Redhead, nurse, sister, daughter, aunt, newly-ex-wife, sucker for lost animals, currently owned by Percy the cat and Spencer the dog. In the middle of some major changes–trying to figure out what I want so I can figure out how to get there.

Archive for November, 2010

I’m unhappy about the TSA, but not like most people are unhappy

Okay, yes, I am late to the table with my thoughts on the latest TSA rules and regulations. However, I am not actually late as I am finding out more ways to be distressed by everything.

When I first heard about the p*rnographic body scans and advanced pat downs, I had very little reaction to it. I do not fly for business and fly less often for pleasure than I would wish. I do choose the “expert” lane when offered, and I think I deserve it. I never need to be told to take off my jacket. I always put my shoes in the gray bins. I never put anything else in with my laptop. I never leave my cell phone in my pants pocket. Hell, I hardly even choose to wear an underwire bra when travelling. I have the thing down pat, and while I think it is a hassle, I didn’t really thnk it was much to bitch about. To be honest, if some dude or woman wants to get their jollies looking at a terminator style anonymous photo that shows the outlines of my bits–fucking go for it. I really don’t care that much. If the ogling is not up close and in my face, it really doesn’t matter to me.

As for the pat downs? Well, I am not thrilled at the “more touching” aspect, but I didn’t get too excited about that part either. I touch people a lot at work, and I am required to get more intimate with patients’ intimates than I prefer. Since I get absolutely no thrill from this, I figure anyone else touching way too many people for a living would be unlikely to get kicks out of it either.

Two things have changed my feelings about the new rules. The first is children. I won’t link it because everyone else has, but there was video of the 3yo girl who freaked out at seeing her teddy go “into the hole.” Said freaked-outed-ness (in addition to her age) made her unable to stand still enough to complete the scan. Two unsuccessful tries on the scan earns you a pat down. The video of that terrified kid climbing up her mother’s body to try to get away from the patter made me incredibly sad. I get it, really, I do. However, these screeners obviously need much, much more training in how to deal with kids. Or, perhaps they could engage the parents for assistance/ideas that might help the kid through it. I am glad that I do not have any children so decisions about how to handle them are not mine to make.

The thing that has me totally squigged out is the report claiming, “The woman who checked me reached her hands inside my underwear and felt her way around. It was embarrassing. It was demeaning.” To be honest, I am not sure I would find such an incident to be embarrassing or demeaning. I would, however, find it disgustingly germy if a TSA agent put hands covered with the same gloves she had searched god-knows-how-many other people “down my pants.” I am not a germaphobe by anyone’s definition. I wash my hands a billion times a day at work because they have secret spies to make sure I do. I also do this because it is proven to help prevent patients acquiring infections while in the hospital. I do not carry any purse sized hand sanitizer in my car or on my person. I do not (as many of my colleagues do) take my clothes off in the garage before entering the house as they may have some evil hospital germs on them. I wear my work sneakers in real life. Gererally speaking, I am not worried about germs. That goes for the outside of my clothes only! Anything on the inside (underpants or bare skin) is off fucking limits to dirty shit. This includes those freaking gloves I mentioned before. They have touched too many potentially dirty things to be put INSIDE MY CLOTHES! I swear I would much rather do a strip search than let them touch me with gloves they have had on for an hour or more. Okay, taking a deep breath. Perhaps I will get lucky and make it through the scanner on the first or second try–and not be randomly selected for a pat down. This would be the best scenario for me. Failing that, I could ask nicely that the screener change gloves for me. (It is not unusual these days for a patient to ask me to wash my hands when I enter the room. I do this to make them feel more confident–even if I know I just walked from the sink at the desk straight to their bedside.) If neither of those options are successful, I think I will be one of those people making a scene. I make scenes rarely, but I am fully capable. Demanding to be taken to a private room and strip searched instead of being touched by used gloves just might qualify. In fact, I would rather be publicly strip searched than touched by dirty gloves.

