Wednesday, February 28, 2007


It's both very exciting and very boring right now, but I've just been continuing my usual meetings and things for now. Hospital orientation officially begins next week, so the rest of this week I'll just be following people and trying to look like I know what's going on.

I went to another Sweet Adeline meeting last night and had a great time. Unfortunately I've been calculating the expense of joining and fees, and I'm thinking it's going to be too much money to spend for a hobby. So my eyes are open for other options for now.

The Hater and I are excited about the weekend. We're planning some plans and look forward to being together (no work stuff this weekend!!). For now we just have a few plans, but I'm sure by Friday we'll have the weekend planned to the hilt (with sufficient time allocated for laundry, of course).

Other than that, we still strive to spoil the cat. She's been especially goofy the last couple of days. If only we could all live such a privileged life.

Monday, February 26, 2007

first day

This first day was one for the history books; it was really awesome. C'est le creme:
  • I was taken on a tour of the construction zone that will be the new cancer center. It's mostly dry wall with open ceilings and drawn places on the floor where desks and built-ins will go, but it looks like it's really going to be awesome and have plenty of space for lots of different needs. It should officially open late April.
  • While walking around with my boss we ran into several nurses who I already knew. One particular nurse I ran into was a student when I still worked at the hospital. We were excited to see each other again. She told my boss that I was "the best nurse she'd ever seen" and the reason she became an oncology nurse. It was probably the best professional compliment I've ever received. The Hater says that in debate terms I have good "cancer credibility" in the city.
  • My orientation will be more fluid than rigid over the next few weeks, which I'm really going to like. I'm going to have lots of opportunities to work and orient with lots of different people within the hospital, which is exciting.
  • I have stellar vibes about this job. After I went to the LiveSTRONG Summit last fall I thought it would be neat to find a job focused around survivorship issues and needs, but I was sure it didn't exist in this city. Even when I applied for this job I had no idea how survivorship-focused it would be, but now the clouds are clearing and I see that support and survivorship are the MAJOR goals of the entire center. And I'll have the opportunity to help shape the things that we're going to do, which is exciting, too. It's going to be great experience to work in a part of the hospital that isn't expected to make any money, much less turn a profit.
That's the long and short of it. It went well and I'm excited. I'm tired, but excited.

Meanwhile, tonight I've received an email from a coworker at the job I left. She said it was a bad day, that Harrison and I could come back to work now. I do think that it's sad that many times people aren't appreciated for the work they do until they leave.

I've put another base coat on the liquid-nails-on-canvas project. Still no ideas as to what I'll do over it... if I want more colors, what colors to use, what pattern (if any), but I do think it needs something else. I'll sleep on it until this weekend and see what comes to me. By all means, if you dream up something fancy, let me know!

Sunday, February 25, 2007


We just heard news that another friend has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. (Actually, it's a granddaughter of a friend of the family, which makes her a friend by default.) She's 22 and sees the doctor this Friday to discuss surgery, treatment and options. I've forwarded my contact info and hope that she calls me, but she might not want to talk, and I understand that. It's scary any way you cut it. But I'm here if she's interested... as are several other thycan's out there who I know would bend over backwards to give any new gal a pat on the back and good vibrations.

Other than that we've just been taking it easy this weekend. The Hater had another tournament this weekend, but has enjoyed today, his first day off in almost three weeks, by helping with laundry and watching movies. Four loads later we're watching Rounders while we wait for the DVR to get us far enough into the Academy Awards so that we can fast-forward through the commercials and the acceptance speeches.

Between folding and swapping loads I've also been working on my current art project. I'm reinterpreting a painting that I had painted for a friend. She wasn't impressed with it, so I went out and bought some caulking to see what damage I could do with it. I didn't even repaint over the first project. But I've made a nice, 3D word on the canvas... which I really like. I then bought a can of ceiling spray stuff to make the rest of it bumpy. It's all dried and I've since painted it a soft, mossy green. I've got some polyurethane for the final step, but I've not decided if I want to put more color on it or not. Do I want to stick with the less is more framework or do I want to add some more color? (and if I do, how do I want to add it?) I'll sleep on it tonight and see how the week ahead changes the plan.

That's right! Tonight is the eve of my new job; the change is bittersweet. I'm really excited about tomorrow and have already mentally laid out my wardrobe. I don't know yet if it'll be a scrub-job or a professional-clothes-job, but I imagine that will be explained to me soon enough. I'll show up in scrubs and play it by ear. Mostly that's my plan for everything the job encompasses... so tonight I'm just hoping that I can catch on to the tune, preferably not in the key of dissonance.

