Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

I just want to wish everyone a safe Halloween. I'll be working, so I won't have to dish candy out to the little beggars. Meanwhile, the hospital should experience an influx of stupid people, so it's not like I'm totally going to miss out on the holiday.

By the way...this ass isn't mine.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Crappy Halloween Candy Explained

I don't know too many kids who didn't like the whole trick or treat aspect. Unless you count the times you wore a flimsy costume and it was sub-zero temperatures. And it was rainy. If you don't remember the cheesey kid costumes made of vinyl that had a cheap mask that only had little pinholes to see and breathe out of, you don't know that was the trick or treating equivalent of walking up a hill, both ways, in six feet of snow.

Trick or treating was a gamble. You had a chance of either scoring some really good stuff, like Snickers bars, or the REALLY good stuff: something cookies, cupcakes or popcorn balls (before the poison candy scare of the 70's and 80's...WHICH I REMEMBER!!).

Then there are the times the pendulum swings in the opposing direction and you got the coup de grĂ¢ce in the form of those nasty, orange circus peanuts. Maybe you'd get the occasional health conscientious person who would slip you an apple, which sucked because they were usually brown in spots and inedible anyway. Sometimes, you'd get pennies. PENNIES! You'd go home and count up seven cents in pennies, and curse because you can't do diddly squat with seven pennies. If you were my brothers, you'd take your rotten apples and pelt them at the houses that gave you the pennies.

You always remembered the houses that gave you the awesome booty so you return there next year. You also made a mental note of who gave away crap because you would avoid the house as if there were a registered sex offender sign in the front yard for future Halloweens to come.

I was at the store, buying some stuff for the party, when I wondered into the Halloween candy isle. There, I observed a couple, married long enough to where they started to look alike. The husband was picking up bags of candy, and his wife was telling him whether he should put it into the cart. He picked up a bag of assorted Hershey's stuff. Everything in the bag was good and desirable to any kid. The wife made a face.

The husband picked up a bag of some weird off brand, filled with crap that I wouldn't even eat if stranded on a deserted island.

"That candy is gross." The wife proclaimed. "Put it in the cart."
The husband was puzzled.
"If the candy is gross, why do you want to give it to the kids?"
The wife looked at her husband as if he had just asked where babies came from.
"Because the kids will eat it. I won't. Nothing with chocolate!"

I wanted to tell her that, no, the kids will not eat it. And by passing that shit out almost guarantees a flaming bag of dog poo on your porch by the end of the evening.

So, is this why people pass out crappy Halloween candy to trick or treaters? I used to think that it was a financial issue, but this was disproved as I had seen wealthy people dish out shit and pennies, while the lesser affluent had the decency to give out M&M's.

People give out shit because women lack self control? If they bought the good stuff, they would snarf down every Payday and Reece's Peanut Butter cup, depriving the cold, shivering trick or treaters their reward from a night of begging. Then, having no decent candy to hand out, would resort to giving out Peeps or something equally horrifying as a substitution.

In conclusion, I implore you to think of the children this year as you go to buy your Halloween candy. If you don't like children, at least think of your house and how you don't want to spend this weekend trying to get the toilet paper out of your trees because you lack the self control to refrain from eating the 102 piece assortment of chocolate bars. Don't punish the children because you are a compulsive candy eater and a cold, heartless bastard besides.

Please, think of the children. Just say no to NECCO wafers.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bang on the Drum All Day!

With the passing of the Metallica concert, it had got me thinking about my own musical background.

Back in my formative years, I always wanted to be in band. I was a premeditated band nerd. However, my family wasn't exactly rolling in the dough to buy me a new instrument of my choice, so my options were limited.

I was weighing my choices. Some instruments, the school provided. They were the big, brass ones: tuba, baritone, french horn. My grandfather, a huge classical music aficionado, encouraged the french horn. "It's a beautiful instrument," he lamented. Beautiful instrument AND I could use the school horns. Everyone wins.

So, Heather begins to play the french horn. The school had extra horns, so they gave me one to take home to practice on. Mom's face fell when I lugged the big case through the front door. After a couple weeks of practice, my parents beseeched me to practice immediately after school, before they came home from work.

"It sounds like a moose in heat," my mother complained.

Undaunted, I continued through the year with the french horn. Our first year band experience culminating in a huge concert which featured every band, starting with middle school, and graduating all the way up to high school symphonic band. My parents took their place, among the throng of other parents who probably wished they were somewhere else, on the bleachers in front of the 6th grade band, my band.

There's a funny thing about french horns. Yes, they are a beautiful instrument, if the person knows how to play it. However, first year band nerds can't play their way out of a paper bag, the french horn is limited to the pah-pah, proceeding the oomp of the tuba while the rest of the band eeks out some semblance of a melody. My parents, sitting in the bleachers, noticed that was all I played.

