Saturday, December 25, 2010

Nurse Follies: Those Little Things

He was in his 40's, and he had Parkinsons. And he got to spend Christmas in the hospital. No one likes to be in a hospital during Christmas. Especially when you have families. We assume he addressed his frustration by calling the nurse every ten minutes for even the dumbest shit. Some people bring crossword puzzles, some knit, others aggravate the staff.

At the end of the shift, his nurse, a young new grad, was finishing up some last things in his room. Young new grad is a dude in his mid-twenties. Most everything rolls off his back. So far, unphased by what he sees. He will be a good nurse.

Parkinsons patient eyes his nurse, "M-m-m-mer-merry C-Chri-Chris-Christmas". You could tell it took great effort for the patient to utter these two words to his nurse, when he could have just saved his energy for when his wife and children arrive later that day.

Unflappable new nurse thanks the patient and leaves the room. Later, I find him at the desk with tears in his eyes.

Yes, he will make a fine nurse indeed.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tales of the Homeowner: The Roof

In all my infinite wisdom and high intelligence, I confess that I don't know shit about roofs. I know they comprise of shingles, and that they cover the top of your house. That's pretty much the extent of my roofing knowledge.

Mr. Recommendation and Mother had a contractor look at their roof a few weeks ago, the end result of the bad hale storm we had in September. I was milling around the front yard when the contractor asked if I wanted him to take a look at my roof. Sure, why not.

So, he carts his ladder over to my house and gets on the roof and comes down with a laundry list of everything that is wrong. Insurance company is called, a claim is filed, and I am to wait for a call from my adjuster. A few weeks later, Adjuster calls to let me know he's on his way...five minutes before he actually shows up. I call Contractor to remind him that Adjuster is on his way. Contractor is at another house, but will be there within minutes.

A gangly, geeky looking fellow who is my adjuster shows up with his own ladder. Scales my roof and does his own little survey. Meanwhile, I'm in my house hoping a stiff wind doesn't blow him off. (Say, if an insurance adjuster falls off your roof...who covers the claim?)

Adjuster takes pics with his digital camera and loads them onto a laptop for my personal viewing pleasure, which is cool because I get to see what hale damage looks like without climbing on top of my house. Adjuster tells me that the roof, while not damaged to the point that my house is going to cave in, could stand to be replaced. However, everything else is fine. So much for the laundry list Contractor found.

And where was Contractor at, anyway? Well, he never showed.

I did some research about the company Contractor worked for. No negative reviews, a positive rating by the Better Business Bureau, but there is still something that is gnawing at the back of my head that tells me that I should find someone else. I spoke with my insurance agent, who I've known for fifteen years, and discussed the who chain of events with him, and he even agrees with my unsettled feeling about Contractor. One thing I found a big red flag was when Contractor met with Mr. Recommendation's insurance adjuster. The adjuster disputed everything on the Contractor's list of things that needing replaced, and the Contractor denied that he was even the one who inspected the roof in the first place. "Wasn't me...must have been some other guy who had the same name as me and works for this company." Which was complete and utter bullshit.

I called Contractor today and left a message for him to call me back, but no reply thus far. I've gone from unsettled to being pretty annoyed to the point where I want to tell him to take his shingles and stick them up his ass. There's plenty of reputable places who would love to crawl all over my house in the cold weather.

Maybe I can wait until Spring and hope a tornado takes out the fence and that big, ugly tree in the backyard.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Can I Have My T.V. Back Now?

The election is over. Thank. God. I don't know about you, but I got pretty tired of all the ads. Candidate So-and-So Masturbates in Church! Oh yeah? Well, Candidate So-and-So Eats Babies! And if you elect them, they are coming to eat YOUR babies!!

I would have liked to gone to the Rally to Restore Sanity. I've never been to D.C., and I like Jon Stewart. I've liked him before anyone else did. But, the timing sucked, and I already had a metric crap-ton of money leaving Casa de Blather for various other payments on Caribbean vacations, new brakes for the car, hookers, and blow.

Fact being, I am neither Republican nor Democrat. I'm more in the middle, picking and choosing my platforms from both sides. I'm for a woman's right to chose, but I don't think abortion should be a primary form of birth control. I think we should be allowed to have guns (I grew up in a family of avid hunters), but I don't think that getting one should be as easy as walking into Walmart and buying one. I think gays should be allowed to marry, but I also feel that churches should still have their own authority to prohibit or allow it within their own faith if they want to. All faiths should be guaranteed the same rights and freedoms under the Constitution (even if I think they are retarded). I know illegal immigrants are not out to take my job (you try detasseling corn for a summer and see how you like it), but I don't think they should be given discounts on health care and tuition, because after all, they are here illegally.

The list goes on and on.

This election was interesting if only for the presence of the Tea Party. Somewhere, amongst the racism and ignorance, are members who are actually tolerant and believe in the stated purpose of the party itself (smaller government, less spending and all those wonderful little talking points that they are zealously crying out for, and yet are unable to elaborate on). Those people are not the ones who unleashed Christine O'Donnell and Sharon Angle upon the world. The amount of derp that fell out of their mouths each time they spoke was almost unreal. It's scary to think that such people, who are clearly at the low end of the intelligence scale, made it so far in politics. It also doesn't speak very highly of the people who put them there in the first place. And to think that Sarah Palin actually has a following. What kind of Kool-Aid is she serving, anyway??

My thought on American politics is that the government is too far gone for anyone to come in and make a positive difference. Our government is in the pocket of corporations, self-interests. No one really cares about sane Americans who only want to have a roof over their heads, food in their bellies, and want to send their kids to college. No, government is just a free-for-all of everyone getting theirs. Anyone who enters into the system with a benevolent agenda, immediately gets a cold dose of reality and then it's business as usual. We The People is only an illusion, passed on to normal people so that we remain quiet and productive citizens.

No, folks. We're on our own out here. Which is why I'm seriously looking at retiring in a foreign country.

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Yeah, I know, I don't blog much. Talk about the world's biggest writer's block! I either have nothing to say, or something to say and I don't care whether I say it or not.

Lately, I have been focused on house stuff. An adjuster is supposed to come over at some point and inspect my roof, which apparently sustained some damage from that bad storm we had back in September. I don't know shit about roofs, other than they have shingles and they go on top of your house. Don't hate me for it. I wouldn't bust the balls of a roofer if he couldn't tell me the electrical conduction system of the human heart.

I also invested in a proper leaf blower. The one I had purchased last year was more geared for the old fart who had six leaves to blow off of his four foot sidewalk. I could rake my yard in a faster time it took me to blow a small leaf pile. So, I invested in a turbo-charged behemoth of a blower and the leaves were blown in two seconds. It kicked up a lot of dust in the backyard (which is all dirt and no grass), resulting in the entire neighborhood having to go wash their cars. The Angry Lesbians who live behind me were not horribly impressed. Since they bought and moved into the foreclosure home, they haven't been happy about much (hence the title Angry Lesbians). They even called the fire department when Mr. Recommendation was running his smoker because it hindered their ability to sit on their back deck and scowl at everyone.

