Moving and Grooving … Not So Much

When I heard that moving and changing jobs were two of the items in the Most Stressful Life Events, I decided hey…I’ll do both at once.

To those of you who pull up roots and move across the country, kudos to you.  That seems like a lot of fun (said no one, ever).  Your accomplishment almost makes me feel badly for complaining about my semi-local move.

Almost.

Now, I decided in all of my wisdom to take the new job first, and commute back and forth while arranging my physical move.  Why not?  How can it possibly be bad to slide into my new position, over an hour away, while trying to arrange moving companies, downsize my belongings, and pack for the move?

First, let me say that I am moving from an area with high tourism this time of year.  Second, let me say, I hate tourists.  Thank you, young family in the mini-van, for playing something on your car DVD player that I could watch while stuck in the bumper to bumper traffic during my commute.  Thank you, as well, Mr.  Older Gentleman in the baseball cap for keeping me safe by refusing to drive at the speed limit.  And a special thanks to all those who somehow manage to crash their cars so perfectly that all travel lanes are blocked in all directions, at rush hour.

And did I mention that I live over a bridge? Not in the troll variety, but definitely in a pain-in-the-ass variety. As in a bridge that is the only way in and the only way out of my little piece of hell. Picture this, if you will, 10 to 12 toll lanes spread across an expansive highway, chock-full of vehicles as far as the eye can see, who, once through the toll lanes, ALL must merge down into two – count them, people, two! — tiny bridge lanes. It goes about as well as you would think. Fun and games, people, fun and games.

And let’s not forget the truckers … all of whom seem to travel at the same time (I mean, really!?) and all of whom, instead of coordinating their driving so that they all make their way through one end of the toll entrance or the other (I don’t care which, just pick one!) would rather spread out into numerous lanes across the vast sea of traffic and then, using their sheer size and apparent disregard for simple etiquette, squish whole lanes of vehicles into an untraversable funnel that keeps everyone involved from moving forward.  What did I say above? Fun and games. I honestly think that if people truly knew how to take turns AND if trucks could please, for the love of God, just follow each other through the toll lanes, that traffic could be eradicated on the Bridge I hate so much. As it is, it’s like trying to pour mud through a pinhole.

When I finally complete my hour long, now turned three hours long, trip to the House of Forgotten Boxes, I need to organize, scrutinize and itemize my belongings before stuffing them all in bags with sticky notes that say, “Dining room,” “Bedroom,” and “Who cares?  I should have tossed this out years ago.”  I believe my belongings multiply in direct proportion to how many hours I have spent driving. Seriously, it’s true.

It’s amazing the things you convince yourself to keep when you are moving. What should be a purge instead becomes a stroll down memory lane.  “Awww, the receipt from that one store I went to that one time somewhere I don’t quite remember, three years ago.  Better keep that, I may need to return whatever the hell this was.” “Look, it’s my Halloween costume from sixteen years ago.  I can use this again someday.”  “It’s my favorite Crocs!  Ummm…okay, never mind, I can throw these away.”

My new job is great, and the people are fantastic.  I feel a little lost when they discuss local adventures; I feel that I almost understand, but then they throw some twist in there that makes me do a Google Search later.   “Let’s get crabs at Dave’s after work, his lawn mower opened that chicken egg last Christmas.”  I nod and smile.  I may even try to act like I know.  “Ah, yes, Dave certainly did pick that oyster out of the chimney.” Blank stares follow, and they all talk about me over the water cooler at lunch.

I haven’t learned the shortcuts of my commute yet, either, and when people ask how I get to work they offer all sorts of useless advice.  “Oh, you should have turned at that snowball stand on the west corner of the dirt road.”  One day I’ll get it, but for now, I am lost in every way.  And that’s just the commute.

At work, in my new building, I am convinced that people randomly switch floor stickers in the elevator.  I find myself wandering around the rooftop looking for the printer, or down in the basement with the janitor, who, as it turns out, is a lovely person despite his overall serial killer-like vibe. He gave me a wonderful recipe for salmon fritters.

