My blog is funny, interesting and touches on all kinds of topics. There’s a surprise in every post. Enjoy!
I finally did my yard, though I think finally doing it in May isn’t too bad. It’s a small back courtyard, and half the 200 square foot area is paved with bricks to be patio-like. It’s very small but it started to feel huge when I started. Still, I kept going. I raked up last year’s leaf fall (there are two maples back there too, shading the area all day) and put them in piles. Then it was stirring up the dirt and digging out all these weeds, some of them big and clumpy with long roots. Took hours. I took one break for a mimosa and a cigarette. It took 7 bags to get rid of the piles of leaves and weeds I had made. I was on my hands and knees all over the dirt, digging it up, stirring it, and basically roto-tilling it by hand. And I fucking did it. Then I used the metal rake and stirred it more, spreading it out and making it flat. Then I had to kick out all the animals. I put water and more water over the really dry areas of dirt. It was good dirt, dark and rich. I found out the area in front of the back gate also is paved with bricks – I took all the extra dirt burying it and threw it into the yard. I also found, under lots more dirt, yet another basement window. No actual window, just the cement half square that otherwises proclaims a window at ground level. It was filled with dirt. The other one I knew about, and used it as a rock garden, since I found lots of rocks. It’s creepy – there’s a basement to this huge house and you can see the stairway to it from the front and it’s like there are people under the stairs. I used this second one, since it gets more sun, as a garden for carpet alysseums (sp?) I bought. They’re a carpet flower. I dumped two packets of seeds in it, and watered the crap out of it. I must have put ten gallons all over the yard. Finally I threw down a big bag of grass seed all over and then even more water. I was so proud of myself. It really looks a million times different – and better. I can’t wait for my flowers and grass to come. But no animals can go back there now. The baby grass is delicate. I hope I did it all right. I’m going to water it more in a minute.
Going to Silverwood theme park with the residents tomorrow. It’s no Disneyland, but it’s fun. I haven’t been since high school. It’s not open to the general public yet, but they open it for adult and residential family homes and their residents – some of these folks would never be able to go otherwise due to being sex offenders or what have you. Some are just too vulnerable to be brought without the special set up the theme park is providing for us. Staff who are going get paid for it and provided dinner. Myself and Chels were the lucky ones asked in the nursing department by our administrator, and we’re night shift so we were removed from the schedule Friday night and everything. Everyone else going are social workers, one RN to help us with meds while there, and a couple from the Front Desk department. It’s quite a privilege to be asked to come. I know the residents in my group – seven of them – and I got a good group. I’m pretty excited.
I need to go to the store and find some good summer board shorts – I have a cute pair but there are no pockets because they’re technically swimming trunks. It’s going to be warm. I love how warm it is – warmer than it has been at this time of year in twenty years.
I’m restarting the Spokane Dance Gathering as well – it was a weekly event we started last summer and it turned out real well. I don’t have any of the DJ equipment – Epic Struggle’s founder went to Seattle for the broader market – but I technically still work for them as I am a promoter, arrange logistics and provide financial support whenever events are arranged here.
This time it’s a lot more geared toward hippies because I am telling everyone to bring instruments and food. I want to kick it off potluck style. My share of food is sitting in the fridge now. I will be providing firespinning entertainment as well. Already about 15 have said they are going. With facebook, it’s pretty easy to start up any event you want. Especially if you make the event page public, which I totally did.
I have nothing much else to say. I guess I am pretty boring, working and when not working, hanging out at home with my animals. I like cleaning it a lot.
So I have been accepted into Grad School, the Masters Social Work Program. Pretty stoked about that.
And I adopted a black lab/great dane mix from the shelter. He’s 6 years old and really big. He’s already trained and I renamed him Prince. His original name was Hewie but he’s too majestic for a name like that. He’s already coming to that name but he’s really good at coming even if you pat your leg. I love how well-behaved he is. He and two of the cats get along just fine and neither one really mind each other but the kitten is terrified of him. He starts hissing and growling which gets him going because he was once a hunting dog. So both need lots of time and supervision and they will eventually get used to ignoring each other.
I take him on walks, so far at least two a day. I think he would be just fine released from his leash and allowed to run around in the park a block away but I’m waiting for Saturday morning. That’s when it’s been a week since I’ve had him – I want him good and aware I am master and to always come back when commanded.
