Thursday, May 31, 2007


Today, I took Sam for his haircut. I also went and got my haircut. Not by the same groomer.

My vet's groomer was booked until the Second Coming, so I had to settle on taking him to a local Petco. I take him inside and explain to the groomer what I want done. She starts to tell me that I don't want my dog shaved because he will be hot.

I insist that this is Sam's routine, every summer. I want his fur shaved to a half an inch or less, feather the tail, and just leave longer fur around the face...making him look like a mushroom. This is Sam's summer 'do. This is what we know, and what we like.

I go to get my hair cut by someone who is not the girl who usually does my hair. I haven't been able to get a hold of the girl who does my hair, plus I'm hearing she's recently acquired a coke habit (not the in a glass of ice variety, either). I haven't had a haircut since before the cruise, and all I can do with my hair is wear it up. It's horrible, disgusting, and not fun.

So, I make an appointment with a girl who used to work with the girl who did my hair. The salon has changed since last I've been there. Instead of whimsical, I get paintings of naked women on the walls. Did this turn into a lesbian salon and I wasn't told? The stylist told me they were just showing art from a local artist while he tried to sell it.

Overall, very happy with the hair cut. Happy enough to want this girl to do my hair again. I wish Amy could still do my hair, because she's been doing my hair since she finished cosmetology school. However, I'm particular when it comes to my hair, and a girl's got to have consistency.

After my appointment, I go back to Petco to get Sam. He didn't fare as well with his haircut as I did with mine. It looks like the clipper guard kept popping off their clippers because he's got uneven spots all over his body. They took half the length off his tail fur, and his head? Well...the groomer called it a a lion. To me, Sam looks like he has the biggest double chin I have ever seen. I've been calling him Turkeyneck all afternoon. My reaction is bipolar. I go between bursts of laughter to extreme sadness that he has to live with this haircut for the summer. I know what it's like to have a bad haircut.
Needless to say, I won't be taking Sam back to Petco...ever. Tomorrow, I'm going to call my vet's office and make an advanced appointment for their groomer for sometime in late August.
In a moment of sadness, I took him out and bought him an ice cream cone from the local ice cream shop around the corner from my house.
So, now we are chilling out at home. Him and his new 'do and I in mine. Me and Turkeyneck.

The Ray Nagin Dumbass Award Goes to...

Andrew Speaker

In case you don't know who this dumbass is, he is the guy, after he was told he had tuberculosis and advised not to fly, immediately hopped a plane to Europe for his wedding.

But wait! There's more!!

While in Europe, he finds out that not only does he have TB, he's got the kind that the regular regimen of antibiotics won't easily treat. He is advised to turn himself into Italian authorities so he can be put in quarantine, and appropriate arrangements can be made to bring him back to U.S. for treatment. Does he do this? NO! Being the dumbass he is, he immediately hops another plane for him, but bypassing the fact he was on a no-fly list for the U.S., and flies into Canada instead before driving home.

Does the dumbassness end there? Nope!

His father-in-law is a microbiologist who works for the Center of Disease Control. His primary area of research: tuberculosis. Dad-in-law offers "fatherly advice" of not travelling at all, but the dumbass doesn't heed this and goes anyway. I bet Dad-in-law feels real good about the fact that this asshat is now married to his daughter.

Now that this pinhead is back in the U.S. and being shuttled to a Denver hospital that specializes in respiratory diseases, only now is he concerned about the fact that he may have spread this to other people.

Did this not occur to him before he boarded a plane, not once, but TWICE for transatlantic flights, exposing EVERYONE on the plane to his creeping crud. Doctor's say he is low risk for transmission, but there is still that small risk. Would you like to be one of the passengers on that airplane? Would you like to make a gamble with small risk?? It's the equivalent of playing Russian Roulette.

If ever were an example of selfish, conceited, arrogance, this guy would be the poster boy for it. The fact that he's a lawyer, well, that's just icing on the cake. Would it be too much to hope that all the passengers on that airplane file a lawsuit against him for emotional damages?? If I were a passenger on that plane, I would be freaking out right about now.

So, here's to you, Andrew Speaker. Pariah and All-Round Dumbass. Knowing that the kind of TB you carry has a 30% cure rate, I can only hope you fall in the 70% range and your lungs turn to oatmeal and you, well, die a horrible, painful death. Cold and heartless, perhaps? Maybe, but only the same amount of consideration you gave to everyone else the minute you checked your luggage at the airport.

A Mortifying Realization

The neighbor kids came over yesterday morning to play with the dog. I walked out the back door and stood on my deck and watched, chatting with them about school, summer plans, etc. I was still in my pajamas, which consisted of a t-shirt, and flannel pants.

Things were going well until one of the kids (who is not my neighbor, but a friend of the neighbor) mentioned something unintelligible, then the word "stripper". The oldest of the kids silenced him with a look and play went on as usual.

It got me thinking...then I had a horrible thought.

Oh. My. God. My neighbors think I am a stripper.

I work weekends, leave at night and come home in the morning, home during the week, prefer to sleep during the day. What other profession has that kind of schedule??? AND, because I bought this house on my own and there is no man living here, how else can I afford it? Strippers make decent money, far more than my meager salary.

Women dancing in my living room. Mom dry humping inflatable sheep in front of my living room window. It all fits!!!

I'm stunned. What man would actually pay money to see me naked? In fact, they would be tossing dollar bills on the stage to ensure I would keep my clothes on. How could anyone possibly mistake me for a stripper???
They probably think the scrubs are part of the schtick or something. Naughty nurse? I could just die.

Monday, May 28, 2007

At the Conference: Heather's Social Experiment

Much of the same on Wednesday. General session, in the morning. I visited the Expo again for some CEU opportunities (and any ink pens I might have missed). Went to a class or two.

One thing I learned is that at these conferences, the name of the game is finding out who's going to buy your dinner that night. Almost every vendor booth I stopped by, one rep was talking about which clients (i.e. the nurses) they had to take out that night.

