as a half-in-the-closet foodie, i know i'm supposed to have very strong opinions about Shake Shack, a burger joint of Danny Meyers (the magician who brought us Tabla and Union Square Cafe, among other things). people will throw out passionate discourse about the great shakeshack vs in'n'out debate, vehemently defend it as the elusive "best burger in nyc" and so on and so forth.
recently i went to a wine tasting/dinner class where basically i got to eat a lot of yummy food and get reeeeally drunk for half price and instead of pushing us to like things that are "medium bodied, low acidity and long finished," the most important concept they presented was: "do you like it?"
and that is how i feel about burgers, pizza, hand pulled noodles, soup dumplings, baller dinner joints, steak houses, etc. do i like it? i'm going there again. does it make your ranked list? i don't give a shit.
that said, i LOVE shake shack. the smell that hits you is mouth watering, and at least in the beginning when there was just the one in madison square park, i thought the wait was worth it. (in the last 4+ years i've been here, i've seen several branches open all over the city. the wait is still a little crazy, but not like 2-hours-to-wait-for-a-burger-you-will-inhale-in-2-minutes crazy.) their frozen concretes--essentially extra thick shakes--are a caloric meal in and of themselves. their fries are dirtily delicious. sometimes when you feel like not meat (which is never) they have a deep fried cheese stuffed mushroom burger. a little something for everyone.
becky, my friend and fellow lover of SS alerted me to the fact that today is one of their branch's 2nd birthdays, and in honor of that birthday, they were offering birthday cake ice cream: vanilla ice cream with yellow and chocolate cake bits and rainbow sprinkles all mixed in. it sounded awesome. and so i found myself trekking over and up to the theater district location, where there was a line extending outside the store (let's not think about the snaking line inside the resto).
the guy in the line ahead of me looked a little bewildered and i informed him that it was SS-theater district's birthday. he responded with, "really? i guess i better call danny meyer and say congrats." i thought he was lying/bragging, etc but glimpsed over his shoulder that he did, in fact, have danny meyer's phone number in his cell. talk about swag. apparently they used to work together.
down the line comes an employee handing out samples of the very birthday cake ice cream i was there for. i told her this with great excitement and she reminded me of the blessed "c-line," where you get cold things like soda, water, and ice cream. i skipped ahead of line and happily lined up behind one person (versus like 50) to order my ice cream.
when i stepped up to the cash register, this woman, who is already at her own cash register, glares at me angrily and shouts, "you know, the line starts back there." i glanced at her up and down and did a quick racial profile. "whoa," i know you're thinking, "kathleen, racist much?." allow me to explain.
my brother muck has an uncanny ability to racially profile people based on the cars they drive. he's particularly accurate when it comes to asians. "see that toyota camry? indian." and sure enough, one of our south asian brothers is indeed behind the wheel. "see that hyundai sonata? definitely korean." and there goes mrs. kim driving erratically down el camino. it's really amazing and provided unmatched entertainment that morning i drove him to get his car tuned up.
i am similarly developing a very specific racial profile sense about white people. my friend howard says that i should be a comedian and just make cracks about white people. i don't think this is necessarily true. i'm just really good at observing some of their ridiculous behavior and making an educated guess about what kind of white person they might be. certain clues will lead me to guess with 90% accuracy if the person comes New Jersey (although sometimes i sometimes confuse them with staten island), massachusetts, florida, norcal vs socal vs white trash central california, the midwest (in general, my knowledge of this part of america is notoriously poor and i count the midwest as one "region"). this particularly white lady was well dressed but slightly off in the suburban mom style that has suffered the disappointing blow of not making it in nyc and being forced to drive a minivan in a part of connecticut that wants desperately to be greenwich but absolutely isn't. it would also explain her lack of knowledge about the "c-line" and her righteous yet sorely misplaced indignation at my presumed cutting, and also her inability to apologize for her mistake even after i calmly corrected her.
i tried very hard to give her the evil eye afterwards, but usually people mistake that for some kind of GI discomfort, so it makes for a pretty ineffective face.
this was all forgotten however, once i got my ice cream. i skipped through the door, past the girl who originally directed me to the c-line when she stopped me and told me that my ice cream did not have rainbow sprinkles. she then dragged me back to the front of the line and insisted to the cashier that the ice cream lady get me some goddamn rainbow sprinkles. it's not a birthday celebration without them!
was it worth waiting (mistakenly) in line, suffering some foodie swag, getting yelled at by an unfortunate suburban connecticut mom with no grace to apologize, and leave smelling like burger? yes. that birthday cake ice cream was fucking delicious. and it had rainbow sprinkles. happy birthday, shake shack!
