Saturday, December 31, 2005

End of the Year Blathering

Here we are on the cusp of 2006, and I am sitting here in my pajamas, and it is noon. I was up late last I deserve the right to sleep in if I want.

Tonight, we are going out to the Melting Pot for fondue and friendship, and paying way too much money for it. Oh well. New Year's Eve only comes around once a year, and I think that this is the first time I am actually doing something other than going to some lame church dance and watching two girls do their best Britney Spears impersonation...seriously, because they think she's, like, cool and stuff.

I usually don't make resolutions because I never keep them anyway. I thought I would try again this time around. I can keep a tally of them on my blog, and we can see where I am at this time next year.

So, here we go...

1. To take better care of myself. I have a gym membership that I haven't been using...which is pretty much the equivalent of going to the bathroom and flushing $30 down the toilet. Besides, if I exercised more, I wouldn't be so tired. Eating better is also included. Mom is joining me in this, so it's a win-win situation. She's actually more excited about this resolution than I am. I'll get the Garden Veggie Soup ready.

2. To buy a house. I've been looking online. In the early spring, I will actually go to open houses. The lease is up in the shithole I live in, so then is the perfect time to buy. Renting sucks.

3. To pay off everything (except the car). I have a small bunch of little piddly bills to pay off. Better credit score = better home loan rate.

4. To learn to knit. Everyone is making fun, cute furry scarves except me. There's more to life than crochet.

5. To book a big fat vacation for 2007. And from the looks of things right now, I will be booking two of them.

Yeah...that's about it. Not very exciting, I know. I suppose I could add "buy a sex swing" as one of them to spice things up a bit, but that's really not a goal of mine.

Besides, where would I hang it?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Nurse Follies: A Letter to a Pothead

Dear Pothead,

When I said I would brandish a fire extinguisher if I found anything on fire on my floor, and I would use said fire extinguisher...I meant it. Even if the fire in question was at the end of whatever you happened to be smoking at the time. I was also serious when I said I would call the hospital po-po to come and write you a big fat ticket for smoking. Federal law, dumbass.

They would not only write you a ticket for lighting up in your bathroom, they would also run your name, and I am fairly confident they would find you had an outstanding warrant. From the hospital, you would go to directly to not pass go and collect the $200 you would need to pay the fine for smoking in the hospital.

You're ugly spouse is also annoying. Just because we work for the same employer doesn't mean I am going to cut you a break and allow you to blow us a new skylight in the hospital. I'm still beside myself that she even asked. I should have told the other nurses so they could all come into the room and read you and Uglyspouse the riot act. Why should I get to have all the fun?

Yes, I made you sign the AMA form so you could leave the floor to go smoke. I told you that it was a bad idea, the docs told you it was a bad idea. If you go off to parts unknown to spark a doobie and you manage to fall over dead, I don't particularly care to go to the board of nursing and defend my license. The AMA form protects us and our livelihood from idiots like you.

So yes, I may be an asshole, but I am not a bad nurse. You can piss away your health, and your life all you want...but do it on your own time, and not on my floor.

Hope you get to feeling better soon.

Your Nurse

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Because Nothing Says "Happy Holidays" Like a Funeral

Upon arriving home from my holiday at the lake, Mom calls me to tell me that her best friend's father passed away on Christmas Eve...and would I mind going with her to the viewing that night??

Why's not like I had anything better to do.

So, we dress in somber-wear and go to a local funeral home where Mom's friend greets us at the door. I do feel sorry for anyone who loses a loved one so close to the holidays. He had been chronically ill with respiratory ailments stemming from long-term smoking. For him, death was a blessing.

To honor his passing, the entire family gathers outside the funeral home and proceeds to light up. I'm fairly certain that my mother and myself were the only ones there who didn't smoke, except the 8 year olds. There was a man there, who was as big around as he was tall, and looked as though he would be the guest of honor for the next funeral the family would attend. He was toting a portable oxygen tank...

And smoking...

At the same time.

I overheard one family member mention that he couldn't figure out how to turn off the tank. I casually eased mother to a safer distance and told her she was not allowed to be anywhere near this man...for he could blow at any minute, therby taking out anyone within a 25 foot radius.

