Category Archives: pittsburgh

Today In “Reality Checks With Marisol”

Me: I think I go through engineers and bottles of Red Hot with approximately the same frequency. I have to get a new one about once every 30 days.
Marisol: You’re setting yourself up for acid reflux and loneliness in old age. Since I have 7 months more life experience than you do, let me tell you something. Engineers are either socially inept, emotionally inept, or hate their jobs so much that it makes them bitter about life.
Me: But they’re so good at math and that’s so hot…
Marisol: Your taste in men combined with the fact that you’re still a Pirates fan is so pitiful that you officially have the unhealthiest habits of anyone I know
Me: Pretty sure the Pirates are in first place though…
Marisol: You need to stop masochistically holding out for miracles.

Pretty sure she’s right. Sigh.

Done with engineers. But I’m seriously not ever attracted to any non-engineers. They’re good at physics too. Dreamy…

My mom’s gonna be pissed/heartbroken when she’s finds out that she’ll never get any grandkids out of me. Is it better to break this news to her before or after her upcoming 60th birthday? Let’s collectively decide that together because I can justify it both ways so I can’t come to a solid conclusion.

Ryan said he’s pissed that I’m not procreating with someone to produce our USMNT savior. Deal with it, bro. Was that ever gonna happen anyway if I’m exclusively attracted to engineers? They’re not known for their athleticism and would surely come in last place in that competition. It’s hard to procreate with someone if you’re not attracted to them.

It can be done but I’m not sure I’m really that willing to take one for the team (literally).

I came up with a better plan anyway. Lolo Jones and Daniel Sepulveda are more qualified to produce the type of individual who could lead us to a World Cup victory. Her speed and his kicking abilities? SOCCER STAR.

I’m all about helping Christian people find love since it’s apparently so difficult, according to Mary and basically every other seriously Christian person I know. Lolo Jones is devout and I’m pretty sure Daniel Sepulveda is too because I don’t think I’ve ever heard him publicly say anything without mentioning God in some way.

For all you non-Pittsburghers who are thinking “Well, that can’t really be saying a lot because how often is the punter on TV or doing a radio interview?”

Umm, I know this is gonna be really difficult to grasp if you’ve never spent a significant amount of time in Pittsburgh, but my response is… “Way more often than you’d probably ever expect.”

[Enter obligatory broken record statement about how much I miss that damn city]

So, anyway, someone introduce these two celebrity athletes to one another. It’s the most patriotic thing you can do. Give your children the gift of being able to witness a World Cup victory in their lifetime.

And Lolo Jones is nearly my favorite person right now, as you all know. And everyone’s trying to hook her up with Tim Tebow. Ick, that’s gross. Poor girl. This is a better alternative.

In other non-related news, my birthday on Wednesday was one of the best I’ve ever had. I could not have been happier. Honestly, it’s been so long since I’ve blown out candles that I forgot you were supposed to make a wish. It’s hard to have a party when your birthday is on the 4th of July. But my Bama Fam insisted that this happen and they organized it and invited my friends. So, we had a crazyfun day full of eating, drinking, celebrating America, and floating in the river. It was a sea of red, white, and blue bikinis.

And I got a bottle of birthday whiskey which we basically finished before being irresponsible with a small arsenal of fireworks. Then we headed out to the real fireworks and the bar.

25 actually is the best age to be.


1st & Goal

I’m straight up addicted to football.

And I never realized this until the relocation because football in Pittsburgh is a 24/7/365 sort of thing.

Even if it’s the offseason, people in Pittsburgh are still incessantly talking about it so it kind of never goes away.

In Alabama, it goes away.

Being in State College and talking about the Steelers with people who know shit about the Steelers has totally thrown off my “survive until the end of August” game plan.

In semi-related news, going a whole summer without at least one night at PNC Park is going to be the death of me.

I’m probably beating a dead horse with these posts at this point.

This is the theme of nearly all of them: I love Alabama, I miss Pittsburgh, I love Pittsburgh, I miss Pittsburgh sports, Alabama is definitely different from Pittsburgh, I’m happy with my life, I’m unhappy with my life, and/or what the hell am I doing with my life…

I Will, I Won’t. I Do, I Don’t.

