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5/30/03
A day of car accidents. The hospital is located on Ferry Road, between routes 9 and 18. I take route 9 to get there. So as I'm driving to 9, I hear on the news that there's a massive accident at route 18 and Ferry Road, closing all lanes and backing up traffic. And as I come towards the exit for Ferry Road, another accident right on route 9 happened in front of me. The one on 18 was pretty horrible - one of our students, who work in the hospital, was called to the ER and couldn't make clinical in the morning because she was tied up. Really a huge mess. We're talking major head trauma and person thrown from the vehicle.

And I suctioned a trach today, let me tell you how unenjoyable that was!

Today's bike ride: seven miles - to Cheesequake State Park and back.

5/29/03
Finally! A sunny day - the first in months, it seems like.

I went to see Master Harold... and the boys last night, starring Danny Glover. It was really, really well-done. I enjoyed it.

Today we had a half-day of classes, so afterwards I went to do my errands - talked to the supervisor on the second floor about scheduling, my CPR class, uniforms etc; then went up to Middlesex to drop my classes for the fall, since I won't need the insurance from there and I'd rather work; then to the mall to get my scrubs ("Carribbean Blue") and a new powder compact (since Dayna accidently dropped mine yesterday) and then home.

Things that are 100 this year: our nursing school, Bob Hope, and the Yankees. Pretty good company, if you ask me.

I bought a bike today! It's turquoise, because they didn't have it in pink. Heh. Rides nice, we went down to the bike path in Keyport and tooled around. And yes, I also have a stylish helmet.

Our neighbors (who have the sweetest little Corvette Stingray and I want it) have acquired a little yellow dog. Its name is Blondie, but I've renamed it "Killer" because it couldn't hurt a fly.

I'm trolling ebay for sassy cars that I want. Wah. (this one, too) (and honestly, this is my dream car)

5/28/03
Finally! An ID picture that doesn't suck. Dayna, Roseann and I went up to Perth Amboy after school to get our PCA ID cards done. Fingerprints, too.

5/27/03
Right, so Pittsburgh was actually a lot of fun. It took seven hours to get there, but only five and a half to get back. There must be a missing time zone somewhere - it takes six hours to fly to Seattle but only four and a half to get back. Something kooky is going on in the midwest.

Anyway, Tesse, Meredith and I had a great time - Tesse survived driving stick, the show was great, I bought a fabulous red slinky "opening night" gown for $25 in a consignment shop, and best of all - it wasn't raining in Pittsburgh!

Yesterday, I slept. All day.

Today the Yankees won.

Today was our first day on Med/Surg for our surgical class. Pretty boring day there, actually. There just wasn't much to do, and we were actually released early. After that, Roseann, Dayna, Dawn and I had our PCA orientation up in Perth Amboy. Most of it was info that we knew already, but it still lasted until 10pm. We get paid for it, tho. Have to go back tomorrow just to get our ID badge pictures taken (thank GOD they're not using the ones from our school ID!) and ask about scrubs and if we need to attend the "new employee" orientation, since the woman tonight told us we didn't. Also need to call Staff Development and sign up for the CPR class they're offering on the 11th. We need to be certified before the fall semester for school, and if we take the class through the hospital, as employees, we get paid for attending. I like this "get paid for going to class" concept.

5/25/03
And I'm back. And tired. The show was surprisingly well-done, and Anthony amazed me with his non-traditional performance. I really was apprehensive about it (and I told him so), but he pulled it off nicely.

later on 5/23/03
Best part of Bruce Almighty - Morgan Freeman wearing a Yankees cap.

5/23/03
Still tired! I had my bloodwork and physical done this morning, got home around noon, and promptly went back to bed. I just woke up around 7pm, and I'm still zonked out. After dinner, Mom and I are going to see Bruce Almighty, which got good reviews. And tomorrow, Tesse and I and her friend Meredith are off to Pittsburgh to see Anthony in Hedwig. Sure, seven hours each way to see 90 minutes of something which should be... interesting - why not? It's Memorial Day weekend.

5/22/03
I don't know why I'm so tired this week. It must be the weather - it's been rainy and cool for the past few days, and it's supposed to be like this until Tuesday at least. Ugh.

We had class this morning from 9 til noon, and after that, I came home and took a nap. Got up at 4.30 to take a shower and get dressed for the senior class banquet. It was a lot of fun, but I was just so tired through it. I left a little early, and I'm about to head to bed. Tomorrow I have to get up super early to be in Perth Amboy at 7.30am - we're having our blood work and physical exam done tomorrow. After that, I plan to come home and go right back to bed!

