Tag Archives: memories

Worst Moments of 2021

31 Dec

This list goes from the worst to the absolute #1 worst:


-Mercury made finals, but only 1 game was on a channel we get, the community didn’t GAF, & they lost

Especially compared to the hype and excitement of the Suns making it.


-variants nullified our vaccine & we were mostly back in quarantine

-Brnovich & Yee are running
Kimberly Yee publicly came out against prop 208 which taxed the highest earners on their personal income only to help AZ schools.
-missing out on activities bc of high risk of Delta variant
-Doug Ducey didn’t get recalled, ironically bc they couldn’t safely gather enough signatures in the pandemic
-realized NBA is rigged (covid playoff states, Giannis/shaq)
It’s no accident the NBA finals ended up being in two states with no Covid precautions/laws (AZ & WI).
-found out our Senator, Kyrsten Sinema sold out
-dad lost a hearing aid
-mom cancelled her vax bc she was listening to dis/mis-info
-missed Kathleen Madigan & Fortune Fenster & Lord Huron bc delta variant
-dad lost his 2nd hearing aid
-prop 208 was undermined by ducey’s new statute
-my parents were out & about w/high covid risk. Won’t listen.
-mom said she thought dad didn’t love her anymore (I hope/think it’s probably his depression)
-the heating pad burned Steins tummy
-mom saying trumpy talking-points
-Kyle accused me of excessively routing & holding claims too long
He said I would need to sit side by side with our mentor so she could tell me what I was doing wrong…  I told him (for at least the 7th time, between emails and verbally on phone calls) that even this phone call gives me anxiety.  And I asked if I could just do the work and send the claim for her to check it.  He did not listen.  He did not try to work with me.  He did not see any other way to accomplish the goal other than the one method he stated.  Kind of annoyed I was asking for accommodation for my anxiety disorder, he said she would  be side by side watching me do the claim so she could tell me what I was doing wrong in real time.  I was upset bc I do have anxiety, and have emailed him at length about that, and even talked about getting an ADA for anxiety, but he would not work with me.  After a long pause, where I was considering bringing up the ADA or alternate methods to achieve the goal, I just said I understood—mostly bc he never listens to me anyway, so why bother?

5/18/21:  Kyle’s recap of our 1:1

I understand that your anxiety can get really bad, however, it is best for someone to sit with you on a live claim example. This way there is no confusion and they would be able to see first-hand what’s happening and possibly propose a solution. This will also aid in your questions in regards to the Xref claims.

I do mostly Zx claims all day long, and they are my favorite.  

The auditors have looked them over many times, and the Zx claims passed as correct. 

I do not have questions about Zx claims.

There are many correct examples of Zx claims that I complete every day and claims that have passed audit.










I couldn’t do those random 6 that came through unpaid, for the reasons I explained verbally in the 1:1, and wrote out in an email recap of the 1:1 bc I could tell Kyle wasn’t listening to me. 

He is STILL under the impression I am doing them wrong even though I do them all the time.

-Julia micromanaged me

-Kyle said “we need more”

I emailed you back regarding your email, but I think it got confused within the chain.  In the email, I told you I originally provided:  The claim #, pend, the auth #, how many units it was over, the problem that it’s split into a decimal, a picture of the calculator showing the days split into a decimal, and a pic of the wf tab, and wf box # I got to.  Also, it wasn’t my question—it was a directive of the wf to send it to TL.   And I asked what else I need to do.  I really need to know what else to send to clear up future confusion, as this is a persistent problem.

