Monday, March 18, 2013

On-call Me, Maybe

Well, so much for my intentions to write every day.

I realized as I was driving home from work this evening that many of my "good intentions" are often wrought with snags, snafus, bumps, hurdles, detours, and serious road blocks. This weekend I experienced what it's like to be "on call" for my work.

Healthcare is a 24/7 business depending upon what avenues of healthcare you're in... hospitals, long-term care facilities, and medical emergency businesses never sleep... kind of like Vegas but without the free alcohol or fun! Where I work, we provide durable medical equipment (DME) to hospitals, clinics, patient's homes, hospice, and long-term care facilities. So when our "regular business hours" end, SOMEONE has to be available to provide oxygen supplies, nebulizers, and such whenever necessary. So, instead of having a nacht or swing shift, we assign people rotations for carrying the company cell phone and laptop. I was, um, compelled to give it a go...

*Insert look of sheer terror here*

Anyway, when I left work on Friday night, I was armed with aforementioned phone and laptop and since on call doesn't officially begin on weekdays until 10:00 pm (or 2200 hrs), I had pah-lenty of time to get set up... HA!! I say!! Thankfully, I was savvy enough to check out all my bazillion log ins (for security purposes) at 8:30-ish (or 2030-ish) JUST to be sure... well, sure enough, my log ins didn't work, I had to call Computer Support, and after an agonizing 45 minutes, I was finally "in"... then I couldn't figure out how the phone worked... I mean, my God, it's a SmartPhone and I, alas, am only used to dumb ones... so after another exchange of text messages (on said dumb phone) to co-workers who already do on call, I was FINALLY ready to begin my weekend O N C A L L *insert echo here*

Let me just say that not only was I operating under a paralytic sense of doom, I freaked myself out and even tho' the evening held only two calls (that I was completely capable of handling), by 12:35 am (or 0035... and yes, I intend to run with this...) I was CONVINCED that if I even remotely attempted to close my eyes to sleep, all heck would break loose... (side note: one thing I adore about living in UT is the areas vernacular, which is devoid of mainstream cursing... I particularly find Oh, my heck and Holy Hannah quite amusing substitutions for stronger language).

Anyway, I finally closed my eyes around 0320 only to be awoken by my husband at 0430 wondering why I was sleeping on the office floor (you see, we recently moved to our new place and are lacking in certain furniture items, like a guest bed and couches). Anyway, I managed to catch a few hours of sleep, pop online for a few hours of work, and then took a nap in anticipation of the dreaded Saturday on call time beginning at 1700. Boy, howdy - they weren't kidding!! By 1717, I was getting call after call, fax after fax, and having to process each request (I won't bore you with the particulars... I mean, you're still awake at this point, yes?? Oh, you need a potty and snack break?... I'll wait)

*insert musical interlude here*

Ok - you settled? Good!! This flurry of activity didn't end until 2323 (I kid you not) and the amazing thing was that there was no other activity, BUT I stayed up watching TV (JUST in case) until well after 0200, when the phone woke me up around 0645 by a man wondering what our "regular business hours" were!

*insert rolling of eyes here*

Sunday was just... weird... and although the evening's activities didn't start until 1735, they kept up for a few hours (which made it REALLY difficult to catch up on all the NCIS's we'd recorded), but I was able to actually GO to bed by 2340. BUT, like parents with small children (where you sleep with one ear open) I kept waiting for that bloody phone to ring (or quack, in this case, because my friend and co-worker Morgan changed the ring tone to a duck), so I was somewhat "resting" my eyes until about 0200, when I finally fell asleep. Well, THAT didn't last long - at 0230, the phone rang with the need for an oxygen setup, which meant I also had to roust the poor driver out of bed to deliver it, and the entire process took 40 minutes... needless to say, today at work was somewhat foggy.

The main things I got out of this first experience is the knowledge that I'm quite capable of handling the task AND the next time I have on call duty, I will know that I can actually GO to bed AND sleep because I will be able to answer the phone quickly and do what needs to be done...

