carrie will always be the apologizer, even if she don’t completely understand the reason for it. Not to be insincere when apologizing, but to be completely dedicated to a friend and a relationship. And she always is. She notices when people around her are off, if only just a little. She’ll follow you to the bathroom to hold your hand when no one else even noticed you were crying. And she doesn’t tell you everything will be okay because she knows you know that. She just lets you be sad, and then she hugs you and tells you she loves you.
And I’ll end with one more – although I could go on for the remaining 90 days.
I love how much she’s able to love. I can honestly say she knows the darkest, most character-degrading deeds I’ve committed, and she loves me anyway. She’s had a hard time telling me things in the past, but she trusted enough to let me in so that I know her twisted, hard-to-tell stories too. And then there’s Jake. Soon to be husband, always to be a character. They just fit together. He’s thrust her into change (I know he’d appreciate my word choice there) and she’s made him an honest man. They’ve been through it, but she loves him so unconditionally. Little Ms. Life-Plan-to-be-Married-and-have-Babies-by-25 put in almost nine solid years and her blue print is with the engineers. Pretty soon she’ll have 14 kids and that many more to love.
So, at risk of sounding like a complete lesbian, I just want to express gratitude for one of my very best friends, and part of my family. When I was out dress shopping with Carrie and her mom last week, her mom said that she thinks we all got to be so close because we all had brothers and no sisters. I think that may have something to do with it.
We found our own sisters in the world.
Who would have guessed our taste would have been so spot-on as third-graders. I love you Carebear. I’m so excited to see where you let life take you.
Finally getting back on a schedule that involves less gorging on anything fried and more running and putting things that are green on my plate. Yesterday I woke up at 5 a.m. to work out and today I hit the gym again. A four-mile inclined run (okay 3 miles of running and a mile to get warmed up/cool down) and 700 calories later, I’m still standing. Now, to keep it up and renovate my temple.
Every day when I get home, my dad comes to the door, pushes our wild pack of dogs off of me, and heads to my first destination: the kitchen. We snack, grab a drink with some ice in it, and usually end up sitting at the kitchen table talking. Our bosses, the weather, the yard, the speed of light, J.R. Tolkien … no limits. We just sit and talk for hours. I’m not sure how many people have that relationship with their father, but it’s such an exceptional gift to me.
I’m definitely my father’s daughter. He’s called me his “little girl” since the day I was born. He still addresses my birthday cards that way. When I was a little girl, he taught me how to hold my breath under water, play HORSE, and catch the lizards whose tails fall off when you pick them up. When I got older he taught me how to drive, lay tile, change the breaks on my car, and put someone in a chokehold. He always knows what the weather is going to be. When he’s proud, his chin starts to tremble. Sometimes tennis matches do it to him too. He is too cheap to turn the air down in the summer. He would eat a hamburger from Red Robin every day if we would let him. He made me my first olive and cream cheese sandwich. We have the same taste in beer. He drives way too close to the person in front of him. He curses when he can’t find things in the fridge. He puts his initials on practically everything he owns.
I know he won’t be around forever, and meanwhile, I’m running in every direction as fast as I can. I get a lump in my throat thinking about the day that I get the call telling me he’s gone. So I’m not going to think about it. I’m just inflated with love for that crazy old man.
After being away from home for 10 days, this is an easy one. I am so thankful for my bed. Temperpedic, 1,500 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets that smell of lavendar, a memory foam pillow and my two pups snuggled up next to me. Rarely a day goes by when I don’t climb into bed and think about how much I am going to miss this pile of clouds and cotton candy.
My little brother always reminds me that a Jack of all trades is an expert of none. I like to think that I’m pretty darn good with words, with people, with getting a message across when I need to. I won’t say I’m always good with any of those things, but when I make up my mind to be particularly social, I make new friends; when I’m trying to get something for nothing, become a damn good sales person; when I need to whip out a 20 page paper in a few hours, I turn into quite the Wordsworth. So I may not be an expert, but I’m good enough to get by, better than most. I don’t think even Einstein would call himself an expert – the more you learn the less you know – you know the cliché I’m referencing.
So I’ve got the things I’m “good at,” if only in my own head. But I’m also okay at a lot of things. I can look at a problem and figure it out pretty quickly. I can work through numbers (calculus aside), I can draw okay, my handwriting is decent, I can cook and clean and change the oil in my car. So, expert or not, I’m glad that I’m okay at a lot of things. I’m glad that when people need a second opinion, they value mine; when they need someone to confide in, they call me; when they need someone to draw an outline for painting pottery, they give me the marker. Being okay isn’t all that bad.
Ludacris and I share the same profound love for Saturdays. This was a good one. We had an adult social gathering, with friends from high school, many of whom I’ve known since grade school. There were new faces as well, friends of friends who I’ve seen tagged in photos and heard stories about.
First kisses, first crushes, first boyfriends, and a lot of other firsts crowded Carrie’s living room and kitchen, singing songs about the glory days, toasting to the future. So many of us have known each other since we were single digit, greasy headed little kids playing foursquare on the playground. Our initials are carved in the tree past the basketball courts, little hearts outlining love we thought was final.
And here we are, over 15 years later, discussing wedding dresses and admiring photos of each other’s children, complaining about long work days and trying to forget how far past our bedtimes it is. Don’t get me wrong – we aren’t old quite yet. Fighting for the title of beer pong champion, chasing shots of vodka with shots of Malibu, running circles around the pool table in a hyperactive game of ‘Blue Balls,’ imitating Street Fighter characters in the kitchen (okay, maybe that was just me), and dreading the sun coming up because we could stay right here forever.
So much changes in our lives every day. We lose people we love, we move to new places, life deals us cards that change who we are and what matters to us. It’s good to know that even with the world spinning madly on, we can fill a house with thirty people, new friends and old, have some beers, and freeze time, if only for one night.
Today was action packed with so much fun. I woke up and did yoga on the patio (in the shade, mind you) and then got around with the girls to take a day-trip up to Prescott. The weather was about 15 degrees cooler, and the grass is about 40 shades greener. We had a lazy day, wandering the streets, snacking liberally and enjoying time in the car with familiar music and a painted landscape. This is the part of Arizona that people forget is here.