Add all this to the fact that I do not believe that the increased TSA security has made us any safer. The problem on september 11 was not that the screeners didn’t find the box cutters. The problem was that box cutters were legal on an airplane at that time. Americans thought being “hijacked” meant being flown to Cuba and held for ransom. The heroes on Flight 93 in Pennsylvania set the example for what will stop these bastards, and the passengers on the flights with the shoe and underwear bombers followed their lead. I do not consider myself a hero by any means. However, I do know with all that is in me that if some fucker starts acting squirrely on a plane and tries to light shit on fire–I will be among the many “everyday passengers” who will react quickly and sit on his or her fucking head until somebody shows up with handcuffs and a gun. That is the way to stop events like 9/11. Not patting down 3 year old kids who just want to make sure his/her teddy bear made it out of the dark hole, or putting grubby paws on me or anybody else.

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Crazy, busy week

So, this week has been a bit of work.  I found out my current charge nurse is moving to another position at our hospital.  This leaves vacant (nearly) the same job I left 5 years ago.  I think I have a good chance of getting it even though I have just been back since August.  It would be more money, use more of my mind and people skills and less of my back muscles, allow me to teach more (something I love to do and get good feedback on).  Fingers crossed.

I had some challenging interactions with the ex.  He is not as far down the road of accepting the reality as I am , and this has resulted in some less than pleasant email exchanges. (As mentioned in previous post–he found my online dating profile within 48 hours of my posting it and made assumptions that were not correct.  Yes, he was looking for it–it was not random accident.)   I am still set on the current goal of maintaing a friendship with him, so this made it more useful to address things head on rather than ignore or put him on full blast.  I feel good about the way I let him know what was okay behavior and what was not.  I will be patient, but he needs to figure it out.

I also have looked at 2 rental properties that would both “work.”  Tomorrow I have a date to look at one that feels like “mine.”  I love the outside–nice front yard, red door, and windows.  It has a covered patio in back and a good sized pretty yard which is already fenced in.  The main living space is open, airy and full of windows.  The kitchen is updated and very white–as is the living space.  I wouldn’t have necessarily thought I would like the white-white, but in this setting it strikes me as a beautiful blank palette waiting to be made my own.  (Yes, the sister and I prowled around the house and even used a flashlight purchased just for the occasion.  We forgot the stepstool, so I boosted her up to look in some of the windows–got a problem with that?)  I have one more appt scheduled, and one more to make, but if this red-doored one isn’t mine, I will be sad.

One last anecdote.  A confused patient at work Friday was having a hard time.  We were getting him back to bed, and he was requiring many verbal cues to be safe with his new hip.  He looked up at me and said. “What you need to do right now, is speak as little as possible.”  I doubt he is the first to feel that way, but the phrasing was perfect.  Gotta love being a nurse!

So–what is your after-Thanksgiving story?  Traditions, trials, tribulations?  I wanna know.

Sophie’s rules for online dating profiles

Surely there are more important topics I could address at this point in time, but you are getting this instead.

These are not rules for everyone, but they are rules for me.  I an NOT looking for a new boyfriend,  However, I did put up a profile on a dating site in an attempt to meet some people.  (We shall not delve into the fact that my ex found it within 48 hours of the posting at this juncture, okay?)  I have people, but they have the nerve to have lives without me…kids, jobs, social schedules booked far in advance, not liking the same kind of music I do.  Anyway, I posted said profile, and was quickly reminded of the wheat/chaff concept that accompanies such an endeavor.  Here are my suggestions:

Do not post a photo showing your bare chest, no matter how beautiful it is.  I don’t want to see it yet–and likely never want to see it.  Immediate ding.

Do not post photos of you with other women cropped out except for that awkward arm.  Do not put a black “anonymity” bar across the eyes of a woman in a photo.  I don’t care if you ever fucked her–just get a new picture, okay?

Do not post photos that show you and the camera in the mirror.  Just don’t.  You must have one friend who can help you out.