I'm excited about the idea of an office. Not so much that it's a space for stuff, but in the nursing world it's more significant than that. Rezoned project with caulking is something that may go in there, if I figure out how to finish it. I've been looking around at art and things for this office, but haven't bought anything yet. I guess I want to feel the space before I fill it.

And that's all of the drama in our house tonight. We're really in the process of squeezing ten more hours out of weekend vacation into three more hours of night. Such is life.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

wind from the East

Like something is brewing, about to begin... *

It's been crazy windy the last couple of days. The thunderstorms and hail the meteorologists promised haven't delivered. The sky has been dusty brown for two days.

We need rain.

* all props to Mary Poppins

Friday, February 23, 2007


The week's finally over, and I couldn't be more relieved. To celebrate, I'm going to bed.

Yes, Sister, I know it's early... but I'm tard. I'm sitting on a cactus and too tard to move.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

over and back

My alarm clock is set to turn on the radio when it alarms. I like one of the local oldies stations, "KOMA", so usually I can count on knowing the song that orders me out of bed into the productive world of work. This morning they were talking about women's college basketball and how the local university teams were doing. I turned it off, bemoaning the morning, and proceeded with my morning routine.

In the shower I started thinking about playing basketball. I played in a youth league as a kid, but I was no Pistol Pete. I really like to watch basketball games -- live -- tv basketball tends to make me to go sleep. I especially like watching high school basketball, most especially Wildcat games with my uncle who has a designated seat behind the team.

And, lo, a memory:

When I was working on my degree in education I really wanted to find some way to make me a really marketable teacher. After all, good looks and charm can only get a girl so far. I studied the course catalog and was excited to find a class that I knew would land me the perfect middle school English-teaching gig.

That's right. I signed up for a class called Coaching Women's Basketball. It was a lower level credit and I really thought that I would be able to figure it out. After all, I'd watched all kinds of basketball games...

The first day I walked in and there were seven people in the class. They obviously knew each other because they had all been talking and then went silent when I took a seat. They looked at me. I looked at them. For a girl I'm tall, but they were mammoth. I was fit*, but they were built. Something was wrong with this picture.

Then the teacher came into the room and looked at me like I was lost. He said, "This is the coaching basketball class." I nodded. I was in the right place, if only literally and not figuratively. My behemoth classmates talked to the young teacher like they all knew each other.

He handed out the syllabus and explained what we would do and be responsible for in the class. He said we would be watching a lot of tapes of the games and discuss plays and such. He went on, but the whole time he was talking, he was mostly looking at me, and I'm sure it wasn't because of my good looks and personal charm.

We went around the room and told each other what we wanted out of the class. As I had expected, my companions were all actively playing basketball for the university. When it was my turn to speak I told them about coaching middle school basketball. They looked at each other and nodded, making faces that implied I wouldn't be setting the curve on those exams.

After I'd finished the day's studies I went back to my dorm room and dropped the class, the only class I dropped the whole time I was at MTSU. It wasn't meant to be, but it makes a good story!
I should have known to be wary of those things basketball. The year before I had taken a Foreign Literature in Translation class. I wrote a stellar paper that was a big basketball analogy. It was beautiful. I compared the journey that the protagonist of the story made and the reactions of his family and friends to basketball plays and fouls. It was one of the papers I was most proud to turn in... but, lo, my professor did not understand basketball. I made a C on an A+ paper. Subsequently, I did not make any other sports metaphors on further assignments.

And now? The Hater and I play basketball video games. I love to play the zone under the basket. We are a devastating force to beat. We're currently bringing Creighton to its glory, and hoping for an opportunity to move to a midmajor school soon.

My last second three-pointer just swished the net. Sweet.

* That was the same semester where I did 950 consecutive sit-ups in a weight-lifting class.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

time time time

I'm not so sure if your last two weeks at a place makes things more obvious to you, or if it's time itself, or if it's just the knowledge of change to come (20/20)... but whatever it is, today has been nothing but proof positive that it is time for me to leave. It was time three months ago; now it's time time time.

Is it just me, or does the word "time" look funny the third time you type it?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

short story

I've been chastised for a lack of posting the past few days. The Hater's been gone and I've been busying myself with things around the apartment. Very exciting stuff, I assure you. I have so many quart bags of frozen beans that we're sure to have healthy hearts soon enough!

