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12/29/02
The power cord to my computer is driving my nuts. I can't wait for the new laptop to arrive. To get the power to charge the battery, I have to hold and twist the power all over the place. It was working a minute ago, but now it's out again. I think there's a broken wire in there. So if I don't update for a while, it's because the laptop is sitting here, acting as a paperweight, and I can't get it to turn on.

later on 12/28/02
I can't believe the year is almost over, and that I'll have to start writing "03" on everything. I have a hard enough time remembering to write "02"!

12/28/02
Tierney's party last night was a lot of fun - I had a good time. She lives near the East Brunswick mall, so on the way home, I stopped at the new Barnes and Noble there and picked up a few books - including one on the making of the LOTR trilogy. Speaking of, Jen sent me this interview with our favorite hobbits. How cool that Billy Boyd is in the new Russell Crowe movie.

Oh and I have located a copy of the 2000 Glyndebourne la Boheme with Alfred Boe, and ordered a copy. I am thrilled!

OK, off to the city.

12/27/02
Ack! My plan was to see the movie of Chicago today around here, since I can't go with the gang tonight (Tierney's party is tonight), but it turns out it's not playing anywhere in the state of NJ! So I'll have to see it in the city - hrm, maybe tomorrow after la Boheme?

Ah well, more free time today to make sure my leather pants still fit.

12/26/02
Mmm, hobbits. We watched the extended version of The Fellowship of the Ring on the DVD this afternoon, and then went to see The Two Towers again. Love me some hobbits.

12/25/02
Merry Christmas to you! I did not buy you a laptop, whoever you are.

Dinner with some of the Marshall clan last night was a lot of fun. Good to see everyone again, and Isabella is six months old now and just the cutest thing. Except when she's crying. I got to hold her for most of the night and feed her creamed spinach, which she seemed to enjoy. Well, she enjoyed getting it all over her face and shirt, anyway,

It started snowing lightly last night, so we sort of had a white Christmas. It turned to rain this morning, but then by afternoon it was really snowing hard. I spent the night at Dad's last night, and had breakfast and dinner there today. I wanted to get out on the road so I could drive back to NJ before it got really bad. I think I did 30 miles at the most on the trip home, with all the snow and bad roads and fogged up car windows and lack of visibility. But I'm home in one piece and ready to fall asleep again.

Jen and I have decided to buy ourselves a hobbit.

I was saddened to hear that Michelle's father - who was recently diagnosed with cancer - passed away yesterday. My thoughts are with her and her family tonight.

a little later on 12/24/02
Merry Christmas to me. I bought a Dell. Dude.

12/24/02
In dropping the laptop, I seem to have broken the power supply cord - the plug that goes into the computer is bent oddly. So I have to hold it at a certain angle and pressure for it to actually supply power. Right now it's clipped to the top of the screen with my tweezers. I think it's about time for me to go and say, "Dude, you're getting a Dell" and just get a new laptop. This one is old, and it's been slowly breaking down for a while now.

Today - Christmas Eve - I'm heading to Eric and Masha's for dinner (and to see the cute baby which I will not cough on), and then into the city. Back tomorrow.

later on 12/23/02
I did nothing all day.

Well, that's not true. As I was getting up to go and pee, I tripped on the cord for the laptop, and sent it crashing to the floor, by way of my ankle. It hurts hurts hurts. Ow. Whine. There's a big bump there.

12/23/02
Well, I didn't go to the movies. Instead, I fell asleep at 7 or 8pm last night, and woke up around 3am, unable to fall back asleep. Erg. So of course I then slept until noon today.

Still coughing. Erg again.

12/22/02
Happy birthday, Trisha! Enjoy the bucket o' movie goodies that we got you!

I'm still coughing. I was supposed to go to the city to see Playwright's Horizons' production of What Didn't Happen, starring Mr. Big, but I felt so crappy this morning. Gave away the ticket and went back to bed. Now I'm going to chug some cough syrup and do nothing. I'm thinking about going to the movies - there are a bunch that I want to go and see.

I've been searching for the sixth book in the Sue Barton: Student Nurse series - it's the Neighborhood Nurse book. Problem is, I can only find it for gadzillions of dollars. I have the other books in the series, that's the only one I'm missing! Helen Dore Boylston, who wrote them, also wrote a series of books about a girl in the theatre - I'm starting to hunt those down now.

