It’s that time of the year again, when I spend days reconstructing exactly what I did this year, then don’t post it for months (year(s)) later, and try to pretend that I really posted it on January 1.
-I had nearly three weeks off work over Christmas and New Year’s due to the holidays, a medical conference and a lucky schedule. So I got to spend New Year’s with my family and nephews. I snuggled the newest little one, Tanner, and played toys with the two older boys. They grow so much in the time that I’m away from them.
– I spent a few days in the bay area, visiting friends and going to a critical care conference. The conference was forgettable (and they didn’t serve food. A nine-hour conference for 5 days without food), but the company was fabulous. Jen and I went to the zoo and to the Japanese Gardens in Golden Gate Park with the boys that she nannied. Visiting Jen means that I get caught up on my movie consumption too.
– a local acting group performed a reading of Facing East by Carol Lynn Pearson. So moving and some really great conversation afterwards.
– I dyed my hair. Over the years, I have slowly lost that vibrant red that encompassed my identity. I researched different options, tried a dye from a salon and hated it, and then went to a middle-eastern/Pakistani salon and they dyed my hair with henna and lemon juice. I cannot describe to you the putrid color of the goop that covered my head, nor the brilliance of the orange it turned. Luckily it faded, and I’ve been really happy with how it turned out.
– It snowed. Now, in most places, this isn’t big news. In Portland, where the city own 3 snowplows total and I live in the hills, it was huge. It started snowing Thursday. By Friday, the road outside my house was a sledding hill. I was working nights that weekend, so I got a ride to work from my neighbors and lived at the hospital for the next three days because I could not get home.
– I finally had a real vacation that did not involve visiting family (sorry, family, I love you, but it’s a little different). My college best friend, Susan, her husband Bobby and I went to Hawaii – Oahu and then to the Big Island Hawaii. It was so gorgeous. And humidly hot and rainy for much of the trip, but so worth it. I stayed a couple of days extra with my friend Erica and her pug. She has the most gorgeous view of the ocean and by the end I was contemplating never leaving.
-While in Hawaii, I attempted to go snorkeling. It did not go well (that is an understatement) and I sliced my leg open on some coral. I cleaned it out, put a bandage on it. And went swimming in the ocean a couple of days later (finally the perfect beach!). A few days after I returned, I noticed it was becoming more inflamed and painful, and then I started having fevers and chills. I was convinced that I was developing necrotizing fasciitis – I do not make a good doctor when I’m taking care of myself. Needless to say, I stayed overnight in the ED to get antibiotics and thankfully did not lose my leg.
– I spent a weekend up in Seabeck, Washington on the Hood Canal. My friend, Brooke invited me to attend a women’s retreat entitled “Northwest Pilgrims.” The weekend was chilly, but breathtaking, and spiritually nurturing. Brooke and I shared a room and stayed up late catching up on the years of separation.
– I went to lunch with the local MoFem group. Delicious food. How I love opportunities for socialization.
– My sister and dad came out to visit. We bought me a little fridge for my office and explored around Tillamook and Mt. Hood.
-Facebook reminds me that I went to see a play version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was hilarious, based on the movie, rather than the tv series, which I have always felt was underrated.
– My friend Hillary came to town and we met for the first time. We visited the Japanese Gardens, which was aglow with early cherry blossoms. Gorgeous!
– Dinner with Shanae – gosh I love living near her.
-Facebook isn’t enlightening me on my activities in April. I think I worked a lot and watched Glee and Dancing With the Stars and ranted about the series finale of How I Met Your Mother.
– Pirates of the Penzance. One of my first opera/musicals here in Portland. “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General” was brilliant.
– A friend from San Francisco (I met her just before I moved and we connected instantly – sadness) was in town for a meeting. Jennifer and I went out for dinner and then saw Ingrid Michaelson live. I’ve loved a few of her songs, but I recognized a lot more. She was electrifying.
– One of my mofem friends came up for a weekend in Portland (she lives in the southern part of the state). We went to the zoo and had a couple of gatherings, where we played Cards Against Humanity – lemme tell you, playing the game with people who have the same cultural background is hilarious. I’ve never laughed so hard. It was a really lovely day at church too, surrounded by my MoFems – I love these women.