So on THAT note... ZZZZzzzzzzzz...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

D is for Drivers and Dumbasses

You know when you have something you want to express but there are about five differing issues all at once, how you sputter and spurt, with your hands on your hips, and a look of consternation on your face as you attempt to articulate whatever it is that's bugging you? You know the--"I can't believe... this is simply astoun... You're never gonna guess what..." and that awkward premature explanation simply ends in "GAH!"?

Yeah, well I had that moment this morning while driving to work.

I never intended to write AGAIN (so soon anyway) about my UT driving experiences, but while heading to work this morning it occurred to me that I didn't really address STREET diving in this state. It seriously is something to behold! Aside from the butt sniffing and lack of blinker usage, I am forever aghast at how people drive in town. Not only do a good majority have their cell phones stuck to their ear (Good GOD! I just realized that they are only driving with one hand... which kind of explains a lot... hmmm), but the cross traffic waits until you're nearly upon them to either dart across the street or turn in front of you!

That happened to me more than once this morning--and that was BEFORE I even got to the freeway! Seriously... I was traveling down the road and this gal waits until I'm nearly in front of her to pull right in front of me... what? I'm sorry - YOU had the stop sign... I had the right of way... GAH!!

The other thing I wanted to mention is that DMV rules and road laws are apparently "suggestions" in this state. In CA, we have the carpool lane and (generally) you have a solid line to the right of the lane with a broken line just to the left, which means you can exit the carpool lane at any time, but you cannot enter it until the single broken line appears. In UT, it's called the HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lane and the toll lane, meaning if you have two or more peeps in your care or pay a fee, you can enjoy "somewhat" unhindered travel, EXCEPT this lane is two solid white lines until the common single broken line for entry and exit. Well, this doesn't seem to apply (like MANY rules of the road) in this state. In fact, there are several billboards along the freeway that expressly address the fact that crossing these solid double lines is not only illegal, it's dangerous... again, apparently this is merely a suggestion... an idea... a "possibility," if you will.

So, continuing my rant, not only did dumbasses share city streets with me, they also drove the freeway.

I drive fast... I do... I always have, but I also do try to obey traffic laws. I use my blinker (except for that unfortunate incident with the Canadian/Lehi cop) and I try not to ride people's rear ends. I tend to give people space and will change lanes if someone faster than me wants to pass. After my dumbass experience on the streets, I saw a vehicle on the freeway not only ride the rear of the person in the HOV lane, but cross the double white lines into the fast lane to pass the slower vehicle and then cross back OVER the double solid lines AGAIN to get in front of them. The funny thing was I was in the fast lane and this same person repeated this maneuver several times in front of me and behind me!

My drive home was without incident and I admit that I was cruising at 80 mph (BEHIND others) for most of the way home... withOUT riding anyone's rear end, I might add... which I just did.

As I was nearing my home I realized, however, that I have become a UT driver. Although I will never enter the HOV lane (ever again - I did it once because of an accident, but I won't ever do it again... *typed with a straight face*), without a second passenger or more, I DO the swerve to the extreme left to let the slowpoke in front of me know they need to MOVE, AND I have found myself (more than once) sniffing someone's rear... I, however, with one BSBA and TWO masters degrees, am NOT a dumbass...Mostly because I will never do the roadblock thing, I move over to let faster people pass me, and I will ALWAYS use my blinker!!

So THERE, UT! *shaking my fist in no particular direction* I may like funeral potatoes and defensive driving, but I will NEVER fully succumb to the dumbass driving behaviors...

PS - I was corrected earlier today that the UT Road Block is only pertinent if it's just Utahrds daydreaming and texting but it's a Mormon Road Block if the vehicles involved are minivans carrying a gaggle of kids...

LOL! I'm probably gonna get so much flack for this, but I don't care... having driven here for nearly 9 months, there is a lot of truth to that!! One of the funniest things I have seen on the back of a "high occupancy vehicle" was those "family" stick figures that were Zombies... including a Zombie dog!! LOL!! It was a dad, mom, child, and dog going after a family of at least 7!! LOL! Sorry, but I found that very funny and precious!!

I really need to do a separate blog and thank the wonderful people I work with... I think I'll save that for tomorrow, even if my drive to work irks me!!