12/21/02
Brr, cold. And maybe snow this week!

I hate traffic. We got stuck going into the Holland Tunnel last night. On the way to the city, we stopped at Ikea to get some candles for Aunt Paula. Well, candles, a desk and some knickknacks later, we left. Went to the city, stopped at the Union Square bazaar to do some last minute shopping, and then went up to see Stokes in Man of La Mancha - still dreamy. After the show, we drove down to Marie's, so I could show it to Mom, and then had a nice, traffic-free drive home.

Today I replaced the set of lights that burned out (again, second time) and am waiting for the washing machine to finish it's cycle so I can take a shower.

Oh, and I am so lazy - I haven't written any holiday cards yet. So if you're watching your mailbox for a card, don't. I'll get them out in like March or something. I was put out of the holiday mood by a trip to the mall today. They had set up a post office kiosk there that was open until 5pm, and I had some packages to mail. Well, it took me longer to find a parking place than it did to go to the post office. And it took me longer to walk from said parking place to the mall entrance than I spent inside. And there are just too many people. I'm glad my actual shopping is done.

I got my other grades today - a B+ in Anatomy and a B in pre-Calculus I. Very cool.

And the gods of timing are against me. I heard an ad for Air Lingus today - they're offering $99/each way from NYC to Dublin, but only during Jan and Feb, and I can't do it. I don't have a break until March 15th, and Jen is heading to London the week before that for her school interview. Timing sucks all around.

But in good news, it looks like the first season of Six Feet Under is coming out on DVD on February 4th. It's already on my wishlist. Even tho they are charging an outrageous amount of money for 13 episodes.

later on 12/19/02
I am still coughing like mad. All through the show - cough cough cough. Roger Bart was super, tho, I'm really glad we went. And I am very glad that my leather pants still fit. I tried them on, as I'm planning to wear them to Tierney's party next Friday. And even with the seven (!) pounds I gained since moving home, they fit. So between the pants and the haircut, I'll look sassy.

I bought a digital camera today! It's sweet - a Canon Elph like the non-digital one I have. The battery is charging now, then I can play with it. Such a geek I am.

In the "things that won't go away" saga, I did an interview with a reporter in Chicago about the Heather Decker/coma baby story - we talked for about a half-hour (as I was driving into the city) and I've just emailed her a document excerpting some of the emails that I'd saved. She's going to send me a copy of the article when it's published. I find it interesting to talk about (the Munchausen thing) but it's still so weird to think about.

And in sadder news, please pray for Michelle's dad, who was diagnosed with lung cancer.

12/19/02
Ahh, my first day of no school. I've got a zillion errands to take care of - haircut, get brows done, go to Kinko's, and then meet Steve for dinner and The Producers. Roger Bart just took over as Leo, so this is my Christmas present from Steve. Can't wait.

This is how Jen described Lord of the Rings:

walk, run, run some more, kill something, get sad, fight some more, get upset, fight some more, run again, look longingly at or think about someone you can't have, run and fight at the same time, feel vindicated, fight some more, do the right thing, love fest with your best friend and bam end the movie!
Damn, that sounds like all of our trips to London (except for the killing). Speaking of, she said Jude Law may be doing Hamlet at some unknown time and unknown place in the future. We are so there.

Still coughing up a lung.

later on 12/18/02
I can't really say anything about the movie, because I have too many friends who haven't seen it yet. But I will say that my favorite line was, "Don't tell the elf."

And oh - the blouse man!

And please tell me, why do I pay $9 to sit and watch a bunch of commercials? They really bug me.

12/18/02
Ahh, all done with school for the semester. I got a B+ in Chem, our Anatomy grades aren't posted yet. And I'm sure I did well in Nursing - either an A or A-. I rescheduled my haircut for tomorrow afternoon.

And now I'm going to rewatch the first Lord of the Rings movie, so I can be prepared for seeing the second one tonight.

In a health update, I am still coughing up strange things. Other than that, I feel fine!

later on 12/17/02
Ow, head hurts. Throat hurts. Stomach hurts.

I am curling up with Mimi in bed and not moving.

