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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.

Location: California, United States

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Doggie Update

So here's the story with the Magster. She has partial idiopathic paralysis on the right side of her face. Kind of like Bell's Palsy in humans. She can see out of that eye. And she can sometimes blink but not completely. They put some dye in her eye to make sure that she didn't have any scratches or an ulcer on her cornea.

She also has serious microcytic anemia. Her protein is too low. She's having a fancy B12 test being done and tomorrow morning I have to collect her urine in a cup.

Good luck to NursePam with that one. Have you ever tried to collect doggie pee in a cup?

I have to drive the urine back down to Mission Valley sometime tomorrow. She's being tested for liver disease and hypothyroidism.

They drew blood twice. She got a B12 shot. She's pissed. My wallet is a whole lot lighter. And she has to go back in 2 weeks.

The good news? The triplets are beautiful and healthy. 2 girls and a boy. I cannot believe this woman (my vet). She carried triplets to term, worked right up until her due date, and returned to work in 4 months. She already had a 2 year old at home. She looks great.

Life always prevails.

Kinja, the weblog guide

Monday, February 27, 2006

Let's Grow Old Together

This article in the New York Times just rings my bell. To think that in my dotage I could return to my hippie roots and finally join a commune.

Communes for the Elderly
DAVIS, Calif., Feb. 23 — They are unlikely revolutionaries. Bearing walkers and canes, a veritable Merck Manual of ailments among them, the 12 old friends — average age 80 — looked as though they should have been sitting down to a game of Scrabble, not pioneering a new kind of commune.

Opting for old age on their own terms, they were starting a new chapter in their lives as residents of Glacier Circle, the country's first self-planned housing development for the elderly — a community they had conceived and designed themselves, right down to its purple gutters.

Over the past five years, the residents of Glacier Circle have found and bought land together, hired an architect together, ironed out insurance together, lobbied for a zoning change together and existentially probed togetherness together.

It certainly does beat the idea of a nursing home or a residential facility. I'll bet they even allow people to have sex in the commune. The only fly in the ointment is the nurse that they want to have living on the grounds. Long term care nurses are notorious for not wanting residents to have sex. They'll have to find some old nun who's about 70 for that job.

Good luck is all I can say. It could be the wave of the future.

Kinja, the weblog guide

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Poverty in the Heartland

If you don't find this as disturbing as did I, then you need to be bitch slapped. This article was reprinted in the Guardian:

More than one in 10 [American] citizens live below the poverty line, and the gap between the haves and have-nots is widening.

Under President George W Bush an extra 5.4 million have slipped below the poverty line. Yet they are not a story of the unemployed or the destitute. Most have jobs. Many have two. Amos Lumpkins has work and his children go to school. But the economy, stripped of worker benefits like healthcare, is having trouble providing good wages.

There are 37 million Americans living below the poverty line. That figure has increased by five million since President George W. Bush came to power.

The United States has 269 billionaires, the highest number in the world.

Almost a quarter of all black Americans live below the poverty line; 22 per cent of Hispanics fall below it. But for whites the figure is just 8.6 per cent.

There are 46 million Americans without health insurance.

There are 82,000 homeless people in Los Angeles alone.

In 2004 the poorest community in America was Pine Ridge Indian reservation. Unemployment is over 80 per cent, 69 per cent of people live in poverty and male life expectancy is 57 years. In the Western hemisphere only Haiti has a lower number.

The richest town in America is Rancho Santa Fe in California. Average incomes are more than $100,000 a year; the average house price is $1.7m.

How is it that we continue to engineer more and more of our fellow citizens into this economic black hole? Are we really that greedy? Apparently so. We worship Donald Trump, a balding, not handsome man with questionable business practices because he is rich. We send Martha Stewart to jail for what looks to be insider trading. And when she gets out? Why, we give her another television show.

In the meantime, Jane and Joe Average, toiling away at honest, gainful employment, not only cannot afford healthcare for their children, they can't even feed their children without a handout. If you cannot tell me what is wrong with this picture, then go back to grade school and develop a conscience.

We cannot continue to gobble up all of the toys without looking at the long term consequences. If you want to see real terror within our borders, just continue to ignore the needs of what is rapidly becoming an underclass with no hope for the future.

For how long can we continue to blame the little guy for his lack of financial security? For how long do we allow government and big business to stay in cahoots in order to grab the whole pie instead of just a slice?

With Mexico pushing at our southern border, a smart Canada will lock herself up tighter than a virgin on prom night. And those of us over a certain age can look forward to retirement confined to our homes. That is, if we can afford to keep them.

Thanks to The Old Hippie's Groovy Blog for this link.

Kinja, the weblog guide

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Pain and Grief in America

I found a wonderful book review in the New York Times online this morning. The book is 'Death's Door: Modern Dying and the Ways We Grieve,' by Sandra M. Gilbert.

I have not yet read the book but the review gladdens my heart because I do believe that we work too hard to erase, ignore, and dismiss the pain and grief of being human. But it is precisely this pain and grief that deepens and enriches us as people. Grief and loss connect us to what is real. It shows us the path to gratitude and true love and caring. We are not here forever. We must honor those who are with us as well as honor those who have touched us and moved on.

I remember my father talking about all of the people who died when he was a child. He used to say "We don't teach kids about dying anymore. It used to be that dying was just a part of life. We would set the body up in the living room in a casket. People would drop by with food and comfort the bereaved. The kids would play tag and hide and seek around the casket. Now we won't take children to a funeral because they might be traumatized."