Saturday, March 10, 2012
hello blog readers!
it's been quite awhile but I've finally had a spell of time to catch up on sleep and thinking and so here i am, back in the blogosphere. currently i'm in sunny san diego for a conference for the nla--that would be the national lipid association--and the proceedings of this meeting thus far has prompted me to reflect further on something i've been thinking a lot about for the past 7 months or so and that is: what am i?
by this, i mean not my heritage (although it is a long running joke amongst friends close and not-so-close friends as to whether or not i'm filipino chinese or just straight chinese. i think i've finally found the answer, by the way. to borrow a phrase from my hs bff's husband: "i'll be whatever gets me the most stuff." actually i believe he said money, as in scholarships, but you get the point. while money is nice, i will also accept food, special service and treatment, and hugs). i mean my job.
years ago when i endeavored to take on nursing school in new york, i had not realized exactly how much political, professional, and personal strife being a nurse could produce. and the fact that no one knows really what nurse practitioners are, what they do, etc, that strife just multiplies, about 10-fold. people know what nurses are. in fact, i was well informed prior to entering the field. "you're going into nursing? but don't you have to like, clean up shit? literally?" and indeed, there was a lot of shit cleaned. 6 garden south, the floor that taught me basically everything i know, is notorious for prolific poopers. people in hospitals know what nurses do: we give meds. we clean shit. we "page the doctor" (i'm not sure if i'm the only one who does this but sometimes i don't actually page the doctor. especially if its a question where all parties involved--me, the patient, the doctor--know the answer is no.). according to grey's anatomy, sometimes we service the doctor, in a questionable, grey-area kind of way. and this is a very safe niche in which many nurses thrive (not with that last part). that's what makes them so good at their jobs--they have very well defined roles.
it gets a little hairy when you leave that safe little bubble. when i tell people i'm a nurse practitioner, there is inevitably a slight pause, a puzzled glance, a cock of the head and the dreaded question: "what... exactly IS a nurse practitioner?" it's incredible that these people eagerly devour every bit of news in the Times about how their blood thinner medication might cause "anticholinergic effects" (never mind that they don't actually know how these things might manifest themselves) but despite the positive press that NPs have gotten in the last 10 years or so, i still have people (who are purportedly "used to working with NP's") asking me to pass on messages like a goddamn secretary, not really sure what my role is. nine times out of ten i am referred to as "the nurse" or "the PA" and i have no choice to respond, whatever pride i may have swallowed, anger set aside.
i think part of the problem is that i myself am not really sure what i am. columbia university's school of nursing, being among the first ones in the country like it, was highly politically charged, surging forward with creating degrees like the DNP which didn't do much except cause even MORE confusion, and as such, my young health care provider-naive self was inundated with"NPs are better than MD" statements that sounded dangerously like upsetting propaganda. casual one-liners like "stay out of the hospital in july--that's when the new doctors come in" and over-exaggerated stories of brilliant nurses defying doctors to save the life of the patient catapulting the heroic role of the RN above that of the MD just further confused me about what exactly i should be looking forward to at the end of 2.5 years of nursing school, after which i would join the ranks of (assumed) MD-ball-busting NPs the world over. if i can't answer the question myself, how can i possibly hope to educate the discouragingly witless masses who have no clue about what it is i do apart from refilling their xanax prescriptions?
