Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Very Fine Place to Start

But I can't seem to find that place.

Much has happened this week, yet I don't feel like I have much to blog about. What I am learning is if I wait too long to blog (even though it hasn't even been a week since the last post), the less I have to say. Strange phenomena, yes?

So here's a brief synopsis of my Thanksgiving week... (and only in black and white lettering, as my camera's battery died and I lack the sheer will to search for it in my blackhole of a purse to charge the juices).

Tuesday night, the fam drove down to Salt Lake, arriving around midnight and then snuggled up in one-room slumber party fashion around 1am. The following day brought us a chance to see the uber cool exhibit, Body Worlds, downtown. As I took my Anatomy and Physiology course online years ago, my cadaver experience lent itself as an e-dissection of cartoon frogs. Hence, this "live," but "dead" show of once-living bodies and the inner workings of our magnificent systems, was AWESOME. Disembowelment, full peripheral nervous system layouts, and embryonic growth from day one to birth, only made for a fascinating experience (and a great academic review).

Though it is rather pricey, it was well worth it. And it was great to verify my blood pressure still runs super low. Guess end of the semester cramming and a long run of tachycardic palpitations from heartache have not caused too much damage.

Wednesday evening was filled with turkey, broccoli and cheese casserole (my favorite), mashed potatoes, delectable rolls, and Grandma's famous raspberry jam. Moreover, the edible sustenance was perfectly accented with great company. Apparently, I have not yet graduated to the "adult" table, due to extra occupancy from marriages and significant others joining the feast. Alas, I must relinquish all hopes in ever outgrowing the "teenager" table. Perhaps, one day, when I suddenly wish the aging clock to stop, I will appreciate the seating arrangement. ;)

Though most of November 27th (Happy birthday, Parker! I so adore you, my sweet brother) was spent in the car driving back home, I enjoyed a focaccia turkey sandwich from the Flying J gas station in Brigham City, apple pie at the Peay home, and a third viewing of Twilight. And Edward gets sexier every time.

Parker's girlfriend, Meegan Small, joined our family for the weekend. What a doll. We dabbled in a Senior All-Star football game for Madison, near-whole family jogs, Broadway-esque performances from my little sister's sing and dance group at Boise's Festival of Trees, and a fourth viewing of Twilight. Yep, E-dawg still so easy on the eyes.

And I dabbled in an evening out on the town with old friends on Friday. I haven't had so much fun in quite a long time. The Boise downtown nightlife made for a great high school reunion, particularly highlighted by the scariest pirate face competition with the Hardy boys. So looking forward to Christmas break for a repeat.

Now back to the real world. Gotta focus. Gotta revamp my priorities. Gotta reboot the system. As an old friend would say in a determined tone, "Face off," while pretending to remove the invisible party mask in a single hand sweeping motion.

But, hey, it's only for two more weeks, right?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Break.

A time to show gratitude for our packed to the brim cornucopia of bounteous blessings.

A time for overindulgence, for going to bed with a stomach ache, and for carbo loading (for no reason whatsoever, or to pad our "winter coats").

A time to spend extra time with people we love, and laughing, reminiscing, all night long.

A time for a trip to Salt Lake (though it be a quickie this time) for Mangum Family Turkey-Day dinner Wednesday night. Every year. It must be done. No questions asked.

A time to see too many movies in the theater; and consequentially overindulge (ah, yes, we have seen this verb before) the pocketbook. Hence, a time to rationalize a possible third viewing of Twilight. Again, no questions asked.

And most of all, a time to spend the former usual hours spent in the classroom, shopping. (...When I have a vehicle averaging 32 miles to the gallon, further excuses naturally extend themselves.)

PS: Graduation arrives on my doorstep in T-25 days.

PPS: Which really only means 12 "school days."

PPPS: That is LESS THAN two weeks!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


So maybe, just maybe, I loved seeing the movie, Twilight, Friday night.

And maybe... just maybe, I loved it so much I went to see it again, today.

And furthermore, my two younger brothers definitely wanted to see it with me, too. There are zero maybes in that claim.

So in a very short span of sixteen hours...
  • I have had five of those to stare at Rob Pattinson on the big screen, and talk cinematic-shop with the family members who joined me;
  • two+ hours to cozy up in my pajamas to watch Harry Potter: The Goblet of Fire- aka Cedric Diggory, aka Rob Pattinson;
  • eight hours of dream-filled sleep (and did in fact remember the dream) with you know who as the star;
  • and sixty minutes to download the Twilight soundtrack and transfer to my iPod, to then listen in my car while driving to see the movie, again.

I have sold my soul to Twilight.

Or perhaps I should say, traded my soul with Twilight in exchange for the trusting excitement that someday such love and passion for a man, will be my very own.

