Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Rip Roarin awards

I'm off in another city for the week. I flew out of "colder than an Eskimo fart, midwest" and landed in "colder than a snotcicle, midwest.." where the weather is comparatively balmy. In this post, I will finally address my lovely purple lion award, bestowed upon me about a month ago (maybe longer?) by my separated-at-birth blogfriend: SUV Mama.

The award was given to me for my ability to write, and in doing so to crack people up. Humor is the writing I do best, because it takes little effort and I naturally put a funny spin on things that happen in my everyday life. It's just part of my personality. I like to see the positive in life, and for me many of the positives are extracted from situations by looking at it from a different angle, hopefully a humorous one.

I do write other stuff. I like sensory writing: trying to help the audience see/hear/taste/touch/smell what I am describing. I like to do descriptive pieces about people I know - for example, I wrote the eulogy for my grandmother's funeral a few years ago. I like to write dialogue; it lends so much to most stories, and if used well, can really convey a lot about the speaker(s) without using glaring descriptors.

I don't know where this is going or if it's making much sense to anyone but me....I'll do the assignment now: Three Writing Tips and Five Bloggers.

1). Make Time To Write. (subtitle: practice what you preach). I know I haven't been the best at this what with my wacky schedule lately and my, uh, sabbatical in the Fall. Ok, just because I don't always follow it doesn't mean it isn't good advice. We SHOULD make time to write. Those of us who write for enjoyment should make time for said enjoyment. If you don't like writing, or find it a chore, you probably shouldn't be doing it! You all may think I'm nuts (or CrayZee =p), but I'm just going to throw this factoid out there: If I haven't written for a while, I start THINKING in prose. Example: I'm watching the kids play and start thinking, "Lulu crept quietly behind Plato, eased his precious toy bunny out of his arms with typical 3-year-old stealth, then took off at full toddler speed, shrieking and cackling like a maniac as Plato, protesting loudly, gave chase." Ok, maybe that's not "normal," but it's what starts happening if I don't actually write!! And no, I don't hear voices. At least, not many. Writing simply purges my brain and makes room for more.

2). Keep Your Voice. You know how you write. It flows from your brain into your fingertips and out into or onto your medium of choice. Let it flow. Don't second guess your writing style (unless your goal is to get published, then you might have to bend a little...). Your style is you. It's what makes your writing yours and no one else's. If you want to do writing exercises, try on new styles, or stretch your skills, by all means, do so. It may even shed light on a new style element that you'd like to adopt! Your style is dynamic and ever-evolving, but it's still yours. Claim it, own it.

3). Don't hate me for this one. If you're just keeping a journal for you and you alone, you can ignore this. But if you write for any kind of audience, please oh please PROOFREAD. Even just once. Perfect spelling and/or punctuation are not the issue here. Your writing should make sense and have some sort of flow. In my humble opinion, it's a polite courtesy; it says you care about what you write and that you care about your audience. You may disagree. You're allowed!

So that's my three cents. And now my five awards:

1). My BFF and the funniest chick I know: Monnik at Frazzled But Loving It. I've known her forever (almost) and she's always been able to effortlessly crack me up. She's an excellent writer and storyteller, and manages to organize her random thoughts very, very well. Read "The Tenacious Turd" and "The Secret Potty" for some mom-of-small-children ROTFLMAO moments.

2). I gotta give a "rightbackatcha" to Jess at SUV Mama. No, she doesn't have to do the tasks. But I LOVE her blog. She's this wonderful mix of fiery, ass-kickin', name-takin' She-Ra and warm-hearted, sentimental, die-for-my-children mother. She writes about her life, and lets us see her vulnerable side, all the while she making sure we know she doesn't really care what we think about it. She is who she is, take it or leave it. I'm taking it. My favorite recent post addresses the power of words.

3). Just a short hop across the internet (and the big pond) is Debbielou at One Day Closer Until...blogging from the UK. Even if this woman didn't write well I would have to stop by just to get my fill if british-isms. Fortunately she writes very well, and is a real pleasure to read. Her story about her Valentine's Day adventure is sure to have you cringing and snorting at the same time!

4). I am sure he has received numerous awards, but I have to give a nod to my favorite tall Texan, Travis, at One Word, One Rung, One Day. This guy is actually working on a BOOK, and I guar-uhn-tee he will be published one day! In the meantime he blogs about writing, family, and life - usually with a humorous spin. Now he's been writing a long time, and I certainly haven't read all his posts, but one sticks out clearly in my mind - the one that originally hooked me: The Art of Regifting. Travis, if you've already done this assignment, you get a pass. But you DO deserve the award!

