Sunday, November 28, 2004

Awesome- The Live Aid DVD is out. I picked it up this weekend, and am now engrossed in the attached documentary "Trucks and Food and Rock N Roll." The concert itself is massive and amazing. I loved loved loved the Tina Turner/Mick Jagger collaboration of "It's Only Rock and Roll," Elvis Costello's version of "All You Need Is Love," and as bonus features it has the complete videos of "We Are The World" and "Do They Know It's Christmas." Plus, you can play a "Count The Mullets" drinking game (That last one is not endorsed by Band Aid nor USA for Africa, by the way).

Mr. Big picked up a copy of the book Lennon Legend, which is a bio of John Lennon, complete with pull-out memoribilia, for me for Christmas- 'just act surprised" he told me, kissing my forehead. It's now on our coffee table, in between the book on The Muppets and The Heavy Metal Encyclopedia.

The new issue of BUST is out at Tower Records, and it's awesome, packed with DIY projects, an article about the female conversion to Islam, and an interview with Rosie Perez.

I attended Mass this week, the first week of Advent, at Church of The Epiphany in Chesterfield. It's nice because it's about 15 minutes away from Brandermill. When I walked in, people were chatting and there were lots of kids, and I couldn't help but think how much it reminded me of a smaller version of St. Mike's. They dimmed the lights for the procession, and brought in the flame used to light the Advent wreath in a lantern very slowly. Father gave a nice homily about peace, and during the prayers of the Faithful, when we were praying for certain sick parishners, we said the first name of the person after the name was announced, which I liked. I was really impressed, and since I've been church hopping for a while, I feel it's time to settle again. We'll see.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

I thought Thanksgiving this year would suck, because:
1) I'm on-call
2) My parents and sister are in Myrtle Beach, escaping all the food activities
3) They took FiFi with them. Yes, they carted MY DOG across state lines on their vacation.

So I was a little despondent when I woke up this morning. I decided to get the three visits done first, then caught up on paperwork. I've had a few calls, but all in all, being on-call Thanksgiving has been a nice experience. It's a good feeling helping people, and to be out and about on what turned out to be a beautiful day wasn't all that bad. I even wished the toll booth worker on the Powhite Parkway a Happy Thanksgiving.

I still miss Fee though.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

I try to keep writing about the Center for Nursing Advocacy, which is a group dedicated to promoting positive images of nursing in the media, but blogger doesn't seem to wanna link it. Anyhoo, this organization basically debunks the myths that all nurses are either handmaidens, whores or simply killing time as they apply to medical schools, because all the really "smart" ones just wanna be doctors anyway.

FYI, although it's almost over, November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Excellent weekend. Walked around my future house, and I have some ideas about how I want to decorate. Big has basically given me carte blanche to do whatever I'd like.

Have decided to work on the magenta sweater first, then go back to the afghan. Am about halfway finished one of the sleeves.

About 6 of the 13 Bush Cabinet Members, including Colin Powell, have resigned their posts. it post-election turnover, or are the rats jumping ship?

Friday, November 12, 2004

Excellent day to stay in and knit. Today, I had to work, but now I am ready to sit and knit tonight. The afghan is coming along nicely.

Also, the three balls of yarn I had to order online for my sweater have come today. Alas, so many projects, so little time.

The book I'm reading is awesome. I've just read an article on Michael Moore's website that made me smile, thinking of Wellstone's legacy of grassroots political groups- there are currently peace activists protesting daily in Minnesota; the brainchild of a few grassroots peace organizations in the St. Paul area. Click on the link above to read more.

This month's Nursing 2004 journal features an article about nurses who are described as "too posh to wash;" apparently this May, nurses in England brought a resolution to their board of nursing to transfer the "care component" of nursing to nurse's aides, and for the RNs to focus more on "treatments and technical nursing," in hopes of transitioning more physician-related duties to the RNs (all within the scope of practice of least I hope). There's a quote from a student nurse: "I do not wash people's bottoms, there are other people to do that."

