Saturday, January 31, 2009


Alysa is working on forgiveness. (I'd definitely settle for forgetting on this one, except it's looking impossible to escape the reminder.) I'll blog again when all my mental/emotional energy is not otherwise occupied.

Btw, happy month closer to warmer weather.....

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

anyone looking to adopt a cat?

One of our patients died leaving behind a sweet, friendly black cat who is in need of a home. Good with children and dogs, let me know if you're looking for a fuzzy little creature friend! I would so take her but Gabe already thinks I'm the crazy cat lady, and I think another would push Daphne over the edge.

By the way I couldn't help thinking that that song just made no sense if the preacher survived. So i looked up the lyrics - the hooker DID survive, and now her son's a preacher - ok, all is right with the world now.

randy travis is a prophet

so today was not good for driving. this morning was not as bad as i expected, but after i got to work it started really coming down. when i went out for my first appointment around 1 i nearly couldn't make it up two hills and was sliding all around. yuck. so when that appt. ended a bit after 3 i decided to just head home. it had turned to sleet-rain, and the only bad thing on the highway was some giant puddles that slowed traffic.

so i am cruising along at top speed 45 on the highway along with others and a randy travis song came on about a bus getting hit by an 18 wheeler. not exactly what i wanted to think about, but i became curious about which one of the four passengers would survive - the farmer or the teacher, the hooker or the preacher. as i am listening, i see the car just in front of me one lane to my right lose control in a deep puddle. veer right. back end comes completely in the air as it totally does a 180 - headlights facing us. it goes WAY up in the air and lands on the snowbank on the right side of the highway. thankfully it didn't land back in the lanes. but the hubcaps flew off, one of them right towards the front of my car. i think i missed it by three inches or so. whoa!

i'm okay, and sorry to worry my family. as for randy travis, he surprised me - i thought for sure the hooker survived.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

against mornings


It is morning because the sun has risen.

It is morning because the darkness is

packed off to Europe and because the

clock says so and the radio and the

wet clothes sinking down from the

line begin to be responsible again,

try to shake themselves and face up to

drying and it is morning because the

jug quivers and bubbles and switches itself

off and my fingers force the skin off my

orange, and the blue and white teapot

holds fresh tea, and it is morning because

things to be done line up in front of me and

say, look here.

~ Rachel Bush, The Hungry Woman (VUP, 1997)

If I could change something about myself, I think I would want to love mornings. I do, in theory. The idea of rising with the sun, sitting with a familiar cup of tea and letting the steam hit my face, easing into the possibility of the day..... It is a beautiful dream. The reality is that I resist becoming vertical with all my might. Sometimes I get stuck in dreams, sometimes I just long to sleep longer...even when I'm somewhat awake I whine, I hit snooze, I make continual excuses to delay getting up until the pain of being so late for something outweighs the pain of getting up. It really is such a struggle, and why? I cannot really ever remember a day when I jumped out of bed, ever.

I do love nighttime. I feel much more productive when everyone around me is asleep. I like the quiet. I feel more alert (which obviously makes it difficult to sleep). And I just naturally revert to a night owl schedule if given the slightest opportunity. And maybe I could just embrace it if (1) I didn't work early and (2) it didn't make me feel so lazy. I've always been told I'll get used to getting up early but I'm 31 and so far it's just not happening. I worked 2 years at a job that started at 7:15 and was 45 minutes away.... the last day was no better than the first. So when I think of becoming a mother my biggest worry is not about parenting... it's about waking up early! No, I'm not pregnant, I just know that all my mother-colleagues wake at 5 and I am in constant awe of them. They just kind of shrug and say they became morning people when they had children. I do hope one day I can be on friendlier terms with mornings, whether it takes motherhood or a total overhaul of my habits.