And speaking of Angry Lesbian, my cousin (Militant Lesbian Cousin if you remember the saga I described here, here, and here.) made the mistake of calling Mother an Effing C-word. THAT word. The mother of all bad words. I admit I use the word on a rare occasion, but if you called me one, I'd probably laugh at you. However, you don't call my mother that. You don't call anyone in your family that. I don't think Rosie anticipated the backlash from the rest of the family members once they heard of the incident, but in addition to, ahem, other pie that she may be snacking on, she has also been served up some humble pie. I'm not falling for it, though. There's just some levels of drama that you are better off without.

Most days, I go between missing Oz and being mad at what a douche he was, and mad at myself for still having feelings for him. Blowing leaves around the yard gives one plenty of time to think of such things. It also gives impressive blisters on your hands and a dozen bags of leaves.

I've gone out on a date, maybe two (I can't really remember) to ease back into that saddle. It was fun, but I have a knack for honing in on the guys who aren't looking for anything serious, or monogamous. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I know what I am wired for, and it helps me maintain a good emotional distance. What can I say? I have aloof down to an artform.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Return to Sender

For the past year or so, I have been getting emails from some people I don't know. What I do know, is that they live in Texas, and they are bigtime Crispy Christians. What is a Crispy Christian, you may ask? Well, it's someone who is so ate up over their religion, that they can't help but be all self-righteous about it. Back in the days when they had tent revivals, there was usually a big bonfire involved. Local townsfolk would go, get all excited about the faith du jour until the next revival came to town and they go all excited about that one. In some areas, black scorches marked the earth from so many revivals visiting in a short amount of time. Crispy Christians.

There is a saying that I recently heard, that I am absolutely in love with, goes as such:

I'm perfectly okay with people having faith. I'm perfectly okay with those who don't. I try to look at the person and base their merits on the person, instead of whether they go to church or not. Sure, there's churches out there who illicit they eyeroll from me. There's people out there who embrace their aetheism with such fervor that it almost seems like it's own little church. People have their free agency to do what the hell they want with their own souls/salvation/pasta sauce. I'm not going to tell you it's wrong. If you can live with it, and it makes you happy, and it's legal, then more power to you.

Anyway, back to my emailers.

I don't know how they got my email. I'm deduced that someone with my last name lives down in the Lone Star State, goes to their church, has an email that is similar to mine, or they had my email address long ago before they cancelled their service with that particular phone company. Whatever the case, I get emails about some Pastor's blog, bake sales, bible study groups, youth group crap, and all things pertaining to their church group.

Usually, I just delete the emails and move forward with life. But remember, these people are in Texas. Land of the George Bush Fan Club and corn-holing tea-baggers who would still swear that President Obama is a secret Muslin terrrorist set on turning this country into a socialist hell, where your daughters will be raped daily, and sons will be sacrificed to Allah on Sundays. Oh, and he's black.

Then, I started getting emails about the mosque in New York. Guess what? I don't give a shit where they want to put their mosque. If they own the property, they can build a big giant penis if they so wanted (for a Church of the Divine Orgy, perhaps?). Or I would get emails about how Obama is the Antichrist. The main thread of these emails consisted of this: Create Fear Through Ignorance.

If there is one thing I can't stand, it's ignorance. Especially when people chose to be that way, instead finding the facts and making their own opinions.

In true GB fashion, I've been having fun at the expense of those who would so brazenly send such emails. I've included historical accuracies laden with snark. Now, it would appear that I've hurt some feelings.

Boo. Hoo.

I think I have eliminated most of the offending email senders. Now, I'm getting links to their pastor's blog. What's a girl to do??

Monday, October 11, 2010

Algebra sucked, study hall was a blast, have a great summer and see you next year!

I graduated high school in 1993. I wasn't a popular girl. I wasn't part of the nerd herd. I wasn't even what you would call a jock (I was in track, but not gung-ho about it). My years in high school were not what I would call "the best years of my life". So, it was with supreme happiness that I graduated, and left all the bullshit behind me.

Some people, however, are unable to let it go.

You know the types. You may even work with some of them. Their glory days, the pinnacle of their existence, resides within the halls of some high school somewhere. They were usually popular, big man on campus. Everyone looked up to them. Everyone wanted to be them. They were the sun, and everything else were just little peon planets that revolved around them.

After high school, they tried to keep that momentum going, but learned pretty quickly that they were now little fish in an extremely large pond. No one cared that they had been homecoming queen, or quarterback. They became average people, like everyone else. And they hated it.

But then they found jobs, and because water rises to it's own level, they gravitated towards the people who were most like them. Lost souls still trying to recapture the glory of their youth. They travel in packs, joined at the hip at work in their own little cluster, usually talking about all the fun they had over the weekend. Loud enough for other people to hear and remind them that they didn't belong in the self-anointed popular crowd. Congenial only to their own little peer group, cold and aloof to everyone else. You might get a couple outside people who get sucked in, having never known that kind of inclusiveness before, they are now part of the the "cool kids"...some twenty years later.

It's pretty pathetic when grownups behave this way. It speaks volumes about the person when you realize that the best moments they ever had was during puberty. Not when they found the person they would spend the rest of their lives with. Not when they had kids of their own and experienced the joys of parenting. All their happiness can be tied to their high school days.

Up until now, I've been pretty fortunate to have minimal experience with, what I call, The High School Crowd. Sure, there were some immature types on the day shift, but I attributed that to the fact that they were still so young. Now, it would appear, that the Mean Girls have arrived on night shift. Rude to everyone but those within their circle. Unhelpful. Hateful. They make fun of everyone when they are out of earshot, for what they say, how they look, how they dress, or laugh at someone's wedding pictures. I'd almost bet money that these people were bullies when they were in high school. Being hateful just comes so easily to them.

At least if I am an asshole to you, it's because you did something retarded to a patient or left a mountain of work for me to do because you were to lazy to do it yourself. I'm an asshole, shit gets corrected, we move forward amicably and I will still invite you to my Christmas party. I'm not going to scoff at you because you got a promise ring. (Ironically, the nurse who was making the most fun of the ring just recently got dumped by her own boyfriend.)

It used to be, we had some pretty cool people who worked on my floor at night. We worked as a team. No cliques. No backstabbing. Just our jobs. It was a grown-up floor. We shared a genuine concern for each other. Now, mst of the cool people have moved on to greener pastures, leaving us with a couple assholes that are ruining the dynamic that once made us so great.

I made this realization this weekend when they worked together, and their actions caused an uneasy feeling on the floor. It would seem that I wasn't the only one who noticed. Another coworker was at the desk with me while the Mean Girls were sitting in a corner talking about some crap reality show that only teenagers watch, when my coworker quipped, "I feel like I didn't make the cheerleading squad." Even the day staff has taken notice, and they don't notice anything.

I graduated high school in 1993, and I left it there, only to be revisited at class reunions when gathered with classmates I actually liked, and we reminisce about how retarded we were. This is one of the many reasons that my time on my floor is limited. Soon, all the good nurses will be gone, and all that will remain are the Mean Girls, and a unit that will become known as Telemetry High School.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Pussy and the Peeper

Shortly after the incident with Oz this June, I fell into a bit of a funk. I didn't want to do anything but stay home and wallow in misery. One day, Mother wanted me to go to the store with her. I opted out, but she wasn't going to take no for an answer, because nothing conquers depression better than a trip to your local Walmart. So, I schlepped on some clothes, and left the house.

