the RATS of moose

The Random Access ThoughtS of a mid-west, approaching-middle-age, nurse starting the next phase of life.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

End of an Era

Today felt like it was the last day of watching the "Today" show for me. It was Katie's last day.katie_couric_org I am in mourning. I am pretty sure I can get thru the summer without her... I will just pretend she is on a long vacation... but in September when what's-her-face, the interloper, starts.... I will be hard pressed to watch. It won't be the same.

It's funny.... how things go along the same for so long that you just can't fathom a change. Katie is the longest sitting anchor they have ever had... and with Matt being there 10 years (and Ann and Al) they have been the team I have wandered thru adulthood with. I will surely miss her.

But, I can understand her desire for a new job. A new adventure. A new gig. Similar work, different setting. It's time. I know because I am feeling the same thing.

I've been nine years in my current position and that is enough. The old restlessness has returned and I know it is time for me to move on. What's next? I have no idea. Maybe the same position at a new place. Maybe a new position at the old place. Maybe a new position at a new place. At this point I don't really care which it is... I just know that it's time for a change.

Today, for the first time since Katie's announcement, I understand her decision.

This one's for the girls!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

It was a 'pour deux douche' day...

What drives us to plant? What is the impetus behind spending $$$ on things that will die in 4 months? Why can't I learn to plant perennials?

It was a good day. It started last night with a slight detour on the way home. I hung out at a hostage situation in the local town. It was kind of fun. The lead medic told us about it while dropping another patient off at work and invited me along. I declined...not willingly, but I declined... I figured if I left with him I would be stuck at the scene for 12 hours with no potty, no supper, nothing to drink, no purse and wearing a dress and hose to boot!! NO WAY!! Although..... But, I digress... After I finished my project, I went to the staging area to be nosy. It was kind of fun to get waved under the police tape and saunter into the scene..... ;-) All the medics (several ambulances worth... just in case the ending was reminiscent of the final scene in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) had been positioned behind a brick house for safety. The NIP-ASS (Northern Illinois Police Alarm System SWAT) guys were there and they were IMPRESSIVE!! Well armed and well dressed for the party. The whole thing was totally anti-climactic, not at all like tee-vee...

The ending was cheaper than a trial for kidnapping. Messy, but cheaper. At least the dog survived. I found myself without a camera.... dumb, dumb... left it home. Only day this week I left it at home. Didn't even have a disposable in the truck... rats rats rats.... Oh, heavens, no.... I wouldn't take pix of the deceased and post them here..... Why not? 1) we were not allowed in the house, 2) HIPAA 3) it was really gross, 4) squeamish people read this. I wanted pix of the SWAT guys and their truck... it was so totally cool!! I did have the opportunity to talk to the SWAT team leader when it was over. He and the fire department Incident Commander were discussing the medical wrap-up and graciously included me in the discussion. It was kinda kool!! Then it was time to go home and change clothes and......


Buying flowers is very difficult after dark... and Home Des-pot closes the door to the parking lot (from the flower section) at 8 and you have to walk all the way around thru the main doors and I left my shopping list and reference pix at work so had to 'wing it' (always a dangerous sport!) But, I got lots of stuff.... heh heh heh

Got some of it put in the ground this morning while the air conditioning guy was injecting my system with R22 (FREON BABY... CAN YOU FEEL IT COOLING YOUR VEINS YET???)(MAYBE... um.. maybe I should knock off the caffeine). I figured out at 11pm last night that I had no AC. oops.. we are headed for the hottest weekend of the year (so far) and I didn't think being without conditioned air was a good choice.

Am having problems with one of my gardens... I planted some perennial stuff there last summer but most of it didn't come up and I can't remember what I planted so I don't know what to look for and I have several unidentified leafy things growing and I can't find the map of what I planted and and and.... so I said to hell with it and bought a bunch of other stuff today to cover the bare ground.

I finally planted iris. Can't figure out what took me so long... they are my favorite flower. dingbat.

I finally found some (apparently virus-free) hostas today for the back yard... and some other stuff... and some other stuff and this... Simon I call him Simon. Totally not needed, but too cute to leave in the store...

So, tomorrow it is up early (to beat the humidity to come) to plant the rest of the front yard and then I can piddle around (not literally) with the backyard the rest of the day....

WAY FUN COOL NEWS..... BESTEST FRIEND IS ENGAGED AS OF THIS AFTERNOON!!!!!!!!!! She is on the phone with me at this very moment telling me all about it! And she is headed to LAS VEGAS this weekend!!!!!!!!!! WHOO-HEE!!!!!!!!!!! More news later.....

I digressed (thanks, Flaurella, I love that statement....)... and besides planting, I am not going to get a whole lot of other stuff done this weekend, even with the extra day.... and I am out of undies... hmmm.... maybe I should go slip a load in now....

