Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Korean Adoption

Even though i have NPR on all day, i somehow missed the story about the recent IKAA gathering in Seoul (Thanks, JR). I would agree with my fellow blogger that the report misdirects the attention away from the fact that korea has a poor system of "relenquishment" of their children. It is far too simplistic (and sensational) to put attention to these crazy adoptees who are "against" international adoption. The media simply missed a step. We are against a society that allows for such a laxity in child welfare to lead to so many adoptions. Of course there is a cultural influence in these situations. Cultural stigma as a single mother, or intra-country adoption. But raising these points and spreading the word in korea where it's needed is how the change is going to start.

Studying? Again?

Well, i have started the new job as a nurse practitioner and haven't died, farted, or cried. Ok, i cried once, but in the privacy of my own home. I was hoping to ease into the new job with only a handful of patients, but my schedule has been booked up every day i've been there. Unfortunately, i couldn't be eased into seeing all routine physical exams, but some more complicated chronic patients. I should have expected as much in a clinic that has all internal medicine/pediatric physicians. The challenge has been.....challenging. It has lead to me cracking the ole text books and studying these diagnoses in detail. What's scary is that i'm studying for the health (or illness) of patients, not for a test or grade. But i have been giving myself an "A" every day for my efforts.

Coming from nursing, i have fully expected the staff to haze me. Maybe not in the you-must-binge-drink-a-six-pack-of-beer-without-vomiting sort of way, but maybe accept me with some hessitation. Have a little doubt in what i'm doing. Keep an eagle's eye on me until i have proven myself. I have had none of that. People fully expect me to know what i'm doing, and perhaps this is scarier than being hazed.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Superbad Supergood

Last weekend, we dropped the child off with friends and went to Superbad. I have an affection to teen movies that feature a group of guys trying to get "virginity" crossed off their list before college, and usually in a drunken stupor. I also was drawn to this movie for the kid from Arrested Development (one of the funniest shows ever). Although he played the same character in this movie, it was very effective and very very funny. Yes, it was crude at times, but plausible and contributed to the plot.

I give it a 9/10 stars.

Monday, August 20, 2007

My Other Car is

As i drove to my very first day of work as a NP (that really didn't count, because it was all about computer orientation), i realized that i am now one of those who drive to work. A commuter. A gas-guzzler. An earth-waster. I am going to mourn my days as a bicycle commuter. It felt really really good to know that i wasn't contributing to our fossil fuel dilemma. It was nice to brag about how the LissyJo household was a one-car household where the car spent the majority of the time in the garage (my husband bicycle commutes).

I would be open to taking public transit, but my only option involves a bus, then light rail, then another bus, and a whopping 81 minute commute one way. Yes, for this inconvenience, i will choose my car.

I will take our fuel-efficient car for my commute, but i would like to try to think of other ways i can adjust my life to negate the damage done to our earth that i am doing by commuting. We already recycle, re-use plastic bags, and are frugal with gas (ie, heating or cooling our home) and electricity. I would like to think of something one step further. Any suggestions?

Things I'll Never Do With My New Cell Phone

1. Talk in the car....HANG UP AND DRIVE!!!! It is so dangerous! At the least, use a hands-free device! They come free with the freakin' phone! Laws have been passed in other western countries; It's time they pass one here. Don't even get me started with texting and driving. But OHhh no, we wouldn't want to impinge on peoples' freedom to be retarded.

2. Answer in the movie theater. 'Nuff said?

3. Talk at the dinner table in a restaurant.

4. Interrupt a real, live, face-to-face discussion with a real live person to answer the cell phone with, "Hello? Oh, hi! ......Nothing, you?"

5. Forget to turn off the phone during work, meetings, and other public gatherings. I am really going to try hard at this one. I find it extremely annoying and rude.

Any you'd like to add?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Cellular Phone

I have finally joined the 21st century and bought a cell phone. I figured with the commute i will have starting next week, it's a smart idea (although, riding to work on my bicycle might have been a smarter time in my life to have a cell phone).

