I was just re-reading some of my old posts, and they are really funny.
Especially that one, back in April, when I said that once I started my practicum in the hospital I would have so much more time to write my blog?!
That was HILARIOUS!
I’m not sure if you know this about me, but I like food made out of pigs.
I was raised almost exclusively on pork chops, Phil (Baconhound, himself) introduced me to other cuts like loins and butts*, and I have even thoroughly enjoyed tasty treats comprised of both a pig’s face, and the whole head.
And then there’s bacon. Bacon is really good, y’all.
So, on holidays, when Phil and I noticed chicharrones on a happy hour menu, we had to try them.
We had tried chicharrones before, as a gift from the kitchen at CHARCUT, and they were wonderfully, crispy bits of porky goodness. We don’t see them offered very often so we couldn’t wait to give these morsels another nibble.
But what was placed on the table between us was not the small, crispy chicharrones we had experienced before.
These were…pork rinds.
I don’t know what it is about pork rinds that have just never appealed to me, and I have to admit that I’d never actually tried them before because the very sight of them turns me off.
So when I looked at the container, my heart fell and my stomach turned.
But I was on holidays, and Phil always gives me grief for saying I don’t like things that I have never tasted, and pork has surprised me before (did I mention the pig face?!?) so I dug in.
Instead of nibbling off a tiny edge to start like any sane person would do, I grabbed a big, fluffy nugget and bit off half.
I chewed once, twice…and heaved.
I told myself to not be silly, it was chewy, fluffy bacon…there’s nothing bad about that. Besides I can eat week-old, leftover KD smothered in ketchup without even blinking an eye…a pork rind should not be a problem. I chewed again.
And I full-on gagged.
A little bit of my bile-infused pomegranate mojito came back up to add to the flavour party happening in my mouth.
I dropped the other half of the pork rind and looked across the table at Phil with panic in my eyes as he frowned down at his own fluffy pork nugget.
“What’s wrong?” he asked me, “you don’t like it?”
I slowly shook my head as I went over my options:
a) I could spit out the chewed-up, bile-coated chunk of pork into a napkin and leave it for the waitress
b) I could make a dash to the fancy bathroom and hurl it into my simulated-candle lit safe place
c) I could keep on chewing and hope for the best
So that’s what I did. All the while staring right at Phil, willing abdominal fortitude from his confused gaze.
Then I beared down and swallowed.
That nasty fried rind tried to fight its way back out but, in one of my proudest moments, I held strong.
Because I’m a true warrior, like that.
*there’s a joke in there, somewhere
When I wrote the last of my finals 14 days ago, all I could think about was how relieved I was to finally be done and how happy I was to be leaving on my vacation the next day. But now finals are in my rearview mirror and I’ve been home holidays for a week.
A whole week to sit and worry about what’s to come…
Today I start the next stage of my education…actually putting all of my “knowledge” into practice. The only problem is, I don’t feel like I’ve retained any of that knowledge.
Like, at all.
I mean, I managed to get through classes with mostly A’s (damn you, CT), but I feel like I bluffed my way through those first two semesters. Like I somehow tricked the instructors with my charm, and “aw-shucks” self-deprecation and they let me slide by even though I don’t know what the fuck I am doing.
But now there’s nowhere to hide.
I’m going to be tossed into a hospital with real patients. Often in emergency situations. Situations where I can’t just stare at a body part for an indeterminate amount of time, begging my brain to please recall what, exactly, I need to do. Situations where screwing up the first time means exposing the patient to more radiation. Situations where my every move is being judged and graded because, at this point, I’m supposed to know what I’m doing.
And I really don’t.
And yet instead of spending the last week going over my notes and reviewing my positioning, I’ve been binge watching Pretty Little Liars and fretting as each day brought me closer to today.
What is wrong with me?!?!
And just in case my conscious mind wasn’t stressing quite enough, my unconscious mind has been helping out every single night with terrible dreams. Dreams about always making the wrong decision, not fitting in, and a lot hiding in public bathrooms. Oh, and one very memorable dream about going for lunch, discovering that I was naked from the waist up, and the subsequent very-embarrassing 10 block walk home.