I asked what else was needed, because I felt like I had sent everything, and rather than admitting he didn’t read the email chain before admonishing me, he gaslighted me and said a vague:  “We need more.” And that’s all he would tell me.  By the end of the call, I was literally screaming, “What else do you need????!!!!”
-We pinched Bison’s neck in his collar & he said he always hated us so he wanted to move out
-EEOC didn’t even open my documentation & got everything wrong in the 1 paragraph they wrote!
As a last resort, I went through with reporting my work harassment and retaliation to the government.  I spent 3 hours on the phone telling my caseworker the specific details of what happened.  Then I spent 5 hours on a weekend, trying to make all my documentation understandable to an outsider.  It contained a lot of jargon and technical information.  I sent a whole zip file of the documentation because it was SO much evidence.  The day before the case was to be finalized, my case worker emailed asking me to call her a 2nd time.  I was only able to speak to her for 10-15 min during my lunch break.  And guess what?  I could tell 
I felt like it was a colossal waste of time, and hopeless.  When she finally did start my case, the one paragraph was full of incorrect information, and did not identify the correct problem.  #$%^@*
-dad drove recklessly and was lucky he didn’t cause an accident, and wrecked the car
-Kyle said I worked off the clock
Employee Handbook: Timekeeping Violations As a company founded on ethical behavior, we take timekeeping violations seriously. It is a violation of company policy for anyone to work off the clock, incorrectly report hours worked, or alter another employee’s time records without a legitimate reason or authorization to do so. It is also a violation to instruct, encourage, or pressure someone to engage in any of these acts. Any employee who engages in behavior that results in inaccurate timekeeping or incorrect payment is subject to discipline up to and including termination.
-dad weird sex-talk
-HR didn’t help me

-Goose has a mass in his diaphragm

I have been thinking of what to say, and sorry, if this is all over the place.  I’m concerned with the density on x-ray too.  I want everything for Goose, and want to have him (happy and comfortable) as long as possible.  I was trying to imagine what it could be to foresee what the treatment could be. . .  
If it was a tumor, most the time there would be some anomaly on bloodwork, is that true? And I didn’t think he was really at risk for diaphragmatic hernia at his age/activity level (I’ve heard about it in regards to very young puppies)? And if it was fluid, he would still have a “wet” sound or some respiratory symptoms?  I guess I’m not actually asking for the textbook of the various possibilities.  
My real question is:  Out of all the possibilities your knowledge and experience can think of–what is most likely, and are any of them completely reversible for Goose, & what timelines should I prepare for?  I don’t feel at his weight/age he’s a very good candidate for any surgery–do you think he would be? I wouldn’t want to lose him in trying to heal him w/sx, especially if it was uncertain to work, or only bought him a little more time.  Because, honestly just knowing what it is but not having a viable/affordable/long-term treatment would be more horrible than just not knowing for some reason.
I would only want to do u/s if it would absolutely tell us what it is, if there is definitely a treatment, and if that treatment worked for Goose long-term.  Which is to say, I know you’re not prescient, but you do have tons of experience.  Please be candid.
In every scenario, I’d like Goose to be as comfortable as possible.

Thank you so much,

My biggest concern/worst case scenario for that area in Goose’s x-ray would be a cancerous mass.  However if surgery would not be a possibility then I agree the ultrasound would be a bit of a moot point. 
As long as he is comfortable, I think it would be reasonable to do some watchful waiting for him. If his respirations change, he is not eating, has vomiting, or any other signs he is not feeling well, we could repeat x-rays and address any findings at that time.
As long as he is happy, that is all that counts.
Warm regards,

The Memories

20 Aug

I remember when I saw you and when you said
you would show me where the Walmart was,
but you forgot and took me to your house instead.
It was desperation at first sight.
You were nice to me and treated me right.
I felt guilty, taught it’s not the looks, but what’s inside…

you invited me on a date, it was a hike…
so you could simultaneously walk your dog
I played with your dog, then itched my flea-bit ankles

I still feel the butterflies tingle when I think back to
kissing you all night your garlic tongue gouging me
making out on your dirty, curb-side couch, never cleaned
going back to the dorms with your wet spot on my jeans

I remember those sweet moments
you took me to a bar, then ordered a pitcher of beer I hate
at the resturant ordered my meal, despite my complaints
took me to meet your friends, talked over me, I was your trophy
you threw a party for me, with none of my friends, just your cronies

All those sentimental times flood back to me
we were supposed to go out, but you were hungover
when I injured myself you were full of fortitude,
told me to put on my shoes so I could meet up for food

our relationship was a dream come true, like Camalot
planned a romantic evening, then instead you smoked pot
so much chemistry, but with your brother, with me it’s fraught
laying on your bed with one untucked, threadbare blanket
in the middle of it all, started crying, no explanation

