Thursday, November 01, 2012

I've Moved

And I am once more public!

I decided I needed a fresh start. So, you can now find me at The Shiny Hook.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

I'm Italy!

Auntie Jo was recently in the hospital for sepsis. She almost died. In fact, when I walked into her room after she was brought into the ER, I thought, "Shit, this is it." She looked that bad, like death-eating-an-onion-sandwich bad. I called in the family, invoked my DPOA status, and remained vigilant. Mom was distraught because her sister may be dying. Mr. Recommendation is being supportive of Mom. I'm volleying between Nurse Mode and Concerned Family Member Mode. Between hardass and grief. Log is there, thankfully. He is my safety net for when the lines start to blur.

Militant Lesbian Cousin Rosie appears and attempts to do what she does best...bully everyone else. Log put himself between her and whomever she was trying to steamroll over at the time (in this case, it was my mother), and went nose to her nose with her in a battle of Wit vs. Halfwit. Log kept his cool, with logic and reasoning. Rosie, pissed that she was unable to get the reaction she wanted (which was more drama), stormed off in a huff, because if she didn't, "Things are going to get ugly." To which I announced that there would be no ugliness, as I would have everyone ugly tossed out of the hospital.

At some point, she had decided I was neutral in all the family drama (I do try to remain impartial to squabbles), and even said as much as she announced that I "was Italy". I think she meant Switzerland, but you can't correct her. She has an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts and is almost a lawyer. Much in the same manner that I am almost a Victoria's Secret Model. We assume she switched majors once she found out that she can't be a nurse if she has a felony on her record.

After plying her with a shit-ton of antibiotics, Auntie Jo turns a corner and recovers. We know that she is back to normal when she starts bossing the nursing staff around. She even goes so far as to start trolling Mom. A couple occasions witnessed by an uncle who had no idea that Auntie Jo could be so, what's the word, hateful.

Mom and her sister have a very interesting, love-hate relationship. You ever have a family member you love, but sometimes don't like? Yeah, it's like that. I love my aunt, but even I will admit that she is difficult to take for long periods of time. At any rate, I don't try to analyze their sisterly bonds too much, and I stay out of it as much as I can. Which could be why I am Italy.

A few days later, Mr. Recommendation is admitted into a different hospital, for the same thing, but not nearly as severe. Only he manages to hornswoggle (yes, I used that word) the doctors into letting him go before he was ready. All weekend, he spends at home looking like a pile of crap in a bathrobe. Shockingly, he goes back to the hospital on Monday and is re-admitted to the consternation of the ER doc who said he should have not been allowed to leave early in the first place. Lesson learned. Mr. Recommendation stays in the hospital for as long as the doctor says he has to. He looks much better now, and is actually back to eating.

Through all this, Log is still here, He's my rock. And I love him for it.

He must really like Italy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Thoughts from My Family Reunion

This weekend, I went to my family reunion. On my dad's side. They hadn't had one in a couple years, and then decided to start up with the tradition again. To a distant cousin on facebook, I had once said that if they had it, I would go. So, when it finally did roll around, I had no choice.

It was held in Superior, Nebraska. Don't bother looking it up unless you want to be bored to death. It took us a little over 4 hours to get there, driving through the boring Kansas plains and passing numerous swaths of farmland. We drove through many small towns, and came to the conclusion that all small towns have a Pizza Hut. They also have shitty wi-fi. By the time we got to Superior, none of us had a signal, so we couldn't call anyone to let them know we made it safely. A zombie attack could have occurred and no one would be the wiser.

So, family members show up, some of whom I haven't seen since my father died. My Aunt Mary was still aloof, her kids (now grown up) are still snobby, which is funny because they have no reason to be that way. My Uncle Dennis and Aunt Mary (who have been married longer than I have been alive) still don't like each other. Why they are still married, I don't know.

My cousin Rachel lamented that she is not liking on her husband, so that marriage might be in trouble. She may want to divorce him.

My Aunt Lois stated that her husband is a colossal prick. She wants to divorce him.

Aunt Mary and Uncle Dennis hate each other. They really should get a divorce.

