Friday, November 20, 2009

Please Pass the Catch-Up

My former teammate, Molly, mentioned that I should have plenty to write about for my next blog post.

But I feel blank!

Which means.... I have waited so long to blog again, that all my fun has clustered into one big mess; a mess that I am having a hard time de-cluttering!

Let's see. Here is what comes to mind.

My brother engaged in a commitment to marry his sweetheart on December 5th! Parker and Meegan, sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g... Honored to be her bridesmaid.

St. George Marathon. Shaved off 46 minutes from 2008's finish, coming in at 3 hours and 44 minutes. Missed Boston by 3 minutes and 1 second. Yes, I was very, very bitter about the latter, but very pleased of the former.

My super hot and super fit mother finished the marathon for the second time, too. After having pulled her medial gastrocnemius 3 weeks prior, she still shaved off 4 minutes and made the age of 51 look SO. DANG. GOOD.

I had a small surgery. Nothing major. At least maybe not to the untrained eye.

Thank you to October 31st and the chance to be anything you have ever wanted. So, naturally, I chose to live out my childhood dream and be Disney's bravest little Fish, Nemo, for a day. Yes, I had fins and a tutu. No, I was not covered in a giant fish suit. You get the idea.

A couple of my girlfriends and I braved the 6 hour drive from Salt Lake City to.... Las Vegas! We exchanged a chill in the air and a conservative nightlife for 70 degrees and 5am bedtimes. But we all know I can't share any more sin city stories; what happens in Vegas....

I have thoroughly enjoyed witnessing first hand Real Salt Lake barely squeak into the playoffs to now playing for all the marbles on Sunday against the Donovan-Beckham duo.

And what's on the menu for this weekend?

Why, New Moon, of course! I am sure no one fell out of their chairs in disbelief as they read such a plan.

Tangent: Still slightly obsessed with Robert Pattinson. But ever since rumors have been surfacing about him dating Kristen Stewart, my crushing has certainly taken a backseat. Ugh. How could he?

Okay, it's official. There is too much to catch up on; I am enjoying my single, independent life too much to go so long without posting.

Thank you for your forgiveness. I hope to never have need to clean my slate again!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Calling on Repentance

Oh my gaw. It's been 2 months and 2 days since I last posted.

And I think one of my New Year's resolutions was to keep blogging.

Please do not fear (needed more for my own convincing, really), I have not given up!

This post stands as a teaser to you, and a reminder to me, that I will post something of more substance....

very...

soon.

Yes, Ambiguity is necessary.

Do forgive me.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Where were you...

...on this day, eight years past?

Undoubtedly it was a day that changed our country forever. A day that affected millions of people across the world, reaching those who have never even dipped a toe on American soil.

And undoubtedly, it has created a lasting impact on my life.

I was merely 14. And on September 11, 2001, I went to Les Bois Junior High just like any other day. Early morning church seminary went on as usual, without one hint of disaster looming. We entered first period at 7:50am and I took my usual seat in Ms. Adam's US History class. (Ironic?) And that's when word broke. News stories clamored on the television showing a New York World Trade Center billowing with black smoke. Confusion, apprehension hung over our heads like a dark rain cloud indecisive to let down it's guard. Was it just a terrible, but accidental, plane crash?

I couldn't conjure up the idea that this was bigger than my impressionable young teenage mind would understand. The televisions were left on in the classroom, as we all turned to whisper to one another what could be the crisis? We were left in the dark. Being two hours behind New York City, I imagine much of the west coast felt similarly.

I remember sitting puzzled, not moving to speak to my neighbor, or to engage in predicting the verdict. As we watched the first tower burning and news reporters spouting off their own media analyzed answers, the second tower was hit by another airplane. Innocently, I thought to myself, "ANOTHER plane crash accident?" And just as quickly as I murmured the last word, it became more clear.

This is not a coincidence.

This is not an accident.

We had been attacked. Terrorized. Murdered.

I had never and have never since felt, so much pride for my country. I wanted to scream from the rooftops that I am an American, born and bred. This is my home, and everything America stands for represents who I am. Me.

Parents began to call into the school, demanding televisions be turned off. Perhaps it was the conservative Idaho environment, but we did not receive one more lick of information. A once blackened room, given one shred of light, was now locked and silenced. We had to bear the rest of school as if nothing had happened.

As 2:35pm rang it's closing bell and I hopped off the final step of the yellow school bus, I ran straight home. Without stopping to take off my backpack, I flicked on the tube. And there it was; everything I had missed for the past 7 hours coming to light. I sat with my father as we took in the tragedy that lay before us. I had so many questions, and I let them fly one right after the other. My patient father did his best to answer, and to keep the mood calm. (Gracious man, my daddy.)

The days following my thoughts were consumed with powerful images of collapsing steel building, sheets of thick black smoke, papers of all colors flying from windows, and god forbid, my fellow Americans following the same destiny as the paper. Screams from different directions penetrated my ears, some from the throats of frightened people fleeing the scene and others from the sirens of fire trucks headed in the opposite direction.

To those who ran to, and not away from, burning buildings and injured Americans, your efforts are unparalleled. I have recently thought that if my services as a nurse were needed in a dire life threatening emergency, would I have the courage to follow through? The bravery and selflessness? Would my sense of duty to my country carry me through? My gratitude to those who did follow through and execute is unexplainable. Words are not enough, and never will be.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

A Citizen of these United States,
Meredith Kaye Mangum

Friday, September 4, 2009

Straight males DO know Boys 2 Men!

Q: Does a California vacation ever fail to satisfy?

A: No. Hell, no.

{Please don't wash my mouth out with soap, mom}

A vacation to San Diego with one of my best girls yet again proved that I love that sunny state.

Loved pampering ourselves with my first ever "spa day." Massages, mani's, pedi's, uber relaxation!

Seized every opportunity to run alongside beaches, harbors, and bays. And felt stinging pains of nostalgia as I watched herds of soccer teams fill Mission's grassy parks. I wanted to jump in and play with them. The lone white girl who can actually play. But then I remembered I am grateful my body still has the capability to run. Have I ever told you that knee joints need serious re-engineering by the big man upstairs? Yeah, I thought so. Ten times over.

Late nights and late mornings.

Glorious sunshine and tanning my 9am-5pm indoor white skin.

Finding the best place to usher in our SoCal vaycay... the Sandbar. San Diego style.

And best of all, getting $$paid$$ all the while!!!

Usually the jet lag post vacation due to reality checks and piles of work completely negates the benefits of time off.... But not this time.

This week has been a RIDE! Everything that I love about the wonderful world of futbol.... all came together in my kitchen one late Tuesday night. In one big human train. And though I do not expect anyone to understand the aforementioned memento... I wrote it for me. For future memory reminders. And there it shall remain.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wildfires

Tomorrow evening, I will be floating westward for the beach sunshine that belongs to the Golden State. (and suddenly my mind is taken to the shoebox float representing California that I created in 4th grade; it was decked out with Sunmaid raisins and the hotshot license plate that only looks good on beamers and range rovers).

But instead of homemade school projects, I will exchange dried grapes for flip flops and sunglasses by day. And I will trade sexy car plates for Paten leather black high heels by night.

I am all packed; stuffed to the brim, but what's new?; so ready to escape somewhere not completely imprisoned by land. (Side note: Fear not, my love affair with the Wasatch mountains remains just as hot and heavy as ever.)

But one thing I am SO looking forward to upon my return home... USA Men's Soccer versus El Salvador in SLC! Clearly my love affair with my 17 year played sport remains even more hot and heavy than mountainous grandeur. Not even shredded knee ligaments can put out such a fire!

And sometimes that burn is so strong, my body physically aches. It pounds like a broken heart. So despite singeing my bare skin as I watch others play the sport I love, I can't help but revel in the beauty of the game. Even as I engaged in a small pickup game with people ten years my younger a few nights past, I couldn't help but feel... SO ALIVE!

Sweaty, but alive.

Bottoms up, Cal-ee-forn-I-ay!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

So this is what it feels like.


I can barely keep my eyes open. My fingers are slow to follow the command of my brain. And I desperately want to retire my weary frame and sink into my foamy mattress. But I feel so much tonight. I feel something that I must share before the moment passes me by. I cannot forget because it proves something that science nor pessimists can legitimately explain.

