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6/28/05
Happy birthday to me! And to Ngoc!

Back in school today for the review - today was Psych, which was a breeze for me. Tomorrow is the Mets game with Michael, Tesse and Melissa. We will ogle the third baseman.

6/26/05
Happy birthday, Derek Jeter! I celebrated by going to Aunt Barbara's to lounge in the pool. Now I'm all ready to watch you win. Right.

6/25/05
I wonder if I can buy the Yankees a new starting lineup on Ebay.

In other words, it's too hot to move. I'm debating whether or not to get up and shower and go to Duncan's birthday party. It's way too hot. But I have AC in the car. But I have cramps. But there will be food and drinks. It's a dilemna.

I can't wait to move to Vermont where it is cold and icy and snowy and brisk and cool all the time. ALL YEAR ROUND. Even in July. Now... how to win the lottery or hit it big in AC, there's the ticket.

What I really need to do is take this review class (starts Tues), pass the boards, get the job I want, put money in the bank, and look for property. I already have my ever-growing folder of clippings so I can put together the floor plan of my dreams. Just need somewhere to have it built and the funds to build it with. Sigh.

Maybe I'll have to win big in AC.

Or find some foundation that gives out grants to hyperactive, multitasking, well-educated, properly-punctuating, Jewish nurses. I'm sure one exists.

6/24/05
Ooh, the Mets have an adorable rookie third baseman. This makes going to the game next week nearly bearable, we'll be on the third base side.

It does not, however, make tonight's loss bearable. Even tho Derek and Tino both hit homers.

Less than a week til our Cooperstown/Niagara Falls trip.

6/22/05
You know how on summer vacations, all the time seems to blur together and you forget what the date is?

That really sucks when you're filling out applications and wondering what the date is.

6/22/05
It wasn't the brakes.

It started raining in the 7th inning, and you could almost hear Lou Piniella praying for more rain so the game would end while the Devil Rays were winning. Alas, it continued at a steady Jeter-soaking drip, and the DRays won anyway. Making up for last night's 20-11 ass whupping.

6/21/05
Back to the (summer) grind: took my car to get the oil changed and the engine tuned up, and to have them try and figure out what the tapping sound is when I accelerate. The mechanic said the words I never wanted to hear: "It might be something with the brakes." Oh, that's good. He's going to call and let me know after they've checked it out. Better not be the brakes, as I have no moolah and a trip planned for the Fourth of July weekend.

But what I DO have is another interview tomorrow.

And one Thursday.

And someone coming over later today who might want to buy the Dart and get it out of the backyard. Damn, no more white trash look.

6/20/05
Finally - time to breathe! And write!

I'm so glad Pete and Corrie were able to come out this past week (they go home in the AM). It meant a lot to me to have them here for two of the most special events in my life (to date). Gushing over.

So - Friday! Let me try and recap the conversion day. Of course, you'll have to imagine the laugh track, as Rabbi Stanway should be in a comedy club somewhere ("Now remember, we're Reform, so in the mikveh, you dunk twice, say the blessing, do a few laps, and dunk a third time." "We're not all going in the mikveh at once. We're Reform, but we're not THAT Reform."). So the five of us in the class had decided to do the mikveh and Shabbat service together. My class rocks. An incredibly intelligent (and funny, and witty, and amazingly good-looking) group. So we met up at the home of the woman with the mikveh (this being Reform, and being NJ, the mikveh doubles as a hot tub during the non-religious parts of the year). We changed into bathrobes, took one last non-Jewish picture (which was later enlarged to show to the congregation), and got ready to dunk.

Since we had a mixed-gender group, the women went first. The men turned their backs while the non-dunking women held up towels so the neighbors wouldn't wonder what was going on in the hot tub. We had our female witnesses present (and fully dressed, I might add!) to tell the Rabbi that we had dunked. So - dunk once, dunk twice, repeat the blessing after the Rabbi, and dunk a third time. Arise, like Venus on the half-shell (is that Kosher?) to wild applause, and wrap self in towel and robe. I got to spend extra time in the hot water as Alyson needed someone to hold her hearing aids so she could quickly re-insert to hear the blessing. It felt great.

