Tuesday, January 31, 2006

forward lunges

When I was in college I had the choice of either taking four one-hour PE courses, or two one-hour PE courses and a two hour wellness book class. There was no way I was going to take a book class for PE. And no, bowling was not on my list, either.

One semester I took Weight Lifting... I was one of two girls in a group of fifteen guys. It was fun and I could do crunches in circles around them.

I took another class called Walk, Run, Jog. I did more jogging, but that class was fun, too, because he took a group of people who could run a lap without collapsing and put us in a fast-paced line-walking group. I met a guy in that class who wanted to be a funeral director, and he didn't think it was funny if I asked that he was taking the course so he didn't become his own client.

This was also the class where my professor, a six-time Iron Man competitor, announced to the class that I was "an efficient sweater". Not sweater like the knitted thing you wear on cold days -- but a sweater as in I sweat like a pig when I'm working out. At first he kept making me stand to the side and drink water, but he finally figured out that the only distress I was in was because I didn't need to stop and drink water... and I'm glad he was amused and found a neat opportunity to create a teaching moment, but nobody wants to be made to sweat on demand in front of the class.

Tennis was next on my list, and I took it one summer. I ended up with a great tan. At the beginning of the class I was in the advanced group, but the more I played, the more my wrists would scream, so within the first week I ended up playing with the fat kids who could hardly hit the ball over the net. Years later The Hater, who lettered in tennis in high school, decided he would teach me to play; that lasted about two hours before he quit. I won't be making any Wimbledon debuts.

Aerobic Dance. True, I was hoping for more aerobics than dance, but the university had a big dance department -- and I thought it would be neat to participate in my final hour. I could have chosen tap dance or ballet, even line dancing or popular dances, but no, I chose aerobic dance. The class ended up being step aerobics, which in retrospect was fine, but at the time was slightly disappointing.

One day before class I was in the back of the studio stretching. I had gotten out of another class early and was going to use my time wisely... Another one of my classmates, a woman in her forties, came in and started stretching, too. We started talking about random things until this conversation ensued:

her: Can I tell you something?
me: Sure.
her: You've got a great body.

Now at this point in time I'm trying to decide if she's hitting on me or being sincere. We continue to stretch.

me: Uhm, thanks... I try to work out a few days a week.
her: Yeah, it shows.

Continue stretching...

her: You really do have a great body.
me: (slightly confused) Really? You think so?
her: Yeah, I wish my hips were that big. It would have made childbirth better for me.
me: ...... (silence, stopped stretching)
her: I always wished that I'd had big, wide hips like those.

I told her I'd see her when class started and then I went to hide. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to get compliments, but don't tell a girl that her best attribute is her big, childbearing hips who has already been told that she's an efficient sweater.

It's enough to give a girl a complex.

Monday, January 30, 2006

where's the beef

It's another magnificient Monday --- and although the day wasn't bad, I still wish I hadn't gotten up this morning. I'd still rather be in bed.

Work was okay. I had a 4th semester nursing student, my Monday student. I'll have my Thursday student on -- yep, Thursday. (Context clues don't get by you, do they?) We were busy, but not swamped, so it was a good day. My student did well.

Funny how I'm experienced and productive enough to have my own student now... it's been a long row to hoe. Tomorrow should be another exciting day --

Sunday, January 29, 2006

drowsy ramblings

I'm sleepy, and I'm in that special place where my body is somewhat numb and my eyelids weigh at least three tons. It's a tard place to be.

Tonight's coloquial verb conjugation lessons:

swim, swam, drowned

tired, tireder, tard

Tomorrow we conjugate linking verbs and practice keeping eyelids open with toothpicks.

Friday, January 27, 2006

art therapy

I made this painting at art.com -- to replay the process use the directions at the left.

And then? Your challenge is to make a painting, too. Tomorrow, watercolors and finger paints.

safe shopping

With the high rate of attacks on women in secluded parking lots, especially during evening hours, the Minneapolis City Council has established a "Women Only" parking lot at the Mall of America. Even the parking lot attendants are exclusively female so that a comfortable and safe environment is created for patrons.

Below is the first picture available of this world-first women-only parking lot in Minnesota.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


I have a friend whom I mentioned in this post several days ago. I titled it with one of the best lines from the movie that nobody mentioned, which really surprised me from some of my more super-movie-watching friends. If we need to have a Ghostbusters-watching night to refresh your memory of a great comedic script, just let me know. But that's not the point.

The point is that this past week I've been preocupied with his suicide threats, which has been a most frustrating ordeal. Imagine getting a month or more of suicidal emails, watching as they get stronger and more agitated. Imagine getting no replies from the email you try to send, no returns to you phone calls, wondering if he's sabatical or dead.

He's several states away. And as of last night when he called me, he hadn't attempted suicide again. But now all of his inner anguish and histrionics are my fault because I tried to help him get professional help. The details to that part of the story are messy and not really necessary.

Once upon a time I had heard about this blog thing that computer geeks did. And then all of the sudden everybody I knew had one -- including him. This is the reason I've attempted not to write a post about his lamentations - it seemed more suited to personal emails and telephone calls. I dont' know if he even reads this blog anymore, and although I sent out a line-by-line email last night that any 1AR would appreciate, there's one last thing I'd like to say.

I have a pretend backpack. Inside of it I carry around all of the things I'm capable of thinking and worrying about. I have an invisible brick dedicated only to my skin. I have a brick for my family. I have a brick that wants to go home. I have a brick for work drama. I have bricks for aspects of my life, and I carry them around with me in my backpack, which has stretched mightily over the years. I can carry more bricks now than I ever could ten years ago, but there's still a finite number of invisible bricks that I'm able to carry around with me.

