Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best Of: 2013 Edition

It's the last day of 2013, which means every blog in the land is going to have a "year-end review" or a "recap" or "reflection" post today. This is no different. I posted a "Best Of" list last year because 2012 was a very good year for me and I wanted to remember that later when I have really awful years.

But I kind of like the "Best Of" concept. I think it's a better thing to reminisce on all the good things that happened in a year than focus on all the horrible ones, so maybe this will become an annual deal.

This year I realized that being a single, gainfully employed adult could be a very good thing. I traveled a lot (for me, anyway) and read a lot of books and saw a lot of movies. I like to see the creativity people have and how they put it forth for the masses. So there might be a lot more creative-type entertainment-things on this list than say, personal things.

Without further explanation or hesitation, here is my Best Of: 2013 Edition

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Why I Think Jennifer Lawrence is a Role Model

Did you catch the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on Tuesday night? Yeah, me neither. I was watching  Cupcake Wars On Demand while I laid in my bed with my new companion Nausea.

I'm writing this today because of two things I read/watched in succession on the inter webs. First I watched this video:

A friend posted it to Facebook and, let's be honest, the cover picture of the video on the post was of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, and that's why I clicked to watch.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Food Poisoning

A few weekends ago I got food poisoning.

During my brief stint in culinary school I was required to take a sanitation class where I learned everything there is to know about food-borne illnesses: the symptoms, how they spread, the causes, the fact that there has to be a certain amount of documented cases from the same place before it's considered for investigation. Those things are burned into my memory because of the sheer grossness of learning them.

I can also tell you - off the top of my head - what temperature any meat needs to be cooked to in order to kill pathogens. It's a skill my family utilizes on a weekly basis, generally for Sunday dinner. Fact: any ground meat needs to be cooked to 165* F to kill the bacteria it houses. Your burger doesn't need to be charred, but it does need to reach 165 to kill E. Coli.

Monday, November 4, 2013


Poor sad neglected blog. It's been a while since I've written anything. On here. Written anything on here. Fact is I've been writing a lot of stuff, but nothing for my memoir and nothing for this blog. It's all stuff I'm not going to tell you about until possibly March. I'm sure that has all 10 of you are wondering what it is I'm writing, and why I won't say anything about it for five months.

So mysterious.

That's how I do things.


But here I am, back on the blog, writing things. Maybe it's because I decided it's time for a new post. Maybe it's that I have literally nothing to do at work. Maybe it's that I read 3 books last week (true fact) and it made me realize how much I really really love books and I want to write about that. The answer is D) all of the above.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How This College Graduate Kills A Spider

True story: tonight I was sitting here, starting to write this post when I looked innocently to my left and saw a minuscule tan spider on my down comforter. Me being me, I froze while the phrase "Oh shit" went through my mind many times. All I had on my bed with me were not optimal spider-killing items: a water bottle, an iPhone, the Tuesday pill box. I had no shoe, no tissue.

"Rosie," I hissed at my cat, "go get me a tissue!!" She half looked up from her food bowl and looked at me like I was an idiot. "Okay then, come over here and kill it. You're the cat, that's your job." She went back to eating. "Okay," I whispered to myself so as not to startle the spider, lest it run right towards me, "you're a college graduate. You can figure this out." I looked around again. Nothing came to me. Then I noticed a different water bottle on the floor with half an inch of water in it. If I could scoop the spider into the bottle and put the lid on it, it would be trapped and drowned, and I would have no spider guts on my down comforter. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Basic [Feline] Instinct

Yesterday my cat killed a hummingbird. She left the little bird on my front porch. My mother told me I needed to clean it up because she cleaned up the sparrow Rosie left last week. I opened the front door and looked at the mat.

It was tiny, even smaller than I expected it to be. It was lying on its back, a cream colored belly looking up at me, small dark brown head, teeny little feet (claws? talons?). Once lightning wings now halted and tucked reverently at its sides. She must've hit it hard with her paw. She has strong, clawless paws. There was no blood, no guts. But looking at it, in stark contrast to the apple green doormat, what could be classified as indifference turned to upset.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Everything Has Changed

NYC is for Lovers

On Saturday, June 29th, at approximately 1:03 p.m. Eastern time, I cried.

