Sunday, October 30, 2005

subtle suggestions

See? Even Einstein thinks this blog rocks.
(looks like Al could use some product)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

sucking the gamecock

Did we not practice endzone-fumbling drills after last week's big fumble?*

I'm still excited to be sporting my orange pride, but it's getting hard to defend my Vols to Uglyhomans. I'm thinking Phil Fulmer didn't get a copy of my letter that I wrote back in August. Perhaps someone should email him a copy.

The Hater wants to "clean house" and fire all of the coaching staff.

I think that's a little rash.

But it is time to see some changes.

If we lose to Notre Dame next week (which we will because they're really good this year, a top 10 team playing with heart), we will have to win every other game this season to be bowl-eligible. Does anybody remember the last time that the Vols did not go to a bowl game?

For shame, Phil. I'd ask where the buck stops, but I'm afraid you might fumble it into the end zone.

** Special Note: I do understand that it's not feasable to have the best team in the conference every season. Really, I know that not every QB can be my Peyton. ... but I also know that my Vols are starting to have the Commodore stink, and that's just simply not acceptable. Neyland Stadium should never have seen the day that the Vols sucked the Gamecocks.

scream score

I made it through two spook houses without screaming. Tonight I was the only one in the group of four who didn't scream. Even The Hater squealed a couple of times.

We went to Scream Country tonight in a little backwoods town of Drumright, Uglyhoma. It was a scary drive to a small town. This place was so far away from the city that you could actually see the stars in the sky, which was nice for a change.

It started with a hay ride with people jumping out at us. Then we walked through the woods where other people jumped out at us and flung chainsaws at us.

Good times.

And one guy looked very much like Leather Face from TX Chainsaw Massacre. He had the walk down -- and did the whole running with the chainsaw over his head really well. I bet he studied the movie for hours before tonight.

I really wanted to be out there scaring people, too. If we're still stuck in Uglyhoma next summer I'm going to have to figure out a way to participate at least one night. It's too much fun making people scream in good fun. This time of year I can't help but think of the Corn Maize in Lebanon (?) where my college roomate and I dressed up with a group of theater students (fellow Alpha Psi Omegans) to scare people. It was so much fun.

I tried googling it, but found this picture instead on . LBG on the map! They made it this year, but I've not heard anything about it before now. Apparently there are bunches of websites that will help farmers make maize mazes, including this one.

We'll have to remedy the absent jack-o-lantern tomorrow.

Friday, October 28, 2005

tis the season

I'm not going to scream.

That's the plan, anyway.

I like all holidays. It's an excuse for lots of people to do something different for the sake of anything. Earth Day ranks right up there with Arbor Day and President's Day.

And MLK day makes for a nice, long weekend.

After much deliberation I've decided to raid my own closet and be a hippie at work on Halloween. I have a sweet rasta wig and will be making an official Uglyhoma debut with my smart glasses. (more on smart glasses later) I've made buttons for my costume, too, with such used slogans as "make love, not war" and "fight the man", another with an obligatory peace sign over the earth -- very earthy, man. I'm going to wear my official Summertown Farm tye-dye shirt with some sexy blue jeans. With my newly aquired, slightly hideous, dark pink moccosin-type shoes that were too great not to buy on sale.

Oh, yeah. It'll be fun.

And we have peppermint pattys to give to the trick-or-treaters. We'll probably have less than 5 kids, so maybe we'll have left-overs.

Left-over Halloween candy, a dentist's best friend.

As of now we don't have an outside jack-o-lantern. This may or may not be remedied by Halloween. I've still got bad vibes about carving pumpkins from the time that I about chopped off a couple of fingers back in high school --- decorating for a bumping band Halloween party.

We were so cool.

But it was fun, so I guess it really didn't matter how dorky we were.

Tonight and tomorrow The Hater and I are going to go to a couple of spook houses. My plan is not to scream... or wet my pants. I'd prefer not to do either.

But I'd really like to get to wear the ribbon that I made it through without screaming-

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Yesterday I was working very hard on a crossword puzzle at work. It was harder than The Tennessean puzzles I'm more accustomed to working. One of the hints was:

14th American President, Franklin _____

six letters, __ __ __ __ __ __

I wanted to make it Delano, but knew that was way to early in time to be him.

The people I worked were no help. They argued that it was Wilson.

me: There was no Franklin Wilson who was President.
them: Sure there was!
me: His name was Woodrow, not Franklin.
them: You're wrong.
me: There was FDR and Woodrow Wilson, but no Franklin Wilson.
them: We don't really know our Presidents.