On the way home, we drove by house with a sign out front that simply said "Free Kittens". Mother loves cats. In fact, we have an agreement that if she were to ever win the lottery, she would have her own ranch for unwanted cats. My end of the agreement would be that I would quit my job, go to veterinarian school, and open up a vet's office on the property. Most days, I generally like animals more than people. This is an idea I could get behind.

Mother's eyes lit up at the sight of the sign, and I asked her if she wanted to go see the kittens. She readily agreed, made a U-turn, and within five minutes, we were knee deep in tiny fur-babies.

Somehow, that day, I ended up taking one home. I hadn't planned on getting another one, even after Shasta died (I suspect I may have an allergy to cats). But here I was, cradling a little gray and white. Mother, tickled pink, wanted to bask her newest grandkitteh in gifts, so we stopped by PetCo.

Baby animals are cute, and people generally like to pet them. This includes PetCo employees. One such employee, commandeered the kitten as she directed us to the kitten food isle. I will be honest. Despite my training in the medical field, and despite the countless wieners and vajayjay I have seen, I can't tell the gender in baby cats. At least in dogs, you can tell just by where it is located. In cats, their junk is located in the same spot. To make it worse, it's covered in fuzz. So, I asked the employee if she could tell us what gender my newest house guest was. With much fanfare, she flipped the kitten over on it's back, spread the legs open, and announced it was a girl.

"And that is her VAGINA" she finished with flourish.

On the way home, the cat was given the name Sophie. A nice, cute, girly name. Little pink collar, little bowl with flowers. Everyone liked Princess Sophie. Including George.

Life went on at Case de Blather without incident. Mother would come and tend to my own little petting zoo on those nights I worked. The other day, she mentioned that she thought Sophie had strange anatomy.

"Are you sure Sophie is a girl?" she asked. I reminded her that the PetCo worker assured us Sophie was a female as evidenced by the presence of the VAGINA. Because she worked at a pet store, she knew what she was talking about. Right?

Sophie purrs for Mother all the time. Me, not so much. Her interaction with me is usually fraught with teeth and claws. Today, I caught her in a rather pleasant mood and she let me scratch her belly, purring the whole time. So, there we were, enjoying some nice, quiet parent-kitteh time when it happened. A little pink appendage, resembling a Christmas light bulb, popped out from her vagina. Now, I'm not a veterinarian (yet). but with my vast experience, I deduced that it wasn't normal for any female (human or animal) to have anything pop out of their vagina unless something went in there in the first place.
Princess Sophie was, indeed, a boy. Now what?

Mother thinks I should let the name stand and not tell anyone, like the gender is a dirty little secret. I, however, am having a hard time bringing myself to call the cat by a name that is ill-fitting. So, I've been trying to think of what to do. There really isn't a male version of the name Sophie. I took a poll, and got many different suggestions:

Since I have started referring to, eh, Sophie as a "he", he has been much more friendly to me. Perhaps that is why the hostility. I guess I would be pretty annoyed if people kept thinking I was a dude, although I can think of at least two obvious signs I'm a female.

So, what to do about the name??

Sunday, September 26, 2010


To Be Filed Under: I Can't Make This Crap Up

Sam, being the little asshole he is, decided to start barking early Wednesday morning, so I kicked him and Lucy outside, into their big, back yard. Six foot privacy fence, trees, room to run and play. Fresh food and water, and they can stay out there all day while I sleep and not have to worry about what shoes they are destroying, or if they are taking a monster dump on my new area rug.

Because I was slated for a three-day stretch at work, I was sleeping during the day. Around eight or so, I remember waking up to a horrible smell. In my sleepy state, I remember thinking that the cat must have taken a crap on my pillow. So, I stumbled around the house, half asleep, sniffing to find the offending source. I couldn't find one, and by then the smell had lessened, so I figured I dreamt the whole thing and went back to bed.

Around one, I got up for my scheduled potty break, and thought I would let the dogs in. I opened the door and they zoomed in like their asses were on fire. The smell immediately followed. In the middle of the city, my dogs apparently discovered a skunk somewhere in my backyard and tried to play with it. My eyes watering as I ran around the house, rounding them up, to throw them back outside.

Because I had to work that night, the best I could do was call a groomer, but she could only take one the following day. I determined that Sam stunk worse than Lucy, and decided he would be the first to go. Meanwhile, both were banished from the house until further notice.

The following morning, I raced home from work, collected the vile Sam and drove to the groomers. Windows down, gagging the entire way. Some Palin-American in a minivan thought my speeding was an open invitation for a street race. (I won.)
Upon entering the shop, Sam's aroma permeated the entire place. The groomer frowned as I explained the situation.

"Would you do me a favor?" she asked. Sure, it was the least I could do because this woman would have to smell my dog all day. "Go get me douche. Lots of douche. As much douche as you can get your hands on."

Never before has anyone made such a request. After explaining that douche solution worked best for the removal of skunk oil, I high-tailed it to the nearest pharmacy and cleaned out their stock. The sales guy wryly asked me if I had left any for anyone else. Well, I saved a couple of them in case an unfortunate woman with a busy social agenda should happen along. I'm not a total asshole.

Douches delivered, and a very distressed and stinky Sam left in the groomer's care, I went back home. But not before stopping by another pharmacy and depleting their stock of douche. I did, after all, have another dog to tend to.

That morning, I was on my deck, a table full of little blue bottles of douche, and I was drenching Lucy. When I was finished, she smelled more like a summer shower-fresh meadow that had springtime ocean spray waterfalls with just a hint of vinegar. I also smelled douche-like, and covered with dog hair. A quick shower, I crawled into bed. Lucy stayed outside, to cure in a multi-scented douche marinade.

I woke up at 4pm, with serious bedhead, so I hopped in the shower again to rinse off. Threw on some clothes, checked on Lucy (who smelled less like a skunk and more like a woman's flowery vajayjay), tossed some dinner in the oven, and went to the groomer to pick up Sam.

After arriving at the groomer, Sam was brought out, all white and fluffy, smelling like wildflowers and baby powder with just a hint of burning rubber. He was happy to see me, as apparently he experienced a bit of anxiety over the last two days. The groomer said she would quickly trim his nails and we would be off. She picked him up under her arm, and I followed as she carried him to the grooming table.

Funny things about dogs when they get stressed out, they internalize it. In their colon. At that moment that the groomer picked him up, he acted like a little pimple, and a spray of the foulest smelling shit shot out of his ass like he was a super-soaker, onto his Mommy who was standing right behind him. The groomer set him down and he began to walk in a circle, shooting poop-spray out of his ass like he was a water sprinkler. If the gates of hell were to open up, and Satan, having judged a chili cook off, were to fart, that's how bad it would smell.

Covered in shit and blood (product of an inflamed colon), I was instructed to please go to the pharmacy for some Kaopectate. (Did I mention I was covered in raw sewage and blood??) But I did, where the oldest woman on the planet was having problems working the register. There I was, the Douche Queen this morning, covered in eye-watering shit sauce and desperately clutching a bottle of Kaopectate. My rage meter was inching towards an all-time high. I was going to explode, and everyone within 20 feet of me would be incinerated.