Shortly after that concert, my parents found a used drum set for me. I approached my music teacher (who was somewhat of an ass) and asked if I could switch instruments. He never really liked me, and to this day, I don't know why. Anyway, he grudgingly said I could switch, but I had to learn the drumming fundamentals, on my own, during summer break. He would, in no way, help me catch up to the other drummers in the section.


So, during the summer, I taught myself how to play the drums. I taught myself traditional sticking, modern sticking, the rudiments of percussion. The level of difficulty increases because there was no internet at the time. None. Popular kids carried pagers, which looking back in retrospect, I realize was retarded.

I spent my summer sitting on my front porch...sticks, practice pad, and book. It got to the point that I would play on anything, with anything: butter knives on the dining room table being my second favorite (the knives had good bounce). It drove my mom bananas. It's the curse of living with a drummer...the constant tapping.

School began again, and I nervously walked to band. My teacher, still the consummate asshole, stood with his arms folded, wanting to see what I had learned. In less than fifteen minutes, I checked off an entire year of competencies, even putting me ahead of the ones who had started the previous year.


During the next couple of years, the teacher learned to respect me. He even began giving me lessons on how to play the trap. While there are girls in drumming, a girl behind a full trap set is still uncommon, especially back then. I took to it like a fish to water.

The summer before my junior year, my parents divorced, and my father moved us to live in Nebraska. By then, I was a full-fledged band nerd (but drummers were the cool ones), and I decided that I wanted to be a music teacher.

I had come from a band that won awards right and left. I had moved to a band that routinely tied for last place. It was awful. My first day of band, I damn near ran out of the room crying, it was so monumentally bad. To make matters even worse, the "1st chair drummer" had all the choice spots, leaving the rest of the section doing peripheral percussion...triangle, tamborine, cowbell, or whatever SNL made fun of at the time.

Later that year, the our section leader suffered an injury to his arm at a wrestling meet. At the time, we were preparing for our spring concert. A couple of the songs featured the trap. RayK, our music teacher, peered into the drum section and looked at the other three boys, "Which of you is going to play Todd's part?"

The other three male drummers in our section just looked at each other and shook their heads. They didn't know how to play a trap. I looked at the other girl in my group and she shook her head. I stood up, grabbed my drumsticks and took my seat behind the set. RayK's eyebrows shot up to his hairline.

"What are you doing?"
"I'm going to play."
"You know how to play that thing?"
(eye roll) "Yes"
"Play me something."
I scowled. "Just start the band and I will join in."

Meanwhile, the rest of the band had turned in their seats, eyeing me with doubt. Still the new girl, still the relative unknown. RayK shrugged and raised his baton.

At the end of the song, everyone turned in their seats, eyebrows raised. I just smiled sweetly.

After the spring concert, I was known as that "Little Girl Who Plays the Drums". People even pointed at me at the local gas station/supermarket. Farmers!

So now, I'm in my mid-thirties. I haven't touched a set of drumsticks since high school, but I still tap out cadences on occasion. The urge to play is still as fresh as it was back then. It wasn't until I watched Lars Ulrich play, that I realized just how much I missed it.

Which is why I'm considering buying a drum set. Everyone needs a hobby, and it's better than snorting blow.

So, if you hear banging coming from my house, pay no mind. At least it's not a french horn.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


So, I woke up this afternoon. Showered, puttered, put some leftover turkey in the microwave to heat up for dinner. While in my bathrobe, I thought I had an hour to kill, so I went to check my email.

I looked at the little clock on the screen and it read 5:45pm. Odd. I blinked. I usually leave for work just after 6.

So, I went back to my bedroom and looked at my alarm clock. I read 4:45pm. I took my wrist watch off the dresser and eyed that. It agreed with the computer. Then, I realized what had happened.

I have one of those "smart" alarm clocks. It automatically sets itself in the event of a power outage, and daylight savings time. So, at some point, it turned itself back an hour, perhaps thinking it was DST.

From there, I turned into Hurricane Heather, frantically running to iron my wrinkled scrubs, dry my hair into a somewhat pleasing configuration, take my vitamins, get dressed. I put the reheated food back in the time for dinner. Maybe Brother ate it when he got home later.

Now, I'm at work, grumpy. My neck is sore. Apparently, head banging does have an age limit, and I exceed it. My voice is all soft and raspy. My eyes still red from standing in a big cloud of green smoke. At least my ears are no longer ringing.

I signed up to work extra on Monday, and am regretting I did. I'm hosting a work Halloween party this week at my house, and I still have a TON of stuff to do before then, including shopping, cleaning the house, and finding a costume to wear. Maybe I can wear my pirate costume from last year. Arrr.

Death Magnetic

Unlike The D. I went to the Metallica concert last night. Plans to go to this concert were set the minute they announced they were stopping here. Brother, being awesome, bought the tickets and I arranged my schedule so I could go. We both like Metallica. In fact, while all my other female counterparts were putting posters of New Kids on the Block (or whatever retarded pop star was worshipped at the time) on their walls, I was listening to Metallica.

