Thursday, November 30, 2006

Beauty & Death

Quite the unusal title for a post, but I could not come up with something more witty that would go along with the two unusual pairings that I am offering up today. Spent a good amount of time studying the musculoskeletal system and brain trauma / neck and head injury while also taking breaks, at the coffee mega giant, to read all the newspapers. A treat that I have not had time to indulge recently. I have not worked since Tuesday and do not work again until next Monday, so I am able to take a slower pace and not push quite so hard.

Anyway, among all the more important news items of poisoned spies, the war, Prez and his escapades, more police shootings and other such topics there were two things that caught my attention that could not be more diverse from each other. Beauty and death.

Assisted suicide is what we like to call it in this country. It is illegal in Spain. A woman with muscular dystrophy is seeking help to die. She has been in a hospital bed for 20 years. Immaculada Echevarria is now 51 years old. That means that at the age of 31, when life is still so young and with much joy to be had, she became bed ridden. She says that , " Life stopped having meaning for ma a long time ago. I want them to help me die because I have spent my whole life suffering." She fell ill at the age of 11 and must be connected to a respirator to stay alive. She wants to be taken off and allowed to die. In May, of this year, a man was taken off his ventilator, by an unknow source and he died. he too had a terminal illness and because it could not be proven who pulled the plug no one was ever charged. She is asking her government to reconsider their law.

I know that if I was close to someone that was in this type of situation and they asked me I do not think that I could tell them no. How can we watch anyone that we love and care for suffer? Especially through dibilitating diseases? All and any religious thoughts and / or notes aside. Why is it so wrong? To honor the wishes of those we love? If this is their desire and they are still able to articulate their wishes? The diseases are not only killing the person who has it, but also those family members that must watch them daily and care for them or visit them in special nursing home and hospitals.

This lady just wants to be unhooked so she can stop breathing. She is not even asking for any lethal drugs, just some sedation to ease whatever pain and so she would not suffer. Is that too much to ask? Who should decide how long to prolong the suffering of others?

Then finally, we come to the big business of beauty. It seems, according to today's New York Times article, that Americans spend around $12 billion a year, and that is an estimate, on invasive beauty stuff like Botox etc. It is such a lucrative line to follow that even more traditional doctors, such as OBGYN's are now getting into the race. The race for the almighty beauty dollar and a piece of the "Barbie pie". Five years ago all of this was the domain of plastic surgeons and their ilk, but now it seems that everyone is wanting to spread their wings and enter the fray. It seems as if injecting Botox to smooth out wrinkles, Restylane to fill out smiles plump their lips is the menu du jour. Since medical insurance does not cover this sort of vain procedure it is all cash up front and there you have the, pardon the pun, beauty of it all. oodles of women and maybe even some men are willing to dish out big bucks for the chance to keep looking younger. Seriously, look how good Joan Rivers looks!!

I don't know. I know that doctors do have hefty insurances to pay and they are looking for lucrative ways to add some extra cash to their coffers, but the article does go on to say that they are not getting the same length of training that regular platic surgeons etc. receive.

Sure, I would love to be able to afford some of this stuff. If the idea of injecting botulism into my face did not also scare the crap out of me. I still can not believe that a local up scale community around here actually has Botox parties!! Well, maybe soon the Tupperware ladies will also be able to shoot ya up and cover both avenues. Then, if they also start to sell pizza stones and veggie dips they will have a corner on the market. A market that does not ahow any signs of slowing down.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Note & Post Script

None of the photos, that accompany the following post, are from my dinner or famil. Just found the on the net.

Holiday Aftermath

Seems that everyone has made it through, yet another, holiday food fest. Complete with television sports, mega shopping and pies galore. Oh, and yes..... family members. I think everyone must have some degree of dysfunctionality in their family and the holidays just make us have to endure. I loved the quote by Esteban, " ...drink enough alcohol so that I can tolerate my relatives, but not so much that I tell them what I think of them." Very good advice indeed!!

