Just Playin'
Random Thoughts...
Friday, October 29, 2004

Random

1. What color is peanut butter?

2. I love these products. Life is indeed good.

3. John Kerry looks absolutely exhausted. Bush does not.

4. This website cracks me up. I recommend it for a laugh now and then.

5. Have a fun and safe Halloween weekend - go fugly early!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Worst Pick-up Line

A friend and I were out last night. A man used this gem: "I'm in the meat industry - I sell meat and I'm good at it. You're about to buy a pound of meatloaf and you don't even know it."

For the record - I didn't buy a thing.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

A Little Bit Country

I'm not really a country music fan, but there are at least dozens of country songs that I like. Many years ago my Dad switched from listening to 'oldies' and began listenting to country music on the radio when driving. (My sister said this weekend it was before a road trip we took to Texas - that he figured country was all we were going to get on the radio, so he might as well prepare for it). Since then, he's been hooked and I've often been a captive listener.

Chuck's comment yesterday (Maybe it was Memphis - good song) got me thinking about country music. There's a song out now that so far has made me cry every time I've heard it:

She was in the backyard - they say it was a little past nine
When her prince pulled up - a white pickup truck
Her folks shoulda seen it comin' - it was only just a matter of time
Plenty old enough - and you can't stop love
She stuck a note on the screen door - "sorry but I got to go"
That was all she wrote - her mama's heart was broke
That was all she wrote - so the story goes
Now her daddy's in the kitchen - starin' out the window
Scratchin' and a rackin' his brains
How could 18 years just up and walk away?
Our little pony-tailed girl growed up to be a woman
Now she's gone in the blink of an eye
She left the suds in the bucket
And the clothes hangin' out on the line

Now don't you wonder what the preacher's gonna preach about Sunday morn
Nothin' quite like this has happened here before
Well he must have been a looker - smooth talkin' son of a gun
For such a grounded girl - to just up and run
Course you can't fence time - and you can't stop love
Now all the biddy's in the beauty shop gossip goin' non-stop
Sippin' on pink lemonade
How could 18 years just up and walk away?
Our little pony-tailed girl growed up to be a woman
Now she's gone in the blink of an eye
She left the suds in the bucket
And the clothes hangin' out on the line

She's got her pretty little bare feet hangin' out the window
And they're headin' up to Vegas tonight
How could 18 years just up and walk away?
Our little pony-tailed girl growed up to be a woman
Now she's gone in the blink of an eye
She left the suds in the bucket
And the clothes hangin' out on the line



Perspective

"I think voting for a person who is going to win anyway, that you don't believe in, is a wasting a vote. It's about creating a movement."

-paraphrase of a Ralph Nader supporter

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Where to Roam

I am looking ahead. Though I am in no hurry to graduate from school and begin studying for the bar - ugh - there are some things to look forward to. As my graduation gift, my folks are sending me and a guest (T!) on a trip of our choosing. I'll be busy in the summer and would like to lock in some good rates, so it's never too soon to start thinking about where we want to go.

If I was vacationing alone I'd head to Mexico. I'd sit on the beach all day and sip margaritas to my heart's content.

Somehow I think T would bore of that plan after a bit. So we are looking for alternatives. Europe has been proposed - and T is all for it. I have all but vetoed it, however. I've never been and something tells me it would be more of a 'working' vacation. We'd have to do quite a bit of traveling in order to see the things we want to see. And in some places we would be unfamiliar with the language.

Relaxation is the name of the game. The trip will be after I take the bar and before my job begins in the fall. I'll be exhausted from studying and stressing over the bar. And when we return from vacation, we'll likely be moving, T will be headed to high school, and I'll be starting a new job. I think relaxation is definitely in order. I just don't see us getting much relaxation (or sun) in Europe.

Current thinking has us headed to Hawaii. I've never been and hear it's beautiful. I'm hoping we can strike an acceptable balance of relaxation on the beach with fun things to do (hiking, helicopter trips, snorkeling, etc...). Any advice? I have no idea on what island we might stay. Trip will probably be about 2 weeks long as T will start school in mid-August, I think. I'm sure no matter what we decide we'll have a good time, but I'd like to make some good choices.

Ho Hum

So, I've lost almost all blogging inspiration. I just can't seem to get motivated to blog - nor when I find the motivation can I think of any good blog fodder. I won't yet declare that I'm taking a blog break, but if I keep up with the crappy posts of late I think it will be only fair to those reading for me to do so. Traffic has fallen off, and who can blame those who have stopped returning?

Maybe it's because we're a little over half-way through the semester and I'm just tired. Maybe it's the change in weather. Though yesterday and today have been nice (and sunny), it is definitely getting closer to winter - which I dread. I don't mind the snow so much, just hate the biting wind and the short days.

I have been exercising more in the past week - I thought that was supposed to give a person more energy. Yeah, right. That's never worked for me.