I cried at wheels up on Delta Flight 1375. I knew I would. I warned Harriet, the Long Islander sitting next to me in 12E, that I would cry when the plane took off and she need not be alarmed. I cried because one of the best weeks of my life was at an undeniable and inevitable end, because I hate saying goodbye see you soon to people I love, because I was leaving the place I feel I belong the most.

I should clarify; when I say "cried" I mean a few big silent tears rolled down my face while my bottom lip quivered and I stared out the window despondently. There was no sobbing or bawling or blubbering, and nothing about it was "uncontrollable". 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Love Letter to New York

For much of my life I have believed I was born in the wrong geographical region of the United States. A mountainous desert valley that scorches in the summer and freezes in the winter is not  my ideal place to reside. I'm not a nature girl. I believe I really should have been born on a coast.

For years and years I took biannual trips to the California coast. We spent a lot of time in Carlsbad when I was young, and we slowly graduated to Newport Beach once we got older... and after the Carlsbad trip of 2003 when everyone except me got sick. Three weeks after returning to Utah, my kidneys failed for no reason. That was the last time for almost a decade we stayed in Carlsbad.

I always wanted to live in Southern California with the palm trees and beaches and traffic jams. It wasn't until after I stopped driving that I realized California is a car state, just like Utah. It's possible to get around without a car, but it's less pedestrian friendly. Happenstance led me East in my later twenties and I realized I wasn't just born in the wrong geographical region, I was born on entirely the wrong side of the country.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Baking My Way to Bronxville

I have situational ADD.

In a mere 23 days I'll be boarding a plane and flying to New York City to attend Sarah Lawrence College for the Summer Seminar for Writers. Every day feels like it's three times as long as it really is. I have no focus. I can't wait to go and learn and write and be surrounded by people who are writers too, and people who write creative non-fiction like I do, even if it's only for a week.

My writing inspiration, Jo Ann Beard (everyone should read her memoir The Boys of My Youth) teaches at SLC in the MFA of Writing program. I emailed Jo Ann to see if she'd be on campus during the Summer Seminar for Writers because I'd love to chat with her (and of course, have her sign my copy of The Boys of My Youth). She replied to my email and said she wasn't going to be on campus this summer and she was sorry to miss talking with me. She also said the Seminar is a wonderful experience, and she has students from years she taught it that keep in touch with her and each other. Even though she won't be around, it made me look forward to it even more.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

NYC Photo Gallery

Our building. Pretty sure the elevator was haunted
Hudson River Park, at the end of our street

My Friend Nick

One of my favorite people is my friend Nick. Everyone needs  a Nick in his or her life, and I'm one lucky girl to have the real Nick in mine. Nick and I have been friends for years and years. We don't see much of each other because he lives 3000 miles away, but when we do see each other it's the best ever. Nick is one of the most caring, kind, genuine people I know. And he's the most handsome. He's got that ability to draw you in and make you feel like you are the only one, like you own the universe, like you are the most important person in the room. Nick took really good care of me in New York. Sometimes I feel like I'm just getting by, that all I'm really good at is being awful, and occasionally writing. But Nick has the ability to know me innately and believe in my ability. Time has no bearing with Nick; he understands through to the core and comes up with a life plan so I can get everything I ever wanted from life. Then he orders for the both of us, pays for drinks and dinner and the cab home, and makes sure everything I drink is virgin. He looks out, looks deep, looks left and offers his arm. He's hard working, successful in every way, and a gentleman. He'll even give an unconditional offer of his kidney. I couldn't ask for anyone better than my friend Nick.


In New York

I sit on the hardwood floor in front of the French doors that lead to the patio. The sun is shining in. Rosie is licking the remnants of my lemon greek yogurt out of the container. I am alone, just a girl and her cat. All that remains are the memories living inside my head and the FDNY shirt on back.

The last two nights have comprised of a combined ten hours of sleep. It is 9:30 but my body thinks it's 11:30. So I sit in the morning sun with my cat and my thoughts and my words, and remember what was only yesterday.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Administrative Professionals' Day

Today is Administrative Professionals' Day. Apparently. It states as much on my desk calendar. I overlooked it because I was too busy focusing on the 8 telling me I only have 8 days until I'll be in New York City.