No kidding.

So I googled this morning -- Franklin Pierce was the 14th President.

I don't think I'll mention it to them --- especially after the whole President Monroe incident earlier...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

scraping ice off the windshield

For the third consecutive morning it looks like I'll be scraping ice off of the windshield. My fingers will be popsicles by the time I get to work.

Monday, October 24, 2005

snap, crackle, pop

The cold this morning ate through my hands. It's time to break out the gloves again.

But it took them a long, long time to 'wake up' this morning. I had morning hands until almost lunch today. And my wrists are their own percussion section.

It's time for aspercream.

3 cheers for self-diagnosed arthritics...

Sunday, October 23, 2005


That was an attempt to upload a picture that I scanned. The problem is that blogger wants jpeg and it is scanned under a different program that doesn't want to change to jpeg.

Oh what a tangled web we weave-- pun intended.

And it doesn't exist on the page where I could go delete it. So look at the big black box and imagine a picture of the most precious cat ever.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

greek to me

Today after a half-day of work I went to the OKC Greek Festival. The Hater and I had talked about going in the past, but he's always out of town when they come, so we never went. Today I emancipated myself and went on my own.

I was most looking forward to some hummus and falafel.

The sanctuary was beautiful. I was most drawn to the wooden arc celing. It was impressive handiwork and carpentership.

There were lots of little booths set up for people to buy stuff. There were jewels and food stores, an art booth, a booth with cookbooks, a bookstore, and another booth with imported wares. People moaned when the announcer said that they were out of the special imported olive oil.

There was a live band that was very good. (I've thought really hard, but I can't remember their name. I've tried to google a hint, but nothing's helping me.) They were called "to -- " something. The second word was probably a greek word, but I wouldn't know. Actually, they didn't sing in my language, but I figured they must be singing about socially acceptable things since it was associated with a church. Mostly it was greek to me.

And there was lots of food. No hummus or falafel, but I did catch a wonderful gyro. For dessert I had a 'zorba sundae' which was soft vanilla ice cream over baklava with crunched nuts and baklava on top. It was really good.

There were dancers dressed in traditional garb doing circle-type dances. And although I'm no dance fiend and hardly qualified to judge, they looked like they knew what they were doing. They were in step most of the time. And they looked like they were having a good time.

People kept saying "Opa!". It was also written on the map for the vendors. I asked an old lady next to me what it meant. She gave me a funny look and said, "You know, Opa!, like you say when you're dancing"

"Oh!" The diplomat in me did not question further.

Then I came home and worked on art projects while watching the Vol game. I think they played well, but it felt like they had a hard time getting out of the starting gate.

And now the dryer hums and the cat purrs -- calling me to sleep.


Friday, October 21, 2005

amusing randomness

The Hater is playing cowboy this weekend. He should be back soon. I hope the red state doesn't rub-off on him too much before he gets back. He might convert; we just can't have that. I worked too hard to change him the first time.

Speaking of politics and the need for a segway, for something amusing to democrats, click here. For something amusing to republicans, click here. If you're not amused; you're not alone.

Meanwhile, in Uglyhoma, I'm excited and nervous about the big game this weekend! I guess I didn't read the schedule on the refrigerator very well because I was thinking it would be a Vol home game. Boy, it changes everything to know we'll be playing in the armpit of Alabama. I love football season. Go, team, go-

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

carpe diem

One of the best parts of my job is falling in love with people who have cancer.

One of the hardest parts of my job is falling in love with people who have cancer.

Today one of my patient's sons doubled-back after helping her to the car. Her sickness has made her very weak. He wanted to know how much longer she had to live.

That's a hard question to ask.

Harder still, to answer.

Seize the day, people. Life is short. Prioritize a list of the things you want to do, of things you want to say and do for people, of places you want to go. Now is the time to work on your list. Please don't find yourself wishing you had done more.

worker's comp

Today we were re-organizing the filing system. This meant we threw out old file folders and moved bunches of them around so that they all had a little more elbow room.

During all of the excitement I managed to get a papercut between two very important fingers on my left hand. Boo. Nobody seemed to be as upset about it as I was.

It still stings. I've started the worker's comp paperwork.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

saving the slobbery seeing-eye doggy

Today I was doing my thing in the chemotherapy clinic. I'm being a nurse. I'm staring IVs, drawing labs, accessing ports, hanging chemo -- you name it; if it was nursey, I was all over it.