I may be speaking too plainly. But I don't care. These are my thoughts.

I have had a friend since I was 15 who has positively impacted my life in multiple facets- socially, academically, romantically, spiritually. His name is Derek.

Like I said, I may speak too plainly. But remember, I don't care.

My connection with another human being has yet to reach the capacity as the one between he and I. The definition of a dearest friend.

As he departed for the east coast today to partake of the Harvard crimson at the medical school, I felt something unparalleled. With genuine care and without expecting something in return, I am absolutely elated for him and his accomplishments. No reserves. No compromises.

It feels as though I am about to enter medical school. Which clearly I am not. Nurse Mer for life. And yet, I feel for him, as what I would feel for myself entering a dream long awaited. I feel giddy, and eager, and confident, and happy, without hesitation. A tear fell down my cheek. A tear of excitement and pride.

It's incredible.

I said to my sweet girlfriend, Carley, that I know this is exactly what he wants to be doing, and he will be so damn good at it. I feel such satisfaction in knowing that someone in whom I have vested sincere care is walking the walk. Making his story a good one. Grabbing life with full grasp and not only taking the leap, but giving himself a push start.

I feel absolute happiness when thinking of Derek wearing his white coat and connecting with a patient who needs him. Needs his brilliant mind and compassionate spirit.

Perhaps this is a glimpse of heaven, where only joy and love can linger.

Go and do what you were born to do, Derek. You have a friend a couple thousand of miles away who cherishes your strong (and stubborn) spirit.

xo.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cheesy Philosophies

As you well know, I have been contemplating writing a book; a novel; short stories; something. But I cannot seem to figure what exactly to write about. Yeah, I've gone over this time and time again.

While on my 7am run this morning (shocked? I was!), I had an idea. The thoughts that flash through my exercising mind, the people I encounter along my route, the snot rocket that occasionally sprays all over my cheek. They all are stories in and of themselves.

I could write an entire biography on the small, stout, man who resembled perfectly the father from My Big Fat Greek Wedding perfectly. He clearly was quite surprised to turn around while standing on the edge between lawn and sidewalk, and find a tall woman running past his sprinklers. Having to quickly acquire lip reading skills to negate my blaring ipod earphones, his shining eyes, happy-go-lucky smile and eastward pointing finger gave the message away as soon as I passed the next green bush. Soon two young guys emerged into my periphery as they tinkered away at yardwork.

As far as my Hollywood knowledge of Greeks goes, their attempts to play matchmaker for any creature with two legs, even for quickly passing strangers, could very well be true. A smile slowly snuck across my face, and a soft laugh escaped my lips. And of course, I stole a glance at the males laboring on Grecian grass. To my surprise, that single glance turned into a second.

But mid-run is not the most appropriate time to meet someone new. I can't stop my rhythm. I'm a woman on a mission; a mission to shrink my hips and improve my mile time. Nothing can stop it.

But is it not fascinating to think about the connection of one human to another?

I make the decision to get up for some pavement pounding, the timing of my route lands me at the exact moment my Greek friend turns around to face the sidewalk, and I get a complimentary nod from the lawn mowing lookers, despite said loogie on my rosy cheek. And then to be thinking of those fellow earth inhabitants and their possible life stories, as it consumes my mind for an entire exercising hour.

I find it to be one of the most important and valuable facets of feeling alive. Connection one to another.

Monday, August 3, 2009

East Coast Delivery

A wonderful surprise greeted me on my doorstep this evening, as I arrived home from work.

I grabbed the mail from our mailbox, fiddled with my keys to find the right golden puzzle piece, and then the simple cardboard brown package caught my eye. I quickly noticed my name written in black sharpie on the side; my next glance flew to the top left hand corner to see who the gracious sender could be...

Julie Kupper
Englewood, New Jersey

A smile immediately permeated my face and I wasted no time as I headed to the kitchen. Soon the knife was in my hand, slicing open the taped box. Beyond the bubble wrap and tissue paper, the suspense was coming to a climax. And there it was; the greatest belated birthday gift I have ever received.

A comical card with sweet hand written sentiments inside was the perfect appetizer for the main dish. And at the bottom of the box sat a book. Made of Lotka Plant bark, hand crafted by the women of Nepal using ancient paper making skills, my new journal was in my hands.


Such a thoughtful and unique gift! I love it!

Naturally, my first thought was, "What should I write about?!"

.....Difficult to journal lengthy life experiences, otherwise I will have a pencil callous on my right middle finger the size of Nepal itself.

.....The delicate, but strong, handmade paper is too special for doodles and random algebraic nursing equations.

And so it was soon decided.
My new gift would become a gratitude journal.

Could such a journal be anymore perfect for expressing what is most important to me?

Created by oppressed women in the middle east who can find happiness in the basic survival necessities, I dare say, there could not be a more fit journal for my future encryptions.

First thing on the list: Genuine, loyal, committed friends.

Thank you, Mrs. Julie Kupper!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sir Johnny O.

So my secret life is out of the bag. I am a Nurse by education, profession, and natural instinction; but I have been fortunate enough to dabble in the world of modeling. It's nice to be in Utah where it is not required to be a size double zero. I can have my cake and eat it, too! Pun intended.

I recently had an opportunity to shoot with the famous Johnny Olsen from L.A. who was in town for business. He is witty, has uber amounts of personality, and made me feel very relaxed. He is fantastic. He uses natural light, sans man-made camera flashes, and certainly has a knack for capturing the sunlight magically.

Here is a taste of his work:



Friday, July 31, 2009

Chronicles of the iliac crest.

Do I really even need to tell you if I ran the morning after my last post?

Well for those of you who had faith in my competitive spirit, I hate to shatter your confidence. But I have to.

Yeah. I did anything BUT run.

Not even the spirit of defeating the self was enough to drag my long frame out of bed! As my alarm clock sounded 6:20am, my eyelids felt so heavy, I just knew... there was no way. No way.

So to make up for it, I completed my long training run for the week last night.

15 miles I think does add a bit to my recent competitive defamation. But oh boy, was I paying for it today! My feet, my knees, my hips! Oh, my 22 going on 70 year old hips!

But tonight, as a present to myself, I rediscovered the delectable goodness of a chocolate Creamy. Soooo good.

Alas, my hips were yet again complaining.

{sigh}

Monday, July 27, 2009

Must Be Those New Purple Nikes

Have I ever told you that I love to run?

Well, now you know.

When I sold my soul to college athletics ALL those years ago, little did I know that not only did I agree to become a full time soccer player, but also a runner and a weight lifter. Major bummer to the latter. So naturally that has been nixed post medical retirement.

But running has remained. And so it shall. I never expected to grow so fond of pounding the pavement, but it has blossomed into a serious love-hate relationship. But mostly love. Even if a major blood blister develops under your right big toenail mid 10K race on July 24th, 2009, and will inevitably cause a separation of nail and toe. So long dead keratinized cells. Your 6 month presence was worth it. See your offspring in another six!

So I am yet again training for a marathon, round two. October 3rd, St. George, Utah.

I find myself actually wanting to run everyday. Well, almost. After a filling dinner at Zupas and a Krispy Kreme doughnut for dessert, running takes a back burner for emesis sake.

But what crosses my mind as I type this dedicatory Chariots of Fire post?

Fine, I'll just run tomorrow morning.

Will I do it?

Probably not. But it's the thought that counts, right?

Woah. Wait.

How strange. As soon as I fueled a sufficient amount of self-doubt, I suddenly felt even more empowered to prove myself wrong.

Oh! Right! This is why I love running so much!

COMPETITION!

Post Script: For posterity sake, I feel the need to be self-promoting momentarily. I finished my 10K (6.2 miles) in 49 minutes, providing for 7.9 minute miles. Prefontaine may be disappointed, but this ex-foot fairy was pleased.

Now we all know how much I hold 8 hours of sleep to be most sacred.

Hence, my eyes must say their final goodbyes to a black keyboard that is missing the letter "q" and my ears to newly purchased running beats.

Hello "Strawberry Avalanches" and "Vanilla Twilights."