I'll try to get back into the groove, but I don't promise much.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Who Kills Whom?

T and I were driving along the other day when we pulled up next to a woman who was at least in her 60s. She was wearing some sort of purple and pink faux fur (with feathers) coat, had blood-red fake fingernails, dyed red hair, and was smoking a fat brown 'cigarillo' of some sort, which she intermittently hung out the window.

I took one look at the woman and said, "People kill me."

T responded, "No, people kill themselves."

Touche.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Family Reunion

Off to Brown County for our annual family reunion. Yep, the weather is crappy - rainy with a chance of storms. No matter, we rented a shelter and we enjoy each other's company. We'll have plenty of burgers, beer, and things to do. Hope we don't get washed away!

Friday, October 22, 2004

A Different World

My T spent a day 'shadowing' a freshman student at my alma mater, Cathedral High School. I waited in a line of cars on the hill leading up to the school grounds to pick her up in the afternoon. During this 10 minute wait, I was passed by dozens of kids leaving school for the day - driving their own cars. Along with your garden variety cars, I saw the following vehicles being driven by children who didn't look old enough to watch PG-13 movies:

1 Ford Explorer
2 Jeep Grand Cherokees
2 BMWs
1 Cadillac
2 Lexus
3 Ford Mustangs

Home Improvement

Observed while driving:

A man on a ladder that was leaning against the side of a house. The ladder was tall - one of those extended-length jobs. The man was on the second rung from the top. In one hand he was balancing a can of paint with a paintbrush in it. With the other hand, he was talking on a cell phone.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Demoted

I recently received a new Sears card in the mail. I wasn't expecting it but figured my old card must have expired. Upon further inspection, I realized I had received a 'valued customer' card, which was a step down from the 'premiere customer' card, trimmed in gold, that I currently held.

I was hurt. Why am I no longer a premiere customer? My account is in good standing - what had I done wrong? Then I read the accompanying info: all I had to do was charge $600 to my account and my stellar rating would be reinstated. Ha! What a racket. Can't you just see shoppers rushing out to make purchases in order to once again be considered 'premiere customers'? I will have to content myself with the knowledge that I exercised enough fiscal responsibility in the past year to warrant being demoted to 'valued customer' status. Perhaps someone is handing out 'premiere' status to our Congressmen and women for the money they spend?

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Incommunicado

I've been unable to access Webmail today. It might be my home computer, but I doubt it. More likely it's the fault of our crappy Webmail system, as it often is. There are a few of my readers who may be waiting for an e-mail from me today...hopefully the system will be back to normal later tonight or early tomorrow. If not, I'll make some calls to you folks tomorrow.

The Future of Medical Care

I worked about 5 hours at the hospital yesterday. One of my patients presented with complaints of sore throat, cough, and something wrong with her tongue. I guessed it would be thrush - a yeast infection of the mouth - which generally appears as nasty white patches on the tongue, but when she showed me her tongue it had all sorts of what looked like scrapes or burns on it. Yuck.

I called the intern to come see her. The intern was busy and sent a medical student to get a history from the patient. I warned the med student as she went in to talk to the patient that her tongue was not a pretty sight. When the med student re-emerged from the exam room, I asked her if she'd seen the woman's tongue. She eagerly began to describe what looked like welps on the patient's tongue. Um, surely I heard her wrong. I continued the conversation and asked her what she thought it might be. She was as clueless as I was, but she continued to describe the abrasions as welps.

Now, I'm as aware as anyone that speech varies from person to person. And some colloquialisms can be entertaining, even endearing. But this woman is a medical student. She is supposed to describe what she sees to her upper levels in terms that are as accurate and descriptive as possible. Unless she saw either a young offspring of a mammal, such as a dog or wolf, or a tooth of a sprocket wheel (whelp) on the tongue of that patient, she should not be using the word welp or whelp when she means welt.


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

I Got Nothin'

Sorry, folks, I got nothin' today. No inspiration, no funny stories, nothing to complain about - which is good! I guess because this is our fall break and I have been lazing around a bit, there's just not much to write about.

My parents made it home safely last night. They took the TiVo news pretty well. In all, there were 6 shows we missed, but I have been able to salvage 4 of them. One re-played over the weekend, one re-plays this evening, and the 2 others come from the awesomeness of M@ and Heidi.

Yesterday I spent on an edit for ILR. Ugh - so glad that's over. Today I got up early and took my daughter to school but promptly got back in bed, read for a while, and went back to sleep. *wonderful* Of course, I had some crazy dreams I could have done without, but still nice to be able to waste a little time.

I'm up for good now - gonna have some lunch (breakfast?) and try to be a productive member of society.

Monday, October 18, 2004

The Jet Set

The Jet Set (are 2 people enough to make a set?) return home today! My parents have been in Mexico for 12 days. They called from the airport in Mexico City to say that their first flight was cancelled due to mechanical failure - yikes. They will catch another flight and hope to be in Indy some time this evening. Here's to a safe flights and a smooth return.

