Friday, October 28, 2011

Cleaning Up

Finally, a day off from the internship. Time to take a deep breath, relax, sleep in, enjoy the quiet. But no, I got up early and cleaned my house. I'm an idiot.

In truth, my house hasn't been really clean since Passover, when I hired a crew to clean the kitchen and bathrooms. To give you an idea, that took two people ALL DAY to do. Not proud of that fact, but trying to be honest here.

While the work at the hospital is screaming hard, I love it. I love the staff there (okay, one gal needs a little tweaking but I'm giving her slack for being a stranger in a strange land), and I hope they like me. They have been, for the most part, very supportive. They've sent me off to evaluate patients on my own, and that means interviewing the patients as well. I've had a lot of practice with Spanish lately.

Only five more weeks of this, and then it's on to food service. I wish I could continue with clinical, even though the hours are killing me. Either I leave my home at 5 am or 6:30 am each day (riding the bus or taking the car), and I'm not getting enough sleep. That is, unfortunately, affecting my ability to remember things. Like where I parked the car.

For now, I will relax into Shabbat, finishing an assignment for my internship class, hopefully catching up on my Tehillim. The beauty of taking the bus (which takes 2 hours) is that I can sit and read Tehillim to my heart's content. It's just trying to stay awake for the rest of the day that's the problem.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

He Did It Again

While not born here, I consider myself a California girl. I'm used to the laid back, mellow way we Los Angelenos go about our lives. Until El Presidente comes into town. Again.

Like the hysterics I went through the last time (last month) he visited wasn't enough. And that was when only one major thoroughfare was closed with almost no impact on me at all. This time, Obama was in my own backyard, and for me, and thousands of others, getting home was a nightmare.

Okay, it wasn't a real nightmare, just a colossal pain in the butt. Just yesterday, Obama came to Hancock Park, a fairly well-to-do neighborhood just a few blocks from my home. If my husband hadn't texted me in the morning to beware, I would never have known. Until I got to my bus stop, that is.

So I chose to be safer than sorrier but ended up with a long wait anyway. But at least on the corner of Hollywood and Highland, there's plenty of entertainment, intentional or not.

By far the best of the best was the rasta drummer on commercial size Kikkoman containers (empty that is) and the rhythm, a sure headache causer, certainly helped make the time appear to pass faster. Then three black girls, one more plump than the other, began to dance and they were terrific. Really agile for their weight and we couldn't help but clap for them, although in the back of my mind I was thinking what a great time for a pickpocket.

When the allegedly detoured bus showed up (30 minutes later), it was packed, and continued to get even more packed until it was suffocating. The driver kept announcing that the bus would detour at 3rd Street, and then the panic began. Although my Spanish isn't what it should be, I could understand the frantic attempts by passengers to figure out another way home.

All the streets around my house were mobbed with cars similarly detoured. I sure hope Obama got what he wanted ($), because the rest of us did not - a little peace and quiet after a long day.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Seeing Good Friends

It's been a while since I've posted but I've thought a lot about what I would say. So here's a few musings about life this past week.

First, the holidays are crushing. There's so much food and so much prayer, a person can really have an out-of-body experience.

No matter how long I experienced being out of my body, I managed to get back in on time for every meal. Talk about messed up.

However, today is Chol HaMoed, and I finally got the chance to see my two dearest friends: M & M. What a wonderful day. In fact, I was so relaxed I started to get nervous that I was missing out on studying.

Truth is, I so missed school and my friends. I wanted to compare notes and talk to somebody, anybody who was sharing my experiences as an intern. Actually, no one really shares your exact experience. No one I talked to got mistaken for a doctor (twice)!!

I look forward to the time when everyday can be this wonderful. I image this is what it's like when Moshiach comes. I don't mind leaving my body to pray for that.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Breaking It With Bubbie

Yom Kippur was the drag I thought it would be, only somehow, with all my friends nearby, bearable. Especially the young visitor who sat in front of me who reeked of perfume - all because a bottle of the stuff opened up in her suitcase and saturated all her clothes.

On Yom Kippur, we don't wear perfume, or eat any food. It's not so bad when you're sleeping, but when you're awake, it's kinda annoying. The lack of food, that is. Although perfume would be nice.

The six hours of prayer consists primarily of confessions - for things you did, might have done, could have done, and probably really did do if they weren't phrased so awkwardly. It was actually an uplifting experience to confess. It really is good for the soul.

But true to form, I started to lose it around the 5th Al Chait (confessional). I started laughing, having overheard a completely ridiculous conversation from someone else's Bubbie behind me. (I probably shouldn't say what I heard so soon after Yom Kippur - it will take another year before I can make it up!) People noticed, people commented. But I couldn't help it. The day was just too long.

But as the shadows crept across the windows, it was getting to be that time again. Eating time. Each year for as far back as I remember, we've broken the fast at my mother-in-law's house. This year was no exception.

And we were not disappointed. White fish, lox, bagels, cream cheese, home-made blintzes, fruit, macaroni and cheese. Yeah, we ate good. In the company of family. Thank you G-d, and thank you Bubbie. I will be sleeping really well tonight.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Just A Few Words

I have been on overwhelm since my internship started. There's so much to know, and so much frustration at not knowing it all. I'm like a child in a candy store. I want it all.

I have to develop patience, and a really good memory. Instantly. Otherwise I am gonna explode.

So forgive me, dear readers, who take the time to check in. I am checked out. And certainly not very joyful at the approaching Jewish holiday: Yom Kippur. Like I don't have enough to worry about.

Pray for me, dear ones, that I somehow manage to overcome my village idiot demeanor and persevere. After all, I have only 24 more days left to this rotation and then a three week break. I might just pull this off.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Making This Fast

I keep telling myself that I need to lose weight (and I do), and have tried to reduce my caloric intake. Then along comes Rosh HaShanah, a two-day long eating fest, which then rolls over into Shabbat, and there you have it. Basically, the tools to undermine any diet regime.

So I looked forward to today's fast day, Tzom Gedaliah, an homage to the last decent governor of Judea during Babylonian rule who was assassinated by outside instigators intent on disrupting the calm that existed then. It worked.

To commemorate this brave man who refused to hide when warned of his guests bad intentions, Jews fast. It's like a gift so soon for the food-letting that tends to mark our holidays. Or so I thought.

I woke up at 5:15 am this morning, just 15 minutes before fast began, thinking maybe I can choke something down. I couldn't bring myself to eat any food. Maybe it was too early, maybe it was took dark outside. Who knows - it felt great to climb back into bed.

So here I sit, no food or water for hours, and all I can do is dream of the past few days. The bread, the cake, the other food. Thank you Gedaliah for being true to yourself. Now I have have to be true to myself.