He would always end his ramblings with my favorite closing line. "It's all just a bunch of hooey."

My friend Joan died last April. She went suddenly, at the age of 57, in her sleep. She came home from work, had dinner with her friend and her son, lay down on the couch for a nap and never woke up.

She had been a coworker of mine on 3 different jobs. She was a joy to work with. Joan was orphaned in her middle teens. She left the State, lied about her age, and found a job to support herself. Somewhere she found the strength and determination to go to nursing school, marry, and give birth to 3 beautiful children.

Her life was always hard. Her taste in men was horrendous. At times she was homeless. Her health had not been good for many years. But her children and her profession were her strength and her joy. She was good at both. Her daughters are lovely and successful in life. Her son grew up strong and sweet. Tragically, she died before her son finished high school.

At the moment, he is lost. But I have faith he will be OK because Joan gave him such a wonderful foundation of love and commitment.

I have a black ribbon on my name badge. After 30 days, my boss invited me to remove it. "I'm not ready" I told her. "I may never be ready. I knew Joan for a long time. I loved and admired her. I may never take it off."

My boss is uncomfortable with that. She wants to move on. We have moved on. But I will always miss Joan on some level. She is part of my personal mythology. Like my grandmother whom I adored, and my mother who passed on before we healed the wounds between us, Joan continues to live within my inner landscape.

I choose to not bury any lingering pain. It does not detract from the joy of her memory. It only serves to remind me that life is short and precious.

Kinja, the weblog guide

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Good Guy Rap

LITTLE BROTHER: Big Pooh (l.), 9th Wonder, and Phonte Coleman comprise the North Carolina trio, who begin a US tour this week.

There is hope for the world. Young men are coming up who eschew the gangsta rap messages of hate, violence, misogyny, homophobia and materialism. They don't sport bling and they don't wear bullet proof vests for a photo op. Instead, they choose to send a positive message to their audience. Read about 2 of these groups in this Christian Science Monitor article.

Kinja, the weblog guide


Just for kicks and giggles. And because life really is all about me.

1. This morning, NursePam is drinking
a. Orange juice
b. Water
c. Starbucks Komodo Dragon blend, freshly ground and brewed.

2. This morning, NursePam will be wearing
a. Her Liz Claiborn navy A-line skirt with red blazer
b. Ann Taylor pin stripe pants with red blazer
c. Whatever is clean

3. For lunch, NursePam will eat
a. Nothing
b. Coffee
c. Whatever she can scrounge from her boss's goodie closet

4. NursePam thinks her nurses are
a. Delicious and de-lovely
b. Crazy
c. Hopeless

5. NursePam has how many friends?
a. One
b. Several
c. No one wants to be friends with that bitch

6. NursePam
a. Thinks she is a poet
b. Wishes she were a poet
c. Can't even write a shopping list

7. NursePam has which pet?
a. A salamander
b. A caterpiller
c. A dog that she thinks is human

8. Bonus Question
a. NursePam is older than Methuselah
b. Younger than Spring Time
c. None of your damned business.

If you score more than 2 points on this quiz, you need to find a more productive hobby.

(Results to follow sometime in the next 3 years).

Kinja, the weblog guide

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Reefer Madness

It seems that someone remade the 1936 cult classic Reefer Madness into a musical. Reefer Madness, the Musical.

Our junior high school actually showed us this movie which was made more than a decade before we were even born. Poor teacher. We found it to be entertainment of the highest order; a foreshadowing of the exodus of Flower Children crawling to Haight Ashbury like lemmings to the sea. We were about to hurtle ourselves over a cliff that we could not even yet see.

Believe it or not, this brings me right back to James. James? The psych tech? The pony tail? The esoteric bull shitter from the rez? The 60's brought us (dare I say it) a bonding moment yesterday.

Like most people, James has his boss (me) in a predefined box. Well, our bonding moment began when he returned from his lunch hour with a bottle of clear, amber colored liquid. "I hope that's apple juice," I said jokingly.

Being James, this went right over his head and he began telling me all about some "rich people's health regimen." Someone had given him free samples but he didn't think he was going to buy in. Because he is James, and because I terrify him, and because he doesn't think I could possibly have ever even thought about things like that, it took another hour to reveal that he was talking about Sunrider products.

When I mentioned Sugar Blues, the boy nearly creamed his jeans. "Oh my gosh," he squealed. "I didn't know we had so much in common." If you didn't know better, you would swear James was gay. He's what my girlfriend Victor always called a Soft Straight Guy. Very confusing to some gay men.

"James" I said, "you have NO idea." I started talking urban university and civil rights marches and the dude actually did some kind of little dance around my office.

One thing led to another and I must have made some kind of sarcastic remark. Then, what from anyone else would be apropos of nothing, James says "Well, if it's any comfort, you're loved as a DON (nursing director). You're different. Most of them are just so (mumble, mumble). But you're just so human!"

Then he giggled because James always giggles when he's pleased with himself.

This brings me full circle to Reefer Madness. It's times like these I feel like bursting into song, stripping naked and singing There's the Sunshine right in the middle of the nurses station.

Kinja, the weblog guide

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A Good Day for Coffee

Every day is a good day for coffee in NursePam's World. I have a new favorite blogger, Kelly, aka MochaMomma.

She does a Cuppa the Day over at her blog and her knowledge and creativity when it comes to all things java leaves me breathless. Here is today's sample. Granted, she is talking about tea here. But tea is my brew of choice at night so I like that too.