Someone in our group had made arrangements with one rep to take our group out to dinner. The rep worked the KC area, so some were already familiar with him. So, after all the classes were over and done, and I managed to squeeze a nap in, our group hoofed it to a steakhouse nearby. Roughly twenty people in our party.

About a half dozen of us sat at one end of an extremely long table. Everyone started out with mixed drinks, and someone ordered someone else a shot. It snowballed from there. Then, I had an epiphany.

How many shots will it take to incapacitate a bunch of ICU nurses? Let's find out!!

Because I designated myself ringleader, I kept order rounds of shots. No sooner did my subjects down one shot, I had another round delivered. Various shots from the spicy to the fruity. All in all, I'd say I probably ordered ten rounds or so.

Did I mention that this is all at the expense of the drug rep who's buying the dinner? He didn't seem too concerned, after all, he ended up joining in the fray.

Before too long, I've got me a gaggle of drunk nurses, all staggering to the bathroom at some point or another, cursing me the entire way.

Wrapping things up, everyone decides it's a fine idea to head back to the convention center to catch the concert. Drug rep gets the final bill and blanches. We rocked it around $1200. I'm going to guess that's never seen one that high. No one seems too concerned, considering the amount of equipment that our hospital buys from his company probably goes into the millions.

So, everyone staggers back to the convention center. I'm gimping, but still stone sober. The other nurses curse my father's alcoholic genes as I am the only one who has the ability to walk in a straight line.

Oh joy!! KC and the Sunshine Band is the featured performer. I can't work up the enthusiasm that the older nurses exhibit. So, I sit in the chair, watching in abject horror. The lead singer has a big beer gut and the widest ass on a man I have ever seen. He's sweating profusely in his sequined shirt, and trying hard to be sexy. I vomit in my mouth a little. It isn't too long before someone tosses a pair of white granny panties on the stage. It was bound to happen sooner or later.

At one point, Lead Guy (KC?) says, "I'm going to take you back to 1980."

"I was five." I say dryly to the drug rep, who surprisingly, is still speaking to me.

"I was three" he replies.

After about twenty or so minutes, I decide to go back to the hotel. A couple of the younger girls follow suit, as we as my most toasted subject, who is 51...but doesn't look a day over 40.

Me: Next year, they are going to have Meatloaf.

Drunk Nurse: Really!?!

Me: No...not really. I just said that to be an asshole.

Drunk Nurse: I've noticed that you're REALLY good at that.

Me: Why, thank you!

Drunk Nurse: You should come work on my floor!

Back at the hotel, my roommate and others decide to venture out again. However, I am old and like sleep a whole lot, and decide to call it a night. I take a long, hot bath and go to bed. I already know that tomorrow is going to be a long day.

I have to conserve my strength if I am going to find that MARTA worker and beat her ass.

At the Conference: Carnage and Free Ink Pens

When I originally filled out my registration for the conference, there was a section where I could select an "early bird session". Meaning: subject myself to a class that started at 7am. No person in their right mind would register for something so heinous, so I left the section blank.

Imagine my surprise when I get my registration cards in the mail, there is a ticket for an early bird session in there. It was either someones idea of a sick joke, or someone seriously put me down for this class, and thereby was begging to be bitch-slapped.

Upon conversing with my fellow colleagues on the matter, turns out they had all been assigned butt-ass early classes. I didn't feel so alone.

I figured I'd make the most of my conference experience and attend my early bird class. More CEU's meant less crunch time when the license was due.

I woke up around 5am, trudged to the shower, fell asleep in the shower, got dried, got dressed. All the while, I kept smelling smoke. I wondered if the hotel was burning down, shrugged, and went back to whatever it was I was doing.

I stepped out of the hotel room and the entire atrium of the hotel was full of smoke. Holy shit! The hotel was burning down!! Smoke everywhere!!! No one seemed too excited about it, so I just heaved my obvious burgundy bag over my shoulder, and gimped across the street to the Omni hotel, where the class was being held. Downtown Atlanta was thick with smoke, but it smelled like a campfire. I overheard someone talking about the wildfires in Florida...this was their smoke. The same thing happened in KC a few years back. Wildfires in some other state, and the smoke blew into our town. It was magical.

At the class, I give them my ticket and take my place at one of the big, fully set tables in one of the ballrooms, seated next to other bleary-eyed nurses. We were served breakfast, then someone gave an hour-long talk on whatever subject our class was about. In this case, it was all about infection.

After the class, I go to the general session where the keynote speaker was Kevin Carroll. Phenomenal speaker with a great message that had nothing to do with nursing. If you ever have the chance to go listen to him, do it. You might even get a red rubber ball out of it.

Today was significant because the expo floor was being opened. Over 500 booths, most of which would be handing out free ink pens. Nurses love free ink pens. That, and chocolate. The cooler the pens, the more we like them.

The doors were opened to the expo floor, and hundreds of nurses go pouring in. Some casually strolled from booth to booth, actually paying attention to what the booth was displaying, some stopped to talk to the vendors to get more information, others simply went to take anything that wasn't nailed down. These were the women you steered clear of. They were hell bent on a mission to collect as much free crap as they could get their grubby little hands on. I bet they are monsters on Black Friday.

I stopped to talk to a couple vendors. I actually had a very informative 15 minute chat with someone about a new type of rectal tube. I amassed more ink pens in one day, than I have accumulated in my entire lifetime. Some lit up and blinked. Some had fun attachments. I also managed to pick up a koosh yo-yo, some stress balls, penlights, hand sanitizer, a couple insulated lunch bags, post-it notes, some books, lanyards, sewing kits, lip balm, and other various odds and ends. My obvious burgundy bag was busting at the seams. As heavy as it was, I'm surprised I didn't blow out my rotator cuff.

You may wonder what one does with so much crap. Well, I'll tell you.

Christmas presents!!

I stayed at the expo. All. Day. Long. By the time I was finished, my legs ached and my toes had swollen to the size of little Vienna sausages. Like a pack mule, I carted my day's booty back to the hotel and collapsed into bed. The tentative plan was for me to ride the MARTA to go see Kant, but all I wanted was a nap, and to not have to walk anymore.

