She Sees Dead People. Not Me. Her.

A friend of a friend of a friend once dated a girl, or rather, went on one date with a girl, who claimed during said date that she could see dead people.  That got me to thinking about being able to see dead people.  It also got me to thinking about the veracity of said girl’s story… but, GHOSTS!  What do the ghosts look like?  Is there an expression on their face?  Or do they look like expressionless zombies floating a few inches off the ground?  Do they try to interact with living people?  Are they still wearing clothes?  Or are they naked?  Naked ghosts might be interesting if they all revert back to looking their best, but somehow, I don’t think they do, so if they’re naked, they’ve probably got bulges and rolls and stretch marks and varicose veins and, well, let’s just stop with that train of thought all together.  Gross.  I’ve grossed myself out now.  It was all for you.  You’re welcome.  I’m glad you appreciated it though.

Where were we?  Oh, yes.  Ghosts.

I nearly forgot.

Several years ago, I had a patient in ICU who claimed she could see dead people.  I’m not breaking any privacy laws here because I can’t remember what she looked like or her name or what happened for her to be in the ICU.  Anyway, she claimed she could see dead people.  She claimed she could also tell when someone was going to die soon because one of the ghosts would show up and just stay with the living person until they died in one manner or another.  As I wheeled her down a hospital hall to somewhere, she said there were dozens and dozens of people- dead people- ghosts- just hanging out in the hallway.

I’m pretty sure I can think of many better places to haunt than a hospital hallway.

Ed (the Awesome) would haunt the Ballpark in Arlington for 81 games per year.  I’m not really sure what else he would do the remaining days, but I’m sure if given the opportunity, plenty of other fans would haunt the Ballpark too, so maybe they could hang out and watch the ghosts of baseball players who were playing a game.

I’m not really sure where I would choose to haunt, given the opportunity.  I have cities I like and places in the country too.  I love my job, but I most certainly would not haunt a hospital.  I would haunt my living family members, but you can only watch them for so long.  What would I do after the first 30 years?

What about you?  If haunting a place was your only choice, where would you choose to do your haunting?

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Cherry Pie Filling

williamsburg 020

That’s an extreme close up of my little brother, Jacob.  You’re welcome.  I’ve said for years that I was lucky he wasn’t born a girl.  He would have been much more popular than I was.  He had blonde hair, blue eyes, and a magnetic personality.  And that damned tan.  Couldn’t the pigment have been shared a little??  He got every single melanocyte there was to be shared.  It’s not fair!!!  (I’m fine with it now.)

His hair turned brown and still the girls flocked to him.  His hair has since started to turn gray and fall out and they still flock to him.  I am finally ok with that though because I have Ed the Awesome and I am the winner now!

Jacob is also my sibling closest in age to me.  We had many funny stories growing up and this is one of my favorites!  🙂

******

Jacob was 15 years old and a sophomore in high school.  He hadn’t hit his growth spurt yet, so he had to compete for potential dates with lots of handsome boys who had already hit their growth spurts.  Tiny, little, skinny Jacob had to rely on his personality for dates.  Somewhere in the middle of his sophomore year, he landed a date with a fairly popular girl from high school.

I didn’t like her.  I didn’t have a reason for not liking her other than the stories I had heard about her and she sounded vapid.  I’m sure plenty of people thought the same of me at the same time.

The dinner conversations for a couple of weeks consisted of Mom asking Jacob for details about his romance and he hadn’t yet figured out how to evade such an interrogation.

The last conversation we had about this girl involved the two of them eating lunch together.  Jacob had gotten the school cafeteria version of nachos in which a bag of chips is dumped unceremoniously onto a styrofoam plate and liquid cheese product is poured on top of it.  Definitely not haute cuisine or even remotely healthy, but still a little less disgusting than the cherry pie filling that Jacob’s girlfriend had for lunch.

Yes, she had a can of cherry pie filling and ate it out of the can with a spoon.

She finished her “lunch” before Jacob did and since there was no protein in that can, she was still hungry.  She asked Jacob for some of his nachos.  Jacob, always good with words, told her, “I think you’ve had enough to eat for one day.”