Cuppa the Day - I'm loathe to admit it, but I'm sick again. It's best to just blame the students and leave it at that, but I am taking echinacea, eating oranges, and drinking a lovely tea that Ken brought me last night. It's a new one from Celestial Seasonings called Vanilla Ginger Green Tea. It. Is. Divine. My consumption of this soothing yet sweet and slightly pungent tea will continue long after this cold goes away.

As an added bonus, she has some suggested activities for all you computer nerds who are spending the day at home with a cold. Scoot on over and say hi.

Kinja, the weblog guide

Monday, February 20, 2006

Gettin' Jiggy with Eve Dallas

Being down with a cold all weekend, I spent a fair amount of time reading. If you like a good crime novel with some sex, romance, and a tiny bit of sci fi thrown into the mix, Eve Dallas is your kind of woman.

Nora Roberts started life as a housewife holed up in a snowstorm with 2 young sons. She ended up a romance writer with 75 million books in print. The woman is a veritable writing machine.

I am not a romance fan. It was her Eve Dallas series, started in 1998 and written under the pseudonymn of J.D. Robb, that caught my crime novel starved eye a number of years ago.

Being every bit as delusionally romantic as the next woman, I love her sex scenes, precisely because one is not forced to endure lines like "She took his huge throbbing member into her mouth while he moaned with manly pleasure. He turned her over roughly and took her like a whore, thrusting himself deep, deep, deep inside her until she begged for mercy."

Nope, Eve and her fabulously wealthy bad boy, Rourke, grab a few moments of sex and passion the old fashioned way: sans penis as a club. Then it's on to the important stuff like murder, mayhem, and solving the crime with her guts and his computer genius.

Set in the mid 21st century the books are peopled with a colorful cast of characters like Mavis the now pregnant rock star and her partner the stalwart Peabody (Shebody to her live in). For just plain fun, it doesn't get much better than Roberts' well written and clever Eve Dallas series.

Kinja, the weblog guide

Commiserating with Pat

She has a cold. I have a cold. Me, I'm hoping I don't end up with pneumonia. Too soon to tell yet. In the meantime, for all of us carrying snot rags today, here's something to make you smile.

Princess Adeptly Made for Erotic Loving and Affection

Kinja, the weblog guide

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Bumper Sticker Fun

I don't know about you, but I love bumper stickers. I don't have them plastered all over my own car but I sure do enjoy finding a new one when I'm stuck in traffic.

These are just a couple that I have snagged during my travels on the Internet Highway.

What would truly be fun would be to make a jacket out of them and walk into work. The place if full of republicans, homophobes, and born again christians.

I won't do that. For a whole lot of reasons. But a grrl can always dream.

Kinja, the weblog guide


Once again Gina sends me to a fun quiz at QuizGalaxy.com

How will you be defined in the dictionary?

Pamela --


A master blogger

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at QuizGalaxy.com

I wish.

Kinja, the weblog guide

Saturday, February 18, 2006

I Just Don't Get It

Lesbian Cop In Benefits Battle Dies
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

February 18, 2006 - 12:00 pm ET

(Toms River, New Jersey)

"Lt. Laurel Hester died Saturday morning at her home only weeks after winning a long battle with Ocean County freeholders over who would get her benefits. She was 49."

"Hester's longtime partner Stacie Andree was at her bedside when she died."

20-some years of service to her community and she has to spend her final days battling city hall, literally, to be able to leave her benefits to her life partner. Instead of enjoying the time they had left together.

I am sick unto death of the injustice. She paid her money just like everyone else. She did her job. She dedicated her life to Truth, Justice, and The American Way. How dare they make her beg for her due.

I don't care if you don't approve of her "life style." I don't care if you carefully write your laws to exclude those who are not heterosexual. It does not make you right.

No matter how hard you try to marginalize my life, I am not going away. When I die, there will be 10 more of your children and grandchildren standing behind me demanding what is rightfully theirs.

None of us can arbitrarily pick and choose who in this country shall live in a democracy and who shall not. Like it or not, we're all in this together.

If you must be outraged, be outraged about the government lack of response to the hurricane disasters.

Be outraged that our President believes it his God given right to break the law if it suits him.

Be outraged about the fact that we still have high infant mortality rates in this country. Be outraged that we still have ill-fed, ill-housed, and ill-clothed children in this country. Be outraged that your tax dollars do not buy your children a first class education.

Be outraged to know that if you and your spouse are lucky enough to grow old together, one of you will no doubt suffer a catastrophic illness like cancer or Alzheimers, that will bankrupt you and leave the surviving partner penniless to finish out his or her life.

Be outraged that we are dangerously close to leaving our children and grandchildren a devastated planet.

Get your sorry ass out of my bedroom and into the streets before you have nothing left to fight for.

Kinja, the weblog guide

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A Day In The Life

There are days, I am convinced, when the Universe plots to find out just how tough one truly might be. For me, today was in the top ten in my life.

I walked through the nurses station and into my office, happy and oblivious to the sort of day that was to befall me. Whistling merrily as I boot up my computer and start brewing my coffee, I note the back end of our social worker, Dave, in the door of my office.

I start pattering to him about something funny a resident said to me yesterday and realize he is distracted. He says something about not being able to find a chart. I come out to the station to help him look. First he mumbles something about having to do everything by himself and having to set up clinic by himself (it's psychiatry clinic day every Thursday).