Armed with vanilla-flavored Kaopectate (I didn't think Sam would care for peppermint), I went back to the groomers, where she immediately dosed him with it. Meanwhile, I called Mother and tell her to go turn off my oven, and to call work to tell them I was running late. The groomer and I decided that the best course of action would  be to board Sam there overnight and pick him up in the morning after he was bathed for a second time. I would in turn, bring Lucy in for her time for bathing, hopefully sans the projectile diarrhea.

I did about 65 going home, showered again for the third time that day. My dinner baked to a crisp and inedible. I then drove like a bat out of hell to get to to work. One of the few times I can say I've had a horrible day, and it not be related to my job.

The following day, I swapped Lucy for Sam at the groomers. Sam was fully recovered, again freshly washed and dried. Thankfully, Lucy had an uneventful day. The groomer, after careful consideration, decided not to charge me for anything and instructed me to go home and have a bottle of wine. Not a glass, but a bottle. I love my groomer.

Sam still carries a slight aroma of polecat, but he caught the spray in the face, and washing around his eyes and mouth are challenging. The house now smells like my house, and not a skunk den. Life is somewhat returning back to normal, and I am eager for this really lousy week to be over.

And I hope that those dogs have the good sense to leave black and white cats alone.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

One of Them That Got Away

I was perusing one of my most favorite news aggregators, when I stumbled upon this story. I damn near fell out of my chair. I actually knew the guy.

Well, maybe "knew" is putting it lightly. He was my M.O.M. That's Moving-On Man to you. Just what is that? Well, it's a term used for a guy who is your rebound. Many people would recognize The Rebound a lot better. He really doesn't amount to much in the long term, but rather, someone that gets you over those residual feelings of your previous relationship. He helps you realize that you are still a desirable creature. He helps you understand that there is life after a breakup, and things move forward.

Nothing came of our brief affair. He moved on to Florida shortly after we stopped seeing each other. As you can see, he turned out just fine. He was a nice guy, and I wish him all the happiness in the world.

Just an interesting story, I thought I would share.

Things I Don't Get: Hip Hop Pants

When that one guy popped on American Idol auditions and sang about Pants on the Ground, it only brought to light a serious fashion flaw that has spread across the country, like Paris spreads her STDs. They are called many things: saggy pants, droopy pants, ghetto pants, but one this for certain. They look tacky. I don't care how many celebrities say to the contrary.

And so it was, in my formative years, that Garth Brooks was IT, and it was mandatory that every roller skating rink played Friends in Low Places at least once a night. With the popularity of Garth Brooks, country fashion surged and boys sported Wrangler jeans so tight, that you had to wonder if their testicles were actually getting any blood flow.

I thought he was hotter as Chris Gaines.

The look was appealing only if you had a decent ass. Rodeo cowboys, have rather nice ones, and sadly, were pretty much the only ones who looked good in skin-tight Wranglers. Everyone else, you just felt bad for. Sort of like the flat-chested girl in a bikini.

And if you didn't hop on the country bandwagon, there was always MC Hammer.

Sadly, I owned a pair of these.

I really don't know what he was hoping to accomplish with the balloon pants, but it wasn't a trend that reached Garth Brooks proportions. Some people bought them, some didn't.

Remember Mark Walberg? Before he went into acting and had two looks: constipated and REALLY constipated. He was a Marky Mark. Tight little body with a huge Calvin Klein contract. What's the boy to do? He couldn't run around all day in his underwear. Women wouldn't leave him alone, not to mention how cold it would be in the winter. Things would shrink, and he would risk alienating his bulge-watching fan base.

Pardon me for a minute, I will be in my bunk.

Of course! Wear jeans just baggy enough to show some underwears. Not everything, but just enough to see they are not Fruit of the Looms, not the skidmark that occurred after too much Taco Bell, and certainly not enough to reveal any shrinkage. Keep the women guessing!

And so that trend took flight, and soon all the boys were buying jeans that were a couple sizes too big, and showing off their Calvins, or whatever they happened to pick up at Walmart.

As time passed, the pants got bigger, and lower and lower they plumber's crack, then mid-crack, then, below the ass cheek.

With a douche bag belt to cap the look.

But then they had to start wearing belts so they wouldn't randomly fall down. Because, ya know, THAT would be embarrassing.

At some point, someone thought it was a good idea to take it even further, and pulling them down to the knees. Because most underwears don't fall at the knee, boys had to get creative, and the invention of the long-assed t-shirt came to be.

Secretly, he has midget legs.

So, my question is: WHY, IN THE NAME OF GOD, WHY!?!?!? Someone played a cruel joke and said that fashions like this is what makes women swoon. Because if you look like you can't dress yourself properly, you gets all the bitches!

Even belts can't help, as evidenced by the countless men you see standing around holding their pants up, because the minute they let go, the puppies have now become ankle warmers. Some guys actually manage to walk in them in such a manner, that the pants don't fall down without a fight. You've seen them, legs all spread out, bow-legged, looking like they have a corn cob shoved up their ass.

Real women with any self-respect, can't possibly take a guy like this seriously. This certainly isn't sexy. Smart men don't go around looking like they need help dressing in the morning.

Maybe it's an unwitting red flag for women, because you can spot saggy pants from a greater distance than a sign that says "I can count to potato". Perhaps this is Darwin telling us that these men are not the choice of the herd, because in the event of an attack, they are obviously not going to be able to run away.

Don't get me started on socks and sandals...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nurse Follies: The Asshole

I'm a self-proclaimed asshole. I don't like bitch because it suggests that there is some sort of hormone that is influencing my behavior, and my life isn't governed by estrogen. No, I'm just a plain and simple, garden variety, asshole.

However, while I may be an asshole, I am an asshole with purpose. There's always a reason, something that needs done, or a point to be made. With great power, comes great responsibility. And I won't waste my talents on just anyone. If you are rude? I'm going to be an asshole. If you are an ignorant derp? Asshole. If you are mean to people for your own personal enjoyment? When I am done with you, you are going to think I am the genesis of assholery.

I mention this, because we have a frequent flyer patient who is also an asshole...but an asshole with no other purpose than to control people. Because of the nature of his illness, he can only come to my floor. Other floors will never experience his charming personality. There are no good qualities about him, and when we see his name on our patient list, a little part of us dies inside. Some people have openly wondered just when he's going to die. He's demanding, degrading, demeaning, insulting, abusive, makes staff members cry, openly hostile, controlling, and just an overall colossal douche.

In dealing with him through the ages, we guess that he has some sort of Borderline Personality Disorder, because no one person could be that evil just for fun. We've also mapped out his tactics and manipulations (all lies), which he switches seamlessly when staff doesn't cave to his terrorism.

Flattery: Oh! I remember you!! You're are my most absolute favorite nurse EVER!!! I even was telling my wife about you the other day. Now give me what I want.

Guilt: I'm a dying man!! I only have months to live! Honor a dying man's last request and give me what I want.

Baiting: You are the crappiest nurse on the planet! If you want to prove me wrong, you will give me what I want.

Fear: My brother's cousin's wife's roommate is on the board of directors for ACME Hospital. If you don't give me what I want, I will have you fired.

