Monday, November 29, 2004


So this day just got more worser. Here I was, smiling, big grin on my face all day long for all sorts of reasons. I'd been working in the library all day on my MCH Needs Assessment. I'd taken a break on the advice of MS and gone home to feed the cats and make a delicious grilled cheese sandwich.

I came back, pulled out my CD with the Needs Assessment, popped in the drive wasn't there. Both the Excel and the Word documents did not exist on the CD. No old version, no saved version. It was like they never existed. Like I didn't work for 8 hours on them earlier today.

Now I'm back to square 1 on an assignment that's due on Thursday. An assignment I've been (sort of) working on for the entire semester. An assignment that is a group project on which other people's grades depends.

Even making a deal with god about going to church didn't help me recover it. It's been 1.5 hours. I've given up.

Right when it seemed my life was looking up, right as things weren't so bad and sad.

Seriously, for the love of god, can this month get any worser?


Thanksgiving break started on Tuesday for me. After I turned in my 20 page paper on my Diabetes Prevention Program (thank holy fuck that's done!), I went out on my first date with a 3rd-year med student (perhaps more on that another time). The week off had begun, even though I had to catch up on my biostats and put together a group project and powerpoint assessing the maternal and child health needs of La Paz County (population 20,715) over the break.

Thanksgiving Day was nice. Dinner at Tasha's with Long-Island Cliff and I. We had the works--stuffing, potatoes, turkey, mac and cheese, pumpkin pie--and tons of leftovers.

Saturday, I turned on my laptop to begin the Needs Assessment. The laptop hummed as it warmed up. And then the screen went black. Sort of. I could vaguely make out the shapes of desktop icons if I help my desklamp up at a certain angle. The hard drive is still working (thank god), but not much good since I can't see clearly enough to do work. I called Compaq (thank god for warranties) and found out that I have to FedEx it to them on Wednesday so they can fix the backlight and I can have my life back. Of course, it won't be done until after finals. Of course.

So I did what every stressed out girl does--I went shopping. I bought three sweaters and a scarf (it's gotten cold here, though I'm still wearing flip-flops). And a Xmas and birthday present for my mom. And went on a date with Med Student again.

But I still haven't done any work yet. I'm sitting in the Health Sciences Library checking my email every three minutes, hoping that inspiration will come, that I can finish (start) my assignments, that time will just pass so this semester will be over. Motivation is hard when I just don't care that much. I am so ready for this semester to end, so ready to just kick back and relax for a few weeks.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

I'm Dreaming of a White Thanksgiving???

Life in Tucson is surreal and I am beginning to love it.

Yesterday it snowed. That's right. Snowed. The craggy, desert mountains behind my apartment are now snowcapped.

We just got rain in the city, since we're at a lower elevation, but I'm thinking it's pretty safe to say that I'm the first out of most of my family and friends to get snow within eyesight.

Where else in America can you have snow and desert sand? Amen for the Southwest!

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Bantu Thanksgiving

Little did I know that Tucson has one of the largest refugee resettlement areas in the country; there are literally half a dozen resettlement agencies that help out people from all over the world. Yesterday, I was exposed to this subculture within Tucson when Jim, John and I volunteered with the International Refugee Committee and helped out with their annual Thanksgiving dinner. The dinner is held a local church and is a chance for the refugees to get out of their apartments, mingle with each other and experience American cuisine for the first time.

Our job was shuttling people back and forth from their apartments to the church. The IRC rents blocks of apartments so many of the families can live close together at first--makes the transition a lot less scary. When our three car caravan drove up, there were throngs of Somalian Bantus waiting outside, mostly women and excited, skinny children with snotty, dirty faces and ragged clothing.

I felt like I was in Kenya again. These little kids looked up at me with their expectant eyes, slipped their grimy little hands in mine and trusted me. Suddenly, I was right where I was suppose to be.

I also felt like an American matatu. The women had so many children and we didn't have enough car seats and they didn't want to leave their kids behind for the next load, so mamas tucked their small children in the corners of the car. One woman loaded her four children up and then when I turned around as I was backing out, she had pulled another small baby from underneath her voluminous robes and was nursing.

My heart goes out to these families. What they must have seen and dealt with before they escaped to this country. Yet, they aren't bitter, they aren't wallowing in self-pity. They have so little to be thankful for and yet here they are, eating turkey, laughing, dancing, chatting and embracing life. They are truly thankful.

The closer I get to thinking I have answers, the more I realize I have a lot to learn.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Exploding Glass

My old PCV neighbor, Erick, emailed me yesterday. It was just a short line: "Hey Lizzy, I was driving down the road with my mind wandering and I remembered the time when you and I almost lost our eyes burning your trash :)."

I thought the incident he reminded me of could only happen via Peace Corps experience. The first week I moved to my site, Erick came up to stay with me and teach me how to live like a PCV, which involved learning how to burn my trash. There was a fire pit in my side yard where you burn burnable trash...things that are not burnable include glass and metal and things that are wet. Those you dump down the toilet.

Well, unbeknowest to me, there was a glass honey jar in my pit, dumped there by the volunteer prior to me. About halfway through the trash-burning lesson, the honey jar violently exploded sending white-hot glass shards flying through my lawn and hitting both Erick and I in the face. Erick got hit worse than I did and apparently still has a scar under his right eye.

Well, this afternoon, I was burning a candle in a glass jar. Well, sort of burning. The wick had burnt out, but the candle still had lots of scented wax in it, so I was dropping matches in the bottom of the jar and letting them melt the wax so the scent would still permeate the air (covering the cat poo smell). Well...apparently, that's not always a good idea because about 20 minutes into my venture, the glass candle jar got to hot from the concentrated flames and shattered across my desk sending tiny glass shards flying. I cut my hands a little, but definitely learned my lesson. Once more, glass and fire don't mix.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Can I Just Tell You

I am the happiest I have been in a while. Thank god for friends.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


So last night was the ultimate soccer game against Hillel. As in they were bitter from losing the game last time and we were looking foward to beating them again.

Until they brought out the big guns, in the name of a player called "Big Mac" (that is what was written on his Hillel jersey). I swear he looked like a Jewish Mr. Clean, but on steroids. Big. Muscular. Bald. Apparently, Hillel was a little too bitter....

And who knows what happened to the term "Beginner's League?" Because the game I played against Big Mac and his cronies was NOT beginner. I am beginner. Hillel was not.

So we got our asses whupped hard-core. As in like 6-0. NOT in our favor.

Oh well. It was still fun even though both my thighs and my ego are a little bruised. Lots of cursing. I "accidently" slammed some girl name Naomi in the face with the ball of my hand (whoops). I even got to head the ball a few times. It was a good game, if a little vicious.

Back to my diabetes prevention program paper that's due on Thursday. The fun never ends.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Halfway to Criminal

I'm sitting in the library attempting to write a 20 page paper about a Diabetes Prevention Program that is due on Thursday (I've only just begun). My laptop is on, my headphones are plugged in and I'm hard at work (somewhat).

I'm sitting next to my friend Brian, affectionately known as "Hottie" among some of us in Family and Child Health. My friend Meigan sidles up to me and wants to know how the last week at the APHA conference was. I start bitching about my 48-hour trip home and the evils of TSA and Frontier Airlines.

Suddenly, this frizzy-hair, bottle-redheaded woman with bad fashion sense pops out of nowhere and hands me a slip of paper torn off one of those yellow legal pads.

On it is written: "Would you please chat somewhere else some other time? I'm having a difficult time concentrating on neuroscience."


Damn, I just got told off in the library.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Election Matters

Firstly, let me say, I apologize for the misleading title of my blog. I'm not sure what the name of it should be, but as far as my recent posts go, "Sunshine" anywhere in the title is not appropriate (although, perhaps "Sunshit" is, eh?).

So enough weeping and gnashing of teeth about my personal life. I'm going to weep and gnash my teeth about the election results.

One word, over and over: How? How? How?

How is it possible that my values and viewpoints are shared by less than half of the American population? I don't believe that I am on the extreme left. I believe that everyone should be given equal opportunity in life, despite birth. I do not believe that just because you happened to be lucky enough to be born wealthy, you are entitled to something. A person born poor had just as much influence on their birth circumstances than another does being born into money.

Thus, I believe we have an obligation to help those unlucky enough to be born to less than good fortune. I believe in social justice. Why not help our fellow neighbors? Isn't that the second commandent: Love your neighbor as yourself?

