Like There's No Tomorrow 'Cause We're the Afterlife

Friday, May 30, 2014

 THE GOOD LIFE BLOG
Once again, linking up with Darci, April, Natasha and Christina for some Friday fun. Check out their blogs and feel free to link up with your 5 on Friday!


 HAPPY FRIDAY! And folks, it is indeed a happy Friday. It's sunny and in the 70's, my face looks less plague-y, and the weekend forecast looks lovely. Let's get to it! This week's theme is AWESOME STUFF!

{one} 
I spent my lunch hour with my officemate/friend, Kristin, listening to Ingrid Michaelson at World Cafe Live for a free concert! Ingrid (yes, we're on a first name basis, obviously) is one of my favorite artists. I own all of her albums and have seen her twice in concert. She is playing tonight at The Electric Factory, but it's a standing-room-only venue and I am approximately a hundred, so I opted out of this one. I've been to so many concerts there and I always think it's going to be fine and that I'll be okay sitting upstairs on one of the bar stools, but then I'm in close proximity to the bar, which means more drunk people. Everywhere you go, it's rowdy teenagers who make me want to punch them, or rowdy drunk people who make me want to punch them. Like I said, I'm a hundred.

Anyway, when Kristin asked if I wanted to go to the "Free at Noon" concert for Ingrid Michaelson, I immediately said yes. So, big thank you to Kristin for being a member of WXPN and inviting me to the concert! It was also a standing-room-only deal, but for 45 minutes and a complete lack of rowdy teenagers and/or drunken morons, it was totally fine. Also, free! The title of today's post is from the song Ingrid closed with this afternoon and I love it:


Also, here are some photos I snapped and a video of her performing the single from her new CD, "Lights Out" called "Girls Chase Boys".
Girls Chase Boys
HI INGRID!
Sorry for that guy's giant ear in the way of awesome band member, Allie.
So yes, that was an awesome part of today. Yay Ingrid! All of her albums are on Spotify, so you should totally check them out.

{two}
I know that I say this all the freaking time, but I seriously love my therapist. In a completely platonic, non-creepy, way. For awhile, I had been seeing her every other week, but a few months ago, I switched back to every week and I am so glad. It's kind of a big expense every month, but it's so worth it. I've had some pretty interesting sessions lately and I plan to talk about them here a bit after I get things more sorted in my head. But yes. Therapy. It's awesome. Everyone should do it.

{three}

I was introduced to a new band by one of my best friends, Victoria. She heard them on Preston and Steve and I really like them. They're called Mo Lowda and the Humble, they released their album called Curse the Weather, and they're local to Philly! Here's the title track from their CD:


{four}
To file under "Having a Baby is Really Weird but Also Awesome" I read this article on NPR about how fetal cells can remain inside the mom for decades following the birth of the baby. Scientifically, that is SUPER cool. I also really want to read this book now. Also, so many of my friends are having babies this summer and I cannot WAIT to snuggle as many as I can. Be warned, I'm going to be posting pictures of adorable babies!

{five}
Other than my best friend, Sarah's, baby shower on Sunday, I am blissfully plan free this weekend. I have some options, including baking cookies and hanging out with Levi, drinking wine and giggling with Patricia, and spending a lot of time on the couch watching Netflix, but most of that can be done in my pajamas. Sounds like a nearly-perfect weekend to me. The only thing I would change is that I'd make it a 3 day weekend for sure!

So, I hope everyone has a lovely weekend! I'll see you back here on Monday for the start of Mental Health Month!

- A



It's Been 1 Week Since My Last Confession...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It's that time again!

Vodka and Soda

It's time for Humpday Confessions, hosted by Kathy of Vodka and Soda! Hooray! If you'd like to link-up your confessions, head on over to Kathy's blog, read some fun blogs, and confession your secrets to the internet. Here's my weekly dose...

- Super obvious confession: I am not Catholic, so I've never said "It's been X weeks since my last confession." 

- Ever since I discovered that there's a vending machine on the floor above ours (the 4th floor), it's become increasingly difficult to convince myself that I don't need Skittles or chocolate in the middle of the day. (Bonus confession: There's a vending machine on the 1st floor that was far less tempting for some reason. Apparently, I'm so lazy I won't be swayed by a 3-floor elevator ride, but 1 is too much for me to resist.)

- I feel a pang of sadness when I am in the vicinity of a Starbucks and I don't actually require coffee or another Starbucks beverage.

- Because my husband spent 10+ years of his adult life sans health insurance (don't even get me started...) he has no idea how it works. Therefore, I schedule most of his appointments and get referrals, because being a patient is practically my second job. Sometimes it drives me crazy, but I secretly like that he needs me to do it. (I guess not-so-secretly anymore.)

- I am considering investing in a Keurig for when I leave my job because I am entirely spoiled by being able to make coffee in under a minute. Yes, I have a perfectly wonderful, large, coffee pot that makes good coffee. No, I don't want to have to deal with it. We'll see which wins out, my lazy side or my cheap side. Maybe I'll just stop drinking coffee all together. Ha, that's adorable.

- I am really bad at leaving my face alone if I have a zit. I'm also bad at not picking at cuts or scratches. This is why I currently look like I have face plague. (Thanks, stupid zit and compulsive face-touching.)

- I love the way pedicures look, but I really don't like people touching my feet. Problematic.

- Whenever I find a stink bug in our condo, which is often these days, I make Ken remove it. The other night, he wasn't home and there was one stuck in the lamp in the living room. I thought about leaving it there until he got home, but then it escaped, so I had to deal with it myself. I know they can't hurt you and bugs don't really freak me out, but the stink bugs fly so erratically that I have this fear that one is going to get stuck in my hair or something. #irrationalconcerns

- I still haven't quit the damn gym. Someone send reinforcements.

- I got my brows waxed on Monday at the Benefit Brow Bar at Ulta and the aesthetician yelled at me for overplucking and made me promise not to touch them for 2 weeks. THIS IS GOING TO BE IMPOSSIBLE. (Did I mention that I have a problem with leaving my face alone? This extends to hair pulling. SIGH.)

- I am really looking forward to starting medical school... mostly because it means I can buy new school supplies.

- I spent 10 minutes looking for one of the cats this morning. In a 1200 square foot condo. I found her, but felt stupid for looking for so long.

- I like my cats more than I like most people.

