Friday, March 31, 2006

Nurse Follies: The Drug Inservice

You always hear the stories about how drug companies splurge to send docs on fancy vacations and such if only they prescribe their drugs. Enough people of note complained about how it was unfair, and so the drug companies sort of put the kibosh on such extravagant spending. At least that is what they say. Drug companies still seduce docs with favors, don't be fooled. Somewhere out there, a doctor is sunning himself in Tahiti because he is going to prescribe a shit ton of Prevacid...whether anyone needs it or not.

At best, nurses would get ink pens and note pads. Sometimes, the drug rep brings would bring us donuts...which is all consumed by the day shift. All the night shifters get is an empty box with a few crumbs and a pathetic "sorry". Bastards.

There is one exception. We have a drug rep for a company who makes an IV drug we use a lot of. We use it, because it works, and not because we all have matching keychains to show for it. This drug rep feels that nurses should be included because we are the ones who have to push this stuff while the residents of are off banging some young student nurse in a broom closet somewhere. This drug rep hosts big dinners at nice restaurants that I don't ordinarily go to, and we just have to listen to a speaker for about 30 minutes.

Most people will sit through 30 minutes of George Bush reciting Shakespeare if there is a free dinner and open bar involved.

So, I went to last night's "inservice". The first one I have been able to go to. The only person from night shift (on my floor) to attend them at all. This time, it was held at Ruths Chris Steakhouse, which is one of the better known places for steak in the KC area. I'd never been there before, but I had always heard good things. What better way to try out a restaurant when someone else is paying for it?

I met up with some colleagues and we seated ourselves into the room. From the looks of things, we are going to be crowded in like sardines. Oh well, it's free. Waitstaff come out of the woodward and begin pouring wine. I remember my last experience with wine, so I order something else. Nurses begin pouring in, and they immediately set to drinking.

Nurses can put away the liquor. Don't let anyone tell you different.

So comes the appetizers, the salad, then the speaker...which was like watching paint dry. He drug out the Power Point presentation. Buzzed nurses pretend to be interested in what he is saying, while working on their 4th glass of wine. He finishes and everyone claps like trained circus seals. Even the drug rep who put this event together agrees that he wasn't the best speaker in the world.

Then come the entrees (The steak was fabulous...and I am all about red meat.), the dessert, coffee. During the entire time, the nurse seated next to me is drinking his weight in wine. With each glass, he is getting louder, and louder, and louder. At one point, he gropes my leg and begs me to go to Greece with him.

Did I mention that this guy is twice my age??

I avoid giving him the response he wants, which makes him try even harder. What could possibly be more important that going to Greece? I tell him I have a couple trips to the Caribbean in the works. To this, he scoffs and then speculates that I prefer the Caribbean trip because of the possible penis size involved of whomever is going with me.

Can we say inappropriate? Not to mention, just plain gross. The other nurses (all my coworkers) at our table are shocked. My unit educator looks as though she is going to throw a steaknife and lodge it between his eyes. The guy decides he needs more wine, yelling and waving his empty glass in the air. To our dismay, the waiter actually keeps filling it.

The room clears out except our table. The drug rep is visiting us because we are her favorites. Suddenly, Chester the Molester turns white as a sheet, starts sweating profusely, and makes a bolt to the bathroom. I am secretly elated. Everyone else thinks he's having a massive cadiac event and three of them haul ass to the men's bathroom to see if he is okay.

Damn nurses have to over-analyze everthing.

They come back and report what I had suspected all along...he just barfed up the free steak dinner he just consumed (which was a waste of a good steak). After 15 more minutes, he doesn't return to the table, and we are getting ready to leave anyway, so everyone goes to the men's bathroom to check on him. We find him leaning against the sink, puffing on a big cigar, and listening to the bathroom music.

The picture of class.

Afterwards, my unit educator declares that she is not going to another inservice if Chester the Molester is going to be there. I declare that if I go to another event, someone else is going to have to sit next to him.

One nurse makes an observation that somewhere, there is a man who can't afford his meds because of the dinner that we have just consumed. Way to bring down the mood, Human Quaalude!

Despite Drunky Drunkerson, the evening was a nice break from donuts and ink pens...although I was disappointed they didn't have any pens to give out.

Some habits die hard, I guess.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A Cause for Tubal Ligation

I don't get it.

I consider myself a pretty open-minded person. Well-balanced. Calcium fortified. I come from a diverse family. I come from artistic stock.

But I just don't get modern art.

On occasion, the artsy-fartsy area of KC will have some sort of art exhibit. I went to one years ago. All the little studios opened up to show their stuff. Some even offered free wine (No, I didn't sample any.) Some of the things I saw, I liked. There were things I didn't like, which I suppose is the beauty of art. However, I don't understand how one person can paint one universal object, and try to tie in as many ideas to that one object.

Artist: This is a representation of my mental and physical anguish while I was having an extremely painful menstrual cycle, all while lamenting the loss of my boyfriend, who cheated on me with a stripper. He also took my cd player.
Me: It's a picture of an apple and a loaf of bread.

I like going to the Nelson. I like looking at most all the paintings, but the older stuff. I tend to steer clear of the Modern Art exhibits because they bore me, and I don't want have to sit there and try to figure out what a painting of a black square is supposed to represent. My mother, who won scholarships to attend art school, who can draw, paint, and write poetry, doesn't get modern art either.

I always hear about starving artists. Having seen some of their work...I can see why they are starving.

Today, my eyes were damn-near burned out of my head this morning when I saw this posted on one of the news sites I check.
This is some artist's rendition of Britney Spears unleashing her DNA upon the world...on a bear skin rug. He claims it's symbolic of Pro-Life.