5/20/03
Cool, Dayna, Roseann and I had our meeting with HR today about working as PCA's in the hospital this summer. They told us that the job can indeed be carried over to the fall, which is super. And is has health benefits that kick in after 3 months (just about when mine will run out if I don't renew them). So I filled out the application and did a quick interview (with two people who know me through Mom, heh). We also set up dates for the physical and for orientation, which I need to remember to to put in my calendar - it's Friday and next Tues or Wed (they have to get back to us) and then the following Tuesday (to go over salary and benefits). That should be a lot of fun, even if it does put a kink in my "drive around the country" plans. But I could use the money, insurance and experience.

Tonight's reading is all about the perioperative experience and medications.

Our neighbors are throwing out this fabulous 70's-era furniture, including this neon orange and green printed couch. I kind of want it.

5/19/03
First day of surgical went well. We really didn't do too much, just orientation and a lot of definitions, most of which I knew already. It should be a fun month tho, we do eight days of clinical, four of them in the operating rooms at Perth and Old Bridge.

Tomorrow I have a meeting with the director of nursing at Old Bridge about working there as a PCA this summer.

I went to Michael Callery's memorial mass tonight. I'd never been to an all-sung Episcopalian mass before, it was a lot different than what I'm used to.

5/18/03
When bad theatre happens to good actors - our trip to Philly yesterday to see Raul Esparza in Green Violin. So bad... yet he is so, so good. But we had a fun time driving down, meeting Tesse's friend Mike, and eating cheesesteaks.

And I bought a pair of spike-heeled boots.

We also went - per my Micro professor's recommendation - to the Mutter Museum at the College of Physicians. What a cool place! All kinds of medical oddities, skulls, bodies and body parts. They had exhibitions on Lewis and Clark's expedition (only one man died on their trip), siamese twins (yes, Daisy and Violet were in there) and "When the Patient is the President" - including bits of John Wilkes Booth's vertebrae. We were humming Assassins tunes in that part. Plus they have bones with gunshot fragments in them, 200 year old amputation saws and the like. I was in heaven. Oh, we also liked the trays of "items removed from air and digestive tracts" - safety pins, buttons and the like.

Great news - Jeopardy is FINALLY holding an audition in NY! I signed up to be called for an interview - finally, my lifelong dream might possibly be one step closer.

Today's agenda: haircut and highlights, and then seeing Frog and Toad with Steve.

Ha! My friend Jonathan (from high school, way back when), sent this link about dating people who keep web logs. Very apropos.

later on 5/16/03
Well, the mechanical bull wasn't working, but even so, the Colorado Cafe was something out of Urban Cowboy - what a hoot. I met up with Lori and three of her friends, and then Dayna and Danielle from nursing school came and joined us. I've never seen so much line dancing in one place! We learned a few of the dances, and the best part was - tons of men in cowboy hats who knew the dances and were willing to teach us. I danced with three different guys who were all fantastic. I met a guy named Pete, who truthfully answered "yes" when I asked, "Are you a real cowboy?" No kidding. He's from Texas and is in NJ to escape his ex and to make money as a mechanic. How bad-musical can you get... anyway, sweet guy and I gave him my number. It really was a fun night, we have to go again.

Tomorrow I'm off to Philly to go to the Mutter Museum (lots of ancient medical instruments, yum) and to see Raul Esparza in The Green Violin with Michael and Tesse. It's 1am, must sleep.

5/16/03
Well, it was too cloudy to see the eclipse. And today there's gusty winds all over the place - the garbagemen didn't come by to pick up anyone's trash, so it's blown all over the street. I was just out there getting our trash cans back up.

Dude, Lori and I are going to the Colorado Cafe tonight to go line dancing. It's like a bad musical theatre week - they have a mechanical bull! I've got to go out and buy a pair of cowboy boots.

5/15/03
Don't forget - lunar eclipse AND ER season finale tonight.

I half expect Michael Crawford and some scary dancers to come out of the woodwork. I hope the clouds clear up.

later on 5/14/03
We had the SNO transition dinner for school tonight. Oddly enough, it was at the same restaurant that Erin and I went to two summers ago! Here I was, thinking I'd never been to Jose Tejas before, and as soon as I followed the directions and saw the place, I knew exactly where it was.

After dinner, I went to Riffy's in Woodbridge with Lori, Mike, Melissa, Heather, Mandy and Judy for drinks. Mike - the SNO pres-elect, who defeated me in the election - wanted to make sure there were no hard feelings (of course there aren't, he's a sweetie), and then asked me to help him run things next year. "You should have won," he said. "You're more well-rounded and more suited to this than I am." Part of me said, "Of course I will," while the silent part of me sat there thinking, "Why on earth did you run then??"

