Tuesday, July 31, 2007

And Now For Something Funny

I found this link from the Sader family website. It contains a lot of spoilers for the last book, so read it only if you've finished the book. Or read it if you have no plans to read the book. By far, the funniest thing I have read.

Just make sure you are not drinking anything when you do.

Life in the Trailer Park

Paul (ND!) came over for breakfast...but arrived closer to lunch time in a Dodge Caliber that he is renting while his car is in the shop. The Caliber was an odd car to be in, little windows and it smelled like old french fries. I'm glad he got it, though. Now, I won't even bother looking at them when I go to buy another car.

We went to the Big Biscuit, which I've heard good things about. Paul had lunch, I had breakfast anyway. It was all good. A family was eating at the table next to us, one of which being a little girl of about three. Mom would put little chunks of scrambled eggs on her little plate, telling her to eat slow with small bites. The girl responds by scooping up everything off her plate and cramming it in her mouth at once. I've never seen a kid eat that fast. It was mesmerizing.

On the way home, we drove by this trailer park that I also drive by when I am going to the store, or Lowes, or anywhere on Hwy 40. You can't miss it. It sits there on the corner, and it bustles with activities ranging from kids playing to adults talking to whatever police officer happened to be called there that day. I must confess, I love to watch the trailer park when I am at the stoplight. It's like watching some sort of habitat at the zoo. Somedays, I just want to get a camping chair and go set it up just to sit and watch the trailer park all day. I'm obsessed, and such obsessions are not healthy.

I always speak of my obsession to Paul, who has an equally disturbing obsession with riding the KC Metro. He's never ridden the bus, but wants to do it before he dies. I have a sinking suspicion that I am going to be part of that little adventure, even though riding public transportation for entertainment doesn't really appeal to me the way observing trailer park life does. Different strokes, for different folks, I guess.

So, we drive by the trailer park and I regale Paul of what I saw last time I drove by the trailer park. On a whim, he just makes a quick turn into the trailer park. I immediately get turned on and start clapping my hands wildly.

We drive through the trailer park, which is bigger than I originally thought. Initially, I had thought it to be not so stereotypical because the trailers closer to the road were newer, but deeper into the park revealed it's dark underbelly. Trailers in varying stages of decomposition. Most all single-wides, 98% older ones with that aluminum siding that comes off in sheets. All of them are cluttered. Paul finds it impossible to keep his mortified expression in check. I'm whipping my head around so much that I almost injure myself. So much to see!! Those people who happened to be out and about in the trailer park, eye us with suspicion and the same vacant expressions. They know we don't belong. Interlopers!!!

We make our way out of the trailer park, along the way seeing a trailer park cat with a crooked hind leg, and a woman at the little trailer park pool sporting a fem-mullet and a tribal band tattoo around her arm. Paul starts to get turned on and claps his hands wildly.

After we get back to my house, Paul concedes that our drive was a lot more fun than he thought it would be. I tell him about a few more trailer parks further down Hwy 40, but I don't suggest we go drive there. It looks far worse from the road, and chances are pretty good we'd get shot or worse.

This could be a fun hobby...checking out various trailer parks of the nation, because what says America more than a small plot of acreage with a bunch of rectangular tin houses?

Then, of course, I get a call from the doctor's office and Nurse Betty kills my newly acquired and drug-free buzz of happiness. Instead of making me feel better by making out with me, Paul says he's tired and goes home. Bastard. Drained, I go take a nap.

I really didn't get much done on my list. I'll try better tomorrow.

One of Those Phone Calls

After three weeks and no word from the doc's office, I took it upon myself to call. I spoke with Nurse Betty, who has being vague down to a science.

CIN I -- mild dysplasia (a few cells are abnormal)
CIN II -- moderate to marked dysplasia
CIN III -- severe dysplasia to carcinoma-in-situ (cancer confined to the surface layer of the cervix)

I have all three.


Yeah, I know I haven't been posting. My posts are in spurts...one day I could have lots of things to blog about, some days...nothing. I'm sure most bloggers have this problem from time to time.

Today, after I shower, I have a full day lined up: go buy new scrubs, move Sam's kennel into the office, clean the walls in the guest room in preparation for painting, tape the guest room, tidy up the house, find something to blog about, make some phone calls. In actuality...I will more than likely only get half of that list done.

I'll get back to you later.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Nice to Meet Ya!!

I went to the blogger meet and greet and drink last night. I don't know how many people came, but it was enough to need four tables, and that's with a few extras rotating around.

I've never been to Governor Stumpy's before. It seemed like a nice establishment. I think the waitstaff was getting a little exasperated every time more people would so up and we needed more chairs. We were a little loud, but certainly not rowdy. An elderly woman in a table next to us kept turning in her chair and giving us the hairy eyeball.

Like I said, lots of bloggers in attendance. Some I have met before: XO, Spyder, Michelle, Mark, and Death. Then, there were a bunch I was just meeting for the first time: The D (who was quiet initially, but warmed up after a beer or two...I think he was just intimidated that my awesomeness dwarfed his), KC Sponge (who is the first Jewish person I've met who admittedly eats pork), M Toast (whom I realized I know from another message board), Brad (who is not at all ugly), Emaw, and Faith (who is just as awesome and funny in real life as she is on her blog).

There were more people there, some comings and goings that I didn't catch. If I left you out, sorry!! I'll catch you next time!!

