Thursday, May 14, 2015

Continuing THE LIST

So, let's just jump right back in to 2014:

Ajax, Ontario—Ahhhh, my first Canadian trip. It was super snowy and the pharmacy was kind of a disaster. I also remember the food—it was disgusting. (And I wrote this post. It's titled "Fun Times In Canada". Oh, I was so naive.)

Buffalo, NY—I went to Niagara Falls in the middle of winter and froze my fingers off. Also, I never ate real Buffalo wings and I think I went to bed around 8:00pm each night. I was lame.

Strathmore, AlbertaIt was FREEZING. I hated traveling to Canada. I mean, I promise, Canadian border patrol, I do NOT want to move here and steal one measly job from your population. You didn't have to interrogate me like I was a criminal every time I went through customs. (The WORST!)

Revelstoke, British Columbia—Probably my most favorite trip I took with this job (even though it was in—GASP—Canada). Check it out here.

Perryton, TX—This one was Red’s Pharmacy, and the owner was a straight up ginger, which I thought was kind of funny and clever. Nice folks.

Bethany, OK—These guys were super fun. The staff was young and joked around a lot. They also tried to get me to drink beer with them at lunch on the first day, because they were all so hungover from the night before. (I did not partake, but I appreciated the gesture.)

Keller, TX/Livingston, TX—These two Texas trips were CVS pharmacies outside of Dallas and Houston, back to back; a solid 12 days of living out of a suitcase in Texas. This was about the time I had breakdowns to a handful of people back home (yes, multiple breakdowns, while I sat in my car with the air conditioner on, because Lord Have Mercy it was like 400 degrees outside) and I almost emailed my boss my resignation letter from the CVS parking lot.

Lethbridge, Alberta—This place had a really long bridge the city was named after. I went and saw it and was underwhelmed. Also, I had a minor case of food poisoning after stopping at McD’s on the long-ass drive out there. That was fun. Thank God there was a scary little gas station along the way, or who knows what would have happened.

Yarmouth, ME/Topsham, ME—These two Maine trips were back to back, and they were for a chain pharmacy called Hannaford's. People were nice and Maine is gorgeous! I wrote about it here.

Brampton, Ontario— This one was literally in the middle of nowhere, Alberta. Like, rolling fields of yellow canola forever and ever. And the people were weird. It was Canada. We know how I feel about this.

Broadview, Saskatoon—The pharmacy manager named the robot Pippin (wtf?), and I had a migraine almost the entire time. There was nowhere to eat, and I had to eat A&W three nights in a row (vom). This may have been the cause of the ongoing migraine.

Damariscotta, ME—Another of the Hannaford's. People were super nice and I ate lots of lobstah.

Sunnyside, WA—I got a freaking huge speeding ticket and I’m fairly sure the state of Washington never cashed the check I sent in the mail to pay it, so it is entirely possible that there is a warrant out for my arrest in Washington state.

Ada, OK—People were nice. The land the pharmacy was on was part of an Indian tribe's property, so technically it had different laws than normal...? (I didn't really get the deets on this. Clearly.)  The pharmacy sold Michael Kors purses and Vera Bradley stuff, which is nice I guess, but I remember thinking it was also kind of odd.

Soldotna, AK—So this trip was when I decided that this job had slightly ruined my will to travel. Alaska was GORGEOUS. I mean, who gets to go to freaking Alaska?? And I took maybe three pictures total, because I was tired, I had rented a Tahoe and I knew I was going to get in trouble for going over the rental car budget, and my cell hardly worked. And I decided that if I got a free trip to Alaska and I was so grumpy that I didn't go do anything or at the very least, take touristy pics of the park I drove through, then it was probs time for me to find a new job.

Pine Falls, Manitoba—This one was a disaster. I had to stay at a casino over an hour away and halfway through the first session of training, the pharmacy manager came in and told me he was (and I quote, because it’s so dramatic) “shutting this down” until some issues had been resolved. It was a cluster, and I had to stay in the area for two more days, “just in case” everything got worked out. It didn't. I came home and they sent someone else out there a week later.

Santee, CA—Another CVS, but a California CVS in October is much more manageable than my previous CVS nightmares in Texas. A couple other trainers were also working at CVS's in Cali, so we met up for sush one night.