Notice a trend?

On the other hand, my cousin Chip is engaged to his longtime girlfriend, and she was pretty cool. They have a son who is severely autistic, and I was amazed at the patience they both show towards him.

Standard family reunion fare as far as food goes. Someone brought moldy buns, and someone else just happened to have more in their car. Surprisingly, no one brought any Pizza Hut.

The distant cousin who organized the event brought with her a family history book, and I learned that I had family members that were here pre-Revolution. No mention was made if they took part in that. However, some family moved from Virginia to Tennessee, and fought for the Union army during the Civil War. The family members that stayed behind in Virginia fought for the Confederate army.

I'm sure that made for awkward Thanksgiving gatherings.

The Civil War information is interesting, so I plan on researching it further because there was a metric shit ton of family members who fought in the war on both sides. We also have our own cemetery, also in the middle of nowhere. I'm sure I won't have a cell phone signal there either, but it would be interesting to go there and check out the dates on the stones. The family history book has pictures of the stones, but the book was made with a typewriter and a really crappy camera.

It's kinda nice to know that my family has a history. It's kind of exciting to find out what that history is. Up until now, I've only known Dad's side of the family to be a bunch of high-functioning alcoholics. I also got an idea to start writing brief blurbs about current family members, and encouraging others to contribute.

The reunion only lasted as long as it took for people to eat until they popped. We, having come the farthest, hung around and visited with some other people. Redneck Brother and Aunt Lois getting into a water fight as some point. Honestly, we spent more time in the car than we did at the reunion.

It was decided that next year, it would be held a little closer to everyone. As all the old people who had once wanted it to be held in Superior had since passed away, there was no reason to gather there anymore. My only criteria for a new location would be a decent signal to make outgoing calls and update my facebook status. Maybe even live tweet the whole reunion, which would still be pretty boring.

Overall, it was nice to be around family...even if they are strange.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

How Bullies Are Created

So, Mom, Mr. Recommendation, and myself traveled up to Podunk, Mo to see my nephew play a little league game. As I have said before, baseball generally doesn't blow my skirt up, but watching 7-year olds try to play is quite amusing. You can almost pick out the Ritalin kids as they are watching butterflies in the outfield.

At any rate, we're sitting in the bleachers, watching my nephew's team completely smash the other team when the little pitching machine pitches the ball, batter swings, misses, and the catcher gets beaned in the hand or something. Whatever it was, it hurt, and the kid starts to cry.

Crying Catcher Kid is holding his hand. And instead of a concerned parent or coach checking it out, we get his father (all 300lbs of him) charging out of the bull pen and screaming at his seven-year old son to "Stop being such a crybaby!" and "You're causing the game to be delayed!" and "God, you're such a crybaby!"

Screaming Dad was also the team's coach.

A collective gasp from our team bleachers. Not a peep from their team bleachers. I'm going to guess that they have been witness to Father of the Year before, maybe it's standard operating procedure for them.

Someone does speak up, and Screaming Dad yells at that person to mind their own business because, "It's my son and I will do what I damn well want!"

With that, Asshole of the Year pulls his son out of the game. Mom comes in, collects the boy, and takes him up to their car. I imagine to calm down, but Mom never said a word either.

There's all kinds of wrong with this picture.

If I had been the Mom, Coach Douchebag would have had a new one ripped right there. If I was a parent that had a kid on that team, I would have pulled my own kid off the field, told the coach to go fuck himself, and then left.  I wanted to grab my nephew's new composite bat and shove it up his fat ass without so much as a drop of lube.

You know, I have always read the horror stories of parents behaving poorly at their kid's sports events, but I have never witnessed it firsthand. It takes a real man to stand up to an injured 7-year old.

Meanwhile, my section becomes the section of insults directed towards Coach Dickhead. Mom is suddenly stricken with Acute Tourette's Syndrome and randomly shouts out all kinds of words. Despite being furious as the appalling display I have just witnessed, I shush Mom before we are ejected by the umpire.

I should have recorded this whole thing and posted it on YouTube. Then, the antics of Captain Dickwad would be out there for all the world to see.