He’s soooo cute!
He followed me to my bed when I slept just a day after I’d had him, but I’ve decided not to let him sleep in my bed with me. He has his own couch with blankets and the bed was always the cats’ spot. The kitten needs me LOL. They need lots more time before they’ll potentially sleep together. It took Cleo and Callie around two months but eventually they did, but always at a safe distance. Those are my first two cats. The kitten sleeps with any kitty whether they like it or not.
Otherwise I work and hang out with a few friends here and there, one of them has a dog that loves my dog and they play together. That dog is just a puppy so after awhile Prince is done but the puppy won’t quit and Prince snaps at him. He learns.
Hung out with Sam too, he’s jealous I have this awesome dog.
And it appears the administrator of the mental health facility in which I work (everyone’s boss) wants me and a coworker specifically to go on the Silverwood trip in May. Our immediate supervisor called me today and I told her we’d love to, with appropriate accommodations to the schedule. We work nights. I can speak for Chels, who first said she wanted to go back when sign ups were first posted. She emailed the activities director who heads the whole thing. You get paid to take residents to this theme park out in Idaho with all these rides and stuff. It’s pretty cool.
In the meantime I’m just hanging out with the animals and saving money and watching crap online.
Have fun everybody!
I have gained a few followers, unsure if they are genuinely liking this stuff or just clicking the button because it’s easy. Because I know I often click that button because it’s easy.
My brain has been on overdrive and my body taxed with all this nursing I’m doing. It is hard to be honest, but I just don’t want to be around my residents right now. I love them and it’s what I do and I always joke that I have a Jesus complex because of my belief that there is no higher virtue or honor other than serving others. So it’s my thing, I applied to grad school to become like Jesus and get better at it. (Funny that Jesus comes up – I’m not a Christian but to quote Bill Maher, I read his book).
But it’s been exhausting. Many changes are coming through and I have been doing extra work like auditing MAR books (we’re back on paper if I didn’t already mention this – our medication software was crap so we took a regression to the mean) and sending out all the holes I find in mass emails so they can then come fill them later. However, the holes situation building-wide in September was atrocious, so my boss called myself and Chels my awesome coworker in to his office to assign us a very special task.
But first a fun story about this boss. He was not here when I started. He had been an employee and took an absence and came back, when I was hired was during his absence. Now, I’ve applied there a total of four times and was interviewed twice, first by him (before his absence) and then the final time, landing the job, and not remembering him at all. When he came back I realized it was HIM – the asshole who didn’t hire me!
I’m just kidding when I say asshole, he isn’t really. (In case he ever reads this). I like a lot of the things he does, and agree with some of his stricter policies. Which brings me back to his office this morning – he asked us, me and Chels, to be the leaders of the MAR audit throughout the month. There are four of us on night shift, but only myself and Chels will have access to the spreadsheets where all the holes themselves are entered and mass emailed to the entire department of nursing. They go red (literally, the color red) if they are sent again and are a repeat since you have had a shift. (Meaning, a chance to go fill it). A hole, for clarification, is when a box or bubble is not checked in a patient’s Medication Administration Record. There can be all kinds of things besides meds too – treatments, vitals checks, foot soaks, anything at all the doctor orders. If something is empty that should have been initialed by that nurse on that shift on that floor….well, you probably get it now. It becomes a hole.
My boss was totally thrilled when he found out I’ve been going through the MAR books and writing down holes and sending them to people. I get downtime at night and Chels does too and we like to get all nit-picky over the books. We like paperwork. I didn’t know it was possible either.
Now he’s asking us to audit three floors a night, not each of us, but in the night. There are seven floors, which means we really only need to do it a couple times a week. Which is funny, I’ve been doing two floors a night.
I’ve been doing that so much, and now my boss is exploiting my levels of dedication, hard work, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, that when a page goes off, meaning a resident is calling me, I’m super irritated for a minute. Sometimes at work I just get so sick of that pager going off because someone, somewhere, is yanking a call light.
