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Sunday, December 16, 2007

27 days & 20 hours

of freedom from papers, tests, and 6:30 labs! Nate and I went snowboarding to celebrate. I did good enough in my classes, and I'm fine with that.

I began my first book to read for fun over the break. It is called "The Significance of Children and Animals." I picked it up when I was looking for references for a paper. I'll probably also find an easy to read Nicholas Sparks novel. I love to read cheesy romance novels, and he's the best I've found.

As one might assume, I think my brain has shut off. I wanted to write, but now that I'm here nothing makes sense.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The end is very near

We have class tomorrow, one final Monday, and the last final on Tuesday. Very very exciting, but I feel as if I've already taken my finals and have nothing else to do with my time! Huge mistake on my part! I've barely studied, and I know I need to. But, I can't really find a place that is conducive to studying. I'll probably rotate around town visiting the places that sometimes work, but only during their quiet times.

It is frustrating. On a much better note, though, I had a great experience at work the other night. A lady with a chronic debilitating disease joined us. I was honored to have enough time to sit with her and listen. It is experiences like this, that remind me why I am doing what I do. This lady almost had me in tears several times, and I'm not entirely sure why right now. It is just that I really felt like that is where I was supposed to be, and that is where she needed to be. It is interesting how lives intertwine at the most critical moments and something remarkable and beautiful happens because of it.

Enlightenment aside, it still won't help me prove the mindless knowledge I learned from my books and classes. I know it is very important to have a strong understanding of the pathophysiology of disease and dis-ease, but how can they test you on the things that really matter? Okay, I'll leave until after finals to write a hallelujah piece.

Monday, November 19, 2007

3000 ... not 300

For those of you who are directed here because you want to know how many pages a 3000 word essay is, the text equals out to about 10 pages, 12 point font, double spaced, with one inch margins. Additionally, a 10,000 word essay equals out to about 32 pages of text with 12 point font, double spaced, with one inch margins.

Hope this helps you with your endeavor, and please feel free to click on the "Resolution" title above to read my current entries. Thank you and good luck!


I just finished an assignment for my most exciting class. That is a glorious feeling. When I started this project I had visions of bullets and straight to the point sentences dancing in my head. Oh how I was sadly mistaken when this tedious project turned into a 3000 word paper! If I were to leave it at 12-point-double-spaced-less-than-one-inch-margin settings it would waste 10 sheets of bright white paper. I would love to leave it in the one and a half spacing that I write in and 11 point font to only use 6 pages of paper, but one of the criterion for the paper is double-spaced... do you think she would notice? Or better yet... would it really matter? Less room to write comments in my pretty!!!!

Okay, I'm probably going crazy. No matter how many pages I format it too, this stupid assignment worth one fifth of my grade, took 3000 words to "sum up". That is a short novel according to when I was piece paid as a newspaper writer. Towards the end of my paper (okay probably when I was at the 300 word mark...), I could feel my grammatical reasoning slip. Words and punctuation just didn't fit together, I couldn't even spell! I relied on my fingers remembering how to spell out words, and typing anything that was close enough to get picked up and fixed by Word. See, I'm still having problems. I needed to debrief and take pride in my accomplishment, though. Not only did I finish this assignment, I finished the Denver II write-up (what a piece of cake! I like instructors who say "NO MORE THAN ONE PAGE!") and I submitted my care plan in ahead of schedule (as opposed to waiting for that deadline and forcing it to come out of my brain).

I agree with Mandi when she writes, "It's strange - no amount of disappointment or self loathing has had any effect on my terrible procrastination habit" (2007) ;). I wish and swear that next time will be different. I could be on top of it and have final assignments done two weeks early. I can turn off Alton Brown and get off my lazy butt to exercise. I'll get around to picking up my dirty-but-not-really-dirty laundry in that heap on my floor. Hm... looks like my problem not only is with school but that's how I am in general. Why is it so hard to change this habit?

I'm feeling that homework hangover start. (Probably the result of too much caffeine, not enough glucose, and the call of my nest (a fluffy down comforter)). Yup... those 3000 words really made me crazy. On a better note, IT SNOWED!!! Maybe a whole 3-5 inches so far! Nate and I went for a nice evening stroll in the first real snowfall. I had to save my sanity somehow!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Never thought I would be

I'm overwhelmed by feelings of fear. I don't want to do certain things because I'm too scared. But, it is a different kind of scared.

For instance, I'm scared that no matter how well I'm trained and able to do my job, something will still go wrong, and I'll hurt someone and I'll be sued. That's all it is. I was looking into NICU jobs, but then I got too scared to want to go into that field because of the high rate of malpractice suits. Then I was thinking adult critical care, and I was frightened again. Ped's-no. Oncology-no. ER-I have no idea. Maybe I should just go and pass meds in a nursing home.

I don't know what to do except wait patiently for this uncomfortable feeling to pass, and keep on doing the best I can at building a strong base of knowledge and understanding. For now, I'll just wait for my stomach to untie these awful knots it wrapped itself in.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I've had a couple of ideas that I wanted to post before I forgot them, so, as I wait to go to bed (Nate is cleaning), I'll take this opportunity to post.

I've been on a very strange food kick. I'm becoming more adventurous and trying recipes that look and sound great, but things that I've never tried before with ingredients I've never used. I thought exploring this unfamiliar territory would be exciting, but it has left me with a bad taste in my mouth (literally... not the usual metaphorical example). I made a daring spaghetti squash with a nice cream and mushroom and goat cheese sauce that turned out extraordinarily bland. It is still sitting in the fridge, half eaten. I also did Mexican macaroni, a recipe I never really knew but thought I could pull off. Even though I thought it was fine, it was a little off. The cheese melted funny and was granular instead of stringy. I also didn't use stewed tomatoes so there were chucks of tomatoes, and I can never really tell when pasta is adequately done.... My latest flop were pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting. They were okay... not spectacular. The frosting was great, but not the best snack food around. The cookies just aren't sweet enough. It is like a minicake. They just don't suffice a craving for cookies. I'm going to try an eggplant pasta on Tuesday... we'll see how that goes. I'm sick of knowing only a couple of good recipes. I want to learn new recipes that I can make and that taste great. I could look at this positively in the aspect that I've succeeded at finding several recipes that don't work so well for me.