I'm still pretty mad. I'm also pretty sad for that kid, who has that piece of shit for a father. Ever wonder how bullies are created?

There you go.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Future Hospital Customers

So, the parental units and I stopped by Ghettomart on our way home the other night. I really need to stop going there. Every time I do, I end up hating the human race. Sometimes, saving twenty-five cents isn't worth your dignity...or your personal safety. I will admit, there have been a few times, more than I care to count, that I have gone there in the evening and actually been nervous walking from the parking lot to the building. The place, sitting like a beacon off I-70, draws them in from both trailer park and projects alike, and provides just an easy a getaway.

And it's not just me being paranoid. There's been shootings, muggings, and other American-made trouble that Sam Walton's gang didn't have to import from China. As a nurse, I've become acutely aware of my surroundings at all times. When intuition tells me to move my ass, I do so.

At any rate, we were at Ghettomart the other night, and we finished buying our kitty crack (hey, furballs gotta eat, too). En route back to automotive, where we had parked, were two youngish fellas, sporting very pretty gang colors, nonchalantly buying ammo for .45 Automatic guns.

Not exactly the kind of guns you use to hunt deer. Besides, it's not deer season. It's not anything season. And I hate the concept of profiling, but if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, and buys bullets for automatic weapons in the urban core while wearing's probably a gang-banging duck.

We left the store pretty quickly. I wasn't disgusted. I was more disappointed that for some, this is the best they can hope for themselves. I was also a little alarmed that it was that easy for anyone to just go and buy rounds of ammo at their local Walmart. I'm not a fear monger when it comes to gun control. I actually support the second amendment. I recognize that while we have restrictions and rules in play for people who want to buy and own guns, those who have no business possessing them, will always obtain them illegally.

From the looks of the amount of bullets those kids were buying, we should be in for an interesting summer.

Meanwhile, I'm just going to be shopping at Target from now on.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Shit Hits the Fan

So, Mom, Mr. Recommendation, and myself pack into the Jeep for our Tuesday pilgrimage to the nursing home. We stop at McDonald's to pick up a frozen coffee frappe for JoJo because we know she likes those. And off to the nursing home we go.

Upon arriving, we find that JoJo is not in our room. We are pleased because that means she is out and about somewhere, being social. But we don't find her in the common social areas. Mr. Recommendation jokingly asks if she is holed up in the smoking room. The nurse nearby brightly answers the affirmative, and informs us that JoJo has been going to smoke breaks religiously.

Mom get that look.

See, Mom is just under 5 feet tall. She is cute. Mom loves people and people love her because she's so damn friendly. She's a people person. I did not inherit this gene. I always tell people that while Small Mom is cute and fun, don't ever piss her off, because she has the wrath of a thousand screaming women upon learning that Oprah cancelled her show. This is the gene I inherited. I can also get that look, too. No, Logtar hasn't seen it yet. When he does, I'm sure he will blog that it was worse than any horror film he has ever seen.

So, Mom gets that look that tells us that critical mass is imminent, and everyone within the blast radius should seek shelter immediately. She goes charging down to the smoking room where JoJo is puffing away on the very thing that put her in the nursing home in the first place. And boy, does Mom let her have it. Right in a room full off geriatric people. Having laid the smack down, to a very surprised JoJo, Mom stomps out. Visiting time is officially over.

Mr. Recommendation and I go back outside and I talk Mom down. She is upset, crying, and angry. The way she sees it, her sister doesn't give two shits about her own life, and is more than happy to hasten her passing by resuming smoking. Mom wonders how she can care so much for a person, who doesn't care as much for herself.

It's true. You can't care for someone more than they care for themselves. I explained that JoJo is a grown woman, able to make her own choices, even if they are bad ones. She knows the risks involved. She knows that excessive smoking put her in the position she is in...oxygen dependent, crapped out heart, end-stage COPD and CHF. Even with that, she probably feels like smoking is the only thing she has to look forward to. And to be honest, I don't think her smoking is going to make a difference at this point. What's done is done. But I think that deep down, Mom always hoped that JoJo would get better and be able to leave the nursing home. This was just the harsh reminder that JoJo will not be getting better. At all.

