Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Movin' on and on..

Secret of Life #1. Chad Call Bleazard.

Home from El Salvador, San Salvador, my junior-high friend reported his two year church mission this last weekend. The differences brought by not only two years time, but by a dedicated, service-oriented, and disciplined LDS mission are quite impressive. Chad is a new man, and it was my absolute pleasure to drive the new ride home to see my dear friend. And in the time of his mission, I became a new woman. It was so neat to be able to discuss and demonstrate our changed selves. Chad, you made my weekend and I am so glad to have you "back" in my life. And thank you for permitting time away from your family to see me. Here's to new maturity levels, commitment to the LDS gospel, making time for friends and rekindling those friendships, and focusing on what is most important in life.

Movin' On

Secret of Life #1. New car.

Round two this summer; going through cars like cheap (but fabulous) Ross sunglasses. Lucy (my Saturn ion) has been replaced with Sophia (my Kia Optima, with such a term of endearment submitted from my best gal Jessica). 2007, 14K miles, lots of warranty left, a mother-of-pearl color, tan interior, commercially publicized as 'luxurious,' and super classy. (I think). And did I mention my phenomenal haggling skills in achieving $3K off the Kelly blue-book price? Movin' on'; and movin' on UP!

Secret of Life #2. Futbol.
Not only were you my LIFE, my identity, my hobby for fifteen years of my life, but here in Salt Lake, I get to watch you (and s-e-x-y shinguarded men; I really had forgotten my uncontrollable attraction to uniformed soccer men) from the fifth row up, right in front of goal-scoring action, with great friends, and for free (thanks Arthritis Foundation, and grandma)! We only thought it natural, however, since osteoarthritis is inevitably headed my knee's way come age 25. Favorite quotes of the evening:

Joseph Nance, "I smell Swedish fish on your breath. I want some."

Callie Cockrell (directed at Grant Smith), "You are just an Italian delight!"

Grant Smith amicably noting my different laughs, and when my 'uninhibited, giddy giggle' comes through. And we just happened to be listening to running-worthy Eurobeats...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Competitive Fire

Secret of Life #1. RUNNING.

What would I do without you? You make. me. feel. SO. GOOD! 100% of the time, works every time. Ever since my NCAA sanctioned competition came to a rather abrupt end almost one year ago, I have had serious withdrawals. I need competition. I need to prove myself. I need the adrenaline rush. And thanks to you and the privileges you allow to keep up the fitness through gazelle strides in the form of scarred, bruised, mile-long and not nearly-tan-enough-for-being-July human female legs. And thanks to Deseret News for sponsoring a 10K, and giving me that opportunity to finally succor the sweet intoxication of competition! 6am came quite early this morning, but fought through and enjoyed running 6 miles through the downtown streets of Salt Lake entertaining the parade crowd. What a way to experience my first personal July 24th Holiday in the great Beehive state. And great prep for the marathon in T-41 days.

Secret of Life #2. POST-running.

Passing out on my large and spacious queen mattress. Gearing up to lay by the pool and finally tan those way behind schedule white legs. And perhaps stop by Nordstroms and experience this 'amazing' annual sale first hand. And spend time with my best friends. And pack up to take a trip home to Boise (in the new 2007 Kia Optima mind you!) to see my dear friend as he has arrived back in the US of A from serving a two-year church mission. CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU CHAD!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It's Official

Secret of Life #1. Coming of age, officially.
And witnessing friends and family experience it, and come to know the official legality that age twenty one so eagerly offers, as I can certainly proclaim such EXPERIENCED advice on how to 'live it up.' I mean, it still is the running joke at work that I am the bar tramp. Or I guess now such infamy has been replaced with 'rock and ROLL queen,' 'get her an Idaho potato ROLL,' and anything that has some slight reference to rolling (a car). Or officially coming of age within the realm of which I am much less familiar, and yet see such happiness in officially gettin' hitched, as my cousin Casey demonstrated last weekend.

My dear friend (who just happens to be my fabulous cousin) and I celebrating the grand 2-1!

Handsome Clifford/Mangum men at Casey's wedding dinner

(JS Memorial Building, Empire Room)

Secret of Life #2. The word 'official'.

