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 February, 2011

I didn’t think I was a picky eater…

Until I made this list in about 5 minutes without thinking too hard about it.

Eclairs should have a custard filling, not icing.

Fruits and nuts do not belong in salads.

Oranges are absolutely delicious, but I never eat them unless someone else peels or slices them.

Mint ice cream should be pink or white. This does not mean I will turn down the green kind.

Spinach is wonderful. Other greens–mustard, turnip, and whatever other kind of greens there are suck.

Liver is wrong. Not because of the taste, but because of the texture. I have eaten goose liver pate that made my knees weak it was so wonderful.

Carrots and cauliflower should be eaten raw.

Broccoli and spinach should be eaten cooked.

Appropriate sherbet flavors include lime, orange, pineapple, and raspberry. Strawberry is incredibly inappropriate.

Pop tarts should be made in one flavor only–strawberry frosted.

Beets should be eaten cold and pickled–not cooked.

The first person who ate cottage cheese must have been very hungry. It is not food.

Okay, if I’m not a picky eater and I came up with all of these, surely youguys have something to add?


Shopping and stuff

This weekend my sister dragged me to the store with her.  Neither of us are really big shoppers (don’t disown me, Liz), but it is a good way for us to visit and be productive.  She had a list of things she needed, but I did not.  I still managed to do some damage.  Home Goods-two huge purple bottles to fill an awkward space above the fireplace.  Target-a new duvet cover that is not really at all my typical style (it has flowers for god’s sake!), but I love it and needed a change.  It fits much better with the feel of my new bedroom.  Michael’s-3 frames that would have been on the list if I had made one, and a completely impulsive purchase of a poster (and frame).  It just spoke to me and I was unable to put it back (and my sister wouldn’t let me).  When I got home I looked it up and got the details…”The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt.  Evidently, it is a famous painting, but I don’t know if I had seen it before.  Online, the woman is clearly a redhead, but in the store her hair looked brown to me.  Nevertheless, I have it and I like it!

I also did a somewhat bravish thing related to the phrase in my heading “figure out what I want so I can figure out how to get there.”  I sent an email that will change the tenor of a relationship that is very important to me.  I’m not being coy, but the details are not for publication right now (and may never be).  I just know that I feel good about what I did even though I am not really sure that I will like the outcome.

So, who bought what recently?  Who did something out of context?  Who got a purple tattoo?  What are you doing this weekend?




The Purple Elephant

Many posts back, I asked for feedback about the tattoo I planned to get on my ankle.  I had searched through photo after photo online, and come up with a few that might work.  I decided on one of them as a “starting point” to take to an artist.

There were a few things I knew I wanted to change:  blue was never going to be my color choice, I didn’t think the ears and tail were right, and I wanted the trunk to curve a bit sooner so it could go up higher.  I also knew that I would want the artist to make it his/her own.  I did not expect or want the artist to “carbon copy” a design for me.

Last week I posted on Facebook that I needed a recommendation for a location to have it done.  My sister offered to do it for me.  My ex expressed his opinion that I shouldn’t do it (and also acknowledged that it was none of his business).  One friend asked if I was drunk, another told me to imagine what it will look like when I am old.  My father posted _____ __.  I’m not sure what that meant.  Anyway, I stuck out my proverbial tongue and told them “You aren’t the boss of me.”  Yes, I actually typed those words.  My father later gave me a shop based on the reccommendation of his hairdresser.

I checked out Timeless Tattoos online, and looked at the work of all of the artists–not just the two names I had been given.  Ironically, it is the first tattoo shop I ever entered (many years ago) trying to find the right elephant.  I visited another one in Vegas about 7 or 8 years ago, and have visited others in Atlanta.  It has been hard to find the balance between National Geographic and Dumbo to match what was in my head.

I had a fairly unpleasant day at work Thursday, and decided to stop on the way home on a fact finding mission.  I spoke to the fabulous Jenny when I entered.  I showed her the photo, and she immediately understood what kinds of changes I was looking to make.  She sketched it out once and with an additional tweak to the trunk, we were ready to go.

I asked what the next step was and she said, “You can make an appointment to come back, or we can do it now.”  After pondering 3 seconds, I was handing over my credit card.

Jenny made me incredibly comfortable, and she placed the outline on my ankle and gave me the last chance to change things.

I was happy with it…so off we went.  I was nervous about the pain.  I think I am tough sometimes, but not always. I totally HATE getting shots and having blood drawn.   Everyone kept telling me how much ankles hurt over and over.  To be honest, it didn’t really hurt.  It was slightly more than uncomfortable, but nowhere near pain.  I winced once or twice when she hit a more tender spot, but it was far easier than I expected it to be.  After she was finished, we showed it off the the other artists and customers in the shop and I got my goody bag.  It included:  business cards for Jenny and the shop, stickers for Jenny and the shop, a book of matches, and a Charms blow pop.  That made me smile.