Technology Does Not Equal Progress

I stopped at the drug store yesterday to 'quickly' drop off a couple rolls of film. I grabbed a couple envelopes in which to put the film (actually disposable cameras) and began rummaging around in my purse for a pen. The guy behind the counter noticed: "are you looking for a pen?" Yes, I am. "You don't need one - use this computer."

Osco has a new touch-screen computer program customers are supposed to use to create a 'label' to affix to the envelopes that hold their film. A touch screen keyboard pops up on the screen and you are required to enter your name, address, phone number, etc...

This is dumb. It took way more time to deal with this high-tech replacement for a pen than it would have for me to scrawl my info on one of the envelopes. And especially for me - I must have poor circulation because it generally takes me about 3 taps on any given touch screen spot for the monitor to register that I have touched it. Anyway, the computer spits out a label and you attach it to the film. Why? 'Cause they couldn't read customers' handwriting? What a waste of effort and technology!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Idle Chatter

This is just idle political chatter; I've no statistics or research or proof, just speculation. I heard today that much of the political polling is being done the way it has been for years - via telephone.

Now ask yourself how many people you know who use only their cell phones for telephone communication and don't have a landline at all. I know quite a few - generally in the 18-25yo range. This is a relatively recent trend. And one that makes me uncomfortable - I'd feel vulnerable if I had to rely on my cell 24/7. I like the 'security' of having a functioning landline. But more and more people are switching to cellular phones and ditching traditional connections and their outrageous phone bills.

I'm guessing many of these telephone polls don't include the voices of those with cell phones only. Does that make a difference in the outcome? Are cell users more likely to vote for Kerry or for Bush? I have no idea - but it's an interesting question.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Real Request - Don't Laugh

OK, folks, we've had a minor (major) TiVo crisis at my house. If any of you have the following shows on tape (or on TiVo with the ability to transfer to tape) please e-mail me. I'll be forever in your debt (not really, but I will be grateful).

CSI Miami from Oct 11
Gilmore Girls from Oct 12 (M@?)
NYPD Blue from Oct 12 (oh please let someone have this one)
ER from Oct 14

That's all.

Letting Go

I don't have the time or inclination to compose an eloquent post, but I do need to vent a bit. I received a call from one of the nursing 'managers' at the hospital on Wednesday. She left me a message addressing some changes taking place in staffing, and in a fashion typical of the managerial style there, she said she'd be out of the office for the rest of the day and all day Thursday so I should page her today. I paged her - about 10 minutes after 9am, the time she said she'd be starting work. I waited 5-10 minutes, got no response, and called her extension. She answered and exclaimed that she was just getting ready to return my page. Whatever.

The long and the short of it is that they have done away with my position at the hospital. For many years, I worked full time (3-12 hour shifts a week) night shift. When I decided to return to school, I transferred my position and joined what we call float pool. Twice a year, I sign a float pool contract that states, among other things, the minimum number of hours I am supposed to sign up for in a pay period. Currently, I am at the lowest pay level. I chose this level on purpose because it only requires me to sign up for 16 hours a pp - or 8 hours a week. This allows me the flexibility I need for class time, study time, and time spent trying to keep up with my daughter's various commitments.

While I'm fully aware of my minimum requirement, I am also fully aware that never in the 8 years I've worked at the hospital have those minimums been enforced, especially at the lowest pay scale level. Turns out float pool has been dissolved. Float pool nurses have been assigned to the units on which the primarily worked as 'float' nurses. The manager informed me that not only have they been instructed to enforce the minimums, but that we are going to be expected to sign up for our hours 6 weeks in advance. Not gonna happen. I simply can't. For example, this semester we have 3 quizzes in evidence class (2 down, 3 to go!). We didn't know the dates of these quizzes until approx a week or so before each one. While we get a window of time in which to take these online quizzes, with my luck I would have signed up for an 8 hour shift, had to drive T to various activities, etc... and have no time left to study. I simply need the flexibility of scheduling work around school, because I have decided that school is my priority. I am now considered 'irregular part time', which basically means I have lost the flexibility in scheduling that was so perfect for me right now.

So, it looks like I'm going to have to quit. It's funny, I seem to have taken a path opposite the path of many of my classmates. I began law school with a job, one that I worked at least 8 hours a week and often more, and it looks like I will spend my last semester with no job. Meanwhile, my classmates who weren't working their 1L year now have jobs in the legal profession and are working more hours a week than I think I could manage. I suppose I should be happy - after all, it will give me more time to study and perhaps even to socialize with friends.

