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21st Century Lesbian Trailer Trash

These are the mad musings of a middle aged woman, dyke, nurse, poet. I have a dog, a cat, a mobile home, and delusions of grandeur.

Name:
Location: California, United States

Friday, September 30, 2005

Quadrant I versus Quadrant II

I have a love-hate relationship with Fridays. I love Friday because I get 2 days off. I hate Fridays for a variety of reasons.

1. Everyone wants a piece of me because I will be gone for 2 days.
2. I have to jimmy the schedule together with spit and glue and hope it holds until Monday morning. If it doesn't, I could conceivably be forced to go back in before Monday.
3. I have to consider the mountain that will be awaiting me on Monday morning.
4. I have to flagellate myself about all of the things I should do over the weekend but probably won't do because I will be too tired.
5. I start taking bets with myself as to how many phone calls I will receive from the nurses and what percentage of said calls will yank me out of a deep sleep between midnight and 6 a.m.

Still. It's 2 days of mostly me time. This weekend I will be considering Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Our corporation is requiring all administrative personnel to attend the workshop. We had the first half this past week. Much to my surprise, I am deeply into the 4 Quadrants.

Covey posits that there are 4 quadrants to life in general. Quadrant I is urgent and important. Quadrant II is not urgent but important. Quadrant III is urgent but not important. Quadrant IV is neither important nor urgent. In fact, QIV consists of time wasters like television and excessive computer time.

I take some umbrage with QIV simply because some of the best people I know, I met in Computer Land. But that's not my area of focus right now. At the moment, I am trying to figure out how to get out of QI and spend the bulk of my time in QII; not just at work but in my life.

I have visions of an uncluttered desk, a calm workday, a clean home, and all bills payed on time. Visions of a healthy body and a healthy mind. Visions of Me Time that is not fraught with shoulda, coulda, woulda, and still hafta.

Can NursePam keep her head out of the clouds long enough to get there? Stay tuned.


Kinja, the weblog guide

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Sad, Sad, Sad

It's a sad thing when the black hole of cyberspace eats one's brilliant thoughts and ideas. 30 minutes worth of my brilliance just got lost in that black hole.

And so dear reader, you will have to wait at least one more day to see what pearls of wisdom might fall from my brain and onto these pages. I should have used the Word option.

Kinja, the weblog guide

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Paranoia

Anyone out there who has the slightest hint of paranoia, raise your hands.

I work with schizophrenics. I like to repeat that old saw, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get you." It always gets a laugh. Believe me. Paranoid schizophrenics are well aware of this. As a group, they are just as smart as anyone else.

We have lots to pick from. The government. The Iraqis. Terrorists in general. Big business. Hurricanes. Floods. Earthquakes. Your next door neighbor. I prefer to keep my paranoia local rather than global. Global paranoia is simply too big for me to handle.

My paranoia usually centers around the work place. It's the only space where I can manage my paranoia. And in my business, it pays to be paranoid. I don't trust my boss. Then again, who in their right mind would ever trust the boss?

Oh. Wait. I am the boss. One of them any way. Second in command as it were. But no matter who you are, there is always someone else standing one rung above you on the ladder of corporate hoo haw.

Yesterday I told my boss I was paranoid. She told me she was paranoid too. She lives in terror that I will quit. Damn that felt good! I said to her, "Maybe a grrl needs to hear that every six months or so."

Apparently I can put my paranoia away for a few days. But no so far away that I can't grab onto it should the need arise.



Kinja, the weblog guide

Monday, September 26, 2005

Intimacy Anyone?

One of my nurses wanted to give me a special ring tone. I told her to use Rainy Days and Mondays. It seemed fitting at the time. I probably ought to have picked Desperado.

Right now it is Monday morning and my eyes are stuck together. When I was 23, this meant I had spent a hard weekend of beer, parties, and gratuitous sex.

These days, it just means that I am over 50 and have not had enough sleep. Gratuitous sex at 23 btw, was with men. Today it would be with women but right now I don't have any volunteers. I remember an older woman I used to see around the SOL meetings (Slightly Older Lesbians). Her most memorable line was "I just want to find an old lady who will let me massage her feet."

I could go for that. But I seem to have intimacy issues. A psychiatrist once told me that I had an attachment disorder. He saw me exactly one time. For 15 minutes. My sister would disagree. She says that my basic problem with relationships is that I become too attached. I never let go. Therefore, I have difficulty moving forward.