Your brick is too big for my backpack. It's grown like Audrey II and my fingers are bleeding from trying to make room for it. I've tried to help, but I don't know anything else that I can do for you --- this, my friend, will ultimately be your decision.

I'm not abandoning your brick, but I have trimmed it down. I will not allow you to create a situation where your suicide becomes my fault or moral responsibility. Your selfishness will not take up any room in my backpack.

That's all that I have to say this morning. Kudos to you if you picked up on my Little Shop of Horrors references. There might be hope for you yet.

There's always hope.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

marching blindly

At some point during my lazy weekend I watched part of the movie Drumline. I first saw this movie when The Hater and I were on our honeymoon... on one of those days where you're just out in the ocean floating around. It was as corny as I rememberd it.

Anyway, I was a band nerd. Not only was I a band nerd, I was voted 'band nerd with the most band spirit' my senior year of high school. I sang in the chorus. I played piano in jazz band. I did time in the pit to march quints. I played all of the percussion instruments during concert season, and when I got bored I taught myself to play the trumpet. I even marched in the university band of blue...

I'm a band nerd, and I'm okay with that. When college music stopped being fun I found the debate team, which neither helped nor hindered my social status. They were equally uncool to a cool world, making it an easy transition... but my heart was in music.

Last fall I was driving somewhere and passed a band practicing on an asphault parking lot. It was a hot day and I was glad for the red light that allowed me to watch them longer. Someone was yelling over the loudspeaker, and they looked miserable. If you've never been there, you really can't appreciate how miserable they were.

And for a moment I wished that I was out there with them. I thought about making a U-turn to just drive up and watch them, enjoy their misery, relive the magic of tennis shoes sticking to the parking lot. The light turned green and I drove on. It had been fun, but it wasn't fun enough to go back and do it again.

Even though the movie was awful on many levles, a part of me really enjoied watching it, reliving it. But don't get me wrong, if you have some band nerd genes (and even if you don't), it might be hard for you to suspend reality and accept the poor acting and atrocious stick heights. Don't let my inner Sousa get started on a critique...

PS: The Hater and I met on the debate team; he's equally uncool. He would argue that he's "debate cool", and if he brings this up with you, it's okay to smile and nod. Sometimes we save those we love from the complete truth.

Monday, January 23, 2006

strip tease

Now that I have your attention, if you're as socio-culturally inept as I am, you may not have been aware of the big cardio boom that's taken place over the last several months. It's no surprise that Americans want to lose weight, and likewise is it no surprise that losing weight is usually one of our most touted New Year's resolutions.

According to the American Obesity Association, approximately 127 million adults in the U.S. are overweight, 60 million obese, and 9 million severely obese. You can go to the above link for more information about calculating your BMI (body mass index) and for more widening figures about obesity. Pun intended.

With all of that said, I'm always on the lookout for a good workout video. And believe it or not, this does goes further back in time than January the 1st. I'm really proud of my small collection of yoga and pilates videos, and I think I'm pretty good at them. I'm all over some sun salutes; Namaste and such.

One of the last videos I puchased was on sale at Target. It was called Cardio Boot Camp. It moved a lot faster than I thought that it would, which made it difficult to follow. And then there was lots of jumping, and it's not that I mind jumping around... except I live on the second floor of an apartment complex and I'm sure the neighbors below me wouldn't appreciate my jumping around at 6 am. Subsequently I've not been a good cardio boot camper. (No, it wasn't an impulse buy -- who wouldn't want her body? And it was on sale!)

Meanwhile, I've been hearing about people doing pole dancing workouts, and I hear there's a place in Edmond where you can go use their poles. This really amuses me. One of my patients keeps saying that when she gets her strength back we're going to pole dance with the best of them.

I'm intrigued. If any of you know anything about this pole dancing phenomenon, please let me know. I found this website this morning, where you can buy your own pole online (with workout videos and such), but $150 is a lot of money to drop on a gadget workout.

This is probably why I dropped another $20 on Jeff Costa's Cardio Strip Tease Workouts, volume 1 and 2. If I told you I haven't gotten $20 of entertainment out of them I'd be lying. Just look at him-- and imagine him telling you to make your bedroom eyes as you crawl like a kitten on the floor.

For me there's a whole element of awkwardness involved because I don't move like those girls move. It's almost like comparing MC Hammer to Al Gore, except with a little more grace. So my California rolls don't quite roll like the girls on the tv, but it's close enough for government work. And it's still fun, which is the whole point.

My verdict: If you're looking for a big, sweaty, super cardio workout, this isn't it. But it's good times to be had once the boa hits the floor. And once I get these moves under my belt, baby, watch out. (can't touch this) Bring on the pole-

The Hater's verdict: I didn't do the workout, but I watched genderist do it. I was hoping to see more strip and less tease.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

random thoughts

Ladies and Germs,
Beeltes and Worms,
I come before you
and not behind you.
I come to tell you about something
I know nothing about.

Last night
at three o'clock this morning
an empty wagon
loaded with bricks
ran over a dead cat
and killed it.

If you don't believe
this lie is true,
just ask the blind man,
for he saw it, too.

(No idea who wrote this, but it's something that Dad would make us recite when we were driving in the car -- anywyere.)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

code blue

Are you worried about studying for your ACLS recertification?
Are you worried that you have no idea what the above means?
Don't be! Play this game instead.
(My high score is 25)

Friday, January 20, 2006


I am being so mean.

After work I stopped to get some pick-me-up for The Hater (diet Mt Dew). His mornings are kinder with some coke in his system... and while I was there I made an impulse buy, a laser pointer.

I heard that cats go wild for a laser pointer flickering across the room, but I figured that Zoloft was dork enough not to care. She doesn't care about other cat toys, so why would she like this one... but I bought it anyway.

