Jan. 1st, 2016

jcd1013: (Anne - Redheaded snippet)

– As I had flown back up to Utah with my grandmother (her dementia made it hard for her to be away from home and two days was more than enough), I stayed a day in SLC and spent New Year’s morning with my good friends and their kids. I then flew back to Arizona to spend a few more days with my nephews. We went up to the mountains (my family has an inherited cabin) and played in the snow.
– A Glee friend came out to Portland to visit family and I got to meet her for the first time. We explored the Chinese Gardens and the very early blossoms. It was lovely getting to know her in real life.
– Last season of Glee started. I may have cried. A lot.
– I attempted to fix the LCD screen on my camera. I failed miserably – luckily with no residual scars. On the other hand, all of those little dirt specks got removed.
– Work: I started working on a book chapter on osmotherapy. And I took a leadership course  this semester – it was great to get to know some of the leadership on campus, although it hasn’t been that helpful since its completion.

– I hung out with my friend Lindsay and my sister (Karin moved in with me last year). We went on a Galantine’s date to Salt and Straw, had dinner out a few times and watched glee and other movies together.
– Spring came early this year. I went on a few drives around Portland to photograph the early blooms.
– I started seeing a therapist. It made me realize that my feelings of depression and inadequacy were rooted in an not-quite-meeting-criteria-for-a-DSM-V-diagnosis anxiety disorder. I’m gathering some coping skills, but just having an identity has eased my feelings.

– Karin and I drove to Mt. Hood and then down to Bend, OR. Not much snow on the mountains this year. It was such a beautiful drive.
– Sunday on the beach with Lindsay. It was a warm, perfect day and the waves crashing were rejuvenating. We stayed until the sun disappeared far below the horizon and all of the pink faded into deep purple.
– Looking through my pictures, I really was in love with spring this year.
– I took a mini vacation and flew down to Los Angeles. There I watched the first hour of the series finale of my absolute favorite show and listened to my absolute favorite actors tell stories about the set and memories.
– I drove down the coast and spent the next day with my friend, Michelle. We went shopping together and then spent the afternoon and evening on the beach. San Diego beaches are AMAZING. I need to learn how to bodyboard.
– I drove back to Los Angeles and spent a day with my friend, Donna. She’s one of my oldest fandom friends and the last time I had seen her was nearly ten years before. AND THEN WE DIDN’T GET PICTURES. Ugh.
– Series finale of Glee. Karin and I had a party with Lindsay. I cried through the whole thing. It was the perfect ending for my very beloved imperfect show.
– Pi Day!

– Back to southern California. My best friend from San Francisco (Jen) got married, so I flew down a day early to help with the wedding. She was beautiful and it was a lovely wedding. More time on the beach capped off the delightful weekend.
– Karin, Lindsay and I went to the Tulip festival.
– Lost Day! I am such a numbers nerd that it was bliss having to such nerdy dates to celebrate in a year.
– April was hell (see my last entry). My book chapter was due, and I was up for credentialing renewal for the hospital, as well as my first annual review, so there were so many applications and papers due. To top it all off, I found out that I didn’t even have the hospital privileges that I needed to work in the ICU where I’ve worked for over 20 months – it was 3 days of hell while I tried to get paperwork submitted and attempting to find out whether I was at higher risk in a malpractice suit (short answer – probably not, but who knows).

– Northwest Pilgrims weekend up in Seabrook. Such a beautiful area. I was one of the speakers and talked about approaching end of life discussions.
– My friend, Nik, came to town for a conference. We went to brunch and doughnuts. (Mmm, Bluestar).
– Phantom of the Opera with Lindsay!
– My landlord informed me that he was exploring selling the little, completely adorable bungalow in which I reside. Which lead to several days for frantically calling places on craigslist and looking at a couple of houses. In the end, the sale fell through and I’m here for another year.

– My Liz visited! We had a glorious weekend together, which was, as always, too short. We spent one day on the beach and then drove up to Seattle to spend the day with our friend Brooke, where we took the ferry to eat ice cream and then to dinner and the movies.
– Neurology graduation. Where my residents shocked me with a “teacher of the year” award. Still stunned.
– Chris moved back to Wisconsin (Milwaukee, my old stepping grounds). I have so missed him and I am truly grateful for this year that let us reestablish our friendship.