NPs have been called many things by the media, including "mid-level provider," "physician-extender," and oddly, "media darlings" (not sure where that last one came from, but it's so weird that it actually came from the media. is that like a journalist's version of talking in the first person?). of all of these, while "media darling" sits best with me, i think the one that i'm most apt to agree with is "physician extender." and NPs can bristle at this all they like, i don't give two flying fucks. i would never work in isolation from an MD and i would never presume to think that my pitiful training (or lack thereof--
) could even begin to equal theirs, and i think it's crucial to work alongside one. does that make me an extender of a physician? in the words of my super wise, soon-to-be-four nephew: my not know. other[negative] words that come to mind that involve the word "physician", that may or may not involve my job are: lackey. slave. bitch. ass-wiper (figuratively this time). more positively: collaborator, helper, right arm, keystone on which his practice stands without which all of his patients would leave him for his lack of availability. see? there are really no good words.
i think the best way i've heard my job described was by a friend who i went to nursing school with and she remains an RN but currently works in a job that, interestingly enough, was previously occupied by an NP, further blurring all boundaries. she says that she differentiates between RNs and NPs like this: "RNs are nurses that you think of in the hospital, and NPs are nurses that are like doctors." when i protested this description (but what will columbia think!), she shrugged her shoulders and said, "the patients aren't going to know anything beyond that."
and it's true. at the end of the day, the masses aren't going to give two shits about whether or not i can diagnose or prescribe or write soap notes or whatever. what they want to know is:" are you going to give me a fucking zpack to kill this cold before it starts?" (the answer is no, now go fuck off.) or "i am in pain/throwing up/shitting myself literally and i'm scared i'm going to die. can you answer whether or not i am?" and usually the answer is yes.
while i may not have a concrete defined answer as to what exactly an NP is, i sure as hell have a very defined list of what an NP isn't.
an NP is not:
1) a fucking secretary. i can't tell you how many times i have been requested to call a patient back only to find that they only called to ask if i wouldn't mind passing on a message to the Doctor? actually i do fucking mind. i have a secretary whose job it is to do that and God help me if someone else asks me to let my boss know that she self adjusted her dose of lisinopril to 5. wait, now 10. wait now 7.5. now back to 5 again. shoot me in the face.
2) a telephone advice nurse. my sister uses this all the time when her kids look funny and she's not sure if she should take them to the urgicare center. it's a great service, very helpful especially for people who are looking to not burden an already overburdened health care system. do you know who answers the phone when you call the advice nurse? a NURSE. an RN. NOT A NURSE PRACTITIONER. that's because RNs are already awesome at triage and have no problem saying "yes you should go to urgicare" or "no you're overreacting." people dial the office for some spectacularly stupid shit. and they always demand a call back. because no they don't want to come in for a visit. they just want free fucking health care over the phone. while i don't have a problem with free health care [FOR THE UNINSURED] these people have health insurance. get your lazy asses to the office so i can bill you like a proper provider. have a cold? make an appointment. have a uti? make an appointment. think you broke your ankle? making an appointment. think you have pneumonia? feel "really fatigued" and you don't know why but you have a 1 month old in the house? think you have low testosterone-induced fatigue but you actually have food coma every afternoon? want to discuss all 50 supplements you're taking to make yourself the virile 55 yo male you want to be? MAKE A FUCKING APPOINTMENT.
3) your shrink. once a patient (over the phone) wanted me to call in a new script for zoloft because her home-bound self had so much time to think about absolutely nothing that she decided she was depressed and wanted an antidepressant. i told her that she should really be followed by a mental health professional and her response was, "why do i need to talk to someone? i'm talking to you now, aren't i?" i had no words, except that she needed to make an appointment.
4) faceless prescription generator. do you know how many times i've gotten a request for a prescription, filled it, and then got another request for THE SAME PRESCRIPTION? upon inquiry, explanations i've gotten included: "oh its cheaper for me to do it this way," "oh i'm travelling and forgot my pills (but didn't forget your viagra, did you?)," "oh, i hate that pharmacy, this one gives me what i want," and my favorite: "I JUST CHANGED MY INSURANCE AND I'M REALLY POOR [even though i still own a place in manhattan, rocked up to your office in a mink coat, and drive a bmw that i can afford to keep in the city] AND YOU JUST NEED TO DO THIS FOR ME OKAY!!" and don't even get me started on the ambien prescriptions. i wish that a study would come out about how it causes cancer and then everyone would stop taking that shit like candy. and they're very feral about their refills. on the dot every month i will get a request to fill their ambien/xanax/valium prescription and if i don't, i will get 5 calls harassing me. also these patients can request things online and i get requests that no one in their right mind would "refill" like: malarone (an antimalaria pill), cipro (for potential traveller's diarrhea) and new rxs for antipsychotics with no documented history of ever having been prescribed them. EVER.