Sis may be right. I still carry a torch for Bill. And Jerry. And Lois. That was my 20's, 30's, and 40's. There were others in between but they were merely plugs in the dike. (Pun absolutely intended). But for a single lesbian, I have an abysmal love life record.

One would think that we dykes would be out trawling the bars, looking for love in all the wrong places. The problem is that in lesbian bars, things aren't much different than in straight bars. So I stay home and watch CSI with my dog. She just may be my most long lasting relationship in life. The Dyke and her little Dudette.

It's possible that the ex-housemate is my best example of how my relationships work. She is heterosexual and depressed. We spent almost 6 years under the same roof with her budding juvenile delinquent daughter. She slept and I played on the computer. We could not have an honest conversation about what was going on in the house. Every time I tried to confront and issue, she said I had a problem. That's the trouble with living with a social worker.

I gave up. I shut my mouth and tried to live a separate life while she slept or gambled at the casinos. Now she's in jail. She stole 125,000 dollars from an old lady in the nursing home where she worked. I hadn't a clue. Not having a clue was a good thing in this instance. Had I known, I would have lost my nursing license.

Relationships aren't bad. I know this. But I do pick wildly dysfunctional people to hang out with. I think this means that I am wildly dysfunctional. Maybe being single isn't such a bad thing if one is that screwed up when it comes to other people.

I remain, humbly yours, Clueless in Southern California.


Kinja, the weblog guide

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Heart of A Woman

It's true that the internet is crawling with crazies. Pedophiles, psychotics, and garden variety personality disorders and sociopaths simply out to take advantage of unsuspecting people. However, I do not believe it is anything more than a mirror on the world at large. In other words, most of the people I encounter on the net are good and honest people.

For almost 4 years I hosted and co-hosted a lesbian message board. It had its ups and downs but it is a community of amazing women. My heart still belongs to Lesbian Life. But I am finding more pearls of humanity on the world wide web by entering the secret life of blogging.

I don't wish to burden you with the saga of my childhood abuse. Just for the record, I don't think it has much if anything to do with my lesbian sexuality. But because of that history, I am drawn to kind and gentle men. John Ellsworth is just such a man. I have been reading his lovely, almost poetic pieces on the important people in his life. They do my heart good. They make me remember what matters most in life.

Apparently, John was raised in the Mormon church. I work for Mormon boys. Most of them are sweet, kind and giving. This doesn't mean they lack cojones. It doesn't mean that all of them are my favorite people. It just means that somehow, the Mormons have managed to raise their boys to have a reverence and respect for the human animal.

Another new favorite is Renegade Mom. She is witty, thoughtful, and insightful. She is doing the most important of Life's Jobs; that is, raising her children. I like it when really smart women take child rearing so seriously. It means that there is hope for the world.

I love Crossing the Great Divide with liberalfeministtranniedyke as well. I have known her for a number of years now and I count her as a friend. If I had not known from the beginning, I don't think I would have identified her posts as coming from someone not born a woman. And I guess that's because she was only male by an accident of a genetic blip on the great radar screen of life. Her heart is the heart of a woman. I am not certain just how far along she is in her journey of transition. It doesn't matter. Her courageous struggle has forged an incredible person.

I have found other pearls of the web. Too many to mention here. But it bears noting that the Heart of a Woman is more than just the female heart. Some people decry the feminization of our culture. Without that feminization, I don't think we will survive.

The Heart of a Woman is the Human Heart; strong but gentle, deep and powerful, mighty and protective, reverent and wise. None of us is born with it. We must all, male and female, grow into such a heart.


Kinja, the weblog guide

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Ravings of a Mad Dyke

Warning: "She said she was angry. Why are you all acting surprised when she gets angry?"

The above is a quote from the psychologist who ran a 3 day grief workshop I attended many years ago. It was the first time someone gave me actual permission to have my feelings in a group of people. Generally, if we have negative feelings other than sadness, we are taught to have them in private.

2 days ago, during the morning meeting, I was letting the nurses have it over an issue that is a constant sore spot for me. It's a game called Let's Make More Work for Pam Because We Are Lazy and Don't Give a Shit.

One of the department heads, as usual, had to jump in to say "Whoa! Don't kill the messenger." Mind you I had taken great care to make it clear that it was not the messenger with whom I was perturbed. But this particular woman seems to be afraid of anger. Therefore, she makes it her business to try to manage my feelings. This, of course, makes me more angry. I told her to quit telling me that it was not OK to have my feelings.

