Monday, March 31, 2008

Fun Monday

Robin at Pensieve is our Fun Monday hostess this week and this is what she's asking us to write about -

Regardless of what motivated me to choose this for a theme, next week please share words that inspire and motivate you--brief or bloviatory, silly or serious, from great world leaders to last night's Comedy Central...from a Hallmark greeting card to your favorite book. Choose one, choose many; let the quotes stand on their own or tell where you first read or heard them and how they affected you. There's a lot of leeway with how this topic can be handled.

Well, you really could go lots of ways with this, but here are two that really resonate with me lately...

The Pain of Discipline is Far Less Than the Pain of Regret


The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

Alan Kay said the second one and I have no idea who said the first one, but I love them both. And I love them for different reasons. The second one is all about taking control of your own destiny and not letting it take control of you. And the first one really speaks to me now because I think I've finally decided to take that big step and see if I have a book in me after all. I'd rather die trying than not have the guts to give it a shot.

Oh, that reminds me of another quote I really love. Actually, it's more than a quote, it's a paragraph, but I'm taking advantage of that whole leeway thing and bending the rules mercilessly. Here it is -

Vera said: "Why do you feel you have to turn everything into a story?"

So I told her why:

Because if I tell the story, I control the version.

Because if I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me.

Because if I tell the story, it doesn't hurt as much.

Because if I tell the story, I can get on with it.

Nora Ephron

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday Slacker

I had planned on writing a new post for today, but I'm in a work run and didn't get home until pretty late. So here's a repeat of one of my very first efforts from last March. And this story has no relevance whatsoever to my day at work either. Really. Not one tiny little stinking bit.

I had a run-in with a surgeon at work recently that left me a little steamed. In a nutshell, I set equipment up for some sutures and didn’t do it exactly the way he wanted it done. Rather than just grab me and point it out, he went straight to my charge nurse, who told me. I made the change immediately, (as I had been standing there the whole time anyway asking him if he needed anything) and he started the procedure. All of this was done before he even touched the patient. When he was done he went to the ER doc and demanded an incident report since the tray was not set up to his specifications. The charge nurse, trying to keep a straight face, wrote it up and I then had to defend myself to management. Luckily, this was not difficult.

I’m completely over it by now, but it really stressed me out at the time. I’m new to this job and don’t want to make waves. This happened on the last day before several days off, so I had a lot of time to obsess about it. My boss was horrified that I had gotten myself so worked up over something like this, but that’s the kind of gal I am. I put the “A” in anal. And since my old job in a surgical intensive care unit obviously surrounded me with…surgeons, I knew that this could have gotten ugly. Happily for me it didn’t.

I don’t want to pick on just one type of doctor, but everyone knows that surgeons are at the top of the high-maintenance pile. Everyone who works in a hospital, goes to a hospital or watches a television show set in a hospital knows it anyway. Really, all you have to do is drive by a hospital to see that all the Hummers are parked outside of the OR. This is not just my opinion, either…

Q) How many doctors does it take to change a light bulb?
A) Three. One to write the order, one to do the consult and one to watch the nurse do it.

Q) How many surgeons does it take to change a light bulb?
A) One. They just hold the bulb and the whole world revolves around them.

See what I mean?

But, like I’ve said, I’m over it. I’m not the type to hold a grudge anyway. Especially against someone in a useful field like cosmetic plastic surgery. Now a trauma surgeon or a cardiac surgeon or even an all-around general surgeon – those people are indispensable, no argument from me. But plastics??

Q) How does a surgeon commit suicide?
A) They climb to the top of their ego and jump off.

Anyway, like I’ve said, I’m over it. I feel much better now. On the (mercifully) few occasions I see this guy at work I just remind myself of this well known medical fact…

The difference between god and a surgeon is that god doesn’t think he’s a surgeon.

But like I said, I’m over it.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

men and boys

Everything I know about men I've learned from my boys.

All the good and bad and confusing and touching and ridiculous things that men do...start young. Very young. When they're itty bitty boys, as a matter of fact. And from my ringside seat I'm going to look at this phenomena from time to time and let you all have the benefit of my years in Testosterone Town. Because if I can't laugh at it in some way, I may as well put my mommy card on eBay. The trick is to (somehow) keep laughing.

Today, let's talk about competition. God knows everyone else in my house does.

Surfer Dude and Gumby have both been sneaking into my bed in the middle of the night lately, so that when I wake up, clinging to the edge for dear life, they've taken over the entire California King bed. The other morning, when this happened, I woke up before either one of them, pinned between two boys and three dogs. I looked at my clock and realized that Sasquatch should have already gotten up, so I called out to him to make sure that he was out of bed. Of course he wasn't, so I yelled (louder) that he was late and he needed to get a move on. (And the verdict is...rub a lamp and write yet another Friday detention on the calendar).

My yelling woke up the other two and without missing a beat Gumby said to SD

I've been awake since 7. What about you?

and SD smugly said

I've been awake since 6:45. I win.

I said

I just woke both of you up and you know it. Why does everything have to be a competition?

And do you know what the answer I got was?

Oh, mom. (Underlying meaning? You're such a girl).

I had just dozed off again, when there was a loud noise underneath the blankets that sounded suspiciously fart like.

SD chuckled proudly.

Almost immediately there was another, considerably louder and far more pungent noise erupting from their vicinity. I threw back the covers and jumped out of bed, as my intestinally challenged dog looked on in professional envy, and Gumby said

Ha. I win.

Friday, March 28, 2008

and on the 368th day...

...she rested.

(because her internet went out for no reason the night before).

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Thursday Three

Suggested by pixelpi and Jo, today the topic is

My Very Own ER Experiences

I've actually had more ER visits than these, but they weren't terribly exciting. I missed a big chunk of my ninth grade year because of a temperamental appendix that turned out to be something completely different, I've had more than one serious dog bite, I pulled a sliding closet door off of the track and onto my poor little foot...the list goes on. I'm sure my mother will remember things I've totally forgotten. I don't think I was terribly accident prone as a kid, but I guess I was accident prone enough.

But in the interest of keeping things lively, the three I'm picking are a good cross section of my life. One embarrassing, one stupid and one having to do with a kid. Ladies and gentlemen...this is my life.

