Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hump Day Blather

I got up late today because I didn't get to sleep until late last night. I bought an iPod last week, so I have been all about putting stuff on it. I bought the 30gig one, so I can put LOTS of stuff on it. Maybe I can toss a couple tv shows then I will have my own on-flight entertainment.

And so far, I have almost 3000 songs, mostly ripped from cd's I currently own and never listen to anymore.

So, I get up late and peek out the window to see more snow. I had no idea we were supposed to get it, but I'm happy to leave it behind come Friday. Of course, I still have to go out and get some last-minute things either this afternoon, or tomorrow. I still have to pack, and clean the house.

Last night, I was doing laundry at 10pm. Now, instead of the ceremonious Laundry day, I just go to the laundry room off the garage in my bare feet and pajamas, toss some clothes in, and turn the washer in. IT'S THAT SIMPLE!!!

So, I did just that. Only when I went to go back upstairs to the warm part of my house, I found that the door had locked behind me. Shit. I sat on the steps and tried to figure out what my course of action would be. Front door was locked. Back door was locked. No keys, not even to the car. No cell phone. I considered going to my neighbor's house at 10:30pm to ask if I could use their phone, to call my mother and have her come and let me back in...but I was in my pjs, no shoes, and it was butt-ass cold outside. Not to mention it was 10:30 at night.

Then it dawned on me. I have a crap-ton of handyman stuff in my basement, courtesy of The Boyfriend. Surely I could find something that I could use to break into my own house. A crowbar, a hammer, a battering ram...

I poked around and found something that looked as it might be able to do the trick...a rubber coated mallet. I took it to the door, eyeballed the doorknob. Then, I began to tap it. Then, I upgraded to hitting it. Then, I was full-on beating the piss out of an old doorknob, adding a Amazon woman war cry for good measure. After a couple really good swings that would make the Strongman Contest take notice, the doorknob, now bent in half, gave up it's hold on the door and the door popped open. I took my power drill and finished uninstalling the knob. It was a piece of crap and only had one key anyway.

So, a trip to Lowes will be in order before I leave. I'm going to have another key made to hide in the garage so this never has to happen again. If I don't get it installed, perhaps The Boyfriend (someday to be upgraded to Husband 3.0) can install it while I am away. He's going to be here building a new mantle for my fireplace, and he seems to enjoy all that handyman stuff.

Now, I must go and try to pack more than just a snorkel...which is the only thing that is taking space in my suitcase at this time.

Nurse Follies: Beating a Dead Horse

I was somewhat disappointed to see that Barbaro got dead this week. It's not like I was one of those tards who sent bouquets of organic carrots and a Get Well card, and I had a global meltdown upon hearing the news which rendered me incapacitated for the rest of the day. But I was sort of hoping that after all that hard work, it wouldn't be in vain.

But, in the end, he got dead...going to the great Winners Circle in the Sky. Now, they can either cremate him and ceremoniously spray crop his ashes over some prestigious racetrack. Or they can just use a backhoe and plant him somewhere on his ranch, where thousands of people who have nothing better to do with their time can go and place flowers, balloons, and toy stuffed horses on his gravesite.

I can't really say I am heartbroken. When you think about it, this horse got better healthcare than most humans. Somewhere out there, someone without insurance is sick with something pretty awful. Unable to go to the hospital for care because they can't afford it. You should ask them how they feel about a dead horse.

The other day, I went and picked up my perscriptions, and the cost of my copay had doubled. One again, the morons in the Human Resources department fucked up my open enrollment and signed me up for the crappy health plan instead of the one I wanted.

Way to go, asshats!

On my way home, I thought about it. Paying almost $100 a month for drugs suck ass...but I can afford it (even though I can think of a million other things I could spend the money socks). I'm one of the few fortunate ones. What about those who aren't so lucky? Fixed income, insurance so crappy that they may as well not have any, monthly med expenses that are out the wazoo. Somewhere out there, people, is someone who is making the choice between food to eat, and medications to keep them healthy. And speaking from my own observations at work, those people chose the food over the meds. I get to see them later when they are brought in to the hospital because the conditions their meds are supposed to treat, are staging a coup on their body. "Noncompliant" is the name they are given. Not because they want to be, but because they have no other choice.

