Thursday, June 29, 2006


"Adult" Swim

I've taken to going to the neighborhood pool some evenings so far this summer. Though the thought of the sheer amount of human urine that is actually in a pool may deter some, I have spent years honing my ability to test the chlorinated pH of a pool by the mere drying of my skin after a few refreshing laps. It doesn't bother me. The more you (and I know you do...) pee, the more chlorine they just pour right on in there.. My skin is currently moderately itchy and has a very thin white layer of fine grit on it -- all is right with the world (and my swimming pool).

All urine aside, the most entertaing part of the swim is the almighty "adult swim". The most soothing 15 minutes of the hour. Much to their chagrin, kids are forced from the waters, toys and all, and left along the sides to watch the "adults" swim about merrily.

{SIDEBAR: I secretly worry that someone may still call me out of the pool for the adult swim (sometimes I just don't feel like an adult -- I don't feel old enough) -- but since I've noticed that I look at least 7-10 years older than the life guards that they are probably more apt to leave me be in the pool (as long as I behave myself). I was once reminded that most of the free world will consider you an "adult" when you can A) buy beer and porn and B) have a 401K. }

However, with regards to this "Adult Swim", my questions here are these:

Enjoy the summer. And take the utmost delight in your Adult Swims. Do your part and show up at :45 at any pool just to rub it in.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Snake Charmers... or not..

I work in a hosptial. You all get that.

So don't become offended or particuarly paranoid upon your next hospital stay when I say this, but units tend to nickname certain patients. Absoloutly not out of malice, but as a quick means of identifying a particular patient based mostly on diagnosis and personality features (and not by name, which the HIPAA people generally frown on...). It makes giving report to the new shift nurses easier and more memorable -- you can tell the "Old-Guy-Who-Grinds-His-Teeth" from the "Drummer-Woman-With-No-Legs". It makes transfer between units (ie: from the ED (also known as the ER to non-healthcare workers) to the medical floor) far easier when you can know to expect "Asthma-Lady-Who-Might-Be-Crazy", and hell, even easier to identify her when she arrives.

So please, imagine my absoloutle delight when (after a fairly grueling morning with "The-Old-Guy-Who-Keeps-Shaking-His-Fist-At-Me" and "Asian-Woman-With-All-The-Piercings-And-Spongebob-Pillow") I hear tell that we are getting a new admission from the ED.

He has been lovingly dubbed "Young-Guy-Who-Has-A-Snakebite-On-His-Scrotum".

I had a million images racing through my packed little nurse's brain (not at all dissimilar to the images running through your own right now). Millions of questions, suppositions -- but most of all, a dire need to find some reason to see this patient (I blame it on my innate need to learn from experience). I had my plate full of "total-care" patients and really had no time to spare for the Gent's chomped genitals. I immediately found my fellow student nurse who was assigned to the case. Her mission, and she had no choice but to accept, was to calmly admit the patient (and his rumored reDONKulously swollen man bits) and perform a full assessment, including a very detailed account of how this unfortunate incident occured (and then report directly back to me). If I was going to be stuck all day bathing, wiping, injecting, coddling, feeding and medicating (which I'm totally ok with -- it's part of the job), then at the very least I could count on a very good story to brighten my mood.

And sadly, that's where the excitement ends. Upon assessment, the nursing student learned that there had been a misunderstanding in the transfer-- and the exciting story of how a young dude got to third base with a snake was suddenly much more like a story about a fairly daft young dude with a swollen (correction: reDONKulously swollen) THUMB due to a confrontation with a snake (and by confrontation it was more like : he was drunk, saw the snake and thought, 'Hey, I oughta pick that up".) Don't be fooled, though. I did take the opportunity to convince this young nursing student that her role in his care would include her having to suck the venom out of his thumb (it would have been better joke if it had actually been a bite to the sack, no?). Even better, a few staff nurses backed me up and we had this young thing (who spends more time with a flat-iron than should be considered normal) convinced she'd be spending the next hour with his thumb in her mouth. Ahh, undergraduates are so gullible.