One of our patients came in with her assistance dog. It was a big, slobbery yellow lab who immediately sat under the chair next to her. He seemed to be obediant.

* As a general rule, I don't do dogs. I grew up outside of the city limits of the metropolis of LBG. We lived where people dropped their dogs that they didn't want anymore. So Sister and I grew up knowing how to use the sling-shot. Seems like nobody ever dropped a good dog around us. We always got the big, mean ones that bit. I can't count how many times I was biking down the dirt road and had to get off my bike and grab rocks to scare away bad dogs. (Just thinking about it gives me the heebie-jeebies.) Then there was the time that Sister and I had to jump on top of Mom's VW bug to get away from the mean, slobbery doberman. I'm not saying that *all* dogs are bad. I've just met enough of the bad ones that I don't want to bother any of the other ones--- unless someone I really trust says it's okay and they won't bite me.

* This must be why I'm a cat person.

* The Hater says that little dogs aren't scary.

* Please don't call PETA on me, my cat is safe. She loves her spoilled, privileged life.

* A note on working dogs: I think it's great that dogs can be trained to help people. Seeing eye dogs are really known, but big trained slobbery dogs can also be trained to help people with other disabilities. Here's a website that talks about all the cool things that service dogs can do. This includes turning on light switches, bracing people if they were to fall, or can pick up objects as small as dimes. Too cool. These aren't dogs you shoot with a sling-shot.

* A second note on working dogs: If they're wearing their harness, you're not supposed to pet them. This is hard for me because I know they have to be *good* dogs to be trusted to do such things, and I really want to be affectionate to good animals. So be strong -- if they're working, let them work.

So back to today:

Someone else was working on starting the lady's IV. I was doing something else and watched the nurse jump up and tackle the dog. Apparently the dog had found the paper that surrounds an alcohol wipe and was chewing on it. She saved him, which I thought was both very nice and very commendable. That's a nurse way better than me; I would've never dove into his mouth.

After washing her hands she went back to starting the IV. At the most crucial part I hear a gasp, and turn to see that the dog now has a plastic ear themometer cover in his mouth, chewing. "You've got to go get it!" She looked right at me.

Now I've mentioned my prevoius history with dogs. This was not something I just jumped for.

I tried the serious command, "GIVE." I held out my hand. He just kept chewing.

Now the patient was nervous, too. "You've got to get it!" "He'll choke!"

So I got down on my knees and uttered a quick prayer as I approached this dog. Did I mention that he was a big dog? He was huge. He took up at least a third of the treatment room.

He smelled my hand and slobbered all over it. I didn't even think to put on gloves. So I was covered in slobber. I dripped with slobber.

I tried the "GIVE" command again. No dice.

He was still chewing. People were looking at me like I was crazy.

I had seen people open dog's mouths before, but I've never done that. I tried, but with no avail. I could see the mess in his mouth, and after bathing myself in dog spit, I retrieved the cause of everybody's worry.

Who said that nurses don't do it all?

(And then I washed my hands for about fifteen minutes to ease my OCD mind.)

periphal IVs

Remember when I practiced starting an IV with the new catheters on The Hater? (If not, go to the backfiles and look for Wednesday, October the 5th.)

Well, yesterday at work I was the IV-staring-bomb-dot-com. I probably started eight or nine with the new catheter. How exciting.

It was also a crazy day at the infusion clinic. So bad that the patients all started complaining of headaches. I had a headache, too, but there wasn't time to NSAID myself. So it goes.

I'm excited for another day in the salt mines.

Monday, October 17, 2005

beer haiku

Yours truly has been published on the Beer Haiku Daily blog. My haiku was chosen for today; they obviously have low artistic standards...

Too fun.

Go read it here.

Feeling froggy? Write your own. Then tell me so I can brag about you on haiku of the id.

Are we having fun yet?

costume conundrums

Halloween is quickly approaching and I don't know what I'm going to wear. I've convinced people at work to dress up -- and they have their costumes all together already.

I think I'd make a great zombie, but that's a social faux pas when you work at a chemotherapy clinic. The Hater says I can't be the grim reaper, either. So it looks like it'll have to be a PG-rated costume this year.

But what to do?

I have a cow costume that's too cute... but I'm afraid the udders will get in my way when I'm trying to do nursey things.

It'd be too easy to dress up like a hippie... I have some authentic Summertown Farm tye-dye, and I've seen a rasta wig that would be perfect with it -- but it kindof takes the fun out of 'costume' because it's my wardrobe.

