Wednesday, May 30, 2007

CPE Day One - Random Dots

  • taking a bus and the metro (switching trains once) takes about an hour.
  • driving takes about 45 minutes, but is infinitely more stressful, particularly if there is a traffic jam in the 395 tunnel. I think the public transportation, besides being more enviro-friendly, will be the sane choice.
  • having a diverse (age, ethnicity, gender, denomination) group of CPE interns is good, except we all have different terminology around certain things. It'll take a while to get that straightened out.
  • cafeteria food is equally mediocre in hospitals and in seminaries.
  • lectures after lunch are never a good idea.
  • whoever designs hospitals has a thing for mazes.
  • hospital PA announcements are about as clear as train station PA announcements.
  • comfortable shoes are a necessity. I'm trying the Crocs MaryJanes tomorrow. Definitely no high heels!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Body Language

I may have mentioned recently that I've started another diet. This time, it's LA Weight Loss, mostly because it's relatively inexpensive, and the center is 1.5 miles from our house. I don't really NEED to sign up for such a program. I know exactly what I need to do (eat less, eat the right stuff, exercise, drink lots of water). It's just that I don't do it unless the weekly weigh-in by a disinterested third party, and the attendant shame if I don't lose some poundage, is part of the package.

I gained 25 pounds this year. It would be easy to blame it on refectory food, although there's always a salad bar available. It's more reasonable to tie the gain to my lack of self-control around sweets and on my lack of discipline in exercising.

So now it's time to address that.

I'll be starting CPE on Wednesday, and something tells me I need to do some exercising to deal with the stress anyway. I've been walking or using the elliptical several times a week over the past few weeks (since I came back from Colorado). I'm up to an hour's walk up and down the hills of my neighborhood. After CPE starts, I'll do it when I get home. I may try to do some yoga stretches and/or weights early in the morning before I leave.

Insofar as the diet is concerned, I'll just keep plugging away following the food plan. I've lost 6.5 pounds so far - I presume this early loss is water weight, but it's nice to see the scale move regardless of its source.

I'm only moderately body-conscious...most of this is about trying to fit into my clothes so I don't have to buy more...but a funny side note ties my weight woes with my MS.

I take a shot of Copaxone every day for the MS. Great stuff, except I occasionally get injection site reactions. One of these is induration: the meds kill off the fat cells in that area. As a result my upper arms and the fronts of my thighs have dents in them. Sort of like lipo done by a five-year-old. Would that I could manage to get the induration to be evenly distributed over the whole fatty area of my upper arms (what turns into what a friend of mine refers to as the "helens" that flap back and forth when we become old women) and my thighs, which even in my youth were on the large side. So at least one part of me is getting skinnier, after a fashion, while the rest of me struggles to follow suit.

I guess I'm not going to be on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition anytime soon.

Friday, May 25, 2007

PB Thoughts

The Presiding Bishop came to Big Old Seminary today to speak to VA clergy on the eve of the consecration of our new Bishop coadjutor. She is very much the scientist in her speaking style. Careful, precise, clear. I wished for a little more passion, but right now in our church clarity is more needed than florid language. No one can call her a lightweight, that's for sure. I found her theology congruent with my own, and that was wonderful. She refused to be drawn into an armwrestle about Peter Akinola; she's made of stronger stuff than I am.

And that's why I'm glad she's Presiding Bishop, and why I never will be...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Wood has been sighted

...on the top of my desk. First time since last fall. I went through the files, shredding bunches of stuff that I normally dispose of in January. I went through the piles of paper on top of the desk, disposing of that which (in its 5 months on top fo the desk, had become outdated or irrelevant.

It's actually a lovely very large desk, but I haven't been using it for my school work because of all the aforementioned piles, and the business computer, monitor and printer that are on top of it. When I stop my part-time work for the bank (sometime between this August and December) the equipment will all go away and I'll have a nice big space again to do school work, assuming I don't have too many piles of school-related paper on it. Old habits die hard.

Tomorrow I get to hear our wonderful Presiding Bishop who is in town to consecrate our new Bishop Coadjutor, and I get to have lunch with her as well. She will be speaking to the clergy (and to-be-clergy like me) for 2 hours, and will then have lunch with us at the refectory of Big Old Seminary. It should be amazing - I am so psyched.

I am feeling rather lost in space without schookwork and reading. I got four chapters into the Church History text for next year. Yes, I'm a dweeb.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The End is Near

Hebrew final this morning at 10 a.m. I'm praying he puts more emphasis on translation than on vocab and verb paradigms...I am pretty sure I'll pass. anything else is gravy.

Monday, May 21, 2007


StrongOpinions will return to Cheesehead Country tomorrow, reasonably well recovered from her illness. I will (finally) take my Hebrew final tomorrow after dropping her at the airport. I have studied a bit for it, not as intensively as I probably should have, but at this point, a B will suffice. I had an A average thus far, so I've got some wiggle room.

A week to go before CPE starts. I have a dozen things I should do around the house, but my attitude is whatever gets done, gets done. What doesn't, didn't really need to get done. The Health Department probably won't be knocking at my door.

I started a diet, because I've gained the Freshman 15 and then some this year, and I can't fit into too many of my respectable clothes. Lost 6 pounds in the first couple of days (which is an idicator of how much I need to lose). Yes, it's water weight, but it's nice to see the scale move downward. Only about 25 to go.

StrongOpinion's illness (and the flights back and forth between here, Denver, and Madison) were expenses we didn't plan on. I'm still hoping we'll be able to take some vacation time after CPE in August. It would be a bummer if we couldn't manage it. We shall see.