Taos, NM—Another of my favs, because I got to travel with my bestie Brad (or BAMER). I wrote about it last fall.

Reno, NV—Never even saw a casino…also an Indian Health Site, so that was interesting. I was so over everything at this point. I was also traveling with another trainer, and we ate at Whole Foods every day for lunch AND dinner at his bequest.

Denver, CO—This was my first VA Hospital, and I really had no business being there. The products I was supposed to “support”, I had not learned yet. It was the week of Christmas. It was super cold and snowy. I was hating life. Good times.

Which rolls us right into 2015 (are you still with me? Almost done!):

Orlando, FL—A VA Hospital site that had bought a ton of our expensive equipment, yet refused to use it in the way it was intended. At the very least, I was in Florida in January, and Ben was with me. However, it wasn't really a productive trip, since they didn't listen to any of our training.

Murfreesboro, TN—A VA Hospital, where half of our equipment didn't work correctly and I got yelled at on several occasions. Had a breakdown in the Detroit airport on my way home, where I declared “I WAS DONE FOREVER” (and then I went to Nashville the next week).

Nashville, TN—Sister site (another VA) of Murfreesboro…same issues, and to add insult to injury, I didn't even make it down Music Row because I was tired, I was mad, and it was cold. (Jeez...early 2015 was pretty bleak for me, professionally.)

Somerset, PA—Super nice pharmacy manager. The staff were…interesting. Let’s just say there was a 31 year old pharmacy tech who had a 16 year old daughter and was SUPER proud of that. Yeeeeah.

Ronceverte, WV—I took Kayla, a new trainer, on this trip, and she was sweet and fun to travel with. Highlights of the trip included us literally sprinting through the airport to make a connection (after I had bragged about never having to run to catch a flight) and then driving down windy roads straight out of “The Hills Have Eyes” territory in backwoods, West Virginia. (I think we bonded over the terror of the experience.)

Bremerton, WA—Okay, so this was my last site I traveled to, and I knew it at the time, so I didn't have such a hellish time as I would have if I knew I wasn't quitting. This was a Naval hospital on Fort Bremerton, and the Commander in charge was pretty intense. Like, wasn’t happy with anything and wouldn’t sign off on anything until it was fixed, intense. Luckily, that was not my issue (this trip required multiple people on site from SP) and I just got to chat with the Navy cadets, who were quite interesting. Lt. Awa was the NICEST guy I've ever met, and he gave me a Commander’s Coin, which is a big deal in the Navy. I guess you give it to someone who you respect, and he told me that the whole pharmacy appreciated the work I had done with them.  In hindsight, I suppose this was not a bad trip to go out on.

And I'm DONE! I gotta admit, it’s kind of cool to have all of these places documented and to look back on where I've gotten to visit. While there were plenty of things I disliked about the job, I did meet a lot of interesting and cool people. But now, on to the next adventure of actually staying in town for more than a week at a time. I think it's going to be a solid summer. And who knows? Maybe I'll start blogging on the regular again. I gotta get my snarky comments out somewhere.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Oh Hey, Blog

Yes, hello, I’ve been gone for quite a while. A lot has happened over the past five (yes, FIVE. Ugh, I’m the worst) months. Aside from the various annually celebrated holidays (Christmas! New Years! V Day…eh. Easter! Various family birthdays!), I’ll add in that mah bestie tied the knot (wedding was fabulous; she was the most beautiful bride), I quit my job (HECK YES!) and I found new gig. I was just so over all that travel. Anyone who tells you traveling for work is fun, glamorous or exciting is just plain lying to you. Traveling for vacay? Yes please. Traveling for work? Not fun. It’s exhausting, and I couldn't ever figure out why exactly, because really, unless you’re literally running cross country to get somewhere, you’re mostly just sitting in a small seat for extended areas of time. Right? So I have no idea why I felt like every trip aged me in such a way that I now feel I am a ripened 65 years of age. And you know those Canada trips added extra stress in my life. (The WORST!)

