Hi Ho Hi Ho It’s Off To Health Services I Go

Remember when I mentioned how I always go to health services? Well, this past week was a testament to that.

In fact, I basically was Cameron Frye from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. When Brett was in Egypt’s land, let my Brett go.

Sunday night, my throat started to bother me. When I called home, my dad told me I was fine. I mean he is the same man who didn’t believe me when I said I was lactose intolerant and made me eat food with butter in it. Monday morning, I found myself in health services with a fever, soar throat, and elevated white blood cell count. My diagnosis; strep, and an antibiotic.

Fast forward to Wednesday morning. Congratulations Brett. You don’t actually have strep. But still I found myself going to health services with the nurse and Dr. saying I was getting worse. Two more antibiotics, and I found myself miserable. I had a cough that made it sound like I had emphysema. And to quote a frenemy of mine, “You sound like a dying whale”. 

Friday morning, guess where I found myself? If you guessed health services, congratulations, you are right, and we have some lovely parting gifts for you too! Once again I sounded worse than before, and was put on another medicine.

I’m pretty sure Ali wanted to kill me this week. Trust me, the cough was keeping me up a much as it was keeping her up. This week made me think of where I would like to get sick. Getting sick at camp sucks. Getting sick at college sucks. Getting sick in Mexico sucks. Getting sick in Italy sucks. Getting sick at home sucks, but it has its perks.

If I was at home this week, my bed and five pillows on it would be my new bff. I would sleep  all day long. When I felt like getting out of bed, it would be just to lie on the couch with my dogs, and watch reruns of One Tree Hill and Grey’s Anatomy. Maybe some America’s Next Top Model too. I would have to greatest Matzah Ball Soup from Nana’s and it would be great.

But in reality, this week was nothing like that. I felt terrible. All I wanted was Matzah Ball Soup and I couldn’t get that. I would send pictures of myself to my mom, and she would say I look like death. 

But a week later, I am almost better. I never thought I would ever appreciate being sick, but this week has made me appreciate the luxury of being sick in Livingston, NJ.

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TBT: Italy 2013

When I was in high school, I had the opportunity to sign up to do an Italian exchange through my school. I was never keen on doing it, but my parents thought it would be a great idea, so I signed up.

The day we were leaving I was an absolute mess. I was crying more than I do on visiting day at camp. My family was going to Cabo without me and that made me pissed. Everyone tried to hype up going to Italy and I wasn’t having it. In retrospect, not going to Cabo was okay and I had a blast in Italy. I also was leaving a dying dog at home. I don’t know what I would have done if Riley died while I was away.

When we got to the school to board the bus that was taking us to Philly (even thought there was a direct flight to Rome from EWR which is 30 minutes away) the parents took pictures of all of the happy, smiling kids who were ready to embark on an adventure. But when you look at the pictures, there is one kid who looks like that day is the worst day ever. Yep, that was me. I am crying and look absolutely miserable. So I loaded myself up with Dramamine, pepto and as I got on the plane a Xanax, and I was ready to go.

I had one of my really good friends on the trip, and that was good for me. Having Monica there was nice because we have been friends since elementary school, but it wasn’t so nice when we got into a huge fight at the mall and I threatened to be on the next flight back to America. Ciao Italia, it’s been real!

Despite my announcement that I wanted to go home, I stayed. I made up with Monica and I had gained a new friend. Mariana and I hated each other for something that happened in 8th grade, but we became so close on this trip. When we went back to school with inside jokes, everyone was shocked.

During my two-week stay in Latina, I went to Florence and Rome. In Florence, we took a walking tour, which no one actually paid attention too. We went to the Duomo and climbed all the way up to the top. After climbing 463 steps, the view was amazing. Florence from all the way up there was breathtaking. The 463 steps to go back to civilization were scary.

Rome was an easier destination for us to reach, and we went there many times. On one of our trips there, we went to the Spanish Steps and to the Trevi Fountain. I am not ashamed to say that while I was there Mariana and I played “What Dreams are Made of” and maybe I secretly pretended to be Lizzie McGuire too.

Towards the end of our trip, we went to the Vatican. I know I was supposed to be impressed by it, and we were there at such an important time in history, but I thought it was so boring. Call me crazy, but just like McKayla Maroney, I was not impressed.  I understand that Italy is all about the churches and artwork, and the Vatican is supposed to be superb, but after seeing church, after church, after church, this Jewish girl was jaded and ready to go to temple. Despite my disappointment, I’ll admit that the artwork was spectacular and that it was amazing to be in the Sistine Chapel and secretly take pictures on my  iPhone.

There were some activities that we did that I could live without. We went to a “chocolate factory” one day. This wasn’t a factory at all. It was practically a hut with no heat in the middle of February. They showed us a video that no one understood and then we bought chocolate. I’m all for buying chocolate, but the movie was so unnecessary. We also spent one lovely, cold,  rainy day at an agricultural high school, I kid you not. We went into a room where they make cheese and ate lunch. What is the point of that?