I'm always amazed at people who have a family member that dies from smoking-related illnesses, and yet they keep on puffing. Are they just in denial that such a horrible fate could not possibly happen to them? Whatever the case may be, one thing is for long as people smoke, my job will always be secure.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Merry Christmas!! (belated)

During the rush and hustle of the holiday, I found myself not able to post as often during the weekend, as I know everyone wants to know how my Christmas went. I went down to the cabin again, came back the next day. Nothing too exciting, and no blood was shed.

But I will blog more about it when I am not so tired, and have a little more motivation to do so.

Until then...Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Hi Ho, Hi Ho...It's off to work I go!

I still feel like a bag of chewed up buttholes...but I am going in to work tonight. If I call in tonight, I won't get paid for the Christmas holiday. Yes, it sucks...but that is economics.

Besides, I get to go home early if I barf on the nursing supervisor!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Calling in Sick: A Catch 22

We have these signs posted ALL around the English AND Spanish...blathering something to the affect that if you are sick, you shouldn't be around patients, and please see the nurse before entering a patient room. Blah, blah, blah.

Reason would tell you that a healthcare provider should call in sick and not expose whatever crud they have to their sick patients...right? Yes, that does sound good in theory, but there is hell to pay when you actually do call in sick. You leave the floor short-staffed, and they have to find more nurses, and how dare you get sick in this time when EVERYONE ELSE is getting sick?!?

Why am I blathering about this? Well, I had to call in sick tonight due to some, ahem, gastric ailments. There's some sort of little bug floating around, targeting nurses, and picking us off like flies. Some nurses, rather then face the wrath of an unforgiving attendance policy, will actually go to work...only to be sent home sick anyway.

Yeah, I'll probably get written up for calling in sick. Ask me if I care when I am paying homage to the Industrial toilet that sits in my bathroom.

Nurses generally have a stronger immune system than most...and that comes from coming in contact with most every single bacterial critter both known and unknown to modern medicine. We've built up a tolerance. If it is something that is bad enough to knock a seasoned nurse on her butt, imagine what it would do to someone who is already sick in a hospital.

Now, I am taking my Sprite, dry toast, and wooby to bed.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Out Amid the Holiday Throng

Mom comes home after work yesterday with the urgent, urgent need to go shopping. I go, but my heart filled with dread when she mentioned the W-word. Walmart.

So, I drive there because the PT is small and fit into little parking spaces. We rounded the corner and discovered that everyone else who lived in the Northland had the same idea. Someone even brought a moving truck. Now that is some serious Christmas shopping!

We manage to park in a spot that isn't in Kansas, and hike to the store. Once inside...bedlam. People everywhere buying everything that isn't nailed down. Mom and I wander around the store with a cart that has a bad wheel. We always manage to get the cart that has the bad wheel. An hour or so later, we make it up to the checkout. After careful consideration, Mom decides to do as I did...GIFT CARDS!!

As we are in the checkout line, two children are running around like someone gave them an IV bolus of Kool-Aid before they came to the store.

Oh yes, they were also yelling and squealing.

Somewhere, miles away, dogs began to howl.

The one boy was wearing a motorcross helmet that the parents were planning on purchasing, makes a running start before swan diving onto the ground, and sliding about 3 feet, almost knocking over a Walmart employee. The mother laughs like its the funniest thing in the world. The boy begins squirming around on the ground, still in the helmet, picking up whatever seen and unseen object that happened to be laying in that particular area.

I started to go into convulsions, filled the strong desire to go rip my uterus out of my body, ensuring that I will never, ever procreate and risk giving birth to that kid.

I remember when I was a child, my parents NEVER took us kids to go Christmas shopping. Not even grocery shopping. We got to stay home with a sitter.

Now, I understand why.

I turned to my mother and said, "Now I know why you never took us kids anywhere. We were evil children."

She smiled that matronly smile, the one that not only says "Mother knows best", but also that triumphant smile that comes with being acknowledged that you were right.

I thought I also detected something of a smirk that said, "You just wait 'til you have kids of your own."

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Yay for Me!!