#1. The embarrassing one. When I was in college the first time, I was a waitress. I was working full time and going to school full time and my social life was...full. I was exhausted most of the time, but was too stupid to cut back on anything. When I caught the really nasty viral bug that was going around, it never occurred to me to call in sick for my ten hour Friday night shift, since that's where the tips were. And it certainly never occurred to me to turn down the coffee cup full of kamikaze the lecherous bartender gave me to "help me feel better".

I was about three hours into the shift when I keeled over and bought myself the only ambulance ride of my entire life. I made quite a sight being taken out of a full cocktail lounge on a gurney, maroon dirndl uniform all askew. And while I can't absolutely prove it, I'm pretty sure that in an old hospital chart in Pasadena, California I have the words Alcohol On Breath on file. And the fact that the virus laid me out for over three weeks didn't make me any less humiliated.

#2. The stupid one. I had been married two months, and one of the wedding gifts was a wonderful set of carbon steel knives. One morning, in my usual start of the day fog, I was feeding my Amazon parrot before I raced off to work. I was in a hurry to fill his fruit dish and I somehow managed to cut through a jicama toward myself and through my left hand. The knife went into the fleshy area between my thumb and index finger all the way to the bone, where it stopped, leaving my thumb pretty much blowing in the breeze.

This episode really is a blog post all its own, but it can be summed up this way: four hours of microsurgery, almost two hundred stitches, two days in the hospital and the inability of my entire family to keep a straight face whenever they hear the word "jicama". Or "carbon steel knives" for that matter. In ER terms, this was the first (and only) time the triage nurse has ever jumped up as I walked through the door and taken me back immediately, leaving a trail of blood in my wake.

(I still get a lot of mileage out of this story at work. My hand never hurt until after the surgery, not even the tiniest bit. The surgeon explained to me that hands usually don't hurt after massive trauma because there are so many nerve endings that the endorphins fly out of the gate pronto. I always ask people who have hurt their hands and the answer is almost always the same: no pain at all. It's really interesting).

#3. The one having to do with a kid.
I was in my last semester of nursing school and one of our final assignments was, of all the ridiculous things, to observe for a day at a day care center. My best bud and I had signed up for the same day and I ended up driving in with her since my car was in the shop. It had been drilled into our heads that this was not something that could be rescheduled or not completed. (Nursing school is all about mental games that leave you slightly traumatized and not a little feeble minded).

While we were having our lunch halfway through the day, I checked my phone and found a message from the school nurse. This is how NOT to leave a message for a parent: RC, this is the nurse at Surfer Dude's school. He's had an accident. CALL ME. My next message was from the FG whom she had called next, saying they were on the way to the hospital but that Surfer Dude was (mostly) okay. And the third message (also from the FG) was that he had a broken clavicle from showing off and turning somersaults on concrete during reading circle.

And I couldn't get there. I was stuck in a stupid day care center, without a car, while nursing students from another school took care of my baby in the ER where I would eventually work. By the time I got home, he was already in bed, knocked out from the percocet. It absolutely and totally sucked and I hated every minute of it.

Well, there you have it. Now it's your turn. We want to hear your ER stories. Pretty please?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

wow. a whole year

When I tried to solicit people to give me some questions to answer, Susan (aka My Two Cents) asked me to list the reasons why I'm glad I started blogging. Maggie May wanted to know why I started blogging, if I kept a diary in my pre-blog days and if this project has met all of my blogging needs. Irene asked how long it took to build up readers. And both Iota and Eileen suggested (gulp) that I simply ask people what they like best about the blog. So now, with varying degrees of comfort, I'm going to tackle all of them.

I started blogging as a way to keep in touch with people I loved. Staying connected has always been a huge problem for me. I have really good intentions and really crappy follow through, and the more I feel it slipping away from me the worse I get. It's not one of my better qualities and I'm not proud of it, but I did get really tired of it. I was ready to change my evil ways.

So that's how it started out - intended to be a kind of daily diary of our lives for those who weren't here to share in it. But it started changing on me right away, because I found myself taking small little pieces of those daily diaries and putting them under a microscope. It was the small, absurd moments that I really enjoyed, the episodes that read like a bad '80s sitcom. And in spite of myself, that was where I gravitated. It was almost like the posts were writing themselves and I was just this hapless (and frequently horrified) bystander.

I've rarely kept a diary or a journal, even though I've always wanted to. There have been times in my life though where, inexplicably, I did, and I love going back and reading them. I reread a lot of the posts, too, and am always amazed at what I've forgotten. It really is like a snapshot of our lives - for better or worse.

And to my astonishment, people started reading it. Several of us have tried to figure out how we all found each other and it's really fun to try and trace it back. Jen was my first real blog buddy and it all grew from there. For some reason June was a big month in terms of new people hooking up. So was September. And as we all know, when you link and are linked, wonderful things happen and terrific people join in. In a really cool timing coincidence RC got its 30,000th hit Tuesday afternoon, which makes me happier than should be legal.

Am I glad I started blogging? Yes. Does this blog meet all of my blogging needs? Yes. Has it - literally - changed my life? Absolutely yes. I'm not the same person I was a year ago. This was a big personal risk for me, mostly because of the way I set it up for myself. I really can be my own worst enemy. Because underneath the worthy cause of staying in touch with people was a more selfish reason. I love to write. I've always loved to write. But I'd lost it. Years of school and work and kids and grown-up responsibilities had me believing that I'd hit my peak writing my editor's column in the college newspaper. (I've reread those columns. It wasn't a peak to write home about).

But when I would go about my days anticipating the time I could sit in front of the computer and write, when I found myself reworking something over and over in my head as I went about my normal routine, when I remembered the sheer joy of writing...I was hooked. I'm not sure I could ever go back. I may need to google Blog exorcisms just to get it out of my system.

I'm glad I started blogging because it worked as far as staying close to people. I'm glad I started blogging because I have met so many incredible people through it - people I'm proud to call my friends. I'm glad I started blogging because (as I said once quite a while ago) it's mine, mine, all mine. As any mother knows, it's almost impossible to have anything in the house that is truly yours and yours alone. This is mine. I'm glad I started blogging because it's refired up a passion I had never in my heart totally given up on.

And in a really sappy way to end this up...I'm glad I started blogging because you have all been a huge source of support to me in some really crappy times. There have - honest to god - been times lately where blog comments were the only positive things that got said to (or about) me in the course of a day. I follow your lives so closely that your blogs provide an escape for me too. We come from different places and different mindsets and different lives, but we've found a common ground on all of our blogs. I wouldn't trade that for anything.

