Monthly Archives: April 2010

Well, At Least I Have Options.


So, I didn’t get that full time position I was hoping for.  It was down to me and one other person, and the other person got it.  Probably they had more nursing experience than I do, which is to say “any nursing experience at all.”  The person who interviewed me could not have been nicer, and while I’m really kinda bummed, I’m also glad I have other options.

I was unable to stay up all night studying for my drug test — and many thanks to those of my friends who suggested I do so — due to having a sick kid on my hands.  (The elder spawn woke up suddenly hollering and blubbering with what later became fairly clear was a rapid and unpleasant stomach virus.  She is still running a temperature but appears to be doing all right now.)  Nonetheless, I managed to pee in the cup with fair accuracy and will probably begin orientation at oncall position #1 in about a week.

Tomorrow I will have orientation at the other oncall position that I accepted, and Saturday I’ll be instructed in How Not To Get Beaten Up By Patients.  Always an exciting subject! And one dear to my heart, as Not Getting Beaten Up is among my very top priorities in life, particularly at work.

On a completely unrelated topic, it is raining to beat hell outside right now, like blowing-sideways-gullywasher-rainstorming.   The Very Loud Frogs that live a street over are singing their approval of the weather.  I love this place in the spring.


Employ me, O I implore you


So, I’ve taken an oncall position — thus earning me the right to say, I Am An Employed RN.  Never mind that I haven’t started.  I pee in the cup tomorrow.

There’s a lot of peeing in cups when you’re looking for a job as a nurse.  I’m okay with that since I am not particularly interested in abusing substances (other than chocolate which is still perfectly legal).  They teach us in nursing school that nurses are at somewhat higher risk than the general public for substance abuse issues due to high stress, availability of substances, etc.  This doesn’t frighten me a whole lot since as I said, it’s not interesting to me.  I don’t even take most of the painkillers actually prescribed to me.  And I’m one of those people who hates to get in trouble.  God, I’m a pain in the ass goody two shoes…

Today I’m supposed to be getting a call from another place that is going to offer me a position.  Not sure what kind of position, or the salary, but I’m supposed to attend an orientation on Wednesday which does inspire a certain amount of confidence that I will be offered a position. ~~Update: I am now an oncall at this place too, which is what they hire new nurses at. Yay me! ~~

And I’ve begun the complicated and arcane application process at the local VA hospital, which involves calling someone, getting an email, filling part of it out and submitting it online, then printing the attachments out (including the one you filled out online) and submitting the hard copies by mail with your transcripts (if your GPA was above 3.5, which mine was YAY ME)  and a note from your mother.  (Okay, not the note from your mother.  I was just kidding about that.)  Then you wait for the powers that be to decide you are worthy, as with any other application process.  I’m thinking of lighting some candles, burning some incense, doing a little mojo dance, whatever it takes.

You know that “nursing shortage” they’re always talking about?  Yeah, not so much around here, where there are several nursing schools churning out new grads every three months, and not so much right now with the Current Economic Climate being what it is, i.e. a giant wad of crapola.  Hospitals all want you to have a year of  acute care experience but nobody will hire you to get the experience you have to have to get hired….

Nonetheless, I am employed, and perhaps full time employment will be forthcoming.  Kindly cross your fingers and spit into the wind for me, or whatever it is you people do.  You’ll be glad you did!  Or at least I will.

Eight Lives Left Apiece!


We adopted these two kittens last fall.  A black one who turned out to be a hefty brute, he came prenamed by the Humane Society as “Tank,” which we kept for his name.  And a black and white tuxedo who we named Healz (this is a gratuitous World of Warcraft reference, for you non-dorks, and is riotously funny to gamers but befuddling to the common muggle).

A few weeks after we acquired these little darlings, Tank’s curiosity got the better of him and he spent an exciting few minutes learning what the inside of a tumbling dryer looks like.  And feels like.  I recall standing by the washer sorting another load, having just started the dryer to fluff for a minute or two, thinking to myself “Hunh.  Wonder what’s in the dryer making that ka-thumpa, ka-thumpa sound?  I don’t remember putting anything in there that — OH CRAP!”