Until then, my main squeeze Rob will do just fine as proxy.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Attack of the Grocery Carts

Upon my arrival in the Albertson's parking lot to do a bit of grocery shopping, I turn off my engine, but leave the car's power on so I could enjoy the finale of a beautiful Jon Schmidt Christmas piece blaring (literally) through my speakers. All of a sudden a mammoth-sized gust of wind took flight; it was as if God himself was doing a little housekeeping and decided to blow off the millenias of collected dust from this old planet. But instead of provoking sneezes for earth's inhabitants, He only could muster up some whirlwinds of leaves, in transit grocery shoppers' hair... and grocery carts.

Next thing I know, my peaceful moment of reflection mid piano concerto is abruptly interrupted as I see two metal grocery carts flying toward my car, at ramming speed. My small brown eyes widen to a full stretch, and I begin to laugh heartily, out loud. What should I do?! The carts aren't slowing down... And they literally have my Optima as the sole "must destroy" target.

I quickly turn down my music (it is such a habit, as I cannot think clearly with musical interference), and with my keys still in the ignition, I fire up the engine. I flip the transmission into reverse, simultaneously check my mirrors, look behind my shoulders (while still laughing), and sporadically swerve out of the yellow lined parking space.

With the white colored target now out of killing range, the grocery carts opt for a suicide mission instead, and plant their gray scrap metal into the fender of a nearby vehicle.

Phew!!! Who knew an ordinary day at the food market, with the help of inanimate objects, could turn the trip deadly. Or at least, costly.

Okay, now back to that Christmas music... Volume up!

{Moral of the story: Put your quietly-violent shopping carts AWAY when finished with them. Just like the use of a car's turning blinker, it's really not that difficult. Thanks.}


PS: Twilight. Tomorrow night. 7pm. I haven't been this obsessed about a movie, and/or actor (ahem, Rob Pattinson) since the partnership of Titanic and Leonardo DiCaprio. Am I really eleven years old all over again?? Seriously, it's kind of out of control.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Mid-Autumn Night's Dream

Secret of Life #1. Subconscious Stimulation.

During my slumber, I hardly ever dream. Or if I do, I never remember it. I claim this as my reasoning for my frequent deja-vu. (I dream the future without even knowing it. Schyeah, the basic five sense package is SO for losers).

But, I woke up Tuesday morning very vividly remembering my dream. The kind of dream where you suddenly realize your bedroom is a strange and lonely place, and immediately the eyelids are shut closed, desperately trying to escape back to fantasy land. The imagination is set free to run wild, to paint the messiest collage of color known to the world of visible light.

So, perhaps my imagination is reeling from a lack of such uncultivated energy… and was trying to tell me something; or wanted to take matters into its own hands to mitigate the effects of such deprivation. Though I am surely not one to seek it out in reality “just because.”

Yes, you guessed it.

I definitely had a make-out dream.

So as I quickly squeezed my eyelids to an impenetrable seal, the dream naturally, and unwillingly, was fading- or at least the reality of it all. And yet, my mind allowed me to take a few moments and really soak in the emotion behind the warm, seductive embrace- and the strange remembrance of the light pink collared shirt worn by the handsome victim.

No worries, the ecstasy was PG-13, or dare I say PG (as ratings go these days). Nonetheless, the power of a kiss is undeniable. And physically taxing. Waking up to a pounding heart can be quite arduous. Ohh, I can see the newspaper article now:
“Young girl dies of myocardial infarction from provocative REM.”
The dream stuck with me for the rest of the day, and clearly long enough to persuade me to write it down as a legal document. Being that every time I record my most inner thoughts (though quite censored for the public), it is only more proof and hard physical evidence of my guilty plea for what have you. Lunatic; hopeless romantic; utterly mad woman; super cheese ball; unashamed. You pick.

So, if my deja-vu theory proves correct, guess my lips won’t be burning calories anytime soon.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Zero Dead Zones

The new LG EnV2 from Verizon is mine. Happy early Christmas to me.

(Though I am justified.. as my old warrior-of-a-phone's monitor was hanging on by a single plastic hinge. She was bruised, battered, scuffed, and on her death bed... I just sped up the process a bit.)

RIP sleek silver oversimplified flip phone. You were good to me.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Future of America

And to further my Christmas cheers...

A double-fisted cheers to my dear friend, Derek Erstad, as he embarks on a journey many of us only fantasize about (if that even, as most of us do not know such lengths are possible).

Derek will be interviewing in San Francisco tomorrow for the Marshall scholarship. And then he will be off to Seattle to interview, as he was chosen as a Rhodes Scholar finalist. Simply to be nominated is an incredible feat, one of which makes me so proud to have him as someone so near and dear to my heart; but if he is selected, he will have the opportunity to study and research medicine at Oxford University in England for two years.