As one who has washed a bottom or two, I find this elitist, insulting and poor practice. Not only is washing or bathing a patient extremely therapeutic to the patient, it can be a vital assessment tool. Think about it- when you are washing a patient, you can assess skin, breathing patterns, how the patient reacts to certain stimuli, as well as activity tolerance. It's a win-win situation. Some of the best nursing experiences I've had have been giving dying patients baths.

Recently I went to visit a woman I've been working with for several months. She was lying in her bed at the nursing home she lives in. I pulled back the blanket and noticed a significant stain on her sheets. The odor followed. She had diarrhea. This was about 9:20 in the morning, a crunch time for the staff. If they're lucky, these nursing aides will work with maybe 10-15 patients. That's 10 to 15 baths, feedings, and any extra care. (A good bath will take about 45 minutes- you can do the math). I could not, as a nurse and as a human being, walk away and allow this woman to lay in her own shit. I cleaned her up, changed her gown and diaper, helped her transfer into her wheelchair so that I could change her bed, and then bundled up all the offending linens and bagged them. I let the staff know what I had done, and they expressed gratitude. The whole incident, from the time I found her to the time I put her back in a clean bed, took about 30 minutes- no time at all. It was a privilage to help this woman, and I know I'd want the same done for me if I'd ever be in that situation. Luckly, most nurses agree with me. That resolution was squashed by the English nursing committee a whopping 95%!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

My car is hurt...again. I was rear-ended this morning on the way to a visit. It took out the rear wheel axle and bumper on the driver's side. The little man who hit me was okay, but apparently he had suffered an attack of an unknown medical condition and lost control of the car. Luckly no one else was hurt. After a check at the employee health place, I've maybe got a minor case of whiplash at most, and right now am feeling fine.

In all the excitement I didn't realize until I got home that today is Veteran's Day. To all those who have served and are serving now, thank you very much for all that you have done for me and my family. We really appreciate it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

I have started reading a new book- The Conscience of A Liberal, by Senator Paul Wellstone. Wellstone served in the U.S. Senate from 1990 until his well-publicized death in a 2002 plane crash that also took the lives of his wife, daughter and 2 staffers. Wellstone preaches a grass-roots, power-to-the-people approach to politics. So far, it has a couple of memorable quotes, and you can tell that Wellstone wasn't your average scum-sucking politician. His first chapter is peppered with such quotes as "Vote for what you believe in," and "politics is about the improvement of people's lives, lessening human suffering, advancing the cause of peace and justice in our country and in the world." I'd like to not be so cynical and jaded that this isn't all a crock (according to many liberals who knew Wellstone, it isn't) because it all the warm fuzzies in a political book are really refreshing and Wellstone comes across as very likeable and honest. Hopefully, I won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Another reason why Big and I are destined to be together forever:

Scene: Watching TV- a Behind The Music featuring Aerosmith
TV Announcer: Coming up, Guns And Roses: Behind the Music

(A bit of backstory- we've been waiting FOREVER to catch this.)

Big and I (together, oblivious to the other's reaction): YEEEEAAAHH! (we look at each other)

Me: (gleefully) I'm going to tape it! (Scrambles to VCR)

Big: Good call, Hon

Just in case you're wondering:
Slash: Love him
Axl: Dickhead

It's so meant to be.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Mean Girls was actually pretty funny, well-written (snaps to Tina Fey of SNL) and fairly well-acted. Even Big enjoyed it. In between, we've been watching M*A*S*H reruns on DVD. Tonight, a new episode of the Simpsons.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Well, the election is over. Kerry still rocks. Bush is still president. Al Franken is still funny. And what is up with Paris Hilton's nose? (Just kidding about that last one. Haven't really looked at her nose du jour recently.)

Speaking of, Big and I just finished watching White Chicks. It's okay, but a lot of the jokes are rip-offs from such movies as Beverly Hills Cop, The Hot Chick, Ace Ventura, and Nuns on The Run. Still not bad for killing time on an on-call weekend. We've also rented Mean Girls, which got a rather surprising enthusiastic response from Big when I suggested it on Thursday. I'll let you know how it was.

