Always carry a bikini in your purse


Photograph of a TheBus 40' Gillig Phantom bus ...

TheBus in Honolulu near the intersection of Beretania and Bishop. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, I can breathe. At least until tomorrow. I flew last night to Oahu for my second MPJE exam in a week. Last Saturday, I took the one for New Mexico, and today I took the one for Washington state. It all started out on a positive note…..

I arrived at Honolulu International Airport in the afternoon, with my purse and briefcase on wheels. I was spending the night, but I figured I didn’t need a full change of clothes….just a couple shirts and a bikini folded into my purse. Always be prepared! Walking up to the bus stop, I spotted a man I work with on a project. I use that phrase loosely, since I didn’t even remember his name. He was fiddling with his iPhone. “Aloha,” to which his reply was, “The bus comes at 5:51.” It seems he found some cool way of tracking the buses on his phone.

As luck would have it, we sat next to each other on the bus, across from two military boys who had evidently not been whooped into shape enough during boot camp. These boys were straight from the midwest, had never been on a city bus, were probably excited about the nightlife in Waikiki,

and were loud and obnoxious. Eight-year-old boys on a big field trip, but with tons of testosterone.

I reintroduced myself to the “bus keeper,” and we talked the best we could given the ruckus around us about a grant just released by CMS, and somehow about the school his son goes to. It’s for dyslexic and/or gifted children. In fact, he moved to Oahu so his son could go there, but he works all week on Maui while his wife stays on Oahu. Now, that’s Dad of the Year, in my books! He said a few times that “it’s really expensive.”

It’s called Assets, and I intend to look into it. While I want to stay on Maui, the prospect of a job is slim to none. My daughter is highly gifted and the typical underachiever.  Not only did he (his name is Tony) turn me on to a grant and Assets, he also turned me on to a website for tracking the buses on Oahu. If you Google “the bus”, you will find the website. The buses each have gps on them, so you can find out real time how far they are from you.

Next adventure, the hotel. I had no idea where I was staying, but I knew it was in the outskirts of Waikiki….Equus, boutique hotel. Hmmm.. The front desk seemed nice enough, with a waterfall audible in the background. The desk clerk gave me my key, said to head back out and around the building to the high rise in the back. He pointed to the security code for the building and told me I was on floor 26. Whoa! 26?! I have been on Maui too long. I did what he said, but was a bit confused. High rise doesn’t sound “boutique” to me.

Western Sushi found at Wegmans Supermarket

I found my room, and it was a tiny condo with kitchenette. The bed was a Murphy, and I almost tripped on it trying to walk by, given the 12 inches of clearance between it and the wall. It wasn’t beautiful, but it had a stove, so I could boil water for my Throat tea, and it had a great view of the city. Sushi sounded good for dinner, so I searched Places on my phone and decided to head toward Waikiki a block or so.

When I found the building, there wasn’t the sushi restaurant I found, but something much better! It was Aloha Sushi, with everything to go. Hot dog! I was in business! One spicy ahi and some poke nigiri, all wrapped up, and I headed back for my last study session.

I set up my computer so I could face the city lights and the ocean and got situated with notes and sushi. Suddenly, fireworks went off right in front of me!  Boom! Boom! I had my very own show for 3-5 minutes. Honestly, the timing couldn’t be better, and I took it as a good sign.

I had a hard time falling asleep that night. Spinning in my mind were all kinds of business ideas. The whole plan was laid out, and I battled whether to get up and write it down or stay in my meditative state and hope that I would both fall asleep and remember everything the next day. I decided to stay in bed, but I might as well have gotten up.

The room next to me housed some young, rowdy females up for a good time, and they traipsed in and out of their room every few minutes. They were obviously drunk by the fact they were practically yelling to each other in the linoleum hallway that was ten feet long from the elevator to both of our doors. I cracked my door and grunted “some people are trying to sleep,” which they ignored. A call to security seemed to work, or they were just too busy praying to the porcelain god or passed out. Regardless, I finally got about 4 hours of sleep.

“Yes, but how did the test go?” you ask. Well, I made it there early, was finishing my second pint of coffee and feeling the haze lift.

