Wednesday, April 23, 2008


When the going gets tough, the tough go to the Historic Triangle

Being an aforementioned military brat, the idea of "home" is a fleeting one. Rather than an all encompassing "home" -- a place that has a smell, a feel and a monopoly on emotional comfort -- I have lots of sort-of "home"s. The home where I learned to ride a bike. The home where my older sister and I had to share a room. The home where my brother and I had to share a room. The last home my parents were together in. The home I moved my stuff to between college semesters. For simplicity, my home is with my husband (& cats...)-- wherever he is. And a Christmas "at home" is at my mom's.

Nearing 30, I found a place, though, that feels more like the quintessential idea of home to me. Like nothing really bad can happen to you there. A physical place where I know the streets and where the good bowling and eats are. A place I can drive around and find myself constantly pointing out that place where this and this and this happened. To me, and to a lot of people, that place is Williamsburg, Virginia.

After an emotional and personal set back this week there was only one place to escape to. Grabbing my husband and Bestie, we set out to Colonialize ourselves for a weekend and see if we could eat our weight in Sno-to-Go. By exit 236, my mind was clear, my heart less heavy.

Being in the comforting arms of The Burg helped me let my guard down, let out the sillies and let me put my troubles on hold.

Summoning up my inner pirate aboard Jamestown's Susan B Constant.

Why pay attention to the real tour when you can take funny pictures with the ye old Jamestown stuff? And oddly look like you and your Bestie planned to wear the exact same outfit?

A day in Williamsburg is far from complete unless you've played 18 holes of Pirate's Cove Putt Putt.
..18 holes. And loved yourself a pirate.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


There's never a bad reason to have cake.

Funny how word about cake being served can bring an organization to its knees -- a screeching halt, even, as workers run to get their square slice. Today was no different.

I learned today, however late, that there was a small shin dig going on with the dialysis nurses -- a group just off our unit with whom we (we= my unit) are friendly and indeed include in our shindigs.

A particular dialysis nurse there has caught my eye since I was a student nurse and I'd see him around the hospital. He's not much to look at, but I'm telling you, I swear that he is that guy that uses "finger guns" for reals in conversation. And so, not knowing him, but seeing him often, I referred to him as "Finger Guns", though he probably doesn't know that since I haven't told anyone else that I think of him thusly. Problem being, I have not actually seen him finger gunning anyone. And I don't know him all that well enough to actually finger gun him to see if I could get finger gunned in return. It's a work in progress.

But that's beside the point. The reason for the cake-serving season in dialysis today was that apparently Finger Guns has been saving all his nickels and dimes -- for 15 years -- to buy an RV. And he just did. And he wanted to throw an RV party to celebrate. And there was cake. And I had some. And it was the good pudding cake kind. And hell, it's just about the finest reason I can think of to throw a cake party. A new RV.

I had some delicious cake, didn't see the RV and didn't get to finger gun Finger Guns at a moment when it might have been truly appropriate and he might be so amped that he'd finger gun me back, thus proving that he really is Finger Guns. Damn.

Now, a word about this RV. He's apparently so tickled with this thing that he's driving it to work. Likely, he'll spend the next 15 years saving up for the gas for such an extravagant commute. He's parking far beyond the hospital, cause hell, could you park an RV where you work? I asked him today -- Any big trips? Where you planning to go? -- and he says, "Well, just work, really." Nice.

And it occurs to me that if I hit my head really hard and woke up wanting to own an RV, I'd buy it and drive in the HOV lanes assuming that no cop would pull me over because, really, what idiot drives an RV all by them self?

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Now, if *I* had worn that shirt......

Getting onto the elevator in the employee garage this morning, I encountered a lady I see nearly every morning. However, I barely saw her face this morning because -- complete with her employee badge clipped to it -- she was wearing THIS shirt:

Now, beyond the fact that she was wearing a T-shirt to work -- and we don't have casual Thursday.. -- I think if you glean nothing else from my blog, you know that I work in a very, very multi cultural environment. Patients aside, my coworkers come from all across the globe.

It was a bold fashion move this morning by her. And to think I got "talked to" for the Mister's high school homecoming shirt that had pirates on it. Huh.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008



Cashing in on belonging to such a richly witty heritage, I am bound to share with you a few of my favorites.

May those that love us, love us.
And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles
So we will know them by their limping.
~Irish Blessing

May you live a long as you want,
and never want as long as you live.
~Irish Blessing


There's gonna be some sweet sounds, comin' down...

... on the night shift. Which is really where I do all my best thinking. All my blog composing, which, HA, I bet you all thought was just a distant memory covered in dust to me. To be quite frank, I had a moment's panic thinking that I might not be able to remember my blog password, but Thank God, unbenounced to my computer-security-obsessed husband, I generally use some semblance of the same password for everything. A few alternated keystrokes and I usually figure it out. Shut up, you all do the SAME thing. Alpha-numeric combination, my a$$.

We have just returned from a delightful, if not wet and cold, jaunt to the motherland. Well, my motherland. And which also makes it my mother's land, too. Ireland, for those of you not totally up to date on my ethnic identity. I brought the Mister -- his first trip over the "pond" -- assuring him that Ireland was not scary EUROPE, it was Diet Europe. All the flavor, and not so much scary foreign language with Anti-American sentiments.

We kissed the Blarney Stone (#2 for me. Watch out, I'm so freaking charming now you all won't know what to do with me..).