Playing Sides: The other doctor/nurse said I could, and it was okay. So, you can give me what I want, too.

Pastor Douche: The bible says that you need to treat all people with respect and Jesus Christ blah, blah, etc. If you were a good Christian, you would give me what I want because Jesus would.

Weaker or newly minted nurses, have been reduced to tears by this man. Everyone who has dealt with him longer have come up with new and creative ways of telling him to go fuck a goat. Figuratively speaking. I try to avoid him altogether because we'd get into yelling matches, which would draw an audience outside the door. Usually nurses, sometimes with popcorn. One time, when he used his entire arsenal and hit nothing but air, he told me that he was happy that I was going home in the morning.

"Trust me, sir." I said before marching out of his room, "No one could possibly be more happy about that than I am."

He's this way to everyone...doctors, nurses, management. There is nothing that can be done to shut him up, short of some anterior pillow therapy. Instead, we get pats on the back, sympathetic murmurs, and maybe a pizza party upon his discharge.

So, he just visits us often, makes our lives miserable for a week or so, then goes home. Lather, rinse, repeat.

During his last visit, when he realized that he was going to get no where with me, he flatly told me, "You're a bitch."

"Actually, sir, if you don't mind," I replied. "I prefer asshole."

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Soapin' It Up Old School

Into the life of a homeowner, a little rain must fall. Mine came in the form of a crapped-out dishwasher. Initially, I had noticed a couple specs of whatever left on my dishes after a cycle. Then, I had noticed my dishes weren't getting oh-so-sparkly clean, and I would have to run a load of dishes through two cycles. Two cycles became three. This morning, I came home from work to a small swamp in the bottom of the dishwasher. It was then that I could no longer ignore the bitter truth.

I needed a new dishwasher.

I don't know what the hell I was thinking, that I could go to Home Depot and just bring home another one. No, you buy it at the store, and then they deliver it to your house later. In my case, Wednesday.

What the hell to do with the dirty dishes I already had??

I remember when I was a kid, I loved to do dishes. By hand. Mom would put a chair up to the sink for me to stand on, and I would happily wash away. She never let me wash the glass stuff...I was a klutz even then. After dishes were done, I was rewarded with a chunk of peppermint. I'm confident I was a hard wage negotiator even then.

For much of my formative years, dishes were done by hand. In those days, dishwashers were a huge luxury item. It wasn't until I moved into my first apartment, that I got to experience life with a dishwasher.

I have to say, I was smitten. I also have to say, that my first dishwasher was exactly the same kind as the one that came with my house. I should have known then that there was a turd residing in my kitchen.

So, I stopped by Wally World, picked up a drying rack, some sponges, and spent the remainder of the afternoon washing dishes by hand. My hands now look eighty years old.

I've had to postpone Pork Chop Tuesday, and I will probably be abstaining from any serious cooking until my new washing beastie is safety bolted into it's new home.

Thank God for paper plates.

On the opposite coin, I'm pretty stoked about the new dishwasher. I don't think I've been this excited in a while (since the arrival of the Keurig anyway). Some girls get excited with jewelry. Some with clothes. I damn near wet myself over kitchen appliances.

I'm so pathetic. But I shall be pathetic with clean dishes.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Screwed Over By Crackers and Cookies

If you read the business pages, you may recall something about a local pasta company being bought out by a large snack food company. My mother, works for the former, and has done so for almost a decade.

Chief Bosshole named Jack, who has a long history of selling companies he happens to be running at the time, pioneered the sale to said snack food company, who was ran by his bff. Their wives are good friends, too. Which made people wonder if this was something that he had intended when he first took over the helm of the pasta company.

When the news broke earlier this summer, Chief Bosshole Jack assured the worker bees that their jobs were safe for at least a year after the sale was finalized.

Recently, Mother was told that she would no longer have a job after the end of the year. Her, and about 20 others (and that list keeps growing), including higher ups who put blood, sweat, and tears into the company were "let go". Some of these people, award-winning businessmen, and one award-winning chef.

Mother was, and is, devastated.

Since getting the news, Crappy Cookies and Crackers Company has moved those axed higher ups to some cube farm in the same building, the replacements of their choosing already making themselves at home in the new posh offices. To pour salt on fresh wounds, Mother and others in her particular area, will have to train their own replacements. They also have to sign an agreement stating that they have to tow the line, and not say bad things about CCCC, lest they risk losing their severance week's pay for every year of service, payable one week at a time.

And Chief Bosshole Jack? Oh, he's not staying with the company either. But he's walking away with $19 million. I don't suppose he'd care to share that with the people he just fucked in the ass without so much as a kiss? Probably not. He'll just move onto the next company, like a parasite, and fuck them over as well. Because he is also a chickenshit, he's been on vacation since news of the cuts have been made so he doesn't have to face the people he screwed over, most of them being let go right around the Christmas holiday season.

I like my employer, but I'm not a cheerleader of my job. Oh, you know the types...they are loyal servants of the master who signs their paycheck with the false impression that their company considers them as part of the family. When truth is, you are part of the family only when it's convenient for you to be. People who get let go from their jobs are left shocked. They can't fathom how their own family would boot them out. You are a valued team member, until you're not. At the end of the day, they are running a business, and they have to look out for number one.

I once read that the generations below me don't exhibit loyalty in the the companies they work for, which may explain why they job hop. I have to say, when I applied to work at ACME Hospital, the nurse recruiter's eyes damn near popped out of her head when she had seen that I spent at least five years with previous employers. Nowadays, two years is considered tenure. Older generations scoff at this ambivalent attitude, but maybe they are onto something. If you don't put your heart into your work, then you never run the risk of getting it broken.

As for Mother, I hope she is able to find another job before her time is up at Crappy Cookies and Crackers Co. Then, she can give them the finger and they can train their own damn replacements. If I was a millionaire. I'd tell her to quit tomorrow and then I would pay for a full page ad in the Kansas City Star, telling CCCC to go fuck themselves with a splintery log full of termites.

Meanwhile, I'm boycotting all products made by Crappy Cookies and Crackers Co, in addition to their new pasta acquisition. Stupid, I know. My paltry dollars wouldn't even cause a blip on their radar, but at least I know my money isn't going to a company that blatantly lies and fucks over the little guy.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

GB Accosted by Palin-Americans

It's was an odd weekend.

First, a lady flips her shit because I have to look at her husband's peener, and possible touch it. Did I mention that both the patient and the wife are in their 70's? Did I also mention that this was part of my physical assessment that I do to all my patients, especially if they have a foley catheter? It did no use explaining why I needed to do it, the old lady is batshit crazy. She's insanely jealous and thinks us young, cute (and a couple pregnant) nurses are after her man. Her old, wrinkly, coughing, wheezing, confused man. At least I wasn't the poor nurse who had to place the catheter in the first place. I'm told the wife went off the deep end and called that nurse every name in the book. The daughter-in-law assures us that she has been called the same names as well.
Secondly, I was on my way home from work this morning when I realized I needed gas in the tank. So, I stop by QuikTrip. Just get gas and go home to my nice, comfy bed...maybe a delicious cup of decaf coffee before I do. I pull in, get a vacant pump, and do the routine gas-pump thing when and older gentleman on the other side of the pump engages me in conversation. Whatever. I'm in my scrubs, and most people deem nurses as safe to talk to.

