Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Ray Nagin Dumbass Award* Goes to...

John Kerry.

I'm not going to delve into my feelings on the matter of what I think of the Iraqi war and Bush and the politics therein. However, what John Kerry said about our military is just plain bad. He's been trying to spin his remarks since then, and failing miserably. Nothing he can say can change the fact that he is now the country's biggest douchebag.

"You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

Does he mean to say that all the men and women who are over in Iraq right now are stupid? That would rather be lazy dumbasses than be smart? That those who have died had lofty goals of asking, "Do you want fries with that?" after their tour in Iraq?? Does he think that those who are in Iraq right now sit around and think they can't do any better in life??

Not everyone was born with a silver spoon up their ass. Not everyone gets to go to an Ivy League college, paid for by a wealthy aunt. Not everyone got to spend their summers in France. Not everyone got to marry the Queen of Ketchup.

(Did you know his family made their fortune in opium? Me neither.)

I know this may be a foreign concept to John Kerry, but a lot of people enter into the military so they have the means to go to college. There is no shame in being in the military. Being in the military does not translate into "failure in life".

John Kerry...you are an asshole, so I am bestowing the Ray Nagin Dumbass Award upon you.

If only stupid people go to Iraq, I would think that you had your air booked months ago.

(*The Ray Nagin Dumbass Award is an award given to those in the public eye who do or say stupid things that indicate their IQ is that of a sponge.)

Happy Halloween!

Yes, I did buy the new Meatloaf cd. It is quite good.

I'm not doing anything special for Halloween. Children don't frequent apartments for their trick or treating adventures. Instead, they go off to nice subdivisions. Did anyone else notice that the more upscale the neighborhood, the bigger tightasses they are about handing out candy? It seems that you get the best booty in the middle class neighborhoods...but I digress. I'm just thinking about all the Halloween fun I can have next year in my own house.

No...tonight's agenda: laundry and more packing. I suppose there is a degree of fright to dirty laundry, particularly when it comes to my scrubs as I never know what unseen organism hitches a ride home on them after a night of KC's sickest. Next year will be different (provided I'm not working).

Remember how fun Halloween used to be when we were kids? We'd dress up and go to school. The first half of the day we'd half-ass our way through classes. The last half of the day was dedicated to the class party. Moms would show up with homemade cookies and cupcakes and punch (My mom always liked to make cupcakes with frosting, topped by a candy-corn pumpkin). We'd eat enough sugar to put an entire small town into a diabetic coma, we'd play various Halloween games. Then, school would let out and we'd hurry home to poke at some quick dinner of hot dogs before we'd drive our parents nuts with cries to begin Trick or Treating in. Our parents would take turns taking us out. We'd go to strangers' houses, we'd stay out until midnight. Ahhh...those were the days!!

Now...I can't imagine how Halloween can be fun for kids. Over-zealous soccer moms have ruined it for everyone. I was pretty mortified when Trish told me about the restrictions imposed on kids today when it comes to Halloween. Restrictions such as:

-All eats have to be pre-wrapped. No more homemade cookies or cupcakes.
-Punch must also be premade, buy the manufacturer. Nothing hand-mixed, not even Kool-aid.
-No painted faces or masks at school.
-Trick or treat only to people you know.
-Night ends at 10pm or earlier.

Now, I can understand the last two. I remember the Halloween scare of the 80's, when crazy assholes were hiding stuff in chocolate bars. The year that happened, the company that made Jolly Ranchers (before Hershey bought them out) said they would give 1lb of candy to each trick-or-treater because everyone was too afraid to go elsewhere. All we would have to do is go to their factory (in Colorado...where we lived at the time). Mom piled us three kids, plus 3 of the neighbor kids, into the van and drove out to Golden where we proceeded to wait in line for 3 hours. By the time we made it to the front, employees (dressed up as clowns), gave each kid a pound, plus two extra pounds to my Mom for waiting so long. The other mom that came along with her kids handed over two of her bags because she didn't want that much candy in her house. Seven pounds of Jolly Ranchers came into our house that night.

We had Jolly Rancher candy until about mid-March...which made us popular with the rest of the neighbor kids.

I used to wear those costumes that come with a blow-up hat in the form of a big spider, cat, or pumpkin. I don't think they even make them anymore. Anyone else remember?

And the stuff you'd get trick or treating! Ahh...popcorn balls, suckers with tissue wrapped around them to make them look like little ghosts, apples. Sometimes, we'd even score some homemade cookies. Gone are those days. Now, if a parent sees something not wrapped in your bag, it immediately goes into the garbage. I can't fault the parent for being cautious, but it makes me sad to see how cynical the world has become.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Only Meatloaf I Get Excited About

Halloween. Bat Out of Hell 3 comes out. I'm so excited.

And I won't even have to suffer heartburn for it.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Packing Update

We've seemed to have hit a lull in the packing. I've been busy doing other things, but I hope to resume next week. Packing still sucks. I have way too much crap.

I really need to stay away from Ebay.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Nurse Follies: Late for Work By Almost Two Hours

I just can't get a break sometimes.

Tonight, as I was leaving the apartment building, I noticed my tire was flatter than Boob Job's new rack (sorry, guys...it was a reduction). I called work to tell them I would be running late.

Then, I called my friend, Marge, and asked if she knew if her husband had an air tank. She wasn't sure, so she gave me his cell phone number to call him direct as he was downstairs. I did...and he did. Thankfully, he came over and inflated my tire. We noticed the sound of air leaking right away. I got in my car and made a beeline over to Tires Plus.

