Thursday, October 26, 2006

All The Pretty Girls Go To The City

I'm not claiming anything about myself, I'm just quoting Spoon.

Did you miss me? Did you even know I was gone? I guess I'm not posting frequently enough to have my absence be very glaring.

I just spent about 5 days in NYC visiting my friend, Tamara. She has a great apartment up in Washington Heights. The best two things about it are that she can have pets and that it is big enough for me to visit.

I got there late Friday night/early Saturday morning. And after looking for the elusive parking spot back at Tam's and then staying up too late girl-talking, we had a hard time waking up and getting going on Saturday.

Saturday, after getting up after 1pm, we wandered through Greenwich Village and Bleeker street. I've been to NYC many times but without mountains to orient myself, I sometimes get turned around when I first surface from the subway. So it took us a while to figure out the right section of Bleeker street. Luckily, like most of life, good things happen even with the wandering.

A few years ago, I had been introduced to Beard Papa's, a great little cream puff shop from Japan with stores in NYC. Tam and I decided it was a must see and must eat. We googled it but then surprise, when we came out of the subway, there was one we hadn't even planned on. Cream puffs while wandering! Joy!

I had 2 goals, new necklaces and a new hat. I found a great red necklace while "lost."

We finaly made our way over to Bleeker St, visited lots of cute shops, a very popular Italian bakery with an even more popular bathroom, and then decided to wait in the line for some delcious thin crust brick oven pizza at John's. This is where I took my only picture of the whole trip. I carried my camera every day but I'm terrible at remembering to use it. And this is it, Tam and I eating pizza and our celebrity "sighting" Johnny Depp's picture above our table. Of course, his is the only face blurred out by the flash.
Sunday we went our separate ways and each met up with college friends for brunch. I've known Serge since my junior year when a girl in my poetry study group took me to meet the guy she had a crush on. Sadly, her story with him didn't last very long, but he and I have remained friends. I couldn't make it to his wedding in February to the "Lovely Sabrina" due to being a poor student. Catching up with him over strawberry waffles, delicious. We then met up with Tam, went to H&M, where Serge offered to give his opinion on clothes and hold my purse. He had told me he was The World's Best Husband, and while I am not prone to believe self-proclaimed titles, after this, I might just believe him.

We then went over to 6th and 26th, an area full of antique stores and flea markets. Again, cute necklaces for sale and I was buying.

That night we went over to Union Square and again, just wandered. Trader Joe's recently opened there and anyone who knows me, reads either of my blogs, or has eaten at my house, knows, TJs is my favorite store and much missed now that I live in UT. But all that love wasn't enough to make me wait in the lines that wrapped around the entire store.

Monday, we met up for brunch with one of Tam's friends who was also visiting NYC. The food wasn't great but Ashley was lots of fun. Later that day, we stumbled across the City Bakery (stay away in Feb) we had heard of and knew they were famous for their "hot chocolate." I have to use quotes because it was really tepid chocolate soup. We each had about 3 sips and were done. Done with the "hot chocolate," done with food until much later that evening, and done with feeling good for the next few hours.

When we were ready for food, we were also ready to stop walking and relax. We decided to go to Whole Foods and get a smattering of favorites, go back to Tam's and then later go out to see Marie Antoinette. At Whole Foods, in addition to the delicious Indian samosas, Italian grilled veggies, Greek pasta salad, Thai coconut chicken, and French orangina, I had a REAL celebrity sighting. I saw, are you ready for it...

Sarah Chalke, from Scrubs! I know, not as great as Johnny Depp but she was a real person.

Dinner was delicious. We decided to get candy for the movie and although they seem to have taken over the city, we knew there wasn't a Duane Reade near the movie theater so we stopped at a bodega in Tam's Dominican neighborhood. And what should I find, Coffee Crisp. Canadian candy in a Dominican store in NYC, I love serendipitous moments.

Marie Antoinette? Meh. The movie got out so late that the next day we decided we would rather sleep that have a fancy brunch, although Tam did make some fancy pancakes. And that was it, we went to JFK, wondered if it was open because there were about 3 other cars there, and I flew back to SLC.

Thanks Tam for a great visit. Can't for March in Mexico!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Spatially Inept

I have never been good at things requiring spatial skills. I can finally read a map but that's about it. In wheelthown pottery, I could center it and thin the walls to get a great cylinder but could never get the shape I envisioned in my head into the clay. I can't do those questions on the SAT or IQ tests where you have to say which design on a flat paper will end up on top once the paper is folded into a box.

So I'm impressed by anyone who can.

Or anyone who can solve a Rubik's cube.

But I'm especially impressed by this guy. He takes one sheet of A4 paper, cuts it and folds it so that all the paper is still there, the flat part and the 3-D pop-up part are both amazing. This website has other projects of his too.

Monday, October 02, 2006

It Ain't Easy Being Green

I've had my nursing license since late June but I've been an employed nurse for only about 6 weeks.

It's been exciting:
Learning so much in such a short time
Meeting lots of new people that I work with
Starting my first IV
Placing my first NG tube

But last week was hard. I started night shift, which I like but is always difficult at first. The initial sleep deprivation causes me to not regulate my temperature as well, feel really cold, stops my digestive system (ewww, sorry), and I'm more emotional.

Most of the patients I see are fairly healthy, have a procedure, get some meds, and go on with their lives. Last week was different. 3 of my patients, all under 35, had cancer. Big, scary, spreading cancer. Add to that patients who wake up to find that the accident wasn't only painful, they had to have major surgeries, and their family died. Plus there were language barriers. I speak French, they didn't. Lots of other staff speak Spanish, still they didn't. So I can only use small sentences, hope they understand the call light and how to call me, hope they know the words for water and pain pill when I ask if they need anything, hope a smile translates well.

It was frustrating. It was disheartening. It was part of life as a nurse. Learning to shut off part (but not all) of your emotions so that you can help them rather than just curl up in the corner and cry, so that you can move on to the next patient, so that you can sleep when you get home, so that you can go back the next day.