Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Switching Coasts...

Today my sister is moving from New York to San Francisco.

I always thought how cool it would be to just pick up and move from one city to another. How cool it would be to experience two of my favorite cities as a resident instead of just a tourist. How cool it would be to say that I lived in both cities.

Here are my pessimistic/realistic ideas:

#1- What a pain it is to move. I have moved four times in the past two years. It bites. Besides that, I had the blessing of a car in which to pack my few belongings and move down the street or even across town. I can't imagine packing all of my stuff up, mailing it across the country, and hoping that nothing breaks, nothing is lost, and nothing is stolen. Getting on a plane with nothing but a suitcase and hoping that all of my possessions will be waiting for me when I get there.

#2- How scary it would be to move to a foreign city. April was born in the bay area and has frequented San Francisco...but I don't know. It's a big change no matter how familiar you are with the area.

After pondering these two ideas I came up with a solution...April is my hero. This is such an enormous change, such a huge adjustment, but she has her head held high and is optimistic. She has this amazing ability to see adventure where I see disaster. She has found clarity where I can only see chaos and unknown. April has such strength and such charisma, probably more that she is aware of. I fully believe that April will take San Francisco by storm as she has already done with New York. I have no doubt that April will find San Francisco to be her calling, her home. I love April because she is who I want to be. I want to have the courage to make a life changing decision and be confident that the choice is right! I want to have the ability to walk into a new city, or even new situation, and come out of it with friends, knowledge, and experiences worth blogging about.

I know this has turned into a blog about how much I admire my sister, and I am glad. I am so proud of her. I am so proud of who she is. I only hope that one day I can move closer to her...maybe San Francisco?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

All Right. Who stole my appendix?

I have been having some medical issues for which I recently visited the doctor. As she poked and prodded my abdomen, I felt an excruciating pain as she pressed on my right side. "Oh," she exclaimed," does that hurt?" She pushed again and the searing sensation resurfaced. "Yeah," I responded. "It's a little tender there." The doctor sent me to get an ultrasound of my abdomen to rule out appendicitis.
As I lay on the exam table, the woman conducting my ultrasound explained to me "what exactly we were looking at." She glided the sticky gel around and landed on my uterus. "OK, here is your uterus. I see that there are no congratulations in order. Your right ovary looks good, your liver is great, your gall bladder is pristine, your kidneys are wonderful, and your appendix is missing."
"Missing?" So, I restate my question. Who stole my appendix?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Reasons I LOVE Arkansas!

I recently returned from a four day, fun-filled trip to Bentonville, Arkansas. Andy (my darling boyfriend) and I jovially boarded the plane and took off...destination: Tulsa. Bentonville is such a small place that you need to fly into the largest nearby metropolis: Tulsa. You could pay extra to fly into Fayetteville...but really. Who wants to do that?

OK, here are the reasons I love Arkansas.

1. The accent. The dialect of Northwest Arkansas is not the cute little drawl made famous by Scarlett O'Hara and other Southern Belles. No, Arkansas has a thick drawl that is reminiscent of the movie "Deliverence." This accent is what you might imagine if a conversation floats around to imbreeding or broken down cars parked on lawns in front of a home. This is a drawl that just screams "I AM A SHIT KICKER." It truly is the best. It makes me swoon.

2. Fine Family entertainment! During our trip, Andy and I went to two major attractions in Northwest Arkansas. One is Silver Dollar City (SDC as referred to by my dad). Silver Dollar City is a small amusement park built completely on the side of a mountain. It is great fun between the roller coasters and family friendly shows. This year they were featuring the Circus on ICE! That's right, folks! What's better than bumbling clowns? Bumbling clowns on ice skates! And we saw the show in all its glory. OK, the show was nothing to write home about, but SDC in itself is great fun! We were happy to endure the 102 degree heat because we just loved it so much. In addition to SDC, we went to a good old fashioned JAMBOREE (hoedown, if you will). The jamboree was filled with country music, some gospel, a little rock'n'roll (very little), and all the humor you could ask for. Half way through the show a door prize was given away. Guess who won? I DID! I won the highly coveted paper hat that is so versatile you can wear it in TWO different styles! Also, to have a true jamboree/hoedown, one MUST pay tribute to any possible veterans that are inevitably sitting in the audience. This tribute always includes a few patriotic songs, recognition of veterans, a display of Old Glory, and the necessity for everyone in the audience to rise in respect. Brilliant. The show was good. It's the whole patriotic part that makes it a little awkward.

3. Southern homestyle cooking. This is the food that sticks to your ribs and produces the severely obese people tooting around Wal*Mart in a motorized cart. We went to Lambert's (home of the throwed roll). This particular restaurant prides itself on large portions and (you guessed it) thrown rolls. As you sit at a table with a drink cup designed for Sasquatch you roll out the paper towels in preparation for your meal. Then the waitress brings your skillet. That's right...the skillet holds the meal of chicken fried steak, sketchy seafood, or any other deep fried that tickles your fancy. After devouring the delicious heart attack, you roll yourself out and attempt to fit into a seatbelt.