After waiting in line, the schmuck behind the counter told me that they wouldn't be able to fix my tired that night...even after I explained my dire situation. He told me to come back tomorrow morning, he wasn't even nice about it. Asshole.

From there, I drove clear to Gladstone to NTB. My last experience with them wasn't pleasant, but I was desperate. I went inside and explained my situation to the guy in charge. He told me that they could take the tire off the car and I could come back tomorrow and pick it up. Sounded good to me.

I sat in their little waiting room, watching Billy Ray Cyrus sing the National Anthem at the World Series. Who's brilliant idea was that???

The manager poked his head inside the waiting room to announce he was going to try to fix the flat right then. Cool.

Minutes later, the manager appeared and indicated that the problem didn't lie with the tire. It was the chrome wheel it was attached to. Apparently, chrome wheels are notorious for building up corrosion, and it caused the tire to be pushed away from the wheel, subsequently causing the air to escape (exciting, I know). He then told me he would try to smooth out the bumpy spots and see if that would help.

About 20 minutes later, he drove my car out of the garage, gave me my keys, and told me there was no charge.

NTB is now back in my good graces.

However, I may have to buy new wheels, and those are not exactly cheap.

Maybe this time I can get spinners. Fo shizzo!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

On Stem Cells

I saw the ad with Michael J. Fox on it. It was hard for me to watch, almost heartbreaking. I don't have a thing for Fox, but when you see someone who is seemingly young and healthy throughout your childhood, fall to such an illness at a young age, it's depressing.

I was livid when I heard about Limbaugh's remarks. What an asshole. You can't fake Parkinsons, and anyone with a half a brain could tell that Fox wasn't acting...which goes to show that Limbaugh lacks even a half a brain. I suspect that he might share a quarter of a brain with Ann Coulter. We should send these two with the Phelps family to Iraq for a holiday.

Now, there are commercials done by healthy celebrities (most of which I've never even heard of). If that doesn't seem hypocritical, I don't know what does. It's like the bigger, healthier bully picking on the weak, asthmatic kid in the playground.

Or a guy (not a doctor) spouting off on how women should manage their reproductive systems...even though he lacks a uterus of his own.

After careful thought, I think I have come up with a viable solution for everyone regarding the matter of the stem cell initiative. Go to the polls and mark for or against. When it passes, those who voted against it can be put on a list so they don't have to reap the benefits of the research. That way, their conscience can still remain clear. Sure, those who voted in favor may be cured of cancer, but those who voted against get to go to heaven while the rest of us sinners will win an express trip to the gates of hell.

Doctor: You have stage 4 cancer of the brain. It's terminal.
Patient: Oh no!
Doctor: However, I am happy to report that we have a cure for it.
Patient: That's great!
Doctor: (thumbing through chart) Oh dear...
Patient: What is it?
Doctor: You voted no on stem cell research, and I am afraid that you can't have this cure because that's how it was discovered. Wouldn't want you to seem like a hypocrite or anything.
Patient: But...

I don't see how anyone could be against finding cures for diseases. Maybe if they were afflicted with one, they might think differently.

So, if you don't want a cure for anything, that's fine...but don't deprive those who do. Somehow, I think that is someone were laying in a hospital bed and the difference between living and dying came down to a cure that was discovered by stem cell research, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who would decline it...even the ones who didn't want it in the first place.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I don't know why, but as of lately, I've been listening to music from my formative years. Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel. My latest blast from the past now hip again: Lionel Richie.

It has nothing to do with his daughter. Although, maybe with money from his new cd, he can afford take her out for a hamburger, extra cheese.

I download a lot of my music (I legally subscribe to such a service, thank you very much). I like the fact that I can listen to new music before I actually go out and buy the disc, that way, I know I'm not pissing away my money on something horrible. Take Metallica's St. Anger cd. I previewed the cd. It was so horrible that I considered sending James Hatfield a case of vodka so he could fall off the wagon and stop writing crappy music. That's how bad it was.

Thankfully, Lionel Richie's new disc is not St. Anger for the R&B crowd. It's quite good. It's just as good as his old stuff. The disc is buy-worthy.

I was telling Paul about it when he remarked he had seen the disc.

Paul: His daughter, Nicole, is on the cover.
Me: Really? I knew she was in one of his videos.
Paul: Yeah...she's on the spine.

Yes, he does come up with some knee-slappers from time to time.

Tomorrow, I have to get up at the butt-crack of dawn to go to an all-day (required) class on Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). Also known as What to Do During a Code Blue Besides Panic.

First day: lectures.

Second day: testing with simulations.

Real life situation: Heather's brain turns to oatmeal and she forgets everything she learned in days one and two. And she soils herself.

You try bringing someone back from the dead and see how well you manage!!

Adventures in Homebuying: Third Time's a Charm

Sort of at the last minute, I decided to go on another showing with my realtor. She said she had some other properties to show me in the Raytown/Independence area.

In what could very well be a record for me, I managed to get up on time. Showered, dressed, fluffed the hair, stopped by Starbucks for a beverage, made it to the agent's office with 10 minutes to spare. I think she was shocked.

House #1
Apparently, the seller had bought this house, totally remodeled it, then put it back on the market. I suppose you would call this "flipping". I must say, I was impressed with the improvements. Nice, quiet little neighborhood by a golf course. I don't play golf, but I have always considered learning. I could get a sun visor like the ones I see all those soccer mom's wearing when they are at the Hoity-Toity Golf Club of Kansas City.

This house immediately went to the top of my list.

Houses #2, 3, 4

All these were what I call "Grandma Homes". Lived in by old people since dinosaurs roamed the earth. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with the senior crowd. I'd rather live in a neighborhood of rocking seniors than a neighborhood of young families with screaming children. However, the houses were in need of some serious updating. There were quite a few things I saw that made me think of the 70's. At one point, I started humming the theme song from The Brady Bunch.