It shouldn't be this hard! Any suggestions? The hour quickly approaches!

Today I'm floating to the bad office, but first I have to go to the regular office for an OSHA meeting. Good morning, Monday!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

the legacy

Greatest QB ever.

See the grin on his face? He knows it.


the clinic's untold story

Being a nurse in a clinic is very different from being a nurse in a hospital.

A few clinic and hospital comparisons-

In the clinic, you are not required to work holidays or weekends. If you decide to work on a non-traditional day, there's a sweet bonus involved and you're usually done by noon.

  • In the hospital, you're required to work holidays and weekends. There is no sweet bonus, unless you include a free Thanksgiving cafeteria meal with slick ham and instant potatoes.

In the clinic, you can park your car and get to where you work in five minutes.

  • In the hospital it takes five minutes to find a place to park your car. Add ten more minutes from where you park to where you actually work, maybe more if the elevators are down.

In the clinic, drug representatives want to wine and dine you. They cater lunch. They bring snacks in the afternoon. Ice cream. Chocolate fondue fountains. They sponsor educational events at fancy restaurants. They bring ink pens and notepads.**

  • In the hospital you pay for your own lunch from the cafeteria. If you want to go to a fancy restaurant, you foot the bill. You're also required to complete a certain number of extended educational hours, but you pay for them yourself.

In the clinic, I work between 8-9 hours a day. I come home and have supper with The Hater.

  • In the hospital I worked 12 hour shifts and came home part-zombie.
It's been a good move. It's true that I've been slightly disheartened by the hospital scene, but the benefits of clinic-life have been good for me.

** Special note on drug reps: they're salespeople pushing a product. They push their drugs to anyone who will listen. Although treats and goodies are nice, the bottom line is patient care, not selling-out to who has the coolest toys.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

pink ribbon month

October is breast cancer awareness month.

April 2004. My yearly well-woman check-up was going just fine, until she found a lump in my left breast. I was young and new to the oncology nursing world--- and I don't really remember the next couple of days. I went to The Hater at work, in tears, and told him that I had an appointment for some diagnostics the next day and that HE WOULD take off to go with me.

I was convinced it was just a ridge. I was convinced it was cancer. I was convinced it was nothing. I convinced myself of everything and cried a lot.

The next day I went for diagnostics. I was expecting an ultrasound, maybe a mammogram. A nice doctor told me that we'd just do a little biopsy in the clinic. The Hater's eyes were scared, which put me into work mode to compensate. One fine needle biopsy later -- and I had to wait a few days for the path reports to come back.

I was really bruised. I hurt. The doc called me that weekend. The Hater was out of town.

It was not cancerous.
But I'm not special. Thousands of women, young and old, happen upon breast lumps that are cancerous. This is why a month for breast cancer awareness is so important. The quicker that lumps and bumps and ridges are found and identified and typed by pathology -- the quicker that treatment can take place and the liklihood of survival skyrockets.
I wish I could say that I started performing breast self exams monthly. I wish I could say that my lump put me on the straight-and-narrow for the BSE shower dance. But it didn't. I was scared for a while and didn't even look in the mirror at them.
It's been more than a year and I'm much better about it. Knowing your own anatomy-- where your natural bumps are-- will help you to notice if any new or different bumps develop. That's the point behind BSEs, to know your norm.
Here are some off-the-cuff pointers about self breast exams:
  • Look: Stand in front of the mirror and look at your breasts. Are there any different dimplings or colorations? When you raise your arms do you notice any lumps or bumps? Are there any reddended or rashy areas?
  • Feel: Use your right hand to inspect your left breast and vise-versa. Starting at your nipple and working outward, use the pads of your fingers and gently press into the tissue and cover the entire breast. Go from side-to-side and up-to-down. Go from one armpit to the cleavage and from your collar bone to the bottom of your rib cage. Do this lying down and sitting or standing.
  • Tell: Should you find something out of the ordinary, call your physician.
  • Remember to do them. Find a day each month that's easy to remember. If you still get a monthly visit from Ma Nature, do your BSE after her visit each month. If you're post-menopausal, pick the same day as your birthday every month. If you're prone to forget your birthday, go the easy route and pick the first of the month. If you can't remember that, e-mail me and I will e-mail you every month to remind you. It's that important.

For more official information from the American Cancer Society about self-breast exams, look here. Or you can always google "Self Breast Exam" if you're feeling industrious.


