Wednesday, January 30, 2008

this is my mad face

Someone peed in my cereal this morning, and I've been gagged about it all day long.

Yesterday at work I was recruited to sign up for a two-person team event because there was one person who was looking for a partner. I said I would be happy to help. There was a nominal fee, but I was told that I could bring it by either yesterday or today without any problem.

After my first meeting this morning I checked my email, and the message said that I was no longer needed on the team, that someone else wanted to sign up for it. I replied vaguely, asking if I still needed to bring my money by for the sign-up. I didn't want to jump to any crazy conclusions before my morning caffeine.

I waited a few hours without a reply, and then decided to go to the sign-up place myself to see what was going on. I showed up, cash in hand, to pay for yesterday's recruitment. A different guy was at the desk, and I assured him that I had signed the form yesterday... and he found the form, with my name crossed through.

Now I know not to shoot the piano player... so I asked him if that meant I was no longer on the team. He flipped through bunches of papers and hem-hawed about how he could put me on another list if someone wanted to sign up today. I asked him how it was possible for someone to get cut from a team at (this workplace). He didn't have a good answer.

I left, supremely gagged that my earlier interpretation had been correct.

Seriously? I was just cut from a team that recruited me? That's even worse than being picked last for dodge ball.

The thing that irks me the most is that I work for a company that takes pride in including everyone, to go out of the way to be hospitable and whatnot. I can guarantee you that what happened this morning doesn't jive with either the mission or vision of (this workplace). I'm disappointed, a little hurt, and a lot pissed.

If I don't sleep it off, there will be a letter written and sent tomorrow. Period.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

the campaign of mis-information

I received another really special email this morning.  There are several people who feel compelled to include me in their forward lists.  You know, the "send this to 8 people in the next 8 minutes and something marvelous will happen to you" emails.

Occasionally I'll like the story or pictures in the email, and if I do, I delete all the forward history at the beginning of it, and also the chain letter aspect from it before I send it off.  I also am very cognizant to whom I send which emails.  I have a list of people to whom I send stuff about church or nature, another set of people to whom I send pictures of cute animals (further sub-divided between the "dog people" and the "cat people"), another set of people who get things that are funny (again subdivided between those who get clean jokes and those who get dirty jokes), and yet another set who I send the pictures and stories related to the military (subdivided between those who served in the Navy and those who served in the Marines, etc).  If I forward something, I really try to send them what I think they would like to read.

Sometimes I do send forwards to people, knowing it's not something they would like to read.  If it's something to make you think or provoke some kind of moral action, I have another subset of people who receive these emails.  I only send it to these people because they know its purpose, not necessarily to push their buttons.

The day has come where it's so easy to forward junk that we automatically do it -- to our entire list of contacts -- because it's easy.  I confess that I used to forward along ALL of the junk that I received.  At first when I had my own email account (I was a freshman in college.), I sent out all the junk I received to everyone I knew because it was all so new and exciting for me.

But I'm over that now.  I really try not to send mindless forwards anymore.  I'm sure my filtered-system isn't pristine, but it's better than sending everybody the same junk because I hope something better will happen if I send something to six more people.

That said, I get a lot of what I consider to be mindless forwards.  

The last several months I have received scores of mindless political forwards, and today I received another one.  It was so bad that I read it out loud to The Hater.  The worst part for me is that it didn't even say "for good luck send this many people"...  I know this person sent it because he thinks he's educating people about how great our President is compared to past Presidents.  Give me a break.

It actually suggested that it's more morally acceptable for us to be involved in the war in Iraq than WWII because Germany never attacked us.  (Never mind that Iraq never attacked us, either.)  To be as old as he is, I'd really think he would understand how the allied powers worked, that Germany and Japan were in cahoots.  Now this guy is an older guy who sends me the majority of my junk mail, and he was once one of my patients, so it's not really someone I can reply back with "Dude, stop sending me this (colorful gerund) garbage."  Instead I replied, "Really?  You think we shouldn't have been involved in WWII?  You think it was wrong to take out the Nazis?  That surprises me."  He's not replied back yet, but if he does, I'm sure I know what it will say.