Some items discussed: blogging (of course), the douchebag that is Michael Vick, sex toys, current events, hospital horror stories, and some serial dater named Patrick.

Talk is strong of this being a monthly event. Who knows...maybe we can get matching t-shirts. Keep your ears and eyes open for more info on the August meet-up. I can't wait to see you there!!

Until then...keep posting, commenting, and doing whatever it is you are doing naked while surfing the internet.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

You Can't Pick Your Family and Other Blather

My mother called me this afternoon, which was good because I overslept on my nap and I had stuff to do around the house before it gets dark. She gave me an update on my redneck brother. More on this later.

I got dressed and proceeded to go downstairs so I could get a jump on my afternoon activities. The backyard was starting to look like a rain forest, not to mention Sam started disappearing whenever I would let him out. So, I needed to mow the grass. I figured I would do some touch-ups on the deck and finish staining the railing.

Anyway, as I was going downstairs, I slipped on the top on and slid on my butt all the way down. Thankfully, it was only six stairs. Unfortunately, instinct made me grab the rail in a vain effort to save myself, and I felt something pull mid-back. As I lay there at the foot of the stairs, taking inventory on the status of my bones, Sam comes over and thinks this looks like a fun game to him. Meanwhile, I decide that while nothing is broken, my back certainly hurts. I walked around the house, decided it was just muscle pull, and mowed the grass anyway. Starting the mower was an effort, but thank goodness is it one of the front-wheel drive mowers, so that part was easy.

My back still hurting, I took a long hot shower. The deck is going to have to wait. I might be dipping into my special meds tonight. So much for going to to the gym.

Back to my brother.

A while ago, when he was working one of his jobs in a long succession of jobs he worked after he got married, he managed to fall into a small hole in a client's front yard and injure his ankle. I'm real certain how bad it was injured, but apparently it was enough for his former employer to give him a settlement. Not to the degree that my settlement was from my car accident, but a couple thousand dollars to keep him from suing later. My brother, who manages money poorly, and never met a dollar he couldn't blow on meaningless crap, has already taken to task of spending this small windfall.

Mom: He bought a tanning bed.
Me: You're joking.
Mom: No, I guess he found one for a couple hundred dollars.
Me: What the hell does he need a tanning bed for?
Mom: I don't know. It's in his basement.
Me: He's got two small children, and his first priority is a crappy tanning bed? Did is ever occur to him to save it?
Mom: He says they are doing better (financially) now.

To my brother, doing better financially means living from paycheck to paycheck, as opposed to not having a paycheck at all. Saving is a foreign concept to him. Heaven help him the next time he calls me wanting to borrow money. I'm going to rip him a new one. I'm certain that it hasn't even occurred to him to pay back all the people who has loaned him money.

I told Mom that I should call him and give him some cock and bull story about how I am entitled to half the settlement for some asinine reason. It would serve him right, he did the same to me.

Meanwhile, his brother-in-law and some girl who is not related has moved in with him and the family. Mom grilled my brother further about if they help kick in financially, to which my sister-in-law sniffs, "Everyone contributes in their own way." Which means, "They do the dishes sometimes because neither is employed."

My brother definitely comes from my father's side of the family. I've been estranged from my father's side of the family for about 15 years now , but I'm sure nothing has changed with them. "Dueling Banjos" is their family anthem and if I looked it up, I'm sure the family crest has a trailer on it. This is why I sometimes wonder if I am adopted. To my Mother's credit, her family isn't from the same stock. Well, not all of them anyway.

On a side note, my other brother (the cooler and now seemingly smarter one), has been offered a choice job working for Harley Davidson. He'll be coming to be my roommate in about three weeks or so. Meanwhile, Mom is already thinking about what color bike she wants. God help us.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Wild About Harry

(Warning: Spoilers Ahead...Don't read further if you haven't finished the book!!!)

I stopped at Wally World on my way home from work Saturday morning and picked up the last Harry Potter book. I got one chapter read before I went to sleep.

I woke up that afternoon, read the second chapter, and went to work.

I killed all but the last two chapters plus the epilogue while I was at work. Thank God for slow, uneventful evenings. I even skipped lunch. The rest of my coworkers took a poll and agreed that I am no fun when I am reading.

I finished the book this morning when I got home from work.

All I can say...I WAS TOTALLY RIGHT!!!
- Snape good: I totally thought he was.
- Snape was in love with Lily Potter.
- Dumbledore and Snape had an arrangement for Dumbledore's death.
- One of the Weasley twins died. I had hoped Percy would've gotten the axe instead.
- Lupin died.
- Harry was a horocrux.
- Harry would ultimately sacrifice himself.
- Harry and Ginnny would end up back together.
- Wormtail would end up fulfilling his life debt to Harry.

Things that made me say "What the hell?!"
- JK Rowling seemed to jump the shark a couple times. Like flying out of Gringotts on a blind dragon.
- Percy's reconciliation with his family at the most convenient moment.
- She killed Tonks off as well. Boo!!
- Too much Luna. She kept blathering about the asinine stuff she blathers about. I was hoping someone would come along and give her a warm mug of Shut the Hell Up.

The questions that still remain:
- What the hell did Harry's parents do for a living that they had money?
- Who was the person who "did magic later in life"?
- What was Dudley's worst memory?
- What happened to George? Did he go on to run the business alone?
- What happened with Madam Maxime?
- Did McGonagall become headmistress of Hogwarts in the end?
- What jobs did the the Trio end up taking?
- What became of Fawkes?