Suddenly he's shouting "I'm TIRED of the goddamned incompetence around here!"

At first I think he's kidding because Dave is a kidder and kind of a goofy guy.

"No! I'm serious!" Then he storms out of the station.

Whoa! Wazzup with that?

I leave the station and go through the hallway toward the main office where I encounter the behavior manager swiping his time card.

"Good morning!" I trill in my continued good cheer. "Dave's really pissed this morning."

"Yeah," he says turning his back to walk out the door. "Me too. I'm outta here."

It's not even 0915. Yikes.

I walk into the boss's office singing "Love is in the air..."

The boss rolls her eyes at me. "It sure is," she says. "I think you'll have to do clinic."

No problemo. Off I trot, good little servant that I am.

As I enter, Dr. O. is laughing his ass off while reading the history of his newest patient, a borderline who is depressed since she stopped doing cocaine. OK. The guy is always irreverent and a little off center. At 80 years old he still has most of his marbles. But this is shaping up to be a very weird day.

Forty five minutes into clinic, James, the licensed psych tech, brings our little borderline cocaine addict back into the room with blood dripping down her arm and mumbles something about a light bulb.

Dr. O. growls. "Stop mumbling James. I can never understand what you're saying."

Dr. O. thinks James is an idiot and shares his thoughts with anyone who will listen, including James.

James' head is filled with esoteric shit that no one else can ever understand. He's a six foot something Native American with a long gray ponytail. I can't decide if the ponytail has to do with his Native American roots or the fact that he's a psych tech. The boss assures me that every psych tech she has ever known is a guy with a ponytail.

We finally determine that after her session with the doc, our little borderline went to her room, broke a light bulb, and scratched up her wrist. Turns out that she missed her smoke break and the nurses wouldn't take her out for a cigarette. That's my Nazi Nursing Staff for you. They never miss an opportunity to punish someone for no reason whatsoever.

The boss, who has walked into the clinic shortly before our mini drama, hisses at me to come speak with her. She wants me to check up on James because she doesn't trust him. Sure enough, when I get there, the patient is sitting in a chair still bleeding while James is on the phone with the 911 operator. Double yikes!

I trot on back to the clinic to grab the chart because he has no information in front of him. Trot back and grab some towels to clean her up. Superficial scratches with one small jab to make it bleed really good. I have to hand it to her. She's a pro in the suicide game.

Poor James is all aflutter, dancing around the station and mumbling things like "5150" and "serious ramifications." I'm still trying to figure out why he called 911 since the woman isn't close to dying.

They pack her into the rig trying not to laugh at us. I don't remember much more until LavenderDe and the dietary supervisor dragged me out to lunch at Arby's. We return rested, fortified, and ready to finish the day.

For some reason many of the residents want a piece of me today. Probably because they know that Gary bailed and Dave is still pissed. I have a sweet young thing in my office explaining to me that the Mormons are trying to take over the world. She knows this because she is blessed by God and the angels tell her these things.

"I know I sound delusional," she tells me, staring at me with her huge cornflower blue eyes. "But I can't help it. I have been blessed."

A nurse bursts into my office shaking. "I need to call a code green and I don't know how."

My cornflower girl rises as if on cue. A long time mental patient, she understands that even her delusions cannot keep me from wrestling a wild one to the ground.

I call the code over the intercom and walk down the hall to find our very large mentally retarded girl-woman sitting on her bed shaking and surrounded by five staff members, each with a hand placed gently on a limb. "They dragged me into my room!" she wails. "That's abuse! I'm gonna sue! They hurt me!"

I talk her down somewhat and get the staff to leave the room. I convince her to come into my office to call her sister. She talks to her sister for twenty minutes, demanding that she come rescue her right now. No dice.

To get back at us, she goes to the pay phone to call the police department. We have our pay phones wired to ring directly through to the facility phones when someone dials 911. Now she's pissed. She stalks down the hall. "I'm going over the fence Pam. I mean it this time."

I tell her that if she tries to go over the fence, we'll have to give her a shot. Out the door she goes. A few minutes later, back she comes. "Pam. I'm not gonna go over the fence."

I tell her "OK. But we're going to give you a shot to help you calm down." She agrees if she can eat her dinner in her room and change her clothes.

I still have to sort out Friday and Saturday night staffing. Someone's grandpa died and no one wants to work for her. Meantime, I have another nurse on the phone demanding to have Sunday off because it's her birthday and she "forgot."


Somehow, I manage to exit the building and be home by 7:30. There's a nice bottle of Zinfandel in the cupboard with my name written all over it.

Kinja, the weblog guide

No Kidding?

I guess I am never too old to learn. I surfed through PlanetOut this morning and found this little nugget:

OPINION Open Forumby Jenny Stewart, Entertainment EditorFebruary 15, 2006

"It is an incredibly moving movie. I wish that they would take this movie and force these assholes from the religious right [to watch] -- these perverts, these Taliban motherfuckers -- who want to sit there and tell gay people they can't get married ... It shows you how, when gays have to be closeted, they ruin the lives of women and families. Everyone goes through hell. ... It is just outrageous. Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, they were both terrific in it."

"Guessed this review of "Brokeback Mountain" came from a champion of queer causes -- Margaret Cho, or Roseanne, maybe? You're wrong. It was made by Howard Stern, on the Feb. 7 edition of his Sirius satellite radio show."

Apparently, I still have my own prejudice to deal with. Imagine that.

