Monday, March 31, 2008

Like, OMG!






Sunday, March 30, 2008

Did you miss me?

View from First Class of a new Embraer 175

Hello loyal blog readers... Can you believe it? No post in 4 days? It's unheard of! Saying I was "busy" in Utah is an understatement, but here is the review of my trip. You be the judge.

Visit with dad at Aspen Ridge

Drive up to Bountiful to see Cola and the kids

Drive to SLC airport to pick up Taylor
Lunch at Costa Visa (with unlimited Horchata refills)
30 min nap

Dinner at Cheesecake Factory with Uncle Grant

Another visit with dad

Hung out with John and April

Thursday: Quick visit to my favorite Nurse Practitioner (who neglected patients for 30 min to chat)
Went to Bishop's Storehouse for my family for necessities, and picked up a few extras at Harmons (like root beer, tortilla chips, pop tarts, Grandma Sycamore bread, and ingredients for Taylor's salsa)
Went to the Sports Mall and a few other parks to look for MHS reunion sites

Shopped for a baby gift for Nathanael and some work clothes

Visited with the whole Bytheway clan

Ate Dinner at Cafe Rio (free meal!) while Mary was working

Visited with mom and dad at Aspen Ridge

Met up with Esther after Viva Voce (and chatted with a few old choirmates in the process)

Did an hour of homework
Went to Park City with Emily (outlet shopping!)

Had Lunch at Hires Big H

Attended the private concert in my dad's room by Nathan McEuen

Went to Cedars of Lebanon with Taylor, Rosie, Mary, Jacob, Andi, Lola and Jeanne

Went to the Tavernacle with Jeanne, and for the first time was unimpressed

Attended the Flash Cabbage and Nathan McEuen concert at New Song Church

Arrived home at 12:30 am

Woke up at 4:00 am (yes, I only got 3 hours of sleep)
Packed luggage, headed to the airport, and got bumped from the 6:00 am and 8:20 am flights

Got picked up from the airport and visited with Linda and Corinn for a few hours
Tried to get on the 2:10 pm flight, but again was unsuccessful

Looked into my options back to Detroit, and was mentally preparing for the worst

Endured a tired, teary-eyed panic attack in front of a NWA gate agent

Did the happy dance when said NWA gate agent had mercy on me, bent the rules, and confirmed seat assignments for Rosie and I on the 5:55 pm flight...IN FIRST CLASS

Ate mediocre airport food, tried to nap, and played games on the computer with Rosie
Enjoyed our two hour flight to Minneapolis in First Class of a comfy new Embraer 175

Arrived at MSP, ran across the airport, begged with a gate agent, and miraculously got seat assignments on the last flight of the night to Detroit

Was stranded with no ride and no keys, and was forced to stay at a hotel till Taylor got off his high-speed at 8:00 am

Sweet-talked the hotel employee to give us the crew rate for the hotel ($32.95) if Taylor showed his employee badge upon check-out

Crashed into the hotel bed at 2:15 am

The scariest part of my Saturday airport fiasco was finding out that the all the MSP-DTW flights until Tuesday were full, including connections at Chicago, Grand Rapids and Indianapolis. Even with the airline discount, confirmed seats for Rosie and I would be $750 each!!! We had prepared for the worst, including a rental car and a 14 hour drive back to Detroit. Luckily, we got on that last flight and didn't have to drive. And it's a good thing, because I'm running a fever again today with swollen tonsils, and I start my new job tomorrow.
Never a dull moment!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Some Early Morning Humor

This is dedicated to Mme Underwood, Mme Larsen, and the French professor I had at Ricks (I can't remember his name, but he reminded me of Mr. Bean):

May I just say that I've recently become obsessed with Flight of the Conchords? This is my favorite clip...although Taylor and I have recently purchased the first season on DVD, and have laughed till our guts hurt as we've watched it. If you haven't heard of them, just YouTube them... check out "Inner City Pressure" (a dead-on spoof of Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls"), "A Kiss is not a Contract," and "Business Time."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Just Got In...