Final thoughts: I thought this was a very fitting end to the series. J.K. Rowling has already said that she looks forward to discussing the ending, and now that the series is finished, she really won't have to keep any secrets. Maybe some of my questions will be answered.

It's kind of depressing, having the series over. J.K. Rowling was one of the few writers that actually kept me guessing. However, I think one of the things I will miss the most is sitting with friends and discussing theories on how it will end.

(If you are now sitting at the computer, pissed that I ruined the end for you, you have no one to blame but yourself. You were warned.)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Counter Help and Other Blather

So I've been eyeballing my count, because every blogger does. If they deny it, they are big, fat liars. We are all attention whores, just deal with it.

At any rate, I've noticed that with my counter, it's divided into two categories: Page Views and Visits. There is roughly a difference of 16,000 between the totals of the two, with my page views being the higher number.

So, can anyone out there in Blogdom enlighten me here? I have no clue what the difference is.

Today, I did some more staining of the deck. I've got the floor part done, all I need to do are the spots where the stain soaked in more to the point that the color is spotty. I also need to finish the railing. Before I started the deck staining project, I figured it would only take two days: one to strip and power wash, the other to stain. If I can paint an entire room in one day, a deck shouldn't be that bad. Whatever. Two entirely different animals.

Paul (ND!) came over for dinner and I grilled the biggest squash on the planet. It was tasty. I tossed on a couple steaks and some sweet corn I picked up at the farmer's market. I also made some chocolate peanut butter cupcakes with some homemade peanut butter-cream cheese frosting. The cupcakes were good, but the frosting was out of this world. I could just eat the frosting and be a happy camper, or slather it on Ryan Reynold's stomach and lick it off. Then I'd be a REALLY happy camper.

Paul and I watched Norbit, which I thought was probably not one of Eddie Murphy's finest. It actually seemed to drag on at times. There were a few funny parts, but not enough to redeem the whole movie.

After he left, I watched Top Chef, which is probably the only reality show I like. Sometimes, I contemplate taking some cooking lessons. I know how to cook already, but I'd really like to learn to do some fancy schmancy stuff so I can be a MacGuyver in the kitchen, too. Take a shrimp, a mushroom and some mustard and create a Thanksgiving turkey (well, you get my meaning). Besides, I really like to entertain guests, and I think it would be fun to try new things and use them as guinea pigs.

Tomorrow, I simply must go see the new Harry Potter flick. The book comes out Saturday, and naturally I am working. I will probably swing by somewhere and pick it up on my way home in the morning, but I'm going to try to resist cracking it open until Monday when I can fully dedicate my time to reading it.

That's all I got for now. I think I will go to bed and try to fall asleep. This insomnia sucks.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Ship Happens: Tequila Makes You Do Bad Things...Like Embarass Your Children

The other day, I had to recount this story. I've told this story at least a hundred times. It was fun to tell initially, but now when someone asks to hear it (even if they have heard it before), I can't help but cringe inwardly. A heavy sigh, and I tell my story. The enthusiasm has diminished, and now when I finish, the person I'm (re)telling the story to, just looks at me with a blank stare and proclaims, "That wasn't very funny."

In an effort to not have to tell this story ever again, I thought I would blog about it. Then, if you wanted to revisit the incident, you could just re-read it. If you've never heard this story, then I present to you: Heather and Mom Go to Costa Maya.

After I finished school, I decided to take another cruise. Mom had never been on one, so I thought I could incorporate my vacation needs with her 50th birthday. I paid for her cruise and airfare. All she had to cover was small incidentals, like souvenirs. All her coworkers were jealous that she got to go on a Caribbean cruise and Mom relished it. Brownie points for Heather!

So, in February of 2005, we sailed from Tampa to the Western Caribbean on a 7-day cruise. Our ports of call: Belize, Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Costa Maya. For the most part, we did what tourists usually do...sight see and shop. Except in Costa Maya.

There really isn't a whole lot to do in Costa Maya as it is a newly developing port. The group I was cruising with orchestrated a Beach Break Party. For a flat fee, we had access to a private beach, lunch, and open bar. Games and DJ provided. This sounded like a nice, relaxing day.

That morning, our group left the ship, caught our ride, and were taken to this little resort where our beach party was to be held. Little children milled around peddling anything from hand woven bracelets to dried banana chips. We paid our fee and allowed entrance on the beach.

Everything started okay. We sipped pina coladas and strawberry daiquiris. Some women had set up massage tables on the beach, so people could pay a little extra for a 30 minute rub down, which I took advantage of. People played in the turquoise waters, danced to tunes provided by the DJ, and took full advantage of the open bar.

At some point after our shrimp and nacho lunch, someone suggested that because we were in Mexico, we should do a round of shots. This sounded okay with me, even though I'm not a huge fan of tequila, but hey, when in Rome...

Mom, however, was hesitant. I thought it was because she didn't like tequila either, but she only said, "I like tequila..."

I went and fetched a round of tequila shots for the 4 (the other couple were friends of mine) of us at our little table. Salute and the shots were tossed down. Mom made a face and exclaimed, "Those were weak!" She took our empty glasses and made a beeline to the bar. In minutes, she returned with another round. This time, the tequila looked a little darker.

Salute and the shots tossed. Some stragglers joined in and two more rounds after that were served. Four shots total for Mom. Let the fun and games begin!