Awww, all the happiness and generosity
invited your family to stay in our house, and never told me
went on vacation during my busiest work week
you made out with some dude, then thought you would fuck me



broke up.. relief.. out of my misery
I stopped a flirtation out of courtesty
meanwhile you planned to kiss some skank so I could see
asked to be my friend, then would gaslight me
invited me to dinner then spent the meal texting Jocie
enticed me to a friendly trip to Saint Louis then left with her–smutty!

getting you out of my life was the best thing that ever happened to me
you are a calamity

Big Fish Small Pond

5 Feb

oh what a success!

that higher degree

you lowered yourself

came back to the town

living on past memories


big fish small pond

you sparkle like a diamond

taste of fame and smugness spawned


so you were born silver and blue

titled yourself royalty

make speeches and appearances

big for your britches

nobody cares except your own vanity


big fish small pond

a new era has dawned

all your modesty gone


everybody knows you

at least they think they do

love and hate the fishbowl

you relish that attention

resent and shun it too


big fish small pond

all your devotees fond

do they know that they were conned?


you impressed me

I wanted to appease you

and have you as a role model too

I worked very hard

you can’t dispute that


but you have a secret

can’t show that side of you

you’re actually terrified

but will never let on

your ego might get bruised


you’re self absorbed

everything’s about you

on my scary day

locked me in the bathroom

told me to keep yours confidential


put yourself on a pedestal

all that self aggrandizing

calling everyone losers

saying ‘play the game’

the town doesn’t know that part of you


big fish small pond

but pomposity beyond

a professional = non


invited me in

I saw the breakdown

now you cheat and scheme

not who I thought you were

awfully disappointing


big fish small pond

though I left and did abscond

I won’t be shamed I will respond


you only liked when I admired you

turned against me when I saw inside

stomped on me when I was low

could have tried to mentor though

my behavior wasn’t any worse than yours


your true character is ugly

you have your issues too:

you’re a bully

and conniving

and mean-spirited



it’s what you do

so go ahead and talk shit

you know I know the truth

This Weird Thing Happened to Me in 5th Grade

14 Jan

I was a teacher’s kid.  So pretty much, whatever teacher was best, my parents could request and get for me.  No problem.

The fifth grade teachers all came to my fourth grade class to introduce themselves.  It would be the first time we’d changed school buildings.  My elementary at the time only had space for K-4, then you went to the middle school for 5-8, then HS for 9-12.

There was an old gal, with a whisper of a voice.  No way did I want some soft-spoken grandma!  There was some fat lady who looked mean.  Nope.  The known best teacher in the fifth grade (who pretty much every parent requested)

came in and I instantly had a strong dislike/aversion to her.  She was in 4 inch heels.  Totally impractical, uncomfortable, and girly.  How the fuck was she supposed to watch us in the gravel at recess?  Her outfit was a form-fitting pencil skirt and suit jacket.  I instantly thought she was ridiculous.  I was like, offended, by her.  WTF?  The teacher I set my heart on looked athletic.  She had short blonde hair, wore comfortable looking sneakers, and in the Q&A portion said she loved sports.  Travis, the boy who had ended up with every same teacher I’d had from 1-4th grade enthusiastically wanted in her class.  So did I.

I knew my parents wanted me to have the best (most girly) teacher, but I insisted I wanted the sporty one.  And they let ME pick.

I was still a kid.  Not aware of fashion, oblivious of any pre-teen stuff.  I was not cool at all–that wasn’t even on my radar.  Still a baby really.

My best friend had many older siblings, so she was more interested in teenage things.  She liked makeup and wanted boobs very badly.

The teacher played music in the background of class, and I liked that.

The class held up posters to a song that went with a book we read, Bridge to Teribithia? I can’t remember exactly, but I do remember how proudly and excitedly each group raised their poster during the assigned portion of the song.

The teacher talked about going to the re-up of Woodstock Music Festival and how the people from New York had funny accents.

We read Where the Red Fern Grows and watched the movie, too.  I was disappointed the death scene wasn’t the graphic depiction we had read in the book.

She also talked about how Ellen (the sitcom of Ellen Degeneres, which was in it’s non-notorious early days) was so funny.  And that made me watch it.

My teacher’s endometriosis falls like a blanket over the entire year, touching everything.  Making a great impact.

We had silent reading what felt like a lot, and the teacher let us sit under our desks.  It felt like a fort, and I really liked that.  My best friend introduced me to magazines:  YM, Seventeen, and Teen mostly.