Kinja, the weblog guide

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Dear Companion of Mine

My seven and one-half year old Yorkie, Maggie, appears to be developing a cataract in her right eye. It's one of the side effects of long term prednisone therapy. It worries me because she isn't protecting the eye by blinking if, for instance, I wave my finger in front of that eye.

I took that journey with a cat quite a few years ago and I swore I would never again have cataract surgery done on an animal. After his eye perforated and had to be removed a couple of years later, even the animal ophthamologist conceded that it probably would have been the wiser course to remove his eye to begin with. After the surgery, I called him Blinky and he was happy as an old fella could be.

When the psychologist who visits our residents came in to my office today, I was talking to him about it and he freaked out at the thought. I explained to him why I felt that my having had the surgery done on my cat boiled down to little more than my own vanity and my neurotic need to anthropomorphize. The cat was happier without the bothersome eye. It was a huge lesson to me about what real love demands of us.

After that surgery, I promised JJ that he would never again have to endure that kind of pain. He had been through enough to stay with me. And when his final illness came in the tenth year of our time together, I had him gently put to sleep in my arms over the vigorous protestations of the vet. I was heartbroken but I never regretted my decision.

Maggie came to me at four months old weighing just two pounds. Within two months she was a clear failure to thrive and was diagnosed with a liver shunt. We dealt with seizures, emergency room visits, hospital stays, and finally, major surgery. She bounced back with an amazing toughness for such a small bundle of fluff. And for six years she was a perfectly normal dog.

About 14 months ago she was diagnosed with severe irritable bowel disease. She requires a special diet, thirteen doses of medication daily, and numerous blood tests and exams. She dropped two pounds and almost died of respiratory failure before I even realized something was wrong. I thought that this was the end.

But the Universe brought us to a very special veterinarian who performed a very expensive biopsy with only a post dated check as payment because Maggie was "too small and too sick to let money be the reason to not treat her immediately." By doing so, she gave me the gift of at least one more year with my pup.

It sounds silly but everywhere she goes, people fall in love with her. And Maggie never met a person or a cat that she didn't like. She is the cuddliest and most sweet tempered creature to ever have graced my life. She has been at my side through some difficult times, offering nothing but adoration and unconditional love. She watches me leave every morning with sad and soulful eyes. She greets me every evening as though it is the most joyful reunion of her life.

I don't know what the future holds for us. But I do know that we won't be together forever. And however difficult, I will do everything in my power, no matter how painful, to ensure that she does not suffer needlessly. For all of the love and the loyalty she has given me over the years, she at least deserves that much of my caring, my strength, and my protection.

I know that every day is a gift. Every day she teaches me how to appreciate the gift of each moment; with each sweet beat of her heart and each sweet warm breath in my ear. With each sweet kiss from her rough little tongue and each searching glance from her sweet brown eyes. Her life is fragile. But her heart is as great as the heart of a lion. And her love as reliable as the rising of the sun.

I think she has a lot of life left in her yet. But some days I cannot help but feel the sadness mixed in with the joy.

Kinja, the weblog guide

Thought For The Day

I found this little jewel from justlinda on the BlogHer forum site.

What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly - that is the first law of nature. ~Voltaire

So as I trot my self off to work today, I will do my utmost to keep this in my mind. Thanks Linda.

Kinja, the weblog guide

Monday, February 13, 2006

Oh Damn!

I have been battling some sort of crud all weekend. On Saturday, I thought it was just too much sun mixed with a daquiri. By Sunday, I had a pounding headache that nothing could kill.

This morning I had a sore throat and nausea. So I tried to call off. No such luck.

The boss was at a conference for the day. The Staff Development Director had a court date. Her assistant was going to be out sick.

Damn, damn, damn, damn.

I dragged my sorry self in by 10 a.m. and was told that 2 out of my 4 nurses for the 3 to 11 shift had called off.

More swearing.

I spent my day cutting and pasting the staff and trying to concentrate on some problem charts. The central supply assistant didn't supply over the weekend so I ended up doing that too.

I left at 5 feeling not unlike a hung over sailor about to throw himself overboard just to get some relief.

I'm thinking that tomorrow has Sick Day written all over it.

Kinja, the weblog guide

Fun News

Gina Locates the Girly Gene when she and the cat encounter some mice. I'm right there with you sistah!

Having a bad day? Read about Pat Kirby's terrible, awful, very bad day in the Land of Enchantment. P.S. She is not stoopid.

Kinja, the weblog guide

All The News That's Fit

Guns and Unions and Torture. Oh my!

OK. It's not funny. Just remember, while you read this, the old adage about laughing so you don't cry.

The Times (New Jersey)
Union Takes New Tack in Organizing Effort at Pork-Processing Plant
By STEVEN GREENHOUSEPublished: February 13, 2006TAR HEEL, N.C. —

"The campaign to unionize the nation's largest pork-processing plant here, a facility that kills 32,000 hogs a day, never seems to end."

"In 1997, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union lost a unionization election at the sprawling plant, built in this rural town 75 miles south of Raleigh. But it was not until 2004 that the National Labor Relations Board upheld an administrative law judge's decision that threw out the election results."

"The labor board found that the Smithfield Packing Company not only had prevented a fair election by illegally intimidating, firing, threatening and spying on workers but also had a union supporter beaten up the night of the vote count."

So people are losing fingers and hands on the production line. They didn't really need them. Right?

Political heat over disasters rising
Bush's role as protector in chief is under fire after reports of federal missteps on Katrina.
By Linda Feldmann Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

WASHINGTON – "Nine months before the November midterm elections, the Republican campaign theme is already clear: It's the terrorism, stupid..."

