On the Up and Up

So, I kind of want to get into the habit of writing in this space again. The thing with blogging though, is that the longer you stay away the easier it is to stay away. Nonetheless, in the infamous words of slim shady:

Since I last wrote life has been freakishly better. I don’t know what happened, but I’ve started hanging out with more people. I usually end up doing something during the course of the weekend with other human beings. And I’m happier. The work is getting harder, but I’m happier. I don’t really feel like I did anything differently. It was almost as if one weekend everything started to change and I’m really glad it did.

Some highlights over the past few weeks include:
- A super fun ski weekend at Snowshoe, WV (the homeland). I last minute decided to go on a trip where I didn’t know anyone, and it all ended up working out well. I met a lot of cool people and got myself back out on skis for the first time in 5 years. Hopefully I’ll see them again at some point.

- I decided to move to a new place with a new roommate in August. The place is nicer because it’s more house-like and I’LL HAVE A PARKING SPOT! I will actually be able to drive and not live in fear of where I’ll park when I return. I’ll miss my current roommates a lot (a lot a lot), but I think I’m doing the right thing for me. Doing the right thing is so unlike me though.

- Another snow storm! AH! And Charlottesville is still recovering. I haven’t had use of my car for like 2+ weeks : / Damn ice. I would actually love this if I didn’t have to worry about my car. It was fun sludging around in it all weekend even though I only had holey target rainboots on my feet. No beer tastes as good as one you walk a mile in the snow to procure. Especially if it’s Harp : )

So, that’s all you’re getting at the moment. I’ll try to keep you more up to date on my adulthood angst.

P.S. Disclaimer: Life is too short to drink bad beer. And, no, Harp is not paying me.

Post College Angst Brain Dump

Hey gentlereaders. So I kind of disappeared there for a while eh? Yeah, once I developed food poisoning at the beginning of January I figured there was only so much empathy I could ask you folks to feel after the strep Christmas hospital incident, so I just layed low. During my absence, I was having a rough patch in my relationship with Charlottesville. I didn’t feel like I got the break I wanted and being around the family for an extended period always makes me a little angsty. Then one day my roommate pointed out how I was beginning to show some signs of depression. When someone close to you points out something like that, it’s hard to put on the mask again. I broke down on the phone with a friend, and then just decided to do my best to turn things around. I’ve been trying to get out of the house more. I go to movies, I started going to a really great yoga class on Sunday afternoons, I go to the gym almost every day now, I started making some new friends here. Things are still not great, but I’m trying. Even if I’m exploring the world solo, at least I’m no longer moping and staying cooped up in the apartment.

A friend of mine left the program a week or so ago. That bummed me out more than I ever thought it would. Besides my roommate, he was probably my closest friend here. We had all our classes together and for half the semester we were in the same lab. I didn’t get to see him before he left since it happened pretty suddenly – no goodbye. I guess he wasn’t happy here. But, him leaving stirred up a lot of the issues I’m dealing with too. It was like a new path opened up to me that looked pretty seductive. But honestly, I would be miserable at home in Charleston (I can’t go back to being a customer service drone at Kohls, ick) and anywhere I move to I’d be facing these same emotions. The ‘right after college’ time is difficult. My older friends from Penn warned me of this. Unless you are in a big graduate program, meeting people is tough after college. You have to try way harder for smaller rewards. And honestly, the transition they gave us for the program I’m in was non-existent. Just one awkward mumbling of names on the first day and then we all scattered off to our respective laboratories. So not cool.

One of the lab techs today made a comment along the lines of, “You’re in graduate school, you’re supposed to be unhappy.” That kind of pissed me off. I feel like personal happiness should never be postponed. 5+ years of misery is not a fair price to pay for a Ph. D.  No one is getting any younger and you should take advantage of the years you are given. I honestly admire anyone with the conviction to make a U-turn in hopes of building a more fulfilling life. It’s something I may have to think of soon. But I’m at least going to give it my all until my masters, because I realize that getting adjusted to young adulthood and a new place is not an easy task.

So these are the downer thoughts that have been swirling around in my head. It’s tough to be an extrovert sometimes. I need so much human contact to feel fulfilled. Science is a lonely world. People had warned me of that before graduate school, but it’s different living it. I know things are going to get better once I feel more secure and adjusted. I have such high expectations for myself. I need to learn to seek help more and take advantage of the scientific community.

Wow, what a ramble, but it feels good to get it out.

2009 in Review

January -My last sorority rush. I am very thankful I don’t have to do one of those ever again. Small talk is never meant to reach such high doses. I wrote a lot of popular rush entries, my favorite was this one entitled: white noise.

February - This month was all about feb club – a month with a new event for seniors every day. I loved getting to go to new bars in downtown Philly and reuniting the 3rd floor EH spirit from freshman year going out with my boys. One of my resolutions of the year was to have a great last year at Penn and this month definitely did the trick.