House #5
A corporate relocation, my agent says. I have no idea what this means. The house is pretty good. All the things I require in a home. A fun thing was the family room had that foam-type flooring you see at daycare centers and such. Block colors of red, yellow, blue. Apparently, this room was designed as a child's playroom. The primary colors might detract from me making it into an S&M den...but it would be a fun place to set up surround sound and a Playstation. There's only a few things I would have to do to make this house more Heather-friendly, but they are just cosmetic. It's been on the market for over 200 days...this could work to my advantage.

This house goes to the number two slot on my list.

House #6
The garage door was practically falling off the house. We didn't even go inside.

House #7
A tip for would-be sellers: clean the house before you let realtors show it. I don't think we made it past the kitchen before we decided to leave.

House #8
Another neighborhood for the AARP crowd. The seller was an older couple. The inside colors were awful (but a can of paint can fix that right up), but the house was obviously well-maintained. Big rooms, big yard with deck AND a recreation room of the best kind in the basement, complete with fireplace, a bar complete with a little sink and area for a small fridge, AND a hot tub on the patio. A boom-boom room to be certain. All that was missing was the stripper pole and the Scarface poster.

This house is in the top five.

So, among the three I liked today, plus the two I liked from last week, we have a solid list of 5 houses that could very well be my next dwelling. I'm just waiting on some more disclosures, then I will begin the whittling process. I will probably return to these houses again next week. If all goes well, I could close by the end of November, and move in beginning of December.

Moving in the cold is not going to be fun. However, I will reward anyone willing to help with hot pizza and your beverage of choice.

How I Spent My Weekend

On eggshells, of course.

This working short-staffed is for the birds. We're told that staffing runs in cycles...one month you have tons of nurses, the next month your opportunities for overtime are infinite because there's so many holes in the schedule. Here lately, it's been a nurse-drought. It doesn't help that the bosshole approved a leave for a nurse who wanted a boob job.

Honestly, couldn't something like this have waited until we were not running on less than a skeleton crew???

Boob Job (her new nickname as far as this blog goes), is supposed to return sometime this week. Before she left, all she could talk about were her boobs. Rest assured, that is all we are going to hear about when she returns.

I had the critical care side of the floor, which is only nice in the respect that you don't take any more than 3 patients, and you don't usually take any admits. Other than that, it sucks. The charting is horrible, and you never know when one of your patients gets bored and decides to shake things up by, oh say, not breathing. It tends to happen more than we would like.

Three nights of hell on earth, so by Sunday night, I was wound tight with a hair trigger. Needless to say, everyone gave me a wide berth.

Monday morning, I was looking forward to breakfast with a friend...but in grand and predictable fashion, the breakfast was cancelled due to questionable circumstances. I'm still annoyed and wonder why I put so much effort into certain things when other parties obviously:
A. take me for granted
B. take me for granted -or-
C. take me for granted

Furious, I drove home, took some benadryl, and went to bed. Sam took his usual position under my bed and proceeded to finish chewing on whatever item he found laying around. This week, it's a lint brush.

So, I slept from 9am to 5pm. Woke up, had some fish sticks and a baked potato. Watched half of Pride and Prejudice, then decided that I was tired and went back to bed at 7:30pm.

I woke up around 10:30pm. Took Sam outside, put him in his kennel for the night, finished watching Pride and Prejudice, went back to bed...didn't wake up until 8 this morning.

I'm still tired. A nap sounds good to me, but I have to study for a class I have tomorrow and Thursday.

Busy week for me!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Adventures in Homebuying: A Day With the Realtor, Part 2

Can you believe I actually managed to get up on time? I had time to take Sam to daycare, go home, get ready, call Paul and nag his ass out of bed (he was coming with me for experienced home-buyer input and moral support), then I had some time to spare to do...nothing.

The realtor met us because the houses we were to look at were all in the Northland. Settled in her posh Caddy, away we went.

House #1
I did a lot of looking on internet real estate sites. Some listings come with pictures, some do not. This one had a virtual tour, and from what I saw, was cute. I was particularly excited to see this one. A Cape Cod with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 car garage, and remodeled.

From the street, it looked charming.

Inside, it looked like hell. Everything needed replacing. The master bath, while boasting a jacuzzi tub, was so small that you had to suck in your gut to get between the bathroom sink and the toilet. Not such a good thing when your bladder is full and sucking in anything is a bad idea. And what if I have to barf? I'd have to do it in the tub because I wouldn't make it on time. I can projectile vomit with the best of them, but my aim isn't that good.

I was bitterly disappointed. The pictures on the internet made it look so good. It was like on those online dating sites...where the person you are talking to has a great picture, but when you meet in person, they look like they fell out of the ugly tree and smacked every branch all the way down. False advertising!!

The house was vetoed and we moved along.

House #2
This was actually a good house, in a good neighborhood. Clean and sparkly. Big yard. Pergo floors. Newer carpet (but in deep forest green). Paul obsessed because the neighbors had children's bikes littering the driveway. I didn't mind so much. Had there been a rusted transmission, rusty bathtub and old toilet with plants in the bowl, I might have been more bothered.

I liked this house, and I could very likely put a bid on it. I wonder if the deer head hanging on the wall came with the house...

House #3
Very cute from the driveway, I believe they call that curb appeal. It was at the end of a dead end street, so it was quiet. Inside, the house had settled...a lot. All the floors were sloped, the kitchen floor was so bad that I could buy a skateboard and use it as a half-pipe when I wasn't making macaroni and cheese. Nothing was level, and the house didn't appear to be the most stable. We feared for our lives and beat a hasty retreat.