Some of the other nurses in my group decided to attend a Braves game. I went to a Royals once when they hosted the Braves. I saw John Rocker. Been there, done that. However, I'm told that they ended up in the ghetto, fearing for their lives. One nurse was drinking a Cape Cod at some point. A police officer approached her, eyeing her glass.

Cop: Is that alcohol?
Nurse: No.
Cop: What is it?
Nurse: Cranberry juice
Cop: (incredulous) Cranberry juice...with a lime??
Nurse: (without missing a beat) Yes, that's how we drink cranberry juice in Kansas.

I got up from my nap and ended up having dinner with a drug rep as an afterthought. He took a small group of us to Mortons. There's one in Kansas City, but I have never been there. After looking at the menu, I can see why I've never been there. Probably one of the more expensive restaurants I have been to. How expensive? Let's just say that if a guy took you there on a date, it would almost be mandatory that you put out afterwards. For a group of nine, the final bill was somewhere between $600 and $700. Because he was a drug rep, and the dinner was his company's way of thanking us for using their product, I did not have to put out. I couldn't have even if I wanted to. I was too exhausted.

After getting back to the hotel, I conserved just enough strength to put on my pajamas and crawl back into bed, where I could dream happily of mountains of free ink pens.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

At the Conference: Opening Day

I woke up around 6:30am, which was really 5:30 am in Missouri time. Showered, dressed, went downstairs for the complimentary breakfast offered by Embassy Suites. I've never stayed at an Embassy Suites before, unless you count the time I herded a bunch of drunk nurses there so they could sober up in a room before going home. In the grand scheme of complimentary breakfasts, I'd have to say that Embassy probably ranks highest. They had made-to-order omelets, as well as other hot foods. Naturally, this also included grits, which I had mistaken for Cream of Wheat. Silly me, I should have remembered.

The Opening Session was to start at 9am, so we haul ass over to the Georgia World Congress Center...which is roughly the size of Cuba. Everyone is carrying the large, burgundy totes we got when we registered. Interesting enough, I got a couple items in the mail before I left for Atlanta, one of which being a brochure with some tips and pointers to make our experience in Atlanta safer and more enjoyable. One of which advising us not to wear our name badges out in public so we could blend in, and not seem like easy targets to would-be thieves and all-round miscreants. I don't know, the totes large enough to smuggle a circus midget seemed to make us more obvious than a little purple name tag ever would...but that's just me. I made sure I took my name badge off before going anywhere. I just shoved it in the large tote.

At any rate, we make the long hike to where the opening session is going to be...which is the in the furthest corner, on the lowest level of the building. While I'm walking there, I notice that there's a MARTA station right next door, right across the street FROM OUR HOTEL!!. I vow to find the woman who gave us directions from the airport the day before, and pummel her in the face.

We find seats, and as an opening act, some guys from Atlanta's drum corp come out on stage and play. This pleases me very much as I am a drummer, or at least I was when I had a drum set. I decide that this is the best part of the conference. They don't play nearly as long as I would like, and the next act is about six people pounding on garbage cans and buckets in a Stomp-like fashion. One girl is more into flipping her hair and shaking her ass for us. I decide this is the worst part of the conference, and wish the real drummers would return to the stage.

A presenting of the colors and the national anthem, and conference has officially begun.

There was a keynote speaker. She spoke for an hour, and everyone was turned loose to find some classes and get some knowledge. I attended classes for the rest of the day. Some good, some I had to fight to stay awake for. Around five pm, all classes that day are finished, and we are left to our own devices for the evening.

Back at the hotel, everyone takes advantage of the complimentary happy hour offered by the hotel, with a two drink maximum. As everyone in the lobby is two-fisting their drinks, our group decides to go have dinner at some southern restaurant downtown. Which means more walking.

We get to Pittypat's Porch, which is supposed to be named after Scarlett O'Hara's aunt or something retarded like that. We were seated, we ordered. The food wasn't that great, and apparently southern hospitality is a thing of the past because the service sucked also. Another unremarkable dinner. We trudge back to the hotel and I immediately go to bed, but not before my roommate starts watching The Bachelor, and I go into a 10 minute rant about how the women are all a bunch of famewhores, and the bachelor is a tool.

Lucky me, I get to get up before the buttcrack of dawn the next morning, so I hit the bed early. So much for a fun and exciting week in Hotlanta.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

At the Conference: Getting There

After returning home from work, I dashed around the house, doing some last minute things, and I packed. Having NO SLEEP, I drove to Mom's place so she could take me to the airport. The airport was fairly dead, so I breezed through check-in and settled in the waiting area at the gate. Sleepy, I thought a cup of coffee at the kiosk inside the gate would be a fine idea. It wasn't Starbucks. I don't know what brand it was (Always Save, perhaps?), but it was the worst coffee ever. I tried to drink it, but after choking down a forth of the cup, I tossed it. $3 cup of coffee and it wasn't even gourmet...what a load of crap.

And so begins the week of the overpriced.

I boarded the plane, and actually discovered that the girl who sat next to me was going to be my roommate for the week. She seemed nice and sweet, and we chatted a little before I dug out the ipod and watched a couple episodes of Heroes. Meanwhile, the main flight attendant (the one who got to make all the announcements) had to have been the dumbest flight attendant on the planet.

"So...uhhh...we're leaving Kansas City now, and the weather is great for flying. The temperatures are in the 80's in Atlanta, and,'ll see when we...ummm...get there."

It was like this the whole way to Atlanta.

"We have landed in Atlanta, and we're going to pull up to the gate. Uhhhh...then you will get off the plane and...ummm...someone will be able to help you, unless you want to stay on the plane to go to your next destination. So, you will just remain in your seat...or stand if you want to. (pause) Oh. The captain just said everyone has to get off the plane. So...uhhh...everyone will have to get off the plane. Oh, but you have to wait until the plane stops."

Her words, I shit you not.

