Friday, May 31, 2013

Benadryl, the lifesaver at Sasquatch

Four days of music for the non-drug, non-alcohol induced slumber person can lead to temporary insanity. In my case, I ended up taking a nap during the last two songs of Mumford & Sons. I curled up in a ball on the grass in the fifty degree night sky and slipped into dreamland, waking up to clapping and cheering. Just in time to hear the two encores.

That evening we got home to the campground via shuttle (one of the perks of premium camping) and all was nearly silent. Ecstatic to crawl in our sleeping bags, we trudged up the dirt road to our site, where across the street a drunk boy turned on his boombox, blasting funboy beats at our campsite.

After three nights lacking sleep, I was having beyond vulgar thoughts and if I'd have had a baseball bat, I may have approached and tried to scare him off. However, earlier that day I'd discovered in my handy travel medical kit (that I take with on all long holidays) there were not only sleeping pills (which I've never taken) but also Benadryl. Benadryl, the godsend that allowed me to sleep through a second overnight stuffy vinyl-seated bus in Vietnam.

While suppressing my evil thoughts, I popped out the magenta pill and split it in half, one for me, one for Justin. We crawled under the covers and escaped the dance party in seconds, not waking up until past 11AM the following morning. Drugged sleep is not the same as real sleep but it's an apt substitute under certain conditions.

Sasquatch is held at the Gorge Amphitheatre near Quincy, WA, which is east of Seattle and north of Portland. 
Macklemore was definitely the best show and the the sweetest performer. He actually talked to the audience and spoke from the heart, and was so happy to be back in the Northwest. After all, he's from Seattle... a rapper from Seattle! 
 Sigor Ros- I've seen them before in a smaller enclosed venue, 
which I think is more their style but it was still pretty good.
Tallest Man on Earth - I think the only true singer-songwriter at the festival. 
 People kept taking pics of us.
Here's the crew of five: Justin, Matt, Carrie, Lindsay and me. 
Edward Sharpe, good but a little flat.
The Gorge is stated to be the most beautiful place in the world to see music.

Every day we had to put on all our clothes and take all them off... it was highs in the 70s and lows at 50 or below. 
 Mumford & Sons-- really tight and gorgeous. (Even though I did take a nap during two of their least lovely songs.)

Crazy kids dancing to Menomena on the last day of Sasquatch: 
 ALT-J!! The most beautiful, unique music of the show. 

 I thought the Postal Service was going to be a highlight, but it was one of the most blah shows of the weekend and we even left a half hour early.
 Arrival back at Matt's! Timer pics.
The morning after! 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

People and their loads

"He had learned that it was the smallness of people that filled him with wonder and tenderness, and the loneliness of that, too. The world was made up of people putting one foot in front of the other, and a life might appear ordinary simply because the person living it had been doing so for a long time. Harold could no longer pass a stranger without acknowledging the truth that everyone was the same, and also unique; and that this was the dilemma of being human." -Rachel Joyce, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

I woke up and was tying my shoes (black Dansko oxfords) and thought of my dad, and how he helped people in the Social Security office. And how it is enough to care about others and do the best you can and share your smile and your heart with everyone. 

And so today I've finished my approximately two weeks of almost full time work. I accidentally showed up thirty minutes early to work today. And I'd already almost done this once last week. My brain is definitely adversely affected by near normal work weeks. Wait until I have kids. I will be completely lost wandering around town, not knowing my name or address. I am not kidding. 

I've been thinking a lot lately about life, and the shortness of it and all that we have to be thankful for. A video I watched about Zach, an eighteen year old from Minnesota who died of cancer, keeps running through my head. He said something like, "It's a good day when you can make another person smile." He was so beautiful in the documentary. I really think he is right. 

Today, one of my patients told me her husband just got diagnosed with liver cancer. They gave him one year to live. I wanted to cry for her. Instead I just listened and asked more questions. We talked about different things. Sometimes (actually often) being an eye doctor is first about caring for people's souls and secondly about their eyes. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Bikes, mortgages, and whatnot.

I've been working my butt off. A whole FIVE days a week these last few weeks. I've managed to ride to work every day except when it was raining yesterday. And after one atrocious stressful driving commute downtown, next time I'll don the rain gear and pedal there.

The funny thing about cycling is that it never feels like it takes long to get anywhere. After a very short time, your body kicks into shape and everything is easier. Biking makes you feel healthier all around. I've been contemplating shipping my bikes out from Iowa. It's about $80-100 a bike with shipping and boxing of the bikes. I miss my them. I've been thinking about it long enough to just do it.