So after we all were officially converted, we signed the (beautiful) certificates with our Hebrew names on them (mine is officially Chanah Rivka), which Rabbi Stanway kept until the evening service so he could present them in public.

Alyson and I came back to Matawan to shower and get dressed, and then we headed down to the Rabbi's house for a warm, funny and friendly dinner with the rest of the class. Mom, Pete and Corrie were able to join me since the Rabbi emailed that we could bring 2 or 3 guests to dinner. We made the tortellini salad (recipe to follow once Mom types it for me or I find it myself). After dinner, we wasted some time by driving through Ocean Grove and Deal and looking at all of the mansions. Good lord.

The service was outdoors at the synagoge, and the weather was perfect. No bugs. No humidity.

Met up with Dad, Ann, Tesse, Michael, Dona, Melissa and Graeme at the synagogue for the Shabbat Service. I am so glad to have such great friends in my life. None of them (or me, for that matter) understood a word of the service, but they all came down on the train to be there with me. It meant so much to look out and see them coming across the grass to meet us.

So - service went well. The five of us were all included in the Torah prayers, the lighting of the candles, the kiddush over wine etc. We all took part in the Reform text on conversion, answering the questions (do you accept Judaism to the exclusion of all other religions etc), and then we each read a part of the bible that related to conversion. I like that one of the bits that Alyson read was the verse from Ruth that Jen had at her wedding - "your people shall be my people etc" - which, yes, is a standard for conversion, since Ruth was a convert, but was even more beautiful at the wedding, when you read the text for what it is.

I digress.

Rabby Cy had each of us come up to do a two-minute speech (or "routine," as he put it) about why we were converting. Mine went something like, "I never have anything prepared to say. If I ever win a major award, I'll be the one on stage crying and forgetting to thank my mother. So thanks, Mom. I think this all started when I was a kid, and Dad would walk around the house humming, 'If I Were A Rich Man.'" - and after that, it was a blur.

Finished the service - and Mom turned around to point out that Aunt Tina and my cousin Jaimee had come in a little late. I went over to hug them as they weren't able to make the graduation. After the service was finished, everyone went inside for cake, coffee and more laughter. It really was a terrific night.

Melissa, Graeme and Dona had train trauma on the way home to the city. The NJTransit website somehow neglected to mention that trains to NYC do not stop in Elberon after 6pm. Melissa said that gets filed under "things I would have liked to know several hours ago" - no kidding. But everyone made it home safe and sound in the end.

And now I am Jewish.

6/19/05
Hey, I did it, I'm Jewish.

More details to follow, right now I need to slog through my email, which I haven't checked since Thursday.

Oh and Derek Jeter hit his first ever grand slam yesterday. What a week!

I'm craving Reese's Peanut Butter Cups - when am I not? Are they kosher?

6/16/05
And because I missed it yesterday - Happy Birthday, Duncan!

6/15/05
Where to start! I am all graduated, as they say. Of course, I still have to do the six-week review and then take the state boards in August, but the ceremony part is done. And it was beautiful. I had family and friends there (including TheCutestBabyInTheWorld(tm)), and afterwards, everyone came to the house for fantastic amounts of food, that Mom and Grandma really did a superb job putting together. It really, really was a special day.

Sexy picture to follow.

And in non-graduation news, Mom, Pete, Corrie and I went to see Santana/Los Lonely Boys at the Arts Center last night - I'm not usually a big concert-goer (and the first opening band was atrociously bad and headache-inducing), but once LLB came on, it was amazing. And Carlos Santana is still one of the best guitarists alive. I don't know who their lead singer was, but he was adorably handsome.