Just a few weeks ago he sent another mindless political email, slamming one of the leading Democratic candidates and what church they attended.  It was over the top.  I replied back to him, pointing out that his email was slanderous liable and asked where his real sources were.  He replied, "It may not be true, but it's good to know.  I just forwarded it."

I'm innocent because I forwarded it.  All I did was hit the button.

If a kid at school drops the f-bomb or calls the teacher ugly names, he'll get in trouble because it was the wrong thing to do.  It doesn't matter that he's just repeating what he's heard at home because there are certain rules at school that cannot be broken.  

When you write or forward an email, you are accepting the responsibility of its contents to the people to whom you send it.  This is exactly why I don't send dirty jokes to my grandmother.

Give me a break.  

I am overwhelmed with the current campaign of mis-information, both through civilian emails and the media.  Please stop thinking that I'm a mindless sheep who will follow whatever the masses (or the church) tell me to think.  Believe it or not, I'm able to read myself and interpret what I read myself.  This is what makes me a free-thinking adult.

Nobody questions the information that people give them...  Especially if it reinforces an opinion that they already have.

A few years ago I was working as a nurse in a unit that gave cancer patients Bone Marrow or Stem Cell transplants.  While home, one of The Hater's aunts asked me what I did.  After I told her, she grew defiantly solemn and said, "I don't believe in stem cells."  To which I answered, "It doesn't matter if you believe in them or not, they're in your blood stream either way."  Then we talked about how not all stem cells come from embryos.  Real living (healthy) people have circulating peripheral blood stem cells that can be used to cure some types of cancers.  Sometimes a mother's afterbirth can be milked to get stem cells from the cord blood for transplant (this is well after baby is safe in the bassinet and no longer connected to Mom's system).  This was in NO WAY connected to the embryonic stem cell debate, but all she heard was "stem cells", and even after I had explained it, she said, "That might be okay, but I don't believe in stem cells."  I changed the subject.

And why did I change the subject?  Because I don't have the energy to argue with the backward interpretations of the evangelical movement.  Because she shouldn't be the person who gets those forwards.

If you really think that Hillary getting elected to the White House will make any difference in the Clinton's retirement, you're an idiot.  They already have boatloads of money, and they're not hurting for their IRA like you are.

If you are a Christian, then why does it matter that another Christian goes to a different church?  You don't have any problems with the Baptists in their church or the Methodists in their church --- heck, you don't even have a problem with the Catholics doing their thing.  Think and let think already.  God is God and you don't see Him all mixed up in the details.

One war isn't the same as the other war.  People who are awarded medals in the military deserve them.  If a black man is elected President, they're not going to rename it the "Black House".  Why is it that socialized education is okay, but socialized medicine is the devil?  

Stop thinking in absolutes. 

And while you're at it, please remove me from your neo-con forward list.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

alright already

My cousin emailed me today and called me out for not posting in a while. This is following Jimbo and Vol Mom's emails, basically asking the same thing. So here we are with another exciting post.


That's about as exciting as we've been lately. All things considered, it's been rather boring around here. But for the lack of anything else, we'll give the overview anyhow. Hang on to your seats, folks, it might get bumpy on us.

The Hater has really lucked out not having to go on any work trips yet this year. It won't be long before his weekends are claimed, so we're enjoying quiet weekends for now.

My work is going fine, too. I've been busy, but we could be busier. When I'm not busy, I try to look busy, and most times I succeed at this. I think I'm learning the art of looking busy by observing some of the people with whom I work, who I know cannot possibly be as busy as they want you to think they are.

Every year companies that employ nurses have to "test" them so that they can prove that they've provided minimal education to their nursing and ancillary staff. Most of these big companies have a "skills fair", where nurses go from station to station, answering questions and demonstrating nursey tasks... like starting IVs on plastic arms, restraining people with slip-knots, finding a list of things in the crash cart, etc. I had gotten an email that the fair was coming up and ALL nurses were required to attend, so I added it to my calendar. When I went to the fair I realized that I was the only non-traditional nurse doing the stations, but I was afraid that I'd get dinged on my evaluation if I didn't do it. While I was wandering around someone stopped me and said, "Oh! You're an advanced practice nurse!" I answered, "No, not really." She said, "Well, that's what your name tag says."