So right now I am poutingly putting off sleep to put off waking up in the morning to a snowed-in car that needs shoveling out to drive in a snow-filled Boston commute...but I'll give up the battle at some point...

the winter blues

the bad thing about my job is that there are no snow days. we take care of dying patients at home so we just need to be there. i was witness to the ONE time ever in the history of my company when there was an 'early release' at 3 p.m. it was during a blizzard and it took me 4 1/2 hours to get home. so tonight i think the snow begins at midnight and i have an 8:30 meeting 27 miles north of here. yuck. at least it's not as bad as previously forecast - i think now it's just 6 inches. it's the freezing rain and icing over later that's the bad part. oh, boston winters, i hate you but just keep coming back for more.

the other bad thing about my job is the 1 1/2 hour meeting today about how we're in the red for three months in a row and there are potential layoffs. my emotional reaction is a twisted sense of excitement (oh, the possibilities!) but then the pragmatic side kicked in. i personally am not too worried (my services are totally extraneous, but then again i think it's a good marketing/pr piece), but it's never inspiring to work in an atmosphere full of stress and worry. i don't think we're in a unique spot considering all the layoff news coming out... and the MA unemployment rate is 7.2% right now i think.

so i'm left in a bit of a funk today, and have an increasingly present headache. i was SO looking forward to yoga tonight and now my lazy self wants to get a bath and curl up and watch american idol. we'll see which self-care strategy wins out :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

a poem to read then forget

This is probably the first of many posts about memory. It is fascinating to me - the biology, the philosophy, the poetic, social and cultural aspects. It's not surprising to me I've ended up working with people with dementia. Until a couple years ago, I could not comprehend how people forgot things. I mean I've always been somewhat absent-minded as far as short-term memory goes, but I never had forgotten something once reminded. I would be with someone and remind them of something we'd done before and they would draw a blank. I guess I didn't have much empathy for that - you were THERE, you were forming memories - WHERE did they go in your head?

Then, a few years ago I must have hit maximum capacity. I couldn't always place myself in others' stories of me. Alarmingly, sometimes I couldn't remember if something was a story I heard or something that happened to me. Sometimes I wasn't sure if I had said something out loud or just thought it. Now I realize that these are 'normal' things that make up our human experience and aren't (hopefully!) indicative of early dementia or mental illness. It's also allowed me to be more associative and a bit more creative - and not critical anymore of those who occasionally forget. So I've joined the multitudes whose identity is a constellation of shifting and disappearing memories, and who are occasionally mysteries to themselves. This poem, to me, is about that bittersweet, beautiful experience:

Billy Collins

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,
as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.
Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,
something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.
Whatever it is you are struggling to remember
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.
It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.
No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Gabe's sense of humor

One of the things I love best about our relationship is that we are always laughing together. (I know a lot of you may be thinking that it doesn't take much to make me laugh, and that is probably true.) We appreciate puns like nobody else I know, and laugh both at goofy stuff and very clever things. Gabriel actually thinks I'm funny, too! And there have been quite a few times where I either thought I'd pee myself or turn blue because he cracks me up so much.

If you could see inside our house at any random time when we're both there together there is an 85% chance we are dancing. Dancing together, sometimes, but mostly alone. For instance, if I'm walking from the kitchen to the living room with a glass of water I'll do a silly dance. Gabe will usually laugh, and just as often he'll watch me intently for a moment then earnestly try to copy the step. This turns into a 30 second dance-off. This happens many times a day, and it never seems odd until I give it some perspective, like now.

What I originally wanted to tell you was something that happened yesterday and it's a prime example of Gabriel's quick wit. We were being fancy and went to the opera (care of his parents) and then went to the Oak Room at the Copley Hotel to continue the fanciness. We shared a Kobe burger and I had the most expensive martini I've had in my life. At the end of the meal I went to find my credit card. In case you're not familiar with the state of my pocketbook, this is a 5 minute process. I have a pocket in there where I try to keep all my various cards - business cards, credit cards, grocery store cards, IDs, everything. I couldn't find it in there, so I took the whole two inch pile and fanned it out to get a better look. Gabe, without a second's hesitation, pretends he's playing Go Fish and says, "Do you have any twos?". I got an ab workout I was laughing so hard.

In case that was funny just because of the martini, I'll give you another example. When I was in grad school I started a thesis on masks. For inspiration I went to a Balinese store and bought a 4 foot tall colorful mask. Back then we were roommates on the second floor of a house, so I carried it from the car to upstairs. When I came up the stairs I decided to be silly and put the mask in front of me to scare him. He turned around at his desk, saw me, and within 1 second, totally seriously, says "Why the long face?"