I'm sorry. I know I've missed the tongue in cheek mark this post. I know I've been schmaltzy and a big goober. Aren't I allowed one sappy post a year? Can this be the one?

This leads me to the point I've been trying to avoid - the suggestion that you comment on why you like it here. If you feel like it - great. No pressure. You might find this hard to believe, but in spite of my big mouth I really do like to keep a low profile and fly under the radar. This smacks suspiciously of tooting my own horn, but it wasn't my idea. Honest. Blame Iota and Eileen.

Actually you're all at fault for encouraging me. What were you thinking?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

on your mark...

Alright, Carolyn, here you go. Five weird and wacky lines pulled out of the archives. Just for you. (And anyone else crazy enough to want to play).

If you feel like playing, email me at by Midnight Friday and let me know where you found these. In a perfect world I'd have a fab prize for the winner. In reality I know I'll mess it up somehow - just ask Ciara. So this is all for the pure glory of the hunt. (I suck. I know. I'm sorry). I'll write the winner's name in big huge letters. Does that help?


1. "Michael," ten year old Surfer Dude said dismissively to his sleeping over best friend, "You don't even know what a hooker is."

2. Must be available at 3 am to move the foosball table from the Beverly Hills house to the Malibu house, by way of a drug pickup in Santa Monica.

3. As I was racing around like a crazy woman looking for the key, he casually suggested that I might want to check the watermelon.

4. My mother leaned into my lap to look at the gauge and say Not THAT high and then she might have cussed just a little bit.

5. "Are you trying to tell me that you can buy a five gallon bucket of lard but you can't buy a bottle of sparkling water?"

Get set...GO!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

and away we go...

I loved the ideas that you came up with for the one year anniversary of RC and am going to try to incorporate the works. But for today, let's kick off Blog Birthday week with... the very first post, from March 26, 2007. (thanks for the idea, aims).

Let’s just start out with a confession. I’m a rotten correspondent. (And evidently my spelling is slipping too, since it took spell check to point out that I wasn’t even spelling correspondent right). Unlike a lot of my confessions, however, I’m going to try to make things right. Or more right. Call it what you will, but this is my pea brained idea to shut my conscience up. I’m going to start a blog. And I’m going to attempt to post something every day. Stop laughing RIGHT NOW and listen to all my reasons for why this is not a completely insane idea…

1) I’m tired of the disconnect I feel with a lot of the people I want to be more in touch with, and I’m honest enough to know that a lot of it is my fault. I feel guilty when my inbox is full of mail that I don’t respond to and I feel awful when people finally give up and just stop even trying anymore. It isn’t that I blame them, I just feel bad for being such a slug.

2) It gives everyone the choice to read my ramblings or not without the worry of hurting any feelings. Believe me, what I don’t know won’t hurt me. At least, not in this case. On the positive side, we do have more than our share of amusing episodes around here, even if they don’t strike me as amusing right off the bat. Truly. Some of our friends can hardly keep a straight face in our presence, but possibly I’m paranoid.

3) I have no more excuses. The kids are all in school and I’m not. 12 hour shifts may kill my feet, but they leave lots of days off. I’ve finally learned to type. We have lift-off.

4) Back in the day, for those who have been around a while, I used to write. A lot. And I didn’t suck. And I want it back. Badly.

Are you with me? I’m terrified to hit that little “submit” button, but here I go…

Sunday, March 23, 2008

sweet sixteen

Sixteen years ago today, I was in a hospital bed on Sunset Blvd. with a seven pound fourteen ounce lump lying next to me. It was a toss up as to which of us was more traumatized at that moment, and we were eying each other warily, clearly unsure of the other's intents. Visitor after visitor trooped in to take a peek, and, as wiped out as I was I was grateful for them, because as long as someone else was there I didn't have to feel responsible for anything. I vaguely remembered something to the effect that eventually this small person would actually leave the hospital in the care of his parents...whoever those people might be. I was a little fuzzy about the specifics, but I had the notion that I was implicated here somewhere.

We had rolled into the hospital at 5:30 the afternoon before, bags packed, birth plan in place, What to Expect When You're Expecting bookmarked in all the appropriate places. As is my usual pattern I had read everything I could get my hands on, so I felt confident that there would be no surprises, leaving nothing to challenge the sense of control that was so vitally important to me. I expected to deliver in about an hour, refuse all drugs and leave the hospital - smiling - in my skinny jeans.

You can stop laughing now.

From 5:30 pm until 1:01 am Pacific Standard Time, when Sasquatch finally made an unwilling appearance, I had plenty of time to fully comprehend that the word "control" was no longer relevant to my life and wouldn't be for years to come. (I'm still waiting. Can I get an ETA?) As I looked at the swaddled little body in the bed next to me, I marveled that something that small could wield so much power.

And on this, his sixteenth birthday, he's got at least three inches on me. He's capable of making me run the entire gamut of human emotions in a period of about three minutes. I'm starting to notice suspicious fuzz on his upper lip and the smell of his tennis shoes can kill small animals. This kid who changed the entire course of my life is sixteen years old. Sixteen. Years. Old.

But he'll always be my baby. Even if I'm still a little fuzzy about the specifics.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


It does not look good for selling the house. Too much to do, too soft a market...too bad? I'm of a million different opinions at the moment. As soon as one of them solidifies the lead I'll be sure to share. Thank you all for your comments on my primal scream of a post. I snuck away often to reread them for moral support, and can't tell you the difference they made in a really legitimately crappy day. I have rug burns from my cyber hugs - and I like it.

Looking ahead to a hopefully less crappy day, March 26th is the one year anniversary of Rotten Correspondent. Can you believe it? Who knew I had this much drivel in me? (Anyone related to me or who knows me in "real life" is not eligible to answer that question. Understand?) And the really great part is that I can drivel for days. It's a gift. (Not returnable for something useful, unfortunately, but nevertheless).

I had planned on doing something fun to celebrate, but I'm fresh out of ideas. Does anyone have any ideas? I'm open to just about anything. How about questions? Any questions you want to throw my way for me to answer on the big day? Anything? Bueller...Bueller...

Hit me with it.

Friday, March 21, 2008

hard sell

The Realtor is coming today.