Even people with good insurance sometimes get the shaft. Someone I know went to MD Anderson for treatment. They accepted his insurance, and his family had to shell out thousands and thousands of dollars in addition to it, and the outcome was no better than if they would have just remained with their local specialists.

Money rules medicine.

I don't have a solution to this problem. Maybe universal healthcare would work. It's an issue I will keep close tabs on this election. I really don't give a flying rats ass whether gays can marry or not when I think about major medical decisions made by some douchebag in an insurance office, and not the doctor providing the treatment.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Make Me Pretty!

In one week, I will be leaving this cold-ass weather (today was't too bad, actually), and planting my ass on a cruise ship heading for 80 degree temps. I can smell the sunscreen already.

Feel free to envy me all you want.

In preparation for my big trip, I am turning the house upside down to find stuff I will need to take, buying new stuff when I can't find them, and most importantly, getting my hair done.

After a week or so of trying to get a hold of my hair dresser, she finally called me back. She had sold her business to two other girls working in the shop because she didn't want to deal with the stress of ownership. Then, the two girls turned around, stab her in the back, and gave her the boot. Whores!

So, Amy came to my house to do my hair. I can't complain. I got to wear my crappy, but comfy, lounge wear. Go barefoot. Get my hair done. All the while listening to the Margaritaville station on satellite.

Meanwhile, the neighbor kid comes over and asks if he can play with Sam in my backyard. I don't mind because it wears the dog out so he will just lay around the house for the rest of the night and leave the cat alone. The neighbor kid chases Sam around the yard, they play fetch, life is good, until something else catches his eye through my kitchen window...

A white lady with foil in her hair. A shit ton of foil. And the other lady who is applying the foil, well, she's covered in tattoos. As I am sitting on the stool, Amy and I both realize this 13 year old kid has stopped playing with the dog, and is just watching us through the kitchen window...and laughing.

I'm sure this will be a very animated tale at the family dinner table tonight.

Amy finishes the highlights and quick trim before departing. Now, I am basking in the glow of newly highlighted hair. I've visited the tanning salon a couple times now, so I look healthy. Not the pale, pasty girl from before.

I'm going to look smoking hot on this trip. Other people better take notice.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Nobody's Answering

With the whole move and stuff, I've experienced an influx of phone calls from numbers I don't even know. It never occurred to me why this was until the other day.

I changed numbers, so I would need to re-register on Missouri's Do-Not-Call List.

So, I did. However, it won't take effect until April 1. For the next 2 months, I have to sit through countless calls of assholes trying to sell me everything from carpet cleaning to banjo shows for little retarded kids. Swell.

I'm afraid to even answer the phone. We know they don't hear you the first ten times you say no. Maybe I could answer the phone and pretend I am in the middle of having sex. There's all kinds of shenanigans one can do to get even with telemarketers.

Suggestions welcomed.

Adventures in Homebuying: The Dining Room

Okay, I know I promised to post some pics and stuff. So, here I am...posting pics and stuff.

This is the dining room as I bought it. Allow me to point out the butt-ass-ugly 80's light fixture. The entire dining room and kitchen was painted this very blah beige color. It wasn't until I started painting that I understood why. You see, the original color wasn't this. It was something so hideous, it pains me to even acknowledge it on this blog.

I'm not one to dis on green, but what the hell were the previous owners thinking?? Lime green?!? Judging by the old color of the great room, and the current color of the hall bath, it is entirely possible they were colorblind.

Let me be the first to say that red is a horrible color to have to paint. Most colors, two coats will do...but not red. Four coats later, I am still finding spots I need to touch-up. I originally was going to paint the entire dining room red, but after doing the top half, I said "screw it" and painted the bottom half Sauteed Mushroom. After that, I painted the trim white, it was originally cream.

Then, moving day arrived and the movers moved my stuff into the dining room. My current table and three chairs is something I have had for a while. Sometime this year, I am going to have a new dining table and chairs built to match the china hutch.