That means something, right?
I keep telling myself that I was nervous back in January when we had our quick 2 week stint in the field, and that I’ll calm down and start to feel more comfortable and confident after a few days like I did then. Except this time, to make it even more nerve-wracking, we change departments every week. So just as I start to get my bearings…BAM! New department with new challenges that I am completely unprepared for.
And I just remembered…I don’t like people! People generally annoy me!
What am I doing going into a field where I have to deal with people every single day?!
Dirty, smelly people.
Rude, uncooperative people.
People crying and writhing in pain.
People that I am expected to help.
People that I am terrified I won’t be able to help.
I feel so unprepared.
For better or worse, today is the first day of the next 16 months.
To cap off my week of vaca posts, I thought I would breakdown our week in San Diego mathematically…
# of happy hours attended: 10
# of drinks consumed: 52 (approximation, due to my inability to keep accurate count after several margaritas)
# of hotels checked into: 3
# of rooms stayed in: 6
# of bottles of shampoo stolen from all those hotel rooms: 16
# of times we turned on the TV: 0
Ratio of free parking to metered spots in downtown/popular areas: 10:1
# of animals at the zoo that we could totally relate to: 1 (somehow just laying back, munching on snacks with crumbs on your chest sums up our days off)
# of hours spent just staring out at the ocean: 12
# of seals that practice pilates: all of them. all of the seals practice pilates.
# of full-out gay bars we went to: 1
# of times Phil got hit on: miraculously – 0
# of meals eaten at the Carnitas Snack Shack: 3
# of fat grams consumed in those meals: 610 (which might explain why he got no male attention)
# of miles walked to try to burn off those meals: 14
# of picnics in the park/beach: 3
# of times our 10 year anniversary was not-so-casually mentioned for perks: 5
# of times it worked: .5
# of birds I screamed at and ran away from: 859 (approximation)
# of items purchased to protect our frail, Canadian skin from the sun: 5
It was a fantastic trip, and I can’t recommend San Diego enough. A beautiful city, cheap food and drinks, so much to do, and surrounded by gorgeous scenery for when you feel like doing nothing at all.
You may have noticed that I had been neglecting my blog since I started school. Well, a kind of momentous occasion slipped right by and, because I was crazy-out-of-my-mind stressed with finals, I never even stopped by here to let you know.
On April 26, Phil and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary.
There was never any doubt in my mind that we would see this anniversary (and many more to come), but I still feel a sense of wonderment that its arrived.
I just mean that its been the quickest and easiest 10 years of my life – the years between then and now have flown by, filled with lots of laughter, some tears, and always the knowledge that this man is my soul mate.
When we booked our trip for San Diego, it was because after the stress of school, I wanted to go to a place I knew that I loved and would afford me the relaxation that I so desperately needed. It wasn’t until we got there that I remembered this was the first trip we took as a couple almost 12 years ago to the day.
So between all the happy hour drinks and delicious food, I spent a great deal of time reminiscing.
The first time we went, we stayed at a condo in La Jolla, overlooking the ocean. It was wonderful, and we spent a lot of time sitting on a bench in front of that condo, coffee and Baileys in hand, watching the waves roll in with surfers on their backs. It quickly became one of our favourite spots to visit 12 years ago and we made sure to pencil in plenty of time there on this trip.
When we got there this trip, we sat together, in silence – with the exception of a few comments on the people around us* – and just let the serenity wash over us. While I love talking with my husband – sharing our days, planning our future or just chatting about daily trivialities – I also love to just be with him. Sometimes we don’t need a lot of words, we can share our feelings and our experiences in silence and just be.
That was exactly what we were doing on our bench, when an elderly couple walked up and took the seats next to us. He was wearing a casual bright blue shirt, and she wore a hat to protect her face from the sun and long sleeves despite the heat.
They held hands as they sat down and settled in for a good, long sit.