After 3 flight bumps in Detroit, Rosie and I made it in time for the 2:50 PM connecting flight in Minneapolis to SLC. Unfortunately, our plane had 6 hours of maintenance issues in La Crosse, WI, and didn't arrive till 7:00 PM. We arrived in SLC at 9:00, Emily picked us up, we swung by Leatherbys for dish of ice cream, I spent and hour talking with my mom...and am finally crashing onto the air mattress. I woke up at 4:30 am EST, and its now 1:40 MST. That means I've been up for 23 hours. After 15 hours of traveling, I'm so ready to sleep.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Out of Necessity...

Today Taylor wiped our eyes, sucked in our guts and walked into the AT&T store to change our cell phone numbers to Michigan-734 numbers. We have loved and adored our Cali-909 numbers, but it was soon becoming a financial burden to keep our status symbol that very few people recognized.

See, we have been able to utilize a very low total minute plan because most of our family is on AT&T and we have typically made most of our calls in the evening. But when we kept our 909 numbers, that meant that night minutes didn't start until midnight EST. We sucked through 1200 rollover minutes in February, and were getting to the point that we needed to either switch plans or switch numbers STAT. Also, Taylor went over by nearly 100 texts last month, which tacked on an extra $15 to our bill. And lastly, it was getting really annoying waiting until 1 AM to text our American Idol votes in.

They made us change our plan (since the really good price plan was grandfathered in from the original ATT -> Cingular switch over) but fixed things up (with ex-employer discounts and price overrides) so we now have 500 more shared minutes and unlimited texting for only $5 more a month than we were paying. Sorry to those friends who kept tempting us to switch to was still cheaper to stick with AT&T.

I sent out a mass text to everyone in my phone with the new number. If you need my number, email me at

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My Dear Ol' Dad

The Three Survivors

I talked to my dad today to wish him a happy Easter, and was sad to hear him a little downtrodden. Although his recovery is going steadily, it's coming slowly. It's been 10 weeks since the accident, and he's got another 4-5 weeks to go in Aspen Ridge. Above is a picture that was taken with Bruce and Nathan; the three survivors of the horrendous accident that took my dad's leg and almost took his life. He was able to take his first field trip out into public, and went to the Church Office Building to see his coworkers. His work group was very cordial and glad to see his health improving so much. But on this trip, he also needed to go to the church travel office to get his renewal passport photo taken. The assistant in the office made the comment, "Looks like you got into a fight with a snowblower and it won." Although the employee probably meant to make my dad really hurt. It was the first truly insensitive comment that he's encountered since the accident.

He also was able to go to Stake Conference where two apostles, Holland and Ballard, and Elder Huntsman from the Quorum of the Seventy spoke. Elder Huntsman mentioned in his talk "how nice it was for David Watson to make it out today after his terrible accident." He had a great showing of support from members of the ward and stake...and hoped that it would spark some visitors. Unfortunately, it hasn't. He's been very lonely for people to visit. Between a few visits a week from my mom and siblings...he has a lot of downtime to be lonely. Once the occupational and physical therapy is done...he's left to his own devices in the facility for hours a day. He would love to have people come visit him, even if its a short stay. Even if you don't know him well, he's anxious for company and would be happy to make a new friend. Rosie and I will be flying out to see him on Tuesday, and plan to keep him occupied for as many hours as we can.

To hear about his recovery in his own words, check out his blog at

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Putting it into perspective...

Before I blog about my trip to the doctor yesterday, I wanted to put in a plug for the Cindy Roesgen Benefit Concert. Cindy's story is outlined if you click on the above picture. She's the one who financed my friend Nathan McEuen's last album "Festival," and is currently suffering from a myriad of maladies including Pancreatic Cancer. If you're in the Southern California area and want an evening of amazing music...please attend!