And she's going nuts.

She hasn't figured out that I'm controlling the laser yet, which is making my job both easy and very entertaining. Every once and a while she'll look back to see if I'm watching her attack the menacing red spot, but I look away like I'm not even interested.

I don't know which of us is having more fun. Her with the laser -- or me playing this game as she's bouncing off of the walls.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

the stairs go up

There was a wrench thrown into my morning. It was like I checked my email and a Cronenberg world consumed mine. And it's not that I have anything against Cronenberg, but he is to film very much like Salvidor Dali is to impressionism.

Maybe surreal is the best word. The clocks didn't drip off of the walls, and no surprise vaginas attacked me, but it was definitely a surreal moment that consumed most of my morning.

It's like I'm a Ghostbuster.

I'm a Ghostbuster and I have a friend who isn't. Actually, he's posessed, and although he's seen other ghostbusters who specialize in posession, he's not done well with their treatment. His head is so confused and full with ectoplasm that he's not been making good, safe decisions. He wants to play with a ghostbusting gun, but doesn't realize that crossing the lines will create what is akin to a nuclear explosion. This is more than a small problem.

And he's tried to make his own containment unit on the side, but that's really dangerous and I've tried to warn him it's a bad idea. Once I even called the EPA on him because I was so worried about his tinkering with all of that electrical stuff, crossing the lines and all. I think that Gozer is leading him in the wrong direction, and all of the ectoplasm is confusing him more.

But he's in a place where he thinks that Gozer, the ghost in his head, is the only choice. He says he doesn't want to choose Gozer, but the only thing that he can think of is replaying a scene in his mind all day long where he's buildling a big containment unit that explodes. Gozer's working doubletime on him.

The email this morning led me to believe that he wants to try to build another containment unit, which worries me. The EPA told me that there was nothing else I could do. My Ghostbusting friends tell me there's nothing else I can do -- that if he wants to try to build a containment unit I can't stop him. If he buys a ghostbusting gun on ebay, I can't stop him. The Hater says the same thing.

And I guess I know that, too, but I don't really like it. I'm ready for Gozer to go away.

That's been my day. Oh, and ectoplasm stinks.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

get your grizzle on

The Hater and I have a big date tonight. After work we're going to downton OKC to an area known as Bricktown. There we're going to eat supper and then... go to the Memphis Grizzlies basketball game.

It should be big fun. The Hater says we'll probably be the only pepole there cheering against the OKC Hornets, and that's okay. But what to wear...

We tried to find some grizzle-gear online, but couldn't find anything that we really liked that could have been delivered before the game. I told him we could wear orange -- or Titans things, but he says it's not the same. He says we shouldn't mix our pro teams.

So I'm not really sure what to wear... the day hasn't really started yet and already I'm faced with a fashion dilemma. Where's my Sister when I need her? I could always count on her to pick out clothes for me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

bad habits

Zoloft has picked up a bad habit. I would say that it's a new bad habit, but she's been practicing it for about six months.... and it's starting to drive us nuts.

Zoloft was our only child. I was working 12 hour shifts at the hospital, and The Hater was going on lots of work-related trips. We would come home to a pitiful, love-hungry cat. We felt so guilty that we talked about getting a kitten, a companion for our daughter. I bought books to study the best way to introduce them into a loving relationship. I studied.

We found a sweet little orange and white kitten at PetSmart who asked us if he could come home with us. We talked about it. I continued to study. We talked to Zoloft about a little brother, and she seemed very eager to give it a try.

And try we did.

Peyton, the kitten, came home with us. He was 6 weeks old. We followed all of the instructions that I had read and slowly introduced the cats...

The kitten was smitten with us. He would runrunrun everywhere, including under our feet. He would climb up in our laps and sleep, something Zoloft hasn't done since we brought her home. He wanted to be right next to us all the time.

We fed him a half can of wet food at night. (He had all of the dry food he wanted during the day.) The stuff was like crack to him. He'd start whining, bemoaning, wailing for it early in the evening. We'd try to ignore him, wanting him to sleep through the night in his room, but the cries would get to us... we'd feed him. And when we started weaning off of the wet food? To hear him you'd think we were poking him with needles.

Zoloft was miserable. She hid under the bed. She wouldn't cuddle or let us pet her. She hissed at everything; I didn't know cats could make such awful snarl sounds. She was not a happy camper... and she hated him. We thought she'd get over it.

The Hater was on summer vacation and home all of the time. He'd meet me at the door with the kitten and hand him to me. "Oh, good, you're home. You can play with the kitten now." He would pester The Hater all day long...

It was a month and a half later. The Hater and I talked about it. I consulted the books that promised me two happy cats...

Peyton stopped using the litter box for his #2. If you didn't see him crouching in the corner, there would be a mess to clean. Zoloft never came out from under the bed. Diplomacy had gotten us nowhere.

And much to Angry Dissenter's chagrin, we took Peyton back to the 'no kill' shelter where we had adopted him. The very next day Zoloft was back to her sweet little precious self... with ringworm.

Yes, there was a purpose to this long back-story, and there is a bad habit involved. Zoloft has learned to cry. BP (before Peyton) she never never never whined; she'd chirp and purr. But now? Now she will sit at the end of the hall at night and cry and moan -- until we comply.

It was cute at first. She wanted us to come to bed... and sometimes she was right. Sometimes it was late and I needed to be reminded that I had to work the next day. But somtimes? Sometimes we want to stay up... but she doesn't get it. So she cries for everything but food, which she has to her content.

She cries when she wants us to play with her toy.
She cries when she wants us to go to bed.
She cries when it's time to get out of bed in the morning.
She cries for attention.