Yesterday, right up through the concert, it was about 90 degrees and 100% humidity. Corrie joked that it would be perfect if the round ceiling of the Arts Center suddenly started to spin like a giant ceiling fan. Today - thankfully - was about 15 degrees cooler and not so humid. I was worried about my hair collapsing (I had it blown straight this morning and then I pinned it up, looked great) and having to wear stockings, but the weather was forgiving and I survived. We set up the little pool in the backyard, too, altho it's supposed to stay this cool for the weekend (knock on wood) and we're going to AC tomorrow. That'll be a fun trip - Pete and Corrie have never been, and, well, Mom and I haven't been in at least two weeks. Mom's boss won $12K last week, so we're hoping her luck extends to us!

6/14/05
One day more!

Mom, Grandma and I are making little sandwiches and salads galore. Pete and Corrie are mid-air as we speak. I can't wait.

I can't wait for it to be February so I can complain about how cold it is!

even later on 6/13/05
I feel like a dealer. I procured an adorable black and white kitten for Melissa, and delivered him safely to Inwood. So cute - he and Fiyero spent a good deal of time sniffing each other's butts and taking swipes at each other. I'm sure Fi will adjust to having a little brother in a day or two. Little Nameless, having barely left the company of his own siblings, didn't seem fazed by Fi at all.

Amy has two others that need homes - both black and white, a girl and a boy (the boy looks like Hitle... er, Chaplin, with a little mustache). So cute. Email if interested.

Cat dealer. That's me.

later on 6/13/05
What? Michael Jackson not guilty? Come on.

6/13/05
God bless air conditioning. And God bless Melissa, who put up with me and Jen for the weekend. It was amazingly good to see Jen again, and we had a blast. Did some theatre, had some cider at the newly-reopened O'Lunney's (where Mr. O'Lunney was holding court and bought us a round!), and got to just hang out and have a good time. We won the ticket lotto for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and had enough seats so that me, Melissa, Jen, Dona, Edna and Liz (whose birthday it was on Saturday) got to go. And happy belated birthday to Matthew, who I ran into on the street and hijacked into helping us try for lotto tix.

Melissa decided she wants to get a companion for Fiyero (thereby heeding all of the advice from cat owners who told her to take two to begin with), and coincidentially, my friend Amy has a mom cat with three kittens at her house, so I'm going to swing by later on and scope them out for Fiyero-compatibility. She said they're already weaned and litterbox trained, so that's super. Fi will make a good older brother.

I can't wait for graduation. Grandma came down today, and Pete and Corrie are flying in tomorrow. We're making all kinds of food, since about 30 people are descending on the house after the ceremony on Wednesday. It's going to be a blast.

6/10/05
Did I mention that today is only a half-day of clinical? It's 6am, I'm on my way there in a few minutes.

I can't believe that this is the end of the year, it's flown by. In retrospect, that is. Three years ago, it seemed like this day would never arrive. Well, I'll save the sappy stuff for graduation. Maybe.

Anyway, off to clinical and then to the city to see Jen, who I haven't seen since her wedding!! That is also impossibly hard to believe, but the last few times she was here, I had to work, so we missed each other. They've reopened one of our favorite hangouts in midtown, O'Lunney's, so we're going to go there after catching a show.

6/9/05
One more day of clinical. One more day of clinical. One more day of clinical.

Graduation rehearsal was good - sweaty, but good. I can't wait for next week.

Today, Mom and I went shopping for conversion goodies - a tallit, Shabbat candlesticks and a kiddush cup. And (hee) I found a mezzuzah for my car. And then we came home and put the air conditioners in the windows. We're in the middle of a heat wave here. Three days in a row above 90 degrees. I'm glad we're really close to Cheesequake State Park, with their lovely lake. I could stay in there all day.

Footlight Records is closing in July. That's a bummer.

But the Yankees won last night.

And we had waffles for dinner.

Life is good.

later on 6/7/05
I finally saw the new Star Wars - and I have to say. I really liked it. I cried at the end, I'm such a sap. It was definitely the darkest of the three, and much better plot-wise than the earlier two. I do miss the "low-tech" aspect of the original trilogy, but this was thrilling anyway.