Regular Starbucks Coffee tumbler, as sold in 2...

Regular Starbucks Coffee tumbler (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I felt okay going into it, really (that’s what they all say). Plus, I had locker #3 (my lucky number), and then I was seated at desk #3. That just had to be a good sign! Fourty questions into the 90 question exam, I realized I was almost on time (meaning I had no grace time), and that I clearly didn’t study well enough for this one OR the last one. About 1/3 of the questions warranted a WTF?! from me. I honestly don’t know how they come up with these scenarios.

I left the test center last week feeling like most people leave. “No way I passed that exam.” After today, I left feeling completely dejected, so I did what any girl would do. I went to Ala Moana Shopping Center and bought myself some perfume.

Then, I headed to the beach, plopped down my briefcase and purse, changed into my bikini, and got me the first dose of sun in two weeks. After timing myself and flipping like bacon, I rocked a few downward dogs, pigeons and headstands.

Back to the mall for some shoes on clearance (not much makes a girl happier when she is down). I managed to catch my flight on time, where I wrote down some great notes about what I needed to do this next week. Now, here I am, sitting on my lanai with twinkling lights above me, a glass of wine to my right, a soft tropical breeze, and this hacking cough I can’t get rid of.  Tomorrow is a little “me time” before I catch up on the rest of my life….


In Da Hood

Boy, today I felt weird. I don’t know if it was the margarita the night before, or the crazy dancing, or if it was just the Halloween energy. My legs felt full, like there was pressure in them. I tried to get work done, and I actually made some headway, but my daughter was home for the day with me, which made concentration hard. Remember, I live in a studio with her. And she is still alive!!  After futzing around that afternoon and trying to take a nap, I finally felt ready to get dressed in my Halloween costume. The night started out slow, but it wasn’t long after dark that kids and adults were coming out of the woodwork. My entire neighborhood for 1/2 mile was packed with people, and there was even a haunted house down the way. I loved that half of the folks were adults, and everyone was in costume. In New Mexico, I got funny looks for dressing up when I took my daughter out trick or treating. Certainly not here! It was nice to be able to go steps from my driveway to the coolest block party in town (IMHO), and since it was a school night, Keely and I were back home snoozing not long after bed time.

Caught in the current

So many things running around in my brain, I can hardly keep up. It’s exciting, yet nerve-wracking. I am nearing the end of my residency, and I feel like I am just now gaining speed. I think having the new residents pick up some things where we left off has allowed Sheena and I to go off and finally concentrate on what we need to do for us.

Also, I am looking for a job. I would prefer to not have to wait tables with a doctorate and 10 years of college loans to pay off. Maui is a great place to be broke, but I would rather not go that route.

Collaborative practice, expanding MTM in our pharmacies, implementing positive and innovative changes…all very exciting, and then the paperwork hits. Hawaii laws are very vague. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I went to New Mexico law for reference, and everything is very well outlined, at least comparatively speaking. Add to that research analysis and manuscript writing, accreditation preparation, catching up on ResiTrak, and trying to work in 3 separate places at once, and you have a hectic couple of months.

It’s scary not knowing what is going to happen, but it’s so exciting being sucked up in the positive change and momentum, that I am not worried. I am caught in the current and loving it.


Just random thoughts:

It’s really hot and muggy this week. Add to that the fact that I don’t want to run the AC in the car because gas is $5/gallon, and it makes for a pretty sweaty situation.

My daughter keeps interrupting me, and it’s driving me crazy.

I enjoyed talking about medications and varying bioavailability between brands with my endocrinologist today.

I am authorized to test for my New Mexico pharmacist license, and that has me tickled pink! Just have to study and find the time and money to fly to Honolulu to take the test. Next will be California and Washington, but those are just back ups in case I decide to move there next.

Only 9 days until I leave for California! That’s 10 days until I ship Keely off for a month, and 14 days until my presentation, which also means 14 days until I see my sweetheart.

I am going dairy free on top of already being gluten free. What next?

Despite this bunny not being able to run even a mile yesterday, and being really down yesterday and today, I had a decent run tonight.

