Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Army stole my boyfriend.

I ran errands today and went for a walk with my sister.
This is a definite improvement from my depressed couch-sitting that I've been doing for the rest of the week.
Maybe tomorrow I'll actually make some phone calls that I've been needing to do for a week or so!

Monday, May 28, 2007

No, not the Weepies.

The weepies.

Today I am very weepy.

Whenever I think about going to bed Tuesday night without Markus, something grabs my chest. When I think about waking up alone on Wednesday morning, my throat closes tightly.

I don't want to do this.

Friday, May 25, 2007

So green.

When Markus and I left for vacation, Erie was just starting to bloom. The trees by the Blasco Library (which I have used to be my 'season/weather indicator' for the past four years) had just started to pop open their white flowers, and most trees had tiny leaves. The tree between my window and the apartment building next to mine was too sparce to feel comfortable sitting naked in my computer chair, and Markus couldn't identify a tree from a certain distance because the leaves were too small.
Then we went to Las Vegas. Spring was over months ago for them, not that we would have been able to tell anyway. As a stranger to the desert, I couldn't tell you if it was spring or autumn. All I could observe were the palm trees, pine trees, and vast desert. Seriously, how do you know if it's spring in a place that doesn't have deciduous trees?
Vegas was followed by Edmonton. Although Edmonton certainly isn't desert, it is in the plains. They have grass and trees, but nothing like we do here. Craigmary and their friends kept commenting on how green everything finally was, after months and months and months of brown and white, but -don't tell them this- it wasn't really that green.
Now, we're back in Erie. Spring has sprung. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's summer. I missed the blooming of the lilac bush outside my parents' house alltogether and the tree outside my window is now plenty of cover. All the side streets of Erie are covered with a lush green canopy. I feel connected with this section of earth. It feels good to be home.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ta Da!

Both interviews yesterday went really well. The second ended with Kim saying she would send me an invitation to the program which I have two weeks to sign and return!

Talking to Jen and Kim today was great. For a few months I've just felt like there was a curtain separating the months of July and August, and because I couldn't see past it, I was scared and worried. I felt confident that I would be doing service, but I was worried that as a result of my procrastination/difficult semester I wouldn't be in the right place. But talking to them yesterday made a lot of things clear.
First, the curtain has been lifted. I know that August 20, I'm going to be in Baltimore, Maryland.
Second, I know (sort-of) the kind of work I'll be doing, and it sounds really great. I'm so excited. More on that later.
Third, the program itself sounds really wonderful. Because they're small (about 4-6 volunteers/year) they are able to be much more flexible than, say, VSC. I'll be allowed to go home for holidays, have visitors, and take time off to visit med schools! Woot!

Here's some more awesome stuff.... now I'm just bragging:
  • Our 'house' is the third floor of a former convent. As such, everyone will have their own bedroom. Also, there is a courtyard out back with picnic tables and a grill!!!! (I cannot stand living in the city and not having any grass to lay in.)
  • I'll be living 3 blocks away from the University of Maryland Baltimore campus (the law, med schools, etc.) and Bon Secours purchases gym passes from the university for all interested volunteers.
  • We live about 30 minutes from the Sisters of Bon Secours provincial house in Marriottsville. We can go there whenever we want (like to get away for a weekend, etc.). The house is on 300 acres in the country which backs up to a national forest that has hiking trails. The property also has a pond, a labryinth, and an in-ground swimming pool. Tehehe.

  • My job will include doing case management for Ryan White Programs about 40% of the time. This means I get to interview patients, do biopsychosocial assessment, make sure people keep up with their appointments and adhere to their treatment plans, etc.
  • The other 60% can be tailored to what I'm interested in and may include working with doctors and hospitals to find patients with HIV a primary care physician, working in the wound care and specialty center, and shadowing a doctor once a week, among other things.

  • It won't let me stop bulleting. That's funny. I still don't know how to use blogger.

