Friday, October 31, 2003

Happy Halloween!

As for me, I partied hard last night. I have to admit, Sharon Osbourne was one of my favorite costumes. And Big looked incredible as Ozzy. It tickled me to see that Sharon herself dressed up today as a vampire, with Minnie in tow.

Tonight, I get to be on call. I still haven't decided what I'd like to do tonight. I am thinking that I'd like to just stay in, knitting and bonding with Fee and doing the other fun thing to do on Halloween- watch the umpteen horror movies that will be broadcast tonight. But Big can be very persuasive, so I don't know where I'll be.

Right now, I think I'd like to take a little nap.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Last night a bunch of friends and I attended the Comedy Central Live! local show featuring Mitch Hedburg, Dave Attell, and Louis Black. I'd never been to a comedy show before. It was a great time.

After a nice rest period, the Fee and I joined the Baheads in cheering on Uisce Beatha at the Richmond Highland Games and Celtic Festival today. Fee was very popular in her bling-bling bag, and was even carried onstage by Jim during "Grace", which was so exciting! We heard a bit of Seven Nations (my coworker Connie's favorite band) before the rain chased us home.

With daylight savings time, it's rather interesting how early darkness comes. It's now about 5:30PM, but the sun has now set and it's really dark. Also, I've noticed that almost overnight, the leaves have changed color and are falling. I love the Fall.

Friday, October 24, 2003

A man pledged his love to me for the rest of our lives last night, and I love him very much. I pledged my love to him as well.

I guess, if I could describe it, it would be something like a betrothal. Not really an engagement just yet, because there's no ring, no date, no real plans in place. We're both into enhancing our careers and our separate lives right now, with a goal to enhance our lives together after that is completed. For that, I am glad, and, from what I can observe, he is too. We're very happy at the pace we're going at, and I've always searched for a man who loves me, respects me, and supports me the way that John has always done. Our love has always existed, in one form or another, since we met a few years ago. It feels very natural being with him, and whatever role he plays in my life, he is always welcome. He's a wonderful guy and I'm proud to say he's mine.

(Pause as subject transitions)

Today I am sick. I didn't feel that great last night at the pub, despite much vino and the nice things said to me last night. At first, I thought I was just shaking off a bad day where we lost a very special patient, but I realize inow, as my throat scratches and my stomach churns, that this more physical than emotional. I seem to have caught the flu bug that has been incubating in the Heartland office over the past two weeks. Yay. Luckly, I've had the Fee as my primary nurse/source of T.L.C today. I can't get over what good company she is. She's barely left my side the entire day, except when my mom came by to take her for a walk during her lunch hour.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

FiFi got her pictures back from PetsMart, and I must say that she looks absolutely adorable. I'm such a proud Mommie!

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Tonight was the Howl-O-Ween costume contest and Halloween party at PetsMart. FiFi went as FiFiSauraus Rex. It was the only homemade costume, and the only knitted one. Sadly, she did not win, but people remarked on how cute she looked. The first prize went to a dog named Chase who had some black and purple material on, and was supposed to have a flashy, wide-brimmed purple hat, except he couldn't keep it on. He was, according to his mistress, "A Pimp." Which I thought was total bull- he looked more like "Effeminate Zorro" than anything else. On a brighter note, there were free snacks, candy and sodas.

Monday, October 20, 2003

I've become convinced, in both my observations and experiences with the opposite sex, that when a boy gives you a mix tape/CD, it means he really likes you. It certainly is better than it was when I was younger, where if the boy liked you, he'd toss the tetherball ever so severely at your head.

Mr. Big has made me a mix CD. So far, I am not sure about the significance of the songs, like, if Big is trying to express his undying luv for me in the lyrics; according to Big, the songs selected were based upon the fact that "they so kick ass!" It's a nice compilation- I must admit my man makes a mean mix. Classics like Elvis Costello, Ozzy, Kiss, are nicely combined with Jay And Silent Bob splices, and he also represents artists like Stuck Mojo, ATP as well as new classics like Black Crowes, and Tesla- the stuff we grew up on, when MTV was so much better than it is today. The CD does indeed seem to be inspired by a conversation we had over some meal in a restaurant early in our dating adventures. A conversation that had the theme of "So, if you were stranded on an island with a cannibal and an abandoned Tower Records store nearby, and the cannibal is gonna eat you if you take more than 10 CDs, which CDs would you pick?" (Conversations like this, combined with someone leaving the table to go to the bathroom, seem to make the food come faster.)

In light of all that, I'm really loving the CD, not just for the substance, or for the hidden messages, if there are any. The fact that Big made it for me makes it special to me.