It took me no less than TWO hours to investigate how phones work, the difference between plans, which phones go with which plans, where to get the cheapest plan, etc, etc. By the time i found a plan i liked and the phone i liked, it was difficult to find the cheapest price. I decided i'd call directly to the cell phone plan people in attempt to play "stupid old woman wants cell phone" in an attempt to get a one year contract versus the two year contracts offered online.

The 16 year old boy i got on the phone was in training (i could hear his trainer blow his training whistle every now and then), and our conversation started off badly. He tried to upsell my plan and phone, and i declined. He started getting my personal information and didn't know the abbreviation for minnesota and had to ask me how to spell 'minneapolis.' He said, "I should know how to spell that." I responded, "Yes. You should." By this point, i was irritated and crabby. I gave him my credit card number and i swear to gawd after every number i told him, he said a different number.

Our conversation was coming to an end, and he re-iterated my name and credit card number wrong. I said with irritation in my voice, "No. That information is wrong." He said, "Oh. Sorry, mom. OOPS! I mean, ma'am. I really didn't mean to call you mom. You're not my mom. Sorry. ....... Could you repeat your information?" I couldn't help but laugh.

I received my new phone in the mail addressed to the right person and we will await to see if my bill is correct.

Inner 12 Year Old Girl

My inner 12 year old girl is giddy that SABRA won So You Think You Can Dance last night. I had my money on her for the last few weeks and she is my fav so i'm happy she won. I was tempted to buy tickets to the SYTYCD tour that's coming to the target center in oct, but the tickets are more expensive than i thought for seats that might have a view of a bouncing shiny dot that supposedly is a dancer from the show. Also, i'd be surrounded by a bunch of screaming 'tweeners; It might make me feel old.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Thorn in Korea's Conscious

Many of my 'blogger friends' were in seoul last week for the IKAA gathering. An article about it can be seen here. I have been hitting their sites frequently, hoping they are home and have posted pictures and stories about their adventures. It would've been nice to join my fellow KAD-ers in seoul to show my solidarity, but there is something selfishly satisfying about visiting korea 'on my own,' perhaps easier to blend into the background. That's one of the nice things about going to korea (all two times i've been): Being part of the majority.

I am impressed that the gathering attracted so many KADs. The article linked describes the KADs as "a thorn piercing korean's conscious." I couldn't help but think the mass presence of the KADs was noticeable. I wondered how many mothers looked into the faces of the groups of KADs walking around wondering if they were theirs. Did it inspire them to search for their own birth child or was it confirming that the child they had was cared for and healthy? After all, these KADs returned to korea to find answers about identity. This was far less important that eating and having shelter or being ostracized by family.

I wonder how the KADs are being recieved by the natives. Do they percieve this mass influx as a thorn or are they thankful their exported children want to come back for some answers? I can remember my first trip to seoul when i was 11. It was definately not the norm for an adoptee to return to korea at that time. When taxi drivers, hotel staff, waitresses, etc, realized what, i mean, who i was, they'd pinch my cheeks and look into my eyes with disbelief that i was not only fit and healthy, but i had come back in an attempt to understand the country from which i came. The most overwhelming response was from the staff at the orphanage from which i came. No child had ever come back; It was as if i had come from their very own womb. They hugged me and were so proud that i had grown up into a healthy girl.

I hope the gathering has sparked discussions in korea about international adoption. I love the thoughts and comments observed by those who attended the gathering--Thank you all for sharing your experiences!!

TV Not For Kids

I was listening to Wait Wait on NPR last weekend and they mentioned a new study examining the effects of the Einstein video series. Basically, they state that children (infants?) that watched the einstein videos on a regular basis were slower in development than children that didn't. They continued to state that watching American Idol would be more beneficial.