As for me and my comparatively minuscule ailments...I went to the doctor yesterday. Dr. Monroe was on vacation, so I met with his officemate Dr. Sikorski. He's like the drunk uncle you don't really want to bring out into public, and you can't tell whether his jokes are to be taken at face value or are an innuendo. But anyway, I had finished my Z-Pak for the tonsillitis on Tuesday, and still didn't feel better. He checked me out, and said that I had an eye a result of a sinus a result of an ear a result of pharyngitis. My nose was so plugged up that instead of me blowing my nose to get rid of the was oozing out my tear ducts. Gross, huh! He sent me out with scripts for a stronger antibiotic, decongestant and opthalmic drops. I'm not contagious, and will be taking it easy until I leave for Utah on Monday.

Also...Michigan got 8 inches of snow on the second day of Spring.

More International Readership...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thursday Green

Dear IRS,
Thank you for your promises of a generous tax refund. I am happy that it will soon pad my unemployed bank account. I look forward to my future rebate check as well.

So why must you tease me with promises of $2100 direct deposited into my account by March 14th? It's now the 20th and I have seen no evidence of this deposit. The automated alerts went through correctly, I remembered my AGI from last year to use as my PIN, and I took the standard deduction. Are you penalizing my patience and early-filing diligence with a hand-examined return by one of your auditors?

Please respond soon. Or better yet, just silently slip $2k into my bank account tonight. I have student loan payments due tomorrow.


New MHS '98 Reunion Blog

For those looking for info on the MHS Class of 1998 10 Year Reunion, I started the official blog for information. The site is

Please comment and give your feedback and suggestions for a reunion to remember!

At The End Of The Tour...Sunrise on Nantasket

The rest of the trip was pretty low-key, spending most of my time by myself. I decided I needed a break from the Dublin boys, so Cola and I went to dinner at Uno's. We were seated in the table next to the bar, and were constantly flashed by a flabby drunk man who kept claiming to be a Boston PD officer (but the "badge" he kept flashing was a shamrock hologram.) We went back to the hotel room, looked through all the pictures, and packed our bags. We had to leave for the airport to catch Cola's flight by 4:00 am, so I forced myself to tuck in by 12:30.

After our goodbyes to Terawrizt and Lethal, Cola and I headed off to Logan Airport around 4:20 (cutting it close!) Luckily, the Mass Pike and Ted Williams Tunnel were fairly clear, and she made it on time for her flight. As I wound my way out of the terminals, I had this flash of memory of Strang telling me about Nantasket Beach...the closest really beautiful beach to Boston, but it gives you the Cape Cod experience without driving the extra 35 miles. I consulted a map, and headed there in time to catch the sun rise. Armed with my husband's nifty camera, I experienced my first sunrise over the Atlantic. It was 28 degrees with a whipping, wet wind, so in between pictures I was thawing in the Murano. From first picture to full sun over the horizon took about 55 minutes. And after pulling out of the Nantasket parking lot, "Here Comes The Sun" came on my ipod playlist and I got a burst of warm energy for having seen this beautiful experience. Above are the best pictures of the morning.

I drove around Hull and Pemberton Point, where you can see a lovely view of downtown Boston only 12 miles across the bay (in comparison to the 37 miles it takes to drive to that point.) I drove back to the city through Hingham, Weymouth, Quincy, and onto the I-93. I had an hour to kill till I had to drop off the rental car, so I headed back into the city. This time I spent some time in Back Bay and Copley Square. I found a meter, fed 45 min of change, and walked around to take more pictures. On the way back to the airport, I got mixed up on the rental car return directions (which called for route 1A). After going down Route 1 and passing the bridge to Chelsea, I realized my error and had to pay an extra $3 toll to get back. I got a nice exit row window seat coming back, and happily returned home to Taylor and Rosie.