House #4
I haven't seen a color like that since the 80's!! Inside, it was nice and big. An older couple lived there, I could tell. Some things needed updating, but minor things...like carpet and paint. The man of the house was an avid hunter...you could tell from all the guns hanging in the basement, or his man-den. He also owned enough hunting clothes to outfit the local chapter of the NRA. Either that, or he was his own one-man militia.

Two fireplaces, big rooms, big back yard with a big deck. I noticed a pulley on the living room ceiling. I don't know if I care to guess why it's there, and what exactly the couple used it for.

Also, another potential house for Heather. Pulley and all.

House #5
We're moving closer to the metro area now, and this house sits on a dead end street. It looked harmless from afar, then we got closer. What the hell was that all over the house???

Bugs! Hundreds of them!! Ack!! They were even inside, but those were dead. Doors and vent covers were missing, but we do know that Curtis used to live there. His name was written on one of the bedroom walls.

Everyone feels dirty when we get back into the car. Good thing the realtor carries hand sanitizer in her car. I bet she goes through buckets of the stuff.

Moving right along...

House #6
The listing said garage...but I don't exactly think a carport qualifies as a two-car garage. The seller went to the trouble of having a white fence built around the front yard. Apparently, they could only afford part of it. Why even bother?

No basement, and the layout sucked. The seller also went to the trouble of hiring a business that "stages" homes for sellers. While the staging was done well, the house still sucked. The realtor hated it more than anyone else. I asked her if she was ever embarrassed by some of the houses she shows. She replied, "All the time."

House #7
This had to be the most interesting experience ever on record for the agent, who had been selling houses for almost 30 years.

Again, this house has curb appeal. A quiet little cul-de-sac, and it's really close to Trish's house. Cool! We notice there is a big carport in the back, and apparently the sellers don't use the garage.

Well, not to park their cars in anyway.

We go to the door. The agent is is reading a note from the seller telling us that there are pets inside, and to please not let them out. The agent pulls the key out of the box, and I notice a smaller note higher up on the door.

Sellers are foster parents of the Parkville Animal Shelter. Uh-oh. You know where this is going, don't you?

Paul also sees the note. In preparation, he pulls out his inhaler (he's asthmatic) and gives it a couple good shakes.

Oh...what cute kitties. One...two...three...four! Four kitties in the living room! The sellers must be softies for stray cats.

While I admire the sellers, I'm not digging on the house. Where in the hell are all the kitchen cabinet doors??

Oh look, there's a fifth cat in one of the bedrooms. Cute!! Oddly enough, the house doesn't smell like cats. I'm impressed...but I still don't like the house.

Down to the family room we go...JESUS, MARY, AND JOSEPH!!! Are those dogs in the utility room and garage? They all start barking in unison. The realtor covers her ears and runs from the room. I stop to count the kennels. One...two...three...four...five...six...seventh one on the washer. All filled with barking dogs of varying shapes, sizes and colors. Oh, there's number eight. He's too big to be in a kennel.

This couple has more dogs than a Korean deli!!

The barking reaches decibels that make my ears start to bleed. I'm not allergic to animals, but my eyes start to water, and my nose starts running even though the place still doesn't smell like it's housing half the passengers of Noah's ark. Collectively, Paul and I run out of the house, the realtor is already at the door, holding it open.

Wow. That's all I can say.

House #8
This house is all the way up in Platte City. The realtor somewhat complains at how many miles she has driven today. Everything in the Northland is spread out, so we're used to driving. No big deal to me.

We arrive at the house. As long as you are looking just at this house, it has curb appeal. Look at the house across the street, and you wonder if maybe it should be condemned. Not a good sign.

We ring the bell and go in. The agent hollers up the stairs and some lady appears...very large and wearing a shirt five sizes too small, not to mention she had a serious case of camel toe. The lady is not the owner, but her sister is, and the seller is not home. The sister, self-appointed guardian of said home, doesn't let us look around. So, we leave...which is fine with us. I'm sure the sister was real pleased about that when she found out. Her house was in a crappy location. Good luck selling it!

Thus far, I've seen over a dozen homes...and only two I would consider buying. This is going to take longer than I thought.

Good thing I didn't pack away my underwear.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

More Packing and Manual Labor

The one weekend I am hunting for boxes at work, is the one weekend that I can't get any. So, I bought some more from my storage place. What's that sound? Oh...that's probably Paul screaming something unintelligible about buying boxes (I already got this lecture). Men! They don't like paying for parking either.

At any rate, I packed away a bunch of books, set aside a bunch of books I didn't want to keep anymore. Mostly paperback ones and a few hardback ones I've had for about 10 years. If I haven't read them by now, chances are pretty good that it's not going to happen.

What to do with the books I don't want? The last time I unloaded a batch of unwanted books was a White Elephant gift exchange at a branch Christmas party. Everyone wanted my box because it was so heavy and somehow, people equate heavy with good. When all the gifts were passed and swapped, I can still see the look on his face when he discovered what was inside the box. The look said it all, "You bitch. You gave me stupid books! I was hoping for a case of peanut M&M's!!!"

But I don't know of any White Elephant gift exchanges for this year. I guess I could take them to Goodwill. Or maybe someplace local that sells used books. I'd hate to throw them away. I absolutely hate throwing books away. It feels like I'm commiting a great and terrible sin.