"On Wednesday, a House committee of Republicans will release a 600-page report on the failures of government at all levels before and after hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. According to The Washington Post, which obtained a summary of the report, the document will lay primary blame on top administration officials, including Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, the Homeland Security Operations Center, and the White House Homeland Security Council."

"Bush himself faces criticism: "Earlier presidential involvement could have speeded the response" to Katrina, because Bush could have cut through the bureaucratic resistance that slowed the federal response, the summary reportedly says..."

"[Bush] has got a little political capital on this issue, and the Democrats don't," says independent pollster John Zogby..."

So, what we're saying here is he gets a pass on Katrina because he's doing such a darned fine job fighting terrorism? Because if I read the entire article correctly, this is exactly why Bush thinks he is safe on the hurricane issue.

UN Report: US is still torturing prisoners
truthout, reprinted from the Los Angeles Times
New York - A draft United Nations report on the detainees at Guantanamo Bay concludes that the US treatment of them violates their rights to physical and mental health and, in some cases, constitutes torture.
It also urges the United States to close the military prison in Cuba and bring the captives to trial on U.S. territory, charging that Washington's justification for the continued detention is a distortion of international law.
The report, compiled by five U.N. envoys who interviewed former prisoners, detainees' lawyers and families, and U.S. officials, is the product of an 18-month investigation ordered by the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. The team did not have access to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
Nonetheless, its findings - notably a conclusion that the violent force-feeding of hunger strikers, incidents of excessive violence used in transporting prisoners and combinations of interrogation techniques "must be assessed as amounting to torture" - are likely to stoke U.S. and international criticism of the prison...
[The report] also rejected the premise that "the war on terrorism" exempted the U.S. from international conventions on torture and civil and political rights.
The report said some of the treatment of detainees met the definition of torture under the U.N. Convention Against Torture: the acts were committed by government officials, with a clear purpose, inflicting severe pain or suffering against victims in a position of powerlessness.

Again. He gets a pass because he's done such a darn fine job fighting terrorism.

And finally, Oliver Willis talks about Dick Cheney's Hunting Fiasco. If you hunt the news rags today, you will find that the Feds opted to keep this a secret. Why do we know about it? Because the woman who owns the land on which they were hunting called the press.


Kinja, the weblog guide

Sunday, February 12, 2006

I'm Late. So Sue Me. (Stuff Portrait Fridays)

Actually, I saw that Kimmie was playing awhile back but I was into other things. Then whaddya know but this blog, Random and Odd, pops up again in my end of the b-sphere.

Disclaimer: No portraits will be forthcoming. My friend's drunk boyfriend fixed my computer which is now shaky at best. The images on my screen are out of focus and wave at me. So I can't see them well enough to know if I am posting a pic of my house or a pic of the dumpster. I am probably still in the dog house with my LL friends who have yet to see all of the 2004 Meet and Greet pics.

On to the questions.

~ What you love most about your home
It's MINE! ALL MINE! I can tear it up and put it back together again. I can have polka dotted walls if it suits me. I can rip out the carpet. I can gut the damned thing if I like.

~ What you love least about your home
Well. It's a mobile home (read trailer). It's not a for real house but then when did I ever follow the nice middle class white grrl code anyway?

~ What you love most about yourself
Physically or spiritually? Ummmmmmmmmm. Probably that I am open to and accepting of differences. Anyone can live in NursePam's World. As long as they give me my space.

Kinja, the weblog guide

California Dreaming

I spend far too little time enjoying the bounty of southern California living. But yesterday I took advantage of the sunny, 80 degree weather and ventured forth with my friend Dixie. She's been holed up for weeks with a bad knee. And I've been holed up for weeks with my often nightmarish job.

We headed down 67 to the 8, thinking "beach." But as soon as we hit 8 west, Dixie suggested lunch in Old Town. Bazaar del Mundo was recently gobbled up by some big corporation and renamed Bazaar del Pasado. The quaint old shops around the bazaar have been bumped by wealthier business people and moved down the street to the low rent district.

But the open air restaurant is still there and we pigged out. I had this great burrito stuffed with gulf shrimp and a sour cream mango sauce. Such culinary delight is rare anywhere. The guacamole had a snap and the salsa a nice bite. The air was warm, the ocean breeze was soft.

Of course we began with small (read the smallest of the huge) strawberry daquiris topped with whipped cream. I faded into the comforting buzz of warm sunshine, alcohol, the din of people making merry, and the company of a sweet friend.

After lunch we wandered some of the shops, enjoying the weather and picking up a few little tchatchkas on sale. Several hours later we headed home, sated by the experience.

I stopped at the bookstore to pick up a couple of books and Starbucks for a Cinnamon Dolce. Then I fed the dog, finished watching Elizabethtown, and crashed by 9 p.m. Work was a mere speck on the horizon of my life.

I need to get out more often.

Kinja, the weblog guide

Friday, February 10, 2006

Misogyny of a Different Color

Nelle talked about feminism in her blog recently and I was reminded of something I read many years ago. It was a discussion of homophobia as a not so subtle form of misogyny. In particular, it was the fear and hatred of the homosexual male.

This author noticed that people in general, and men in particular, seem to have a much stronger negative reaction to gay males than to lesbians. The more feminine the man, the stronger the negative reaction.

People of both sexes are more likely to tell you, if they are being truthful, that they don't have such a big problem with lesbians. But a nelly guy? They just can't see it.