But I am just emotionally not ready to let go. I spent 4 years in college studying to be a nurse and I have worked in the field for around 9 years. While it is undeniable that I am ready for a career change, I'm just not quite ready to give it up entirely. I enjoyed being able to work a quick 4 hour shift during which I can draw blood, start IV's, care for patients, and generally keep my skills up. I love many of the nurses I work with at the hospital, and I've been missing their companionship during these busy last 2 years. I appreciate the little time I do get to spend with some of them when I am able to work. It looks like this is simply no longer going to be possible.

I'm not sure why I still feel so connected and why I can't seem to just let go. It's true I don't adjust to change well, and perhaps I'm uncomfortable with the complete cut of ties for that reason. I'm frustrated that I'm going to be FORCED to make this decision, one I didn't want to make just yet.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Presidential Debate #3

So last night was the 3rd and final debate between the candidates. I was bored - and pissed off that neither of the candidates could hold my attention. I think they were both mediocre at best, and annoying/insulting at worst.

Least favorite Bush moment: in response to Kerry's answer to Schieffer's question about extending health care coverage (Where are you going to get the money?), Bush began with: "In all due respect, I'm not so sure it's credible to quote leading news organizations about -- oh, never mind." While I agree with the point I think he was trying to make, he came off as an immature high school kid trying to make fun of his debate opponent. His behavior was completely inappropriate. Had he taken a more mature approach and actually finished what he started to say - he might have made a point that resonated with some in the wake of the Dan Rather fiasco (that Kerry shouldn't be quoting news organizations to bolster his position). Instead, he was going for laughs.

Least favorite Kerry moment : in response to Schieffer's question, (Do you believe homosexuality is a choice?), Kerry got about 15 words and 1 1/2 sentences into his answer before he uttered the words "Dick Cheney's daughter." That was clearly the cheap and easy way to go. I don't imagine it scored points with anyone. Kerry should have directly answered the question first with possibly a reference to Cheney's daughter at the end - but he just couldn't resist.

In all, I was disappointed. Maybe I just didn't pay enough attention - after all, Chuck and T spent most of the debate bickering with each other like brother and sister, or perhaps niece and uncle - since he tried to get T to call him "Uncle Chuck."

If there were truly undecided voters. And if any of those voters watched the debate. And if that debate could actually have had the power to sway some of those undecideds, I think the candidates lost an opportunity. I just didn't see anything that made me think Bush or Kerry won anyone over last night.

Love Prof Cooper's fact checking.

Easily Impressed

This is my first blog post using wireless internet!!! I love this freedom from the wires and cords. If my previous laptop had this capability, I never figured out how to use it. This new one does and after about 5 minutes of help from our IT department, I was up and rolling. *keeping my fingers crossed that thing continue to work out*

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Today's Blahs

I can't seem to get motivated to do much of anything today. I did arrive at school before 8:15 (and don't have class until 2:15), but that's less an act of self-motivation and more a desire to get a good parking space and not stress out later when I can't find one in time for class.

I managed a mediocre blog post. And reading for today's class is finished. But I can't seem to get much beyond that. I have reading for other classes, a law review edit due in 5 days or so and a 'short article report assignment' due on Friday for Trusts and Estates. I currently have the T&E article before me, but can't seem to get into it despite that I find the topic to be of great interest (Freezing the Heir Apparent: A Dialogue on Postmortem Conception, Parental Responsibility, and Inheritance).

I find my thoughts drifting to next semester - what classes to take from the once again slim-pickin's offerings? I also get distracted thinking about the decision T and I are going to have to make this year - what high school will she attend next year? We went to 1 of 3 open houses last night - the school was impressive, as I knew it would be. But with tuition at approx $15K a year I thought someone, one person, might mention financial aid. No one did. That I had to hunt down someone from admissions and ask about it was telling. And the complex process doesn't stop with open houses. I have scheduled her to 'shadow' at 3 high schools, and she must take 3 different entrance exams - not to mention filling out and paying for applications, complete with teacher recommendations. Trying to work all that around my school schedule, her basketball schedule, her speech contest calendar, and her service hours requirement is a organizational feat in itself.

You might blame my mood on the weather. After all, it is 'gloomy' outside. And I am in our reading room - surrounded by windows. But I like rainy days - there is something soothing to me about the cloudy skies. And like Kelly P., I think this room is the best place in the school to be on such a day.

Maybe I am just prematurely ready for Fall Break. But I worry about life in the 'real world.' I've never had a day job, a desk job, before. There won't be a fall or spring break around every corner. I may likely even miss my own B-day on occasion. I have no idea how I will pull myself out of these doldrums when I am out in the real working world.

Political Personality

A few weeks ago in my mediation class we took the MBTI - Myers Briggs Type Indicator. I'd taken it before, but was surprised to see that my results had shifted a bit. In my household it is widely known that my father is an ENFP and my Mom is the exact opposite - an ISTJ. My previous results indicated that I was borderline I/E (introvert vs extrovert). I like this result because it spoke to both my need to be alone at times as well as my desire to get together with others and have a good time. It also let me tell my Dad he was wrong, because he had guessed I was an I.