I talked to Amanda in Practicum and it was she that informed me of today. "You're going to get so spoiled!!" she said. I won't. Norma isn't that kind of boss. Instead she's the kind of boss that lets you leave early on Fridays and writes you as many letters of recommendations at it takes for you to achieve your dreams. But Rebecca did bring me a cupcake. It was really good.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hey Now, The Dream is Over

You'll write your personal statement in 2 days after toiling over and writing 7 different drafts. You'll start from scratch and it'll be gorgeous. Your boss will tell you there's something wrong with them if they don't let you in. Allison will read it and tell you it gives her chills. You'll submit your application 2 1/2 weeks before it's due. Next text your mom and tell her you submitted it and use 6 exclamation marks. She'll respond with Does this mean you can relax now?. Ignore her response and bask in your accomplishment.

6 days before applications are due you'll send an email inquiring about the status of your application. The reply you'll receive will confirm that your application is complete and will tell you you'll hear about admission the second week of April. You make a countdown on your desk calendar, right above the countdown of your trip to New York City in May.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dear Diabetes

Dear Juvenile On-set Diabetes (aka Type I),

We've lived together for 20+ years. I've hated every single second of it, roughly, but since I can't get rid of you - despite my best efforts with that pancreas transplant in '05 - I'm doing my very best to take care of you. I'm checking my blood sugars 3-4 times a day (at least), watching my carbs & programming the amount I do eat into my insulin pump then having the proper amount of insulin, and giving myself a bolus when my sugar is higher than it should be. I'm doing everything I should and am supposed to do to take good care of you.

So WHY are you being so petulant??

Monday, March 18, 2013

Transplant Update: First Kidney-versary

There is something in the transplant world known as the "critical year". It's the first year after a patient receives a transplant and it's the most important year. That first year is the most imuno-suppressed and the most likely period of rejection. It's the year a transplant recipient is monitored the most closely as the new graft settles into it's new home. My critical year ended on March 15th with a .89 creatinine and a party in honor of me and my sister.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

I Hate to Wait - Inigo Montoya

Last week I submitted an application for my future. I won't find out if I'm accepted for 5 more weeks. It is pure torture. I've never been very talented at waiting.

I've been trying to keep myself busy, mostly to try and stay away from things I think will jinx my chances (I can be a tad superstitious) but it's not working very well. I'm still caught in that initial "application submitted" buzz, when all you can think about is how fantastic it would be if it actually happened, if you got accepted. Fair warning: this is purposefully vague. I greatly dislike vagueness, such as when people post "I'm soooo done!!!!" on facebook and that's it. We get it, you want attention without having to be specific. If you tell me what you're done with, I might care. So if you detest vagueness as much as I do, you don't have to keep reading. What's written here isn't a cry for attention, just something I need to write to exit my "application submitted"buzz. Free my miiiiiiind and the rest will follow, if you will.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


The breeze is creating ripples in the lake. As I sit here on this twenty-foot long pier lined with chaise lounges and stare at the water, I begin to feel like this solid, anchored pier is moving right along with it. The breeze shifts directions and there is a slight mist of water coming from the fountain in the center of the lake, which is filled with fish, and every now and again we see turtles with their heads like telescopes popping up out of the water. There is the moss-covered turtle, which I have never seen but Tim and Thomas saw him on Thursday, that makes appearances in his mossy shell. On the other side of the lake a lighthouse sits with a sweetery in the base, where you can buy ice cream cones and large cookies and other such things you might find in a sweetery.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thought --> Action --> Discovery --> Plan

I am suffocating in this vast mountain valley. With The Great Outdoors just steps from my front door, all I want to see is concrete and asphalt. Instead of snow capped mountaintops I want to look up and see glass-laden buildings. I want to live on a tiny island that's dirty and expensive and spectacular, in a tiny studio, where a million people all try to hail the same cab. I need to get to that island. I need to head east.  I need to say "So long, I'm going to the Concrete Jungle."

Sunday, January 6, 2013

In the Eyes of a Boy

Fourteen years ago on this day my two oldest brothers died. The years since then have withered away. I am older now, and I like to think I am wiser than that sixteen year-old, though I cannot always see it.  For eleven of those years, January 6th was sad and gloomy and reproachful. Then my nephew was born on the twelfth January 6th they'd been gone, and named Thomas Andrew for his uncles who left this life that day. And thanks to him, the day is no longer so sad or gloomy, and is not at all reproachful.

Thomas looking at a balloon