In perspective, though, that doesn't seem very important when I consider what other people have to deal with. At work, I wish I had all the right answers. I wish I knew what to do with all of our patients, but then I'm torn because I don't know if I should even be doing something that a nurse normally would since I'm only an HCA (and nurse *cough*cough*..superhero... in training). But it kills me to just sit and do nothing. One nurse did complement me on how well I was able to calm and redirect one of our younger clients. (More to come later... I am going to bed regardless of the cleaning time).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Only 65% of an addict

65%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

100% Free Personals from JustSayHi



I definitely had to answer yes to the "do you blog instead of doing other things you have to do like studying for an exam."

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Switching gears

Yesterday was my sister's birthday. She turned 20. On Thursday, we had guest speakers from Mountain Home speak to our class. Moutain Home is a place for pregnant teenage girls who are homeless or otherwise disendowed. This experience so close to my sister's birthday created a great flux of emotions within me... as my sister's son will turn 4 in November; her daughter, 2 in December.

My family has tried to help my sister so much: given her money when needed, a place to enjoy family company, transportation to and from appts, even offering a free place to live. However, she refuses to use the last resource to her and her children's benefit. She was evicted from her last apartment because it was infested both by bugs and drugs. She didn't cause it to be like this. However, it was in the terms of her lease and she knowingly accepted. She has a different apartment now and continues to live hand to mouth.

As one might detect, this is a painful topic for me because it is impossible for me to understand my sister's reasoning for staying in Vegas with virtually nothing. But, has my anger and frustration caused me to treat my sister less than I would a stranger I met in the hospital?

For instance, if a teenager presented herself to me in a clinical setting and had many of the same characteristics as my sister, I wouldn't think twice about finding her help, giving her the tools she needed to get on her feet, and helping her make a positive change in her life. With my sister, I have mentioned stuff to her, and expected if she really wanted to change, she would do it. She would find the resources she needed in her area and get on with it. With internet access, I probably have an easier time trying to find resources for her. Why am I waiting?

I think I just don't want to be upset by her. With someone else, I don't have to see her and be hurt by her the rest of my life. It hurts because I know what she could have become. It hurts because she is so damn stubborn for reasons that she refuses to fully understand. It hurts because she is only letting a horrible cycle continue.

I am going to find some information for her and leave it up to her and leave it at that... yeah right, but I can hope that she is still in that immature adolescent stage and consequence/benefit/abstract operational thinking is still developing. (Adolescent stage goes from 12-25...)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Keeping things in perspecitive

I absolutely love my job. I work with wonderful people who are very intuitive and great at what they do. I know I've only worked there for a month, but, it may turn out to be an area that interests me. I always feel so empowered and confident when I leave, it makes me hate to leave sometimes! The nurses (male and female) always offer insight and love to be teachers. It is comforting to have people understand where you're at, and will give you keys to succeed and thrive.

It also feels great when you can feel like you're making a difference in a patient's life. Being in a mental health institution is a very delicate and impressionable time in someone's life. Because of my age, I feel like I helped to reach out to an adolescent and hopefully gave her someone to look up to. It may be an egotistical notion, but it feels right.

Experiencing these feelings helped rejuvenate my drive and initiative to not allow myself to fail, and I'm going to do everything in my powers to help ensure that I don't. I'm making a list and checking it twice, finding out what's going to get me to pass, and submitting it to my instructor. I have a plan. I'm going to make this work, so I better end this post! I needed to release the three cups of hot chocolate/coffee I had at work at 2100.

Friday, September 21, 2007

It keeps on pouring

I had to have another meeting with my instructor over the entire key incident/ how I'm doing. And, well, simply, I'm a failure. Yes, you heard it correctly...this overachieving perfectionist is literally failing because she refuses to do things half assed. Everyone else should not fret though, because I'm what's known to my instructor as "the only one" who is not comfortable with being thrown to the wolves. And the only one who is "failing" because I don't know anything about babies. I have read the chapters, and looked at the stupid clinical companion, and I don't know why it isn't connecting. Even still, I look back at what I've highlighted and asked, "I read this?"

The jist of my "let's rub everything in, because it's fun, and makes students cry and feel worthless" meeting was essentially just that. Okay, we already had this discussion, can we move on...? No, absolutely not. But I understand that you feel like I'm worthless. Can I just be done with it? No, at least once in your entire school career (if you pass), you have to question why you're here and why you want to continue on. That ideal you held about why you wanted to subject yourself to 4+ years of schooling do do what you thought you were cut out to do was absolutely bullshit.

What it comes down to though, is I'm me, I'm not other students, we all don't function at the same level, I'm sorry I'm stupid sometimes. Isn't everyone? Aren't we all just humans? Sorry, I forgot instructors/professors aren't human (even though you've also made your share of stupid mistakes).

Sunday, September 16, 2007

When it rains…

It has been a hard week, and I’m having a hard time putting my finger on it so I can deal with it appropriately. I feel lost in my clinical rotation. I’m not organized. I forget little things. I know Jack. (We’re actually great friends… oh you don’t know him? His last name is Crap.) I’m behind on a lot of stuff.

I forgot to return keys the other day, and I think that is what definitely put me in this mindset. I felt on the verge yesterday, but I’m not sure on what type. I didn’t know if I wanted to just quit right there, cry, or scream. I feel like my instructor hates me or thinks I’m some inferior because I don’t ask for help, and because I’m not as enthusiastic about this rotation. I don’t know, I guess I just can’t read her. At this point, it isn’t about a grade, that comes with homework. (If I ever get around to reading all twenty fricken chapters). It is about feeling acceptance or approval of what I’m doing, and for it to be okay if I don’t know everything. Isn’t that why they are there? I’m paying you to help me, to guide me, to teach me. Not to throw me to the wolves and wonder why I don’t know how to survive.

To make matters worse, it seems like I’m the only one who feels like this. I must have missed the memo that we were kicked out from under the wing early.

Nate and I are going to Glacier National Park this weekend. I think it will be a great break, but I could use the valuable time to catch up on my reading. Oh well. I think this semester it will be okay if I slack off. I did well enough last year that I gave myself a nice cushion to absorb the stress I put on myself to get good grades.