Their relationship ended that day.  Mom and I had a great time telling him all of the alternative things he could have said.

New Rules for “Sick” Children

Alright, my dearies,  you know I always try to pass along any insights into this parenting game as I figure them out.  The little boys are 8 years old now and this parenting gig has taken on a whole new level of difficulty.  One of the tricks they like to play on me is claiming to be sick so I’ll let them stay home from school.  Now obviously, I have no problem letting a truly sick child stay home from school.  They also make a trip to the doctor’s office.  My problem is when I have been duped.  I have come up with a couple of pretty good rules for the “sick” children.

1. There are no electronics.  If you’re sick, you can sleep or read in your room.

This one usually gets the straggler out of his grumpy mood and well on his way into school clothes and out the door.  If it doesn’t work and the parent at home has still been duped, there’s the next rule.

2.  If you’re sick enough to stay home, you’re too sick to speak.

This one can seem a little rough.  Obviously, I don’t mean that they can’t tell me something important.  I mean they can’t stand in front of me while I’m working on my literary career (ha!) in the morning and jabber away about nothing at all until they’re blue in the face.  I’ve fallen for their ruse.  I’ve let them stay home.  I will baby a sick little boy.  I will not listen to endless observations from a non-sick child on a writing day.

My rules might sound a bit draconian, but the boys have learned how to pull the wool over my eyes.  It’s adapt or lose my standing now.

People Actually Read My Blog, or I’ve Got a Killer Friday Night Social Life

Well, it’s Friday night and I’m a bit bored because Ed and the boys are playing Call of Duty:  Modern Warfare III, which is their favorite pastime until Call of Duty:  Black-Ops II comes out next week, so I decided to check out my stats page because I haven’t done it in forever.  The list was significantly longer that I had expected, mostly because I think my mother is one of the few who read my blog and I’m pretty sure she poses questions to the Google browser just to tease me, and there were some search questions listed that I found amusing.  There were even a few that made me almost spew my delicious Pinot Noir onto my computer screen.  That would have been a travesty though, and a waste of good wine, so you can calm yourself because there was no wasting of good wine in the writing of this post.

Slightly off topic, but I’ve recently come across a quote I really like.

Write Drunk.  Edit Sober.  Earnest Hemingway.

That guy must have been brilliant.  (Yes, I know who Hemingway was.  I’m not that drunk yet.)  (Mom, relaxI’m kidding!)

Anyway,  on to the list!

1. Kid Who Looks Like A Monkey.  I mostly liked this one because we’ve been teasing Trip about his enormous ears lately and he is very proud of them.  He has even told his teachers that he has ears like a monkey and they should be jealous.  The little dude is a chick magnet though, so maybe he’s on to something.

2. What Happens to Boys Who Are Raised by Neurotic Mothers?  Dear God, I hope they turn out okay!  Otherwise, mine are screwed.  I think they’ll turn out just fine in spite of me.  Or to spite me.  They’ll probable live as far as humanly possible one day from their dear Momma, but it’ll just be so I can visit them in exotic locales.  Right?  You know what’s really troubling?  Someone found my blog with that query.  And they received absolutely no help at all!

3.  Jacob Hates You.  I don’t really get this one, but it makes me giggle anyway.  Maybe that’s the Pinot?  There are some mysteries the world will never solve.  In any case, I am Jacob’s favorite sister.  I might also be his only sister, but that is not the point.  I am his favorite sister because he thinks I am awesome and no one should ever disillusion him from that opinion!  That, and he’s right.

4.  Box Fight.  That was it:  “box fight.”  What in the hell is a box fight?  I wish I knew.  I’m a child of the 80’s and I absolutely love boxing.  I still watch it on whichever channel shows it late at night when I’m the only one awake because Ed hates it.  Or he just thinks I’m slightly weird for watching people fight in a ring.  I really do love it though.  I remember Mike Tyson fighting on HBO back when HBO was the only movie channel available.  Or were we just poor?  I’m not sure if there were other channels available back in the dark ages and I have no intention of finding out now, unless you, dear reader, just remember that kind of thing off the top of your head and would like to provide me with that little tidbit of knowledge.