It's the idea of men who would willingly take on the trappings of the weaker sex. Dispense with the power of the penis, as it were.

With a feminine lesbian, there is always the possibility that "the right man" could change her. Or at least sleep with her and her girlfriend. With a butch lesbian there is often that modicum of respect for her toughness and her manly ways, even when the guys are making rude remarks behind her back. Her aura is one of masculine power. Masculine is good in any form.

But a man who swings is hips and paints his lips is a creature to be feared indeed. He not only has rejected the sacredness of the phallus but he allows his feminine side to flame. Indeed, while his wife is out shopping with her ersatz girlfriend, a man could be harboring secret flickers of attraction toward that fey and frilly person. Certainly this is a reason if not to kill him, to beat him senseless in a back alley.

Although some feminists would like to root out the association with GLBT rights, they are inextricably linked. It's all about sex and gender and how those qualities shape our lives.

Kinja, the weblog guide

Thursday, February 09, 2006

My Kind of Quiz

This is my kind of test. My favorite Ben & Jerry's is New York Fudge Chunk. Phish Food is a close second. I'll see if I can find this one.

You scored 88% SWEET, 70% CHUNKY, and 70% UNIQUE!
brownie batter ice cream with a rich brownie batter swirl

Mmmm....you are a very sweet mix indeed! You are warm, loving, and caring to all those around you, but you're not boring in the least! You have a wild streak and a creative, unique streak, too. You are a great friend, an interesting person, and you know how to have fun without ending up crouching over a toilet bowl. Nice!

Link: The Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Flavor Test written by weered1 on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Kinja, the weblog guide

Big Brother is Watching You

An article in Christian Science Monitor tells us that Big Brother is developing tools for a huge internet data sweep. And yes. You and I will be the unwilling guests at their party.

US plans massive data sweep

"The US government is developing a massive computer system that can collect huge amounts of data and, by linking far-flung information from blogs and e-mail to government records and intelligence reports, search for patterns of terrorist activity."

"The system - parts of which are operational, parts of which are still under development - is already credited with helping to foil some plots. It is the federal government's latest attempt to use broad data-collection and powerful analysis in the fight against terrorism. But by delving deeply into the digital minutiae of American life, the program is also raising concerns that the government is intruding too deeply into citizens' privacy..."

It would seem however, that there is disagreement among the intelligentsia with regard to the privacy issues inherent in such a program.

On the one hand:

"This sort of technology does protect against a real threat," says Jeffrey Ullman, professor emeritus of computer science at Stanford University. "If a computer suspects me of being a terrorist, but just says maybe an analyst should look at it ... well, that's no big deal. This is the type of thing we need to be willing to do, to give up a certain amount of privacy."

On the other hand:

"It isn't a bad idea, but you have to do it in a way that demonstrates its utility - and with provable privacy protection," says Latanya Sweeney, founder of the Data Privacy Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University. But since speaking on privacy at the 2004 DHS workshop, she now doubts the department is building privacy into ADVISE [Analysis, Dissemination, Visualization, Insight, and Semantic Enhancement]. "At this point, ADVISE has no funding for privacy technology."

Color me shocked. I've known since college that we were being spied on. Within weeks of attending the student march on Washington during the early seventies with her then boyfriend (now husband) my sister received a letter from the Feds.

The long and the short of it was this: "We know what you did and we have pictures. Participate in any more anti government demonstrations and all of your college funding will be yanked."

George Orwell seems to have been spot on mateys. Watch your backs.

Kinja, the weblog guide

I Choose Starvation

I'm sure that's what the child in a third world country would say given a choice between supporting the biotech companies by eating genetically altered food and eating nothing at all.

In a New York Times article yesterday, it is reported that there is a disagreement between the World Trade Organization and Friends of the Earth. According to some news leaks, the WTO says that the European Commission is dragging its feet in bringing genetically altered foods to European tables.

"Adrian Bebb, a campaigner on genetically altered foods at Friends of the Earth Europe, said, "The W.T.O. has bluntly ruled that European safeguards should be sacrificed to benefit biotech corporations."

My first question is why does the WTO have a say in how Europeans control the safety of their food? My second is to the Friends of the Earth: Why do you think it's just another capitalistic plot to make money?

Children are starving. Biotechnology is not all bad and it's not all good. So what is? When are y'all gonna quit arguing and figure out how to feed the children?

Kinja, the weblog guide

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

No Link Between Fat and Breast Cancer?

This fad began when someone discovered that Japanese women had a much lower incidence of breast cancer than did American women. After a flurry of studies, conversations, and conferences, it was decided that it was primarily the low fat content of the Japanese diet that protected Japanese women.

Americans, already being predisposed to rushing headlong into any fast cure for anything, rushed headlong into the low fat diet mode. Never mind that this breast cancer being on the rise thing is a relatively new phenomenon and linked to a whole lot of factors other than diet.

Hello! The Japanese have a different diet altogether. A different culture. A different environment. And oh, by the way, their incidence of breast cancer is on the rise. (So long and thanks for all the fish).

But JAMA has published yet another of their famous studies that will have the dieticians, doctors, and health nuts slavering all over them.

I have news for you. We're all gonna die someday.

Kinja, the weblog guide

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Another Light Gone

Betty Friedan, sometimes referred to as the Mother of the modern feminist movement, died on her 85th birthday, February 4, 2006.

