the RATS of moose

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

Monday, August 28, 2006

Just another reason....

to dislike this guy....

John Mark Carr

WEARS EYELINER!!!!!!!!!!!!

Of mice and Scrabble

Life is good.

Bestest boyfriend and I took a long weekend and met my sister and her best friend at Starved Rock State Park for fun and games for the second year in a row. We had such a good and relaxing time last year we decided to repeat it.

BB and I were the last to arrive Friday night. The girlz came out to the car to help us unload (is there something wrong with 2 people...... ummm.... one person packing so much stuff that it takes 4 people to carry it in???) and we immediately took off for dinner in the main lodge.

I love the lodge... it was built in 1939 and the decor hasn't changed one iota since then. The couchs (couches??) haven't been comfortable since they were built, the lighting is rotten and wi-fi is only available in the Great Room. But I love it! This year we stayed in the Pioneer Cabins - cathedral ceilings, no television, quiet, rustic, (yes there is running water and plumbing and even air conditioning) and mice. Yupo, critters. Or critter. K&K were the ones blessed with the 3am visitor.... the first night KP tried to tell KT that the sound was just ice melting in the cooler..... KT bought the story until the noise of little tiny feet shuffling across the wood dresser pestered my sisters subconscious while KT was in the bathroom 5 minutes later. A quick flip of the light switch and a mad grab for glasses and all KP came away with was the image of a furry thing scooting out the cabin somewhere in the vicinity of her suitcase. (Personally, I think the critter now lives in Michigan... with a greyhound and a cockapoo and KP) Much digging thru stuff reveiled that the visitor has pica..... (an abnormal appetite or craving for substances that are not fit to eat, as chalk or clay).... he passed on the 400 pounds of pita chips and trail mix and chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal bars and other assorted junk food and ate....

KTs ipod cord.

sheesh.... too bad it wasn't connedted to electricity.... heh heh heh

He must have liked the experience... he came back Saturday and Sunday... same time, same place. BB heard the girlz talking about the mouse both days at 3 am.... some days, I am really glad I wear earplugs.....

We (read I) didn't get in much hiking.... too late on Friday.... Saturday morning was a yak fest with the girlz because the rain kept threatening... went wine tasting in the early afternoon..... YUMMY YUMMY!!!!!!! Nothing like BB drinking on an empty stomach!! We sampled 10 or so wines at the first place.. lovely offbeat wines with names like Red & Blue (cherries and blueberries), Starved Rock Waterfall White (a semi-sweet seyval (???), Burgoo, Cranberry, Sangarita White (with a hint of key lime) and I and M Canal (if you could see the canal you might think twice about drinking this particular bottle!!! hee hee hee) We bought a bunch of bottles.... hee hee hee

Lunch was FABULOUS!!!!! We stopped at a little tavern in beautiful downtown Utica called Duffy's. KT and I had the Rueben -totally luscious, tender corned beef smothered in perfect tasting saurkraut and 1000 Island dressing on lightly toasted rye.... we were in heaven..... BB and KP had the pulled pork sandwiches.... also excellent! And the mushrooms..... (fungus) huge, hand-battered and by all accounts (not mine... wouldn't touch them with a 10 foot pole) very good!

Lunch was followed by more wine tasting and buying and then the winos in the cornfield headed for the trail..... (hic) we managed to get in a nice walk (stagger)(just kidding) before dinner, which was okay... dinner, that is... but it was slow and cut into some very valuable Scrabble time. After one game, we were all toast and headed for bed.

Sunday was brunch with the parental units and a lot of horsing around in the gift shop and then a quick trip back to Melrose Park for a little good-bye lunch with the girlz from the old job. I ate too too too much garlic and zipped back to Starved Rock for more dinner, more girly conversation (with BB as the moderator) and more Scrabble and other games (and chips and cookies and trail mix and stuff..... )

It was a great weekend... I highly recommend long weekends with friends and board games....


Thursday, August 24, 2006

You've got to be able to talk to persuade.....

Every once in a while I need to step back and remember that even people I don't like can say things that I agree with... or at least things that I can't dismiss without examining.

It's no secret that I don't like Jessie Jackson. And I almost turned off the radio yesterday when he was interviewed on my very favorite radio program. But I didn't. And as much as I hate to admit it, I'm glad I listened.