Well, this post spent a couple days on my desktop. Glacier was fun. It was kind of hazy so we couldn't see that much. But it was nice to get away for a little while. Whitefish was really neat. Nate and I splurged on dinner at a nice place. I had the prime rib and he had ribs. It was nice except for the fact that I felt guilty most of the trip for not doing my homework. Oh well. It was a little late, but whatever... we only get a point on it, and it isn't even "graded." :P I'm going to go home and read a lot. Toot-a-loo!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

My lifeline, my connection, my love

I love the internet. While some people say that it creates more hassle for them, for me, it is my lifeline. It helps to connect me to the world, and I love experiencing that connection. When the connection is good, it brings me even more joy. I can multitask like no one's business! I can have five tabs running and I stay on top of each one. However, when it is slow or even nonfunctioning, it makes me so frustrated. I guess I can't be that upset though because it is a free connection. But if that is one of the reasons why you attract people to your business, and it is then unreliable? I'm sorry. I was just a little frustrated because I needed to submit an assignment by a certain time and the internet was on the fritz. That is why we are getting our very own connection at the house sometime soon. Therefore, I will be able to keep up to date on here! See, you benefit from being connected too!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Damn Pearl Jam inspired desire!

One of my first favorite songs by Pearl Jam was "Wishlist." I heard it almost every night as I was falling to sleep and I think that's how I remembered it so well. Years would pass since that first encounter and I finally got to see Pearl Jam in October 2000. I had just turned 16, but didn't have my driver's license yet. My boyfriend (at the time) and I drove to Milwaukee, stood in freezing ass weather (on the bootleg E.V. makes a reference to the cold...pretty accurate, too), listened to great music, went back to our hotel with a 24 hour pool, got my leopard print slippers stolen, drove part way back, climbed up some limestone bluffs, made our mark, drove the rest of the way home.

Anyways, whenever I feel certain desires I think of that song. For instance the most recent time was the other day when I was foolishly looking for a parking spot in the streets around campus. It is a given that I'll have to walk at least several blocks no matter where I park because of Residential parking areas that I can't park in (without getting a ticket). However, I had to pass up several spots because I was too afraid of trying to park/dock my almost 18' boat, "Madame C. Victoria." The song came into my head and I inserted "smaller car" where ever appropriate. Needless to say, I docked..er... parked on a far pier so I didn't have to worry about parallel parking the behemoth boat. On my ferry into land, an ever so cute and little red scooter zoomed by... further developing my rage and desire.

I could let this desire pick away at me and turn me into a bitter and angry person, but I think it will be more constructive if I plan...plan on buying my own scooter!!! **Evil laughter escapes me** I have budgeted to put $150 in savings and I can concurrently afford to put at least the same amount in my very own retirement account! Of course I wouldn't touch the retirement account, but I'm planning for that too, so I'm not foolishly wasting my money on a scooter. (I'll probably save the money in gas for the summer!) I don't know where else to go with this. I always have enlightening moments on my walks into campus, I should maybe write them down while I'm walking. I'll do that next time so I don't leave myself and a reader in a "where is the ending" mode.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Less than a week

Even though I have been "employed" by St. Pat's for more than a week, I've only been working for a week. So far, I'm very excited for this opportuniity. I'll be working on the NeuroBehavioral Medicine Inpatient unit. Today was my first day of on the floor orientation. My job seems to be fairly easy with bouts of random craziness thrown in. The only thing that seems challenging is distinguishing that fine line between CNA care and nursing student care. Being a student first has definitely taught me the role of HCA/US and why what they do is important. I guess it gave me (a newbie to the hospital setting) a great understanding of the infrastructure roles everyone needs to play to ensure that a floor runs smoothly.


to be continued

Monday, August 06, 2007

Life in a Bubble

Or more precise, a smoke bubble. I would rather breathe thick particulated air than lose my home, though.

Friday, July 27, 2007

A form of prostitution -just with more paperwork

No matter how you try and categorize it, selling yourself (for any reason) just seems down right unethical. Sure there are blatant violators of ethical code in prostitution, but what about the legal versions of selling yourself? What about selling an egg, sperm, or even plasma? It is amazing how much money the companies can pay... or is it? (Now, if I had done my research, this is where I would've thrown astronomical figures at you about how much profit these body buyers earn each quarter. But, I didn't.)

Regardless, they are paying you way less for your own body than they are making off of you. Yeah, yeah, "it is your choice" and "they have O&M fees they have to pay as well" and "insert your own defense here". My point in all of this little rant is ...? Well, I don't really know. I was bound and determine today to go and "donate" plasma (or so the people at Biolife like to say). But instantly I had second thoughts. Having donated blood before to seemingly noble causes, I know all of the steps. I was even wishing that my Hct level wouldn't be good enough to pass. (The reason why I usually get turned away.) Once I found out I passed (40%, a new record). I told myself to suck it up and I'll be fine, and I would never have to do it again if I didn't want. Just get my sixty bucks and be on my merry way.... HOWEVER... during my "physical" it was disclosed that I would only earn a measly $20 for my pint o' plasma.... TWENTY DOLLARS!!! But on my next visit within the week, I would earn the additional $40. Somewhere in there I mentioned having seen an add for an extra ten dollars, and the lady asked me if I brought the coupon with me, and I hadn't, and she said that their system was going to change over the next week where you would only get $25 and $25. Therefore we worked up this little "plan" where I would just finish out my physical, and I would come back on Monday with my coupon, and "donate" again on Friday before the pay change. So, I got some blood drawn to be tested. And I'm going to "go back" on Monday with my extra ten dollar coupon...

As I'm writing this, it doesn't seem that bad. I could sell my plasma to them twice and I would get paid $75.... next week. But, I really don't like to get poked and giving my blood to vampires. So, I resisted this urge to get paid for my body, and searched out real jobs more aggressively.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"B" is for Bored; "L" is for Lazy

What Ashlee Means

A is for Adventurous

S is for Silky

H is for Hot

L is for Luxurious

E is for Explosive

E is for Enlightened



You Are From Jupiter

You are exuberantly curious - and you love to explore newness.
Enthusiastic and optimistic, you get a kick out of stimulating intellectual discussions.
Foreign cultures and languages fascinate you. You love the outdoors, animals, and freedom.
Chances are you tend to exaggerate, so try to keep a lid on that.
If you do, you'll continue to be known for your confidence, generosity, and sense of justice.


You Are a Cherry Jelly Bean

Sweet yet strong, you have a distinct personality without being a weirdo. You're the most normal of all flavors - but you're never boring.