All joking aside, I had a fantastic trip and I will definately do it again...next year.

Friday, August 3, 2007

National Watermelon Day!

Did you know that August 3rd is National Watermelon Day? I didn't either! Once I found out, I decided that my class will be eating watermelon, playing games, and having an all around FABULOUS time! Great. So, this was planned two months ago and I had forgotten about it until yesterday. Procrastination worked for me in college, it will certainly work for me now! This morning I woke up early to go purchase the watermelons for my classes today. At seven AM I strolled into WAL*MART (yeah, yeah. boo. hiss. whatever. good prices) with puffy eyes and a "none to pleased" look on my face. I grabbed a cart (of course the one that inevitably pulls to the left) and went in search of some beautiful watermelons. I walked through the front door and was greeted by the cheery 100-something greeter. "Good Morning and Welcome to WAL*MART!" I grumbled something in reply obviously irritated that this geezer is so damn chipper in the morning. I steered my cart to the watermelons and hoisted four large melons into my cart. Because I was tired, my mind wandered and I had two amusing thoughts.

1. One of my favorite scenes from "Dirty Dancing." Baby enters a private dance where people are "dirty dancing." When asked why she was there she replies, "I carried a watermelon." I imagined the chipper old geezer asking why I was buying four watermelons so early in the morning. "Because I am Baby. I want to carry a watermelon," I would reply. "Don't put me in the corner."

2. I also realized how ridiculous I looked. Who buys several watermelons at 7AM? ME. The procrastinator.

After I stared at the watermelons for God knows how long, I snapped out of my trance (again, really tired) and walked to check out. I got in line behind a man and began glancing at the stupid tabloids at the checkout aisle.

"What do you need all these bananas for?" asked the grating voice from behind the counter. The man mumbled something and I looked up to see that he had not one bundle, not two bundles, but EIGHT bundles of bananas. He walked away looking grumpy and sleepy.

I approached the cash register. The same grating voice asked, "Who buys a ton of bananas at 7AM?"

I smiled and thought, a procrastinator like me.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Nothin' like a demotivator to kick you when you're down

My job is frustrating...as is every one's, I'm sure. I used to work with juvenile delinquents as a, more or less, glorified babysitter, if you will. That prestigious line of work hold the title of a Mental Health Worker. About a month and a half ago (when I was a mental health worker), I was in danger of harm (physically, emotionally, etc) daily. My job was to watch the kids (hence the 'babysitting' part) and to keep the well paid people around me safe. If a kid was angry, it was my position to sacrifice myself so the "important" people remained comfortable in their respective surroundings. I was once told by a person in power that I was expendable. If I didn't like what was happening to me, I was free to quit and there would be ten others ready to fill my place. I was payed to take the hit. I know. Charming place.

Here are a few thoughts that display my feelings toward management...

Flattery: If you want to get to the top, prepare to kiss a lot of bottom. I have found that if you are a large man, it doesn't matter if you beat the patients. If you have a penis and a smile, it is impossible for you to get fired where I work.

Intimidation: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent, but you'd be a fool to withhold that from your superiors. One of my favorite parts of a meeting is to walk in and have superiors stare at you as if you were some piece of gum that was scraped off his/her shoe. That is always pleasant. It makes me feel like a winner!

Pressure: It can turn a lump of coal into a flawless diamond--or an average person into a perfect basket case. I was, on occasion, 'talked to' for instances about the wrong time on an important document, for not consequencing harsh enough, or for misspelling a patient's name. Interesting that when the large men decide to rip ears off of patients, allow patients to escape, or let patients break rules, they only get 'talked to' as well.

Sacrifice: Your role may be thankless, but if you're willing to give your all, you just might bring success to those who outlast you. I have nothing more to add to this. This signifies any hard worker at my establishment. The people who give a damn about the patients often sacrifice their/our sanity to compensate for the lack of care shown by our superiors.

Worth: Just because you're necessary doesn't mean you're important. This little fact was made very clear in my discussion (or argument) with my boss. The mental health worker is very necessary, but if they were important they would be paid a hell of a lot more than the pitiful salary that is reality.

Finally, Burnout: Attitudes are contagious. Mine might kill you. This is the watch cry muttered in unison by the hard workers here. We shoulder burdens that are not our own and put up with crap and illegalities that should not be tolerated.

This was my attitude a month and a half ago. Unfortunately, my attitude today is a small version of where a was then. I am frustrated with what people get away with. I want to yell out "I come to work! I follow the rules! I am an asset to this company! I do what is asked of me with no complaint! I am not a flake! I do nothing illegal! I deserve more than this!"

Tomorrow, I'm sure this attitude will subside. As for now, I just felt like venting. To those of you who can relate, you are not alone.