I got the weekend position. Woo-hoo! Sure, I will have to work every single Friday-Saturday-Sunday for the next 6 months (because that is how long the contracts are), but I will have my weeks off to do productive things...

Like take Sam to obedience classes...again.

Or I can go back to school and work on other degrees.

With my newfound fatty raise that working weekends entails, it brings me this much closer to buying a house...with a really nice toilet.


Is it just me...

...or is the president of Iran a stark, raving lunatic???

Banishing Kenny G from radio because of the evil Western Influence is like banishing Big Bird from television because he promotes terrorism.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Tis the Season of the Office Party

Our unit party was Saturday night. It was catered...all we needed to bring was a dessert or appetizer, a gift for the exchange, and your own beverage. You needed to bring a date just to help you carry all your stuff.

Well, my date options didn't pan out. They either had to work, or couldn't find a sitter. Whatever. I went anyway. I bought a brownie platter and a plant for Katie because she was the hostess.

I shouldn't have bothered with the brownie the time dessert rolled around, everyone was too drunk to care about brownies. Everyone there was drinking their dessert. Our unit educator became so sauced that she passed out in the coat check room on top of everyone else's coats and scarves. Fortunately, she didn't barf.

The best gift at the exchange, as deemed by another night nurse (with much glee), was something called a "Whizzer". It was a statue on a bottle that would squirt whiskey out of it's wiener when you pushed the button. Two nurses filled it with vodka and insisted that everyone take a turn on the Whizzer. I don't like vodka, I think it's gross. However, they kept shoving it in my face, this statue of a small boy with a small winkie, and despite my insistence that I didn't want to partake of the Whizzer, I got vodka peed on my face and down my shirt. "A facial!!," someone cried.


My bosshole was there sans the wife. Turns out, she is somewhat of a prude (or Nazarene to be more accurate) and she doesn't go out to festivities. So, the bosshole must socialize by himself. I could tell he wanted to partake of the beverage and be falling down drunk like everyone else (except me), but because he was a manager, social mores kept him from doing so...which is unfortunate, because I was hoping for some leverage. At any rate, I felt some pity for the bosshole for having a wife that was a human quaalude...but he married her, so that pity was short-lived.

There was kareoke, with all these new songs I've never even heard of, much less know the words to. Bosshole tried to sing a song with disastrous results, but much laughter from everyone else. There was even dancing, of which I mostly sat and watched. There's great entertainment value in watching drunk white people dance.

It was interesting, though, to see that the night shift people sort of stayed to themselves, the day people stayed to themselves, then there were a couple people (like me) who would go between the two. Overall, it was a nice gathering. Afterwards, a bunch of people were going to go to Westport to get further inebriated. I was invited, but I declined. I'm such a party-pooper.

Besides, I like to think of myself as the only one who remembers exactly what happened that night. It leaves room for some embellishment.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Some Medical Advice (from a nurse)

Repeatedly rubbing olive oil on an open, draining wound will NOT make it heal faster.

And no, it doesn't matter that your minister prayed over the entire bottle beforehand...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Fooked in the Head

I blogged about my Gay-Not-Gay cousin a few months back. After that, I vowed not to get caught up in the drama, not to ask anymore questions. Sometimes, ignorance truly is bliss. Besides, the family already descended upon her and chastised her for being dishonest with her current girlfriend, and she had an excuse for everything. I think everyone just sort of tired of it.

I was online yesterday, checking out some books online for my latest subject of interest (and I am not going to tell you what it is), when Cousin popped online and wanted to chat. Okay, no harm in menial family blather. Then, she unloads that she is in a quandry. Why? Apparently, Mr. Right(eous) admitted that he and his mother had a monumental arguement, and he damned her to hell. This bothers my cousin. I pointed out that mere mortal man can't damn a head of lettuce to hell, much less a human being. Her concern was the outburst, and the fact that he apparently is prone to them, and what if he does it to her??

I can understand her point as Cousin is the poster-child of Crappy Rotten Abusive Relationships. Then, she starts to make excuses: he's always had a hard relationship with his family, and he's about to be excommunicated by the LDS church.