Today I completed the first part of my employee physical at the new job. They did a TB test and a urine drug screen. I filled out a mountain of paper work and they copied all of my most important documents. And I passed their all-nursing test, which I didn't even know about until I showed up to fill out paperwork. (Oh, and are you taking the test today, too?)

me: What test?
her: You know, the nursing test.
me: I'm not going to be giving drugs, are you sure I have to take it?
her: Let me check. (checks) Yes, you do. Do you want to take it today?
me: How many chances do I have to pass it?
her: Two.
me: Yeah, I'll give her a go. If it doesn't work out I'll prepare for it and try it again when I come back to have my TB test read.
her: You sure?

I was sure. I was sure that if I had known about it, I would've gotten less sleep than I hadn't been getting. I never had test anxiety before nursing school, but among other things I also polished that fine art. No need to worry, I passed with flying colors.

One quick thought before I have to go pick up The Hater at the airport:

In nursing school I had to learn how to calculate IV drips as if there were no pumps to infuse things. I bucked at the idea then, too, because all hospitals have pumps now. Five years later, I've not had to calculate drips since nursing school, but I had several questions on this test as to how you calculate drip rates manually. I think there's a problem with this picture. It's a standard now across this country to use "pumps" (which calculate millileters/hour, not drips/minute); why is it that our tests do not reflect that?

I am proud to note that nowhere did it ask me how often you are supposed to replace the hay on which people are laying or how often you should open the window so that the air should circulate the hospital barn; thank you, Florence Nightengale.

Meanwhile, I'm not so sure how to feel about changing jobs. I'm excited about it, but more at peace with the idea of a move. But I hate to leave my coworkers where I am now... I really do. I feel bad, like I'm pimping my wares to the highest bidder, a corporate hoar. But you might as well get paid for the work you do; which makes it economics, stupid.*

More to come as this story develops. Also, I'm on my way to pick up The Hater! Zoloft and I are really excited... even if she's so very excited that she exhausted herself into a napping ball at my feet.

* Thanks, Bush Senior! I can name one good thing that came from your Presidency!

Saturday, February 17, 2007


The Hater is still out of town, which has left Zoloft and me to entertain ourselves...

We had planned to sleep in this morning, but someone called the house at 8:06 am. They obviously don't know the "not before noon" weekend rule. I didn't answer and they didn't leave a message. Alas, I was awake, as was the kitty.

I went to the mall and used a gift certificate for a massage that The Hater had given me for Christmas. It was awesome. I then hit Victoria's Secret and cashed in some more gift cards and bought Sister a fancy honeymoon doo-dah. I also found some perfume and lipstick that I just couldn't live without.

Zoloft was glad to see me come back home. We watched a couple of movies and further declared our boredom. Presently she's calling me to bed, and I think I'll comply. I'll cuddle up with 'The Ticklish Subject' and we'll both be snoring in no time.

Friday, February 16, 2007

bright and early

Somehow we FUBAR'd the alarm clock last night, which was a problem because The Hater had to get up early this morning... which also means I had to get up early this morning. Neither of us slept well, which is typical for the days when you worry that you're going to sleep too late.

We've been up since about 3:40 am this morning. We left the apartment (where it was 12 degrees outside with a nipply wind) an hour later and headed to the airport. After I dropped him off to go play in New England's snow it was about 5:30 and I was awake. I did what anybody would do who was already up and dressed:

If I went shopping now, there'd be no lines! There'd be nobody bumping into my buggy! What a fabulous idea!!! So I went grocery shopping to pick up a few last baby things for an upcoming shower (and some standards that we needed, too). I came home and spread out all of the loot on the kitchen table. I've since straightened the kitchen and cleaned the humidifier.

Three of my major weekend to-dos have already been done, and that excites me. The Hater will be back Tuesday, so I have plenty of time to come up with more exciting things to do before he comes back home.

The real question you should be asking is what's the over/under on gallons of caffiene I'll have to consume to make it until 5pm. It's going to be a long day in my world.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

fa sol la

I'm not the next American Idol,
and I'm hardly a diva...

But I sure did have fun tonight at one of the local Sweet Adeline meetings. The three-hour practice was intense, but we went over several pieces where I started to get the hang of it...

I've always read alto, occasionally tenor, but tonight I had to set my brain for reading the bass line, but singing it an octave higher.

(That's kindof like speaking a different language and having to make a conscious effort to flip all of the consonant-sound switches in your head.)