Our group had organized a sand sculpture contest. Mom decided it would be a fine idea to enter, so she set up camp by the beach with the rest of the people. She worked diligently on her sculpture, because after all, she was an artist of sorts, having won scholarships to attend art school when she was younger. After an hour, time was called and the judging began. Mom's entry: A One-Eyed Sea Serpent. If you think you might have an idea what that would be, you would be correct. A large sand penis on the beach, courtesy of my mother.

The grass is supposed to be pubic hair.

Sadly, she didn't win, but that didn't damper her spirits. Instead, she returned to the bar to do celebratory tequila rounds with whomever happened to be standing there. Then, she danced with some other women who were also pretty toasted, and I don't mean sunburned. More tequila shots ensued. At one point, the bar ran out of tequila and had to send out for another case. I'm fairly confident that my mother was directly responsible.

A hundred people in my group attended the beach party, I'm convinced she had shots with almost all of them. The only ones she didn't do shots with were the children. However, she more than made up for this deficit by doing rounds with the owner of the resort, in addition to the bartenders. The more she drank, the harder it was to keep track of her. At some point, I considered finding a bell for her to wear so she wouldn't get lost. To say she was completely blitzed would be an understatement. However, I had done 10 shots, and I was still within sound mind, completely sober (courtesy of my father's alcoholic genetic makeup). This comes into play later.

Around 5pm, it is time to head back to the ship. The owner of the resort (whom I will call Fredo) was calling cabs to come and pick us up. Mom would return to the bar for shots while we waited our turn. Fredo's family had come down to the beach and Mom started doing shots with the owner's wife, a pretty blonde lady that only spoke Italian. That didn't stop the two of them from chattering happily to each other. I don't think they understood each other, but they were united in their love for tequila.

It becomes apparent that there are no more cabs to be had, and myself, the couple who I knew personally, and Mom. Fredo decides that he likes us enough to drive us back to the port himself. Did I mention he had been doing shots at the bar all day as well??

We pile into his white minivan. I'm sitting in the front seat, Fredo is driving, Mom and the other couple in the back. Fredo starts driving, Mom and Company are chattering away in the back. Fredo forgets he's the driver and just turns around in his seat to join in the drunken conversation, and almost plows into the back of a taxi. I can see the ship from where I am sitting, and I truly believe that we are going to die before we even get there.

By some miracle, we happen to make it back to port without running into the Mexican cliche of a truck full of chickens. I pry my fingernails out of the dashboard, because I was the only one astutely aware of what was going on, considering I was the only sober one in the vehicle. Mom thinks Fredo is a taxi driver and tries to give him money for the ride. He refuses, telling her that he had such fun that day, taking her money would be an insult. The game of "please take this money-I couldn't possibly accept" ensues while the couple, and myself, get out of the van. I'm trying to tell Mom to let it be when I hear a plop. I turn around and there is my friend, face planted on the pavement. Apparently, she took a swan dive out of the minivan. I stare at her for a minute, my mind reeling with "How is God's name are we going to get her back to the ship if she's passed out?!?" I just tap her husband on the shoulder, who turns around and sees his wife still laying on the pavement. I look at my friend again, hoping she isn't unconscious. She starts shaking with bouts of laughter, and I am relieved. I look up to see an elderly couple (from the ship), pointing in obvious disdain.

Fredo hops out of the van to help my friend up, and she can barely stand on her own. I tell her husband to just focus on getting his wife back to the ship, and I will manage my mother.


I lead Mom back into the port area, which has a bunch of souvenir shops. She immediately starts waving her arms around singing, "I LOVE MEXICO AND I LOVE TEQUILA! I AM THE MOM AND THIS IS MY DAUGHTER!!" I pull my hat down to cover my face.

She stops mid-song and exclaims, "I NEED A HAT!!" I tell her we can get her a hat when we get back on board, but she insists on a hat right then and there and immediately darts over to one of the souvenir shops. She proclaims to everyone in the shop that she loves Mexico, and she loves tequila, and she needs a hat. The shop owner directs her to a display of cute sunhats, which she poo-poos because they are too small. He shows her another display with big straw hats. Still too small.


Shit...what could be bigger? The owner drags her around the corner to a display with the biggest, ugliest straw sombreros I have ever seen. She picks one with the word "Mexico" stitched on the front in red yarn and plops it on her head. It's too big, and it falls below her eyes. The brim is so big, it flops in such a manner that I truly believe it could cause someone to take flight. I could have easily picked this hat up in Cozumel for $5, but the owner wanted $25. While I am haggling price with the owner, Mom decides to give a hug to everyone in the shop. A quick as a grass fire, word spreads that there is a drunk American woman with big hooters giving free hugs. I then see workers from other shops hauling ass to get their hug. I decide that I'm done haggling and that Mom needs to be taken back to the ship before she causes an international incident. I fork over $20 for the cheap $5 hat and collect my mother. The shop workers are disappointed. I'm such a killjoy.

Arm around her waist, I lead her back to the ship while she resumes singing her song and waving her arms around. I almost cry when I see that the walk to the ship is SO FAR AWAY. But wait! There's a little tram that will take us from one end of the pier to the other, thereby decreasing the risk of my inebriated mother falling off the pier, into the ocean, while still wearing that big, damn, ugly hat.