And no, you can't borrow it.

The Official First Day At Work Without Brenda wasn't too bad. At least from my perspective. I saw all of my patients, and actually had time to squeeze in an extra visit. The powers that be are apparently impressed with me, ever since Jim's son wrote a really nice letter thanking us for taking care of his dad.

Tomorrow I get to go with my Big Boss, Lurraine, to eat lunch at Julian's with the head of an ambulance company. Not anything big, Lurraine just said that the guy gave her the creeps and she didn't want to go alone. And who am I to turn down free food?

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Hangovers suck.

Luckly, Big and Fee took great care of me. Today am still feeling a bit woozy, so we stayed in, watching Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas and Where The Buffalo Roam, movies based on the writings of Hunter S. Thompson. Just seems somewhat appropriate.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

I've been really busy, so much so that blogging has fallen by the wayside. I'll try to catch up:

MONDAY- My boss, Brenda, announces she's leaving. On Friday. Yikes.
WEDNESDAY- On call, which means that I missed the last South Wind show. My patient Jim also died.
THURSDAY- Kilt and Corset Night at Rare Olde Times. Unfortunately, I forgot. But thanks to Karelle, I was able to borrow one, get laced up rather quicky and get to be in the Corset Kick Line.
FRIDAY- Another patient goes to the hospital, and my boss, the rat, asks me to do a last-minute admission. I had to cancel lunch with Big.
In the evening, Big and I check out Kill Bill, which I was hesitant about seeing at first. But I must say it was damn fine cinema.

And that leads us to today. Woke up, had brunch with Big at IHOP, basically consoling him over the fact that his freelance job hasn't paid him in over a month, as well as discussing the underrated significance of Chewbacca in the Star Wars books, verses the rather important role George Lucas portrayed him in the movies. Came home. Walked FiFi to Nanny's. Now am blogging. Tonight is my grandfather's birthday.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Apparently, they are no longer allowing dogs at Stony Point Fashion Park, because dumb owners have let them take shites everywhere and people have found dog hair on clothing items on display racks.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed taking the Fee to Stony Point, and I'm disappointed she can't be my shopping buddy anymore, I do see the point in all this. Like dumb people who can't discipline their kids, there are those who are overly permissive with their canines as well. I've seen them. And these allegations are just plain gross. I'm a nurse, as well as a puppy owner, so poo doesn't really bother me because I encounter both human and canine forms approximately 3 or 4 times a day. But I can understand how non-nurses and non-dog owners can be offput when they are trying to enjoy their latte at Starbucks and are witness to someone's Fido doing Number Two on the sidewalk outside. And many people haven't gotten the idea that picking up after their mutts is courteous and sanitary.

I took FiFi in one store, the cards and paper store, at Stony Point, and during that visit, I held her in my arms and did not touch any of the merchandise. I never took her into stores that had breakables or clothing. And although she was guilty of leaving presents, I disposed of them as quickly as I could and dropped them into the garbage can, but I realized how it could bother someone. I also never took her anywhere near the restaurants. It was just my thing. There is one thing I can't stand is an irresponsible pet owner. Because now they've ruined it for everyone.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

So, I'm on call this weekend, and I get a call from one of my patients, Jim, who's dying of heart problems. Jim's son Bob is his primary caregiver. Bob has worked tiredlessly, even uprooting his life and moving from the West Coast.

Jim's voice is so weak as he tells me he feels he needs a urinary catheter, in order to stop wetting the bed. Plus, it takes so much out of him to get up to use his urinal. Also, he wants Bob to not have to get up three or four times tonight to help him. "He's exhausted," the tired old man's voice quaivers over the phone. "If you come out tonight and do this, you'll help us both, and I'll love you forever."

Tell me how you'd be able to resist that?

As many of you know, Father John is back in the news again.

I still continue to stand by him, and support him as my friend.

This morning, Mass was packed. At Communion, his line took the longest time out of all of the lines, because people were receiving communion, then hugging him. I received my host from him, and he reached out to embrace me. I realized that he considered me as much of a friend as I considered him mine. I realized that suddenly, my problems weren't that important. Father John provided me with a place of love that had helped me heal during these past few months. And now, it's up to us to help him.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Big, FiFi and I sat down to eat pizza and watch The Fox And The Hound. I haven't seen it since I was about five, but I can remember crying a lot whenever this movie or any song related to it would come on Disney specials.

And now, as I sit here, blubbering into my Papa John's pizza, Big stares at me with an expression of concern and bewilderment. This is a horrible, horribly traumatic movie, filled with sad songs and separation anxiety galore. I almost had to turn it off for fear that after the old lady makes the fox she's raised from a pup run away so that their trigger happy redneck neighbor won't shoot him would make me slit my wrists. Fine family fun my big fat arse.

