Monday, July 29, 2002

I'm baaaack!

Well, I had a great time. The Better Half became even better. We met people from all over the world. I had so much fun! I fell in love with Windsor, Canada, where my host family was staying. Plus, I got to meet some really cool Catholic leaders, like Cardinal George of Chicago, and Bishop Lobo of Pakistan and Bishop Ramirez of Las Cruces. I also met Matt Smith from MTVs The Real World. I learned much about my Catholic heritage and visited some really beautiful churches. I will try to write as much as I can from my tapes. Although it wasn't all sunshine and roses, and in fact I saw and experienced some really hurtful things, I choose to focus on the positive, and to show people how cool having faith can be; any faith, not just Catholicism.

My Better Half passed his teaching exams!!! I am so proud of him. Another thing that I realized on this trip was how much he meant to me. I watched him coordinate the trip, and when I ended up getting sick from heat exhaustion and missed the Papal Mass live, he made sure I got to a place where I could recooperate, and he stayed with me the entire time. I realized how safe he always makes me feel, and I realized that he was the one I wanted to share the rest of my life with. I told him this, and he smiled and said, "Me too, but I've known it for a long time."

So, I will tell you the story...starting tomorrow. Let a girl rest for heck's sake!


Tuesday, July 16, 2002

DEAR DEVOTED READERS: FOr the next ten days, I will be in Canada on our World Youth Day pilgrimage. The laptop stays in Richmond. I will be documenting the journey via a tape recorder and will blog when I return. Hope you guys stay safe and I'll see you when I get back!


Monday, July 15, 2002

I feel better. Nurse Chessie came by to administer a STAT dose of TLC. Since I am going to be away from her for 10 days, I am getting in as much snuggle time as possible before we leave. I asked the Better Half if we could take her, but he said no. "She's not even Catholic," he explained.

I just wish stupid people would go away. Like John Walker Lynde and his screwball family. I guess you need to get out from under your rock if you didn't know that the boy copped a plea bargain today and got 20 years in the pen. I haven't followed the whole thing closely, but I am very very glad he is being locked up for a long time, to become some big man's bitch.
The nicest touch? His father comparing him to Nelson Mandela. Get the f$ck outta here! I hope soon that these losers have their 15 minutes of fame expire. I mean, he's your kid, and you love him, of course, but you know he's a shithead. The best thing for you to do is go on TV, admit your kid's a shithead, and thank your lucky stars that the American legal system your kid rebelled against spared his life when he chose to commit treason. Then you shut up, go home and never speak of it again.

For the first time ever at work, I was bored! It was weird and short-lived. I helped out other people. Poor Denise was having a bad day. She rocks, so I tried to help her out a bit. Tomorrow, I am only on the unit for four hours. At 11:30 I go to a class entitled, From Survivor To Thriver, and it's about transitioning into a new job. I've been to it once before, when it was called Survivor: How Not To Get Voted Off The Island. It's no new information, but it basically pays me to sit on my ass and daydream a bit. Now am discussing with Marian her latest blog post about the family her mom cares for. Read her blog for more details.

Sunday, July 14, 2002

All packed!!!

I've added some new links to the blog site:
ChickKnits is a cute web site and blog that features all things purled. It has a kick arse pic of Russell Crowe flashing his needles. Yum.

AbeLinkin is my friend Drew's band. Awesome!

BUST magazine is the best women's mag out there. It features real women and has great new, challenging views of feminism. The Boobtique features very very adorable items to buy. Do yourself a favor.

Our YAHOO group, baheads, always has fun. Join up and get to know great folks and excellent music. Check out the photo album with our friend Angela's amazing drawings, and Big John's cut and paste photo-rama.

Rare Olde Times is the best Irish pub in Richmond. Visit it, damn you!

I dragged my tired ass to Regency for a possible date outfit and wound up spending too much money. I got a couple of nice looking shirts and two pairs of ill-fitting jeans. After our fabulous dinner at La Siesta, which had great service courtesy of a fine young woman named Theresa, I was about ready to pop out of my new jeans! I definately recommend the Chimichanga with chicken. We went to Chesterfield Towne Center, but ended up backing out of the flick because John realized that Sum of All Fears wasn't playing anymore.

So instead we chose the safe option of going to the pub. We bantered a bit with John-at-the-bar, who, like the Billy Joel song is a hellava guy and is a friend of ours. We then saw Marian, Karelle, Pam and Grantham. Traveling with the group was Pam's cousin Trey who was visiting from Ohio. Trey impressed my Better Half by finishing an Irish Car Bomb. The waitstaff gave me my second Harp for free, a belated birthday gift! The best thing, was when the band sang that Alison Krause song from Notting Hill. Apparently it was one of the Better Half's favorites when he was in his country music phase, and he serenaded me. It was a very nice moment.