Next year on the SNO will be interesting. At least I'm on the board. And as I said to Mike, I will hopefully be so involved with the state and with Nursing Spectrum that the school-wide SNO won't matter all that much.

And oh, thank the lord, the subway fares have to be rolled back. Whee!

5/14/03
I've been so tired for the past few days. Maybe I'm anemic. Maybe I need to stop reading the nursing textbooks ;-)

Took the last nursing exam this morning, so I am all done with school. Until Monday, that is - that's when we start the surgical intersession. I'm really looking forward to that. I got an A on my Physical Assessment paper, too. After the exam, I went up to Middlesex to register for taking Sociology in the fall. That'll be on Thursday nights. Lori and I were looking at the requirements for the Associates degree in Health Sciences, and one of the courses you need is something called "Fundamentals of Public Speaking," so we signed up for that, too. That'll be Monday nights, and both classes look incredibly easy. And now that I'm signed up, I won't have a problem continuing my health insurance through MCC. That's all I wanted.

Old Bridge is hiring PCA's (nurses' aides) for the summer on the 3-11 shift. I'm going to apply, and if I get hired, instead of roadtripping, I'll wipe butts. I could really use the money.

Don't forget - lunar eclipse tomorrow night. You can check this site to find the times nearest you.

later on 5/12/03
Passed Micro with a C. I'm relieved. Normally, I am not a C student, but with the amount of work we've had this semester, plus being absent from Micro due to stomach thing and convention, I'm just glad that I passed the course.

My sore throat is back. Maybe it's SARS.

5/12/03
So my final grade in Anatomy is a C+ - not great, but not bad. And definitely passing. We took the final Micro test today, so I should have my grade tonight or tomorrow. I got an 88 on that take-home exam, and a 74 on the practical.

I also got my Nursing II evaluation today - they love me. Mrs. S. is thrilled with how well I do in clinical, that I ask a lot of appropriate questions and am always pushing ahead to look at and perform new things. Aww.

And congrats as expected to Take Me Out and its four Tony noms. And to Amour as well - I didn't expect it to do well, so I'm really happy about that.

5/11/03
They say that on a clear day, you can see forever. Well, on a foggy day like this, you can't see your hand in front of your face. Not that you'd really need to see your hand in front of your face, but you know what I mean.

Because I am the curse of Avenue Q, performances this weekend were cancelled. Tesse and I were supposed to go to the closing today, but that didn't happen. So we availed ourselves of our student ID cards and went to see Take Me Out instead. My 5th time, her 3rd, and it just keeps getting better. Tony noms come out tomorrow, I'm sure they'll rack up a bunch.

5/10/03
Who knew Trenton was so hard to find? Me. Even tho I got completely lost, I still made my meeting on time. I have to go to the next one on June 21st, too, because that's when I'll run for the state board. I'm going to run to fill the vacant PR position, which includes updating the website etc. Gosh, I hope I'm qualified ;-)

It's hard to believe, but in all the time I've lived here, I'd never been to Princeton. So on my way back from the hard-to-find student nurses' meeting, I called Tesse, who grew up there, to get directions to downtown. And right smack dab in the middle of downtown Princeton is the university, which I had (obviously) never seen. So I parked on Nassau St. and spent a good hour walking around the campus. I picked up a book on the architecture of the campus, and I want to go back when it's a little warmer and not about to rain.

Bath and Body Works flavor du jour: Vetyver. It's new, it's unpronouncable, and it's heavenly. I bought some today.

Today's reading, from the library: two fascinating books by William Chauncy Langdon, about early American culture - from building houses to settlers to furniture, from 1607 to 1870. I'm in the middle of the first book now.

After we get back from Williamsburg in June, we're going to look at kitties at the SPCA. Aren't they adorable? Go adopt a cat today. To get Mimi and Sheeba used to the idea, we're catsitting Tosca, Aunt Paula's cat, for a month while she's on vacation. Tosca arrives in two weeks, and I've been briefing our cats on her arrival. Oddly, Mimi and Sheeba haven't really said too much about it.

5/9/03
This weather just sucks. I'm feeling better, but not 100%. I called Steve, we're supposed to go see No Strings at Encores tonight, but with this weather and the fact that I have to leave for Trenton at 8am tomorrow, I just don't want to go. He said that's cool, since he saw an earlier performance and said it was one of the worst things he'd ever seen.

5/8/03
Sore throat, headache, phlegm, 12 hours of sleep. Ah, summer cold.

No classes at all today, which is great, because I don't want to get out of bed.