I began the "holidaze" by getting up at 5:30AM and adding some of the new carmel flavored Baileys to my coffee. I have a bottle in my fridge throughout the entire holiday season. By 11:00 I had the mamoth 20lb. bird in the oven, sans dressing because I hate that crap crammed inside the turkey, and moved into the realm of red wine. My mom & I watched the Macy's parade and then the dog show. Love the dog show!! Although we were not happy with the choice for "Best in Show". A white toy poodle!! YUCK!! My fav group, naturally, is the working and sporting groups as I like and have a big dog. A Golden.

My youngest brother and his new fiance and his daughters came by for finger foods. They were doing her side for dinner. Trying to make the impression and introduce his kids to her side. She has a 4 year old son, but he was with his father. This was the dysfunction that I was speaking of earlier. He has his head so far up his ass right now that he has totally left our mom in some unpleasant circumstances. SO & I had to jump in and help her out. It is not looking too promising, they plan a wedding next summer, but he can't be advised, so we are just letting it run its course. No advice.

So, we watched Elf and Christmas Story. They left and mom, son & I had our small, but tasty feast. Pie and brownies later. Son went to hang with friends and mom & I went to play cards with a gaggle of my girlfriends.

When we arrived there were many varieties of wine on the table and a different wig on every chair. As the game went along we would all put on a wig, take pictures, and then pass the wig to the left and put on a diff wig the next time. Fun stuff. My mom looked particularly funny, at 72, in the very long bright red wig!! We howled. Played a card game called Michigan Rummy that is played with pennies. My mom cleaned up. Then a game with quaters. We moved up to the big bucks as you can see. Taht game was called 31. I was a loser in all games. A winner with friends and mom had a blast!! Although we were full to our eyeballs we had cheese and crackers there along with our wine. Mom would sleep VERY well tonight!!!

Gave mom an early Christmas gift. AAA membership and a cell phone. Told her that she neede it. Driving back and forth to our house alone. She neede it in case of emergency.

Got myself that Abby Seixas book, "Finding the Deep River Within. A Womans Guide to Finding Balance & Meaning in Everyday Life". Although the irony is, trying to find that time to sit and read!! Mom went home a day early, so I have been able to start it. I like it very much, although I laugh at the thought of skipping to the "balance & meaning" parts!! There are only 199 pages, so it will be a quick read... when I can do it. I am only scheduled 2 days this next week, at the coffee mega giant, so I should find some time. When I am not getting immunizations for school or reading about blood and trauma.

A good friend recently was asking me questions about their life and pondering their own sense of freedom. I thought that I might address that here. The reason is that many people feel that they are not who they could really "be".

You can be as free as you want to be. Yes, there are family and work obligations. Some societal ones too, but the only thing stopping you is where you set your own bar. I almost let myself get persuaded to take another path, but that did not feel right. I knew I had to make my own choice. If you always worry about what everyone will think of you, you will never do anything for yourself. There is nothing wrong with doing things that you want. Sometimes it is okay to be self centered!! Does the fact that you have a family mean that you no longer have your own dreams and/or desires? Just because we are "grown-ups" does not mean that we have to settle. Just go with what everyone else thinks we should be and do. We have talents and abilities. Those did not die when we got married, had kids, bought a house etc. Just because we have jobs and bills etc. does not mean that those things are all that is left of our true essence, ouyr real self.

Sometimes we have to tell the others that we are involved with, whether it be a boyfirend, girlfirend or spouse, that I have to do this for me. As long as you're not running off and leaving them to see the world. If they love you how can they deny you your path? Everything we do in this life is not, nor does it have to be, about them. You are still a valuable person too.

You are as free as you allow yourself to be. You can be your own worst enemy. The things that hold you back are there because you put them there because you think that they should be. You hold yourself back because you think there that there are only certain roles that you can and should play. That is not rue. Only you can allow yourself move into new and different areas. It's all up to you.

Off the soap box. Now it is back to a busy week of work and school. heading to the Health Dept. on Wednesday for immunizations and hope to be able to begin my hours in the ER by the beginning of Dec. I just have to have them all in before the national test in Jan.