OH but I was so disappointed. I had been counting on that singular story to carry me through the rest of the shift. It was hardly worth conjuring up some reason for me to go in to check it out. I didn't even bother. I've seen THUMBS. A few weeks ago we had a rather large gentleman admitted with an injury to his thumb. Apparently, as the story goes, he was attempting to take his elderly and somewhat 'demented' (his own words..) feline to be euthanized. In a final blaze of glory the cat struck back and gave him one final chomp on the thumb -- landing him in the hospital for several days to recover from the infection (don't get me started on the cesspool that is a cat's mouth.. I love them, I have two of them, but I know mine spend at least 60% of their day licking their own or eachother's ass.. enough said). The cat, sadly, did not escape his doom and was put to sleep, though probably for him, a sleep of the righteously vindicated. (You must admit, though, that the mental image of this 250+ lb man (um, "Cat-Scratch-Man") being laid up in the hospital by, what I imagine to be, a scrawny, demented fur ball is, in itself, HIGHLY amusing). And so forgive my blase' attitude regarding another dude with a thumb issue.

You have to wonder, what happened to the snake? From what I understood of dude, the snake was better off getting him in the thumb. And what's more -- you could hear dude out in the hall wailing about the end of his short lived modeling career. A thumb model?

Ha, maybe now Adonis will keep his hands (and his scrotum) to himself while in the woods.

Monday, June 26, 2006


My own personal wet T-shirt contest....

.....for the neighbors. I'm classy.

It must be the apocalypse. What else can explain why Virginia (at least the northern parts) suddenly looks like a scene from Waterworld. (And if so, why is there no Kevin Costner (stop judging me) and why is everyone here looking around at the water on the ground in shock as if they didn't notice that it all fell from the sky quickly in little drops?)

Being as devoted as I am to this whole "I'm gonna run a whole 10 miles" thing, I've been remarkably diligent about the training schedule that's been laid out for me. Considering, all the while, how adverse an idea "running" has typically been to me in the past.

Yesterday on the way to the God House for the 7:30AM service (we like to get on God's good side as early as humanly possible, you see.. we beat the rest of the sinners to His good graces..) I stared longingly out the foggy window of the car at the drizzly downpour wondering when I could fit in my prescribed 4 mile run. Much to my utter joy, around 7PM (shortly after discovering the UNTOLD delights of free podcasts..), the sun broke through and under a cool and breezy blue sky, I started my run.

With a podcast of the Byzantine Emperors going strong (again, quit judging me), I barely noticed the first few drops that started to come down. Round about the time that Diocletian assassinated his predecessors, I was about two miles out (read: faaarrrr away from shelter) when the real hard and heavy rain started to come down. No matter, says I. I tucked the iPod into my bra (the only place where it was least likely to sustain much water damage) and forged onward. I found the rain refreshing and at the very least, it scared all of the baby/dog walkers inside, out of my way and off my sidewalk.

I was barely into Constantine's reign when I realized I was running in over an inch of water, and that every item of clothing that I was wearing was not only sopping wet, but clinging to me like a really, really, bad and wet suit. It was also at this time that I noticed that my black sports bra was clearly visible through my light green t-shirt. Not only did I notice, but so did oncoming traffic. I appreciated the honks and flashed headlights (maybe in return for my own inadvertent and unintended 'flashed headlights'?). Maybe they were really saying, "Freak runner, get inside, it's raining!" -- but I prefer to think the message was more of a "Sweetest Siren! Your beauty and cling-ed clothing doth make me want to run thither with thee!"

The first bolt of lightening sent me tearing in the other direction and running at break-neck speed home. Another jigglie surprise that I'm sure my neighborhood traffic really appreciated. They ought to keep their eyes on the road.

I returned home a little rattled. Perhaps it was the .5mi sprint back to the house -- or the lack of a cool down and stretching -- or perhaps, more likely, the sheer volume (quantity and decibel) of the thunderstorm going on around me (compounded with the trees and electrical poles lining my path home).

