Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Boredom spurs more updates

I came down with sudden chills and fever on Monday afternoon, followed by a bit of abdominal cramping and backaches. By Monday night I was in the ER on physician’s orders. I was discharged a little after midnight. As soon as I got there, I felt a bit out of place. Everyone was sick there…really sick! One poor guy had a bump on his forehead the size of a golf ball! It was like another little head. Plus New York City ER’s are also filled with lots of homeless street people. I pushed to get discharged and the doctor on call thought it’d be fine with some antibiotics. Tuesday morning, I had a higher fever and more cramping. 8:30 am I called my doctor who told me to go to the hospital again. Soon after, I called Hunie in tears. I’m not a good sick person. Actually, I’m a bit of a wus. An hour later, I held his hand and soothed his discomfort while the doctors drew blood and inserted an iv. He looked blue – like a smurf. It made me laugh. He’s a bit of a wus too but the kind of wus that will stay with you through sick times despite his wusiness. These are the obligations of friendship.

Jenn came by a little later and stayed through the afternoon. She made me laugh more and comforted me the way only an older sister can. With lots of candy, love, and even more candy. She knows the not so secrets of my heart. An apple martini would have been the cherry on top, but a gal can only ask for so much.

Anyway, my phone has been ringing non-stop from sweet and caring souls. And it’s really been wonderful speaking with everyone. One good thing about being trapped in a hospital is that I have all this time to catch up with old friends. The bad thing is that I feel trapped. My doctor came in this morning and despite my pleading, refused to discharge me until tomorrow. I even gave her my bambi eyes. People – I said BAMBI EYES and she still said, “no”

All in all, I have no idea what’s wrong with me and I don’t think the doctor’s here really know either. There seem to be two sides – doctors who think I didn’t need to be admitted and my own physician and her team who seemed to think it was absolutely necessary. I mentioned that to my physician and she scrunched her nose and said, “They don’t really know what they’re talking about. Just listen to us. We do.” Oh. Last night, another resident told me that “chances are, we’ll probably just fix you up, send you home, and never know what’s wrong with you.” Oh. Again.

Anyway, for those in close contact with my mother. Please keep mum of this incident. I don’t feel the need to alarm her and besides, who really needs another two hour lecture on God’s “way” of telling me that I don’t pray or read my Bible enough?

hospital ho-down

The dance: I finally feel like a normal person. But tell me, how normal is it for a patient to be walking around in a hospital gown, her little behind exposed to the world - so uncaring (both me and my little butt), trailing an IV unit attached to one arm, and holding both my phone and laptown in the other hand looking with wide eyes for a possible internet connection? I ran into one of my doctors in the hall way. She asked me what I was doing. Sheepishly I replied that I was looking to check my email so that I can get some work done. Earlier she came into my room and I had reports lying all around my bed. She looked at me, blinked, and laughed, "You do realize you're in a hopsital right? Work on getting better."

Saturday, November 26, 2005

2 white gals in a Korean bath house

The last time my sister and I went to the bath house, we asked our dae-scrubbing ladies if white people can be dae-mi-luhed (a super, duper exfoliation - Korean style). She looked at us in mild amusement and replied, "Of course." I brought two friends from work to see. They stand above in their pink, King Suana jams as my living proof that indeed, white people can be dae-mi-luhed.

My day began with a six am wake up call to finish a report. I rolled over and hit snooze for the fifth time that morning. Lately, I've been having a really diffacult time getting motivated to go through yet another day in my life. I dragged myself up, made a cup of coffee, and sat down to write my report. By noon, I actually moaned thinking about having to meet my friends at King Sauna for their first Korean bath house experience. I just wanted to crawl back into bed until my appointments later that evening. Regardless, I went. In fact, I was excited about it just days before.