So, if you have read this far, you probably want to see a photo of the finished product.  I can’t tell you how tough it is to get a clear photo of an ankle.  The finished size is “not small.”  (Or so I was told when I tried to call it small.)  It is 2 x 2 1/2 inches.  This is the photo my Poppa took at breakfast today.

By the way, if any of you are on Facebook and we are not friends and you would like to be, shoot me an email.  My name is different in real life, so don’t go hunting for “Sophie with the purple elephant tattoo.”

Do you have a bucket list?

Today I found a website that lets you document the list of things you want to do in your life. (Okay, I really can’t seem to figure out how to do a hyperlink in wordpress, maybe I need to put that on the list.)  I don’t really have a particularly long list, but since I was reminded of one thing on it this weekend, I found it interesting.  I have had people in my life (past tense) indicate that my lack of a lengthy, thought out list of things to do meant that I wasn’t living with as much purpose as I should.  I disagreed then, and after looking at the website, I still disagree.  What I found when I perused the “most popular” items other people had listed…I have done a hell of a lot of them.  I think that I do a good job taking advantage of opportunities as they happen, and the list gave me some evidence of that.

Here are the things that I put on my to do list:

See bats leave a cave at dusk


Visit all the National Parks

Visit all 50 states

Pay for the person behind me in a drive thru/toll plaza

See a live volcano

throw a dart at a map and travel where it lands

visit a life sized maze

chase a tornado

participate in La Tomatina

get a tattoo

This is a list from the “favorites” that I have already done:

Find a 4-leaf clover

Ride in a horse drawn carriage

Washington, DC

Las Vegas

New York City

Ask a hairdresser to do “whatever he likes”

Meet someone famous

Sit on a jury

Tour a winery

Go to the top of the Empire State Building

Take an Alaskan Cruise

Visit the Grand Canyon

Go to a drive-in movie

Order room service

Fall in love

Get married

Swim with dolphins

Go on a cruise

Celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Donate blood

Stand under a waterfall

Sing karaoke

Go to Disneyworld

Make my own clothes

Go to a movie premiere at the midnight showing

Meet my favorite author

Skinny dip

Ride in a Limo

Attend the Olympics

View a Solar and Lunar eclipse

Ride a horse

Ride an elephant

See a glacier

Stand under a waterfall

Things that I have done that weren’t on any lists–but should have been:

Run naked in the rain

Attend the Sugar Bowl

Ride a mule in the Grand Canyon

Bobsled down an Olympic track

Watch bears catch salmon in a river

Appear on television

Win something on the radio

Take a ride in an open cockpit bi-plane

Go to the airport to mee a sports team as they return from out-of-town

Be with my father when he visited his 50th state

ride in a sea plane

See my favorite team win the National Championship (twice, even)

Have a local bar where “everybody knows my name”

Attend an MLB All-Star game

Be a groupie of a local band

Drive a red Mustang convertible up the coast of California with the top down (by myself)

Climb to the top of the Coliseum in Athens (Georgia)

So, any thoughts on my list?  Does anything surprise you, scare you, offend you?  What things would you add…or even subtract?  What would be on your list?

PS–Thanks for all the warm wishes regarding my weekend.  It was as fabulous as I expected…and then some.



Can I have a pity party and a happy dance at the same time?

Today was one of the worst.days.ever. at work.  The details are inconsequential, but I had to deal with a huge miscommunication that hurt people’s feelings, made them angry at me, and turned into a shitstorm and a meeting in my manager’s office.  I had to deal with doctors not doing the right thing.  I had to deal with two of my staff getting so pissed off at each other that I had to use my mean voice and shut them up.  I had to give a patient’s family bad news that someone else should have dealt with.  I had to deal with a patient’s family who was being unreasonable and trying to avoid her transfer to another facility.  I had to deal with a patient who was in significant need of some anti-anxiety medications and needed to be peeled off the ceiling.  Then he accused one of my staff of “treating him like a second class citizen because of his sexuality.”

I did not realize when I scheduled it that I had the best timing ever when I scheduled a 4 day weekend.  I have driving, live music, and the company of someone whom I care deeply about on the agenda.

And the best part?  I will not be at work.  And maybe?  Next week I can look into training to be a plumber instead.

I swear I could not make this shit up

Being a nurse is an interesting job.  I get to meet people and their families on some of the more stressful days of their lives.  I keep saying that we need to keep a journal in the break room and write down the crazy stuff, but I figure nobody would believe it anyway.  These two things really happened today…


Version #1.  A patient came in through the emergency room last night.  He had with him a greyhound dog.  He said he had nobody to pick up the dog, and he was allowed to keep the dog in his hospital room overnight.  Said pooch peed and pooped on the floor multiple times, and the staff had to clean it up.  The staff also had to walk the dog in an attempt to avoid further clean-up inside the hospital.  After my  group heard this story, I looked around the nursing station and threatened to cut them if they EVER let a dog onto our unit.  I don’t think I would really cut them, but I would be highly upset.

After a small wager was placed with the original storyteller, another person went to the 3rd floor to uncover evidence that the story was false.  He lost the bet.