Don’t post photos of you with your tractor,motorcycle, boat or car.  You might think this matters, but I don’t really care.  Well, if you have a motorcycle, I do care, and I can’t be friends with you.  (Too many years working as a nurse–squiggs me out.)

Do not misspell a word in your SCREEN NAME.  Do not use screen names that confuse or annoy me–Ga-Hotie, oldenuff2now, booboo, made2luvu, pnutbuttrunicorn (actually, I might change my mind about this one), im_courious.  WTF?

Do not put up a photo without a profile.  No matter how hot you are (which you really aren’t) I am not spending time writing to you unless I know you are literate.

Do not put up a profile without a photo of you–not a flower, not a stuffed animal, not a photo from the Body Human (yes, I really saw all of these).  I’m not as concerned about how you look as I am about the fact that you are comfortable enough with yourself to post a photo.

Don’t say stupid shit like “all my female friends can’t believe I’m available.”  Date one of them, okay?

Don’t expect me to believe that you are “free from all baggage from previous relationships” at age 40.  I call bullshit with a capital bull.

Don’t get all fucking coy when you get to the question, “What is the most private thing you are willing to admit here?”  Make up something funny, silly or embarassing.  It’s not asking you to measure your wank or talk about “that one time…at band camp.”  It’s an opportunity to be creative–use it!

Don’t tell me you like “all kinds of music.”  If this is true than you have no ability to discriminate Justin Bieber from Bob Dylan, or The Stones from New Kids.  Make a choice, okay?

Don’t “wink” at me and expect a response.  If my profile interests you–explain to me why.  If all you can muster is clicking a link, all I can do is say, “Next.”

Well, well, well.  Upon reading what I have written, it would appear that I am a bit bitter.  However, I really am not.  What I am is a bitchy redhead with a side of snark.  Who knew?

Fortunately, the day got better

I haven’t gotten too much sleep the past several days. Some of it is my own fault. I found some really awesome new websites this weekend, and I it was 2am before I knew it both Friday and Saturday nights. I also tend to be a sleepasaurus on the weekend days, but I woke up early and did not get a nap either day. My sleep problems are sufficient for a whole post –perhaps more than one.

This is very long preface to help explain the condition I was in when I got out of bed this morning. I could have just said I was tired, but this is my blog , so I got all run-on-sentencey instead.

So, I fall out of bed today–far short of awake. I don’t generally turn on the light in the bedroom since I don’t re-enter it again. I aimed for the door, but ran into the wall instead. After a quick course adjustment, I walk across the hallway to the bathroom, and step into a pile of catshit. It squishes between my toes. I wash said catshit off of my feet. Then I went to the sink. My eyes are open at this point, but evidently not quite open enough. I pop open the pill-minder slot that has the “W” on it. (Yes, I have a pill-minder–two of them–one for morning and one for bedtime. I am an old fart on too many meds. Again, enough fodder there for a whole post.) I toss the pills in my mouth and reach for the glass of water. As I bring the glass to my lips, I realize that I have made a serious error. I have opened the “PM” meds and not the “AM” meds. The “PM” meds include my sleeping pill (see above referenced sleep issues). I start spitting like someone who has found a fingernail in their tuna sandwich. I manage to expunge all the medicine from my mouth. I then wash my face and get ready to face the day.

The day was crazy at work, but as the title says, it did get better. However, I never did get over the feeling that I still had catshit between my toes.

So, what was the best (or worse) part of your day today?

And so it goes…

I had very good intentions to post on a regular basis.  I am not quite certain where these last many days have gone.  I suppose they have gone where days go–work, sleep, and whatever else it seems that I do.

I am making progress as far as work, therapy and divorce.  I am feeling a bit more settled at work–not as  stressed out, and leaving earlier at the end of the day.  All that is good.