5) a patient bitchbag*. this is really a followup of #3, but once i got a request for a call back to discuss "patient's health" but in fact what he really wanted to do was keep me on the phone for THIRTY MINUTES so he could complain about how his specialists didn't "exhibit a clinical curiosity to get to the bottom of my issues." never mind that they fixed him and he no longer had said issues, but what do i know, i'm not an MD. want to complain about something? GET A WIFE. listening to your problems is either her problems or a shrinks, not mine.
6) an MD bitchbag*. this is particularly troublesome, since i'm friends with so many of them and my interest in self-preservation is often pitted against in their well-being. i think this is a two-part problem. i am a nurse. nurses are supposed to be compassionate. i think i sometimes buy into this (even to my own disadvantage) but other people 100% buy into it. the other part of it is that i am in a unique position to understand everything the MD goes through but without the ability to one-up their horrific day with something even worse, a potential danger if they were to attempt to bitchbag a fellow MD. i could not, for example, say "suck it up, cupcake" because my day couldn't possibly be as bad as theirs. as an NP caught in a compassionate RN role, i am stuck sympathetically clucking (despite my jaded attitude here, it's almost always genuine. the sympathy, not the clucking.) (well, also the clucking). the reason why i am convinced that my presumed role is as a bitchbag and not, for example, confidant or consoler is that this well-intentioned sympathy somehow manages to breed more bitching. instead of being mollified by words of comfort, the clucking, etc begets MORE bitching. there are a few MDs that are prone to drive-by bitchbag bomb me; while i sit innocently in my office, they burst in, explode and then flee. funnily enough, this relationship is rarely reciprocal. were i to complain about my day i would get silence, a dumb stare, or ignored. it's a little degrading.
so in conclusion, while i may not know exactly how to define my role or my job or even my identity, when i think about the emotional and mental drain of constantly combating these misconceptions, the emotional, needy life-suck that these patients can be, and the lack of nourishment i get professionally and personally as an NP, i can think of at least two words that explains what i am:
*what exactly is a bitchbag, you ask? is it a noun or a verb? here's a little education: it's both!
n. "Dear patient, i am not your bitchbag. Sincerely, your friendly NP."
(note: this is not the same as a douchebag, which means: "to be a bag of douche." instead it means to be a receptacle in which people place their bitching. it's sort of like being a garbage can, but instead of holding trash, you hold bitching.
v. "i can't believe he just drive-by bitchbagged me! now i have to catch up on work AND try to detox my life."
it is not a pleasant thing to either be a bitchbag or to be bitchbagged. both experiences--to be in the constant state of bitchbag, and to active state of being bitchbagged-- are soul-destroying, for the victim (in terms of soul) and perpetrator (in terms of karma, if you believe in that) alike.
Monday, April 11, 2011
i'm going to out myself now and just say that STDs fascinate me--clinically, of course. STD clinic was probably my favorite "extra" clinical placement in all of FNP school. it's just so bizarre how many shapes and ages and forms of people came, dropped their pants and/or spread their legs to be examined. i especially enjoy doing pelvic exams (clinically, of course). as weird as this sounds, cervixes are sometimes very difficult for me to find and it's so rewarding when pops into view on first try! manbits, on the other hand, are not very exciting to me (clinically, of course). a dude drops his pants and bam!--his junk is there, no mystery at all.
this week i'm studying my brains out and true to self, cramming like a maniac for my boards next week. tonight i'm going through the male genitourinary system, which, if all the answers i'm getting wrong are anything to go by, i actually don't know very well at all. i guess there's a little bit of mystery after all. after studying this chapter, i have a few observations/more questions:
1) i thought i knew a lot about syphilis, but according to the practice questions, i only 33% know syphilis. i am 100% sure, however, that i do not ever want to contract syphyilis myself.
2) i hope to god i never have to see lymphogranuloma venereum in my life.
