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10/31/02
Happy Halloween. The people who understood my costume loved it. The rest of them stared blankly and asked, "You're a what?" Freudian slip, people.

This vaccine thing is still driving my nuts. I got the prescription from my PCP, but the hospital pharmacy couldn't fill it. Employee Health says that as I'm a student, I'm not an employee, so they can't do it. Drugstores don't stock the rubeola vaccine. So tomorrow morning I'm marching back to my pediatricians, claiming "Screw the insurance!" and asking them to please, please jab me in the arm so they don't kick me out of school.

Either that, or finding a kid with measles to cough on me.

10/30/02
I won two fabulous hats on ebay: this one and this one. Love them.

I'm having the toughest time with my vaccinations. My measles (rubiola) titer came back negative, so I have to have the vaccine again. My PCP says they can only order the vaccine in batches of ten, and since I'm the only one who needs it, they won't do it. I called my former pediatrician, and since I'm 28, my insurance won't cover it. So I have a call in to the Monmouth County Board of Health to see if they'll do it. I've been trying to reach their nurse for the past two days and I keep missing her, so I asked the receptionist to have her call me when she's in. They'd better be able to do it - I need it done by next week!

10/29/02
Amour is closing on Sunday. That's a shame, I really enjoyed it. Michael and I are going to go to the last performance. It'll be a busy weekend - Aida (the opera) on Friday night, the entire family over for dinner on Saturday (this exempts us from throwing a Christmas dinner ;-), and then Amour on Sunday.

I love having a math class where we actually learn what things are for! In high school, it was just rote memorization of the formulas. This is so much better. Speaking of learning what things are really for, I'm reading a book called Lies My Teacher Told Me - about how history textbooks distort American history with regard to heroes (Helen Keller? Grew up to be a Socialist. Woodrow Wilson? Invaded Latin America 14 times in his two terms, and was defeated by Harding by such a wide margin of votes because he was that incredibly unpopular), racism, Native Americans and the like. I am loving it.

We were due to give bedbaths in clinical today, but my patient and Christine's were ambulatory and able to do their own a.m. care. So we changed the beds and then asked if we could help with anyone else, but there weren't any other patients to take care of, so she and I went to the lounge and practiced taking each other's blood pressures and pulses. That passed the time.

And thanks to Mom selling nearly $800 worth of chocolates for our Student Nurse Organization, I was deemed the highest seller - ever - the the 17 years that Mrs. H. has been running the SNO chapter at school. I asked if I could slack off on the rest of the fundraising ;-)

I've decided to wear a long white petticoat, with the word "FREUDIAN" written on it for Halloween. You do the math.

10/28/02
You know, being in Chemistry class is doing nothing to bolster my love of the subject. I just really wish we had some practical ways to see what we're learning. It's all rote memorization right now, and I can't do more than regurgitate the info. I'm not LEARNING it. I think Lori, Tierney and I are going to take Microbiology over the summer instead of this coming spring. That's a class that we're all interested in, and want to pay attention to instead of being overloaded with that and A&P II. So maybe I'll take a "liberal arts" course or two in the spring instead of Micro. I'll have to see when the schedules come out.

Mimi and Sheeba are having some kind of contest to see who can release more dander into my sinuses. I've been sneezing non-stop since I got home.

10/27/02
All I've done this weekend is sleep, read and clean the basement.

I want to go to Mackinac Island, where Somewhere in Time was filmed. It looks gorgeous.

There is an entire ebay category for hats. I am in heaven.

10/26/02
Happy birthday, a day late, to Josh. Who's somewhere in Berkeley.

One of the reasons I like having Chemistry lab on Friday afternoons is that we never really need the entire time period to do the lab, so we're always out early. Yesterday, after testing various household substances for acidity, I hopped in the car and drove to the city for the Jason Robert Brown concert. It was highly enjoyable, and I ran into nearly everyone I knew, including James, who brushed past me with nary a word. Well, we aren't speaking, so what did I expect. Afterwards, Tesse, Michelle and I went over to Marie's. I was waiting for Scott and Jessie to show up, as I had something for them, but by 2am they still weren't there, so I just headed home.

And slept until 1pm today.

Don't forget, we set the clocks back tonight! Extra hour of sleep! Which I will appreciate, as I spent a few hours today cleaning piles of dirt and dust out of the basement. I don't think it made much of a difference - it's empty but a mess down there.

10/24/02
Happy birthday to Lydia and Fred's new baby, who was born at 3.33am this morning.