I think it's more than obvious that I need some kind of outlet that has nothing to do with nursing. This is a possibility. Next week I'm going to a different Sweet Adeline group meeting to see how their group sounds. We'll see how it goes.

I'll just hum along if I don't know the tune.

Monday, February 12, 2007


I had an oonky day today.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


The Hater took me out for Valentine's Day dinner this afternoon. That's as exciting as we'll be getting for the big day. I've bought a box of grade-school valentines for $1 to take to work and give out to my patients and coworkers.

We've had valentines for our grandmothers just waiting for a stamp for about a month. We still don't have stamps for them; it looks like they'll be getting those a little late this year. So much for good intentions.

I get tickled because The Hater is insistent that it's "valentime" not "valentine". He'll say "it's time for valentime's"... Random, but worthy of mentioning.

Tonight we're making some potato chicken soup to have tomorrow night after work. It'll be tasty and delicious.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

pretty in pink

I've been busy today. Unequivocal Prowess is expecting a little girl and today was the day we were going to pain the nursery. The grand scheme is a pink-on-pink with a white rainbow border around the middle of the room.

We shopped for paint and painting supplies and returned to her home to gut the room and tape the edges for over an hour. We started painting the top half, and were first worried that it was going to be too dark. Thankfully, it dried lighter than we had feared.

And then we started painting the bottom half of the room... which, again, seemed way darker than we had planned. See below:

We took a 30 minute break and let the room sit for thirty minutes to see if we liked it any better. We called The Hater to come over and tell us if it was too dark. You see, UP's husband was out of town and we were doing all of this in hopes that he would approve. His only request was that it wasn't Pepto pink. And as this shade wasn't that chalky, it was obviously not what Mom had envisioned.

We returned to Home Depot and bought more paint.

This is the "in progress" picture where you can see how different the two shades were. It took two coats to cover it. Below, the final shades after we pulled the tape:

We were really pleased with how well it turned out. I had never painted inside rooms before and was very proud of our taping prowess and anti-dripping techniques. The next part of the plan is to get the border and window shades up, then bring all the baby goodies back to the room. How fun. She's due on Mother's Day.

I came back home and went directly to Hobby Lobby, in the creative mood. I painted a couple of canvases for possible nursery fodder. We'll let Mom look at it later to see if we think it's pink-baby-nursery-worthy. I'm thinking it will be.

We'll also be sore tomorrow...

Friday, February 09, 2007

taxing frustration

Pun intended, I assure you.

Work drama includes that company one sent a W-2 that company 2 was contracted to send (and actually was the employer at the time). So now we're in a position where we're requesting a new W-2 from company one that says we weren't employed by them at that time. Meanwhile, we're prepared to call the IRS and file some sort of fraudulent file next Wednesday.

And then we just hold our breath and hope they send the new form before we have to file our taxes with the second form that says someone else dropped the ball and we're not really claiming the pay and deductions that were doubly charged.

I know a CPA. This is the time of year that she goes into hiding and doesn't come out until May... except when she's buying orange baby clothes... so I really feel for the people who dropped the ball on this one; I can't imagine that anybody filed the wrong things on purpose.

Today I typed out the same form letter for eight different people, requesting corrected W-2s. I'll probably dream about it tonight. Then I sent the same guy a separate email, apologizing for all of the other email garbage he's been getting, noting that I was sure none of this was anybody's fault.

I apologized for the taxing frustration (pun intended) this must be causing him, and thanked him for his help to make the IRS happy. His reply? Not nearly as punny as mine.

But part of me has to believe that he was slightly amused by it.

Meanwhile, my company's CPA is presenting a big shin-dig to the IRS next week. And like I said, I'll be making a call on Wednesday if I don't get a new W-2 claiming "zero" by then.

And people say doing taxes is boring!!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

chaos theory

aka: grand central station

Why is it that we're both on the cell phone when the timer for the oven goes off and the land line rings at the same time that the glass thing on the table falls and shatters into a gazillion pieces? And this is all while we're trying to tell each other the subtle nuances of our day.

I think there's really only one thing that can truly quantify this, and I think you'll emphatically agree with me:
High flying bird cannot build dam with tail of beaver.
Never forget it!

two weeks notice

I regret to inform you that I am tendering my resignation to .....

Today I'm turning in my letter. I don't really know how I feel about this... I've never left a job that I like. But another opportunity has presented itself and I'd be a fool not to give it a try.