- Sometimes, I am exhausted by the people in my life. Then I feel like a bad person for being exhausted by them. I try to remember that I must be at least as exhausting to them and they haven't fired me yet, so I should be more tolerant. (Then I drink wine.)

- Ken started a job at Lowe's that is theoretically a summer job, but it started last week, so he's working 2 jobs right now. I miss him because he's home late a lot of weeknights, but I also totally love having the condo to myself.

- If there are notifications about texts, emails, or voice mails on my phone, I absolutely have to take care of it or I will lose my mind.

- I just did a happy dance at my desk because the vet left a message on my cell phone that Luna does not have a vaccine-induced sarcoma. YAY! MY CAT DOESN'T HAVE CANCER! Our adventures on Saturday were worth it!

- I can't go to bed at night unless all of the doors in the house are shut, there aren't any drawers or cabinets open, and the TV in our bedroom has to be straight (not angled at the bed). The only door that is allowed to be open is our bedroom door, and it can only be open wide enough for the cats to come and go, so I use a door-stopper. Ken thinks I am insane. He is probably right.

And my personal favorite for this week:

- I received a resume for someone who wants to take my job when I leave. Under "Other Experience" he listed a few research societies, "marathon runner (8)" and "cheese enthusiast". I kind of want to hire him simply because he had the balls to put that on his resume, and also, I am also a cheese enthusiast, and while this has absolutely nothing to do with the job, I just like him more already for his love of cheese.

I was unaware that the "personal tidbits" part of resumes was still a thing, but apparently... it is.

So, that's a peek into my exact brand of crazy. What are some of your confessions? Leave them in the comments... I promise not to tell anyone!

- A

Back to the Grind

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I'm going to petition the powers that be for a permanent change to 3-day weekends. I cannot even begin to tell you how much that third day did for me. I hope that everyone had a restful weekend, and if you or your loved ones have served or are currently serving in the military, a big thank you goes out to you and your families.

As for me, I spent my weekend being largely unproductive. On Friday night, I must not have done anything interesting because I can't even remember what I did. On Saturday, I got up at 7:30 (barf) to get a TB test and take Luna to the vet, so clearly, my Saturday morning was just buckets of fun all around. I then spent the rest of Saturday lazing about in bed because I didn't have anything better to do, and sometimes, you just need a 6 hour nap. Sunday, Ken and I went to see a house that was a total bust and actually felt like it might actively fall down while we were in it, and then the rest of

Sunday was spent planted firmly on the sofa watching Breaking Bad and being lazy. On Monday, I went to a brunch at Chrystina's and bought her 50 mm 1.8 lens that she was selling because she upgraded to the 1.4 (she's fancy!) The brunch was really nice and included waffles, muffins of multiple varieties, loads of fresh fruit, an egg frittata, and of course, mimosas. It was also at this brunch that I consumed my first waffle ever. No, that is not a euphemism, and yes, you read that right. I managed to make it to the ripe old age of 28 without eating a waffle. Don't ask me how, it just kind of happened. However, now I need to get Chrystina's waffle recipe because it was quite delicious. We have a waffle maker that I have never used (but Ken has used it) so maybe I'll start putting it to use. Oh, and speaking of Chrystina, she just redid her blog and it looks fabulous, so you should go check it out. :)

After the lovely brunch where I lost my waffle virginity, I met up with Constance, her husband Paul, and our friend Matt to wander Philly for a bit. Constance is one of my friends from med school (Version 1.0) and she is one of my favorite people on this planet (and any others, for that matter). She was in Philly for the day because she and Paul had been at a wedding in Long Island the night previously, so we took the opportunity to spend some time together. After some delicious ice cream and a quick stop at Starbucks, we unfortunately had to part ways, but she'll be back in a few weeks to work Philly Comic Con, so we'll hang out more then. Yes, she is a neurologist who also works comic conventions; she is that awesome and you should be jealous that I am friends with her. Speaking of her awesomeness, she's the new face of Marvel's, "Share Your Universe" which is all kinds of cool. They made her into a comic! All that to say, Constance is super cool and I am sad that Jacksonville is so far away because hanging out with her always makes my day.

The rest of Monday was spent doing laundry, watching a weird horror movie on Netflix, ordering a pizza, and talking with some friends online. Ken has been working approximately 937 hours a week at his second job, so I've been on my own for some nights. Yes, my saint of a husband has picked up a second job in the garden center at Lowe's. It was supposed to be a summer job, but they needed him to start earlier, so he's worked about 20-25 hours a week since they started him. I am not sure how he gets up at 5:30, teaches all day, then goes to work from 5-10 (or later!) during the week, but he's managing. Fortunately, school ends on June 25th and things should calm down. I hope.

Hopefully, this week will turn out to be better than it seems to be right now. My skin has decided to freak out, so I look like I have some weird face-plague, I just found out that I have to get a second TB test because no one bothered to tell me that I had to have it read at 8:30 this morning, not sometime this afternoon and that I have to wait 2 weeks to have it done, it's supposed to thunderstorm, and I have no idea what is going on with the contracts for the house we may or may not be buying.

BUT... it is Tuesday, not Monday, which is something to celebrate, my dad's hip replacement surgery this morning went well and he sounds good, hopefully the dermatologist appointment that I have on Thursday will fix my face-plague, I get to see my best friend Sarah (and her pregnant belly carrying Baby O!) this weekend for her baby shower down the shore, and I love the new camera lens that I bought on Monday. Also, my therapist is amazing, and today's session was extremely helpful and enlightening, as per usual.

And now, to wrap up this re-entry to reality post of randomness, here are some photos of the weekend:


1. I was going through my myriad MCAT prep books to sell on Craigslist and Gershwin decided this box lid was his as soon as it landed on the floor. I hope that someday, I love something as much as this cat loves boxes.
2. My first attempt at using my curling wand since I acquired 2nd degree burns on our honeymoon trying to curl my hair. Fortuantely, Ashten blogged an awesome "mermaid curl" tutorial that kept me from setting myself on fire. I did, however, melt the lid to my hairspray. Whoops. Better than my glasses, right? Also, please pretend I'm wearing make-up and not in my pajamas. And also not in my bathroom.

3. My ice cream bar supports relaxing. Thanks, Dove! (The ice cream bar was delicious, by the by.)

4. Luna needs to take the advice of my ice cream bar stick. Here is a terrified-cat-selfie while we were waiting for the vet to come in to see her.