3) how come so many bad things happen to left testicles? friends in the know, please advise.
4) i am very, very glad i do not have a prostate. although if i had to choose between prostate problems and frequent yeast infections, i'm not sure what i'd pick.
5) did you know to cut off blood flow to a testicle it has to twist at least 720 degrees? that involves quite a bit of effort, unless you have very flappy balls.
6) epididymo orchitis. orchiopexy. when i first started nursing school, i was very confused what male genitalia had to do with singapore's national flower.
7) while i thought i knew nothing about HPV and anorectocancer, i am apparently very good at guessing on multiple choice questions about both of those topics.
the boards are so close. i feel like i'm slow-stepping to the gallows. just need to get it done and over with, i guess.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
i have a confession to make....
... i detest people with weak stomachs. in every sense of the word. i scoff at people who squirm at the sight of poop oozing out of stomach holes, roll my eyes at people who gag at vomit, and dry heave at various other things that show up in hospitals. i get irritated with my mom who insists that certain things give her diarrhea and thus insists on buying gallons of bottled water from the store even though brita filters do exactly the same thing. i feel sorry for my poor sister who gets upset stomach from fatty foods (goodbye, fried chicken dinners) because i rarely experience what my adorable nephew calls "ow ow belly".
there are a few exceptions (until now, i'll get to it, promise) to this somewhat arrogant statement. one occured last summer when i made the mistake of eating a "beef" burrito from this super sketch joint in the south bronx. i can't say that i didn't know what i was getting myself into because i distinctly remember telling my friend stefanie that the beef didn't taste right. i shrugged, assumed my stomach could handle it, and then ate the rest. a 102 degree transient fever and several dates with my toilet later, i vowed never to eat from that burrito joint again.
the other episode of food poisoning occurred when i was in college. i went to this place in santa monica located in an area affectionately dubbed little osaka to eat at asahi ramen with my friend aileen. it was the first time i called out sick to my stupid hospital office job (which is more thankless? my job then or my job now? jury's still out on that one, but at least now i get paid more.) and i was put off ramen for several years, even while i lived in japan, i proceeded cautiously, first dipping my toe in the waters of ominous colloid broth only to realize that that shit is delicious and then plunge head first into the joys of tonkotsu. good thing i live in new york, where ramen shops pop up faster than you can say "irasshaimase".
this week, in an overzealous attempt to cook all my meals and save on eating out, i let a whole roasting chicken sit in my fridge a little longer than it ought to have. i got home from work on tuesday with the intention of roasting this chicken, opened the package and thought it smelled a little funny. i rinsed it off and viola! it didn't smell so funny anymore. i proceeded as planned. the chicken was delicious (from what i could remember). i even served it with some salad (that i didn't wash--TJ's triple washes all of their bagged salads, right?) tossed with avocado and cheese. a meal fit for a princess.
it could have been the chicken. it could have been the salad. whether it was salmonella or e.coli, one thing i know: i will not be eating either of those things for a long, long time. because my friends, there was ow ow belly. with impunity. my stomach of steel has been conquered at last by some pesky bacteria and i'm not sure if i'll ever get over it.
Friday, March 11, 2011
my love for trader joe's has been well known and well-documented. i used to ride the sketchy big blue bus to some random location to lug back TJ groceries in college. when i lived in japan, i'd load up my suitcase not with clothes to accommodate my ever-burgeoning ass, but with trader joe's treats that eventually only contributed to said derrière. when i moved to new york, i routinely made tj-dates with my other california friends who understood that a 1.5 hour round-trip grocery store trek was simply just worth it when it came to trader joe's.
recently i have hit a spell where i just can't be bothered to cook. there are vegetables languishing in the back of the bottom shelf that i keep telling myself "just one more week, they'll last one more week" and a package of chinese noodles that are gaining a more cloudy appearance despite my belief in their indestructible nature. or the quart of half and half i bought for a recipe four months ago that i just couldn't toss. half and half doesn't have an expiration date, right? i just need something that doesn't require a lot of work. like cereal. or a microwave.
it is with some slight alarm that i realized that my diet at home has subsisted largely on trader joe's frozen/just-microwave-two-minutes-and-presto!-a-meal type food. this explains why my freezer is so jam packed and my refrigerator so sparse (save for those wilty looking vegetables). of course there's also the Cabinet of Shame that includes things like pop-tarts, easy mac (or as i have recently proven, should be called not-so-easy-mac), canned soups and vegetables or worse, POWDERED soups, but let's choose not to dwell on that, okay?
here's a list of trader joe's grocery items i have been sadly (or not?) surviving on:
1) frozen gyoza: chicken and veggies is okay, pork and veggies is MUCH better.
