Sunday, June 30, 2002

Tonight was the belated joint birthday from the family to my sister and I. We are both June babies. I got some nice gift certicates to Face Works, Nacho Mama's and Strawberry Street Cafe. My mom made her famous barbeque, and fun was had by all.

Today I started off with a nice cup of coffee and Sex and The City DVD. Now I am reheating the casserole from last night while the Better Half makes his way from Mass. I am reading, with continued fascination, Martha Inc. She can be quite mean, apparently. Anyway, the Better Half told me last night he got yelled at by one of the CEOs whose company is protected by the security systems he helps install. Apparently a kid threw a rock at one of this guy's buildings, and the police were called. The CEO is the first person to call in case of emergency, and he yelled at my Better Half for waking him up. This guy's store is being broken into. If it were me, and most sane people would agree with me here, I would wanna know. I'd risk a few hours sleep. According to others who work at the security company, this man is a real jackass . He is also very rich.

I hear and read about these overprivilaged brats and it turns me off to big money. People in today's society want big power and big money, but can't seem to stomach big responsibility, big respect, and big integrity. I like working. I have to admit I feel I am paid very well. I feel successful. But at the same time, I can't see treating people like dirt, simply because I have acquired enough power to do so. One of my favorite books of all time has to be F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, which discusses the hedonistic waste that went on during the roaring 1920s (if you haven't read it, please do yourself a favor...but I warn you, read the book first, don't see the Mia Farrow movie. I love Mia, but the movie really blows). I see it as a clever warning and precursor to what was the most devastating financial time in American History, The Great Depression. Suddenly, all of those wealthy, wasteful people became paupers, selling apples on street corners. And they became "the dirt," the fodder for those who suddenly became more fortunate. It was F Scott's famous "I told you so." I am not saying that I wish this country into poverty of that magnitude, but that I find the idea refreshing that those who exploit will soon become the exploited, in one way or another.

On the opposite side of the coin, I must say that I have encountered a lovely, wealthy man and his family. Unfortunately, I cannot say our encounter was filled with joy, as Mr. B. was losing his battle with cancer. He was a prominent Richmond auto enterpreneur who had recently relapsed with leukemia. He never ever used his wealth against any of us. He always smiled, and took my kidding of his reading of tabloids from his hospital bed with great stride. His wife was a constant presence at his bedside, who always looked beautiful, suntanned and healthy. She must have been a looker in her youth. They could have used our hospital's VIP suites, but settled on our unit because they liked the nursing care. Mr. B died in his room about 3 weeks ago, surrounded by his friendly and gracious family. It is because of the B's that I am not so overly jaded when it comes to stereotyping the wealthy, because I know that out there, someone exists who actually deserves it, who incorporates big power and big money with big grace, respect, responsibilty and integrity. Thanks, Mr. B.

Saturday, June 29, 2002

Mmm. So nice to have the weekend off. Still, the Better Half had to do an evening overtime shift at his summer job. It is very nice to be alone for a bit.

I made myself a chicken casserole with a recipe from the St. Mary's School cookbook, which was delicious, and some break-n-bake chocolate chip and caramel cookies from Toll House.I must say, my latest cooking experiements have turned out really well. I also have bought my first copy of Martha Stuart Living, just doing some adjunct research, as my latest read is Martha Inc, her latest most scandalous bio.

Last night, as part of my birthday present, we had dinner at Mamma Zu, a tiny well kept secret that serves incredible Italian food. Also we went to see Lilo and Stitch, which was great. I think my friend Marian would love it! I went out and bought the Elvis-inspired soundtrack, which features Wynonna singing a cover of "Burning Love."

Tonight I got a few minutes alone with Father John. He said my brownies were great. He gave me some great advice for helping those whose loved ones die suddenly, like that man's family a few days ago. He said just to listen to them, and "let them drive the car." I missed hugging him when he was gone. Tonight, I got two hugs!

Now I think it is time for some warm cookies and milk.

Friday, June 28, 2002

My party was so much fun! I was dressed in one of my favorite black dresses from Guess? ; I felt like I was Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's. I had so much fun picking out the accessories: pearl necklace, Nine West shoes and Coco Madamoiselle, my latest splurge. The thunderstorms knocked the power out at ROT, so they had to close at 8pm! My Better Half and my friend Grantham helped make alternative plans to go to Joe's Inn at Innsbrook. I got there and saw my friends The Lowenhagens, and they sent me a drink. I had the chicken marsala, which was divine! Even though I didn't have UB and ROT on my birthday, I was surrounded by great friends, I felt loved and I didn't care! I thought it was so much fun! Later on, I fell asleep very happy!

Thursday, June 27, 2002

Today I am 25 years old! One quarter of a century. Tonight, we go to ROT. My cousin Kristen sent me a cute animated e-card and my friend Big John sent me a Jay and Silent Bob e-card! My mom gave me Victoria Secret pjs and my Better Half sent me flowers and called NPR to have my name on the radio! It has been a pretty nice birthday so far! Chessie also outdid herself this year, as her present was a guilt-free trip to Krispy Kreme for some doughnuts. (I actually went, spent money there, but she meowed that I should enjoy myself.)