In addition, we also had to go to school with the Italian students, but let me tell you; their school had me wishing I was sitting in a classroom in Livingston. The students are in school until around 1. They have a break for a snack, and we walked around during this. But the classrooms had metal bars covering the windows, so I knew there was no escaping from this fine institution. There was no heat, and you had to bring tissues to the bathroom because the school did not have toilet paper. While the Italians were learning, the Americans were playing games on their phones and napping.

The only way to describe this trip is life changing. This trip allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone and try new things. I hung out with people I didn’t hang out with at home and I had a lot of fun with them, even that time that we all took at nap at Flaminia’s house. I tried new things in Italy and came back to New Jersey more independent that I was just two weeks prior.

Before I went on the trip, I was so upset to be going on it. I should have really appreciated that my parents were sending my on a great trip. As almost a year has gone by since this whole experience started, I have been thinking a lot about it. I am so grateful that I was able to go. I had so much fun on the trip, and I would do anything to go back again.

And yes, if you are wondering, the pasta, bread, wine, and gelato in Italy are amazing!ImageImageImageImageImage

Here Goes Nothing

My dad told me a while ago to start a blog so I could become the next Perez Hilton. I nodded my head in agreement, but never did. But I did read Hilton’s books. So here I am who knows how many years later doing so.

Where do I begin? Well, my name is Brett, if you could actually tell. And yes I share the name Brett Ashley with Hemingway’s character, but I promise I am not a whore, and do not have a Facebook page devoted to it. Really it exists! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lady-Brett-Ashley-is-a-whore/351265446069

I am completely obsessed with celebrity culture. Some may say it is an unhealthy obsession. I am aware that knowing the date that Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt announced their separation probably won’t help me in any capacity (but in case you were wondering, it was my birthday, January 6, 2005, and yes, a tiny piece of my heart died that day) but I still carry it around with me. I’ve seen every episode of One Tree Hill, Brothers & Sisters, Grey’s Anatomy, the original Beverly Hills 90210, Gossip Girl, The O.C., and many more shows. Speaking of The O.C., without adorkable Seth Cohen there would never be Chrismukkah (thanks to the episodes: The Best Chrismukkah Ever, The Chrismukkah That Almost Wasn’t, The Chrismukkah Bar-Mitzvahkkah, and The Chrismukk-huh?). I mean I’m pretty sure we were all kvelling when Ryan Atwood became an honorary member of the tribe, what a mensch. I love being able to recognize an actor in one show and know where I have seen him/her before. I love when I hear a song and know that it was played in a certain episode of a TV show. In fact, I can probably tell you what characters were in the scene and recite the dialogue too. When there is a category on Jeopardy that is TV related, don’t even try, that’s my turf, and I will answer the questions right.  Hi my name is Brett and I’m a tv-aholic.

Besides the scripted dramas that make me cry and give Reed a reason to make fun of me, I don’t know what I would do without reality television. Seriously. The note from my parents in the program from my 5th grade graduation mentioned America’s Next Top Model, Survivor, and more. It was even my goal to be on The Real World, as long as I wasn’t the drunken whore, although they are the most interesting to watch. Or I thought I would be on the show and find my true love like Real World Austin’s Danny and Melinda, but hey look how well that worked (they got married, divorced, and then were forced to be partners on a show. YIKES!). I could never do America’s Next Top Model. Besides not being tall enough or model-esque, I cannot stop, drop, and tooch or sing about Potledom. No that’s not a drug, it’s top model spelled backwards. I would never be able to survive Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen without screwing up the risotto or beef wellington, and I would never want to be The Bachelorette. I can’t be on Dancing With the Stars unless I’m famous, and I don’t dance, so sorry Dad for having you pay for 11 years worth of dance classes. But a reality show about me? I think I could handle that.

I am a lot more than my somewhat ridiculous relationship with TV. I am a Starbucks addict, and yes I go sometimes more than once a day to earn stars. But hey, a decaf, skim, no whip, white mocha is clutch and so is my go to grande unsweetened black ice tea. And the baristas in Smith even know my name! I am an older sister, although people peg me to be the younger sibling, a daughter, and someone completely obsessed with my two miniature schnauzers, Jazzy and Petey. Shout out to the two “fondue brothers” as my mom puts it, Brodie Max and Riley J, who I miss every day, but have scars to carry them with me. Seriously, I can’t count how many times Brodie bit me and Riley bit a hole through my lip which is always fun. I am a professional spazz, so you can always count on me for entertainment. In the past week, I have been to the E.R. once and Health Services three times. I fell off Hayley’s bed today and broke my toe, so I’m sure by the end of the year here at the University of Delaware, I’ll have been in a cast. I’m a Jersey girl who really is a New Yorker. I’m a brunette who never actually had a full head of brown hair. I am a little bit all over the place, but isn’t everyone?