Coming to walk through my house and give her educated opinion on whether we have a chance in hell of selling it in this terrible market. Coming to go from room to room making notes on windows and crown moulding and hard wood floors. Coming to examine comps on houses that have sold in the neighborhood, looking at square footage and lot size and number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

We have a history with her. She helped us buy and sell our very first house, a house I thought we'd never see. Now she's coming to play her unwilling part in our cliched little story, hopefully able to help us sell this, our second house - the house I thought I'd never leave.

And I don't even know where to start as far as what I feel about this. I don't want to leave this house. It's my dream house. I can't get out of this house fast enough. It's been totally ruined for me. I'll find some way to keep it. I can't keep it up on my own. It's too big for me and the boys. It's not fair to ask the boys to move again. Back and forth, over and a metronome gone mad.

I'm going to be very limited in options as far as where we'll live. I'll need to buy, what with three kids and three big dogs. We'll need to stay right in the same neighborhood, smack in the middle of the three schools the kids will go to next year. I'll be back working full-time. They'll have to get themselves to and from school. A lot will change.

There's a little bungalow for sale two blocks away. I've gone to look at it and dragged friends with me for second opinions. It's smaller, but it's perfect. It's been on the market for a couple of months, with the price continuing to drop. Finally, it went up for lease. I drove by it several times a day, bargaining with the fates. If the house was still available when we sold ours, it would be an omen of sorts. A very small sign that things were maybe going to look up even slightly.

Thursday I went from room to room in our house, cleaning and rearranging things, trying to make the house look its best. I walked through, trying to see it from an impartial person's view, trying to get some idea of what she would see.

But all I could think of was what she wouldn't see. The landscaping I've planned for two years that I was going to start this spring. The Painted Lady paint job that I have pictured in my head, right down to the smallest trim color. The mosaic tile on the fireplace that I've imagined since the first day we saw the house. A happy family eating dinner out on the sun porch. She wouldn't see any of these things. But I would. In my head. Forever.

When I couldn't take it anymore I took the kids to see a movie. On the way home we drove past the bungalow.

There's a sale pending sign in the yard.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Thursday Three

Maybe it's been American Idol, maybe it's the fact that my iPod has been running constantly lately, maybe it's even the Paul McCartney/Heather Mills financial judgment, but whatever the reason I've had the Beatles on my mind lately.

I adore the Beatles and always have, so this is not a bad place to be. Some of my very favorite songs ever are Beatles songs, and god knows there are enough amazing ones to choose from. Seriously, what percentage of their songs is considered "classics"? Very, very high. Which makes me a complete misfit to list

Beatle's Classics I Don't Really Like

1. I Want to Hold Your Hand.
Love the sentiment. Love the message. Just don't like the song. Don't know why. And it's not that I don't like their bouncy, upbeat songs, because I do. Just not this one.

2. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band. There are so many other songs in this collection that are, to me anyway, so much better (She's Leaving Home, A Day in the Life). I realize this is an iconic song for an entire generation. But I'm still not crazy about it.

3. Yesterday. Please direct all hate mail to my email address rather than showing up on my front doorstep. I'm well aware that this is one of the most beloved Beatles songs around, but it leaves me cold. They did so many really poignant things that didn't seem to be trying quite so hard. It's pretty enough, I guess. It just doesn't move me.

Which Beatle's songs don't move you?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

oh, nuts

I have just had my butt kicked from one end of our ER to the other for the last two days. I've worked 24 out of the last 32 hours and at this point I'm not sure if I could tell the difference between strep throat and a tubal pregnancy. There are fourteen straggly teenagers screaming at video games downstairs, one twelve year old at a birthday sleepover of his own and one smelly ten year old sleeping sideways on my bed.

My brain is shot. I want sugar.

Specifically, I want cookies. Peanut butter cookies. Soft, chewy peanut butter cookies with little pieces of nuts in them. Warm would be even better. Cold would still work. Peanut butter is one of my favorite security blanket foods. And cookies are another. Together they are the perfect combo.

What's your favorite comfort cookie? Do tell.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


My poor kids are not having an easy time. And it's manifesting itself in ways that are both completely expected and totally...not.

Sasquatch, who I expected to retreat to his room and not come out until Christmas, has been very open with me about his feelings and emotions.

Gumby, who I expected to be kind of clingy and weepy, has been sort of standoffish and more than a little mouthy.

Surfer Dude, who I expected to rant and rage, has steadfastly refused - tears in his eyes - to talk about the situation at all.

So much for my superhero mind reading powers.

Then we have the intangibles and the soundtrack.

Sasquatch will be turning sixteen next Sunday and has been obsessively planning his party for a week.

Gumby has been on a building jag and has created a kind of whip out of a light saber handle and a multi-colored jump rope.

Surfer Dude went to a birthday party over the weekend and got one of those heavy rubber balloons on a rubber band that you bounce against your hand. I'm very familiar with the sound, because he's also gotten really clingy and follows me from room to room.

It's Spring Break. And we're all here. And when I say we're all here...I mean we're all here. (Until we figure out what to do with the house the FG is out in the studio). So this is what I hear all day-

Gumby: (cracking the whip). Snap! Snap! Ow! (when he accidentally hits someone) Yelp! (when he accidentally hits a slow dog) You jerk! (when he nails one of his brothers on purpose). Snap!

Surfer Dude: (hitting the balloon). Wham! Wham! Wham! Do you want to come and sit with me, mom? Wham! Wham! Are you in the bathroom? Wham! Wham! Do you want to make pancakes? Wham! Wham!

Sasquatch:(obsessing) Do you think twelve kids is too much for the sleepover (Wham! Wham! Snap! Yelp!) because we had ten last year and it seemed to go okay (You jerk!) and everyone is bringing their TV's and gaming systems (Snap! Snap!) and you don't even need to buy food because if you'll just give me money (Yelp!) we'll walk to the store and buy snacks and is Tuesday okay with you (If you don't put that blessed thing down right this instant I'm going to have a nervous breakdown!) oh wait so and so will be out of town on Tuesday (Wham! Wham!) how about Wednesday no wait a minute Wednesday isn't good either (You jerk!) so what do you think I should do? Snap!

I think Snap! has a nice ring to it, don't you?

Monday, March 17, 2008

code pink redux

The clock is winding down on my pity party and I'm about to rejoin the land of the living. I promise. I really have been keeping up with all of your blogs - I just haven't been commenting like I usually do. But in the meantime, this "oldie but goodie" is for you, Mya. Talk about timing...