12/17/02
So anyway, right, on not being a morning person. I came home from my clinical evaluation, and went back to bed. I slept from 1pm until 8pm. Last night was the Marie's Crisis holiday party. When I woke up at 8, I was feeling really congested, and debated whether or not to go. I ended up going, but only stayed for two hours, and then came back home and fell right back asleep. Today I'm feeling kind of stuffy, too. I cancelled my haircut appointment and I think I'm just going to do nothing all day.

Tomorrow is our last Nursing test, and then I'm done with classes until the 2nd of Jan, when the Growth and Development intersession starts.

12/16/02
Mornings are really not my thing. But I managed to drag myself out of bed and to my 8am Anatomy final this morning. It wasn't as hard as I'd been expecting, but there were a few challenging questions. The Chem final was remarkably easy, too. So I am all done with Middlesex until Jan 21st. I also passed my Nursing clinical evaluation with flying colors. Was there any doubt?

12/15/02
I'm tired, tho it wasn't a particularly long weekend. Jen came down Friday night and stayed over. We drove into the city on Saturday morning, and met Missy in midtown. It was really good to see her again and hear about how things are going in New Orleans. We had planned to get rush tickets for Dance of the Vampires (so bad it has to be seen, even with the new changes), but they didn't have any. But we ended up getting 8th row center orchestra seats for $35, which was good. Dona and Tesse came up, and then we had to wait a bit for Jason to come by with the checks he owed Jen, Missy and me from this summer's work. Finally!

After the show, we grabbed a pint at O'Lunney's and mocked the show relentlessly (as we are wont to do), and then parted ways. Jen, Dona and I went up to Trisha's for her annual holiday get-together. They've built a wall in her apartment to make another room for her new roommate. It looks pretty good, and there's still a lot of space in her apartment. I love that apartment. Michelle bought the girls NSync Barbies as a joke. With her blessing, I took mine to the Toys for Tots basket at Starbucks today. I stayed until about 10 or so, and then went down to Dad's. Watched Al Gore host Saturday Night Live, and he was surprisingly funny.

This morning, I got up to get on the rush line for la Boheme so Jen and I could see the matinee. It wasn't as warm as I'd been expecting, so I was happy when Jen came by on her way to a meeting and gave me her hat and gloves. Even so, the wait was only four hours (nothing compared to the Rent line) and the last hour was indoors after they opened the lobby. We got second row orchestra center. It was the same cast I saw at the rehearsal, which was fine with me, as I have developed a crush on Alfred Boe, who sang Rodolfo. Mmm. Beautiful voice. After the show, I hopped the train home, and here I am.

Two finals tomorrow. Anatomy and Chemistry. And then tomorrow night is the Marie's Crisis holiday party for staff and friends - apparently I'm a friend. That should be a lot of fun. Provided I can get around the city, what with the impending transit strike. Jen just reminded me that if I drive, I need four people in the car. Maybe I can borrow some dummies from the nursing school skills lab.

12/13/02
You can tell it's Friday the 13th - I went to start the Geo this morning and it wouldn't turn over. Click click click. So I drove Mom's car to school today (last Anatomy lecture! last Chem review!). When I got home, we jump started it and it worked fine, but we took it down to the Chevy place anyway. It needs a tune up, and the woman there said it sounds like one of the battery cells is dead. Speaking of dead cells, our Christmas lights outside aren't working, either. Bought new fuses at WalMart, but they didn't do anything. So I'll take a look at them when it's daylight and not raining.

I'm not sure how I did on the Calculus final - there were two questions that I had absolutely no idea about, and several more that I felt I got halfway on. The rest I was OK with. I'm going to track down the professor in the Spring to ask him to go over it with me.

So all that's left now is the Anatomy and Chem finals, and the last Nursing exam. Then I'm done for the semester.

Jen's on her way down from MA to spend the night here. Tomorrow we're meeting Dona and Missy (up from New Orleans for a week) to go to a show, and then Trisha's Holiday party. I picked up my gag grab-bag gift yesterday. Last year, I wound up with a Jesus nightlight. Who knows what evil lurks in the bag this year?

12/12/02
So get this - we had our last Anatomy practical test today, on the brain and neuron. A practical is where the instructor sets up these stations around the room with a model, or picture, and you have to identify parts of it. I think they're a lot of fun. I did really well on the Skeletal one, and got a B on the Muscles one. Well, today, since we only have one more class before the final, the professor asked if we wanted her to run the scores right after we finished - of course! And I got a 95! That's awesome.