At home, I am surrounded by boxes that clog once familiar doorways, causing me to get lost in my own house, which is saying something considering the size of this house (have you seen my house? It’s small … as in tiny, like Jerry’s mouse-hole tiny).  I haven’t seen the kitchen in a week, but my daughter tells me it is still there.

Image result for jerry's mouse hole house

I have been on the phone for about three weeks trying to schedule my new cable in my new house, and I have been assured a cable worker will be at my new home sometime between now and December 23, 2022.  Somehow, my mail has been getting lost.  At least, that’s what I’ve been telling the bill collectors, but I’m not sure how much longer they will keep buying it.

As stressful as all this is, I know it will be worth it in the end to be settled in my new home and job.  But for now, I believe I may have crossed through the third gate of Hell.

And obviously, I can’t find my way back.

Nurse’s Week: A Little Fun with Nurses

Let me start by saying that nurses are some of the hardest working people on the planet.  The garbage you all see and put up with is a constant source of amazement to me.  I’d like to wish each nurse and med tech out there, Happy Nurse’s Week; you all deserve some recognition.

I’d like to give a special nod to one particular nurse who cared for my father after his recent back surgery (a big middle finger to cancer, by the way).  Her bedside manner was quite appropriate … if we were all three-year olds.  Picture yourself talking to a puppy or kitten; this is a good approximation of how she acted around us, or I should say, around my dad.  To the rest of us, she was just “normal.” She was trying to be nice, I get that, she had an awesome bedside manner, but she came off as just a wee bit condescending … or sarcastic which is even better. Now, she was dealing with my dad so she should probably be forgiven, but I will say this: it was hilarious to the rest of us.

In the recovery room where he had to lay flat for like a gazillion hours straight, my father told her his back hurt, and she nodded in rapt understanding.  “Do you know why that is?” she asked.  We all leaned in, holding our collective breath, waiting for the medical pearls of wisdom we were sure she was about to share with us.  She touched my dad’s hand ever so comfortingly and looked so wise, and then she told him, “Because you had that procedure on your back this morning.” And then she nodded sagely with the sweetest smile on her face. At that moment I realized:  I, too, could be a nurse … I’ve got the sarcastic bedside manner down pat if not any form of medical training whatsoever.  I wonder if she uses that same soothing-seemingly-helpful-yet-in-reality-sarcastic-kindergarten-teacher-type voice with all her patients, and I wonder if she uses it on her coworkers or in general daily interactions.  If so, I like her more and more.

As you all are aware, my mind tends to wander, and we all know how dangerous that can be.  As I watched the nurses scurry back and forth under the crushing demands of patients and doctors, I thought of ways I could brighten their day.  Or, drive them crazy.  Here is a short list of fun ideas I had.

Page fictional nurses and doctors:  Nurse Ratchet, Dr. Who, Florence Nightingale, Dr. Doolittle…you get the idea.

Bring empty beer cans and stash them all over the room:  Look innocent when the staff questions you.

Start doing a stand-up comedy routine on the overhead system:  “What’s the deal with hospital food?”

Grab a set of scrubs and a clipboard and wander the hallway looking concerned:  Added plus for muttering phrases like “That leech treatment sure didn’t work, I’m not sure what could’ve went wrong, they were fresh leeches” or “We never covered vampire bites in medical school.”  Even more points if you tell a nurse to order a “Wingdang KPT frontal scan of the terrapin flimflam on Mrs. Smith.  STAT!”  Extra extra points if you stop a visitor, make up a disease and ask them what they think of your treatment plan for your patient.

Call fictional codes in areas of the hospital that don’t exist:  Code purple pinstripe, rumpus room.  Repeat, code purple pinstripe, rumpus room.

Clip a positive pregnancy test to a male patient’s chart:  Yeah, this one’s just fun across the board.