During the years I was popping out babies, I always hoped there would be a girl in there somewhere by the time I was done. This desire was based on lots of notions that may or may not be true, but I really hoped, each time that EPT turned blue, that there would an innie at the end of nine months instead of an outie. And as we know, it just wasn't meant to be. I reside in Boyville, a run-down suburb of Testerone Town, where the air is permanently filled with the funky smell of wet toilet seats and well-hidden science experiments. There is no pink in my house unless it's mine, and when my kids misbehave I tell them to expect a Malibu Barbie playset for their next birthday as penance. Works like a charm.

And the thing's okay. It really is. Somehow, over the years, the need for a daughter has gone away. I adore my stinky boys, no matter how much I bitch about them, and am grateful every day of my life that I have them around. I can overlook that sometimes when I'm removing forbidden dirty dishes from bedrooms, and listening to the repetitive whap whap whap of a soccer ball against the wall for hours on end, and when I'm being forced to watch people get to new levels of video games I don't give a rat's ass about and pretending to look interested. It really is okay with me that I don't have a girl.

Part of it is seeing what's going on with my friends and family who do have girls. It really is a different world out there and I'm not sure I'm cut out for it. I have a couple of surrogate daughters I can borrow for a few hours when the mood strikes, but when the estrogen levels get too high I can just send them on their way. I'm well schooled in boy drama, but girl drama, even though I am one, confuses me.

We've had a run of attempted suicides at work the last few weeks and they've all been girls. Girls who have broken up with their boyfriends or been dissed by a "best friend" or wanted badly to get their parent's attention somehow. Beautiful, intelligent, well-loved girls. Girls who come in on stretchers in a blare of sirens. Girls who are unconscious while their hysterical parents stand at the bedside and give police reports. We haven't had one succeed yet, but it's always in the back of my mind, taunting me. Most of the time they aren't even awake when we ship them to ICU or, god help me, peds, but I just want to shake them and ask them what the hell they were thinking. I at least want to share my personal mantra with them, maybe even at the top of my lungs...

There is no man on Earth worth dying for unless you gave birth to him. Period. If you don't have children (or sons) feel free to delete the second half of the sentence and I still stand by it. We had a grown woman with four small children come in OD'd with a note that thanked her cheating husband for finally giving her a reason to kill herself. WTF? This is how you pay him back? I believe in the Roseanne Barr theory - Stay alive and really make 'em suffer. Or here's a a dignified human being and get on with your life. Model that behavior for your kids. I'm not saying that all females get sucked into this destructive behavior, that's not my point at all. It's the internalization of feelings vs. the externalization that I'm talking about.

Now I'm the first to admit that I've never had a girl patient come in saying she'd been hit with a baseball bat because her friends wanted to see if it would hurt. Never had a girl patient cut by broken glass when she tied a brick to ceiling fan blades to see what would happen. Never once had a girl patient who ate a lit pack of matches on a dare. But we get a lot of boys (and very often men, sadly enough) who seem to think this is all par for the course. And while I think they're idiots I have enough boy experience to almost understand the thought process (or lack thereof).

But the girl drama? I just don't get it. At all.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday Slacker

Just because I'm the laziest blogger in the world, I'm posting a rerun. Hopefully, most of you haven't read this one from last June.

Working in an Emergency Room and before that in a trauma ICU, I'm on a first name basis with Some Dude. Much like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, he's everywhere, at all times, but unlike these postive icons Some Dude seems to have a more nefarious agenda.

Let me give you a scenario.

Patient comes into the ER with three gunshot wounds and a pocket full of cash. Lots of cash. More cash than I'll be seeing this pay period.

ER Doc: What happened?

Patient: I don't (deleted) know what the (deleted) happened. I was just (deleted) hangin' with my (deleted) boys.

ER Doc: And...

Patient: And then Some Dude (deleted) shot me. Shot me in the (deleted) (fill in the blank). I wasn't doin' a (deleted) thing.

ER Doc: Why do you have all this money in your pockets?

Patient: What (deleted) money are you talkin' about? (deleted) Some Dude must've been tryin' to (deleted) set me up. Make me look bad to my (deleted) boys. Only thing I had in my (deleted) pocket before was my grandma's (deleted) bible and now it's (deleted) gone.

Here's another example...

Guy comes in with an alcohol level off the charts and he's just been jumped. Reeks to the heavens and belligerent to boot.

ER Nurse: What happened?

Belligerent guy: What the (deleted) are you talkin' about (deleted)? I was on my way to (deleted) prayer group and Some Dude jumped on me and kicked my (deleted) (deleted).

ER Nurse: Was it someone you know?

Belligerent guy: (deleted), I never saw the dude in my (deleted) life. He just came out of (deleted) nowhere and (deleted) me up. And you know what else he did? He (deleted) stole my brand new bottle of Vicodin I just (deleted) got filled. Guess you need to (deleted) give me a new one, (deleted).

Not only is Some Dude everywhere, but he has a big family, too. This Dude gets around, as does That Bitch. Often they travel as a gang to prey on the unsuspecting innocent walking to church at three in the morning with one pocket full of cash and the other full of crack, meth or ammunition. As in, "I was mindin' my own business when Some Dude kicked me in the head and then This Dude took my money and then That Bitch drove off."

If you see any of these people I'd advise you to steer clear. Evidently, they're capable of anything. Whatever you do, protect your Bibles and your Vicodin.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

and I live in a small town...

This was a Bunco week, but to tell the truth I wasn't too excited about it. I wasn't thrilled about breaking my news to the eight out of eleven other gals who didn't know. We go way back, but I'm finding that there is no real casual way to let this particular cat out of the bag. It's like when you're pregnant and dying to tell someone, but the right moment doesn't come. ("Will that be cash or charge?" "Why yes, thanks, I am pregnant!")

The situation was complicated because we were breaking tradition and not playing at someone's house, due to a home remodeling project gone wild. We were meeting at the local bowling alley instead to do a kind of Lebowski Bunco, which is a horrifying thought in itself and I need to get it out of my head as fast as possible. The thought of standing up in a loud and boisterous bowling alley full of frat boys and spilling my guts didn't do a lot for me, so I decided ahead of time not to. I would catch up with them all later somehow and bring them up to speed. That was the plan, anyway. I should have known better.

When four separate people asked me what the hell was wrong with me, I almost caved. But I didn't. After the bowling most everyone headed to the attached bar. I ducked out and went home, arriving just in time to watch everything in my bedroom that didn't belong to me move out. Do I know how to party or what?

