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Jun. 27th, 2008


The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed."
1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own LJ so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them ;-)
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Jun. 13th, 2008


The wedding pictures were out last nite......  I tried to not pay attention, but they are still out this morning and I just looked so damn happy (and pretty fucking gorgeous too!).  What the hell does one do with amazingly beautiful wedding pictures in times like these? 

Jun. 6th, 2008

Happy June

Today consisted of a number of scintillating occurrences:
(1) Made it to therapy.....early!
(2) Gained a new respect for my PCP and her office
(3) Packed my 1st and 2nd boxes - 1=knitting books, 2=social work-y books.  Next in line is sweaters and other books.
(4) Watched a wonderful movie which reminded me for the millionth time why I chose social work.  The principal, Deanna Burney, is AMAZING!  Talk about difficult, yet rewarding, work environments!
(5) Had a successful conversation w/supervisor re: client complaint (my 1st ever!!!!)

This weekend I get to see the fabulous soon-to-be Dr. Z who is in town for the weekend!  And then ANOTHER grad party, a housewarming party, and another grad-ish party :-)  Busy and hopefully sunny and warm (I got a cute new skirt and fabulous new shoes that I wanna wear!).

May. 24th, 2008

more updates

I have so pretty amazing people in my life. And some of them know me pretty darn well..... I got the BEST graduation present ever from the one and only Z.  The card said non-professional, for my days off.  Luckily today is one of those magical days :-)

Apt has been deposited upon - July 1st is the big day!  And!  Josh found one too!

Tattoo consult yesterday - now I just have to do it!

I'm now off to get my hair cut shorter (I was given a week to decide if I liked it.  I do, but I'd like it better shorter) and then knitting brunch :-)

On the up-swing, at least for the time being!  I think I'll be a glass is half full person from now on :-)

May. 20th, 2008

Can I have some cheese with my whine please?

Whine #1:  So I have this friend, or I thought I did.....  Something happened though and the dynamic has totally shifted.  Leaving me feeling like I'm constantly apologizing for everything and begging forgiveness when I know not what I've done.  And really, when it comes down to it - she lied to me big time and it should kinda be her apologizing...  Something about dependancy and needy-ness?!
What is it that makes us (ok, maybe just me) gravitate towards people who do not treat us with the respect we deserve and should demand?

Yay #1:  I *think* I found THE apartment!  It's in Belmont and is beautiful.  I just hope the Sister gets her hiney out here and gets a job!

Whine #2:  I'm feeling like a horrible wife.  Wait a minute....  I'm feeling like a horrible person as J is so sad lately (as am I off and on) and I think as our situation becomes more and more tangible, the realness is really hurting him.  Interestingly I feel more guilty now about our situation than I have in the past....  Wonder what that's all about?  Someone who's been through this - words of wisdom?

Yay #2:  Had a somewhat bizarre interview yesterday (very last minute, very not planned out, very much with HR and not a single social worker) for a temp position, but if I get it, it's a foot in the door....of Cambridge Health Alliance.

I think that's it for now.  I'm tired.  Have clients tomorrow.  Am ready for a new job, which I hope does not mean that each time I get close to a yr in any job I get tired of it......


May. 19th, 2008


No pix of the new hair cut, but it's shorter, a little bang-ish, and pretty cute :-)
The new top mentioned in the last post was fabulous and if I could wear it daily, I think I might.
J got to go home to Tiny Town, GA for the 1st time in months - she's down to treatment every other week now!
Oh, and I officially have my MSW!

May. 16th, 2008

Hell freezing over??

1.  I made a diagnosis for insurance/treatment purposes and it's now forever on someone's record?!
2.  I'm ready for a change....so I looked here and here - at noon you'll find me here :-)
3.  I bought a new top which necessitates bra-less-ness

May. 13th, 2008

(no subject)

3.9 this semester......OMFG!!!!!

May. 12th, 2008

(no subject)