I didn't make 4 miles.
But I know I could have, had mother nature not so obtrusively cock-blocked my last .75mi of a run.

What I learned:
1) My neighbors are all perverts. All of them.
2) After retiring, Diocletian moved to a palatial estate and grew cabbages. For real.
3) Running shoes (I got new ones!) take a while to dry.
4) I might really have something to be proud of -- that I can stay so dedicated to the run rather than puss out when it started to drizzle like I might have done in the past. Go me.
5) The betrothed needs a map of my running turf. He did a really amazing impersonation of my mom when I finally sloshed into the house -- all worried and like, "Where WERE you? Don't you know it's raining?" Um like, duh, do I look like I know it's raining?

Friday, June 16, 2006


Color me bad.

So it was never much of a secret that for the majority of my undergraduate years (that's the first set of undergraduate years under the W&M column, complete with papers -- not to be confused with this second run in the undergraduate sector where I am eternally perturbed at my underaged classmates.) I was a staunch supporter of Clariol, specifically, 112A, medium reddish auburn. I reddened my hair, which, at the time, worked for me. It worked for me working for other people as well, in fact. I had a suitor once tell me that he loved my hair color so much and added, hey, did *I* know that women actually dyed their hair to have color just like this? -- No, Romeo, really?

I was blessed in that for the number of years that I did purchase and use these products, that I had surprisingly few mishaps. I got cocky a few times and tried a few shades off the norm and duly suffered the consequences of the dreaded re-dye or the hair-washed-so-many-times-it-will-never-be-dirty-again.

I once, accidentally, dyed my hair nearly black, like goth-black, a few mere days before a very important scholarship interview last year. The betrothed covered his ass with, "I can't really tell the color in this light, so much. I'm sure you're fine (cue him leaving the room promptly and avoiding eye contact for the rest of the night)." My boss at the office the next day was a little more straight forward and had the ever comical mid-sentence shock of noticing, "Cathy, I was going over your reports and I ... holy shit what did you do to your head? Oh, baby, you gotta do something about that mess." Alas, I got the scholarship -- so either they really thought I was pretty stellar academically or that the money would help me find a good stylist.

Either way, when I started back to school in the fall, I came to a big conclusion. NO MORE. I didn't envision myself spending an evening a month locked in my bathroom with some-such nursing textbook on my lap while my head stewed in ammonia. I spent several weeks coloring back and forth attempting to locate my own holy grail: my natural hair color. It had been years since I'd seen it. No one quite remembered what it was. After a few tries, a clever combination of dyes managed to cover the years of medium-reddish auburn and with one final boon, the Clariol gods smiled on me and I found natural-hair-color peace. And no visible roots.

For months now I've been au natural. Sometimes I catch myself walking down the dye aisle and let my eyes land on 112A. I even have a box hidden under the sink, just in case the craving gets too bad. But, I have resisted. Until now.

I came home yesterday from a particularly grueling week at the hospital and caught a special glimmer in my hair. Upon closer inspection I came to the gruesome realization that every late-twenty-something year old dreads: a gray hair. After a 15 minute quest, I located the hair and about four of his evil brethren. They were all exiled and deported immediately.

But what now? After this colored attack, how am I to pick up the pieces (or strands)? Did years of coloring only hide the grays I should have seen and come to terms with earlier in my twenties? If I color again now will I only be deluding myself until the grays revolt and take over somewhere thirty or forty years from now? Do I really want to make that commitment again to my follicles?

How early are people finding grays these days? Ah, until I devise my plan of attack, I'm on the hunt.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


Whooooo are you? Who-who, who-who? I really want to know.

I've come to the conclusion that while the internet is quite possibly one of the most amazing innovations of the modern world as we know it, it also has one huge, glaring downside. It provides a certain obligation-less, irresponsible anonymity to folks who are too afraid to say/do that in public.