At the end of the day, Mom and JoJo spoke on the phone. Mom apologized for her outburst, and explained that while she did not condone JoJo resuming her habit, she would not mention it again. She parroted all that I told her. I know she hates what this situation is coming to, but there's not a whole lot anyone can do about it.

Just wait and see what happens.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

When You Know, You Know

As many of you have heard and read, I have a boyfriend. There's some drama surrounding it, but nothing more than what we allow. You see, he is separated, and in the process of getting a divorce. A marriage that was apparently doomed from the start, and pretty much in the shitter for the last two years of it. All of it a surprise to me (and everyone else who hears the tale for that matter) when the truth was revealed.

The estranged wife occasionally stirs up drama, and my initial knee-jerk reaction is to be the white knight and defend his honor and reputation. However, he is much calmer about things and does not play into it. I try to take his lead, but it is exceedingly difficult. My desire to open up a can of whoopass extends to any loved one who is hurt.

So, I am not here to hash over what happened. I will leave that story for boyfriend to share, if he chooses to do so. The people closest to him know the truth, and they are very supportive. I've shared what I know to people who are closest to me, and they are also firmly planted on "Team Logtar".

Instead, I just want to talk a little on what I am feeling now. Okay, maybe a lot about what I am feeling.

I love the guy. I can't help it. I met him at a blogger meet up years ago, and knew there was something special about him even then. When I saw him waiting for me at the airport years later, I knew that this something special was meant for me. And when he touched my hand for the first time, the earth slipped off it's axis by a couple degrees.

So far, it has been an amazing ride.

I used to scoff at people who met, dated, and married within the span of a couple months. How could you know someone that well that you would be willing to commit the rest of your lives to that one person? Well, now I know.

He's such a great man. He says these wonderful things, and I have to remind myself that he's saying them about me, to me. He's everything I've ever wanted, or ever needed in a counterpart. And he really gets me. Really. He knows all my dark secrets. Aware of all the skeletons in my closet. Knows where the bodies are buried. And he has returned the favor in kind. He can read my expressions accurately. He can tell when I am annoyed without me being obvious about it. He loves me. Warts and all. And he is genuinely interested in learning everything about me. My likes, dislikes, my church, my dogs, my job, my pet peeves, my opinions. We've only been together for a short while, but it feels like I have known him forever.

We have had so many discussions on our future. That we are already planning it should be alarming, but it feels like it's the most natural thing in the world. I'm not scared. I don't have any doubts. I'm thinking about things that I never thought were a possibility for me...marriage and a family. It's sometimes surreal when I think about it from an outsider's standpoint. We are both rational adults, and rational adults don't sound like lovesick teenagers.

Point being, I can feel this changing me. People notice a difference already. My family especially. Everyone is excited.

He'll be relocating here by the end of the summer. We're both very excited to start the next chapter of our lives together. We both feel like we have found that huge piece that has been missing from our lives. It feels safe. It feels comfortable. It feels right.

I finally feel like I am coming home.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Random Thoughts for the Weekend

- I have a boyfriend.
- I have to say that to myself just because I still don't believe it.
- This is the real deal.
- I'm just not ready to talk about it yet.
- When I am, you will be the first to know.
- But I will say that I am happy.
- And terrified at the same time.
- I really need to stop being so afraid.
- Being out of my comfort zone always makes me afraid.
- Mom and Mr. Recommendation have met him.
- They wholeheartedly approve.
- Even if the circumstances are a bit unorthodox.
- My aunt has essentially given up on being productive.
- She has decided to be bed-ridden and not do anything for herself.
- There is no medical reason for it.
- She has just stopped trying.
- Mom is beside herself.
- The whole situation is frustrating.
- The Militant Lesbian Daughter, Rosie isn't making things any easier.
- I was introduced to a really good sushi place recently.
- I LOVE sushi.
- I love all things Japan.
- I'd love to go there someday.
- When it stops glowing in the dark.
- I have no other thoughts.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Vacation Tales: Florida, You Mostly Suck

I once read an article about Florida, and journalist had been quoted saying, "Florida does stupid like Nebraska does corn." Apparently, another thing they do in mass quantities is rudeness.