Today I am watching an Aussie flick called Love and Other Catastrophies. It's a mid-90's indie film about college students, but more artsy and less fartsy. It's one of those movies you can put on in the background and do stuff but still keep up with, because it's a lot of talking. Today I am packing for Canada, going through what I have vs what I need. I have the packing list complied by the Better Half, our leader, but also, I look to the Travel Issue of BUST magazine. ALthough the Better Half is very much in touch with his feminine side (he minored in Women's Studies at Susquehanna University in Penn.) he lacks the second X chromosome that can truly give him the experience of traveling as a fearless female. Ohh, Marian just IMed me. Gotta run.

Saturday, July 13, 2002

Oooh, the new issue of Cosmo has hit the stands. Haven't checked it out yet, but looks okay. Got it at Target this AM. Also picked up a copy of People Weekly, which was disappointing. Julia Roberts got married, blah, blah blah.

Tonight, the Better Half and I go out on our date! He is taking me to La Siesta, which is a Mexican restaurant in Southside. We are going to the nearby mall and catch a flick...which one, I am not sure.
I just remembered I gotta run back to Target and get some stuff...along with something to wear on my date.

Friday, July 12, 2002

Such a beautiful day! Today has been rather leisurely. I enjoy the fact that my Better Half and I are on the same circadian rhythm again. He looks so exhausted, but is off now teaching swim lessons. After that though he has nothing planned the rest of the day except for a siesta. Tonight, I work. I sort of enjoy working Friday nights. On Saturday mornings, the new issue of People Magazine hits the stands. By the time I get outta work, I can swing by Target, pick up a few things along with my People Weekly, and relax the rest of the day. This weekend we prepare for Canada. I plan to clean up my apt, and pack my backpack. Tomorrow, we have our date scheduled; dinner at a Mexican restaurant, then a movie. :) Should be fun. Well, I think my pizza is here, so see you soon.

Lately, there have been a string of icky guys at the pub on Thursday night. Mostly, they think they are dead sexy, but mostly, they are old losers who drank too much. The token sign is the older guy trying to dirty dance and get a younger chick, namely, my friend Marian, to dance with him. Tonight was this guy who looked like Terry Bradshaw. I hypothesized his name was Thor. After Marian shot him down in front of everyone, he had the stupidity to walk over to the next table, and try the same schpeel on another girl! Who had seen the whole thing with Marian! Thor is obviously not the sharpest knife in the drawer!
Luckly, our boys formed a wall and shielded Marian from any more unwanted advances. Thor left without a date, and fun was had by all.

My Better Half is working his night shift tonight. I can't wait to ask him how it was. He is not a night person, and he didn't get a whole lot of sleep.

More later...

Thursday, July 11, 2002

So sleep deprived. 12 hours ago, I was transfusing blood!

Big John and I are discussing 80s hair bands. Check out his blog, Mixed Nuts, along with our friend Karelle, the Old Maid in the Garret. I have links now, so you might as well use em! I now have many friends in Blogger World.

Presenting, a totally true IM conversation between me and my mom, which took place earlier today:
JEN&SHAYZMAMA: Jen, are you there this is mom
JMS62777: Hello Mom! Yes, I am here!
JEN&SHAYZMAMA: why aren't you sleeping
JEN&SHAYZMAMA: what is your work schedule this weekend
JEN&SHAYZMAMA: when are you leaving for Canada
JEN&SHAYZMAMA: I talked to Father Mike Renniger today and told him you date John and he said what a small world!
JMS62777: Whoa!
I am not sleeping because I am off tonight. I am off Sat and Sun. I work tomorrow night. We leave for Canada on WEDNESDAY.
Yes, it is a small world after all.
JEN&SHAYZMAMA: Okay, no more questions. when do you come home. We leave for the beach on the 28th. I just need to arrange for a feeding schedule for the dogs.
JMS62777: Father Mike is so rad.
JMS62777: I come back the 29th.
JEN&SHAYZMAMA: What is rad?
JMS62777: I can feed the dogs starting the 30th.
JEN&SHAYZMAMA: I will arrange for Karen to feed the dogs til the 29th and then you can start on the 30th. Is that okay?
JMS62777: "Rad" = 80's slag, meaning "very cool."
JMS62777: Yes, that schedule is fine.
JEN&SHAYZMAMA: Okay I will let you rest now. go to sleep.
JMS62777: Okay mom, bye! see where I get it from??? ;D

I ran into my former classmate Trixie on the stairs at work the other day. Trixie is a driven young thing- been on the surgical trauma step-down unit for two years, now married, preceptoring and challenging the clinical ladder soon. She was nicely dressed, her blue nametag and ID in place. I asked her what she was up to. "Trauma Surgery Council, gotta run." And she hurried off. I didn't know what Trauma Surgery Council was, but it sounded important and grown-up.