My class continuously went out to the track.  I’m not sure if this was normal for my teacher with every class, or if she just wasn’t feeling well a lot and took us outside to have a break.

We had substitute after substitute, and that felt like having no teacher at all.

The other kids were happy we weren’t doing that much, like they were able to get away from something.  But I like learning, and I felt a little disappointed despite the fun.

That was when you could still watch any ol’ movie in school.  I must have seen every Disney classic out in that span of time, and I must have watched The Lion King at least 5 times just in school.

I loved to write, and my teacher gave (just) me (that I know of) a blank journal that I could fill up because she noticed that I had an interest in writing poetry.  I felt special and I felt like she recognized potential in my writing.

Math had always been a struggle for me, and 5th grade was the year I really fell behind and never caught up–mostly due to so many subs and so much track-walking.

Our teacher asked my best friend and I to take flowers she had received (from her boyfriend? if I remember correctly what she said) into the empty classroom while everyone was at recess.  My best friend was nosy and initiated snooping through the teacher’s desk drawers–she had candy in there.  Though not enough that we would go unnoticed if we took some.

I put my middle finger to my eye in a covert flipping off of a particularly annoying substitute that made known I was a teacher’s kid–a label I had been trying to downplay after graduating out of the school both my parents worked at.

One day, the class was silently reading (seated at our desks) and the teacher called me up to her desk.  She was practicing her signature over and over and asked me which one looked the best.  While I was scrutinizing the names on the paper, out of the corner of my eye I could see the teacher unzipping her pants.  Remember, the whole class is in the same room, just feet away, reading silently.  I quickly pointed at whatever signature, said “that one,” and started to make a hasty retreat to my desk.  She asked, (and I’ll never forget this as long as I live) “Would you like to touch my ovary?”  I said a quick, “No thanks” and rushed back to my seat.

I don’t think she was trying to be a perv or anything like that.  I think she knew I wanted to be a veterinarian, and had an interest in science.  And she thought it might be educational?  And we were inside a room full of other kids, not obscured or private in any way.  I thought it was odd then and I think it’s super-strange today.  What was she thinking?

And I wasn’t shamed or secretive about the incident at all.  I told my best friend (a known blabber-mouth), my parents, it wasn’t something I kept quiet.  Today, that teacher would probably be fired for doing that, maybe even get hauled into court and possibly labeled a sexual offender.  But this was the 1990s and I guess everyone just thought–‘hmm, that’s weird, and maybe poor judgement…’

I mean, I have suffered no psychological damage from it or anything, so I’m glad nothing really came of it.  Though my mom is adamant that she did go talk to that teacher, and even swore at her (which doesn’t sound like something she would do), but I have zero recollection of that at all.  None.  And I feel like I would.  So I guess a conversation was had.

Mostly, I use that as a funny story to bring up that sounds far-fetched.


A Lot Can Change In One Year

18 Sep

Last year at this time, I was probably heading into my first round of exams for my last semester in the Post-Bac Speech & Hearing Sciences program.  I had worked ALL summer on my application materials and was editing papers and really preparing as much as possible for an acceptance into an audiology program.

This year, I just don’t know.  I am sad I wasted all that money, time, and effort to just get put-off for the audiology track.  I thought that would be my thing.  Now I’m thinking it’s not going to happen.  Big-University’s have taken enough of my money, and really not afforded me opportunities.  I have an Animal Science degree that I pay for, but still don’t use.  And now I have a post-bac idea that isn’t a certificate, let alone a degree.  And I’m paying back those loans as well.  Besides the lack of ability to PAY for more school, I’m not big on the idea anymore.  And I’m reading a lot of things I don’t like about the audiology career.  Like 4 years of school, repetitive work, and a low ceiling financially.

Maybe the Audiology was just a means to get me out of the veterinary world.  But if that’s true, I feel like there should be a world opening up for me where I do fit in.  It’s seriously not fair.

Anyway, that was supposed to be an intro into the real post:  What are my priorities?

It’s good to have an idea of your priorities so you can arrange your life around them.  Make what’s important the thing that’s in your life most predominately.  It gives an idea of boundaries.  I really don’t know mine, just because I have no long-term plan yet.  So I’ll just talk about in the shorter term to have something.

armadillo plating

It’s important to me to keep running every day.  I don’t want it to get squeezed out of my schedule.