One thing I noticed about the Sunshine State, is that they generally are not friendly folks. I was flipped off more times on the interstate, that you would have thought I had shanked Mickey Mouse. Had enough, I finally boxed in a beady-eyed soccer Mom in a Mercedes SUV behind a foul-exhaust-producing truck. I was in a land tank (Chrysler Town and Country). I had no fear.

We ate at a Boston Market, yet the clerk rolled her eyes at me when I let her know their ice machine was out. Despite the warm customer service, the line of people wanting food still went out the door.

While waiting to be seated at another restaurant, a couple locals scoffed at the wait (it was a Saturday night), blaming "tourists" as to the reason they were not being seated immediately. The word "tourists" said with a tone of disgust that suggested that Florida tourists were actually the militant branch of Al Qeieda. Sorry, assholes. What the hell do you expect in a state who's main industry is tourism? If you don't like it, move to fucking Duluth, Minnesota.

At another restaurant, the waitress was so surly, we were afraid to ask her for anything. However, we did get to see the most resplendent mullet ever. Sadly, I did not get a picture.

Mom is pretty friendly. She says hi to strangers and will engage anyone in conversation. Sometimes, she happened upon a nice person. Most of the times, those nice people were transplants from another state. It's pretty bad when the nicest person you encountered in Florida was from New York. Other times, people looked at her as if she was crazy for talking to a stranger, then slowly inched away in that uncomfortable silence that some people do when they encounter a mentally-challenged person they don't know, who randomly approaches them and starts chattering away.

Even the lady on the GPS had an attitude.

Florida is a great state to vacation in as you can always find something to do, even if it is just sitting on the beach and doing nothing. It's the people. Florida is like the Walmart of the United States. It's great to people-watch for a while, but eventually, you grow to loathe humanity.

We will be visiting Florida again next year for our vacation. Maybe Tampa will be nicer, but then again, maybe monkeys will fly out of my ass.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Fabulous Indy

I have known Indy for almost 8 years now. We met when I started working for ACME hospital, and he was a physical therapist. I was drawn to his laid-back personality, his readiness to laugh, and immense kindness. We became friends, hung out, hung out more. Naturally, I developed a crush on him. As far as having "the talk", it would usually go something like this:

Me: Why aren't we dating again?
Indy: I don't know.

You ever know someone who you kinda suspect they are gay, but are afraid to ask? He had an effeminate quality about that you had to be perceptive to catch. He loved to shop. He was a snappy dresser. A lot about him screamed homosexual, but he even baffled my other gay friends who had met him and still were not completely sold on the idea that this was a man who was trapped in the closet. After a few years of being besties, I finally come out and asked him if he was gay. He seemed mortified by the very idea.

Indy: I LOVE pussy!

Indy and I went everywhere. Like peas can carrots we were. He was always happy and cheerful, which served as a great balance to my dark, brooding moods. We even went on three cruises together. During those times, we would be in close quarters. He was always a perfect gentleman. Not once did he ever attempt anything.

My straight guy friends nodded their heads knowingly. They told me that any straight guy would try to "tap that" in those same circumstances. Because, well, guys are sex-crazed dogs that way. You put one in close proximity to a female for a week in international waters, something is going to happen. It wouldn't matter if the girl had two heads. Their verdict: straight up gay.

But I was still puzzled. By then, the crush had long faded and I looked at him more like another brother. My Mom thought of him as another son. My family, having met and hung out with him on more than one occasion, were also puzzled. Indy was gay. Everyone seemed to know it...but Indy. Why in the hell would that come boy not come out of the closet?

Then, Indy took a day job, and found new friends. My contact with him, due to our opposing scheduled, grew less and less. His social calendar suddenly blew up. Drinks here, Gatherings there. Group outings with a bunch of men to go see Gone with the Wind (yeah, that's pretty gay). And there was always this one guy who was right in the thick of it with him.

