Sadly, the slow start for this is because I have too much to mention and am not sure where I should start.  I have wanted to discuss some of the mental illness stuff I deal with everyday at work, but that is complicated and has very different beginning points depending on whether I want to discuss where the illness began (diathesis/stress), what the diagnoses mean, where treatments begin and what treatments there are, etc.  So I guess I will start with where it is I am working.

Andrew Residence is a psychiatric care facility that has 212 beds for people with mental health diagnoses.  Most of the residents have some form of schizophrenia which can be broken down into subtypes: paranoid, disorganized, catatonic, undifferentiated, and residual.  Others have something called schizoaffective disorder which is kind of a combination of schizophrenia and a mood disorder (affect is used as a somewhat linear word for mood in psychology – either positive, neutral, or negative affect).  Bipolar Disorders are quite common as well.  I plan on elucidating many of these disorders in later posts, but for now these will have to suffice.

My job there: my title is Mental Health Worker.  If I were full time I would have a case load and would work with them to develop care plans in which independence goals would be set.  The eventual goal is to move people back into the community, but we cannot do that if they are unable to handle the stress of working, cooking, doing their own hygiene, and paying their bills sends them into a relapse; which is also why we build relapse prevention plans with the residents.  Finally, I am a certified nursing assistant and a trained medications aid meaning I can help residents with hygiene issues and can give them their medications under the license of an RN.

Now on to food.

I have been living a few blocks from some interesting restaurants for 10 months and still have not tried them out, so I went to Brasa yesterday evening.  It is a rotisserie that is owned by the same chef as Alma, another restaurant in my neighborhood.  Both of these are all organic and locally grown restaurants.  Alma is quite a bit more expensive, and though I have eaten there it was a very small meal to keep my bill low.  At Brasa I was well fed and drank my obligatory Premium Grain Belt and tipped the guy for a moderate rate of $20.74.

I ordered a 12 hour roasted and pulled pork, a guacamole with homemade chips, and a spinach in cream sauce with jalapeno.  That meal with $12.00 and I would eat it a million times.  The pulled pork was some of the most tender meat I have eaten.  I don’t think I had a proper appreciation of tenderness in the past as I always ate the high quality meats my dad bought and made.  Living on my own has educated me since.  The guacamole had a piquant-ness that I can never get at home and it was so green.  The spinach was excellent; it had a bit of lingering fire to it, but nothing that stopped you from pacing your bites and grabbing a glass of whole milk.

How to rate Brasa?  I would say for $20.47 it was not cheap, but I am unable to think of many other places I can be so filled with such great food for that price.  For its price category, I would have to give Brasa three and a half of four stars.  I would have liked a bit better service and tap.

New Home

June 11, 2009

Keep Sharp.  Ruining a Dull Mind.

I have been out of school for a few months now.  Graduated from University, completed the internship, was hired by the internship, and am yet running out of money.  Oh the life of a new graduate.  At least I have a job, right?  I spent my first month watching Criminal Minds and various other shows on TV.  A great way to spend your time, don’t you agree?  Which brings me to why I am here.

I actually have time to blog now that school is out!  Not that I particularly want to blog, but I need to read and write to keep my mind sharp, especially if I am planning on going to graduate school.  Which I am.  And of what great purpose is writing  if no one is going to read it (unless it is introspective/reflective writing)?  I prefer to share the thing I learn and the stories I am allowed to share from my work (HIPAA hates fun).

For now, that is all I needed to say.  I will hopefully be writing about many topics that will titillate your brain: the book club my buddies and I formed (currently reading Origins of Virtue by Matt Ridley), biking, bike mechanics, food and cooking, working with the mentally ill, clinical psychology, the various psychological topics I find interesting, and the random fun and/or sciency thing that tickles my fancy.  Finally, I have recently discovered (or at least cared about) my profound lack of historical (and political) knowledge for anything outside of the fertile crescent post 1 A.D.  I would like to render that and hopefully others can correct and inform me as well via this forum.