Peyton, the kitten, has created a monster. Angry Dissenter should be happy that the cosmos are punishing us for returning the kitten. Zoloft is a professional crybaby now.

Monday, January 16, 2006

alter ego

South Park Self-portraits...

Don't stare; she'll cry.
The Hater
He wants to be a Jedi when he grows up.

We have had way too much fun with this game tonight.
If only we had known each other in the 4th grade...

PS: Create your own SouthPark character by clicking here.

mudville for Peyton

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day,
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.

And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair.
The rest clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast.
They thought, "if only Casey could but get a whack at that.
We'd put up even money now, with Casey at the bat."

But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake;
and the former was a hoodoo, while the latter was a cake.

So upon that stricken multitude, grim melancholy sat;
for there seemed but little chance of Casey getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all.
And Blake, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball.

And when the dust had lifted,
and men saw what had occurred,
there was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
it rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;

it pounded through on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat;
for Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place,
there was pride in Casey's bearing and a smile lit Casey's face.

And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
no stranger in the crowd could doubt t'was Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt.
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.

Then, while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
defiance flashed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
and Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.

Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped --
"That ain't my style," said Casey.

"Strike one!" the umpire said.
From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
like the beating of the storm waves on a stern and distant shore.

"Kill him! Kill the umpire!" shouted someone on the stand,
and it's likely they'd have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity, great Casey's visage shone,
he stilled the rising tumult, he bade the game go on

.He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the dun sphere flew,
but Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, "Strike two!"

"Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered "Fraud!"
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.

They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
and they knew that Casey wouldn't let that ball go by again.

The sneer has fled from Casey's lip, the teeth are clenched in hate.
He pounds, with cruel violence, his bat upon the plate.

And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
and now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright.
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light.

And, somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout,
but there is no joy in Mudville -- mighty Casey has struck out.

Casey At The Bat
by Ernest L. Thayer

Sunday, January 15, 2006

let's play tag

I didn’t much like playing Tag. I was more of a Hide-and-Seek kind of girl. Or Sardines; I really liked playing Sardines… But I’ve been tagged by Vol Abroad… and so I oblige:

5 JOBS YOU’VE HAD IN YOUR LIFE: (1) Substitute Teacher for the Lawrence County School System, (2) String writer for the Democrat-Union, (3) ROTC cadet summer of 2001, (4) Volunteer assistant debate coach (and although I didn’t technically get paid for it, I worked hard enough to call it a job), (5) I’m going to lump all of my nursing stuff under this one--from the ICU to psychiatric nursing to an oncology clinic, it’s been good to me.

5 MOVIES YOU COULD WATCH OVER AND OVER: (1) Chicago, (2) Monsters, Inc, (3) The Princess Bride, (4) Dawn of the Dead (the original), (5) the Indiana Jones movies.

5 PLACES YOU’VE LIVED: (1) Summertown, TN, (2) Lawrenceburg, TN, (3) Ft Knox, KY, (4) Murfreesboro, TN, in the following dormitories: Corlew, Cummings, Wood, Felder, Deere, and Beasley Halls (5) OKC, OK

5 TV SHOWS YOU LOVE TO WATCH: (1) House – it had to grow on me, but it’s my favorite now, (2) Angel – because everybody has a soft place in their heart for vampires, (3) the Simpsons, reruns or new shows, (4) Chalk Zone and Cartoon Network on the days where life around me is just a little to real, (5) Monday Night Football.

5 PLACES YOU’VE BEEN ON VACATION: (1) Rattlesnake Falls and Niagra Falls (2) Disney World—Epcot was my favorite, (3) Montana – saw some of Glacier National Park, which I’d like to visit again with more time, (4) Alaska’s Inside Passage, (5) home.

5 WEBSITES YOU VISIT DAILY: (1) Google and/or Gmail, (2) this blog, (3) CNN, (4) addicting games, which I don’t visit every single day, but is a great way to kill time, (5) the weather channel’s website. And my favorite blogs, of course, which I get to visit at least every other day if not daily.

5 OF YOUR FAVORITE FOODS: (1) okra, (2) sweet potatoes, (3) pizza, (4) Kleeman’s chicken on eggbread the way Nana cooks it, (5) just about anything chocolate, especially dark chocolate.

5 PLACES YOU’D RATHER BE: (1) helping the Colts play better against the Steelers, (2) worrying about what we were going to do with the 900 million dollars we just won from playing powerball, (3) signing autographs at my book-signing thrown by Barnes and Noble, (4) shopping with Sister, (5) looking for a job because somebody found the cure for all cancers.

5 ALBUMS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: (1) Eva Cassidy’s Live at Blues Alley, (2) the Magnolia soundtrack (Aimee Mann), (3) James Taylor’s Pull Over, (4) the songs on The Hater’s Ipod that I like, not to be confused with the other 70% of the songs he plays, (5) Marrianne Beard’s Greatest Hits. (with special props to KOMA FM radio)

(1) Angry Dissenter, (2) Unequivocal Prowess, (3) Jane, (4)The Hater, (5) Andrew, who says that he reads my blog, but never posts anything because he’s a dork like his brother.