Anyway. Those days on the road are (mostly) over! Hip, hip, hooray! I’m working as a training specialist now for a healthcare company, and the travel is just enough to keep me interested (because life in a cube is WEIRD!), but not so much as to send me over the edge. And as the imagery above emphasizes, it’s making me happier and I’m feeling a pretty good vibe. However, before I completely closed the ScriptPro chapter of my life, I made a list (because list-making ranks in my top three things I love to do) of all the places I traveled to, along with what I remember of them. Some pharmacies will forever be burned into my brain, whether good or bad. Some, I literally cannot even remember making the trip to.

Oh! Also, since I don’t want to sound totally ungrateful and negative about this past “life experience”, I figure I have to give SP a shoutout for giving me the chance to get away from the educational vortex and the opportunity to explore new places, although the majority of the time, I really only got to see an airport, a rental car, and a lot of highway as I drove into some little town that offered Applebee’s or Chili’s (if I was lucky). The day a Chili’s makes you feel good is not a happy day.  (Okay, so I tried…I mostly just feel relief and a little snarky about leaving.)

So, ya ready? Here’s part one, and I’ll return with part two tomorrow, because it’s a hefty chunk of words, and I’m sure some people (if anyone is still reading? Hello?) are already bored. Here’s 2013 for ya:

Andrews, TX—My very first trip. I didn't pack enough clothes, I definitely did not have the right shoes to stand for 10-12 hours a day, and I had no idea how to pronounce ANY drug name. I also couldn't count pills on a counting tray, to which my “mentor” suggested I “look for shapes” as they pills rolled around. Ummm…what?? Needless to say, it was rough.

Kinsely, KS—This trip was slightly better from a training standpoint, but the real fun was seeing this. Also, I gained a “real friend” (not a work friend), Mr. Ben Emma (BEMMA!).

Sweet Home, OR—This trip was with my boss, Susan. It was the first trip I had to rent the rental car and actually drive the whole way, which was slightly nerve-wracking with my boss seated next to me. We had an hour drive to the pharmacy each morning, and every single time, I missed our turn. (I have always been directionally challenged.) I felt like an idiot.

Richmond, VA—My first solo trip, and they were so nice (even though I’m sure the training was super rough. I don’t remember, because I’m pretty sure I've completely blocked that memory). I had like 4 training sessions, each 3 hours long, which is A LOT of talking. But! They gave me a “RVA” coozie, so that was cool. And as I type this, I have no idea where that is. Hmmm.

Longview, TX—So at this one, the people were super cool (they drank beer after work in the pharmacy!) but there was a crazy snowstorm in the south (anyone remember when every single person in Dallas cried because they didn't know how to drive in snow?), and I had to spend an extra night in Shreveport, LA. But I did find a kick-ass sushi restaurant. I had to learn to find the small things in life with this job. Clearly.

Selma, AL—This was such an awesome trip, because the people and the town were so cool. I did posts on it here and here.

Greenville, NC—This was a huge hospital and I had to go in at 6:00am every morning...east coast time. I am so not a morning person in any timezone, so this was challenging for me. They were nice, but I was exhausted and it was a cluster inside the pharmacy. It was like a week or so before Christmas. Oh, and then I had to fly straight to the next place....

Dalton, GA—This one was super unorganized. I remember thinking that the pharmacy manager was an idiot.  Also, it was right before Christmas. I think I came home on Christmas Eve and boy oh boy, was I missing the teacher’s winter break right about then. But then I got my paycheck with copious amounts of overtime (like crazy stupid overtime pay) and I was all, "oh this job isn't THAT bad..."

Riveting stuff, I tell ya. Just riveting. I’ll post the rest tomorrow!

Monday, December 22, 2014


We celebrated the soon-to-be Mrs. Loveridge a few weeks ago, with Megan’s Bachelorette Bash. Such a fun night! Sush, cupcakes and champagne (lots and lots of champs…oof), mini-shots and a special visitor (hence the heavy, heavy boozing), all topped off with a girls’ night out downtown. (Um, minus the bride-to-be…she had too many Fireballs and called it an early night. Sound familiar?) And we wrapped up the weekend with brunch and several Bloody Marys down in Westport. Cheers to you, Megs! We love you!

Some pre-party details: pink, pink pink!

Party favors…

Megan’s sister went to Cirilla’s…we were all a little nervous!