Especially when it is used in the same sentence with job offer post graduation. Yep, it's official folks, I will be a true Salt Laker come January. Rocky Mountain Associated Physicians have got themselves a nurse! And I could not be any more ecstatic. Why am I so blessed?!?!?! (Now I just gotta pass those boards..)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Guilt Free. almost.


Secret of Life #1. See above.

Mr. Grant Smith (aka Utah's version of Hugh Grant) brought me some tasty car crash recovery 'medicine.' And it has worked wonders. I am actually slowly savoring the delicious frozen delectable right now. Mental image: Me, hair in high ponytail, navy blue knicker-like sweat pants, large gray soccer t-shirt from years ago (who knew I would never 'grow into it'), and a long-handled silver spoon filled with a bite of mango magic, ready to reach my lips and delight my taste buds. C'est la vie...

Secret of Life #2. Midnight Movies.
Especially when the movie is... THE DARK KNIGHT, batman style. With, yet again, Mr. Grant Smith (aka Utah's version of Hugh Grant). Guess that means au revoir to my navy cotton knickers...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Visual Aids

Secret of Life #1. Color.
Finally, some visual aids and life added to this wordy, black print of a blog... even if it requires rolling my car to get it.

Secret of Life #2. A camera.

And having a brother who is optimistic enough (or perhaps suffered a serious head injury during the crash) to find a smile in the midst of an upside down car and a defied death. One witness of the accident spoke to my mother on the phone, "Welp, your son is laughing and smiling; and your daughter is crying." Naturally. I am my mother's daughter after all.

And I have seemed to misplaced my Kodak camera. Such a bummer. If anyone finds one with pictures of a terrified girl ice blocking in Sugarhouse Park... please return to its rightful owner.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Dead, or Alive.

And I choose the latter. Even when I have no control over the matter. Life is precious, invaluable, and can be taken away from you in an instant.. something I have learned the hard way, yesterday.

Secret of Life #1. A Beating Heart.
Why I still have you is beyond my control, and understanding. Physically, I can visually SEE why, but my psyche is blind. Driving back to SLC after visiting home for July 4th weekend, I was behind the wheel, while my older brother, Parker, was asleep and laying down in the passenger seat. Being the stubborn woman that I am, I was determined to figure out how to change the song on the iPod iTouch, but was struggling. Keeping my eyes on the 2x4 piece of electronic metal for too long, I soon felt loose gravel under my tires. I looked up and realized the road was making a turn and I was not following, but heading down a steep embankment toward oncoming traffic. Naturally, I made a hard right turn, resulting in an over correction. Immediately, it lead to my white Saturn turning a 180 with the momentum strong enough to carry us over sideways, rolling 3 times, finally landing upside down on the side of the road, fully braced-buckled in-and dangling by our seatbelts.

My first thoughts turned to my brother, who had been startled to an awake state by my hard over correction and was yelling through the crash. All I could do, with my hands gripped to the steering wheel at the lawfully correct 10-and-2 position, was stare at the shattered windshield lying on the ground with the blood rushing to my head due to the simple rules of gravity. I was frozen. I was shocked. I couldn't catch my breath. I couldn't turn and look at Parker, so I yelled his name and he returned the call. We both realized we were okay, but I was stunned. All I could muster was, "I just wrecked my car."

Almost immediately, bystanders rushed to us yelling, "Is anyone alive?!" Gratefully, and unknowingly why, we were able to respond in the positive. Attempting to brace myself against the ground with my left arm, I unbuckled my seat belt, but my weight hurled me to the floor and came crashing against broken glass, dust and rocks. My Good Samaritans pulled my legs out of the shattered windows and carried me to the side of the road. They laid down my red swimdress, which had blown out of the car, and rested me on top of it. I began to cry. Parker had to be cut out of his seat belt with a pocket knife because the safety restraint wouldn't release. He crawled out through my window due to a completely crushed right side of the car frame (Note: he was asleep, with the car seat reclined, what if he had been sitting upright?). We embraced and I began to cry again. A woman who witnessed the crash said we rolled 4 or 5 times (although ground markings indicate a 3 roll spill), and she did not expect to find anyone alive. Police came. Paramedics came. My parents came. And I cried some more.