It's taken me the better part of today to put together the pieces of what happened in the bar after I left, but I've finally got it all figured out. All it took was five phone calls and a lot of non-lice head scratching. But here's what took place after I went home - taking my "secret" with me. One of the gals left to go meet someone else in another restaurant. My good buddy Elly Mae, who knows more about this whole situation than any decent human should have to, was having a drink and minding her own business when another of our bunch leaned back on her stool and mouthed "oh, my god, are they getting a divorce??" and EM was left open mouthed and wondering where the hell that came from.

I'll tell you where that came from. The friend who left to go the other restaurant was sitting with a friend there when an acquaintance of hers came up to the table and started chatting. The acquaintance said Hey, don't you know RC? and my friend said Sure do, and the acquaintance, who works with the FG, said Did you hear they're getting a divorce? and my friend said No way and the acquaintance said Way and then my friend picked up her blackberry and texted her best friend in the Bunco bar and said Oh my god, are they getting a divorce?, at which point that friend collared Elly Mae knowing that she would have the full scoop of dirt, and nailed her squirming little body to the wall.

(It kind of reminded me of that college party I was at all those years ago where a guy I'd never met before was telling me all about this couple he had been on a ski trip with who were embarrassing the rest of the group with their, uh, nocturnal noises. I'm not sure which of us was more horrified when we both realized the vocal man in question was my boyfriend at the time who had told me he was going skiing with "the guys". Oops).

There are no secrets in a small town. And that's something this LA girl is learning fast.

Friday, March 14, 2008


When I started this blog, almost a year ago, I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted it to be. My thought was to combine a little bit of our family life mayhem with the often crazy stories from work, tossed with a little slice of life observation mixed with as much tongue in cheek humor as I could. That was the plan at the time and all in all I think I've stuck to it. Sometimes light and frothy, sometimes moving, sometimes just plain silly.Sometimes frankly bitchy. All the parts of me, all rolled into one.

Sometimes I lean a little too far in one direction and other times I tilt the opposite way. At first I spent a lot of time bemoaning the fact that I don't really have a niche. I think it could be simpler if I blogged about just work or just kids or just...anything. But I've always liked the freedom that came from having different wells to draw from. Maybe I'm easily bored, but it suited me. Maybe no one facet of my life was interesting enough on its own, but added up it had potential.

And this brings me to my dilemma.

I've not usually shied away from writing personal posts, but I've always recognized that there are limits to these things. I know exactly what my comfort level is and I can tell immediately when I'm crossing my line. I also know that I get away with a lot of stuff because of what one of my favorite curmudgeons called my "self-deprecating humor." You can say pretty much anything you want as long as you make yourself the butt of the joke. I was born to be the butt of the joke so this works well for me. If I can't make you laugh with me I have no false pride about trying to get you to laugh at me. I'll take it any way I can get it.

My life has done a complete 180 in the last week and it is without a doubt affecting everything I do. I've said and heard and thought and felt things that I never in a million years expected to experience. I'm standing, to be totally over the top melodramatic, on the edge of the old and the brink of the new and there are ravenous sharks in the water in-between. And to be perfectly honest, it's hard not to write about some of it. I've filled countless journal pages and written many email rants and IM'd my little heart out. And it felt really good to get a lot of it out there. (If you've written me and not gotten a rant yet - don't relax too soon. Truly. I'm in catch up mode).

Like I said earlier, I know my comfort zone. I'm not talking about bashing people or using this blog as a bully pulpit. But I'm finding that there really can be a hell of a lot of comedy in tragedy, and sometimes it's hard to not spin a potentially funny story at my own expense just because it's based on something so truly dreadful. I'm going to be single for the first time in 23 years, and if that doesn't conjure up a whole boatload of potential anecdotes I don't know what will. I'm going to be primary parent for three boys who already try to kill me on a daily basis. And no matter how hard I tried, I'm even ending up with Dee Dee in the deal. There is no justice.

So what I wonder from all of you is what your interest level in this is. Would you rather I stayed light and frothy? Sarcastic and snarky? Ratting out my children every time they do something semi-criminal? Or would you be interested in tagging along for this very interesting - and wholly unexpected- path my life has taken?

I'd really like to know.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Thursday Three

I have to thank you all again for the fun Thursday Three ideas you gave me a couple of weeks ago. I'm all for anything that keeps me from having to think too hard at the moment, so let's run with one of them. Kindly contributed by Angela at the Lurchers, let's talk about

Favorite Pizza Toppings

I have this vague idea that I've done something a lot like this, but so what? I can talk about pizza all day.

#1. Veggies. Name the veggie and I'm all over it. Except for eggplant, which for some reason I can't stand. Peppers, mushrooms, onions, garlic, spinach, zucchini...yum. Especially the mushrooms. If they're wild it's even better.

#2. Feta cheese. The best pizza I ever had in my life was a thin crust feta and shrimp in San Francisco and I still think of it from time to time. I don't do the shrimp very often, but I do like feta. There's a place near us that does a killer feta and spinach pizza. I could eat the whole thing.

#3. Artichoke. Are you sensing a theme? I don't like pepperoni or sausage or ham. So that leaves me with limited options. But I love every one of them. Artichokes and mozzarella - double, even triple mozzarella. Throw on a bunch of red pepper (on any pizza I eat) and life is good.

Let's hear about your favorite pizza toppings. And I promise that by next week I'll be back to my usual smart ass self. Scout's honor.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

from your mouth to god's ear

thank you, Carolyn.

and thank you all for all your lovely comments yesterday.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


RC and Film Geek
April 4, 1987 to March 8, 2008

Monday, March 10, 2008

Fun Monday

Our Fun Monday host this week is I.T. Guy and he's still in a movie mood from last week. Here's his challenge:

I need YOU (yes, the wonderful YOU!) to pick 5 memorable lines from 5 different movies (if you could tell us which character said it and to whom, would be a bonus)...and tell us to WHOM (the people in your life) you could have said those lines.

Just 5!

I could probably come up with a whole lot of these, but how about these five for starters?

Snap out of it! (Moonstruck) - to the out of control kid du jour

Calling someone fat doesn't make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn't make you any smarter. All you can do in life is try and solve the problem in front of you. (Mean Girls ) - to my kids

Tell you what. The truth is...sometimes I miss you so much I can hardly stand it.
(Brokeback Mountain) - to my mom.