Monday, May 22, 2006

Old dog, new experience

It's so nice to know that at this ripe old age I can still have virgin experiences! hee hee hee

It was a bonus week... 2 new things in 2 days.

First.... I was helping out in the ER last Friday, taking a nice patient to another department for a test. While we were getting ready to leave, the patient's phone rang.. the spouse looked at it and identified it as a call from Washington DC. The patient encouraged the spouse to answer the phone, which happened. When the spouse got off the phone and shared the information..... WHEE-HEE!!! It was the White House (the real one!!!) on the other end!! And the patient's name was the very same as the resident of said house. How ironic. (The call? Twas a business deal.)

The second virgin experience occurred at the end of a really wonderful evening with my beloved boyfriend. We happened to be in the neighborhood of a very nice restaurant on Saturday night and decided to drop in. There was open seating on the patio which we opted for over a 45 minute wait for the dining room. We were pleasantly surprised to find a table that was under an awning and HEATED!! Dinner was lovely.... the pecan encrusted walleye was heavenly!! BB goes there for the ribs.. which he enjoyed again. The woman at the next table was a trip! Older, traveling alone, not from around here.... the service was a little slow out in no-reservation land, but we weren't in a hurry... not so next door... ;-) First it was "I need to be served right away because I have to be on the road before dark". Then it was "I can't drive on the expressways at night". Then it was asking every employee she saw for directions back to her hotel. And on and on and on.... It got comical after a while. Even so... dinner was wonderful. The company delightful. The bellys stuffed. On the way out we were holding hands (and maybe giggling, I don't remember if that was before or after the encounter), walking down these stairs millrose1 to the parking lot, when a little (male) voice behind us said, "Isn't that cute?", which we ignored as we were rather wrapped up in each other. However, the second time we heard, "Isn't that cute?", I turned my head just long enough to see that it was a man out of the corner of my eye and we kept going. I think he might have said it a third time, but by then we were out in the parking lot and we agreed that not engaging was the appropriate move. Somewhere about this time I put my hand to the back of my head and it dawned on me what the man behind us getting at... this is what he saw....Crop2 We decided he thought we were a male gay couple. At that point we cracked up. BB says he should have turned around and blown the guy a kiss. I thought (the next day, as I am never too good on the fly with good ideas) I should have turned around and cupped the appendages on my chest and wiggled them at the extranious commenter. Both ideas would have been so wonderful. But, it was probably better that we didn't do anything. But.... another virgin experience bites the dust... I don't believe I have ever been mistaken for a gay man before. But, dinner was worth it!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


It's Wednesday. It's been behaving like a Monday all week. I spill things, I snork hairballs all day long, I can't get a coherent thought out of my mouth when on the phone, I can't remember squat. I have a headache that won't go away (no, it is NOT a brain tumor). And I have the bad attitude to match.

(on the advice of not-so-legal counsel) ....... snip......

My truck is making funny noises which is not good as it's not paid off yet.... Yes, I took the 100 year loan on this one.... but the interest rate was good...

BB isn't divorced yet. Am doing some significant head-banging over that little situation (which may explain the chronic headache. although.... it could be a brain tumor, I did a case presentation on just such a patient today... banged his head and had a headache for 2 weeks, got a CT, and WHA-LAH!! Brain tumor. But, I digress....). Everyday I have to restrain myself from ....... stuff I can't mention because it might get me into trouble..... ......... snip....... ........grrrrr....

Had a brief conversation with my orthopedist today about my 'sciatica' problem.. he seems to think it's my back. Suggested a lumbar support for the car since that's the only place I'm having a problem. Will look for one this weekend.

(feel like) I am flunking Weight Watchers... the pounds keep going down (slowly, but down) but my diet keeps getting worse. Today for lunch it was 2 (not one, but two) thick, chewy, gooey, nut-filled, heavily frosted brownies and a bag of potato chips. Washed down with a can of diet Pepsi. Dessert was a piece of cake (the corner piece of a sheet cake with twice the frosting), potato salad and a hamburger patty with cheese (no bun). And then, during dinner (chili and two chocolate truffles) I read an article about keeping a food diary and how it helps you lose weight and I thought, "Yeah, right, haha, look at the good it's done me!" And then I realized that I haven't been keeping such good record of my intake lately. So I dutifully wrote down 2 brownies, cake with frosting, et al. At least I skipped the ice cream for a bedtime snack.

I have to go to the stupid place again tomorrow. ............snip..............

On the bright side.... I think the drought is over. My backyard and flower bed should be wet down to the water table. Now, if it would only get warm enough to plant something!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I see dead people....

Allison DuBois (of 'Medium' tv show fame) is in town today. I wish I had known earlier... I would have made arrangements to go see her. Oh, well... maybe on the next book tour. I love the show and watch it when I can (although not much recently as I have another commitment on Monday night... and no, I do not tape it... I have too many unwatched tapes laying around right now as it is!). Although, I may go out and buy the book....