The bad: Paying $9.50 in tolls in 3 hours
The good: Having a tollbooth operator give me back and extra nickel because I'm cute

The bad: Having to drop Cola off so early at the airport
The good: Being up early enough to catch the sunrise over Nantasket

Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Patrick's Day in Boston

These past 4 days I've been exploring Boston, except for my Saturday tonsillitis detour. Cola and I have been escorted around Beantown by the Bawston Strangla and Shaymin, both hip hop musicians, as well as spending lots of time at the Dedham Fairfield Inn with Terawrizt and Lethal Dialect, musicians straight from Dublin. I knew that coming on this trip would be an adventure, not only by touring it by people intimately knowledgeable on the area, but living a little bit of the Irish Boston lifestyle. I'd had a taste of Boston the previous week with Rosie, but it was basically a two hour walk around Boston Common and an adjoining pastry shop.

My flight arrived on Thursday night around 11:30 PM, and I was picked up at BOS-Logan by Strangla and Cola. Strang drove us through the Boston theater district (which 10 years ago was NOT a safe place for a beautiful woman to walk through at night.) We got slices at the New York Pizzeria, and headed to Dedham for the night. Cola and I spent the evening in the lobby with Shaymin, Lethal, and Tera. I stayed up till 3ish, and headed to bed much earlier than the others.

Friday morning was at the hotel lobby again. We didn't have an easy mode of transportation since we were relying on Strang and Shaymin's cars. The four of us walked about 20 minutes to a shopping center where we looked around for "trainers" (sneakers) for the boys, and ate lunch at Panera Bread. On the way back, we stopped at Costco for berry smoothies from the snack bar. While at Costco, Cola bought large bottles of Crown and Jack Daniels (that was roughly the size of a gallon). Once we were back to the hotel, the shots of Jack and Coke were shot like crazy till late afternoon when Strang picked us up. He drove us around Boston, giving us the tour of Boston University, Fenway Park, and walking down the Charles River. He drove us back to Dedham, and the others spent more time drinking until Shaymin arrived. We had dinner at Vinny T's, the authentic Irish restaurant adjoining the hotel. The pizza and pasta was fabulous, and I watched as the others consumed more beer. We went with Shaymin to the premiere of the new Joey McIntire movie, "On Broadway." It was a fabulously executed movie about Irish family life in Boston, taking away a lot of the cliches that I'd previously attached with Beantown. I really recommend it. After the movie, we went to Club Luna for about 45 minutes. Since Lethal is underage, he waited at the entrance as we watched DJ Drama's performance and did some dancing. Again, I went to bed earlier than the bunch, feeling a little under the weather.

When I woke up Saturday, my tonsils were enlarged so much that I could barely swallow. My ears ached, I had a temperature and body aches, and I was wheezing like crazy. Since Taylor had been sick for a few days, I was worried. I looked into urgent care options in the Dedham area, and my only choice was an ER in Norwood. Unfortunately, without a car, the cab ride would be $25 each way. I finally got in touch with my doctor in Michigan, who called in a Z-pak and albuterol for me. Tera and Lethal chivalrously trudged through the snow to the pharmacy to pick up my meds, and came back with takeout pizza from Vinny-T's. I spent the majority of the day in bed sleeping, and didn't leave the hotel until 9 PM when Shaymin picked us up for chinese food at Tahiti restaurant.

The next morning I was feeling significantly better. After so many times being stranded without a car, I knew a rental car was in order for the rest of my trip. Cola and I took the commuter rail into South Station (where I picked up a rockin' Boston hoodie). While on the train, we were bombarded with green-clad, already drunken people en route to the St. Patrick's Day parade. It was a wild bunch, and I took lots of people pictures, just to prove how crazy it was. We connected onto the Silver Line metro into Logan airport. Next, we were picked up by the rental car agency shuttle, and haggled the counter agent into an SUV for $7 more than the compact car price. We drove out in a shiny new Nissan Murano. With our newfound vehicular freedom, Cola and I drove to Cambridge. We drove around MIT and Harvard, snapping pictures out the window. Once back at the hotel, we primped up for the big show at the Midway, where all of our boys would be performing. The show was less than ideal...I didn't like the venue or the set up of the all-ages and 21+ show split, but the talent was real, and it was fun to come out of my shell for a music genre that I usually ignore. But the illness of the night before caught up to me around 11pm, and I headed back to Dedham and fell asleep quickly.