Tickets to Saturday night's Trenton Thunder baseball game are sold out. There goes my plan for stalking Derek on Saturday.

later on 5/7/03
Derek Jeter gets back to training tomorrow night in Trenton. I will be in Trenton on Saturday. Coincidence? Fate?

5/7/03
Happy birthday, Jen!!!

The Spectrum meeting and lunch was a lot of fun. Mrs. Berger and I drove in, making excellent time (once we decided to take the GWB instead of the Tunnel, due to massive traffic), and really enjoyed it. We met some other nurses and educators from NJ and NY, and there was delicious chicken and veggie lasagna (and cookies). I won a free t-shirt in one of their trivia contests, too, which is way too large for me and will probably collect a lot of dust or get slept in or something.

We got back to the school around 2.30pm, and I popped my head in to ask Mrs. F. about making up the quiz I missed today, so I'm going to do that on Monday when I go in for my clinical evaluation. Whew. Almost done.

In sad news, Amy found out that her mommy cat had Leukemia - and the kittens were becoming more and more dehydrated. Two of them died, and they had to have the others put down because there was no way to treat them and they were dying.

5/6/03
And how did I start the last clinical day of the semester? By oversleeping and arriving late. Mrs. S. didn't mind - I'd paged her when I realized that my alarm clock didn't go off, and she was cool about it. I also had a very easy patient today, nice way to end the semester. After clinical, we had an SNO meeting (last exec. board meeting of the semester) - I'll be staying on the board next year as a non-voting member, thanks to the Nursing Spectrum position. And then Lori and I went to Denny's for greasy food (stomach = not happy right now) and to study for tomorrow night's Anatomy exam. The semester is chugging to a close.

While I plan to be the "crazy cat lady" when I get older, I will not be quite this bad.

5/5/03
Happy Cinco de Mayo!

NewYorkish.com is selling "F**k Bloomberg" shirts. That's almost as good as the "2001 sucked" shirt that I saw a woman wearing last year.

5/4/03
I had the world's most-roundabout drive into the city last night. There was construction on the turnpike, so the traffic was shunted onto the western spur, and I missed the (not well marked) turnoff for the Lincoln Tunnel. I ended up going over the GW Bridge instead, which is a lovely drive at sunset. Instead of getting on the West Side Highway tho, I again missed the turn and ended up on Riverside Drive. So I followed that down to 95th Street and got on the WSH there. No more mishaps after that. I parked near Trisha's on 51st, since it's only $15 for any 24 hours, including overnight. Love it. Went to Marie's to see the usual suspects, and then crashed at Dad's.

Today was brunch for Jen's birthday - we met her very sweet boyfriend, Sean, and had a great time.

I feel really bad. I haven't watched ER in about a month.

5/3/03
A reminder that turkey makes you sleepy! All those tryptophans. We had a turkey loaf for dinner around 8pm last night, and I was dead to the world by 9.30pm. Oof. I woke up this morning to the sounds of a bulldozer next door, clearing out the tree roots and fence posts, in preparation for the blacktop driveway that our new neighbors are putting in. And now they're outside barbequeing and Mom is mowing the lawn, so it really smells like summer. All it needs is sunscreen and sweat.

I finished reading Stiff, a fascinating and hysterically funny (tho still reverent) book about what happens to the human body when it dies. I read an interview with the author a few weeks ago in Time Out, and when we saw it in the bookstore, just had to have it. Very fun read.

And now I'm off to work on my Micro take home exam.

5/2/03
According to Entertainment Weekly, The Two Towers comes out on DVD on Aug 26 in its basic format, with the extra bonus, extra material, "I can't get enough Gollum" edition coming out on November 18th. I'm clicking the "pre-order" button at amazon.com right now.

Oh, and check out the commentary satire from McSweeney's while you're at it.

5/1/03
Mom and I went to see Meistersinger at the Met tonight, but I was so tired that we left after the second act. I went into the city last night to meet up with my friends Dennis and Scott from Atlanta, and also with David Levy and Mark Bakalor from All That Chat and ratm. We went to Don't Tell Mama, the cabaret/piano bar in midtown, which was incredibly lame. The staff there knows they're performing for a tourist crowd, so it's really forced and not my scene. I much prefer Marie's where the people are at least there because they love it, and everyone sings. Even me!

Almost done with classes... just one more Micro lecture tomorrow, and then lab on Monday and the final the following Monday.

I've decided to spend the month of August driving around the country. There are a lot of places I haven't seen yet, and I have the entire month off. Our Chicago trip to see the new Sondheim show is I think the weekend of July 26th, and I'm free from whenever we get back until Labor Day, when school starts. Now to figure out where to go... so if you want me to come visit, email me now so I can draw a little map.

-catherine

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