March – I had the trip of a lifetime to Belize. The diving was great (and scary with the high winds and currents) and the trip was very relaxing. I enjoyed being isolated on a beautiful resort and meeting new friends (and crushes Re: Canadian Boy).

April – I was forced to decide on a graduate school (UVA obvi…) and my entrepreneurship team, Stimulite, completed our business plan and presented to investors. My work with Stimulite is some of the work I’m most proud of considering the time we put in to it and how much I bonded with my team. I usually hate the groups I work with but these kids were alright!

in May I got an evil case of flu (possibly swine) with lots of secondary infections and then finally recovered enough to graduate from Penn!

June – August – In the Summer I became a customer service drone for Kohl’s and spent my days letting people beat the system and return nasty crap, answering phones, paging bitches, and getting yelled at by customers. I spent my off days selling stuff on ebay, looking for apartments, being a bridesmaid at my brother’s wedding, and visiting my old friend Andrew in Orlando!

September – Starting graduate school was not without its bumps in the road….and on my head. I got a concussion of unknown origin, but at least I have cute second year med student roommates to use me as a learning opportunity.

October – Unfortunately, my bad luck didn’t really end in October seeing as I got  a nasty cold that turned into asthma. After some antibiotics, inhalers, and narcotics I finally started getting better.  Then I began work on my second lab rotation for grad school.

In November I journeyed back to Philadelphia for a Penn homecoming celebration. I originally went thinking I would have the best weekend ever because I thought I wanted that life back. I came back with a realization that the life I was starting in Virginia was worth the work and that I was glad I was growing up and moving on. Until that trip I felt like I was constantly looking over my shoulder at the past. After homecoming I began looking forward. But no worries, I still had time for some philly style fun!

December: I chose a lab, took my finals (becoming a stress ball), got snowed in BIG TIME in Charlottesville, and got a horrible case of strep on Christmas day.

Here are some of my favorite posts from 2009:

1. Karen with a K vs. the Gap –  A negotiation assignment GONE WRONG!

2. Star Trex – An anecdote about how I finally got closure with my ex at a misadventurous outing to see Star Trek.

3. Have Ye No Shame? – Those people at Kohl’s were gross.

4. The other 3 Second Rule - I’m basically a bad girl.

5. A Lot of Cold Air – Embarking on adulthood is not without its trials and tribulations.

Favorites:

Book: Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

Concert: Eric Hutchinson

CD: Muse – The Resistance

Movie: Star Trek

It’s All Over Now….

So dude….the holiday season is over and I really don’t feel like I got to enjoy it.

1.  Finals ate up much of the early December time when I should have been sipping warm holiday beverages, trimming trees, and listening to carols in a frenzy of stress and angst.

2. A blizzard delayed my journey home, creating more stress and angst. My car is still in C-ville, hopefully no longer stuck….

3. My family is small and isolated – just me and my parents.

4. I’m older and single – Christmas has kind of lost its magic. At this age I feel like it’s hard to get into the spirit when you’re living your own single life.

5. Streptococci party of several billion in my throat on Christmas morning.

I honestly just feel like I missed out, and that this break wasn’t all I’d hoped it to be. Maybe I’m just too old for it all anyway. I hope not. I’ll just have to try again next year….

On Christmas Eve I tried watching Christmas movies and decorating a gingerbread house to gain some spirit and cheer, but even that fell kind of flat. I think the holidays are really about the people, and at this point of the life it’s not happening for me.

Streptococcus is a Bitchy Christmas Pressie

I was just talking to my roommate the day I left about how much I hate things around my neck, especially throat swabbing for rapid strep tests. I need to stop saying self fulfilling prophecy statements like that, me thinks, because here I am in bed sick with evil steptococci mother fuckers breeding in my throat. I totally pushed the doctor when he was swabbing me. I think being in my neck grill turns me in to one of those sleeper assassins.

I usually think all of my colds are strep these days because of my bum tonsils, but my throat pain was out of control this time around. When it hurts to breathe you are just screwed. My tonsils were so swollen I couldn’t really swallow things (even if I could get over the pain). I had a fever last night that was impossible to sleep through (if I could get over the breathing issues). And then in the wee hours of this morning I started vomming up all my fluids. Imagine the pain of throwing up with swollen tonsils and acid burning your raw throat? Yeah this entry is kind of a pity party, but I also think I deserve it.

This disease is one Christmas present I didn’t want to get. Luckily, the ER was pretty good to me. A hot nurse gave me hydrocortisone and penicillin in me bum (I just watched a Pirate Movie, forgive me lingo mateys). The hydrocortisone made me no longer feel like my tonsils were trying to expand out of my neck and hopefully the penicillin starts working its magic soon and tomorrow is a good day. Both those shots were freaky painful though (pains in the ass :P).

