Happy Birthday Shannon!

Today is my friend Shannon's birthday! She's lucky enough to live in beautiful California so there are a bevy of options for her birthday celebration.

She's unlucky enough to be celebrating he birthday while her in-laws are in town, which might cancel out much of the potential fun. I did hear a rumor that she's got red velvet cupcakes, so all is not lost.

Shannon is the smartest person I know. She went to Harvard, is now at Berkeley and has a pile of languages. She also has fabulous taste in shoes (and manages to walk around in them gracefully even though they eat her feet). AND she's not afraid to wear hats, which I love.
See that girls? Hats are versatile and flattering. Go buy some!

Shannon knows me as well or better as anyone else in the world. Shannon works all the time and is really good at what she does. (Even though about half the time she doesn't believe it), but she still manages to be there for me and totally supportive when I need her. She also never lets me be whiny or feel sorry for myself for too long. The girl is full of solutions. She started my addiction to Buffy, sent me a pile of treats that I couldn't get at the grocery store here, and decorated a room in her house for me to stay in when I visit. (Other people get to stay there too, but we all know it's my room.)

I love you Shannon, and I hope you're having a good time today, you totally deserve it. Eat a cupcake for me! (Cupcakes eaten on my behalf have no calories!)


This is our niece, Nikaia:

She is 3, and when she grows up, she would like to be a vampire. As you can see, she already has the cape. It's possible that she'll be receiving a Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVD for Christmas.

I like kids best when they're weird.

The First Week

I started my new job on Monday, sort of. Monday and Tuesday were hospital orientation which included all the things you'd expect: information about insurance and retirement and parking. Things that don't seem like they should stretch out over 16 hours, but did. We learned a lot about hospital history, including the reason that we have French Jesus as our mascot because the nuns that started the hospital in 1912 (ish) were from France. Here's a picture of French Jesus:
who looks different than English Jesus:

I prefer French Jesus's brooding eyes. Anyway, it's a pretty safe bet to say that Actual Jesus didn't look anything like these guys, but whatever.

On Wednesday I got to start training for my actual job, as opposed to learning about human resources. I'm currently working 6am to 6pm, so that I can train with the daytime secretary, but eventually, I'll be on 6pm to 6am, which sounds like a much shorter amount of time, (but isn't) and means I won't have to wake up at 4am (a definite bonus). In any case, I -love- the actual work part of the job. I like talking to the doctor's offices on the phone and ordering carts and telling patients to pee in a cup. I love that we have a bank tube thing that sends stuff all over the hospital. I love that we have things that work like the badges on Star Trek that let us track down and talk to people all over the place who are also wearing one. (What do they call those things Patrick?) I love that I get to put together charts and see people all excited coming in for a c-section because they know that in about 20 minutes they will have an actual baby in their arms.

I do not love that we play Brahm's Lullabye after every baby is born (trust me, it gets old fast), but I know that the people waiting in the hallway for that baby really like it, and I like that they like it.

Yesterday I had to do a CPR class instead of my real job, which was less fun, but meant I got to sleep until 7am. (Who'd have thought that would be something to look forward to?) After that was over I did my actual job for a little while and then went to the hospital blood drive where they proceeded to suck me dry (2 units of red cells) and then fill me back up with plasma and saline solution. For the record, that feels really weird and takes a super long time. If you haven't done this kind of blood donation before, the stuff they put back into you is at room temperature, which is much colder than body temperature so you get all shaky and weird feeling. The vampires (phlebotomists) offer you blankets, but that doesn't really help since the cold is on the inside. It's freaky, but in a really interesting way. I'll definitely do it again. (And have, in fact, already scheduled my next appointment.) They gave me a t-shirt and a delicious selection of snacks, and it was cool to get paid for lying in a reclining chair and watching Confessions of a Shopaholic.

And now it's the weekend. Yay!

Gainfully Employed!

I haven't posted about this yet, for fear of jinxing it, but yesterday I officially got a job! With a badge and everything! I'll be working as the unit secretary for labor and delivery at Covenant Women's and Children's Hospital.

This is not my actual badge. I have to go back on Monday for a new one because it's supposed to have a pink background and a hologram, since I'm in L&D. Hopefully they'll let me take a new picture. I didn't expect to have it taken yesterday and I wore my hair back. Oh, well.

Anyway, I start orientation on Monday and then 4 weeks of various classes and training. After that, I'll be on 12 hour nights, but only 3 days a week. Yay for full time employment in which I always have 4 day weekends!

As a reward for entering the workforce, Justin took me to dinner and bought me this stuffed giraffe, which I've been coveting for weeks.

There is some concern that it might be a cow...

But I don't think so. The neck seems too long for a cow, right? Besides, the other animals in this series are an elephant and a lion. Who'd say "Okay I've got an elephant, a lion....what other animal can we make? I know, a cow!" Clearly Greta is a giraffe.

In spite of my good job, I will still be going back to school in the fall. All my classes the first semester are online, and with a 3 day workweek, I don't think there will be any problems. I feel like things are finally falling into place, and that its possible to take a deep breath for the first time in months. Things are looking up!


We've had some pretty big storms in the past week or so, but the one we had last night was by far the worst. The electricity was out for about two hours, returned for about an hour and then out again for the rest of the night, until early this morning. I'm not complaining. I -love- storms, the louder the better, and I still get that tingle of excitement when the lights go out that I used to get as a child. If this keeps happening though, I'll have to invest in a book light, because holding a giant Maglite under my chin for hours at a time isn't really as convenient as it sounds.

We don't have any trees in our yard, so I was surprised to walk onto the front porch this morning (fine, afternoon) and be greeted with this:

(Please excuse the sorry state of our lawn. We haven't had enough rain yet this year for it to be pretty and green.)

The branches are all over the lawn and the driveway. I think most of them probably came from my parents' trees, next door, but that's still a pretty long way to blow, since our yard is big. While I was wandering around surveying the destruction, I was delighted to see that this little beauty survived the night:

It was there yesterday, and I intended to take a picture of it then and forgot. When the storm came last night, I was disappointed to have missed my chance. I know they're just weeds, but I seriously love dandelions. I love the tiny yellow flowers and then when they seed, they're so delicate and beautiful. I wouldn't mind an entire yard full of them. The fact that this one survived the storm makes me feel hopeful that perhaps I'll be able to survive the drama that's going on in our world right now.

And yes, I know how cheesey that is, but it's my blog. Get over it.