Huh? Mr. Right(eous), who served a mission in Poland, who can read scripture in several different languages, who also is a temple worker?? I inquired further (because I'm nosy like that). Cousin casually mentions that he was recently bapatised into a Fundamentalist sect somewhere in Arizona. You know...the ones who hide out in the desert with their multiple wives, some of them underage, where the men are seen as prophets and the women as cattle...with handy little vaginas for pleasure and procreation.

What!?! I ask what the quandry is. Broom this guy fast, he wants to make you a pleural wife. Cousin says the pleural marriage thing doesn't bother her as long as God commands it. But she is still concerned because he might yell at her after they are married.

Methinks if you marry a polygamist, having him yell at you should be the least of your worries.

Fundie sects are notorious for incest in God's name. I cringe whenever I hear the stories, and go into convulsions when the media inevitibly ties them with the main LDS church. She defended this particular sect. "No, this one is different. They treat the women like queens and you have to be at least 4 generations apart to marry 4th cousins!"

Cough, cough, bullshit, cough, cough

How reassurring! Somehow, I think Fundie sects are sort of like those vacations that tout to be the best ever with pretty words and glossy photos; but after you sink you money into it, and arrive at your's a roach-infested room, cold showers, poor service and the crappiest vacation ever.

So, I am at a loss. I told her what I thought, and she said she appreciated my advice, but knowing my cousin as well as I do, I could almost imagine my words going right into one ear, and floating out of the other. I told her she would be better off staying gay.

But now, I am done with it. I've made my opinions known, and I am not going to get drawn into this mess.

However, I pity the jerk if he comes out to meet the family. We may not be the most righteous bunch of Mormons, but we can certainly smell a bullshitter a mile away.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Why Apartment Living Sucks Ass

I went out today to do laundry. I have to lug my laundry across the apartment complex to their overpriced laundry facility. $1.25 to wash, $1.25 to dry...and they are not even commercial washers and dryers. So, I notice a nice little dent on my fender that wasn't there before. A dent about the size of a golf ball.

I hate apartment living.
I hate that I have to leave the warm confines of my abode to have clean underwear and scrubs.
I hate that I have a car buried in snow whenever there is inclement weather. When I do clear my parking space of snow, some bastard comes along and takes it after I leave.
I hate that I can hear my neighbors upstairs shagging when I am trying to sleep.
I hate that my car gets all kinds of dings and dents because everyone else who lives in my building drives a piece of crap (with the exception of my mother), and doesn't care if they damage my car or not.
I hate that I now have a commercial toilet in my bathroom. (I still hate the toilet.)
I hate that crabby woman who lives across the hall who thinks I am after her bloated, old husband.
Hate! Hate! Hate!

I can't wait to buy my own house, with a garage, a washer and dryer, a yard, and a regular toilet.

I curse the asshat who put the dent in my car. I curse them with sexual dysfunction until they are old and senile and no one will sleep with them. Oh yeah, I curse them with herpes as well.

Job Update

I'm making a bid to work weekend option. This means I work weekends only, and make more moolah in the process. It's an everyone-wins situation.

I figured if I am not going to have a social life, I should at least be compensated for it.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

My Thoughts on Oprah

I've never really cared much for Oprah, and it has not been much of a secret with friends. Any one celebrity who has that much influence over so many people (religious figures excluded), can't be a good thing. Sure, she does bring light to topics that people should know more about, but I can't help but get the nagging feeling that no matter what, "It's all about Oprah."

I was working my 4th shift last night (I was talked into coming in extra. Damn Katie and her guilt trips!) When one of the nurses, who has a known affinity for the finer (and more expensive) things in life, was talking about a pair of UGG boots she purchased. She kept referring about seeing them on Oprah's Christmas List. So, I took the liberty of looking of said list.

Popcorn tin with popcorn: $117
Burberry coat: $690
Burberry Purse: $695
UGG Boots: $180
iPOD: $299
Ralph Lauren (ugly) Sweater: $498
Colored pants: $160 (for the cheapest pair)
Brownies from Geneva: $25
Bathrobe: $150
Sony Notebook: $1500

Oh. My. God. I know that out there, in this vast country, there is some woman...who probably doesn't pull down the kind of money Oprah does, who is DESPERATE to buy all these things (plus a few others I didn't mention) because they are Oprah's Favorite Things. Somewhere out there, a woman is going to go into hock because she has to own these things, so she can be in the "Oprah In-Club" and be the envy of all the bored housewives on her block. Somewhere out there, a woman is relaxing in her recliner in a pair of UGGs, while watching Oprah on tv, in the comfort of her mobile home...knowing that something else was forsaken for the boots (the electric bill, perhaps?).

