How I Spent my Summer Vacation

Summer is here!  My favorite season by far.  Not really the best season to love when you live in Ohio, because those other seasons seem to get in the way every year, but I do love summer.

While I never wrote the How I Spent my Summer essay in school, I am taking an idea from the wonderful Zoot and compiling a list of things I’d like to accomplish this summer.

  • Teach Jamison how to ride a bike
  • Go to Zoombezi Bay
  • Start running again
  • Sing in the top ten with my chorus, SVC
  • Read a schload of books
  • Go to the Park of Roses
  • Visit the new Columbus Commons downtown.
  • Go to a Clippers game
  • Watch my husband and son get a medal with The Alliance
  • Invite friends over for a party
  • Clean out the garage
  • Spend a day on the lake with the family
  • See my niece play softball
  • See my nephew play baseball
  • Go to Dawes Arboretum
  • Get a pedicure
  • Watch my husband win  gold medal with The Allies
  • Start writing again
  • Go to The Wilds
  • Go for a run with Alexa
  • Take a road trip to see something new

Many of these things are easily doable.  Some may be wishful thinking.  But … I’d better get started, summer never lasts nearly as long as I’d like it to.

It’s Real In My Mind

I know it has already been established that I have some of the crazy in me.  I have the music too … but alas, I do have the crazy.  While I am “touched,” there are some things I’m pretty sure of.  At least I’ve convinced myself of these things.  One of the things I have convinced myself of, is the existance of an unusual side effect to one of the medications I am on. 

I am on Cymbalta.  And I have a side effect that I attribute to this drug.  It gives me shoulder pain and stiffness, neck stiffness and an unconcious habit of clenching my jaw.  For reals.  I attribute this to Cymbalta because I had to go off of it for a couple of weeks and the pain and stiffness went away during that time.  I also was heavy into Autumn Quarter and I originally thought my symptoms were from note taking and general stress.  But now, I’m on winter break, and the pain is back.  Weird right?

I am pretty sure I read somewhere on The Internet that others on Cymbalta had these same problems.  And you know, everything on the Internet is real yo.  Like those talking cats that play pattycake. 

Anyway, since this is what is known as an “non-labeled” side-effect, I am thinking of giving the combination of muscle wackness an official name and making an official-because-mom-said-so side effect.  Now I just need a good name for my side effect. 

“Clench Shoulder.”  “Jaw Neck”  Ideas??

Double T

I’m a huge fan of Top Chef.  This “All Star” season is full of the awesome.  I am enjoying seeing lots of my all time favorite chef/personalities (Richard!  Antonio!  Fabio!) and also getting a chance to hate a few people all over again (Spike!  Dale T!  Marcel!).  Then there is the guy from the only season that I didn’t see (Season 1) who, all I can say is:  WTF is going on with this Stephen guy?

While I am having fun reliving the love and hate of seasons past … the best part of this season is what I am lovingly calling: “Double T.”

I have already professed my eternal love for Tom Colicchio.  I have a soft spot for bald men (sorry Stu – I love you even with all of your hair).  Add in that he cooks and can be a total smart-ass – total bonus.

And then.  Be still my heart …..

Tony Bourdain.  I. Love. Him.

The combination of amazing chef, talented writer and possibly the most foul-mouthed, snarky, hilarious man on earth … he really turns me on.  I mean really.  He is a big, mean, hysterical, rough, talented, gnarly teddy bear.  LOVE HIM!

I have now caught up on the first two episodes and cannot wait to see how it plays out going forward.  I love that Antonio and Richard continue to create some awesome stuff.  I’m glad that Jen left (I may have a soft spot for snarky, smart-assed men, I do not have a soft spot for mean, bitchy women).  This Stephen guy continues to baffle me.  He’s like a weird version of Clay Aiken – but more geeky, strange and over the top.  If that is even possible.  Antonia and Dale L are both as adorable as ever and Casey, who I wasn’t sure about the first time, is starting to grow on me.  It should be a fun season.  I get to watch excitement in the kitchen while great chefs make awesome food and also get a side of Double T on top.

I Love My Job – Reason #1

I often Tweet and Facebook-Status-Update (they need a shorter name for that) about how much I love my job.  I decided that it’s about time I started explaining some of the reasons why.  So starting today, in no particular order, here they are.