But, she reminds me of a local psychic I contacted many years ago, Greta Alexander. She helped my fire department find the body of a police officer who had drowned on a call and who's body had been swept away in a flood-swollen river. Her description of the body location was spot on! It was eerie.... I called her, she spoke to the guy on the fire department who knew the area the best and an hour later we were done with the recovery.

I know there are a lot of people who don't believe in mediums or psychics and who spend a lot of time trying to discredit them (Penn and Teller come to mind). And maybe Greta was only helpful in the 2 cases I personally know about. It doesn't matter to me and I'm pretty sure the families who recovered the victims don't care either. I watched Greta's actions change the minds of some concrete-thinking, hard-headed, stubborn men. That alone was worth calling her! It just goes to show, given the right circumstances, you can convert anyone!

Now... has anyone seen my car keys?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

We the People....

I LOVE THIS COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where else IN THE WORLD can you ridicule the president TO HIS FACE and get rave reviews??????

Where else in the world can you get the president to join in the spectacle?

Where else can you openly argue with the government and not get thrown in jail for the rest of you life, or worse, killed?

Where else can you go to a different church every week... or no church at all... and not be sentenced to death?

Where else can you start behind the 8-ball with absolutely nothing and rise to the top of a company or the top of politics or the top of sports or entertainment? (And not be beholden to the government?)

Where else can several hundred illegal immigrants get together, march around a bunch of cities and not get harassed by the immigration police, arrested and deported?

Where else in the world are these five freedoms so vigorously defended?
I love our differences. I love our similarities. I love being part of the mix of people calling themselves Americans.
God bless America!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Life and Lawsuits in Maine

I keep telling the medics this.... stoopid will keep us all in business..... Well, it seems that it is keeping a bunch of people in Maine in business also.... On his website, Lance Dutson keeps tabs on tourism in Maine (among other things, but tourism, or the lack thereof, has taken over for now). For the last 4 months he has kept up a running dialogue on how the Maine Dept of Tourism is mismanaging the promotion of Maine.

Granted, I have only skimmed over the posts, but what I have read seems to point to some pretty significant incompetence by the State of Maine and some really stoopid behavior from state employees and sub-contractors.... to the tune of a $1 million lawsuit filed by the ad agency contracted by the Maine Office of Tourism (MOT). They came up with a new campaign and the mockups got posted on a state website and they contained a sex phone number instead of the real number to MOT. DUH... this is grade school screw-up stuff. An agency who is getting almost $4 million a year from the state shouldn't be doing this stuff.

Lance has posted much, if not all, of the interactions between him and MOT. This excerpt is from February. He is writing to a person at MOT about MOTs request for Lance to not discuss his concerns with anyone BUT MOT. Lance says... "While I appreciate your apparent willingness to address questions directly, it is entirely within the right of any taxpayer to make inquiries into the distribution of state funds. I will continue to pursue the answers to my questions through your office or whatever route will yield a clearer picture of this errant campaign. This has included and will continue to include interaction with the news media and local legislators. " All right, Lance!!!! I love it when the little guy sticks it to an overbearing government office. (And everyone else.... it seems that most of the state/contractor/sub-contractor people involved have asked/told Lance not to discuss this publicly. That makes this all the better!!!) The blog is huge and will certainly be worthy of a couple of hours of my time this weekend (strictly for the voyeurism aspect). Living in the Chicago area, I am constantly bombarded with government corruption stories on all levels... It's nice to know that we haven't cornered the market on stoopid. I didn't know so much crap took place in the halls of government.... like our former governor who has just been found guilty of racketeering. Mayor Daley who will soon be indicted in either the 'trucks for hire' scheme or on the hiring practices (rampant cronyism) or on something else... it's hard to tell what goes on there.... And then there is Cicero... home to all kinds of problems... their old mayor is in jail and the new one has a full-time bodyguard. Then again.... maybe it's just me and my naivete and small town upbringing. I lived in a community of 250,000 total for 4 major cities and a multitude of smaller communities scattered over 200 square miles and don't remember any of this kind of stuff going on. (um... but I was a kid.... so... who knows what was going on) And when I lived in LA... I didn't pay any attention to politics or government. I knew I wouldn't be setting up permanent housekeeping there and didn't really care what happened. I should ask Flaurella.... her husband (the recently run over-check the April 19 post, Lucky Foot Soldiers) is on the city council in a smaller? (I have no clue) town and she regularly reports fireworks. Hmmm.... maybe I should bet involved in politics.... I never know when to shut up...... I could give Ald. Tillman (the Hat Lady of Chicago) a run for her mouth.... um .... money..... heh heh heh...