5). Finally, my latest hero: MonkeyGirl at Musings of a Highly Trained Monkey. This hard-as-nails ER nurse isn't afraid to tell it like it is, in a HIPPA-compliant fashion of course. She touches something real in anyone who has ever worked in healthcare. She might be too much for the thin-skinned, or the eternal optimist. Healthcare has a dark side, and MonkeyGirl isn't afraid of it. Ever wonder how healthcare professionals take so much crap, and just keep coming back for more? This blog is an anthology of rants, with some real humanity thrown in for good measure. Check out her Sumdood Sightings post. MonkeyGirl, you can just take the award. You've earned the tin foil hat!!

So there! My task is done! Thanks for the award, Jess. And keep on writing, everyone!

Remember: Three Writing Tips and Five Nominations!

Anyone Buy This?

In what might be the shortest blog run in history, The Dawn has taken down her blog. To that end, she has left only this enigmatic comment on Nurse K's blog :

"Hey this Is Melissa. Dawn, aka- Danny my 17 year old kid brother, has been banished from my computer. Since he doesn't have access to one of his own Dawn has ben cancelled. I have my doubts that any of you are what you claim to be, but just in case you are here are a few final words. K I am sure you can be counted on to spread the word among cohorts that you have been had by a kid. Tell scalpel he is the only one of you that doesn't come across as a loon. His graphic description of herpes should serve as a fair warning to the wise whether he is a M.D. or not. As to the rest of you . Get a LIFE"

Now maybe this is true, but do I buy it? Naw.

Why? It's too EASY. See, The Dawn strikes me as someone who can't stand to lose (personal injury attorney). Taking down the blog destroys most evidence of her, stops the ridicule, and gives her a simple no-fault excuse for doing so; all while thumbing her nose at us and saying the joke's on us. What greater pleasure could she ask for? And to the credit of The Dawn, it's hard for me to buy the idea that a 17-year-old boy could come up with the bizarro stuff she did. Granted, her composition abilities were on par with a 17 year old of any gender, but the rest just doesn't fit. Barring all else, the fact that she started all this crap with an incendiary comment on MonkeyGirl's blog on a post about the death of a patient just doesn't jibe with "17 year old boy. " I would imagine medblogs would be more the trolling grounds of a "personal injury attorney," not a high-school-boy trying to pull off some elaborate hoax.

In addition to the above observations, I noticed that "Melissa" has a surprisingly similar writing style to The Dawn: grammar, misspellings, punctuation errors; I do note that she has adopted capital letters again. And the name-drops are, on the surface at least, non-famous.

Now I'll admit that I am not, in fact, a profiler for the FBI or anything, I'm just going with my gut here. But the laugh's on you, The Dawn. You're not fooling anyone. You're reading this right now, aren't you?

Go on, leave an anonymous post. Better yet, adopt a new persona. We're all waiting.

Dawn's Blog


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

It's Been Real...'s Been Fun. But my Fun with The Dawn is Done.

Done. Done. Done. Gotta Run. See Ya, Hon!

Name Drop Alert: Dr. Seuss

Not very inspired, but I'm tired.

Somebody stop me!

On to other subjects tomorrow. 'Night.

Greetings from The Road

Well here I sit in my lovely hotel suite with about an hour on my hands. I have been out-and-about visiting my favorite blogs - check out MonkeyGirl's latest controversial post with 47 comments (and one new, uhm, Interesting Blog). I can't decide if "The Dawn" is for real or if she really just has mixed-type delusional disorder...regardless her brand-spankin'-new blog should provide for some amusement, albeit possibly the eye-rolling kind.

Back already? Ok, here we go!

I am at an Embassy Suites which I am sure would be the Dollar General of hotels to The Dawn. Certainly she only stays at Ritz-Carltons or elitist (AHEM...) EXCLUSIVE resorts where she can make sure her Rolex is properly safeguarded and her anthropologist-cum-rock-star husband can find a secluded retreat from the flock of passenger pigeons that inevitably follow him everywhere. Oh, I forgot, they're extinct. Likely at the hand of The Dawn.

I am at the dollar general hotel chain in pursuit of education "[ej-oo-key-shuh n]." Although I was NOT the valedictorian of my class, and my friends (yes I had them and still do!) are not flipping burgers anywhere (they are all quite successful, thank you), I have managed to scrape together the relatively puny (compared to The Dawn) complement of brain cells I was born with and make something of myself. Although I was an ICU nurse for 6 years, and a cardiac electrophysiology nurse for the last 6 years, I am taking a refresher course over the next 6 weeks in cardiac electrophysiology.

That's where we go up into people's hearts and purposefully try to put them into malignant and/or lethal arrhythmias, study those arrythmias while making sure the patient doesn't die on the table, make three-dimensional geometric maps of the heart chamber, and voltage-time maps that we can superimpose upon this gathered geometry, creating a very good picture of what exactly is happening in this patient's heart. Then we burn the culprit area, do some follow up testing, and more often than not the patient goes home and never has the same heart problem again.

