Sunday, February 8, 2009

Val Pals?

I am dedicating this post to the quickly approaching holiday of Valentine's Day. Regardless of whether you are single, married, or dating I believe this is a holiday that should be celebrated by all. While we all may celebrate it in different ways, my hope of this post is to share with both men and women alike some tips to truly making this love struck holiday a success.

To all my male friends I just want to share with you some pearls of wisdom. You see while I can only speak for myself, I am a woman and I do have some advice for you on the things NOT to do on Valentine's Day. I know you are going to think I am crazy but do not be lured by the media and V-day multiple aisles full of Valentine's paraphernalia. You believe that because everyone gets flowers and chocolate for there girlfriend you should too. NO, If Jim Jones told you to drink the Kool-Aid would you? Let me tell you what I would think of if a guy got me flowers. Oh, this is a symbol of his love for me beautiful now but in a week they will be dead. Is he trying to tell me something? Quite possibly the worst gift I could ever receive would be chocolate. While most women are conscious about their weight, I would feel guilty about not eating a piece and then I would hate you tomorrow for making me feel fat. So in honesty I would steer clear from these over popularized gifts. I would encourage you to be creative and inventive, we love feeling special.

What women really want is a man who can think. I am telling you it is one of the sexiest and most alluring traits a man could possess. For example, on my escapades to Florence, Italy I went to see the David. While everyone else is taking in this masterpiece and the perfection of his naked body all I could look at was the pondering look on his face as he looked over his shoulder. All I wanted to know is what Michelangelo had in mind when he put him in that position, What was he supposed to be thinking about? Regardless, a woman likes a well thought out plan. In my life currently I tend to make all the reservations, set the time, and decide when and where everything is going down. To actually have someone take care of all this planning would delight me in every way.

Thus men, I encourage you to think about what your gal-pal really likes. Does she like to dress up or is she casual? Does she like Italian or bistro style? Once you have thought about this you call and make the reservations and plan the entire evening. If you were thinking about creating your own masterpiece at home with a candlelight dinner for two, that's beautiful and go with it. Yet, part of the fun of having a lad on your arm is being able to show him off to others. It's is not like you are a pair of new shoes or something, but women we are a weird breed.If we were are honest we would tell you that we constantly compare ourselves to others, and thus it is our nature to want to show you off as our sidekick. If we are going on a date with you, we are proud to have you with us and want others to see you too.

Yet, even more important to your success is in the presentation. While I believe you should be a gentleman all the time, Valentine's Day etiquette is of utmost importance. This would include opening the car doors, pulling out the seat, and ordering for your date. While I have had some awful experiences in my life, one of them was with the date who ordered my entire meal for me without asking what I liked. Not only did this tonk me off, but he also was disappointed when he learned I didn't like meat and would not be eating the rather expensive entree.

While Valentine's Day may just be another day to you, in the eyes of a woman it is an important day. We primp and prepare for hours only to look gorgeous and beautiful. Thus, you too should compliment her on her hard work by saying things like you are gorgeous, you look amazing, ect. Now guys this is important. We have just spent hours preparing ourselves for this night so we want to stay looking just like we do when we leave the house. I once was invited to a dance by an older guy in high school. I remember how excited I was as I spent hours getting ready and working on my hair. If you don't know me, I have some voluminously big hair so taming the mane can be tricky. I can still see my father's face from the window as my date and I pulled away in his yellow mustang convertible. He was laughing hysterically because all of the sweat and tears I had put into my perfect hair-do was now a massive beehive blowing in the wind. While I understand it is February, we have been having some unexpectedly nice weather; enough to coax Hoosiers to ride around in their convertibles. If this is the case please be mindful of your date.

Yet how I couldn't forget all my single ladies. I want to encourage you to get out there and embrace your singledom. My most memorable Valentine's days have been spent with a bottle of wine and great friends. Valentine's day is a holiday to honor love; whether it is people, places, or things. Yet, I always tell my friends who are forlorn and glum about not being attached during this holiday the real story of Valentine's Day. It is about St. Valentino who after being refused by his mistress was so distraught he plunged a dagger in his heart and then sent it to his mistress still beating as a symbol of his undying passion and love. I then try to reassure them that we do not need these types of unstable men in our lives. Single ladies everywhere should be making reservations to some of the best venues in town. I encourage you to pamper yourself and splurge. If dinner isn't really your thing then hit the movies, but I beg you please please don't stay at home. While I haven't decided which Bloomington venue I will be gracing I can tell you I will be there in style with a beverage in my hand. I believe an evening full of laughter and friends is some of the best time spent.

Thus as an ode to Valentine's day I encourage you to be spontaneous and creative and grab your Val- Pals and have a "Dang" good time!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The abc's that define me

I love to think of my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Wilson, she is this fabulous woman who is about 5 feet tall with a jolly build, a beaming smile, a sweater to match ever season, and quite possible might be a saint for the patience she bestows on her students. She not only has been enriching young minds for over 35 years, but better yet is still teaching at the same school I attended 20 years ago. She even has had the challenge of teaching the entire Pasko entourage Jill, Julie, and me. Yet, even as I embark on my 21 year of schooling, I believe Mrs. Wilson taught me some of the best life lessons I could have ever learned, "When all else fails go back to the basics." Thus, here I am again at the basics, the abc's. Yet, her great wisdom traverses farther than understanding the alphabet, abstract concepts, or even math, but it resonates in my daily life. I believe her plan all along was to prep us for the future, the busy work weeks, the unexpected spins, and to remind us that when all else fails you are never to old to go back to the basics. Thus, in an attempt to remind myself of the things that I love and that define me I have compiled a list of the abc's of me. I do have to apologize ahead of time because some letters deserve more attention, just think of it as a triple word score in scrabble.