The wedding this weekend was insanity. It was very much a Penn State wedding in every way. My family parties so freakin hard. I miss them immensely.

Also, you can leave for a long time then come back and realize that nothing has changed and nothing will ever change… in so many ways. And that’s kind of comforting actually.

Like on Friday night when I was en route to State College with Mary and my Dad, before we’d even gotten to the Fort Pitt Tunnel, there had already been a solid conversation on brains, a chat about grad school cohorts/research, and a discussion about the people who are no longer Steelers and how Hines Ward’s retirement speech was basically the saddest thing we’ve ever seen in our lives.

It sucks how you can go home and then be even more homesick than you were before even though you just saw everyone.

Also, my school burnout is reaching ridiculously high levels. I have no idea how I’m gonna make it to December.

And this OB/Peds rotation is making me reconsider whether I want to have a family or not. Which is so messed up.

On the bright side, without kids to support, I could buy a new M3. So, then I’d be a badass surgeon with a badass car. Sounds like happily ever after to me.

I’m seriously starting to worry that I’ll never really know what I want. I’m a few weeks away from 25 and still reconsidering damn near everything about every plan I’ve ever tentatively made and every goal I’ve ever had.

I think I just actually am a noncommittal gypsy. And that sucks. Because I’m sick of being that. And I keep hoping that it’s a temporary phase. But can a phase really be a duration of 15 years?

Here’s a good example… Texas.

Six months ago, if (for some reason) I had a good reason to move to Texas, I would have gone… but I’d have been kicking and screaming the whole way.

Now, due to a series of what I’m still considering to be unfortunate events (because I still kind of really don’t want to move to Texas), Austin is maybe tied with New Orleans in terms of January plans.

Here’s why…

I still have no idea where I want to be after I graduate, in terms of potential nursing fields. And I’m kind of realizing that I probably won’t even know come December. So a nurse residency program seems like a good idea. This is basically a 6 to 52 week commitment (depending on the hospital) where you go through different rotations and get good experience in a lot of areas then decide what you want to do and if you’re good enough, the hospital tries to match what you want to do with what they need and/or want you to do then you have a job. It’s a good way to get your foot in the door if you have no experience and don’t want to work med-surg (and I know 100% positively that I don’t want to work med-surg).

Anyway, as far as I can tell from my research, New Orleans has zero nurse residency programs. The whole state of Louisiana has zero.

But Texas has a million.

And on one of my flights on Sunday, I sat next to a guy who grew up in Austin. And he made is sound slightly amazing.

So then I went on OkC to gauge how attractive/interesting/balanced guys from Austin are.

My God… they’re smokin’ hot and not crazy. And if the guys from OkC are that way, then you know that guys in real life all over the city are 500% hotter and more awesome. Because OkC is generally a baseline for figuring out what your worst options are. If those are my worst options, then I’m about to pack up and leave Mobile right now.

But then again… New Orleans is still kind of my dream, even though it never makes logistical sense. Like at first I didn’t have enough money saved to just pick up and go without being guaranteed a job. Then going to nursing school in Mobile made more sense than going to nursing school in New Orleans (shorter program, starting sooner, etc.). And now, it’s like “Oh, going to Texas for a year or two before New Orleans is probably a good idea.”

I feel like I’ll never get there. And I feel like I’m wasting my youth.

Also, Austin is still way far away from the beach. And since I’ve become a total beach bum at this point, I don’t know if I can do that.

Also, I still DON’T REALLY WANT TO MOVE TO TEXAS. But I kind of do want to move to Texas.

Ugh… it’s been like this slow progression from “Ick. Texas…” to “Oh, Texas… cool?” You can probably even track that change from my posts over the last six months. I don’t know what’s happening. My life is spinning out of control right now.

This is still relevant… 7 years later… nothing has really changed. I’m sick of noncommittal transience. But apparently, it’s the only state in which I ever exist.

So, I go back and forth forever
All my thoughts they come in pairs
Oh, I will, I won’t, I do, I don’t
I’m not surprised 
But I never feel quite prepared

Aside from flip cup and making pies, self-sabotage is my best skill.

I’m doomed to wander. Forever.

Give And Take

Nursing school is ruining my enjoyment of Euro 2012 so I’m super bitter and resentful right now.