We get on the tram, and immediately Mom gravitates to the person who is as drunk as she is, which is another woman roughly her age. They both start chattering in that language that transcends all cultures, and only drunks can understand. Mom is standing up, despite my repeated attempts to get her to sit down (she's still wearing the big, ugly sombrero, mind you). The tram reaches the end of the pier, but we still have a long way to walk. The driver of the tram notices my plight and unhitches his cart from the tram and offers to drive us the rest of the way. Thank goodness for the sympathy of strangers!!

Meanwhile, all the workers speak little to no English. All I can say is, "Mucho tequila." All the workers nod in understanding. This isn't the first time they've seen a drunk American.

We reach the ship and I help Mom off the cart. I give the driver $5 for his effort, and Mom gives him a big hug. I navigate her to the ship's check-in where she makes an attempt to tell the security guard how much loves Mexico and how much she loves tequila. The security guard could care less. We pass through security, and catch an elevator where she begins to sing her song again to an elevator full of strangers. "I love Mexico, and I love tequila!" From somewhere in the back of the elevator, comes a voice, "And obviously, it loves you." Mom tells everyone how this cruise is a present, from me, for her 50th birthday. Sympathetic smiles are cast my way and we reach our floor.

The tequila finally catches up with her and she decides to spend the evening in the cabin, in bed, nibbling on crackers. She doesn't touch anything with tequila for the remainder of the cruise. At the end of the cruise, she ran out of space to pack the big, ugly sombrero that I paid, in every sense of the word, too much for. She didn't want to carry it, so she tried to give it away to our cabin steward, who immediately turned it down. I told her that she had to take it home, even if it meant she had to wear it the entire way. So she did. At the airport, a man stopped and smiled. "Tequila, huh?" Some people just know.

It wasn't until after I get home, that I hear the stories of my mother drinking tequila, and singing to random garbage cans. This is information I could have used before we left for the trip.

So, this is the story of Mom, me and Costa Maya...so don't ask me to tell it to you ever again. She's booked the next cruise with me. Thankfully, we won't be stopping in Mexico. However, God only knows what's going to happen at Margaritaville.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Nurse Follies: My Used Uterus Trumps Your Vacant One

With the charge of doing the schedule for the night nurses, it comes with no glory, and all the headaches you could possibly imagine. I once had a nurse trap me in the supply room because she was unhappy that I had to move her from a couple days she signed up for. It can get ugly.

For the most part, other than being short all the time, there really hasn't been too many problems with the way we do the scheduling for night shift. Until now, that is.

This morning, I stood at the desk lamenting some of the new scheduling woes we are encountering on nights. Bosshole approved a handful of nurses to have set schedules, meaning, that I can't move them. They get exactly what they sign up for. What they sign up for, includes no weekend shifts. Which leaves the full time people to pick up the slack and work all those weekend shifts no one wants. Some nurses, who are not weekend option, are working more weekend shifts than day shifts. They are justifiably upset. They are not upset with myself or Red (who also does scheduling), but rather at the Bosshole for approving this debacle to begin with.

"It seems that most of the complainers," observed our unit educator, "are the ones who are single."

I pointed out that even single people have important things to do on weekends besides working all the time. She did agree.

Then, another nurse who was listening in, expounded her bitter feelings at how unfair it was for the single people to get off important holidays, while those with kids had to work. Never mind the fact that we have a rotating holiday schedule.

"Just because we may not have kids, does't mean we don't have a family," was my terse reply. I clocked out and went home before anything escalated.

Most the nurses that work on my floor are either freshly married, or single. Only a small percentage of those nurses have children. For the most part, they are pretty flexible with their schedules. They understand that to be a floor nurse, you sometimes are expected to make sacrifices. You sometimes have to miss a Little League game. Being in the majority of the single nurses, I can also say that we try to accommodate the Moms when they need a certain day off...by trading shifts, or just working for them. I've heard from other nurses on different floors or from different hospitals, that there can be resentment between the Mom's versus the non-Moms in terms of holidays and whatnot. Some feel that those with children should be given preferential treatment when it comes to working holidays.

After all, single people don't have kids, and therefor, they should work all the major holidays so those that do have kids can stay at home and be with their families.


It annoys me that there are people out there think that because I don't have kids, my existence is somewhat lessened. That I have no greater purpose. That my value in society is diminished because I haven't gone out to "go forth and replenish the earth". However, because I am childless, I should make every attempt to accommodate parents, because apparently, that is what single people are supposed to do. And as a nurse, I should work all holidays because having no children of my own means I will just spend the holidays home alone, watching reruns on television, eating a frozen dinner of turkey and stuffing.

Thankfully, I don't encounter this mentality on nights. The Moms who do work nights are awesome and don't impose this belief on anyone. In fact, they would probably echo my sentiments.

Now if you will excuse me, I'm going to get off my soapbox. I have some fish sticks in the oven, and That 70's Show is about to start.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Blogger Meetup: July Edition

The July Meeting of The Kansas City Bloggers Who Occasionally Get Together To Drink Club*

July's Blogger Meet
Hosted by General Blather & My Spyderweb
Thursday July 26th at 5:00pm
All Import bottles $2
E Gregory Blvd
Kansas City, MO 64114

Hope to see everyone there. If not, you're a wiener.

"I'm just an attention whore here to feed my own ego. Thanks for stopping by, enabler."* *

*(I totally borrowed these from the brain of Cara...**and XO.)

Thursday, July 12, 2007


It was only a matter of time before we knew it would happen.

Ordinarily, I'm not a huge proponent of lawsuits, but this is pretty damn funny. None of the people who filed have TB, but the risk is there.

This could end up being a more costly wedding than initially thought. Hee!!