And speaking of...I had enough books from church to fill a box all it's own. I have two copies of The Miracle of Forgiveness. I have a lot of Catholic friends, and most of them think that the Catholic church has cornered the market on guilt. If they had read this book, they would probably realize their church no longer holds the patent for it. A good book, but not considered "light reading".

I found an old quilt top I made out of jeans that I never finished. Packed it. I also packed all my photo albums. Next, I'm going to tackle the hall closet that threatens to dump all the contents on my head whenever I open the door. Everyone has a closet like this. Have something that doesn't have a place? It goes in that closet.

I'm also doing laundry today. Doing laundry in my house is practically an event. Have to sort, then I locate the soap. Load everything in the car. Drive across the complex to our little laundry hut. Load the clothes into the washers. Go home and wait 30 minutes (because I hate waiting in the laundry hut). Return to put the clothes in the dryer. Go home and wait an hour (usually I'm doing other things at home to be more productive). Return to the hut. Fold clothes. Come home and put them away before the cat gets to the basket first.

I will be elated beyond words once I have a washer and dryer of my very own.

Today, I also took the car to get a way overdue oil change (in between the wash and dry cycles). I got raped on the air filter. I'm certain I can get one for less than $24 at Wally World and put it in myself.

Overall, a productive day...and it's not even 7pm. I shall spend the remainder of the evening (after I put my clothes away and clean out the Catch-All Closet of Doom), I will have a hot bath, dinner and watch a Netflix movie.

Tomorrow morning, another adventure with the realtor begins.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Northland's New Crimefighting Heroes

Yesterday started out routine. Woke up, showered, got ready for work, stopped at Hen House for my pre-work pilgrimage to the Starbucks kiosk. I was standing at the counter, just about to place my order when I noticed a small band of deli workers, one EMT, and one of the Starbucks workers sort of milling around at the entrance looking somewhat anxious. All in all, I counted about seven.

"Get him!!" I hear a collective shout. I look to see a scrawny guy in a red jacket bolt out the door, and the herd of deli workers rush out after him, aprons billowing around their legs as they ran. Red jacket guy disappears from my line of sight, but leaving a cart of items behind.

The air is charged. Within minutes the first to appear is Starbucks lady, red-faced and panting.

"Did you take him down?" I asked, not hiding the amusement on my face. She nodded. She then explains that the scrawny guy routinely comes to the store, loads up a shopping cart, and walks out. This time, they recognized him. This time, they were ready. The vigilante deli mob caught up with said thief and tackled him right next to the mums. To make things worse for the guy, his mode of transportation that day was a stolen vehicle.

Sucks to be him.

Deli workers return to the store, leaving behind a few comrades to watch over the criminal until back-up arrives in the form of KC's finest. They congratulate each other on their good work in apprehending a very dangerous fugitive. The adrenaline is pumping!

I order a raspberry iced tea.

As I was walking out, I see the guy, laying facedown next to a pile of pumpkins. EMT and two burly-looking guys in green aprons are standing watch. People are standing around, waiting for the next exciting thing (i.e. police cars with lights and sirens) to happen. A little elderly man eating a chicken leg and biscuit is sitting inside his mammoth SUV, parked next to my car. With a mouth full of food, he starts blathering about...well...hell. I don't know what he was blathering about, but I think I caught the word deli in between the unintelligible sounds his was creating. I paused to make sure he wasn't choking.

So, here's to those brave souls who risk life and limb to protect Hen House. Surely, your good deeds will not go unrewarded.

A $25 gift certificate sounds about right.

Update: I got the scoop from the Starbucks worker Sunday night before I came in. She reported that this guy had a little scam going. He would find discarded receipts, come into the store with empty shopping bags. Collect the food, stuff them in bags when no one was looking, and walk out the door like he bought the stuff, only to return a short while later and get a refund on all the stuff he didn't buy. Initially, I wasn't too critical because I figured the guy was stealing food because he was hungry. However, that doesn't appear to be the case. He'd done this many times (he was even caught on camera), and Saturday night was the first time they were ever able to catch him. Incidentally, the employees who assisted in the catch only got a $5 store coupon.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Packing Sucks and Other Complaints

Today, I bought four medium-sized moving boxes from the storage place by my house. I figured with all the homebuying junk, I should at least get a jump on the packing of the crap. If there is one thing worse than packing crap, it's packing crap at the last minute.

I have come to the conclusion that I have way too much crap.

One whole box...candles only. Who owns that many candles?? (Waves hand in the air.)

I do!!

One box dedicated for all the fabric I bought to make cute scrubs but never got around to making cute scrubs. Now, I hear we're going to assigned uniforms after the first of the year. That figures. Maybe I will just crank out a bunch of scrub tops and sell them at my first ever garage sale.

One box packed holding all kind of knick-knacks from the living room, plus all the wall pictures small enough to fit in the box. My living room is starting to look naked. You know you're making progress when there's an echo in the apartment.

My last box, dedicated to the myriad of crap in my bathrooms...irons, soaps, gels, puffs. I tossed a lot of stuff away. I'll probably toss more once I get to my new environment.

I packed a lot of books away earlier this year. So what do I do? Go out and buy more books. I'm going to need a separate room just to house my books. Sad part...there's still more books out there for me to buy. If I find an author I like, it's not unusual for me to buy everything they've ever written. Good thing I'm not a Danielle Steele fan.

And I finally found a good use for all the editions of the KC Star that I never read because the paper is complete and total garbage. They make for great packing material.

Four boxes packed...many more to come. I'll get some more boxes from work because there's a ton, and they are free. Boxes that housed many interesting things such as foley catheter kits, isolation gowns, and rectal tubes.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Adventures in Homebuying: My Day With the Realtor

I know you guys are all DYING to know how this went.