You complete me.
(Jerry Maguire) - to my friends.

Sometimes you've just gotta say "What the F**k". (Risky Business) - to myself.

Now go and see what everyone else came up with. (And why does someone who hates Tom Cruise have two of his movies in here??)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sunday Slacker

You Can Change Your Life, But It Won't Be Easy

You really, truly want to change. You're just not sure that you can do it.

You need a solid plan, supportive friends, and a strong will.

Think about times you've made hard changes, and what you did to get through them.

A change is in your future - you just need a little help getting started.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

road music

Some songs are perfect for listening to while you're driving. I don't know why so many of them sound better behind the wheel, but they do. The other day I was coming home from taking the kids to school and I drove around the block a couple of times (gas prices notwithstanding) simply because this came on the radio

(and I'm almost afraid to post a video, because every time I do my comments go down by half, but only live once).

I can come up with hundreds of songs like it, but you get the idea. What are some of yours?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Nana knows best

My mom sent me this and said it reminded her of my boys. Never let it be said that Nana doesn't know best.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Thursday Three

Well, thanks to the landslide of ideas last week, I'm not going to run out of T3 topics for quite a while. I loved the variety and can't wait to get to them all. But to illustrate a list no one brought up (Three reasons why I'm a pain in the ass), I'm going with something that's been running through my head lately.

Don't ask me why. I have no clue.

Best Chick Flicks Ever

Those of you who have been around since the beginning (all four of you) will recognize this as recycled. As a matter of fact, it was the very first Thursday Three ever and I was thrilled that it got two comments. I'm hoping we can top that this time. You can go back and read the original if you want, but the three I picked then were Dirty Dancing, Working Girl and Notting Hill. I had a terrible time narrowing it down to three, so I don't feel at all bad about doing another set.

I love chick flicks. Love. Them. In my book they're better than xanax and chocolate combined in terms of sheer mindless escapism. And who doesn't need a little mindless escapism?

#1. My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I can watch this movie over and over again. It cracks me up, because it reminds me so much of my middle eastern family on my dad's side. All that yelling and head slapping brings back lots of memories. John Corbett is certainly easy on the eyes. And it is hysterically funny on top of everything else.

My one quibble with this movie is that it doesn't have what I call the chick flick payoff moment. You know, the point where boy met girl, boy and girl got along, boy and girl hit adversity and then, right before happily ever after, comes the payoff moment. In Dirty Dancing it's "nobody puts Baby in the corner". In Notting Hill it's the press conference where Hugh Grant calls himself "a daft prick". The payoff moment is a big deal. And My Big Fat Greek Wedding doesn't have one. So it's not perfect. But it's darn close.

#2. Moonstruck. This is an older chick flick and if you haven't seen it you need to rent it. Now. Cher won an Oscar for it and totally deserved it. It's formulaic chick flick, but written so cleverly and acted so well that it's an absolute joy. This movie has the extra added bonus of making you crave Italian food. Grab some red wine and enjoy the surprisingly touching payoff moment, as witnessed by the entire family.

If you're a woman of a "certain age" it's even better.

#3. When Harry Met Sally. Possibly my favorite movie in the world, chick flick or not. I love this movie with a white hot intensity. Nora Ephron, the writer, is possibly the funniest woman in the world and she was robbed of her screenwriting Oscar here. I don't think there are too many people who don't know about the infamous "I'll have what she's having" scene, but the whole movie is that funny.

The cast is amazing. Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby. Directed by Rob Reiner. I hate the word perfect, but sometimes you have to make an exception.

Just in case you missed it -

Alright, people. Let's hear yours. Can we top two comments?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

speed racer

I seem to have two extremes lately. Either I sit on my butt twirling my hair or I run around manically like the energizer bunny. Multiple efforts to find middle ground have failed miserably, and I've kind of given in and decided to roll with it. Sitting on my butt gets old, but I kind of like hyper. Hyper is productive.

In the last couple of days I've:

Cleaned a couple of closets.

Gotten rid of about half of my clothes by donating them to a local thrift store. (I threw away a bunch of them too, including my beloved overalls that I have lived in for the last four years or so. They were falling apart in so many places that you could practically read through them).

Cleaned stuff up in our yard that has been bugging the hell out of me for months. I was in full-swing the other day when it started raining. I just kept on going. I haven't melted in years.

Thrown away several large trash bags full of crap that no one needs or wants. It would be almost criminal to schlep it to the car and drive it to the thrift store just so someone else can take it home and realize that they don't need or want it either.

It's not so much what I'm doing as how I'm doing it. I'm running at Nascar speed. I walk fast. Talk fast. Eat fast. (I don't type fast, though, darn it). Then when I run out of gas (to continue with this ridiculous car analogy) I plop down and sit on my butt. Pretty soon I feel all fired up again and away I go.

I hope tomorrow is a sit on my butt day. Because I have a hair appointment and I'd hate to move at the wrong time and look like this.

That would be really, really bad.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

cross my heart

If you aren't female you may as well toddle along to another blog right now. (This includes you, Peter). Because unless you're looking for cheap thrills, you're in the wrong place today. No, this isn't a post about labor pains or periods or the horrors of bikini waxes. It's worse. (Not bathing suit shopping bad, but bad enough).

I just bought a new bra. I'm pretty sure it took less mental effort when we financed our first new car. (At only a marginally higher cost). I'm positive it was less humiliating. And my question is...


If you believe Oprah (doesn't everyone? isn't she like the most trusted woman in the galaxy or something?) 85% of women wear the wrong size bra. That's a pretty impressive statistic. I'm the first to admit that I'm in that group. My straps never stay up, I get back cleavage and, most aggravating of all, my bra bunches up under shirts so that a smooth line is impossible. (If we still have men present, don't come whining to me. I told you to go away).

My last barely passable bra gave up the ghost over the weekend, leaving me with no choice but to suck it up and go bra shopping. What I really wanted was to go to one of those specialty shops that measure you and snap their fingers and voila! tell you your perfect size without hesitation. But we don't have a store like that in town and I didn't feel like driving. So I did what any other informed shopper would do in the year 2008. I went on the internet.

I tried this bra size calculator. Being a skeptic, I wanted a second opinion. So I tried this one, too. And of course I got two different sizes. (Neither of which I've ever worn, by the way). I tucked this questionable information away and headed to the biggest department store we've got. Can I tell you that I haven't had that much fun since my last mammogram?