I finished The Nanny Diaries, which I liked very much, and now am concentrating fully on Martha Inc. The people on MSNBC say Martha might go to jail, given her recent financial woes. I'm really not a fan, but I really think that would be just wrong for some reason!

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

My Better Half and I exchanged gifts. He gave me a biography of the World War II nurses in Japan. I gave him frosted Simpson's beer steins, as well as a Simpsons-themed bowling shirt, from the episode about the King Pins. He liked the Chicken Paprika very much, and cleaned his plate.

Julia Roberts does an incredible job with The Nanny Diaries. It's as if she was made for the role. So far it is great. I have not been able to stop listening. The image of Faye Resnick, from the whole O.J. Simpson debacle, as well as the latest Fox shame based reality TV show The Hamptons, come to mind when I think of Mr. and Mrs. X, the novel's antagonists.

I am loving The Nanny Diaries! It has really turned me off to being rich, as well as subjecting a child to neurosis. The two women who wrote it are former nannies from New York. I have a feeling that most of this so-called satire is not entirely ficticious. Hey Marian, you need to read this!

This afternoon, I made Chicken Paprika, from the Susan Powter cookbook. I have enough left over for dinner, and hopefully, the Better Half will find it tasty as well. Even though I can't stand that whole Stop The Insanity thing now, I really like the recipes. They are quick, simple and easy...if I can do it, anyone can!

Right now, Chessie has decided that it is too hot to go outside. It is overcast, and according to my friend, Big John, who works in the fan, we're in for a downpour. She is now sitting nearby, listening to The Nanny Diaries with me. The Better Half just sent me a very sweet email. I gotta run now, get his anniversary present.

After my chocolate bread pudding, I finished the bottle of Black Dog, and got a bit didn't get better after I found a bottle of Rasberry Zinfindel in my fridge. I chatted with Marian and Karelle a bit, mostly about boys, and lack thereof, and then sent the Better Half a spicy email. He was at the library tutoring at the time, and he said he was very happily suprised when he read it, but was glad the kid he was tutoring was not standing nearby.

Today was grand! When I have days off during the week, I try to make the best of it. Since most everyone I know is at work, it is basically my time to myself. I slept late til about 8:30, then went to Barnes and Noble to get started on my summer reading. I got Martha Inc: The Incredible Story of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and the audio version of The Nanny Diaries, read by a very fabulous Julia Roberts (a fellow knitter), which I have been enjoying in the car as I commute back and forth. Martha Stewart facinates me, and I have to say I have to admire both her and Sharon Osbourne for their moxie and their determination. I also got a caramel frappuchino and a piece of coffee cake. After a brief stop by Sister Diane's office to drop off my stuff for World Youth Day (the Better Half will be so proud of me!) I went to Face Works Day Spa, for my special birthday present to myself, a full body massage and a pedicure. My massage therapist, Erin, worked on the knots in my scapular region (it's where all my stress goes). Afterwards, I was sooooo relaxed. My nail tech, Julianna, was bubbly and bright, and kept me entertained with stories of her native Colombia, how much she wants to bring her daughter to the U.S. and how cute her dogs are. I liked her immediately, and tried to tip as best I could, so the reunion between her and her daughter would happen sooner. RIght now, I am home, debating what to make for lunch. I had originally planned to go over to the Better Half's house to take Chessie outside and work on a tan, but ever since I got inside my place with the cool air conditioner, it proved too tempting to stay put. Soon I will venture out and go to the grocery store.

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Mmm. Chocolate bread pudding. Perfect for the kind of day I've had. Today we lost a patient, very unexpectedly. He died in his sleep. His family was grief stricken, sobbing, yelling, fainting. It was bad.
I felt so sorry for them, especially the man's wife. She stood over him, holding his face, and kissing him. It was heartbreaking. It was all I could do to keep from thinking if it happened to me. His nurse, Shirley, allowed me to help with post mortem care, which we help prepare the body for transport to the morgue, then to the funeral home.

We first disrobed the patient, removing any catheters, IV lines, anything invasive. Then Shirley removed a piece of cloth from the post mortem kit that is used to tie under the patient's chin to help stablilze the mouth. It looks like the old cartoons and sitcoms, where the person has a toothache. Then we cleaned the body and placed a white bag underneath him, and then placed the infamous toe tag, then we zipped the bag. It is always important, Shirley said, to put a sign on the door asking all visitors to stop by the nurse's desk before entering. It needs to be done immediately after a patient expires, because you never know who comes in, and to see a loved one in a white bag, nude, and motionless, could be absolutely traumatic. After the initial shock wore off, the family expressed their gratitude, and left silently.