But this got me thinking, and I'm convinced that there are three types of "family" films that we watched as children, which I believed contributed to our generation's heavy dependence on prescription drugs and therapy. One such genre is the "Prince" films that I've mentioned in a previous post.

The second catagory is known as the "Traumatic Loss of A Parental Figure/Humans Are Bloodthirsty Bastards" movies. These involve usually a cute fluffy baby animal watching/hearing it's mother being tragically gunned down, usually by a human hunter, or feature a antisocial animal hater bent on destroying a cute animal. Or if said parental figure crosses pathes with doom or death unrelated to the barrel of a shotgun The Fox and The Hound falls into this catagory. Also in this catagory are Bambi, Dumbo, 101 Dalmations, and Charlotte's Web.

The other catagory is known the "I Know He's Your Buddy, But Now You Have To Shoot Him, Son" movies. Many of these are live action movies such as Old Yeller, Sounder, and The Yearling. The plotline hardly ever waivers: farmy, corn-fed boy raises animal, animal saves boy's life about 90 minutes into the movie, animal contracts some terminal illness, boy's stern, stoic but loving in a Donner-Party-Era sort of way father commands boy to take said animal out back and kill it. Oh yeah, like THAT's not going to cause permanent damage to a child. No wonder those Donner Party people were so f*cked up. What is the final spike through the viewers heart involves slo-mo shots of the animal, back when it was healthy and happy, running through a meadow while sadly inspirational music, usually involving a harmonica, is played over the closing credits. A lot of these movies star Gregory Peck.

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. There are a few films that do not fall into any of these groups, such as Aristocats, Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, The Rescuers, and any movie made after 1989. These are referred to as "The Healthy Classics" where there is just enough drama in order to keep it real, but for the most part is warm fuzzy fun, and no one dies except the villian. Needless to say, these are my favorites.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Today as I was admitting a patient, she passed away. I literally watched her die. I've never really watched someone die before. Usually I get there right after. It was very peaceful. First, she stopped breathing, and I took a pulse, and it was rapid at first, like 100 beats a minute, but then it slowed down considerably, and soon her heart just stopped beating. She was 94 years old.

I realize I don't talk much about work on this blog. Many people, if they just joined, don't really know what my job is all about. I basically, for a living, help people die. Not in a euthanasia/Kevorkian way...but to help them control their symptoms using both pharmacological and nonpharmacological methods to the point where they can comfortably leave this Earth and transition into another life. And also to help the family grieve.

Why, you may ask, makes this occupation so attractive to me? It's low-tech, stresses holistic nursing, creativity, spirituality, and it's unconventional. Plus, I've always enjoyed working with this population, where you can focus on the actual person, and not the IV machine, ventilator, unit of blood, chemo drip that becomes that patient's identity on a medicine floor. I love working in the homes, and since the nurse to patient ratio is always 1:1, it's not overwhelming at all. Also, it's not hard to be around the patients and their families. I get to be nice to people for a living.

Being there, with that patient this afternoon, I could not think of anywhere else I wanted to be. It was an absolute privilage, and I was glad to do it.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Picked up a copy of The Lion King on DVD for FiFi as a graduation present. I bought her a nice frame for her diploma. We're going to hang it under my nursing school diploma.

Now am watching Sweet Home Alabama. Fee is watching it too.

Monday, October 06, 2003

While October may belong to Fee, November looks most busy for me. I've been rather bitter lately for a number of reasons, mainly involving a person who went from hero to zero in a short amount of time, broke my heart and betrayed me.

This past Thursday night, a wise bodhran player gave me some sage advice: "just let go of the past. Make it like a paper airplane and send it off." It's inspired me to seek a deep aura cleansing using a variety of methods to help lead me out of the bitter barn and to increase play in the hay. I'm getting involved at St. Mike's again, after pulling back for a while (the church is big enough for the both of us), as well as planning to attend two nursing conferences- one dealing with Holistic Health, the other, our annual MCV Alumni Association Conference and Lectureship, focusing on a lot of professional nursing issues. I'm also putting myself on a budget, to pay off my mounting debts, and going on a diet, with a goal to make a second, and hopefully, more successful attempt at vegetarianism. Fee and I are attempting to go for walks every morning, Big's been his usual wonderful self, and I am going to finish these cursed afghans if they are the last things I ever knit. Suddenly, life is more about shoe shopping.

Another important date in FiFi's calendar: tonight, she graduated from puppy school. She was the class bully.

No, I am serious.