I think it was the only opportunity this man will ever have at touching Britney's boobs. God only knows what he did to this sculpture before he took it to the gallery. Considering the position, one can only guess.

I suspect that a majority of the people who will flock to see this sculpture are men...only because they want to see what is on the other end of this statue. I've read it's her son's head poking out...which makes this all the more nauseating.

They should drag this out when Sean Preston turns 18. That's one hell of a party favor!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Sickness is not pretty...neither is this post.

I haven't been feeling well the past two the point that I have called sick to work last night and tonight as well. It's one thing to call in for a social life, it's something entirely different when that social life consists of just you and the toilet.

One of the day coordinators tried to make me feel guilty by saying the floor was left short because I called in. I would gladly trade in going to work and dealing with the drama that goes on there, instead of praying to the Porcelain God. Whatever. It wasn't even a good guilt trip anyway.

I hate to think this is directly related to what I consumed at the Home Show. I really hate to directly relate it to the Mexican dinner I had following (because this restaurant is one of the better places for a good chimichanga). The Mexican food probably was the guilty party, but not because it was bad...but for the simple fact that my GI system and spicy foods are no longer on speaking terms, and haven't been for a couple years now.

At any rate, after two days of homesteading on the Toilet I Loathe, my chocolate starfish feels like someone poked at it with a firebrand. It hurts to sit on something that is not shaped like a donut. I was skeptical to eat or drink anything because I knew I would see it in minutes, out of some orifice or another. On top of the Angry Anus, I also have bad reflux...which culminated this morning in one symbiotic act of me choking on stomach acid...

All over my 800 thread count sheets.

My last set of clean sheets, I might add.

Miserable, sore and crabby as hell, I had to go out today and wash all my sheets so I could have something to sleep in. The scowling redhead at the apartment laundrymat...that was me. On a brighter note, everything washed out without a stain.

While I was out, I did manage to stop by the nearest store and buy out their supply of Imodium. I have consumed so much of that stuff, I shouldn't have active bowel sounds until Cinco de Mayo.

Paul called, and I tried to guilt him into coming over and taking care of me (because friends are supposed to be all concerned and helpful). Mom migrated home for the weekend. Apparently, my guilt trips also suck because he wouldn't bite. He had other plans to go off with nonsick friends and get some the form of some symphony. I told him that I had been composing symphonies all day in the bathroom, but he still wasn't interested. There would be cheesecake involved in the other outing.

All I have is Velveeta cheese in the fridge and not a nacho in site.

I'm a nurse, and I rush to take care of sick people. When I am sick, people flock away in droves. What's the deal with that??

Friday, March 24, 2006

The KC Home Show

Yesterday, Paul and I went to the Home Show. I've never been there before...I don't own my own home (yet). Paul is a homeowner, and had been blathering that this show was a great thing to do. It was his idea to go, which should be shocking because he's not the planning type when it comes to outings.

We meet down at the Plaza because it is somewhat of a central location, and relatively close to Bartle Hall. Paul sniffs at paid parking and says he has a better place to park...absolutely free! He drives to his top secret spot and sees that everyone else in KC had the same idea. So we go further. Ten blocks later, we find a spot and make the LONG hike to Bartle Hall.

Men don't like to pay for parking anymore than they like to ask for directions.

The Home Show has 650 vendors, selling everything from siding to kitchen spice. Upon entering, we notice a big banner proclaiming "Free Wine Tasting Area". Paul thinks this is the best place to start off. We are immediately seated by an older gentleman who at some point had been eating crackers because it was still wallowing around in his mouth. He produces 3 bottles of white wine (all with very low alcohol content), and these little cups that are the exact shape and size of the plastic med cups I use at work. Each cup will hold 1 oz of fluid. We sample each of the wine. Cracker Man produces 3 bottles of red wine. We sample those. He brings out this smaller bottle of some Irish cream type beverage, and we sample that at least 3 times to make sure we like it, and decide it was the tastiest of the drinks. It would go really good on vanilla ice cream.

Paul starts giggling uncontrollably.

I'm not scared because my high tolerance for alcohol is world renowned. I did ten shots of tequila on a beach in Mexico and it didn't even phase me! I'm impervious to inebriation, which I owe to coming from strong alcoholic stock!!

Apparently, wine is a bird of a different color; not to mention that I failed to eat breakfast that morning. Soon, I'm giggling also...for no apparent reason. I calculated that we each drank approximately 9oz of the wares they were peddling...which is just over 1 cup.

Flying high on wine samples, I am ashamed to say we ended up buying a case of wine (which cost well over $200). Paul is the big wine fan, so he can manage, but what is the hell am I going to do with a half a case of wine???

Christmas presents!!!

After that, we stagger down an isle and look at insulated doors, some siding, a gadget that keeps your basement dry. Paul is seduced by something called a Garden Weasel. I meander over to the booth that is selling Crocs. I buy the purple ones because I like purple and I can wear them to work. Paul buys brown ones because he doesn't want to appear uncool and untrendy.

I move on to look at Soy candles while Paul spends almost an hour talking to some guy about buying a shed. I buy a candle. Paul walks away empty handed.

We tour a designer home and Paul almost soils himself when he finds out it is a modular home. I learn that there is a difference between a modular home and a mobile home. I feel enlightened.

We are free from the aftermath of the wine tasting station when we come across a concession stand. The pink slushy foo-foo drink looks good so we each get one. I am only able to drink about a third of mine because it looked better than it tasted, so Paul finishes it off after he is done with his.

Surprise, surprise...he's sauced once more. Once again, I find myself in the position of the sober person leading the drunk people to safety.