Like all strong women, I have a well developed Inner Bitch. I let her out on a regular basis. Mostly because it takes too much energy to keep her under control. At work I call myself the HBIC. That stands for Head Bitch in Charge. I supervise a bevy of Little BITs. That stands for Little Bitch in Training.

It make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to know that I am passing my wisdom on to younger women. I would be happy if I could leave my Bitchiness in my will for my nieces. I would hate to think of them going through life without it.

The world is still a hard place for women. We make less money. We bear and raise the children. We are responsible for making sure the world isn't completely overrun by insanity. In return, we get bruises, black eyes, broken bones, and nasty descriptive words in rap lyrics. We are more likely to be poverty stricken. And we are more likely to retire eating dog food for lunch.

I know all about single dads, poor men, and the inequities of class and race in our culture. Still, poor women are more poor than poor men. I know some beknighted soul out there will fall outside the statistical norm. That will not undo the basic truth of the matter.

None of this means that I want to take anything away from anyone. It just means that I want a more equitable world order. This probably means that I am a communist on some level. From each according to her abilities and to each according to her needs.

I like capitalism. But I shudder to think of a world where more and more children are suffering from poor nutrition, poor health care, and an inadequate educational system. When we are young, most of us love children. When we are older, we begin to see what a truly precious commodity they are. More important than oil. More precious than gold.

This is only one of the reasons that I am angry.



Kinja, the weblog guide

Friday, September 23, 2005

In and Out the Garbage Pail

Thank you Fritz Perls. This entry has little if anything to do with his book on the origin and growth of gestalt therapy. But it has a nice ring to it. Plus, ol' Fritz really had that Santa Claus thing going on. Who doesn't like Santa?

I believe it was Fritz who said "Life is a banquet and most poor bastards are starving to death." Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about that. At any rate, perhaps Fritz does have a bit to do with this post. Gestalt is all about the Big Picture; the Whole Person.

My topic is about getting older. I won't say that I am old yet. That would be an insult to those who have charged on through 20, 30, or even 40 years longer than I. It is true though, that at about 35, the body begins to deteriorate in ways we had not imagined. Here are some examples of what happens by 35 or 40.

If you glance down into a mirror by mistake, it looks like your face just fell off. (Thanks Bea Arthur).
You can't hold your stomach in after downing half a pizza.
You can still party hearty. But it's going to take you 5 days to recover instead of one night.
If you have your toddler in tow, some people will begin to ask if he is your grandchild.
You have probably decided to start covering that gray.
You have to work out 6 nights every week to keep those body parts from going south.

By 50, the situation only worsens:

You realize that if you're going to drink that chocolate shake you had better do it in private because you will fart.
Makeup will not hide those wrinkles.
Everyone knows your hair is gray even if you color it.
You start to notice those brown age spots on your hands.
You actually care that you have a 401k plan and begin to study the stock market.
People who are 49 believe that they were born in a different generation than your own.

For a lesbian, it's not so bad that men stop looking at you as a sexual object. It's the part where people stop thinking of you as a person that drives you mad. If you rent Terminator 2 at the video store, the clerk asks if it's for your son. If you go to lunch with a younger male colleague, chances are the 19 year old waitress will not even look at you. Or worse. I once had a waitress give me the senior discount without even asking me if I was eligible. That was a bad day.

Your friends begin to develop things like congestive heart failure, type 2 diabetes, emphysema, and cancer. Menopause begins to make the rounds with a vengeance. You attend more funerals than weddings.

There is something of an elegant sense to this however. Because you begin to see some Truths about life. Whether or not you have regrets, you understand that you are simply who you are. You begin to ask yourself questions like "When I die, for what will I be remembered?" "What have I done to leave the world a better place?"

If you live long enough, you realize, you will outlive your enemies. This means that you can have the last word. This means you can leave this world laughing.

Kinja, the weblog guide

Thursday, September 22, 2005

How I Came To Be Trailer Trash, Part the First

To begin with, don't ask about the lesbian part. It's a done deal and not nearly as intersting as the trailer trash aspect of my existence. That business began when I was still in college if I remember correctly. This was back in the dark ages before personal computers, lap tops, and acrylic nails.

I attended what has now become my all time favorite film, Harold and Maude. I so loved the film that I saw it at least a half dozen times. In the theater. Because in the dark ages, there was no such thing as cable, a VCR, a DVD, or Hollywood Video.

The person who charmed me most was Ruth Gordon. Other than my grandmother, she was probably the very beginning of my complete and utter fascination with old women. She lived in a delightful little trailer at the end of a pier. I remember thinking that one day I wanted a wildly bohemian place of my own just like Maude's.