And that, my friends, is that. Tomorrow is another edition of Hump Day Confessions, so check back to see what secrets I share this time! How was your weekend?

- A

Five on Friday: So Annoying!

Friday, May 23, 2014

I know I say this every week, but Friday, where have you been all my life? Also, what is with the weeks feeling simultaneously really long and really short? It's weirding me out, man.

Anyway, it's Friday, it's not pouring rain or hailing like it was yesterday, and I'm staring down the barrel of a beautiful 3-day weekend. I have some fun plans (possibly seeing a house, seeing Constance, and brunching with Chrystina) and some not-so-fun plans (like getting a TB test and taking the cat to the vet), but I am also really looking forward to just sleeping in, getting some housework done, and spending a lot of time with Netflix and my husband. Bring on the weekend!

To kick it off, it's time for Five on Friday!


This week's Five on Friday is dedicated to things I'm tired of dealing with that make me NEED this 3-day weekend like you wouldn't believe.

{one}
Traffic and commuting. I know, this is totally clich├ęd, but it has been taking me an inordinately long time to get to and from work these days. Yesterday, it took me over 2 hours to get from North Wales (where my neurologist's office is located) to work, which is a total of 26 miles. It was stupid. People seriously need to stop forgetting how to drive and subsequently crashing their cars when it precipitates, and other people need to realize that slowing down to stare at someone who has recently crashed their car isn't helping anyone. Also, it's Memorial Day Weekend which means that starting now, the traffic heading out of Philadelphia, over the Walt Whitman Bridge, towards the Atlantic City Expressway is going to get INSANE due to the weekend shore-goers. Note to self: Take the Ben Franklin Bridge home on Thursdays and Fridays. At least once I start med school, I won't be commuting over the bridge anymore. Until then... I'll try not to run anyone over with my car in a fit of rage.

{two}

Bizarre and unfortunate weather. It's spring, it rains, I get it. I could definitely deal with less of the torrential, soaking, insane rain that causes roads to flood out, though. It makes driving even more difficult than usual, and getting dressed in the morning becomes a strategic planning session. I can be warm in my office and wear pants, but then I risk having soaking wet pant-legs all afternoon, even if I wear heels. If I wear heels, I risk slipping on wet floors, but if I wear flats, then my pants are definitely getting soaked. I could wear a skirt or a dress, but then I'll freeze to death in the office. And humidity? Totally ruins my hair and I hate when my clothes stick to me. I know, these are all minimally offensive problems in real life, but I'm still tired of dealing with it!

{three}
House hunting. Oh my God, someone stop the madness. After canceling the contract on the squirrel-infested home that had foundation issues, we signed contracts for another condo last Wednesday. Last Friday, we found out that the sellers had decided not to sign the contracts and instead took a second offer. We had an offer accepted on a THIRD condo and were supposed to sign contracts on Monday, but then we found out that the 0% down USDA mortgage we were told we qualified for was no longer an option because in the infinite wisdom of the federal government, they use gross income, not adjusted income to determine whether you are eligible. For the first time in my life, I wished we had made less money. (For what it's worth, we missed the cap by $1000 in gross income and were $20,000 under the cap when using the adjusted income. FEH.) This caused immense panic across the land (or at the very least, among Ken and myself... okay really, it was just me panicking) and we had to redo all of our payment calculations and switch into conventional mortgage gear. Now we're waiting on offers from 2 or 3 other houses and it's driving me insane. As a byproduct, I'm driving Ken insane, but as per usual, he's handling it way better than I am. The man is a saint.

{four}
Our lab tech. She is very "lab" and very not "tech". If I have to explain to her one more time the difference between "right click" and "left click", I may stab her with a pipette. Also, the concepts of selecting a group of items using "CTRL+A" and scrolling seem to elude her. Someone send help. And wine. And possibly, a technologically-savvy lab tech, if you have one on hand.

{five}
Health issues. Last weekend, I apparently had parvovirus, a virus usually reserved for children and puppies. Don't ask me where I got it, but apparently, this is part of being immunosuppressed. HURRAH. Earlier in the week, I had been extremely sniffly/congested, was more exhausted than usual, and had some headaches, but I chalked it up to allergies. Then, I spent all of Friday night and all day Saturday lying in bed with excruciating joint pain, a fever that wouldn't quit, and a rash. It was quite the party, let me tell you. I'm still dealing with some pretty severe neck pain, and yesterday I had another session of lidocaine injections at the neurologist's, so now I'm sore and bruised from that. I also had botulinum toxin injected into my subscapularis muscle (the muscle under your shoulder blade) to see if we could get the muscle to relax and give me some relief. So yeah, nothing like getting Botox first thing in the morning! I'm just tired of feeling gross, seeing doctors, taking pills, and having my calendar filled with more doctors' appointments and procedures than happy hours and hang outs. I try to stay positive, but daily pain and few answers have been dragging me down lately. But hey, someday, they'll figure it out and I'll feel better. I have to have faith that it will happen. :)

So there are my top five things I could really deal without. What are you sick of dealing with? What makes you really need this weekend? Tell me in the comments, and make sure you head over to visit AprilChristina, Natasha, and Darci, our lovely hosts for this link-up!

I hope that everyone has a great weekend, especially if you have off on Monday! 

- A 

Confession Session

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Since it was so fun last week, I've decided to link up with Kathy of Vodka and Soda again for Humpday Confessions!


 - While driving to work yesterday, I was being tailgated in the left lane by some jerk in a large SUV. I had no idea why he was all impatient with me, seeing as I was doing 75-80, so I brake checked him. (Whoops.) I finally moved into the center lane because I was sick of dealing with him... and it was a cop. Sorry, dude.

- The last few days have been an unmitigated disaster in the realm of real estate and our house hunting adventure. I had a legitimate meltdown about it on Monday. God bless my husband.
Ken: How's your blood pressure today?
Me: Better. Feeling more in control of things.
Ken: Good. I was worried you might explode.
Me: It was touch and go there, for awhile.
Ken: I like my wife not exploded.

- I may or may not have consumed an entire bag of Lays potato chips over a 3 day period.

- I attempted to use my velcro rollers. It, too, was an unmitigated disaster. I conferenced with Pam about my mistakes, pinned a bunch of tutorials, and may be trying again this weekend. 

- I recently purchased a Chromecast and now I want to spend all of my time lying in bed binge-watching Scandal and everything else in my Netflix queue

- I am an excellent speller (I once won a county spelling bee!) but I cannot spell "guarantee" or "broccoli" on the first try. Ever.

- I really want to cut my hair super short (like, pixie short) but I am too afraid to ever do it

- I will admit that I am not a patient person, but I seriously want to punch our lab tech in the face sometimes because she cannot figure out how to "select all" or "right click" on a computer. 

- Sometimes, I'm really envious of my best friends because their lives seem so much easier than mine. I know that everyone has their own stuff to deal with and that no one has it "easy" but sometimes it's hard not to whine about it. 

- I am still driving around with 2 bags of clothes to sell at Plato's Closet or donate. It's going on 3 weeks now.

- I still haven't quit the gym. I suck.

- I am legitimately sad when my TV shows go on summer hiatus.  I'll miss you, Hannibal! And Criminal Minds! And SVU! (Also, please God, don't let them cancel Black Box after 1 season!)

- I have no desire to watch Girls. I know enough people in real life making stupid choices and irrevocably screwing up their lives and then bitching about it with no concept of how they've done this to themselves. I don't need to watch people pretend to do it on TV. Also, Lena Dunham is nice and all, but is she really that big of a deal?

- I totally didn't know what net neutrality was until I asked my younger brother and he sent me this article to explain it to me.

- I was invited to participate in a discussion with Huffington Post Live about how I didn't marry my best friend. I couldn't do it because I had to work, and it made me sad. I could have been almost-internet-famous, you guys!

So, what are your confessions this week? What shows will you miss when they go on summer hiatus? Is anyone else watching Black Box? And someone come take away these potato chips, please.

- A

It's Time for a Conversation

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Mad Men, anyone? Anyone watching Mad Men this season? I am, and I am loving it... although I am kind of concerned for many of the characters. (Come on, Peggy, pull it together!)

ANYWAY.

Lately, I've felt like my brain is in a blender and that I am hanging onto control of my life by a quickly fraying thread, so I didn't really have anything to say today. Then I saw this post on Annabel & Alice and decided that it was "a sign" and that I should take this opportunity to post about it.

MHAM
May is Mental Health Month, to which I was apparently completely oblivious because I have been so stressed out. Trust me, the irony of this statement is not lost on me. I forgot it was Mental Health Month because my own mental health has been in shambles. WHEE. However, the lovely ladies at Blog of Erisred and Uncorked Thoughts have declared June to the Mental Health Awareness Month here in the blogosphere! These two bloggers, along with others, have coordinated a month's worth of posts to bring awareness to the variety of ways that mental health and mental health disorders that affect people, both directly and indirectly.

I've written here about wanting to help dissipate the negative stigma around mental illness, and one way to do that is to talk about it openly and honestly. Throughout June, Ula (Blog of Erisred) and Leah (Uncorked Thoughts) will be hosting guest posts, interviews, giveaways, challenges and all sorts of events. They've also posted a reading list to Goodreads focused on mental health, which I definitely plan on checking out. If you're interested in participating, head over to one of their blogs, grab a button, and link up! I plan to post at least a few different times about my own story and treatment journey, books and articles I've read, and just thoughts about mental health in our society today.

If you have any questions about mental health, mental illness, therapy, treatment, or anything else related to the field, feel free to leave them in the comments or email me directly via the blog. I want to address things that are important to you guys, so let me know! If you've read a good book or an article, link me to it! If you have a story, tell me! Let's talk about our brains and our emotions, people. It will be fun, and maybe a little crazy... I promise.

- A


Motivational Potatoes and Minions

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sometimes, I really wish that could sell my life story to some TV network, because then at least all of this angst would be making me money instead of just making me crazy. After what was a weekend ups and downs, today has been nothing but anxiety. First, the weekend.

Friday after work, I went out with Pam, Patricia, and Patricia's friend Katie. We went to Sutton's Parlor for happy hour, then to Serafina's for dinner, where we took these photos:

 

This (unfortunately) blurry picture is of a sign over the hand-dryer in the bathroom. It says:


DO YOU HAVE 7 SECONDS TO SAVE THE PLANET?

Please use this very efficient hand dryer instead of paper towels..

It will sanitize your hands as it dries them, using our special antibacterial soap and Ultra-violet rays..

Let's cut less trees... more green for the planet!

Thank you!

Serafina Management

I have so many questions. First of all, those aren't ellipses, that's just an extra period, and an ellipses isn't even necessary there. Second of all, ultra-violet doesn't need to be capitalized, and do we really want to be exposing our skin to more UV light? And wouldn't we be cutting fewer trees, not less trees? And then there's the usage of "very efficient" which I think is debatable. Anyway, this is Pam throwing serious shade at the sign.


And then after eating frozen yogurt and people watching, Katie, Pam, and I recreated the world's most awkward GAP ad.


Good times had by all... except maybe the models in the GAP ad.

After our photo shoot, I headed home because I am a hundred. On the way home, I got a call from our realtor. After the home inspection debacle, we canceled that contract, found 2 other houses, put offers in on them both, got one accepted, and started moving forward. We signed contracts on Wednesday, and then on Friday, our realtor informed us that the sellers for that house decided not to sign the contracts and instead took a second offer... so we were house-less once again. You'd think I'd be used to this by now, but I am not. We decided to investigate the second offer that we had simultaneously put in on a house identical to the one that had just been taken out from under us (literally was down the street from it), and left it at that. This is all complicated by the fact that our realtor is currently in California for a work trip, so she's 3 hours behind us. FUN!

Shortly after that phone call, I became suddenly violently ill, vomited everything I had eaten in the past 6 hours, and broke out in a rash across my face and chest. I took my temperature and it was around 100, which isn't a true fever, but my "normal" body temp runs around 96.7 degrees, so I felt like crap. And then my joints started hurting and I decided that I was just done for the night. I went to bed, slept like crap, woke up the next morning, and proceeded to spend the entire day in bed with a fever and joint pain. Fortunately, the rash had mostly disappeared, but no matter what I took, my temperature persisted at 100. It was gross... but at least I got to clear out the DVR? Now the only thing that's left on there is the entire season of The Walking Dead, the final 2 episodes of Helix, and a few episodes of Whose Line is it Anyway?

On Sunday, I woke up and thankfully felt much more like a human being, so Ken and I cleaned the condo and I went out with my friend Jenn for a bit. I returned the two pairs of pants to The Limited that were WAY too big, and also took advantage of their 50% off sale and picked up a new blouse and a necklace. After that, we went to Barnes and Noble for coffee and wandering, and then walked around Ulta for a bit until we parted ways so she could go home and I could run some errands. I had to pick up "calming pheromone spray" for Luna's trip to the vet this week (we'll see how that goes...), and then went to Target and Wegman's. After I got home, Ken and I made dinner and basically spent the rest of the evening watching TV and relaxing.

Also on Sunday, we found out that the sellers had accepted our counter-counter offer and that we would have contracts by today. In the interim of course, I had found 2 other houses that I really liked and wanted to see, just in case this one fell through. Not only that, we were starting to get concerned that we wouldn't be able to settle our USDA mortgage (which takes at least 30 days to process) by June 20th, which is when I'm leaving my job to start the summer program at the medical school. So, then I was trying to decide if I should try and stay at my job through June and switch into the online version of the summer program, which I am not even sure is an option. I can't imagine that my job wouldn't want to keep me for another month, seeing as we haven't hired anyone and we have only interviewed one person with whom we weren't entirely thrilled. I also can't imagine a real reason why Rowan wouldn't let me switch from the on campus program to the online program, but schools are weird. While I was freaking out about all of that, I put a call our to our mortgage broker to ask what his feelings were on the timeline and whether he could get everything processed in time. It was then that I found out that we were apparently not eligible for the USDA mortgage (which allowed us to put $0 down, which was lovely) because we made $1800 too much last year. Don't ask me how we were operating on the belief that we were under the income cap, because this guy had told us the income cap... so... apparently math happened somewhere and we were no longer eligible.

This is both good and bad. It's good, because conventional and FHA mortgages take a little less time to process than USDA mortgages. It's bad because now we have to come up with more money than we thought we needed to buy the house, so we might be back to looking. I emailed all of the numbers to our realtor and I'm waiting for her to call me back and tell me that everything is going to be okay. I talked to Ken and he did some preliminary math and we should be fine, but we have to do some accounting projections for the next two months to see what's going on. (Sidenote, I almost typed "projectile accounting" which would be a totally different thing that accounting projections, haha.)

ANYWAY. All that to say is that I've spent a majority of today having a meltdown about life, the universe, and everything. It didn't help that this morning, I had a dream about house hunting, and I spent the first part of my morning fighting with Quest Diagnostics, which is apparently where brain cells go to die. It's also commencement today at Penn, so campus and the surrounding area are a clusterfuck of insanity. It's been great. ::eyeroll::

However, in my freaking out, I was exposed to this via my dear friend Michelle:


 I have no idea where this thing comes from or else I would credit it to someone, but it's hysterical and I printed it out to hang it in my office. Michelle and I then had this conversation about the tiny potato:

Me: I just printed out the tiny potato and hung it in my office.
Michelle: A friend put it on my FB wall when I was having a bad day. I saved it because I found it highly effective. Glad to pass the motivational potato on to you. Kinda like playing hot potato, but better-- less burns.
Me:
"Motivational Potato" needs to be trademarked.
Michelle: Definitely.
And friends can slingshot a tiny potato at you from across the room if they suspect you are having a bad da... Wait that's a terrible idea.
Me: Ow.
Michelle: Motivational Potato: not to be slingshot at person needing motivation.
Me: Can the Llama of Excellence bring me the Motivational Potato?
Michelle:
The Llama of Excellence is a bit unreliable with food stuffs.
Me: Hm, good point. Non-perishable/inedible items only for the Llama of Excellence. Not so excellent with the food delivery.
Michelle: Good test scores : yes. Motivational tubers: no
Me: I feel like there's a flowchart for this sort of thing.
Michelle:
Yup, just stay away from the Rutabaga of Panic. (PS - This is what happens when I switch to nights and can't sleep.)
Me: Do you require the Profiterole of Somnolence?
Michelle: Hahaha, yup, exactly.


So, now I have a Motivational Potato in my office, and if you, too, require the Motivational Potato, please print it off and use it as you see fit. 

After the Motivational Potato entered my life, I then talked to Ken about the situation and was freaking out. At one point, I needed to momentarily excuse myself and this happened:



And no, Ken didn't just randomly assume I was leaving to go throw up; I had previously been telling him that I was so anxious that I wanted to vomit. It was a reasonable assumption for him to be making, haha. 

So yes, Motivational Potatoes and Accidental Minions happened today, along with 937 other things that were far less amusing and far more distressing. The world hasn't ended yet, and now is not quite the time to panic, at least not fully. I'm attempting to dial back the panic to something less akin to some apocalyptic occurrence, so far, it's not working so well. I'm going to dinner tonight with my friend David (who I know from undergrad) so I will have a glass of wine and try to enjoy myself and not worry about... everything. ::nod::

All right then. All I have to say is listen to the Motivational Potato... avoid the Rutabega of Panic, my friends.

- A

PS: If anyone out there wants to take a crack at drawing the Rutabega of Panic, be my guest. :)

Five on Friday!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Every week, I'm simultaneously surprised that we've made it to Friday and that it's here already. Time is weird, man. I don't have much to say, so let's get right to it and wrap up this week with 5 on Friday, a link-up hosted by AprilChristina, Natasha, and Darci! If you want to link-up, head over to one of their blogs, grab the button, and talk about any random 5 things on your mind this week!

 
{one}

I know that I shouldn't complain about the weather because at least it isn't snowing and yes, I am aware that spring is when it rains, but today's weather can bite me. I really don't mind the rain, as a form a precipitation. What I can't stand is how rain means low pressure, and low pressure means migraines and increased joint pain.




{two} 
With online shopping, sometimes you win and sometimes you lost. I lost big time on my order from The Limited. The pants were comically large, the pop-over blouse made me look like a box, and the Ashton blouse was so sheer it reminded me of lingerie. Fortunately, the petite tops can be returned by mail with free shipping, and the pants can go back to the store. I guess I'm doing that this weekend. Better luck next time, I suppose!

{three}
Yesterday, I acquired and iPhone for work. To many, this would be thrilling. To me, this is confusing and I essentially now have a very expensive paperweight. I don't know what to do with an iPhone; I've always had Android smart phones. Also, compared to my S4, this thing is tiny. The only thing I use this for is sending and receiving texts and pages, and I guess I can get my work email. It's admittedly better than the Blackberry that IT made me trade in, despite the fact that I'm leaving here in 5 weeks but... almost anything would be better than a Blackberry, in my opinion!


{four}
Kina Grannis released a new album recently and I am listening to it on Spotify. I fell in love with her with her last album, Stairwells. Here's one of my favorite songs from that album:


Message From Your Heart by Kina Grannis on Grooveshark


I also really love, "I Will Be the One You Say Goodnight To," which we played at the wedding. Check it out!

{five}
I am really glad that this it the last piece of this post because the formatting in this is driving me insane. Things are moving all over the place and it's deleting my pictures and I don't know what the problem is but I am over it.


Have a good weekend, all!


- A

You Must Be, or You Wouldn't Have Come

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I'm a weirdo, and my favorite Disney movie is actually Alice in Wonderland. This might be because when I was a little girl, I thought it was called "Alison Wonderland" which it is not, but even after I found that out, I still liked the movie. The book is also one of my favorites, and I've read it at least a dozen times. However, as much as I love the story, I've never felt compelled to go to Wonderland. In fact, I would like to stay far, far away from that crazy place. Right now, though, life certainly feels like I'm falling down a rabbit hole to who knows where.

There just aren't enough hours in the day, and there aren't enough days in the week... especially the weekend. Let's not go adding more days to the work week. I know that our culture has this idea that busy equals important, and I am more than guilty of being "so busy". I don't actually say how busy I am on a regular basis (unless I do and I just don't notice it... so someone correct me if I'm wrong, here) but I definitely feel like my life is constantly on fast-forward. But really, what do I do in a single weekday?

- Sleep as late as possible 7... 7:30... 8... depends on how late I want to stay at work that day
(thank God for flexible schedules)
- Drive to work
(35-60+ minutes, depending on traffic, construction, weather, stupid people)

- Drink coffee, answer emails, talk to doctors, mindlessly sit at my desk for 8 hours
(see also: Gchat, Facebook, Pinterest, reading blogs, blogging, etc)

- Drive home, usually while talking to someone on my Bluetooth
(At least 45 minutes, closer to 60... or more... see above)

- Make dinner, eat dinner, possibly watch TV while eating, clean up from dinner
(about an hour)

- Shower
(10-20 minutes, depending on whether I'm washing my hair)

- Lay in bed and read, watch TV, or surf the internet
(Anywhere from 1-3 hours depending on when I got home)

- Go to sleep
(usually by 11)

That... doesn't seem busy, to me. I think I got stuck somewhere between grad school and now, when I was working almost full time while attending school full time, living in my mother's house, and driving to NY every other weekend to maintain my long-distance relationship (with my now-husband). I was busy when I was taking night classes after working all day, and when I was studying for my MCAT and applying to medical school, but I'm not doing any of that now, so what the hell am I doing that makes me feel so busy?

I think it's in my head.

No, I mean, I think my brain is busy and so my life feels busy. So I asked myself, what would I do with an extra hour every day? 

- Sleep
- Read
- Knit
- Call a friend
- Do something crafty (like make a card or use my sewing machine)
- Talk with Ken
- Clean something
- Go for a walk
-Try a new recipe
- Write

So, since I seem to have some extra time on my hands, whether or not I know it, why am I not doing these things? Why, instead, do I choose to watch TV, which, while enjoyable, isn't very life-fulfilling or satisfying. A lot of the problem is that I have been having trouble focusing for long periods of time as of late. My brain gets tired and I find my thoughts wandering. In fact, I'm even having trouble writing this blog post, and it's not even because I have anything specific on my mind. I just am all over the place.

I know that in a few short weeks, my free time will all but evaporate as I start med school classes, and I'll long for the evenings that stretched out before me with nothing in them except DVR'd TV and reading and snuggling the cats. It will be replaced by textbooks and notes and late-night studying, and I'll think back to this time about how good I really had it. So why can I not grab this time now and use it? Even for fun things, I can't seem to get my brain in gear.

So really, it's probably not that I'm too busy. An extra hour wouldn't help me here. This is something else. I'm not sure what it is, but it's making me feel like time is wasting away and that if I don't watch it, my life will be over before I know it and what will I have to show for it?

What am I even doing with my life?  At this point, I'm not really sure, other than "going to med school" in a few weeks. I'm hoping that as my life shifts from "full time work" to "full time school" I'll be more sure in my place in the world. Right now, I feel like I'm in Wonderland, a place where it's almost like real life, but everything is just a little bit off, slightly unnerving, and at times, frightening. I'm not sure what's around the next corner and whether whatever it is will be friend or foe.


As the Cheshire Cat says, "We're all mad here."
Maybe that's something I'm just going to have to accept for now. At least I can try not to eat or drink anything while I'm here...

- A

Hump Day Confessions!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I know, it's Wednesday, which means Wonderful Stuff Wednesday. But not today! To be honest, I didn't read, listen to, or come across anything overtly wonderful that I felt was worth sharing with the world today, so instead, I am linking up with Vodka and Soda for some confessions!


- First off, I have no idea what Ryan Gosling has to do with this link-up, but he's pretty, so I'm not arguing.

- I still haven't quit the gym, which means I'm paying $43/month for no damn reason. I might as well light the money on fire. Part of the problem is that I apparently have to show up there between 9 and 6 to cancel my membership, and who has time for that? Not me. I may have to just call them and make a manager cancel my membership for me over the phone. We'll see.

- Sometimes, I eat cereal for dinner. Okay, that's a lot of the time.

- I once owed the library $27 in fines. They still let me borrow books after I paid it, so I think I win? It did take me over 6 months to actually walk in there and pay the fines though, so maybe I lose.

- I bought velcro rollers at the suggestion of my friend Pam, but I have no idea how to use them. Send help. And wine.

- It's been a year and seven months since Ken and I got married and I still haven't watched our wedding video. Megan over at Freckled Italian posted hers (she got married on May 3rd!) and it reminded me that we never watched ours. Don't ask me how that happened. I think right after we got married, we were so sick of all things wedding-related that I threw the DVD's into a box and said we'd watch it later. Later hasn't happened yet. Perhaps later will be this weekend.

- To be perfectly honest, I'm kind of afraid to watch the video because I'm afraid I'll hate how I look. I had lost 40 pounds at that point, but I still wasn't where I wanted to be, weight-wise. There are some wedding photos that I look at that make me cringe, so I'm hoping that seeing it on video doesn't make me want to jump out of a window.

- I seriously need a pedicure. My feet are super gross.

- If there is ice cream in the house, I will eat it. This is why there's usually not any ice cream in the house. The same thing goes for brownies. Or pie. Not so much for cake and cookies. But sometimes. Basically, I am a child and have no self-control.

- I only learned how to wear eyeliner last year. I'm still not very good at it.

- I talk to my cats. A lot. In fact, there may or may not be a blog post in the wings about the things I've said to my cats.

- This week, I printed over 200 pages of scholarship application documents at work. I think I may have killed an entire forest. Sorry, owls and other woodland creatures.

- I'm blogging at work right now. Do I have things I could be doing? Sure, but there are 26 work days left and this is more fun.

- One of my best friends is having a baby and I am super happy for her but also super envious because I want to be at a place in my life where Ken and I can think about babies and we just aren't there yet. But isn't her pregnancy announcement adorable???

Their baby boy is due in September! I can't wait to knit him so many things!
- I seriously want to punch people who hum, whistle, chew with their mouths open, clink their silverware on their plates, smoke where it clearly says NO SMOKING, or who have no volume control. See also: Most of the people in Philadelphia.

- I am in a near-constant state of meltdown between house stuff and school stuff. And life stuff. I am surprised and thankful every day that Ken puts up with me, and he doesn't even have to drink to do so! (At least, not that I know of, anyway.)

- I bought, wrote-out, and addressed a Mother's Day card for my step-mom, but it requires extra postage so I haven't sent it yet. Better late than never?

- I am seeing a movie tonight with my friend Lindsey and it's not until 9:50 pm. I am totally going to regret this decision tomorrow morning, because I am a hundred years old.

So, what are your confessions? Do you like this feature better than Wonderful Stuff Wednesdays? Should I switch it up? Tell me your thoughts (and your secrets) in the comments!

- A

Good Times, Goals, and Goodbyes

Monday, May 12, 2014

You know, I think we should petition whoever is in charge for a permanent change to 3 day weekends. I don't know about you, but I can always use a third day before going back to work. Even though I didn't have a ton of plans this weekend, it still was pretty full, and I wish that I had a day to just lay around and do nothing while wearing pajama pants. To be fair, I spent part of Sunday in pajama pants, but not nearly enough time for my liking. All in all, it was a nice weekend to cap off a busy week. What all happened last week, anyway? I thought you'd never ask! Once again, linking up with Rachael and Lisa for the Weekly Wrap-Up!

Ameliorer la Vie

Well. Last week started off wonderfully on Monday with a dinner date with Ken! We went to The Melting Pot in Philadelphia before heading over to The Forrest Theater to see Eddie Izzard. I bought us tickets to see the show for our 5 year date-iversary, and I had been looking forward to it ever since we exchanged gifts in March! Dinner was lovely, although we filled up on cheese and salad, so we didn't even get to eat dessert! We promised ourselves that we'd come back soon to rectify this horrible oversight. We also got a $10 gift certificate from the restaurant because we were celebrating our anniversary!

Pre-cheese coma. Mmmm, cheese.

A random stranger volunteered to take our picture in front of the theater. We're cute.
 
Two thumbs up for Eddie Izzard!
Bathed in blue light from the stage! Also, super excited!
The show was great, and while we enjoyed the performance he gave at Madison Square Garden in 2010 slightly more, we were so glad that we got to see him again. Our relationship pretty much started with Eddie Izzard (we watched some of his stand-up on our first date) and we quote him all the time. It was definitely a sweet way to commemorate 5 years together!

Also, I ran into one of my favorite professors from undergrad at the theater! It was totally random, but really fun, and we promised to get together for coffee. To add to the fun, my friend Julie and her friend were also at the show, so we hung out with them during intermission. Good times had by all. We didn't get home until almost 11:30, and once again, it was confirmed that we are really old and lame, because we were exhausted and miserable the next morning when we got up for work.

Tuesday... I don't remember doing anything spectacular. I saw my therapist, which is always good, but other than that, I'm pretty sure I just went to work and then went home. We were supposed to meet with the mortgage broker, but since we hadn't heard back from the sellers about what they were planning to do with the repairs to the house, we canceled it. I also had a major allergy problem on Tuesday and felt like the inside of my face itched. It was unpleasant, and I shudder to think about how bad I would feel if I wasn't on 2 prescriptions for allergies already. Eek.

On Wednesday, we decided that we definitely weren't buying the house that is full of squirrels, and I sent a list of 8 other properties that we were interested in seeing to our realtor. Incidentally, we also found out that the house we were no longer buying did not have a radon problem, which I guess is good, but also surprising, given how many issues this house seems to have. I also got the updated schedule for the summer program for Rowan, and neurotically updated my Google calendar to reflect the changes. I can't wait to get a new planner for the school year! #totalnerd

Thursday, I spent the morning getting 40 lidocaine injections into trigger points in my neck, shoulder, and underarm. It was a joy. Actually, it's really not that bad and my neurologist is excellent. We talked about how the trigger points under my arm are probably aggravating the ones in my neck, and that if we can't shut down the ones under my arm, my neck will never fully heal. We're going to try two more sessions of injections (one next week, one two weeks after that), and see how the pain and headaches respond. If there isn't an adequate response, he wants me to try Botox under the arm for longer-term relief. Of course, my insurance doesn't cover Botox, so I'll have to pay out of pocket. YAY. Also, it weirds me out that I would voluntarily inject myself with botulinum toxin, the most toxic substance known to man. Sign me up! In fact, I'll pay hundreds of dollars for it! (Medicine is weird.)

Also on Thursday, I interviewed the first candidate we were considering as my replacement. It was very strange, but the interview went well, I think. It was my first time interviewing someone, so I was definitely kind of winging it. We were supposed to interview a second candidate, but she already took another position, so we're back to looking for more people to interview. I just hope the girl I was interviewing didn't look at my injection sites all over my neck and shoulder and think that I had some weirdo drug habit. Should have worn a scarf, perhaps. Oh well. After that, Thursday was pretty uneventful.