The Coolest Computer Application since Oregon Trail!!!

Okay, well, Dyno Park Tycoon and Number Munchers were always a blast. Here are some "stitched" photos courtesy of PhotoStitch from Canon. I used to do this with paper originals, but they were always too big to fit in my photo albums. I was very excited when I found out that I could do it with my digitals, too, but without all of the tedious Photoshop maneuvering. You might need to open them up to see what they really look like.

Coming into Estes Park the "back way."


Leaving Telluride as the storm breaks.

Interesting tidbit... yes, that is snow. Yes, we were there in late May. I have another picture of Telluride, but looking the other way. I'll post it with more road trip pictures.

You've seen the Grand Canyon once, you've pretty much seen it all... we did miss one part, though. I can't understand why this one curves. Natural curvature of the Earth?? Probably not.

Minnesota Pictures

Blue Heron Nests




Miss Kashmira


Only in Montana

I've found that there are some things that I'll probably only get to experience in Montana. One day last spring this was proved to me. I was driving down Reserve when charging at me was a giant furry thing in the back of a truck. The fur ball was huge! As it got closer I was able to see that it was not just a giant fur ball, but a gigantic replica of a stuffed grizzly or brown bear. Where esle in the states is it "cool" to have life size replicas of animals adorning your 10,000 square foot "mountain cottage"? On the same note, just the other day I saw another stuffed animal being transported, this one though was either a deer or elk. I couldn't really tell because I didnt' get that close of a look at the antlers. That wouldn't be that big of a deal, but like the bear, it was huge!! I didn't realize they made them that big... ;) Some other things that I've loved experiencing in Montana have the been the beautiful sunsets...even just the sky. I took these pictures from our balcony. I'm so lucky to live somewhere where it is this beautiful.

The pending storm


All bark and no bite... it quickly broke up. The little dot is a life flight heli.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Greener pastures and modified chip boards?

I retired my hit counter and FeedBlitz options. The number was interesting to see, but out of the 835 hits, I'm sure I accounted for at least 400. And, I was the only one to use the FeedBlitz. I found this ClustMap from Mandi's blog and hired it on the spot. After pretending like I know what I'm doing in the "Edit Template" zone, I HTMLed that littled guy right in there and viola!! it worked! It will be reset monthly, and I think you'll be able to click on it for a bigger picture. We girls always like to think of the bigger picture. (Not quite sure if that makes sense, but I thought it could sound good, but maybe for someone else. I'll think about it and hopefully something more snappy comes to my mind.) Over the summer I've been divulging in *Guilty Pleasures.* Reading, silly! I read the book Evening and I'll get around to seeing the movie. I just read a Nicholas Sparks pleasure, and found that everyone else in Missoula must have the same idea because now they are all checked out!!! I grabbed the Fountainhead, but its daunting size discourages me. I guess I just want something where my mind doesn't really have to think or wonder or learn. I'll equate it to playing a video game. Very engaging but not very enlightening.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The case of the magically floating rock

(This is a work of semi-fiction. Names, charaters, places, and incidents are partly the product of the author's imagination or are used semi-fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is partly coincidental.)

I was at Joe's house engaged in light conversation with his sister. (We had always gotten along really well; even better than my own sister at times.) She had answered her cell, so I was noticing how the surroundings had changed since my last visit. New trinkets adorned old shelves. New shelves were constructed to house old trinkets. Pictures I had seen a million times as well as many more I had never seen. People growing older, people becoming a little bit slower, people who still had a brilliant smile because they were so absolved in their surrounding.... wait a second, I do remember that picture, but not with that same content. I stepped in for a closer look. What I saw made me giggle under my breath at first. It was a picture of Joe and me with the rocks we had found. Joe was gleaming with pride over his rocks and my rock was mysteriously floating. It must have been magic or something. I distinctly remember when that picture was taken, and it wasn't magic! I WAS HOLDING THE DANG ROCK!! But, what happened to my body? Carefully and undiscreetly removed from the picture; it was gone. (However, my fingertips were still around the rock.)

Needless to say I left Joe's sister shortly thereafter. A little hurt and perplexed by what I had seen. I guess that's what happens when people step out of other's lives....you are literally 'out of the picture.'

Expectations

I wrote this one night in Minnesota.

I’ve definitely begun to have really low expectations of people. I do this because if they don’t meet the higher ones I’ve set for them, I can’t be as disappointed. For instance if someone says that they would like to spend time with you, but consistently makes up pathetic excuses as to why they can’t, if you expect them to ditch you, you won’t be as upset when they go back on their word. However, maybe this behavior is only worsening the situation because they learn that there will be no “penalties” if they don’t follow through on what they say. On the other hand, punishment shouldn’t be a factor in why they follow through. They should do it because they want to.

I have found myself on the other side of this argument many times (especially while being in Minnesota). Promising to call when I know I won’t get around to it; screening a phone call because I don’t want to talk to the person (honestly doesn’t happen that much); and wishing sometimes I could really get into a conversation with a person but I know that in the two minutes that I have before we run out of small talk I’m still considered an outsider (even if I knew the person since 6th grade or even Kindergarten). Maybe I come off as not being genuinely interested, maybe they feel they don’t have enough time, maybe they are only on their way to getting more drunk and I’m really not worth their time.

Even though, I have learned from being on the other side of the fence that most of the time I have flaked out on people I usually end up wishing I would have spent more time with them than wasting it on trying to think of pathetic excuses. The good thing is people are around. With current technology people can be contacted at any time through any medium. I could send an email to their phone or a text message to their email. I still prefer the old fashioned snail mail, though.

I’m not sure how this has evolved from me being upset with people and their actions to me being upset with myself over the same actions. But maybe since I can see it from both sides, I won’t be such a flake and people won’t set low expectations for me, when in actuality I’m really just setting low expectations of myself.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

oooooooofffffff da!

(Pronounced like the "o" sound in moon for anyone not versed in northern Minnesota lingo.) I pretyped the following entry and that's why it is all over the place and so long.

Here I am, sitting on a dock in northern Minnesota. I am without internet access, like usual, and I have been dieing to write something — anything. Kashmira is pacing about, trying to find a comfortable spot to lie down, the mosquitoes and gnats are annoying even with the deet covering my skin, tree frogs croak in an uncoordinated but beautiful symphony, cars zoom by on the distant highway expressing their urgency. I’m trying to find a spot to start, however there have been so many things I want to write about so this will probably end up being a conglomerate of tangents I have pondered while staying here.

