Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Justice/Job Searching/Just Married

Justice: My grandma is convinced that there is a serious black cloud hanging over our family. First of all we have our cousin in the hospital, in ICU all sedated and ventilated with colon mets and are between a rock and a hard place given her care. I went in to the hospital yesterday with my dad (her health care proxy) and while he asked questions like "so you think she'll wake up and work again" I got all cancer hospital on their asses and was like "what did her renal status look like today?" Yeah, I do research but in the past three years have read easily over 1,500 medical records or MORE so I know some sh*t. Plus the nurse was like "don't sell yourself short, you probably know a lot more than you think you do." Ha ha yeah, like how I totally diagnosed Jam's coworker with Meniere's Disease!! I should start a booth on the corner with a sign "Diagnosis $20." Anyhow, we have the cousin who is ill and needs decisions made for her and no decision will be easy or good.

Then we have the fact that my grandma ATE IT in the backyard. When I say that my grandma fell, people get this image of a little old lady puttering around in her garden, all house dress and white hair. Oh no. Granny was on the porch enjoying a leisurely afternoon reading a book when she noticed a squirrel digging in her garden. "That damn squirrel!" she exclaimed, taking off her glasses and putting down her book. She whipped open the porch door, took a leap towards the garden, yelling at the squirrel, and tripped on a rain gutter. Not wanting to break her glasses, the woman did NOTHING to break her fall and landed on her knees then her face. She got a ride in ambulance for that.

Dad, let's see....he had gum surgery Monday, complete with 7 stitches. Add that to the complete and utter bullsh*t he has had to tolerate at work, he is not a happy camper.

Mom is better, recovering from a certain medical procedure...see if you can guess what it was...first you sh*t for like, EVER, then you get probed. Yeah. It's like a dark family secret that she even got a c****oscopy, so I won't mention it here anymore, but it turned out ok in the end. Of course Dad's turn is on Tuesday and he is not secretive. He's like "Oh I got to sit on the toilet all night on Monday then they put the camera up my ass." Awesome Dad, way to be brutally honest and fairly descriptive.

Me and Ame? I think we're pretty much ok. You know. Stress and crap. I have a final on Friday that could spell certain doom or victory. I am thinking VICTORY. I have a feeling. Yes. It's really the only thing I have control of at this point.

Finally the JUSTICE part. So the black cloud extended to my aunt and uncle yesterday, when someone tried to break into their house and left a trail of blood inside their kitchen (they didn't get IN to the house, but apparently bled INTO their house. Lovely) which covered the floor, their curtains, the deck, etc. This of course was pleasing to HPD because they were all "SCORE!! EVIDENCE! BLOOD EVIDENCE!!" If they ever arrest someone maybe they will do a DNA matching test!!! Knowing small town HPD though they will probably just hold the bloodied kitchen curtain up to the suspect and be like "Oh is this your blood?" Nah, I sell them short, HPD is pretty awesome, and I think they are probably way more badass than I think they are. Anyways, my uncle and cousin took the "I'm freaked out" reaction. I would be too, absolutely. My aunt chose rage, probably a little bit because her neighbor witnessed the whole scenario (besides the actual break-in) and did NOT call the police (I thought they were workmen! she said. Yeah workmen with dark hoodies and leather gloves? SURE!) and because her door is ruined. She hoped they bled to death. I think I am mostly wishing for not death justice but embarrassing legal justice where the thieves are caught and arrested and we get to go to the arraignment and look at their faces with unbridled disdain and judgment and say "You bastards effed up the kitchen door!!! But you were too big of a loser to get in a steal sh*t!" Ahh fantasies.

Job Search: Yep, I'm at work and job searching....because I am so confident I will pass my final with flying colors and graduate. I don't plan to switch jobs til fall, but I figure there is no harm in looking. Unfortunately most interesting jobs that combine the delightful fields of conservation and social justice pay s-h-i-t. And while I am all about undertaking a noble profession for a good cause, I need a raise if I am going to pay my student loans. Wicked depressing, yet the harsh reality of it all. I think I need an ice cream cone.

