Tuesday, August 25, 2009


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.


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: