I’ve got to quit making plans and forming expectations, because nothing works out the way I imagine it in my head. Often, it works out better.

A series of events has led us to decide to move closer to town, closer to work, closer to school. We said no to the room down the street that I got excited about, but I know something even more exciting is waiting around the corner. We’re discovering adorable communities in the hills above honolulu, and I’m getting really excited about having more to do, being so close to the city!

The unfortunate part is that we already gave our notice, and now have only 7 days to move out. That’s one week. Wow. We could probably stay here longer, but there is now another couple living in the house with us, and it’s getting crowded.

We’ve been focusing on the Manoa Valley area, which quiet, breezy, lush, and quaint. They have a really cute community center with a local theatre and cute coffee shops. The streets are narrow and steep, lined with stone walls,winding along the ridgelines surrounding the small valley. Most of the homes are absolutely stunning, and we’re hoping to find a room in a nice house, or maybe a studio with a separate entrance.

So far we’ve seen quite a few options, but none of them perfect. The University Inn is an old boarding house with 20 separate apartments in a beautiful, huge, home. It’s a cute idea, but the units are small and the prices are high, so it’s a no go. We seriously considered a room in a large 3 br house with amazing views, but one of the roommates made us really uncomfortable, so we said no. Yesterday we saw another room in a 4br house with private bath, and it was nice…but it didn’t really feel like what we’re looking for. I’m trying to follow my gut on this one. Tomorrow we’re seeing a studio in a gorgeous neighborhood, and a room in a newer apartment.

Soon we’ll have to be making a decision, so hopefully we see the perfect unit soon….Until then the search is on!

Preparing for a move!

April 15, 2010

So we decided on the room. I got a very strong feeling that we would get more privacy with the room than we would with the apartment. The people renting the apartment mentioned how the prior tenants complained when they would fight upstairs…and I really don’t want to have to think about a dramatic family. The girl renting the house seems really mellow, she works full time, she can afford the rent on her own, but would rather split the rent with a roommate. The last roommate stopped paying rent, so she had to kick them out. The house has tons of space for us to get away when we need to. I got a good feeling from her. And it’s month to month, so if we don’t get along, we can keep on looking…..but I think we’ll get along just fine.

What’s funny is that the day we deicded it was time to give notice, our landlord came by with someone to check out the third room in this house. There really isn’t any room for another roommate here, as the house isn’t big, and has no real living room. So we took the opportunity to say, “tell you what, we’ll just leave, and he can have our room.” It was no biggie. We get to be out by the first! Yay!

Now we just need to get a bed, and figure out how to put up a shower curtain around a free-standing tub…..it’s in the middle of the bahroom, so I’m at a bit of a loss. Any suggestions?

Change is Fun

April 12, 2010

So many books and articles and would-be psychologists say that people don’t like change, but I tend to feel the opposite. I think change is exciting, and I get bored when  don’t have any big changes happening in my life. Maybe that’s how I let out my inner drama queen.

I’ve been getting my excitement fix lately by apartment hunting. This week we saw two potential options:

Option 1: Two bedrooms in the boonies

A friend of ours has an apartment for rent under his home out in Mokuleia. It has two bedrooms and a full kitchen.

PROS:

  • Extra bedroom for guests, or to rent out if money gets tight.
  • Newly remodeled, nice fixtures.
  • Peaceful setting near the beach.

CONS:

  • Three aggressive dogs on the property.
  • The landlords want us to be “part of the family”….I have a family, I don’t need a new one.
  • Mokuleia is as far from work as I can possibly get.
  • The apartment is completely unfurnished, so we’d have to spend quite a bit of money on furniture.
  • Slot-windows (what I call fake windows because you can’t completely close them…it’s the kind we have now).
  • No new dogs allowed, so no Toby 😦

Option 2: Master bedroom in a large house

 A few houses away from where we currently live, a single girl is renting out the master bedroom in a big house built in the 70’s.

PROS:

  • Extra bedroom for guests, or to rent out if money gets tight (savings to be split with roommate).
  • Well-built home in good shape, with real windows.
  • Fully furnished main house with lots of living space.
  • Lots of character in the house: built-in shelving and vanity in the bedroom, Additional vanity in bathroom with cupboards & vintage tile.
  • Tons of storage space.
  • Spacious patio with a hammock.
  • A comfy reading room off of the living room.
  • Quiet location right next to our favorite beach.

CONS:

  • Shared living space with a roommate.
  • The price is only slightly less than renting our own apartment.
  • Stained carpets.
  • No dogs…again no Toby 😦

When I look at it this way, it seems like the room is better than the apartment. If only they hadn’t made the comment about us being “part of the family” in the apartment. That turns it into a roommate type situation, and one roommate is much better than 3.

It breaks my heart to not have the option to bring Toby, but it’s just been so hard to find a place that will allow big dogs. One nice thing about the Master bedroom is that it would be month-to-month, so if we found a place where we could have Toby we could move out. We need to give notice soon if we’re going to act on either of these. What would you do, my friends?

Bye Bye Bully

April 7, 2010

I am incredibly spoiled. I quite frequently find myself complaining about my life. Thinking about it now, I’m shocked. I have everything I want in life, I have achieved all of my recent goals. But while I’m complaining, there is no use for logic: my crazy mind wants to complain. Sometimes I really do think I’m a little crazy.

Maybe Filippo caters to me too much. He really is wonderful. When I’m upset, he’ll go to any length to make me happy.  I’m ashamed to say that sometimes, when I’m in one of these grumpy complaining about nothing moods, I’ll become a real bully. I’ve always done this to the people I love (sisters, best friends…) and it is such a disgusting behavior. Thankfully, Filippo doesn’t cater to my bullying. He leaves me to stew in my grumpiness while he fixes something in the kitchen, or goes for a surf. Usually, by the time he comes back, I’m telling him how sorry I am, and how terrible I am.

So you see why I think I’m a little crazy?

Yesterday was my birthday, and sadly I allowed some grumpiness into the day. Not too much – I didn’t do any bullying – but I did complain to myself about the uncommonly bad weather. How dare the skies rain on my birthday! I’m such a spoiled brat.

It was a very good day though. Mellow and relaxing. I got breakfast in bed and flowers and cards and plenty of love. We ate a delicious meal with good friends and got to bed early.

Then this morning I was a bully again. Filippo got up early for a surf, and when he got back he called through the window for me to bring him a towel by the outdoor shower. I responded with a “uuughhh!!! What do you want??” Then I grabbed the closest towel, huffed to the door, and threw it on the railing by the shower. Completely unprovoked grumpiness. He asked what was wrong, and I snapped “I’m tired!” and stomped back to bed.

Of course, I couldn’t fall back asleep because I wasn’t really tired anymore. And as soon as he came in the room I told him how sorry I was.  I think I have a problem though. I need a serious attitude adjustment.

So for all of you who have been recipients of my awful bullying, I’m so so sorry. I hate to think that I’m a bad person, but only bad people are bullies, right? Ugh.

My new goal is to eliminate the grumpy bully from my personality. It is a waste of energy and does no good in the world, or in my life, or in the lives of those around me.

So for now: I am grateful. I’m so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life. I have a great job, I live in paradise, I have everything I could possibly need, and more.

My little garden: Basil, Sage, and new Roses!

A Coffee Pot terrarium!

Little Hawaiian Gecko

Our friends puppies look exactly like Toby and Tito!

Busy Bee

March 31, 2010

I haven’t been making time to post lately because I’ve just been so busy! What a nice contrast to the complacency of the winter. Spring is here, and life has become appropriately more exciting.

This is week four at the Hosptial, with one more week before I’m on my own. Every day has its overwhelming moments, when the doctors want to admit 4 patients from the ER and 2 people need to register for Labs and Radiology, and three people need to be seen by the ER triage nurse, and people are calling me for bed assignments in one of the four other wings, and babies are being born….aaahhhh!!! It’s all good though, I just take one thing at a time.

Later in the night it always gets slower for a bit, so I can go back through everything and make sure I didn’t make any mistakes. I enjoy the excitement of  it all.

I was just talking to my mama, who said she doesn’t know my schedule and when to call, so I should post it on my blog. So if anyone wants to call me (and please do!) I’ll be off this Friday, the 2nd, Monday and Tuesday, the 5th & 6th (happy birthday to me!) and probably Monday the 12th. After that my schedule is likely to change.

Back to Springtime…

Even though you can’t really notice the changing of the seasons here in paradise (heeh), I still felt compelled to buy some plants this week! I picked up a beautiful Orchid for the table in our bedroom, and some hebs – Basil and Sage (they’re my favorites). Hopefully everythng will continue to grow nicely, and our food will be scrumptious, and our room will be brightened by joyful flowers for a long time to come…

Well, not too long, because I still want to move out. But rent is due tomorrow, and we have no prospects of moving elsewhere, so it looks like another month here. Oh well…at least we have the beach.

Roommate Drama

March 24, 2010

I’m not one for roommates. Many of you know that about me. I don’t like confrontation, I like certain things just so, I like my freedom to do or not do things in a timely manner, and I’m finding that I easily hold a grudge. That last part is something I really should work on.

Filippo and I live with a middle-aged woman who has health problems, doesn’t drive, and is therefore always home. She likes to leave little notes on the kitchen table and on the fridge when we forget to do something (like close a window before we leave the house, or put away the dishes before bed). When we first moved in, I made an extra effort to clean the common areas regularly and generally be a good roommate. Still, she would find things to complain about, and I formed my resentment. We pay more than half of the rent for this house, and yet we have the smaller bedroom, no access to the living room, and she doesn’t like us spending too much time in the kitchen. I don’t like being banished to my bedroom when I pay $1000 per month.

As I’ve mentioned several times, Filippo and I are looking into getting our own place. We’ve been secretive about it because we’re not on a lease and could be kicked out at any time. So we make phone calls to landlords when we’re out of the house, or we whisper into the phone from our bedroom.

Yesterday, Filippo met with a landlord to see a studio here on the north shore. As I was driving home from yoga, I called him to ask how it was. He told me it was furnished with ugly furniture and was close to the highway, so it’s a no-go. Our roommate was listening to his conversation. From what Filippo tells me, the conversation went something like this:

Roommate: “So you’re moving out, huh?”

Filippo: “Well, when we moved in we said we’d probaby be leaving in 6 months to a year…”

R: “I knew you would leave as soon as you moved in. You know, you’ll have to help around the yard no matter where you go. And I’m always cleaning the house, so I know you’re never doing it. I’m not your maid, you know. And I try to make conversations with Erin but she just walks off. You guys could try sweeping the porch every once in a while, you know.”

F: “…We feel that we do our part…I’ve got to go”.

That was when I picked him up to go to a friends house and he told me about it in the car. What’s funny is that the day before, I had swept the kitchen and bathroom, and cleaned the ruggs. We never leave anything laying around the house…but I’ll admit, lately I’ve made much less effort to clean and interact with her. I just don’t really care to make things work at this house.

The whole ordeal didn’t really get me very upset, because it’s just more motivation to find a new place. I’ll just continue to avoid her, and soon enough we’ll be out of her hair. And then she can find a new roommate to complain about.

So my brother expects my posts to start looking something like Grey’s Anatomy “but like the old seasons when people blew up and stuff”…hahahaha.

There haven’t been any bombs in the ER yet (although every phone does have a checklist next to it of what to ask if someone calls with a bomb threat). But every day is really exciting! Sunday night is statistically our busiest night, and last night was no exception. Every bed was full, and we even had two patients being treated in the family room.

There were the typical patients (kids with abdominal pain, old people with dementia), and then there were some sad ones (like a  5 year old who was bit by a dog and a sick baby), and there were some fun ones (a guy from Canada who cut his head open while surfing on the last day of his vacation, and a girl with a laceration from hiking to the waterfalls).

The strangest was probably a young couple who came in because the guy had nearly drowned and had been throwing up since it happened. I thought “suck it up dude. Drink some water and take a nap.” But they came in and were given the same attention everyone gets. After a couple of hours and some tests, the doctor discharged the patient and they drove off. They only got about a block away when they got hit by a car going pretty fast. They weren’t really hurt all that bad, but they both had to come in to the ER. What luck.

But truly the most interesting thing that has happened at my job so far has nothing to do with any patients. I hesitate to say this because it’s bad to spread gossip….but it’s not gossip when it’s true, right? And it’s public knowledge….Ok here goes:

The woman who trains me is married to the man who killed John Lennon. That’s right. I work with her every day, and her husband murdered John Lennon! He’s in jail in New York, and every six months she goes to visit him. She’s remained faithful to him for some reason, since 1980. He’s obviously what at work we would call “SMI” (Seriously Mentally Ill), and he’ll be in there for the rest of his life, but she’s faithful. Weird.

So that’s my Grey’s Anatomy excitement for the week. Hope you found it as dramatic as I did!

The Commuter Club

March 19, 2010

My commute is about as far as it can possibly be on this island. I live on the Northwest (ish) corner of the island, and I work on the Southeast corner. Without traffic, it’s about 45 minutes, but with traffic it’s an hour and a half. Luckily, my shift avoids rush hour.

As I’ve said before, this is my second week of work. Sadly, I already got a speeding ticket last Friday on my drive home.

They seem to have a surplus of cops here, and what makes it worse is that most of them aren’t even in marked police cars. Apparently, the Hawaii PD solved a budget problem by having cops use their personal cars as patrol cars. So you’ll see a normal looking SUV, but it has a blue light sitting on top, and that’s the enemy….well, the commuter’s enemy anyway.