Example #1: Craigslist. Please, go to your city's craigslist and just look at their rants and raves section. People are saying terrible, hateful things to one another. Things that I know they wouldn't have the set to say to anyone's face. They are judgmental and seem to exemplify all the things that are seedy and underhanded about our consequence-less culture. I hate to think I share grocery stores and highways with some of these people who probably look no different than anyone else. If they had to actually attach their name or their face to such posts (and I'm pretty sure most of these guys can't be identified by the photos of their nether regions), I'm sure it would be a far less cut-throat bulletin board.

Example #2: Internet pedophiles. Com'on, I watch Oprah and Dateline. These perverts hide under the cloak of the internet hunting and stalking their prey -- and hell, using the internet to display their conquests. Sure, some of them use the old-fashioned method of "the kid next door will do", but by and large, it is the internet that allows them their jollies.

This is all not to say that half of these people aren't the pimplie, greasy Star-Wars-poster-hanging-in-my-mom's-basement-where-I-still-live-at-age-37 kind of people and they are using the internet as their medium to stand up for themselves and launch their revenge on the world in Times New Roman 12 in some chat room without fear of being pummeled by the big guy or given an atomic wedgie.

Maybe what I'm getting at is this: I've been watching a pair of the super sweetest sneakers on Ebay for D.A.Y.S. I haven't bid yet because I don't want the rest of the internet to sense that these sneakers are, in any way, desirable. There were no other bidders and the coast looked clear.

I'm the real runner here.
I'm the one who is wearing old, beat up tennies.
I'm the one who needs the new ones at a decent price because I'm a full time student.
And I'm the one who has been checking up on them every few hours, like a new mother, to make sure they're still ok and if they need anything while they sit and wait for the mailman to take them to me.

With 10 minutes left, I finally felt ok about making the bid. I refreshed every few minutes and things were still copasetic. I started surfing a little while I waited for that victorious "You have won the auction" tagline. With 8 seconds left, I was still in the clear. And upon refresh I learned "Bidding for this item has ended. You were outbid". WTF?!

Who is this masked wo/man? S/he may as well have lingered behind me at the sale rack waiting for me to finally place my hands on that last awesome pair of capris that are only in my size before SNATCHING it from me and tearing to the register. But no, that wouldn't happen in a store, right? Too many onlookers. Too much SHAME involved. How is it different online? Ah, because they don't have to see the look of utter disappointment on my face. They don't have to stand the crusty stares from society (and me, and mine are the crustiest).

The betrothed popped his head from his office to ask why all the shouting.
I sadly whined "I was outbid at 7 seconds!"
He shrugs and says nonchalantly "Oh, you were sniped. Yeah, it happens."

So there is a name for this crime?! I was sniped. Tell me, what exactly is the point of DAYS of auctioning if it only comes down to the last 7 seconds?! Where's the fun and, indeed, the purpose of auctioning if you sneak in like a thief in the last 7 seconds. This wouldn't stand at Sothebys.

Well, Mr. Sniper. I hold you no higher than internet pedophiles and the rag-tag potty-mouthed posters on Craigslist. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. Hiding behind your monitor like that. You may have won this time (well, you clearly won this time), but this is not over. Be sure that I know every inch of those sweet, sweet sneakers. And if you be the runner your underhanded purchase portrays you to be, I shall meet up with you, Sniper. You can certainly run in those shoes, but you can't hide their totally awesome tangerine highlights.

And to you, sweetest shoes. I shall remember you always, and will hold the dream of us together forever in my heart. Well, at least until I find a pair sweeter and preferably cheaper than you. If you can, untie and afford your new owner a closer look at the pavement for me.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Eating yourself to death.

So the BFF and I were having one of more deep and philosophical conversations this past weekend. I am unclear how it came up, but the gist of it was thusly:

If you knew you were going to die -- our example was say, Death Row, cause, hey, that's pretty death-certain -- What would your last DAY of meals be? (Why just limit yourself to one meal? All you'd want wouldn't fit on one try anyway.. Besides, you don't want to be all bloated when you meet St. Peter..) We spend so much time watching what we eat -- so what would you eat if it didn't matter?

I was working on a 24 hour period not at all unlike the following:

Breakfast: Eggs Benedict with lots of hollandaise. And hashbrowns. And a belgium waffle. With strawberry mimosas.