We stop at a both and this girl is selling those sticky roller things that collect pet hair off your clothes (of note, it is called a Mr. Sticky). I have an interest because I own a small, furry zoo. Paul stands next to me, swaying back and forth. The girl invites someone from the audience to "touch her Sticky". Paul begins laughing...loudly. The girl either is either that dense or she's just ignoring the obvious, because she doesn't understand why he is laughing. She resumes her sales pitch and tells us that if we buy the regular Sticky at the show, we get a compact Sticky for the car, and WAIT... we also can get the guy for the big jobs: The Big Sticky...on a Stick!

At this point, another vendor walks by Paul (who is barely able to compose himself) and he mutters, "I thought she was calling me by my nickname." Paul doubles over, laughing insanely, with tears streaming down his face. Everyone is amused by the drunk guy in the corner who is a about ready to pee his pants. Paul sings loudly that he is officially drunk. Everyone looks at me as if I am responsible. I just shrug.

I bought the Sticky Roller and all his friends. I also bought a mop, a rubber broom, a couple baking pans, almost purchased a knife set, and picked up a bunch of free crap. Paul buys just as much as I did, plus he comes a hair away from adopting a Greyhound.

We stayed until the show ended, which was 9pm, 3 hours later than we had planned to stay...and we didn't even look at everything. In a matter of 8 hours, we purchased a shit ton of things and were carrying it around like pack mules. My feet were very, very tired, and I was starting to get cranky.

By the end, Paul had overcome the power of the foo-foo drink. I pale as I realize that not only is it butt-cold outside, but we have to carry all this junk we bought TEN BLOCKS AWAY to his car, in the dark, downtown KC. I petition that we should call a cab, but my petition is denied and we hike back to his car, looking like we just robbed a band of Merry Maids.

After a nice Mexican dinner, I am deposited back to my car, and I go home. Paul calls to make sure I made it home okay, and lets me know likewise. I announce that next year, I am going to shell out the $7 to park closer.

And I am not going to stop at the wine tasting table ever again!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

God Bless Full Coverage!

I drove all the way out to Independence to get my car looked at. I must confess, I was pretty nervous about it because I had never been through the whole process before, and Paul was constantly telling me that my car would be totaled.

He was very hopeful because he wanted me to get a Charger.

At any rate, the closet claims office was out in Independence, which is a good 40 minute drive from my house, with traffic and all.

I was directed to park my car in the little garage, and some big guy who was the claims adjustor came out. The look on his face said it all, "Holy shit."

Well, it turns out that my car wasn't totaled. The damage on my car came to just under$4300. The insurance company will pay for anything they didn't find, not to mention a rental car for me while my car is in the shop...which I am told will be about 2-3 weeks. Most everything will have to be replaced on it. So much for paintless dent removal.

I was pretty relieved when I came home, not to mention my Tim and Faith tickets came in the mail (they are now hidden in a secure location).

Overall, it's been a good day. Clean laundry, they didn't tota my car, and concert tickets.

Fame Whore Alert!!

I've noticed as of late, that Eva Longoria can't seem to keep her yap (pick one) shut. Last week, she was blathering about how she was the teacher in the bedroom while her boyfriend wasn't that experienced. This week, she is blathering that he's really a sexual dynamo and she learned things from him.

Is she that hard up for publicity that she always has to be in the news for something? If we don't see her image in the press, she fears we will forget all about her? It seems that the only thing she has going for her is that she looks good. Otherwise, her acting skills leave something to be desired...on a soap opera. Let's face it, Desperate Housewives is not as good as it once was.

The next time we hear from her, she is going to be on one of those late-night infomercials touting some sort of sexual enhancement thingie.

The Other Side of 30

Yesterday was my birthday. Funny...31 feels no different than 30.

I woke up to a half a dozen emailed birthday wishes in my mailbox...mostly from the message boards I belong to. Mom called, Paul called last night and left a harrowing rendition of "Happy Birthday" on my voicemail. Mom took me out to dinner. Kant called to tell me she found a job, but forgot it was my birthday. That's okay. I forgive her. She figured it out and I was treated to the ear-splitting Kieffer Happy Birthday Chorus.

And that was my birthday in a nutshell.

Today should prove to be more entertaining. I have to go get a new drivers license. Laundry. Take the car to the claims adjustor (keep your fingers crossed they don't total it). I'll probably tidy up the house as well.

So ends a boring post, but I thought I might share an update.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Ever wonder why all the trees in Missouri lean to the west??

Because the KU Jayhawks suck!

Nice job choking in the NCAA tourney!!

Friday, March 17, 2006

My Brother, the Shiester

Actual conversation...

John: Did you give Mike your truck, or did you sell it?
Me: I gave it to him.
John: Why didn't you give it to me?
Me: Because he didn't have a working vehicle, I knew he would be able to fix mine so it would run. If I gave it to you, it would still be sitting in your yard collecting dust with the rest of the vehicles you have parked there that don't run. (John's wife murmurs agreement in the background)

I thought that was the end of it. I thought wrong because he called a week later.

John: Did you sign the title over to him, or is your name still on the title?
Me: Signed it all over. Why do you want to know?
John: Because I want to see if he will trade with me for my Dakota.
(side note...the Dakota, while newer, has been wrecked, driven hard and overall...a big lemon. It's even yellow.)
Me: Mike has put a lot of work into that truck, why would he want yours?
John: I have this guy who is willing to trade his SUV for that truck.
Me: So, the SUV would be for you?
John: Yes
Me: And you have traded your brother's truck off without even talking to him first?
John: Yeah
Me: And if Mike says no?
John: Then he says no, but tell him to call me.
Me: You're a pig. I can't talk to you anymore. (hands the phone to Mom)

I love my brother, but I swear, sometimes he can be so self-centered, I could scream. Always the big dreamer of the get-rich-quick schemes. (I should refer him to the Utah-Kieffer clan and their prepaid legal...) When I was in my car accident, and got part of my settlement, he felt he was entitled to half of it because he was driving my car...and if he hadn't been driving my car, I wouldn't have been in the passenger seat, and not had my face blown off by an airbag...and therefore not getting any settlement. Nevermind the fact that the accident was the other guy's fault, not to mention I am still losing my vision in my left eye as a result.

