Saturday, February 28, 2009

Another long, restless New Jersey winter drags on...

I have never been a superstitious person but it turns out that certain situations can elicit a sense of extreme desperation that ultimately has the potential to transform self-proclaimed non-believers into eager participants of ridiculous traditions. For instance at 7AM on February 2nd, Groundhog Day, I flew through my morning routine in order to shave off enough time to tune into the ceremonial celebration. There I was sitting cross-legged on my bed flipping through the channels until landing on one that had a slew of old white guys in suits with tall hats standing at a podium in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. It was then that I realized I had never really paid attention to this mumbo jumbo, and I had no idea if I was rooting for the little hog to see her shadow or not…what did she need to do to put an end to this madness called winter? Ok, just pay attention…OMG they speak German?…what??…let’s get this straight…think…think…if the groundhog comes out of her burrow and fails to see her shadow that means she will stay out and winter will soon end! Ok, come on, come on, you little bastard…please…what are they saying??…cue the translator please!!…oh, come on…what??…she saw her shadow?? DAMMIT!! NO! I quickly turned off the TV, slammed down the remote, choked back the tears, put on my scarf and gloves, and stepped out of my apartment and into the blizzard that is New Brunswick.

Over winter break, Mikey and I decided to put down the books, bundle up, and get out of the apartment! We decided that each of us would choose a destination and plan out the day’s events. I chose to go to a Jersey Devils game (that’s hockey for those of you who don’t know) at the Prudential Center in Newark. I’m not necessarily a hockey fan, what I really wanted was to gain access to those yummy nachos with the runny cheese and jalapenos that you can only get at sporting events! We had such a great time. We sat in the nosebleed section, partly because the tickets were cheaper, and partly because I have this haunting fear that if I were to sit any closer I might get hit in the teeth with a hockey puck. At one point the Devils mascot ran into the stands and performed a little, cheery dance number in our row of seats. He was cute, but must have been sweating profusely as his suit reeked of body odor and I believe I could actually see the noxious fumes rising from his shoulders and permeating the air around us. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera that night so we don’t have any pictures to share.

Mikey chose to go to brunch at one of Bobby Flay’s restaurants and to the Natural History Museum in NYC. I was skeptical of walking around in the city that day, as it was only 10 degrees! In the end, brunch was wonderful and the Natural History Museum was very impressive. The museum was six floors and had over 80 exhibits, one of them being a butterfly conservatory. I was super excited to check it out, however, as soon as we stepped inside I quickly realized that the “butterfly conservatory” was for people who had spent the majority of their lives in cities on the east coast and had probably only seen one or two live butterflies in their lifetime. Every now and then I am reminded of how far from home I am and how different life on the east coast really is. Standing in that 12x12 room full of trees, butterflies, and awe struck tourists was one of those moments.

This semester I am taking my final course, Contemporary Feminist Theory. It is extremely intense, and I am way out of my league. I spend hours each day reading through dense theories, some of which have been written by theorists I have spent my entire academic career trying to avoid. I guess I was foolish to believe I could make it out of a graduate program without analyzing and applying some of the most famous feminist theoretical frameworks…I only wish I had faced them in the beginning of the program when I was so full of excitement and energy! On a positive note, my class is held in the historic mansion I posted a picture of last semester. Below are some pictures of our classroom and the inside of the mansion.

Mikey still works at Francis Parker Nursing Home during the days and attends class and clinical in the evenings. This semester he is taking Nursing II and his clinical takes place on a med-surg floor at Trinitas Hospital in Elizabeth, NJ. Needless to say he doesn’t spend much time at home, and when he is home he lives in the office. Sometimes when I come home from work, the only way I can tell if he’s been there that day is by checking around the house for these little pieces of paper he leaves lying around. The papers always comprise lists of random medical terms. I found one the other day that had the following terms on it with check marks next to each one: colostomy, clamp, paste, gloves, warm H20, scissors, and wash cloth. =)

Mikey and Mary Ricca (one of his fav old peeps at work)

Mikey's Usual Position

Poor Mikey

Better Him than Me

Oh Wait, It Is Me

Abi Keeping Us Company

Mikey and I In Our Pajamas During a Marathon Study Session

I hope everyone is doing well. I miss all of you terribly!