Could it be, our Indy finally came out and had found himself a boyfriend??

It would appear that yes, he did. But now it's one of those things that is out in the open, but not out in the open. They are a couple, Indy and this guy who likes to go out wearing roller skates and a tutu (WTF!), but Indy isn't proudly waving the rainbow flag. Everyone knows about it, but no one really talks about it. I wonder if this has anything to do with his very elderly parents and the whole devout Catholic thing.

Hiding who you are is a bunch of nonsense, by the way. People should be able to love who they want, without fear of being persecuted (the obvious exception being children...I wholly support public castration for pedophiles). But I recognize that not all people are tolerant and open minded, and people who live outside the monogamous heterosexual box do still have to exercise some caution because we still live in an area populated by ignorant rednecks. Judging people based on a religious belief is like telling the people of the world they are wicked if they don't use the standard measurement system. Not everyone subscribes to it, and that doesn't make them wrong.

Indy is obviously happy. And I am happy for him. I wonder how much self-loathing he carried, concealed behind of mask of shiny, happy. Maybe he always knew, and was just that damn scared to acknowledge it.

One More Candle and a Trip Around the Sun

Another year, come and gone. Now, I am 37 years old.

I am three years away from 40.

I really don't feel like I should be that old. I feel like I should have more accomplished by now. I look at other people my age, people I knew in my youth. Facebook makes it easy to do that. Some of them have kids who are just now graduating high school. Some are divorced or are working on their second or third marriage.

My lack of these standard milestones don't make me feel like less of a person. It doesn't make me a failure either. It just makes me different, and I am perfectly okay with that.

I'm optimistic about my 37th year, despite the vortex of drama that swirls around my life. This is the year I re-evaluate my standards. I challenge my own belief system. I step out of my comfort zone and try something different. I push my own boundaries. It may leave a large wake, or maybe just a little ripple in the water.

But this is the year where everything changes.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Random Thoughts for Monday

I'm taking a page out of Logtar's book and just posting some random thoughts and stuff. It's better than nothing at all, I suppose.

- I'm worried about my mother.
- Things with my Aunt Jo are causing her to be stressed.
- I suspect my Aunt Jo is going senile.
- I also suspect my mother feels guilty about it.
- Sort of like Survivor's Guilt.
- I try to cheer my mother up when I can.
- I have a huge pile of mulch in my backyard.
- I had one of those nasty prickly ball trees cut down on Sunday.
- Moving mulch around isn't as easy.
- Especially now that it's wet.
- I've completely given up on the idea of dating and finding someone special.
- I'm pretty ambivalent about it, to be honest.
- I'm pretty ambivalent about a lot of things.
- I wonder if something is wrong with me.
- My birthday is this week.
- I'm pretty ambivalent about that too.
- Yesterday, I couldn't remember how old I was, and I had to grab a calculator to refresh my memory.
- That's not an exaggeration.
- I really thought I was a year older than I actually am.
- I may be sleep deprived.
- The Neuro drink for Sleep could be the best thing ever.
- I got all my hair chopped off.
- I like it, and should have done it sooner.
- A lot of people say it was a pretty ballsy thing for me to do.
- I don't see what the big deal is, I've had short hair before.
- I've booked another cruise.
- I am pretty excited about it.
- Even though it's not until next year.
- No, I'm not afraid of the ship sinking.
- Planes have crashed, and I still fly.
- I'm more worried about getting run over by an old person on a Rascal, than the ship sinking.
- I'm still pretty terrified of boats sinking.
- I gave up trying to reconcile my love for cruising and my fear of sinking boats.
- Current events depress me, or piss me off, or both.
- I think women should withhold sexy time until this war against them is over.
- Except for men who don't hate women.
- They should get all the sexy time.
- And get to brag about it to men who aren't getting any because they hate women.
- I think people would notice that a lot more than any organized march or protest.
- Women have more power than they know.
- And brains, too.
- Except Sarah Palin.
- And Rush's wife.
- I'm kinda hungry.
- I'm weighing my food options and am wearing my pj's.
- Am weighing the effort it takes to get ready versus how much I want food.
- Maybe I will have a cup of coffee and mull it over.
- Yeah, that's the ticket!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ring, Ring, Ring, Banana Phone!