So, I told Mike about John's latest and greatest scheme. Mike just sort of snorted, which in Mike-speak says, "That figures." I was probably more annoyed about it than he was, probably because I know that Mike has put a lot of work into this truck to make it his own. Now, John has fashioned some sort of arrangement where he benefits most. Mike says he's not going to trade, but John is King of the Guilt Trip...another one of those bad traits he inherited from our father's side of the gene pool. Who knows what he will say..."We need the SUV to haul around 6lb Peanut and family."

Whatever. Do all oldest children go through this kind of garbage?

Erin go blah

Today is St. Patrick's Day.

Big stinking deal. Well, it is here in Kansas City. I've never seen a place go so ape-shit over a holiday. It's bigger than Christmas here. I checked on a live feed from the parade. Yawn. Just a bunch of cars decorated with streamers and balloons, all in a row. Maybe when it reaches proportions of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade with the big floats and balloons, then I will get excited. I've been to one St. Pat's parade, and it was about as entertaining as watching one of those fishing shows on tv.

I'm always surprised at how many people look forward to this holiday, if only for the simple fact that they will go out and proceed to drink themselves into liver failure (job security for me!). A good friend of mine actually has a goal: to be able to pee green for the 3rd year in a row. (In case you are confused, most bars color their beer green...hence, the green pee). I wonder how many people, who are not at all Irish but celebrate the day as if they were anyway, actually know of the origins of St. Patrick's Day. It would be interesting to hear their Irish man chased the rats out of town with a flute made from a potato, perhaps? I don't think anyone particularly cares. It's just an excuse to go out and get drunk.

Like some people actually need an excuse.

If you ask me, I think the Swiss get shafted. Because I am from Swiss ancestry(on my father's side), I have particular interest. Germans get a whole week (Oktoberfest), the Irish get today, the Chinese have their event (not certain about the Japanese, though). What about the Swiss? Doesn't anyone care about those who brought you fine chocolate?? I think that should be reason enough to have Swiss Day.

As you can see, I am not partaking of the festival o' green. I have to work tonight, which means I will get to see the aftermath of it all. Drunks on Parade...right through our Emergency Department. The most celebratory thing I did today was stuff a corned beef and a head of cabbage in my crock pot. It should be ready about the time I have to go to work.

And no, I am not wearing green. If someone pinches me, I'm going to break my foot off in their ass.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Decisions, decisions...

I just heard they are going to open up a transplant unit at work, and it will open sometime this fall. Transplants have always been near and dear to my heart, so I am seriously considering putting in for a transfer. Ever since nursing school, even before, I have always wanted to work with transplants. Someday, I would really like to work with the Midwest Transplant Network and be one of the people that facilitates the whole process from donor to recipient. I got to stand in on an organ retrieval once when I was a nursing assistant, and I was floored. FLOORED! I think I knew at that precise moment that I wanted organ transplants to be a big part of my career.

After all, it is already a big part of my personal life as well.

I find myself hesitating somewhat. It's not because I don't want to do it, but doing it would involve me stepping out of my comfort zone. I love the people I work with, for the most part, but I don't like what I do. I don't like going to work and spending 12 hours walking on eggshells, just knowing the at any given second, a patient could crash. I don't like that my unit gets dumped on because the Bosshole won't stand up for his nurses. I hate working short.

When I applied for my first RN job, I had a clear mindset as to what I wanted to do, and now my unit has evolved into the very things that I don't want to do. I used to look forward to going in, now I can only hope to be struck down with the bird flu so I can call in sick.

On the good side, I know my unit. I know what my limits are. I love my coworkers (save for Whiskey Tango and that one wierd nurse who thinks her boobs are bigger than they really are).

But I am simply not happy. Some people say that it's bad for nurses no matter where you work, that I am going to find the same dismal things no matter where I go. I refuse to believe that. I know that there are nurses out there who love their jobs because they have found the thing that truly makes them happy. I refuse to remain miserable because that is the very best I can expect.

So, I probably will be putting in for that transfer. I won't know unless I try. Sometimes, you just have to buck up and jump outside your comfort zone. It's better to do it and know for certain, rather than do nothing and spend the rest of your time wondering, "What if..."

Graduation Week

I love having 4 days off in a row. I love the fact that out of those 4 days this week, I have mostly slept for 3 of them.

As Martha would say, "It's a good thing."

Oh, I managed to call the insurance claims number and secure an appointment to take my car in (next week). And I managed to buy a few things on E-bay. Mom and I went to dinner Monday night and we saw a midget lady there. My mother, who stands at a staggering 4'10", suddenly had the overwhelming urge to stand up. It's a sad thing when only midgets are shorter than you.

With today being Thursday, I guess I will go out and do some laundry. I may even hit the gym. It looks like it might even be a nice day, so I could take Sam to the park.

Last night was Sam's graduation from Obedience School. Only the second set of classes I have shelled out money for...and predictably, he was the class clown. He never wanted to do what I wanted him to do. He would just flop around on the ground and make growling noises. I resigned myself to the fact that I just pissed another $100 down the drain.