To be honest, I was somewhat excited to go, even though images of Mama's Family kept popping into my head. I mean, I was going to Raytown after all.

I had it all planned...I was going to wake up early, leisurely get ready, stop at Starbucks before meeting. But noooo...for whatever reason, the alarm didn't go off, and I rolled out of bed 30 minutes before I was to meet the realtor. So, I threw on some clothes, pulled my hair back, and drove to Raytown like my ass was on fire. Luckily, traffic was cooperating. I had phoned the agent to let her know I was running behind.

The realtor was perfectly well-groomed and put together. Her shiny, rhinestone-y belt buckle matched her bracelet, which matched her earrings, and her little matching green corduroy jumpsuit with little black boots. Meanwhile, I look like a bag of chewed up assholes. Schlepped in jeans, a black shirt, and sandals. Yes, I look the part of a professional and serious homebuyer.

The realtor drives (a rather posh caddy) us, and takes me to Lee's Summit. To be honest, if she had left me there, I wouldn't even know how to get home.

The first house she took me to was a ranch home. It was nice, relatively new, on a HUGE lot. Heather would get lots and lots of exercise mowing the grass because it was almost a full acre. Plenty of room for Sam to run free. However...no basement. In the event of a tornado, I would just simply put my head between my knees and kiss my ass good-bye.

Other than that, I liked the house.

The second house was rather scary, and smelly. The realtor told me it had been built in the 70's, and I am inclined to believe that everything in that house was original...the carpet, the appliances (Harvest Gold!), the wood paneling (I loathe and despise wood paneling). I made a face, and we moved on to the next house which was one block over.

A much nicer house, with lots of updates. Pergo floors everywhere, berber carpet in the bedrooms. A note on the door said to not go in the backyard. When I looked out the patio door, a dog roughly the size of an elephant smiled at me. He looked hungry.

The 4th house was a disaster. Everything needed replacing, it was overpriced by 10K. I didn't even want to see the whole thing. It was that bad.

The 5th house was nice, but small. The bathroom was so tiny, I could sit on the toilet, take a shower, and brush my teeth all at the same time.

The 6th house was also nice, but also small. There was only one number on the house. I mean, it was actually the number 1. I've never seen a house with the address of 1.

For the last house, the realtor took me to a house that was 25K more than I could afford. Naturally, I liked it better than the others.

Afterward, we went to her office where she printed off sheets and sheets of houses listed, told me to go home and see which ones I wanted to look at. She printed off stuff from Brookside, Raytown, Independence and the Northland. Next week, she said, we could go out for round two.

All this looking in other people's houses has been a tiring experience. I need a nap.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Chili Season Has Officially Begun!

I've been collecting items all week for a pot of chili. I was going to make it last week, but temps were in the 90's, and it just didn't seem right. It was so unAmerican.

But today, however, felt like a fall day should. And out came the big stockpot!

I made enough chili to last a few days, with extra to freeze so I can have it during one of those times where I don't feel like cooking.

Remember at school, it was always the same day each week (in the colder months), they served chili or vegetable soup...and it usually came with a giant cinnamon roll? Ahhh...those were the days. I didn't make any cinnamon rolls, but that sure sounds good right now. HiVee is open 24 hours, right?

Earlier today, I went out and about, retrieving old W-2 forms for the home lender. I packed my forms away and can't remember where I put them. Oh well. The drive was nice, and I took Sam along because he was going apeshit at home. Part of my travels took me to Shawnee Mission, where I used to work at the hospital there in my formative nursing years. They are doing a buttload of construction on a new addition. I remembered how much I liked working there, and how I miss the place. Who knows, maybe I will get a prn job there during the week. It was a good place to work, but they couldn't afford me full time on my current salary. It appears that Heather is painted herself into a corner on that one.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

For Your Information

Certain speculation is present as to why I'm having a back/neck issue right now.

And it has nothing to do with my boob size.

Some women can't handle generous endowments. Some can. I fall in the latter category.

Thanks for your concern, though.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Nurse Follies: Why I don't like my Bosshole.

I'm sitting here, in immense pain and discomfort, waiting for the pain meds to kick in. Thank God I had some Vicodin in the medicine cabinet.

It all started out so simply. I did my laundry, I puttered, I napped, I got ready for work in much the same manner that I always do. I was sitting on the chair when I sneezed, and I felt something "give" in my lower cervical spine, and was immediately followed by shooting pains down both my arms. Not a good thing.

Because it was 5pm, it was far too late to call in. I figured it was just one of those little tweaks that would work itself out with some stretches and Ibuprofen. So, I go to work.

Traffic was a disaster as everyone was going to the American Royal, to see the BBQ and not sample any of it. I finally made it to work, my neck stiff, unable to turn my head, and those pains still in my arms. Others sensed my hostility, then became alarmed when they saw my hands shaking when I tried to hold a pen. Day shift coordinator calls the nursing supervisor, and the Bosshole. Night staffing is horrid, and there is literally no one on the floor that night that can do my work because no one there is Progressive Care nurse. I also hear that staffing housewide is horrible as some nurses just didn't even bother showing up for work. Why these people still have jobs, I have no clue.

I tell them I will try to stick it out. Take one for the team. A couple good souls helped with med passes and such before leaving for the day. Imagine my surprise when the Bosshole walked in the door. In scrubs! Could it be that he was actually going to take my patients so I could go home!?!

I should have known it was too good to be true. As I was sitting at the desk, staring straight ahead, he approached.