With the Auntie in the nursing home, Mother apparently felt the need to get her a phone. You know, so she could keep in touch with family and friends.

And that she does. All day. Every day.

You see, when Auntie lived independently at home, she hibernated in her house. You would either find her in bed, watching TV. Or sitting on the couch...watching TV. With periodic bathroom breaks in between. Meals on Wheels would bring her food. Friends would stop by and check on her. Towards the end, she hardly ever left her house. When she did, it was a big production, which she would dramatically recount later.

So, I don't know why we expected more of her when she was placed at Happy Trails Nursing Home. Her nursing home life is pretty much the same. She stays in her room in bed and watches TV. Meals are brought to her. We stop by periodically to check on her. And she is never interested in leaving because it would require some effort on her part.

At any rate, Mother gets her a phone, so in the event of an emergency, she can get a hold of someone. Or if she just wanted to call her daughter, Rosie the Militant Lesbian. (On a side note, her own children stop by once a month to visit...and they live in the same area.)

Now, Auntie, holed up in her room and not coming out for anything but her scheduled showers, she makes full use of her cell phone with unlimited calling and no long-distance. How she chooses to spend those unlimited minutes is to call Mother frequently during the day for mundane things such as what she had for lunch. Often she complains that Happy Trails uses a lot of ground beef in their food (she apparently hates ground beef) or that they are always bringing her something with lemon in it (she hates lemons, too). Sometimes, she tells Mother all about the massive bowel movement she had that morning.

It's enough make a person want to have a nervous breakdown. Namely, Mother. Usually the calls happen while she is at work, and now there is an office pool taking daily bets on how often she will call.

The calls are getting more frequent, and more intrusive. "What are you doing?" "Where are you going?" "Who did you go with?" "When you come see me, bring me this, this, this, and this." (Without saying please.) Auntie was always a nosy, busy-body type, and as people age, some of their traits become more exaggerated. Nosy Auntie is now Nosy Auntie in High Def.

She doesn't call me. I think that may have something to do with the fact that she called me once (while I was sleeping) to ask me how to use the phone that she was calling me from. I may have come off as a little cranky (let me call you while you are sleeping at night and see how you like it), so she avoids calling me unless it is a true emergency (like what button to push on her thermostat to make the fan go on).

We understand that she is probably bored and lonely. We also understand that there is a big calendar of stuff to do during the day at Happy Trails. Part of her boredom is of her own design, and sometimes we can't drop everything and cater to her, which is what she kind of expects. And out of guilt and familial obligation, we do. It also pisses us off that her own children are not more involved. Oh sure, when Auntie does decide to put in for the God Consult, her kids will be wailing and beating their chests over losing their mother, and how much she meant to them.

Meanwhile, Mother is going to take a baseball bat and shove it up their ass.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Iiiiiiiii Wanna Do Crack With Somebody!

So Whitney Houston went belly up. She took too many of something you shouldn't take too many of, chased them down with something you should chase things like that down with, and met her demise in a hotel bathtub. At least it wasn't death by ham sammich.

I was shocked...but not surprised.

We heard about it at work, and I think the general consensus of the nursing staff was, "Dumbass". Our second reaction was to kick ourselves because none of us had her on our Celebrity Death Pool list for this year.

You may question our cavalier attitude about her passing. Sure, I feel bad for her family. But here was a woman who was given a gift, and with that gift came a lot of benefits and perks. Wealth. Fame. The world laid at her feet on a silver platter. And what did she do? She pissed it away, like celebrities who burn too bright, too fast. Surrounded herself with enablers, ass-kissing idiots who go along to get along.

Meanwhile, I have lost count of how many patients and families I have stood with while their loved one died from something that was no fault of their own. Who am I going to save my sympathy for? A woman who should have known better, or the patient who had to marry her childhood sweetheart in a hospital because she would not be leaving the hospital alive to do so.