I was really tired after lab, and we were dismissed early. So I went to find Dr. Lansinger, our Chem professor, and asked her if it'd be OK to miss today's review. Since we're also reviewing tomorrow, and I have an A average, she said it would be alright. So I came home and we went grocery shopping.

Oh my dear - Anthony as Hedwig. I just can't picture it.

12/11/02
My prize for selling the most chocolate for the SNO fund-raiser was that I didn't have to take the shuttle bus to school today - I got to drive. Because I had six boxes of chocolates to pick up! Mom and I sorted them all out by who they go to, and we're going to go to the hospital to deliver all of the orders from her coworkers tonight. Lots of chocolate. I can't wait to eat mine.

We had our last Professional Relations I lecture and our last Nursing lecture today. All we have left in Nursing I is the last test, next Wednesday. Since I don't have to make up any clinical days, I have next Tuesday off. Yay!

It's really rainy and windy here. We're supposed to get a freezing rain tonight. I hope it doesn't freeze the roads too badly - we have two tests tomorrow at Middlsex.

And woo hoo - my "letter to the editor" was published in Time Out New York's latest issue. Go see my name in print!

12/10/02
Erg, it should not take me an hour to get to Perth Amboy. It usually takes me twenty minutes, so I leave at 7.45am to get to clinical early (we have to be there at 8.30am). This morning, I got to the Parkway entrance and saw that traffic was backed up to there, and wasn't moving, so I called Lori on her cellfone to tell her I would be late and could she pass that info on when she got there. I don't think I got past second gear on the entire drive. After getting off the Parkway (5 miles, 25 minutes), Route 35 was backed up, too, due to another accident, I finally go there, 15 minutes late, and didn't miss anything - they were still going over assignments.

Today in clinical, Dayna and I worked together on a patient who was on complete bed rest due to CHF - congestive heart failure. We had to do her entire AM care - full bedbath (my first) and lots of poop to clean up. Must learn how to breathe through mouth. We learned how to refill the bag that feeds her GI (feeding) tube, it gets pumped right into her stomach, and how to turn off the IV to disconnect it. I have to work on my upper body strength - turning this woman in bed was no easy task, even for both of us together.

Anyway, last clinical of the semester. I will not miss the cap.

Since Mimi seemed to be losing weight - she doesn't like to eat downstairs when Sheeba is around, we put a food and water dish up in my room, and now Mimi is just chowing away. I think that really helped.

12/9//02
Oh, I have missed the malls of New Jersey! We went to the mall to go to Macy's, where they had sweaters on sale. Did I buy any? No. But I did find a sassy brown newsboy cap, which looks great with the short hair (I need a haircut, btw). And in Penney's, I found the winter coat I've been looking for - black, calf-length, princess seamed. And as a bonus, a fur-lined hood. And on sale for $99. Love it. I also picked up the new winter smelly shower stuff from Bath and Body Works - Vanilla Something or Other Noel. It's delicious smelling.

One more week of school. I'm going into the Chem final with a 92 average. So if I get an 85 on the final, I'll get an A for the course. I think I'm going to get a B in Anatomy. Very ironic - that I'll do better in the course that I like least. And I think I'm going to get a B in pre-calc, depending on how I do on this next (and last) test on Thursday. Fingers crossed.

And I finally agree with one of Ben Brantley's reviews! He panned Dance of the Vampires and rightly so. It's a very humorous read.

12/8/02
Happy birthday, Tesse!

12/7/02
OK, NOW I'm done with my holiday shopping. And wrapping. No more.

I was up until 3am, talking with Josh on the phone and then to Jonathan via IM. My brain was going haywire, and I was about to fall over from tired-ness. So I slept in today, and did my gift-wrapping. The tree looks much more festive with a pile of presents underneath it. Genny invited me to a Christmas Eve get-together - it'll be sort-of-niece Isabella's first Christmas/Hanukah celebration. Should be a lot of fun, I haven't seen her and Mark in ages, and haven't seen the baby since the day I moved home and Jason and I stopped in to say hi. And after that, I'm heading to Dad's, since Mom works Christmas Eve.

later on 12/6/02
Snow snow snow. It's still all over the place. They said we had more snow yesterday than we had all last winter. So since we had to cancel classes yesterday, we ended up NOT having to take the A&P quiz, or have A&P lab or Chem lab this week. All done with labs. We started the last chapters of the semester in both classes. And we got our finals scheduled. Thanks to the wonder that is Middlesex County College, they overlap - A&P starting at 8am, and Chemistry at 9am. We explained to our Chem professor that we would all likely be late, as the A&P final is scheduled to run until 10am. So we got approval to "come when we're finished."