On my way home (as I write, not as this is posted) from the most amazing weekend in Atlanta - I went to meet my bone marrow recipient, J. She is my hero and inspiration and the older sister I never had, but always wanted (really, we share genetic material now, we are related). Here’s our story:
In December 2003, after a difficult year (full time nursing school, a divorce, and having her grandmother (who raised her) diagnosed with cervical cancer), J ended up in the emergency room resulting from an ectopic pregnancy. Her fallopian tube ruptured, requiring emergency surgery. Upon coming out of surgery, the doctors explained to J what had happened (tubal pregnancy, ruptured fallopian tube) and that she had leukemia. Stunned and in disbelief, J requested to go home… This was the beginning of an uphill battle with cancer and other demons.
After chemo, radiation, Gleevec (with horrible side effects), J was told she was bone marrow transplant candidate.  Generally, the best BM matches are siblings, of which J has 1 full and multiple ½. After everyone was tested, the family was notified that no one matched. A community bone marrow drive was held with an incredible out-pouring of potential donors. Alas, no one in the community matched either.
In February or March (the dates are a bit fuzzy) 2005, I was selling hand-knit baby items at a JCC craft fair which just happened to coincide with the National Marrow Donor Program’s (NMDP) annual drive. I figured I’d get my finger pricked and get on the registry. They told me that they probably would never call me as unrelated donors are not very common. Josh also registered. A few weeks later, I got a call – would I come in for further blood testing – I was a potential match for someone. The rest is a bit of a whirlwind, for me. J is able to recount her side of the story far better. But I was tested and found that J and matched 4 out of 6 of the requisite antibodies – not a perfect match, but the best so far. And she had been waiting 17 months.
J said that at one point between February and May, the NMDP “couldn’t find me” and told her she wouldn’t be able to get her transplant. I’m not sure where I was, but apparently I was out of town for a week or so and they were unable to get ahold of me. This was quite a setback for J as she had been told that w/o the transplant she would die. With the transplant, she was given a 30-40% survival rate.
Long story somewhat short, I donated on May 25th and May 26th. In the evening, on May 26th, J and her family watched as a med-flight helicopter landed on the roof Emory University Hospital (they could see if from her window) and within an hour, J received my bone marrow via an IV drip.
Out of the woods? Not even close! Minutes after receiving the transplant, J’s body went into fluid overload – her skin not even capable of holding the fluids all in. The snowball continued to roll and over the course of the next 100 days, J’s lungs, liver, and kidneys shut down. She was intubated and spent months in ICU. She remembers very little (thankfully), but remembers saying good bye to her family and her fiancé (B) and closing her eyes. The next thing she remembers was waking up as her breathing tube was removed and she gasped for air (in reality, J was in a coma for a while). Finally able to go home, J returned to Tiny Town, GA and received a hero’s welcome. Her stay was short as she came down with pneumonia and was whisked back to Atlanta for another extended hospital stay.
Cut to 2008 – many treatments, side effects, hospital stays, and heart breaks later, J is again in Atlanta, this time at the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge (an AMAZING place – definitely my charity of choice!). She is getting aphersis treatments twice a week in an attempt to combat 2 of the most damaging side effects – graft vs. host disease and cirrhosis. I flew into Atlanta on Saturday afternoon, spent the rest of Saturday, all of Sunday, and ½ of Monday with J. It was hard to leave – she’s a fighter, but she’s tired. 29 yr old bodies (NOBODY) is really meant to take this much abuse, and this hero has been through the ringer. She’s an incredible optimist and rarely complains despite being in almost constant pain. In her cohort of transplant patients (J says then tend to do transplants in groups), she is the only survivor. J has absolutely defied the odds multiple times and will hopefully continue to do so until she’s kicked this bad-boy’s ass!
Interestingly, I thought I knew it all about cancer, after babysitting for Brie, working at Heart Connection, being morbidly obsessed with all TLC and Discovery Health shows. But spending less than 48 hours with J has changed me. She’s truly my hero and I love her so much.

Apr. 26th, 2008

(no subject)

I hesitate to even open up livejournal these days since it seems that all I have time for is pity parties and I don't want to subject others to my whining.  And then I realized that this is for me and part of the catharsis is expressing. 

For some reason, process perhaps?, this past week has been the toughest yet for me emotionally.  Chalk it up to about 75 life altering transitions maybe? 

The intellectual, rational me (we'll call that the IRM) KNOWS that it will be very hard, harder than I could have imagined.  And the IRM, for some reason, thinks that knowing will help soften the blow.  A friend told me that separating and the following divorce was the worst experience ever.  When I heard this the first time, I didn't pay as much attention as I might have.  Again, thinking that I am different some how and that my situation is different.  And then it hit me - I'm NOT that different.  Sure we all feel and think in our own ways, but this truely is the most difficult thing I've ever done and the process has just started.   

What makes things very hard is that I do still love Hubbs and I know I'll miss him, but something, somewhere, has brought me to this point and I have to go with my gut.  HAVE TO.  Even when the easiest thing would be to forget it all, ask for forgiveness, and go on as we had for the past 10ish yrs. 

T (therapist extraordinaire) encouraged me to write myself affirmation cards that I can look at when needed.  Today I thought that perhaps one of them could be a phone a friend reminder....  But sometimes there is no one to listen.  Sometimes this is a very private pain that regardless of how you explain it, analyze it, try to work with it, it just needs to be.  And that is very hard. 

I'm tired and it's just beginning.  I don't want to spend my summer in and out of tears and doubt.  This is when I need my fairy godmother to make the right thing happen.  This is when I need to not be an adult, making very adult decisions, and not making them well. 

And then there are the good days - the days where I can laugh, go about my life and be hopeful.... until I realize what's happening around me and that it's mostly my doing. 

I want to stop the train, I want to curl up small and be taken care of.  And most of all, I want to not hurt, not be hurting others.

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