Two Spots

In the morning, I went to my little stroke seminar and sat on my ass for four hours. Some of the speakers were good, some not so good. Much to my dismay, the Bosshole was there. His wife was one of the speakers, so it wasn't too out of the ordinary. However, she paled at one minute and almost passed out, he just sat there and watched. Way to be a concerned spouse, butthole!

After that, I hauled ass to the gyno's office. Filled out all my new patient paperwork, and was ushered into an exam room...where I sat and waited for 30 minutes. Just when I was going to step out of the exam room to throw a colossal fit, the doctor popped in. Test results in hand, she explained what they meant, how we would approach this, and what I can expect. In the course of two abnormal tests, no one has actually sat down to talk to me about this. I felt some relief and decided that this doctor could very well be my new favorite.

But then she had to go and ruin it by wanting a colposcopy done that very same day.

I was led into another room and told to strip from the waist down. Thank goodness I shaved my legs. I was given the sheet the size of a dish towel, and the thickness of tissue paper and told to wait. So, I waited. In walks doctor, nurse and some gangly looking kid in a short coat. I eye him with suspicion. The doctor introduces him as a med student (I had already surmised this) and asks if it would be okay for him to watch.

Me: What year med student are you?
Shortcoat: Third year
Me: You going to do your residency at my hospital?
Shortcoart: (now bewildered) I hope so.
Me: And you will start your residency in two years?
Shortcoat: Yes.
Me: Then...get out. When I see you again in two years, I will be fully dressed. Sorry!

Shortcoat is confused and looks at the doctor. I then explain that I am nurse at said hospital, and while I don't begrudge him for being a med student, I really don't want to encounter him on the floor later, his only memory of me being what my girly parts look like. This kind of thing can undermine the fear I strike in the hearts of new residents every July 1st. I can see it now...

New Resident: Man, that blonde on the step-down floor is a real bitch. She yelled at me for trying to use a tongue depressor for my patients rectal exam.
New Resident Formally Known as Shortcoat: Yeah, but I know what her cervix looks like!!

The first part of this procedure, my feet up in stirrups and bootwagga exposed to Mother Earth. Doctor inserts the speculum and again opens my hoohah so she can park an RV in it. She then uses this acid stuff on my cervix. "Fire!" I yelp. Doctor assures me that there is no fire, but the burning sensation by the acid. Damn Indians take everything so literal.

Pain of burning subsides and she does the scraping with the boat oar. My eyes cross.

Then, she produces this foot long pair of kelly clamps. I demand to know what it's for. Doctor tells me that it's just to hold the cervix so they can get a biopsy. Biopsy?!? Yes, they found a spot at 5 o'clock.

I actually yelled when she took the biopsy. By far the most painful thing ever. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when she finished, only whine when she announced that she found another spot at 1 o'clock.

And then there were two.

After that torture was over with, I lay on the exam table, writhing in pain. The doctor puts something on my cervix to stop the bleeding. I don't remember what she called it, but it smelled like pencil shavings and Elmer's Glue...and looked like Dijon mustard. Oh joy. I now look like I've had a deli sandwich stuffed in my bootwagga. Awesome.

Doctor tells me I should hear the results of my pathology report in about a week. She leaves. My nurse is labeling all these jars, and I see the one with the biopsies. Little pink chunks of me floating around. Suddenly, I hear the ocean right there in Overland Park, my arms get heavy, and the room starts to spin. The nurse leaves the room and I fall back on the table in an effort to try not to pass out. After five minutes, the feeling passes and I am able to get dressed and leave.

For the remainder of the day, I feel as though my uterus is really going to fall out. I took some Alieve and felt better about life, even though I get a week to worry ad nauseum. Whatever comes next, I'm going to demand that I get knocked out before anyone comes at my delicate girly parts with any sharp metal object.

Paul (ND!) felt sorry for me and my day's trauma, and took me to Houlihan's for dinner. A peach LIT makes everything better, especially at $3.50 a pitcher. I bought some new kitchen handtowels at Williams Sonoma as a reward for surviving the day. They don't really match my kitchen, but the colors make me happy...and I need all the help I can get.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


So I went and did laps last night at the gym. I snuck into the locker room, hastily changed into my suit, and crept into the pool area without being seen. I don't particularly like wearing swimming suits, and I really don't like being seen in one.

I got into the pool, which wasn't so cold that my nipples decided to run back into the locker room and hide in my gym bag. I was all alone. Sweet!! However, it was with great dismay that I saw the hot tub was closed. I don't know why.

I managed to do a couple laps before some specimen of a guy came in. He put on the little swimmers cap, goggles, and proceeded to blow me out of the water with his physical prowess in the pool. Lap after lap after lap. Ass. One thing did puzzle me, though. He had his head shaved...why did he need to wear the cap?? It was one of those little black caps with the American flag on the side with a number...sort of like what those Olympic swimmers wear. Perhaps I was sharing the pool with an Olympic swimmer (my gym does boast that it's the official gym of the U.S. Olympic team). Maybe he was into triathlons. Or maybe he was just a wannabe who wanted to stroke his ego by showing he could out swim the fat girl in the pool.

At any rate, he stayed on one end of the pool, and I the other. I didn't do a gazillion laps like he did. I just swam at my own pace. I don't think I over did.

Of course, I now can't lift my arms over my head this morning. Getting dressed is going to be loads of fun.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Waiting Until Swim Time...