This time around, I was no longer on the fence. I was a strong I. This basically means that I tend to focus on the "inner world of thoughts and emotions" as opposed to the "outer world of activity and spoken words." Ick. I hate that this is my type preference. At the same time, I can't deny it. It's definitely accurate. I find that it takes alone time for me to re-energize - if I've had a busy day and am tired or stressed, all I want to do is curl up with a bowl of popcorn and a mindless book. And much as I hate to admit it, long periods of time interacting with other people simply drain my energy. I dread 'meet and greets' of the type put on by our school for networking purposes. We had several this summer at the firm where I worked, as well. While I got better at the small talk thing, I was always glad when the functions were over.

I envy those who can mingle and 'work a room' with ease. Who not only are able to do it, but who enjoy doing it. With tonight's debate fast approaching, I find myself wondering about the type preferences of the current candidates and of past presidents. Does being a politician demand that a person enjoy interacting with others? Certainly there must be a degree of ability to communicate with others and make personal connections. But must a successful politician enjoy such interaction? Must he or she even be good at it?

I look at Kerry and I see an introvert. I may be wrong, but it appears to me that the hand-shaking and baby-holding just drains him. He is intelligent and articulate - 2 things I like in a President, to be sure - but I don't think he is necessarily a people person. Clinton, on the other hand, appears to be a definite extrovert. He clearly is energized through interactions with other people - especially those with blue dresses and cigars at the ready.

And Bush - he seems most at ease in a crowd of people. Granted, these are usually people hand-picked by his campaign to cheer him on and smile and nod at everything he says, but he honestly does seem to thrive off making connections with folks in a crowd (wink).

Is there some magic formula as to what internal attributes it takes to succeed in politics? Are people pre-destined to succeed or fail in that field - is it impossible for individuals who receive their energy from time alone with their thoughts and ideas to be successful in such public service?

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Girl

Every so often my T comes up with some crazy stuff. She'll kill me if she sees I've posted this, so I'm banking on the fact that she doesn't read my blog very often.

We were driving along the other day and a discussion of condoms came up. I know, how on earth did that happen? Well, I don't remember, so try to get past that part. We talk pretty openly about alot of things - less openly than I would like but more openly, I think, than alot of kids and their parents.

Anyhow, the discussion continued and then T said: "You know, they have heated condoms now."

Um, no I didn't know. "No, I don't know - how do you know?"

"I don't know, I must've seen them on a commercial or something."

"T, I've never seen a commercial for heated condoms."

"Mom, you haven't seen half the commercials I've seen."
So true.

"I probably saw it on MTV or something."
Good point.

So then I get to thinking. "Heated condoms? For what? I mean, I don't understand. Are they for his pleasure or for her pleasure?" Having never had the experience myself, I wasn't sure what exactly the draw was.

"Eww, Mom!!!" (as she buried her head in her hands) "You're giving me gross images!"

"Sorry - but you brought it up! I'm just asking 'cause I don't get it."

I thought the conversation was over, but she was clearly thinking about it and then she announced, "Well, I don't know whose pleasure they're for but both the man and the woman in the commercial were smiling when the Trojan man showed up."
Ah, I bet they were.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Overheard (Or, why I'm beginning to think Josh may be right)

Saturday my daughter's 1st basketball game of the season. It was an away game, held at a somewhat rural, seemingly all-white grade school south of Indianapolis. While watching and waiting for the game before ours to end, I overheard the following conversation between 2 ladies who were discussing a Halloween themed sweater-looking-thing, complete with orange stitching and ghost buttons, that one of them had made.

Sweater-maker: I want to add some more patches to the back here. I'm going to take some muslim and cut it into squares and...
Friend: (cutting Sweater-maker off): It's MUSLIN, not Muslim. That's those people over in the Middle East.
Sweater-maker: (with look of astonishment): Oh, I always thought it was the same thing!!!

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Presidential Debate #2

It was close. Kerry did well, Bush did well - at least as compared to the 1st debate. Andrew Sullivan has a good summary. I enjoyed the debate with pizza, wine, and Chuck. It was the perfect combo.

Bush needs to calm down and stop completely overriding Charlie. It's not fair to the moderator, who after all must show some deference to our President. Kerry needs to connect better with the people, though I don't think he should adopt that annoying habit of Bush's of winking at someone in the audience to do so. Laura's scarf looked silly. It was pretty enough, just didn't seem to fit the occasion. I think it was to ensure she would not be Teresa's twin even if they were wearing the same color suit.

Do I think this debate changed the minds of many undecideds? Nope.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot: Bush is against slavery and won't appoint a Supreme Court Justice that doesn't share his view. Really - he managed to work that in tonight. Must have been for those who had any doubts.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Laura Bush

Dibs on blue!