Parts of me hate coming back here, I would love to detail every single reason why and a rebuttal for why I ignore it and come anyways, but this is a blog, not a book, and it all seems pointless in the end. I love seeing people but it always seems disappointing in the end. Either I’m disappointed in some way, or they are.

I can’t believe that Tony is really getting married. I saw his brother, sister-in-law, and niece, and everything was awkward in ways I never imagined. I obviously didn’t forecast things being how they used to be, but I thought that it would be warmer. However, it is mutual, I didn’t know what to say to them, and they to me. (My deet suddenly became penetrable, that may be why Kashmira is pacing like she is.) Honestly, I am happy for him because I know that she makes him feel in ways I never could. And, it was really apparent to me why we aren’t together. This probably relates to that damn Type A personality disorder, but I feel that I failed. I think of one the main things that Tony told me when I asked him why he liked her, and he said that she smiles and has a good time. I also think that this trait contributed to the fall of other relationships that I’ve had. But can I help it? The time that I think I developed that part of my personality was when everything in my family life was totally screwed. I started to hold this nonchalant fa├žade so I could deal with everything and maintain a “normal” looking life. (Who would’ve ever guessed?) Unfortunately I think that carried over into even now, and that may be why people think I’m more mature than the normal twenty-two year old. I don’t know how to show more emotions. Maybe this isn’t such a bad thing because I know that when I do express them, they are more heartfelt.

Now, though, my family is amazing. I can’t believe how much better life is. I have had home cooked meals available to me every night. It is kind of funny how it works, too. Whoever is in the kitchen is the chef. Everyone gets a job, and the system is understood. And everyone loves the system. And great food comes out of the system.

"Reality killed the pop up video." Seriously, pop-up video was the best show on TV…right alongside Rescue 911, and Unsolved Mysteries….and the mini movies on Lifetime. I don’t care who you are, I think you deserve a little bit of privacy, and I don’t want to be bombarded by your drama. Doesn’t everyone have enough drama in their own lives without engaging in a foreign person’s drama? If you are drama free, why would you want to add meaningless drama to your life? However, maybe that is what this is too? A blog is a just a different media for displaying my “real life” drama. I guess my drama isn’t that interesting though because I'm not getting paid for it like the movie stars are. I am paid in personal gratification, though. I have somewhere to unload my thoughts and feelings when there isn't anywhere else to turn to.

I'm going to separate this into another post or else it will be too long.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Hormones or finals?

Today was pretty rough. I've been trying to study since 11, and in between little twerp high schoolers invading the campus and annoying college students gabbing about how they are "in the library studying" on their cell phone, my collectiveness has escaped me. I was trying to send something to the printer in the library and for one, they don't use the printer punch cards used every where else on campus, and for two, I couldn't get the damn thing to send to the right printer. I almost broke down right there...over a stupid research article that I was trying to print?

Then, I avoided going to the lab in the UC because I STILL can't get my password to work. This is driving me insane. Thankfully the guy at the desk wrote down his password and username for me. Now, I'm going to go home and make some sushi and then try to study again. I don't think I was that productive the first time because I can't find a very conducive spot to study in.

I miss MSU.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Paper what?!

I was going to try and stay away, but I like to think this helps my brain to unload information so new can be picked up. We heard that one of the beliefs on Alzheimers was that you just have so many memories and it is hard for the brain to make new ones so it overloads and frys out. I think it was for Alzheimer's, but maybe it was for some other neurological function (evidence of mental overload....).

Yesterday, I was in the bookstore because I ran out of paper to write notes on. I had this insatiable urge to buy paper. I have a ton of loose binder paper at my house, but it doesn't do me any good there when I'm in the study zone *now* at school. Whether my indecisiveness was due to the plethora of expensive notebooks or my brain was in the frazzled zone I mentioned above, I'm not quite sure. I'm contributing it to my newfound paper connoiseurship. I think all students become connoiseurs of very odd and seemingly unimportant things while in school. (I'm not sure about the general workforce because I haven't had enough back-to-back time in one 'profession'.)

Myself, I like particular pens, erasers, and paper. I know Nate is picky about pens (not the same ones that I like thank goodness), marking pens, mouses, and chairs. I've also realized that I analyze spaces I'm in to determine whether or not they are conducive to studying. Take for instance the coffee shop that I love to go to (because of my afternoon caffeine addiction and their free internet service), it really isn't that conducive to studying for me. It is noisy, and I get easily distracted, however, I can surf the internet with ease and get homework done that needs me to have access to my computer. Unfortunately most of it doesn't.

Back to the paper, though. I like bright white paper that is a little thicker than average paper, but it can't be too glossy or shiny that will make my pens look irridescent or hard to read. It is calming in a sense when I use the pens that I love (BIC's Cristal Gel, only found in the bookstore at MSU...I'm dead serious, I've checked everywhere else for them) on smooth paper. The pens just glide on it so smoothly and it takes a second for the ink to dry, it is like writing with a very very tiny paintbrush. The strokes are so smooth and fluid, and if you stall on a certain part of your stroke the pen lets down a little more ink, in the same sense, if you systematically lift the pen off the paper as you're finishing a word it leaves it looking wispy like the word wants to fly off the paper. I can't really paint like this with a real paint brush, but I can "paint" with my pen, and that helps me connect my brain hemispheres and really focus on my homework. Okay, I've spent (wasted more or less) an hour on this and I have to overload my brain some more before the night is over.

T minus: 4 days 18 hours and 30 minutes

Monday, April 30, 2007

week of nonhell

I'm going to take a more optimistic approach to this year's usually stressful and hectic week. I have a powerpoint presentation due on Wednesday (I'm trying to keep on it...), two teacher evaluations on Wednesday (one that needs a paper pulled out from some orifice), and then......the f-word.... Finals. Two on Monday, one on Tuesday, and then (hopefully) the easiest one on Wednesday to wrap it up. My lease expires on the 10th, so, in the midst, I'm trying to pack everything. I did get a bigger storage unit, so I'm on my way. I'm planning on making sushi for a break from studying this weekend and, I'm going to try my hardest to refrain from writing in here until it is over. So, until then.... may the force be with you .... (and also with me).