Which leads us to the next natural converstaion for women's health- another important and overlooked exam -- the pap smear. Every woman's favorite test.
(and you thought Algebra was bad)
Those of us who have had a pap smear have our own horror stories to tell. And although it's humiliating to spread eagle, we can usually laugh about it later. For a fumbling med student's point of view of performing a pap smear, be amused at what The Fake Doctor has to say here.
Back to thinking pink... Men can get breast cancer, too. You should also be performing self breast exams and self testicular exams. For more info about performing a self testicular exam, click here. And although you don't have to worry about pap smears, you do get to look forward to prostate exams! (Isn't aging great?)
There are tons of cancer resources and support groups. For more information about breast cancer, visit, or talk to your doctor.
It's real people. The best thing you can do to protect your health is to take charge of it.
If you're tired of hearing from me, the nurse, leave a comment. If you want to hear more from the nurse in me, leave a comment. If you are afraid of the elephant in the corner of the room looking at you, make some tea and ask the elephant to leave a comment.

this isn't mahjong

The Hater is making me watch Texas Hold'em on ESPN. He says it's the MAIN event (that's like finals for you non-card players.)

He's watching a tournament that he already knows who won. Some Austrailian won. But we're watching it to make sure it doesn't change between then and now.

I like to play cards. I do. I like Spades. I like Solitaire. I like Go-fish. Rummy, Kings, Knock, Rat's Tail. Even Hold'em. I'll play hold'em. But watching other people play? Not fun.

The commentary? Worse. Two guys who think they are funny will do a play-by-play commentary for each hand. Not funny.

But Doyle Brunson. He's great. When we went to Vegas this summer he smiled at me and posed for a picture, too. Watching poker on tv is only tolerable if they show Doyle -- and the idiot commentators don't say too much.

A Smith and Wesson still beats 4 Aces-

consistency of grits

I like grits. I eat instant grits for breakfast every morning that I have to wake up and go to work... with a little butter and a little pepper. Yummy in the tummy, and it sticks with me better than anything else I've tried. With my job I don't always get to eat lunch, and usually it's at least six hours after I've eaten breakfast before I get a chance to nibble.

Well, this morning I put more milk in my grits than I usually do. So they were soupier. Not as soupy as Shoney's Breakfast Bar grits. This made me wonder how other grit-eaters like the consistency of their grits.

(Yes, Mother, I use skim milk to mix my grits now, but I don't put it in anything else. And, yes, I'm still taking calcium supplements. And, yes, I know that milk is good for me. But I still think it takes like ick and smells worse.)

I like my grits on the thicker side. I don't want them to drip off of my spoon. I like it when they clump in the bowl.

But today it was thick enough to stay on the spoon and still be stirred. It was a nice change.

I don't like drippy grits that ooze. I don't think grits should be able to be consumed through a straw. Not my kind of consistency.

And don't put cheese in mine; there's no sense in ruining a good bowl of grits. Mom used to make a big cheese grit casserole for Christmas morning. Everybody seemed to like it. Sad, I think. I happily played in my little separate, but superior bowl of my fancy Christmas morning plain jane grits.

And now every morning is like Christmas morning if it's a grit morning. Except I have to go to work. And there's no presents to open.

Uglyhomans don't get the grit phenomenon. Do you?

How do you like the consistency of your grits?

Monday, October 10, 2005

sicken chicken

If you want to spook yourself out of playing with sick poultry from other countries, go here and read what CNN says about the bird flu.

Badness happens when diseases jump species. The Bubonic Plague-- SARS-- AIDS--

The Avian Flu is due a pandemic. A boy in Indonesia is thought to have come down with it. And although it's currently hanging out in southeast Asia, it's just a matter of time before it migrates westward into Europe, westward across the Atlantic to knock on our door.

I hear that it'll take four to six months for vaccines to be made for humans. But with the rate that the virus mutates, the vaccines would be of no use to the new strains. So don't count on any flu shot protecting you from the avian strain.

Still, no flu virus is fun. If you're in one of the priority groups, it's time to start thinking about getting the flu shot that's available. Ask your doctor if you can get one this year.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

HBDTY, John-

Today is John Lennon's birthday.

Let's celebrate with some old-fashioned peace, love, and rock and roll. Sing along with one of John's greatest songs, you know the tune- go ahead and belt it out:

Imagine there's no heaven, it's easy if you try.
No hell below us, above us only sky.
Imagine all the people living for today.
Imagine there's no countries, it isn't hard to do.
Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion, too.
Imagine all the people, living life in peace.
You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us and the world will be as one.
Imagine no posessions. I wonder if you can.
No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man.
Imagine all the people sharing all the world.
You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us and the world will be as one.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

smell this and cough

Two things I don't want to hear in the same sentence again.

