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.


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.... demand to be taken off of speakerphone start a to-do list with a task you've already done 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... 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. spend a wad of cash on a pair of jeans, but skimp on the grocery bill. Priorities, come on. 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. 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. consume three diet soda cans in an eight hour work day. 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. 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.



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


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


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. ;)