Hope to get our tree up soon. Son will have to help, unless SO is back from Brazil later this week. May be home for 2-3 days and then he is off to Finland. They are trying to get things caught up, as much as possible so he can can be here for Christmas and then he will be off to Australia. Only problem with doing all the shopping myself is that I will also have to wrap it all!!

Oh well, no worries. I can only do what I can do!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope you all enjoy your family time & turkey!! Oh yeah, too.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Junk Drawer II

It seems that there are a few things to pull out of the junk drawer today.

Options in Iraq. Seems that the Pentagon has brought out the football jargon to name their strategies. We have, for your listening pleasure, "Bo Big", "Go Long", "Go Home". I guess that last one could be more suitably linked to baseball. Anyway, the Washington Post had the article posted on MSNBC. Even though I hate this war and I am very opposed to the entire situation I have to admit, based on what I am reading, that the idea of a total mass pull-out might be leaving an even bigger mess behind. As someone with a draftable age son, in 2 years, I hate the idea of a long drawn out war and the possibility of all that mess. The "Go Long" plan is what they are calling a hybrid mix and seems to make the most sense. Although it doesn't change how much I hate this.

In another juicy Post article, posted over at MSNBC, it seems that there is a bitter falling out going on in the Republican party. Imagine that! It seems that the President has friends that are dropping him. Kenneth Adelman, who had at one time toasted the Prez and Dick Cheney for their successes and Iraq policy is now no longer speaking to any of them. He had a huge falling out with Rumsfeld, no longer speaks to Cheney and holds the Prez responsible for what he calls, "The debacle in Iraq". He further went on to say,"....this did not have to be managed this bad. It's just awful. There are a lot of lives lost". Seems that more and more the people from his own camp are taking off the rose colored glasses. A sad wake-up call, don't you think?

I guess I am just not ready to jump on the Obama band wagon. People are just crazy. They get an idea in their head and just run with it. Sen. Obama may be the "flavor du jour", but I am not ready to vote for the man for President. Yes, he is dynamic and a great speaker, but not experienced enough for me. Now, that may not be a bad thing when you consider career politicians. I intend to get one of his books to read over Christmas break. I am sure he is very intelligent, as he comes across that way, but he may need a little more experience under his belt.

All you golfers out there may want to add these to your holiday wish list. I guess these types of things are for those who have everything!! What say ye golfers out there?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Immunizations, Test Scores, Assessments & Then Some

Found out, last night at orientation, that if you cannot locate your records and you were born after 1957 you have to go get the MMR immunization and a TB test. So, in order to schedule my clinical time, at the hospital, I have to get to the health dept. and get immunized. Another glitch in the matrix. Just something else to take up time and a few bucks!! No way out of it though. Just got my flu shot. I am going to feel like a pin cushion!

After the 1 1/2 hour orientation we had to go over to the school and take our two tests. 109 questions in all. I was VERY nervous. I almost felt that I had "over studied". Any of you familiar with that feeling? Like you just studied too much. I was afraid that I had forgot everything. Not to mention that I was very tired. I had had 5 shots of espresso in a beverage, at coffee mega giant, before going to the hospital. Towards the end of these tests I was getting so muddled and just felt that I had totally F'd up. Got a 94% on airways and a 93% on Cardiac care & AED. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not even enough exclamation points can tell you how amazed and relieved I was. I also received my certification, from American Heart Assoc., for Healthcare Provider. Good until 2008. Excellent night all around.

Although our chunks of time at the hospital have to be 4 hours and we also have to do a total of 6 patient assessments during that time. One has to be pediatric. A little more than I had anticipated. I thought we would just be doing vital signs and watching. Okay, this should be fun in addition to my coffee work time. We'll see. Looking forward to the time off for Thanksgiving holiday. No class on the 22nd or 25th.

I'm actually going to try and find a book today, "Finding the Deep River Within" by Abby Seixas. Saw the end of her interview on some show and thought I might like to read it. Another of those books for overwrought, over worked women. Not enough time for self as we are always busy etc. Although I am not sure that I have time to go buy it, let alone read it!! HA!