Just to show that Sam is an asshole, he decided to do everything almost perfectly last night during his "test". Bastard. The instructor thought Sam was a marvelous and well-mannered dog. I wanted to tell her, "No, he is an asshole. When it is time for him to go in his kennel, he runs and hides under my bed."

But I am an asshole, too. In that respect, there is no denying that he was meant to be my dog.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Because you know Hallmark will make a card for it someday...

Apparently, today is a very special day...

I didn't even plan for it.

Just like Valentine's Day.

Monday, March 13, 2006

This Morning...

This morning, I stopped by the office of my insurance agent. At only 8am, he was already looking frazzled. He said he had close to 50 emails in his box, and the phone was ringing off the hook. He said that the insurance company called this a "catastrophic event". The possibility exists that my car could be totaled.

I called the claims number my insurance agent gave me once I got home. An automatic system announced they were experiencing a large number of calls, and I was number 180-something in line. I hung up. My dimpled car isn't going anywhere, and I can wait until tonight while the rest of the Midwest is asleep. Somewhere out there, someone is going to actually wait an hour just to speak to someone about the damage the storm did to their car/house/etc.

I also couldn't help but notice that the Whiskey Tango aide that called in to work last night was home, her car in the parking lot, nothing wrong with it save for some pings...the same pings everyone in the parking lot had. And she wonders why no one wants to work with her after she graduates nursing school! A person who will shaft her coworkers just to go get laid by her Flavor of the Month, is not someone you want working beside you in the trenches that is my profession.

Whatever. I'm exhausted and I am going to bed.

Sunday Night Blather

I came to work in my damaged car. The only aide we had scheduled tonight called in because she claimed her car was totaled by the hail damage, and with the tornado that ripped through the apartment complex, she couldn't possibly come in. Incidentally, she lives in the next building over from me. And that alleged tornado...never came to my neighborhood. However, the warning siren did wake me up. I suppose I should have sought shelter in the bathtub with my dog and two cats, but instead I just rolled over and went back to sleep. I figured if the tornado wanted me, it could have me...and I wouldn't have to come back into work tonight.

At any rate, the aide called in because she made out like it was the Wizard of Oz and the tornado planted a house on her car. Incidentally, she wasn't home when I left for work (I know this because her "totally demolished" car was gone). I think she just wanted to go and shag her very serious boyfriend of 5 weeks.

My car looked worse dry than it did this morning when it was all wet. I think 85% of the car is covered in dents. I didn't spot any cracks in the windshield, or paint I guess I fared better than other people. Someone was killed when a tornado deposited a trailer on top of her. It just goes to show that tornados have an affinity for mobile homes. I don't know if one has already been done, but someone should do a scientific study to prove this.

My little brother, Mike came over and woke me up today. I hate it when people wake me up on the weekends. Some folks have no consideration for us individuals who make the world go round during off-peak hours. He wanted my webcam, which I gladly gave him because I wanted him to go away. Had he asked for $1000, I probably would have written out a check if it meant he would let me go back to bed. Ever been so tired you could fall asleep on the toilet? That was me.

He mentioned he had gone to see Peanut and her parents. Mike asked me what was going on with Mom. I wasn't certain what he was asking, then he mentioned that John and Kelli noticed a difference when we were at the hospital. Different hairstyle, different makeup. I shrugged and explained that Mom was going through a late mid-life crisis. She is getting hip to the internet with her fellow circle of online domino-playing buddies. She got her hair highlighted, she got a fun purse, she likes to go out for Happy Hour with the ladies from work. She will be going skydiving next. Everything sort of happened around her 51st birthday, and she decided she wasn't going to age quietly. I told Mike it wasn't anything to worry about...he would not be seeing his mother dancing at a peeler club anytime in the near future. He was relieved. No normal person would ever want to see their mother dancing in a peeler club. I saw her pole dance on a beach in Costa Maya while she was sauced on tequila (last year).

I still have nightmares.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Holy Shit!!!

I came home from work, got into my warm pajamas (it's chilly outside), and decided to check my email before going to bed. While I was on the computer, I heard it begin to rain. Then, I heard what sounded like little pebbles hitting the window. I looked outside to see little pea-sized hail. I snorted. Big and scary pea-sized hail.

Then hail stones the size of golf balls rained from the skies. I looked out a couple other windows and there was so much of it. The streets were covered in white as if it snowed. I moved away from the sliding glass door, in the event it was take out. I don't know what made me think of it, but I grabbed my camera and darted out into the hall...flannel pj's, black boots, big denim shirt. I'm sure I looked like the Crazy Cat Lady. The storm finally subsided, and people began coming out of their homes to inspect the damage. My car was not immune the wrath of hail damage. The wind deflectors on the driver side of the car were reduced to little shreds of plastic, dents all over the car, the blue detailing chipped off in spots. My insurance adjuster is going to have a field day. I'm sure my insurance agent looked out the window this morning died a little inside. He's going to be busy for the next couple of weeks.

Paul called in a panic. Did I make it home okay? (Further proof that he is secretly in love with me!) He was driving when the storm hit, so he just made a beeline for his parents house to hide in their basement. The windshield on his car is cracked, dents, etc, etc.

I called Mom and Jerry to tell them. Mom wanted me to go collect some big hailstones and put them in the freezer so she could see them when she got home. I did. I picked out he best hailstones possible. I'm glad another storm didn't pass over, otherwise I would have been clocked in the head.

This is just too much excitement for me. I'm going to go to bed. I'm never going to make fun of pea-sized hail again.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Auntie Heather

A new addition to the family was, well, added to the family Thursday morning as my brother and his wife unleashed the next wave of our DNA upon the world.

God help the rest of you.