Check out the new light fixture. It's brushed nickel, and doesn't remind me at all of mall bangs.

The Finished Product!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Mom 3, Heather 0

Mom and the boyfriend came buy to drop off stuff at Heather's U Store It. I'm housing various items until June, and I get a new mower in exchange for it. I have a big backyard, so I can't complain. It's not like I have immediate plans for the basement.

Boyfriend pulls me aside and whips out this little white box.

Boyfriend opens said box to reveal a ring who's diamonds (more than one) are roughly the size of large grapefruits. I ask if the ring means what I think it means, and he answers to the affirmative, providing my mother gets a divorce. He then asks what I think and just shrug and give the very generic, "whatever makes her happy" response.

Mom calls later that night and wants to know why I didn't tell her about the ring (apparently he presented it to her over chimichangas at the Salty Iguana). I didn't know I was supposed to tell her, but she wants to know what I think. Again with the "whatever makes you happy" response. At this point, I don't have an opinion. Okay, maybe I do, but I am just too tired to share it. I don't think this is the response my mother is looking for, but it's pretty much the answer she is going to get. I just don't care as much as I probably should. You do your thing, and I'll do mine and everyone is happy.
Would it be bad if I hoped they just ran off somewhere and eloped? My brothers don't know...what are they going to think when they find out? Probably much the same way as I am...just realize she is a grown-up and can make her own decisions, shrug and move on with life.
So, this will make my mother's third marriage. His fifth. I guess at first you don't succeed...
All this has made me pretty skeptical about marriage. Maybe I won't do it at all because no one takes it seriously anymore. Kind of sad, actually.
Looks like I'm now going to have eleven step-brothers and sisters. Crap...I'm going to have to start sending out Christmas cards.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Nurse Follies: Download This!

With the revolution of technology, the world of medicine was bound to follow. Everything is tied to computers. Surgeries are done with robotic arms. We rely so heavily on technology that some people wonder if a machine will take over our jobs someday.

Unlikely. I can't imagine any hospital shelling out millions for a machine that wipes ass when nurses are still cheaper. I can't imagine a company designing such a robot. They would see it as a waste of money because, again, nurses are cheaper. Besides, wouldn't want to get shit on a multimillion dollar robot.

Yes, we are overworked, and underpaid. Oh sure, you can make over six figures doing what I do...but you've got to work 80 hours a week to do it. I don't know of any person that has that kind of intestinal fortitude. There's a reason we only work 3 days a week. Any more than that, the number of crazy nurses in psychiatric wards would grow exponentially. In case you haven't read, the number of dedicated psych beds are decreasing as specialized facilities/hospital wings are being closed. Can you imagine a world where thousands of crazy nurses are out roaming the streets? With the knowledge we possess, you should be breaking out into a cold sweat just thinking about it.

Why else do you think cops are so nice to us?

Back to my original care and technology.

My workplace is gearing up to go live with all computerized charting. Actually, everything we do will somehow tied to computers...from medications, to procedures...everything. The idea that by going to all computerized stuff, it will eliminate all things paper, whereby decreasing the chance of breaches in patient privacy and blah, blah, blah. Today, they were having a vendor fair so we could go and inspect what the nerd herd, I mean, computer committee is looking at in terms of what to put in our hands. The items up for scrutiny were various laptops/tablets being pimped out by various companies, handheld devices, and staplers (I got a free one from one of the vendors).

They were also going to be giving away door prizes: two laptops, digital camera or two, and some golf equipment. Why else do you think I'd drag myself out of my warm house into the freezing ass cold? It certainly wasn't for the fruit and cheese platter they had for vendor attendees. (But the meatballs were rather tasty...)