Spain was amazing today but I could only passively enjoy the game because I was face down in a textbook.

However, I’m working extra hard to get stuff done so that I can fully enjoy the upcoming weekend in State College with my family and get extra drunk at my cousin’s wedding.

My flight gets in to Pittsburgh so late tomorrow (like almost midnight late). Then it’s a 2.5 hour drive to State College. Then I fly back in the early afternoon on Sunday… Another rushed trip home.

And I missed the fleeting excitement of the Pirates being in first place. Although, people barely get excited about that anyway because they know it’s always a short-lived occurrence.

I knew about it, of course. But I wasn’t home to experience the moment. We at least always raise our Yuengling drafts in celebration.

And I have no idea what’s going on with the Steelers leading up to the 2012 season because I’m not around people who talk about it constantly and don’t have time to keep up with everything.

Also, sometimes I get a whiff of something that kind of smells like the hospital and then I can only smell the full hospital smell until that instigating smell goes away.

My quality of life is in shambles. This better be worth it. Once I land an ER job, I’ll be ok with the suffering. But right now, everything about the nursing school experience sucks.

Dating In The Bible Belt

OkCupid in Pittsburgh is a good way to meet people and have fun and I had moderate success with it last fall.

OkCupid in Mobile is confusing. Dating in the bible belt isn’t gonna work for me. I knew that in February but I decided to try again to fill the recently reopened void.

Real answers to real questions from real people:

Q: Do you think homosexuality is a sin?
A: Yes I think it is a sin if we define sin by the bible because it does say that but I don’t have a problem with gay people. I have gay friends and honestly think gay marriage should be legal. So yes I do think the bible considers it a sin but it also says the same about lieing or breaking mans laws such as speeding and we all sin I mean… We are human.

Q: Do you believe contraception is morally wrong?
A: Morally, yes. But until it is time for a ring, contraception is a must.

That second guy listed sex as one of the 6 things he can’t live without.

At least they’re trying?

And I respect people’s right to different opinions. But I can’t date people with different opinions like those. Especially confusing/astonishing/mystifying opinions.

I’m a 54% match with almost everyone here. In Pittsburgh, it’s rare that I’m below 75%.

But then again, OkC really does attract the weirdos no matter where you are. For every one good guy on OkC Pittsburgh, there were 30 weird ones. So maybe these guys aren’t really representative of all the eligible men here. But being that I don’t have time to really live a life outside of nursing school, it’s my only option.

In my dream life, I meet a guy during summer kickball and we fall in love and live happily ever after. In my real life, I’m hesitant to sign up for fear of the Alabama heat. And the fact that my summer clinical schedule is yet to be determined.

I think I’m also just having a weak moment. Because last week at this time, all I wanted to do was be single. But then there was the altercation with the ex. And now I’m broken and lonely all over again.

Really, I don’t even want to be with someone in a relationship. I just want to flirt with someone. And watch superhero movies on the couch with intermittent periods of making out.

In the 24 hour period between Monday and Tuesday night, I watched Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, and Thor by myself. And drank a fifth of whiskey (that probably happened in 12 hours or less) by myself. And at the end of this week, I’m probably going to go see The Avengers by myself.

Forever alone. Lolo Jones is my inspiration for being able to embrace and then publicly admit these things.

While trying to console myself by looking for New Orleans apartments on Craigslist (because I know for a fact that NOLA men are better because I’ve experienced it), I found out that during my whiskey palooza I was looking at apartments in Austin. What the hell, subconscious?

I mean, to be fair, I have more or less decided that Austin is what comes after New Orleans. Austin is where grown-up liberals who like hot weather and good music and a laid-back atmosphere go to live. So when I’m a grown-up liberal, that’s where I’ll be. But the 25 year old version of myself is headed straight to NOLA until I’m ready to act like I’m 28.

Sadly, drunk Liz was apparently skipping ahead a little bit on Monday night.

Ugh. I just need to get back into my groove.

This is a perfect summary of my life leading up to the post-afterparty situation on Saturday night.

Except my ex isn’t an innocent feeble old man. And I don’t have the power to have anyone thrown out the window.