After two weeks of "Yes, we will" or "No, we won't"...the docs finally scheduled a C-section for Thursday morning. When John and Kelli arrived at the hospital, the doc was almost going to cancel because he thought Kelli would be fine to go another week, to which Kelli told him that he was taking the baby out that morning, or suffer the wrath of my brother, who's nerves were stretched thin as it was.

Mom wanted to be there for the grand entrance, so she announced that she would be waking up at 5am. I told her that I would just go to the hospital later that morning. I was told that I would be going with her that morning.

So, for the second day in a row, I had to wake up before 9am...still no fire in sight. Mom said she overslept, so she flooded my bedroom with bright light at 5:45am. Showered, dressed, left. Stopped by Starbucks for an eye-opener, went on our merry way up north. We arrived the hospital where I immediately proceed to spill warm coffee all over my shirt. I was so pissed, I wanted to throw my cup across the parking lot. Mom reminded me that would be a waste of perfectly good Starbucks, and surely there was a law somewhere about that. Stewing, I went into the hospital with a coffee stained shirt.

We found the maternity section on the opposite end of the hospital, carting a shit ton of baby things like two pack mules. We stopped by the nursery where my brother was hovering over a warmer, and this small, wriggling red thing was inside. Johnny was crying. Mom got all teary. We stood there and took some pics, were directed to the room where Kelli would be staying and unloaded the baby stuff, then went to recovery where Kelli was hanging out post-op. Her brother's girlfriend was there, and she was an odd sort. Not to mention very, very large, and had a face that looked as though she had been beaten with a bag of hot quarters.

Why is it that girls like her have boyfriends, and the best I can do is go on outings?

The nurses cleaned Daylynne, and brought her out. Small little thing, she was. Like trained circus seals, everyone pulled out there cameras and just started snapping away. I noticed later that in most every picture where her hand is visible, she appears to be flipping off the camera.

Yup, definitely a part of our clan.

We spent a better part of the day passing the baby around, cooing at it. She was in her unreactive phase, so she just slept through everything.

Kelli's nurse was a guy, and he was awesome. There was another nurse who was helping him out while he was in a delivery next door. She sucked. Her name was Doris, but I called her Pug. She looked like one, and she was a rude, hateful bitch. As she was leaving the room, Johnny asked me if I was her equal, in terms of nursing. I loudly replied, "Yes I am". Pug turned and glared at me before she left the room. Whatever. Someone that hateful has no place working on a Maternity floor.

On the way home, Mom and I gave Daylynne her own nickname as children in our family always get nicknames. Mine was Half-Pint. We decided her nickname would be Peanut...because was so tiny like a peanut. Now, in conversation, we refer to her as Peanut.

So, now I am an Auntie, and I am told it is almost as fun as being a Grandparent. I get to spoil the kid, then send them back home to Mom and Dad.

I can't wait until she is old enough to have a drum set.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Pansies With Wheels

Robins are supposed to be an indicator that spring is here. So, I was puzzled when I saw my first robin because it was laying in the middle of the street...dead. I don't know what that was an indicator of, other than it was a dead robin. With today's nice day, I figured it meant nothing and moved on, especially when I saw a cluster of live robins playing in a water hole.

I took Sam to his obedience class, and afterwards, I took him to Sheridans because they have free puppy cones, and Sam loves frozen custard.

While I was sitting in the drive through, I noticed a group of guys, maybe in their late teens, early twenties, riding around on those little pocket bikes. They were being really retarded about it, too. Darting in front of oncoming cars, popping wheelies in the parking lot. It reminded me of the one guy in my neighborhood that owns one, and whizzes up and down the street like he is Billy Badass. I can count on more than one hand how many times this guy almost met the business end of my PT Cruiser.

I know a lot of towns are now passing ordinances that ban these little bikes from travelling on public streets because they are so small, they pose a safey hazard to themselves and other cars. I have to wonder, though, if guys don't realize that they look like big pussies riding these things.

They almost look like they lack the testosterone to ride a real bike, so they pushed their 7 year old brother off his bike and stole it.

Is a grown man on a bike built for Vern Troyer supposed to make us, as women, swoon?? And suppose it does make us swoon, how in the hell are you going to take us anywhere? Where are we supposed to sit? On your head???

Or maybe you can have your Mother pick me up.

Or I can just come over and we can play video games in your basement..

Yet Another Reason I Like Working Nights

I've said it before, and I will say it again...parking sucks at my job, unless you work nights. That's pretty standard at most hospitals, I think. You are allowed to park in places normally off-limits to the day employees because of the safety factor.

There are those rare occasions that I find myself having to go in during the day for something or other. Today was such a day.

I'm on a craptastic committee, designed to earn some prestigious award that is supposed to make nurses feel better about their jobs. What little enthusiasm I had for being on this committee diminished when I discovered Nazi Nurse joined it as well.

So today, I get up early. Just to remind the general public: I don't get out of bed before 0900 unless my apartment is on fire. I shower, I get all cute and stuff because we are supposed to look somewhat professional when we go to committee meetings. I even leave early. I stop at Starbucks for my drink du jour, and I have an hour to spare. It only takes me 15-20 minutes to get to work. I'm going to actually be on time for a meeting!

I enter the garage. I can park there without retribution because I have a parking card. I realize immediately that it's not going to have a good outcome because the Asian lady in the car ahead of me blocks all other cars from entering the garage because she is debating whether she should park in the little spot with a big, red NO PARKING sign. She apparently notices the sign after 5 minutes because she goes onward. We creep into the garage at 2 miles an hour. Round the corner...and are immediately held up again because some shmuck is waiting for some old lady to get into her car, to back out, so they can take her spot.

I hate people who do that.