I took a class about media and child development in college a few years ago that was very influential to me. The teacher spoke specifically about the einstein series and how they look like a great thing for infants to adults, but, like all TV, does not (and should not) replace face to face interaction with infants. We all know that the amount of tv watched by children and adults is appallingly high, but what's frightening is the amount of tv 'watched' by (or just on in the same room as) infants. How quickly and early children learn that the tv is the most important thing in the room.

I'm not a purist by any means. I probably watch too much tv myself and our laptop is on our kitchen counter, but i try to be aware of it, especially when it's around my toddler. I am surprised at how unaware people are about it. Much like politics, many people aren't making conscious decisions. They don't realize that their tv is on 8 hours a day (even if it's not being watched).

Big Girl Undies

As the start date approaches for my new job as a nurse practitioner, i can feel my feet get cold and my stomach turn somersaults. I had a 'photo shoot' last friday and felt like i was playing pretend. The impostor feeling haunts me as my start day approaches and i have decided i should step up to this role instead of belittling myself, saying i'm only a nurse practitioner or i only came from bedside nursing as medical experience. I have always been a believer that nurses are an independent medical professional, but there is a small part of me that wears all white and a funny hat and only says, "Yes, doctor" and i'm not sure where she came from.

Because i have been in a novice role for quite some time (because i've been in school up until this point, believe it or not), you would think i'd be used to the situation of being a novice. But i have realized that as a nursing student or a new nurse, i was more graceful at embracing and utilizing this role because i was a 'non-traditional' student. Afterall, i was in the graduate school. I was not 19 years old. I was entering the profession with some other experiences under my belt. But as a nurse practitioner, i feel somewhat suspicious that perfect strangers will believe the advice and diagnoses i will propose.

I also can't help but feel like the day i felt before i started high school. I have a new peer group that i'd like to get to know, but i'd like them to believe i'm competent. This is a difficult thing to convince strangers of when i question my own competence. It doesn't help that i'm meeting them while being visibly pregnant. Although i didn't have to start high school visibly pregnant, i have the same teenage worries: Will they like me? What's the culture like? OMG, What should i wear?

One of my old co-workers told me, "It's time for LissyJo to wear big girl undies!" I responded, "...To which i will promptly soil." Just like my first day of high school, my first day as a NP, i will jump in with both feet, a big smile on my face and clean pear of underpants and hope i make it through the day without crying or farting.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Korean Restaurant Review

On a not so much a recommendation, but a shout-out of it's existence by a fellow blogger, the LissyJo clan headed to Kum Gang San korean restaurant housed in the ole Shilla digs last weekend. I was craving korean food partly because i have been thinking of so many of my blogging buddies at The Gathering in seoul last week. More on that later.

I know, i know. The best korean food in town, by far is King's, but it's a bit of a drive for us. I have enjoyed Shilla's for a very long time, and it's not too far away. My husband was never impressed by their environs...terrible lighting, random and strange room on the side, wood paneling, etc. But the food was always good.

The new restaurant doesn't quite reach expectations, but it filled a pregnancy craving for me. They are in the middle of redecorating and have painted the inside black, but still sustained the light blonde wooden furniture (circa 1988) and the 70s wall hanging that has a picture of a sparkling water fall when plugged in. Other ghosts of shilla haunted the menu and strangely, the servers didn't even try to hide the SHILLA embossed on their aprons. Surprisingly, it was fairly busy and the service had a difficult time keeping up. The anju servings were very small (call me american), but the main dishes were filling and flavorful. The prices went up; It appears they are trying to match a more sleek ambiance that hasn't been attained quite yet.

Overall? I give it a 7/10 stars on LissyJo's restaurant review.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Bilingual Toddler

As mentioned before, the little one has changed daycares to one that is teaching her spanish. It is pretty amazing how quickly she is picking it up. The teachers are all bilingual and speak to the kids in both languages. She is much more interested in the spanish books we have at home and seems to understand them in a creepy way. Creepy because how the hell did she do that?? She will also ask me, "How do you say that in spanish?" Freakin' brilliant.