The choices are overwhelming. Underwire, wire free, lightly shaped, gel foam, demi cup, smoothing, strapless, racerback, convertible...the list goes on. Every brand is sized slightly differently. And when the hell did a bra start costing $30?

I tried on twelve of them in two different runs. I tried to not flaunt the five item per dressing room too much. (I like even numbers. Shoot me). I picked the two I liked the best, which wasn't saying much. Then I hit the t-shirt sale and got a couple of them for work, since I like to wear scrub pants and a t-shirt instead of a scrub top. Went back to the dressing room and tried on the bra with the t-shirts. And could clearly see bra lines underneath with both bras. Hit the sales floor again and got six more of them in slightly different styles and tweaked the size a little. Seventeen bras later I finally found one that a) I liked that b) fit and c) didn't show under the shirt. Of course they didn't have it in the color I wanted, but at that point if lime green tiger stripes had been my only choice I probably would have gone for it. And it only set me back $32. Whee.

I had a lot of time to think while I was trying on the multitudes. I now have my very own set of lingerie buying imponderables. For example:

Why do you always look fat trying on underwear? I've lost a fair amount of weight recently and look pretty respectable in my clothes, but in that dressing room I looked like a cross between Fat Elvis and the Stay Puft marshmallow man. In a badly fitting bra. I didn't just have back cleavage. I had rib cleavage. There was only one place I didn't have cleavage. Guess where?

Who came up with the tip I read in some magazine about leaning forward while trying on bras so you would "fall into the cup naturally"? The security guard behind the two way glass? Because I'm here to tell you that that tip does no one a good turn except the voyeur behind the camera monitor. And only if they get extra wow value from women cussing like teamsters when they "fall" the wrong way.

And perhaps most importantly - now that I've finally found one I like...why in the world did I just buy one?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Fun Monday

Janet, from the planet of Janet, is our Fun Monday hostess this week and here is our assignment.

Hollywood has come calling. They want to make a movie of your life story!

So here's what I want to read about: Write the brief synopsis of this film that you might use to pitch this project and cast the principal players. Who would play you? You can either cast or ignore significant others, children and/or pets. This is, after all, YOUR movie about you you YOU! Illustrate as needed with casting photos or filming locations. Your life not interesting enough? Hey, this is Hollywood. Never let the facts get in the way of a good story!

Okay. Here's my pitch:

Our heroine is a woman at a crossroads in her life. She's not in the first bloom of youth, but she's still got a lot of good years on her. She's not beautiful, but not ugly. Not an intellectual, but not stupid. She has spent the last several years of her life on a voyage of self-discovery, and has realized, to her astonishment, that she's a pretty tough cookie. She hides this Steel Magnolias interior under a self-deprecating wit and potty mouth, which she sometimes fears is out of control. (The potty mouth, not the wit).

Our movie opens with the plot device designed to test our heroine's limits and challenge her life as she knows it thus far. Which path will she take? Will she choose this path herself or will it be chosen for her? Will she find her happily ever after? And if she does - how?

Because Hollywood hates originality, we can compare this to...

War of the Roses...without the fighting.

Heartburn...without the infidelity. Or pregnancy.

Alien...without that nasty thing popping out of her stomach.

Casting could go in many different directions, depending on budget.

So. You interested?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

sunday slacker sequel

You Are 80% Left Brained, 20% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.

Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.

If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.

Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.

Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.

If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.

Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

one for the team

For a variety of reasons, I've worked a lot this week. We're getting ready to open a huge and drop dead gorgeous new Emergency Department and there's a lot to still finish up on. I've been filling in for some of the people who are on those tight deadlines to meet. I'm in the process of trying to add to my regular hours as well, although there are certainly lots of shifts to be picked up during times I really want to work - like school hours. Say what you will about nursing, but you can't beat the flexibility. It is a huge plus.

The extra work has been really interesting from another perspective, too. The last long shift I worked this week is a perfect example. On paper it was a nightmare. Two patients came in as Code Blues. One came in as a Code Red but immediately got upped to a Blue. Two emergent intubations, one of them practically in the hall. A young college student with one of those terrible flukey things that made all of our hearts hurt. We had to fly him out and I'm still wondering how he did. A spinal tap on an infant. A board that never cleared all day, a waiting room that was overflowing out into the parking lot, mental health beds that were never cold. None of us got lunch. No one got dinner. It should have been a disaster.

But instead it was one of the most satisfying shifts I've ever had in nursing. It was just one of those days where everything clicked. I was in the zone. Everything I did was effortlessly right. The first Code Blue was mine and I nailed it from start to finish. It was one of those television ER moments of people running down the hall with gurneys, holding bags of fluids and shouting orders to everyone they pass. And the whole thing, which should have had a terrible outcome, had a wonderful outcome. (It didn't start out wonderful, believe me. Every single person who saw this patient said some version of my favorite word (rhymes with truck) on first glance).

Part of my problem as a critical care nurse is that I overthink things. (Hell, part of my problem in life is that I overthink things). Sometimes you have to fly on gut reactions, which can be hard for me. But I did it all day, operating on pure instinct. And all day I was dead on. It was indescribable. I'd work every day if I could feel that way all the time.

I think so much of the camaraderie that is formed in hospitals is because of the day to day chaos that you survive together. This is true of any job. The more stress you live through and the more you depend on other people to watch your back, the more of a bond you create. Most of the time this bond shows up in little moments, moments where you realize that you're seeing a new facet to someone or understanding that a previously held opinion you had of a person is incorrect (and you're happy for it) or spot on (and you're happy for that, too). It's when the mask slips and the real person comes out. And you are thrilled to realize how much you like what you see.

Masks were slipping all over the place. All gloves were off. The black humor that this profession is so known for was out in full force. (I myself was as solemn as a judge, but some of the reprobates I work with got a little out of control). I found myself the target of a few inside jokes, had all manner of things thrown at me and received my traditional greeting from one of our docs of being body slammed into a wall. (In the nicest possible way, of course. Once the bones heal, that is). It was great.

When people are polite and formal and reserved, it may be business-like, but it's cold. To me, it says that they may not be totally comfortable with you in one way or another. In my (admittedly warped) opinion, if people like you enough to abuse you, you've got it made. You're part of the team. You' insider.

Every one of us took one for the team. And I loved it.