So, I go. I am given a clipboard and a sheet of paper and I am supposed to go around to the various vendor stations to inspect the products, ask questions, and fill out a survey as to which ones I liked the best. After the first 5 laptops, they all started to look the same. Then, I come to the Panasonic people and they have this little laptop that is all dressed up like it's about to go camping...rubber bumpers and the whole nine yards. I, with two O.R. nurses remark that it looks like a sturdy little guy, and we are invited to drop it. The other nurses decline because they are candy-asses. I shrug, pick up the laptop, and give it a heave-ho to the floor, where it bounces a foot in the air, before landing with a clatter. The Panasonic guys are impressed. The nurses are mortified. The $4,000 laptop is still running, and it immediately goes to the top of my favorites list.

I go to another station where one nurse is closely examining another laptop. It's obvious she doesn't know a whole hell of a lot about computers because all she can bitch about is that the stylus pops out of the left side of the computer, and she's right handed. I roll my eyes and the company rep tries not to laugh out loud.

The last station I visit is the stapler lady. A older female MD is in the room, and doesn't even look at me, even though I said hello. Whatever. Some women docs (not all) have attitude against they are trying to distance themselves so far from us, that they won't be confused for one of us. Heaven forbid a doctor gets mistaken for a nurse! You don't encounter these hateful women too often, but you do encounter them.

After an hour and a half of looking at computers, I leave with my free mini stapler, a water bottle, various pens and a sticker announcing to the world that I voted on my favorite computer. No one will find out who won the door prizes until after tomorrow because the fair ends tomorrow night.

If I win a golf club, I'm going to be pissed.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Another Bad Week Off to a Good Start

Working my fourth night, overtime, having only 4 hours of sleep, and I was swindled by a secretary to do it. I can't wait to call her at 2am and ask where the paperclips are.

This morning, I drove home, and the snow was coming down in big, fat flakes. Here comes the blizzard! I stopped by the store and just decided to do all my grocery shopping because I figured I would be holed up in my house for the next four days.

After driving home, putting away all my crap, and taking a quick "wash the germs off me" shower, I finally settled into bed around 10:30.

Around 2:30, a friend stops by because he happened to be in the neighborhood and wanted to see the house. Midway through the grand tour, he realizes that he's already seen this house, back in April, when he was looking to buy one. A quick visit, and he departs. I peek outside and see that the doomsday blizzard that was predicted turned out to be just the same twelve snowflakes blowing around. How typical.

A little after 3pm, the secretary from my floor calls, telling me that a nurse has called in, leaving the night crew in dire straits, and can I come in? I tell her that I can come in at 11pm. She tells me they are really short. So, I cave and agree to come in at 7pm. From there, I go back to bed thinking I may get to squeeze in an hour nap before I have to get ready for work. Whatever.

Mom then calls. Can Boyfriend bring stuff over Wednesday night to store in my basement? I agree because he's giving me a $400 lawnmower that's never been used in exchange for a few months storage space, and it has already been decided that I'm easy when it comes to appliances and power tools. Mom then blathers about him taking to her Barbados in May on a yacht because he's going to be teaching some people how to scuba. My only words of wisdom: Don't fall off the boat.

I barely close my eyes when the alarm goes off. Defeated, I shower, warm something in the oven for a quick dinner, get dressed and come to work. I enter the floor and check the staffing to see who called in. Instead of the situation painted to me by the secretary, the picture I see isn't nearly as desperate, and I could have come in at 11pm without causing any hardship to my coworkers. I give the secretary the finger and announce to the entire floor she is now on my "list".

To top it off, I get an email from my realtor: a water bill still in the name of the real estate company that sold the house, and a notice telling me that they are going to turn the water off Tuesday. When I closed on the house, I called all the utility companies to have everything transferred to my name: gas, water, electricity. The lady at the water company didn't strike me as being a mental giant, but she assured me that she had all the information needed and would get it passed along to the person who takes care of such matters. This didn't happen.

So now, I have to try to locate someone with a half a brain working in the Water Department of Kansas City (and considering it is City Hall, that might take all day) tomorrow, and rip them a new one. I'm going to be tired, cranky, and primed for delivering ass-chewings in the morning. If I did my job as crappy as they do theirs, all my patients would croak. Every. Single. Night.

But what can you expect, they are products of the Kansas City, Missouri School District.

