Yes, that is my hair and not a dead animal I just killed.
Oh what a whirl of wind this past week has been. I wish I could give the kind of attention each of these moments deserves, but then this blog would be as long as Haruki Murakami's latest novel (pretentious literary nerd moment! in plain speak very long). So some brief summaries:
-On Tuesday morning I did my final medication administration simulation for my nursing competencies course. There is just no way to do justice to how bizarre an experience this is. Basically it is half nursing/half acting, yet my acting "partner" is a giant, life-size, creepy as f*&k plastic mannequin (or Sim Man if you're feeling fancy). Even though I've given honest to God humans shots in the hospital now, I still had to go through the whole procedure in front of my instructor to be "checked off." And while I can give injections of Lovenox to a real person's belly without breaking a sweat, this simulation was basically a train wreck. And it's all the dummy's fault. I went in all prepared, but before I could get my bearings, my creepy, blinking dummy asked me in its robo-voice, "Is that dirt on your hands?" Now in hindsight I know this was a suggestion from the dummy (or really the person controlling the dummy's words in a a hidden room) that I had forgotten to mime washing my hands. But in the moment, I stopped, stared at its creepy, lifeless and yet all too lifelike, grinning plastic face, and found myself both confused and offended. My response should have been "You're right, I should go wash my hands immediately." But because I was so thrown off and baffled, I answered "No, there's no dirt on my hands. I just washed them," in a defensive, bordering on angry tone of voice.
Y'all I got into an argument with a DUMMY this week. And honestly that was not even the weirdest thing I did that day. I also catheterized a dummy. Luckily this one did not speak.
-On the same day that I argued with and catheterized a dummy, I also interviewed Chad Coleman from The Wire (and also one of the stars of the new Fox show I Hate My Teenage Daughter). He's from Richmond, and so his PR people got in touch with my editor, and my editor very kindly offered the gig to me. And I tried not to think about it too much prior to the interview, but this was a slightly huge deal for me. He is by far the biggest interview I've done (although Bill Persky, the creator of That Girl was also pretty freaking huge for me), and it is just pure adrenaline to do an interview like that. I was a big ball of nerves before hand, because hello, I get star struck by Jim Duncan, but the phone interview went really great. I reminded myself to listen first and foremost and that really helped. It also helped that Chad (I call him Chad now) was incredibly nice and open and generous with his time. He exuded positivity. And well if I write anymore I will no longer have any journalistic integrity left, because it will be one big gush fest. But here's the finished piece. I'm really proud of it. I'm proud of the fact that a year after I "gave up" my dream of being a full time journalist, I am against all odds a journalist. And you know the best part? I write and I work as a writer for no other reason than I love it. It doesn't pay my bills. It never will. Nursing will do that. And taking the pressure off of writing to support me was the best decision I ever made. The second I did that it all get easier and since then these opportunities keep coming. Life can just be so weird and unexpected and wonderful, you know?
-I saw Paul Simon in concert on Tuesday night and he rocked my world. First of all he is the most adorable man on the planet. I mean he is tiny. Like an absurdly small human being. I want to put him in my pocket. The concert was just so good, and he played a great mix of old and new songs. But holy moses were there a lot of drunk Richmonders at this thing. Like drunk to the point where I almost wanted to lock the doors and stage multiple interventions. These people were so inebriated by the mid point of the concert that they could no longer be constrained to their seats. They had to DANCE! Not the standard, bopping and swaying and arm waving in place that most people do at concerts. This was dancing as I have never seen it. It is almost indescribable. One particularly drunk woman just ran down the aisle. Like the running man, but not in place. She just booked it, and sprinted from the middle of the orchestra section to nearly the stage and the back again. And then she did it again. And again. And again. It wasn't even dancing really, but more calisthenics. She might have actually just been trying to fit in her daily cardio, only in a skirt and high heeled boots. Other drunk people saw her jazzercising in the aisles and thought they'd join in so soon the aisles were just a giant mass of drunk people dancing like there was no tomorrow. This was violent, seizure like dancing dancing, violent enough that finally a security guard tried to corral people away from the aisle and back to their seats. But I kid you not, every time this man went away, these fully grown adults, like children when the teacher leaves the room, went sprinting back to the aisle until he came and herded them away again. I don't know why there was so much sprinting this evening. It was very strange and confusing and I just tried to concentrate on Paul.
-I got a massage today at Salon Vivace-a lovely post-half marathon gift courtesy of the boyfriend. And I think I may have blacked out and seen Jesus. Buddha could have been there too. I don't know. It was that good. After my massage lady left the room I had to get dressed and anyone who saw me would have sworn I was high. I was just grinning and stumbling and knocking into things. I had to steady myself before I could be around people again. I feel like my muscles, who I abuse mercilessly, don't even know what happened. They are starving, neglected orphans who were suddenly given free reign in a candy store. And they are just having a party right now. I do have to comment on one thing. When my lady showed me to my room, she said she would leave and I could "undress to my level of comfort." Now for someone as neurotic at myself that is a horrible thing to say. If I was truly undressing to my level of comfort to be around a total stranger I would have lain down on the table fully clothed. But that would be weird. So does it mean naked? But what if that is weird too? Do I really want to be that one weird client who got totally nude when everyone else just undresses to a modest level of undergarments? Would I be sexually harassing my massage therapist if she came in there and I was hanging out in the buff? See a normal person would hear that statement and think nothing of it. Me I debate furiously inside my brain for a few minutes before I decide on what level of undress would be the least weird. And that is precisely why within minutes of starting my massage therapist said my neck was "full of knots." Because I carry a lot of crazy in those muscles.
-I also got my hair cut today, as you can see in the picture at the top. I have been growing my hair out since Thailand, so more than two years. And in one fell swoop it was all gone. But honestly there was never a freak out moment, and I think it's because I knew the hair was going to Locks of Love. It's hard to be vain enough to freak out about getting your hair cut, when in the back of your mind you know your hair is going to people who are sick and have no choice in losing their hair. So bon voyage my ten inch ponytail of hair. My hair stylist kept saying it was going to make some little girl really happy, and honestly that would just be the most awesome thing in the world.
-One more thing. I got my hair cut by an apprentice at Nesbit Salon (translation: I got my hair cut by an apprentice because it would cost the least). There was a brief moment where I thought, "why am I letting basically a student cut my hair?" And then I mentally slapped myself. Because as a student, I am frequently in a position where nice people are letting me poke them with sharp needles in their bellies. It is nothing in comparison to let a student cut your hair.