Bosshole: Is there anything I can get for you?
Me: How about a cervical collar?
Bosshole: How about some pizza for dinner?
Me: (blank stare)
Bosshole: What kind of pizza do you want?
Me: I. Don't. Care.
Bosshole: What's the number for Pizza Hut?
Me: (Giving the Glare of Death)

Bosshole disappears because ordering two medium pizzas is hard work. Meanwhile, the pain in my head and neck is so intense, I feel like I'm going to pass out. After the pizza arrives and everyone has advanced upon it like white on rice, Bosshole approaches again. I tell him that I have decided that there is no way I can "do this" for 12 hours, and I need to go away. He tells me he's going to call the house supervisor and see about them sending a float nurse.

Bosshole: I spoke with the supervisor, and they are calling around. We are the top of the list for a float nurse.
Me: That doesn't help me at all. My head is going to fall off my neck at any given minute.
Bosshole: Well, I'm going to go home and get some sleep. Hope everyone has a good night.

After he left, I used every word in the vocabulary of naughty words that you would never say in front of your parents, plus a dozen that I made up. I went from Hostile Stage to Critical Mass. One of the male techs offered to run around the hall naked if it would make me feel better. I told him not to bother...it would hurt too much to laugh.

For the next 6 hours, I worked. My coworkers were good about helping me out. The charge nurse was beside herself because no one had called about this float situation. She paged the supervisor who claimed to have no knowledge of the injured nurse on our floor, and that she would find an ICU nurse to replace me right away.

I finally got out at 3am. I suppose if I pushed harder, I could have made it to 7am...but my body was tired from having to hold my head up. I drove home without causing any accidents.

So, I will try to call my doctor this weekend, or go some Urgent Care clinic or something. Right now, I feel the meds kicking in, and I'm starting to see two of everything.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Personal Reflection Sucks

They posted the holiday sign-up schedule at work. All full-time employees have to work 3 of the 6 holidays: Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, New Years Day.

In light of my family situation, I think I may work all of them. Whenever I think about how fractured my family has become, I feel immense sadness. Mom going off and reliving her teenage years. John has his own family and our contact with him is little. Mike has pulled away from everyone and is keeping to himself.

Oh, what's left of my clan, we love each other, but we've become too far apart...like ships traveling to other lands, with other purposes. I can't help but feel some resentment. What if things had played out differently? What if my family members we not so damn selfish? Me! Me! Me!

I spoke with my mother the other day, who mentioned she wasn't going to do anything this Christmas because, "it's just another day." Sometimes, I feel like she says these things to make me feel guilty. Like I am to blame because we are not close anymore. This guilt trip, however, didn't work. Guilt trips seldom do.

"Yup," I said. "Just another day...which is why I will probably be working." She grew quiet. I don't think that was the answer she was expecting.

It seems that all my life I have tried to keep my family together. I remember once, when I was 16, my father tossed my belongings (in bags) out on the front lawn because I went to a school function with my cousin. He saw it as fraternizing with the enemy (my mother's family). The neighbors across the street called Family Services, reporting that he had kicked his daughter out of the house and onto the street.

Surprise, surprise! A social worker with a police officer comes to our door days later. Thank God I had the foresight to actually have the house cleaned. Thank God my father was off on a drunken toot and wasn't home. I told them he was at work.

She and the officer walked around the house, taking notes on her little notepad. We didn't live in a nice house. The dining room floor sloped where the house (over 100 years old) had settled. Holes in the plaster walls. A leaky kitchen ceiling where it sagged, threatening to cave in. The social worker took note of all of it.

She wanted to know about "the incident". I shrugged and played it off like it was no big deal, like it happened often and things had blown over, that the threat was idle. Inside, my heart was racing. What if they took me and my brothers away? What if they separated us into foster homes? I had to do everything in my power to prevent this from happening! Who else would stand up for us if I didn't?

I offered to make the social worker and the police officer some coffee. They declined, but the social worker noted it: "Offered to make coffee". Of all the things she wrote, this is the only thing I remember.

My brothers and I were not taken to foster homes that day. If I had admitted that my father was off somewhere, had no idea where he was, and that he would routinely be gone for 3-4 days, I'm sure things would have played out differently.

All things considering, I think we turned out okay. Any one of us could have easily gone a different, easier, and more disasterous route in life. I'd like to think that our experiences toughened us up, made us stronger, made us want more out of life than what our parents had. The one flaw in both my brothers is that they are not assertive. I realize that they never had to stand up for themselves because I always did it for them. Once, a "friend" of the family, who probably outweighed me by a good 250lbs, grabbed Johnny when he said some smartass remark (he apparently thought he was going to reprimand him). Before I even knew it, I was in the guy's face, screaming at him that if he ever touched my brother again, I'd kill him with my bare hands. I'm sure that was a sight...little 17 year old me in my drill team outfit, standing toe to toe with a fat guy who looked like he rode for the Hell's Angels.

Why I'm still standing here, I have no idea.

I've decided that I am done being the glue that holds the family together. Let it be someone else's job. After 16+ years, I'm officially retiring the position of "Family Savior and Martyr".

Mom has said she wishes I wasn't such a hard person. I've had thick skin since before I even had a drivers' license. I don't know how to be anything but, and maybe that's why none of my relationships ever work out. Some guys fear me. One guy I used to date told me that "I wasn't the kind of girl he could take to the Temple" which pretty much is the reason I stopped dating Mormon boys.

I'm a hardass because I was raised to be one. It's going to take someone with pretty big balls to be able to stand up to me, as well as beside me.

Paul once asked me why I was so hard on people. The words were out of my mouth before I even had a chance to think about the question.

"Because I want people to be better." He marveled at my answer. To be honest, so did I.