As I was driving over the George Washington Bridge, I started thinking, "hmmm...Carla and Carly are two girls I waitress with. We're not that close and - we're going to be naked together. I wonder if that'll be wierd?" And for the first few moments, it was a bit strange. We took off our clothes and did that whole pretending we're not naked thing by looking straight into each other's faces, never looking down. Fortunately, we're naked people. We got over it pretty quick and soon started commenting about the different tattoos everyone had - well, minus me. And when they decided the first hot tub was simply too hot, I laughed at their rosy butts as they scurried away to the next herbal bath. Then it came for the body scrub and massage. We lined up on our matts as our bath attendents began scrubbing us down. For those who have never experienced a Korean dae-mi-luh...well, it's diffacult to describe. It's an intense exfoliation where layers of skin literally roll off your body leaving you softer than you've ever been before. I kept hearing Carla exclaim, "Is that my skin?" then quietly mutter, "wow, I was really dirty before. I feel gross." This caused me to giggle.

All in all, it was a day much needed. We went into every stone suana room and came out laughing, having burned our feet by not stepping on the appropriate mats. I came to school glowing. A co-worker looked at me and said, "You're happier than I expected you to be." I know. I just had another King Sauna experience. Any other takers?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

gobble, gobble goo

As we passed the turkey with its pear and cranberry chutney, Raul looked at me and asked, "Did your family have Thanksgiving dinner?" I took another giant swig of wine - a yummy, yummy Moscato wine from California - and replied "Of course. Jennifer always cooked it". I looked around at all the food: the sausage stuffing made with a fresh sour dough loaf my sister cut and toasted over night, mashed potatos, organic corn and string beans, beets she roasted just a few minutes before dinner, and the yummiest apple and pumkin pies - complete with that slightly lopsided crust that screamed made with homemade lovin'. It's amazing how much my life has transformed from my childhood days of Hungry Jack spuds and extra helpings of Stove Top stuffing. I laughed and told Raul, "Thanksgiving dinners were just like our Mexican dinners. Straight out of a box and can. mmm. I've had some great memories with Taco Bell or Ortega family dinners." Raul made his stink face.

I am an avid complainer of life. People often mistake this for my complete and utter misery. Okay, it's true. This year, I have felt caged in with one obligation after another, but in truth - somewhere deep down, I still hold on to that little part of me that still gives so freely to living or at least still wants to. And that's important. I've recently changed my mind about one thing - no way in hell am I going after a professorship when I'm finished with school. I'm just not built to be so career oriented anymore. Earlier this year, I questioned whether I wanted a family or children even. Jenn scoffed. Raul raised his eyebrows. But older sis' know best. As Andres and I made our way through Soho yesterday, he gave me eyes that read, "how can you not want a me of your own one day?" And I kissed him all over his pudgy belly as he screamed and grabbed at my ears. I think the people sitting next to us were less amused.

Over dinner today, Raul commented that the day I have them over for Thanksgiving dinner will be Jenn's happiest day. And for the first time, I could actually picture little beccups running around with even more little Guttierez's. And in this silly heart of mine, I really wanted it. Of course, it will all have to wait a few more years. I have some partying in me yet - Not to mention another three years of complaining about student life. Poor Jenn and Raul. Thanksgiving hosts for another few years. And for this and all their never-ending support, I am most grateful for. Without all the loving ears of my family and friends, my complaints would sit with me and turn my soul into an icky mess. Thanks.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Lunch with two lovely dates

Monday, November 21, 2005

smallish sort of world

Yesterday I ran into a girl I thought I knew. Right before I was about to jump up and say, "hey!" I realized she was an actress I saw in a play a few weeks ago. She wouldn't know me the same way. I'm just audience. So I just walked by. Still, the world felt small.

On Saturday night, Hunie and I went to his friend's wedding. Dave was getting married. And as I stood there after the ceremony - smiling and congratulating everyone (like the pro that I am now) I saw Sharon, my freshmen year bible study teacher. We went over to each other, politely hugged, and smiled. She asked if I was with the bride and when I replied "no" - she looked suprise and asked, "how do you know my brother?" Weird. I vaguely remember her telling us about her two older brothers. I never thought I'd be out drinking with them into the wee hours of a Manhatten morning. She is exactly as I remember her. I wonder what she thought about me. See? The world is small.