It was filled with plants, knick knacks, lace, and copper kettles. Like Maude, it exuded a joy in the richness of Life.

The musical score, by the way, was written and performed by Cat Stevens. "If you wanna be free be free. If you wanna be me be me..." That's the one that has always roamed around my head as I picture Maude liberating the tree from the city sidewalk. I wanted to grow up to be just like her.

I more or less forgot about my dream until my mother and stepfather were killed in a plane crash and inadvertantly left me a small pile of money. I found myself at a mobile home park on the Bay searching for that little trailer. For a variety of reasons it wasn't to be. I continued my forlorn existence of apartment/condominium living.

It was not until I had a pivotal dream about my old age that I returned to my trailer yearnings.

One day I will discuss my dreams and my financial dysfunctions. They are in part related to my current trailer trash existence. But I would never want to mislead anyone. The charm of trailer existence has long been on my mind.


Kinja, the weblog guide

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Treasure Hunt

I love this blogging thing. It makes me feel like a kid again. "Dear Diary. Today, no one kissed me. Well, a couple of people tried to kiss my ass. It's one of the more annoying things that comes with being a boss."

The good news is that the corporate Powers That Be recognized it might not be a great idea to fire the nurse I spoke of in my last entry. It was nothing so romantic as someone developing a conscience. They're afraid of an age discrimination lawsuit. So I'll just keep babysitting her and hope nothing horrible happens to her or to a patient. I expect her to go out on stress or medical leave any day now because of the written warning she received.

Back to the topic at hand. The one person who did kiss me today was my dog. Numerous times. Maggie is a 7 year old Yorkie who has more ailments than Carter's has little liver pills. Because her ailments have all involved her liver or her digestive tract, and because I am a die hard nurse, I have spent a great deal of time inspecting her poop.

Being small dogs, Yorkies have small poops. They are notoriously difficult to housebreak. Part of this is because they are Terriers, a particularly stubborn group of dogs. I think the other reason is that when they are wee one and two pound puppies, you can barely even spot their little pees and poops. And they are so low to the ground you can't really discern that they are squatting to do their bathroom business.

By the time you realize they have soiled your carpet, the kitchen tile into which you just stepped, or the spot in the exact center of the underside of your bed, it's too late. With dogs, you absolutely have to catch them in the act. So, Maggie is housebroken but only in a very loose sort of way. She will use her wee wee pads but sometimes a trip to the center of the living room is fun. Another favorite spot is in my bathroom next to the cat's litter box.

Apparently, in her little brain, the family that pees together, stays together.

Having spent so much time inspecting her poop, I imagine that Maggie believes I find them to be wonderful gifts. And every day she leaves me presents. It has become quite a game. In the morning, I gate her in the kitchen with her doggy bed, her toys, her wee pads, and her fresh water. I tell her to guard the house until I come back. Every night when I come home, Maggie is in the kitchen waiting faithfully by the back door. And somewhere in my house, be it under the coffee table in the living room, next to the dining room table, or next to my bed post, there is a small poop waiting for me.

She delights in this treasure hunt and follows me from room to room at a fast trot, her stubby tail wagging, while I search for my prize. She loves me so much that on occasion, she will pee right on my feet while I am washing dishes or cooking dinner. If you wake up one day and decide you cannot live without a Yorkshire Terrier, don't say I didn't warn you.

Kinja, the weblog guide

Difficult Tasks

I'm something of an avoider. I avoid bills, unpleasant tasks, and relationships. I probably avoid a whole lot of other things but these are the top three on my mind this morning. I am going to be forced into doing something that I hate most. That is, I have to fire an employee.

The company uses the word "terminate." That makes it sound like I'm going to disappear her with my laser beams. Like most corporations today, ours has sanitized the unpleasant things like destroying someone's life. I don't see it as destroying her life. But for at least a time, she will see it that way.

She has worked for this facility for about 18 years. She was once a wonderful nurse. Life, age, and personal tragedy have caused her to begin failing in ways that are now dangerous to the patients as well as to herself. I have been working with her for 2 and 1/2 years on the problems she presents to us. But enough is enough.

Here in Nursedom, we complain a great deal about the Philipino culture. But in the Philipines, she would simply be given a job where she couldn't do any damage, and be treated with proper respect as the grand old lady of Nursing. She would never be put out to pasture and she would never be made to suffer the humiliation of being fired from a job to which she gave so many years of wonderful service.