Such a simple thing: Just be better. Be better so I don't have to be such an asshole all the time.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Adventures in Homebuying: The Realtor

Because I'm enrolled in some special thingie from a specific real estate company (that will pay a couple grand at closing), one of the requirements was for me to use an agent from their company. Today, the woman from the program gave my number to a local realtor, who called me this morning after I overslept and missed breakfast with Paul (who was reduced to a sausage biscuit at Burger King due to my oversight...oops!).

Rosie the Realtor calls and we discuss what I want in a house. My needs are simple: quiet neighborhood, no shootings, with a yard. More than one bathroom and two-car garage a plus.

"I know exactly where to take you," she chirps brightly. "Raytown!"

What. The. Hell.

Apparently, she deals heavily in the Eastern Jackson county area. She blathers on about the buttload of houses for sale (I can't imagine why). Two car garage? Not likely. Extra bathroom? Only if I am lucky. I made a few jokes, she didn't laugh...which leads me to think she has no sense of humor. Selling houses is serious business here!! Of all the realtors in the land, I get the one with no personality.

I have a very, very bad feeling about this.

But being the nice person I am, I went ahead to set up and appointment to see her as to not hurt her feelings. It's not like I had anything else going on that day. Maybe by seeing other houses, I can get a more concrete idea of what I want.

I can tell she's going to peg me as one of those "difficult buyers".

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Church of Assholes

There are plenty of things out there that annoy me, and only a few things that really piss me off.

Take Fred Phelps, for example, and his entire inbred church. I read a story today that they actually planned on picketing the funeral of those little Amish girls that were shot while they were at school. Just like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, the Westboro Baptist Church can tie anything to homosexuality, including my crock pot.

Now, the story is that some show is going to give them an hour of air time in exchange for not picketing the funeral. Way to go, assholes, you just gave those sick bastards what they wanted...media attention.

Would it be too much to hope Al Qaeda bombs his church...while everyone is still inside? Would it help if we told them they had a big secret missile silo under the building that President Bush stayed at on the weekends playing poker with Rummy and Dick?? Tell them we will pull our troops out of Iraq if they do so.

Just when I thought I couldn't loathe and detest his group even more, he outdoes himself.

Someone needs to serve them a warm glass of shut the hell up.

Halloween Dreams

Halloween is this month! I love Halloween, even though I don't usually do anything to observe it.

However, once I get into my house, I plan on hosting one of these dinners for Halloween. Becky...you're going to have to fly to KC for it. Hell...everyone is going to have to fly in for this one considering most all my close friends have moved away.

It's going to be awesome!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Adventures in Homebuying: The Search Begins

So, I'm climbing back into the homebuyers saddle...or bike...or whatever.

With that in mind, as well as how much I plan on spending, I am able to hone in my search. Online real estate search engines are a wonderful thing. I've looked at a lot of places without ever changing out of my pajamas (sometimes, I do it in my bathrobe). When I am able to meet with a realtor, I can show my list of favorites...and they can not bother me with the house that has the lime green kitchen with pink cabinets.

I know I want a place with a yard, possibly 3 bedroom, and a garage. What stumps me is where to move. Sure, I like the Northland, but I don't want to limit myself. I know there are lots of good areas in KC. However, I also know there are also bad areas. If at all possible, I would like to avoid living in Meth City, a Shooting Range for Thugsters, or a trailer park.

That being said, I am enlisting the help of my friends and avid blog fans. Where's a good place? Lee's Summit? Grandview? Belton? Gladstone? Liberty?

What places should I avoid??


Four Months 'Til (Jimmy) Buffet Time!

Four months from now, I'm going to be boarding a plane and going to where snow can't touch me. The only ice to be found will be what's floating in my glass. Hee!!

So, I also have 4 months to get into somewhat better shape than I am now. Four flights of stairs, and I am winded to the point, my coworkers fear they will have to cart me back down to the ER for a emergency intubation. But hey, at least I'm taking the stairs and not the elevator!

My friend, T, ordered the Core Secrets thing from some late-night infomercial about 2 months ago. I'm usually not seduced by the infomercials, but after seeing her after she'd been using the program daily for 6 weeks, I must confess...her ass and stomach had shrunk. No special dieting...just her and a big, silver ball.

That's a good product endorsement for me!

So, I ordered one of my own. I got it today in the mail. Airing the damn ball up was workout enough. However, I can't deflate and re-inflate the ball everyday, so I will review the enclosed dvd tonight, and start my workout first thing tomorrow.

T is excited. Now, she says I can bring my ball over to her house and we can work out together. Two women sweating with big, silver balls.

Insert joke here.

The Mold and the Beautiful

I went to the management office today to drop off my rent check (yeah, I know, I should have demanded a reduction for the hassle) and mentioned something to the lady (whatever the hell her job was) about my bathroom.

What I said (roughly): It's black mold...and you sprayed it with bleach water...bleach water doesn't kill black mold...and just because it's dry, doesn't mean it's dead, it's dormant and now it's airborne.

What she heard: Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

I may as well have talked to their coffee pot.

Later, some sweaty guy showed up with a can of Kilz and sprayed the piss out of the wood...so much that I am now seeing little dancing leprechauns. So is the dog.

On a side note, crabby home lender lady called and said that after reviewing my file, they are confident they can give me a home loan after all (without extra credit cards). I also ran an application online to one of those loan search engines (Lending Tree), and immediately 100 people called the house.

So, there is hope yet.

Rob from the Rich and Give to the Poor

Not only did they have the audacity to try to rob the speedway, they also shot a cop in the process. The future doesn't look too promising for these guys.

Not to mention that they are giving monks everywhere a bad name.