Version 2.  All of the original story was found to be factual.  However, a couple of tidbits were added.  The dog was a miniature greyhound and not the full sized beast we all had pictured.  The reason that the staff decided to allow the dog to stay in the hospital was that the patient insisted that the dog was a “helper dog.”  The dog reportedly could sense when he was about to have a seizure and let him know so he could change to an activity less likely to result in injury.  These dogs really do exist, and it is a pretty cool thing.  The staff was suspicious, but had no way to disprove his story at that time of night.  They let the dog stay to avoid the wrath of the ADA and being featured on the nightly news.  Early this morning, bullshit was called and the dog left the hospital.

Job description?

There are many things that fall into that pesky category of “other duties as assigned.”  Please weigh in on your thoughts about this topic.

One of the physical therapists was sitting at our desk near the end of the day.  She mentioned that she had one more patient to see, but that she thought he would refuse therapy.  I tend to get irritated when patients come to our unit for an “elective procedure” and then refuse to get out of bed.  I asked why the patient was refusing, and she replied, “He said that I made him sit on his ball sack during our earlier treatment.”  I asked her if she had “reached under and shoved them up under his butt crack.”  (Yes, I really am that juvenile anbd crass–even at work.)  She stated she had not done any such thing, and I believe her.  Now, I was not born with that particular anatomy, but I must admit for having made some assumptions.  If one is born with those particularly tender bits, wouldn’t one learn at a relatively early age how to avoid sitting on them?  I guess I had always figured that that skill would be fairly mandatory.  I certainly do not think that a man with two working arms and one bum leg (that he chose to have surgery on) should think that he is no longer responsible for the positioning of said ball sack.  I absolved the physical therapist of any blame related to the ball sack incident.  (Because, yes, I have the power to absolve blame.)

I’m not sure what the moral of this story is, but perhaps it is a simple request.  If you are anywhere near normal, please try to be nice to your caregivers if you are in the hospital.  Yes, please hold us to a high standard of care.  You deserve it, and we want to give it.  However, if it takes a few minutes for us to bring you that apple juice requested, try to remember that we might be busy smushing ball sacks or cleaning up dog shit.


College days

The brilliant and beautiful Shannon posted about her college days quite eloquently.  You should read her if you don’t already  She is the reason that I started reading blogs, and then later the reason I started writing one.  My post about college will be far less eloquent.

My memories of college are a mashup of vignettes rather than a reasonably tidy yearbook.  I suppose all of my memories are like that to some degree.  Here are some that stand out:

The sophisticated “progressive drinking” party we had on th dorm hall.  Every room that chose to participate set up a table in their doorway and served a different drink.  I remember vodka/cranberry, screwdrivers, fuzzy navels, and my favorite of the night “Alabama Slammers.”  It was the last party of the year, and we all got tee shirts and had others sign them.  Two lines on mine speak volumes of that evening (and in fact, of much of my college career).  “I’m signing your boob because you told me to.”  “Stop kissing all the boys.”  Oh well, what can I say.

Sitting in the cafeteria with my good friend Amy chatting about boys or clothes or some other nonsense and both of us shivering visibly.  We commented on it and had no idea what it was about.  When we returned to th dorm, we heard of the Challenger explosion.  I’m not too “heebie-jeebie”ish, but I am certain that chill coincided with the explosion.

Building a “snow penis” with my roommate Julie.

Julie’s introduction to my father.  I got home to a note that stated, “Big Herbie called.  Who the hell is Big Herbie.”

Losing my virginity to a sweet, dear boy/man on a waterbed in his apartment.

Proposals from not one but two Naval guys in the same month.  (I really think it was the timing rather than my dashing good looks and irresistible personality.)

Trading sweaters with a guy named Buck in the bar behind the Howard Johnson’s.

Having guy friends meet me after my anatomy lab to walk me home after dark…failing to tell them in advance the room I was working in had several human cadavers.  The cadaver named Maude was preserved poorly and got moldy.

Spring break in Daytona…speeding ticket on the way down…funneling beer for the first time…scraping my knee running from a boy who wanted his “Goofy” hat back.  I don’t know if I gave it back, but I still have the scar on my knee.  Angela getting way too drunk and kicking out the window of Amy’s father’s car when we wouldn’t let her leave with some stupid boy.

Nursing instructors who gave me confidence that I could indeed be successful following my chosen path.

Taking No-Doz to stay awake to type those papers I just had to put off until the last minute.  (On a real typewriter with an eraser ribbon for mistakes.)

“I Ain’t Never” and other drinking games.

UGA football games…the ringing of the chapel bell all night after a win…screaming until I was hoarse…seeing Kevin Butler attempt a 60+ yard field goal to beat Clemson with 3 seconds left on the clock…hugging strangers when it was “good.”

Making my father proud by graduating “Cum laude” in spite of all the alcohol purchased with my modest allowance.

What are the things that first pop into your head when you think of your high school or college days?