Thank you sweetie for all the laughter you bring into my life everyday!

the ring

I got my ring sized today! It does feel different to wear it. It's wonderful. Gabe re-proposed with it today. I think there's going to be lots of proposals in the future - now that he's done it once he can't seem to stop :) Gabe got this ring with the intention of us looking for a diamond ring together (with the help of diamond dealer Dave - my mom's husband). This was a 'pre' engagement ring because Gabe decided he didn't want to wait to propose. But I REALLY love this ring and it's so special to me because he chose it himself so I'm sticking with it! I think we could also mostly have our wedding for the cost of a fancy diamond ring, so we're choosing our battles. Plus I think the fancy diamond ring would make a special anniversary gift in the future ;-)

wedding "planning"

I found it daunting that the news of my engagement led many to ask a series of questions I had no answer for - 'when is the date?', 'where will it be'?, etc. Over the past week Gabe and I have attempted to have a clearer vision of what we want. I know I want something simple, stress-free, fun, with great food, and maybe a bit whimsical. All Gabe knows is a pig roast would be cool. Since we're almost always below freezing in Boston this time of year our wedding discussion usually lasts about 30 seconds and then we drift off into daydreaming about our warm honeymoon spot (TBD). If we're hungry we talk about the food we'd like. That's really all.

I'm all about not making this into a huge production, so I've purposely not been wedding planning crazy. But after a week I realize that by not making any plans it's starting to cause a bit of background stress. We really have NO idea what to do, where it will be, how many people, or anything. And we keep getting requests to not have our wedding on certain days because our friends have friends that are much better at planning and already have spaces reserved :) So I broke down today and bought three bridal magazines and hopefully will get some ideas. The other reality we're not quite willing to look at yet is cost. I read something that said the minimum for weddings is 10,000 and most are twice that. Hmmm... seeing as how our total savings are ~5% of the minimum required we may have a problem here! But I'm going to be optimistic and creative, and not give into the ridiculous marketing hype, and I know it will be a special day!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

i was told what heaven is like...

by a ten year old girl whose father died yesterday.

her: "In heaven, you get up, get a shower, go to school, have lunch..."

me: "Heaven sounds a lot like earth."

her: "No, it's not. In heaven you have free lunches."

i guess that was a bigger day than i realized...

Last Saturday I said that January 17 was a special day for two people in my family. Little did I know how special that day would become to me - Gabriel proposed! Proposed is a funny word to use here, since it was a bit awkward and confusing in the most endearing way. And I was eating oatmeal and watching Iron Chef and pouting- in my pajamas from the night before. Not exactly the scene I had imagined. To my everlasting horror I interrupted Gabe's beautiful proposal to say " (sigh) you know, that's the kind of stuff you tell people when you want to marry them". There is a backstory to that comment, and please know I am not usually such a monumental asshole.

It appears that this whole day was spur of the moment, and my favorite part is that after he proposed and I said 'of course', he looked around and said "Oh, our house is such a mess. I really wanted to clean the house and play some Air Supply or something." But it was perfect just the way it was, in all its imperfection. And I've lamented that I'm not very good at celebrating - taking the time to acknowledge happiness, but I'm proud to say Gabe was prepared with flowers and champagne, and we spent two days doing nothing but celebrating the very beginnings of this next chapter in our lives together.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

January 17

Today is a big day for some people I know. It's my sister Kim's birthday - yay! She's 29 today, which puts both of us on either side of 30. It's also my cousin Amy's wedding day - yay! You don't see simple winter weddings much and I hope she has a glorious day. Can't wait to see pictures.

Speaking of pictures, I would really like to get a great digital camera with all the money I don't have right now. I've been wandering through blogs and I've seen a couple people take pictures of the little things around them and post them as a way to practice gratitude. What a beautiful idea. I also want to post a picture of how I found my cats when I woke up this morning. They were curled up, facing each other, with Ookie at eye level and Daphne at my belly. Precious.

Friday, January 16, 2009

california dreaming

The picture above of the moon is somewhere around Salinas, CA. Gabriel and I were out there last November to visit my sister and her boyfriend, and there was also a not-so-secret mission to convince him to move to San Francisco. This has had mixed results.

Page Two

Hi blog,
Not sure about our relationship from the start. I rolled my eyes at the blog 'trend'. I've always had a disproportionate-to-the-situation fear of my writing being seen by others. I know I do not have the mind that could do a themed blog - I could never stick just to photography, or cooking, or work stories or book reviewing, or anything.

In other words, I know this will be a sheep-following mind spew that will leave me feeling embarrassed and/or vulnerable. But my curiosity has won out....

Blank Page One

Ever since I started writing, I've left the first page blank. I think it's a way of getting over the pressure of the first page. This is my blog equivalent.


Related Posts with Thumbnails