Naturally, it put a damper on everyone's day. Ed McMahon could have walked in, declared us all millionaires, and we'd still be bummed. The problem was we didn't have time to be bummed. The unit was hopping. We talked a bit about our patient, also about the pitcher from St Louis who died of a blocked artery; he was in his 30's. Lorraine worries about her husband, a smoker. I worry about the Better Half as a given. Today didn't help matters much. Lately, I have let go of a lot of stuff . I try to help keep his house clean, and not retaliate when he points out when I leave towels and stuff on the floor. Also, I have decided to work some 12 hour shifts, to have some more time off during the week to spend with my Better Half and my friends.

Monday, June 24, 2002

Well, today wasn't too bad...for a Monday. I managed to get off of work a tad early, and went to swim. I then decided to make dinner. I made green bean and chicken casserole with chocolate bread pudding for desert. I got the recipe for the casserole from my cousin, who got it off the back of a can of fried onions. I added a twist, meaning the chicken, and instead of onions, which I don't like, I used sour cream and onion potato chip crumbs. I got the chocolate bread pudding recipe from the Susan Powter (Stop the Insanity chick) American Cuisine cookbook. Also, I added red wine, Black Dog, from Chateau Morrisette, a winery we toured near Blacksburg. It was a low-key way for the Better Half to celebrate our two year anniversary! Yeah, that's right, we have been officially a duet for two years!!! Right now, we are just chilling out, watching the episode of M*A*S*H were Father Mulcahy feels bad because he hasn't seen The Front, and so he goes and has to perform an emergency trach on a wounded soldier.

Sunday, June 23, 2002

I am home now, awaiting Papa John's to deliver a spinach alfredo pizza. I am very tired and cranky. Today we met with the rest of the WYD folks. We had a meeting, and no one talked. Except my Better Half, but there was like this 5 minute period of slience, finally I couldn't stand it anymore. I started asking about who was carrying medical supplies for the other group of people. These people kind of annoy me. John is really frustrated, he feels not a lot of people have put in the commitment it takes.

Last night the Better Half and I popped in the DVD of Shrek at about 9. By 9:30am, I was sleeping soundly. I was exhausted. This am I woke up still feeling tired, but so far, the pace here has been nice. But I won't say anything more because that has a tendency to jinx me, and soon the unit will be swamped with new admissions with complicated nursing interventions.

Saturday, June 22, 2002

I ended up sleeping very lightly last night. I had a nightmare in which the Better Half had to get radiation for cancer! These nurses came and wheeled him away. I remember feeling no real comfort as these women who dressed and worked like me told me cheerfully that things were going to be okay. I woke up in a panic that stayed with me. I got to work and just started crying. I went into the bathroom to cool down, and managed, by some chance, to pull myself together and work through the day, with a lot of TLC from my co-workers, not to mention the sweetest patients a nurse could hope for.

I see these people with cancer, and I see their husbands and wives, and how they live day to day with this disease, and sometimes, just for a second, I think..what if it happened to us? Then I put it out of my head because the thought is too horrible. This dream allowed me to see it vividly, and it was out of my control. My co-worker Karen said it was probably me taking my work home with me, coupled with the fact that I feel separated from the Better Half a lot (Karen is buku smart; she is getting her MSN). My other co-worker Cathy told me our other co-worker Rhoda, was a vivid dreamer also. "In fact, she's killed me off in a couple of her dreams!" Cathy chuckled. Right now, I'd kill for the dream I had the other night- I was in a huge, endless breakfast buffet line! I was piling huge pieces of French toast and hash browns on my plate. It was such a bummer to wake up before I got a chance to eat!

Anyway, tonight the Better Half and I are playing it low-key. We went to Mass to see Father John, and I finally got a great hug from him. It's been too long. We had 4 babies baptized. It was a great Mass, very upbeat vibe coming from everyone. He deserves it.

Friday, June 21, 2002

Whew! Today was busy. I couldn't wait to get out of work. After work, I went to swim. I really pushed myself! I did five sets of fifty meters freestyle swims, each fifty was on the minute. It felt great, all that tension from the day...pretty much gone, and tonight, we're going to a baseball game. The thought of hot dogs and fries and low-key fun is perfect. I am now in a great mood. I know I will sleep very well tonight!

Thursday, June 20, 2002

Last night the Better Half and I talked. It went pretty well. He apologized and said he should have called last night. I explained how I felt like he blew me off. We resolved it. Basically, I didn't want to go to bed without resolving the issue.

Today our metro section carried a huge picture and article on Father John. It was a very complementary article, but I was amazed how thin he looked! I was so glad I sent him some brownies, maybe it'll fatten him up a bit! He came back to a full load- possibly four funerals and a weekend full of baptisms, as well as the Singles Mass tonight. My friend Veronica, who works at the church, says they haven't had a funeral in six weeks; it's not uncommon during other times, but she and I have a theory that people weren't ready to enter Eternity without Father John there to take care of them and their families.