Since all things come in three's, so my sister says, here's another one. Courtney called me in the morning with that i'm-so-hungover-only-slept-three-hours voice and said, "I have a story that you'll definately appreciate". It began with a glass of champagne in mid-town and progressed through a quick rush uptown to meet up with friends. In a sheepish voice, she said, "I wasn't drunk or anything but for some reason, I got flustered and took a left - heading south on Amsterdam." I replied, "That's funny, since Amsterdam runs uptown." She screamed, "I didn't know what to do so I started inching my way up to the next block facing all this traffic and then all of a sudden, the cops turned on their speakers and asked me to step out of the vehicle!" And as she readied herself with tears (a gal's best aliby against a big burly policeman), she heard, "Courtney? What the hell are you doing?" The cop was a guy she was hooking up with this past summer. Actually, that was her best aliby. My favorite part of the story - she was truly confused when the cops first turned their sirens on. She thought, "Who me?" That's my chica living in our little world.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

a dream weaver's mind games

When Grace gets stressed, she has nightmares. She calls, "I had a dream that a monkey was chasing me naked through the jungle! What does it mean?!?!" And I always reply with a laugh, "You're stressed." I gave up twenty billion nightmares ago trying to intrepret them for her. On the other hand, I don't often remember my dreams. Especially lately. But I've figured that one out. I have to actually sleep in order to have dreams. And sleep has not come so easily for me. But when I do dream, I have these vivid dreams that always freak people out. The next time you see me, remind me to tell you about the dream I had about my mother and her talking face.

So, I had three dreams last night and here they are in chronological order, but first a little pre-note. Sometimes I play a character in my dreams, which are scripted. I know I'm not really this character but feel everything that happens to her (sometimes him) and I know what I'm supposed to do and what is going to happen. And no matter how horrible the ending, I never fight it. I just follow exactly what I'm supposed to do. I'm afraid but strangely ambivalent at the same time. And this is where the first dream begins.

I'm a Latino transvestite running through this school, which is built like a warehouse. There are a few other students running around as well and we're all looking for a hiding place because this gang has come in making violent threats. I know they're here to kill some older, white man and that I'm supposed to witness it. I come to an empty room with four bare, white walls. And against one wall is a single cabinet, which I run into. The second I close the door, the gang comes in dragging the older, white man they're here to kill. They sit him down and taunt him, occassionally hitting him in the face. Then the leader of the gang bends over and bites him in the neck, ripping out his flesh. And as he's bleeding, they open the cabinet and throw him on top of me. After a little while, they open the door to make sure he's dead and instead of the man, they find me. But they don't realize it's me because I'm covered in the older, white man's blood. I stare at them as they start laughing and poking me to make sure that I'm dead. After they leave, I run to the bathroom and wash up. There I make a friend with a blond girl.

Cut to dream number 2 where I'm on a bus heading home from a church retreat, staring off into a field. I'm in highschool at the time. I notice a cheetah and gasp. A cheetah! Then comes a big black bear and they start to fight. Cheetah and Bear fighting. Out jumps a lion and the three start rolling around gnarling at each other, and snapping big scary teeth. The next thing I know, they stumble onto a child's playground filled with people. And right there, man, child, cheetah, bear, and lion fall into a big giant mess of fighting. I scream and call my pastor, who merely shrugs his shoulders.

And the only thing I can say about dream number 3 - well, x-rated material should be kept off this blog.

So what does it mean...what does it mean??? I wonder if it has anything to do with the phone call I received at 2:17 am from Eric calling me because "I just have to go dancing. I just have to!" or from Courtney and Lara who called thirty minutes later screeching into the phone, "Wake up - come out!" I believe my exact words were, "I'm hanging up now. I will call you both in the morning." Who the hell knows.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Post Party Pictures

Weddings are an obvious reason to celebrate. I have a few photo's from Unha's bridal shower. A bit late, a bit bad, and a bit blurry. I think there was a point in the evening when I didn't even notice how blurry they got. Isn't that a good indication of a good time?