It happened at my last job. I would get choice parking because I worked nights, and in the morning, some asshole would follow me, in their car, as I walked to my truck. Then, they would sit there and wait for me to pull out. I would sit in my truck and wait for it to warm up before leaving. In the cold weather, it was warranted because I had Oprah, and like any old girl...and it would take a while to get warmed up. Because I am also an asshole, sometimes I would sit there even when the truck didn't need that much warming up because it's downright creepy to follow someone in your car. One snowy day, a man annoyingly knocked on my window and asked me to move my truck so he could park there. I suddenly remembered that I forgot something, so I got out of my truck and walked back into the hospital and had breakfast.

Anyway, today I spent 40 minutes trapped in the parking garage, no spots to be had. I ultimately ended up behind a teal-colored car with it's rear window secured in place by duct tape. Disgusted, I gave up and made it out of the garage, drove around the hospital campus for an additional 20 minutes before saying "screw it" and just going home. Wasted almost a quarter of a tank of gas that I paid $2.29 per gallon for.


However, I was not going to waste the time I spent making myself cute and professional-looking just to go home and blog, so I stopped at a Quick Lube and got the oil changed on my car first.

I was the nicest looking one at that garage. I think I even smelled better, too.

Oprah's Return to Power

Some of you may remember my big truck, Oprah. Some of you may remember that after futile attempts to sell the damn thing, I just gave it to my little brother. Shortly after he got it insured, titled, licensed and all that junk that goes with making a vehicle legal for use, the engine gave it's last hurrah between Kansas City and St. Joe at some podunk truck stop...with a sputtering fanfare of black smoke and burning oil smell.

Good thing I didn't sell it, because the buyer would have been torching my house.

Mike, being the resourceful, mechanically-inclined of us siblings made a couple calls to his network, secured a new engine for a fraction of the cost it would have been to just go out and buy one. With the help of 'Bert, they dropped the new engine into the old girl, giving her a new lease on life.

Mike brought the truck over yesterday and let me drive it. I must say, it runs better than it ever did when I owned it. I took it out on the highway and cruised with ease at 85 mph. Mike has done some body modifications with it...tinted windows, high-end stereo system, beefy exhaust...making it a pretty badass truck. I'm terribly proud of him. Mom says I done good by giving it to him.

But I did tell him that should anything happen, I want my truck back.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Nurse Follies: Soap is Our Friend

Unbeknownst to myself and my coworkers, my hospital is apparently running a special for those prospective patients with very bad hygiene.

Bad Hygiene Week: Act Now and Get a Free Bar of Dial Soap!

This weekend has been one of those weekends, last night especially, where you just come home, strip down to your birthday suit once you get inside, and make a mad sprint to the shower. It was that disgusting.

At the beginning of the shift, I thought that maybe I could stop by the store on my way home and pick up some stuff so I can make a fabulous dinner. By morning, the idea of me even standing in a produce section didn't sound like a well-thought out plan. I could inadvertantly expose the Northland to some bacteria that hitched a ride on my scrub jacket. Some bacteria that hasn't even been identified by modern science. No one wants to be responsible for spreading Captain Tripps, causing the extinction of every man, woman and child in Kansas City, so I just came straight home.

We will be going out tonight for dinner.

It never fails to amaze me how gross people can be. Last night, one of my patients chucked his urinal onto the floor...after he had filled it. Piss was everywhere! I stood there in the doorway, surveying the damage, making a mental note to clean my shoes after I left the room.

Me: Why did you do that?
Gross Patient #1: I was finished with it.
Me: You could have called.
Gross Patient #1: (shrugging his shoulders) I want a cup of coffee.

At least I wasn't alone, all the other nurses had their lion's share of nastiness to behold. Just a few doors down from Piss Thrower, was the Grunter. He would perch himself on a commode at least 2-3 times an hour, grunting and straining so hard, you could hear him down the hall. I was certain he was going to blow out his O-ring before the night was through. What made this more noteworthy was that he would call friends and family, while he was sitting on his throne.

Gross Patient #2: Yeah, I was going to go uuuunnnngggghhhhhh and visit him, but I had to come here aaaarrrrrggggghhhhh instead.

Meanwhile, Gross Patient #3 is bored and has resorted to picking his boogers and flicking them across the room. Thankfully, I didn't have to go into his room for anything.

They come in with their horrible smell, and no matter how many baths they get, no matter how much soap, shaving cream, toothpaste, deodorant, powder and anything else we can get our hands on, the person will still stink to high heaven after we are finished. It's almost like someone took a big crap in their mouth and forgot to flush.

After nights like this, though, I am eternally grateful I don't work in OB. Women with bad hygiene often translate into lethal smelling girly parts that would send even the most seasoned nurse into early retirement.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

My Parking Rant

My place of employment utilizes parking garages, but still parking sucks...which is one of the reasons I work nights...better parking. Our garages are one-way only, but without fail, I will get to work and inevitably come headlight to headlight with a car who made a wrong turn, and was now going the wrong way in the parking garage. Predictably, the retarded driver of the offending car will glare at me like I did something wrong. Almost as if it is my fault they are too stupid to know what a One-Way sign means.

Apparently, lots of folks missed Know Your Sign Day at Driver's Education Class.

I didn't really understand the magnitude of this growing epidemic until I had my big knee surgery three years ago. Because I was on non-weight bearing status for three solid months, my doctor was kind enough to give me one of those temp tags you hang on your rearview mirror so you can park in what I am have termed, The Gimpy Spot.

The first conclusion I came to right off the bat was there are simply not enough handicapped parking spaces in the world. The second conclusion I came to was while I was at Wally World, gorked on pain killers and riding one of those little scooter things with a basket: they give out too many handicapped placards. That day, I was chased down by a man who wanted my scooter for his 300+ pound Mama, who was sitting in the car in a Gimpy Spot, waiting for a scooter, because she was too big (i.e. lazy) to walk.