The Hater's List

1. grocery store clerk/stock boy
2. hydra pools factory worker
3. Goody’s clothing store, customer service associate
4. graduate assistant
5. teacher

1. Shawshank Redemption
2. The Big Lebowski
3. Rounders
4. Magnolia
5. Friday the 13th (the first one)

1. Englewood, TN
2. Sweetwater, TN
3. Murfreesboro, TN
4. Edmond, OK
5. OKC, OK

1. Seinfeld
2. Star Trek
3. X Files
4. House
5. Sportscenter/ PTI

1. Daytona Beach, FL
2. Los Angelas, CA
3. Missoula, Montana
4. Alaskan cruise
5. Vegas / Grand Canyon

1. Google
2. the Drudge Report
3. the Raw Story
4. my wife’s blog/ other blogs
5. ESPN’s website

1. my wife’s cornbread dressing
2. my wife’s baked potatoes
3. good hummus
4. teriyaki steak at Chinese or Japanese restaurants
5. country biscuits and gravy, country ham/pork tenderloin

5 PLACES YOU’D RATHER BE: (interpreted: where I’d rather live)
1. somewhere around Nashville
2. somewhere around Memphis
3. Vegas
4. Tempe, Arizona
5. Somewhere where the football teams I like always play well……that’s definitely not reality.

1. Counting Crows, Films about Gosts
2. Kanye West, The College Dropout
3. The Eagles, Hell Freezes Over
4. Todd Sinder, Near Truths and Hotel Rooms…
5. Immortal Technique, The Revolutionary Vol. 2

Saturday, January 14, 2006

dinner party

Don't be confused. It'll probably be more of a party than it is dinner. Really it'll be a a supper-gathering-drinking-game-playing-get-together, but dinner party has a nicer ring to it.

We're going to have my favorite Nana Soup, baked apples, and salad... and a bottle of pinot noir. I've cleaned; there's still clutter, but it wouldn't be *our* apartment without it.

The Hater doesn't understand that we're going to put a plate under the soup bowl. I told him that we would use it because soup drips. He doesn't get it, but that' s okay. We have a dish washer, so it's not like he's going to have to wash them...

Which made me think of this picture. This way if you want to have a real dinner party, here's an idea of how to set the table. My table will look nothing like this tonight. However, my mother-in-law has a more detailed picture that I'm sure she'd be glad to share with you if you want more intricate table-settig instructions.

She likes to impress her mother-in-law, too, who has a master's degree from UT in home economics (and taught there, too). Every fork must be in its place when she comes over. I think that's why The Hater and I get to use the special chart to set the table when we visit and we know Granny's going to be there.

One of the last times we visited The Hater's parents, his Mother was very worried about where to eat supper -- at the kitchen table or in the dining room. I voted for the kitchen, and told her that she didn't need to do anything special for us. I told her we'd rather spend our time visiting than washing china and silver.

We ate in the dining room. She said, "Sometimes you do things for your mother-in-law."

Point taken. But I told The Hater that we would be eating in the kitchen with the everyday china and stainless steel. She'd be lucky if we used cloth napkins... We were really amused by the whole thing. Quietly amused, but amused nonetheless.

My last table-setting story: I won a 4-H blue ribbon in demonstration for a "how to set the table" speech and display. At least, I think that I did. It could have been Sister's speech. Either way, one of us won a blue ribbon for setting the table with very fancy plasticware.

So anyway, if you're around tonight and you're hankering some Nana Soup, come on over.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Thursday, January 12, 2006

homemade lotion recipe

I feel like I've been hoarding a great secret. Actually, I've tried to tell several people about this recipe, but everybody I've told has turned their nose up at me. Not because it's stinky lotion either. Actually, if you'll scratch and sniff your computer screen here you'll look about as dumb as the people who haven't tried to make my lotion yet.

It's not really my lotion recipe. I work with a nurse who gave the recipe to me. One of her patients gave it to her. This nurse (the one with whom I work) has worked in Hospice for years and years before she came to the clinic. The family that shared the recipe with her was taking care of a lady who was bedridden for almost ten years. They found this recipe somewhere and made this lotion -- which kept her from ever getting one bedsore.

Now lotion alone won't keep people from getting bedsores. People who are bedridden need extra special care helping with position changes at least every two hours and getting clean after they use the bedpan. Lotion can't be substituted for that kind of TLC... but it's still a great supplement for skin.

So if the winter drys you out-- if you work somewhere that you have to wash your hands all of the time -- if you're ready for those yucky callouses on your heels to go away -- if you just want an excuse to make a mess -- if you'd like to go where no man has boldly gone before -- if you just like lotion -- if you like to play with the hand mixer -- if you just want to -- if you dare -- etc, etc -- Go ahead and make the lotion already.

All of the following ingredients can be purchased at Family Dollar in the lotion/hygiene section for a dollar each. (This is not to be confused with the Dollar Store.) You'll need the following ingredients, a big mixing bowl, hand mixer, and lots of little jars to put the new lotion. I ended up putting the excess in a big gallon-sized sandwich bag. But if you want to be more couth than that, get some baby jars or something. You can reuse the smaller containers that vaseline comes in, too...

My Fancy Lotion Recipe
2 jars store-brand Vitamin E cream
2 store-brand baby lotion bottles
1 jar of the store-brand vaseline
1. Dump above into a large mixing bowl. I found
that cutting apart the baby lotion bottles helped me to get a bunch more of it
out. And get a bigger mixing bowl than you think you're going to need or
it'll be messier than you thought.
2. Mix. Don't overheat the hand-mixer.
3. Put the new lotion that you made all by yourself
into little jars. You can reuse the vitamin e cream jars and vaseline jar
again. Or you can buy fancy jars at an antique store...
4. Apply to skin. It absovbs quickly. For
best results, apply after bathing. For dry, cracked heels apply after
bathing and before bedtime (sleep in socks).
5. Tell me how great it is.
Yes, it's really that easy. Now go make it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

that generation

I'd say that almost half of the patients I work with are old-old people. Three-fourths of the next half are probably young-old people. The remainder are young people closer to my age. This is important to know because that means I have to tailor my teaching to a wide age range. I can't make technological metaphors with the old-old people. Likewise I wouldn't talk to young people about playing dominoes. It's part of my gig.

