Monday, December 29, 2008

C'est fini

This is what my calendar has looked like for the last four months and I would be lying if I said I wasn't happy that it's all over. As of Dec. 20, I am officially done with school. Although I am a little nervous about starting the new job and taking the board exams, I definitely feel better than I would if I were registering for classes and scraping up tuition for another semester. So now the game turns into studying, studying, and studying some more. My goal is to have all three of my board exams taken (and passed) by the end of April.

It's so hard to believe that Christmas has already come and gone. I was really hoping for a nice, relaxing holiday this year but it turned out to be anything but stress free. The extreme weather (including snow, fog, wind, rain, and ice) was a huge hassle for all of the holiday traveling we had to do. Even more of a hassle, though, were the multiple car issues we had during the week. Long story short - Steve has no heat or defrost in his car and my car blew it's water pump on Christmas morning and I'm still waiting to hear if the head gasket is blown as well. We spent the better part of Christmas day trying to limp my car to the repair shop to avoid crazy Christmas day towing fees. After that, it was champagne and whatever scraps of food we had in the house. Not the greatest Christmas but it could have been far worse, that's for sure!

So here's hoping for an excellent start for 2009 - it's impossible to know what's around the corner so there's no use worrying about it, right?

Thursday, December 18, 2008


In 1927, an unknown aspiring writer named Max Ehrmann wrote a poem called "Desiderata," which in Latin means "things desired as essential." I have an ugly 1970's-inspired wall hanging with this poem on it that used to hang in my grandma's kitchen when I was little. I rescued it from her garage sale several years ago because it was the first time I had actually read through the whole thing. It now hangs in my house and I read it quite often - each time, something different speaks to me and all of it is applicable to every aspect of my life. Sorry this is a bit on the sappy side but I wanted to share it.

"Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy."

Monday, December 01, 2008

650B ya'll

So not much has been happening these past few weeks - a little bit of school, a little bit of work, a little bit of traveling, and so on. I'm in the final push of what I hope is my last semester of school for several years. Three weeks of night-shift neonatal ICU rounds and that's it. Gettin 'er done.

A new and exciting addition came along this past week, though - it's a frankenbike project that's been in progress for over a year now but Steve made it happen after some frantic digging through his bike parts bins in the basement. So I give you..... the Salsa Ala Carte single speed complete with 650B Velocity Blunts. Daaaaaang.My coworker Dave took some great photos of it for the Velocity website - check it out here. Luckily that was before I took it out in the muck at Luton Park over the weekend. It's definitely going to take some getting used to - not only is it a rigid singlespeed but the wheels are bigger than I'm used to (650B's end up somewhere between a 26" and a 29" wheel - probably around a 27ish" wheel). Add that to having zero moutain bike miles in the last few months and I'm just happy to report that I'm still alive. It was actually a ton of fun and I can't wait for this spring, although the tires I'm running (Pacenti Neo-Moto) make this bike more like a hovercraft in the snow and slush. Many more good times to come with this bike, I'm sure :)

Because of the snow we got these last few days, I did break down and put the studded tires on the Surly this morning. I'm planning on taking it into town a little later this afternoon to get some school stuff wrapped up before the MMBA meeting. Although now that it's started snowing again, I'm not as excited about this as I was this morning. Oh well - slushy roads, here I come!

Not much else to report - I'll leave you with a few of my favorite pictures from this fall. Some Halloween, some chilly waves, some hockey game craziness, and some muddy riding. Nothing too exciting but I'm sure I'll have some good stories in the next few weeks!

Monday, November 10, 2008


Are you tired of looking at Steve and George Dubya yet?? Margo yelled at me today for not updating my blog often enough so here I am, nursing a very strong cocktail and celebrating my big news for the day - I got a job! I finally heard back from Butterworth hospital and I accepted a full time position in the respiratory department starting on January 5th. I could not be happier about this - it will make this last month in school so much more enjoyable knowing that I don't have to be pounding the pavement every waking moment trying to scrounge up some work. Besides that - doing my clinicals there made me realize that there's no other hospital in town I'd rather work at. I'm so excited :) So as it stands now, I have the last of my adult critical care shifts this coming weekend in Saginaw and then three weeks of neonatal critical care after Thanksgiving at Butterworth and then I'm done! Graduation is December 20th. I don't plan on walking in the ceremony - mostly because I work the night shift the night before and don't get out until 7am that morning. It will be sooooo nice to be able to relax and enjoy the holidays for a few weeks before I start up at my job. Two board exams later I will be a full-fledged, licensed, and registered respiratory therapist. With a job. Kinda makes the last two years of craziness all worth it.....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another One

So this one's grainy since someone took it with their camera phone but I just thought I'd put it up anyway. For those who are confused, President Bush made a surprise visit to the bike shop (where Steve works) yesterday while he was in town for a fundraiser. Steve had the chance to shake his hand and tease him about riding a Trek (a brand they don't carry) before he left in his bad ass limo and headed off to do more important things. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime moment, whether you agree with the man or not.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dude..... Seriously?!

So when exactly did I marry a VIP?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Wound Up but Winding Down

Too much coffee + pre & post-job interview jitters = choppy blog post. Sorry.

Just got done with my interview. It was a phone interview - blegh. I'm not a fan of talking on the phone but overall, I'd say it went just fine. It was very short and to-the-point with a "We'll be in touch" at the end. Hopefully I didn't sound too much like a blathering idiot :) Evidently there are no 'open' positions at this point but they're gearing up for some positions that will be available toward the end of the year. That's good for me since I still have a crap load of school work and clinicals to get through in the next few months.

Speaking of clinicals, though, I only have this week and next week left in my adult ICU rotations. It's crazy how fast that time went. Five more shifts is all I get to learn as much as I can. After next week, I have a few random home-care and pulmonary rehab shifts followed by three shifts at a neuro ICU in Saginaw and then it's on to my neonatal ICU rotation. And after that - I'm DONE! Sure do hope I have a job to report to by then :)

For now, though, I'm trying to enjoy the beautiful fall weather we're having. I spent most of Saturday doing yardwork and planting tulip, daffodil, and iris bulbs. Now the trick is keeping them in the ground so they'll bloom this spring - seems like we have a lot of hungry little animals in our neighborhood. On Sunday, Steve and I took a break from our housework to ride our bikes for a few hours. It was a beautiful sunny day when we left the house and a cool, dark night when we returned. We stopped for "one" beer at Founders on our way home but ended up staying much longer - although it's never a bad thing when you combine good beer with good friends.

We also had the chance to catch up with our friend Mackenzie who just got back from Beijing last week after competing in the Paralympics (see the previous posts). It was so cool to see her and the medals she and her tandem partner won - Kim threw quite the homecoming party and I was so glad we could attend :) Here are a few photos - it was hard to really do justice to the medals but they were pretty amazing.....So now it's on to the rest of the week - I took today off for my interview and to take an exam that has to be proctored by a licensed respiratory therapist. I have to get downtown by 1:30 to start the test - it's a practice board certification exam and I'm really hoping to pass it this first time so I don't have to take it again. Perhaps I should study a bit before I go?