I am also on worry watch as my Beagle may be on his last leg. I have thought this before as Burt is old. A pound pup. He is somewhere in his teens. Old fella. Has lots of problems, but these past 2 days he has not been well. I did not sleep much last night. between thinking about the hospital and the dog. I have to wrok at the coffee place today, not until 5, and so I may try to nap in there. Somewhere in between errands and laundry and cleaning and............

What was that book I was thinking about getting?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Yin - Yang

The person who is on the path that is straight and plumb, seeking knowledge with a true heart. Basically that is the literal translation. I had a friend, who has studied Chinese for 2 years, draw the symbol for me. I wanted something that would represent my quest for balance and harmony in my life. A worthy goal.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Falling Hurts

Unfortunatly part of the weekend, with my mom, involved falling down. Happily it wasn't her, but sad to say that it was me!! Falling is not fun. Especially when you are falling on asphalt!!

We were at the grocery store getting yummies to enjoy while watching a movie. Nothing like some wine, yummies and a chick flick with mom.

We were walking to the car. I had a paper bag in my left arm, a plastic bag with the wine and beer in my right hand. Mom was carrying a paper bag and walking to my right and just a few steps behind me. next thing I know I am falling. Left arm is not able to stop the fall because of the bag. So I hit the parking lot VERY hard. Full weight on left knee and some weird arm/shoulder hit. Right palm got some road rash. It did hurt!

As my mom is laughing and asking what happened I watch a soliatery can of beer go rolling across the parking lot. Nice. Who looks like a drunk? Even better when some elderly lady picks it up and walks it back over and sits it next to me on the ground!!

I got up, but could feel the roadrash under my jeans and the knee already hurt like hell. Got home and opened the bottle of wine, a Lindeman Shiraz, and watched "The Lake House" with my mom. Can't go wrong with a nice wine, pizza and Keanu Reeves. Talent be damned, I just like to look at him. I have found that he has and continues to age very nicely.

Now, on Monday, the knee is all black and blue and other assorted colors that one would associate with a bruise. I gave away all my shifts at coffee mega giant except Thursday night and Sunday. I have a very huge test on Wed. 109 questions over cardiac arrest and airways. Much material and I am going to study for several days. we are also meeting at the hospital, on Wed., to get all of our info about signing up for our hours there and the paperwork involved etc.

SO has returned from Oman and brought back great newspapers to read from that part of the world. So much better than the stuff we get here. More news as well as balanced and complete. Also some excellent photos of his camel trip into the desert. Sand and jewelry.

I am also excited that I might be able to actually read some papers this week and catch up with politics. In the meantime I rely on you guys to keep me up to date!!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Weekend With Mom


My mom is spending the weekend and already it has been an adventure!! I have class from 9-4 today and she is going to go visit a freind, but I am sure there will be plenty to talk about after she goes home. Also, SO is returning form Oman sometime tonight. Busy, busy weekend!!

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Junk Drawer

Wow! It has been 8 days since I last sat down and put any thoughts out in the cyber-blog world. Yes, I have been very tired and working WAY too much and drinking WAY too much coffee. I was feeling like crap physically. Eating too much processed sugar, at work, along with the coffee. I was a zombie!! So I went to the health food store, where I usually get my vitamins and herbs and decided to find something that might help with the fatigue, cut out the white flour foods and cut back subsatntially on the coffee and added water and also tea back in to the equation. I have felt much better for the past few days

I also got someone to pick up a few of my shifts at the coffee mega giant and so I have the next 5 days off. I will still have school, but no work and that will make for a nice 5 days. I have a very important test on Saturday over airways that has a huge amount of info and then on Monday night a big 109 question test over the last several chapters. We are also meeting at the hospital, on Monday, to get the info on how to begin scheduling our hours in the ER etc. I also have to go out and try to find appropriate black shoes and pants for the ER.