Yeah, she was a great singer, but years down the road, she will inevitably become the punchline. Just like Elvis. Just like Michael. Just like Mama Cass and her damn ham sammich.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Old People and Cake

Today was Aunt JoJo's birthday, and as a surprise, we got a special cake made for her. Then, we set up in the dining room of the nursing home and had someone go get her and bring her for her surprise party. We opened the invitation to any residents who also wanted to participate (we ordered a big cake).

Funny thing, mention free cake and ice cream, and the white hairs flock like bees to honey.

One lady hauled ass up to the cake table and plopped a chair right in front of the cake and sat down. Meanwhile, the staff was trying to coax my aunt out of her room, which practically takes and act of Congress. After a short while, the natives were getting restless (they wanted cake dammit!) and one guy kept eyeing the cake, the wheels turning in his head as to how far he could get in his wheelchair if he attempted a Grab and Dash.

She finally showed, everyone sang Happy Birthday, and we dished out cake and ice cream. Aunt JoJo loved it, and she even got to meet other residents (we've been trying to get her to be more social). One guy even wheeled up to her and took her picture. I have no idea if he plans on stalking her later. It might do her some good.

With cake and ice cream left over, we sent plates all around to various staff members, and a couple of residents would couldn't make it out of their room. Later on tonight, when they do their evening blood sugars, they should be able to tell who ate cake and who didn't.

It's a completely different feeling when you hang around a nursing home as opposed to being there to work. I felt more relaxed, and I didn't have to put on Nurse Face. At one point, I made a crude joke, and a wheelchair-bound woman laughed about it for five minutes. When you are employee, you have to be professional and all that, but I think that some of these people just miss real human interaction. That these people had productive lives before they came to live in the nursing home. Some even liked crude jokes.

The residents and staff seemed genuinely surprised that a family went to so much effort, which makes me sad to think that what we did is something they don't see much of. That their family members just dropped them off and forgot about them (which I think is the biggest stigmas about nursing homes). Aunt JoJo was even surprised (at one point, we thought she was going to cry), and when we thought about it, we couldn't remember the last time she had an actual birthday party. We'd take her out to dinner for her day and stuff, but nothing with cake and ice cream and friends.

Her kids suck.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lady Part Problems

Sometimes, it sucks being a girl. You got boobs that bounce around when you try to exercise, and after a while, it hurts. That's even with a "decent" sports bra. You got internal plumbing that comes with their own issues. We bloat. We get hostile. We cry at the drop of the hat and can't tell you why we are crying because we honestly have no idea.

I got lady part problems. So much, that my gyn and myself have resorted to swapping emails. Honestly, my gyn doc is the shizzle. If you need a good one, hit my up and I will send you her contact info.

Anyway, with all the lady part issues, the subject of babies are bound to pop up sooner or later. During one appointment, she asked me what my child-bearing plans were. I was stunned for a minute, because with the way things currently are, children are not even a remote possibility. You know, because you need sperm and stuff to make one.

"I'm not dating anyone right now and I have no desire to become a single mother." I replied. Good enough for the doctor. But it did get me thinking...

I'll be 37 in a couple months, and not once have I heard the tickings of my biological clock. If I see I baby in the store, I may smile at the mom and make some comment along the lines of "cute baby" (because I feel like you almost have to or something), but I don't ooohh and awww over it the way some women do. Like my mother. She's now in full time Grandmother Mode, and if there is a baby within a five mile radius, she will find it and make cooing Grandma noises. She loves small children and babies.

I'm essentially indifferent.

What the hell is wrong with me? Oh sure, I love my nieces and nephew, and if for some reason I had to, I would step up to the plate and take care of those kids if they needed it. But right now, I have no internal drive to breed. Nothing that feels like a nurturing, motherly instinct.

Where am I going with this? Well, in light of recent lady problems, the possibility exists that things may happen that will take childbearing completely out of the equation. If I don't plan on using the nursery furniture, why even have them? But then, that would take the choice out of my hands. If I didn't have kids, I want it to ultimately be my decision.

It's a choice I would like open to me, because you never know what is going to happen down the road.