For the few months preceding the concert, Brother would just randomly burst out with the words "Fuckin' Metallica!" and then go about his business. I guess you could say he was really excited.

So, Brother's friends, 'bert and his wife, uh, Ernie, came to our house. We rode in the Jeep with 'bert driving, and me giving directions from the back seat. We arrived a little over than an hour before the show started, and we found parking right across from the Sprint Center. Sure, we had to pay $15 to park there, but it was still a pretty choice parking spot.

Once inside, I immediately sought out a souvenir stand and bought an overpriced concert shirt, and a beanie for Brother. Because I'm an awesome sister like that.

The Sword opened the show. I'd never even heard of this group before, but I must say they were pretty good. Apparently, they are going to open for Metallica for the entire tour. I might be inclined to buy their cd.

After The Sword, Down took the stage and played. While they were good, they made quite a few comments about buying their crap so they can make money. Whatever. They are not who we came to see.

The layout of the Sprint Center had the stage in the center of the floor, audience surrounding. Standing room around the stage, but we had seats not far from the action. They had smoke machines peppered throughout. I think this was done on purpose for those who partake of "herbal refreshment", so that they would blend in. However, it was hard to miss the thick, green fog that permeated the air. Around the stage, the lighting rigs were set up in large casings that were shaped like the coffin that graces their new album cover. The casings would drop, tilt, and spin. Included was an impressive laser light show, tons of spotlights, and fire. You can't have a hard rock concert without fire.

Then, Metallica's little symphonic intro played and the entire arena went nuts. Metallica takes the stage and the show begins. They played some music from their new album, plus plenty of old fan favorites...Enter Sandman, Master of Puppets, Seek and Destroy, Nothing Else Matters just to name a few. How must it feel to have a career that spans decades, to still be relevant to this day, and have arenas full of people singing your songs back to you?

Thankfully, they didn't play anything from St. Anger.

I know Metallica makes a shit-ton of money, but it's very evident that they still enjoy what they do. After 25 years, they still sound good. The energy was electric. All different types of people were there, just enjoying the boomers, young kids, the trailer park crowd, white collar peeps, and everything in between. No political messages, no talk of elections, economy, or whatever troubles plague the news. Just a good band playing to thousands of screaming fans.

James Hetfield better than ever. Lars Ulrich, still considered a douchebag to many, is probably one of the best drummers I've ever seen. His big, orange drum set was on a lazy-Susan type stage that rotated. So, for a couple songs, I had a really good vantage point to watch how he played. Amazing.

They didn't allow cameras, but everyone was taking pictures with their phones. Myself included. I tried to get a couple sound clips to share, but after the concert, I listened to them and realized that my phone isn't really that great and I should think about upgrading. I know I sent a lot of texts. Lucky you if you got one.

Overall, a phenomenal concert, finally ending just after 11pm. If watching the concert wasn't fun enough, it was watching Brother jump around and play air guitar. There's a guy who really, REALLY loves Metallica.

So now, my throat is raw from yelling and cheering. My ears are still ringing.

All well worth it.

Fucking Metallica!!!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Nurse Follies: Welcome to Peyton Place

If there is one thing that rings true for working in the medical field, hospitals are a hotbed of sexual activity. (Studies also show that nurses have the best sex because they are self-aware...but I digress.) Oh sure, you have torrid goings-on in any workplace, but there is something about working in a hospital that escalates things. Maybe it has something to do with the men being outnumbered by the women, and those women are hot nurses (we can't help our hotness). Maybe it's because we work in a stressful environment and this is how people deal. Whatever the case may be, you could wander into the dark corners of a hospital after hours on any given night, and stumble upon someone in a compromising position.

It's very commonplace to hear of "inter-office" dating. I know a lot of married couples who work in the same field, if not the same hospital. I know a lot of married couples who met in the hospital they work at. It makes sense...who is going to better understand the stresses and schedule of a nurses than another nurse (or doctor, or anyone who works beside either)? Some would argue that you shouldn't "dip your well in the company ink", but I think a romance with a coworker is doable in my field...IF both parties are mature about it, and know how to separate their work and personal lives.

I once dated a coworker for almost a year and no one knew. It's not like we kept it a well-guarded secret. We just weren't stupid about it. I guess you could say we were, uh, adults. And when it ended, we just shrugged it off as not meant to be, and went about our lives, not bringing any drama into the office. That's generally how I roll anyway, unless you cheat on me. Then, I'm going to cut your penis off.

That being said, I have no issues with people dating within the workplace. UNLESS one or more parties involved is married to someone else.

If I had to list the top five things I hate the most, adulterers would rank high. I'm sure it stems from my own personal experiences and observations from my childhood. To this day, I look harshly upon those who step outside their marriage for fun on the side (unless it is one of those open-marriage things...and we have some of those, too). You cheat on your spouse, I look at you like you are the world's biggest piece of shit. If you have kids, even worse.