The captain apparently misses our gate because he slams on the breaks, causing everyone to pitch forward in their seats. He slowly navigates back to the gate, where we get off, grateful that the stupid people who were obviously running our flight, did not crash the plane.

By this time, most everyone in my hospital's group has found each other, and we collect our luggage and decide how to get to the hotel. Four people decide to take a shuttle, which costs $16 per person, one way. The rest of us are cheap bastards, and we decide to take the subway (or MARTA if you prefer) for $2.25 a person. Sure, the hospital is going to reimburse us for our expenses, but that doesn't mean we want to shell out the money in the first place.

So, we go the MARTA station and a lady who works there immediately detects tourists in the midst and gives us an inservice on how to buy a ticket from the little automated kiosk. Then, she stands by a map of Atlanta and where the MARTA goes, and gives us instructions on how to get to our hotel. This includes getting off at such and such station, and walking only a couple blocks to our hotel.

In the grand scheme of subway rides, this was not eventful. Just people on a subway, trying to get from point A to point B. It was a clean train, and everyone just kind of kept to themselves. No shootings or hate crimes occurred.

We reach our destination, go on about six different escalators and reach the surface of downtown Atlanta. A couple blocks walk? My ass!! We walked FOREVER, all the while lugging heavy suitcases. Meanwhile, I'm wearing flip-flops, sleep and food deprived, and starting to get cranky.

We finally reach the hotel, and I am borderline hostile. Great! Our room isn't ready, so we just sit in the lobby and wait. I glare at the hotel workers meanwhile.

When the room is finally ready, I use the last of my strength to haul my luggage to our room. I fall into bed, happy that my night is done. But wait!! It would appear that I have to go to dinner with the KC Chapter of AACN at Hard Rock Cafe. Can we please call a cab? My pleas are vetoed as everyone starts hoofing it back where we started from. I stomp behind them, grumpy. This conference is not the all expenses paid fun that was promised to me.

We finally make it to the Hard Rock, and are seated with forty-some other nurses, all from the KC area. We wait for about thirty minutes (standing up) before being seated, our drinks are already waiting...tastes like Pepsi, but they say it's Coke. I'm so tired and parched, I don't care. It's cold and wet. That's all I care about.

We get six choices for dinner: a hamburger, a cheeseburger, a bacon cheeseburger, a veggie burger, a pulled pork sandwich, or a Caesar salad. Wow. Everyone orders. The food arrives, and it sucks. I douse my burger with ketchup and mustard because it's so dry. Meanwhile, we have blaring radios competing with a hard rock band playing next door. I spot someone I recognize. He works in our surgical ICU, and I went to nursing school with his wife. He recognizes me and approaches.

Me: Hey!! How are you?
Him: Great! How are you?
Me: Tired! I haven't been to sleep since yesterday!!
Him: That sucks.
Me: Hey! How's Deanna?? I really need to call her or something.
Him: Divorced. She's been my ex for about a year now.
Me: Oh...

Feeling like a complete and total ass, I just sit there and choke down the rest of my burger. Maybe if my mouth is full of food, I'll have less a chance of sticking my foot in it.

After dinner, I poke around in the gift shop, hoping to find a pin to add to the rest of the pins on my boonie hat. Their pins are roughly the size of dinner plates and cost as much as a down payment on a house. Dejected, I gimp back to the hotel. With the very last energy I have, I put on my pajamas, brush my teeth and crawl into bed.

You know it's a good, deep coma when you drool on yourself.
And so ends Day One.

Nurse Follies: At the Conference

There are thousands of critical care nurses at this conference, and yet they only offer 16 computers for everyone to use in the cyber cafe. Someone suggested that because there are a lot of older nurses, they might not have felt we needed more. That's crap. Everyone uses email.

Naturally, I find the business office at my hotel on the last day I'm here.

I'm coming home this afternoon, and I will be very glad to do so. This week has been non-stop running, classes, running, trying to stay awake at said classes, and more running. My feet will never be the same. Next time I come to conference, I'm bringing roller skates.

In addition to the blisters on my feet, I will be carting home about 100+ ink pens, pen lights, highlighters, bandaid holders, paperclips, a couple plastic tumblers, a handful of pins, 4 insulated lunch bags, two large totes, a few things I can't identify, and one small stuffed St. Bernard. All free.

Now, it's time for me to attend the last general session where someone will impart touchy-feeling sentiment to the audience in an effort to make everyone cry. After last night, most everyone will be hung over, so I am sure they won't have to try too hard.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Thing I Want the Most

Is a nap.

I got off work around hour after I was supposed to have timed out. They had trouble finding a nurse to replace me, and at one point asked if I would be willing to stay longer. Uhhh, you've had ALL DAY to find my replacement. So, that would be a "NO!".

I stopped by the grocery store to pick up some last minute things, like a new toothbrush, etc. Plus, Mom put in a request for chicken legs. Because she's house sitting for me, I can honor this request.

Now, I just need to strip the sheets off my bed and put the clean ones on it, start a load of laundry, pack my suitcase, take a shower, and go to the airport. Good thing I slept all day yesterday.

Like I said, hopefully I will have access to a computer so I can blog about the conference. If not, I'll be seeing you guys on Thursday.

Hotlanta, here I come!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Wonder That is Gates

I had a productive day yesterday. I finally got all the stuff done that I've been saying I was going to do all week. In light of my productive day, I decided that I wasn't going to cook, but rather send out for something. I didn't want any fast food, but I did notice that there was a Gates BBQ not far from my house.

I've lived in, or around, Kansas City since 1993. Not once have I ever stepped foot inside a Gates. I'm a crappy Kansas Citian, I know.

I really wish I had a warning, because someone yelled at me when I first walked in the door.

"HI! MAY I HELP YOU!?!" screamed a little, black woman. Shit...I just walked into the place and I am already pissing someone off.

I selected a mixed plate that had a little of everything on it. Upon seeing my platter in person, I realized I had lunch for work on Friday night taken care of as well. I bought a little bottle of sauce to take with me, and lady behind the counter (the one who yelled at me) talked me into a cup of strawberry soda. It turns out, she was quite nice, but I was stilled unnerved anyway.