If you don't follow, type Owl City into iTunes and you soon will. And you will fall victim, just as I have.

Goodnight hot sticky summer July Salt Lake City night...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Where in the World...

...is Carmen San Diego? 'Cept change the hair color to a dark chestnut brown, give her scrubs, and a stethoscope that forms to the curve of her neck. And all of a sudden, we have....
Where in the world...

is Nurse Mer?

Try Salt Lake City Airport, munching on sour gummy worms, and her nose buried in the book, The Fountainhead.

Think Boise, Idaho and delicious salads at the Tavern Restaurant with great friends like Maddie, Rachel, or Derek.

Give Bend, Oregon a whirl, as she defeats the heights of Mt. Bachelor alongside her tall, and ruggedly handsome, family.


Or as she slip 'n slides down the steep altitude of that same Unmarried Peak, on black trash bags.


Next, you may want to attempt to break into the Nike Employee Store in Portland and watch her practically rob the women's running section of all it's half-off apparel. While you're at it, you may want to learn the mastery of legal thievery from the best in the business.

If you still can't seem to catch her, look for a lavender-colored sweater and blue jeans down by the Willamette River, eating Thai food and McDonald's Oreo McFlurries. Such eclectic taste may just be her downfall.


Better yet, look for a long legged girl decked out in Nike wear from head to toe, running along the neighborhood streets of Hillsborough, Oregon. You may even catch her as she slows her lightening speed and makes an equally mad dash in a perpendicular direction, for the nearest bathroom. Yet another Kryptonite.

Still no luck? Look for soccer balls or footballs soaring through the coastal wind at Bella Beach. The hands or feet of the intended recipient may very well be hers.


Mmmmm, paid vacation is a beautiful thing. The real world is good; really good.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Don't Hate Me

but I am seeing what sort of financial gain I can receive from placing ads on my blog. (See right side---->)

Yeah, it's selfish. But you never know, it may be your next birthday present that is purchased with said financial gain.

After I buy my Range Rover of course.

To Each His Own

Pardon me, but I am going to wax nostalgic for a moment.

Growing up under my father's wing, some of my fondest memories stem from road trips between Boise and Salt Lake City, or sitting quietly, but thoughtfully, on my green leather family room couch... all the while listening to my father's music.

He would snap his fingers to Mary Chapin Carpenter's, "The Bug," or point at my mother while singing along to, "Shut Up and Kiss Me." He would ask our sibling quarreling to cease, and to listen to the song's words; he would offer his wise explanations throughout. Like Mark Knopfler's, "Boom, like that," a rendition describing Ray Croc and the beginning of the world capitalized hamburger joint, McDonald's.

He taught me to appreciate the lyrical meaning and purpose of a song. To find little nuggets of wisdom in between the drum beats and guitar plucks. Hence, my backbone of music lends itself from a different generation; an older generation. One more focused on musical thought and lyrical pensiveness.

Hence, despite a not so serenading sound of Bob Dylan, or Warren Zevon, or even Bruce Springsteen for that matter, the power behind the song is what drove them to success. And it is what drives me to love their music.

And it is what lights a fire inside me to find better ways of expressing myself, through song. I can sort my scattered thoughts by words already linked together, and feel at peace. Yes! That is what my mind and my heart feel, but I could not adequately express! It is satiating. Fulfilling.

Without any of my further ramblings, I leave you with one of my favorite songs.

In the words of Linda Ronstadt or Jackson Browne...
"For a Dancer"

Keep a fire burning in your eye
Pay attention to the open sky
You never know what will be coming down
I don't remember losing track of you
You were always dancing in and out of view
I must have thought you'd always be around
Always keeping things real by playing the clown
Now you're nowhere to be found

I don't know what happens when people die
Can't seem to grasp it as hard as I try
It's like a song I can hear playing right in my ear
That I can't sing
I can't help listening
And I can't help feeling stupid standing 'round
Crying as they ease you down
'Cause I know that you'd rather we were dancing
Dancing our sorrow away
(Right on dancing)
No matter what fate chooses to play
(There's nothing you can do about it anyway)

Just do the steps that you've been shown
By everyone you've ever known
Until the dance becomes your very own
No matter how close to yours
Another's steps have grown
In the end there is one dance you'll do alone

Keep a fire for the human race
Let your prayers go drifting into space
You never know what will be coming down
Perhaps a better world is drawing near
And just as easily it could all disappear
Along with whatever meaning you might have found
Don't let the uncertainty turn you around
(The world keeps turning around and around)
Go on and make a joyful sound

Into a dancer you have grown
From a seed somebody else has thrown
Go on ahead and throw some seeds of your own
And somewhere between the time you arrive
And the time you go
May lie a reason you were alive
But you'll never know

Monday, July 6, 2009

Movin' on up!

Rewind eleven days.

As soon as the clock struck midnight on June 25th, 2009... I left my 21st year behind and rang in my 22nd. Good friends, cheers, and chocolate cake, served by a waitress who apparently knew how to adequately flaunt her assets, ushered in those first few moments.

And they were good moments.

Those moments turned into a late night;

And soon they turned into an early morning to catch a flight from Dallas back to SLC.

Exhausted and with a naked face, I could barely manage to put in a couple hours of work at the office. It was my birthday, and I did exactly what I wanted and needed to do: nap. And I slept just like a four year old should on their birthday. So much so, my sleepy mind ignored my alarm and I barely woke up in time for my celebratory dinner.

But alas, take-out Macaroni Grill and the sights and sounds of my dear friends and family, quickly brought me back to life. And Snickers ice cream cake soon satiated my sweet tooth, right after I was serenaded with the classic birthday song.

Yeah, those were good moments.

Really good moments.

And of course, the celebrations didn't end there. The following night was filled with good friends and good dancing; do I even need to tell you where? Well, I will. Yep.

Sandbar.

And the following Sunday, dinner with another good friend, who even let me order White Zinfandel and Tiramisu! Ooo la la!

Spoiled rotten!

And so it remains; my twenty first year had a good run, but I am elated to introduce twenty two to my vocabulary. By no means am I in a rush to grow up, but I most certainly welcome the events and surprises to shape this coming year. I really look forward to what it is to come. Because I don't know. You never know.

It's thrilling.

I am excited!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Trocars and Aviators

Saturday morning, I pull on my black "I mean business" pants, white satin tank top, and slide my arms through a long lavender sweater. I throw my black "I mean business" bag over my shoulder, and go over a mental check list of hotel key... lip stick... cell phone... "I mean business" attitude. All things seemed to be in order.

I make the trek down the twilight zone-esque hotel hallway, ding my way down the elevator, and the shrill click of my black Paten leather heels deafened my ears while cascading through the open atrium; up the escalator, twice, and finally my destination had been reached.

I walk up to the registration table, swing my bag behind my back, tuck a stray hair that doesn't quite fit into my high ponytail behind my ear, and offer my name.

Badges traced with MD, RN, RD fill the plastic desk, I quickly scan for an "M". The woman sitting behind the desk territorially hesitates a smile and asks, "Are you here, for the Ethicon course?" {Emphasis on Ethicon, as if it is only meant for males dressed in Armani suits who scream business, or brains, without even trying}

I spot my badge, nab it, and respond with a big grin, "Yeah..."

And so it began.

A week from college, but on steroids.

A week from the epitome of business meets pleasure.

A week from an alternate reality where the steaks are always cooked to a perfect pink and the apple martinis never run dry.

Soon my father's name became the hot topic of the day, as the majority of Ethicon personnel knew him quite well. It was a testament to my father's personable nature, hard work ethic, and unforgettable physical stature. I soon had a room full of men dressed in those nice business suits gathered around me, reminiscing about Michael Mangum's earned respect.

The tone had been set for the rest of my remaining days in Dallas.

Classes during the day, delicious dinners at night, 3am bewitching hours, and 7am wake up calls. Five days in a row.

I never knew that with a drink in hand, discussions about gastric band fill algorithms could be so fascinating.

Nor did I think I would have the opportunity to spend the first moments of my 22nd year of life eating chocolate cake and sipping on jager. The thin and wobbly scribble of raspberry sauce wishing me a happy birthday as the clock struck midnight has been permanently soaked into my memory, like a red blouse turning white socks pink in a laundry whirlwind.