So, imagine my disgust when I heard about a well-known nurse shagging one of the staff doctors. Both initially married when the affair started, but she dumped her husband to be with this guy. Doc, for whatever reasons, is still with his wife. They both have kids.

Now when I see this manager, I think, "Oh look! It's the big, skanky whore!"

There are no secrets, even in a place this big. Only the truly talented can keep things under wraps, and those are the ones who are smart enough to know the difference between being on the clock, and not being on the clock. They don't bring their shit to work. Personal matters are left at the door.

I'm one of such people...but my life is boring (Dutch, remember?). What the housekeepers do is far more interesting than my personal life. Gross. But interesting.

People Intolerant of Other People's Cultures...and the Dutch!!

I was eyeballing a tattoo of a family crest, and it got me thinking about my own genealogy. Yes, my family has a crest, and no, I'm not going to have it tattooed on my butt.

Shockingly, my family crest doesn't have a beer can on it. Milwaukee's Best. And probably a crapped-out liver.

On my dad's side, the genealogy has been traced back pretty far. There's a book out there (that I'm trying to locate) that has the entire family tree way back in the day when each family had 12 kids. Way back before the Constitution.

I had always thought that my family's origins were based in Switzerland. You know, those neutral people. It wasn't until I dug further that I discovered that my family is, gulp, Dutch. They started there, and made their way to Switzerland, Germany, and England. Ultimately, some arrived here with their litters of children in tow, where we procreated even more and are peppered throughout the country. If you know someone with my last name, chances are pretty good we're related, and I can probably find the proof in this journal. It is that comprehensive...and current.

(Incidentally, some guy with the same last name was busted for masturbating in a parking lot at some wedding reception a few years back. Indy was nice enough to tell me about it. Yup. Related to that one, too.)

To make things worse, my last name used to have a "von" in front of it. Like my last name isn't long enough already!!!

No wonder my family history is so boring. I remember in my history classes, I would routinely fall asleep when they talked about the Dutch. The only things the Dutch have going are tulips, windmills, and clogs.

Okay, I like clogs.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Nurse Follies: Remembering Who They Are

When you are in nursing school, you get assigned one or two patients for your clinicals. You usually go the day before to the site, collect the information, go home, and spend the next 8 hours typing up all kinds of crap: pathologies, drug information. It was endless and any nursing student, current and former, will attest to the madness of staying up all night doing paperwork, getting maybe 4 hours of sleep that night, and getting up at before the buttcrack of dawn to go to clinicals. If your paperwork wasn't finished, you not only were chastised by the nursing instructor, you were given a bad grade, maybe sent home for the day AND you were on the instructor's shit list for the duration of your nursing school career.

Anyway, with all the effort you put into your paperwork, you really got the know the patient. You got to know their history, and you spent a considerable amount of time with them throughout the day. You got to know their families. Because you are a young, idealistic nursing student, you still could see the patient for the person they were.

Sadly, as most any nurse will tell you, even a few years in the trenches, you lose that. Instead of seeing Mr. Smith as an avid sportsman, three kids, loves Doritos, who happened to have cancer, you just saw Mr. Smith: pancreatic cancer. With the way things are with crappy staffing, and all the other bullshit that takes nurses away from the bedside, like mountains of charting on what their poop looks like, you don't see people. You see patients and their diagnosis, and they happen to have family members at the bedside. It doesn't make us bad nurses. We still have sympathy for the lady who dies and leaves loved ones behind, but still it's something viewed on the periphery.

I got report on one of my patients. A gentleman who had been found non-responsive. For the time being, docs called it a stroke. I jotted my notes down in my report: review of systems, prognosis, tests, tasks, and oh yeah, his family stayed with him all the time.

I went into the room and the wife was sitting at the bedside. She smiled at me as I introduced myself and did my assessment. I took off my stethoscope and was making conversation with the wife. The patient, who could not speak, just looked around the room, looked at me, looked at his wife. I don't know if he understood what was going on.

I asked the wife just how this all began. She told me about the routine they usually did on Fridays, going out on a boat ride together. He had complained of a headache, but no one thought it too odd. They came home and puttered around the house, then she said something that completely caught me off guard.

"We made love," she stated before going on with her story about how she took a shower and when she came out, she found him unconscious.

It wasn't the fact that she so openly told me about having sex with her husband that gave me a moment's pause, but it was the manner in which she said it. Unashamed. She was sharing a very intimate detail to me, and it wasn't even relevant to what was going on with her husband at that time.

After she brought me up to speed, I looked at her husband, I suddenly didn't see my patient as just Mr. Bob: hemorrhagic stroke. I saw a man who was a father and a husband who took his wife boating on Fridays, and sometimes made love to her in the afternoon. The diagnosis was secondary. In spite of my cynical nature, I found myself really hoping he would eventually get better so he could go home and make love to his wife again.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

At the Eye Doctor

Today I took Mom to another eye appointment. We met with a different doctor, one who will actually be doing the surgery. I was pleasantly surprised that he had a better bedside manner than Dr. Muppet. And he was not-to-ugly. I'd put him on my to-do list.