  • Today is our last day in Edmonton. It's been a really fun vacation, but I'm definitely ready to go home. I haven't hung out with my friends or family in a long time.

Oh hey, it just stopped. Weird.

I think this vacation has seemed longer than it really is because I've been trying to drag it on in my mind. When we get home everything will start moving again, and then it will only be 5 days before Markus leaves for Armyland. I really can't even deal with it. Every time I allow myself to think of it for more than 1.5 minutes, I start crying. So, time's up. Buhbye.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Baltimore is humid

I have two interviews tomorrow. The first is with Jen, the director of the Ryan White Programs, and the second is with Kim, the volunteer director of Bon Secours. I'm figuring everything will go well. If it does (and I really hope it does, or I'm pretty screwed), I'll be in Baltimore this coming August. I Wikipediaed Baltimore yesterday and found out that it's hot and humid in the summer. Damn. (This makes my hair completely unmanageable and I end up looking just like I did in 4th grade... frizzy messybun and a giant greasy forehead.) Just what I was trying to get away from. And it has winter. Double damn. When I was fighting my way to class through the ice, snow, and wind this April, I thought, "Oh boy! This might be my last winter for a few years!" No such luck. It looks like it doesn't get as cold as Erie though, so that's good. Now the only thing I have to worry about is the homicide rate that is seven times the national average. Yeah....

Anyway, peace out.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Entering real life

I forgot to mention something in my last post.
I'm about 99% sure that I'm going to be volunteering in Baltimore with Bon Secours beginning in August. I have a couple interviews next week, but the lady that I have been corresponding with said that barring any crazy circumstances like my references coming out terribly, I'm 100% sure to get in. Yeaaaah!
I'll know more next week after my interviews, but it looks like I'm going to be working with the Ryan White Program. The woman in charge of the program gave this description, "Duties could include community development and education projects, assistance with efforts to locate and apply for new grants (including coming up with new projects for providing services), client interviewing and bio-psychosocial assessment, and assisting clients with whatever the need help with."
It's not as medically-intensive as I was hoping for, but I think it will be great to be able to still work with patients and doctors. Also, I'm excited because Mason will be in NYC, and we were afraid that we'd never see each other after he left for school and I left for volunteering/med school.
Anyway, it's not for sure, but it's for pretty sure, so I though I'd let you know.

What a vacation

I've been sort of internet-less for a few days, so I couldn't do as much blogging as I would have liked. Once an adventure is followed by another, it's really hard for me to write about the first.
But I'll give it a try.
Markus and I are currently on the second half of our vacation, spending time with Craig and Mary in Edmonton. As expected, it is a totally different vacation from our time in Vegas, but is also proving to be a good time. We've been resting a lot... I'm afraid I'm giving Craig and Mary the impression that I'm a big fat lazy person. I seriously haven't slept this much since Christmas break. We've been hanging out with C and M's friend Zach, who up until very recently worked at BioWare with them. What this basically means is that everyone around me is speaking nerd (this is their term, not mine) and I have no idea what's going on about 72% of the time. Seriously. It's a little bit hilarious. The only gaming system I've ever owed was the regular old Nintendo that gramma bought Chandra and I for Christmas when I was like... I have no idea... maybe 5? Today C and M are having friends over for dinner and afterwards we're having a giant Guitar Hero tournament. Markus just finished creating a bracket system on Excel. Tehehe. I love my nerdy boyfriend.