I took my dinner home and ate a little (it seems I've gotten used to eating smaller amounts), and packed the rest away in easy, take-to-lunch containers. I must say, it was probably the best BBQ I have ever had the misfortune of dribbling on my shirt. Even the beans were good. I didn't know what I was going to do with a half jar of pickles (aside from sending them to The D's house...because I know of his secret love for pickles), so I just fed them to Sam. He liked the pickles very much, but he also licks his own, what does he know about good taste?

So, that is my review of Gates. It was quite tasty, I think I shall go back again. I never opened the bottle of sauce. I'm wondering if I should take it with me and give it to Kant when I see her. They suffer in Georgia because there are no BBQ joints to speak of. Folks in Georgia have never even heard of a burnt end. It would suck to live in Georgia.

I've yet to pack my suitcase, but I will probably end up doing that Saturday night. I'm slated to work for 4 hours that night. I should have just taken the whole night off, but I was a dumbass. I'm starting to get pretty excited about going. Especially since my next real vacation isn't until November of next year. Hopefully, I will have access to a computer so I can blog as I go.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Pomp and Circumstance

Last night, I went to the graduation/pinning of the new nursing class at Johnson County Community College. I only went because one of my coworkers was graduating, not because I'm horribly interested in seeing a bunch of graduate nurses.

In the grand scheme of graduations, this was incredibly boring. Almost two hours sitting in Yardley Hall, and the only break from the norm was when the photographer fell off the stage (she wasn't hurt). Immediately following was the stale joke of "is there a nurse in the house?"

For the most part, it was one great, big advertisement at how wonderful their school was. Bleh. Even my coworker (the one who graduated) was happy the whole thing was over and done with...especially the nursing school part. I remember how that felt.

It made me reflect back on my pinning ceremony. Crammed into the Uptown, hot as hell, some asshats in the audience that wouldn't shut up and kept screaming. The guy we hired to do sound sucked ass. Afterwards, there was cake and punch and a couple thoughtless, greedy pigs (who were also classmates) made off with anything that wasn't nailed down: flowers, plants, centerpieces, and one family even ran off with a whole damn sheet cake. What can I say? I attended an inner city college, where sense of entitlement runs rampant, and parking becomes much easier after the grant/loan checks have been disbursed.

After the ceremony, Red (who also attended) and myself went to Houlihans by Oak Park Mall. We sat at the bar area and had drinks and appetizers. It starts getting louder, and louder, and louder. So loud, I couldn't even hear what she was trying to tell me half the time. Anytime I saw she opened her mouth and said something, I had to yell, "WHAT?!?" She'd repeat it three more times before giving up. That's how loud it was.

At one point, I looked around and realized that we were probably the oldest people there. At 32, that's kind of scary. Judging from the looks of some of the patrons, I'm guessing that checking IDs that night wasn't exactly a priority, because we're fairly certain that 25% of those there were not even 21.

One of which included the table next to us, where sat a little blonde with the biggest fake hooters I've ever seen. High school graduation present, perhaps? She kept glancing over to me throughout the night. I think because she was wondering if my boobs were real. Yes, dear, they are real. Some women just know how to grow 'em, I guess.

Mark my words, we'll be seeing her in Playboy or The Bachelor sometime down the road...or maybe both.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Things That Put Me in a Cold Sweat

I woke up this afternoon to a bunch of messages from people who NEVER call me. The first, being my brother. Not the cool one.

"As an early anniversary present, you could co-sign on a car for us."

Then, I went and checked in that mirror to see if that "Stupid" sign had reappeared on my forehead again.

My brother has had one car repossessed, although Mom is pretty sure it was two. What person in their right mind would co-sign for someone who couldn't even get a small loan to pay for a bologna sandwich?

I didn't call him back.

My second message was from my gay-not gay cousin. Mom had reported that her girlfriend dumped her last week, and the possibility existed that my cousin and my human quaalude aunt would get a place together...according to my aunt. My gay-not gay cousin left a message that she just wanted to gab.

She NEVER calls me.

Mom thinks that maybe she's going to hedge at moving in with me, which sends cold shudders down my spine. The last time we lived together, she moved in her Shamu of a boyfriend (she was not-gay at the time), and all he would do was lounge around the house in his whitie-tidy underwear and eat all the food in the house. On one occasion, I remember looking for my brand new nylons (just bought!) to wear to some event, only to find them tied to her bed frame.

Fortunate for me, my other brother (the cool one) is coming to stay with me for a little spell.

Monday night, I took Mom out to dinner because I wasn't able to take her out on Mother's Day. I gave her a card and a bracelet, and she was happy. Not-cool brother called her on Mother's Day, but mostly to ask about co-signing on a loan with a "Happy Mother's Day" tossed in the conversation. I think it depressed her. My brother can be a thoughtless turd sometimes.

Tuesday, I'm going to clean the house and get it ready for Mom to stay at. I also plan on working on my "To Do List" for The Boyfriend. Need to stop at Lowes for another light fixture. Clean the garage so Mom can park her Jeep in it. Lots to do, so for now I will go back to bed.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Don't Forget!!

Don't forget to set your TiVo's, or VCR's, or whatever you may have. Extreme Makeover: Welfare Edition will be on tonight!!

Be sure to write out a check to help them pay off the first mortgage, too. Dip into your gas fund if you have to, by God.

Yeah, you can call me an asshole (tell me something I don't know), but I am still trying to figure out what made this family so exceptional that they had to have a half a million dollar house, completely furnished, built for them. I've seen some really deserving families on this show, but this KC family doesn't strike the same chord. My best friend's family took in five kids when her brother lost custody of them. In fact, they are adopting all of them, in addition to the kids they already have AND holding down full time jobs. I don't see ABC knocking down their door. This family did what most normal, loving families would do: they take care of their own.

My point being, there's lots of people out there more deserving.