Friday, November 11, 2005


I called my sister in tears – yet again. This year is slowly killing me and I keep telling myself that it will get better. I have the most fascinating patients but not the most supportive supervisors. Yesterday, I got ‘yelled’ at for a report turned in late – yet for the life of me, I can’t figure out how it was late. I know I put the report in his box on Thursday. He knows he received it on Monday. I didn’t come to school on Friday or Monday. No matter. I’m wrong even when I know I’m right and there is simply no room for debate. I keep making mental lists in my head of what not to do when I am a supervisor one very long day from now: Leave room for debate – our field is open to so much ambiguity, there can never be one right way, smile, don’t sleep with cute interns, never call someone a failure, make jokes but not too many because it can get annoying, sleep with cute interns, - wait no, don’t sleep with cute interns, don’t make a habit of canceling appointments, and don’t blame students for my missed appointments.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

my continued struggle with the little critters

It's been almost a month and nothing - no droppings, no sounds, just silence. The exterminator came by and did his routine thing on Saturday, but I didn't worry. So you can imagine my suprise when Mr. Mouse #2 came out to say hello. I immediately went out and bought myself six glue traps, which I strategically placed around my apt. Since my place is so small, I was able to pin point exactly where the mouse would need to pass to get to where it wanted. I also think they are coming into my place through a little hole by the radiator. 3 am: Squeels and struggle. I roll over - so desensitized to the idea of mice by now. 4 am. Another squeel and more struggle. Great - two mice. I put a pillow over my head and dream of six brown mice and a kitten that likes to bite me.

In the morning, I walk over to the traps and find two glued to one trap. One baby - and one adult. The baby is plastered and not moving anyway. Then the damn adult starts running around like crazy and shakes himself loose - which starts me running around like crazy. So there we are - mouse and human running around like crazy in my kitchen. But he has a tail stuck to the trap and is unable to leave. I've often heard that mice (and humans) in desperate situations will chew through body parts for freedoms sake. That thing start gnawing at his tail despite all my objections and pleading. I ran over, got a trash can, put it over the two mice, placed a heavy book on top of it...and fell over in exhaustion. Later, I called my super and immediatey demanded further assistance.

Urban living on a graduate student's got to get better than this.

Friday, November 04, 2005

quick post

Lately, I realize that I hold my breath when tense. I don't intentionally do it. It just happens. I've noticed that I've been holding my breath a lot this week.

I'm tired of school - asked to work twelve hour days, expected to know a lot more than is taught, anxious to know more than is taught, and frequently criticized for almost everything we do. I get it - students learn from mistakes. But just once, I would like someone to say something positive. We work our asses off only to be told the millions of things we do wrong. I had one doctor tell me that my work with a particular client was a failed case. So far, almost every case that has been presented in his class has been failed or even more harmful to the client. He is brilliant, never wrong, contradicts himself frequnetly, and a bit of an ass. Running on four hours of sleep and with my car ordeal looming in my head, the rest of my energy went into stopping me from saying some smart remark, sticking out my lower lip, and throwing a tantrum right there in his class. I just looked at him and let him talk, which is really what he wanted to do anyway.

Other than that, I got my car fixed- again. I was tired of people saying, "hey - do you know your window is broken?" Of course, I'm driving in it. It was a bit embarressing though. It was like walking around with a tooth missing. And since I had to park in Brooklyn again, I put a giant sign with bold, red letters - NOTHING HERE! PLEASE DON'T BREAK MY WINDOW! Then I put signs up and down the street stating the police have leads...blah, blah, I'm expecting to go out to my car and find all my windows broken but that one.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

My New BFF

Mr Kim from Sun's Auto Body Shop is my new BFF though if that were true, he wouldn't charge me to replace my window. But we just seem to be spending so much time together these days...

My car was broken into for a second time this week. Same window broken with glass shattered all over the back seat. But this time, the bastard didn't even leave me a rock. I don't get it. So far, I've heard two guesses: one from dear ol' mom, who screams, "God is punishing you!" to my sister's more reasonable hypothesis of "I bet it's some druggie who felt like he scored the first time and decided to come back for more". This makes more sense to me. My car hasn't been parked there in over a week. In fact, I've left it at school while away in California. The first night back, it's broken into. The only thing left out was a few sticky mouse traps and a sheet of paper - ironically, it was a copy of the police report from the first incident. Nothing was taken because there was nothing to be taken. So, any other guesses?