– I hung out with people from work. We’re slowly becoming friends. 🙂
– Work kicked my butt. Too many patients, who were very sick. So many notes.
– My parents and sister came for a visit! It was rainy and wet, but we went up to Mount St. Helens and camped there overnight, then drove up to the Olympic peninsula and went to Olympic National Park – which is absolutely gorgeous, even in the constant rain. We went to Forks, Washington, and sadly, I did not make out with any sparkling vampires – they were all hiding.
– My Mormon feminist community (both locally and more) was rocked by the announcement of the pending excommunication of two well known activists in the church. I was shocked and so profoundly hurt – while I didn’t know Kate personally, I had interacted with her and had a similar viewpoint on the experience of women in the church – it felt like a personal attack. When she was excommunicated three weeks later, I lost trust in my church.
– A couple of years ago, I joined a group of “through no fault of their own” single Mormon women. This group has been overwhelmingly one of the best groups I’ve ever belonged to and they are all sisters of my heart. We finally decided to have a get together and actually meet each other in person, so I flew to Salt Lake City and drove down to very small town Southern Utah for a retreat, where we ate camp food, and talked, and croqueted a quilt, and went hiking in Bryce Canyon. One of the best weekends ever – and over too soon.
– Marched in Pride with Mormons for Equality here in Portland. Besides the fact that it downpoured the last bit of the walk, it was, as always, a profound experience.
– Chris, my best friend from medical school, moved to Portland for a fellowship in surgical critical care. It was the start of a mending of our friendship and a reconnection. His wife and son (a year old) joined him a week later.
– For 30 horrible minutes, I thought my life had ended and Chris Colfer wasn’t coming back to Glee. Thankfully, his twitter account had been hacked, and all was right with the world. A few weeks later, I got to hang out with him for 30 seconds at a book signing. Y’all, we are such besties during these meetings. <3
– My 4th was a relatively quiet celebration. Dinner with Chris and Gretchen (son was down for the night), and then a night barbeque with some other friends.
– I went out to the coast with my friend Lindsay and the dog she was petsitting – it was very cold and foggy for July. But I love the ocean no matter the weather.
-I went with a large group of Mormons (current, post) to see the Book of Mormon musical. My pithy review: “it was profoundly profane and profanely profound.” Some really awesome songs, the singing was really incredible and seeing it with a group of Mormons meant that there were inside jokes that nobody else in the audience got. But it’s definitely a musical by the creators of South Park.
– I went home for a week to spend time with my parents and my nephews. We went fishing and to the dinosaur museum and to the gym where we went bowling and played with balls and hoola hoops. Gosh, I love these boys.
– I flew back to San Francisco to go camping with my friends, Jen, Toshi, Cheryl and her husband Scott, as well as a few other random people. We went to Little Basin State Park, which has a small Redwood Forest and hiked a little and spent a lot of time around the campfire.
– Jen and I drove out to Half Moon Bay to watch dolphins and eat sushi. Yummy, yummy, fresh sushi.
– My sister moved in with me. It’s lovely having homemade dinners, even if I miss my privacy.
-Labor Day, Karin and I took a drive along the famous Columbia River Gorge. It was such a gorgeous day and the falls were amazing.
– The annual neurocritical care society meeting was up in Seattle this year. So instead of flying all over the country, I drove up and stayed with my friends Brooke and Brian. I didn’t get to see them much because I was gone to meetings all day and dinners at night (so much networking). I did play hooky on one of the afternoons and walked downtown to the Space Needle and then went to the Chihuly Museum, which was utterly gorgeous – so much colorful, spun glass.
– Brooke, Brian, their kids and I went to the locks the following day and watched the migrating salmon and the boats leaving the lakes and rivers. It’s prettier than it sounds.
– My first college roommate came out to Portland to interview for a fellowship position in neonatalogy and we had a marvelous dinner catching up. To think that it had been over 15 years since we shared a dorm in Ballif Hall.
– A live performance of Doctor Horrible! Such a terrible death whinny!
– Sunday picnic with some local Mo-related friends, which was the start on an annual tradition.
– Kinky Boots – my friend raved about this the last time I saw her so when I saw it was part of the Broadway tour in Portland, I jumped at the opportunity to see it – probably my favorite play of the year. So terrific.