Friday finally arrived and it was a pretty normal day. After work, I saw my rheumatologist and had some blood drawn. As expected, he wants me to stay on the Orencia (which may or may not be working as well as we'd like) for another 8 weeks. He's also not sure if I have RA or lupus, since my bloodwork, while abnormal, doesn't clearly point to either diagnosis. It doesn't really matter because we're treating the symptoms the best way we know how, but the next drug he wants me to try is Benlysta, which is only approved for lupus. I have to read some studies and see how I feel about the drug itself. Autoimmune disease sucks, you guys.

After the doctor's appointment, Ken and I met with our realtor to see a house that we had seen prior to putting an offer on the one that's full of squirrels. We liked it, but wanted to see it a second time. The house is in great shape, has a full finished basement, and has a cute little deck. It's only been owned by one couple, and they are only selling it because they are 93 and just went into a nursing home. There isn't any thing particularly wrong with the house, but it's decorated like it's been owned by the same people for 20+ years, and every room is a study in rose and seafoam green. Again, paint and carpet are changeable, but... ugh, every room. It also turns out that it's more than we want to be paying per month, so we've taken it out of the running for now. By the time we got out of there, it was almost 9 pm and Ken and I were starving, so we stopped to get Chinese food from our favorite place and then headed home. I spent the night in excruciating back pain, which was super fun, but somehow, I got to sleep. Thank God.

On Saturday, I woke up and headed to my primary care physician's office, because apparently, I like to see as many doctors as I can in a 72 hour period of time. This was just for a check-up, and fortunately, my back issues had resolved themselves by that time as well. My labs all looked good, and I was sent on my way with instructions to come back in 4 months. I also made an appointment for next week because I need to get a physical and a bunch of immunizations for med school. WEIRD.

After I got home, Ken and I headed back out to see 3 more houses with our realtor, one of which we had seen before. Two were 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom townhomes (exact same model in the same development), and one was a 2 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom townhome near where we are currently living. We like all three, but would prefer one of the 3 bedroom homes. Once we were done house hunting, I dropped Ken off at the train station so he could head up to NY to visit a friend, and then I waited for my friend Patricia to come over to NJ from Philly. While I was waiting, I spent 2 hours talking to one of my best friends from college who now lives in Kentucky where she is doing her residency. We don't get to talk very frequently these days, so having a whole two hours to catch up was lovely. Even better, I get to see her in a little over 2 weeks when she comes to stay with her parents who are renting a house in Avalon for a week. SO EXCITED!!!

The rest of Saturday was spent frolicking around the mall with Patricia. I finally found a pair of jeans that fits and doesn't require hemming, and the best part was that they're a size that I haven't worn in approximately 300 years. Oh, it also was pretty awesome that they were 50% off. I also picked up a pair of shoes on clearance at DSW. Winning all around, I say. That night, Patricia and I met up with my sister-in-law, Lynn, for dinner, and then Lynn spent the night.

Sunday morning, Lynn left at the crack of dawn to have breakfast with a friend in Philadelphia and I blissfully slept in until almost noon. After dragging myself out of bed, I successfully navigated Target and Wegman's on a weekend, on Mother's Day, no less. I was very proud of myself that I didn't die or commit a felony. The rest of the Sunday was spent baking a chocolate cake and prepping for dinner for that evening. My brother came over and we hung out while I baked and prepped, and he also picked Ken up from the train station, which was super helpful. My mom came over around 6:30 and we had a nice evening with good food, wine, and of course, chocolate cake!

Pre-frosted cakes. I was praying they wouldn't get stuck in the pans.

Hey look, I frosted a cake! With homemade buttercream!
I was probably overly-impressed with myself for baking a cake from scratch, but hey, it could have been a total disaster and it wasn't! The only problem now is that we have WAY too much cake left. Anyone want to come over for dessert?

And that, my friends, was the week. It ended with beautiful weather, friends, and chocolate cake, so I can't really complain! As for this week, I feel as though it's time to link up with Melyssa of The Nectar Collective for Weekly Wishes! Maybe I'll actually accomplish some of them this week!


The Nectar Collective


The last time I wrote a weekly wishes post was April 21st, and I had wanted to get my blood work done, finish a book, pack before 11 pm the night before Ken and I were leaving for Kentucky (a trip on which I did not end up going), order my transcripts for medical school, and not commit any felonies. The good news is that I finally got that blood work done and I didn't commit any felonies! Other than that, I have totally struck out. C'est la vie.

This Week's Wishes

1. Order transcripts for medical school. This seriously needs to happen. I might even do that today.

2. Get vaccination records transferred to primary care doctor's office. If this doesn't happen, my appointment next week for my physical will be useless. This would be a lot easier if my old physician's office would actually fix their fax machine because it has been broken for well over a year now, it seems. I seriously hate faxing things anyway because I feel like if Netflix can deliver me an entire movie in HD VIA THE INTERNET that I should be able to email a record release to my physician, but CLEARLY that is IMPOSSIBLE. ::rage::


Okay, I'm done.

3. Take clothes to Plato's Closet or Buffalo Exchange. Sell what I can, donate the rest to Good Will. I cannot live with these two, giant bags of clothes in my trunk forever.

4. Clean up the DVR. This is a silly goal, but it's 90% full and that is just sad. Most of that is an entire season of The Walking Dead that we have yet to start watching, but... the rest needs to be gone through. Looks like I need to schedule some time with my TV! Darn.

5. Finish my scholarship applications! This is do-or-die, because everything is due on Thursday or else I'm definitely not getting any money from these people! One more essay to go for the National Health Service Corps, and then one essay for the other scholarship that I'm applying for through Jewish Federation of Philadelphia. Come on, someone help me pay for med school!

***

So yes, that's about the long and the short of what's going on here. The only other thing that is newsworthy, albeit a bit sad, is that my mom had to put one of our dogs to sleep this morning. Zorro was 14 and was diagnosed with melanoma in his paw pad a couple of months ago. Since there was no good treatment for what was undoubtedly metastatic disease, we were keeping him comfortable for as long as we could. Over the weekend, he took a turn for the worse and my mom could tell that he was in a lot of pain. This morning, she made the hard decision to end his suffering. My heart breaks for her and for all pet-parents who have to make the same decision.

Rest in peace, little guy. We love you.
So, sorry to end on a sombre note, but I guess that's life. Hug your pets and your people a little tighter tonight, friends! And tell me about something fun and happy in the comments. :)

- A

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