Just Married: No I did not elope. I was flipping through the Lowe's and Home Depot circular looking for large potted palms for next week's Foster Parrots/NEEWS Grand Opening complete with Jane Goodall. I was flipping through the pages past the usual junk, you know like spackle and insulation and ceiling fans and faucets and I thought "sh*t. One day Jam and I are going to own a home. And this type of crap? We'll get off on it. We'll be like "OMG can't wait til Saturday, linoleum on special at the Home Depot. Maybe we can do the kitchen floor?!" Maybe I exaggerate the excitement that moderately-priced lighting fixtures will bring to our lives as Jam isn't exactly handy...maybe it'll be something like "F8ck. I broke the toilet. Allison??!!" Who know though. The excitement could happen. Scary.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I is for Irresponsible

So apparently I irresponsibly forgot a credit card payment last month on my Ann Taylor Loft account. Yup, I owed a minimum payment of $10. So criminal. I paid it a week ago or so. On Saturday I started receiving calls from a collection agency. I didn't answer them, but know it's the number of a WFFNB collection agency because I googled it, and the internet gave me all the answers.

Speaking of which, can we have a moment for the internet and all the wonderful things it has brought us? Like Ravelry and blogs, instant news, photosharing on flickr, marketplaces like ebay and etsy and OH, WEBSITES THAT LIST PHONE NUMBERS THAT ARE BOGUS OR COLLECTION AGENCIES!

Anyways, my answer to these calls was to pay off all the ridiculous balances I was carrying on my WFFNB cards (ATL, Victoria's Secret, JCrew, Ny&Co....I only had balances on two though, the other two were ZERO!). Jamaal says that I should answer the calls and get a the people from the collection agency to promise me in writing that this little kerfluffle will not f*ck my credit score. He is right. Jam, are you reading? YOU ARE RIGHT. But as I told him, I don't even care any more. Don't care. Paid it off, case closed.

Of course this is financially irresponsible. I know. And if we can't get a mortgage because I forgot to make a $10 payment on an Ann Taylor card in April 2008 while being in school part time, working full time and under special extraordinary family stress yet still paying every other credit card and bill on time, I think we have a problem, and it's not me, it's the g-d*mn system. I don't think this will f*ck us over, but I do understand Jam wanting me to follow up on this because 1. that is what he would do, and be a bastard to the company to the point where they'd be like 'oh no, let us pay YOU for using our card and being a loyal customer' (because he is one of those people who complains and then gets sh*t for free, whereas I would simply be asked to leave the restaurant) 2. he is a businessman and 3. we're engaged, gonna be married and singing the song all Whitney Houston style "Your debt is my debt, and my debt is your would take an eternity to pay it off...the chains of Chase Manhattan would still hold us"
Sigh. I know I should call and make a fuss. But the thought makes me just want to 1. sleep 2. cry 3. vomit 4. all of the above. I can't deal. So I'm choosing irresponsibility. Considering I've been pretty damn responsible about everything else in life lately, I'm hoping that everyone will accept me for the flawed human being that I am and let this one slllide.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

G and H

I'm still here, and I'm sticking to the letters.

As for G, I don't know about anyone else, but I eagerly awaited the return of Grey's Anatomy last Thursday night. No, I'm not the type of person who cries when a show goes off the air or anything, but I really felt like the writer's strike threw off the balance of the universe, and I'm happy to have Grey's back. world in order once again.

Hospital - The reason I've been absent. My cousin and my father's closest living relative is critically ill in the hospital. She's been there for two weeks and has declined steadily. I'm sad because this is really the only person left for my father, we're all really stressed at home with her being sick, some crap that's going down at my father' s job, and to add to my personal stress, we've got school and the simple existence of May and June. I have one free weekend in May and no free weekends in June. While everyone loves weddings and parties, the amount of them squished into this short period and the fact that 4 of the events will occur out of state stress me out, because nearly all of them require a car filled with gasoline and a gift. I think people will be cool regarding the gas and we can work out splitting it if a bunch of us carpool, but still. I am stressing a bit. Right now I am trying to think positively about my cousin's frankly grave state and my finals, but I am sort of just holding my breath and hoping things go well. Like they say in Botswana, I'm standing on one toe...

Happy Birthday. Finally on a happier note, I had a fantastic birthday with my sister. She took me to Oasis Day Spa to have my nails done and it was soooo relaxing. We then headed to the Cape for lunch and tea and to buy some jewelry.....then I googled yarn shops on my cell phone (like a true knit-a-holic) and we drove to a yarn shop where I found 10 skeins of Noro for $40, a perfect starter for the coveted Lizard Ridge afghan I would like to start. To top it off, Ame made a strawberry rhubarb pie and an awesome and quirky cross stitch picture for me, a picture of all these little woodland creatures going to a party with their hats on:
I just love it, and it's even cuter in person....I'm looking at it now. Plus she hand painted the frame! I think we are going to try and open an etsy shop for our cross stitch work soon. we'll have to see.