He begins by talking about the weather, because what else is he going to talk to me about, besides his hemorrhoids, or some weird spot on his shoulder and would I take a look at it?

Being polite, I also respond in kind about the weather, because I really don't want to know about his hemorrhoids. Then it comes, completely out of left field, sounding like a question I would have got had I been on a speech and debate team in high school.

"What do you think about Pakistan blah, blah, blah. Afghanistan blah, blah, blah. And them wanting to put a mosque two blocks away from The World Trade Center?"

This, of course, is a loaded question. I am, after all, in Teabag Country. I think I would have preferred the hemorrhoids.

I shrug. State something to the effect that I don't care where they want to put their mosque. Apparently, that was the wrong thing to say. Old Fart got all butthurt about it.

"It's a bunch of shit!" he exclaimed. I just stared at him, the corners of my mouth yearning to stretch upward in a big grin that can only precede me laughing hysterically at you for being retarded.

"I've been around the world and blah, blah, blah. And used to work blah, blah, blah. And I knew some of them and if you think they love you, you're out of your mind. Because they don't!" Then, he procded to stomp off to go get a donut and some coffee. Or some Ex-Lax because, obviously, he was full of shit.

Had I been on my A-game, I would have played along and agreed with him, and then taken him down the path that would have led him to scream out his fervor for Sarah Palin right there in the parking lot.

Truth be told, I really don't care about the location of a mosque, but I know the corn-holing, Palin-American, Teabag demographic is all butthurt over it. These fucktards, some of them high-ranking politicians, can't be bothered to learn the difference between a splinter group, and a mainstream religion.

Warren Jeffs married children off to pedophiles in the name of God, but that doesn't mean that the entire LDS church celebrates the deflowering of 13 year old girls by 60-something year old men after church on Sunday.

I'm convinced that the majority of the population are retarded, or as I like to refer to as, Palin-American. Those who use intellect and common sense to make their own decisions, not based on fear-mongering, are in the minority. Smart people, it would seem, are an endangered species.

This country was founded on religious freedom. Some people today would tout that, but only if that religion was Christian-based. Putting a mosque near Ground Zero is no more offensive than putting a Synagogue or a Buddhist temple or a Church of the Divine Orgasm in the same place.

I could get behind a Church of the Divine Orgasm. Orgy immediately following the potluck dinner on Wednesdays.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A New Love Affair

I'm in love! And this just isn't some passing fancy. I never knew it could happen to me, this way. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision that has made me deliriously happy. A relationship that will last until the end of time.

Of course, I am talking about my new mini Keurig coffee maker.

I've always wanted one, and I've balked at the price. However, it wasn't until I was going to make some coffee for visiting friends and discovered the inside of my seldom-used coffee maker was gross, that I seriously started thinking of getting one.

I like coffee, but I end up wasting a whole pot when I make it,  because I maybe end up drinking one cup. With a Keurig, I can make and drink one cup at a time, as I want it, in varying flavors and varieties. It can make hot cocoa and tea. Even iced tea. ~sigh~

I love this coffee maker. I want to have babies with it. This coffee maker ranks as my second-most favorite appliance in my house. We won't discuss the first.

It's the beginning of a passionate, and long-term relationship.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nurse Follies: Say What?

Doctor's note: per patient wishes, if she arrests, do not intervene. But if she has not passed away, do everything, including intubation.

I showed this to numerous staff and asked them to translate. None could. Given the fact that she had no outlined code order in her chart, she was automatically a full code, which rendered the note moot.

You have to love July. The air is humid. The sun is shining. The new residents are out in full force.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

General Blather vs. The IRS

I finally got around to filing my 2009 taxes. Not to fret, I filed an extension. I found an awesome lady to prepare my taxes, and with her mad accountant mojo skillz, I get a return just short of $5K.

Well, wouldn't you know, being the bad procrastinator I am, forgot to file for 2008? Well, Uber-Tax Lady did that return as well, with a comparable refund as well . By the end of summer, I should be flush with a little cash.

The State of Missouri also took note of this.

I have a long, storied history with the state of Missouri's Department of Revenue. I work in one state, live in another. This means I get to file taxes in two states, pay in one, get credit in the other. Why I didn't just buy a house in Kansas when I went looking to buy a house, I don't really have an answer to that. Anyway, I got a letter from the Mo Dept of Rev folks, and they happily informed me that I owed a shitload of money for 2007.

I'm going to call bullshit. Sadly, this happened before a few years ago. I did my taxes (on time), mailed in all the appropriate forms, and weeks later they send me a letter basically saying, "We amended your tax forms so you have to pay us a shitload now. We don't care that you filed in Kansas." I actually had to have a lawyer resend them my forms with a nice letter telling them to fuck off. That seemed to placate them, and they went away for a couple years. Now they are at it again...with a vengeance.

So, here goes again, with the resending of the forms, the fuck you letter. My tax forms for that year have been looked over. No errors. There's no logical reason for me to owe them money.

It makes me wonder how often this happens to other people. Do they fight it? Question it? Or become fearful and pay the amount because they don't know any better. Is this truly an oversight, or is the great Show-Me-State trying to bilk people out of extra money so they can pay for brand new highways that collapse into sinkholes?

The federal IRS people can't help. They were exceptionally nice, especially when the agent I spoke to just spent a half an hour with a woman who argued that the trailer she owned wasn't considered a house, and therefore she should be eligible for the new home credit.

I couldn't work for the IRS. Too many codes, idiots, and people threatening to blow up your house. I'll deal with blood and death, thank you.

Meanwhile, I relish the idea of getting a new patio door on my house. And pay off my cruise for next year.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Nurse Follies: The Shrink Is In

There must be something about my face that says, "Tell me everything. Even if I don't ask for it."

Case in point...

We received a transfer from Podunk Community Hospital and Tractor Supply Store. The nurse who called to give me report was someone who had apparently been in the nursing game a while, but her exposure to anything outside of vanilla was next to none.

"He has a partner," She whispered scandalously over the phone. "A boyfriend!! And the boyfriend will be coming with the patient!"

I rolled my eyes. Big stinking deal. I almost told her to call me back when she actually had something impressive to tell me, like the guy grew tentacles from his nose or gave birth to a grilled cheese sandwich. Small town corn-holing rednecks. I hate them with the burning passion of a thousand Twilight fans.

At any rate, a couple hours later, the patient arrives, and after five minutes with him, I have decided he's an obnoxious asshole. It also helps that he told me that he's an asshole.

"That's okay," I reply. "I'm a bigger one."

Asshole Patient has sores on his feet, to which I ask what they were from. He shrugs, "I don't know."

"You don't know? What do you mean you don't know? Did you wake up one morning and they had magically appeared with the help of woodland gnomes?"

Other Half arrives and I get the patient settled, but not before listening to his million complaints about everything else. The patient was one of those types who tries hard to be a smartass because he thinks he's very clever at it, when in reality, instead of coming off funny, he comes off like a ginormous douche bag. Every staff member who enters his room comes out with the distinct impression that this guy is a colossal tool.