Airports- Not going to lie, the sheer volume of excitement and joy that is contained in one building makes me want to fly those friendly skies more often.

Anatomy- my favorite class so far in medical school. The body is this intricate masterpiece which is orchestrated together to produce a complex and beautifully synced creation. LOVE IT!

Anthropology- quite possibly one of my favorite stores on earth. Earthy,Eclectic, and stylishly unique.


Brunch- need i say more
Boston- one of the most youthful, navigable, and delightfully historic cities. It has Jen-esque written all over it
Blogging- my cathartic outlet in my oh so studious life
Biggest Loser- No shame, my favorite TV show where I watch people lose entire people in 12 wks..hello inspiration

Coffee- Fact or fiction I drink 8 cups of coffee a day? Fact.

Dinners- I would have to say long-euro style dinners are one of the most perfect gifts on this earth. To relax with friends, laugh, and partake in a great wine over hours takes me to this place of effervescence and delight

Doctors- I actually am going to be one of them, but don't really like them at all

Elderly- I find so much beauty in a life fully lived. I love their lack of inhibition and wisdom. I love me some old people!

Fage- Ok so I am obsessed, I eat this every day with 2 splenda, cinnamon, and blueberries....

Fall- Quite possibly the most wonderful time of the year! I love the smell of decomposing leaves.

Farmer's Markets- my joy on Saturday morning from April -Dec is unobtainable as I see some of the most beautiful displays of fruits and vegetables.

Gorgeous- My favorite adjective on earth. There is something about the way that it rolls of my tongue.

Gardens-I wish i had one and didn't kill every plant i own.

Health- I love random health facts and ridiculous info about calories and nutrition

Intellect- is one of the sexiest and enduring traits i find in people

Independent- I might be one of the most independent people in the world...I honestly can't imagine what it is like to be dependent on another

Joy- Something I think we all should emanate wherever we go...Life is way to short to suppress this.

Kindness- is the universal language of love. Embrace it

Laughter- ok so I giggle like a third grader at recess. I laugh a lot, I mean a lot
La Croix- the most perfect zero calorie sparkling beverage out there

Maine- Lush, gorgeous, and beautiful memories
Marathons- my extracurricular for my 5th one in April

Newspapers- the rustic feel of the paper is enough to make you a believer. Plus love crosswords

Oatmeal- my soul food....My favorite dessert

Public Transportation- I hate cars! I can't wait to be able to use public transportation or walk to work everyday

Pendleton- my homeland

Quite possible the best friends ever! i have some truly gorgeous and wonderful friends who are beautiful inside and great!

Rex and Cath- the wonderful parents of mine who constantly reveal to me what true love is. Also the most polar and hilarious couple you might ever meet

Style- I love fashion. It is a form of self-expression. It is ever changing a little like myself.

Travel- I love to travel here, there, and everywhere. I find it one of the most liberating experiences one can have.

Thanksgiving- my favorite holiday there is nothing like a Pasko-Butler family get together

Umbrellas- I hate rain so the only thing that make it better are my psychedelic rain boots and Mary Poppin's umbrella

Very lofty goals- Pet peeves of life-dreams don't stop when you go to college .....I have so many I want to write a book, own a coffee shop, own a mint green 1957 chevy truck with a big steering wheel ect, ect...

Wine- Water and wine the essential beverages. I love Red wine ......dry, earthy, and bold nothing better

X-citing adventures- I am kind of like Dora the Explorer....I am looking for side kicks!

Yoga- Finding my inner chi

Zest- Spice it up! Zest for life is what makes it worth living.

I happen to run into Mrs. Wilson at the Pendleton Public Library over Christmas break, we stood outside in the cold chatting it up about school, life, and other random minute. Mrs. Wilson, is just recently the proud owner of a new kidney, she had a transplant almost a year ago. She asked me multiple questions about school and how things were going. I told her I am doing what I always have wanted to do but described the struggles and frustration of 2nd year. She grabbed my arm in all seriousness, the kind of forceful grab you get in kindergarten when you have thrown a recess toy or picked your nose, and she looked me in the eye and said, " Wherever you go and whatever you do there will be someone out there who is better or smarter, but don't you ever let anyone love more deeply or be more compassionate than you. Its who you are." Even 20 years later Mrs. Wilson is driving home the basics. She is right, it is so easy to drift away from core of who we are in order to fulfill an instituted role in society. I had let the competitive nature and constant lure for success in medical school blind me. All I really need to do is go back to the basics kindness, love, and zest for life and remember that these are the things that should be motivating me daily.

In this next week I encourage you to stop and revisit the basics of who you are. Remember the defining characteristics that make you unique. Because in the busy hectic lives we lead it is so easy to get caught up in the moment and the task at hand. Yet, I believe we are never to old for a refresher course on the basics.........because once you have those down, everything else just seems to fall into place.