This blog brought to you by the letter D and the number 7!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Manholes, Drivers, and a Different State of Mind

I was thinking about this the other day and now that it's DST, I was able to verify my suspicions that the road adjacent to our house and the one I take to get the freeway have a plethora of manholes... not potholes, as someone tried to correct me with, but manholes. In fact, these two streets have groupings of varying sizes, surrounded by a boarder of concrete so they look like crop circles... what's up with that?

I really wish I had had my camera with me just so I could show you how ridiculous it is. Seriously! In one small area alone, there are at least 6 manholes in a precarious grouping that makes about as much sense as people wearing knit caps in 100 degree temps... it doesn't and you're left scratching your unadorned head and asking why?

I swear I'm going to have an updated picture just so you can see that I'm not joking AND to explain why I'm so perplexed. It's just weird.

Which brings me to drivers here in UT. Having lived in CA for all but the last 8 months I'm used to people proclaiming that CA drivers are the worst. Granted, there are douches behind the wheel all over the world, but after driving the freeways and city streets in this state, I have to disagree with that assumption. I have NEVER seen people ride other people's asses SOOOOO closely at such high rates of speed in my 35 years of driving before moving here. Not only do people butt sniff to where you cannot even see the front end of their car in your rear view mirror, they also fail to use their blinkers, attempt and often succeed in squeezing their ginormous SUVs in less than a car length's space, race ahead to prevent YOU from pulling in front of them, and they love their UT road blocks... This is when three people (one in each lane) are traveling at the same rate of speed so NO ONE can maneuver around them. I am often amused and befuddled by this behavior. Oh, and God forbid YOU use YOUR blinker!! That's just an invitation for that driver to speed up and mess with your flow!!

I got pulled over by the nicest Lehi police officer for failing to use my blinker. Personally, I think he saw the CA plates and wanted to ensure that there weren't any shenanigans going on. If I was not so respectful of authority, my smart-ass nature would have quipped that having just moved to this state, I thought failure to use a blinker was the norm... but I didn't. He let me off with a warning. I think he was from Canada.

Anyway - last night as I was trying to go to sleep, my thoughts swirled in a bazillion directions. I have so many thoughts that need to be expressed, but I am somewhat reluctant to barrage you with everything. It really is unfair to drag anyone into my muddled thoughts. The benefit of writing things out is that you have the ability to edit, to re-read what you've written, and potentially delete things that may curl the hair of the baldest person in the room. That doesn't always happen in real life. In real life I've blurted out things that I thought were funny without really weighing the sensitivities of those around me (or their moral standings) and often these comments fall to the ground like a meteor without the oohs and ahhs. They tend to be met with that awkward silence that sucks the air out of the room. I cannot help myself, tho', and it happens more often than I'd care to admit.

I also have to consider that my parents will read this, as well as my children (who already know pretty much what to expect from me). Once I hit "publish" - it's pretty much set in technological stone, so after my many attempts to hush my brain and go to sleep last night, I realized I need to approach this whole venture with SOME responsibility... Believe me, I have diarrhea of the mouth and brain and am quite capable of unleashing all sorts of things on you, the poor unsuspecting reader, but after a long day at work, the perplexity of the plethora of manholes, and the continued prayers of thanks for getting me to and from work safely, I think I may have to be a smidgen more reflective in what I want to post (btw - smidge comes up with a squiggly red line but smidgen does not... who the hell really uses "smidgen" when they mean smidge?).

Tomorrow, perhaps over the weekend, I really do want to blog about my good friend, Thomik, who passed away late last year and left us way too soon. He has been one of the reasons my mind has been on overdrive when I'm trying to go to sleep... I need to express how much he means (meant) to me and the effect of his passing. It's been plaguing me for a while.

On that note, I'll bid ya'll a good night!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Do Spiders Poop?

Okay - I couldn't wait until tomorrow because this has been bugging me (no pun intend... well, okay maybe just a little) all day!! Anyone who knows me KNOWS my distinct phobia of spiders but for some unknown reason, the thought crossed my mind when I was brushing something off of an item of clothing... 'I wonder if that's spider poop?' Which naturally led me to "Do spiders poop?"