T minus 8 days: 19 hours until school is over for the semester!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Hearing vs. Sanity

At what point does your hearing take precedence over your sanity? Take for instance, a bunch of high schoolers in a relatively quiet and peaceful coffee shop that find the only spot to sit is next to you? I've turned my headphones up to the point where I'll probably sufffer long term hearing loss, and I STILL CAN'T DROWN THEM OUT... maybe it is time to take a break.

I was on my way out the door, and then they left!!! The girl behind me commented after they left, "Thank god! I didn't know how much more I could take." I'm not the only demanding one around here.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

My memory kicked in

I wanted to write about somethings I didn't think it was possible ever to be good at or things I never thought I could feel. One, I am on my way to becoming a professional at stuffing a salad box from the UC on UM's campus. Unlike Bozeman, they don't charge per the ounce of salad, instead, they charge a flat fee of $4.50 for a large container. I have learned that you need to put alternating layers of salad foods and dressing in so you can ensure an even distribution. And, it doesn't say any where that your box has to be able to close, so heap on oh heapers. I haven't reached the Egyptian pyramid level of heaping yet, but I'm definitely on my way!

This town makes me feel guilty for driving. As I should be, too. I could ride my bike if I liked to risk life and limb whenever I hop on my bike. And, if I wasn't so much of a wimp... (it is too cold out; I have a lot of places to go; it is too far; I don't have enough time; and so on). However, I don't drive to class because I would have to park just as far away as I would have to walk.

Okay, so maybe that's all I can think of for now. I have been on a beeding kick lately, and I'm going to make a necklace for my mommy for mother's day. I think it is going to be a little too "chunky" for her, though. I found a beautiful cut agate stone that is about 1"x1.5", and I wanted to incorporate some dangling chains with small beads on it, and put it on a double or triple seed bead strands. I also made a wirey necklace for myself. I think it is pretty, but is it really that practical? Am I going to wear it? I always feel awkward in jewelry if it isn't discrete, but personally I think the stuff is beautiful especially when it is big. I'm going to include a note to my mom that if it is too big for her, we can work on it and she shouldn't feel obligated to wear it. (You know how moms are though, she's going to say, "Oh it's beautiful, honey!" But she won't want to wear it. I guess that's where I get it from.) I'm also planning on making a light loopy necklace with crystals. Hopefully I can work up the courage to wear that one.

p.s. I can't find any pictures on the internet for a triple/double stranded necklace with a pendant that are like what i want to do. I need some ideas for stringing the stone onto the strands. I might just create a wrapped loop and go over all of the strands. I like the ones that connect the pendant with a stranded little loops, though. We'll see what happens, and I'm going to post pictures once I get my camera back from Nate, or I go to Bozeman.

Friday, April 20, 2007

April twentieth, two thousand and seven

I always think of elaborate posts I want to create, and find myself forgetting once I finally get to my computer. I know I wanted to comment on my ER rotation, it was a blast! I actually felt like a nurse in training rather than a peon. I got to give three shots, two of subcutaneous epinephrine. (One of the nurses on shift said I would be the coolest student, because it is a rare circumstance that you get to give sub-q epi)....I'm still waiting for that coolness to set in. Definitely did not help me on my return demonstration.

...Which I failed. Not entirely, but pretty much. I felt like a failure and being an overacheiving perfectionist, failing just doesn't go over well with me. I was miserable the rest of the day, I even got to the point where I was thinking what else I would do if I wasn't able to be a nurse. I was going to try and end the day on a postitive note, I was going to get dollar sushi and play in a pool tournament.

However it was turning into one of those days when nothing goes right. I left my house at 5, thinking that an hour and a half would be plenty of time to get across town, eat some sushi, and get back in time. BIG MISTAKE!! Traffic was insane and it took me 45 minutes just to get across town. Don't ask why I didn't just take the interstate, because I honestly didn't think it was that bad at first. Once I finally got to Nara, it was packed, and I didn't think I would get served in time. So, I left for the tourney, which turned out to be cancelled. And I had eaten a crappy tuna sandwhich thinking that I would be in a tournament for a long time. Anyways, I got some sushi from the GFS, and I felt better until I realized that it was 8 on an essentially Friday night, and I was playing solitaire on my ipod, alone, waiting for it to be time that I could go to bed. Talk about lame. I ended up doing some of my dishes that had been accumulating from the previous clinical week. FUN FUN!!

On a definitely more positive note, I've found some awesome podcasts. One, Acoustic Long Island, has introduced me to many new upncoming artists that are very talented. If you're ambitious, check out John Flor, Stephanie Smith, and Debra Fotheringham on myspace. They all have CD's and are amazing. (I do plan on getting some CD's once I find myself richer).

I'm getting more excited to go to Minnesota. Emily called me this morning to tell me that Tool is coming to St.Paul on 6-26-07, and that tickets go on sale tomorrow. Haley Bonar has a show on May 31st in Minneapolis, and another there in July. Looks like the one in July is an outdoor festival... hmmm : )

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Modified summer plans



Due to financial and time constraints, we have modified our summer road trip plans. Our initial plans were to go to Las Vegas and over to California up Hwy. 1, however, it is much more important if Nate graduates rather than make enough money for this trip. We don't have to be in Vegas until the 16, with my last final on the 9th at 10, I think we should have enough time to venture over to Colorado before play starts. I want to check out this:


Nate says he doesn't want to go on it... WHAT A CHICKEN! The stops on the map are kind of hard to distinguish. So far we plan on going to Boulder and Denver to see the cities (CO is the only state in the west I've never been to...). I want to drive to Breckenridge and then take a road south to Salida and then we might go over to Telluride where Nate is doing his thesis. Then, I found some articles about some Aztec Ruins in New Mexico near the Four Corners area. I would also like to go to Glen Powell Rec. Area, but I'm not sure if that will work. I do want to go through Flagstaff and check out some sites around there. Then, the skywalk bridge over the Grand Canyon is at Peach Springs, AZ which is conveniently on the way to Las Vegas...imagine that, it is like destiny or something. I definitely would like to get some feedback on places or things to check out that are along our route. I still plan on going to San Diego with or without Nate. He thinks he might want to practice for pool during the week that we would go. We'll see what happens. My dad also wants to see if I'm going to race with him over one of the weekends. I have no clue.... the summer is so short. I plan on flying back to Bozeman on the 30th, and then taking off for Minnesota that day, and being there by the weekend of June 1/2.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Waiting