My injuries? Tiny scratches on my left arm, a large goose egg on my right knee, and a pounding headache. That's it. My brother? Scratches and debris lodged in wounds that required 7 stitches. That's it. A CT scan and X-Ray later from the ER at St. Luke's in Boise, I was even medically released as 'low risk symptoms in a high-risk environment.' Parker left with some scissors and tweezers to remove the stitches later, and a pat on the back for good measure.

I hopped into the shower that night around midnight, post ER visit, to clean off the dirt and grime, and tame the rat's nest of wind-blown dusty hair. I sat down in the porcelain tub and lost it. My prayers took on a new meaning, expressing such gratitude to Heavenly Father and the powers above, and I began to realize the severity of the situation. What angels were looking out for my brother and me Sunday night at 6 o'clock? Why were we spared when another roll over crash took the lives of a father, two sons and a daughter one state away? Why am I able to walk away from a potentially life-threatening car crash unscathed?

The crash replays over, and over, and over in my mind. And I am told it will for quite some time. I saw a roll over crash in a movie I was watching tonight, and the sensation came flooding back to me. The whirlwind of a hard turn, my eyes squeezed as tight as possible, and feeling the car flip, as the roof caves in on my head as we bounce off the gravel road. I clearly have a mission and purpose for this life. I am still here for a reason. And I owe my brother an all-expense paid shopping trip to replace some shredded personal items. But I know I will never feel completely satisfied in making up a rollover crash to my brother, for endangering his life. It is one thing to place one's self in harms way, but to threaten the life of a brother? A whole different ball game. A whole different set of fear, sadness, and enveloping guilt. Moral of the story: Keep your eyes on the road, say a prayer before you leave, and wear your seatbelt. And keep your purse zipped- I am still cleaning out rubble.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Shout Outs

Secret of Life #1. Israel.
More prudently, Ashley Peay, my sister from another mister. Loved signing in and finding my blog has been accessed from Israel… Ashley, you are caught! There is definitely no chance of blending in with other USA-ers who occasionally frequent my blog, the Israel blue and white flag sticks out like a sore thumb against the Stars and Stripes. So flattered that my blog has enough priority for you, Ashley, to visit its e-boundaries even thousands of miles away. Keep coming. Keep coming. You are a beautiful human being- Your good natured humor, genuine concern for others, intellect and humility complemented by your enviable tan skin, stunning white toothed smile, and hot female figure make you the complete package. Love you very much and look forward to hearing your incredible experiences from a land far, far away.

SoL #2. Minnesota.
After meticulously analyzing how my blogger fans are accessing my website, I discovered a common trend: Google ‘Derek Erstad’ and my fan base will increase ten fold. Naturally, had to pass on the funny epiphany and catch up with a blast from the past! Thoroughly enjoyed catching up with the old and dear friend last night. He is alive, well and thriving in the metropolis of Rochester researching neuromedicine and stem cells for an internship at the Mayo Clinic. I think that sums it up perfectly, and gives you oodles of insight to what a specimen Derek exemplifies, and has exemplified from a young age. And hey, Derek, maybe this shout-out will increase your Google hits by a few; not that you need it, but happy to advertise you and your work any day. So, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the great man affectionately known as, ‘D’ or ‘D-Rock,’ check out his PUBLISHED research: http://lib.bioinfo.pl/auid:8335987. So honored to call you my friend, and look forward to one day participating in, and offering my nursing services for, your cause to save the world, one patient at a time.

SoL #3. July.
Where did June go? Happy to have you, July, but wasn’t expecting you so soon. Here’s to hoping month seven of the year 2008 slows down a bit, or at least gives me a chance to thoroughly say goodbye come day 29, 30, 31… As much as I enjoy August, because it occupies 30 days of summer, it and January rank in similar categories- the drab months of the two polar seasons. So, really, take your time in offering your warmth, boating excursions, fireworks, hamburgers and wind-blown hair.

SoL #4. Acrylic Nails.
I like you round, and NOT rectangular, despite the nail tech’s constant prodding in convincing me otherwise. I do not care if “all the young people” have rectangles.. I, apparently, avoid the 50 and younger trend, and just stick with the classy old-timers. And why I devoted a whole shout out to you, I really don’t know. Kinda cringing at the trite nature of it all, but your annoying clicking with every keyboard letter pressed needed to be addressed. So ssshhh! Quit the clankin’!