Last night in the parking lot of CVS, I thought that maybe there was a European women's convention inside, because all of the ladies driving kept driving on the right side of me. They would back out of a spot and point (politely, nonetheless) for me to swerve to drive on the right side of them which is the wrong side in the U.S. of A. After this happened twice, I became suspicious.
CVS keeps giving me coupons with my Extra Care card for $3 off if I spend $15. The first time it happened, I was really excited, so I spent over $15, and then when my receipt printed, I got another coupon! So the next time I shopped, I repeated the process. I have probably have overspent by $50 with saving $18 total. Perhaps I have been foiled by CVS marketing.
Since gas prices are now sky high, I pretend I save gas money by shopping at my local CVS instead of shopping at Wal-Mart (10 miles away -- 30 or more minutes in traffic) or Target (then I get the hankering for the of Isaac Mizrahi collection).
CVS, you're the best.'ve made me think you are. Marketing! Ugh!

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I think my pants must have shrunk in the wash. I was trying to get out the hot fudge sundae stain, so I used hot water, so they must have shrunk.  And shrunken khakis aren't tight and sexy, they are just painful. Ow. I think my appendix needs some air.

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It's summer which means self-tanning season is back. I used my old standby a few days ago, L'Oreal bronzer/tanner, and it was a bit streaky looking. I also noticed a new mole on my pinky toe, and then figured out it was a large dot of self-tanner that landed there. The tanner mole has faded to a nice golden brown now.
Self-tanning is not something that can be done in a hurry. And it's also difficult for people with short arms--which is one reason that I mostly sport the farmer self-tan. I have trouble reaching my back, so I just pretend my arms only got sun. I try to tell myself it looks natural like that.

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I found some cute shoes at Steinmart. I was looking for some sandals with a cheetah print, because cheetah print is the new black for summer (per J.Crew). I found some shoes in the d'Orsay style that had faux snake skin with cheetah-like colors, so I decided these were the shoes for me.
My right foot is probably 1/2 size larger than my left foot. My right foot is also pretty much as flat as a pancake. I wore corrective shoes until I was about 3 or 4, but it didn't help much with giving me an arch for the pancake foot. My smaller foot (the left) does have an arch. If I ever have to try on a glass slipper, I just pray it's the left foot one that is offered to me.
Anyway, I bought the boom-chicka-wow-wow shoes and doctored them up a bit with Dr. Scholls devices in order to have the smaller shoe not slip. I decided to wear them to the Fairy Godseester and Silly Rotor's wedding. Within 30 minutes of having the shoes on, I already could hear blister formations crying for attention. Within 60 minutes, and as soon as my lovely chaffeur had us at the wedding location, I was frantically searching for the bride room for deo (which does work) to put on the rubbing spot.
Thank goodness there was a very well-prepared bridesmaid who had the ultimate bride's room basket. This sweet darling has been in 18 weddings, and she put her knowledge to use. It was like the best of CVS in a green wicker.  The deo wasn't doing much good, so then I added the band-aids (also found in the basket). Then, I quickly popped a bite-sized butterfinger in my mouth to dull the pain. And finally I was able to focus on more important the wedding.
The wedding was lots of fun, and my shoes are really cute. I might just put them in a display case instead of wearing them again.
Note: Laurie's shoes out-sexied my shoes for best wedding shoes. I need to find out if her foot beauty was painful. And if not, I need to know where she got those shoes.

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Last night was our last night of Campaigners for the summer, which is the YL word for bible study. We journeyed to Star Pizza and filled up on some carbs, tomato sauce, and cheese, and then we headed out to a Sonic on the Nawf side. This particular Sonic was basically just a drive-thru. We did manage to find a table to gather the girls around.
Half the girls on our arrival decided that needed a potty break, so they left with Kelli (my leader co-part) to hit Taco Cabana's restroom, and I stayed guarding our seat with two other girls. While sitting there, a group of four African-American teen boys pulled up in a beat-up old Camry that had the windows down. They started yelling out things from the car which I couldn't quite discern. 
I kept my eyes on one of the girls who looked at me with wide-eyes and subtlely shook her head to me to say, "Beth, don't respond!" Suddenly, she turned around and then squealed out, "Heyyyyy!!!" Instantly the suspected thugs with the gold grills reflecting off the lights of Sonic, turned into old elementary school friends, and she ran over and started hugging them.
I intergected, "Don't get in the car!" as a last effort to be the adult, I guess.
She said, "Beth, I'm not going to get in the car."
The other girls finally returned, and we spent a lot of time laughing. I tried to show them a dance from The Flight of the Conchords, which also was shown to the people in the drive-thru line, but it's a fun dance, so I had to try.
Sometimes the weirdest thing happens when I try to dance in front of the girls (which is quite often, because where there are teenagers, there is music, and where there is music, there is dancing), I feel like I lose my skills. Throughout this past year, it's almost a given at YL that when the kids start dancing, and I try to join in, they give me "the look" and shake their heads from side to side, and then say, "Beth. No."
I feel completely like I just got off the movie, Hitched. Back in the day, I was a good dancer. I was a cheerleader in high school (class of '93-'nuff said), and still remember most of the eight counts to our "Can't Touch This" dance we learned at UCA cheerleading camp. But in these situations with the kids, I instantly turn into old white girl. It's a sobering feeling.
Phillipians 2:3
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
(I guess the verse above applies to dancing for me.) 