Therapy has been quite interesting.  I am back to working on the dreaded “family of origin” issues.  Trying to sort out what messages I got about relationships from both Mother and Poppa.  Beginnings of insights, elatbut not well formulated enough to relate.  One interesting note is that when I am asked about how my parents interacted with each other (in order to see what I learned), I have exactly zero memories.  I was 8 years old when my parents divorced, yet I caennot bring back a single memory of the two of them together.  I remember things from before the divorce, but I cannot conjure a single image of them as a couple.  I’m not at all surprised that I have some repressed memories, but I am a bit confused as to why I can’t remember things from *before* the divorce.  It seems more logical that the repressed memories would be from *after* since that is the time that was the most difficult.  I suppose the only thing to do is to keep going and see what comes up.

I am dealing fairly well with the divorce process.  I continue to feel guilty about the failure of my marriage, but I am not blaming myself in an unhealthy way.  I am concerned about my Ex right now.  He is coming to terms with the reality–and it is hard to see him struggle.  I want so much to remain friends with him.  I  want to be there for him.  I cannot believe how tough it is–even though we both are trying so very hard.  It is nearly impossible for me to imagine how hard an acrimonious divorce with children involved must be.

 This post http://blueroomdialogues.wordpress.com/2010/11/13/the-beauty-of-divorce-is-this/ made me think and prompted a comment that I need to keep in mind.  She is also recently separated, and I commented that “it is no longer important that he understand how I feel.”  It is so true, but sometimes hard to remember when he does something that I find frustrating.  I take a deep breath do my best to let it go.  We continue to have contact–some necessary until the house sells–and some just because he seems to want it.  I’m very much okay with the conversations, as long as I remember the last statement.

Therapy again tomorrow (after work, of course).  I will continue to continue–after all it’s really the only thing to do.

My father doesn’t like me to talk about this…

Over the Halloween weekend many people mentioned “Rocky Horror” and the “Time Warp.”  It is hard for me to think of that movie without remembering one of the stupider things that I did as a kid.  I was basically a good kid.  I would actually say with confidence that I gave my parents far less trouble than my sister, my brother, or 2 step-brothers.  However, that wasn’t a tough competition.  As a result, I got grounded forever and faced seemingly endless lectures when I skipped school and went to Stone Mountain Park with two of my friends.  There was no drinking, smoking, or *borrowing* of cars illegally for this outing.  However, when you are the kid who never does anything wrong, your mother doesn’t think that you might have skipped school.  Instead, she thinks of you lying in a ditch by the side of the road or victim of a serial killer.  Therefore, you must pay for the mistake in addition to all the mental anguish that you caused.

The Rocky Horror story was never discovered when I was a child, but my parents were not the least bit amused when I told them about it many years later.  To be honest, if they could have grounded me again–it might have happened.  I was 13 and my friend was 12.  Her parents were out of town, and we pulled the oldest trick in the book.  She told her parents she was going to stay at my house, and I told Mother I was going to her house.  She was flat out lying, and I  omitted the “out of town” detail.  Neither parent checked the story out.  So, there we are at her house without supervision.  I’m not sure how the scheme was hatched.  All I know is that she drove us in her parents ’64 Mustang to pick up another friend.  Then we picked up some boys.  Then we drove to see Rocky Horror at the midnight movie less than one mile from my house.  They let us in at age 12 and 13??  What were they thinking??  Mind you, I was not a 13-who-looked-16 kid.  There was no way they were even checking at all.  I have to say that much of the movie was lost on me, but I did indeed, learn to do the “Time Warp,” and I threw rice at the wedding scene along with everybody else.  We drove a total distance of 10-12 miles–not on the back streets.  I hav always maintained that it was her father’s fault for teaching her how to drive when she was twelve. 

Last week, I had my niece and nephew for the day.  The niece is 10–and full of questions.  Due to a seat belt issue, she had to ride in the front seat.  She asked all kinds of questions about how did I know that we had enough gas, what did “neutral” mean, and I answered every one of them.  Later, I let her put the car in drive from park.  I did apologize to my sister later that day.  When Punkin Head goes to see “Rocky Horror” when she is 12??  I’m totally grounded again.