I like to brag, because he never does.
Good luck to you Derek. You have my utmost respect, and my open arms to welcome our superhero back home.

And so it begins..

..the never ending, continuous outpouring of Christmas music. From my laptop. From my car. From the family's CD stereo. From my iPod. And from my daydream humming.

Without a doubt, this is my favorite time of year.

When all too quickly flipping through my agenda, I sometimes accidentally bypass December. And literally, a surge of despair rushes through my veins. I haven't missed Christmas! No! Not yet! Go back--quick! Soon follows the inaudible sigh of relief as the the eleventh month of the year flashes on the correct page. Phew! Dodged a bullet.

Josh Groban's soothing vocals, George Winston's inspirational piano, Mormon Tabernacle Choir's powerful sound, Sarah McLachlan's peaceful melodies, Mannheim Steamroller's funky new-age perspective, and James Taylor's folksy tunes...

Nothing really puts me more in the Christmas mood than music. Other than the scent of wilderness Pine right in my living room, the delightful wrapping paper colors, the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers, pretty party dresses, and the FOOD! Oooh, the food. The delectable aroma of my mother's caramels boiling, a recipe which has been passed on from generation to generation, always signifies the time to celebrate the birth of Christ. We refuse to allow my mother to make them eleven months out of the year...

...And most of all, the true spirit of the Holidays. The Spirit of Jesus Christ, and celebrating His life, His purpose, and the happiness He inevitably brings me.

No matter what Deity you may reference for celebrating the beauty of life, as I know billions differ from mine, isn't it so great to know we each can find happiness in our own right? By our own means, and through different faiths? That, to me, is the core of the spirit of Christmas (and of life, really). A time to honor whomever or whatever we choose.

So, cheers. Cheers with your finest wine, your diet coke, your eggnog, your lemon water, or your aged cognac. Cheers to this MAGNIFICENT time of year!

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lyrical Parallelism

"Pay my respects to grace and virtue. Send my condolences to good. Give my regards to soul and romance; they always did the best they could. And so long to devotion; you taught me everything I know. Wave goodbye, wish me well. You've got to let me go..."
-The Killers, "Human"
This so hits home for me. Breaking through. Reaching new boundaries, but keeping one foot fastened to the foundation. Thinking of the possibilities. But scared out of my mind.

Props to my sweet cousin, Alexandra Mangum, for your infinite wisdom and friendship.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Feel the Burn

Secret of Life #1. Autumn in Boise.
With a morning to sleep in and a flexible afternoon to follow, I decided to take advantage of my youth, healthy lungs, new music on the iPod, calorie reserve from the inevitable Sunday overindulgence, and the magnificent fall colors dans Les Bois. I ran up to Table Rock (yes, for fun!) and spent too much time gazing into the valley below.

Having overheated on the battle upward, I had wrapped my black long sleeve dri-fit shirt around my waist. However, standing on the steep plateau overlooking the city below, the wind chilled the sweat against my skin, so I unwrapped the shirt from my waist and stuck my arms into the sleeves. As I stood on the graffiti-covered cement bench with my brunette ponytail whipping in the wind, I took a deep breath and looked longingly to the farthest visible point and soaked in the brilliant colors flooding the horizon.

I spotted Timberline High School, and White Pine Elementary a mere hundred yards away from it. I guessed the approximation of my home, and of my usual running route on Parkcenter boulevard. My heart surged with pride as I clearly identified St. Luke's hospital, then St. Alphonsus, and followed the freeway to St. Luke's Meridian. The posh new Boise State football field sky boxes stood out against the perfect blue sky and pointed in the direction of the BSU soccer/tennis bubbles, where I had practically taken up residence for the past 5 years of my life.

This is my home. My city; my twenty one year old life and my memories. I love Boise.

Secret of Life #2. Rocking out to "Bottoms Up," by Keke Palmer.
In my bedroom. By myself. Wearing my pajamas. In front of a mirror.

How else do you better prepare for a killer run up Table Rock?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside (II)

A weekend with the ENTIRE family usually leads to the inevitable: Christmas card photos.

PS: After working two twelve hour hospital shifts in a row, coupled with a terrible night's sleep due to stuffed nasal sinuses and too much on my mind, I allowed myself to splurge this morning. One massive cereal bowl of Fruit Loops. I need to increase my intake of vitamin C, and I thought the placebo effect would work wonderfully. We will see.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Day One

Secret of Life #1. The miracle of life.
Even when it is in sharing with complete strangers.

I helped deliver my first baby today. And it was beautiful.


Because I connected with a wife and a husband, a mother and a father, in such a deep manner that the only way to describe it is through my reaction at the baby girl's birth. I cried. I looked up at the father, and he was crying. And we cried even more.