I’m pretty sure it’s just me though. It’s not their fault. One is particularly behavioral right now, yet I know and she knows I am her favorite. Another is very fragile and needs to be in a nursing home but they’re having a hard time placing her and of course she loves me to death and won’t go to bed because I’m there. She will pull the cord many times, knowing I’m on shift, wanting up at 2 in the morning. And I adamantly state that as her nurse, this is a very bad idea considering her health, but she gets up anyway. And I have to get her on the toilet and in her wheelchair and uguguuguguh….just aggravating. But I never show it. At the end of the day, I always feel satisfied because I know she got the best care ever. We’re beyond nursing care at this point, she just needs care. This is just one resident, I have about 50 under me a night. All the frequent pagers in the building are clustered on my two floors. I sense a conspiracy. So I’m just running around most of the night. Answering pages. Dealing with behaviors. Passing PRNs in the hope they will PLEASE go to sleep so I can get some work done and when I’m done with that, sit down for a minute.
Still, I’m a fucking rock star at work. So is Chels, she trained me when I was new. We are so incredibly crucial to that place it’s hilarious and unbelievable. It’s nice to remember that sometimes. I remind her, and she nods vigorously.
I have Wednesday and Thursday nights off, my weekend, and this one actually happened!
The kitten was fixed and got his first shots on Wednesday but I didn’t pick him up till around 6:30 that night. Of course finding the place – a friend referred me – was hard as hell as I took every wrong turn I possibly could before getting there at 9 in the morning, nearly missing the drop-off window of 7-9 in the morning. They all agreed, he was the cutest kitty there. He has his mane of white and he’s fluffy and his nose his black and he has big eyes. When he got home I let him come out of the carrier on his own time and waited for hilarity. And it was hysterical – he was so drugged up he would take a couple steps and then tip over. I paid extra for pain meds so I was teasing him – “feeling good, aren’t ya? Good kitty drugs?”
Then I slept awhile with the kitty on me. I slept on my couch which was the deciding factor of me getting up later – Sam got off at midnight and we wanted to go to Irv’s. It’s the best bar ever, I’ve spent years there and when I go in everyone knows me. Except it’s not like Cheers because that’s just a sit down bar and this bar is much more glamorous, two sided, and has a club side. Sam and I are dance partners and we kick ass. At one point the whole floor cleared because we utterly owned it. All those dance/club songs are perfectly translatable to any two-step or triple-step dance maneuver. I just follow him.
Last night was the annual Murder Mystery tryouts and me and Tizzel both got parts. I’m Lucy Legs, a flashy showgirl, and Tizzel got a villain who’s enemies with half the cast – Mimi Martini, the cocktail waitress. Tizzel is losing her mind, she’s so excited. The actual event, a fundraiser for the Pride Parade and festival, is April 18 which is also Mike’s birthday and the day George gets out of jail. Lots of energy forming around that date.
Also last night I hung out with Tizzel and she met Sam and Mom and we went to his bar which is buried in this hotel and you have to go to the back and through this suspicious looking door to get to it. But Sandra makes some stiff drinks and there was karaoke that night. I didn’t sing but Tizzel did. She had put on a concert for Mom too.
And it was pretty much a weekend like that, lots of drinking and smoking and eating and not doing a whole lot of anything practical or necessary. I didn’t get more kitty litter or do laundry or anything. That crap can always wait another day.
Except the kitty litter, I get it tomorrow.
I’ve written to every president in my lifetime since I learned to write at age 4. Here is President Obama’s letter. A little late, I know, here in the second term…
Dear Mr. President, 4 March 2013
I know I’m only one person on this planet and not very significant, but I happen to be an American. I was educated here, I am in grad school, I served in the military, and I work my ass off. A few things bother me – I have no dependents, am not married, and yet qualify for food stamps while working full time. How is that possible? I have a best friend, in jail for a non-violent drug offense and there are child molesters in there for less time. He watches them come and go. How is that possible?
There’s so much more – lack of work, food and gas is ridiculously expensive, wages go down or stay stagnant, healthcare is inaccessible (the ACA will help with that) women’s rights are going backwards, and the mentally ill I work with have no resources.