This morning I was ready to leave hours before the others, so I drove around the immediate area, seeing if I could score a better green shirt than I was already wearing (didn't happen.) We took the Dublin boys to Chili's (which they hadn't even heard of), then headed towards Boston. We explored the same Irish cemetary I'd found the week before, downtown Boston, and then another jaunt to Cambridge. I successfully navigated myself back on side roads, including the infamous Jamaicaway.

Boston around St. Patrick's Day has not been the jolly fun time I expected, but I'm really glad I went. Tomorrow I will head home to my comfortable environment, the sadder by wiser Nicole. I have had experiences that I will never forget, and I've bonded with Cola so well.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Checkin' in from Beantown

I'm about 36 hours into my trip to Boston. Cola and I have been given the royal treatment...seeing the sights, eating the food, and experiencing the Irish lifestyle (which means everyone but me is drinking like crazy.) Bawston Strangla and Shaymin are our official Boston ambassadors and Terawrizt and Lethal Dialect are our boys from Dublin, keeping us company at the hotel during the daytime. More details and pictures will follow. I've come down with tonsillitis and am enjoying my comfy hotel bed.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thursday Green

Tonight I'm leaving for 5 days in Boston with my Irish sister Cola. I'll be landing at BOS-Logan around 11:30 PM, and will probably stay up way to late with Bawston Strangla, Shaymin, Terawrizt and the rest of the crew. I'm not sure all that we'll be doing in Beantown, but it's sure to be an unforgettable trip. 4 days till St. Patricks Day!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz

Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving: ENFPs are both "idea"-people and "people"-people, who see everyone and everything as part of an often bizarre cosmic whole. They want to both help (at least, their own definition of "help") and be liked and admired by other people, on both an individual and a humanitarian level. They are interested in new ideas. ENFPs have a great deal of zany charm, they are outgoing, fun, and genuinely like people. As mates they are warm, affectionate (lots of PDA), and disconcertingly spontaneous. ENFPs are easily intrigued and distracted by new friends and acquaintances. They usually try to use their social skills and contacts to persuade people gently of the rightness of their views.

ENFPs are friendly folks. Most are really enjoyable people. Some of the most soft-hearted people are ENFPs. ENFPs have what some call a "silly switch." They can be intellectual, serious, all business for a while, but whenever they get the chance, they flip that switch and become CAPTAIN WILDCHILD, the scourge of the swimming pool, ticklers par excellence. Sometimes they may even appear intoxicated when the "switch" is flipped. Most have a natural propensity for role-playing and acting. ENFPs like to tell funny stories, especially about their friends. This penchant may be why many are attracted to journalism. ENFPs are global learners. Amazingly, some ENFPs are adept at exacting disciplines such as mathematics. Friends are what life is about to ENFPs, moreso even than the other NFs. They hold up their end of the relationship, sometimes being victimized by less caring individuals. ENFPs are energized by being around people. Some have real difficulty being alone , especially on a regular basis.

Updates and Priorities

I found this sign at a sandwich shop in Canton. What a great life philosophy, eh? Thanks for the comment love in the post below! My best response yet (of course, it took a threat!)

I leave for Boston tomorrow night. I'm more excited about this trip than any other trip in a long time. I'll be a VACATION. I'll be staying in a Fairfield Inn (my favorite) I won't have to worry about only doing kid-friendly activities, or just "hanging out" like Taylor usually wants to do on vacation. Cola and I are going to be seeing the sights and recommuning with our Irish heritage. And I'll be designated driver on one of the most drunken days of the year. I want to see Harvard and MIT, Salem, Emerald Necklace, The Charles River, Fenway Park, Jamaica Plain, Chestnut Hill, Concord, and drive up the Cape.