There's one old-old lady in particular who I remember from yesterday. I've been treating her since I changed jobs back in August. And like any patient, we talk about whatever she wants to talk about while I'm accessing her infusaport. Unfortunately for me she always wants to talk about my skin.

"Honey, what are we doing about your pimples?"

This is really none of her business. My attempts are always thwarted to change the subject.

I'm not really sure how to react to this because I keep thinking about it on different levels. For one, every time I see her I ask a series of questions before we initiate chemotherapy. This includes how her bowels are moving. Maybe she thinks that since I know all of her diarrhea and constipation stories, I want to share my obvious oubreaks with her, too.

Next, she's an old-old person. I know lots of old-old people who know everything about every subject. Maybe she's just in the time of her life where she wants to pass on all of her learned knowledge to those of us who have not yet earned our gray hair.

There has to be an air of diplomacy about this whole thing because this is all happening at the place where I work. This means I can't be totally honest with her. I can't just say it's none of her business. So usually I just do what I have to do and don't tarry to be social.

This is exactly what happened again yesterday. As I was walking away she was making a comment about how she should have ironed her pants better yesterday. I told her that she didn't have to get all gussied up to come see me. She made some sort of comment how you were supposed to always iron everything before you left the house. I told her that if you take clothes out of the dryer as soon as it's finished and hang them up, nobody would be able to tell the difference.

My mistake was making a young person statement to an old-old person.

She raised her voice. "I forget that you're from that generation." Then she proceeded to talk loud enough so that everybody in the room could hear her. This includes the old-old person I work with who thinks that the internet is evil.

I ignore them while they talk about spending hours of the week ironing clothes. They make fun of young people because they "don't take pride" in themselves. They talk about how young people are all the same. They decide that old-old people are the greatest in the world and isn't medicare great.

For the record I know how to use an iron. I iron stuff when I'm going someplace nice. But work? I wear scrubs; ironing them doesn't make them look any nicer. And they better be glad that they're old-old people, because if they were young-old people or young people I would have been forced to argue with them.

And old-old people aren't ready for the argument I wanted to have. And I didn't want to make them stroke. So I ignored them.

And next week when she comes back we'll go through the same routine all over agian...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

draft excitement

It would be another run-of-the mill, not so exciting day to report, except that The Hater is really excited about the news regarding the NFL draft. Please bear with me whlie I try to translate...

1. The TN Titans have the third draft pick. This is our reward for winning four games this season. (Before you get excited and try to make *only* four wins jokes, remember that we were the youngest team in the NFL. And most of the WR and DBs were all young, too, and showed much improvement as the season progressed.)

2. There are some very talented players in the draft this year. The four most talented, according to The Hater, are Reggie Bush (RB) from USC, Matt Lineart (QB) from USC, Vince Young (QB) from Texas, and AJ Hawk (LB) from Ohio State.

3. Houston Texans will probably take Reggie . The Hater says that's pretty much for sure for the most part.

4. New Orleans Saints will take either Matt or Vince. He thinks they'll take Matt because he's a really good pocket QB with a strong arm.

5. This means the Titans will probably take Vince or Matt. He also says they might try to trade down to take AJ, but he doesn't think they'll do that.

6. Either way, the Titans will get a great pick with either of the QBs. McNair only has a year or two left, if he resigns with the Titans, so it's time to bring in a prodigee.

7. Steve McNair and Vince are buddies. Rumor has it that Steve has been trying to lobby the Titans to draft Vince so they could share time until Vince was ready to play.

And The Hater is excited. And he wants to say that he's excited we'll have a high second round pick, too. And that's all...

For the record, I'm a big Titan fan, too. And although I don't get as excited about the draft hoopla as The Hater does, I did have the schedule proudly taped to the refrigerator. And we watched all of their games that Uglyhoma televised.

But that doesn't make me less of a Peyton Manning fan. He'll always be my #16 wearing orange and white, directing the band playing Rocky Top... so when they play each other we root for the Titans to win, but for Peyton to play a great game.

If we saw that game in Tennessee, I'd be forced to wear orange with my navy... and The Hater says that's okay.

let it snow

It's no joke that Uglyhoma has been needing some precipitation. The fires aren't kidding around, and several of my coworkers reported fires within a mile of their home over the weekend.

I've been thinking that a gentle rain for a couple of days would be nice. A hard thunderstorm wouldn't be nice --- and would not make friends with the warm front we've had --- and tornadoes don't play well with others. So imagine my eureka when I noticed that it's snowing outside this morning.

There's about an inch and a half of the white stuff on my patio. The cars are coated, but it doesn't look like the parking lot is icy. And I can see the main drag from here, which doesn't appear to be icy either.

And there's a part of me that will always think that snow is exciting. We've turned on the school closings to relive the childlike hope that the city will be closed. No such luck.

Monday, January 09, 2006

dorm woebegone

Here are some random thoughts and memories about living in the dormitories. I'm somewhat of an expert on this because I had almost twenty semesters of experience under my belt.

* If you were a glutton for punishment and took summer classes, there was never any hot water. Or you had to hike to the gym with your shower stuff if you wanted to take a hot shower.

* Dorm food sucked. It didn't take long to figure out that you really didn't want a meal plan. However, I knew of lots of people who would steal plates, cups, trays and silverware out of Corlew Cafeteria for their personal collection. Or to play frisbee.

* Freshmen dorms. Enough said.

* RAs who liked to leave notes next to the elevator. I was most amused by RAs who could not write a paragraph... on more than one occasion I would correct their notes with a red pen, then slide them back under their door.