Attach a page of Egyptian hieroglyphics to charts:  It actually may be easier for them to read than the doctor’s hand writing.

Every time the overhead speaker is used, run to the nurse’s station: “Was that for me!?  I missed it.”

Or, whenever the overhead speaker is used, act terrified: “The voices!  They told me I wouldn’t hear the voices anymore!”  or “God?  Is that you?”

Stand backwards in the elevator:  Loudly proclaim to all who enter that it is the longest elevator ride you have ever been on and you’ve been waiting for the doors to open for an hour.

Secretly replace all the names on the white board with celebrity names: The nurses get to take care of Madonna, Justin Timberlake, and Beyoncé all in the same shift!  OR, better yet, Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, and Po.

Attach sheets together to make a rope, put one end in the toilet, and hide under the bed:  Listen to your nurse try to explain what happened to you to Security.

In all seriousness, though, I have this to say to all the nurses out there: YOU ALL ROCK! It takes a special kind of person to be a nurse. I sure don’t envy you your jobs, BUT I do appreciate that you are there, helping people. Every. Damn. Day. From the family members sitting next to our loved ones, anxious and afraid, Thank You for all you do.  We need you, and we love you all.

Happy Nurse’s Week!

Planning is Key

Have you ever had one of those weeks weekends where you just didn’t feel like doing much of anything?

Chores? Pfft. To hell with chores. No-one I know needs clean clothes anyway.

Catching up on that DIY project? Blech. The tools disappeared and somebody stepped in the paint and who needs a new shelf anyway?

Reading the next chapter of that incredibly boring poignant biography on that guy who is famous for doing that thing 300 years ago but his wife is actually the one who did all the work (and really, isn’t that just typical?) that’s like 10,000 pages long for book club? Who has the time? And quite frankly, I need to figure out who the hell chose this month’s book in the first place and start a campaign to get them banished from book club … eventually, when I have time.

Dinner? You’re asking me about dinner? You know where the phone is AND how to use it. You really should be talking over this whole dinner issue with the pizza guy. Did I teach you nothing?

Go out? Tonight? Are you insane?

Getting ahead of the game with work by going over that motivational speech on time management and fine-tuning all of the points you need to make in your presentation? Eh. The laptop is like two rooms and a hallway away and it’s really just too much to get into right now anyway. Besides, that’s what tomorrow is for.

me

 

 

Life is Messy

Keats said: “Life is divine Chaos. It’s messy, and it’s supposed to be that way.” And I get it. Yes. Life is messy. I’m not quite sure on the whole “divine” aspect, but in general, I’m on board with the whole chaos theory per Mr. Keats.

Here lately, chaos has defined my world … some bad, some good. It seems that along with being messy, Life has a sense of humor, and a twisted one at that. It sometimes gives you what you want, while also throwing obstacles — or downright tragedies, in your wake. Trials, tribulations, misfortune. Why can’t we just be allowed to enjoy the “good” without having the “bad” trail so closely behind?

After too many years of an unhappy — even, shall we say, hurtful, marriage, I began anew. It has taken adjustments, but it was necessary, and there is now a peace in my home that reigns supreme. Chalk that up to the “good” side. My kids are doing well on their respective paths to their future. Add a notch to the good column. I start a new job in a week. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m excited about this new route my own path is taking. Another mark to the good.

And then. Life, in all of its infinite wisdom said: “You know what? Things are just going a little to well for you and your family. I’m going to throw a kink into things. The mother of all kinks, in fact. Because, fuck you.”

Yeah. Life is messy all right.

My Dad, who this time last year was fine, now has Stage IV lung cancer. We know he was fine last year because for a few, non-cancer related reasons, he has scans done every year. That’s Life right there, flipping the middle finger. He’s a tough old cuss and if anyone can beat this thing, he can. But damn it, Life, get your shit together why don’t you?

 

Grammar Police:  Heroes or Villains?

They are all over the social media sites.  They are hated and feared, but we all have to giggle at them.  Maybe you know one.  Maybe you are one.