I'm starting to get a headache from all the eye rolling. If I didn't have to work tonight, I'd probably watch midget porn instead.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Al Sharpton is an Asshole and Other Revelations

Mitt Romney is being far too nice. A lot more than I would be.

I'm not a huge fan of Romney, even though we both happen to be members of the same church. Just because we are both Mormon, doesn't mean he's going to automatically get my vote...which is one of the great things about the Church. It doesn't exercise influence in how I vote. In fact, I distinctly remember the bishop reading a statement from the church leaders before every major election that emphasized that the church was not endorsing any one candidate or another, and every member should exercise their own free agency and vote according to what they felt.

But I'm not here to discuss the Church and it's role in politics. I'm not even here to discuss Romney's candidacy.

"As for the one Mormon running for office, those who really believe in God will defeat him anyways, so don't worry about that; that's a temporary situation," Sharpton said during a debate with Hitchens at the New York Public Library.

Then, Mitt had to go and take the high road in reply:

"I don't know Reverend Sharpton," he (Romney) said. "I doubt he is personally such a thing, but the comment was a comment which could be described as a bigoted comment."

After being called to the mat in a very passive-aggressive sort of way by Romney, Big Al is engaging in the most pathetic attempts of CYA (Cover Your Ass) that I have been witness to since John Kerry inserted foot to mouth with his Stupid Goes to Iraq comment:

"In no way did I attack Mormons or the Mormon Church when I responded that other believers, not atheists, would vote against Mr. Romney for purely political reasons," Sharpton said.

That's sure sounded like a slam to Mormons to just about anyone who heard it.

If you believe that Big Al is not a bigot, then I bet you also believe that Paris Hilton really had no clue she wasn't supposed to drive on a suspended license. However, I'm willing to give Mitt some credit. After all, you have to be living under a rock if you think that Al Sharpton isn't a racist, bigoted douchebag, right? No, I'm willing to believe that Mitt knows what Big Al truly is (a big turd aside), but is refraining from getting into the mudslinging that so many politicians have been getting into as of late.

I, however, am not above such mudslinging. The meek members turn the other cheek (as they should). Members like me, give the finger.

Al Sharpton, you are an asshole, and an ignorant one at that. You should go hang out with Ol Fred's gang. Something tells me that you guys would have lots in common, like your penchant for hate, contention, and fear mongering. Not to mention the fact that you are all famewhores.

I'm not the most devout member of the Mormon church, but I am still a Mormon and could never be anything but a Mormon. It pisses me off when I hear stuff like this. Yeah, you could send someone to talk to Big Al to explain what the church is and what it believes in, but it would fall in deaf ears. You can't educate someone with the IQ of a grapefruit.

I think Big Al may have bitten off more than he can chew this time. There's no one he can rally or get fired, and he can't tie this to race. No, he's attacked one of the very principles this country was founded on: freedom of religion without persecution.

Now, we have people from all different religions jumping to the defense of Romney and the Church. So, Big Al may have done Romney a big favor...I don't know.

Al Sharpton is still an asshole. While he might be deserving of the Ray Nagin Dumbass Award, I don't feel like giving him anything but my foot up his ass.

Adventures in Homebuying: Projects! Projects! Projects!!

I planted five tomato plants this morning, surveyed the damage, and decided that five tomato plants simply wasn't enough. So, I went to Lowe's and bought three more tomato plants.

More tomatoes = More World Famous Fresh Garden's a staple to any summer diet.

"That stuff is like crack to you, isn't it?" Paul asked me on the phone.


I also planted some herbs...rosemary, lavender, mint, catnip. Plus three strawberry plants because I'm hopeful. But I am mostly concerned with the tomatoes. This will make a last ditch attempt at growing my own. Couldn't grow them at the apartment. Had no luck planting them in someone else's yard. Maybe with my yard it will be different. Maybe because it's my yard, it will make a difference.

If not, I'm going to be pissed.

I also bought two new ceiling fans for the house to be replaced while I am in Atlanta, and I looked at a couple light fixtures that might work instead of that big, ugly plastic fixture that currently resides in the kitchen. I've got a little less than $600 left on the gift card. I'd say that so far, I've done a bang-up job. My last big cosmetic projects are to retexture and paint the kitchen and dining room ceilings (bye-bye popcorn), and paint the two spare rooms. The big remodel of the two bathrooms will take place later. This summer's big project will be the concrete counter tops for the kitchen. Kant's totally awesome brother-in-law will be doing those. Of all the projects, this is probably the one I am most excited about. We'll be building the mold in the garage and making the counter tops there. Be warned, I will be putting a call out to any and all able-bodied men (and women) to help carry them from the garage to the kitchen. Those are going to be some heavy bitches.

I pay handsomely in pizza and beer.

The only thing left to do today is laundry, a shower, and meet with a Pampered Chef consultant tonight. Kant's sister had a party this week, and I booked one so Little Po (her nickname) could get whatever hostess special she could get if someone booked a party. I'm kind of nice like that...sometimes.

No nap, however. I'll just sleep really, really well tonight.

Why Does My Ass Hurt?

Oh yeah...I had to gas up the PT yesterday.

$2.93 a gallon, and not a drop of lube in site.

An Outing We Will Go

Last night, I went out on an "outing" with Paul (not dating!). I call it an outing because he's adamant it's not a date. I go between wanting to know where things stand with us, to really not giving a flying rat's ass because I'm just tired of the guessing. I asked him once if it would bother him if I started dating someone (which is a very distinct possibility). He never got back to me on that one.

Times like this, I remember the words of one guy I liked back in the day of the Singles Branch..."I thought you liked me, but then I figured you would get better." Maybe Paul's silence is just him hoping I will "get better".

Anyway, we met at the Houlihans at Town Center Plaza. I had the delicious lettuce wraps and we shared a pitcher of George Peach Iced Tea. We also had an order of french fried asparagus, which goes against my new diet restrictions of anything fried, but they are my favorite, and I've been so good lately watching what I eat. Yum!

