Sunday, April 30, 2006

Happy Birthday to Laura!
We're halfway through the quarter which is like a half-birthday present.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Happy Birthday Suzi!
Hope that the day is as excellent as it should be. You are the best!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Crack me up
Todd sent me this article to brighten my day, and I totally loved the first two lines:

Hey, James McNew! What's the title of the new Yo La Tengo album?

"I Am Not Afraid of You, and I Will Beat Your Ass."

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Happy Birthday to Todd!
Best boyfriend ever. Happy 28th.

Monday, April 24, 2006

there and back
I went back to DC this past weekend for Anne and Suzi's big 30th bash. It was great to be back, although honestly a bit weird since it was so abrupt, my arrival and my departure. Like, when I get home I'm ready to decompress, but there was no time for that since I was there for 1.5 days and had to get work done in the free bits. It was totally worth it, though.

Anne and Suzi rented the basement bar at Porter's, where drinks where cheap and served in pint glasses and the music was bumping (courtesy of the sweet dj-ing skillz of Suzi's fiance). It was great to be out and to see everyone and to be there for the big event. I found that during the party I could relax for once since it's was this little donut of freedom where I was totally allowed not to think about school or other responsibilities. I ended up leaving at 11 since I was leaving for the airport at the butt crack of dawn the next morning. So, definitely a good time and I think that the birthday girls had fun too, which is what was important.

I spent all of yesterday morning in the airport doing work and then got back yesterday afternoon when I hung out with Todd and then came home and did some more work. I am in serious, serious need of an attitude adjustment about school at the moment, because the bottom line is that I'm sick and tired of it being the boss of me. As I explained this weekend, it seems like the only times these days when I can relax is when I'm doing work, because then I don't feel guilt or dread. That is so, so sick and wrong. I mean, I can't even believe that I just fessed up to that. Anyway, so yeah, I require some perspective here. But still, this week is going to blow so hard. I have like eight hours of clients, three hours of diagnostics, and then two mid terms.

And it's not just me (although I am fully aware that I'm a stress case). One of the women who works with our department posted an informational flyer about the Center for Stress Management on campus and the sessions they're holding in our MA room. I love that it even needs to exist.

Anyway, I'm signing off before this pity party goes on for too long. Mondays always seem more dire anyway. Five weeks and five days left to the quarter!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Happy Birthday to ANNE!

The big 3-0! WOOOO!

So now this would make it almost 11 years that we've known eachother, since I think that I met you when I was a 19?

But it's been 11 great years (our friendship is like a overachieving, honor student sixth grader at that), and I hope that 30 is like the best year ever. You're the best friend a girl could have, and yay to that. I hope that the day is excellent in every way.

Monday, April 17, 2006

My weekend over now. It was a mixture of fun and not-so-fun.

First the fun part: my cousin and his girlfriend were in town and they were about the easiest, most gracious guests ever. I have to hand it to my cousin, Kenny: the man takes his food seriously. He came to Chicago with the plan to eat, and he got the job done. We went out to Cuban food on Friday night (to Cafe LaGuardia, which they had actually seen on a Rachel Ray show) where Kenny and I both got this Cuban pulled pork, which was effing awesome. (Sidenote: thank you to mom who sponsored that meal.)

Saturday morning, we got up early to beat the rush to Hot Doug's. We got there before 11, and there was still kind of a line, go figure. Anyway, Kenny got both a regular Chicago hot dog, as well as their specialty lamb dog (with lots of feta and red pepper mayo) and then a serving of duck fat fries. He shared those with Jen, but I was impressed by the dual hot dogs. (As another side note, Todd got the BLT dog where the hot dog was seriously made of out bacon. It was really weird, but it was good.)

After that Kenny and Jen went off and went sight seeing, but I found out that the rest of the day they stopped by Weiner Circle for an afternoon "snack" of hot dogs and then got Philly's Best subs for dinner that night. Amazing. They've totally turned me onto to Philly's Best, though: their love for it was so consuming.

Sunday, I had brunch at Ann Sather with Kenny and Jen. I was so full I could only eat some wheat toast and eggs, but Kenny got the eggs benedict along with the cinnamon rolls. Impressive. Later that day they stopped by for more hot dogs for another afternoon snack and then they took us out for some Chicago pizza that night for dinner.

Hands down, I am impressed with Kenny's capacity. It doesn't quite match with Robin, though who after having both a hot dog and a corn dog at Hot Doug's, ate an entire sundae by himself at Margie's ice cream.

Oh my god, that entire entry above was about food. And food someone else ate. Oh well, it is my blog. I should also note that on Saturday night I joined Todd and his family for his mom's birthday dinner at Ron of Japan's downtown. It was super fun, and really nice, and actually great to be downtown in the evening, which never happens. It was cool to walk around and see all of the lights and the buildings.

And onto the not-so-fun part of the weekend:
I totally wrote a super long paper and spent lots of hours preparing for my client today (who went relatively well and needed that prep). I spent all of Saturday and Sunday daytime hours at work. Sucks! Hillary has been counting down the days left to the quarter and I find myself doing the same thing. As of now, we have six weeks and four days left to it. I'm sure that you'll all be apprised of the countdown as it goes on.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

This is awesome.
The a.v. club's list of film vehicles for the "utterly unworthy." I love the part about "Cool as Ice."