Lord, I’m Coming Home To You

It was too early to come home. I knew that. Unfortuately, I had no choice. And I was so happy to celebrate with James and Rachel. The wedding was FANTASTIC. Really. Best wedding of all time.

Everything with Matt was smooth. Until after the after party. When he wanted to talk. I tried to resist. And held out for a long time. But unfortunately not forever. The man is persistent and I was drunk and weak.

Cue severe emotional trauma.

Charlotte, Desi, and Ryan had to like compression cuddle my sobbing body last night.

It fucking hurts to breathe. I tear up every 10 minutes. My eyes are swollen from crying. And it sucks that I have to be out in public all day.

But it’s over. I never have to see the guy again. Even though the band-aid was way way way ripped off last night and I have to start over with the healing, at least I know that this is the last time I’ll have to start over.

After 3.5 years of starting the healing process over and over again with him, I’m happy to be done.

My flight leaves a little before 8. I got to the airport at like 1:15 because Pittsburgh was suffocating my heart. I need to get on this plane and get back to the Gulf Coast. It’s my safe place.

Ambivalence Insomnia

I’m so outrageously pumped for next weekend. I’m also really really dreading it at the same time.

I can’t wait to be home. I can’t wait to party all weekend. I can’t wait to be a bridesmaid.

I’m dreading the part where I have to see Matt again because if it were up to me, I’d never have to see him again as long as I live. I’m dreading seeing all the ex-friends involved in the whole “standing up for myself and leaving Pittsburgh on bad terms with a ton of people” thing. This could be super painful and awkward.

When I finally lay down in my bed, if it’s not stress from clinical that’s keeping me awake, it’s the wedding situation. I’m either way too excited to sleep or way too anxious. For 10 minutes, I’ll be thinking “AHHH I CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS,” then during the next 10 minutes, my brain is like “AHHH I DON’T WANT TO GO.”

I feel bad for the people who have to sit next to me on the plane next Friday. I’m going to be radiating energy like a pulsar. Even if I’m just sitting still and we’re not talking, they’re going to feel it and get off the plane wondering why their baseline for mental and emotional excitation is way way off.

This sounds like some kind of crazy new age superstitious aura type stuff but if there’s one thing I’ve learned during this first rotation in the hospital, it’s that people do have energy and you are affected by it, whether their energy levels and types are overtly apparent or not. Anytime you’re doing any sort of cooperative or interpersonal work, the group or environmental milieu can be changed significantly by just one person. They may not be doing anything that’s obviously different from anyone else and they may even be just sitting there, but things can feel off somehow and dynamics can change instantly.

If you don’t believe in human energy, it’s probably because you work in a cubicle.

Anyway, during my insomnia last night, I just watched Mike Tomlin press conferences because YouTube is a black hole of time wasting. That kind of calmed me down a bit. Good game or bad game, the man is calm and collected and objective and badass during those press conferences. They inspire me to pull myself together. Plus, they’re awesomely entertaining. Remember that epic “unleash hell in December” one?

Please don’t talk to me about moral victories and things of that nature.

You know, we will not go gently. We will unleash hell here in December because we have to.

And all the videos of Mike Tomlin mic’d on the field are hilarious/awesome. Here’s another.

Brett Favre still reigns supreme for that kind of thing though. But Mike Tomlin is definitely a close #2.

Anyway, speaking of the Steelers, Marisol sent me an email titled “Ryan Clark’s kid is so freaking badass” and this was the link (start somewhere near the middle). I concur 100%.

Also, yesterday I discovered that 2 blocks from my apartment, there’s a house with a huge Steelers flag hanging from the porch. And someone pulled the Pittsburgh Left on me. I should have been upset that they had the audacity to do this in Mobile where it’s not an acceptable driving technique. However, it just made my heart melt with love. Those two things combined with the fact that PNC bought out some other bank chain since I moved down here (so PNC banks are EVERYWHERE now) make me incredibly happy. In January, there were zero. Now there are 500. Every 10 minutes, there’s a PNC bank. These things make me feel like I’m in Pittsburgh. Except it’s a variation of Pittsburgh that has way better weather.

So, anyway…

TLDR: I want to go home. I don’t want to go home. And my obsession with Pittsburgh and the Steelers has yet to wane. In fact, I think it’s intensified.