* Community bathrooms. Or --- one "good" shower out of six, and if you were there at the wrong time, you'd have to use the "bad" shower. Also, the random dirty things you'd find in the shower -- panties, toothbrushes, other people's poo, etc.

* Mandatory dorm meetings.

* Lobby rats. These are the people who had nothing better to do than sit in the lobby and watch the big-screen.

* The Hater says: RAs who made no effort to stop idiots from playing music very loud at 3am during finals week.

* The washer/dryer in the dorm. If you didn't sit with your clothes, people would put crayons in the dryer.

* Idiot neighbors who would spit tobacco in the hallway. (Another Hater addition)

* I didn't hate it, but I was amused by my neighbors who hid a cat all semester. I also knew of several people who hid gerbils and hamsters. I hid a fish, which doesn't sound nearly as exciting; his name was Fluffy.

* Opposite-gender curfew rules. You had to check them out by midnight -- OR ELSE hellfire and brimstone would rain down over campus!

* You had to move out of your room 5 hours after your last final on Christmas break, or it would cost you an extra $400. Or, if you were moving out for the summer, you had 24 hours to move. Although it would make sense that you wouldn't have to move if you had to move into the new dorm two days later -- you'd still have to move out, truck your stuff somewhere else, then bring it back to move for the summer.

* No candles or incense. And no alcohol. Of course we never broke those rules.

* I'm channeling Angry Dissenter for this one: the very annoying Housing lady who worked in the office. She was the most unhelpful person on campus. He'd be much more colorful about her than I am -- so maybe if you prod him, he'll tell you about it.

* The stale sweat smell that never left the halls.

* Tornado warnings where you had to sit in the lobby with a hundred other sweaty people for hours. And if you tried to leave, they'd threaten you. Those of us who got smarter would just hide in our rooms and not answer the door when they knocked.

* Likewise the fire drills. Especially when idiots pulled them at 3am during finals week... see the above 'smarter' statement. I learned to hide from the alarms and almost sleep through them.

* Living on the third floor of a dorm without an elevator.

* Parking. Not necessarily dorm-oriented, but it sucked to bring back groceries and have to park a half mile away. Then lug them across campus. You learned to buy things that didn't weigh much -- like ramen noodles.

I'm sure that more will come to me, but for now that's all I've got for you.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

random story

One of my first college roomates had two big posters on her side of the room: marilyn manson and garth brooks. I made her move marilyn because I couldn't handle that face as the first thing I saw in the morning.

She had a thing for Garth. A serious thing for Garth. One day she told me how she was really his biggest fan (literally and figuratively) and how she would probably quit school early so that she could marry him.

Isn't he already married?, I asked, because I was pretty sure that he was. I thought they even had kids...She lunged towards me and she shot me with a death look. "He might be now, but he'd leave her for me. I'd kill for him."


Incidently, I went out and bought the most obnoxious School House Rock poster, a big smiley face poster, and a precious moments poster for her to look at every morning...

The end.

* This post was originally my comment on Nicolemart's blog (see Starboard), but after thinking about it I decided it was a good story and worthy of reposting here.

What's your best bad roomate story? I could go on this string for a long time.

Friday, January 06, 2006


This in itself is an excellent reason to do the happy dance - all day.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


The Hater says I should write a post about the TN Titans getting the #3 draft pick. Although I like to watch football games, watching the draft is about the most boring thing in the world for me, next to baseball. So this is paragraph is for him.

Meanwhile, I got a random call at work today. It was a lady who manages a chemotherapy clinic downtown -- a different company -- calling to offer me a job. It was exciting and odd all at the same time. This call while my boss was standing behind me, the caller said, "Is you boss standing behind you?" Well, that's about right, I said. She gave me her pager number and said she was very interested in me getting back in touch with her to interview for their full-time position. How exciting -- to be wanted!

I wish I could share these vibes with some friends of mine. They need nibbles worse than me.

I'm tired; that's the end of my story.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

10 inches

Meanwhile, I was thinking that I only had 8 inches of hair to grow to donate to Locks of Love, but it turns out that they need a minimum of 10 inches. That's a lot of hair!

I have a bad habit of chopping my hair about chin-length, then growing it for a while, then doing it all over again. It's a vicious cycle, but it's worked for me. I'm really getting the hang of pony tails, french braids, french-braided pig-tails, and the barettes back --- and that's about it. I'm very hair-boring.

And I'm getting tired of my hair again, getting the itch to cut it. I'm lacking between 2-3 inches more to go in order to have chin-length hair after the big chop. It might be mid-summer before I can donate.

That's where I am with the hair-thing. This is your update. For more info click the thing below.

beware the evil

So today I was at work, sharing with one of my coworkers about the boobiethon I mentioned in an earlier post. I was just telling her about these people who wanted to raise money for the Komen foundation, and that was about as far as I'd gotten, when one of my other coworkers made me very angry.

She said that people shouldn't steal money. I asked her if she had heard of this group, and she hadn't, which obviously meant it was evil. She yelled at me and said that nobody that has a web page can be trusted. I asked her if it would be different if they had talked about it on the Today Show, to which she replied -- yes, but only if they didn't have a web page. Apparently nothing on the web can be trusted.

I tried to not let it bother me. I tried to accept her as a 65+ old lady who hadn't quite left the last century. I tried really hard. Really, I did.

And then she said, "You just can't trust anybody."

The lady with whom I was originally talking said, but don't you remember when I hosted a poker run for the American Cancer Society? How is that different?

Because you are trustworthy, she said.

But she wouldn't agree that there are other trustworthy people in the world. And those who were trustworthy would never ask for money over the internet. She shook her finger in my face.
And then she bad-mouthed all public agencies that raise money for people, including the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the American Cancer Society... and those were just a few of the ones she called by name. We were shocked, jaw-dropping shock. The other lady tried to argue with her, but I just made smartass comments, like how our web-based scheduling must be evil, too. How every retail store had a webpage, so they must be evil... and both CNN and FOX news have webpages, too. How everything that touched the web must be evil.

