Thursday, April 29, 2010

Beauty in the Eye of the Beer-holder

This is my niece. One of two. The latest and greatest offspring of Brother & Co. I have yet to come up with a nickname for her, but I'm sure one will come to mind at some point. Anyway...isn't she the cutest thing you have ever seen? I thought so. She was adorable when she came into this world, and she gets cuter with each passing day. She's quick to smile, and she melts my cold, hard, bitter, heart. Not enough to make me want one of my own. I'll settle for fawning over her.

All babies, some would argue, are cute. Most people may agree, and those are the ones who have never seen an ugly baby. I was schooled early in life, so I know that ugly babies exist.

My uncle, on my father's side, and his wife had a second son, for which they gave him multiple names. People...children only need one middle name (if any at all). You don't need to honor every single member of your family by adding their names to your poor child. (You also don't need to combine your names for one very Utah-Mormon sounding first name...but that is for a different post.) As a side note, I once knew a guy who had eight names in his full name. I shit you not.

As luck would have it, some distant relative passed away shortly before my aunt gave birth, so Uncle Carl felt the need to name their son in honor of said distant relative. Hence, Archie Wayne Willis Blah Last Name. That's right...a first name, three middle names, and our already long and odd last name. We just took to referring to him as A&W...or Rootbeer.

Mom got pictures in the mail of Rootbeer, and with a smirk on her face, she handed them to me.


This infant had a face that could stop a fleet of Somali pirates. He was ugly...times ten. Three-day Ugly. Fugly.

Sadly, as the child grew, his looks did not improve. It got worse.

I was looking through family pics posted on Facebook, marveling at how my male cousins ended up looking like their father's when they were older. If there is one truth I have recognized with my family's gene pool, is that the men do not age well. They may be cute as kids, but get to their late 40's, they start looking like those goblins from the Harry Potter series.

Sadly, this is true for some of the women. I can only hope that I have enough of my mother's genes to thwart that.

I've decided that this serves a purpose. They have to be cute in their younger years as to attract a mate. Then, when they turn into goblins, their mates will already love them enough (or strapped with enough kids) that they have no choice but to stay. In looking at my brothers, Redneck Brother stands the highest chance of being afflicted with the family curse. Tattoo Brother looks more like Mother, so maybe he will escape the curse.

Me too.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

GB Out and About

Last night, my friend Stewie invited me to some bevvies at Grand Street Cafe. The weather was perfect, I nabbed Mother and off we went.

I'd never been to Grand Street Cafe, but we sat outside in the inviting patio area, had great food, great drinks, fun conversation. Overall, a great happy hour. I will be going back.

Not one flash mob to be seen...but it was a Monday, and a school night.

Mother did admit to being nervous about going to the Plaza area, on the heels of all the media coverage of the roving band of ill-tempered teenagers. (Tony provides ample links and plenty of racially-charged goodness on his blog, just so you can get up to speed.)

Mother wondered if flash mobs spelled a certain doom for the Plaza. So much money runs through that place, it's hard to imagine that people would just abandon it the way they did Westport (thankfully, people are returning there).

Naturally, everyone is making it a race issue. Let's just address the big elephant in the room, shall we. You can't have 700-1000 black teenagers gathering in one spot, being general pains in the ass without someone noticing that they all happen to be black. That's like someone rolling over your foot with their wheelchair and trying to ignore the fact that they are in a wheelchair. Let's face it, white people aren't nearly as brazen, in fact, we're pretty boring. The last time a large group of white people orchestrated their own flash mob, all they did was have a pillow fight (Oz totally went and his cuteness can be spotted in pics....but I digress.)

What really needs to be brought to the forefront, is that they are teenagers...obviously bored.

As a general rule, I hate teenagers. Uncoordinated. They smell bad. They eat a lot. They are mean. They revere the entire cast of Jersey Shore. They are the reason I can't go anywhere without seeing the toothy, short-bus grin of Justin Bieber (who is this kid?!?). Every summer, I am pained that they are not in school, instead left to terrorize adults with their bad driving, bad music, and god-awful fashion sense. I rejoice when the school term begins.

