Well technically, yesterday was my 1 month anniversary of being out here in sunny Los Angeles (slash Chino) but time got away from me so I’m posting today.

Wow. One month goes by REALLY fast. I can’t believe it’s been that long already and that Christmastime is heeeeeeeeeeere. I’m a Christmas crazy so these next couple of weeks will be pretty awesome.

It’s kind of hard to recap on a month that has been so busy. I’ve been meeting with all kinds of people (mostly Duke alum I reached out to en masse) and doing some pretty fun things like seeing a TV show taping and going to a TV show set for most of the day. The job search itself is a process that I need to find more patience in…I think having done it for the past year has jaded me a bit but now that I’m here, I need a new and fresh energy to bring to it! Oh, but I did land an internship recently! It’s crazy how just asking someone a question can get you something you didn’t plan for…like this internship. I’m really excited about it because now I really get to learn all about “the industry.” Hollywood is a weird place, folks, and it’s also kind of a small place. I see some of the same industry peeps at many different places and I bump into random actors as I walk around studio lots. But there’s a specific way that “Hollywood” (I put that in ” ” because H-wood is only a small part of the greater media making business but it’s just easier to call it one thing) operates and I’m looking forward to sneaking into that circle and figuring my way around. That being said, and I might rethink this after Monday when I start the internship but, this place isn’t as intimidating as I thought it would be. It’s actually kind of nice to see that nobody stands out here because there’s such a vast range of people. I don’t feel out of place or uncomfortable and try to remind myself to walk with confidence wherever I go. Of course, there are different neighborhoods that boast stereotypical people but, for the most part, it’s not as segmented as one might think. 

I’m currently dividing my time between my sister’s place in LA and my friend’s place in Chino. They’re about an hour apart so I try to plan my commutes wisely, spending days at a time in one place or the other. The only thing I knew about Chino before I got here was that Ryan from The OC was from here. Loved that show… Anyway, Chino is very quiet and small and there are a lot of horses here. Really, I’ll see random dudes on horses on the street. It caught me off guard the first couple of times but next time I see one, I won’t find it super weird (and I’ll try to take a not creepy picture).

Ok, I must take my leave now. I’m a different kind of busy here. The kind that doesn’t allow me to communicate as much as I would like–either because I’m not near my phone or because when I am near my phone, I’m so tired that I don’t really want to talk. I want to thank my other -arkies for their patience and for still messaging me anyway, even if I don’t respond. There are some other developments brewing in the next couple of days. I will let you know what they are when I find out what they are. Stay tuned…I’m pretty excited!


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All Quiet on the Christmas Front

Merry Christmas, dear friends and readers! I hope your day has been, and continues to be, joyous!

It’s been an uncharacteristically quiet Christmas here, with my family members on 4 continents this year! I miss the days when we’d all be gathered in my grandparents’ apartment, sleeping on the living room floor and crowded around the dining room table or relegated to the kid’s corner.  Still, knowing we’re all safe and well is what’s most important, and I’ve enjoyed spending time with my mom here. We’ve spent the day as any other, but at a relaxed pace.

Harry Potter VII, Part I is on TV now, which reminds me so much of this time of year, maybe because the characters are old friends. In fact, totally coincidentally, I’d been listening to the audiobook of Goblet of Fire earlier in the day. RIP Dobby; you died a free elf 😦


Today, I cleaned my desk.

…of all the anatomy papers! Whew, it is done!! I feel so relieved to be over the anatomy hump, and also incredulous at how smoothly it went and how lucky I was. The experience was – dare I say it? – a little bit fun. Mostly nerve-wracking of course, but after a week of just sitting with the books, it was good to verbalize some of the information and talk it through with someone! Because even though it was an exam, it was also a conversation of sorts. My biggest worry was that I would fail immediately for making a mistake and saying something wrong or just plain dumb. However, I made plenty of mistakes (not identifying the triceps correctly, for one. — Plain dumb), and passed with a decent score!

After the gross anatomical dissection questioning, my theoretical topics were:

1. the adductor canal
2. ligaments and joints of the vertebral column
3. gametogenesis
4. the extracellular matrix
5. histological specimen to identify and describe: elastic artery (aorta)

Most interestingly, my examiner did indeed turn out to be a McGonogall. As I was entering the building, almost an hour early, she was exiting and squeezed my hand to let me know she would be coming back to test me. It was nice to know in advance, rather than waiting for my name to be called as they were read off by various professors one by one when the exam started. Still, I started planning retake dates.

However, despite her reputation as a stringent and unforgiving professor, I found her to be extremely kind and understanding. She was especially considerate in setting up the dissections and microscopes for me to access. Throughout the semester here, I have never felt that my physical disability affects how my intellectual performance is evaluated, and that is something for which I am continually grateful.

For now, sleeping, reading, errands, and some quality Christmas time with my mother are on the agenda!

Today, it snowed!

Van hó Budapesten!
That’s right, there’s snow in Budapest, and the Hungarian word for it is “hó”!

It’s just a dusting, and I’m sure that come morning, it will be more a hassle than anything, but as we walked back home from class today, it was a lovely sight.

With the brightly lit shops urging passersby to “Have a glamorous Christmas” (in English, usually!) and playing the familiar tunes of the season, I’m once again noticing the holiday spirit take hold … and pass me right by.  I’m not intentionally grinchy; I blame it on student life. For the past few years, December has been more synonymous with exam stress than holiday cheer. By the time school’s over, Christmas is upon me, and there wasn’t even time to appreciate the build-up.

Bah! Humbug!