Okay, we ALL know, this was not the first time I have ever experienced an utter lack of tear duct blockage. However, my reaction completely startled me; totally caught me off guard. But that is truly the essence of the miracle of life; God working at His finest. Being a sweet young family giving birth to their second little girl, whom I had only known for a mere 5 hours, we were able to make such an impact on one another. One that I truly will never forget.

And as strange as it was, I saw myself in this birthing mother. I am single; and not even as a marital status, I am not even dating anyone. I am nowhere near childbirth. But I felt close to this woman. And she happened to be married to a man who looks so similar to my first love. In a very honest way, my heart ached. Despite my best efforts for self preservation, I inevitably felt the burn and pain of a breaking heart. It had been awhile. And it stung; and it stings.

And my cheeks soon became covered in salt.

I am wiped out. But alas, day two: tomorrow.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fleeting Sunlight

Secret of Life #1. Daylight Savings Time.
But only when we fall back; and even if it means a speedier westbound sun, because... I sat in class today, I had a moment. A moment of gratitude, of inner peripherally radiating warmth, and a moment of contentment.

Sitting in my navy blue khakis, and a collared shirt revealing its baby blue stripes at the nape of a cozy fall camel-colored sweater's neck, my mind wandered from the illuminated white powerpoint screen and glanced to the window at my left. As the man-made light reflected off my glasses in the overly darkened room, I realized the superfluous indoor gloom stemmed from the impending nighttime scene creeping upon our campus.

"Oh, yeah, " I thought to myself, "Daylight Savings Time. Right."

And my usual response would then ensue as a depressing sigh, or a silent groan, as the quickened darkened sky signals the official turning of the summer tides. But this time, my initial reflexive reaction was different. I had my moment.

I felt grateful to be sitting in a classroom, learning and educating my mind. I renewed my love for warm autumn sweaters. I slipped into a mesmerizing coma as I stared at the City of Tree's fiery reds, yellows, and oranges warping themselves into the shape of leaves. And most of all, I had a moment of passion and zeal for the gift of life. I took in a large dose of oxygen through my nose, closed my eyes for a few brief seconds, and rezoned on the educational lecture topic at hand...

And so I hope to find these moments everyday, because there is something or someone, with every new sunrise, that can trigger the intoxicating satiety cascade as it's pumped through the veins with each heartbeat.

And it even rained today.

The Little Witch

Secret of Life #1. Younger siblings through which to live vicariously.

I have so enjoyed re-living high school sports and relishing in the success of my younger brothers on the football field this fall. And the privileges of having a baby sister: Halloween's true spirit is still intact in our family, at least for a few more years. I helped Abigail gussy up for trick-or-treating with her friends, as the rest of us were headed where? Yep. A Timberline football game.

She was not allowed to wear mascara, but I sure had fun curling her blond locks and lining her les yeux with gray eye pencil, so much so that mascara would not have been needed anyway.

Our pretty little witch.

Sweet 'n Salty

Secret of Life #1. Savory Salt.

A gratifying and fulfilling Sabbath it surely has been today. During Sunday School hour at church, the topic of discussion stemmed from 3rd Nephi, Chapter 12-13: The Beatitudes.

Specifically focusing on the "Salt of the Earth," we discussed the importance of salt in our foods, and what happens when the ingredient is left out. Or the way salt attains it's impurities- through mixture and contamination, and not from age or the passage of time. The principle is a very applicable metaphor to our own lives, and can be interpreted or demonstrated through various methods. Some chose to liken a lack of the great combination of Sodium and Chloride to a bland, undesirable life without Christ. Others relate salt to losing its savor from distractions, sinning without repentance, or an idea I specifically publicly suggested- complacency, lacking an active will to progress and better ourselves even when doing 'good' things.

Do to the great volume of active participants during the church lesson, I limited my comments to one. However, because this is my journal and my refuge for personal intuitions, I wish to expand upon another salt metaphor that clicks with me, and jives with my inner nursing-educated mind:

Food is a great life pleasure. The satiety of a chocolate Reese's peanut butter cup, or the nostalgia of mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving; life's sustenance is so very enjoyable.

Often in the clinical setting, patients are diagnosed with certain conditions requiring them to limit their salt intake, whether it be congestive heart failure or renal disease. In my experience of aiding these patients in implementing a life-altering diet change, their response is almost always unanimous: Frustration, anger, and an obvious lack of zeal for life. Why? Because a great source of pleasure is being strictly limited and negatively altered, often for their rest of their lives. The once savory salt is now the bad guy, one that can wreak havoc if not kept in delicate moderation.

And so my message is this: Let us not feel a need to limit the Salt in our lives because of our 'unworthiness'. Let us not lose the Savor of the Salt because we fell off track and are slow to recover. Moreover, let us cherish the magnitude of the blessings of the Salt and feel of His happiness- for the Salt is, of, and from Him.