Shucks, I know I'm no Personal Injury Attorney, but Darn it, I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darn it....people LIKE me.

Providing services that help doctors save lives, or bilking honest hardworking folks out of money they don't have because a "client" suffered whiplash (*gasp!*) and emotional distress (*wail!*)?
I'm torn, but I'm going to have to go with Saving Lives.

Before anyone gets their size-zero panties in a bunch, I know that there are people out there with legitimate claims, and I know The Dawn helps them too. But I can HONESTLY say I have never provided my services to dramatize and inflate claims of "personal injury" at the expense of an innocent someone-else.

Looking down from her lofty moral high ground as she does on my sister-in-the-trenches MonkeyGirl, maybe The Dawn can say that too.

"But..." you say.
Ok, taxpayers don't count. It's not my choice to give healthcare to our country's orange-jumpsuited, shackled and cuffed "sickly" who are frequently looking for a vacation from the Big House and the guaranteed attention of any female, attractive or not. But it's my professional obligation. And I do it with an outward smile.

Then vent in a HIPPA-compliant fashion.

Friday, February 08, 2008


So last night I had a dream about this cereal I used to love. Of course I didn't remember the name, but I remembered the cereal: flying-saucer-shaped sugar puffs that tasted almost exactly like Cap'n Crunch, except the rounded shape of this cereal didn't shred your gums or the roof of your mouth like its current counterpart. I wracked my brain this morning trying to remember what it was called, finally gave up, and the answer came to me (of course) while I was taking a pee. Yeah, that's where I do some of my best the bathroom.

Anyone, Anyone? Bueller?

Here it is:

Remember? I loved it!!!

So then I got to thinking about all the things I used to love but aren't around anymore. Like Nabisco Heyday Bars, Tato Skins, and PB Maxx.

So then I found this website that I just had to share:

It's a treasure trove of discontinued and/or nostalgic foods from the 80's era.

It's there that I remembered things like O'Boisies, I-Screams Cookies, and Burger Buddies:

Fruit Stripe Gum

And the product that sustained my body during my early college years:

Not the guy. I don't know the guy. But he's holding a TACO BELL CHILITO. Oh, how I miss chilitos..

Things gone, but not forgotten. Visit the website. If you are wondering where anything in particular went, ask a question under, "Unknown."

There's one product that I am sorry I missed out on, and it created the most nostalgia on the list. Anyone remember Malt-Duck Malt Liquor? It has apparently achieved cult status amongst the 70's kids.

Dang. I' m hungry. See ya!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Thanks for the Idea, Travis...

Well Travis, you got me hooked. I love tests and quizzes, no matter how lame or stupid. And some of them are just downright insightful, like this one: you just pick the shape you like and bingo!

You Should Be a Doctor

You are practical, sharp, and very intuitive.

Optimistic and energetic, you are a problem solver who doesn't get discouraged easily.

You are also quite compassionate and caring. You make people feel hopeful.

You're highly adaptable and capable. You do well with almost any curve ball life throws at you.

You do best when you:

- Are always learning new subjects

- Use your knowledge to solve problems

You would also be a good therapist or detective.

Okay, I am a NURSE, but it's not a far stretch....


And I wish I had this superpower; it would make married life so much simpler:

Your Superpower Should Be Mind Reading

You are brilliant, insightful, and intuitive.

You understand people better than they would like to be understood.

Highly sensitive, you are good at putting together seemingly irrelevant details.

You figure out what's going on before anyone knows that anything is going on!

Why you would be a good superhero: You don't care what people think, and you'd do whatever needed to be done

Your biggest problem as a superhero: Feeling even more isolated than you do now


And this one was just fun:

You Are Betty Grable

The ultimate girl next door

You're the perfect girl for most guys

Pretty yet approachable. Beautiful yet real.

Awww, shucks, me?

A Quickie personality test that was pretty right-on:

Your Five Factor Personality Profile


You have high extroversion.

You are outgoing and engaging, with both strangers and friends.

You truly enjoy being with people and bring energy into any situation.

Enthusiastic and fun, you're the first to say "let's go!" (no, this isn't me)


You have high conscientiousness.

Intelligent and reliable, you tend to succeed in life.

Most things in your life are organized and planned well.

But you borderline on being a total perfectionist.


You have medium agreeableness.

You're generally a friendly and trusting person.

But you also have a healthy dose of cynicism.

You get along well with others, as long as they play fair.


You have low neuroticism.

You are very emotionally stable and mentally together.

Only the greatest setbacks upset you, and you bounce back quickly.

Overall, you are typically calm and relaxed - making others feel secure.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is medium.

You are generally broad minded when it come to new things.