Still No Sigh of Relief

Yay! This is officially my first post from my *new* laptop. Yes, I managed to obtain a laptop yesterday. Six weeks ago today I took my HP back to Best Buy because it died on me. Luckily, I had purchased the 3 year warranty, so any repairs were going to be covered. Unfortunately, I had no idea it would take so long to get results.

I have been without my computer for the past 6 weeks. While this is certainly not the same predicament as being without air, food, or water, it has been tough. I began my 1L year taking notes by hand. It quickly became apparent to me that the enormous amount of information conveyed by our profs in each class would be better handled and organized by a word processing system than by my paper and pen.

I bought my HP, along with the warranty, and I was off to the races. I'd never owned a laptop before, but I quickly adjusted. My typing became faster and I came to rely upon the tool for organizing my class notes. I also got very used to being 'connected' all the time. I checked my e-mail constantly and liked staying 'in touch' with what was going on around me. The death of my laptop ended all that. I went back to taking hand-written notes, which was a somewhat difficult transition. It can certainly be done; plenty of students do it. But because I had gotten so used to typing my notes, it was frustrating to be limited in note-taking to the speed at which I could hand write.

I tried to be patient. The store estimated my turn-around time would be 2 weeks, maybe a bit more. I elected to have the repaired unit sent straight to my house. After 2 weeks and a few days, when no laptop arrived, I called the store. Let me just summarize by saying that I wound up calling the store many times over the next few weeks. Each time I called, I got the answer that my laptop was 'on the bench' and being worked on. Then I would explain that I needed the employee to actually call the service center and get the real story. For a while we were waiting for parts; then it was parts in waiting for repair that should take 5-7 days.

After 6 days, I called again. Now we were waiting for 'checkout approval.' That sounded promising - sounded like it had been repaired and was awaiting an official thumbs-up before being shipped back to me. Nope. Seems the approval needed was to declare my laptop dead forever and allow me to pick a replacement unit.

I received the go-ahead on Tuesday for getting a new laptop. This was, of course, good news. But I also was disappointed - I liked my laptop, I was very familiar with its quirks and intricacies, and I had been hoping to get it back. But I counted my blessings and on Wednesday morning arrived @ Best Buy at opening. Things went smoothly at first. Service guy filled out some sort of replacement ticket and directed me to computer sales. 2 sales guys helped me pick out a comparable (it's actually an upgrade, of course, as my unit was 2 yrs old) computer. Then the whammy. They didn't have one in stock.

No problem - all the other Indy stores had several - so I could just go to another store, right? Nope. Because my service plan was purchased at this store. And if I got a replacement from another store, it would be like a loss of inventory to them. So the manager, Ryan, says he's supposed to have it officially 'transferred' from another store and delivered by UPS. In 2-3 days. Oh, hell no. But he's willing to drive to another store on his own time so he could have it for me Thursday. I'd have to wait yet another day. I couldn't believe it. Here I had patiently waited for someone to either fix my laptop or tell me I could replace it and now I was going to have to wait for 1-3 more days? No way. I was extremely frustrated and told the manager so. And I made it clear that while he was bearing the brunt of my consternation, I didn't blame him - I blamed Best Buy policy. The whole set up is a mess. From a company policy standpoint, there is no regard for customer satisfaction or even customer service. The individuals I dealt with were for the most part courteous. Several of them wanted to help me, but their hands were tied by company policy.

Yesterday in particular, the manager understood my plight, and my desire to obtain my replacement as quickly as possible so I could use it for school, but there was nothing he could do. Company policy would not allow either store to make the transfer over the phone or allow me as the customer to pick up the merchandise. I felt defeated. I cried. (Not my shining moment. And not a good omen for my future as a trial lawyer. But your honor, it's not fair!!! That'll be well received, I'm sure).

Ryan called me a few hours later - he had found a manager to take over for a bit and driven to the closest store to pick up my new laptop. Bless him. In the evening I happily headed to the store and retrieved my new unit, along with a few accessories. I haven't decided if I should get the extended warranty again - after all, I just need this damn thing to last me about 9 more months and I have 10 months left on my warranty. Late last night I plugged in and installed a few things. This morning our wonderful computer support office installed the latest virus protections.

I should be ecstatic - and I am, to a point. I just can't relax, though. I keep waiting for something else to go wrong. It was so nice breezing through the first 2 years with little to no problems. (I had a couple bouts with virus, but since I had the original installation disks, they were temporary). If I can just get through the rest of this year and then the bar. Then finally I will be able to breathe a sigh of relief.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Best Buy Sucks

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

It's a Girl!!!

I was going to say it will be a girl - but present tense is more accurate. It IS a girl - a living being - just not yet born. My sister had her first (and hopefully only) ultrasound today. She is having a girl. The little one was apparently quite active in there - either a sign she's modest and didn't appreciate the intrusion, or quite the opposite and she was loving the attention. Either way, baby looks normal and healthy; everything is on track so far. I wish my sister wasn't so far away.