Hang on for the ride; it could get a little bumpy.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


This evening our doorbell unexpectedly rang. The Hater answered to find two gentlemen holding a tray of Noah's Pudding. They said they were from Turkey and this was one of their traditions. We were given two shares.

This is from an informational sheet we were given with the pudding:

Noah's Pudding is a sweet dish or dessert celebrating the landing of Noah's Ark to the Earth. The making of Noah's Pudding is a common practice among the Armenian, Greek, Syrian and Aramaic Christians as well as Turkish, Kurdish and Syrian Muslims and Jewish people of Middle East.

According to the Old Testament (Genesis 6-8th chapters) "the earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence." God ordered Noah to build an ark. He brought a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh. It rained upon the earth for forty days and forty nights and all flesh died. Noah's family and some righteous men that were with him in the ark only remained alive.

Religious tradition believes that when Noah and other survivors reached the earth again, no food was enough to make a good meal. Noah gathered all dry beans, wheat and all of the remaining food together on the arc; and mixing them, prepared a delicious meal. Believers survived through famine. Today, we call the meal Noah's Pudding or Ashura.

Muslims cook Ashura in every year on the lunar month of Muharram (falls within February this year) in remembrance of what Noah and his people went through and share this day with friends and neighbors as a symbolic representation of the unity and essential relationship of humans to one another and their Creator. As Islamic tradition goes, neighbors are considered the residents of forty houses to your East, West, North and South.

Ingredients: (some wealthy people try to reach 40 kinds) Broad-bean: Dry horse bean, blackeye, chickbean, whitebean, rice, wheat, sesame seeds. Nuts: peanut, walnut, almond, clove. Dried fruits: orange peel, raisin, apricot, apple, currant, fig, pomegranate, cinnamon. Others: water, salt, milk, sugar, rose water.
How interesting! Neither of us had heard of this custom before, but we think it is a wonderful way to share with your neighbors. The ashura was sweet and tasty (an excellent light dessert). We are proud to live in a country where people of all faith practices are free to practice their religion and share it generously with others.

Thanks for including us as your neighbors.

the shiner

Today is my first day to wear eyeshadow since the tattoos. I still have a purple shiner, but my other eye looks great. I may chance mascara by the end of the week.

And I thought I was a city girl when The Hater made me start carrying around a cell phone. Permanent makeup takes the cake; I'm metro-fabulous.

Monday, February 05, 2007

the dead zone

Football is officially over until next fall. How sad. We can't talk football talk until the NFL draft happens in a few months.

We'll have to suck it up and look forward to March Madness.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

da beatdown XLI

Way to go, Peyton. We never doubted you.

Manning Mojo

The Pre Super Bowl post:

We're pumped and ready for the game. We are pulling out all of our Volunteer pride for Peyton and the Colts to take it all. The Hater says that Vegas is predicting a Colt Win, and of course we're expecting nothing less.

New School

Old School

Meanwhile, the kitty continues to recover from her surgery this last week. She's doing great, but doesn't care too much for her no-no collar or her antibiotics. Don't let her sleepy eyes fool you, she's secretly excited about the game, too.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

fried catfish: the other white meat

The Hater and I continue to be teased about our heritage from time to time. Off of the top of my head, here are some more common threads of tease-fodder:

Onced and twiced are words. Fixinto is one word.

It is not a shopping cart; it is a buggy. Get it right.

There is no such thing as "lunch." There is only dinner and then there is supper.

Iced tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it when you're two. We do like tea with our sugar.

You don't PUSH buttons, you MASH them.

We measure distance in minutes. We are currently living about ten minutes from lots of different places.

100 degrees Fahrenheit is "a little warm." We know all four seasons: Almost Summer, Summer, still Summer and Christmas. We were taught to describe the first cool snap (below 70 degrees) as good pinto-bean weather.

A carbonated soft drink isn't a soda, cola or pop . . . it's a Coke, regardless of brand or flavor. Example: "What kinda coke you want?" We currently have several different cokes in the fridge: Sun Drop, Mountain Dew, and Sprite.

Friday, February 02, 2007

health reminder from Nancy Nurse

People, the truth is that I'm a nurse and I bring my work home with me. I want everybody to be healthy and safe. Like the emergency ID cards, this is just another reminder on that journey...

This coming week is
National Mental Health Care week!

You can do your part by
remembering to contact
at least one
unstable person
to let them know you care.

Well, my job here is done!