A glob of bored teenagers is a bad omen. Unless they happen to be Mormon. Those, you can usually get to rake your yard in the name of a service project. But big groups of teens = bad. Right up there with flag-waving, tea-bagging Rednecks.

What I want to know, while everyone is all in a lather over the rioting teens, is where the hell are the parents? I know there are some parents out there who don't give a flying rats ass. But with around 1000 kids, that's a lot of parents who have washed their hands of the evil-doings of their spawn. I want to hear from some of those parents, but chances are pretty good they will puff up their chests, lament of the goodness of their precious snowflake, and demand that the gubment do more to entertain their bored kids, instead of dragging them home by their ear and making them do their homework.

Another thing I want to know, is what the appeal is to going to some stuffy shopping area, just for the purpose of acting like a boil on the butt of society? Especially since the reward appears to be a face full of pepper spray.

And lastly, the most important question that no one has asked in light of these riots, "Won't anyone think of Cheeseburger Jerry??"

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Nurse Follies: Ummm...Yuck!

Part of the nursing job entails wound care. It can be as something simple as a blister (don't pop them!), and can be as complex as a deep, gaping maw which requires more than one person to do. I call those the "It Takes a Village Dressing Changes".

I kind of like wounds. Not enough to branch into the field of wound care nursing, but it's something interesting to look at.

One such wound was that of an unfortunate individual with gangrenous feet. Dressing changes, twice a day. It was painfully obvious (to everyone but the patient), that these feet were toast and it's days attached to the patient were numbered, but we still had to unwrap, clean, slather with extra-special cream, and re-wrap once a shift.

Gangrene is nasty. It looks nasty. It smells nasty. An Internet search of gangrene will reward you with images that will haunt you, and pretty much decimate your appetite for the remainder of the day (unless you are in the medical field).

Now, I consider myself as having a strong constitution for such things, and the first two times I changed the feet, things were pretty uneventful. The only residual was some nausea I had for a few hours following because the smell was that bad (the stinky Easter flower sitting at the desk didn't help either). The next time I changed the dressing, I was smart and wore a mask, having rubbed a bar of Dial soap on the inside before putting it on. I'll take the smell of Dial soap over rotting feet any day.

And so I'm plugging along, first foot done. A tech who was assisting me was holding the leg, the patient watching in interest, and I'm carefully cleaning off the old cream so I can put on new fresh cream. And then it happened. A toenail fell off and landed on the bed.

The tech and I both looked down at the black, rotten, toenail, solitary on the bed sheet, forever parted from the piggy that went to the market. We looked at each other. We looked at the patient who didn't realize that his feet were falling apart in wet, disgusting hunks and chunks. Silently, I quickly slathered on new cream, wrapped the feet, and disposed of the offending toenail. All the while, bile is rising in my throat. The tech looked stricken.

The Dial soap did not help my nausea that day.

For the remainder of the shift, I was traumatized. Someone would ask a question, I would answer, and then immediately follow up with, "Mr. Bob's toenail fell off." The unit educator came in early and asked how I was. I replied, "Mr. Bob's toenail fell off."

Some things seen, cannot be unseen.

I am reminded of the story I had heard about a lady who had gangrenous feet, had been home one night watching television, when she decided to cut off her dead, dried, shriveled, black toe with a pair of kitchen shears (those suckers will cut through most anything). She then decided to go to the ER, and brought the severed toe in a sandwich bag. I don't know why. Was she hoping the surgeon could put it back on? Was it meant to be a trophy of her Midwest Can-Do Attitude that she felt the need to share with the staff? I never heard the answer. In truth, I didn't want to know. I was still trying to figure out what she was thinking as she was cutting away at her toe as she watched Dancing With the Stars.

All this talk of gangrene is making me nauseated. I'm going to stop right now.

Finally, A Cure!!

My friend, Oz, does not appreciate my sarcasm. Different strokes, for different folks, I say. Oddly enough, he still likes to be around me, even though I can see him cringe every time I spout off something dark.

Sarcasm, it would seem, is as part of me as my hands, or feet, or my big boobs that Oz likes to stare at.

And then I discovered there may be a cure for my sarcasm. I found it on Dr. Grumpy's site. There's hope for me after all. (clicky to embiggin)
So, the question is, should I take it???