2) frozen mac'n'cheese: sounds disgusting, but what's more disgusting is pondering what they put it in to make it so damn creamy.
3) two-minute pad thai: comes in a take-out looking box, has a vacuum-sealed package of noodles, a space package of noodles that you pour over it and then microwave. it is truly not that bad. extra bonus: no refrigeration required. how's that for sketch?
4) trader joe-san's tofu. there are so many possibilities, including raw and straight from the package.
5) ficelle: par baked mini baguette loaves that taste like preservatives and chemicals, but manage to exude that fresh-baked bread smell out of the oven anyways.
6) yogurt: TJ's makes single serving portions of apricot-mango greek yogurt and it's AMAZING. sometimes it counts as lunch when i'm at work.
7) frozen orange chicken: technically requires a little more work, but DELICIOUS
8) frozen yaki-onigiri: i know this is disgusting, especially since i'm used to the kind made by japanese housewife hands with rice harvested days ago from a neighbor's field, but they don't skimp on the soy sauce, plus if you accidentally microwave them for too long, you get a crispy/crunchy/chewy edge that is sort of a bonus!
9) hummus: a recent discovery, but paired with carrot sticks salvaged from some sketchy looking carrots found in the bottom drawer in your fridge, they can sometimes count as "dinner"
10) lambs lettuce: throw in some pecans you scrounged from the back of your pantry, some dried cranberries leftover from christmas baking, some gorgonzola crumbles (also from TJ's) and you've got yourself something marginally healthy!
11) candy cane jojo's: no shame--i sometimes substitute these for eating a meal. and yes, i still have some. you buy them in bulk around christmas time and then parcel them out during the year, obviously. and now TJs makes an ice cream with these in them. which i have also eaten for dinner. it's marvelous!
so there you have it, friends. my disgusting eating habits are out in the open and now you have a few meal ideas for yourselves when you find yourselves in a pinch!
and while i would not consider myself "fit" in any sense of the word, i discovered the reason why i am not yet 500 pounds. today after a typical day of work, i checked my newly-acquired pedometer: normal running around on the floor adds up to about 5 miles. the real question is why am i not losing any weight? (answer: see list above).
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
last fall i blogged about how the inimitable swaymire graciously paid for me to be able to punch things in her fancy gym and all of the glorious hot-bod wonder, endless machinery and unlimited free towel usage it entailed.
since then, no, i have not yet joined the ranks of those ridiculous enough to shell out $80+ a month for a gym membership, especially since i fully intend to milk the rest of my equally ridiculous columbia tuition for all its worth and continue using the Bard Gym.
there is a special place in my heart for bard athletic center. located in the basement of hands down the shittiest dorm in all of columbia's combined campuses, it's a steamy inferno in the dead of summer with no air conditioning and useless fans that blow hot air on aspiring health nuts, and in the winter it traps elusive, hard to place body odors that can only be described as "malaysian wet market." at UCLA i used the john wooden center only very occasionally because i thought exercising was a pain in the ass, and while i still think it's a pain in the ass, now i have a vague sense of disquiet about being out of shape and telling my potential future patients that they need to not be like me. not a very inspirational role model. also, if there's one thing i learned from my 2.5 years in nursing school, it's that health is, you know, sort of important.
i think my attendance at bard gym can be called sporadic at best: when i was a young and naive ETP student with lots of free time, a closer apartment and friends who lived in the area to go to the gym with, i went often. then i started working, marking a year-long-plus stretch of No Exercise. miraculously, i managed to lose weight, but i think that was mostly due to the initial RN starvation diet and before i realized my work preceptor/adoptive filipino mom could and would keep me very well fed on a steady diet of chicken adobo and other delicious delectable lunches she willingly shared with me. since that happy epiphany my coworkers haven't held back with the "damn girl, you've gained weight"s and the like. (we're like a family. really.)
