Friday, June 30, 2006

Days off
I'm in the midst of another kind of vacation right now. My supervisor at the hospital was scheduled to have this week and half of next week off, so I get it too. I actually have my time at the hospital extended at the end by that many days, but it's pretty cool to have this mini-vacation right now.

Yesterday, Todd took the day off too so we went and caught the Chris Ware exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Oh man, so cool. He had all of his drawings in their various states on exhibit from Jimmy Corrigan Smartest Kid on Earth. Also on display were all of the Building Stories strips that are in the NY Times and the Chicago Reader. One could spend several hours in that exhibit reading all of the panels and then looking through all of the bound books that are available for perusal. The weater was spectacular yesterday (it has been all week) so after the MCA we wandered down to Millenium Park and then sat at Buckingham Fountain for awhile. We walked by all of the booths set up for the Taste of Chicago, which is set to begin today. It was cool to actually see what's for available and how much everything was selling for without dealing with the Taste of Chicago crowds.

Tonight Todd's band Wind or Ghost is having their first show and then tomorrow we're taking a tiny vacation to Milwaukee. Yes, Milwaukee (it's supposed to be a fun town! I'm telling you!). I'm psyched!
Cool Runnings
I have an air conditioner now! Courtesy of my parents, Todd and I went to get a window unit today for my wee room. Good news: sale on air conditioners at Home Depot today--everything was 10% off! Very lucky.

What was not so lucky was our discovery that after lugging the unit up to my second floor walk up that my window is actually five inches wider than the maximum that the unit allows. I have a mutant window apparently. For a moment, we both felt despair at the prospect of loading the air conditioner back into the box, lugging it back to Home Depot, and then finding another entire machine. Guh.

But...BUT (!) I have the smartest bf in the world. He suggested that we find a piece of wood to fill in the extra space and then work around that. Thus began our wood finding adventure. We walked to two different hardware stores and then found one that would cut some wood for us. Confusion ensued, loud and embarassing chastising of an employee occurred (it was all very odd), but we finally left with a 5x13 inch piece of wood in hand. Then back to my place where we (and by "we," I mean "Todd") managed to install the air conditioner and screw in the piece of wood to fill that extra space. So this entire air conditioner adventure took from about 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It works pretty awesomely well now, I am happy to report. Thanks to Todd and thanks to my parents.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Catch up
Hooray, I have a moment to breath tonight. Time to do a much needed catch up on ye olde blog.

First things first: Ting and Brad's wedding
It was Friday night, so Suz and Brad got here on Thursday evening and we headed over to the Chicago Cultural Center for the wedding ceremony. The building was fricking gorgeous. I included a photo of the ceiling below. It's hard to describe, but the mosaics were everywhere and lovely, the room was huge and airy and the east wall was made of glass and faced Millenium Park. The ceremony itself was simple and sweet and went off seamlessly, although Brad told us later that there was a huge snafu as his tux pants hadn't shown up at the last minute so he borrowed the pants off one of his friends who then trotted back to his hotel in Brad's shorts in order change into another pair.

Later we all loaded into trolleys which took us to Chinatown where the wedding feast was held in the banquet room of Lao Sze Chuan which is hands down awesome Chinese food. I cannot describe the line of dishes that came out. There were 17 courses (yes, 17) and then the wedding cake (which was delectable). The entire meal took about 3 hours. It was great.

Second things second: Suz and Tom's visit
It was great having them here for a couple of nights. We walked and ate and walked and ate some more. They were good sports and took public transportation everywhere with me which ended up being nightmarish. On Friday we waited for the Halsted bus for half an hour and then waited at the North Ave bus stop for 20 minutes before giving in and catching a cab when we encountered very slow moving traffic. This was all to get to Wicker Park to meet Todd for lunch (at the Bongo room!) and the trip took about an hour and a half. Almost as long as a drive to Richmond from DC. Then later that evening we took the el to the cultural center where we happened to load on when the cubs game got out. It was awesomely packed.

Third things third:
The hospital placement is intense but good. I was definitely overwhelmed the first couple of days since they were long days and I ended up with lots of work to do at the end of the day. No rest for the weary. But today went well since I had my first solo therapy session and it went smoothly. As the learning curve becomes ever slightly less steep, it's nice. It's a pretty amazing experience since my supervisor knows her stuff and gives me good, detailed and helpful feedback. The hospital is great and the patients are incredible. Lots of traumatic brain injury, one gun shot wound to the head, one shaken baby. The ages range from 5 months to 18 years old. It's definitely going to be an amazing experience...tough, but amazing.

Fourth things fourth:
I'm going to bed early tonight, but first I'm watching a very sad documentary on Independent Lens called "Lions in the House."

Suz, Ting and me at the tail end of the feast. Posted by Picasa

Suz and me during the feast. Suz was knee deep in strep throat at this point, bless her. Posted by Picasa

Todd and me during the enormous feast. Posted by Picasa

The lovely wedded couple. Posted by Picasa

The ceiling of the Chicago Cultural Center which was over us during Ting and Brad's wedding. Stunning stuff! Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 19, 2006

Well, it's been an eventful few days. I've spent the evening cramming information into my head about function assessment scales, the Glasgow Coma Scale, the Los Ranchos Levels of Cognitive Functioning. The hospital placement is good (my first day was today) but going to be very challenging and I'm foreseeing learning tons and tons. It's definitely hit-the-ground-running over there.