And today, the Facts of Life crew visits Mount Rushmore!

later on 10/23/02
Whew - all the errands done.

I heard a rumor today that Amour had posted its closing notice (that wasn't true, btw), so I called Telecharge to exchange my post-dated tickets. So Michelle and I went to the show, and I really liked it! Malcolm Gets was terrific, and the show itself is charming and small and wonderful. I'm glad I went.

On the drive home, there was a car near the Holland Tunnel entrance that ran a red light, and then cut across two lanes of traffic to get ahead of all the other cars. I was happy to drive past it a few minutes later, as the driver was being ticketed by the cops.

10/23/02
Marie is sending me some of the new Irish stamps that have Bono and the rest of U2 on them. She is wonderful. I miss Ireland.

And Ngoc has been posting her series of Facts of Life pictures on her site. Yes, that's me as Jo and Jen as Blair (and Ngoc as Tootie, Keith as Mrs. Garrett and Trisha as Natalie).

OK, I am off to do my 101 errands.

10/22/02
Well, lots of caffeine later, I'm still awake. In nursing today, we did bedbaths etc. I got to be the "patient" and had my arms and legs washed by two of the male students in our class. No complaints here. We also went over how to make a bed and change linens while the patient is still in bed, and how to transfer a patient between the bed and a chair or between two beds. It's funny - everyone I know has offered themselves as a tester for my bedbath technique. I wonder where they'll all be when it's time to do catheters.

Since half of our class spent today in the skills lab, we have tomorrow off. Which is good, as I want to finish my muscle project for Anatomy, and the Professional Relations midterm. And take the Geo to the DMV to put it in my name, and switch the insurance, and balance my checkbook and get my hair cut and a million other things I need to do.

My pre-calc class tonight was cancelled, so I'm home now. And sleepy.

10/21/02
So after tonight's Sondheim concert, Amy, Michael, Carolyn and I went down to Marie's for a quick drink (I had one, I had to drive home). And the oddest thing happened. I sang the only song I sing - "Stars and the Moon" - and then I got my sassy hat and coat on and left. As Carolyn and I were standing outside, a guy came out of the bar and rushed over to me. I thought he was going to complain about my singing, but he gushed instead - about how well I sang it and how well I acted it, and I must be an actor because I did so well with it. I was flustered - I've never been so profusely complimented before on my singing! My singing! I can't sing at all, but apparently I'm getting better. It was a very cool moment.

OK, it's 2am, and I need to sleep - tomorrow is bedbaths in school.

10/20/02
Another Sunday night, another chunk of nursing stuff to read.

I took the train in yesterday to meet Steve for Dance of the Vampires, which reminded me of something I should be seeing in London - the level of well-produced cheesiness is someone I've only truly experienced there. There's so much talent, such good production values, but somewhere along the line the show just doesn't work. Not that we didn't enjoy it for what it was, but man, it was so bad. So bad that it was good. As I said to a few friends, it was like Rocky Horror-meets-Cats-meets-Bat Boy with Michael Crawford starring as Liberace-meets-the Rum Tum Tugger. Eep.

Saturday night we went to see John Barrowman in concert up at Lincoln Center. There was free wine, I was happy. And I ran into Wayman from TalkinBroadway, which was nice. JB has a really great voice, but he seemed a bit too "performer-y" for me at times. He sure is nice to look at tho, he's very easy on the eyes. Except for the checked shirt with the pinstriped suit. John, let me dress you! I went down to Marie's for a drink after the show, and met up with Michael and Biff and Tesse et al. You'd think we were regulars. I didn't stay too late because I was yawning all over the place and had to be up at a normal hour today. I played a bit of phone tag with Dave Gochfeld - we've been trying to get together when I'm in the city, but he's been spending a lot of the weekends in Princeton or with his grandmother. So we didn't get together this weekend, but maybe next time I'm in the city.

Got up early today, read the Times and drank all of Dad's OJ, and went up to see Aida. Finally got to see Schele Williams as Aida, and Matt Bogart was on again as Radames - he's growing on me. At least in that part. We still walked out of his Carousel at intermission.

And now I'm home, and must read!

10/18/02
I really like it when we walk into Chemistry, and Dr. Lansinger says, "OK, we'll take an hour for this quiz, and then you can go home." So I finished the quiz in twenty minutes and went home! Actually, I sat in traffic for anothe 40 or so, so it all balanced out.