Yesterday I finally resolved my Circuit City complaint. I went into the Westland location again, armed with copies of all my emails and receipts. The manager from my original visit was let go, and the new manager was in training in Florida. So I worked with the regional HR rep for Circuit City (their offices adjoined the store) and he apologized profusely, refunded the additional installation fee and gave a $24 service credit. So I walked out of the store with $93 credited back on my debit card and a smile on my face. It pays to be persistent!

I'm really, really behind in school. I'm supposed to have 50% of my coursework done by tomorrow's conference call for my Critical Theory and Writing class, and I'm still finishing up module one. I also am still figuring out my algebra/statistics class...but now that Taylor's into his class...we can work through it together. I decided I need to be a casual blogger again. It's going to hurt...blogging has become my favorite hobby.

I'm going to make some of my chocolate banana bread pudding once I post this, homework for a few hours, go to the gym, and homework for a few more hours. Gotta make up for part time effort on full-time coursework!

Monday, March 10, 2008


Since I started using Sitemeter in January after my dad's accident, I've had 1500 unique user hits on my blog. That's freakin' rad, isn't it? Hooray!

Unfortunately, I've only had about 15 comments (one in 100?). I hereby declare that I will not post another blog until I get 5 comments on this post. I know that I typically get 30+hits per day, so why doesn't anyone show me some love? Tell me this new pic of myself is stunning?!? Congratulate me on my new job? Give me ideas for what to do in Boston in 3 days?!?

Weekend in New England

This weekend, Rosie and I took a celebratory trip to New England in response to my job offer. I wanted to catch a few Elipsus shows, see the Atlantic Ocean, and enjoy Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. We flew into Providence Friday, scurried around Mass and CT Saturday, and flew back to Detroit on Sunday morning.

In Chestnut Hill, MA, we found this lovely Irish cemetery. I hope to come back and explore it with Cola next week.
This is the cemetery chapel. It's up on a hill overlooking the sacred grounds.
Driving down Commonwealth en route to Boston Common
After a crazy city drive, 20 minutes of walking, and a temperamental parking meter, we arrived at Boston Common. Rosie wanted to get a picture next to the sign.
Walking up the hill to the war monument. Rosie got tired!
View of the Massachusetts State House
Going up to enjoy the bandstand
Impromtptu performances by mother...
and daughter!
Below this defaced peace monument, we found a few dirty hyperdermics
and decapitated heads on the relief sculptures.
And then the rain started like crazy. This church was for sale in Wellesley. Got an extra $4m?
We drove down to New Haven to Fox's concert at the Borders in Milford.
Taking Rosie to all these concerts makes her more like me each day
We pulled faces at Fox all through the concert to distract him
Post-show, right before he drove to his show in Stamford and Rosie and I drove back to Providence. It was a great 36 hour getaway!

Dedicated to Taylor

I recently fell in love with Muse's music, and found this visually stimulating video on YouTube this morning. This one's dedicated my Tayviator...together we ARE invincible.

Friday, March 7, 2008

I Just About Died...

Today while I was out and about, getting ready for my trip...I saw two things that made me laugh soooo hard. The first one was the Irish Funeral Chapel that is across the street from the post office:

What makes this so funny is that my Irish sister Nicole's son's name is McCabe. Thus, I "just about died" when I saw it.

Then in the parking lot I saw this license place. What caught my attention was the name of the dealership. If you speak French, and you weren't paying close attention, you might have caught the vulgarity I did.


The word is in on both job offers is in, and one offer was 15% higher than the other. I have accepted the position in Thoracic Surgery, where I will be the go-to girl for Dr. Pickens. The office has a great view of lovely Ann Arbor, the office staff is wonderful, and I know Dr. P and I will make a splendid team! To celebrate, I'm going to see the Atlantic ocean this weekend. I'm flying into Providence tonight, and will return on Sunday morning (as long as we can get on the plane). Here are the words to Keane's "Atlantic," just for fun...