I actually got pulled over by a motorcycle cop waiting for me under an overpass, so this doesn’t apply to me, but I think these unmarked cop cars are pretty sneaky. They’ll be sitting there innocently on the side of the road, and when it’s dark and you can’t see the light perched on top of the car, you could easily speed on by without realizing you just provoked a cop.

But to combat the overabundance of sneaky cops, it seems that Hawaiian commuters have decided to band together. I’ve started to notice that whenever someone passes a speed trap, they’ll warn oncoming traffic by flashing their headlights. I noticed it twice today, and I just think it’s so considerate. I decided to pass the favor on myself when I saw the evil cops waiting in the shadows, and I’m sure I saved a couple people speeding tickets.

So that’s just another reason I love Hawaii’s aloha spirit.

It’s too bad I still owe $135 on that stupid ticket though (I was only going 60 on the freeway!!!)

Working Girl

March 18, 2010

I’m into my second week of training, and it’s been quite an adjustment!

The first week I went in from 10-3, did a little training here and there, no big deal. But this week I’m working full 8 hour shifts from 3-11pm! From 3-5 I’m shadowing my trainer at the ER admit desk, which is super fast paced and exciting…except half the time I don’t know what’s going on. Then from 5-9 I meet the other new admitting hires down in the IT training room, where we’re learning how to use the computer programs necessary for our job. Then from 9-11 it’s back up to to the front lines, where I continue to be excited and overwhelmed by the commotion of the ER.

I’m starting to get the hang of some things, like getting signatures from patients and giving them wrist bands. Last night I was running all over the ER, feelng very professional. I also got to register one patient, and complete a doctor change request, all on my own. I can tell I’m going to enjoy the job once I get the flow of everything.

Last night was particularly intense, because we had a young boy come in by ambulance who had been in an accident. He was flat lined when he came in, but there was a lot of commotion with identifying who he was, and then the whole family came in and it was really tragic. There were also a lot of other patients coming in all night, so the ER was really full. It might sound bad, but all of the commotion made me kind of excited…Maybe it made me realize the importance of my job, and it felt good to know that I could do my job and help the other people. The quicker I work, the quicker they are seen. I think I’m cut out for this sort of work.

I go in tonight for the same shift, and then on Friday I’m trainng with the switchboard operator all evening. Saturday I’m off and then Sundy I do my first full shift at the Admit desk. I’m pretty excited!

We’re still waiting to hear about that perfect apartment. We were able to submit a complete application on Monday, and they’re just verifying our information. I really hope it works out, but if it doesn’t, hopefully there’s something even better waiting for us!

Chasing Rainbows

March 10, 2010

Here in Hawaii, it’s safe to say that we get our fair share of rainbows. It’s been rainig a lot lately, so we’ve had quie a few. Today, on my way home from work, I snapped this picture, because the rainbow was the best I’ve seen. Of course, the picture doesn’t begin to do it justice, but I promise it was amazing. Everybody else pulled over too, to take photos (note the car in front of me). The pasture I’m stopped next to is a horse pasture (see the sign!), and it would have been great to get a shot of the horses and the green grass with the rainbow and the blue sky….but I was rushing to get home and don’t really have any photography skills. But a full rainbow is still impressive!

This has been my first week of work, and it’s been so great to be busy!

Monday was orientation, where we spent 8 hours listening to the heads of various departments talk about the hospital’s mission, vision and values.  We also watched movies on customer service, how to handle a natural disaster or flu pandemic, MRI safety, bariatric sensitivity training, Confidentiality, and so so much more. Castle Medical Center really does seem like a great place to work, and now I can be glad I didn’t get a position at any of those other hosptials! We got copies of the 2008 quality review, which illustrates the hospital’s superiority 🙂 We were ranked the best hosptial in Hawaii! Go Castle!

Yesterday I started training in my department, and it’s been a little less exciting. I sat at a computer for five hours yesterday, going through training modules and then taking quizzes on what I learned. I also got my uniform, which is an aloha shirt, of course!

Today was another 5 hour day, but I got to sit in with the PBX (switchboard) lady to get trained on the switchboard for the first half. Admitting covers for PBX when they go on breaks, so we have to  know how to do the transfers, page people on the intercom, and also how to handle codes! I got to listen in on the calls with a headset, and it was fun seeing how she handeled it all. She had to call security to go to the morgue for  pickup, but they call it the “holding room”….creepy!

The drive down and back hasn’t been too bad, except that it’s sucking up a lot of gas! I filled up over the weekend, and then had to fill again last night, and I’m already at half a tank! It seems like it costs me about $10 or more per day to drive there and back…but it’s worth it. Yay for employment!