Hell, even Human Rights Watch has a webpage. I told her the Better Business Bureau had a webpage, then asked her if having a webpage meant that they only supported evil companies. See? Even reliving this incident is making me angry. Imagine being there in real life.

I didn't even mention that most churches have webpages, too. I thought she might not appreciate me really pointing out her errors via something she understood. And that's the thing... trying to keep her from getting upset and having a stroke.

I found something else to do to keep my smartass comments to myself. But it steamed me.

So for the little old lady who has happened upon this webpage: Honest, I'm not dishonest. I'm not asking you for money. I'm not even asking you to take pictures of your bare breasts and email them to the boobiethon. I'm not asking you to run in a Komen Race for the Cure marathon. I'm not asking you to save yogurt lids or box tops. I'm not even asking you to care.

I'm just saying that this was a neat idea. And if you're of the mind to help people, that rocks.

Just don't say that the *entire* internet is untrustworthy. That's just stupid.


Now that I have your attention...

If you'll let your eyes wander to the Starboard side of this blog, you'll notice a new link. I was wandering around other blogs last night when I came across it -- and I'm so very impressed.

You can click the above picture for a direct link to the Boobie-Thon webpage. Once there you can see how a couple of people easily amused can raise thousands of dollars for breast cancer research.

Go ahead and start planning your pose for this year. I dare you.

broken owie

My olacrenon process is on fire. This statement is more figurative than literal.

Yesterday was so special that I'm pretty sure I have broken a bone to show for it. After lunch I was working like a little Trojan when out of nowhere I went to do deaccess a port and whacked my dear elbow against the corner of a side table.

Now before you say that hitting your funny bone isn't funny, let me tell you this had nothing to do with my funny bone. Funny bone injuries shoot a shocky-pain down your hand. This made my whole arm go numb and did not once give me the urge to laugh. Instead I went to the pharmacy and said some very ugly words and tried not to cry or throw up.

And did I mention that it was such a talented whack that it bled? I proudly wore a purple bandaid for the rest of the day. I was for sure that it would feel better today, despite that I had a hard time finding a comfortable spot to sleep last night that wouldn't mash it.

But it doesn't feel better. Although the throbby pain has slightly subsided, it still hurts like a mug. When I press on it the dull ache returns, and I don't like it one bit.

It's broken, at least fractured. I'm sure of it. But I'm not going to go to the ER -- because they'd make funny bone jokes and tell me I should take better care of my olacrenon process. And then they'd say I should just quit whacking it on side tables and there wouldn't be any problem.

And I can tell all that stuff to myself for a fraction of the price.

So today I lump it. I put some triple antibiotic ointment on the mini-gash, and I think I'll wear a bandaid today for moral support.

Today's lesson? Be more graceful than me. And the next time someone shows you their owie, don't poke at it and ask if it sill hurts. That's just mean.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

sleepy p p

The day hasn't really started yet and I'm already tired. Almost exhausted. I'm ready for a nap.

The office wasn't officially open yesterday, which means that there weren't any official treatments given, which means that we'll be playing catch-up for the remainder of the week. Such is the price for being off for a holiday... and although I've really enjoied being off for holidays, I'm ready to get back to the regular, boring, run-of-the-mill regular days.

Usually we'll see anywhere between 20-30 people during the day. Some of these people will get shots, some will get treatments, some phlebotomies, and some just come in for us to look at them and tell them to go home. But today we have 20+ people on the treatment list alone, which leads me to believe that we'll have anywhere between 40-50 people today. Which means I'll come home and zonk...

Too bad I can't just skip the middle part, the part where I actually go to work and do stuff, and just go back to bed now. In many ways that makes more sense to me.

Monday, January 02, 2006

fire, fire go away

Yesterday I was mildly concerned. We left the apartment go to see a movie and the sky outside was full of smoke. Uglyhoma is in a crazy dry spell, but we had thought that the big fires weren't near us. Yet the sky was grey, the 40mph wind made my eyes burn, and there were news helicopters circling around our neighborhood. It was all very exciting.

I was slightly concerned. The Hater said I was 'freaking out', but it wasn't quite like that. I just didn't want Zoloft to turn into kitty BBQ while we were at the movies. Nothing like that happened, so that's good. And today we went south of our little niche to find that there was a field that burned about two blocks away. We figure that was the cause of the smoke and whistles we saw.

But it's interesting to turn on the TV and have the little OK state divided up in counties under a color-coded system. That in itself isn't interesting -- I'm used to seeing tornado watch or tornado warnings or thunderstorm warnings -- or even flood warnings. However, seeing "high fire risk" and "moderate fire risk" color-codings were just too strange.

Meanwhile, we need rain. So if you're in to the whole raindance thing, please please please see what you can do about our little drought and fire-thing. We'd be much appreciative.

And special thanks to all of the volunteer firefighters who have come from such great states as Tennessee and Alabama to help put out the wildfires around here. We appreciate you, too.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

random e-greetings

So I've finished my first official 2006 project. Of course I have oodles of 2005 projects that I've not finished yet, but that's not the point... today we're concentrating on today.

I've abused the free Hallmark ecard site. And now several of my friends will receive holiday emails all year long. Mother's Day, check. Thanksgiving, check. Haiku Day, check. All of my checks are checked. And now, come hail or high water, they'll get their holiday ecards. How exciting.

The next project? I plan to continue to ignore the mess in the kitchen and clean clothes that need to be put up in the bedroom. It's definitely a plan.