What can I say? I have a certain weakness for brunettes.

As he was talking with Mom, he was typing out some stuff in her file. He's one of those who types only using his index fingers. Not once did he look up at the computer screen. I thought it odd and amusing at the same time. I can't imagine having to type like that.

Apparently, Mom noticed it as well.

"You're one of the fastest hunt-and-peckers I've ever seen!!!"

I'm sure he gets that all the time...

And Now For Something Funny

To make up for the somber post before.

I'm still crying...

Nurse Follies: On Death and Dying

Aside from being verbally assaulted by a psych patient, the weekend went okay. Oh, and there was that incident where Toph came up and pulled the Code Blue button in an empty patient room. While I was trying to put the pysch patient back into bed. I didn't run to the source of the code blue like one of Pavlov's dogs because I had my hands full, but the other nurses did. That boy is lucky to still be alive. As much as I hate codes, he probably would have ended up with a size 7 clog up his ass had I been one of the first responders.

I think I told him as much

Monday morning, an alarm went off, and I looked at one of the central monitors. A B/P of 53/38. For you lay people out there, this is not good. So, I haul ass to the room to find Smo, another nurse who actually was assigned the patient, a resident, and the patient, who didn't look so hot.

"DNR/DNI," Smo muttered to me while the resident attempted arouse the patient. Sometimes, sternal rubs can work, but he was just shaking the patient's shoulder and yelling, "Wake up!"

Dude. When you have someone who is non-responsive, a crashing blood pressure and heart rate, collectively gray in color, and one eye open...THEY ARE NOT SLEEPING!

So, hands legally tying us from doing anything to save the patient, we just stood around the bed and watched the numbers on the monitor tumble until everything hit zero, which is only a matter of minutes. So, yes, we watched as this patient died. After the fact, we helped the nurse fill out the added paperwork, then went about our work as if nothing happened.

I don't know of too many professions where you can watch someone die, and then go about your business without a second thought. Most people would freak after seeing something like that, but not us. I've talked to other nurses about this, and it seems that the new ones have a harder time dealing with dying than those who have been in the trenches for a while.

Is it cold-hearted? Or is it a defense mechanism?

It's not to say that we don't care, nor have have compassion. I'm quite protective of my palliative care patients and their family members, but I don't become emotionally involved.

I guess if all nurses took each death to heart, letting it rip them apart from the insides, we'd all have nervous breakdowns at some point. Probably sooner than later. Perhaps there is a part of our minds that shield us from the horrors we see, the worst of the human condition, so that we can live sanely. Is it any wonder that so many nurses face some sort of addiction down the road?

I try to keep my addictions closely tied to chocolate.

There was an episode on That 70's Show where Eric went to work with his mom (who was a nurse) for the day. One of her patients had died, and Eric remembered how she talked about him and his family at dinner. Kitty maintained a smile and kept upbeat, leaving Eric to wonder how one could cope with something like that. Kitty never answered, she just kept singing to the radio.

Reality is a lot like that.

Nurses have their own ways of coping, and not all of it self-destructive. It doesn't mean we don't feel bad. It doesn't mean that we don't care. At some point, we personally experience loss in our own families or close friends. It's at that point, we cease being the nurse, and go back to being the sister, daughter, wife, mother. To grieve the loss of one person in our lives is a lot easier than to grieve for humanity. The mind and heart can only take so much.

This is the job we do. Warts, death, and all.

Just Checking In

I know I'm slacking in the blogging department. I've got a couple posts in the works. Hell, one of them might actually be worth reading!

We've been doing more appointment with Mom's eye doctor. I decided that he looks like a muppet. That crabby old guy with bushy eyebrows and a hook nose. During the exam, I had to refrain from humming the Muppets theme song.

At any rate, it looks like we're going the route of surgery. In the event we do it before vacation, and Mom suddenly is gifted with a flying restriction, we'll be driving to Florida.

Today I had lunch with my friend, Trish, who is recovering from a surgery of her own. We ate Indian and went shopping. It's always a good day when you get new underwear. At least that's how it is in my family.

Next week I'm hosting a work Halloween party, and I still need to do a lot of preparation. So, if I'm not blogging much, it's because I have a shit-ton of stuff to do.

But I'll be thinking of you!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's a Small Gym After All

Mom recently got a membership to the gym I work out at. Now, we work out together. It's good because I am more inclined to go when I have a workout buddy.

My usual workout is 30-50 minutes on the elliptical machine and then some weight training. Usually my arms and back. We're starting to see some big 'uns at work, and I need to be stronger so I can move them without hurting myself. Let me tell you, moving a 500+ pound patient from one side of the bed to the other is not for the faint of heart.