In celebration, I found a cute retro outfit from Target- a knitting white summer sweater with a red tank top for underneath and some Mossimo capri pants. I plan to debut it tonight. To be honest, I've been critical of what I wear to the pub since the infamous incident with the drunk. Also, I feel like I want to send a more blatant vibe at the pub that says, "I'm here, with someone I love, and you can't do anything about that."

I consider myself a feminist, I read BUST, and I feel crimes against women are extremely underrated and need stiff penalties. But from what I have seen, both with my sister's altercation in Blacksburg and from my encounter with Captain Losermullet, it appears to me that, when a certain type of man becomes intoxicated and begins to start trouble, either with men or women, as a woman, you become a target. You simply cannot reason feminist principle nor use them with this type of drunk guy. You have to let another guy handle it. Most of my guy friends are very helpful in situations like these, in that they don't retaliate and they make sure the girl is okay, and in some instances, safe. My Better Half went to bat for a girl on St. Patrick's Day, who was fighting with her boyfriend, and was being grabbed and touched in a way she didn't appreciate it. I remember John saying that her sister and her dad were nearby, but he was the only one who was doing anything. That seems strange to me, as well as to many of my male coworkers that if it was their daughter, they would pound the boy's face into the pavement. I know my dad, who is a very passive man, wouldn't let anyone touch me like that happen if he was present. John was very worried for her, because she ended up going back home with him. However, our friendly bartender John says that this type of thing has happened before with this couple, and as he put it, "no one ever gets physically hurt. It's a drama you don't want to get too involved with." It really is a shame, because it's such a short life we all have. Why spend it codependent, or miserable?

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

I am in a bad mood. I am shoving brownies in my face, and frankly, it is rather grotesque. :) It stems from the fact that my Better Half and I haven't been able to spend a whole lot of time together recently. Unfortunately, I was falling asleep when he came in, around 10 pm. He took the pot of penne pasta from the fridge, made himself a plate and ate it in the dark as not to disturb me. He is very courteous. They don't make men better than him. That doesn't mean that things are perfect. That is unrealistic, because as humans, we're not perfect. Every relationship has its issues, in the case of me and The Better Half, a lot of times we don't get to spend enough time together, due to conflicting schedules. Not that I blame him solely...I have to say that most of the time work comes first in my life...the Better Half totally respects and supports that. But we both get lonely when the other is away for long periods of time. It is something we both have to work on, and have to accept. Hopefully, we will be able to talk later on.

Okay..time to put down the brownies. Well...maybe one more. :)

Well, today was rough. We had a staff meeting that crunched into our patient care time, but all the things said in the meeting were pertinant. So, it was a catch-22.
I got really scared today. Mr. T was a patient admitted from the ER last night. He was in a back brace because some of his vertebrae were missing. Also, if you touched him on his back just so, it could cause paralysis, or worse. Anyway, he was lying flat on his back, in a lot of pain because he had metastasis to his bones, which can be excrutiating. Anyway, he also had gastroesphageal reflux disease (GERD), which is really bad is a bugger however, because it can produce symptoms that can look like a heart attack. To make a long story short, this guy gave me such a scare I set up an EKG and called the doctor in a panic...imagining the worst, I thought we'd have to send Mr. T to one of two places...the ICU or the morgue. But it turned out all he needed was some Maalox, a bit of TLC and some pain medicine, and he was as good as new.

But I remember also how concerned I was that he might have also aspirated something. Aspiration occurs when something goes wrong in the throat, and something that was supposed to go to the stomach ends up in the lungs. This can be very dangerous and sometimes killed Led Zepplin guitarist John Bonham. And it happened to my grandfather when he was hospitalized after his open heart surgery, so it is something to which I am very sensitive.

Well, on a more upbeat note, Father John led a weekday Mass this morning for the first time in 7 weeks. The Better Half said it was packed.

Also tonight, the most notorious episode of South Park. My guess is that it is going to be the pilot episode. First, it started it all, and has a concept of Cartman having something shoved up his butt. In fact, the episode is entitled, Cartman Gets An Anal Probe. We shall see.

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Today is a great day.

Father John will return to us soon, cleared of any charges! The parish is so excited!

Today I got out of work early, by about 4, and was so gleeful about the news that I kicked for 20 minutes in the pool, and got home to make dinner, which was chicken penne pasta alfredo with broccoli.
For dessert, brownies!

Monday, June 17, 2002

Yum! The Better Half cooked marinated pork with steamed carrots and rice. He is so talented. I proposed that I would be the breadwinner and he could be the house husband. :) But since we both like working, it wouldn't quite happen that way. After dinner, the Better Half guided my domestically challenged self through washing dishes. I mean, I can keep a double lumen hickman catheter sterile and free of infection, but the part of the brain for domestic duties is fried with me. I don't like housework, and I am bad at it. The Better Half understands.

Now I am hellatired. Time to settle in, watch more Sex and The City, and eat dessert- Krispy Kreme doughnuts! And no, I didn't swim today. But I will tomorrow.