I rescued my ipod from Nate sometime about a month ago. (It was sent to his house, and he was going to put some music on it for me.) Since then, I have been getting used to using it (sometimes I feel awkward walking with my headphones in, and I definitely don't use them when I ride my bike to school...it is dangerous enough without them). However, I have already found over 4 GB of music and podcasts to keep me occupied. I am coming to the sad realization that I'm going to have to delete some of my tunes/podcasts to make room for more, however, some, I would like to get around to listening to again. My most favorite podcast is a show called "Brain Food." The producer hasn't released any new ones since the end of January, so I've been catching up on all of the past episodes. He usually has a couple topics he describes indepth, and then he gives you some fast facts, and then gives some information regarding scientific new articles. I love these tidbits of information! There is one article that I think I'm going to write out, because it had a lot of good information about how to keep your body healthy.

Another fun one to exercise to is DJ Nando. I just found Podrunner today, and am going to test drive it tomorrow. I have also downloaded a couple spanish courses that I plan on getting around to......one of these days. I found Dwell and AIA for Nate to listen to. I titled this post "Waiting" because I'm waiting for some more podcasts to download on this slow (but free!) internet connection. Some of the other podcasts I've found include a lot of medically related ones. I've aslo found a very informational Photoshop tutorial that I can only watch on my computer becaus my ipod doesn't play videos.

One thing I keep wanting to post, but am forgetting.... who in the world decided to make the shower curtains in the gym just barely big enough to cover the door, but then they roll up on themselves, leaving you exposed anyways? Come on, if there was an extra inch on both sides, it would be enough to paste it down to the side of the shower wall.... just wondering here... I guess it is nice that the shower stalls are separated in the first place. Even though the sauna is like a communal orgy gathering place.

Finished downloading or not I have to leave.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Yeah, yeah, I know you are right...for once

I had a moment of enlightenment last week, but this week it is compounded by thoughts of disgust/contempt. If this post does anything constructive it will only be to prove my boyfriend right in an argument we had about each other's weaknesses.

Well, you were right, being overly quick to be defensive is not a trait I would like to possess. I had two instances where I found this is not who I want to be. The first was my own ruthless defensiveness that most likely upset a friend. I'm not entirely sure what brought this on, maybe contagious anxiety, but I found myself quick to snap. I felt like a major shit afterwards. Why do I do this? The other instance was with someone who for no reason, with nothing personal at stake, does this to me all the time I interact with them. It has made me dislike them in and for ways I can't completely comprehend. They don't even let me explain, and they are like **snap** on my case...EVEN WHEN I'M NOT TRYING TO ARGUE!! I guess I had no where else to go with this frustration, so it goes on here.

Nate, I hope I'm doing a better job at not being like this. To the person I was short with, I am sorry. To the person who is short with me. I might excuse you just because I know that you probably don't know you're like this...as I didn't know...er...failed to fully give in to it. It still doesn't mean that I'm going to ignore this horrible trait. (I know I made critical singular/plural grammar mistakes, but I thought it was necessary.)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Moment of enlightenment

Today I had a moment of enlightenment in every way I could ever imagine. I felt determined to be a different, better, health care provider. I don't care if what I do could ultimately be done faster (with more risk to the patient). What difference does it honestly make if I have to spend an extra two minutes to push a med that can cause irreverisible ototoxicity if given too fast? In the realm of health care, aren't I there to help others heal? I honestly care if the patient I am caring for gets better. He may have been a heavy drinker, life long smoker, bu he still is a person in need of better than 'adequate' care. He needs someone to pay attention to breaks in infection control. Yeah, it does suck if you have to spend the extra 15 seconds rewiping a clave because you accidently touched it and RT/PT is breathing down your neck to get the med in now, but that trust that pt has blindly given you means a lot. Granted they might not entirely trust you, but they must trust you enough if they aren't screaming at you to get out! I had to get this off my chest. I didn't want this feeling to go wasted and forgotten becuase of the more strenuous things I encounter.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Do you ever have this feeling?

You know when you have that one class, one person, one thing in your life that makes you upset and stupider for letting it be a stressor in your life, and you dont' really know how to cope with it? How do you deal? I think why I am letting this class get to me is because it is A. boring B. seeminly pointless and C. necessary for me to pass with a C. I have NEVER done so crappy on a test that I actually studied for, and I'm worried that our next test is going to be identical. I think the professor feels left out in the 'teaching realm' because her class is the only class that doesn't get a lab with it. (She's said that the first test is 'hard' because people don't consider it important to study for because there isn't a lab.) Okay, to me that screams resentment in which is going to be taken out on the students. I can't just let it go. I need to be proactive instead of dwelling, but I can't yoga it out of my stress out zone. Every little thing about this class gets under my skin, and I really don't want it to because I have to take classes from this lady in the future, and I just want to have as minimal stress as I can. (Living here alone, being financially strapped, and worrying about getting into graduate school are as many stressors as I can handle.)

I guess it also bothers me that I did so well on different seemingly important and difficult class exam, and I felt like there were no curve balls, therefore why should this measly class be so damn tricky? The point of testing isn't to be 'tricky' the point is to evaluate the information that was taught and learned. Two streets here... not just what was retained. Maybe I just need to look into deeper stress relieving strategies... I'm going to swim and sit in the sauna again tomorrow. That should help. Any more suggestions?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Since I took the test...

I must belong here.

You Belong in San Diego

Laid back and friendly, you were meant to live most of your life on the beach.
You usually think everything is "all good"... except when the weather dips under 60F.
You stay classy - especially when you're in Tijuana!


However, I will NOT be sad when the weather dips below 60... I am when it dips below 0. I will actually be celebrating on the coldest day in San Diego because it will never be as cold as it is here or in Minnesota.

Just some randomness

I went swimming for the first time on the U of M campus today. It was very rewarding. I swam a measly 1500 yds. They also had a dry sauna that I had to test out. That is one thing I didn't think I would miss, but found that I do. I miss knowing half a dozen people who had saunas available and were more than willing to let you sweat with them. That is one more thing for the "To do" list while I'm in Minnesota.