"I never set out to write a book to change women's lives, to change history," said Friedan, who always kept a sense of wonder about her place in history as the mother of the contemporary women's movement.

"It's like, 'Who, me?' Yes, me. I did it. And I'm not that different from other women…. Maybe my power and glory was that I could speak my truth as a woman and it was the truth of every woman."

If every woman spoke her truth, how might our world change?

Kinja, the weblog guide

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Take Back Your Power Day

NursePam is declaring this a National Holiday. I'm going to call it Over 50's Take Back Your Power Day. I would call it Old Ladies Take Back Your Power Day but I'm thinking that there is more ageism involved here than there is sexism.

As always, I use the example of my nurses because....

Well, because they do snotty so well. Forgetting that we older folks might stick together, they plot, and plan evil games to overthrow the rules at work in full view and hearing of the 2 new nurse. The new nurses who happen to be in their 40's and 60's respectively. Not realizing that the old ladies will spill their guts to me at the first opportunity.

Now I am armed and dangerous. They believe that we are hog tied because we are desperate for nurses? HA! NursePam simply walks in and does a medication pass on Saturday night when there is a staffing problem. Any questions ladies?

Won't call me to inform me of an injured resident because I didn't give you what you wanted? And you think I'm going to call you back from home on a Sunday because you want the day off?


Not bloody likely. Oh, and by the way, there is a written warning waiting for you on my desk.

Calling in sick because you received a warning? There'll be another waiting for you when you return. Gonna threaten to quit? PLEASE quit! I'm begging you. I am not afraid. Been there, done that, bought the tee shirt and the hat.

You're sick of me? I'm sick of you saying you don't want to be told what to do when your too damned lazy to go back to school so that you can be the boss. Of course, you won't last if you get there because down deep, you aren't tough enough.

Think all of your coworkers are on your side? My, my! You should hear what they have to say about you.

So while you are plotting to overthrow me, I'm still older, smarter, and craftier. I know how people are. I know how the work place operates. And best of all, I know what's waiting for you.

While you primp and talk on your cell phone instead of doing your job, I'm mentoring the smart young thing with a work ethic and a hunger to make her life better.

When my young protoge becomes your boss, you'll be older, not cute, and sloppy in your work habits because you didn't believe you had anything to learn. While you're working the night shift thankful for any job, she'll be raking in the big bucks and telling you what to do.

Good luck doll face. Because I will have long ago schooled her in every dirty trick you know how to throw at her.

I may be older. But I'm not your mother. And I'm not dead yet.

Kinja, the weblog guide

Friday, February 03, 2006

Get Your Random Bushwhacker Quote Here

Pam's random George Bush quote:


"We need to counter the shockwave of the evildoer by having individual rate cuts accelerated and by thinking about tax rebates."

Take this quiz at QuizGalaxy.com

Thanks Gina for sending me to QuizGalaxy. I know why I'm going to jail but George's quotes tickled my fancy this morning.
*hee hee*

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Brokeback Mountain Takes Red States By Storm

He who laughs last, laughs best. The reception that Montana has given to the film gives me hope and the courage to continue beating the drum of tolerance.

From Salon.com:

Feb. 2, 2006 "For months now, a chorus of televised talking heads has been predicting that the vast majority of Americans wouldn't stand -- let alone stand in line -- for "Brokeback Mountain." Bill O'Reilly, who memorably promised that red-staters would stay home, predicted, "They're not going to go see the gay cowboys in Montana. I'm sorry. They're not going to do it."

"Brokeback" isn't doing well only in Missoula [a college town known as a haven for liberals, hippies and artists]. In Kalispell, a stronghold of conservatism in the northwest part of the state, the film opened last Friday and took in $3,656 at the box office its first weekend, a draw Focus says it's "very happy" with. In the equally conservative ski town of Whitefish, where the film also opened on Friday, it was the weekend's top draw, taking in $2,312 and beating out "Big Momma's House 2," "Nanny McPhee" and "Underworld," the top three national box-office draws. And a rep for the company calls the film's performance in Billings, a traditional farming community in central Montana, where it has taken in $26,065 since opening on Jan. 13, "absolutely phenomenal." "Brokeback" is also doing well in Great Falls and Bozeman, and last weekend opened at No. 1 in Helena."

"I don't know where [the pundits] got the idea that we wouldn't want to see this movie," said Donna Frief, a 59-year-old school secretary from Lolo, Mont., who went to see "Brokeback" in Missoula last week with her daughter and granddaughter. Frief said she "could have done without" some of the more explicit love scenes, but added, "I thought it was just a really beautiful love story. And so sad. It really helped me understand more about the feelings that [gay people] go through."

What's this? A conservative grandmother develops empathy for 2 gay cowboys? That alone ought to send some of the right wingers reeling into a frenzy of diatribe against the Gay Agenda and its proponents. The last thing the wingnuts want is anything that will humanize gay folk. It blows their whole argument right out of the water.

I cannot help myself:

neener neener neener!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Kauai Here I Come!

That's rights guys and gals! Our very generous corporation is once again sending us to Hawaii. This time it is to the garden island of Kauai. I was there for a week about 20 years ago.

It has to be one of the most beautiful spots in the world. Lush may be the word that describes Kauai best. The trade winds are so soft on your skin it makes you want to weep. The water is crystal clear. And with each gentle rain, the scent of island blossoms fills the air.

I will find out within a few days if I can bring a guest. If so, it will be my sister Kate. The trip is scheduled for May.

Yippee skipee!

Kinja, the weblog guide

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