The Grammar Police.

This is a very unique group of people who can take anyone’s heartfelt sentiment and reduce it to rubble with their inability to resist correcting misspellings and grammar.

Here’s an example of how the Grammar Police can ruin nearly anything they read:

Poster: I am thrilled to announce the birth of my sweet baby boy, Paul.  After years of trying and much heartbreak, we have a little miracle of our own.  I finally feel at peace with the tragedy that has struck so often in the past when I look at his perfect little face.  We weren’t sure he would make it through the delivery, and it was touch and go for me for a while, too.  An emergency C-Section saved both of our lives, but the surgeon accidentally dropped his watch into the incision and had to go back in to get it. The hospital lost electricity and the surgery was done without anesthesia by candlelight. We are so pleased that Paul is not only cute, but healthy, to.

Grammar Police: *too

Poster:  Really?  Your heartless.

Grammar Police: *you’re

I am anti-Grammar Police, personally.  The poster has clearly gotten their point across and has anxiously hit the “post” button, awaiting the outpouring of support or debate the update will bring.  Instead, an entire segment of the social media population fixates on one thing: the unfortunate use of “there” instead of “their.”  Or “to” instead of “too.”

I admit, any error in grammar or spelling jumps out of the impassioned sentences and slaps my brain like the thought of Elmer Fudd in the shower; impossible to ignore no matter how hard I try.  I am stronger than my urges, however, and will overlook the errors in the spirit of solidarity with the poster.  Inside, however, I am correcting with the best of them … I just choose to keep this obnoxious behavior to myself instead of posting it out there in public for all to see.

What I can’t ignore are people who abbreviate words in their postings for no reason whatsoever.  I’m sure you’ve seen these, too:

Poster:  U no I like u, rite?  Wut u doin’ l8ter?

Me:  What the hell are you saying? I know you’re trying to communicate … but come on! Work with me here!

I wonder what these people do with all the extra time they have saved by not typing out complete words.  My eyes wander across these posts, filling in the blanks, but the time they saved posting is time I waste translating.  I could have used those precious seconds to do so much with my day.

I think my favorite are the pseudo-intellectuals who attempt to drop big words into their posts, and use them incorrectly or spell them horribly.

Poster:  I just finished a grate autobiography today.  I understand Lincoln’s Emaciation Declaration much more, now.  People are so dumb; everyone should edukate themselves like I do.

Grammar Police:  Where do I start …

My own personal fear is auto-correct when I use voice-activated typing or texting.  If I don’t proofread my post before sending, I end up with something that reads:

Me: I read the cantaloupe yesterday.  I don’t knife why pickles hate digging that; I looped it.

Grammar Police:  I think I just had a stroke.

Grammar Police are either the unsung heroes of the internet, correcting their little world one word at a time, or they are the villains, wrecking dreams and sentiment with just a few keystrokes.  There is no in between; Grammar Police are all or nothing when it comes to their obsession.

If you are a member of the Grammar Police Force, knock it off.  We ALL see the errors, but we just don’t care; we read through the mistakes to the underlying message.  If you have been a victim of an overzealous Grammar Cop, keep on posting and know you are not alone.

As for the visual of Elmer Fudd in the shower?  You’re welcome.

A New Ride

Today is “chore day.” I hate chore day. As you might imagine, I’ve been trying my best to avoid any and all activities around my house that might involve laundry, cleaning, or just general adult-like responsibilities. So. Instead of being productive, I’ve been searching for a new ride, as my current one is in desperate need of repairs. As of this afternoon, I had my search pretty much narrowed down.  Unfortunately, upon further examination, the front-runner has been disqualified.

DAMN! Looks like my search must continue …

 

 

All’s Fair in Love and … Publicity

I think if you’re going to argue with someone on the phone really, really loudly in public while using all types of … um … colorful metaphors and whatnot, you should be required to have it on speakerphone. If the rest of us are going to be subjected to the drama, we at least deserve to hear both sides.