What is it with our society, and our corporate culture, that we see people as disposable commodities? The only concession our corporation will make in view of her years of dedication is that they will not fight her request for unemployment. It's a sad, sad day for me.


Kinja, the weblog guide

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Big TV Night

I'm in a hurry because this is my big TV night. Big Brother 6 and Rock Star InXS. Believe me when I tell you that I am sharing my innermost dirty little secret. Television is bad. Reality TV is for cretins and people with a lack of imagination. I am not certain into which category I fall.

I grew up in a family of Intellectuals. Note that I capitalized the word Intellectuals. Both of my grandmothers (born in the first decade of the 20th century) were professional women. My paternal grandmother was a teacher and school principal. My maternal grandmother was a social worker and boasted 2 masters degrees. One grandfather was the owner and editor of his small town newspaper. The other had a doctorate in genetics and later earned his masters in library science. My mother had a masters degree, my father had a masters degree, even my not so bright stepfather had a masters degree. My uncle is a world famous astrophysicist, one of his sons has a doctorate in one of the sciences, and his twin sons supposedly became Wall Street millionaires by their early or mid thirties. They also have masters degrees.

Am I bragging? No. I point out these personal bits of trivia only to let you know how unimpressed I am with college degrees. We are equally if not more dysfunctional than your average American family. Some of my family members were distressed to learn that I chose nursing as a profession. How impressive can you be if you deal with the bodily fluids of strangers on a daily basis? At least have the decency to become an M.D.

My grandmother breathed a sigh of relief that I finished my R.N. before she died. Being an L.V.N. (practical nurse) was a bit closer to the bottom of the heap than she wanted me to be.

I actually had a friend who once said to me "You need to get your masters degree." When I asked why, she said "Because then you can write a book and share all of your wisdom and knowledge with other women."

I asked why I needed another college degree to do that. She explained that I would have more credibility if I had an advanced degree. Maybe that's why I'm blogging. Who needs an advanced degree to blog? I still don't know why no one would read my book if I wrote one sans advanced degree. I already know what I know. And I learned it the hard way; by living life and spending 25 years on the couch. That had to be more expensive than a doctorate.

Back to television. We didn't have a television from the time I was about 13 until I entered college. Our television broke and my stepfather decided TV was a waste of time and refused to replace it. I should probably have thanked him. Now that I have finished my studies and am well advanced in my career, I have lots of free time and free space in my head to fill up with mindless junk. And I still love to read.

Sad to say, I have no idea who InXS are. Well, of course they are a rock band. And their lead singer died or killed himself a number of years ago. So all these old rockers get together and decide they could sell truckloads of CDs if they staged a reality show to find a new lead singer. I don't care about InXS. But the talent they brought to the show is awesome. So, I have continued to watch. It makes American Idol seem embarrassing and pedestrian.

As for Big Brother 6, I think I like to see other people being as stupid as I am when it comes to other people. The added attraction is that the lesbian is one of the final two contestants. I like it when lesbians win. Especially when they win publicly. She's something of a loud mouthed whiner but she's still a dyke so I'll root for her.

Anyway, it's 9 p.m. here on the left coast, there is a bottle of chardonnay in the fridge, and my programs are on.

Kinja, the weblog guide

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Trouble With Tribbles

I am a Star Trek freak. Not of the original series. The Trouble With Tribbles is probably the only episode I would ever care to watch more than once. That's because tribbles are so darned cute and cuddly.

The Star Trek movies are OK. But the cool stuff came with the Star Trek spinoffs. They explored things like racial harmony, war, the right, or lack thereof, of more powerful cultures to interfere with less powerful cultures. They explored looksism, gender, and sexuality issues. Basically, Star Trek is all about being brothers and sisters under the skin.

The trouble with tribbles is that they multiply exponentially. Kind of like homophobes and the religious right. Homophobes and the religious right, unlike tribbles, are not cute and cuddly. They often try to masquerade as such. We have a humongous nondenominational, fundamentalist Christian church here in the east county of San Diego. It's called (surprise) Son Rise. It has thousands of members. One of our local newscasters is an associate pastor at the church.

I learned yesterday, much to my barely disguised horror, that a number of my employees and co-workers belong to Son Rise. Any more questions about why I choose to not come out at work?

So here I sit, living my life, only to discover once again that I am surrounded by the enemy. Years ago, when I became active in the San Diego lesbian community, I had a dream. I dreamed that all of the lesbians were being dragged out of their homes and shot or hung in their yards. I probably dreamed that after being pelted with raw eggs by a gang of high school boys while taking a breather outside of a women's dance. That was the end of my young dyke innocence. Tribbles will only smother you to death and it's quite accidental because of their insane proclivity to multiply. Homophobes and the religious right are not innocent. They just want to string me up.