It's disconcerting not having classes and papers and reading and such. And I miss my classmates!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Home again

StrongOpinions and I got back here at midnight last night. It's good to be back home. She is feeling well enough to have her friend take her out for a haircut, though not ready to drive herself.

Thank the Lord for her returning health!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

What I Did on my Colorado Vacation

1. spent three days with StrongOpinions in the hospital.
2. spent two days with StrongOpinions at the home of dear relatives, the Ds.
3. watched an inordinate amount of bad television.
4. ate reasonably well - I didn't bury my face in chocolate, as appealing as the thought was.
5. spent a little time reviewing Hebrew - for some reason, I couldn't concentrate very well.

We drove out to Boulder today to see SO's rental house for the coming school year. Very much a college kid house. Only slightly funkier than my seminary townhouse, so I can't look down my nose at it. SO felt tolerably well for most of the trip, but was pretty uncomfortable (back and head) by the time we got back. I'm thinking it's a spinal tap headache, since it happens when she sits up. She improved a lot from yesterday to today. I'm hoping for the same amount of improvement tomorrow, so the flight home tomorrow night won't be too hard on her.

Speaking of the flight, I called the airline to book our flight. I explained the situation as to why I didn't return home as originally booked - daughter in hospital writhing in pain - and they decided to give me a "compassion discount"...

wait for it...

$25 on a $425 fare.

I'm just all aglow from all that compassion on the part of Useless Air.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

I'm having a strange Mother's Day.

StrongOpinions called last night from CO, very sick. She went to Urgent Care and still had some major problems, so now she's in the hospital in Denver. High fever and major muscle pain. Still no diagnosis. I flew out here early this morning. Thank goodness PH has relatives who are medical folks in the area.

Please say a prayer for her, and for us, as we try to figure out what kind of bug she's got.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

RM's Extremely Tardy Friday Five

1. Mac? or PC?

PC. Yes, I know the Macs are ever so much cooler, but I go with what I know. Besides, all my seminary buddies who have Macs are always complaining that they're broken.

With a PC, you take it as a given that something's always broken. Much simpler.

2. Pizza: Chicago style luscious hearty goodness, or New York floppy and flaccid?

I grew up in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, so NY Style - thin enough to fold lengthwise - is my personal comort food. Being married to a Chicago guy, I have grown attached to Lou Malnati's deep dish. There is no such thing as too much cheese.

3. Brownies/fudge containing nuts:a) Good. I like the variation in texture.b) An abomination unto the Lord. The nuts take up valuable chocolate space.

I have to admit that I'm not much of a fudge person, but insofar as brownies are concerned, I love 'em all. In large quantities. Except for my X-rated brownies (which have both nuts and dried cherries, so they're like a grown-up Chunky bar), which are so rich I can only eat a couple at a time...

4. Do you hang your toilet paper so that the “tail” hangs flush with the wall, or over the top of the roll like normal people do?

Over the top. Just like me.

5. Toothpaste: Do you squeeze the tube wantonly in the middle, or squeeze from the bottom and flatten as you go just like the tube instructs?

Does the tube instruct us in this? Isn't that rather like reading the manual? Reading a toothpaste tube seems a bit, well, excessive to me. Must be why my toothpaste tube is always a mess.

Friday, May 11, 2007


Survived the Old Testament exam. I now only have the Hebrew final ahead of me (Tuesday morning). StrongOpinions is trying to get from boyrfriend-land out to her college town to get her stuff stashed until she returns for summer classes. Her trip has been a series of disasters, starting with the fact that her roommate told her the stuff needed to be out of the apartment by noon tomorrow, and it was actually today...and her flight is now delayed sufficiently that she will be unable to take a shuttle bus to campus (30 miles from airport) but will need to take a get the picture.

The good news is that she was only mildly aggravated instead of hysterical. She realizes that I can't do magic half way across the country. She must be growing up, while I am simply growing grayer.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Not a good time

to take a business trip, but I have to leave for Windy City tomorrow after my last class for a 2 day conference. It pays the rent. Friday will be the OT exam and the following Tuesday will be Hebrew. I'm sure I will do adequately on both - though I am taking my notes with me to study in between conference sessions - but I will be much happier when they're both done.

Got back my final paper from one of my 3rd quarter classes, a favorite class because the professor is such a masterful teacher. I was pleased to have aced the paper, since it's on a topic that is central to what I think my ministry will be, namely, conflict resolution.

Going to this conference is interesting, since I feel so removed from that world. I don't know how much longer the employer is going to pay me for part-time work. I like being able to continue my health insurance, for obvious reasons, but I think I'm pretty much ready to be done with that part of my life. The paycheck is nice, though. Venal, aren't I?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Are We There Yet?

I finished two more papers over the past three days. One more to go. Still facing one enormous OT exam and the final Hebrew exam, which shouldn't be scary but is. Classes end next Tuesday, and my exams are on the 11th and the 15th. It is hard to believe this year's almost over. Even harder to believe that my friends in the senior class won't be here next year. Even harder still that we juniors will be the experienced, wise middlers to the new junior class come August term.

I'm feeling like I now can "read" my professors - what they like in terms of writing style, how they evaluate us, what they mean in their assignments. Not perfectly, to be sure, but I feel much less disoriented than I did ten months ago. Of course, that sense of disorientation will start anew with CPE, and Field Ed, and a new batch of classes in September.

But now I know where to get a cup of coffee, and that the snacks they sell in the bookstore are half the price of the ones in the vending machine.