Nor did I know that meeting three gentlemen from the United States Military Academy in West Point would be so meaningful. I owe them all that was fantastic about this week. They provided opportunities to rub shoulders with very well respected bariatric surgeons, kept my text message inbox full during yawn inspiring lectures, allowed me to spill my philosophical beans, and pushed my efforts on the treadmill.

They were there for it all. Never left my side, even if physically their presence was needed elsewhere. Or if Dr. Schroder swooped in to stir up some jealousy. My wingmen.

And I have discovered that after I found my way back home, they still continue to inspire me.

Transformers 2 held no interest for me, as I was utterly distracted by the real army, fighting as men and women in our war- flying impressive helicopters, leaving no man behind, and preserving the wounded. For that, I owe them my life.

Lying by the pool under a hot and captivating Salt Lake sun in my orange two piece and bug eye sized sunglasses, all I wanted to do was tear open The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand. A recommendation I took seriously, just like I said I would.

{But you know, a recommendation for the use of a freakin' magnifying glass to actually read the book would have also been something I took seriously.}

And the last bit of my uber cheesy dedicatory post...

I never knew a week in Dallas for a national medical conference would turn out to be one of the most valuable experiences, of my life.

And here it is Monday, I am finally feeling less like the train wreck that I was upon my Thursday morning arrival back in Utah. My hair back in a messy ponytail and contained by a brown headband, my face free of any sort of makeup speck, my eyes burning from exhaustion, and my shoulders aching as if my black "I mean business" bag had singed it's fiery strap deep into my muscles. Or maybe it was the hard as rock hotel bed. Or the consistent movement of a glass cup in hand traveling north to meet my awaiting lips.

Needless to say, I was kind of a mess.

But it was one mess that I hope to never have to clean up.

(Shoot, I'm deep.)

Must be that HOT new number 22 that can now finally show itself on my Idaho birth certificate!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fowl of the Air

I arrived in Dallas, Texas this evening to find hot humid air filling my lungs. But it felt so good. Salt Lake rain had me down.

I took my place in seat 10D, next to the window, just the way I like it. Being a smaller plane, the seats felt even more cramped. Or it just could have been my travel neighbor, who probably could have used my seat, too. I truly felt for her; I am sure it was even more uncomfortable for her than it was for me. Nonetheless, she asked me what was bringing me to Texas, and I simply said a medical conference. I left it at that. And I was happy she did not inquire further.

I began to pour my nose into my (still) current read, My Sister's Keeper. I now officially can read on an airplane without feeling the need to reach for a bag to catch my Molca Salsa California Burrito lunch. But, ah, I digress. Being so touched and moved by this story, I could not help but feel my eyes filling with tears. Not now, I thought. Not here. Can you imagine some young woman, rotating her glances between the pages of a book and gazing out the window at 30,000 feet, and wiping shimmering wetness from her cheeks? That was almost me. I had to put the paperback down.

Not here. Not now.

I turned on my iPod, flipped it to my New Songs playlist, maneuvered my hips to give them a break from her hips, relaxed against the small back of my chair, and resumed my window gazing. We were floating like a bird between white sheets of cloud mixed with baby blue stripes. And as Kate Earl calmly echoed her single, All I Want, through my earphones, I wanted to break free of the glass window, scrap metal, and overwhelming seat neighbor holding me prisoner. I wanted to fly, feel the strong wind in my brown hair, and close my eyes to focus on the sensation of flight. But I was held captive by an airplane, and by the ever alluding inevitable that I am, in fact, human. And I don't think that will be changing anytime soon.

In my next life I can be a dove. Paint my body pure white, and give me an olive branch. I can be your deliverance of peace. I can be a seagull. Color me all sorts of aging grays and place me near any body of salt water. I will be your reminder of paradise. I can be a bald eagle, and refresh your memory to preserve, and appreciate. But better yet, make me a Phoenix, every color of the rainbow, and I will prove fire is nothing to fear.

And then the hot humid air of Dallas will feel even more invigorating.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Diet Dorothy

Okay, in all fairness, maybe I should expand upon my diet soda confession per yesterday's post.

It's not simply OK to just have three diet sodas during the 9-5 grind, but it's OK to start drinking said soda at 8am.

Right?

Makeshift energy boost. A coffee substitute. An extra filler from a small breakfast.

I'm not rationalizing; I'm not rationalizing.
(Now imagine me in red ruby slippers, clicking my heels together, and squeezing my eyes shut, but instead of holding a little yappy dog, a can of Diet Pepsi rests in my right hand death lock grip).

No medals of courage or fresh beating hearts coming my way. But seeing that I am not a talking lion, nor do I have a body made up of rusty tin, I think I will be just fine.

Can one of three, down.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This way, I am mistake free!

Though I am not a big Glamour reader myself, I loved reading a post by my old soccer teammate, Molly, who copied an article entitled, "Hey, it's OK!" from the women's magazine. And now I am going to be a blogger thief (is it still considered stealing when permission has been granted?) and copy Molly.

Some examples from the real deal which Molly references include:

Hey, it's OK....

...to demand to be taken off of speakerphone
...to start a to-do list with a task you've already done
...to wish your husband would take your kids to another planet and stay there with them

Now from the world of Nurse Meredith;

Hey, it's OK...

...to convince yourself the night before that you really aren't going to run prior to work at 7 am, while concurently setting the early alarm.

...to spend a wad of cash on a pair of jeans, but skimp on the grocery bill. Priorities, come on.

...to prefer jager, in all its forms.

...if the 2am food run doesn't consist of salad and carrots, but comes from a greasy Molca Salsa California Burrito.

...to have a shoe addiction. So what if it's a female cliche, because Hey, it's OK!

...if you reserve an entire closet just to house said shoe fetish.

...to consume three diet soda cans in an eight hour work day.

...to compliment every beautiful woman I see after having consumed jager, in all its forms.

...if your dad's favorite kind of music, is your favorite kind of music. Jackson Browne, anyone? Yeah, that's what I figured.

...to have the world's most beat up feet, even after the soccer career has ended. But still wear sandals, all of the time in the summer. I now blame the running shoes.

I am way too good at rationalizing.

But,

Hey,

It's OK!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Are we human?

My current read:

And the following is an excerpt from one of the chapter's foreword, one that moved me quite deeply:

Doubt thou the stars are fire,

Doubt that the sun doth move,

Doubt truth to be a liar,

But never doubt I love.


-William Shakespeare

Hamlet


After reading this beneath the yellow dim of my reading light, I found myself wiping a few falling tears from my cheeks.

Maybe it's the rain, and the gloomy Salt Lake weather;

Maybe it's just my usual female routine;

Or maybe, just maybe, I know exactly why my tear ducts reached overcapacity.
I gave myself ten seconds to let it out. And then that was it.
No more.
Ah, oh how I love to feel.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Commencements

My studly 18 year old younger, but certainly not little, brother graduated from high school on Monday, June 1, 2009. Like his two older siblings, Timberline is now his Alma mater. Though my sweet mother is quite emotional when thinking of her baby boy leaving the nest, I am thrilled as he will be joining me down south in the Beehive State! Madison will be moving to Provo to live with Parker, and walk onto the BYU football team in just a few short weeks. Did I mentioned he is a STUD? I am not biased or anything.

I was able to make a full Boise weekend out of the event and nabbed some quality catch up time with friends. Despite moves to distant states, and lulls in friendship, when reunited, it's like we were never apart. True friends. And go figure, we all are or will be nurses. We really are of the same feather.
A grand congratulations goes out to Derek for his graduation from College of Idaho, including titles of Valedictorian, Summa Cum Laude, and the Dean's Award. An impressive resume that only adds to his Harvard Medical School departure in August. We all can take a deep breath now; all of our medical problems will soon cease to exist thanks to the genius brain protected by Derek's caveman-like massively thick skull. No joke, especially on the latter statement, MRI proven.

I love my loyal family, my fun girlfriends, and morning runs on Parkcenter.
Ah, I love Boise. I do.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Puttin' out the Vibe

Do you remember a while back, when I posted a small ditty about my facebook peer voted weakness: Dancing?