Anyway, I tried something different just to gauge how my knee would react, and I hopped on a regular treadmill, and cranked it up pretty high, running at a fairly good clip. I was pleased immensely to find that my knee wasn't even bothered. However, I do need to look at getting a better sports bra before I do anymore of this running stuff. It's hard to focus on running when you are constantly worried about giving yourself a concussion with your ginormous sweater kittens.

However, it gives me hope when I think that I can resume running. I used to run in my younger years. I used to be good at it. It's another option to do during the day when I have nothing better to do.

On my periphery, I noticed some guy hopped on the treadmill next to me. Unfortunately, that one was broken, so he moved a couple ones down. After I stopped running, I glanced over at the guy and realized that I knew him. Back from my church days in the singles congregation. I yelled his name and he looked at me, and stumbled. Oops.

I wandered over and started gabbing. It's been years since I've talked to him. Gosh, something to the tune of five years or more. While we were talking, he cranked his treadmill up at a full sprint. And he maintained his normal conversation with me while he was doing it. Ass. Had I been charging that fast on a treadmill, the only words I would be able to muster is "Call 911!"

At any rate, he was always nice when we went to church together. I remember once when I was a CPR instructor, I had a class for the singles group. I was demonstrating the Heimlich, and he was my volunteer. Before we began, I told him not to do the abdominal thrusts because a) I wasn't choking and b) because it wouldn't feel nice to a person who wasn't choking. He did it anyway, lifting me a foot off the ground as he did so, almost making dinner from earlier make a second appearance.

Mom told me I should have given him my phone number. I just shrugged. He's still big into church. Me, not so much. What would I say? "I don't attend church AND I sell sex toys. Want to hang out???"

The missionaries would probably be on my doorstep the following day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Today, Mr. Recommendation got the rest of the afternoon off and offered to take me to some place that sells builders supplies for cheap. Apparently, a lot of contractors go there.

So, we went and looked around. I made note of what they had, and made a note to take measurements of my bathroom when I got home and figure out what colors I wanted for vanities and such.

After that, he drove around the corner to some warehouse place, sort of like Cargo Largo. We wandered around. Most of the time, you don't really find anything in places like this, but once in a while, you strike gold. Now was not a miners paradise.

However, we came across a bright red coffin with chrome, uhh, fixtures. It had a huge dent on the top and was marked down to $500. We initially thought it was some sort of Halloween decoration until Mr. Recommendation flipped the lid open. Inside, there was a huge Nebraska Huskers emblem.

So, this was an actual casket that someone could be buried in. Husker red with the logo inside. For the die-hard fan (pun intended).

Or, you could buy it and bury the hopes and dreams of a Huskers winning season this year. Whatever works.

I'm a Huskers girl, but I still thought it was creepy.

Nurse Follies: Short Bus Patrol

I understand that sometimes there is nothing good on television, and life can get boring.

But that doesn't mean it's okay to cut off your gangrenous toe with kitchen shears while you watch Wheel of Fortune.

Especially when you decide to put said severed toe in a sandwich bag and bring it to the ER after you're done.

And don't think you just saved yourself big money by eliminating the surgeon's job.

Mystery Guests Explained and Other Blather

Brother has a new "friend". I think. We don't talk about his private life, and when I ask questions, he's usually vague. So, I stop asking. Brother is a pretty private person.

Turns out, the unusual items found in my house were items left behind by said "friend". I met her on Sunday when Mom had us over for dinner. Brother, myself, "friend" and her little offspring.

Thankfully, she left the terrier at home.

She seems nice enough, but the infant concerns me a little. This kid looks like he's barely out of his original packaging, and the mom may (or may not) be dating Brother. Where's the baby Daddy???

And that he had her over at Mom's house for dinner was puzzling. I don't like to drag boyfriends around to Mom unless we've been dating a while.

Amusingly, she brought a couple bottles of wine over. I've never known Brother to drink wine, but he was that day. I watched as he pulled a bottle of white wine out of the fridge. Filled a wine glass with ice. Poured wine into said glass of ice. Sat down at the table while I watched in horror.

Me: WHY are you drinking wine with ice in the glass?!?
Brother: I like ice in my drinks.
Me: So do I, but you don't generally put ice in wine.
Brother: (shrugs as he takes a drink)
Me: You know, I've got some neon bendy straws at home if you want one for your wine.

Even his "friend" thought it was odd.

Last night, myself, Mom, and Mr. Recommendation took a trip to Home Depot for building materials to finish my stairs. While we were there, we decided to get some supplies for the downstairs bathroom. A vanity, faucet, and grout. We have tile and paint.

Mr. Recommendation: How's the pooper??
Mom: That's an awfully personal question to be asking my daughter.
Mr. Recommendation: I meant the toilet.