After our latest Chad experience, The Hater and I came home to recover. We passed a blood mobile on the way. My moral obligation heart pangs kicked in, so as The Hater turned on the OU/Texas game, I U-turned to go back and give blood.

I knew I could be done by the time the TN/GA game kicked-off. The game of the weekend to watch, unbeknownst to Uglyhomans. They would rather watch a disappointing loss--

Now I do therapeutic phlebotomies at work. I can throw-down with a 16-gague needle, and I know that I've got a good vessel in my right AC to hit. I've given three gallons of blood out of that vein. Unfortunately, I've got three gallons worth of scar tissue there, too. So there's always a little digging to find a good, soft spot to stick. And today was alike every other in that aspect -- but she was good and found it quickly. I sipped a diet Mtn Dew and watched Texas march over OU. There were about eight people watching the game and I was really enjoying watching them get excited.

Usually at work I'll take a pint of blood over about fifteen minutes. Never shorter than ten because you don't want people to have woozy fluid issues from losing too quickly. Sometimes we give people a fluid bolus before, too, to help lessen those chances.

My blood-giving history is pepered with lots of opportunities for my feet to be slung up in the air... And today was alike every other in that aspect, too--

I gave my pint in exactly five minutes. This is a record for me. The little voice in the back of my head runs towards the tunnel. My face starts to go numb. I know what's coming. I look at the little girl who is trying to get my arm to quit bleeing and I tell her that I'm going numb. Suddenly there's about four people shoving ice packs down my shirt, moving my legs, still holding pressure on my arm, and encouraging me to chug a coke.

I chug. But I've not had a hard-core, real, non-diet coke in a really long time. And what happens when you chug carbonation? Yep, I start to feel nauseated. My face is no longer numb.

Then they break out the ammonia inhalants. She breaks one, hands it to me, and I huff. The girls are still around my chair, now chanting for me to cough. You can't hardly not cough after huffing ammonia. Bleh. So I do that two or three times before I told her that I suddenly wasn't nauseated anymore... and I was also full of Coke. So then I was just a little woozy and sloshy.

I ate some nutter-butters. Drank some OJ. They were very proud that I didn't wait until I was in the parking lot to show off. The Hater rolled his eyes at me when I told him of my misadventure. He's glad to know that my moral obligation meter is full.

Another exciting day in the life of me.

the Chads of the world

Perhaps you have had your own bad Chad experience.

According to, the name Chad means warlike and warrior. I have never met a warlike Chad and I can't think of any famous Chad warriors in history. This does not surprise me.

I don't know what it is about the name Chad, but bad things seem to happen when I see someone with that name or a derrivitave of that name on a nametag walking towards me. The Hater and I have officially struck all Chad-names from our future baby list. We will not be responsible for bringing another one into this world.

When we were at MTSU, The Hater, Angry Dissenter, and I were good buddies. We went one night to eat supper at Red Lobster. Chaz was our waiter. (I'm very aware that Chaz is not the same as Chad, but for this blog it's close enough. According to, Chaz means manly.) Chaz was wearing a surfer mullet (which screams manly to me). He screwed up our order, and when he brought the "fixed one" back, it was messed up, too. He was not meant for the food service industry. He filled up our drinks with the wrong beverages and never brought us any bread, even after we asked.

It might seem that The Hater and I expect too much from our waitstaff. This is clearly not true. We have low standards and always tip well. Except for Chaz. He earned his twelve cent tip that day.

Months later we returned to Red Lobster. Lo and behold Chaz was our waiter again, and I think he recognized us because he sighed as he made eye contact. This time he did a great job and earned his 25% tip. But still. Let us not forget that his name was Chaz.

This morning we awoke early to go to the bank to roll over my 401K into an IRA. Chad met us with a goofy grin on his face. We started asking him questions about the differences between a Roth IRA and a traditional IRA. He fumbled over words and messed with things on his desk before he came out and said he had no idea. He called a 1-800 help number while we were sitting there to see if there was someone he could ask. "I feel really bad about this," he kept saying. So did we. Chad was an idiot hiding behind an official-looking nametag. The Hater guessed that Chad was clueless beyond opening a savings account.

As we're filling out the IRA info the part comes where you fill in info about the beneficiary. This is The Hater. I asked Chad where to put the info about the secondary beneficiaries, like if The Hater and I were to be killed in a freak house cat accident. He didn't know anything about that. I thought it was odd, (and The Hater and I exchanged WTF glances) but we plundered on with the paperwork.