Well, I do. Not easy to forget the countless times I received email notifications of my current comparison ratings, and almost always found rug cutting on my list of flaws. Those e-mails go straight into spam, and I have never taken the effort to click, "This Isn't Spam".

As of last night, my priority in keeping such life qualities spam worthy was not in vain.

A fun group of friends and I ventured to the Canyon Inn to add some spice to a Tuesday evening. Naturally, our venturing took us straight to the wooden dance floor. And despite said known weaknesses, it doesn't stop me. I go for it. I am having a blast. Moving, grooving, maneuvering what my momma gave me (which is very little). Not a care in the world.

Suddenly a gentleman who had been sitting at a table nearby walks right up to me, leans in close, and says to me, "You are the best dancer I have ever seen." And just as quickly as he had appeared, he smiled warmly, turned around and left.

I blushed so pink, and smiled so big, and kept on wiggling my hips. But that's when I realized what he probably really meant. I remembered he had been perched perfectly at his table to witness front and center my deliberate attempts at ditching a 5'5", at best, male decked out in an oversized t-shirt and a starched white hat worn backwards. Clearly, my kind of man.

Every time I would swirl one way, I would turn around to find him inches away, his nose nearly grazing my chest. {So, I guess that explains short men's desires to date long legged women.} Nearly mortified each time, my graceful sly maneuvers soon became straight up 10 yard dashes. I think he finally figured out my secret operation of abandonment.

So, perhaps my complimenting gentleman friend should have rephrased that my dancing may not be the best, but certainly the most entertaining.

Take THAT, facebook peers. ;)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Repentant

You know how I was whining pretty shamelessly in my last entry? About sleep, or lack thereof?

I now take full responsibility for my heavy eyelids post Thursday 7am wake up call. Because when I am out til the wee hours of the morning to see the midnight premiere of Terminator Salvation, I only have myself to blame.

And/or Grant.

But it. was. AWESOME!

I will need to see it again to prove I wasn't suffering from 1am delirium, when you think even Twilight should win an Oscar. Oh wait....

With a back to back, double header, Star Trek to Terminator, I definitely got my much needed flick fix.

And oh yeah, Angels and Demons is a great pick, too.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hot Hot Heat

So I just nearly blogged about the nude dream I had Monday. As a matter of fact, I had written an entire paragraph... and then used my better judgement. And no, it was not that kind of nude dream.


So then I looked around at my desk. Lemonade 10cal Vitamin Water bottle sitting within reach. A couple patient charts needing post-op phone calls. A somewhat gloomy sky outside. Already went for a run this morning beneath that gloomy sky. And Fleetwood Mac-"Landslide", keeping me company via Pandora.


I lead a simple life.


but if I have to censor my blog because of exciting birthday suit REM, then that simple life certainly has it's fire.


And boy, do I love those moments of fire....


{PS. This is my 111th post. Make a wish everybody.}

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Highest Form of Democracy

I have often wondered about the thought processes behind God's creation of our biological workings.

Take the knee for example. Being one of the most major joints in the body, does it really seem solid enough to hold it together by pretty much nonvascular ligaments and tendons? Guess the logic behind that sculpting was to humble and prepare tall brunette soccer players for life's greater lessons.

But still.

The brain gets its own bedroom of bone, why give the knee only a hospital gown of bone? Sorry King Brain, I meant no offense when categorizing knees in the same social class as human lifelines.

But still.

And another one of the puzzling seven wonders of God's homosapien creations? Sleep.

Why must we sleep? And why must we sleep for 1/3 of the day for adequate rest?

Because as of late, all I know is that I have been soooo sleeeeeepy. And it is such a drag. Pun intended.

Despite nutritious yogurt and Raisin Bran crunch breakfasts, hoards of caffeinated Diet Dr. Pepper, and sufficient amounts of exercise... At certain times of the day, I can barely keep my eyes open. They feel so heavy that it nearly becomes physically impossible to hold them open.

I know my God-given body requires at least eight hours of sleep a night, preferably nine..

but, still.

It's kind of annoying.

No offense, God. I love my body and the incomprehensible ability to simply survive, day to day. Brain, heart, lungs all working in unison harmoniously; the puzzle pieces of man and woman; the kidneys and liver constantly purifying my insides. I never forget what an incredible, and sacred, thing I possess, until my days have expired.

But after the Second Coming, and you go for round two... just think about these suggestions and evaluate where improvements can be made.

May I suggest Titanium joints and only an hour of shut eye, right after lunch?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Revelation

Holy smokes. I really am a liar. Or at least an obvious hypocrite; but liars and hypocrites are one in the same, yeah?

My proclaimed bedtimes may be fulfilled truthfully, and so is my admittance to having a shoe obsession, or a Panda Express addiction.

But when I am sitting at my desk, chatting with a patient on the phone, and I have to make it EXPLICITLY clear they are not to drink any soda, little do they know.... that when I hang up the telephone, I take a big, refreshing gulp of Diet Coke.

Shoot.

So usually, the next thing to appropriately say {write} would be a commitment to never do it again; leave the crime behind; sin no more.

Well, Caffeine Gods, continue rejoicing. You have an unrepentant consumer at your service.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Be Kind...Rewind

I like to think my lack of blogging stems from being so occupied in single girl fun. And the thing is, I can't think of any other reason... than just that.

Single girl fun.

Took the day off for a good friend's wedding and mixed in a little shopping with my mother (because it is so fun to have a stylish mom who digs the cardigan/t-shirt combo just as much as I do).

Devoured sushi with the guy I met at the Jazz game, who got my number by way of reading how many fingers I was holding up. Yeah, apparently I am really open to meeting new people. I'm not ashamed.

Sunshine galore in the beautiful motherland. And a consequential tanning of my winter white hide. And an even further consequential 5 pound weight loss illusion. Just. like. THAT! (Isn't it amazing how extra cushy body parts, when tan, suddenly look okay?)

Coffee dates and philosophical discussions.

My best friend's wedding. It was a hot pink bridesmaid dress, bouquet catching, rug cutting, raspberry cake devouring all day party. And oh yeah, plenty of tears, too. Jessica Kruger Bergstrom was the most fun, kind, calm, and glowing bride I have ever known.

The Sandbar. on Friday. on Saturday. on Tuesday. And on Friday again. You would think I liked that place or something. My feet certainly hate me from all the dancing in 4 inch heels (but who can pass up bright green Jessica Simpson pumps, on SALE?)

K2 Christian Church. 2100 South, West Temple. Good place to be on Sundays at 11:30am.

Nursing the mentally incompetent woman who wandered over to my house with bleeding dog bites on her arm, back to health. Quickly. It was Tuesday night; and you know where I was headed!

Running, chowing down, and watching X-Men: Wolverine with my old Orem pal, Julie, but now current New Jersey gal. Hugh Jackman definitely surpassed Clive Owen in my hot actor list.

Listening to my ever changing favorite song of the day on repeat, all day at work. And probably driving my coworkers absolutely nutso.

Rob Thomas - Her Diamonds
Shiny Toy Guns - Major Tom
O.A.R. - The Stranger
Mat Kearney - Closer to Love

And, of course, per yesterday's last night post,

The All American Rejects -The Wind Blows

PHEW! I need to blog more often. Hard to stop me once I get talking (typing?).

BUT, I made my 00:00 curfew! Good to know all this single girl fun can still provide for a decent night's rest.

Truth or Dare

I had full intentions of blogging tonight. I am well overdue. I have so much to say; but when do I not....?

After a phone call with my sweet mother this evening, she dutifully asked if I was getting enough sleep. I reported my usual 7 or 8 hours of shut eye, with a final head-to-pillow rendezvous around midnight.

And here I am, eleven minutes beyond my bewitching hour, and I refuse to make a liar out of myself.

I certainly stayed true to my word about my brain having so many jumbled thoughts needing venting, as my mother had to politely tell me to sum it up. She was missing the Biggest Loser finale.

So if she hung up the phone to witness losers...

That must make me the Biggest Winner?

Now that may be stretching the truth...

But if you want one honest to goodness, cold hard fact?

My favorite current tune: The All American Rejects - The Wind Blows

More tomorrow.