I hope all my days
Will be lit by your face
I hope all the years Will hold tight our promises
I don't wanna be old and sleep alone
An empty house is not a home

I don't wanna be old and feel afraid
I don't wanna be old and sleep alone
An empty house is not a home
I don't wanna be old and feel afraid
And if I need anything at all

I need a place That's hidden in the deep
Where lonely angels sing you to your sleep

Though all the world is broken
I need a place
Where I can make my bed

A lover's lap where I can lay my head

Cos now the room is spinning
The day's beginning

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Thursday Green...

Since bright green is my favorite color, I decided to start a weekly blog post (much like blogger friend's Wednesday Giggles, Friday Fluff, Morning Wood and Street-Urchin blogging, etc...) Mine will be Thursday Green ('cause you know what they saw about people that wear green on a Thursday???) It will either be about something green in color, or a post about my rockstar money-saving bargain-skillz. Today my new swimsuit came in the mail. I buy a new swimsuit every year in the spring...I've always loved to swim, and last years suit is SO stretched out, snagged and ugly from all my water aerobics. It fits like a halter suit with criss-cross straps in back. Perfect for athletic swimming. It's also nice to have a suit that is plus size, but isn't a swim dress. This suit is an update from the one I got last fits nicely under shorts when going to the beach. I bought it from It was $40...could be worse.

I also bought a new digital camera today...8 MP, 3x optical zoom, all the bells and whistles...normally $299, for $79 (new with 1 year warranty included). I just hope it makes it in time for my Boston trip next Thursday.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

And might I add...

Only eight more days till my St. Patrick's Day trip to Boston with Cola! I'm excited! However, I actually might find myself in the Boston area briefly on Saturday. Rosie and I are thinking about a quick trip to New England to enjoy a few Elipsus performances. We'd fly into Providence after school Friday, catch the downtown Providence, RI show Friday night, sleep, drive an hour or so to Boston for a noon show, and immediately turn around and hit the New Haven, CT show, sight-see a bit, and sleep again. We'd fly home Sunday morning just in time to make it to church.

I figure with work-life coming up pretty shortly, I'd better take advantage of a random, spontaneous mother-daughter trip to New England before it's too late.

Also, I got another email for an interview at the UofM residency office, but I turned it down. I have enough on my plate this week for interviews.

You know you'll be housebound when...

I looked out the window this morning around 5:30, knowing that there was a snow storm overnight. Apparently, we got about 3 inches of snow, then an inch of ice, covered by another 4 inches of snow. School's already canceled. Looks like it's soup, hot tea, and movies for Rosie and I today!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A battle of wits and wisdom

This morning I got a call from the Thoracic Surgery department administrator, saying that they were very interested in meeting with me again, and interviewing with the surgeon that I'd be working for (if I chose this position.) The only time that he's available to meet is Thursday morning at 7:30 am. I have my PEP interview at this works out fine. When I mentioned that my Pathology interview went really well, and that they wanted to hire me...she said they were willing to fight for me. Does this mean I have leverage for a better salary?

In other news, I have been laid up in bed for most of the day. I have been feeling shooting pains and spasms. I don't know if it's from Clint's adjustment, or from using muscles not usually used while swimming...but I'm pretty sore. Hopefully I'll wake up without pain and be able to trek (through all these new inches of snow) to the gym.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Celebratory Meal

And how does the Bullock family celebrate a great and positive interview experience? With Turkey O'Toole's and Balloon Hats at Bennigans!

Two Awesome Interviews

This morning is the first time since December that I got up, did my hair and make up, and dressed myself in business casual. I did my last resume revisions, filled up the gas tank, and drove to Ann Arbor. I gave myself an extra hour to get there, just in case random road hazards or parking situations came up. So I arrived in the UofM parking structure at 10:06 for an 11:00 interview. I listened to some Colbie Caillat on my Ipod to pass the time.

The first interview was in Thoracic Surgery. I could tell that the two ladies interviewing were both impressed and entertained by me. The job would be a direct secretary and assistant to a surgeon just out of his residency, plus one other surgeon that would be starting in July. I'd be planning travel, reconciling expense reports, coordinating his surgical and clinic schedules, and transcribing consults. It's a lot of independent work, and the surgeon expects 100% effort 100% of the time. I also met with the department administrator, who told me she was pleased with my qualifications and would be contacting my references.