Of COURSE I had to look it up and apparently there's a controversy, but I'll get to that later.

Let me enlighten you about my thought pattern... after wiping this dust like substance off an item of clothing laying neatly over the washer, I suddenly had this picture of a spider hovering (much like birds over a clean car) from the ceiling and letting "loose" as it were. Then I contemplated whether spiders actually have an intestinal tract... granted, the ginormous spiders you could put a saddle on probably do, since they most definitely eat small, misbehaving children, disobedient pets, and vermin, but does the average household spider, that can send me into a paralytic panic... do they poop?

Then I thought, well, could the web be the byproduct of what they consume? Possibly, but then that just grossed me out. Anyway, as I was writing my blog intro and doing some random household chores, this question kept plaguing me, so I thought I'd share.

Now on to what Google reveals when you type in "do spiders poop"... granted, I'm not sure if these top searches are spidyologists (yes, I'm sticking with that word, mostly because it made me giggle to type it out), but Answers.Yahoo and Askville.Amazon say YES, while Wikipedia (such the surprise) says NO!! Then there are those links that kind of take a middle of the road and state that they do, but not in the same manner we think of when we think of pooping.

SO... I leave you with this... next time you think you're brushing dust-like particles off of something... is it REALLY dust??

Oh, and PS - my blog will attempt to avoid vulgarity and profanity as much as possible, but I can't always account for things (like below) that contain some expletives... just know, that I am convulsing and running for the beer after simply posting this video!!

Captain's Blog: Day One

This is funny, because for the past several days, my brain has been in non-stop blogging mode, yet I find myself staring at this blank screen and my thoughts escape me. Where to begin? Well, perhaps I should explain why I've now thrown my hat into the blogging ring... There are a plethora of reasons, but the most prevalent is that I have tons of thoughts--silly and profound--that roll around my head CONSTANTLY and this forum would help me exorcise those and spare family and friends the arduous task of hearing those thoughts. Seriously, I appreciate those people who stick with me during a conversation because, quite frankly, you must have mental gymnastics to often keep up.

I like to think this is due to brilliance!

Secondly, although I was never one to have a diary, I think this format is a great legacy for my grandkids and great-grandkids (side note: WHY does "grandkids" come up as misspelled??? It's a perfectly good word...), mostly to help them understand why Grandma (or Gangy) is so... odd... This may also help those who know me understand me a bit better... or not.

Thirdly, (which really should have a red squiggly line under it because that really shouldn't be a word...) if I can exorcise these random thoughts, I just may be able to finally complete a novel that's been, oh, eight-ish years in the making! I have about 5 chapters written, but haven't revisited in nearly 3 years. Why, you ask? The reasonable response is because of school and work and living arrangements, but the truth is that I'm somewhat (OKAY - RATHER) lazy!! I'm also reluctant to put myself out there in that forum because, quite frankly, negative comments hurt my feelings. Yes, I am rather resilient and thick skinned in many areas, but when you write something for public approval, it's sometimes a little difficult to accept the criticisms.

So why a blog? Well, this is an electronic diary of sorts and in this forum I really don't care if someone is irritated or hates what I write because these are MY THOUGHTS and they exist whether anyone approves of them or not.

Lastly (because I refuse to write fourthly, fifthly, or beyond) I have been in the throes of academic writing for SO long that I want to express myself freely without grammar check, split infinitive police, or writing our numbers below 10!! Seriously! You have NO IDEA how difficult this final class was to get through. My. brain. just. wouldn't. write. in. academia... No matter how hard I tried, my brain folded it's arms and shook its head and resoundingly said "Nope!! Aint' gonna do it and you ain't gonna make me!!" (SEE!! I used ain't TWICE and it felt so... so... GRATIFYING!!)

I intend to write every day--some days readers will scratch their heads and feel sorry for my family, some days some readers will undoubtedly leave remarks of irritation or anger, and other days I hope that with my ramblings, I've made someone smile or laugh... nay, LOL!! In any event, this blog, named so appropriately, is what it is and I hope you enjoy it--even if it sometimes pisses you off!

Welcome to thoughts, stay for the pie, and don't forget to tip your wait staff!