Let Down

Someone got to this blog yesterday by searching for:

playin+with+bush

I'm guessing they didn't find what they were looking for here.

Spin Doctor

So last night my sexy friend Chuck told me he'd recently seen Kill Bill Vol 2. I confessed that to my regret, I am guilty of having let T, my 13yo daughter, watch the movie. I was waiting for the obligatory gasp (such that it would be over IM) of shock or lecture on parental responsibility that I usually get from others when I make this admission.

Instead that insightful Chuck responded with: the movie does have some strong female characters.

Yes, it does. Excellent point. And if I was running for office of any sort I'd hire him on the spot!

Monday, October 04, 2004

10-4, good buddy!!!

Clueless

I worked a short shift at the hospital yesterday. Those 4-5 hours really kicked my ass. I was running the entire time and could barely (couldn't) keep up with the number of patients checking in. (Which brings to mind questions that keep popping up about why I don't enjoy nursing the way I used to - but that's a post for another day).

All the patients I triaged yesterday were pregnant. One in particular told me she was due December 9th, putting her somewhere around 6-7 months pregnant, and yet we had no information at all in the chart about her pregnancy.

When I asked her why she needed to see the doctor, she started right in with "No one has told me anything about my baby. Can they give me an ultrasound? Because I haven't been told anything about how my baby is."

I said, "You haven't had any prenatal care, right? Is that why you don't have any information about your baby?"

She had a answer for that. "Well, when I went to make an appointment at the clinic closest to my house, they wouldn't take me because I don't have any insurance. Then I finally got insurance but the first available appointment is November 9th. And since I'm due December 9th, it's like 'what's the point?'"

I had to stop her. "OK, first of all - they won't turn you away if you don't have insurance. You mean you didn't have Medicaid?"

"Right. But now I got insurance but they can't see me until November." She means now she has Medicaid. But she honestly has no clue that there is even an difference. I don't think she has any sense that people pay, and pay handsomely, for the medical protections their insurance plans afford. She thinks 'getting insurance' means going through the motions that it takes to be qualified for Medicaid assistance.

Let me be clear - I don't care whether my patients have insurance or not. I choose to work at the county hospital because I enjoy working with that particular patient population. As a matter of fact, I almost never know what type of insurance my patients do or don't have unless they tell for some reason tell me. And I prefer to keep it that way because I think everyone deserves the same quality of care regardless of their ability to pay. Nonetheless, attitudes like this are often frustrating, especially when encountered in an unbelievably busy work day. Patients were backed up waiting to be triaged, some of them were in labor and most were in need of some sort of treatment from the obstetrician on duty. Our OB/GYN triage is supposed to be an emergency room for obstetrical and gynecological emergencies. But many of the patients, such as the one in question, treat it as a 24-hour free clinic.

She was clearly interested only in an ultrasound. She couldn't be bothered earlier in her pregnancy to secure proper prenatal care, and now, on a day when people in labor were waiting hours in pain to be admitted to the hospital, she presented herself to the hospital and expected an ultrasound just to satisfy her curiosity. I asked her if that was the only reason she was there, as it wasn't really a 'complaint' that requires time with the doctor. She then said she'd also been having abdominal pain. Ah - that will get you in to see the doctor. I asked her to rate her pain on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the worst pain imaginable (JCAHO requires that we ask this question of all patients. It is a misguided attempt to assess and monitor patient pain during a hospital stay. More agreement that the pain scale is useless here in the comments). She calmly reported 7. Sure. Whatever.

The outcome? Part of my job as a triage nurse is to determine in what order patients need to be seen. When I triaged this patient, my examination rooms were full and there were more patients waiting to be worked up. I sent her to the waiting room and candidly informed her she was in for a wait but that I encouraged her to wait to be seen by the doctor. When I finally called her name about 2 hours later, the entire waiting room informed me she had gone home 'a long time ago.' Big surprise. Assessing that patient was certainly time well spent in my busy afternoon.

Glad We Cleared That Up

I stopped at the central post office this morning. (2nd time this semester I am mailing bills in late - ack. Need to get better organized or I'm gonna lose my low APR on my credit card!) I was inside, affixing stamps to my bills and preparing to mail them. I could hear a man on the pay phone talking exasperatedly about how his ride had fallen through this morning. He hangs up and after a moment asks me if I have 40 cents. Then he says he actually probably needs the whole 50 cents in order to make another phone call.

I begin digging in my purse and he continues to talk. "My ride didn't pick me up this morning" he says. I am up to 20 cents. "Now I have to find a way to get all the way across town this morning, I guess." I continue scrounging up change and he feels the need to clarify his earlier statement: "Not that that's your fault" he explains. So glad we cleared that up. He did thank me for the 50 cents.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Presidential Debate

As I mentioned yesterday, I was not looking forward to last night's debate. Bush has had experience with presidential debates, and he does a good job sticking to his talking points. For some reason the voting public seems to lap it up even when, especially when, all Bush can seem to manage is to repeat the same message over and over again.