I am excited about Keely and I doing a Stand Up Paddle (SUP) event this Saturday. It’s 3 miles downwind from Paia to Kanaha Beach, and then there are festivities, including a luau. I was even invited to a BBQ on the beach on Sunday! Finally making friends here.

AIDS and Acne

Not much going on. Busy with work, felt crappy so worked from home today, doing HIV/ AIDS training for  my Washington licensure, wondering why my face is so broken out suddenly…..

(Also working on licensure in California and New Mexico, the latter being my first priority)

Regarding my skin…gosh, it could be the generic medication I started, or the other generic medication I started, or it could be dairy in my diet, or hormones…feeling like I should eliminate dairy and see how I feel. I am closer to being able to do without cheese. It’s hard to give up that little bit of half and half in my coffee, but I could do it if need be.

Okay, back to reading on HIV/AIDS. Fun stuff.

Can you tell my brain is tired?


Things I am excited about:

  • That I have completed half of my residency, and despite everything, I can look and see progress
  • All the amazing people I met today at the Hawaii State Rural Health Association meeting, and all the wonderful connections I can forge, both for us and for the incoming residents.
  • Preparing to move back to New Mexico, where I can be with friends, family, and my beau.
  • Options for my future, which are wide and varied
  • Always learning
  • NOT writing about things I am NOT excited about, because I prefer to end on a happy note.

Plodding Time

No deep thoughts here today. Thinking about timelines, travel times, time to see my beau.

End of March-early April- Seattle for APhA, and see Nick!

End of May-early June– California for Western States, and see Nick, plus send Keely to my parents’ in New Mexico for 5 weeks, then to California to meet her granddad.

Early August– school starts here

Mid-August -school starts in Albuquerque

Mid-October– Residency ends and I move back to New Mexico, sending Keely to yet another school in the middle of yet another semester.

Everything in between is a blur right now.

Beach Bum Mama- In Da House!


  • I kick my ankle randomly every time I run, and every time it bleeds like a stuck pig.
  • There are little gnats that are attracted to my computer screen, and I always debate whether to smoosh them on my screen or not
  • I miss my beau and wonder if I will get to see him more often
  • I wonder if he wonders the same. He isn’t much of a talker
  • My plate runneth over—with obligations: I need to find a school for Keely next year, a good one, but I don’t know where I will be living until I find a job. I have no idea where I want to work, so that makes it hard. Plus, I have a beau and family in New Mexico, but I hate cold, and there aren’t any jobs there for pharmacists. So, until I figure out what I want to do with my life, I have to apply to places I might never work and places Keely might never go to school, which is a LOT of work.
  • Taxes are FILED!!! Yeah!! And I am actually getting something back this year
  • I will be a free-loving, earthy crunchy woman who heals the hearts of those around her
  • I want to swim out in the ocean and have whales swim under and around me.
  • I want to surf, stand up paddle, paddle (canoe), ocean swim, kite surf, dive and basically take advantage of any activity this amazing island has to offer.
  • I will defy time and age with a happy heart and healthy life.
  • AMEN

260/333- Beloved

LOVE that smile!

It’s a Small World, After All

Coincidences often come up in conversation, where you realize perhaps you and a person you just met have a mutual friend. For instance, one of my Team In Training marathon coaches from 2005 I saw in my boyfriend’s stack of pics. His name is Orlando, and he was bouldering at U-Mound with Nick. Then, Nick’s long-time buddy Leo finally joined Facebook, and lo and behold, there is a picture of Orlando in his FB photos. I think he was backpacking or climbing with Leo. Regardless, it’s weird.

Tonight tops the cake though. My daughter and I get back from 3 weeks in New Mexico and after a little dose of sun and sand, we headed to the grocery store. After all, there was really nothing to eat (but mostly I needed cream for my morning coffee). We walked into Safeway here in Kihei, grabbed a cart, and almost ran into a pharmacy school professor of mine from University of New Mexico. He asked what I was doing there, and I explained that I live here now. He had JUST arrived on Maui (kind of like me). I couldn’t remember his name for the life of me at first. Starts with a B…B…Burchiel! Scott Burchiel. Really cool professor.

So, lesson is, always watch your actions. You never know when someone who knows you is nearby.