I’m not saying all this to bust your balls or call you out on anything – life has improved since Bush and any Republican policy. You forced healthcare through – that was awesome. You signed the Lily Ledbetter Act, you’ve addressed military and veteran concerns (and made sure they were exempt from the sequester) and you are, by your actions, behavior and attitude, a champion for the poor and oppressed. In all stories, there are good guys and bad guys, and I think you are one of the good guys. I think you need to realize the extremism you’re working with in congress doesn’t really count as anything truly representative of us – they never had to know hard work, few joined the military just so they could get college money (less than one percent of Americans are millionaires, yet over 40% of congress is made up of millionaires) and not a single one of them can relate to today’s typical American, now much more likely to be a woman, a person of color or gay. They remind me of the Taliban or Al-Qaida in their incredible religious fanaticism and right wing zeal, and they scare the shit out of me. Mr. President, do you realize that to the people who voted for you, you are the last bastion of reason and sanity in the face of evil?
To be sure, there are two things in which you have grossly failed in your otherwise excellent capacity as president, and they are these: Cannabis. I live in Washington state, and medical marijuana has been legal since 1996. We just legalized it for recreational use, as did Colorado. Mr. President, I urge you to get that DEA to back off our patients and now, back off what will be a thriving new business making lots of money for our community. Use those executive orders if you have to. Under your administration, DEA raids destroyed our medical marijuana industry which was doing just fine, helping a lot of people and creating jobs. Please make them stop that. I know you have some control here. Those resources turning hospital patients into criminals can surely be used in a more efficient fashion elsewhere.
Secondly – what is with the remote control planes dropping bombs randomly across the Middle East? Do you know how many thousands of innocents are dying from this? Mr. President, you are a Nobel peace prize winner, our last bastion of reason and sanity – this is far below your standards (and ours) and you must draw it to a halt immediately. It makes us look like world assholes, not just world police. I would love to see you slash the pentagon’s budget, bring all those soldier boys and girls home, and stop playing world police. You could begin a culture shift away from that. Let everyone else in the world do what they’re going to do. Last I read, we occupy over 50 different nations right now. A few are friends, I get that. But Mr. President, the military is for protecting borders, not cleaning up or fighting other people’s wars. I know it may sound harsh but I firmly believe it – we are not the world police and we need to quit acting like it, and let the middle east in particular do what they’re going to do to each other. They are lesser evolved people, and we can’t very well tell them “do as we say, not as we do” when our own democracy sees more luxuries and rights bestowed to billionaires and corporations than actual humans. Mr. President, we don’t have the right to be occupying these places, nor do we have the resources. No more drones, no more other countries’ wars. Children are going hungry here, the food banks don’t have enough food, I’ve watched people die of suicide and go to jail for murder after going too long without mental health treatment. We need help here on THIS battleground, Mr. President. If the scary brown people come after us from their little caves, we’ll deal with it at the border. On our turf, not theirs!
Other than that though, a lot of us are really counting on you to back us up, to protect our social security (the federal government owes money to it) protect our medicare, our veterans, and basic things like that. What you need to understand is the new normal in the Republican Party will not compromise with you. You are black and too progressive in the face of their extremism. They’re not just blind to what a real American is, they’re completely opposed, somehow ideologically, to anything that will be beneficial to under-and middle class Americans. Stop trying to compromise with them, you’ll only end up conceding something really important and giving them positive reinforcement for effectively manipulating you. And you’ll be letting us down. We’re not down here stupid on the battlefront – we know that government is bought and paid for. We know there’s a reason corporations get to be called people while we’re called consumers, and we know why there are few education and almost no mental health resources but oil, fabulously wealthy, gets to enjoy millions of dollars worth of subsidies every year. Do you know how pissed off that makes us?
No one is genuinely fighting for us but you, Mr. President. The rest say they do, talk in vague terms, the same right-wing talking points. Please retain your common sense, decline your raise (seriously, 400,000 a year? You don’t need it. If you take it, you better donate it to charity. I could make 400 grand last half a LIFETIME) and please, please, get as much done as you can while you’re in the White House. God knows what will happen after your term is over. So make the most of it, fight for us, and think about what I said. We’ll be fighting too.
A REAL representative of The People,
For you reading now – I don’t want to hear your anti-Obama diatribes, if there are any. This is my disclaimer – this was not to incite a political riot in classic internet flame-war action. This was just to record it. To record something I’ve been doing all my life, writing to each president, even Bush. If you have an opinion, great, but if it violates my disclaimer, fuck off.