Maybe.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Yellow + Blue

Tropical Starbursts are my latest candy flame. Even the little squares of goodness wrapped in orange paper have my 100% devotion. If I'm not careful, a handful of four (one of each color...) suddenly becomes eight, then twelve, then...

They come in a green bag. Look for them; buy them; your taste buds will not regret it.

I saw the green bag while perusing Smith's Marketplace on 33rd South; bought them; took them to work to share; shared not out of kindness, but out of a need to pay up for the last bag... of which I ate half.

My hands were dipping into green today; and after work, my feet were soaking in it, too.

With the help of my pal, Jeremy, I was able to take my soccer bootin' up regimen (see previous post) to the next level. The feel of a soccer ball at my feet is something I had forgotten, but quickly came back to me. Like riding a bike. Only if my lungs could pick up the intuition as easily. Apparently 13 miles is managable, but sprinting after long, air-born ball passes is a very different story.

And when I brought Jeremy's pass down on my thigh, I was reminded of that cold-air/hard ball slap against bare skin. But as I slipped back into my car to go home after pure exhaustion, seeing the visible ball marks on that bare thigh made it all worth it.

I sped off onto Sunnyside avenue, with both ACL's still intact, and my fingers tracing the palpable ball indentations under my right shorts line.

Moral of the Story?

Consuming Starbursts (including orange) --> Energy, albeit short-lived --> Ball mark on right thigh --> Pure satisfied exhaustion --> Lounging on couch to gleefully watch the Lakers trail Houston.

(Anyone else find Artest's haircut rather... nostalgic? I remember when my older brother got his initials, PM, buzzed into his head, just in time for summer swimteam. But.... he was eleven. That was so 90's!)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Ignition

Disclaimer: Dad, if you have a moment to read this, don't. Use that moment for a quick power nap, or wrestling Abigail off of Build-a-Bear.com
It's a Thursday, which means it's my early a.m. clinic day. Post carbo-filled lunch, a late night previous, and despite hoards of diet caffeinated soda, my daily 2pm sleepiness has set in full force.

And yet,

I was so excited to go running after work. I was craving to be in the sunshine. And I wasn't talking just a fun run. I wanted to challenge myself, work out to my limits, and as I said to my coworkers,

"I want to kill myself." Figuratively, of course.

I put on my hip-hop adrenaline rushing beats, threw my hair into a ponytail and took off for an unknown running route from Sugarhouse Park. Sure, 21st east sounds like a good starting point... 4 south looks reasonable... yeah, 13th east sounds interesting... and back to my patiently waiting car 8 miles later.

But I wasn't done yet.

The best was yet to come. And that wasn't the ten 100-yard sprints I nostalgically relived from years prior, stopwatch and all.

The best part was sliding my feet inside my old Adidas' Copa soccer boots, lacing them up as tight as they could manage, and feeling like my old self again.

I stepped onto the green, but sparsely grass filled soccer field, and ran my little heart out. I had forgotten what it felt like. My unfortunate left knee has instilled such a fear in me, I have not wanted to vulnerably set it up for a third punishment. And a consequential total knee replacement by age 40, I'm sure.

But..

does anyone know of a co-ed city soccer league in Salt Lake?
'Cuz this once retired soccer player wants to pull a Michael Jordan, and refuel my desire for futbol competition.

mmm hmmmm, I've got the itch again.

Disclaimer follow up: See, Dad. I told you not to read it. My hands are washed clean. I love you! :)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Either it's Black or it's White

Enough already. Stop this meteorological vacillation. Either it's spring or it's still winter; weather cannot be combined like altered meal patterns-brunch, linner.

Sprinter? Yeah, it just doesn't work. Unless winter trips on a hurdle and spring will work on it's starting block performance.

Come on, 801. Come on.

But you are lucky that despite winter's jealousy of spring's popularity, my outings with old and new friends alike did not suffer. Three nights in a row... one for the books.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Chariots of a Small Burning Flame

After finishing a marathon six months ago, my running perspective has most certainly been altered. An 8 mile training maintenance run suddenly became standard and only difficult at the end.

{Tangent} My philosophy: the last ten minutes of every run, no matter how in shape you are, should be challenging. However, I'm not so sure how beneficial this philosophy is of mine. I find motivation to go for a run on a more consistent basis waivers, as I realize that I will be in some degree of pain at some point! But anyway.... {See, I warned you...}

So when I signed up for the Salt Lake City Half Marathon a couple of months ago, I felt no apprehension. It's only 13 miles, no big deal. My training regimen even reflected this thought process.

In other words, I really didn't do much.

However, the night before as I carbo loaded with my two brothers at the DoDo restaurant in Gateway, I suddenly felt nervous. It is a competition after all, and because I have retired my hard worn soccer cleats, I craved competition. I craved to be sore after a race; it means my body is getting stronger. I craved pushing myself to to the limit. I love to defeat my mental devil that likes to tell me to slow down... take a quick walk... it's okay if your time isn't as good...

Must...!

Not....!

Listen....!

While devouring my delectable Italian Chicken Salad sandwich, I remembered how difficult my first half marathon was. I remembered how much I told myself at mile 10, "Why are you doing this? This isn't even fun." My nerves began to jitter.

Saturday morning, I began the race at 7am. Before I knew it, I was done. I had finished the race at 8:53am, one hour and 53 minutes after I had started. That meant I averaged an 8:30 minute mile.

Holy smokes. I didn't know I could do that, for 13.1 miles straight. But I did. And it felt so good!

I crave competition: satiated. I started in the back so I could pass people, and not be passed.

I crave pushing myself to the limit: Done. Finished the race with a personal best record.

I crave to be sore: Ohhhhh boy, maybe I should be careful of what I wish for.

And I was so pleased to know that my post collegiate athlete body is still capable of training very little, but can still have game. And even though the satisfaction of completing a half marathon versus a full marathon is different, one is not better than the other.

Marathon: I did it. I finished. Woohoo. A bucket list item can be checked off.

Half Marathon: Not only did I do it, but I went for a good time and got a PR out of it. And my knee didn't even swell (contrary to a cantaloupe sized joint six months ago).

Moral of the Story: It's time for new running shoes.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Weekend Memoirs

After a disappointing Utah Jazz loss Friday night, Henry Poole is Here lightened the mood. And the Costa Vida sweet pork salad, swedish fish, starbursts, and Reese's peanut butter eggs did a good job, too.

Thanks, Matt for letting us crash your place; and I apologize, again, for my absence these past months. I am back in action. I had to figure out what was most important to me, as I had suddenly become far less important in someone else's life.

So to reiterate my facebook status, "'all we have is right now. And we have to act on that.' which is why I woke up and ate starbursts for breakfast." Again, I had to figure out what was most important to me. Toast and jam in the kitchen, or breakfast in bed? Clearly, we know the winner.

Cheers to Grant, as the Bayou offered yummy drinks, live music, and stimulating conversation. Aren't you glad my anger resolution has, like, a 2 second turn around? It only meant we were both challenging one another's core beliefs, something that needs to be done... periodically.

And I think we established some good ground rules for me:

I want and deserve someone who will fight to have me.

Who will know what he wants when he meets me.

Who will recognize something good and will hold onto it.

So Grant, cheers, to that.

Now let's go find Robert Pattinson.



PS: Shout out to Randi Baker! Thanks for reading girlfriend. Every time I lick my hand for salt and suck on a lemon post Jose, thoughts of you are inevitable. And last weekend was no exception. I hope you and the puppy are happy and healthy!

Monday, April 6, 2009

The details are in the fabric.

I know I am not alone

when I say,

the smell of a new j. crew

merino wool sweater,

is a ridiculously beautiful thing.

But,

is it as heart warming as a phone call from daddy-o?

Or as tender as a shout out in my baby sister's blog?

Or making a new adorable girlfriend, Christine?

Dare I say the new clothes' scent is beat out by sentimental relationship warm fuzzies?

Yes, I do dare.

Warm fuzzies rule.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A quickie

First "business" trip. Done and done.