Drove to the city after work to see Medea with Tesse. Thanks to Jess who provided us with excellent (free) seats - we really enjoyed it! Before the show, we met up in Union Square. I did some last minute holiday shopping at the annual bazaar. They always have quirky shops, and I found a few things that I couldn't resist. After the show, we met up with Christine, last seen at la Boheme, for a drink at Marie's.

And to make my night even better, I heard from Josh! Wonder of wonders - I'd been leaving him emails sporadically, but he actually called, and is going to call back in a little while so we can catch up.

12/6/02
So it finally stopped snowing around 7pm last night. We got about 8 inches on the ground, with more where it drifted. Pretty cool. The roads are all clear, but I'll still be driving very slowly to Middlesex today. Yesterday, we walked to Stop-n-Shop to get the missing cookie ingredients. Much better than driving in the nasty weather. And we shoveled and swept the cars and made cookies. I was so tired that I took a nap after dinner. Woke up at 9.30 to pop a tape in the VCR for ER and then I went right back to bed.

12/5/02
Snow day! Now there's another perk of being back in school - it's closed today. So the two tests I had scheduled for today will have to wait! We're going to make cookies today.

12/4/02
OK, I have my flannel sheets. Let it snow.

later on 12/3/02
I just spent several hours talking to Jonathan. And I want to go down to Nashville to visit, but schedule-wise, it's impossible. Timing - it's everything.

12/3/02
So we spent our morning at the Sunrise Assisted Living facility in East Brunswick. I absolutely loved it. I didn't think I would, but it's not like geriatric nursing in the hospital at all. The residents there are up and about and lively. They also have a section for people who are "memory impaired" - Alzheimer's etc. That I really enjoyed, and I spent most of my time with the people there. It's a field that I never gave much thought to, but that's what we're here for, to learn about the different areas you can work in.

And I got a 94 on the last Nursing exam.

We got a mini-lecture about going and registering for our own classes. I think it's ridiculous - the school really has a control thing going on about that kind of thing. And there is no way I am putting my butt in a classroom at 8am three days a week. Nuh uh.

Oh, and I didn't get out of the Psych intersession for January. I was really hoping I could.

I heard a blurb on the radio today about students who play hockey in NJ. One or both of the students' parents will have to attend an anger-management class before their child can play in the games. The intro to the story was the quip about going to a fight - where a hockey game broke out. I think that's pretty funny.

Oh, and I must add - I am very proud of myself. I managed to drive from Tesse's apartment building in Jersey City back to the Holland Tunnel without ending up a) back in the city, b) at the Lincoln Tunnel or c) making circles around her parking lot. It's about time. Of course, I won't be able to remember how I did it the next time I need to know.

It's supposed to snow tomorrow. It's freakin' cold out.

12/2/02
So I got to school, and Lori told me that the Chemistry test is supposed to be Thursday, not today. She thought it was today, too, until she looked at her calendar. Well, no matter - the class was cancelled anyway, so we got out right after Anatomy. Danielle and I went over to the registrar's after class to register for the Spring semester, so that's all taken care of. Now I just have to save my pennies to pay for it. I'm taking Anatomy and Physiology II, Microbiology, and Pre-Calc II. Busy busy busy.

Please pray that the stock market continues to rise.

12/1/02
I am so tired. I spent the morning asleep, and then lounged around watching Mimi take a bath. That's how exciting my day was. We went over to Joan and Charlie's (Mom's uncle and his wife) for dinner. They're a trip, I love them dearly and always have a good time. But after dessert, I felt like I was going to fall asleep into my tea, so we came home, and I'm about to fall asleep.

We're supposed to have a Chemistry test tomorrow, but if our professor isn't back, I wonder if we will.

While doing a "vanity search" on my name over at Google, I came across another "Catherine Skidmore" who lost her husband at the WTC. It was very eerie to read her (my?) name.

-catherine

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