After I paid for everything and we loaded it in the Jeep, we decided fish sounded good so we went to Bass Pro to their little restaurant. Now, I've never been to Bass Pro, so I got to wonder around and look at all the cool stuff. It made me want to buy a fishing pole and go camping. The food at the restaurant was great. We sat at the bar and watched the ginormous salt-water tank filled with brightly colored tropical fish. The bartender/server told us about the fish, and the fat puffer fish that kept floating by. I didn't know that when puffer fish blow up, they have something of a heart attack when they do.

I'll have to be sure to watch for that in my patients.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Something Wrotten in Whoville

Instead of the alarm, I woke up to a shrieking child. I ignored it and fell back asleep.

When I finally did wake up, I went downstairs to see the house vacant.


The kitchen was clean, dishes done, house smelling like a pine forest.

There was a can of formula on the counter, with something that looks like it belongs on a baby bottle.. Veggie Tales were playing on the television.

I heard whining coming from the back yard, and discovered a third dog, much smaller than Sam and Hank, sitting with the other two. He had been the one who was whining.

What. The. Hell???

Insta-Family! Just Add Heather.

Redneck Brother called me the other night and left a message that he and his missus needed me to drive all the way to BFE so they could discuss something VERY IMPORTANT.

Rather than drive 50 miles to discuss something VERY IMPORTANT, I picked up my phone.

Initially, he didn't want to talk about it over the phone, but I am persistent and he caved.

Apparently, they are thinking of the future in terms of "if something happens". More specifically, their kids.

After weighing the pros and cons of all the family members, they decided I was the most stable, and therefor, should anything happen to them, I will find myself with custody of Peanut and Sneakers (my new nickname for my nephew).

I've met my brother's in-laws. Being more stable than they are really is not a difficult task. Even though Redneck Brother and wife want to do this all legal, neat and tidy, I can't help but think that should something happen (God forbid), I'm going to have half a trailer park on my case. It's one thing to go driving through trailer parks to observe, it's something entirely different to have them know where you live. Even worse that they are related to you...even if it is distantly by marriage.

Meanwhile, my friends think it's hilarious as most of them don't see me as the nurturing Mommy-type. Could I really handle someone living under my roof that loves Hannah Montana????

So, let's all pray Redneck Brother and Wife live to be ripe, old people.

Damn Those Curtains Anyway

Mom and I were discussing the economy's nose dive into the crapper. The only good thing we could think of coming out of it was that the price of gas was coming down. Finally.

Because I'm a sponge for current events, I was telling Mom about some of the things I had read about pertaining to the fact that some of the larger businesses were blanching about taking money from the bailout.

Mom: It's because they don't want to give up their golden curtains!!!

I frowned. I hadn't read about the wasteful spending of window dressings. Then it dawned on me.

Did you mean golden parachutes???

Mom giggled. Parachutes...curtains. Whatever works.

It reminded me of the time I tried to teach her some Japanese phrases she could whip out at Mr. Recommendation's company Christmas party (the owners of said company are Japanese), but gave up because I thought she was going to cause an international incident.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


With each passing day, my computer's performance sucked more and more. Application hangs, freezing, and all-round suckage. It was getting to where I had to run to Mom's house so I could check my email. Blogging was a pain in the ass. I couldn't even post pictures because the system would shut down.

But no more!!

Today, I bought a whole new system. Chalk full of memory, power, and the most glorious 22-inch LCD screen. I want to kiss it. With tongue.

And the best part? I get to write it off. Hee!

I'm back, bitches!!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Oh, Bee-Hive!

This morning, I awoke to the sound of the doorbell. Because I went to bed with damp hair, my hair was all fuzzy. So, fuzzy hair and pj's, I answered the door to see a hot guy all dressed in Oklahoma Orange, stating that he worked for the water company and needed to do some work on my meter.


Waking me up -1
Being hot +1
Wearing the colors of my collegiate nemesis -2
There for the purpose of doing something that can be construed as naughty +2
Which really wasn't -3

So, I pointed him in the direction of my basement, and he proceeds to get right to work. He disappears outside and minutes later, rings my doorbell. I answer and he's looking wistful. He tells me that I apparently have a bee's nest somewhere near my water meter, and he has to call in help because he is allergic to bees. Like anaphalactic allergic. Like, I get stung and my airway closes and I totally ruin your day off allergic.

Sooner Boy disappears to my basement while I put on my flip-flops and examine this bee problem. A short while ago, I had bagged up some leaves, and I was distracted by something else and the bag, only half full, was left sitting beside the water meter. During that time of neglect because I completely forgot it was there, some bees apparently thought that bag was prime real estate and set up residency. There were literally dozens of bees swarming around, and not a can of Raid in site.

A short while later, another guy shows up, who is not allergic to bees, and together they proceed to update my meter, or whatever they were doing. Non-allergy Dude gets stung three times in the process. He's not upset by it. Apparently, he'd rather deal with bees than angry dogs.

