Friday, February 29, 2008

Another Three Months Later

Once again, no post for three months. In the first Three Months Later I was primarily occupied with my home improvement project and assimilating to my new professional and social environment. Add to that the fact that I depend on the public library for internet access and public transportation to go around, the latter eating up a chunky amount of time. With the aforementioned issues resolved (except transportation), new challenges arose.

Working nights has taken a toll on my personal and social life. In general, day and night shifters have fairly the same amount of days off, but the latter actually end up with less because they have to sleep in the daytime on the first day off to adjust their body clocks. There’s not enough time to do all the stuff that needs to be done by the time they wake up because establishments are on the last part of their business hours.

A peculiarity I employed in my sleep-wake cycle is also a factor. As I've written in Nocturnal Animal I do not go back to my day pattern at all - even on my days off. So I sleep in the day and am awake at night. And that has been the case since July. Days off which start at 1600 have to be chores day for me, managing to squeeze in only little social time with friends and family and quite seldom owing to my sleep-wake pattern.


Two days before my birthday last October, my mother surprised me with two things: a cheesecake and her presence. Yes, without my knowledge, she flew in from San Francisco. It was a real surprise. And she's been with me ever since.

A friend's birthday gift to me was a ticket to see Avenue Q. The musical was so funny it had us in stitches. With puppets and real people comprising the cast of characters, its humorous touch on realistic issues such as racism, internet porn, masturbation and sex was a total hoot.

I got the flu shot but the flu got me anyway. And my colleagues who preferred not to get the shot didn’t. How ironic! Those who choose not to receive the vaccine argue it's recommended only for the very young and the very old who are at high risk. They say healthy adults will only be rendered more susceptible by the time they reach old age because they have been regularly injected with a live virus, though a tamed version. Could they be right?

But shot advocates defend: it's by chance whether you get the flu or not, there are many flu strains and it changes every so often, and if you do end up coming down with it you'll have better immunity and thus a shorter recovery period if vaccinated. Well, to each his/her own belief.

I have been preparing for this year’s Halloween since Halloween, The Beginning. To my frustration I wasn't able to join the festivities because I was on duty. Relegated in the hospital with deep, seeping decubitus ulcers as the only elements of horror, glimpses of live coverages of Halloween celebrations from patient room TV sets sunk me into despair. To compensate, I watched Cirque du Soleil's Corteo with two of my colleagues a week or so later. Appropriately macabre, the show was about a man's thoughts on how his funeral will be. The death-defying stunts and the overall spectacle were killingly breathtaking.

Finally after ten months of saving up, I bought my own laptop & internet connection! I can now check email and surf the web not only anytime but anywhere in the house as I please as well. Whoopee! It took that long because I wanted a Macbook at a good Thanksgiving price. And I got it! Disciplined patience satisfyingly pays off.

My mom and I flew to Washington, DC, stopping over in Las Vegas and Charlotte to get together with my eldest sister in Alexandria for the holidays. The main attraction was the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum complex, in Washington, D.C. It was goose-bumpy to have stood right before the National Archives where the Declaration of Independence is displayed. The most enjoyable dining experience was at the cafe of the national museum for Native Americans where I devoured succulent buffalo shank simmered in red wine sauce sided with scrumptious pumpkin salad.

The three of us, along with a pair of four-legged companions, went on a road trip from Alexandria to our home in Orlando, passing by Savannah along the way. In Orlando, I was finally able to get a taste of The Dessert Lady’s fine products. Cheesecake was a definite! And for the new year, I got a new hairstyle. Well, more like new hair color. Hair highlight is a first time for me so it was a mix of anxiety and excitement.

We were on the road again for the first week of the new year traveling from Orlando to Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge to Fort Worth, Fort Worth to Phoenix, and finally Phoenix to Los Angeles. Back to reality would be the short of it, the end of a good break from the hustle and bustle of working and living in the city of L.A.
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Photos in this post are author's property.

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