We went to IKEA today and bought my bookcases. And a funky mirror. And a new dining room table and chairs. And some Christmas decorations. And... it's not as if we needed anything - IKEA just does that to you. Sucks you in. It's a dangerous place. So I put together my two new bookcases and started to load them up. It's amazing how much more room there appears to be in my room now.

10/17/02
And the A's keep piling up - a 94 on the A&P lecture exam, and a 93 on the lab practical (the bones). We started going over the muscles today in lab - it looks a lot harder than the bones, but I'll get through it. I did the chart I need for the muscle project tonight, that's half done now. I have to finish going through my newly purchased "Iron Man" magazine to clip out pictures and identify the muscles, and then put it all together. I also did some work on the Professional Relations midterm. I have one more essay question to answer and then I need to go edit the whole thing. She said that grammar counts, so I rewrote one of the questions, which was phrased ungramatically. It ended in a preposition. I hate that.

And tonight I had a pre-calc test. I think I did alright on it. Better than the last one, anyway.

Next week in nursing, we have a day off - I go in on Tuesday to do my skills lab in bedbaths and making beds, and then I have Wednesday off, so I'll use that time to finish up the muscle project and midterm.

Mom and I went up to the Short Hills mall yesterday to do some Christmas shopping. We got this cool catalog from a store called Chiasso in the mail, and wanted to check out their store. As usual with Christmas shopping, for every gift I found, I bought myself two things. Whoops. Mom bought me this funky set of lamps for my room, but I can't have them until Christmas. I have to go to IKEA (either tomorrow or next Wed) to get another short bookcase that matches my tall ones - I rearranged some things in my room so now I have more space. And I have books piled up everywhere, so I can sure use the extra shelves!

10/15/02
Let's see... I got an A on my first nursing exam (complete with a "well done!" sticker). And we were given the take-home Professional Relations midterm, due back in two weeks. That week of Halloween will be another tough one - the Anatomy muscle project is due, the PR midterm is due, and we have a quiz on vital signs terminology in Nursing.

Oh, Peter and Corrie are buying a house in Seattle - another excuse to go visit!!

Tonight in pre-calc, we started to go over complex numbers, which are also known as imaginary numbers. So I told the professor about the scene in Proof, where Hal is talking about the math-geek band that plays a song called i (imaginary number) where they just stand there for three minutes and don't play anything. Hee. Math joke.

And it must be a special event or something - Mom turned the heat on in the house! And it isn't even January yet! We spent the afternoon last week bringing in all of the lawn furniture etc and rolling up the hoses in the yard... getting ready for winter.

10/14/02
Ah, Monday. We have no classes today because it's Columbus Day, and I'm really happy about that. Yesterday was a long day! I stayed at Tesse's all weekend, she has a huge and gorgeous apartment in Jersey City, and two very cool roommates. We went into the city on Saturday to do the Rent lottery for Jen and Leany. We lost (figures), but had the standing room that Kenny set aside. So Jen and Leany took those, and Tesse and I went to look for another show to see. Since it was a holiday weekend, nearly everything was sold out, and the line at TKTS was huge. And it was raining, too. We took the subway up to Lincoln Center, with the idea of hanging around at the library there (we had to meet Jen after Rent for dinner, so we didn't want to just leave). We stopped in at the Newhouse theatre tho, and managed to get two cancellation tickets for A Man of No Importance - and I loved it just as much the second time.

Here's a tip - the NYPL at Lincoln Center has free internet access. Just so you know.

Dinner with the gang at John's Pizza, and then back (in the rain) to Jersey City.

Yesterday, Michael came by at 8.30am, and we drove down to Baltimore with the idea of seeing a production of Parade in this tiny theatre. Well, it was sold out, so we put our names on the waiting list. When the woman at the box office heard we had driven the 3.5 hours from NYC, she bumped us up on the list and we got in. Right down front, under the monitor speakers, but we were in. I actually enjoyed this production (except for the pre-recorded karaoke-esque music! no orchestra!) more than the Broadway one (which I hated). This was just directed much better, and the cast was amazingly talented. Tesse knew the actor playing Leo, so we talked with him after the show for a bit, and then hopped back in the car to drive home.

No one was hit by a sniper while we were there. Whew. Anyway, the drive back was uneventful, and we drove right into the city for a drink at Marie's before heading home. The only trauma of the evening came after we dropped Michael off uptown. We were getting back on the west side highway, and the combo of that weird turn to go south from 96th, plus the drink at Marie's, and my lousy night vision, and we drove up on the curb at the fork in the road. No damage to the car or to me and Tesse, but it was pretty freaky. And then we got lost trying to get back on the southbound highway. Whoops. Eventually we made it, and I dropped her off back at her apartment and drove back to Matawan. So it was a really long day, lots of driving, and I'm glad we have off today, because I'm tired and am planning to do nothing at all.