Today is my Mom's birthday, so to celebrate, she kidnapped FiFi and spent the entire day spoiling her, walking her, petting her. Then it was off to the 2PM performance of the Benedictine/Saint Gertrude High School Production of The Sound Of Music, starring my cousin Brendan in the secondary but incredibly important role of "Max" (Was attending to a patient in the hospital and couldn't attend). And he was great.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I had a very nice voting experience, I went around 8:15AM, stood in line about 10-15 minutes, looking around, people were smiling, quiet, respectful of each other. The polling workers were friendly (one was a nurse, and chatted with me a bit when she noticed my uniform), and I really didn't need much help, so I'm kind of neutral on how helpful they were. I voted, and got out of there within I feel is a reasonable amount of time (25 minutes) and I admit I was pleasantly surprised, preparing to wait about an hour or so. My coworker Sandy waited about 2 hours. My mom and dad both voted this morning when the polls opened. Big called and said that he waited about five minutes to vote, and voted successfully. He is very excited that soon we will be sharing the same voting place. More later as the night goes on.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Baronmind aka Micah, has pictures up on his website from his Halloween party. I was dressed as the hippie, while Big was Death. I must say I am very good at looking stoned off my hinder (I wasn't). I think that if Big and I ever do a group blog, we should call it Death & Hippie. It sort of fits.

Because of this upcoming election, I'd like to think of myself as more politically aware, but less politically active. I don't debate people a lot, and basically your opinion is just as valuable as mine, even if we disagree. Meantime, Big is more of a blasting cap of political debate. He knows a lot, and makes it known to anyone: lately, my very conservative Uncle Gene, who as far as I know has never lost a debate when politics is bantered around by my family. I'm not the only one in my circle whose significant other is like this. Leslie, my boss, says her husband Chris has changed from a meek zoologist and environmentalist to a somewhat closeminded politico. It's gotten so that Leslie doesn't want to be around him if Bush is re-elected. "I'll have to move out for a few days," she tells Connie and I this afternoon.

It's not so bad around here, but I do admit it has been a bit strange:

Scene: driving in car, beautiful Fall day, parked at a stoplight, not much conversation going on
ME: Oh, look, a monarch butterfly just flew by my window.
BIG: Really? Wow. Hmm. Hey, you know what's really bad about Bush?...

Scene: Watching Entertainment Tonight, Mary Hart mentions Britney Spears
BIG: God, I can't stand her.
ME: Yeah, she's a bit overexposed.
BIG: And she's a Republican. I can't believe she's so stupid to support Bush.

Scene: Walking FiFi around the neighborhood, come across sign in neighbor's yard that says "I pray for and support George W. Bush"
BIG: Fee, go pee on that sign!
ME: No. Stop. You're driving me crazy.
BIG: What?
ME: Well, you're pretty much preaching to the choir. We both are voting for change for this next election. But just because we have our opinions doesn't mean that we have to convert others to our way of thinking. It's oppressive. It's just as wrong for us to tell Fee to pee on that sign as it is a Bush-supporting dog to pee on a non-Bush sign. The First Amendment guarantees us the right to express ourselves in many ways, including politically, and it's a right that many Earthlings don't have. I've always supported promoting political harmony, peace, exchange of ideas, and tolerance of those who disagree. And it's up to me to accept the consequences of the election, and to go from there, and to continue learning, and working for what's right. (I shrug my shoulders) That's just how I feel about this whole thing.
BIG: Yeah. I still hate Britney Spears, though.
ME: Well, that's okay.

This isn't to make Big sound irrational and intolerant, because he's not. To be completely honest, we've never really had this kind of conversation, except the whole Britney Spears thing, and I sound like frigging Eleanor Roosevelt (I'm not even close). I guess my point with all of this is how powerful this event is, the beauty of it's potential, and the seriousness of the consequences have affected even the most apathetic. I'm a changed woman.

Please, please, please, if you care at all, vote tomorrow. It's worth it.

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