And no I am not misusing quotation marks. It didn't feel like "business" felt appropriate when sitting in pajamas (remember, those are my scrubs) and having no need to have my cellular phone permanently attached to my ear. Nah, I couldn't call this business when seven men dressed in khakis, baby blue sweaters and pinstriped collared shirts boarded the Dallas Airport rental car bus. Now these men meant business. One gentleman in particular spoke in an overtly loud intonation, as if he felt needing to prove himself to the man sitting across from him at 9:30pm was crucial to next day's sale.

And perhaps I should have asked to borrow some of their business clothes, or perhaps that overtly loud intonation, as the task of renting a car proved to be tricky. Was it the pajamas? Was it my yankee accent? Or did the fearful wrinkles in my forehead clearly spell out, "This girl is far from Kansas"? Either way, it was like pulling teeth to get any kind of customer service. Note to self: a smile goes a long way.

After an hour journey from Dallas to Denton in my Dodge Journey which smelled of strawberries and orange pesticide, I cozily curled up in my hotel bed and fell asleep to the soothing sounds of Jay Leno. Note to self: Find the genius behind the creation of the GPS and send the biggest bottle of scotch. And then send another one.

Upon entering the bariatric practice Wednesday morning, I finally got the smile I was lacking from the night before. Southern hospitality rang true. And continued right on into grub time. "Black Eyed Pea was ordered in for lunch," the nurse said to me, as if I knew exactly what this was, and as if I should be running from the patient's room straight for the kitchen. "Oh! Right!" is all I could muster. Right....

"What's this?" I ask as I lift the tinfoil top from the takeout package.

"Chicken Fried Steak."

"Oh! Right!"

Right....

But the chicken fried steak was not the best piece of this little biz trip; the only thing that could top such edible satiety? Sunshine. And warm wind. Ohhhhh, that felt so gooooood!!!

Or perhaps practicing adjustable gastric band fills on fake fat slabs. Or charging everything to someone else's credit card. Flight? Paid. Rental car? Nada. Hotel? Zip. Sweeeeeeeet.

But for a girl who is quite independent, occasionally to a fault, this trip was definitely not without apprehension, stress, sweaty palms, and nervous laughter at every "recalculating route" warning from the lovely GPS female voice. However, it appears wrong turns and a grumpy Dollar Car Rental receptionist were the only hitches to this small gig. Of that I can forgive and forget.

But the real burning question is, can those I left behind in the Lone Star state forgive and forget my lunchtime blunder?

Meh, just charge the momentum created from the serious eye rolling to the company's credit card.

----------------------

Next stop?

Cincinnati, Ohio. Coming in June 2009.

Watch for it at a theatre near you.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Benedith

Tonight I made great use of my time...

...and took Facebook's "Who Would Be Your Celebrity Boyfriend?" Quiz, of course!

If only I had planned ahead and placed it on my To-Do list, then I could have at least checked something off. But alas, the winner is....


Would I be totally lame if I took it again, changed a couple answers, just to see who else I would pull? Like, Robert Pattinson? Cuz I did. Only to find I got Ben Affleck, again. Must be fate.


P.S.- Is anyone else convinced Robert Pattinson is the most adorable creature alive? I thought I already knew this, but his audio commentary during Twilight on the DVD absolutely sealed the deal. Now all I have to do is fly to Vancouver, sneak onto the New Moon film set, give him one good look at me in my navy blue scrubs, and he'll be sold.

Mobert, ya'll. Mobert.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Short Fuses

"No one can make you feel inferior, without your consent." -Eleanor Roosevelt.

One of my favorite quotes. One that I wish more of us would attempt to live by. And one that is so applicable to my current state of mind; though inferior may need to be substituted for different emotions, the wisdom will still ring true.

Angry. Disappointed. Frustrated. Sad. Upset. Confused. Short tempered.

Fighting all of the above. Fighting the good fight.

But the battle certainly is not made any easier when my windshield wipers decide they need a vacation from bipolar Salt Lake City weather, right when the sky decides it needs to vent and offer up a good cry.

Pulling over every block to manually manipulate the windshield wipers and driving with my head awkwardly cocked to the bottom left corner as to peek through a tiny 2x2 piece of streak free window will not be forgotten. Nor will my appreciation for black plastic sticks that act as automobile eyebrows go unacknowledged.

I have not been, and will not be, defeated.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Cleaning

It's Friday, and the bewitching five o'clock hour has chimed it's beautiful sound.

The windows are rolled down in my car, and my right foot is subconsciously heavy on the gas pedal as to allow for the wind to graze my cheek, and the sun's radiating heat to warm my core.

And with an hour to spare before meeting a friend for dinner, I knew this unusually warm spring weather must be taken advantage of. I knew just where to go.

I pull into Sugarhouse Park, cease my engine, and a smile steals across my face to see the free spirits of young children running around, screaming and laughing as the ducks eat the bread from their fingertips. I secure the tie of my new sale priced J. Crew khaki jacket at my waist, slide my car keys into my pocket, and put one robin's egg blue shoe covered foot in front of the other.

Runners and walkers of all shapes, sizes, and genders run past me at varying speeds; dressed in spandex of varying colors, many follow the exercising courtesy "we're all in this together" wave and smile. I do love that simple courtesy.

With my hands in my pockets, my fingers fiddling with my keys, and my tortoise shell Jackie O. sunglasses protecting my brown eyes, I allowed my racing thoughts to somehow organize themselves, only to be proven unsuccessful. But then the solstice turned equinox sunshine reminded me of the beauty of this day.

A gift from Mother Nature herself.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Dedication

For you.... For your efforts since knowing you in the days of gap teeth and Abercrombie popped collars, are now finally paying off.... For your determination and work ethic, even when it meant being compensated, oh what was it, $2/hour to rid the world of it's current bubonic plague, more infamously known as cancer?... For your foresight, humility, and absolute genuine and unyielding interest in medicine.... For your naturally gifted mind, and finding quantum physics both easy and interesting (no wonder opposites attract).... But most of all, for being the passionate life seeker with which you let direct your life, and for allowing me to witness, and feel, your successes right beside you.

Harvard's or Stanford's Medical School will be so damn lucky to have you. And especially since we have already established the fact that red is your color, you truly cannot go wrong with either establishment.

All of me,
Meredith

20/20

Turquoise most certainly can be found within the green family.

And with a limited selection of options for work scrubs, I had to make do.

So contrary to popular belief (and a coworker sincerely posing the question), I am, indeed, not color blind.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sock Hop

Abigail, my sweet baby sister, this is for you.

It's 1996. White Pine Elementary. Room 4B is empty, devoid of Mrs. Tate and the bustling 4th grade students learning cursive and multiplication. The red apple perched on the corner of the teacher's black metal desk is the only color found in the darkened room. The tiny drinking fountains, now knee high to my 21 year old body, are absent of kids waiting their turn to quench their thirst.

But alas, the gym is filled with 1950's rock tunes, disco lights, and children and parents of all ages be-bopping from the sugar high found in cookies and punch. It is the annual Sock Hop dance; a chance for me to choose between my pink or red felt skirt, embroidered with a poodle and a leash. To throw on mid calf length white socks and pair them with my black Maryjanes. (I so desperately wanted a pair of white and black saddle shoes, but a once a year wear didn't dignify spending my parent's money). To wear my thin brown head of hair high in a ponytail. And best of all, a chance for me to wear the reddest of reds, the va-va-voomest of all va-va-voom, lipstick.

I knew, and I knew, Luke Balbas would be there. His blonde hair, his heart palpitating smile, and his feet grooving to the beat (and would he actually be shoeless?? Missing a piece of clothing??). And then there he was. I blushed. I gushed. I reverted back to my shy days from years previous.

And the first thing he said to me was not "hello." It was not "how are you?" It was, "Nice red lipstick."

And I.... was.... CRUSHED. DEFLATED. Utterly heart broken. How could he? He must have known I had worn it for him. How did he have the nerve to degrade my reddest of reds lipstick, and thus, degrade me as a person?

Naturally, I darted for the bathroom. Whisked myself into the first open stall. And I cried. I cried Niagara Falls right in the middle of the White Pine Elementary bathroom. And not only did I cry, but I stayed in the bathroom for the Sock Hop's entirety. My friends went and found my mom, obviously retreating to the last resort in an attempt to have my long awkward string bean skinny legs out of that bathroom. Of course the situation was just only worsened upon her entrance and the first words out of her mouth, "Meredith, are you really going to do this again?"