Of course, the big decision for today is: do I go ahead and work on my pre-calc homework, and get a start on my nursing workbook assignment (due next month), or do I dive into the pile of books that I have waiting for me?

10/11/02
Ugh, it's pouring down rain, and it's supposed to be like this all weekend.

Heard back from Kenny about our tickets for tomorrow, that's all set. And I've reloaded my cd-holder with showtunes for the drive to Baltimore and back.

And on that note, I'm off (in the rain) to Tesse's.

10/10/02
I had a dream last night that I was about to die in a nuclear explosion. I was looking out the window, and saw this flash of light about a mile away, and realized that I was about to die. I dreamed a whole lot of other interesting things, but that's the only part I can remember in any detail. So I watched the news today, to see if anything was getting blown up.

I think I aced the lab practical. It wasn't that hard, just identifying bones and parts of bones. Not bad at all.

And I got an A on the last Chemistry test - keeping my average at an A. It goes to show you that cramming in all the info right before the test really helps! Seriously, I'm asking a lot more questions in class, and I feel like I'm retaining the material better now. This past week was so hellish school-wise, with the four tests and so much new material to learn, but I feel like I'm getting a grip on it.

This week in Anatomy, we start the muscles. There are so many of them.

I want to go on to college after I get my RN diploma to get my BSN degree. I was looking at Kean's website (the college of choice for nurses in Central NJ) to see what other courses you have to take, and they're mostly liberal arts-y type classes. So I'm going to see what I can take at Middlesex over the summers, so I can get those transferred. I just really want to be in classes where the people actually want to be there. I was talking with two other people in the class at lunch today, and I was so happy to reaffirm that I'm not the only one bothered by the people who are all chit-chatty during class etc. But yeah, I want to study with people who are also dedicated. There's a time and a place to goof off, but during class, I really want to learn. I'm loving all of the classes (except Chemistry, yeah), and I think they're only going to get more interesting.

OK, non-school stuff. I mailed the letter that Jen and I wrote to our landlord - the one about why we're expecting the rest of our security deposit back. With the vague threat of small claims court, I expect a quick answer.

I'm going to drive up to Tesse's in Jersey City tomorrow after school, and leave the car in the lot near her apartment until Sunday morning, when she, Michael and I are driving to Baltimore to see Parade. Saturday, I'm meeting Jen and Leany for the matinee of Rent (insert comment here about not hearing back from Kenny re: the tix he was supposed to have reserved for us), and then crashing at Tesse's Sat night so we can get up bright and early to go.

That's about it. Sheeba is downstairs meowing at something, and Mimi is in the bathroom up here, drinking water out of a paper cup. I fill one up for her and leave it on the sink every day, since she was licking the water from the faucet and from the walls of the tub, which is really pretty nasty. So now, every morning, she jumps on the sink and looks up at the medicine cabinet until I open the cabinet and get her a cup. So cute.

10/9/02
Our first nursing exam wasn't nearly as tough as I'd been expecting. I'm either really well-prepared for all of my tests so far this year, or it isn't as hard as I think. I also got a 100 on the first nutrition quiz. Tomorrow is our A&P lab practical exam, on all of the bones.

I have so little patience with the people who sit in class and talk and pass notes. If you don't want to be there, leave.

I cooked dinner tonight. No, really, I did. And no one came down with ptomaine poisoning. While it's usually easier for me to pick up the phone and order in Mexican, I can't really do that in NJ and with only $5 in my wallet. So I made burritos - we bought the ingredients at the big huge Stop and Shop yesterday. And they were delicious. If anyone else wants to make them at home - here you go: Make rice. I like yellow rice. Cut up some chicken breasts into little chunks. Brown them. When they're brown, throw a packet of "burrito mix spices" into the frying pan (we found those in the eponymous "International" aisle at the store). Also throw in a cup of water and a can of refried beans. Boil. Simmer for ten minutes. Take a spoon and pile some rice onto a tortilla. Put some of the chicken and beans mixture on top of that. Add chopped up tomato, lettuce, cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream on that. Tuck in the top and bottom of the tortilla, and fold the sides over to make a little pillow-shaped thing. Don't be like me and overload the tortilla tho, or you'll need a fork instead of just your hands.

Delicious.

Speaking of delicious, Tino Martinez is playing for St. Louis right now on my TV. Mmm.