– Lunar eclipse – I was working nights, so when I finished, I went home and my sister and I drove to a nearby park. I got some pretty amazing pictures, until my lens fogged up. Whoops.
– I got to meet Atul Gawande *hyperventilate*. He gave a reading at my local bookstore on his book Being Mortal and then signed books afterwards. I talked to him briefly about my experiences as an ICU doctor and the end-of-life decisions that my patient’s families have to make.
– Halloween party at my church. I haven’t gone to my ward since a few months after I moved there – it was very much one of those “Young and Newly Wed or Old and Nearly Dead” wards and after San Francisco, I did not feel comfortable there. They were all very nice, just not my tribe, you know? So I had been attending a ward on the other side of the city. In any case, my neighbors invited to attend as it was Harry Potter themed, so who was I to turn that down? I had a great time – it was well decorated, the kids were cute and I even ran into a friend whom I haven’t seen in months.
– I went home to Utah for a weekend to see my grandmother. She has dementia so visits are always challenging, but I took her for a ride up one of the canyons near where she lives. She mentioned that she wanted to go to the waterfall where my grandfather proposed, so I turned off onto a side road – which very quickly became a gravel road up the mountain, with snow patches on the road. Lovely view, but definitely entered the folder of “must never do that again”.
– I spent one afternoon before flying out exploring the University of Utah. College was such a magical time for me and the years have painted it rosy with nostalgia.
– I stayed the night with Liz before flying back home and played with her new baby Sara who is roly poly and delightful.
– Sunstone Portland! An evening of listening to lectures about intellectual Mormonism, sewing quilts to give to the LGBTQ homeless shelter in the city, and eating Candle Salad and “Pake”.
– I’m pretty sure I worked on my birthday.
– My parents drove out to spend Thanksgiving at my place. A friend from junior high school, Tammi came and visited one afternoon – she moved before we graduated from high school, so it had been many, many years since we had last visited.
– The Neurology Annual Party wasn’t nearly as tedious as the previous year. Maybe I’m getting to know my colleagues better?
– Burgers with McSara and Steph, local friends – I don’t remember the occasion. I do remember that the burgers were divine.
– I worked Christmas Eve, but drove out to see my friend Hillary, as she was back in town from Japan and spent Christmas dinner with her and her family.
– I worked Christmas night – and got a flat tire driving home. This was the second flat tire in the year that I’ve owned the car – the previous year, I discovered that my car doesn’t actually have a spare tire, just a tire repair kit, but my tire had literally popped and shredded from a pothole. So I dutifully called up the Ford dealership and waited over 3 hours for a tow truck to come. Merry Christmas to me indeed.
– I flew out that morning (Dec. 26th), after going back to the dealership and dropping off my car key, for my Christmas adventure. And adventure it was.
- First stop: a couple of days in the Bay Area, as my friend Cheryl got married to Scott, a man that she dated for over 3 years (an anomaly in the LDS world of very short courtships and engagements).
- I then flew to Salt Lake City, where I drove up to Logan and picked up my grandmother, and then drove back to SLC to take a flight down to Arizona, so she could spend a couple of days with Laura and the grandkids. Grandma freaked out before I got there, that this was a trap to get her into a nursing home, but then calmed down on the flight down – and then worried again when I didn’t take her home that day. I shared a room with her and didn’t sleep for two nights. She did okay during the day, but at night, all of her demons and fears came to life. It’s still a memory that she managed to hold onto, so it was worth it.
- I flew back up to Utah with Grandma on the 31st and stayed with my friends Laura and James for the New Years. We stayed up too late talking but otherwise, it was a quiet end to the year.
Movies watched: The Hobbit, Frozen, Obvious Child, Boyhood, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I, Veronica Mars, Guardians of the Galaxy, Lego movie, Maleficent, Lucy, Finding Vivian Meier (favorite movie of the year), Into the Storm, The 100 Foot Journey.
TV watched: Glee, the second half of each of the Dancing with the Stars, the second half of the Amazing Race.
Live performances: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, John Williams performing with the Oregon Symphony, Ingrid Michaelson, Pirates of the Penzance, Once, Book of Mormon, Kinky Boots, Doctor Horrible.http://redheadsnippet.lotrinklings.