He printed off the information for me to sign -- and at the top of the second page there was a section marked "contingent beneficiaries". I showed Chad and asked him if that was the secondary section. He gulped and said he didn't know. He didn't know. And he didn't know who to call to ask. Chad told us this.

So I read the three-sentence paragraph again. this time aloud to him. It said this section had to add up to 100%, too. I asked Chad if he'd ever heard of a "contingency plan". He said he didn't know. So I filled out Sister as my contingent beneficary. Chad said he felt really bad "about this". I can only guess that "this" means his incompetency regarding his job.

Woe to Chad. He was doomed from birth.

Let us not forget the dangling Chad that caused GW Bush to be annointed the winner by the Supreme Court. Imagine how many American and Iraqi lives would have been spared if Gore had won the Presidency. I bet the world wouldn't hate America as much, either, if Gore had won the election -- oh, wait, he did.

Let's use this blog as an opportunity to dialogue through our pain. Be strong. Avoid the Chad.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Cronenberg Films: a synopsis

Waffles duck Vegas?

Lawyers chopsticks hay-bail aesbestos. Termites willow plank jostle.

Chortle your exhaust round loop tie claw.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

the good, the bad, the ugly

The Good:

One of my patients came back and thanked me today. It made me feel like my work really helps people. It was a good, fulfilling day.

The Bad:

Zoloft is without her hairball cat treats. We've tried a few other treats, but she's holding out for the ones she likes. We're just waiting to see when she starts hacking-

The Ugly:

Tomorrow I have to go work at the bad office. I'm getting tired of being pulled to work over there. My contract said "occasional" floating would be required, but I don't consider occasional to be weekly. Semantics, people. Say what you mean.

This supremely gags me.

my wonderful husband

We have these new IV catheters at work that I'd like to learn how to use. So I brought one home with intentions to start an IV on myself. This made The Hater nervous. I had asked him if I could start it on him, but he didn't like that idea.

He also didn't like the idea of me sticking myself, so he let me start it on him. Isn't that sweet? He took a needle for me; that's love.

It was a tiny one, 24 ga. Bigger numbers means a smaller-sized catheter, so don't think that 24 gauge means like a shot gun. It's more like the size you start on babies -- or people who have received chemotherapy.

So I've been convinced that my husband is about the greatest guy ever.

He's still in the "I want to think about it" mode regarding taking ballroom dancing lessons. Idunno if he's a tango kind of guy.

But he did let me start an IV, so he's still fantastic in my book.

Monday, October 03, 2005

clap on-- clap off

Zoloft has discovered the touch-lamp next to the computer. She has learned that if she touches it with her nose, it comes on. She is having lots of fun making it brighter, then looking at me when it turns off.

She found a new toy, but has already become bored with it. Looks like I was more impressed than she was.

Tomorrow is another day where I have the opportunity to practice seeing the glass half-full. And Carpe Diem'ing and such.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

cheers to peer pressure

A mighty welcome to Angry Dissenter for entering the blogosphere! I'm sure the Internet Movie Database will be excited to hear that you have a new forum to keep your attention!

What will he post next?
  • Will it be how to pester your pet with love?
  • Will we hear of his landlord woes?
  • Could it really be that his all-time favorite director is M Night Shyamalan?

Only time will tell. Find out for yourself on his blog-- or look to the right and cruise my blogs of interest.

If You Can't Think of Anything Nice to Say...

Time to sit back and watch the good times roll-

redlight run-about

It's been an interesting day.

This morning I finished the book I was reading. It was much sadder than I had thought it would be, which surprised me. The Hater made some such comment about 'what do you expect from a book on cancer.' He's a pessimist.

He had called to relay the drama from the City of Lies. I pick him up from the airport tomorrow.

I watched a little tv. I wasn't ready to jump back into more work-related reading. Instead I watched some saved Angel episodes and a bad movie on the in-demand chanel.

By the time that was over I was bored. I played with the cat for a while before deciding to play with the wood burner...

I'd had a vision about the wood burner, and I really wanted this project to be good, not hokey. So I worked on it for the better part of the afternoon. This made the apartment smell like burned wood. Not knowing how to make it go away, I lit some candels. So now it smells like burned wood with a hint of clean linen after the rain.