10/8/02
After thirty years, we finally have a new fridge! It's sparkly and white and clean, and makes the kitchen look much bigger and cleaner. I love it. It has the fridge part on the bottom, instead of on the side, so I told Mom I'll be having lots of back pain from stooping.

The Chem test yesterday wasn't as horrid as I'd expected, but I also spent the two hour lunch before it cramming acids and bases and solutions into my brain - the info, not actual acids and bases. That would have made the test much more interesting.

Funny story: class president. Over the weekend, the stepfather of one of our classmates died - she called me to let me know. So Tierney and I are walking out of Anatomy, and we run into Shannon - the class president. She asks us if either of us is on the grievance committee. I said, "Yes, I am, why?" and she explained that Lori's father had passed away and maybe I should get a card from the class. It took Tierney and I about five minutes to process that one.

Today was clinical in the morning, lots of fun. Since there's a lot of "stand around and wait" time, I asked one of the nurses if I could shadow her while she did meds, and she said yes. So instead of twiddling my thumbs, I got to see more of the process there. Pretty cool. My instructor told me later that she's happy to see me showing so much motivation.

I have become cousin Matt's email-based Algebra tutor. If I'm lucky, I can stay one step ahead of him. I feel like I've regressed - cousin Sara is studying the cell in her biology class!

10/6/02
In the bad news department:

But in the good news department:

What else... I met up with Jason Marshall today to seea production of T. S. Eliot's The Cocktail Party, which was four hours long. Four hours too long, if you ask me. I was going to go and see Funny Girl at the Film Forum with some of the Marie's Crisis regulars, but the play ran too long for me to go. Bleh. Other than that, not much new. Tomorrow is the Chemistry test, and then I have tests in Nursing, Nutrition, and Anatomy Lab coming up this week as well.

10/4/02
Ha, how cool was that - Dr. Carter using the pain scale! "On a scale of 1 to 10, with ten being the worst pain, how do you feel?" We have to do that, too.

I'm off to see Andrea Chenier tonight at the Met, and then I'm staying over at Dad's until tomorrow or Sunday. Back then.

10/3/02
Good lord, I have never physically heard my brain click off before, but it happened right in the middle of Chemistry today - when she started droning on and on about alkanes and alkenes and alkynes... I distinctly heard a click. We have a test on Monday that I'm not looking forward to.

Anatomy, however, I'm still loving. I've got an A average so far (come to think of it, I have an A average in Chem, too, but that may change with the next test). Tomorrow, we have our first lecture test in Anatomy - I need to review the chapter on different types of tissues. Lori and I are getting together tomorrow morning before the test to study together. That's really been a big help.

And other than that, nothing is new. I'm just tired. We were joking today that none of us know what's going on in the world, since we haven't had time to look at a paper or watch the news! Seriously, I had no idea there was this huge hurricane heading towards New Orleans until I read my friends' LiveJournal pages. As Jen put it, only Missy could move from one city of falling buildings to another.

Ooh, and new ER tonight.

10/2/02
Dude, Les Mis is closing.

10/1/02
Man, am I tired. Last night I drove to the city to see the Merrily We Roll Along reunion concert. It was fabulous, and I ran into zillions of people I knew. Well, about twenty. We had a really good time, and then I went down to Marie's for a quick drink with Scott and Jessie. Well, two quick drinks. I got home at a fairly decent hour, but I had to get up at 6.30am this morning so I could get to Perth Amboy for my clinical this morning. And I am not a morning person. Ugh.

Clinical was fun, if slow. There are nine people and one instructor in our group, and the instructor has to be with you when you're with a patient, so there was a lot of sitting around and waiting. I managed to find the pulse and get the correct BP on the first shot, that made me happy. And in the downtime, we all looked through our patients' charts, to get an idea of the paperwork (and what doctors handwriting really looks like - scary).

After that, we had an hour for lunch and to get back to the school at Old Bridge, as we had an afternoon class. Professional Relations. I don't like the teacher. I think most of the class was falling asleep - everyone seemed tired after clinical.

It's that time of year again - when the Yankees start to kick the ass of every other team in the league. Which means more Derek Jeter on TV for me. Mmm. I've tuned in the little TV in my room, via the antenna (no cable here!) so I can watch while I'm reading or typing.

Tomorrow after nursing school, I have to go to Wal-Mart and have them check my glasses prescription - I think something is off, because, well, I can't see. Things are still blurry, and I'm getting mild headaches and squinting a lot. Must fix.

-catherine

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