19. Cool As Ice (1991): Vanilla Ice
It's hard to remember a time when Vanilla Ice wasn't a walking punchline, but that was apparently true back when someone at Universal greenlit this Rebel Without A Cause wannabe. It arrived in the fall of '91, after Ice's popularity nose-dived, and consequently grossed a paltry $1.2 million domestically, according to As might be expected, Cool As Ice is unintentionally laugh-out-loud funny for its dialogue (such as the famous "Drop that zero and get with the hero!"), Ice's awful wardrobe, the brainless plot, the music-video-like direction, etc. The nonsensical tagline says it all: "When a girl has a heart of stone, there's only one way to melt it. Just add Ice."

This movie is indeed one of the best/worst things going. As many of you can attest.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

It's week three of the quarter and the insanity has set in. God, I sound like a broken record, but seriously. This week sucks a lot since in Dysphagia we have both a test (today) and a quiz (Thursday), the quiz being on the three chapters of reading assigned between today and day after tomorrow. It makes me tired. This is the class taught by the woman who basically leads the field, so it's infamously the toughest class of the program. Yes, I'm glad that I'll know the laryngeal anatomy and the pharyngeal swallow inside and out, but I feel like it's all I think about these days.

A friend in the program told an interesting story about being at a hospital placement along with a student from another school with a medical focus. This woman was in her third hospital placement and had been working in swallowing during all of that time. She asked a question to my friend about swallowing that we could have answered after our second day of class, so I guess we're learning a lot. And well. But again, there's a lot of pain involved. I think that there may be like two or three classes when we don't have a quiz or a test.

In other news, lots of new client experience this quarter. I met my first fluency client today so I'm all practicing my Easy Relaxed Approach-Smooth Movement technique. I'll show it to you sometime. Tomorrow I do my first adult diagnostic on a non-fluent aphasic which is going to be interesting but has been really time consuming in terms of learning the materials. I'm also going to work with Laura on a client who has Asperger's Syndrome, which is very cool. So, yeah, I'm glad to be able to have exposure to all of this cool stuff. That's the upside. The downside is that it's a constant learning curve and constant evaluation and I feel right now like I could use a good nap.

What else? Oh, Todd and I went to see Centromatic play this weekend at Subterranean which was very cool and fun. The opening band was this little band from Ohio that reminded me of a louder John Cougar Mellancamp (Two Cow Garage was their name, and thanks to Todd who bought me their cd). The entire crowd was actually older than me, judging by the looks of them, which is a rarity when it comes to seeing these rock shows.

Okay, time to read some stuff and then hit the hay. I'm going to bed early tonight, it's decided.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

We have our first big test in Dsyphagia on Tuesday. I'm trying to study. Unfortunately, I stumbled upon the best, most distracting website in the world. Here are the archives, they mean trouble.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Happy Birthday, Christie!
To one of my oldest friends on her 30th birthday. Christie is such a smart, savvy, sparky person and also my friend now for 18 (erk) years. I remember when I met her in 7th grade I knew right away that she was someone who I needed to meet.

Love you, girl!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Every quarter is the same....
I end up loathing my Sunday nights because that is when the piper-paying really sets in in terms of weekend homework. I just finished reading one article for tomorrow, am about to dive into more reading, and am contemplating tackling the planning for my fluency client on Tuesday (which I've been procrastinating on). It occurred to me tonight though that next quarter I won't be taking any classes--will only have my hospital placement--so I don't foresee having this Sunday night cramming. Joy!

Anyway, sadly another weekend is wrapped up here. How did these two days go by so quickly I ask? It's the eternal question. On Saturday Steve and Kiley came over for dinner since Todd was grilling some steaks. That morning we went on a butcher adventure, trying to find Chicago butchers since Todd decided that fresh meat was the way to go.

The Butcher Adventure
We started off at a swank Lincoln Park place where the steaks were $20/lb. We promptly turned around and left once we got a load of the prices. Next we went to a wholesale butcher place downtown where as soon as we walked in the dudes behind the counter eyeballed us (correctly) as not knowing what the hell was going on. They did not have any steaks, but they *did* have enormous pig haunches to buy. Finally, we went to a place on Randolph nestled in a bunch of meat and produce places where we got steaks for relatively cheap (as far as I know), where the dude cut the steaks fresh for us. I liked the place and liked the resident little old lady in the store, but I totally wanted to throw up for two reasons:
1. It smelled like a butcher shop, as it should, but the heat was cranked like really, really high. So it was constant heat emanating meat fumes. Blech.
2. In the counter case, they had several huge logs of head cheese. Even the thought of it makes me want to york.
But despite all of that the steaks ended up being super delicious that night. It should be noted that next door to the butchery was a produce market where the red peppers were like half the price as they are in my grocery store. I was in heaven.

Okay butcher adventure story officially over. No more images of encased head cheese for any of us.

Today, we went to Wilmington again for Todd's niece's christening as he was the godfather. It was a whole day affair beginning with mass, then the christening, then a huge party at his parents' place. There were many, many, many babies present besides Ava, Todd's niece. Many babies under the age of one. Yes, I got into creepy mode, and immediately moved into hover stage.