– My parents came to town for the 4th of July weekend. We drove north (I had hoped to make it to Canada but no such luck) and explored Mt Rainer, where I ran into a colleague from UCSF. It was so unbearably hot that I wasn’t up for much hiking. We then drove up to Cascades National Park, which of the national parks in Washington is on the “eh” side. You actually can only hike into the park, because the road follows the river, which because of all of the dams was left private. Ridiculous.
– A weekend in New York City! Darren Criss from Glee was performing in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, so a group of us made plans to see it together. He was amazing – I wish that I could have seen him another time, because I was floored by the performance and the story and the music – I’ll admit it, I only went because he was staring in it, as “rock opera musicals” are not a big selling point for me; but the ballads were incredible. I also went to see Something Rotten which is a Shakespeare spoof and was pretty clever (the songs are forgettable). I met my friend, Stacy and spent a evening with her (dinner and watching The Terminator which I hadn’t ever seen). The weekend was capped with a picnic in Central Park, before we made a mad dash out of the city. I had flown in, but decided to carpool back with some of the women – so we travelled all of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minneapolis in a day and a half. I then spent a day with Becka before taking a late night flight back home. Whew.
– A friend of mine, Hillary, is a school teacher in Japan. She asked our group of friends if anyone was interested in coming to Europe and I volunteered because I’ve been dying to travel again. We had a marvelous trip together seeing Milan (for a day), Verona, Venice, Vienna, Salzburg, Munich and then surrounding areas in Germany. Some highlights:

  • started the vacation by getting lost in Verona on the first day and ended up walking down a very narrow sidewalk on a freeway, climbing a steep incline through pricky briars and then marching through fields of peas to ask directions at a bakery and then somehow, end up exactly where we started.

  • opera in the Arena di Verona – gorgeous costumes and scenery. It rained which delayed the performance, so the opera didn’t end until after midnight. I also don’t know Italian and I’ve only seen Marriage of Figaro once, so it was mostly enjoying pretty music.

  • Venice was so gorgeous – and also bloody hot and humid. Also, I’ve never had such blisters in my entire life.

  • Going to a concert in Vienna – unfortunately, all of the symphonies were on vacation for the summer, so this was a small group that catered to tourists. But they played music from The Merry Widow and I died of happiness.

  • It was kitschy, but the Sound of Music tour was fabulous.

  • Swiss Alps are stunning. I’ve lived around mountains my entire life and these were breathtaking.

  • Hiked to some thundering waterfalls in the Alps. Stunning.

  • I met SatisMagic! Ten years + of friendship here on LJ. She took me around her home country, we explored Roman ruins and small towns and she graciously introduced me to her pretty kitties.

– The majority of my Europe trip was in August. My layover was in Moscow, Russia, for approximately 7.5 hours -not quite long enough to make it worth it to get a visa and see the city. It’s a rather bland airport. I’m not a fan of Russian airport food either. I missed my connecting flight from Los Angeles to Portland because of a passenger’s medical issue – yes, I volunteered as the doctor – first time, actually!
– Back to the drudges of work.
– Wicked! Gosh, I <3 this musical so much. To think I almost missed out on seeing it because I loathed the source material.
– I lectured the medical students on some neuroanatomy topics. My neuroscience block in my second year of med school is what lead me here so it was defining moment to be here 13 years later.
– Book club: we read Nicole Hardy’s book “Confessions of a Latter-day Virgin.” I had read it a year or so ago; I related to it in a completely different way this time.

– I worked a lot.
– I had one weekend off and met my friend Lindsay for brunch at Lake Oswego and then drove down to Silver Falls state park and went on a 3 mile hike by myself. The falls were a little light on water due to the drought, but it was just the start of autumn and it was a gorgeous day.
– Third flat tire in the 2 years that I’ve owned my car. And as always, it was an adventure.
– Eclipse! Which I missed because I went to see Pippin instead. One of my favorite performances of the year.