Hrm. I hadn't read my new name tag. I just saw it was my picture and ran with it. I finished the skills fair and learned that I'm now considered "advanced practice", a phrase usually used to describe nurses with master's degrees.


Other than that, we're boring. We go back and forth playing Rock Band and Lego Star Wars. Sometimes we're able to play online Bomberman with Angry Dissenter, which is really fun because he and I team up against The Hater. I wish we didn't live so far apart, but between cell phones and live video games it's almost like old times.

Minus the Jack.

I'm still waiting until May to know how well my November's treatment worked. To say I'm pre-occupied with thinking about May is almost accurate. I think about it when I wake up in the night, when I hit the alarm clock, when I drop the soap in the shower, when I'm packing my lunch, when I'm stopped at a red light, during meetings, when I read email, when my patients at work come and tell me either really good news or really bad news, when I'm waiting for the microwave to cook my lunch, when I check my pedometer, when it's time for my three o'clock snack, when The Hater sends me sweet text messages to tell me he loves me, when I'm trying to look busy, when I actually am busy, when the cat runs to meet me at the door, anytime in church that anybody refers to faith or hope, when I water the plants (including John Wayne, which still isn't dead after 2 years under our care), when I'm grocery shopping, when I tie my shoes, when anybody asks me how I'm feeling... and any other time when I breathe.

I'm averaging one tearful breakdown a week, but otherwise am coping alright with it. I've got a hellova poker face, which serves me well almost all of the time.

And that's where I am.... about halfway there, living on a prayer. Keep on praying -- this stuff is still doing its thing, and someday we'll look back on this and find something funny about it to remember.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


I worked 50-something hours this week. It's been CRAZY. Since salary people don't get OT, I'm going to make every effort next week to work less than 40 hours, so that way it might work out even.

We slept late this morning and have been doing laundry as we cleaned the house. It wasn't a total clean - we did what needed done the most: I dusted and swept the floors. The Hater vacuumed and terrorized the cat.

Then we got a phone call to come babysit, which we did.

The baby was fine on the ride to our house, and happy when I took her out of her car seat... until I took off my sun glasses and, to her horror, I was not Mommy. We're talking BIG, heaving tears. She ate, and we played. She cried again, and The Hater made her a bottle. She fell asleep in my arms during the Green Bay game. Her Mom returned to find her tickled to see her.

They stayed and ate supper with us and visited a while before they left.

We've started taking down the Christmas stuff. We cheered for Wes Welker and the Patriots.

Tomorrow we're chereing for Peyton. And would really like to see Peyton win the Super Bowl again.

We're as boring as it seems, but it works for us.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

reaching for perfection

This may not look like much, but in fact it's my #1 absolute favorite dish from home: Nana's Chicken on Eggbread*

The Hater heard me rave about Nana's Chicken on Eggbread for several years before he ever tasted it himself. It was true-- it was as good as I promised it would be. We've poured over the pages in Nana's cookbook several times, usually ending with shaking heads, doubting our culinary prowess could takle such a monumental taste explosion.

We only do our adventurous cooking on the weekend, when we can take our time and not get rushed. We'd had this recipe for a while and not tried it because it looked hard. Nana said it wasn't, but it looked hard on paper. The other problem is that Nana's recipes say "use flour, salt, and broth" without any measurement indicators... and I really didn't feel domestic enough to guess how much of each thing I needed... until today.

We decided quickly that Nana is more efficient in the kitchen than we are. But as you can see, we still managed to turn up a blue-ribbon try. Ladies and Gentlemen... we are so very close to matching Nana's recipe that it's worth a blog post to brag about it. And the best part is that we have leftovers in the fridge to enjoy again!

I think the only reason it was so good was because I was wearing a PLC shirt while I was cooking. Those vibes make for moistest cornbread you've ever tasted.

* AKA: Kleeman's Chicken on Eggbread (Nana's is different and way better because she cuts the chicken up and puts it in the sauce!)

* The Hater says in the hierarchy of home food, this recipe is trumped only by the cornbread dressing recipe. I beg to differ. This is the best recipe for a meal without question. The best non-meal recipe is Nana's pumpkin chiffon pie, which will be another weekend adventure when we get the nerve to try it.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

the anti-resolution

I am resolved not to make a resolution this year.