Typical Monday. I ended up with four patients, two of which were supposed to be discharged, but needed home health follow-up care, which took friggin forever! One lady had a new IV catheter and a new feeding tube. The docs were ready to send her home without any follow up care! That basically is the equilvalent of giving someone water and an oven, and nothing else, and tell them to bake a cake. Fortunately, both people were very very pleasant about it, and no matter how grumpy I am on the drive home, I still get over it fairly quickly. I think it is really hard to work where I do, and the fact that I can do it well is a nice thought to me. My patients are safe, and that is the most important thing.

Now I get to look forward to the Better Half cooking me dinner! More later!

Sunday, June 16, 2002

This afternoon, after we let Chessie run around outside, chase birds, roll around in a dirt patch and pounce on some ants, we gave her a bath. Chessie got her revenge by giving the Better Half a nasty scratch on his finger as well as getting into her litter box and flinging kitty litter in the bathroom, which my Better Half had spent most of the day cleaning. Nonetheless, she looks and smells great.

The Sex and The City DVD is great. For the first time, there is commentary on some of the episodes. Very interesting, and fascinating how much thought is put into the show. Subtle stuff like costuming, facial expressions and secondary story plots are carefully constructed. Plus, the actors are really talented.

John and I left the Parrothead Party before the cops showed up. See Marian's blog for detail! I really wasn't surprised, given the neighborhood Mike lives in. It is right next to where I went to high school. I guess the word that comes to mind is...oppressive.

These past two days have been just what I needed, some lazy time to bond with my friends, my cat, and most importantly, my Better Half.

The Parrothead party last night, hosted by new Bahead Mike, was super fun. I debuted a new outfit, a sarong and a knit red top (the signature color) I bought in Carytown. I found a flower from Ben Franklin and put it in my hair. My Better Half had on his infamous hula shirt with his blue Guido-esque tank top (you can take the boy outta Jersey, but you can't take the Jersey out of the boy). We were a tad dramatic, given that most of the other people were dressed kind of low key. We had cheeseburgers (the Heines 57 was a nice touch) and hot dogs. The beer and jello shots flowed like water, and the entertainment, Jimmy Buffett concert, was projected on the back wall of Mike's house.

Today we slept late, and for a while, I did some much needed paperwork with my new DVD of Sex and The City (3rd season) in the background, while my Better Half cleaned and vaccumed all the while singing to Neil Diamond songs. It felt very very nice, even if my Better Half is deservedly famous for being tone deaf. :)

Along with shopping, I got a gift certificate for my Dad to Target. He really is the guy who has everything. Both my parents are kinda hard to shop for, not because they are demanding or ungrateful, just that they seem very satisfied with their lot in life, and don't ask for a whole lot more. Plus, there is only so much affordable New York Yankee or Dallas Cowboy collector items out there. My uncle, who is also my Godfather, on the other hand, is very easy to shop for. Every year, he says he looks forward to his Old Spice Combo- cologne, deodorant, and after shave-and I try never to disappoint him. Tonight is Father's Day dinner at my grandmother's house.

Saturday, June 15, 2002

I am going to a Parrothead party tonight!
Today I went shopping in Carytown for an outfit. I gave a homeless guy some money and some old fart sitting on a bench outside his store told me I shouldn't have because "it only encourages them."

What I should have said: "Hey, twisted old fart, it's my money and I will do what I damn well please with it! Also, I think by shopping in your crappy store, people are encouraging you to think that you're stuff is actually worth anything!!"

But instead I shugged my shoulders, smiled and said, "I've done my good deed for the day."
Okay, I am still a bit of a wimp. But I must say, it didn't really do much to my already slim view of humanity, as those of you who read my last post can easily pick up on. After my encounter with the walking dead, I went into an antique shop and found a really cute toy puppy that I bought for about 10 bucks. It made me feel a bit better.

Looking forward to tonight.

Well, it's about 8:30, and I call this sleeping late!
The Better Half and I had a hot debate last night, if you could call it that.
As many of my blogger readers know, since most of them are good friends, our parish priest has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation that he said something about 24 years ago that could have been interpreted as a sexually inappropriate statement to a 17-18 year old semanian student (pre-priesthood) at the school he was teaching at the time . There was no physical or genital contact involved. Most of the parishners are shocked and saddened. Father John issued a statement at his last mass he gave, stating he was innocent, as well as the optimism that he would be re-instated as the pastor after the investigation was over. He stood on the pulpit and proclaimed his innocence. Well, to most of us, we just believe that they would investigate, have no evidence, and then re-instate him as priest.

First of all, I must state my position on this whole Catholic Church matter- I was brought up Catholic, and have never belonged to any other church, although I have friends from many denomiations. I could not see myself belonging to another church. I believe my priest is innocent, because I, at this point, have no reason to doubt his word. That does not mean, however, that I don't believe that these horrific things have happened in our church, by men who manipulate those who are more vulnerable and have less power. And I believe there is no room in the priesthood for anyone who abuses that power and responsibility. These men who do these things are criminals, and they should be treated as such. The Bishops of the United States are meeting in Dallas Texas, and as I write this, they are trying to develop a zero-tolerance policy that would defrock those who are guilty of abuse and remove them from doing any more harm.