Well that's it. It's been kind of a crap month with a few gems here and there. I can only hope that things will start looking up in May....I HOPE.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


So I am very very loopy from my platelet donation. I need to sit a while and let everything readjust, as well as flush the anticoagulant from my system. I haven't forgotten about G and H....I'll be back!

Monday, April 07, 2008


My friend just sent me this email. It sums up life at the moment.
And makes great use of the letter F



I edited it with the *. But seriously, right now, I'm sitting at my desk, going over my thoughts, and that's the word that keeps flashing in my head. Holy ever-loving F*CK!
Hopefully in 24 hours or so I will be better. I hope I hope.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


E was a hard letter to tackle, I admit it. I'm glad I've got a few weeks before "X" comes up.

When I tried to thing of interesting blog fodder that begins with E I thought of two things, an animal and a word. Random, but here goes.

Elephants are probably what every kid thinks of when you say 'name something that begins with E,' but it's fresh in my mind today. We went to a candle party on Friday (they really are fun, I have to admit) and PartyLite has this elephant votive holder that I was going to get. I decided on a set of mini-elephants, as the big elephant was too pricey and I was trying to be a good girl for a change. The hostess brought her friend to take orders for her, and as she was cashing me out she asked me where I was going to put the votives. "Well," I said, "I have sort of this Africa table in my room. I've been there twice and once was for four months, so I have quite a collection and I think the elephants will go well with my giraffe family and carved frame and little boma I have on the table." Right away, the woman, whose name was Cecile, exclaimed "You've been to Africa? Twice? What was it like?" I told her that I'd been to Kenya, once for a semester, once on a reunion trip and couldn't wait to get back there. Normally when I am the slightest bit intoxicated I ramble on and on, and in this case I was trying to hold back and not bore this poor woman, but she kept asking question after question. I finally said to her "If you ever get the chance to go, you must. Seeing an elephant in the wild is out of this world. It will literally blow your mind." Which I think is true. I saw hundreds of elephants during my semester there, but even upon my return in '06 they still filled me with the greatest sense of wonder. You look at them and think of the things they have seen - you can tell they are incredibly intelligent, and that they're looking right back at you, trying to decide what to make of you. Seeing an elephant face to face (ok within reasonable distance, they are quite dangerous at times) is magic. I recommend the experience to everyone.

Eccezionale is far more random than elephants. It means something like "extraordinary" or "exceptional" in Italian, and is actually the name of an Irene Grandi song we had to sing in class. Unlike most of the Italian songs we were forced to sing in classe d'italiano this one was singable (try getting 20 girls to sing Con Te Partiro or O Mio Babbino Caro. Not good.). It's kind of a rock song with a great chorus, though I find the music video somewhat ODD

Anyways, I love the song and still listen to it as well as another track, Verde Rosso e Blu. As I was thinking about how I love listening to these songs despite the fact that I can only get a basic idea of what they're about, given my poor italian skills, I realized that there a lot of foreign language songs on my iPod, and I don't know what the HELL a lot of them are about, yet I still enjoy the songs. Here they are: Corcovado (which is Portuguese and English, but so lovely) by Astrud and Joao Gilberto, Kothbiro by Ayub Ogado, Fanta by Baaba Maal, Tabu Wote Changu Sasa, Shosholosa, Any Ladysmith Black Mambazo (hhahhhhaa YES), A La Claire Fontaine by Laure Shang, Szerelem Szerelem by Marta Sebestyen, Malaika and Holili by Miriam Makeba, Soweto Daal by Wasis Diop, Mos Mos by E-Sir, Baba Yetu from Civilization IV, and Choli Ke Peeche from the movie Khalnayak, though I have some remix rap version. These are just a few favorites anyways, the ones I badly attempt to belt out while driving in my car. It's kind of fun to branch out and listen to stuff you don't understand - though I did just find out that some people think Choli is a little crude meaning something to the effect of "what's under you blouse?" I'll be careful where I blast that one, LOL.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

D is for...


I am so DONE

With school
With studying
With obsessing
With stressing

And I'm going to have a DRINK!!!