We nearly got blown over the Cliffs of Moher and we took a neat jaunt into Northern Ireland. We did a lot of driving. We met up with my wonderfully hospitable and charming Irish cousins. The Mister was the most kick-ass left-sided driver, EVER. We made Dingle Peninsula jokes. He loved it. At least he told me he did. He loved it until he got a cold two days before our return. Then all he wanted was his/my bed, recognizable cold-medicine names and a bag of Ricolas. Poor bastard.

Lucky me, I was able to fight the jet lag home AND go right onto the night shift at work. Which was awesome. I don't mind the night shift, to be quite honest. And if it didn't put me at complete social hour odds with my husband and friends, I might consider it full time. The whole atmosphere is more chill, really. No anxiety stricken families (they be outta there by 8PM, when visitin' hours be over...), scant Doctor presence, few tests and access to sleep inducing medications for patients. It's a recipie for time to get work done, and a few magazines read.

My issues with the night shift have grown on me gradually. Namely, the girls who work the night shift always work the night shift and have become accustomed to running the joint as they see fit. Namely, choosing the radio station. And that wouldn't be so bad except that they insist on choosing the station that only plays slow-jams. All night. For 12 hours. And because there are, apparently, only so many slow-jams available, that the station rotates the same 4 or 5 songs every hour. By 6 AM, I'm delirious with the "love to love you, wo-man" tunes. That wouldn't necessarily be so bad except that the 3 or 4 other nurses I work with add insult to slow-jam injury by crooning along with said slow-jam. It's a marvel to me that they can remember what function Coreg has on heart rate, why you don't give morphine to a pancratitis patient AND all the lyrics (including all "Uh"s and "yeah baby"s) to every song. Where are they finding this kind of time?! It became quite clear to me that the only musical inputs in their lives are slow-jams when I had to call one of them at home and the ring-back tone was a sexy slow jam. Which is ballsy, since I'm not sure I'd want just anyone calling me to hear that.

Which brings me to my next point. There is nothing inherently wrong with slow-jams, but it is truly remarkable how many different ways, tunes and words can be used to sing about wanting to/going to/working on having sex with a woman. Which is fine. I'm sure a quick perusal through my iPod would wield just as much horror to them, though not of a sexual "what I am gonna do to your body, lady, when we all alone, uh... yeah.. uh.. WOO" persuasion. However, there was one night I put my nursing shoe down and said if I heard "Low" one more time I thought I might mercy kill myself right there in the nursing station and could I please change the station. For a blessed 20 minutes I heard good shit. And I was the only voice knowing all the words filling the nursing station. After a quick trip to a patient room, I came back to hear "Sympathy for the Devil" by the Rolling Stones playing. What a great song, man. I mean, really. What a great song. Except that I realized all the other nurses were discussing how terrible it was -- this SATAN music that I had put on. They decided that they just couldn't, in good conscience, listen to this DEVIL music. I argued. I pleaded. I insisted that it was a clever, lyrical weave of sarcasm and wit by the Rolling Stones -- old men who continue to love-to-love-you-wo-man without actually having to say it (helloooo, "Start me up"??), but sadly, I was overruled. And so thus is my night shift. I have begun bringing my own earphones because sometimes I think my brain waves are being slowly manipulated by all the slow jams. And then I live in constant fear that they'll see I'm listening to Air Supply.

The night shift also poses interesting problems when I come off of it. When most people live and do shit during the day, I sleep. Unless there is some reason for me to stay awake (And sometimes that reason is Paradise Hotel 2. Don't judge.). Recently, our furnace broke. The Mister scheduled the repair man to come between 8AM and 11AM -- so I wouldn't be totally disturbed by letting the repair guy in. He arrives and I take him to the furnace in the basement. He's chit chatting and I'm dead on my feet. When we arrive at the furnace, I swing around and say to him, "Well, yeah. So this is where the magic happens." What's worse, is that I didn't see anything wrong with saying that for a solid ten minutes.

When it comes to strangers, I usually don't mention I'm a nurse anymore. At first, I would tell anyone standing still long enough what I did because I was proud and I dig the respect that people immediately have when you tell then what you do. And then I learned that after they shower their respect on you, they inundate you with medical questions or the story about how terrible or how wonderful your hospital is. Or the really long story about their child/mother/sister/friend's recent illness. Or worse, the symptoms they are currently having -- and should they go to the doctor for that? So when the repair man showed up and I'm all black-eye-circles and sexual innuendoing the furnace, I just made the excuse that I worked a night shift and forgive my rather subdued attitude at the moment. My fatigue made my attempts at artful dodging transparent. And in the end, he found out what I did. And then my plans of sleeping on the couch while he fixed what needed to be fixed until I had to sign something, turned into him sitting at the dining room table to talk about "when it hurt to pee -- why is that?" and how his mother is at this one hospital, but he wishes she were at MY hospital because it's better there (probably) and the time that his son.. blah blah blah.

Yeah man, the night shift.

Incidentally, my Lenten cake-giving-upping did pretty well. It wasn't a perfect 40 days, but it was better than last year, which gives me room to grow for next year. Naturally, the minute I give up cake is when grateful patient families inundate the unit with thank-you treats to the nurses. As one nurse slathered her face in delicious looking cake, she commented to me that if SHE gave up cake, the last thing she'd be was closer to God. Nice.

As we move liturgically towards Pentecost, I'll make a Pentecostal effort to blog more. I had a few irrate emails about my absence. My bad.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?