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I rented Flight of the Conchords from Netflix. As I watched it, I decided that since my chances of marrying one of the stars (Jemaine or Bret) would be pretty slim, I will add on to my list of qualifications of Mr. Right for Ms. Richards to be quoting lines from the show (but not to the point of annoyance) and also laughing when I quote from the show as well.
My old list (circa 1998) for Mr. Right used to include liking Harry Connick, Jr., owning hiking boots and using them for hiking, and underlining passages in his Bible. The next draft of the list consisted of "thinking I'm special, not weird, but special." Then, in the last official written version (circa 2001), there were probably only four qualifications which included loving God and being drug free.
I am now back on the train of thought of being less vague and more specific. So therefore, quoting the Conchords stays.

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While wandering in the produce section, I noticed that there are a lot of fruits on display that I have no idea how to eat or buy. Because I'm on the new and improved healthy eating kick, I've decided that this will be the Summer of Fruit! which will include trying out new fruits.
I felt like I was wondering in a foreign land as I examined mangoes and tiny bananas and other things that had weird shapes and skins. The most difficult thing about eating new fruit, is that I don't know how to pick out fruit that is ripe or tell if it's gone bad. And then, when I get it home, how in the world do I eat it?

I was really wishing I had google access in the grocery store. I don't enjoy feeling like a grocery store alien. Normally, I just stick with the bananas, grapes, oranges, and apples, but since it's the Summer of Fruit!, I'm going to be adventurous. I'm hoping that I also won't develop any Summer of Fruit! allergies that might have been lying dormant in my epidermis.
My Current Fruit Repertoire
Apples (Braeburn, Cameo, Empire, Jonas Gold, Granny Smith)
Grapes (black and green)
Honeydew melon*
*ulovebeth does not care for these fruits

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At my new office, I am the candy bowl holder--it's a dangerous role for me as a former candy junkie. It's a crystal bowl, and when people walk by my cube area, they dig in and get some candy. It was filled with the traditional Starlite mints, but I found some Halloween candy in the desk from the last employee, so I added that to the bowl.
And today, I put in some Twinkies that were a gift from my friend, Kim. I ate one of them, but there is no way I'm eating an entire box of Twinkies--especially when I watched four episodes in a row of Dr. Oz on the Discovery Health Channel this past weekend. So, I've got the Twinkies in the crystal bowl. I almost feel like I've left out rat poison or something (they're filled with fatty oils and high fructose corn syrup, God bless them), but I tell everyone who grabs one to eat at their own risk.
I think Dr. Oz would eat a Twinkie. Sometimes, eating a Twinkie is the right thing to do.
Ode to Twinkies
Twinkies, you are so cute.
But you make me look fat in my birthday suit.
I wish you tasted bad.
Then losing you wouldn't make me sad.
Twinkies, stop looking so tasty.
Filled with white cream that squeezes like toothpasty.
I am losing my mind.
The more I eat, the more I get behind.
Twinkies, this is love.
But from below or above?
It will last forever.
Because your expire date is never.

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I don't know if other states are as proud of their shape as Texas. Before moving here, a friend at camp shared with me some nacho chips in the shape of Texas. I thought that was a little strange. After living here for several years, it seems completely normal.
I spent the weekend in Pearland and spent some time walking around a neighborhood. I noticed lots of ornamental lawn stones in the shape of Texas. Almost everybody has something "Texas" displayed on their property. So if I ever pass out and feel disoriented, I can wake up, check out the lawn, and instantly find a Texas marker..."Whew! Thought I might be in Kansas!" (And for the record, I am from KENTUCKY, not KANSAS--not a point of contention, but it comes up quite often when I tell people where I am from. The brain somehow interprets Kentucky as Kansas in approximately 75% of the people who ask me.)
I wonder if Texas is the most recognized state shape? Perhaps the shape of Colorado could be found everywhere, but then it is strikingly very similar to Wyoming, and let's face it, they're just rectangles. The shape of CO and WY are also the shape of my cereal box and my television--not a real challenge for shape recognition.
I guess Texas is kind of a square tilted on its tip with unique cuts made into it. I wouldn't put it passed the Texas state government to try to get the shape of Texas recognized as one of the major shaped to be learned in pre-K.
The longer I live here, the more I identify with the shape of Texas. When I see it, my heart flutters a little faster than when looking at a rectangle. I haven't reached the Texas pride level of buying lawn decor in the shape of Texas, but I wouldn't mind the chips or even having a couple of t-shirts.