I want to see Cool often.

It’s imperative the apartment stays clean.

I need to make enough money to cover my bills.

This next 4-5 years is about saving as much money as possible so we can move to Colorado.

I would like not to have to take a step backwards into veterinary assisting if it all possible.

I’d like some dental and eye insurance.

I enjoy having some time off while Cool also has time off to explore this new city.

I want to be able to take an occasional trip to see our parents, or just some more states.

The kitties, obviously, will remain with us and well cared for.  So pet-friendly apartments are a MUST.

Sleep.  I want enough of it.  9 hours would be ideal, and I don’t want to sacrifice it.

I want to explore how to break into laboratory careers.  I like the work.  And I really like not dealing with the public–like a lot more then I realized I would.  Maybe I can get a simple (not big university!) certification that could get me in the lab.

I should also look into hearing instrument specialists.  I have no idea how to get into it, but they make just as much (or more) than audiologists.  And I started that ball rolling at Riverpoint, so it would be nice not to waste it.

building a bear

So I guess my priorities are my health, my relationships, and finding a job or career that I can pay my bills.

Trying to Forget

30 Jul

Thinking about clogging for my school’s talent show made me happy.  I was good at it.  It will be something fun–and not related to any long term goals.  It’s just stress-relief and showcasing my background.  And yesterday, work finally went well!  What a difference a  doctor makes. . .  Anyway, I never felt like a cool kid when I was super-involved with clogging.  We were not cheerleaders, nor ballerinas, or hip-hop dancers–all awesome in the wider world of grade school.  We were sort of nerdy, in my own mind.dancing

So much of the time I spent as a dancer, I wasn’t pleased when the routines pilfered popular songs.  I spent most of MY personal time (away from dancing) trying to disassociate each song I heard on the radio from the dance steps that went along with it.  The task proved impossible.  I couldn’t get the choreography out of my head.  Clogging ruined a lot of songs for me.  I just couldn’t mindlessly sing to the radio or bob my head on the team bus like the rest of my peers.  I would be thinking, “stomp, double step, double, hop, heel, kick,” and the like.  Or I would be thinking, “jazz fingers, head up, move forward, star formation.”  But never just enjoying the songs.

And it was a wide range of songs that transcended genres.  All of Elvis, “The Sign,” “Everybody Dance Now,” Twilight Zone,” “Mr. Vein,” Boot-Scoot-n-Boogie,” “Twist & Shout,” well, I couldn’t even begin to name a quarter of them.  If it was popular–there was a dance that went with it.  It really put a damper on my full enjoyment of music Laurel's pics 429for the longest time.

Thirteen years (What?!  Wow!  How did that happen?) after my last clogging class, I can’t for the life of me remember many steps at all.  I worked so hard for so long trying to forget–that I most thoroughly did.  And what a shame!  Now I’m trying to make up a good show dance, and I have only a few steps at my disposal.  And those are the most used stand-bys, nothing flashy or awesome.

Also, I can’t remember how to write the cue sheets in the simplest way, so as I’m looking on YouTube and trying to write the footwork that goes with the names I’m likely to forget, it’s taking a long time.  And I’m not sure it will make sense later.  This may be the most difficult routine I’ve tried to choreograph–and it’s Laurel's pics 762because I just can’t remember. . .

I do find it amazing, really, really neat, that my feet seem to remember the footwork though.  As long as they call out steps, and show feet, I can jump right in and do all the steps/dances on YouTube that I’ve found.  So that is pretty awesome.  I guess that’s more muscle memory than my brain?  Maybe deep, down under a lot of layers, I remember a lot of stuff?  At least my feet know what to do if my brain refuses to function how I want!  I wonder if I could pole vault still?

Grandma Reathel

25 Oct

What do you say in these awkward essays that ask for a snapshot of who you are as a person? How could I possibly give you an idea of who I am in only a few pages? I could probably write books about my years, detailing every goal, triumph, and failure I have experienced. I agonized what to write for over a week before deciding that the best way for you to get to know me was by telling you about the most influential person in my life. I feel, in telling you about the close relationship I had with my paternal grandmother, you will learn about who I am and what type of person I aspire to become.