Jessie was talking about his next trip to the Middle East to try to secure the release of the captured soldiers and journalists. The radio host was on my side when he brought up the 'going for Jessie's sake' argument that I always use. But Jessie explained how he has talked to the world powers asking them to talk to Hezbollah and Syria and how the powers-that-be said.... sure... as soon as they release the soldiers, we will talk. End of conversation.

And then Jessie said, "You've got to be able to talk to persuade."

And the rest of the conversation faded into a pleasant buzz in the background of rush hour traffic as I rolled that phrase over and over in my mind.

You've got to be able to talk to persuade.

So simple. So profound. Never stop talking. Never stop communicating. Slamming the door in someone's face or inflicting the silent treatment on the one you are miffed at never works. History (personal and global) has proven that time and again.

So... to all the people I've slammed doors on. To all the people I've given the silent treatment.....

IT'S JESSIES FAULT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From the "other" blog

August 22, 2006 - Well. That sucked. Today in class I had 4 rocks. I wonder if they were as bored as I was? {sigh} I shouldn't complain... at least none of them whipped out a newspaper like another student in another class did today. (She was asked to cease and desist.) My students weren't all bad.. they did answer the questions I asked. But definitely not as lively as Monday's class. Maybe tomorrow will be better. I had a different instructor help me today.... we got on much better than the one that was with me Monday. Totally different personalities. Oh, well. I had a nice chat with my manager this morning about my progress. He was happy that I am in the classroom already. And he approves of my plans for the next 2-3 weeks of my orientation. I am truly self-directed here. He has pointed me in a couple of directions, but mostly asks me what I am doing, what do I feel is important that I do/attend and then lets me go. I think I will do well here. :-)
My new cubie.... one of 4 in the cube farm..... you will never see that desk again, so get a good look now.... this was last week before I officially 'moved in'. Now.... it's loaded with Happy Bunny magnets and pictures and STUPH!!!! hee hee hee... and pictures of my beloved Best Boyfriend.....

August 21, 2006 - I taught my first class today!!!! YIPPEE!!!!! It went well... overcrowded with a last minute scramble to get a couple extra computers, but a lively bunch and lots of laughs when one of the students forgot to put a decimal point in the temperature and wound up documenting a temp of 975 degrees Fahrenheit. The entire room got a good laugh out of it... we put in our note that the nurse was notified and the fire department called. I had my outline (which I never looked at) and my cohort was there to inject tidbits I forgot (although it would have been nice if she would have let me stop talking first). The evaluations were good. I am happy. On to teaching day 2.
August 20, 2006 -Hmmm... am beginning to second guess the moving thing.... how well do houses sell in the fall? Do I want to see if I like the job before I commit to moving? Do I want to commute 325 miles a week in the snow, sleet, rain, fog and other roadway goobers? (5 trips on expressway/tollway; 5 trips on local roads) choices, choices..... but... the minimum amount of time I would spend at the new job is a year. Period. Unless something happened that directly threatened my health or well-being that could be corrected by resigning.... doubt that would happen. Hasn't yet in all these years of changing jobs every 2 years. The house is a total mess. Bookcases in the dining room, boxes everywhere. Cats are wandering aimlessly thru the crumpled on the floor... and sitting on it and laying on it and kneading it.... they are having fun. Still.... should I move now, or in the spring?

August 19, 2006 - Simple Times ? -
Some days I wish for simpler times.... when the days were long and the livin' was easy...... er... easier.....
When a cup of coffee could be had by saying "Coffee, please," instead of feeling obligated to order a half-fat, half-decaf grande mochachino made with organic beans from a labor-friendly farm.
When portable radios were big enough to have buttons you could actually operate.When no one questioned your morals if you bought a car with a V-8 engine, rather, they admired your prowess behind the wheel.
When Toastmaster automatic drop toasters were made at in the plant down the road in Elgin and the instructions came in English... not bad English translated from Chinese.
When a size 12 dress wasn't actually a size 16 renamed so my ego wouldn't take a hit.
Before it took a degree in electrical engineering to understand the instructions (in Chinglish) for the VCR.
Back when television sets had channel changing dials.
Back before I lost the TV remote.