Midmorning snack: Brownies with only the edge part. No middle. And maybe a grilled cheese with pickles (don't judge me).

Lunch: A french dip sammich with sweet potato fries. And a salad with REAL blue cheese dressing. And a real Pepsi. and keep it flowing.

Midafternoon snack/second lunch: Sweetwater's crab fritters -- lots of them.

Dinner: Pasta of some sort. With really buttery, crispy garlic bread. And more Pepsi.

Dessert: Birthday Cake icecream from Hersheys. And Somoa Girl Scout cookies.

Wow. I'm full. And I think my blood sugar went up just by typing it.
Anyone else care to share their DeathRow day of gastric delight?

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Nice girls don't finish last

This morning I endeavored to race my very first race. Granted, it was, to most, a measly 5K (3.2 miles), but it was a big deal to me. I've been putting in the time and figured that before this 10 miler bites me, I better get used to the racing part. And so I suited up (I'm a swimmer at heart) to be at the starting line at 7:30am.

The rules of the race did include the fact that headphones and babystrollers were considered race contraband and were prohibited. So I hid mine. I figured if they wanted me to take it off, hell, they'd have to CATCH me. Come to find out, most of my competitors had headphones and so I felt a little more at ease about my need for "Shake That" and "Golddigger" during the run.

I had three goals this morning.
1) Finish. Finish running. Finish in under 45 minutes-- the dropdead point when they'd kick you off the course.
2) Finish anywhere but last place. I didn't care if double amputees finished ahead of me, I just didn't want to finish dead last.
3) Don't get caught with headphones. If they were, indeed, out to catch people with them.

I got a solid piece of advice from a friend, and a running vetern, that when the horn blows, don't take off like a shot -- much like everyone else will. Take your time, find your pace and go with it. And don't be all caught up in how far back you are -- because it evens out when those clowns wear out. Totally solid piece of advice.

With the sound of the horn, I started. People flew past me. I caught my brave, loyal BFF on the sidelines waving enthusiastically (god love her for coming with me! I ran, she peoplewatched. It was a true win-win.). Started off with a little "Baba O'Rielly" to get the mood just right and trudged onward. I began to notice that I was fast sinking to the back. And when I turned around at the 4 minute mark, I was second to last -- and quickly being passed by a VERY old lady who was, what appeared to be, power walking. Well, now, IT.WAS.ON. We paced eachother, and I admit, if I felt she was creeping up on me, I'd edge her out a little to the curb. This was war!

I think my amusement really hit an all time high when the 10K racers -- who had a 5 minute staggered start behind the 5Kers -- BLEW past me. You know you're in the back when the NEXT group of racers charge past you. I literally laughed out loud -- but I made it seem to the old lady like her piddlie efforts at beating me for 2nd to last place were to be sorely thwarted.

I should really cut myself some slack -- cause I wasn't so terrible -- and not terrible at all for my first race. As the race wore on, my friend was right. The super fast runners turned to walkers. I totally overtook that old lady on the first hill. Kids' shoelaces became untied and those who started out strong were fading back. (this is all aside from the nut jobs who were sprinting the whole thing). I started to count as I passsed them -- 7th from the back, 8th from the back, 9th from the back -- GIDDY with delight at my small victories of passing them.

I sprinted the last .25 and passed an old man on the way. Yeah, he ate my dust. I finished at 38:10 and still feel pretty damned proud of myself. I hear the winner of the 5K finished in under 17 -- clearly, he's insane. And probably not the least bit fun.

I didn't finish last. And I had a nice buffer of "last-ers" behind me. I ran the entire time, and honestly felt like I could have eeked another mile out of that run, if I had to. I didn't get kicked off the course for being wholly and entirely lame and I wasn't accosted for my musical contraband. The race was a success. And hell, I got a sweet 5K race wife-beater just for showing up. What could be better than that?

Seriously, 10 miler. You just wait til October. I'm gonna bring it so hard, 10-miler, you gonna cry.

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