Today my Better Half shaved all his hair off. It's about a half an inch long now. With his aviator shades on, he looks like the old pictures of my Grandaddy when he was in the Air Force in the 40s (minus the cigarettes). He got a bit of scoop on who we will be sharing the diocese with in Canada. Apparently, the diocese is hosting 41 pilgrims. John, David and I are going to be the only Americans. The rest are a group of Polish young adults. I will be staying with two of the girls from that group. David and John get to stay together.

Ahh, so nice to have the day off. Even nicer, is that the Better Half is working a night shift tonight, and has had the morning free, and we have spent some much needed bonding time together. We are going out on a date Saturday night. A Mexican restaurant, and a movie. We're just not sure where. I wanna see The Powerpuff Girls movie, he wants to see The Sum of All Fears. I have a feeling we will end up going to see whatever is at The Byrd theatre, as I have a gift certificate to Nacho Mama's and he has Byrd Bucks, so it will be a fairly cheap date.

Tonight...ROT! After two weeks, a UB concert! Finally! See you guys later.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Very tired.

Almost done with my long stretch though. Can't wait for Thursday, to go drinking at ROT.

Read all about Marian's adventures with Big Joyriding Loser Dude.

Monday, July 08, 2002

Been really bad about working I went and got fattening junk breakfast food. I am considering joining a second gym, to help compensate for night shifts and weekend workouts. MCV gym is only open from 2-4 pm on the weekends...that leaves me in a lurch when I want to workout after getting off a night shift at 7am on weekends. Maybe American Family...apparently some of those gyms are open 24-7.

Sunday, July 07, 2002

I just found out that the 2003 Nursing Symposium is at Coronado Springs in Disney World! It's in April. Whoo-hoo! This is a very special day for me, as two years ago today I learned I had passed my nursing boards. Last night, I helped Cheryl, the charge nurse, take care of an elderly Alzheimer's patient. In just changing his bed, she looked so natural and so compassionate at the bedside. I hoped someday I could be like that.

Ahh, the Better Half is home again. I have missed him so. So has Chessie. He had a good time, went to Ground Zero when he visited the city. He said it resembed a ghost town.

Tonight is Night #2 of 5 nights in a row. I get off Thursday night to go drinking at ROT. (Well, not too much). It's been a while since I've been able to imbibe, since I've been working a lot these past couple of weeks, long stretches with only about a day or two off between. The other night after we saw Undercover Brother, we went out to have a beer. I was tipsy after 2 bottles of Harp, and was slightly hungover the next day!

Everyone is recuperating from our friend Karelle's BBQ bash held last night. It sounded like a blast!

See you guys soon!

Saturday, July 06, 2002

Last night I had the night off, so I went with some of my friends to see Undercover Brother, which rocked. I found myself really liking the afro Eddie Griffith wore in the movie. I thought about convincing my Better Half that he should grow his hair out, but he didn't seem to keen on the idea. In fact, he is getting ready to cut it very short, military-style, for our trip to Canada, which is happening in a little over a week!

I finished Martha Inc. I found it to be a good read, a bit too on the financial-speak side, but other than that, it was pretty good.

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

This morning I drove my Better Half to the train station so he could go to NJ for the holiday. I am all out of sorts, like most of the times when the Better Half or my parents leave for shortened periods of time. I used to be better at being alone, but since I have gotten so used to the Better Half being around, it is kind of a bummer when he goes somewhere.

I am sort of glad to be working nights for an extended period of time. I am really not a morning person, and the thought of getting to sleep during the day really appeals to me. The con occurs because everyone else is asleep during the times I am ready to go. So, on my days off, I stay up all morning. By 10PM or so, I am exhausted, but mainly, I don't drive or do anything that requires cognitive precision. It really just feels like a mad case of jet lag.

Well, my friend Marian talks about her decisions she is making for her life. You can read the details in her blog, but I have to say that I support her in whatever she does! Kudos Marian!

More later....

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Today was so hectic! Right when I was ready to take on a pretty heavy admission, another patient with low platelet counts suddenly began to bleed! Because he couldn't clot properly he ran the risk for hemmorhaging! So we gave him a quick blood transfusion, and all was okay. I felt so run over by the time the shift was over, I went home, got into the bathtub and read a bit of Martha Inc. It's starting to talk about her divorce...very juicy but at the same time, kind of sad too. People like to gossip, and in the book it talks about a former friend of hers who swears Martha intentionally ran over a kitten! I would like to think a woman who has and appears to love cats would not even fathom something so horrid. Even the book dismisses it as someone with an ax to grind, and apparently, Martha has pissed off a lot of people.

But I still can't help myself from looking at her scrumptious looking recipes.

Monday, July 01, 2002

Today is the day where our new interns begin their first year! Luckly they are under the watch of Dr. DW, a great resident.

Tonight I made tuna alfredo with garlic bread and apple crisp for dessert. Now the Better Half and I are settling in for a viewing of a very funny flick about summer camp movies called Wet Hot American Summer. Chessie is grooming herself nearby. It is a very nice evening!

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