Other Half leaves to go home, and I go to draw blood on the patient. As I am working, he starts talking.

Patient: Yeah, we've been having relationship problems.
Me: Relationships are challenging.
Patient: I know! But it's my fault because I'm so jealous. I'm the jealous type...and I'm an asshole.
Me: ...
Patient: But the Other Half promised me that he was going to tell his friend that he can't come over to the house anymore unless I am home.
Me: Sounds like you have suspicions about the friend.
Patient: Oh yes! He's after my Other Half, but Other Half assures me that he's just a friend from prison.

What the hell do you say to something like that??? Reassure the dude that Special Friend and Other Half spent their time in the clink just playing dominoes and watching Young and the Restless on the common room??

No, I just kept my yap shut and finished drawing his labs. With my recent relationship failure, I'm the last person who should be giving relationship advice. The best I can do is pat his arm and give him an ice cold Pepsi.

Which was exactly what the staff doctor did for me when she came in the following morning and found out he was my patient. Apparently, Pepsi is the great healer of wounds.

I hate Pepsi. Pass the Prozac.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Lavender Scented Dog Farts

A friend and coworker of mine revealed a short while ago she's one of those people who cut coupons. In this day and age, it's practical, but she's one of the uber-coupon cutters. The news has done stories about them. They pour over ads, cut coupons, scour the internets. Then, they strategize their shopping excursions with more detail than WWII. In the end, they buy half the store, go to the register, and the store ends up owing them $5.

She once tried explaining to me how she does it, but I fell asleep. It sounded complex and a involved. Almost like a part time job.

Needless to say, her house looks like Sam's Club, and she probably won't ever have to buy laundry soap and toothpaste ever again. And long after she passes on, hundreds of years from now, explorers will find the ruins of her house, and a huge cache of cleaning products in what used to be the basement.

I thought I would be friendly, and help her out by saving my pop bottle caps. Apparently, you turn those in for points which you use towards other crap. This is how she gets her magazine subscriptions to Crochet Digest.

The other morning, she popped over to my unit before she left work, and delivered me a bag full of stuff. A couple really cool razors (one for Mother), some toothpaste, some soap, some contact solution (I don't wear contacts), and a few other odds and ends. The big item being an Air Wick Freshmatic with motion sensor in a calming Lavender & Chamomile scent. I put it together this morning and stuck it in the office where it senses when I, or one of the dogs, walks into the room, and releases an aesthetically pleasing burst of smelly.

Oddly enough, it sounds exactly like a dog fart.

So now, whenever it goes off, I spin around from the computer, alarmed, looking for the culprit. Sam and Lucy look back, bewildered, as if to say, "It wasn't me!!!"

At least it doesn't come with the paint-peeling off the walls, burn your eyes smell of digested dog food, and whatever they happened to dig up in the back yard.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Nurse Follies: There's a Distinction?

RN: Do you smoke and when was the last time?

New Patient: What? Smoked cigarettes, or smoked?

RN: Cigarettes.

NP: Yeah, I smoke cigarettes. I had some just before I came here.

RN: Okay, do you do drugs?

NP: Yeah. A couple of things.

RN: When was the last time you did drugs?

NP: You want to know when the last time I did just a little, or the last time I did drugs??

Friday, July 02, 2010

Holiday Weekend Blather

So I return to work tonight, the pain still bothers me intermittently, but not enough that warrants calling in. I called in all of last weekend, and I am sure I will be written up for it. Not to mention I loathe using up all my vacation time for something stupid. So, I return to work, armed with prescription strength Naproxyn, and hope for the best.

I don't really have big plans for the holiday weekend, other than working. I'm off the night of the 4th, I had big plans in mind when I scheduled myself off. I was going to have a fabulous cookout, there would be a fireworks display somewhere we would all travel to, and most importantly, this was the weekend I was going to introduce Oz to my family. I was pretty excited. Funny how life takes an immediate left turn when you are not planning for it.

I really don't have the motivation to do anything this weekend, but go to work and do my job. Work is a nice distraction. I did manage to steam clean the area rug in the living room. That was something. I know I need to get out more, but the idea just doesn't appeal to me right now. Who knows, maybe by Sunday, I will grill a hot dog or something.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

Trading Places

I was at HyVee Friday morning because they had a killer sale on ribs (of which they were sold out, but got a rain check), and I was standing by the meat area contemplating my next course of action. All of a sudden, I had a really sharp pulling pain in my lower abdomen. So strong, I doubled over. Had I not been holding on to the cart, I would have face planted on the floor. The guy next to me gave me a strange look, and I just told him I was very traumatized by the fact all the ribs were sold out.

Thus cut short the shopping excursion. I slowly gimped to the checkout, the pain getting worse with each step. Somehow made it to my car, and drove home. A couple calls, some over the counter pain meds, it was finally determined that I needed to go to the ER. The very last place I wanted to go.

I waited until Mother got home from work because she forbade me to drive, and off to ACME Hospital we went. I entered the check in area and was greeted by a heinous smell, the source being a very unwashed looking family sitting in the chairs across from the desk, glaring at the nurses who were obviously overwhelmed by the sheer number of visitors.

You'd think that being a nurse at ACME would sort of grant you special speedy service. Not so much. Mom and settled in the waiting room for what would be a four hour wait. Yes, four hours. Just in the waiting room, sitting in their uncomfortable hard chairs. Needless to say, the people watching was top shelf. Various drunks, people with a noticeable limp, crackheads, tweakers, all peppered in with a couple large families...all of whom felt they needed to be seen right away, and would often go to the front desk to tell the nurses such. Ironically enough, a coworker also came in to be seen, and we sat in the waiting room and commiserated together. A handful of people in the waiting room figured out we were staff there, and were appalled by our wait. If they treated their own staff this way, it didn't bode well for John Q. Public. In fact, after a couple heard this, they decided to leave and go to another ER. Sad to tell you this folks, but all emergency rooms operate in the same fashion. They see patients based on need...and the lady with the stroke or the teenager with the gunshot wound is going to jump to the front of the line, despite the fact you've been sitting in the fish bowl for five hours with your scraped knee. Being an employee there carries no weight, it just means the nurses will probably be nicer to you wait half a day to be seen.

Any attempt to go to the desk and inquire on the wait, you were met with open hostility from the staff. They were on the defensive.

Finally, after a pressure sore had developed on my ass for sitting so long, I was called to the back and given a room...where we remained for another 5 hours. Meanwhile, Happy Helperton tries to draw blood, misses his mark, and then just sits there, fishing around my arm with a needle, hoping to get something. Until I tell him that he's done.

The nurse I was assigned to was nice. She mentioned there being a full moon, and the ER was a hot bed of activity. Namely, drunks and drug seekers, which was supposed to explain my long wait in the ER. She makes an attempt to draw labs, and gets it on the first try.

I'm seen by a doctor and her assistant, and they do their little assessment, including the detailed girly parts exam. They don't have a traditional table handy for such things, so I am reduced to having my lower half propped up by a bedpan covered with a pillow case. The doctor, who was also nice, manages to check my tonsils by way of the vagina, and surmises that a sonographer will need to be called in. They only call these guys from home on a weekend unless its emergent.