My Better Half is a very well-educated man who studies Catholic doctrine much more closely than I do. He gave me a very frightening scenario that could easily happen to Father John. The church operates not by judicial or criminal law, where guilt or innocence determines the outcome, but by cannon or eclesiastical law. The "Powers That Be" in the church are out to save the church, my Better Half explains, and that could me that someone innocent has to take the fall. Meaning that they could ask Father John to resign,who is a pillar of the community or make him resign, as the parish priest to show that the Diocese is in coordination with this new zero-tolerance plan, so they can say, "See, we removed him from office for something questionably not-so-bad; we're showing we can really stick it to the really horrible bad guys now!" Meaning that an innocent man would have his reputation ruined, be removed from his life's work he loves, and be forced to be a hermit or a pariah...because of politics.

I flew off the handle at this one, folks. I usually hate debate. I am non-confrontational. I don't really share my opinions with others because, frankly, I feel I am wasting my breath trying to convince people that my way is better. But I had to proclaim the whole scenario as disgusting and ridiculous. People of God shouldn't screw each other over. These men of power need to take responsibility for the fact that many times, they were aware of harmful priests in their dioceses, but continued to allow them to practice. But, my Better Half explains, these men have a lot of power, like CEOs in a corporation.They don't want to lose any power that they may have. In about a month, the Better Half and I are supposed to be driving up to Canada to participate in World Youth Day, where the Pope will make an appearance, as well as the Cardinals and Archbishops, who will speak on Catholic Dogma and Doctrine, as well as, get this, morality and ethics. I am starting to debate on whether or not I want to go to Canada, should this scenario take place and Father John has to resign. To sit there and listen to men I view as hippocrates would make me sick. I am hoping that the higher ups do the right thing and let Father John come back. Thanks for letting me vent. I feel better now, I can eat breakfast!

On a happier note, RENT has brought its national tour to our local theatre. My friend Marian and our newest Bahead Mike went to see it last night, and they said they liked it. I have seen this great musical twice now, and I listen to the soundtrack ad nauseum. If you haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favor, at least get the soundtrack, which is more reasonably priced. The production notes are inside the CD, meaning you can listen and follow the story line, and it's ALMOST like you're there.

Hmm. Hungry. Aunt Sarah's Pancake House, here I come!
See you guys later.

Friday, June 14, 2002

Nothing happened. The drunk loser guy left. Basically, everyone drank too much, as per usual.
Today was very very very busy. I was glad I left early, because I wouldn't have been up to snuff if I had stayed out late. Plus, last night I really wasn't in the mood to even be out in the first place. Tonight I am ordering pizza, while the Better Half does laundry at his place. I am so tired, I really am looking forward to sleeping in and being lazy tomorrow.

Thursday, June 13, 2002

Eeewww!!! Tonight at ROT as I turned to leave, this drunk guy tried to grab me! I got loose, and then as I was walking out, he followed me out to the parking lot! Ugh! Well, anyway, I went with my gut, turned around, and headed back toward the bar, where the Better Half and my friend Big John (he really is big- 6'1, 200 plus) were seated, and asked the Better Half to walk me to my car. I made the mistake however, of turning my back on the drunk, because as I did, I felt something on my shoulder...either this guy has the sweatiest, clammiest most jello-esque hands in the world or...shudder, he either kissed or licked my shoulder. I passed this info onto the Better Half, who's Italian response was, "I'll have to sit down and have a talk with this guy." Grant it, the Better Half had just won his softball game and was a little tipsy in celebration; he jokingly mentioned that he had enough to feel somewhat aggressive. I asked him not to worry about it...I have a bad feeling that this drunky will start something in the bar, as drunk as he was, plus, he did reach out and his hand brushed Alisuin's, the waitresses, backside. Alisuin is married to Martin, one of the bartenders, who would gladly put a foot into someone's rectum area if they so much as curled their lip at his wife. Stay tuned folks, and I will try to beat it out of my Better Half if anything happened.

Today I went swimming for about 15 minutes...tonight we got to ROT. I like everything about the pool except the lifeguards. It's always the same two kids who work, if you call it that. This morning, one was sleeping, the other was reading.
Yeah, yeah, we're all lap swimmers, and the pool's only 4 feet deep, but's the principle of the thing.

It was rocking on the unit. I had 3 patients and 1 admission. Everyone was cool today! I nearly had a heart attack when my most difficult patient, a young girl admitted with fever, gave me a hug, told me I was "a trip," smiled, gave me a hug and said, "thanks for taking care of me. This is why I do what I do.

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Today the lights went out!!! Suddenly, at approx 12:30, we were bathed in darkness! Apparently someone doing road work nearby cut our main power line. The North and Main Hospitals had generated power for almost two hours. The worst part was how hot it was, because the air conditioner was cut off too! Many of our patients had elevated heart rates and temps from the heat!