Friday, January 12, 2007

A Fine Ending for a Fine Week

Well, it would appear that winter has finally caught up with us...and it sucks.

I had planned on leaving for work earlier than usual, stopping by the store first for a can of Reddi Whip. Paul called around five pm and insisted that I leave for work right then and there. Reddi Whip be damned.

I left closer to 5:30pm, only stopping at the gas station to fill up the car in the event I got stranded. They didn't carry Reddi Whip.

I-70 hadn't even been close to being cleared, much less salted. The MoDot trucks (five of them) parked on the side of the highway, probably having donuts and drinking coffee. Meanwhile, traffic is moving at a crawl, and sliding all over the place. I almost bought it on the Manchester Bridge, then again at the Jackson curve. My top speed was just under 30mph. Some SUV's would blow past me like I was sitting there in park. I did notice most of their plates were from Johnson county. That figures. Dumbasses.

I made it to work, and for the better part of the night, we're golden. Then, I get a patient who is, for lack of a better way of saying it, "circling the drain". I can only hope the patient's family gets here before the patient transfers to the Eternal Care Center. That's what we call a Negative Patient Outcome, people. Ideally, I'd like them to hang around and wait to expire after shift change because I still suck at filling out the paperwork, but my spider sense tells me to get my pen ready.

I spoke with Paul earlier to tell him I made it to work okay (because he's secretly in love with me and worries about me more than he would like to admit), and he was celebrating in his achievement of home made refried beans. I've never made homemade refried beans. I've never known anyone to make homemade refried beans. To me, it's just easier to open a can and scoop them out. But I'm not a hater, and I can't begrudge anyone who wants to delve into making refried beans from scratch. I get to sample the finished product this weekend as he brings them to work.

It's arctic-ass cold outside. I'm so excited for the drive home. Hopefully, the roads will be in better shape because I have no desire to bunk at the hospital for the day. I don't think the residents will be too willing to share their bunks with the nurses...but then again, I could be mistaken. From what I understand, some of the residents have already bunked with some of the nurses.

Be safe, and keep warm!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Back On!

I'm offline for a week, and Kansas City goes to pot. What. The. Hell. I'm inclined to think that all the news I missed (because I get all my news online), is a direct correlation to the apocalypse.

Kansas City maybe getting a hockey team? Didn't we have one already? Didn't they suck (just like every other team in Kansas City)? Does the mere fact that hockey will be playing in a brand new arena make people want to come see them more than they did when they played in an old one?

Hockey? Zzzzz. At least KC is being consistent with the bringing in of mediocre teams. The Penguins should feel right at home here...

And it's not that I am a fair-weather fan. I think they are all a bunch of over-priced whiners all the time.

All week I have been wondering what the hell happened to 97.3. Used to play music, now they are a sports talk channel. I liked 97.3, they played a wider variety than 98.9 did...who only played interviews with D-list celebs, Buck Cherry and pandered to the Meth Crowd.

Looks like it's back to satellite radio.

The Things We Leave Behind

All weekend, all I could think about was making a pot of potato soup. I don't mean to brag, but I make awesome potato soup. This was going to be a special event!

I bought all the things I would need for my special potato soup, get everything home, begin to assemble my preparation tools. I reach for my trusty, lifetime guaranteed Pampered Chef stockpot, and come face to face with the horrible realization that I accidentally left the stockpot back at the apartment...along with two saucepans of the same maker, and a Fiestaware dutch oven.

I made a point to remember the stupid breadmaker, but forgot the very things that make my life worth living.

After my global anxiety attack, I calmed myself down by telling myself I would call the apartment complex in the morning and inquire about my cookware. I know for a fact that they don't even begin to turn over vacated apartments until months after the tenant has left. The River Oaks apartment complex is that crappy (don't ever move there). Not to mention they are going to have to completely gut the place oweing to all the water damage their neglected leaks had caused.

So, I called the management office first thing in the morning. The lady who answered the phone got all hateful with me because I moved out in the first place...even though I went through the appropriate channels to do so: gave them the required noticed, cleaned the apartment, and was an overall model tenant (the police were never called to my place...NOT ONCE!). How dare I buy a house and not want to live in a crappy apartment complex that has seemingly turned Section 8!