On a side note, wouldn't it make more sense to not give the generously proportioned population handicap cards so they are forced to park farther away from the store and have to walk?? But I digress...

On the cards, at the bottom is says to not drive while the card is hanging on the mirror. It obstructs your vision. Now, when you go out, take notice of how many people are illiterate because they have those cards dangling from their mirrors as they speed down the interstate.

Maybe their handicap is they can't read.

Don't get me wrong, there are genuine conditions the warrant the need for the cards, and those who need them should take full advantage of them. In my professional opinion...having an enormously large ass that is a direct result of too many Biggie fries is not a qualifying condition.

What really pissed me off during my 3 months on crutches, is the number of people who had no such handicap card, and parked in Gimpy Parking anyway. I just wanted to hop over to them and beat them with my crutch and give them a reason to be handicapped. Stupid, inconsiderate people.

What I really don't get, are those parking spots next to Gimpy Parking that is reserved for Expectant Mothers Only. If I parked in one of those spots, how would anyone know if I was pregnant or not? Would the manager come out and demand a urine test?? A recent sonogram?? I love it when I see men park there. Do you know how many times I've wanted to ask them when their due date is?? To congratulate them on their pending arrival? Incidentally, the guys who park in these spots don't have Gimpy Cards either.

So ends my parking of my peeves about driving.

Friday, March 03, 2006

I Did It!

I've been stewing about this all day, but I decided to go ahead and do it.

I bought tickets to see Tim and Faith. Woo-hoo!

Sure, I bought the cheapest tickets ($45 a pop), and sure, I will probably be in the nosebleed section of Kemper Arena...but I still get to see them.

Tickets officially go on sale tomorrow, but I was able to get in on a promotion where I could buy them online a day early. I bought two, but have no idea who I am going to take.

I could make it a contest, like on Malcolm in the Middle...

Who Loves Heather More. The winner can get the other ticket.

Something to think about...

Up in Smoke

I just received word that my hospital will be going to a smoke-free work environment this fall. This on the heels of another inner-city hospital making a similar announcement. No one, not family members, not employees, would be allowed to smoke on hospital property. Employees would either get ticketed or fired, I imagine family members would be ticketed.

I have worked for another hospital that started out smoke free. We had to sign some lame little contract promising we wouldn't. I don't smoke, so I really didn't care. It was interesting to see that over the course of many years, I would spot more and more people outside in common areas lighting up, and not a cop-for-hire in site to reprimand them. When I left, I think the smoke-free thing was just sort of cast a groupie the day after the concert.

Now that two of KC's largest hospitals have started this initiative, I think it only a matter of time before the other hospitals follow suit. It's not a brilliant marketing tool to lure potential patients..."Come to Bob's Community Hospital...You're One-Stop Lung Cancer Center". Their new slogan could be "Get It and Quit It...All In One Place".


I'm curious to see how some of my coworkers fall in line with this new policy, because they smoke like that area in JoCo did the other day. It would be dumb to quit a job just because you couldn't smoke on campus. I can just tell the ACLU is chomping at the bit for this one. They haven't made headlines in months, and they surely don't want us to forget they exist (like that is possible).

Like I said, I don't smoke, so I really don't give a crap about what other people do to their bodies. It's just job security for me. However, I do remember one incident where some lady was coming to visit a sick family member, and had to pass through a gauntlet of smokers at the front entrance. She had a massive asthma attack right there at the front door and had to be admitted. It was after that incident, the smokers were re-routed to the back of the hospital...out of site, out of mind.

It will only be a matter of time before ALL public places have a smoking ban.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Extortion: Kansas City Style

In about a month, Jackson county folks will be asked to vote for a tax increase that would fund the improvements to both Arrowhead and Royals stadiums, in addition to putting some pop-up picnic umbrella that would qualify as a rolling roof.

All in the name of seducing the Super Bowl to come to KC.

Because let's face it, the Royals won't be making it to another World Series anytime soon.

While hosting the Super Bowl sounds like a pretty stellar idea, I'm not too impressed with how they plan on paying for this expensive project to make the stadiums all shiny and new. Everyone knows Jackson county is among the poorest in the area. Everyone also knows that the majority of people who hold season tickets are from Johnson County, Kansas. It might even be safe to say that more people from JoCo attend Chiefs games than any other county.

Somehow, expecting Jackson county to foot the entire bill for this is like me going on my cruise next year, and expecting my younger brother and his struggling family to pay for it.

Considering they charge, what, $25-$30 just to park there, not counting the tickets AND what they charge for hotdogs...I have a hard time believing the teams are having a hard time finding moeny to pay for their own umbrella.

Today, The Star ran some story about it...which boiled down to an ultimatum by both the Chiefs and Royals camps. "Pass the measure, or we are going to move elsewhere."

A scare tactic to be certain. I think it's bullshit, and I love the Chiefs. Royals games are fun, but my love for baseball has yet to be discovered since the strike. Attending a T-Bones game is much more enjoyable...and cheaper.

I remember in nursing school being taught that when someone makes a demand, "Love me or I will set myself on fire..." you should tell them to go ahead and light the match.

If they do set themselves on fire, the least you can do is call the fire department...but I digress.

So, I wonder if KC will call their bluff. Maybe the Chiefs will move, maybe Johnson County can build them a new stadium and they can move there, where the residents are more than willing to spend $10 for a bag of peanuts. It's widely known the county has more dollars than sense anyway...

Or just pass a bi-state tax...but there would be too much bitching involved. Most of if would come from south of the Dot.