I had an hour to kill before my next interview, so I chilled in the cafeteria with my bagel dog and Tazo tea. It was fun to watch the full spectrum of diners...students, doctors, patients, techs, and important people in fancy suits. I could tell UofM takes a lot of pride in is Ultra-Academic environment, and I know I'll love being a part of it.

My pathology interview was at 1:00 in the path conference room. I first chatted with Craig, who just barely was promoted to anatomic pathology supervisor. He looked like he was about 25, but when he said that he had 16 years of path experience and a double-masters degree, I figured it was just his dual ear piercings that threw me off. I also met with Beth, who was the AP Manager. The synergy of the interview was great. They were grinning from ear-to-ear, and skipped over the lame, stock HR questions...saying "We already know that you're a pro at that." It was awesome that they were already familiar with Dr. Geyer's publications, and they said it wasn't necessary for me to name drop Dr. Warren for them to be impressed. I left the interview feeling warm and buzzy.

I made a few phone calls to give the dish on my interviews on my way home, then threw my phone on the couch when I got home to take a nap. When I got up 45 minutes later...
I had a voice mail from Craig saying that he was very interested in hiring me, and I just needed to finish up some pre-employment junk with HR before he could extend a formal offer. I set up my PEP interview for Thursday, and I should have the details on the formal offer by the end of the week.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Weeping, Wailing, and Gnashing of Teeth

This evening, I decided to update all the blog links and widgets on my site. I successfully added everything I wanted, and decided to be adventurous with a cool background. I found a template I liked on Pyzam, and uploaded the template onto Blogger. Unfortunately, I didn't back up all my HTML and widgets...and lost EVERYTHING I'd spent two hours perfecting today! As my eyes welled up with tears, I decided against having a "fun" template until I can have a friend walk me through the process in detail. Curse you Pyzam!

In other news, I decided to upload my whole CD library onto my laptop's iTunes instead of our ancient (3yo) desktop. I'm going crazy looking for one of my three copies of Keane's "Under the Iron Sea." But other than that, I think I've uploaded everything I want. I now have 153 days of music at my fingertips :D

CTR 6 Class...take 3!

About a month ago, I was called to teach the CTR-6 class in our new ward. I laughed pretty hard...I taught the CTR-6's in the La Verne 2nd and Balmoral Wards...and those callings were the ones I left the wards with. I was getting the RS teacher I was surprised to get called to this one again. My callings seem to come three times, activities committee chair x 3, nursery leader x 3, and CTR-6 x 3. I've only taught gospel doctrine once, so will I have that calling two more times?

I decided to go all out for my new kids...spiffy name tags, lots of visual aids, and my favorite thing from my primary years....salt dough! Sharing time hour went well...the six 5-6 year old kids were about as squirmy as you'd expect. They sang the songs and peeked over at me to see if I was singing too. But during the classtime hour, they were so wound up to have a new teacher that I could barely control them. I told them about me, asked questions to get-to-know them, and made up the nametags. The lesson was "Jesus Christ was one a little child," and they loved the game I started out the lesson with. But as I went along the lesson manual...they were getting more an more anxious to know what the squishy lump in the Tupperware was.

The kids voices and squeals crescendoed over the next 15 minutes, till I finally dropped the lesson and went into my "Let's make clay pots like Jesus used" activity. I had Taylor make the dough from the recipe in the primary manual. Unfortunately, it was overly sticky and messier than normal. The kids were slathering it up their arms, poking each other's faces with goo, and were the total opposite of "reverent." I let them play until about 5 minutes till the block was over, and we shipped off to the restroom to get cleaned up. The little girls squeals were so amplified by the restroom acoustics that the primary president ran into the restroom to scold me within about 30 seconds. What a way to make an impression for my first week teaching!

Needless to say, beware the salt dough recipe....

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