But I have other stuff to report about the weekend as well so hopefully tomorrow I'll have some time to catch my breath and write a nice, lengthy blog.

In the meantime, just wanted to let everyone know that I'm alive!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Happy Birthday, Gracie!

Vroom-vroom is 30 today!!!!!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ahhh, I love vacation. I have three solid more days left before I start up at the hospital so I'm sucking the marrow out of these days, people.

I went back to DC for a few days and it was quite awesome. I got to see most everyone that I wanted to, got to putter around my parents' house, and got to read and watch as much bad tv as my heart desired. I also played a lot of sudoku. (a note: I also received a voicemail from Kevin during my time at home where he relayed the events of a particularly dramatic "Cheaters" episode that he happened to be watching. I love it)

I got back yesterday and this morning hoofed it to Rogers Park to get CPR-certified at this certification factory that costs seriously $20 less than any other place that I've heard about. I am now officially CPR-certified, so watch out! As I was walking along Peterson Ave I passed this enormous red billboard that only said this:

"Pick your boogers."

I swear. Nothing else. And it looked professional too. Anyone know anything about this? Maybe it's viral advertising that I missed out on.

In other news, Suzi and Tom arrive in Chicago tonight so we can all go to Ting and Brad's wedding tomorrow. Yay!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

T minus 24 hours
One more day! My two final exams are tomorrow: hurrah! (well, to be honest, I'll still have a report to edit, but that's peanuts in the scheme of things).

Even though it's study week, it's been a pretty eventful past few days. Besides studying much, I managed to finish that dreaded diagnostic report draft and do a take-home exam. I'm feeling so-so in terms of my preparation for tomorrow, but what can you do? Besides study, that is.

Anyway, the weekend continued to have some fun. Saturday I spent the entire day doing work, but then I went over to see All Limbs Intact play at Gunther Murphys. They were the headliner after three other bands so didn't go on till after 1 and didn't finish till around 2. It was pretty hard core. They were awesome, as usual, and the addition of a lead singer definitely added to the sound of awesome. The three other bands were another story: the standout was the second band where the dudes looked all of 17. One of them wore sunglasses throughout the entire set. Their manager made his rounds of the place, glad-handing everyone. He was like a character from a Carl Hiassen novel: mullet, brimming with enthusiasm and pride, gleaming white tennis shoes, and donning a Hawaiian (sp?) shirt with a ribbon pinned on it that read "It's my Birthday!" (the veracity if this claim is unconfirmed as of yet).

Sunday I went with Todd to Wilmington to his second cousin's (I believe?) baptism party. I love Todd's family because they have a party of some kind every weekend and there's *always* some bbq-ing going on. It was a stunning day outside, so it was cool to put away the books and enjoy the drive with the windows down and the sunroof open. That night we went to see Dave's show at I.O., which was pretty awesome. What a deal, too: two hours of improv for $5!

Yesterday: studying.

Today: more studying, but I also took the train-bus to Skokie to go and see the school where I'll be student teaching in the fall and to meet the teacher. It was a pretty sweet 1.5 hour commute each way, since I don't have my car yet. I'm pretty psyched for the placement. I'll be going between two schools: one is pre-k and the other is K-5. Exactly what I wanted. Plus, my supervisor seems cool and the school where I visited was hands-down adorable. I am extremely, extremely psyched for the fall quarter which promises to be much more relaxed. I'll have one class on campus, but it's not a demanding one.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

gu·lag (gl�g)
  1. A network of forced labor camps in the former Soviet Union.
  2. A forced labor camp or prison, especially for political dissidents.
  3. A place or situation of great suffering and hardship, likened to the atmosphere in a prison system or a forced labor camp.

Exams end on Wednesday. I can't believe it. I have two, though, which kind of blows. Unfortunately, this weekend I got royally screwed in terms of workload since I got assigned a diagnostic evaluation this past week (meaning 10-page evaluation report to write...well, now), and also a take-home exam. I woke up this morning seriously pissed off. I am...I'm completely over this crap and am pissed off about sitting inside on this gorgeous weekend working. And pissed that this past week was non-stop with little sleep. And pissed off that I got so frazzled and stressed out on Friday when I found out that I would have to find my way to a suburb of Chicago for another school-related reason on Tuesday afternoon through no choice of my own that I started tearing up. And pissed that I'm boring everyone I know with my complaints. And pissed that this quarter does not seem to end.

So, yeah, I'm in the middle of writing that report now and I'm in a scarily bad mood about it.

Everyone, everyone: please stop fighting to hang out with me. There's enough of my grousing and crankiness to go around.

But, let's talk about things happy, shall we? Last night I couldn't gather the energy to do any work, so Todd and I went over to Intuit Gallery to see the Found Magazine/PostSecret show. It was very much fun since Davy Rothbart cracks my shit up. They had two shows, and we went to the later one. I got there just at the right time so we could get in when the other show was letting out so we managed to snag seats right front and center. Everyone was packed into the place: a sign on the little auditorium space read that the maximum capacity was "65" but there must have been at least 150-200 people there.

Okay, I just managed to while away 15 minutes throwing my pity party. Back to the gulag.