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I have some friends in NC who are my outdoorsy role models. They have all been very active in Outward Bound, and the dad of the family is nicknamed The Gray Wolf. (Is gray spelled "gray" or "grey"?) It's a really cool nickname, and it fits him because he has super keen forest/outdoor survivor skills, and he's become a handsome gray-headed man over the years. I like gray on him, but not on me.
For a little over a year, I've been noticing not just the graying of America, but the graying of Beth. At first, the little gray devil shot up with fury. It glared at me in the mirror as a crazy white squiggle sprouting out of my head. I yanked that sucker hard, but not before also taking a few innocent darker haired bystanders. Ouch! And then the gray pack, brought out reinforcements. Sometimes they hide out, but then, when I least expect it, normally in bright light, they show themselves again. I estimate that about 20-40 of them have camped out on my head.
My new first plan of attack:
Get some John Frieda color shampoo which might help shadow the gray team. If that doesn't work, I'll make like Bill Monroe and pluck--but if I fear that this might be too painful, and this plan could leave me with bald patches.
My last result:
Dye it.
I've been warned many times by hairdressers, grandmothers, co-workers, strangers, etc. about the evils of hair dying. How in the world do you dye red hair? And how will I answer the question, "Is that your natural hair color?" Will I say, "No."? Oh, the horror!
And it's one more expense I don't need in my life. Hair coloring can be time consuming, and I could put that money to good use like supporting missionaries...or my Starbucks/Target habit (just being honest).
Have a Happy Little Friday, and if you have any advice for a redhead in gray distress, let me know.

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I have new job, a new place to live, and need a new boyfriend--not that the old one, Mr. N. Visible (the "N" stands for Nobody, has been rude or anything. But it's time of newness.
I also need a new microwave. Maybe that would be easier to find than some random boyfriend. And honestly, I don't believe in looking for boyfriends, but I do believe in looking for microwaves.

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I love cheese. My favorite cheese is Port Wine cheese, which my friend Emily says reminds her of a birthmark. Despite being grossed out every time I hear that reference, I still love it.
Ice cream is good, but I really could give it up, but not cheese. I wish it was socially acceptable to eat cheese out of bowl like ice cream. And then, I could go to a Cheese Parlor and get a scoop of cheese. Yummy. (See? I have a problem.)
Today I had a nice salad for lunch with some feta on top. I think this is my second feta dose of the week. I ate a slice of pizza with some feta on top on Tuesday. Feta is really good on pizza and salad, and it makes a nice showing on pasta, too.
If I ever have a kid, I might name it Feta. It's kind of a cute name, or would it be considered kind of cheesy?

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When I was in third grade, I had a poem published in the local paper called, "When I have a cold..." The editors changed it to "Whenever I have a cold..."

But it went something like this:

"When I have a cold, I don't know what to do.
All I can say is boo hoo hooo.
When I have a cold, I feel real sick.
I want to get better real quick.
My nose feel like a waterhose."

I can't remember the rest, but it was a pretty amazing poem, and sums up my feelings right now.

My cold moved from chest to nose and I'm hoping it evaporates out of my head.

Please practice frequent hand-washing. And don't be afraid to tell your friends that they can't drink out of your water bottle.

Tomorrow is my last day at my current job. I am leaving the medical education world, and entering a new land and brand of geniuses.

I've made some great friends at this job, and sometimes have marveled that I've gotten to become friends with some people who deal with crisis situations and modern medical breakthroughs everyday (well, maybe not every day). It's been kind of like being an extra on General Hospital or something. The whole doctor life was somewhat of a mystery before working here. My main experience with physicians was what I watched on t.v., so I've had many eye opening experiences.

I've learned that there's a difference between physicians who are clinically focused, and those that focus on academics. I've learned that it is difficult to balance everything in a doctor's life: family, work, kids, etc., but some can do a pretty amazing job at it.

I've learned that the best doctors aren't always the most well-known, but sometimes those with the biggest hearts. And when a doctor's heart is big, miracles can and do happen.

Also, the biggest secret is that the person running the real show, doesn't even have a m.d. by her name, but without her, we all might as well throw in the towel.

It takes a village to raise a doctor.

Things that won’t happen at my other job:

1) 9 out of 10 people wearing scrubs at a business meeting.
2) Messages on my voicemail that say, “Sorry I missed your call, I was in the OR.”
3) Hearing someone say, “Well, looks like we need to talk to the chiefs.”
4) Waiting for the red light to light up on the duty hours hotline.
5) Questioning someone about the number of FNAs/CABGs/echos/EGDs etc. they’ve done for the month.
6) Meetings scheduled (or suddenly cancelled) around patient visits.
7) Making sure that someone has gone home after working 30 hours straight.
8) Having a fear that when I’m bit by a mosquito that it’s been genetically altered or infected with malaria.
9) Being scared of going to the subbasement (where they hide the bodies).
10) Calling pager numbers.