 Totally Meg’s fav gift. Good job, Courtney and Utah!!

 Champs, champs, champs…

And, the aftermath…

What a beautiful bride!
(And yes, she wore her sash to brunch. At McCoys. In Westport. This is why I love her.)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Manhappiness, Kansas

The weekend after Thanksgiving, my friend Megan and I headed up to Manhattan for the big “Sunflower Showdown” game (I use the term “game” loosely…it was more like a blowout). KSU took on those silly Jayhawks, and I’ll be honest…I only watched maybe a quarter of the game overall. That’s right—we ventured all the way up there and basically just ate and drank our way around town. (So not complaining. That’s totally the way I prefer my Manhattan trips. Hashtag Fatkid.)

We didn't get tickets to the game, since we figured a game in late November would be freezing, and we could just soak up the Aggieville atmosphere while watching the game from the comfort of a Porter’s booth with beer flowing from the tap, brought to our table by some frat-tastic 22 year old bartender. But wouldn't you know it…it was 65 degrees and sunny that Saturday! We still managed to have a fantastic time…even if we did take a nap….during the second half of the game…and order Pizza Shuttle when we woke up. Because, let’s face it…college is not meant for 30 year olds. We learned that lesson the hard way this year.

So. We ate at SoLong. Twice. No shame there. In fact, as we rolled into Manhattan around 8pm on Friday, we didn’t even bother checking into the hotel. Nope; we drove straight to our fav college spot for bloody Marys and grilled cheeses. THE BEST! Dear SoLong, please come to Kansas City! I know you would do well. Maybe in Westport? Or Crossroads? I’d support ya at least once a week, for some raspberry-black bean dip. And/or queso. (Yes, we had both, as you can see by the pics. No judging!)

After our SoLong dinner, we stopped at Porter’s, where Megan worked for 4 years in college. It was pretty much the same…same smell, same cups, same dartboard. We hit O’Malley’s to see if our dollars were still on the wall—indeed, they were. Finally, we stopped in to see our pal Charlie at Taco Luche to end our night.

We hit up CocoBolos for lunch and bloodies on Saturday, before the gameday festivities started. (By gameday festivities, I mean Fireballs. I blame the Fireballs for the nap that ensued directly after the Fireballs.)

We met up with a few of Megan’s friends who were in town for the game, and got a very festive holiday pic by the Christmas tree at Aggie Station.

This guy was NOT one of Megan's friends-we just saw him walking past Tubbys and we HAD to get a pic. I mean, purple Sperrys? That's dedication. I loved it. (He was kind of put off that we asked for a pic, but I was like, dude, if you sport a purple sweater vest with purple slacks and purple shoes, people want your picture.)

Ever had a Nancy? No? Get yo’self to SoLong, ASAP. It’s delish.

Then…came SoLong a deux (mmm....the dip! The DIP!), and naptime for the old ladies. On our way out of town Sunday, we stopped for lunch at Taco Luche before saying so long to our alma mater. Kittycats got the Win,  I got my Manhattan fix for football season, and Megan got a solid 28 hours of sleep . EMAW fo’ life! (Insert KSU Wildcat radio rawr-rawr-rawrrrr here.)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Turkey Day 2014

As always, I am thankful for my family. This year, we all gathered at my parents’ house (every stinkin’ member of my mom’s side—23 in all!) for plenty of food, wine, and lots of family time. It was crazy, it was loud, and it was lovely.

Fam bam—with my cousin Caitlin...

and the ever-darling Nova, of course. She was Mimi's helper in the kitchen.


What a spread! Good work, Mama!
  The Scanlon fam
Love this little Boo-Boo!
And we all got to meet the newest member of the Christensen clan:

Baby Dean! Boy oh boy, is he darling! I kept telling my cousins to call Gerber—he could easily be the newest Gerber Baby. I mean....too cute!

Everybody loved Baby Dean…he got passed around to Uncle Lee…

and Uncle Clark.
With his Daddy-o, Chad.
We took a Christensen family picture—first one in a few years with everyone. With this many people, it turned out surprisingly well—eyes are open and almost everyone has a smile. Gosh, I love this family more than I can even say.
Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with family and many blessings!