This evening I worked on attempting to secure a mortgage pre-approval. Normally this would be easy. But with my foot-loose and fancy-free lifestyle of the last five years, I am a non-traditional applicant. The only one who will consider me is my local credit union. Without a W-2 form of pay, no one wants to touch me, even with a stable total income for the last three years and assets as back up. I find this rather annoying, but what can I do but be thankful that there are credit unions who are willing to listen and work with their members. I've been pro-credit union forever; this only deepens my commitment.

Workwise, I continue to get job inquiries for the Portland metro area. I am reluctant to sign on for days which will require extra commuting for not a lot of take home pay. I'd rather wait out an extra day at Costco. Or just do fill-in as it comes up. I am taking a few more extra days here and there so I can justify some time off in case I want to return to Iowa for a while. Maybe the Outer Banks in the October.

I've been rolling around scenarios in my head. I feel that continuing with a 2-3 day work week is the most dominant goal as far as work goes. I'm not thinking about quitting, or moving somewhere else, or going on to the next place. Strangely, we're rather contented. What does that mean?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Love Yourself

Yesterday I was biking home and this song came into my head. I was singing it while riding down Killingsworth. It is so beautiful. I never thought about its meaning much before. We should listen to this everyday and remember our true colors are beautiful like a rainbow. It is so true.


 Secondly, Everyone should look at this daily:

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Small living, simple pleasures

I can't explain, but all my patients today were those who feed your soul. A woman born in 1949 & one in 1947. A sweet Thai guy in his thirties. A 59 year old lady who just lost her job yesterday. A 33 year old father of three woodsman with an MD wife. And a few others who were nice too. 

Sometimes I think I'm in the wrong field. Sometimes I wonder if I should work more. Sometimes I wonder if I should be in a more pretentious position or at least one with a lot of benefits. But I have noticed that I've been working at the Costco since January, and I haven't thought about quitting. I do not dread work. I actually like going. I feel that work is a bit of a getaway. The people are nice enough. The staff is nice enough. We are scheduled every thirty minutes which is adequate to do a full exam, dilate and get to know them a little. I don't feel rushed. 

I bike to work, rolling up to the front door. Premier parking. I'm starting to know the optical staff- and they are all nice people. Most of the people have worked there for years. 

I wonder what the benefit of trading a two day a week job for a five day a week job would be. How many days off and how many other benefits are worth working so many more days? The biggest missing pieces are health insurance and paid leave. I think I am fairly content with my professional integrity at my current place of work. 

I'm apt to think that working more is not the answer. That continuing to figure out how to live on less and enjoy my free time is a more worthy goal. 

I guess this is the same thing as everything else. Take it slow. Don't jump into anything. Feel your way. Watch for openings and see which way to go. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Sunshine and Bikes

So we haven't lost the dog lately. We keep checking the doors (three times) before we leave. I'm paranoid that he's slipped out the door when we weren't looking. So far so good. 

I rode to work today. Just over five miles. In under thirty minutes. 

There's something about cycling to work that makes the day feel right. Sun shining down the road, rolling along, hugged by trees, the music of the motors and cyclists... I pedal my heart out, pushing my muscles harder and harder, feeling stronger by the minute and proud of body. The benefit of exercise is feeling good about yourself. 

Feeling alive. Riding up to work. Front door parking. Or pulling the bike into the back room, safe from thieving hands. (They say that when you're at work or in class is when the bike is most likely to disappear.) 

Filling in today downtown in an optical shoppe with two walls of windows, the ladies fitting the glasses were decked out in sweet skirts and fun shoes. Dan Auerbach wafted over the speakers. It was quiet and peaceful and laid back. I wondered what it would be like to work somewhere like that. 

We've been mulling over ideas and life the last few weeks. Houses and jobs and other things.

I keep trying to be nice to everyone and live in the moment. And look for the beauty in the world. 

I keep wondering where to go. What to do. Should I return to an old job? Should we buy a house? Should we have kids? Is it ok to stay in Portland? (I think so.)

We just go day by day. I don't think you can do much else. 

The thing about being here is that we're free from the vortex of family dramas. We're free to be our own relationship. With our own ideas. Not under the wings of anyone's mom. Neither one of us is the other's tote. 

It's easy and it's not to extract yourself from a sticky isolated life and join in a new one with someone else. I think in the end you have to chose a relationship and chose that person over everyone and everything else. Make your own music and dance. That is life.