but it's about health, dammit! school finished and i resumed some semblance of a life, although too little, too late: my gym membership at school ends with my attendance and that elusive "full time status' title. if i want to go to this shitty little gym, i'd have to pay something ridiculous like $100 a semester starting probably in february, when our degrees are conferred and columbia gives me the official boot to the real world, complete with an unmentionable sum of student loans.
and what a shitty gym it is! it boasts precisely 8 treadmills, four elliptical machines, two cross trainers, two moving staircase machines called "the gauntlet," two stair masters, some free weights and a handful of target muscle weight machines. there are apparently two recumbent bikes somewhere in this gym, but despite it's tiny proportions, i have yet to locate them. imagine all of the school of medicine, school of nursing, school of public health, PT, OT, and the random miscellaneous science researchy type people trying to cram themselves up in there. not going to happen.
it's a pretty tight system: you sign up for 30 minute sessions on one of the machines, and let me tell you, people are FIERCE in protecting their half our of cardiovascular workout. in fact, this is where i first met my gym nemesis of 2009, an ambitious looking chinese female who resembled a classmate of mine in high school whose name was wen-chi, but to fit with the spirit of this card-carrying member of the stone-faced asian bitch society, i secretly called her "wench." she accused me of stealing her gym slot which i clearly had not and when i showed her patiently where my name was and pointedly looked at the clock, she turned heel and huffed away, her too-high ponytail twitching behind her like a pissed off cat's tail when you've accidentally dropped a full pint of ice cream on his head (not that i've ever done that or anything).
i've tried my best to discern when are the best times to go to the gym and so far the only time slot i've seen the gym dead empty is from 9:30 to 11:30. there is virtually no one else in the gym; just me and the guys who hand out towels. it's glorious. i have a mix on my ipod entitled "dance" because i think "hardcore workout" is clearly a farce and "operation: look good naked" seems too obvious. and also because i really like to head bob when i'm on the cross trainer/gauntlet. i won't share what's on the "dance" mix since 1) you might judge and 2) then you might judge some more, but suffice to say, it gets me moving. there have even been some really significant life epiphanies involving me, britney spears and Jesus to the background of "womanizer." at any rate, what with the importance i place on being able to groove with my ipod, you'd understand why i'd want the gym to be empty.
tonight i discovered that 8:00 pm is NOT a good time to be in the gym. not only is every machine in use and i am prevented from really getting into the music, but it's hard to book a time slot. i luckily managed to snag a spot on an elliptical and was about 20 minutes into it when this young indian man comes up to me to tell me that he's reserved that spot for 8:30. i politely but apologetically tell him he must be mistaken and he's welcome to check the logs again, but i've definitely signed up for the 8:30 spot. puzzled, he goes back to check and tells me that there are two names on the 8:30 slot. now i'm annoyed that he's interrupted me and bruno mars, and i get off the machine, stalk to the log and see that the asshole has hastily scratched in a "VJ" (that was clearly not there before) next to my name. of course there are two names, you weaselly fucker, you wrote yours next to mine!
i didn't really want a fight (although i totally could have thrown down with him) and so told him that while i did not see his name on that line before i wrote mine in, i didn't mind using another machine. my hands were up in a placating gesture which might have been mistaken as a sign of peacemaking, but was really meant to say, "and you can be the douchebag who passive-aggressively fought a girl for an elliptical machine *cough*(you pussy)
*cough*, and i'm going to use a machine called 'the gauntlet.'"
as i was using the gauntlet, only sort of fuming, a thought occurred to me: if i had a penis, i'd totally be that dude that lifts the heaviest weights for show while staring down punier guys. or wears wife beaters/shirts with the sleeves cut off to showcase my amazing guns. good thing i'm not a dude. instead, as a girl i can just talk big game about how i could throw down with people half my size while i use "the gauntlet" (admittedly on a low setting), all for the sake of health.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
today was one of those wonderful epic days that was so good i need to interrupt my drawn-out (nearly finished, i promise!) narrative of paris to talk about. before i delve into the nitty gritty details, there are a few things that i've noticed about days like these:
1) fun always involves tessa chamberlain. (or is it tessa is always fun? eh, either way.) my last great day was with her and sweinkauf floating down the river that resulted in some truly historical sunburns, even on my filipino skin.