Friday, April 04, 2008



I work at a cancer hospital in Boston. It's not great secret which one it is and it's also no great secret that for the past three years I've had a torrid love-hate relationship with my job. In general this job is "a living" - it's nothing dramatic, it's nothing extraordinary, it's something I do that keeps me out of trouble. I have had some incredibly humbling experiences since working here that have made me grateful simply to have the strength to step outside in the sunshine and take a breath of fresh air, but I credited the Institute itself for those experiences - I've never really given my job itself that much credit. Why? Because for the most part it is rather dull. I sit in front of two computer screens for most of my days, abstracting medical records into a database which tracks non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients' diagnoses, treatments, and outcomes, as well as a slew of other data. I mean it's interesting at times, and I'm up on most of the latest lymphoma treatments out there. I've learned a great deal about the human body too, but for the most part, the work day drags and I only feel relief when I step outside, flip on the iPod and start making my way home. I dreamed of the day I'd walk out of here forever, not to return unless donating platelets or (heaven forbid) if I or someone in my family became sick. That was until last week, when my former project manager came to present her thesis defense to our department. She had earned her PhD and was now looking to get published. I always enjoy heme onc presentations since so much of my department is focused around things such as end-of-life care, palliative care, outcomes, etc. When she came to the methods section, the presenter explained that her data came from the database. MY database. My ears perked up. As she continued to speak, she gave the details of what the database collects. My heart swelled with pride. "That's my data," I thought. For the first time I saw the real deep and true value of what I do. Then I started thinking about how this has been my project for three years, and I felt myself getting almost emotional about letting it go. As a control freak, this project has been a perfect fit, I now know I'll have a hard time leaving it behind, even though when I go, it will be time to go!

As for courtesy, I'm going through one of those phases where the level of rudeness I observe on the T every day is reaching maximum capacity, and I feel like I'm going to snap and do something extreme or rude (and by "extreme" I mean throw the paper someone just threw on the floor back in their faces and by "rude" I mean push back or say EXCUSE ME really loudly. Nothing violent or anything!) Yesterday I was on the green line and started to fall, because I got shoved into that annoying spot where you can't reach a vertical pole, and you're too short to reach the horizontal pole, and you just have to balance with like, two fingers barely touching the vertical pole. All the people sitting just stare up at you as that stupid train bounces you around. Of course the Heath Street train is particularly offensive given that it is so overcrowded. As I was trying to balance the other day, we took a hard turn between Arlington and Copley and I lost my balance, something I hate because it makes you look so spazzy. So I start to fall backwards. The lady on my left was really cool in that she tried to catch me, she actually made a grab for my coat, which I appreciate. The women on my right, instead of sticking a hand out and just pushing me back, MOVED. Yup they moved so I could fall backwards and they could watch. I regained my balance at the last minute and stepped on one of their feet. I felt really bad, but then again they did just let me fall. I mean you don't see a person collapse and move so they hit the deck unless they are far away or too big to help down gently. While that is very very mild in terms of the usual rudeness that I see, I will still sort of all down about my fellow humankind and their willingness to help each other. Sigh. I did see something nice today though to restore some of my faith. This lady was trying to jet out of the Red Line at South Station and she kind of took out a woman, also exiting the train, on her way out. I figured she keep walking, but instead she stopped herself, turned and said "I'm sorry. You go ahead." Wow. There is hope!

So today is the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr's assassination. Since I was a little kid, I had this odd fascination with MLK. I don't know why exactly, but I must've found his words inspirational, because as a second-grader I memorized part of his "I have a dream" speech for fun and recited it for my teacher. I remember I used to get chills when I got to this part: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." I thought it was beautiful, even though I didn't understand the full meaning of it all until I was older. Since I am only 25 - well 26 in 12 days (wow. time FLEW) I obviously was not alive in MLK's day, and don't truly understand the times and the struggles of the times, the tumultuousness that filled the United States, and I don't think anyone who didn't live through that can really understand what it was like. I listed to the words of Dr. King and I am so puzzled as to why people were scared of what he said - his words were so beautiful, so full of hope and determination. Listening to them today, I wonder what he would think if he were still alive today - or rather what he would think, were he to return, as I think his continued fight for equality would have made the nation a very different place. While I don't think MLK would be overjoyed to see some of the things that are happening in this country, I really think that he would not write us off as hopeless, not just yet. Why? Because I hear his words echoed in the words of another man, you know, that guy who keeps calling for change, telling us "Yes We Can." I'm not going to plug B-rock obnoxiously as I usually do, but I really think that 40 years later, we need to revisit the teaching of Martin Luther King. We need to read his words, we need to think about the things he said and the vision he had for this country...and I'm not talking about reading his speeches and saying "oh segregation? it's done, it's over, we're good now." I mean getting in there and reading his words and thinking about how far we still need to go, that we must, we must, we must change.