I was born on an Indian reservation in Montana. Being an only child, the youngest of three grandchildren, and the only granddaughter on my father’s side of the family, meant my grandmother and I had a special bond. My parents and I lived in a modest doublewide modular home, surrounded by trees. My father stayed home with me while my mom taught elementary students. One day, my dad met my mom at the door and said, “I can’t do it anymore!” He had read me a hundred books that day, and could recite “Pigs Say Oink” by memory. My grandma also watched me often and was never too busy to read me a story or listen to one of my made-up songs. Some of my favorite memories (and pictures) and the two of us lounging in bed, reading and giggling for hours. Aside from reading, I also enjoyed playing on my swing set in the yard and my grandmother would watch me while chatting with my parents at the top of the four stairs leading to the house.
On my third birthday, I was coming in from the yard, and fell on the stairs. They were those kind of stairs that you can see the ground through–not solid. Anyway, I slipped and hit my face on the porch. It bent my first two (baby) teeth clear to the roof of my mouth. I do not recall the pain from falling, but I do remember how the dentist recommended my mom pry my teeth back into place with popsicle sticks for weeks afterward. That was the worst part about the injury, but having my grandma there to comfort me made it a tiny bit better. I do not think the five years of orthodontics I suffered through as a teenager had anything to do with this accident, but I still don’t like stairs or bleachers that are not solid!
When I was a toddler, my dad would hunt and fish all the time. I would beg to go fishing with “Dat,” (my first word) and liking my company, he would oblige. Inevitably, I would get bored almost immediately and begin to throw rocks in the water. . . One time, my mother and grandmother also accompanied my father and me on one of our fishing trips. They were picking berries a distance away, and I was right with my dad who was sitting on the bank of the creek. Somehow, I managed to plunk in the water headfirst. My mom and grandma were frantic! My dad, fish pole still in hand, calmly reached in the water with his other hand and grabbed my right foot before it disappeared from view. He said, “Stay out of the water,” and unfazed, I replied, “OK Dat.” I have never been afraid of much.
My parents moved to Nevada, when I was four years old, to take advantage of better job opportunities. Being separated from my grandmother was devastating for both of us, and to make up for the distance we would call each other on the phone once or twice a week for hours at a time. We talked about the weather, how I was doing in school (straight A’s with a couple B’s in math), what my grandma had watched on television, just anything and everything. When my design was chosen to represent the elementary school’s walk-a-thon fundraiser, it was my grandma that I wanted to tell first! When my clogging team got first place at Broadway Bound, I immediately called my grandmother. I also cried to my grandma when my cat, Max, died, and when my other cat, Jellybean, ran away.
Even into my teen years, my grandmother and I kept up the tradition of our long, weekly phone call. She also wrote newsy letters often, and mailed cards and gifts–never missing even the smallest holiday. To this day, I try to emulate her thoughtfulness. Every other summer, my parents would make the drive to Montana to visit extended family. It was great seeing my grandma again! Back then, I aspired to publishing a beverage cookbook. Even when my experimental shakes weren’t so good, my grandma would drink the whole thing ooo-ing and awing appropriately!
One summer, my dad’s brother and his wife visited us in Nevada. It was special because extended family hardly ever made it down to see us. That and they would be there for my father’s birthday. While my aunt and uncle were in town, I took a break from the fun, and tried to call my grandma. The phone rang and rang, but sometimes she went to a social event or an appointment. I would try calling her later. Meanwhile, my parents and I showed my uncle and aunt the sights of Nevada: Reno, Lake Tahoe, Virginia City, and the capital building and mint in Carson City. It was very fun having them around! I tried calling my grandmother a second time that week, and again, the phone just rang and rang. I was starting to get a little worried. My mom assured me that grandma was a very busy lady, and was probably just running errands or out visiting one of her numerous friends. That made sense to me, but that night I dreamt of my grandma. In the dream, she had died and told me that she wanted me to take her house. I whined that I didn’t want the house–I wanted her. When I woke up the next morning, I was upset, but figured I had only had the dream because I had been so worried about missing our phone call. I would try to call again when I could.
Knowing that my dad missed the recreation of Montana, my uncle took my father camping and fishing for an early birthday present. Us girls planned a fun night in, complete with personal pan pizzas (mine BBQ flavored). We had just opened our boxes, wonderful pizza smells wafting in the kitchen, and the phone rang. It was my father’s sister, who only called at Christmas. Right then, I knew. I started crying uncontrollably, realizing my grandma had died, just like in my dream.
I do not like to think about the rest of that horrible night. I try to forget the strange way my aunt tried to distract me from breaking down by showing me yoga. I wish I did not remember I was wearing my jean shorts with green and white stripes down the sides and a “peace frogs” tank. I would rather forget the nice police officer who came to our door at 4 AM to tell us the bad news. Mostly, I would prefer not to still feel the loss of that night, which will always be with me.