After dinner, we walked over to the shopping part of the center and stopped by Bath and Body Works. I was perusing a section when I hear, "What do you think of this smell?" and get a spray of Midnight Pomegranate directly into my face. I don't think he intentionally meant to spray me directly into the eyes, but that's what happened. Eyes burning and watering, I don't even remember what the stuff smelled like. Paul starts laughing so hard, he farts.


After I regained my eyesight, we walked around, looking in a couple shops before getting some ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery. We then sat outside and just people watched, before returning to our respective vehicles to go home. No kissing. Just a hug with the "I'm-not-gay" three hug pat on the back that guys do when they hug each other. That's me...just one of the guys...but with boobs and a uterus.

Sam woke me up around 5:30 this morning and I booted his ass out in the back yard. The little bastard is starting to make this early morning outing a habit and it's starting to piss me off. If he didn't have the most annoying bark on the planet, I could sleep right through it.


Today's plan: plant tomatoes before it rains (I have yet to do it), laundry, clean upstairs, visit Lowes, and definitely squeeze a nap in there somewhere. I'm already tired.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Great Flood Update

The Boyfriend came over and after some sniffing around the house, deduced that the water was coming from in front of the house where the front steps have a slight slope towards the front porch. Chipping out the little crevasse and sealing it would fix it.

How do I do that? I asked.

By putting it on your "to do" list for when you go on your conference, he replied.

Easy enough!!

Later this month, I'm going to a nursing conference in Atlanta. This is a first for me because I've never worked at a job where I could go to professional conferences and stuff. Budget crunches at the hospital meant they would only send one nurse from each unit to go, all expenses paid, and I was selected to go from my unit. Yay. For. Me.

I'm pretty excited about going. I get to see Kant (I'm staying at her house for the week), possibly get to see another friend if I can talk him into making the 3-hour drive from South Carolina. AND, I get to attend a CEU-laden conference and horde up on all kinds of free ink pens and notepads. My main goal = to acrue 30 or more CEU's so I won't have to even think getting another one until my license renews in 2009. My second goal is to get as much free stuff as I can.

The special guest entertainer for the conference? KC and the Sunshine Band! I might have to work up some enthusiasm for that one.

Mom and The Boyfriend will be staying at my house while I am away so Sam is not left unattended. I'm told to work up a "to do" list of things around the house I want fixed or done, and The Boyfriend will work on said list. Also on my list: changing out some old light fixtures for new ones, stripping kitchen and dining room ceiling so I can repaint/texture it when I come home, fix leaky basement problem, and then giving him free rein to make whatever improvements that I haven't thought of. He has pretty good taste, and after seeing some of the things I have done/picked out, he has a pretty good idea of what I like.

Having a handyman in the family is...well...handy.

Mom is having fun in Florida, and I have given her instructions to find me some white grapefruit. I don't like the red, or the pink...but I love the white. I also told her she cannot try to stow away on a cruise ship while she is there.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Tales of the Homeowner: 40 Days and 40 Nights

I used to think this rain was so great for two reasons:
1. It helped me put off mowing the lawn.
2. I didn't have to water the grass.

This morning, I came home to a water-logged basement, and I have come to the conclusion that I'm not a big fan of this rain crap. I'm all for the occasional sprinkle, but not where I expect Noah's Ark to come floating up the driveway at any given moment.
I've seen flooded basements before...a foot deep or more. Mine isn't that bad, and I think that is only because I have a drain in the storage room of the basement, and all the water is running into that. At first, my basement appeared dry, until I went into the storage room and it looked like a scene from A River Runs Through It. The water seemed to be coming from under the stairs, so I pulled up some of the foam tiles in the rec room so the water could run freely from Point A to Point B (which is the drain).
I emailed The Boyfriend and whined to him about it. He should share my concern because of all the stuff he has stored in my basement right now. He quickly emailed me back saying he would come by after he got off work, then he called my Mom who immediately called me to commiserate over my soggy basement, all the while deciding what she wanted to have for breakfast with her little sister (Mom is vacationing in Florida this week).
I'm not going to stoke out over this water thing, because I'm sure the folks in Greensburg, Kansas would be more than happy to trade storm problems with me. No, I will reserve my stroke for later. It's going to be a pain in the ass to clean up when all is said and done. It's rained before with no leaking, so I am going to attribute this to the fact that we've had ten feet of rainfall within one day and this is not normal. This explanation will enable me to sleep today, instead of waiting for The Boyfriend to stop by, and obsess about how the house is going to disintegrate into a big, wet pile of mush.
The drain is, well, draining. So, I am going to go to bed.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Pinhead of the Internets

After blogging about the Bosshole's myspace, someone at work set the dorky looking high school picture as the desktop for a couple computers. It brought everyone great joy who saw it, and for one fleeting moment, morale around the unit was the best ever. Everyone was smiling, and if you listened closely, an angel got it's wings.

Then, the Bosshole came in and saw it. We hear he was angry. We hear he's looking for the offending party/parties involved so he can send them an strongly worded email with lots of exclamation points. We hear he feels it was an invasion of his privacy.

Hey, dumbass. Posting your geeked-out high school picture on a public MySpace profile does not constitute privacy. That is public domain, and thereby fair game. Just like Britney Spears flashing her bootwagga in public and expecting that to stay private.

Popular consensus is that he is more embarrassed that some docs may have seen it, and their impression of him being a fearless, strong, and studly leader is now being called into question (much like Britney's taco shots changed people's impressions of her being a exemplary parent).

However, it's given me a great idea for Nurses' Week...but I won't be able to do it until next year.

Incidentally, Bosshole deleted his MySpace account.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

On the Verge of an Insomniac Meltdown

I have never, ever had a problem falling asleep at night on my nights off. Until now.

It's just after 6am, and I haven't been to sleep since yesterday. I should be tired, but I am WIDE AWAKE!!

I watched a couple episodes of Heroes on my iPod, hoping that I would be sleepy when I was done. Nope. The battery on the iPod wore down before I did.

I think I may try some pharmaceutical intervention. I know I have some Benadryl, and I think I have some Ambien left over. I won't take them together, but it's good to know I have options.