As far as the first half of our vacation goes, it was pretty awesome. We were so lucky to be staying with Dawn and Joey, because they really showed us things that we otherwise wouldn't have experienced. I've never really thought that those vacation guidebooks were necessary when going on vacation to a place where there is obviously tons of stuff to do, but I can definitely see now why people use them. If we didn't have Joey and Dawn, we would have just wandered around and spent a lot of money. I mean, spent a lot more money. Because a lot of money was definitely spent anyway. Yikes.
Joey works at Wynn and got us tickets to the two shows that are playing there right now. Sunday night we saw Le Reve, which was basically the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. It's totally inexplicable. Markus and I were trying to tell Craig and Mary about it and we were just babbling and throwing our hands around and giggling. Even someone who isn't impressed by art would be impressed by the feats of strength or the amazing set. I really can't convey how impressed I was. If you really care, ask me in person, and I'll try to babble a bit more to you.
Monday was Markus' and my anniversary, so we went to dinner at Tao and then to see Spamalot. Markus does a good job at describing these in his blog, so if you care, check it out.
Tuesday and Wednesday, Joey took Markus and I to Zion National Park. We went for 8-hour "hikes" on both days. The first day we hiked Subway, a trail that took us down a mountainside and into a canyon where the water had carved out a subway-looking tunnel through the rock. It was really neat to be so far down inside the rock, surrounded on all sides by giant walls of sandstone. That hike required a couple small rappels and a few swims through icy water.
The next day we hiked Mystery Canyon. For the first two or three hours of the hike, my mind kept replaying these words, "This is the worst day of my life. Why do people do this for fun? I hate Joey. This is the worst day of my life...." To get down into the canyon we had to climb down a steep forest-like cliff. Joey read the guidebook aloud before we began down the trail to make sure we were at the right place, "notice a fairly prominent trail that traverses to the right, going across a steep scree slope heading toward some thicker vegetation on the right and downhill. Be very slow and careful on this section of the trail. This is called Death Gully for a reason." Seriously people, from where we were standing, you could see about 2 feet of the trail, then it dropped off and disappeared. At this point I started crying. Not sobbing, just like, tears coming from my eyes because I wasn't going to see my mom again.
This hike had 12 rappels, two of which were about 150 feet. The first big rappel lowered us into what they call The Jungle, and it really was like paradise. After hiking hours and hours through rock and sand and sun, all of the sudden we were in a pool of clear blue-green water, surrounded by ferns growing on the walls of rock. It was at this point, about 5 hours into the hike that I really began to be okay. Before that, I truly couldn't figure out why anyone would do this, but then we were in such a beautiful place that other people will never see. Suddenly, I had my reason. The last rappel took us down into The Narrows, which anyone can access. As we rappelled 150 feet down a waterfall into the Virgin River people took pictures of us, and when we landed, they cheered! Hah. At that point, Markus and I high-fived and decided that we, most definitely, are some serious bad-asses.

Joey took lots of pictures of the hikes, I'll post them as soon as he send them to Markus. In the meantime, just use your imagination.

Oh. Important add-on: I don't actually hate Joey. I just thought I did during those first few hours of hoping that I was going to live to see the next day.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Sweet summertime

I. am. on. vacation.

In Vegas.
With my sweet-ass boyfriend.
Mmmm yes.

And that's all I'm going to write right now because my sweet-ass boyfriend wants me to take a shower so we can go to dinner.
Well, really, he just wants to go to dinner. I want to take a shower. Being on an airplane for several hours makes me feel yucky.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I'm such a giant nerd.

The other night I had an adventure that I thought could only happen when my wife is around, but apparently I was wrong. Alright, this is what happened...