Dad’s birthday forgotten, all of us headed to Montana. It was the first time my parents and I had driven to Montana two years in a row. It was also the first time I was old enough to help drive a portion of the seventeen and a half hours. While I was driving through a sparse stretch of highway in eastern Nevada, my mom asked my dad how he was doing. He said, “I’m back here praying,” which he meant to be a quip about my unseasoned driving. The wounds were so new, that I took him seriously and thought he was praying about my grandmother–instead of snickering like normal, I became unusually quiet.
I also vividly recall my grandma’s funeral. There were beautiful flowers, and photo collages (a lot of them featuring me) which my grandma would have loved. My grandma kept quite a few photo albums and spent a lot of time thumbing through them or showing the floral, bound photo albums to company. It is probably the reason I am so sentimental and currently keep my own scrapbooks up to date. There were also numerous people at the service. This made perfect sense, as my grandma had made friends everywhere she went. During the service, I was to speak about my close relationship with my grandma. I agonized for days prior to the service, trying to do my grandmother justice. I stood in front of everyone to share what I had written, but became very upset and cried in the middle of the eulogy. Never recovering my composure, I accidentally skipped a portion of what I planned to say. I was disappointed in myself for the rest of the afternoon, even though many people told me how beautifully I had done. I wished I would have done a better job for my grandma.
After the actual funeral, everything felt surreal. The way people kept showing up to my grandma’s green, two-bedroom house, digging items out of every closet, shelf, and cranny, and sorting them into piles on the green shag rug. How well meaning people kept telling me to take what I wanted. How could I possibly take any of my grandma’s few belongings? Just like in my dream, I did not want her stuff—I wanted her! I though it an odd ritual to sort possessions amongst family. I do not regret not taking much of my grandma’s things-I will always have my memories of her.
Strangely, my seventeenth birthday rolled around while my parents and I were in Montana settling the estate. In no mood to celebrate, I wanted to ignore it. My family, having the best intentions, gave me a cake. Whoever planned the surprise neglected getting candles, so my family made-do and placed plastic cutlery in the cake instead. I find it a peculiar memory, sitting heartbroken, in front of plastic forks and spoons, with relatives I hardly knew singing “happy birthday” to me. It was the first time I had ever been in Montana on an odd numbered birthday, and the last time I have ever been back. I can’t bear to think of someone else inhabiting my grandma’s house. And visiting family in my grandma’s absence seems heartrending.
The rest of the summer, I tried to distract myself. My parents even let me paint my bedroom the summer my grandma died. I picked the colors, ordered them at the store, and rolled two coats onto the walls all by myself. I left one wall the original mint green, painted one wall my favorite color, lavender, and did a light blue sky with clouds on the third wall. On the final wall, my parents allowed me to paint a mural over the new pastel yellow color. I painstakingly penciled an inch-by-inch grid on to the wall, found a picture of a large cat, and meticulously painted the cat over the next month. It turned out really well, considering I have no innate artistic talent or experience! My room looked colorful and gorgeous by the time school started, and all the work had distanced me from such extreme sorrow.
I was still heartbroken and looking for something to fill my time when I remembered how devoted my grandmother was to charity work. She religiously volunteered at her local Humane Society, and would take me with her when I was visiting. I loved petting the kittens and playing with the puppies while my grandma helped! Thinking about that prompted me to take initiative and resume my own volunteer work at the local veterinary hospital. A new veterinarian had just replaced the one I had volunteered with from fifth grade to eighth grade. Though I had previously accrued three hundred volunteer hours, and was really compelled to get a jump start on my career, when I got to high school, I became involved in numerous activities, and just stopped going. When the new veterinarian agreed to let me volunteer, I went avidly and still enjoyed it.
My grandma has influenced my entire life. Getting re-involved in the veterinary hospital the summer my grandmother passed away helped me get my foot in the door to my future career. Overall, I volunteered 660 hours at that veterinary hospital. The veterinarian there eventually hired me as an employee, and recommended I move to Missouri to take advantage of their wonderful animal science program. In moving to Missouri for college, I got more jobs, established more contacts in my field, and gained substantial experience with many different types of animals. I hope that the resume I have built up so much since that summer will enable me to be accepted to veterinary school in the near future. Without the events of that terrible summer, I may have never have regained my motivation to ardently pursue my future career.
I cannot name all the ways my grandma has shaped me, she is one of the most powerful influences on my life. Because of her, I always write thank you cards. She was very big on manners, and especially correspondence. I also try to get over my shyness and be friendly the way my grandma was. She would chat with her neighbors, show people my photo in the grocery store, and be congenial to delivery people. I also use my grandma as a moral compass, thinking, “Would I be proud to tell grandma about that?” before making important decisions. Her memory will always be with me and I think I am a better person for it.