He more or less defined the term “dazed and confused” for a little while after that but eventually recovered his mojo and no permanent harm done.  I swear that kink was already in his tail when we got him.

Today it was Healz’s turn.  We returned home from some creaky post-Helga swimming and as I prepared to retire to the bed to read the last bit of a juicy Terry Pratchett paperback, Rhonda told me how the cat had just come in from outside and was all wet and looked really angry.  I went to have a look at him — he was furiously chowing on kibble at the time, which I later surmised to be to get the taste out of his mouth.  The taste of whatever the hell he was covered in.  It smelled like kerosene, or some other dank and horrible petroleum derivative.

Rhonda called the vet, and poor Healz was re-introduced to the cat carrier (“Oh cool, what’s this?  And why are you stuffing me into it headfirst? HEY I DID NOT AUTHORIZE –“)  and he and I sped to the clinic, where he was introduced to the bath, the IV, and the complete loss of any dignity he might have had left.  We are now obligated to syringe allegedly chicken-flavored famotidine and sucralfate into him for the next few days to protect his digestive tract from any of this mystery substance that he might have ingested.

We have no idea what he might have gotten into, and it never occurred to me that someone might have doused him with this substance in order to then set him on fire, but this possibility was raised by a friend after I posted on Facebook about it.  I hope so much that that wasn’t the case, but I am so mystified by how he could have gotten covered in kerosene if not by someone pouring it on him.  I’m so glad he made it home all right.

He spent the greater part of the afternoon clinging to me and purring.  I wore him like a greasy stole as I sat at my laptop, and if my shirt is stained I do not mind.  So far he seems to be all right.

Fresh Hell


So it turns out that all personal trainers are just replicants fashioned after a prototype I like to call Helga.  Helga is from East Cherman Svim Team and eats nothing but fiber and protein, sleeps six hours a night exactly, and takes invigorating plunges into icy rivers to build character. She bounds around in stretchy form-fitting clothing expounding the virtues of cardio and can hardly wait each day to torment unsuspecting innocents introduce new gym members to the joys of fitness.

Our new trainer at La Fitness (it’s French!) is male and African American, yet I will still refer to him as Helga because he is obviously cut of the same cloth.  Neither I nor the Ol’ Ball and Chain can bend at the waist right now, and I see fistfuls of ibuprofen in our future.

Okay, all kidding aside, Helga totally kicked our asses today — and he was just ASSESSING us.

Pray for us, internets…



The elder spawn came home from kindergarten today with a “5 Senses Notebook.”  There were places to draw pictures of things, for instance on a page of things you can hear she drew a boom box, labeled “STEREO,” and some stick people wearing party hats, labeled “PRTEE.”

Under things you can taste she drew “DOHNUT,” “ICE CREAM,” “WET THINS,” and — drum roll please: a little round brownish thing labeled “BOGRS.”

Raining, Pouring


So, I’m a nurse.  I’m a new nurse, still all shiny in the package, shrink wrap hasn’t even been cracked yet.  I’m a new nurse (licensed in January) who needs a job.

Okay, needed a job.  Because today I got two job offers within about 90 minutes.

One job is oncall at an inpatient alcohol/drug program, and the other is at a private psychiatric hospital.  That one may be full time although I won’t know for a while.  And I’m still waiting for word on another position for which I am in the final cut as far as candidacy goes.

So, a hundred years ago in my misspent youth I decided I would NEVER be a nurse.

Then I went to nursing school, and said that I would NEVER work in mental health.

Now I’m saying that I’m NEVER going to be a filthy rich world traveling misanthrope.

Just sayin’.

Marital Bliss


Or, How I Spent My Wedding Day and Honeymoon.


1.  Drop miscellaneous Collective Spawn at respective destinations: school, babysitter, preschool.

2. Drop by bank to notarize paperwork.

3. Drive to state capitol, turn in paperwork to Secretary of State’s office.  While waiting, peruse applications for other romantic occasions such as obtaining business licenses.

4. Wait for different clerk when first clerk informs us that he cannot help us because (and how he said this with a straight face is beyond me) he does not have “the right equipment,” i.e. the machine that prints cards.

5. Meet second clerk, hand over paperwork and identification and fifty dollars cash American.  Titter madly to one another about the first clerk and his “equipment.”