So, it was with much joy that I got out of work and went to swim laps with my Better Half. It is great bonding with him this way. He says all we need is for me to get a bike and we'd be set!
And that got me thinking...

But I still like swimming the best. Swimming and knitting are kind of the same thing, as far as relaxation properties. Both use repetition and counting as their main focus, which can leave your mind free to work out problems in your head. Most of my ideas come when I knit or swim. I think that meditation is great, and having done yoga, I can say it is wonderful, but I need something that keeps me moving, something that I can use to push myself when I want to push, or ease back when I want to take it slow. Thus swimming is perfect for me.

I remember feeling so relaxed in the car on my drive home tonight. My worries are really gone, the stresses of the day just melted away. I can talk about my bad days and laugh, and look forward to the next day instead of with anxiety or uneasiness.

Got endorphins?

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

After work, the Better Half and I went to the gym, where we swam laps for thirty minutes. The Better Half is a distance man; he ran cross country and track for years. So he pretty much did nonstop swim. As for me, when I swam, I was a sprinter. I loved 50 yard races, because I could go up and back and get out of the pool as soon as possible. So I worked on 50 yard sprints. I am really slow, I did them on minute intervals and I was sucking wind!!!

The best incentive for working out lies a few feet from the pool- the hot tub. I push myself and reward myself with an extended post-workout session with the jets. Feels great!!!

Right now, I feel good. I remember sleeping so great when I swam. Tonight I think I will have a good night's sleep!

Monday, June 10, 2002

Well, today was my first day on my own, taking care of patients. Everyone on staff was so cool, offering help left and right! I had two patients and one admission. It was great. I really really like that job.

Also I went and signed up for our employee gym! Now I can swim after work. Hopefully, I will keep at it. The Better Half hopefully will come along too sometimes. So now I gotta go out and get a new swim cap and goggles. I am excited!!!

Sunday, June 09, 2002

Just got home from the was so wonderful. People can be so cool. The whole thing, cover and drinks go to the guy's family. It was standing room only, and people were buying drinks left and right. I got to see the family too. They thanked me for the care I gave their loved one. My dear friends Marian, John and Grantham showed their support. The vibe was really incredible. One of my coworkers, Barbara, left the party and had planned to visit him and tell him all about it. We decided that when he gets better, we will hear him play with his band!

Right now am watching Legally Blonde to look at Elle's hat, so I can see what kind of flowers to get to put on them. Also, because I really like the movie. :)

My parents are spending the weekend in New York City. Before they left, my mom gave me their itenerary: "We're going to 3 Yankee games and to eat."
They should be home tomorrow.

Ahh. Home again. Yes, BBurg was fun, however, last night there was a short lived but volatile incident at my sister's party involving some guys with apparently too much booze on board and not enough intelligence. It also leads me to believe that they were small in other places South of the Border. However, my Better Half helped represent, and along with my sister's friends Nick and Matt, things got under control fairly quickly without a fight. Johnny operated the door, and everytime someone went out, he would lock the door behind them. Later on, they laughed it off, and raised their glasses and toasted "To high drama!" They cope for me, I think I'll stick to West Wing if I want high drama. And someone spilled a pink concoction all over my issue of Cosmo. Bastards!

Man, those kids have stamina. I don't want to be up at 4 am unless I am being paid and someone needs a transfusion. They don't sleep. It's not natural. As a card carrying member of The Sleep Fan Club, I just don't understand it. I get less than 6 hours and I am a bear! Luckly, by the time the mess started happening, I was snuggled in bed and didn't hear much of all the foolishness. As I said, I let my Better Half deal with it...he's much better at it anyway. :)

Also, this weekend I reconnected with an old friend- the swimming pool adjacent to my sister's apartment had a lap lane! I was sucking wind after 75 meters, something I would do in seconds without so much as a second glance back in my prime. But I felt great, and it made me wanna get back at the pool. The Better Half has challenged me to use the pool at the gym at work. We can use it together, since he takes classes at the academic campus, and I work on the medical campus, so we're both eligible for membership.

More later...tonight is a benefit for one of my patients...a musician. There will be bands playing, and free food. He told us staff we could get in for free. I plan to stay only a few hours...I need sleep!

Saturday, June 08, 2002

Well, today was my last official day of orientation. When I go to work on Monday, I will no longer be under the watchful eye of a preceptor, someone who is checking behind me to make sure the work is done.
No, instead I will be flying solo...and I am very nervous trying not to think about it!!! I keep replaying scenarios in my head to help quiz myself (i.e. your patient's hemoglobin count is 6.3, what do you do? Answer: Transfuse packed red blood cells, one unit, don't order the blood until the doc writes START WHEN READY [my preceptor Lorraine learned the hard way after surgical oncology attending wrote her up], and then make sure that the blood tubing is appropriately capped so it doesn't gush out [I learned that one the hard way].) But I know it would drive me I gotta trust myself and know where I can go for help.