Here she is singing a song in spanish.

I-35W Bridge

Yesterday, the LissyJo household decided to get on the bikes and have a ride. We went up by downtown near the river to get a gawk at what is left of the bridge. I definately have pregnancy hormones on board...I started to cry when we passed over 35W via 4th street (right before it goes over the river); You could see it end at a very awkward angle. I didn't get a pic of that because we were among tons of traffic. Also noted is the road just up from my brother's old apartment is jam-packed with national media trailors. The following is the view from the st. anthony main side of stone arch. Stone arch was still closed when we were there, but we heard on MPR that is is going to be open today.

Here is a picture of some of the network news media whores near stone arch. The park was pretty full of them. I have been fairly successful at not listening to or watching the news about this story (difficult to do in my neighborhood; Easier to do with tivo, baby). The little bit of news that i did see had a fox (of course) news whore interviewing a woman whose car was on a faulty part of bridge, but escaped. She asked, "And you have a little three month old baby at home...What do you think would've happened if you would've been a little further out on the bridge?" You whore with no soul.

And here is a pic of the view of the bridge from the other side of the river...along with a view of the back of my pregnant head. You probably can't see much in this picture unless you're familiar with this area. You can see green "support" metal sticking up at an angle if you squint.

Friday, August 3, 2007


I know i'm in dangerous ground when i name a post this. It is the suggested title of the awaiting-FDA-approval nasal spray that induces erection; Suggested by my brother. You can listen to it here. I hope my brother is enjoying the onslaught of fame from his guest appearance.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Everyone Ok

My last shift at the hospital almost turned into a double. As i was 30 minutes into helping a new mother breastfeed, i heard her guests whispering, "Should we tell her? Probably not now. I think we should tell her..." Finally, she asked a little irritated, "What's going on?" They turned on her television on and we saw the bridge in the mississippi.
Within an hour, our hospital was in 'code orange.' At first, i misunderstood this to mean "look out for know...anyone that looks different than you." After some confusion, we all realized code orange was "brace yourself for an influx of patients." My hospital is one of the closest. We were in lockdown for some time--nobody allowed in the hospital. Rumors started to fly about what exactly happened and what the injuries were. There was prediction that there wouldn't be enough staff for night shift (which would lead to the aformentioned double shift), but everyone came in early for night shift and things seemed to be well within control.
Everyone here in the city is checking in with one another...making sure everyone is safe. It's a bridge that fortunately, people i know don't routinely take due to the general crappiness of that freeway (35W) and the construction. I hope everyone you know and love are safe and sound.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

From Expert to Novice

This evening will be my last shift as an OB RN at the bedside. I had my last weekend of working twelve hour shifts last weekend and my lovely fellow weekend staff had a party for day shift AND evening shift. It's all coming to an end and it's somewhat surreal.

I can't say that i'm too sad about this transition. I have had my eyes set on the goal of being a NP, i never really fully adjusted to the identity of being an OB nurse. Even though the acuity of patient care i give is somewhat low, i now see the benefit of having experience as a bedside nurse prior to becoming a NP...which is something i thought i'd never admit to. I was somewhat belligerent about having to be a RN for any amount of time before being admitted to the NP program. But i now see how much skill and experience i have learned at the bedside that i can take with me.

And so with this experience tucked under my belt, and my fingers crossed, i jump into the next phase of my career. Oh gawd. Holy sh*t. What have i done?


As i mentioned before, my brother and dad did ragbrai last week. My brother posted a day-by-day synopsis of his adventures and it has almost made me want to tackle this long distance bicycling challenge. I enjoy challenging my body. I came thisclose to running grandma's with a very good friend of mine, but my foot disagreed with this goal. I did a triathalon once and almost drowned. Perhaps bicycling is the next thing.

I tried to convince my daddy to do this ride again, but with me sometime, but i don't think he had as much "fun" as my brother did.