Then came the varnish. Cherry varnish, no less. I donned some laytex gloves and painted my project, dabbed, then painted and dabbed some more. This made the apartment smell like burned wood with a hint of clean linen after the rain and jet engine fuel.

I have to wait eight hours before I can polyurathane them, which means it'll be tomorrow night before I can really play agian. By then The Hater can come home and decide if it's worthy of keeping or trashing.

I hope the apartment smells better by then. There's no doubt that this is the reason why I have a slight headache.

But all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy... So whaddaya do?

Meanwhile, I realize that because I had to work Saturday morning, I totally forgot about going to the bank Saturday morning to roll over the 401K into the IRA. When I told The Hater this over the phone he said the exact same ugly word that I said when I realized it. We have a psychic connection that way.

I'd called my boss to ask if I could come in late. She sighed, but said that would be okay. I just looked online and they don't open to later than I realized, so I guess I'll be on time to work. The Hater says we can do it this weekend and still not be penalized, but it'll be super gaggy if we miss the date and have to pay even more taxes to King George.

My last bit of excitement is that I'm going to stop taking oral birth contorl pills. The Hater says not to worry about the last month's supply in the kitchen, so I'm off the hormones. I've been taking them for a while, and I don't really remember my 'warning signs' that I was about to start-- so now I have this fear that I'll be out somewhere and bleed all over myself without notice.

Way more realistic than the dream where you're giving a lecture - naked.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

reading rainbow

Sister sent me a book in the mail a few weeks ago. I'd been too chicken to pick it up and start reading it because the cover was slightly scary-looking.

Today I started and finished a book by Melanie Wells, When the Day of Evil Comes. It was suspenseful and just enough exciting. It was also a really easy, light read. I don't think it will give me nightmares tonight.

Good choice, Sister.

I've got a lot of work-related reading to do, too. I received an oncology journal this week that I should probably read for the CMEs. It's dry, hard reading. So I'll probably read another book first, this one about helping kids cope with their parents' cancer diagnosis. I don't remember the exact title, but it's by Peter Van Dernoot. I don't expect it to be a difficult read.

I also need to get on Excel and make a fancy spreadsheet to keep up with my CMEs. The Hater would be tickled to reclaim his computer desk.

Sister and I are good stackers. We inherited that from our Mother.

Do you remember the tv show Reading Rainbow with Lavar Burton? It was great.

waltzing Matilda

I was invited by a coworker to go ballroom dancing with her Friday night after a hectic week at work. She had to convince me, and my social calandar was waning, so I decided to go.

Now you need to know that I have never been graceful. My picture is under klutz in the dictionary. You name it, I've walked into it or been bruised by it. I've even gotten caught in a revolving door. Body awareness and kinesthetics have never been aspects where I have excelled.

That said, I came in from work and quickly showered. I mentally tried on everything in my closet. What do normal people wear when they ballroom dance? I had cute shoes, but could I really stand in them all night? I decided to be safe and wear some faithful tennis shoes. I couldn't very well wear those with my cute skirts, so I defaulted to dressing up jeans with a fancy blouse. I made the effort and curled my hair to "fix" it, a laborious effort that I haven't extended since maybe last Christmas. I left thinking I looked nice enough.

I arrived and looked around to see all of the women wearing high heels. I thought I saw one man wearing jeans. Later, another lady arrived wearing jeans, too, which made me feel better. Still awkward, but with a silent alibi who appreciated comfort.

So far as the dancing goes, I caught on quickly. Instructors taught basic steps during the first part of the party. I clumsily foxtrotted and waltzed, tango'd and salsa'd. It was fun.

Then they tried to sell packages. Several instructors really worked on me to get me to buy. They didn't know how to answer when I told them that my husband was out of town and I didn't have permission to spend any money until he returned.

When in doubt, blame the guy who isn't there to argue.

There was a live big-band for the next part of the party. They were okay, maybe twenty of them. It was kindof a free-dance thing. People asked other people to dance.

I think I did more watching people dance than actually dancing. I enjoy people-watching; it was probably more fun to me than the party itself.

There were a couple hundred people there, most of whom knew what they were doing. Some people giddy with knowing what they were doing. Imagine a big wedding party where everybody wanted to be out on the floor dancing.

And, no, they didn't play the funky chicken.

(Which was slightly disappointing because I *know* that dance.)

Idunno if I could talk The Hater into taking lessons. And I'm not really sure that I want to talk him into taking lessons. It would have been a lot more fun if he could have been there with me -- to dance -- or roll eyes at the show-offs... or to feel out of place with me.

Those things are always appreciated.