August 12, 2006 - End of Week One - Well.... I survived!!! It's been quite a week. I don't work at the hospital proper, rather, an an off-site location (duh, if you are not ON site you MUST be off-site) a mile or so away. It's the office space in an old Caterpillar plant. It sits right behind a Culver's. Oops.... I figure by the end of the first year I will weigh 400 pounds if I go there for lunch every day!! No, I haven't been there yet, but the time is coming....
I work with 4 other people - The Manager(TM); two instructors, i1 and i2; and my nurse cohort, ON(other nurse). ON is a very very talented woman..... she plays 5 instruments, writes music, sings, is a black belt in karate(?-I think), and is a world champion dart thrower.
I feel a little intimidated. A lot. WOW. And she's got that look that says "(insert favorite tough-guy cliche)" Don't even think about it."
On the other end of the spectrum in looks is the manager, TM. He's TINY! That's not very nice, is it? But compared to ON?? Of small stature, shall we say? TM is a hunter (water birds, has a dog and a TRUCK) and fisherman. He used to be a PROFESSIONAL fisherman. Of WALLEYE!!! My mostest favorite fish in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD!!!!! (Yes, even better than shrimp) He retired from a university teaching post to go fishing (for walleye)(CPR fishing, Catch-Photograph-Release) and left that to come work here. BB is questioning TM's mental health.... fishing(for walleye)/sit behind a desk, fishing(have I mentioned that he fished for walleye??)/sit behind a desk.... hmmm..... oh, well....
I don't know much about i1 and i2. i1 has been with the IT department for quite a while (I think). She has BEAUTIFUL long black hair and a permanently-tanned-skin-tone that I (the original white girl) would kill for. i2 lives a few blocks away from BB and is engaged. I met the lucky man yesterday. Nice guy.
I spent all of Friday sitting in on computer classes. It gave me a little taste of the program and I am RARIN' TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's a good thing I don't have access to the work computer from home or I would be practicing documentation all weekend.... oops! ON gave me a tutorial to work on so will spend all my free time at work plowing thru it. I felt really good by the end of the class yesterday... found a couple of functions ON wasn't aware of and helped one of the students during our exercise time. I am SOOOOOO excited!! I just want to bury myself in the computer and LEARN LEARN LEARN!!!
But now, I have to pack up the house. The drive (after 2.5 WHOLE days of driving between my house and work) is killing me. 40 minutes to get there in the morning (not bad for a 40 mile trek) and an hour 15 minutes coming home (at 15 mph for 20 miles or so-AAACCCHHH!) Back and forth between BBs place and work is about 35-40 minutes either way.
So... off to my boxes and sealing tape. It's time to go!!!

August 9, 2006 - Day 3 Have I mentioned how much I LOVE my new job?? Had a half day of class and spent the rest of the day in my department learning this and that. Have to wrestle with voice mail one of these days. Maybe tomorrow or Friday they will get me set up with e-mail.... but... as my sister pointed out.... I didn't send her any text messages today so it must have been good. ;-)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Moving to a new home...

This blog is moving to a new home.....
Come visit!!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Day Two

The new place gave me a birthday present.... and I wasn't even there yet! "We would like to take this opportunity to recognize your birthday. Please accept this gift as a token of our appreciation for the excellent service you provide to visitors and fellow staff..." How sweet.... I don't think I've ever had my employer send me a little birthday gift.

Can I tell you now how impressed with this place??

Although... the instructor today was less then spectacular. She's nice and she tried hard..... but.... at the end of the day when we were taking our quiz, it was clear that she had missed a few important points. Oh well. I will try to be better than that.

Tomorrow is a half day of orientation class and then I go to my department to see what I can get involved in.... should be fun!!

Next big task is to go home (have been at BBs house for the last 3 nights) and see just what junk I want to import into the new place.... hee hee hee.... I think it was 8 or 10 boxes I took from the old place..... wonder how much of that will fit????? hee hee hee

Time for bed.....

Monday, August 07, 2006

Day One

I survived Day 1!!! Yippee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I swear, I think all they do is change the hospital name at the top of the page and it's the same speel I've heard at the last 10 hospitals I've worked at. Oh, well. Only 5 more days to go! But, they are scattered over the next two weeks so it won't be so bad.

BB asked me tonight over dinner (which I cooked from scratch, BTW) if I had any regrets.....


I love my new job.

I got to meet the other 3 instructors today. They had a nice little reception complete with pastries from the local bakery. YUMMY! They have already figured out the way to my good side!!! Told them I would be back tomorrow to eat the leftovers! (And, as tomorrow's class is right next door... I just may do that.)

I love my new job!!!

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Last night I dreamed I showed up at the OLD place of employment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wonder what the dreams will be like tonight???

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

New web page

It's over..... whew!! New horizons open on Monday!! YIPPEE!!!

In the mean time, go look at my new site!

The RATs of Moose