It all started innocently, mothers making off-handed comments about how "energetic" and "playful" she was. Translation: if she was a real child, she'd be chowing on Ritalin and sitting in the classroom's "special time-out place" because she "distracted" the other kids. Also, it didn't help matters that she was the second biggest pup in her class. The biggest, a German Shepherd pup named Rummy, dropped out after his owners couldn't feel secure taking him off his leash during socialization time amist a sea of toy tots: a papillion, two dachaunds, and some little nerd dog named Ezra, who is approximately the size of Squeaky Hippo. I think they were pressured out of class.

I should have known something was up when one of the moms used the word "attacked" when FiFi played with her dog. FiFi's play involves a lot of running and tumbling- most of the time she plays with me...and we happen to play a game called "Help! I'm being attacked by a fer-o-ci-ous beast," where she runs up to me, nips and gnaws at my arm while I flail around rather dramatically shrieking and usually laughing.

So anyway, Ezra apparently suffers from a bit of wee man's syndrome. He would rear up on his hind legs and bark at Fee. Not my problem that he had to stand in front of her so he couldn't see her and he could do his tricks. Later on, his rather overprotective mommy would swat at Fee as she tumbled with him. Sure, she was making low gutteral noises, but only because she was still pissed that she had to stay on a leash while the other dogs were able to socialize freely.

The instructor recommended dog day camp to allieviate her socialization issues, then handed us FiFi's diploma.

ON the way home, I called the real expert with my concerns.

"That is ridiculous. FiFi walks on a leash perfectly, and she's always well-behaved," my mom says through the cell connection. Somehow, I feel she's just not being an overly permissive grandmother.

I relate the story to Big over our gordita dinner. "Want me to kick their asses, Fee?" he asks her as she puts her front paws on his knees, hoping to catch a bit of dropped gordita from his plate.

Great. Now I know where she gets it from. "She's a good dog, right?" I ask him.

"Are you kidding? She's great. I can't believe those idiots. They ran out Rummy with that bullsh&t. Don't listen to that. Ezra's a neutered Mama's Boy! You should be proud. Your girl's a bad ass. She can stand up for herself."

But in all seriousness, Fee really did do well in school tonight. She's come a long way from the first night, where she was kind of all over the place. She doesn't bite, she doesn't bark or yap (she never really did to begin with), and she doesn't tear up stuff around the house. She's been spayed, she's smart, and now, it just proves she's a bad-ass Courtney Love dog to boot. And I think that's cool.

"Fee," I tell her as we play a special round of "Help, I'm being attacked by a feriocious beast" to help her and I forget about the evening that was supposed to be so blissful, "you're special. You're unique. Don't let anyone tell you differently. Everyone who is important in our lives adores you."

I think she'd be better off being home schooled- for sake of both of our self esteems.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

FiFi's schedule for the month:

October 5, 2003: Post-op Day 10. The first day she can officially play, run, bathe, and be groomed. We celebrated by doing all of the above. Now my pup is happy and fluffy.

October 9, 2003: Grooming Appointment with Aunt Susan.

October 10, 2003: For a reasonable price of $5.99, FiFi will have some glamour shots taken and will be entered in the Cutest Pet Photo Contest.

October 21, 2003: Petsmart Halloween Costume Party. FiFi will finally don FiFiSauraus Rex.

So, as you can see, it's going to be a busy month.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Today was a lovely Saturday in a string of lovely Fall days. FiFi is ecstatic in that she gets three or four short walks a day. I love it because I get to haul down comfy sweaters and wear them. I've always loved Fall. Also, my thoughts turn to knitting, and it just seems the perfect weather to knit. The project I am working on now is an afghan featuring the Virginia Tech colors. I plan on making two of them, one for my sister, and one for my cousin.

This morning, FiFi, Big and I took a short walk, then Big and I proceeded to Aunt Sarah's and then headed to Williamsburg, where we checked out The Pottery, where we found Pumpkin Ale, a FiFi-sized doll couch, and numerous other one-of-a-kinds. Also, we went to The Winery, and ate pate and cheese while embibing a bit. Then we took in Jamestown, where we each paid $11 and spent about an hour there. As Big said, "I didn't learn sh&t; can I have my money back?" Finally, we drove into Colonial Williamsburg, and attempted to eat at the King's Arms Tavern, but instead ended up at a Ye Olde Fast Food Boothe, where the Josiah Chowning root beer is creamy and sweet.. For dessert, we had buy-one-get-one-free Haagen-Daas, and some free butter pecan fudge. We decided that we'd be great travel buddies because we both like trips that involve a little bit of walking, a large amount of eating, and a bit of drinking.

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