I saw this on a couple other blogs, and thought I would do it. Maybe it can pass the time before I head to the gym for laps in the pool...followed by a good soak in the hot tub.

Here it goes...

Four jobs I've had:
1. Worked at Pony Express Lake at the small short-order grill/bait shop. I sold fishing licenses, ran the grill, rented boats, and listened to the old men talk about the big one that got away. Meanwhile, my perverted boss (who was married) was banging one of the waitresses in his RV parked outside. My first job ever!
2. Nursing Assistant/Med Tech at nursing home. Those old folks are a riot. Met the guy I was engaged to there. He was a real wiener.
3. Pizza cook for Caseys. Yes, I know how to toss pizza dough in the air. The manager was my cousin's then-husband. Before they both decided they were gay.
4. Registered Nurse

Four places I have lived:
1. Born: Denver, Colorado. Lived there until I was about 6 years old. That was before the Californians came and ruined the entire state.
2. Nebraska. The only thing to do there is either get drunk and screw in a cornfield, or watch the Huskers. Some people did both. I did neither.
3. Cameron, Missouri. The little town that one day hopes to be a big town.
4. Kansas City. By far the longest I have ever lived in one place. Now that I am a homeowner, I anticipate staying for a little longer.

Four Places I've been on vacation:
1. Aunt's House in Kansas. Growing up, we were too poor to afford a proper vacation, so this was as close as it got. Highlight: emptying and scrubbing out big horse tank so we could use it as a swimming pool.
2. Florida. I went here with my boyfriend, only we had broken up shortly before. I had too much money vested to cancel, so I went and tried to make the best of it. A week of hell, I should have just stayed home. Epcot sucked. The memory still makes me want to vomit.
3. Cruises: Three total. I've visited Roatan, Belize (x2), Costa Maya (had adventure with Mom drunk off tequila), Grand Cayman (x2), Cozumel (x2), St. Thomas, Puerto Rico (The Armpit of U.S. Territories), Tortola, and Antigua. Cruises are very romantic, but the closest I've been to getting lucky on any of these trips was getting my ass groped by an old man in the onboard gift shop.
4. Atlanta, the first time. I went with Kant when she moved down there. It was fun. The second time was for work, and not as much a vacation as I would have liked, so I'm not counting it. At least I got boiled peanuts the first time around.

Four of my favorite foods:
1. The surf and turf meal at the Japanese Steakhouse.
2. Breakfast. My favorite meal, sometimes I have it for dinner.
3. Whatever I make on the grill. It's damn good, I must confess.
4. Warm chocolate melting cake.

Four places I would rather be:
1. The island of Roatan, napping in a hammock overlooking the ocean.
2. Sitting around a campfire with friends, right after a long canoe float.
3. Deck party with a bunch of my cruising friends.
4. Cafe Trio with my work friends.

I'm not going to tag anyone specific. So, I expect everyone else to do this.

Tuesday Blather

Returned to the gym last night around 1am. A total of 5 people there, including the kid working the desk, and the little Hispanic guy power spraying the floor of the women's locker room. He didn't leave when I walked in, and just kept spraying. I stood there for a minute pondering if my need to pee was great enough to shoo the guy out. I opted to leave the restroom at that time. I could always come back when he was finished. Besides, I have the bladder of a nurse...and I can hold it for HOURS.

I had initially wanted to swim some laps, but I couldn't find my swim goggles, plus my legs were as hairy as Paul's (ND!). Granted, there was no one there to critique my Sasquatch stems, but ask any swimmer and they will tell you, body hair makes you less aerodynamic.

And so again with the 10 miles on the stationary bike, this time finishing five minutes faster (just in case you were wondering, I wasn't sore the day after my initial workout). I just watched Heroes on my iPod (I've got two more episodes left). Another mile on the treadmill, and I left. I still didn't go pee.

I decided to stop at the store and pick up some groceries, namely, the essentials of any kitchen: eggs, butter, milk. I like shopping late, but don't care for weaving in and out of boxes and the store workers who are trying to empty them. After I got home, unpacked, and loaded the dishwasher, it was almost 4am.

Tomorrow, I get to visit an actual gynecologist about Heather's Adventure Kingdom and it's malfunctioning main attraction. Hopefully, the buck stops with her, and I won't have to see a doctor with the word "Oncologist" after their name. I also get to go to a four hour class on stroke patients. One of the featured speakers is the Bosshole's wife. Added bonus!

Nurse Follies: There's No Pleasing You!!

Faith directed me to this story, about the Sprint company releasing the chronic complainers from their contracts. Earlier this year, they booted a bunch of customers that were chronic bill non-payers.

I thought about how other businesses could adopt this new business tactic:

*The surly restaurant patron that constantly complains about the food and service, only to return later to do it all over again.

*The passenger that constantly bitches about every little thing on the cruise ship, right down to the fact that the cabin steward forgot to put a chocolate on their pillow, only to turn around and book another cruise once they get home.

*Al Sharpton and whatever he happens to be bitching about that day.

We all know a chronic complainer. Hell, I'm even related to one.

I understand that some complaints are legit. However, there are people out there, that complain about everything because they live and die by "the squeaky wheel gets the grease". Their complaints are not motivated by seeing changes for the better, but rather by what they can get out of it. A free meal, a free cruise, a free ride, a free blurb on the news. They abused the golden mantra of customer service for their own gain, and ruined it for everyone else. Bastards.