But like tribbles, they appear sweet and innocent. They will probably sing me a nice hymn while they string me up.

Don't kid yourself. Tribbles are everywhere.

Kinja, the weblog guide

Sunday, September 18, 2005

What is a Lesbian? (And What Do They Do Together)?

When it comes to defining the word lesbian, I am not nearly politically correct enough for some. I could attribute this to my age. Except that I came out during the 70's which was a most radical time for dykes and women in general.

My last lover went nuts because I refused to come out at work. She wanted the whole world, including my coworkers, to know that she loved me. And she felt that my refusing to come out at work would cramp her style. If that isn't hubris, I don't know what is.

Ya know. I truly do not care who is fucking whom. I ask the polite questions such as "How is your husband doing since his heart attack?" I say "I'm so delighted to meet you" when an employee introduces his or her spouse to me at the Christmas party. I know that these significant others are terribly important to the people who love them. But really. Who that person is is of no consequence to me and my life.

Having said that, what exactly is a lesbian? In my world, a lesbian is a woman who calls herself a lesbian. I don't care what she looks like, to whom she is wed, or with whom she has sex. If she says she is a lesbian, then that's what she is.

Some people think that the insides and the outsides have to be congruent. Since when, in this society, is it usually true that what you see is what you get? Not often in my experience. People like to say that they are consistent. But most of us are generally not that consistent.

Sexuality is such a fluid and ever changing concept, that it amazes me that any of us know what we are in sexual terms. My parents were Freud freaks. They were the first to tell me that we are all born polymorphously perverse. Chew on that for awhile and see if it makes you crazy.

I have probably known that I was a lesbian from the time I was quite young. I didn't have a name for it. I only knew that I didn't quite fit with the rest of the little girls. It would have been a real shock to my mother as I was the most frilly and feminine of her 3 daughters. That's what my friends all said when I told them I was a dyke. It was either "But you're so pretty!" Or, "But you're so feminine!"

I had a lesbian friend who once said to me "If you want to find a life long lesbian, find the femme who never married." This pretty much shoots down your average person's idea of what a lesbian looks like.

The main difference between a lesbian and a straight woman is this: the lesbian is more interested in women socially, sexually, politically, and spiritually. There are plenty of lesbians out there who have never had sex with a woman. And there are plenty of heterosexual women out there who have. However, I still maintain that only I can tell you what my sexuality is. And it's much more complicated than I want to get into today.

So I call myself a lesbian and am plenty happy with that. Oh. And what do lesbians do together? For pete sake. Use your imagination.

Welcome To My World

I spent 5 hours yesterday in the emergency room. I work in a psych facility and one of my nurses got sucker punched in the jaw by a developmentally delayed schizophrenic who is 6 feet tall and about 220 pounds. The nurse is about 5 foot 4. Luckily, her jaw wasn't broken. But for 5 hours, I got to watch the never ending stream of human misery. Broken wrists, broken arms, broken ankles, migraine headaches, strangulated hernias, strokes in progress, car wrecks. You name it, they had it.

Of course, I don't have to go to the emergency room to see this stream of misery. The staff provides me with plenty of drama and entertainment. In the past 6 weeks we have had 1 gall bladder removal with complications, 2 cardiac catheterizations, 1 nearly lethal case of congestive heart failure, and one gangrenous foot.

Nurses do not take care of themselves.We smoke. We eat fatty foods. We ingest massive quantities of caffeine in the forms of coffee, coke, or pepsi. We never sleep and we are consummate workaholics. And people wonder why I tell my neices if they ever choose nursing as a profession I will cut them out of my will.

My will? By now it must be a family joke. I just purchased my first home. An elderly mobile home in a retirement park. Hence the title of my Blog. I have a dog that is sucking up hundreds of dollars per month with a bad case of irritable bowel, a huge tax bill, and my dilapidated little trailer. I can't even afford to make much needed repairs right now. If I play my cards right, I can retire at 72.

The trick will be to stay alive that long. Without a long list of physical ailments that will suck up the principal of my 401K. Which, by the way, is not growing nearly fast enough even though I sink every extra penny I have into its insatiable and terrifying maw.

Retirement is a discussion for another time however. For now, I will bid you all adieu, knowing that you cannot wait to see what else will flow from my twisted mind.

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