For some women, it's all about WWOD...What Would Oprah Do. A modern day false prophet.

If Oprah said she gave herself coffee enemas everyday and pooped on her dog because it made her feel pretty, coffee would start flying off the shelves, and dog groomers would have to hire extra help to manage the surge in appointments.

Like I said, one celebrity having that much influence cannot be a good thing.

Oprah is the AntiChrist...and Dr. Phil is her minion.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The White Shroud Still Cometh

Here at work...almost 1am. I looked out the window and was dismayed to see fat flakes falling from the sky. The Gay Weatherman says we could have up to ten inches by morning. That should make getting home a real treat. Getting to work was an adventure unto itself. I left early, skipped my stop to Starbucks, and a drive that only takes about 15 minutes, took me almost an hour, but the PT pulled through like a little trooper.

Funny thing about Midwest people...they can't drive worth crap in snow, especially those beady-eyed soccer mom's who drive the great big SUVs. (My philosophy is that if you can't change the tire on it, you shouldn't be driving it.) One big problem with folks who have SUV's with 4 wheel drive, they go tearing down the highway like they are racing for the checkered flag. Four-wheel drive works great in snow, but doesn't help you stop any faster on ice...which is what happens to be laying under the white menace. Oddly enough, driving in snow isn't really that bad, and sometimes can be a relaxing's the other tards who have to go and mess it up.

Midway to work, I noticed a Ford Explorer bobbing in and out of lanes, just sort of making up their own. It wasn't until I passed that I realized it was a woman on her cell phone. HELLO!!!! It's 11 degrees outside, snowing, traffic is about as bad as you can get with cars sliding everywhere, and you HAVE to be on your cell phone while on an Interstate??

Was it wrong for me to hope she would put her vehicle in a ditch? Without injury, of course...

Any highway going north was a parking lot. I saw people making U-turns in the middle of the interstate and go the opposite direction on an entrance ramp. The news later reported that folks were stuck on I-35 for 4 hours. Four HOURS!! I think at some point, I would have just parked the car on the side of the road and walked to the nearest hotel. You always have to wonder about who's at the very front of a traffic jam...they need to have their asses kicked.

I made it work without incident. The day nurses seemed more concerned about all the night people making it in so they could leave, instead of just us making it to work in one piece. Bastards...I hope they got stuck in traffic as well. We've already had 2 call-ins for tomorrow. If staffing isn't covered, we are expected to stay over until staffing can be found. They can kiss my ass if they think I am going to stay over. I left early and made it in...and I drive a glorified golf cart!!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

That's IT! I'm fleeing South!!!

I drove home in the butt-cold weather with the same 12 snowflakes blowing around. Everyone on the radio was talking about the snow. When I woke up this afternoon, the entire KC has been covered with the white shroud, and sounds like it will continue to come down until late this evening. Great. I still have to go to work tonight. The drive should be interesting.

It's not even fun snow. It's not wet, it doesn't pack well. It's just dry, and so cold that someone from Colorado would whine like a little bitch if they had to stand in it for any extended period of time. I should know...I'm from Colorado!

Now, I've got the Caribbean on my mind. Warm ocean air, soft sand under my feet, turquoise waters, frou-frou drinks, the smell of coconut oil, the sun on your bare shoulders, the sound of the waves crashing on the shore, steel drums...ahhhhhh.

But nooooo....I'm stuck in snowy hell!!! I've got to get to the sun. Anyone care to join me??

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Christmas Shopping Sucks and Other Funny Things

I went Christmas shopping with Mom yesterday. She took a day off from work to do so. She is way more into shopping than I am. I am the kind of person who likes to have a general idea of what I want to buy, go to the area where I might find the item in question, buy it, then get out. A kamikaze shopper. My mother is one of those people (along with every other female) who likes to go to a big place that sells lots of stuff (i.e. the mall) and wander around, looking at everything, maybe make a purchase here or there. At the end of the day, she would have spend 6 hours at the mall, and bought a total of 3 items.