I got some good pressies this year, more than I anticipated. I wish I was less sick to enjoy them. I’m particularly enjoying the kindle and I got a blender for the apartment (woooo!) and some new charms on my bracelet. I also got a Twilight 1000 piece puzzle that may be fun to start tomorrow. I’m getting tired of being in this bed moaning and drooling.

One handsome chap I am NOT tired of is Commodore Norrington (from Pirates of the Carribean). I just got done watching the trilogy and James C. was the BEST part. He is hot, charismatic, and honorable. Too bad Keira was dumb and ended up with a dead man she gets to bone once a decade. I leave you with this ;) :

My Christmas Miracle – Snowy Misadventures Part 2

Saturday I experienced a true Christmas miracle at the Subway on ‘the Corner.’  One of my roomies and I were having a severe case of the stomach growlies on Saturday. Whenever there are rumors of a big storm abrewin’, most older people dash to the supermarkets and stock up on bread, milk, and canned goods. Me, not so much. I laughed in the face of this storm. I figured people were just getting their panties in a twist because it was the first snow of the year and that we’d really end up with an inch or two. Yeah, not so much. 2 feet of snow and no ploughs in site made me and roomie’s dreams of meat bliss in our stomach out of reach. But, with some encouragement from him, I snow suited up in my holey purple rain boots and went out in the storm.

We waded through thigh-high snow across the main lawn and deserted unplowed streets in search for an open store. It looked like the end of the world out there: small clumps of people searching for food and shelter littered the streets and abandoned cars covered the sides of the streets. But, bless the stars, nestled in a small side street was an open subway, manned by a single undergraduate student. Tears well in my eyes when I think of what he sacrificed to get me that meal. I hadn’t eaten in so long, and that sandwich with its array of meat and cheeses meant so much. I will be indebted to him for life. That foot long meat missile fueled my body through the snowed in weekend.

My misadventure of Sunday involved my futile efforts trying to unbury my car with a broken broom. My main goal of the day was to make it look like there was a car there.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B: See my car burried in the far left?

Exhibit C: You can see how much it snowed!

I learned that shoveling snow is a great way to meet people.  I talked to 2 cute guys and ended up spending the day drinking Beck’s, eating juicy steak (fully satiating my meat cravings), with a guy who lives near where I park my car. After a little eyelash batting he even shoveled it mostly out for me. Of course, since the roads are still crappy I couldn’t get it out to drive home yesterday like I wanted, but, it’s better. Even though he’s an undergrad and we don’t have much in common (besides a love of bread and beer and all things yeasty), we both helped cure each other of some cabin fever.

I’m back in Charleston now. My father picked me up and we left my poor little Volkswagon behind. Hopefully there are no more big snows like that this year. Snow trumps us all.

Snow Misadventures Part 1

Me on the way to the party, party shoes in hand, only wearing tights...

In less that 24 hours time my little slice of the world has been dumped on by 2 feet of snow. It’s hard to believe these little flakes can really accumulate so much in such a short period of time and lead to disaster on the streets.  I was supposed to be headed home to Charleston today, but considering my car is completely covered and the interstates still look like balls, who knows when I’ll make it back. Tomorrow doesn’t look good. But on the plus side, a couple of Asian girls were taking pictures of and with my car. Hopefully this will not be the only 15 minutes of fame I get this lifetime.

Last night I finished all my tests and wanted to savor freedom and drink to my heart’s content. A friend had asked me to an ugly sweater party and I had this long ugly ass green get-up with shoulder pads. I wore it as a dress with tights. I looked pretty frumpy in an adorable sort of way. But my friend and I had a hell of a time getting to the place, and by the time we got there -walking like 40 minutes in the snow – the event had already been canceled. We walk another half an hour back in deep as balls snow and hang out with my roomie for a bit before the awkward levels were at such high levels that everyone wanted to get the hell out of there. I think it was mostly my fault. Oh well right? I don’t handle a lot of situations well. But, more on that another day.

Roomie and I had hunger pangs that only meat could quell, so we trekked down to see if the neighborhood subway was open. It wasn’t. Then I walked home alone and drowned my sorrows and loneliness from a night of misadventures with a bottle of the Chevron’s finest red wine and creepy season 5 episodes of Nip/Tuck where Christian fucks women frozen in ice back to life and Bradley Cooper (swoooon) thrusts his crotch around while clad in very tight briefs.

you're welcome.

You win some and you lose some.

Charlottesville looks like a post-apocalyptic world. Clusters of people are walking around on the completely snow covered streets looking for food and shelter. At least it’s been fun to walk around in, even though I don’t have gloves, proper shoes, or a hat (Re: FAIL!). I never realized how the snow glitters. It’s quite pretty! And I would enjoy this more if my car were properly garaged and it wasn’t right before Christmas.

‘Tune’ in tomorrow for a story from today of my first Christmas miracle!