Anyway, as readers of my blog probably know, I essentially vote Democrat. Despite that, nothing I'd seen or heard from Kerry before tonight gave me much confidence in him as our next President. Unfortunately, Bush doesn't inspire confidence either.

My ambivalence about the candidates and my personal political views aside, I think Kerry did a better job tonight. I expected Bush, though not an effective orator, to be strong and on the attack. After all, he is ahead in the polls and appears extremely confident in the clips from town hall meetings being shown on TV lately. He is proud of and unapologetic for the war in Iraq. The debate of foreign policy, what he says is Kerry's weak point, should have been his shining moment. But Bush instead seemed to me to be on the defensive, somewhat timid, more than a little tongue-tied.

One point that some think Bush made well was regarding Kerry's flip-flop, especially on the war in Iraq. "He voted to authorize the use of force and now says it's the wrong war at the wrong time. .... I don't think you can lead if you say wrong war, wrong time, wrong place. What message does that send to our troops?" While it's true that the commander in chief should send a strong message of determination and focused leadership to his troops, I think Kerry answered this point and Bush didn't address that answer. Kerry's response was that he voted to authorize the use of force based on Bush's promises of careful planning, exhausting diplomatic options, and garnering support from other nations. Kerry says Bush did none of those things, simply went to war without sticking to his promises.

Bush did make a good point, I think, when he said that Kerry was denigrating the few allies we did have going into the Iraq war by claiming that we did it unilaterally, without global support. While I knew that Kerry did not mean to portray the assistance of our handful of allies that way, I think he should have taken a few seconds to make it clear that the help we did receive was valuable and appreciated.

Kerry was quick to pick up, near the end of the faceoff, on Bush's defense of the invasion of Iraq, "The enemy attacked us." Kerry was quick to point out, as he should have, that bin Laden, not Hussein, attacked us.

I read tonight in one take on the debate that the questions seemed designed to point out Bush's mistakes. Funny, I didn't notice that. And if I had, I might have chalked it up to the fact that he is, after all, our President - and has been for 4 years. It seems only natural his performance to date would be an issue. What I did notice was one of the softballs the President got from Lehrer: an invitation to discuss Senator Kerry's character. I was a little surprised at this gimme question, but I was more surprised at how gracefully the President handled it. He took the high road, and I think better of him for it.

Near the very end of the debate, Kerry and the President went back and forth about North Korea. It was 2 min for whoever got the question (Bush?), 90 seconds for Kerry, then back to Bush for 30 seconds. Lehrer turned to the President and asked him if he had a rebuttal. Bush had nothing to say. On live TV, to all voters watching, election some 30ish days away, he had nothing to say. What he did say was loosely: "I think I've made my position clear. I don't know how I can make it any more clear." What it made me think was: Bush can't talk about the issue in any more depth or from any other angle than what he had practiced. He knew he had already repeated himself several times and was simply tired of talking about it. Lehrer pushed on: "Well, but when he used the word "truth" again...talking about the truth of the matter. He used the word "truth" again. Did that raise any hackles with you?" I think Lehrer was truly surprised the President didn't want to respond to his opponent's statements. Bush's response? "Oh, I'm a pretty calm guy. I don't take it personally." Such substance. Finally Bush launched into some unmemorable response. He just seemed tired - ready to be done. Instead of the confident, triumphant presence I had expected.

Overall, it was a bit more substantive than I thought it would be. And a bit more civil as well. I look forward to debate #2.

Disclaimer: it's late, I'm tired, I had some wine this evening. Forgive any rambling/errors above!


Update: For those interested, I second Josh's recommendation of Andrew Sullivan's analysis.


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Approaching Middle Age
Dabbling in Blogdom

Tear Down The Walls


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Blawgs I Read

(Fresh Pepper)
In the Agora
Audacity
Do Not Overmix
From Engineer to Lawyer
Failure to Comprehend
Favorable Dicta
A Girl Walks Into a Bar(exam)
the imbroglio
Indiana Barrister
The Indiana Law Blog
IndyLaw Net
Legal Underground
The Menagerie
Mother in Law
The Neutral Zone Trap
Obiter Dictum
Screaming Bean
SC Trial Law Blog
Taking Down Words
teahouseblossom


Blogs I Read

About a Nurse
advanced maternal age
Approaching...
Be The Boy
code blog: tales of a nurse
Deb, hatched
Go Fug Yourself
Going Bananas
The Great Spirit
Hopedaddy
Jelly Beans...
Martinis, Persistence...
Overheard in New York
The Perils of Being in 3D
Post Secret
preaching to the perverted
Rebirth
Ruth's Blog
...the slack daily
Stay
Texas T-bone
30 Something Baby Doc
Unnamed Source
Waiting for the Punchline

Archives

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