So, she set her alarm at 5am. Who gets up that early to go shopping? My mother! She bounces in my room all cheery and perky. She is a morning person. I am not a morning person, which is why I work night shift. I roll out of bed and stumble into my clothes. I remind her the mall doesn't open until 10am, but that doesn't matter. By the time I get dressed, awake, and we get our ducks in a row, it is almost 9am.

We trek out to The Great Plains Mall or whatever the hell they call it. It's quite a drive from my house. We get there, find a parking spot, go inside. I find myself a new warm coat because I have been needing one for 2 years now and haven't been able to find something I liked. It is purple and has fake fur trim. I was hoping to find something with real fur just to piss the PETA people off, but no such luck. We walked the full length of the mall, getting accosted by a pushy Israeli who wanted to rub lotion on my hands and buff the hell out of one nail in hopes I would by his wares.

We happened to find something to wear to our respective Christmas parties. At the checkout counter, I noticed the clerk carefully folding my mother's shirt, only to just stuff it in the bag when he was done.

In the end, Mom got most of her shopping done. I didn't buy much, but did decide I was going to give everyone gift cards this year.

Tonight, I am at work. I am in charge, so I get to put on the asshole face. I've only had to be hostile once so far to a float nurse who never wants to work when she's supposed to. I did manage to stop by Starbucks and pick up one of their yummy Peppermint Mochas before coming in. In the parking lot, I saw an older woman and a younger guy at her car. She had unlocked the driver's side with her remote, but not the passenger side. So, with the door open, she is standing there pushing her remote so the guy can get inside the car. Pushing, pushing, pushing. I almost wanted to remind her that the button on the door would probably work a little better, seeing how her companion was shivering in the 18 degree weather. Sometimes, people can be really, really dense.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Medicine's Priority...A Rant

I worked last night. I was tired, and therefore cranky by default. I clocked in, got my patient assignment, and Katie (who was charging that night) approached me with this look that said, "I'm about to lay a big pile of BS on you."

Katie: We have a VIP coming.
Heather: Excuse me while I dance with joy.
Katie: We are moving a patient down to another floor so the VIP can have a private room.
Heather: Naturally
Katie: But that room doesn't have a good view out the window. So, we need to move your patient into that room, and give the VIP her room because it has a better view.
Heather: Like hell! I'm not kicking my patient out of her room so some asshole of perceived importance can have a better view.
Katie: I know, it's bullshit...but this came down from the house supervisor.
Heather: Well, then she can kiss the fattest part of my ass. (Katie and I have a good working relationship that we can talk to each other in this manner.)

While not widely known to poor schmucks like you and me, VIP treatment does exist in the very place it shouldn't. Some hospitals even have special, ornate rooms exclusively for VIP patients (i.e. anyone with potential to donate money to the hospital). Private rooms with fancy bedding, curtains, plasma tv' get the idea. Once, we had a VIP who had donated mountains of money to the hospital, and the supervisors told us to treat them extra special: make their needs priority, and generally kiss their ass.


I distinctly remember in nursing school our instructors telling us that everyone is entitled to the same dignity, respect, and care regardless of race, gender, creed, and socioeconomic status. Apparently, this is just lip service that nursing schools have to tell their students, knowing full well that once we are out in the "real world", this sentiment is only advocated until someone "important" is wheeled in. It's disgusting.

Good nurses and doctors will try to adhere to the oaths they took when they first went into practice. All the rest are just assholes. We'll see how they feel when that moment comes when the needs of their family member is passed over by a government official with tennis elbow.

In the end, we didn't kick my patient out of her room, but rather moved someone who was confused and wouldn't know the difference between a view to a brick wall, or a view of the city skyline. I was still livid, and fumed about it for the better part of the evening.

I've decided that I will probably never end up in a high management position as a nurse. I lack the talents of an effective ass-kisser, not to mention I advocate for my patients...ALL of them.