Markus and I went for dinner and drinks at the Plymouth with Jimmy and Leah.
(Here they are, the little cuties.)
Alright, so, that was a good time until the end when our waitress took approximately 45 minutes to bring our checks. During the waiting, M and I decided that we were going to stay out, rather than being lame-O's like we usually are. We went to Cellblock and drank and danced and had a merry time... Then, here comes the more interesting part...
On the way home, we were passing Benjamins when M decided that we might as well go in and have a drink. Oh Providence(ish). This bar, which is part of the Avalon Hotel, was full of foreign men who were in town for a convention of distributors at GE. I left them alone for a little while, but you know, it's so unlike me not to meet strangers...
No one really knows this except my parents, Markus, and Mrs. Kozak, but I have a great desire for the United States to start using trains again like we used to, and to get semi trucks off the highways. I did a little bit of reading this semester to find out the history of the US railroad, but there's definitely a lot more I need to learn. So, as I was thinking about the railroad this semester, I thought of an interesting question: Are all GE products shipped via locomotive? Because they should be! This question is what led me to meet the men in the bar. (None of them knew the answer, but agreed that if GE doesn't use trains to ship its products, that's just stupid.) I spent the next half hour or so talking to a Dutchman, a Russian, and a Spaniard about the railroad in the United States and Europe, and when that conversation started coming to a close I wondered about their thoughts on the EU. Bah! Seriously, I'm sure that when they went to the hotel bar that night, they weren't expecting to have serious scholarly conversations with a college-aged girl. It was a good time for me though, and I think Markus had fun too, so I guess all is well.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

A grown up

Yesterday was a really wonderful day of celebration. It was beautiful outside, Markus was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant into the Army, I was honored at the Bacchelaureate mass for doing a year of post-graduate service, Commencement was nice and the speaker was thoughtful, and I got to wear a really pretty dress all day long.

Yet, throughout the entire day, it still didn't hit me... I'm graduating from college. I tried really hard to think about it like, "I'm graduating, I'm a college graduate, I don't have to go to school on Monday, It's summer now, I'm graduating, I'm a college graduate....." to no avail. I guess I just felt like yesterday was nice, but it didn't mean anything. It's hard to explain, and I'm not doing a very good job. BUT THEN... I woke up this morning and rolled over and kissed Markus, and I thought, "Oh my. We're grown-ups. We're grown-ups laying in my bed." Hahaha. Does that even make sense to anyone who didn't experience it? Well, I hope so, because it was pretty hilarious.

Oh, something else hilarious that I definitely need to share: After graduation, Markus and I went out to dinner at Red Lobster with his family. Then we came home and decided to take a nap before going out to celebrate with friends. I think I set my alarm for about 9pm. Well, we totally passed out, and apparently I don't know how to set an alarm, because at 11:56, Markus goes, "Hannah, it's midnight!" and I had noooooo idea why he was waking me up from a perfectly good sleep to tell me it was midnight. I started getting cranky. I thought that he was the crazy one. I think I may have yelled at him. Then he says, "Where am I?" And I was totally convinced that poor Markus was having some sort of weird dream and didn't mean to wake me up. Then, the kicker, "Did we decide not to go out when I was sleeping?" Bahahha! Ooooh snap. So, we got our tired bums out of bed and got ready real quick and were able to meet Jimmy and Leah at Boardwalk. Let me tell you, going to the bar at midnight totally refreshed and sober = great amazing fun. We danced like it was 1999 just because we could.
So, not exactly the graduation night we had planned, but fun none the less.


Friday, May 4, 2007


I just found out that I've been awarded a scholarship to attend the Christian Community Health Fellowship annual conference! Now I just need to scrounge up enough money to pay for housing ($90, unless I can stay with Corey) and to get to Chicago. Maybe Sunday's graduation party will be able to do that for me.
Geez, what a busy summer it's turning out to be... vacation from May 11 - 24, CCHF conference from May 31-June 3, then work starts June 17! This is exciting stuff.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Living Juicy

I realized that I left out something important.

"Living Juicy" comes from SARK, one of my most favorite strangers. I like her so much that sometimes I even call her! Seriously. Do it, I bet you'll be glad you did.

SARK. She lives in San Francisco, so use your nights and weekends for this.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Moving on

It's time, I suppose, to move on to a big girl blog.
I started using xanga in high school, which was perfectly acceptable then, but I'm pretty sure that people make fun of me for using it now.
I've been left in blogger dust.

Alright, alright, I'm ready...
This Saturday I graduate from college. That surely must mean that I can handle a grown-up blog.