Duh, mom. Of course we are. How dare you! Your daughter's heart has been smashed to pieces and you don't even care!

(Ay yay yay, remind me never to have a daughter between the ages of ten and twenty).

Needless to say, I moped on home, the disastrous red lipstick smeared all over anywhere but my lips, and I scurried up the stairs to my bedroom. Naturally the first thing a girl between the ages of ten and twenty does is find a way to only make herself more miserable. It's just what we do; no big deal. Hence, I quickly flipped through my meager CD collection and turned on Donna Lewis' "I Love You Always Forever." And the tear ducts emptied their final reservoirs, allowing myself to drown in self pity.

Though not much has changed, I certainly learned something that night. First, a boy is never worth that many tears (just one good 30 second pout, maximum). Second, even though you feel like it's the end of the world, and that red lipstick and Luke Balbas are the devil reincarnated, it's actually not doom's day.

And Abigail, just like that spelling bee, and as much as you wanted to do well... We all know you are smart and gifted. You didn't need a spelling bee to prove it. I never even got a chance to compete in a spelling bee!

You are a sweet girl, with an energetic spirit and a very smart, and super creative, mind. You have a bright future; so forget about the red lipsticks and the misspelled words. In the end (or at the least the end of your 21st year), it's how you bounced back from those moments that matter.

I love you like a sister,
Meredith

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hyperglycemia

As Jesse McCartney serenades me via iTunes, inquiring of my sleeping habits, I am moved to think of all those burning questions left unanswered. They run through my mind like a hamster on a wheel. I won't bore you, as the only conclusion I have to my scattered thoughts is that no conclusion is necessary.

Thanks to a boy 400 miles away, a father at 267 Old Saybrook, a boss at St. Mark's Hospital, and a God one prayer away... I can share these thoughts, and seek wisdom that instills light into my flickering bulb of a brain.

I love to think about what's out there. Space; earth; BC, AD; the eternities.

Hell, next weekend! tomorrow! tonight!

And so I shall sleep in my fifteen dollar queen size bed, wrapped in gray sheets, my tummy getting some face time with the mattress and my arms tucked inside ready in defense should the cheap and surely insecure mattress offer any "shouldn't have eaten that last mint brownie" commentary.

No sugar plum fairies nor mint brownies will be dancing in my dreams (wish I could say the same for the pouch sitting at the end of my esophagus); nothing except for a black screen of nothingness will blind the spontaneous electric synapses from reaching my conscious mind. Nothingness.

Or perhaps a sugar coma.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Real Deal

So ever since I have been working post graduation, I have called myself an RN (a registered nurse). From emails, to phone conversations, even down to my new business card, RN has followed my alliteration namesake.

Yes, I graduated from nursing school, so yes, you'd think I was an RN. It was safe enough I could get away with it.

But now...? Ever since last night....?

I AM a registered nurse!!!!!!

I passed the nursing boards!!!!!!

(I typically stray from using more than three exclamation marks- don't ask why, but the "power of three's" rule my mother taught me doesn't only apply to decorating. But THIS called for DOUBLE exclamation points.)

The RELIEF and BURDEN that has been lifted is so great. This has been the bain of my existence since last August when I first began to study and prepare, when the anxiety began to ride my nerves like Danica Patrick at the Daytona 500.

And as my palms were sweating and my breathing was quickening, it was marvelous to be surrounded (literally) by some of the people I love most to read the online results (for which I had to pay a lousy $7.95).

And of course, I cried.

So that RN written on my business card is now 100% certifiable. I am now a Real Nurse.

My plans for celebration?

A Cafe Rio, Pork Barbacoa salad.

And one massive Diet Dr. Pepper (spiked with a little Absolut, perhaps...?) in a cup filled with pebble ice.

And I will eat the WHOLE Cafe Rio divinity, tortilla included.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Feeling Sappy

You know it's beautiful, and right, when you have someone

"...who knows how to love you, without being told." - Natasha Bedingfield, Soulmate

Can't get much better than that.

Not even when I walk outside this morning to go to work sans winter jacket, and my core temperature is perfect (my hands and feet never seem to follow suit; hence, they do not get any recognition for obedience).

Not even when I ran my first ever support group in Orem, Utah tonight and I felt that these patients are my friends. And I realized I had truly helped someone today.

And especially not even when I slave away in the kitchen 'cuz I've got those blue box blues (aka Kraft macaroni and cheese; aka gourmet cooking is clearly my mantra). I cozy down and curl up in my bed to do some studying and research, and my eyes begin to feel.. so... heavy... so I blog instead.

Nope, not even then.

Because when that cell phone rings and Snow Patrol's, "You Could Be Happy" sweetly sings me a welcoming lullaby.... I know it is my lifeline calling to me.

(And ironically, if I ever embark on my lifelong dream to meet Regis, or another Meredith- Meredith V.- he would be the lifeline.)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Pour Le Pied

So maybe I know a little French. So maybe google helped me out a little bit. So what if institutions of higher learning often requiring two years of a foreign language in high school is a total joke. (okay, I digress).

But these little numbers are not a joke. In fact, they are real, and they sit perfectly perched on the floor next to my white wicker armoir as we speak.
The perfect shade of robin's egg blue. And just in time for SSPPPRRIIINNGG!

Thanks Forever 21. (however, henceforth and forevermore, the wonderfully inexpensive clothing store shall be affectionately know as F-21. just a little FYI per future blog posts. 'cuz it will save me so much time, you know).


{Side tangent}: When divulging the store of said shoe purchase with my older brother, he jokingly said, "Oooo do you want to be 21 forever?"

And when I disclosed my age to my gynecologist last week, she said, "What a great age. It really is."

Either I should be sincerely enjoying the remaining months of my life in its 21st year, or I should be fearful of what is to come on June 25th, 2009.

I am always puzzled when I hear a comment regarding one age being better than the other. Because inevitably age is only temporary. Should we not look forward to our future, more wiser, years...? Am I just a naive twenty one year old without crows feet and gray hair...?

And I think I just officially made my {side tangent} longer than the true post.

Alas, I digress!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Gold Naked Men

I have a confession. Well, I have several. But for now, I will admit to this.

If you were curious where I was from 4:00pm, until 10:0pm Sunday night, you need not look too far. After a warm shower, I threw on my best black velvet (aka victoria secret velour sweats), towel dried my hair into a swirl of cascading finger twirled curls, skipped the mascara and simply went for a touch of cheek rouge. Upon ascending the stairs, I wrapped myself in a soft gray blanket and entered la cucina.

I sliced a Pink Lady apple into wedges, outlined a white porcelain plate with the finest of Wheat Thin Fiber Selects, and peeled a swirl low fat cheese stick. The soft gray blanket hanging on for dear life on my left shoulder, the plate of tantalizing delectables in my right hand, I anxiously sank into the lovely light turquoise couch. With the touch of a button, my night unfolded before me.

It's Oscars night, ladies and gentleman!

For the first time in my life, I not only watched the entire awards ceremony, but every moment of the pre-show. The awkward interviews. The fashion gossip. The celebrity sightings and blustering fans screaming in elation. The beautiful hair and unique jewelry. I loved it. I felt like such a girl- and I loved it.

Had I received an interview from Mr. Seacrest, I would have boldy declared, "Victoria's Secret. Pantene Pro-V. Smith's Marketplace." Valentino and Versace have got nothin' on me. Nothin' on Victoria. Especially nothin' on the piece of business she keeps hidden from us.

The glamour. The fun. The beauty. The spotlight.

For one brief moment, I felt so compelled to turn my wedding show modeling career into New York's Fashion Week. Oh wait, reality.. I am a nurse, living in Utah, who munches on Pink Lady apples during the Oscars. I can dream.

I made the journey from the couch, left the 6 hour toosh indentation, and called the only person who would understand my off the cuff fantasies. And what I loved most, was his passion to not hold me back from NY, Paris, Rome, Hong Kong... Ah, I really can dream.

Do not let the navy blue scrubs, ponytail and bare essentials makeup regimen fool you.

And so these are the confessions of a secret alter ego fashionista.