She opened her (pretty awesome) green bag and took out a case which contained sunglasses. She passed them to him, as he removed his glasses and gave them to her for safe keeping. She popped them into the case and tucked it back into her purse. After awhile, she opened her purse and handed him a water bottle and something to snack on.
They sat mostly in silence, speaking only a few words here and there on something that caught that their eye. It was obvious they loved just being there. Together.
It was incredibly sweet, and I wondered how long they had been coming to this very spot and doing this very same thing.
And I wondered if, in another 10 or 20 years down the road, will we be doing that too?
I really hope so.
One night on vacation, I happened to stumble into the coolest room I have ever seen.
Phil and I had found an interesting sounding happy hour in a hotel in the Gaslamp district, so we walked down from our hotel to give it a try. The bar snacks were comforting and well-executed, and the pomegranate mojitos were strong* and we were quite pleased with our find, even if it meant a 45 minute walk back home.
As Phil settled the bill, I figured that since pom mojitos tend to come out almost as quickly as they go in, I should visit the ladies’ room before we made our way back up the hill to our hotel. The waitress directed me to the top of the stairs, and when I reached to top, there was a very well dressed man standing there, “Can I help you?” he asked.
“I’m just looking for the bathroom.” I tried very hard to sound
He pointed to his left and smiled, “Just so you know…its unisex.”
“Oh, that’s fine.” I said cooly, as though I urinate in front of men all the time. But as I turned the corner into the bathroom, I was giddy with my soon-to-be new worldliness.
And then I stopped short, in awe with the full-on, in-your-face trendiness of this bathroom.
Now, I don’t generally carry a camera to the toilet, so I have no pictures, but I managed to find a couple online, to give you an idea…
I was standing in a dimly lit, large, open room covered entirely in white, washed rock. In the centre of the room stood a long, double-sided sink with several faucets running along the centre of the trough.
On 2 of the walls around the large, minimalist room, were lit mirrors and the other 2 walls were just…walls.
Floor to ceiling, stone-covered walls.
I had no idea where the actual peeing was to take place.**
As I started contemplating how difficult it would be to balance on that large sink, I walked around the room, running my hands along the stone walls until I found a seam.
So I pushed.
And I entered a magical land of private urination.
The stall was completely encapsulated, and lit by only a single pot light…IN THE FLOOR!
It was like peeing in a safe! BY CANDLE LIGHT!***
So, in the darkened safety of that stall, I did my business and
passed out rested my eyes for a minute before reopening the airlock and emerging back into the main room to wash my hands.
I couldn’t wait to run back downstairs and tell Phil all about it, knowing that he would experience the EXACT SAME BATHROOM as me. And then I excitedly waited for him to return from the Coolest Bathroom on Earth. My cool-as-a-cucumber husband was less impressed than I was (also less buzzed), and he was more than a bit weirded out by the model-like woman washing her hands in the sink when he went in.
*hence the aforementioned stumbling
**this may have been made less obvious thanks to the 3 pom mojoitos
***which, while magical, made it extremely difficult to see if the previous patron peed on the seat
When Phil and I went to San Diego for the first time, 12 years ago, we spent a long, sweaty afternoon at the Zoo. And, though I have never been a zoo kind of gal, I really enjoyed it and could have spent many more hours wandering along the paths, communing with nature.
So when we planned another week in San Diego after the madness of school and finals, and before I started my practicum, I knew that another day not feeding the animals and not tapping on the glass was in order.
I also made sure to take a bunch of pictures to share my experience with you.
The panda was awesome – it seemed so sweet and cuddly.
There were a bunch of giraffes, just munching on tall leaves and chilling.
The rhino was trying to find some shade.
The flamingos splashed their feet at the edge of the water as they drank.
A mama duck was taking her babies for a stroll…along the bus lane.
This was a camel, I think…its hard to tell from this angle, but the humps are a dead giveaway.
The warthog was feeling shy.
The donkey was lunching on some grass.
Uhm…yeah, I have no idea what this was, but it obviously didn’t want its picture taken.
The zebra was…wait a minute, I am a sensing a pattern in these pictures.
I probably shouldn’t have had that garlic for lunch.