I believe that it doesn't matter who you want to love--I know who I love and I don't really care who you love. Why should it matter if it's the opposite sex or not? It's not really my business.

I believe that a woman has rights to her own reproductive health and that if she wants an abortion, then why not? It doesn't hurt me. The decision to bring a life into this world should never been taken lightly and if a woman decides not to continue a pregnancy, even if for selfish reasons (especially for selfish reasons), that should be respected and upheld.

I believe that all people within this nation deserve quality health and healthcare, despite socioeconomic status. Why should a child suffer from asthema simply because his mother cannot afford to live anywhere else but in poor low-income housing? What has he done to deserve a chronic illness and no healthcare? And why shouldn't we all be entitled to physicians who take the time to explain our treatment to us, to explore options and alternatives and are willing to listen to us?

I believe that the environment is precious and that we as humans should be living with the environment, respecting it rather than living against it. Controlling the environment solves some problems, but also creates more complicated ones. Look at the levels of toxicity in our lives--we may not have famine anymore because of the strength of the pesticides, but we sure do have cancer, don't we? We may have our plastics and fattened cows, but the average age of menarche is now 10.5 years of age, making little girls into women much too early.

Are my beliefs so unbelievable? Am I so out of touch with humanity? I'd like to think not. I've traveled the world, lived in many places, seen many things, things so amazing they made me want to leap with joy simply because and things so sad that I've actually wondered about the existence of a god so cruel. I've seen the strength of the human spirit prevail in situations so desperate that merely thinking about them now makes me weep. I've held hands with children whose bellies were distended because of malnourishment. I've laughed with women who are dying of AIDS. I've both danced and dueled with cultures not my own. I've learned a respect for life. I believe that life is worth upholding, even if it's different than my own.

I passionately believe in life.
And I have so much more to learn, so much more to believe in. I believe in learning and exploring and intellectual curiosity, because without understanding we are lost.

How is it possible that the majority of my country doesn't believe with me?
Life is calling. How far would you go?

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Cleats and Toes

My worst nightmare has come true. It is finally too cold to wear flip-flops in the sunny state of AZ. Last night, there was a freeze warning as people frantically covered up their citrus trees and pomegranate bushes to protect them from impending frost.

Last night was our second intramural soccer game and again, we won. The other team had a few good players, but we had distracting cheerleaders. I actually quit the cheerleading squad and played defense this week on my broken toe, but definitely wished I hadn't. Funny how you don't notice the excrutiating pain until later (I really should go to the doctor). It was so cold last night that it actually hurt to breath; my nose ached from the cold and my sinuses felt hollowed out from breathing in the frigid air.

I had a few good moments taking out my one point, I accidentally lept on an opponent's back screaming in a defensive move gone horrible wrong, but I got nailed in the shin later, so turn about is fair play. It's a pretty purple now and shoving my toe into real shoes is a little painful.

It seems this week has left me with a few war wounds.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Going From Here

I saw my beloved for the last time yesterday. It was hard to see him again, but I'm glad I got to say goodbye in a civilized way. Plus, after two years I deserved more than the phone call I got.

So now it's on to pick up the pieces of my life. This has been one hell of a year, and the shitty aspect of this whole breakup is he was the one constant thing in my life. And now, he's gone too.

Where do I go from here? How do I even begin fixing this mess that is my life? I don't even know where to start or where I am headed. I've spent the last years truly believing that one day we would get married, we would eventually have a family.

It's not just loss of the relationship and a best friend, but a loss of what I thought my life was going to be. This is going to take some getting used to. Not the singleness, so much as the fact that I so desperately still want to be with HIM. I know that another man (men) will come my way eventually, but I don't want them. I want him. I love him so deeply--for the first time in my life, I feel like I truly opened up my heart to a man. And when you love someone so deeply, it can't be wrong. And I wish he could see that.

I wish that he didn't believe he was so certain and didn't make it so final. I wish that we could have left it open a little, that maybe in a few months, revisited it. Or perhaps, dropped it down a notch. At times yesterday, I was having such a good time with him that it didn't feel like we were breaking up. Several times, I wanted to ask him, "Are you sure you want to give this up? Look at us, Beloved, we are so wonderfully suited."

We are so good together, for each other. I wish he didn't feel the need to cut it off so fast. He never gave us a chance out here. He didn't give me enough credit.