6. Receive swanky certificates (suitable for framing) and WALLET CARDS.  Take that, straight people!  You may have twice the rights we do but do you get WALLET CARDS? I think not!  Although personally I think they should have barcodes on them so we can get discounts at Home Depot (lesbians) or Pottery Barn (gay men) or Starbucks (both).

7. Rush back to Vancouver, collect spawn, cake, and breath, and hit Gigantic Indoor Climbing Structure ™ for youngest child’s 3rd birthday party.

8. Complete party, return to domicile, and madly clean kitchen as unexpected in-laws mill about.  Bonus: houseguest and father-in-law complete assembly of 12′ trampoline and enclosure.  Supervise children on trampoline.  Shovel exhausted children into beds.

9. Pass out.


10. Awaken at 7:30am and begin preparations for older girls’ Hip Hop Dance Class, i.e. Synchronized Seizures For Children.  Drop spawn off at respective exes’ and drive to Portland for funeral of BFF from high school’s father.  Fight PMS-and-emotionally-induced tears unsuccessfully.  Sniffle into kleenex.  Eat lunch at expensive restaurant, and toast Poppa’s life with (single) alcoholic beverage.  Drive back to Vancouver.

11. Freshen up and shop for party favors.  Receive call that oldest spawn has fallen and is injured.  Race home for insurance card and drive to ER.  Find child with ex and provide comfort and reassurance during xrays and splinting of broken arm.  Purchase ibuprofen and other items and drop them at ex’s while ex takes spawn out for McDonalds (and highly-sought-after Happy Meal toy).

12.  Arrive at one’s own party an hour late.  Drink moderately in the company of friends, acquaintances, and drag queens.  Eat of cake.  Endure karaoke.  Laugh and enjoy the well-wishes of friends.

13. Be driven home by friends.  Pass out.


1. Sleep most of day.

2. Accept ride from friend to pick up cars downtown.  Yay for responsible consumption of alcohol!

3. Grill steaks and play WoW.

4. Pass out.

Cold Feet


So, I’m getting married tomorrow.

Well, as married as the law currently allows in the state of Washington.

Me and the Ol’ Ball and Chain are heading up to Olympia to register our partnership.  And while this is important and to be celebrated, it’s hardly a romantic occasion, considering that our options for registration are to appear in person and turn the forms in (along with our check for fifty dollars cash American) or submit them via the US Postal Service.  Soon to be available by internet!  So this reminds me more of renewing my driver’s license than of declaring my undying love for another.  But, it will grant us some important (albeit limited and not nearly comprehensive as that of a heterosexual couple getting married, not that I’m bitter) rights, and symbolically it’s pretty groovy, so off we go.

We do plan to have a real wedding, a church wedding if you can imagine, with like dresses and flowers and all that happy stuff.  But we’re saving up for it so we can do it right, and thus it won’t happen this year.

As for cold feet, the only ones I have are from assembling a trampoline for the kids in the back yard until it got chilly out.

Spis that sneck


So my daughter Delia is five now, nearly six, and stepdaughters are Madeline-just-about-to-turn-three (really, just in a few days, so close) and Molly-five-in-July.

Today we are loafing about the house, since Mama and Rhonda went to see Storm Large last night and are currently feeling a bit tired.  This is because we are elderly and can’t handle staying up late, and also because neither of us got much sleep in the day or two before the show, but that’s beside the point.  The point it is that it was STORM LARGE and we had to go, or else wither away and die.

The older girls are playing Spy, which means Delia brings me a note.  “WE R SPIS THAT SNECK.”  I write on it, “I love spies that sneak!  Can I be a spy too?”  The reply comes: “YES YOU CAN!” (This whole learning to read and write thing is endlessly charming.  Last week she wrote on the back of a coloring page: USA I LOVE YOU.  BUT I AM SAD I LOST MY VIKEEN HAT.)

Now I am obligated to feed the children their breakfast, and then play some kind of Spy Game, which will probably be something along the lines of me hiding an object somewhere and drawing a map or giving clues or both for the girls to find it.  Since I can’t really have them spying on the household, we’ll just go with the secondary occupation of all spies which evidently involves treasure hunting.