But if something crosses a moral line, there's no way you'll approve of it.

You are suspicious of anything too wacky, though you do still consider creativity a virtue.


And just to confirm what I already knew....(ha ha)

Your IQ Is 130

Your Logical Intelligence is Exceptional

Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius

Your Mathematical Intelligence is Exceptional

Your General Knowledge is Genius

Actually that was a bit surprising...I haven't taken math in a LOOOONG time...


And this just freaked me out. All I did was type in my birth name:

Your Expression Number is 4

Practical and down to earth - everything in your life is organized.

You are a great writer and teacher. You never forget a detail.

Very patient, you have the ability to cultivate talents in difficult fields.

You also tend to have an artistic side. You'd make a great architect or classical musician.

You face your responsibilities with a positive attitude - and you always get things done.

You are serious, sincere, honest, and faithful.

Sometimes your strong sense of responsibility leads to frustration.

You also tend to develop strong likes and dislikes, which border on dogmatism.

At you're worst, you can be a dominant disciplinarian.

Now that's just freaky...I can't argue with any of that. How do they do that?

Okay that was an easy-out post. But lots of fun.

Oh, and I found a WONDERFUL quote today: It's from Nelson Mandela's 1994 inaugural speech:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is the light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are we not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Just Breathe...

No, my plane didn't crash. No, I did not walk home. And by the way, I flushed the fish!! I tried to do it humanely. I put a little salt in their bowls every day until they weren't moving much,, then flushed them. I hoped they were so salt-intoxicated that they wouldn't know what was going on...maybe I should have used whisky?

Anyway, sorry to all my loyal readers; my new job is great, just really really intense. I had no idea how crazy this ride would be! It's not that I want off or anything, it's just that I barely have time to do anything but train. Which is good. Training is good. It beats being thrown to the dogs (woops, docs) with a laptop and Palm pilot and a smile on my face....but holy moly, is it exhausting.

You may notice a few more spelling or punctuation errors: I'm writing on my new laptop and the keys are flat and weird and the "mouse" finger-thingy gets in my way and shoots my cursor off the page, picking buttons and popping up windows that I have never seen before. "Esc" is my new best friend!

So out of the last three weeks, I have been at home only one. I spent a week in southern CA, which was nice weather-wise. Beat the hell out of the -7 degrees I arrived home to! Then I was home a week putting my new life together: office, benefits, online training, forms, signatures, passwords(I think I have at least 12 separate ones now, argh!), etc. Add to that the fact that JeepMan now thinks that I can chauffeur him and the kids around (which I can, but...), and the fact that I do need to shower once a day and keep the house reasonably picked up. Suddenly the whole work-from-home thing looses a little of its luster.

Here's a synopsis of my week at home: unpack, laundry, shop for office stuff, set up office, chauffeur (repeat), dot my i's and cross my t's, navigate the abyss of benefits choices, lunch with hubby (repeat), what? I need a formal for this meeting?, try on 30 dresses, holy crap my plane leaves tomorrow, pack, and off to Orlando.

Which may be the home of Mickey Mouse but damned if I got to see him.

Yes, the weather was beautiful. Yes the hotel was lovely (Disney Grand Floridian). But let me just say that having my day planned for me from 6am to 10pm doesn't translate to relaxation. I learned a lot, ate a lot, drank waaay more than I am used to (which isn't much), spent 5 straight days in high heels (never again) and got much less sleep than I need to function. So when I got home what I really needed was 12 hours of straight sleep. What I got was a entire day at MIL's house for JM's birthday (37 - ha, he'll always be older than me).

Oh, and 9 inches of snow.

To be followed the next day by rain, thunderstorms, and HAIL. Yes, hail. In February. In the upper midwest. Crazy.

I have been working all this week on online modules, tests, conference calls (they always sounded cool, who knew they suck so bad?), and I have a site visit tomorrow.

Did I mention the 13 inches of snow we got today? Fortunately most of the 9 inches of snow we got Sunday was compacted by the rain and hail, so there aren't 22 inches on the ground. Still, my snowblower has gotten more use this 1 winter than it has gotten cumulatively over the last 5 winters. Lucky me, Jeep Man loves to snowblow. He doesn't complain at all. He even blew out the driveways and sidewalks of both of our neighbors across the street. They're both foreign and I assume from less snowy parts, considering they each own only 1 cheap plastic shovel. All us true midwesterners know plastic shovels are only for show. And maybe sandboxes.

So anyhow, I will truly try to spread the love from SUV mama and address my award sometime soon. I think "Make Time for Writing" will be one of my pieces of advice - hypocrisy at its best! And I will TRY to visit your blogs soon.

I have not abandoned writing, or you. I just need a little breathing room.

Namaste. Ohhhhhhmmmmmmm.......