– Neurocritical Society meeting, which was held in Scottsdale, AZ.  I flew down a couple of days earlier to see my sister and my too-adorable-for-words nephews. We played on the trampoline and dug in the dirt. Tanner, the youngest, called me “Ah-ha” and demanded to watch videos of “mum-mums” (motorcycles).
– 3 days of conferences, as always too long. However, I reconnected with some of my friends from residency, which was amazing. And I spent a lot of time socializing with my “boss” (director of the ICU – step-boss maybe), who I like so much more than the previous director.
– I then drove up to our family’s cabin and spent a couple more days with my family. We had a family birthday party, although the big excitement was raking pine needles.
– Had an internet group gathering down at Silver Falls again and hiked to a different falls. This time, the leaves had turned even more and it was a little more chilly. Perfect hiking weather.
– I worked. A lot. In fact, October started my 27-day-straight-without-a-day off-i’m-going-out-of-my-mind streak.

– See the end of October. In addition to working in the neuroscience ICU for 2 weeks, I also worked 2 weeks as the neurology inpatient attending. It reminded me that I made the right decision in not pursing general neurology and that it’s been a long time since residency. There were aspects that I loved (the time to teach was awesome), but I did not like the phone calls asking how to manage migraines, or the admissions for weird bizarre illnesses that left me scratching my head (and never find a satisfactory answer), or the consults for chronic headaches or the patients that refused to leave the hospital.
– 2015 really was a fandom focused year – I participated in an auction of Glee set items. Several stuff I didn’t get, but my prize was a macaroni art of my favorite character, Kurt. It now resides on my wall and is gorgeous.
– My church came out with policy changes that broke my heart, and devastated and alienated beloved ones, and I broke up with my church. It has been horrible and painful and emotional and I’m still grieving. I’m not sure if it’s permanent, but some distance was (and is) needed.
– My 37th birthday. It was a uneventful day, with the exception that I talked to several of my friends who I have neglected for the last several months (see anxiety) and that meant the world to me.
– I FINALLY HAD A WEEK OFF. Most of the week was spent doing things like laundry, but my parents drove out for Thanksgiving and we rented a house on the beach, where the skies were crystal clear and the air was warm and the waves were gorgeous, and I soaked in the sun and the ocean.

– My niece was born! She was a little early and so very tiny and is adored by her three older brothers.
– Work holiday party with ugly Christmas sweaters (I came straight from work so I missed out on that aspect). Gosh, I love the people that I work with.
– One of my hardest weeks at work, with many patients, and a family that could not come together to make medical decisions and then brought in lawyers who loomed over me. I know that I am likely to be sued (I work directly with neurosurgeons; their patients are my patients), but being faced with the reality is something different.
– My grandma, who has had years of slowly progressive dementia and worsening paranoia, was placed in a nursing home after a stay in geriatric psych. We have all breathed great sighs of relief, although she may not speak to any of us for months.
– I’ve been working for months and months revising the notes used by our electronic medical records. We went live the week of Christmas. So far, it’s gone smoothly (although I got very little sleep that week).
– I worked Christmas night. I had made tentative plans to go to Utah for Christmas, but because of a bunch of things, those plans never came to fruition. Instead, Karin and I stayed home and had a nice dinner.
– I spent the last week before the New Year, catching up on the 200+ notes that I haven’t written in the last 3 months. And updating this blog for the first time in months.

Movies watched:
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 2
Far From the Maddening Crowd
Pitch Perfect 2
Mad Max: Fury Road

TV watched:
Orphan Black
Agent Carter
Parks and Recreation
Supergirl (I’m so behind)
Jessica Jones
Too many episodes of Say “Yes” to the Dress

Dirty Dancing (better as a movie)
Guys and Dolls
I Love Lucy – Live on Stage!
The Phantom of the Opera
Something Rotten – Broadway
Hedwig and the Angry Inch – Broadway
42ND Street
Beauty and the Beast

Favorite music/songs:
Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
Adele’s entire album
Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars (the lyrics are sexist, but the beat gets me every time).
OneRepublic – I Lived (thanks glee for making me cry every time this plays on the radio)
This Time – Darren Criss
Hamilton Original Soundtrack (I am such Hamilton trash now)

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