Meanwhile, my lab work comes back, and I'm not pregnant. This disappoints Mother greatly.

I'm carted up to where ultrasounds are done, and is greeted by some dude who has apparently had too much coffee. They do a traditional ultrasound with jelly on the belly, and I think we're done. Then, Mr. Coffee tells me to go empty my bladder for the next test. I get a sinking feeling.

I don't know if you know what a transvaginal ultrasound is, but in a nutshell...they basically stick something that looks like a vacuum cleaner attachment up your yoo-hoo and take pictures. So, I'm in a dark room with my feet in the air. Mom's in the corner sipping her coffee. There's Mr. Coffee and his Magic Wand of Wonder, and another woman who works for the hospital. Everyone, but me, is looking at the computer screen that shows the seldom seen of Heather's Adventure Kingdom. I'm staring at the ceiling trying to find my Happy Place and go there. Immediately.

Mom: (pointing to the screen) What do all those colors mean?
Me: That's where the magic happens.

The test is finished, and didn't even get so much as dinner out of the deal. I'm shipped back down to the frigid halls of the ER, where I continue to wait. They thankfully provided a boxed lunch, and I made Mother eat the turkey sandwich. Meanwhile, we watch a special on the History channel about gangstas. I start thinking about adopting a gangsta name to pass the time.

Finally, the doctor comes in and tells me I have ovarian cysts. Isn't that fun? And here's some prescriptions and to follow up with my primary doctor. Is there something they can do about the fact that it feels like my ovaries are being pulled out by an uncoordinated 5 year old? Nope. Have a nice day!!

All weekend, I get to deal with this, with the strongest medication given being the Naproxyn that the doc gave me. Currently, I'm waiting for my gyn doctor to call me back. Something tells me that they are going to want to see me a lot sooner than my scheduled routine appointment in August.

June has shaped up to be a spectacular month.

Virus at Casa de Blather

I have decided that there is a special place in hell reserved for those who create computer viruses. If I were to meet a guy, and he told me that he created such programs for a living, I would kick him square in the nuts. The subsequent night in jail would be worth it.

I was going to make some delicious homemade ice cream using my KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment. I froze the bowl, got the ingredients, and set to putting it all together when I realized that I was missing a small, yet very important, piece to the attachment. After looking in drawers and boxes, I could not find the piece, and no ice cream would be made.

What does ice cream have to do with computer viruses? Well, I'm glad you asked!

I went online to see if I could locate a replacement part, and all of a sudden, the computer went apeshit. Pop-up windows everywhere, and something that looked like it may have come from Microsoft stating that my computer was infected more than Paris Hilton's cooter, and by clicking said link and buying their antivirus program, would rid my computer of the offending parasite. A huge red flag was the fact that it said it's corporate offices were based in London.

It compromised every single program. I freaked. It even blocked me trying to run scans, update my security...everything. I cursed the owners of the virus and wished them slow, agonizing, and gruesome deaths.

Thankfully, Mother's computer was working so I was able to google said "helpful program" and found out what I suspected. It was a huge virus called AV Security Suite. Message boards were filled with people who had been in the same boat as me. I followed the instructions of how to take back my computer, and am now happily blogging on a computer that's as clean as a whistle.

So, I still don't have a replacement part for my ice cream maker. I'm a little wary of trying to look online again for another one. Who knows what may happen next? My computer could be infected by a virus that only uploads midget porn.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Nurse Follies: Lazy Is As Lazy Does

I went to nursing school at a community college. I don't regret this decision. It afforded me the opportunity to get my training done in an expedited amount of time, got me out into the workforce quickly, and I didn't finish with tens of thousands of dollars in student loans to pay off. I didn't feel short-changed in my education as the curriculum was challenging. Four years of training crammed into two years of school, with a heavily emphasis on practical stuff. For the most part, no patient cares where I went to school, just that I know what I'm doing and won't kill them. Six years later, I'm looked upon as a mentor, a leader, and a kickass-take names nurse.

In working at ACME Hospital, I get to work with a crap ton of newly-minted nurses with Bachelors degrees. I have noticed the big difference between ADNs and BSNs is life experience. A majority of those who were able to go to a 4-year college were in their 20's, sorority girl types, whose parents had footed the bill for their education. They come out with an adult title and are working their first real "adult job", but still have their foot in the door of the carefree life they enjoyed as a college student. It was a sharp contrast to those who mostly attended two-year degree programs. Usually a little older, some married with kids, some single parents. They were making a career change for various reasons...laid off, tired of working dead-end jobs, answering a higher calling, or just necessity. These were people who had to juggle mortgages, family life, bills, full-time jobs, and all those wonderful things that sets grown-ups apart from those who only can only claim to be grownups in age only. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying one is better than the other. I'm just saying they are different.

My contempt of Bosshole is legend. Now, imagine how that changed when I heard that he told a coworker in an interview that he felt "two-year degree nurses were lazy". Lazy in the respect that they chose the easy way, instead of going to four-year colleges like non-lazy nurses.

Really? REALLY??? This coming from a guy who comes in and holes himself up in his office all day, refuses to help his staff, doesn't stand behind his nurses, yet takes all the credit when we do something good. My floor has the highest turnover in the entire hospital, and he has convinced himself because our floor is stepping stone that nurses utilize until they are ready to move on to bigger, better things. No, nurses leave our unit in droves because you foster zero-loyalty to the floor, instead creating a toxic environment. That, and you suck hard as a manager.

To me, degrees are irrelevant. The best nurse I have ever known was an LPN. Meanwhile, the dumbest nurse I knew happened to have a precious BSN, and committed the most heinous drug error that cost the hospital she worked at millions of dollars, AND the patient subsequently died as a result. But thank God she had that degree!!

To break it down, two-year and four-year nurses receive the same training, but with the latter getting more focus on the leadership aspect, and the former the more-hands on stuff. In the end, both take the same damn test, work on the same damn floor, and make the same damn salary. Only BSNs are supposed to be poised for management positions, which might explain why Bosshole couldn't find his way around a bedpan. ADNs are clinically prepared, BSNs administratively so.

To make the comment of the Bosshole even more epic, the person he said this to happened to have finished her nursing school training from a two-year college, eventually bridging to a Bachelors degree (which leads us to believe that he doesn't read resumes). She called him to task for his poor attitude against "her sort", and he back-pedaled, offering some lame story about a nurse he used to work with who had a two-year degree. Needless to say, the rest of his lazy ADN nurses are aware of his comment, and are currently looking for other floors to transfer to. Who wants to work for a manager who thinks they are lazy??

I don't have attitude against BSNs. I know some really great BSNs who could give two-shits what your degree level is. In fact, when I reveal my lowly degree status, most are surprised. In fact, I am going back to school to get mine. It was the plan all along, as with a lot of those who go the two-year route, only Bosshole fails to realize that. A lot of people use community college as a stepping stone to get into a 4-year college. It's not lazy, it's not stupid. It's practical.

Hell, there are even those who are perfectly fine with an ADN and wish to go no further in their education. It grants them a solid job with a good income to provide for their families. And despite what my arrogant prick manager might think, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

When I am finished with the BSN, I plan on going on for a Masters degree. It is my plan to go retire as a teacher for a nursing a two-year college.