Motivation for Audiology

23 Oct

Every weekend of my childhood, my dad and I would go do the grocery shopping while my mom stayed home correcting papers, filling out report cards, or writing lesson plans.  It was our special time together.  We would drive the 30 minutes into “town” and my dad would grab a shopping cart only to “forget” it after the first stop.  I ALWAYS ended up being conned into pushing the shopping cart!  We would place the least costly brands into the cart according to what our list dictated.  This took awhile, as my dad is thrifty.

We went to a few stores, but the check-out process at each was always the same.  The friendly cashier would be pleased to see a father-daughter duo obviously enjoying each other’s company.  Maybe she would recognize us from weekends past and smile.  My dad would proudly say “This is my good helper-girl.”  It was a real heart-felt moment for the gals working the weekend shift probably encountering more tantrums and screaming than helpfulness and genuine affection.  Then, the part I hated would arrive.  She would read out the total.  I didn’t hate this part because we couldn’t afford the items she had scanned, or even because my dad fussed at the price.  Neither of those things ever occurred.  What did happen was my Dad’s inevitable, “What?”  The checker would repeat the number, and I would be so embarrassed, knowing what was to come.  My dad still didn’t hear what amount he should write on his check.  My face would flush, and the poor cashier, desperate to get her lines moving, would eventually just turn the written numbers toward my dad so he could see his total for himself.  It is from that mortification that I felt, that I want to help people with hearing loss.  My compassion for my beloved dad motivates me to help others like him.

Missouri Loves Company [posted 4-22-09]

17 Jan

Far, far away from my parents, and the independence that affords me

Going out in public without being recognized. . .  And judged-gerr

Living in a progressive, college town

My awesome job/salary/benefits at Noah’s Ark (minus the 5 people I do not like)

Work a short 2 minute drive from my apartment

Lack of wind!

Festivals:  Pumpkin-Fest, Anchor-Fest, Wurst-Fest, Pride-Fest, Earth Day, German-Fest

Relatively inexpensive gasoline—cheapest in the nation

Auto shops within walking distance of my apartment and work

Humidity, and the full hair it gives me

Seasons (especially fall)

Swimming pool at my apartment—or in the town, for that matter

Trails (complete with shade and mile-markers) for walking, biking, and running

The Central time zone (I wake up at 4:45 AM and go to bed at 8 PM now)

Small temp differential between day and night—NV gets COLD after dark

Naturally growing grass and trees everywhere you look


Restaurants and bars- Murrays (and their beautiful carafes of house red), Shakespeare’s Pizza,

Coldstone, Tropical Liquors, Sub Shop, Saki (2004-2006), BD’s Mongolian Grill, Flatbranch, Chipotle, Buffalo Wild Wings, Bangkok’s Garden, Teller’s, Addison’s, Penera, Aritisan (2004-2007), Sycamore, Harpo’s, Kobe, Bread Basket, McNally’s

CoMo Homo Showmos (2004-2006)

Downtown nearby

No need to put on lotion

Community recreation

Rain storms (though not when I have to be out IN them)