I was sitting at the coffee mega giant, doing what else but having coffee before my scheduled shift, and reading the paper when someone noticed the political button on my lapel and said to me,"Well, you must be happy today". I did not know them, but I said, "Why yes, I am." I was and am very happy with the election results, now I just hope that people will begin to make some positive change, especially here in Ohio. The people have spoken in Ohio and like Ted Strickland said, "It's time for change!" Jon Stewart did a great bit on the breakup of Britney and Kevin Federline and GW and Rumsfeld.

I really feel out of the loop. I have been reading a great deal of news, but have just not had the time or energy to post about anything. I hope to remedy that this weekend. Even though my mom is coming up to spend the weekend, and I will need to take her out to a movie. It will also, more than likely, be something that she wnats to see, which is fine, but not necessarily what I might like to see. This is what we do with moms. I have a feeling that it will be Russell Crowe's new movie.

I am also giving some advance thoughts to my birthday in January. I have been looking at packages to New York to see a Broadway show & hotel. I have a best friend from high school who has lived there for many, many years and we could do stuff as well. very pricey though, so I am not sure if that will pan out,, but I am so un-anamored with my friends right now I do not even want to spend any time with them. That is another story for another time.

I also got a new tattoo yesterday. Left ankle area. Yin-Yang symbol with the Chinese characters that literally are talking about harmony, but translate to something about the person on the path that is staright and plum, with a true heart. All in accoprdance with my Tai-Chi practice and desire to make my life more harmonious. A life goal, but one that I do not believe that many achieve.

Well, I have now emptied out a bit of the junk drawer. A little of this and a little of that. It is still full of other crap, but alas.... that is for another day.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Sometimes it is amazing when karma, or whatever, chance maybe will just play out in strange and unusual ways. I was driving to class the other night when several things happened and made me think over these last few days.

As I was stopped at a traffic light I happened to look down and notice that my odometer read 142,000 miles. Then at that same moment, I kid you not, the song that was playing on the radio was Switchfoot and the lyrics, "This is your life. Are you where you want to be? This is your life. Is it everything you dreamed it would be? When the world was younger and you had everything to lose."

Well I just about froze and my mind just began to whirl. If my car had that much mileage on it that means that I do as well. Wow!! So, in a car that we have had for about 8 years that means I have about 10,900 miles a year on myself!! I wonder how that stacks up to other people and their "life mileage"?

Then I started to ponder this thought some more as I listened to the words of the song. Am I where I want to be and was this the life I had imagined. The big question is also am I who I want to be. All very heady stuff.

Yes, this is my life. Have I recconciled myself to that thought? I guess I have. There were many years that I bemoaned my life and just hated the paths that I was going down. I guess I have said to myself more than once these days that this IS my life and I will do what I want with it. There are people who question my life choices, especially now that I seem to be making some unusual changes, but to them I say this IS my life and why settle when you can do whatever you want. Why settle. I can make any changes at any time. Yes, there are times that I wish that I had known all these things earlier, but there's nothing stopping me now. There were those, and still are, who were not very encouraging as I decided to take this EMT course and they almost dissuaded me from doing so, but I kept true to myself and said yes I am taking this class and making these changes.

It's not everything I dreamed of, but is anyones? I had dreams of being in theatre and an actress, but obviously that did not come true, except... those years that I was teaching and now that I am greeting and working with the public at the coffee mega giant, these are and were times that allowed me to be "on a stage" if you will. It is quick theatre. I am on and telling jokes and making people laugh in small ways. When I have an audience I am on and no matter if I am "famous" for it or not people enjoy the conversation etc. and they remember me for it. In actuality it is like small stand up comedy. That is my outlet and it soothes that desire from my youth.

I think that we all have mileage and some of the road was smooth and there were probably potholes and slippery surfaces along the trip. There were trips that I wish I had not taken and vacation moments that I will never forget. Am I where I want to be? I guess I am right now, otherwise I am not sure where I might be. Granted, there are times that I wish I was somewhere else, but in the end I know that my vehicle would bring me back here.