Now on to Blacksburg. Let's see: I got my sunglasses, pillow, suitcase, my unread issue of Nursing 2002, as well as this week's people and the July issue of Cosmo. I am ready to go!!!

2am- Now, this is more like it! Very nice tonight, still have 5 patients, but things are calmer. Finished the 2 little caps in no time flat. Now all I need are some cute flowers to put on them, a la the Legally Blonde hat.

Friday, June 07, 2002

Whew, now I feel a lot better, after 6 hours of snoozing and a nice hot shower, I am rejuvinated and ready for another night shift!

Tonight the Better Half and some of our mutual bahead friends are at Friday Cheers, a local party held every Friday night in our area...mostly it is drinks and music, lots of fun. I opted to stay in, rest up, and work on the present to my preceptor- matching purple knit hats for her twin girls. I was inspired when I saw Reese Witherspoon's hat in Legally Blonde. The yarn I am using is chunky, so they will knit up in no time. Then, I go to work on my friend's wedding present. Then I can resume my afghan.

This weekend, we head up to Blacksburg, VA to see my sister for her birthday, as well as much needed bonding time with my Better Half.

Last night, we went to ROT to hear UB for a little while before I went to work. The crowd was really great, and as I looked around, it really did have a great Irish pub vibe to it.

I am so tired. Work has been very busy lately. I made the mistake of taking my June issue of Nursing 2002 on the unit with me. It seems that whenever I take a book/magazine/knitting with me to work, I end up so is almost jinxing me. I ran from 11 to 7 with hardly a break. All 5 of my patients needed something almost every hour. Not that I mind, the patients are so nice, so appreciative of everything, and they are so sick, their requests need to be granted.

Yesterday, Sheryl, our unit's educator nurse, told me that most everyone she has talked to has been complementary of my performance. It really made my day. It probably contributed to my sleeping 8 great hours yesterday, waking only after the thunder started, and Chessie jumped on the bed, wanting TLC and snuggling to calm her fears.

So tired, AGAIN. Tonight is my last night shift for a few weeks! Starting next Monday, I will be off my orientation period and will be a real nurse !!!

Thursday, June 06, 2002

Never posted, because I slept all day. That night really took a lot out of me. I went to work last night and had the same assignment, but mostly, things had settled down quite a bit.

Mr. G is one of my favorite patients. I have been with him since his admission. Unfortunately, that was almost a month ago. He has relapsed leukemia, and his prognosis doesn't look good. A once vibrant man, he now needs our help getting to the bathroom. His wife talked to me last night, in tears; she knows he is not doing well. I could only give her a hug, and do my best care for him.

The Better Half and I watched Austin Powers 2 today. WHen it got to the part where Elizabeth Hurley explodes, the Better Half turned to me and said, "If you blew up into a million pieces I would love each part." Now, that's love.

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

My knitting has come along nicely. Right now I am working on a multishaded blue and green afghan. I just finished a blue viscose chenille blend sweater, which only now needs to be blocked for it to become wearable (also, it may help if the temp drops a couple of degrees.)

The Better Half and I went out for dinner at Bennigans. Midway through the meal, the Better Half reminded me that we are reaching our two year mark. "Two very very good years," he says. Now you know why I call him the Better Half?

Very tired. Last night was hectic. The entire night shift staff was exhausted at the end of the shift. Apparently day shift had 10 admissions, and then evening shift had to help catch up day shift, and the night shift had to catch up on whatever was left over. 2 patients needed blood transfusions, another needed IV fluids, and they all needed to have blood drawn for labs. Then to top things off, we had to stay over for an inservice, about a drug which we won't even use because our patients are too sick to receive it. I stopped by Kristy Kreme's drive thru on the way home- I deserved it.

Will post more later, after I sleep. My brain is fried.


Monday, June 03, 2002

Some essentials that will make reading this blog easier:

JENN- that's me, an oncology nurse from VA. I love my job, and I talk about it often. The patient experiences here have been altered so as to protect confidentiality, but I want people to know what kind of incredible work nurses do. Also, by using this blog, I hope to hear feedback from other nurses who can give a rookie nurse some advice. In my spare time, I am addicted to knitting.

JOHN- My Better Half, as he will be refered to here. He would like the record to state that his first choice for a code name was "Dr. Funkenstein," but I convinced him otherwise. He currently teaches phys ed at a local elementary school. He has been my partner in crime, my rock, and my main source of TLC on a bad day for about 2 years now.

CHESSIE- Our cat, the Wonder Mew. The best kitty in the world. Lately we are hoping to give her a playmate. If I had my druthers, it would be a yellow tabby kitten that I would name Butters, inspired by the South Park character.

UISCE BEATHA- Our favorite band, they play Irish music at a local pub called Rare Olde Times (ROT for short). We go to see them every Thursday night. Check out their Yahoo group: BAHEADS.

BAHEADS- Our friends, Uisce Beatha fans. One of these is Marian, who inspired me to blog, because she made it look so gosh-darn fun. See her blog at

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