"With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day" MLK

"We know the battle ahead will be long. But always remember that, no matter what obstacles
stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.

We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics. And they will only grow louder and more dissonant in the weeks and months to come. We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope." B-rock

Stepping off my soapbox now, the air up here is thin ;)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Bridesmaid Duties

B today.

So as I have previously mentioned, I am a bridesmaid in my friend's June wedding. Though I will be one of 13, I still feel special and will be very excited and happy and proud to be standing alongside my friend as she marries her man.

Since there 13 of us, I decided, out of the blue, that I would take it upon myself to make a bridesmaid survival kit, since other typical bridesmaidly duties are being handled by the Man of Honor and the bride herself. If Africa taught me one thing, it was to carry your sh*t with you everywhere because you never know when you might get stuck in the mud and need to spend the night in the middle of the bush in your car and to expect the unexpected. Now supplies will be easy to come by in the urban jungle of New York City should someone need an emergency tampon or something, but why risk not being prepared - especially when there is delightful, delicious consumerism involved?!!

I have already chosen the kit. No prepackaged bridesmaid survival kit will do, not for me, I am a customizing woman, but I did look at all the kits on the market to steal ideas. Once I compiled a list of what I would need, I realized that I would need more than your average rubbermaid. I would need something large but transportable, with compartments and drawers. I found the perfect kit at AC Moore on Sunday, and waited to receive an email coupon from them before buying it - 50% off one item this week! I plan to get a couple things for it every week until it is full of goods that we might need...oh, and I WILL be taking it back home with me too, that is for sure. I'll want to have it for my bridesmaids too!

Now you may be asking yourself, "what the HELL is in a bridesmaid survival kit." My reply is "ha ha what isn't?" I plan to have the usual female necessities on hand, such as tampons and gum and mints and tissues. But then I'm going to take it to a whole other level and have super glue for broken heels, first aid products, dental floss, batteries, film, deodorant, mini sewing kit, safety pins, hairspray, earring backs, perfume, you name it. Obviously I won't have these in huge amounts, so if every bridesmaid needs a role of film, we're shit out of luck, but if I can bail that one gal out, my work will not have been in vain.

Those are my Bridesmaid duties.

I wonder if it's wedding-acceptable to carry your camera down the aisle....dang, I bet it's not...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Accepting Average

So I totally blew NaBloPoMo last November. I almost made it but didn't exactly sprint to the finish, so when word went out that '08 was going to be NaBloPoYr (National Blog Posting Year) I thought "Hell no, I can't post every day, not even going to try!" I am going to adopt the April theme though, which is letters. I'm going to take it on literally (hahahhaha) too, and go right through the 26 in the alphabet. GO ME.

So A.

I've been stressing a lot lately about a bunch of different crap, mostly school, though the general baseline of school stress makes me susceptible to all kinds of other stress and obsessing (like the wedding shower, or exactly what kinds of cake cones I will be taking to my friend's recital. I mean she doesn't care, I KNOW she doesn't, but I'm like "ooh yay, more obsessing fodder" sick). My friend EE called me the other day (to request the cake cones lol) and I told her that I needed some Xanax or something to talk me down from the ledge, because I am being obsessivecrazystressed. After offering me klonopin (half/maybe/almost/very seriously??) she started chatting about her upcoming recital and the preparation involved and how she's stressing as well. But then she gave me the most incredible advice, passing it on from her speech therapist lady (EE forgive me if she is not a speech therapist and I f*ck up her quote!) She basically said, in so many words, that people go into something expecting to be freaking brilliant king of the world or expecting total and complete failure, and all you really need to do is come out in the middle somewhere. Be average.

Holy. Crap.

That's all I needed to hear. I need to learn to accept average. I don't need to be the best at plant physiology, or at school, I need to be average, I just need to pass. I don't need to have summa cum laude on my degree, I just need that piece of paper saying I did the work. I don't need trumpets and flowers and little doves flying down to turn the tassel on my mortarboard, I just need to show up and get it down and walk away from Tufts and never look back. That's all.

Accept. Average.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


I keep thinking that I want to graduate so badly because I can't wait to reclaim a normal life. And maybe go to the gym once in a while. And definitely sew more...and knit more..and run...maybe a marathon? And of course, plan THE WEDDING.