It's been this way for the past two weeks. TWO WEEKS!! This is crap.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Nurse Follies: I (Heart) Triple Bypass Surgery

It's that time of year when folks around the hospital flex their fundraising muscles for the annual AHA Heart Walk. I didn't realize how big a deal it was until I became a nurse and wasn't so focused on school. This is a REALLY BIG DEAL. Teams are formed. Fundraisers out the wazoo. I've seen auctions for dates (usually with annoying residents and nurses), raffles for various arts and crafts, vote for cutest pet/baby/etc, jewelry, but the most popular fundraisers have something to do with food.

The American Heart Association makes these recommendations on their website for dietary guidelines.

-> Vegetables and fruits are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber — and they’re low in calories.
-> Unrefined whole-grain foods contain fiber that can help lower your blood cholesterol and help you feel full, which may help you manage your weight.
-> Eat fish at least twice a week. Recent research shows that eating oily fish containing omega-3 fatty acids (for example, salmon, trout, and herring) may help lower your risk of death from coronary artery disease.
-> Choose lean meats and poultry without skin and prepare them without added saturated and trans fat.
-> Select fat-free, 1 percent fat, and low-fat dairy products.
-> Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet.
-> Cut back on foods high in dietary cholesterol. Aim to eat less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol each day.
-> Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars.
-> Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt. Aim to eat less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day.
-> If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. That means one drink per day if you’re a woman and two drinks per day if you’re a man.

Fundraisers around the hospital, however, include the sale of the following:
-> Fudge and chocolate dipped confections
-> Breakfast burritos
-> Nachos
-> Hot dogs
-> Frozen custard
-> Pizza
-> Cookies, Cakes ala Bake Sale

I don't think we'll be seeing a fundraiser featuring broccoli or shredded wheat anytime soon..not unless it's swaddled in melted cheese or chocolate.
Methinks that anyone who actually participates in the Heart Walk is not only doing so to benefit the AHA, but sort of needs to in order to walk off all the crap they ate in the name of charitable contribution.
Provided they haven't been wheeled into a cath lab first.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Leisurely Visit to Walmart and Other Blathering

Today is a day of firsts. Well, maybe just one first. A first I have never, ever encountered before in all my driver's license days.

My due date for an oil change came before the mileage said it was time. Usually, I hit the mileage mark a month and a half for the change the oil date rolls around. My oil change date is today, and I've got 750 miles to spare. Being the procrastinator I am, I probably won't get around to getting said oil change until those 750 miles are up. I'm a bad, bad girl.

I took a nap last night after Woody left. Watching him work made me tired. I woke up around 11pm, wide awake and bushy-tailed. I watched some television, poked around the house, then decided a trip to Walmart was in order. I needed eggs.

I used to go grocery shopping late, late at night on my shifts off. I preferred it. No crowds, no screaming children throwing the mother of all tantrums because they can't have a toy, only to see the parent buy them the toy just to shut them up. It wasn't until I ran into a cheating smarmy ex-boyfriend stocking shelves at Walmart one night, that I curtailed my late night shopping excursions.

But now, I am cursed with the night shift curse, and for the life of me, I can't sleep at night. Off to Wally World I went. Say what you want about Walmart being the axis of evil, but they are cheap, and my checkbook tells me where I have to shop. Maybe if I got a roommate, I could afford a place more Target.

I ended up buying more than eggs. I bought a bunch of other stuff, too. Inspired by The D, I've decided to make a conscientious effort to eat better and get more exercise. A while ago, I did this diet, and I lost a shit ton of weight in a short amount of time. I attribute most of it to a diet supplement I took that had ephedra in it before it was banned (damn FDA). I'm going to do this diet again sans the supplements.

New diet includes:
No fried foods, only baked or grilled
No fast food
No soda...unless it's diet, and only occasionally.
No concentrated sweets
Limit eating out to once a week or less, but still adhering to the previous guidelines
No more ordering out at work
Daily vitamin supplements

I used to run. I used to rollerblade. I used to do all kinds of fun stuff that active people do. Then, I had to go blow out my knee during a hot yoga session. I had reconstructive surgery using innovative, exciting technology, and my leg hasn't been the same since. When you have to stand and remind your legs how to climb and descend stairs, you know it's not good. It's depressing. I don't have knee pain anymore, but I don't have a fully functioning knee either. Crappy tradeoff, if you ask me. So, I have weights and a big workout ball. I miss the rollerblades.

It's now morning, so I am going to go back to bed. I will get up later and plant my tomatoes and herbs. Maybe make my weekly pilgrimage to Lowes.

Good night!

High on Grass

My friend, Woody, came over this evening because he wanted to mow the yard. That's not a euphemism for anything...he really wanted to mow the lawn. Woody is one of those strange, rare people who have fabulous work ethic, not to mention he owed me for helping him move into his new house while having to deal with some crazy, psychotic bitch who thought I was snaking in on her man...never mind the fact that they weren't even dating. Moving while dealing with raving lunatics is a very hard task because you have to pack things neatly into boxes instead of throwing items at the head of said crazy person...

But I digress...

At any rate, Woody stopped by and I introduced him to the lawn mower. My mower has a two-pull start guarantee. If it takes more than two pulls to start it, I'm supposed to send it back to the manufacturer so they can fix it. I don't think the two-pull guarantee takes into account that some people just can't start a mower because they are big pansies. Woody finally gets the mower to start on the forth pull, after I tell him to put some effort into it.

So, he mows the grass while I watch. This really isn't great entertainment for me, but he was insistent on doing this because he allegedly loves to do yard work. I just move a bunch of items for planting to the back deck, because tomorrow, I'm planting a small garden.

After he is finished, I give Woody a glass of refreshing filtered ice water. We chat about people we knew and used to hang out with, where they have gone. Thankfully, he didn't broach the subject of sex again. I think we've moved past that, or at least, I hope.

Tomorrow, I will be planting my tomatoes so that there will be an abundance of World Famous Fresh Garden Salsa in this house. I may even go looking at more light fixtures, and squeezing a nap in there somewhere.