In thinking about this story, my mind wandered into the land of "Ain't Gonna Happen", and envisioned what hospital life would be like if they cracked down on the chronic complainers and those "frequent fliers" that cause nurses to groan and rue the day they became nurses. What if we could weed out the assholes, and free up those beds for patients who were really sick, and really wanted to get better? We could devote our time to those were more concerned about getting better, instead of how well the staff is going to kiss their ass, and what they could get out of us. A hospital could actually be a place for healing, instead of "the customer is always right".

I used to work for a hospital that catered to the complainers. If you complained loudly enough, you got a fruit basket the size of Rhode Island, plus a fleet of hospital management in your room, groveling at your feet. And this would be just because your coffee wasn't hot enough. I used to read the customer feedback cards from patients, and some would list the most extravagant requests: Video game systems in each room, gourmet room service, personal attendant, nurses to go back to wearing all white with the dorky caps. I really hate that last one.

It's a hospital, people. Not the Hyatt.

No, if hospitals put their foot down the way Sprint did, we could do away with the drug seekers who make up ailments just to get free narcotics. Those who have to complain about every single thing because they think they will get their hospital bill wiped clean. We could give the boot to those patients who bitch non-stop because the nursing staff isn't doing enough to keep them entertained. We're not circus monkeys.

By eliminating the complainers, we could actually take care of our patients, instead of running being harassed within an inch of our sanity because the coffee is not Starbucks.

Of course, hospitals would never do this. But I can dream.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Work It Out

I paid a visit to my gym last night, around midnight...my first workout at this gym, and I mostly wanted to get a feel for the place. I gathered my water bottle, my towel, my iPod and set them on the counter. Got into the car and realized I forgot my keys in the house. Got my keys and started for the gym, only to realize that I forgot my water bottle. Thank goodness I remembered the iPod. That would have warranted an immediate turnaround. I just stopped by a gas station and bought a bottle of water.

The gym was pretty quiet, save for the crappy music they were playing. Again...thank the maker for the iPod. A few muscleheads or guys who think they are, a bleached blonde with fake boobs who was homesteading on the ab bench, a fat guy on the stairmaster that I watched carefully because I was convinced he was going to keel over with a massive heart attack. He was sweating profusely and physically draped over the handle bars. I made a mental note as to the location of the defibrillator.

Lucky me, my gym is also the same gym the Chiefs players work out at. I'm guessing the same goes for the cheerleaders. One girl with serious ghetto-booty and a fruity-looking guy were in the aerobics room going over some dance routine, which looked suspiciously like cheerleading-type moves. A cheerleader and the choreographer. I had a pretty good view from my stationary bike. Judging from the looks of the routine, the squad still hasn't improved much since I saw them perform last year.

I biked for 10 miles. Yay me. I tried one of those elliptical treadmills, and my gimpy knee actually stopped and demanded, "What's this bullshit!?!" I switched over to the regular treadmill, and walked a little over a mile before calling it good and going home. I decided that this workout was exclusively Cardio Day. The next time, will be Working With Weights Day. Swimming Day will be tossed in there as well as soon as I can figure out where I packed my goggles.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Let's Get Physical!!

Today, I finally joined a gym. I've been talking about joining one since I moved here.

I got a membership to 24 Hour Fitness. This is one that lives up to it's name. It's open, 24 hours a day, unlike some gyms under the same name that open at 8am, and close at 10pm. Maybe they should change their name to 14 Hour Fitness.

This gym has a pool, which is the best part because I love to swim. Not much enthusiasm for water aerobics. The last time I tried that, I was in a pool with about 20 women in the 50+ age bracket. The pool was 4 feet deep, add 20+ bodies, and the water level rises due to displacement. Needless to say, my 5'2" self almost drowned during the run in a big circle part.

No, I think I will just stick to swimming laps.

The beauty of it all? I get to go work out at 1am, avoiding all the muscle heads of the, ahem, professional athletes AND the surgically enhanced gold-diggers that are trying to snag them. Nope, just me and my iPod, and maybe a few other people who are working out because they also hate crowds, and really don't want to be disturbed.

Today is Independence Day. Yawn. I agreed to work tonight because of a heartfelt plea by my unit educator. The night shift was extremely short for tonight, and the Bosshole's solution to addressing the problem was to go on vacation and leave the rest of this staff to deal with it.


Just as well to go in. I'd never get any sleep tonight because everyone would be shooting off fireworks until the wee hours of the morning. I can only hope that I come home and my house hasn't been burned down by some asshat with a bottle rocket.

So, have a safe holiday. Try not to blow your appendages off, and stay away from the potato salad...it's been sitting out all day.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Blogger Lovefest Revisited

Yes, I went to the blogger meet up. It was a nice, intimate gathering, and no one had to play musical chairs so you could get the chance to talk to someone. I won't go into abundant details because other bloggers have described the event better than myself.

In case you haven't read, XO (who is every bit the smartass he is online, which is a good thing), Spyder (covered in chigger bites), Nightmare and Frog Pajamas were also in attendance. We had dollar drinks and fun conversation. Of course, I had to toss a wet blanket on the event by sharing the news that Bush commuted Scooter's prison sentence, which elicited a passionate word or two from X-Man and Spyder.

(George Bush...the best member the Democratic Party could ask for!)

We are contemplating making this a regular thing, rotating venues. Maybe at some point, someone will be brave enough to host it at their house. Look for the next gathering to be somewhere near the Raytown vicinity.