So, now I have a bee issue. Mom laments that I should set fire to the bag, but because it's next to the house, I can't really do that. I guess I could buy an industrial-sized can of Raid and douse the bag, rebag it, and set it out for KC's biannual Leaf Pickup Day. There should be a simple way of dealing with this, but I've never had to exterminate a bee colony before.


Monday, October 06, 2008

Prepare for the Invasion!!

This weekend was the General Conference for the LDS church. In keeping with tradition, I didn't go. I worked. It's what I do. I work weekends. Anyway, I heard the news that the church plans on building a temple in the "greater Kansas City area". No word on the specifics, but loads of speculation because this is an INCREDIBLY HUGE DEAL to the church and it's flock. Even I, the wayward member, damn near fell out of my chair when I heard about it. Actually, my reaction was more along the lines of, "Holy shit!"

It's unlikely they will put it in Independence, but you never know. If they announce anywhere in Jackson county, the entire state of Utah is going to completely lose their minds. And maybe some of Idaho. And California. And Arizona. On an upside, you will be able to sell your house for a lot more, housing slump or not. I've seen what houses go for in Utah. They will gladly pay extra to live in the land of Zion. That's a hell of a feature. Plus, it also helps if you have more than one bathroom.

I hope it's not in JoCo because I still have a sour taste in my mouth from dealing with the singles group there from my own days of being a social coordinator. Those asshats are smug enough as it is without making it worse.

Anywhere north of the river would be okay. Wyandotte would even be acceptable. Bonus points if they park it near the racetrack. Would they close the temple on race days? It's kind of hard to keep that warm, fuzzy, reverent feeling with the sound of NASCAR blaring from next door.

Whatever the case, look for an influx of Utah Mormons to descend upon us, jello molds and all.

God help us.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Nurse Follies: The Short Bus Patrol

When, oh when, is it ever a good idea to shower with an electrical heart monitor strapped to your chest???

In what culture is this perfectly acceptable??

The patient is lucky they didn't cardiovert themselves.

I expect more out of a retired nurse.

I have no words...

Friday, October 03, 2008

Purveyor of Smut and Sin

I've been waffling about doing some sort of home-based business thingie on the side. I'm bored during the week, the extra money would be handy, but the idea of writing off a lot of crap on my taxes is even more appealing.

With that in mind, I decided to be a Passion Parties consultant. Yay me.

Did you know that in the state of Georgia, one can get arrested for selling sex toys? Guess I won't be doing any parties for Kant...unless she wants to host one out of state.

I got my kit earlier this past week, and I've been poking around in it, taking inventory and noting how many batteries I was going to have to buy (a shit load). Brother happened to peek in the box and asked me if I was planning on using all of them. Personally.

I transferred everything to more portable and professional looking totes on Thursday. Having a cardboard box full of various vibrators, bullets, lotions, and lube sitting on the dining room table tends to give off the wrong message. I don't know what that message is, but I'm sure it's wrong.

So, when you think of lube and butt plugs, I hope you think of me first.


Want to go listen to music AND get warm fuzzy feelings knowing you are helping a Mom stay alive for her little ones???

Go check out this concert at the Beaumont Club. If you can't make it, feel free to donate. Every little bit helps.

Liver disease sucks balls, even more so when you don't have insurance and no doctor will touch you unless you have an obscene amount of money to fork over up front. I this scenario play out more than I would like.

Honestly, health care in America sucks to the enth degree...but that's fodder for another post.

Thank God for friends who care enough to help out.

Spread the word!!!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Another Palin Funny

I love Fark. Fark makes me laugh even on the worst days. If the stories don't crack you up, the comments section will. That is where the comedic gold lies.

Today, I found this little treasure nugget. I laughed so hard, now I have heartburn and need to go take some Nexium.

It's a nice little precursor to the debate tonight.


Two Nights Reversed

So Monday I bought the first Stephanie Meyers book. I stayed awake ALL NIGHT reading it. I didn't get to bed until 6am, and slept until 5pm.

Tuesday night, I went and bought the second book after Mom and I were done at the gym. I swore I wouldn't stay awake all night reading it. Just read a little bit, and then go to sleep.

Well, I finished that book at 5:30am. I didn't wake up until 4 this afternoon.

I refrained from buying the third or forth book.

What can I say? I'm a Book Killer.

I see that 3rd dragon book it out, but so far in hardback. I read the first two, and they did indeed contain a higher level of suck than most other books I've read. However, I'm curious as to how he ends it (like do they blow up the Death Star after they have a big, happy family reunion?). I'll read the book, but there's no way in hell I'm shelling out money for a hardback.

Tonight, I'm just going to go to bed at a somewhat normal hour (for me, anyway). I've got to get some errands done before the weekend.

Guitar Hero is fun. Brother thought it would be lame, but conceded to it's fun-ness after he played a couple songs. They have an edition featuring 80's tunes. I'm all about the 80's tunes.

As a side note: be nice to New Guy. He's really intelligent and funny (which attracted me in the first place) and I like being around him.

And I won't elaborate any further on this blog, at this time.