Sitting in the sauna (cold by many Iron Rangers' standards), I reminisced about Minnesota and I got to thinking about my first "real" pull-up... it was always the only thing holding me back from getting a Presidential Physical Fitness award. I would go to the park and try to do a pull-up, but it was just so hard for me. I always thought that my arms were so scrawny and my legs pretty big.... I was like, how in the world do I ever expect these little twigs to pull up all of the weight in my lower body. I think I finally was able to do one in about 10th grade after I wasn't required to take gym class and my opportunity to get a Presidential award (and especially a T-shirt) had passed.

Why does working out feel so rewarding? My body always feels so "high" afterwards especially when I push myself to do another 5 or 10 reps or a complete set. Inevitably it always feels so sore in the days afterwards, but I don't mind.

I think there were some other things I wanted to write about, but I can't remember them right now. Maybe later I'll come back.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Follow up on X-Fest story

I was reading through my old posts and found that I never followed up on my X-Fest '02 story. So, Wes had left us early Saturday morning. There were more bands performing that day and also on Sunday if I remember right, but the bands on Sunday are never really that good. (If i correctly recall...it's been a while). We didn't even care that we had no way home. We're like, "Pfff... we'll figure something out. Let's have another drink!" We had a lot of fun on Saturday. We had managed to keep a box of CiniMini's and munched on them in someone's tiny tent. It is humorous thinking of it now, it was pretty funny at the time too because they were so good and we were just digging them out of the box. Anyways, on Sunday morning we were walking around the campground, really grungy and dirty because we had been in mosh pits and not showering. When we were wandering around at 10 a.m., people were exhausted and probably still drunk from the nights before, Emily had huge boobs and people were yelling at us "Take off your shirts!" A common chant among drunken crowds. Emily yelled some expletives at them... can't quite remember, but I think they called us bitches because we were adamantly against taking our shirts off. Anyways, we were sitting around the campsite we infiltrated, and this guy with really nice and long dread locks (not like all of the thick and nasty ones you see around Missoula) came and chatted with us. He heard our story and was surprised we weren't worried. I think it started to hit us. Make a long story shorter, my mom would pick us up at the Tanger Outlet mall in Northbranch. A far outlying suburb of the Twin Cities.

Imagine this, a nice quiet little outlet mall on the outskirts of the Twin Cities on Memorial Day weekend. Weather is semi nice.... a little overcast, not too hot, not too cold. What are people out doing? Shopping... and here we are huge duffel bags and sleeping bags in hand, grungy/dirty girls who probably reak of who know's what, Emily's hair is still up in striking blue braids, and we're sitting on a bench in front of a semipopular store. We definitely received some peculiar stares. My mom showed up after a while... quite a while, and drove us home. I miss being able to doing that kind of stuff.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

As crazy as this may seem...

Did you know that some people actually go to school to get an education? They DON'T party and get drunk every night, day, hour. Absolutely amazing, I know. Well, I am one of those "people." Hard to believe, I know, but please trust me. This also means that when I have to get up at 5, I would like to go to bed around 9 or so. However, it becomes *difficult* when the person downstairs has their music cranked so loud it is making my stuff shake.

According to my landlord this guy teaches at the U of Mt. I think he even teaches one of the boring Geology classes. Anyways, I'm sure he expects his students to be a.)respectful in class, b.)get their homework done, and c.)come to class prepared especially by being AWAKE and alert. WTF? Just a short rant.

So, basically I laid the smack down at 2200 and told him that I have to be IN CLASS by 6, so turn it down.

The rest of the night was undisturbed, and I slept relatively well. This was also the second time I've had to ask him to be courteous. My neighbor next door continues to play his music loudly during the day, but I'm not here that often, and he keeps it at more respectable levels (most of the time). I just hate having to be people's mom. How dumb do you have to be to realize that your annoyingly loud music is probably being intrusive on someone else's peace, though?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Many Celebrations

The country music show I was watching determined Dolly Parton's "I will always love you" as the number one greatest country love song of all time. I couldn't believe how big her boobs were compared to her tiny frame. She looked like she was going to topple over. I passed all of my nursing classes with A's. It would have been pretty hard in some of my classes to not get A's. I checked out my Pathophysiology test to see how bad I really did on it, and I didn't do bad at all. Amazing, absolutely amazing. I felt like I totally bombed that test and then I find I only got 8 questions wrong. Still, I know 8 wrong is a lot, but I was perfectly happy with that outcome than an alternative one. This semester I'm going to try to not stress myself out as much. I just have to keep remembering, B's get into grad school. And it seems that this year they don't only grade with whole step grades. I can get half steps. (A-, B+....) No A+, though.... what the heck, eh? That is one (maybe two) celebration(s).

Another celebration: my blog turned one!!! I've even kept at it...maybe not as diligently as I'd like, but I write when I can. I guess I can update my blog, but I don't have a google account, and I'm not sure if I'll lose stuff I've already posted. I might look into it.

Nate and I are planning on taking a huge road trip this summer. First to Vegas for a while for pool tournaments, tacos, and custard. Then on to San Diego for a little tour of the city and Univiersity of San Diego. Then, continuing up Highway 1, the most beautiful highway in the country (if I do say so myself), all the way up to Portland, while making appropriate stops along the way. And then back to Bozeman. (My stuff will mostly be in storage in Missoula.) Then I'll be off to Minnesota for a while to spend some time with my family mostly, and of course I'll squeeze in my friends. However, everyone will have to compete with Kashmira for my attention. I don't think I've ever posted a picture of her on here. (Because I don't have any on my computer.)

I am very excited to say that I have almost finished reading Smart Women Finish Rich, and I'm ready to open my very own retirement account. Woohoo!! I'll be up to at least two million by the time I retire. (That is, if Congress continues to allow $4000/ year contributions plus yearly $500 increases to Roth IRA's.)

I'm also getting to appreciate Missoula more in the short time that I've been here. I'm going to take a sushi 'cooking' class next week. (Another stress reliever.) I'm going to be able to swim more because the Griz pool is way more accessible than the one in Bozeman (especiallly with all of the construction). Half of the pool tables here got refelted, some with maroon felt. (Hopefully they don't ruin the look too bad by allowing off colored chalk). Their natural food store is way cheaper than the snooty Co-op in Bozeman. It is also the place that is have the sushi class! : ) Oh, and, they have a place that has $2 margaritas! Life is getting better.