2) fun does not always involve a lot of alcohol, but sometimes it does, like it did today. more on this later.
3) fun can also sometimes involve zac efron, whether it's the good natured fun like in high school musical (don't judge, please) or the this -is-ridiculous-and-we-will-now-laugh-at-your-attempts-to-be-an-artist fun.
4) fun isn't always, but usually is expensive. $30 lunch plus lost $80 bet = a lot of money.
it started a few months ago, tessa and i decided that to boost our resumes and to take advantage of at least some of the free perks that come with the misery of working at the 'Stein, we were going to take the ACLS class. i have never taken ACLS, and assumed that we would get similar instruction as my BCLS class, which was phenomenal and led by nursing education staff.
ACLS class for first timers is a 2 day course, on two consecutive tuesdays from 9-5 each day. it was like going to school and studying for something for 16 hours, and let's be honest--i haven't truly studied for about a year and a half now (don't be fooled, just because i just graduated from school doesn't actually mean i learned anything). i woke up and was thankful that at least the start time was late, but dreaded a full day of sitting in class. at least the instructors would be informative.
it turns out i was all wrong. we started half an hour late. the instructor was not informative. in fact, rarely have i ever met an instructor whose teaching style i so disliked. complete disregard for evidence based practice and when i brought it up, he told me not to get fancy. information was haphazardly dispensed, taught without any sort of rhyme or reason, and while i'm sure he knew a lot, he sure sucked at demonstrating it. i'm not even sure what sort of credentials he had to teach the course except for "i'm a retired cop," which i'm pretty sure is NOT a noteworthy qualification. he also kept calling all of us "doctor." "doctor, what do you want to do now? this joker ain't breahing." or "doctor, it's your call, what's next, doctor?" i felt a very strong need to grab him by the face and tell him that i was a nurse, by choice, and so was everyone else in the room except the random pharmacy chick. it was sort of like my entire FNP program revisited. needless to say i was not a super happy camper. the upside to all of this is that we started at 9:30 and ended at... 11:45. yes that's right. 5 hours early. including a 15 minute break.
well the day picked up from there. we picked up textbooks (which would have maybe been a little more helpful beforehand) on our way out, and tessa and i decided to have lunch. with wine. maybe a bottle. no, definitely a bottle. we stopped at this newly renovated lunch place right around the corner that used to be called plum pomodoro and is now called something snooty like columbia social club. or something. who cares? they had alcohol.
we ordered flank steak sandwiches and between the two of us polished off an entire bottle of merlot. by the end of lunch i was too toasted (before 1pm!!!!) to do anything except follow tessa to her house, stopping by a westside market for almonds (to make a cake later; even when inebriated, my priorities are straight) and additional last minute purchases of carrot cake and chocolate and then settled onto her amazing couch to watch charlie st. cloud.
you know, i did NOT think it was that complicated a movie from the commercials, but i just didn't get it. was she dead? was she alive? i thought it was going to be a twist and they'd all be dead like in the sixth sense (a movie that i've actually never seen, but certain brannon morrison spoiled it for me, so now i'll spoil it for everyone else) but silly me, i should have realized that anything with zac efron in it shouldn't ever be that complicated. i bet tessa an $80 dinner that everyone was dead... and lost. the only person who died was the little brother. oops. maybe she won't remember. :D also sorry if i spoiled the movie for you, but honestly, i just saved you an hour and 39 minutes of your life that you can do something productive and rewarding with.
i passed out during the credits and woke up, disoriented and not sure where i was (i swear that's not a frequent thing) to that commercial for pajama jeans and sort of wanted a pair. for $40 bucks plus a free tshirt, that's practically like stealing! good thing i suppressed my impulsive nature, because now that i'm almost sober, they seem like a terrible idea.
anyways now i have a clementine cake cooling on my stove and i am snuggling with clyde who is going to get adopted at the end of this week and i can honestly say that this has been a good, good day. the end.