In a nutshell, I don't get my cookware back. After getting different stories about it, she finally settled on the "we already cleaned out your apartment" excuse. Bullshit. My butt-ass expensive cookware is now in the hands of some peon who has NO IDEA what they have in their possession. Do they know how I had to practically whore myself out to people to buy kitchen gadgets so I could get those pots and pans for HALF their purchase price?!?

It has made me sick. SICK. SICK. SICK!! I will replace them, there is no question, but the thought of how much money I am going to have to shell out for them...again. I'm going to have to host a Pampered Chef party so I can get them at a discount. That's also the part that makes me sick.

It doesn't help matters that Paul likes to remind me about my loss whenever he wants to see me have a nervous breakdown about it...which is almost daily.

Not a red-letter week for Heather...and it's only mid-week.

I'm still waiting for my new modem, which should arrive either Wednesday or Thursday. Being without the internet has been terrible. Especially since now I am getting down to final planning of vacation details, and I still have a ton of crap to do before I go. Even the idea of getting ready for vacation is stressing me out, and I am blaming the move for it.

I just want to curl up in the fetal position somewhere and nurse a really big Dr. Pepper in crushed ice.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Here's to a New Year

Forgive my tardiness in blogging. I assembled my computer this week, only to find that the modem crapped out somewhere between the apartment and the house. Now, I am just waiting for my new modem, which should arrive sometime next week.

New events...

I have satellite! And being able to watch real TV is everything I thought it would be. Thus far, my happy ass is camped out whenever Law and Order is on. SVU is my favorite, but Criminal Intent ranks a close second.

New Year's Eve went off without anything too terribly exciting happening...unless, of course, you don't count your mother drunk dialing you as exciting. She did...twice.

Me: Hello?
Mom: (slurring) How's my baby girl?
Me: Uhhh...fine.
Mom: Have you got everything unpacked?
Me: No...that's what I am doing right now.
Mom: Is the fridge still in the garage?
Me: Yes.
Mom: I'll help you move it.
Me: You can't move a fridge up a flight of stairs.
Mom: Yes I can! (hiccup)
Me: Have you been drinking?
Mom: (proudly) Yes!
Me: What?
Mom: Beer
Me: How much have you drank?
Mom: Hold on...
Me: (hearing the sound of things being tossed around) What are you doing?
Mom: I'm looking in the garbage can to see how many beers I drank. (pause) Nine!!
Me: (heavy sigh)

Mom blathers incoherently for about five minutes before I begin to somewhat understand what she is saying.

Mom: My emotions are just all jumbled right now!
Me: (flatly) Why are your emotions all jumbled?
Mom: Because I fell in love again!!!
Me: (groaning somewhat loudly) Okay.
Mom: Yeah, I know you say "okay", and I know you are a strong person, and not weak and stuff...but someday you will be my age...
Me: Okay.
Mom: You'll see.

I cite the huge amount of work I have to do and beg off the phone, but not before Mom promises (threatens?) to call me after midnight to wish me Happy New Year. I secretly curse Paul for bailing on me in favor of a family gathering. As promised, she called again five minutes after midnight, and slurs her Happy New Year greeting.

Obviously, the highlight of my evening.

I didn't make any resolutions this year...unless you count unpacking, and other general home improvement stuff. I hung my very first set of blinds on Monday. It took me all day to do it, but the other three went up in a relatively short amount of time considering I knew what I was doing by then. The refrigerator has also made it's way to the kitchen with the help of three strong guys. While I measured the height and width of said fridge before I bought it, I failed to check the depth, and now that ginormous beast of ice and cold sticks out a good six inches, and somewhat blocks the doorway into the kitchen. Anyone exceeding 300lbs will have to get to the kitchen through the dining room. I should post a disclaimer for that in the house.

Now, I have to get out of unpacking mode, and get into vacation mode. I have to start pulling out clothes for warm weather, start packing, tan, and finish booking shore excursions.

I really, really need this vacation.