First, for anyone reading who knows nothing about me or what I do:  I am a nursing assistant in an outpatient Cancer Clinic associated with a large cancer hospital/research center.  The clinic I am in specalizes in GI cancers (colon, pancreatic, liver, gastric, rectal, etc).  These cancers tend to go undetected for a long time, so it “could” be a very sad place to work.  But … it is not.

Reason #1 I Love My Job:  My Patients

We have the best patients in the world.  Ever.  I mean it.  These wonderful people are dealing with one of the worst things that a person should have to deal with.  Cancer in general – sucks.  Sucks big, giant donkey nut-sacks.  I lost my father to cancer.  My mother-in-law currently has cancer.  It really sucks a lot.  

However, the patients I see daily are for the most part the most positive people I know.  They are all heroes to me.  Every last one.  I enjoy coming here every day to see them.  Because of the nature of cancer and treatment, we see them on a regular basis.  Weekly or every other week, every four weeks at the longest usually.  I know them.  They know me.  We talk about our lives, our families, our problems.  They are like family to me.  They ask me how my son’s concert went.  I ask them if they did well hunting over the weekend.  We know each other on a level much greater than that of, say, my dentist or my family doctor.  We spend what I like to think of as quality time together.  We laugh together and we cry together.  We give hugs and share inappropriate jokes.  I see them at their best and at their worse.  They make my life better and cause me to feel as if I am doing something that matters.  I love them all – each and every one.  They make it a joy to come to work every day and if I have to be off … I miss them tremendously. 

My patients are strong, positive, amazing people and that is why I love my job.

Year 11

It was 11 years ago today.  I sat in the Middle Bedroom at my Granny’s house holding his hand.  His breathing was shallow and staggered.  He had faded in and out of consciousness several times that evening and we had taken turns sitting with him.  We knew he wasn’t in any pain and were weren’t exactly sure he even knew we were there.  But we like to think he did.  After a very long day and evening, and a day or two prior of much of the same, we knew the time was near.  It was decided by one of us, who exactly I can’t remember and it really doesn’t matter, that maybe we should all go in and tell him it was okay to go.  We knew he was ready and it was okay.  No matter how many times I say it was okay, it really wasn’t.  And still isn’t.  Just don’t tell my Dad that.

They tell you that people in a coma or not in a real state of conciousness can still hear you if you talk to them.  I know now they are right.  Either that, or God heard us and passed the message on to Dad.

It wasn’t more than a few minutes after that, although it seemed like much more, he slipped away.  Hearing from us that we were okay and it was time allowed him to let go as well.  It was very peaceful.  It was heartbreakingly sad.  It was something I would never wish on anyone else and at the same time nothing I would EVER want to trade away.

It was 11 years ago today and it still feels like yesterday. 

It was 11 years ago and I still miss him terribly. 

I love you Dad.

Dear Mr. D. Bag …

I have a teacher this quarter who is not originally from these great United States.  Now, I’m not a bigot-ish kind of person.  Not at all really.  So I don’t want to assume that this guy is an asshat because he is originally from Romania.   Whatever his reasons.  Total Asshat.

This is on online class, so automatically it is heavy on the writing assignments, just because of the nature of the online class concept.  This I am aware of and used to as I have taken many online classes so far.  But explain this logic (or lack thereof) to me.

Last week he assigned one lecture because to his mind it was a long one and we had  quiz that week.  Cool.  Easy week.  I like that.

However, this week he assigns THREE lectures.  Halfway through the first I realize it is just as long if not longer than the single lecture we had last week.  Not only being Thanksgiving week here in the US at our particular school it is also Michigan Week.  The week we play our big rival in one of the biggest football games of our school’s year.  It is a BIG DEAL at this school.

With the BIG GAME being the same day that my husband and I took the kids to his parents for our Thanksgiving with them – we already  had lots going on.  On top of that – that was the same day he added in the third lecture of the week.  A lecture I have to read/listen to and submit some discussion responses by Sunday.  The next day.

Asshat.

So in between helping with food and such, I spent much of my Saturday with my face stuck in my laptop (not nearly as much fun as it sounds) reading about Glam Metal and Punk.  Any other day this might have been somewhat enjoyable.   But not when there was much fun to be had, food to be eaten, some beer to be drank and some refs to yell profanities at.

Ass.  Hat.