6/7/05
Sheeba and I got to visit the v-e-t today. She's been limping for a few days so I wanted to make sure she didn't have anything stuck in her paw. The vet looked her over and did some range of motion, and Sheeba winced a bit. So she got a steroid injection and I'll have to call again on Friday if she isn't any better. They can do x-rays to see if anything is out of place (tho I don't remember Sheeba falling or banging into anything). It might just be kittycat arthritis.

After the v-e-t, Mom and I went to Cheesequake to lounge by the lake. Man, that felt good.

And - trumpets please - today was the last "class" day of school. We do have two more days of clinical to go this week, and then, of course, the six-week review for the NCLEX, but no more "real" classes. Tres exciting. Tomorrow is class picture (in swanky uniform and cap) and then graduation rehearsal in the afternoon.

6/6/05
Oh, how I have missed Six Feet Under. Any show that makes me cry into my pillow rocks my world. I'm so glad it's back for another (final?) season.

Good interview in the city today, bad rush hour traffic coming home. Coupled with the thunderstorm and the blinding rain, there was nothing I could do but pull over at Ikea and swoon over room layouts and little candles in primary colors.

And! Melissa! They make a Leksvik bed frame. I want it, therefore you will want it, too.

later on 6/5/05
Norbert? Saw that one coming a mile away.

Bill Irwin? Didn't see that one at all. Or Piazza for best score. What were they thinking? Otherwise, not too many surprises, but not a very exciting telecast this year, even tho Hugh Jackman and Jesse Martin racketed things up a notch. And ah yeah, Al Sharpton.

Liev Schreiber winning? Norbert winning? Countless Light in Mike Piazza jokes? Stokes on the pre-show making it even hotter in the apartment? Priceless. Otherwise? Blah.

I think Melissa will revisit the "bring as many people as you want" rule until she has an air conditioner ;-) But despite the sweatiness quotient of the apartment, a great time was had by all. Fabulous hosting job! Adorable kitten!

OK, Benadryl kicking in...

6/5/05
Now this is summer weather! In the 80's, just a little humid, and a nice breeze to blow through all of the open windows. One of the things I love about our house is that it's always cooler inside - something with the way it's built. So I can sit outside on the lawn with my blanket and my book and my Diet Coke, and roast myself, and then come back inside and instantly cool off. It's a feeling that's hard to describe (so I won't).

OK - off to my last class with Rabbi Cy and then off to pick up Tesse and the rest of the crew for the Tony shindig.

6/4/05
I can't believe that school is almost over. I had my last week in my elective - the clinic - this week, and next week we're back on our regular med/surg floor for the last two days of clinical. Ever. I loved being in the clinic. The pace is hectic, but it really goes by quickly. And they were glad to have me there, which was a nice ego-boost. I'd love to work there, but they require two years of med/surg experience first, so it's something to work towards.

Tomorrow is the Tonys, and Melissa is having a party to watch them. Should be a blast, and I'll get to see the world's cutest kitten, and try to prevent any bloodshed between Dona and James. Not a real nurse yet! Can't clean blood out of carpet anyway! Heh. It'll be fine.

What is up with the Yankees? Can we lose any more games? We're only one game over .500, and jeez, we got swept by the Royals, of all teams. And could I be any lamer? I still haven't seen Star Wars. Lame lame lame. No time for love, Dr. Jones.

Today, in a nutshell:
What am I reading today? I just finished The Traveling Curmudgeon, flipped through the script of Take Me Out to find Denis O'Hare's fabulous "home run trot" bit, and have a to-read pile a mile high.

What am I listening to? The Yankees actually winning a game. Ha! Also the Hair OBC, wishing it were Raul Esparza singing "Hair" with those crazy high belting notes in the middle and the crotch grab. It's a visual one will never forget.

What am I watching? Nothing right now, was watching the game earlier. Now I'm watching the cats sleep on my bed. Three of them, anyway, Merry is off galavanting somewhere else.

What did I do today? Cleaned my room, did the laundry. Went shopping to try and find a jewelry box - would you believe that the only ones I found were chintzy girly ones? In the end, I picked up some fabric-covered drawer-separator-organizer things from Bed Bath and Beyond, and fashioned my own storage system here. It's swell.

-catherine

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