As a little aside, I went out with my brother Jacob last weekend for a little drinking and debauchery.  Well, drinking at any rate.  So we went to a local establishment and had a couple of beers, but we were younger than most of the other patrons by a decade or two, which is no easy feat at my advanced age, so we walked across a busy highway (we’re in the country-it’s like crossing the street and risking your life at the same time) to another local establishment where the clientele was closer to our age and we saw a few people we had known from high school because they also hadn’t moved away and a Laurence Fishborne look-alike.  As we were chatting and discussing the merits of a life well lived, a “fight” broke out behind us.  I was as observant as ever and had to be pulled out of harm’s way by my dear brother.  Fortunately, he has become quite the quick thinker.  I turned around in time to see one guy slapping his own chest while hopping backwards.  These weren’t mere steps backwards or done in an attempt to find a space with more room for the actual fight.  These were HOPS!  He was hopping backwards like a rabbit!  And then, there were bouncers who appeared from out of nowhere and separated the two, although I don’t really know if you can separate two guys who are ten feet away from each other.  In any case, one was escorted out the front door and the police were called and they stayed for what seemed like an eternity!

In the end, I came to this conclusion:  If you’re going to get arrested anyway, you might as well throw a punch!  Otherwise, WHAT IS THE POINT??

5.  My brother’s full name.  You’ll have to forgive me for not listing his full name here, but with the last name, there are only twelve in the good ol’ USA, so it’s not like whoever typed that name into their browser could’ve been looking for someone else, but WHAT IN THE HELL, Google?  How is his full name, which I’ve never used on this here blog, associated with my fantastic blog.  (Yes, you should infer a little sarcasm there.  Self deprecation.  Whatever you want to call it.)

6.  My grandfather was in the CIA.  Dude, so was mine!  Maybe.  I’m not really sure.  The stories my mom tells about him killing people didn’t come out of her mouth until long after he was dead and she has a very, very vivid imagination.  (Mom, do not view that last statement as an invitation to describe said murders or self-defense maneuvers in the comment section.  That’s for private discussion at your dining room table where the possibility exists for us to enjoy making even more people uncomfortable.)

7.  Ed is awesome.  I think my husband may have searched this term in hopes of finding some dirt on me.  He has finally come to accept that he has received a life sentence with me for some unconscionable sin in a past lifetime.  Whatever it was, it was bad.  Poor guy.  He’s so nice now too.  You’d think a guy as nice as he is would get a wife who might cook and clean once in a while.  Lucky him, I work and drink red wine.  And beer.  And spirits.  Though not all at the same time because I learned my lesson when I was much, much younger.  Drink one at a time young lady, and you’ll be that much happier for it.  And he is awesome!  And cute!

8-88.  There were so many variations on stretch mark queries, I can’t even begin to list them all. Ladies, and Gentlemen if this happens to apply to you as well, stretch marks are permanent.  Once they rear their ugly heads, they never, ever leave.  Unless you have a tummy tuck and get those bad boys surgically removed.  That’s always an option.  But if you’re not willing to consider surgery, you’re stuck with the little reminders that your body has done something wonderful.  Mine housed three souls at once.  However, those bastards itched when they were forming (the stretch marks!) , so put your lotion on or you will be miserable. 

“It puts the lotion on it’s skin or else it gets the hose again.”  Can you name that one?  It’s one of my favorites.  I blame my seriously warped mother and the strange upbringing I endured.  I can’t believe my brothers don’t write.  Our mutual biographies read like a sociopath’s background….and her mother made her stay up late on weekend evenings to watch scary movies because she didn’t want to watch them alone. 

89-100. These were really just various queries about children and I’m hoping they were parents searching for inventive ways to photograph their cherubs.  And even though I’ve got some mad iPhone skills, they should probably look elsewhere.  I’m not very skilled with the camera.  I’m just persistent.

And well, now it’s time to  send the cherubs to bed and take the remotes away from them.  Momma wants to start watching Grimm and she needs that playstation to do it.

Jacob’s Birthday Celebration

This is the blueberry cake with raspberry icing that Jacob’s girlfriend’s mom, Pam, made.  It was fantastic!  Raspberry icing is every bit as delicious as it sounds.

(This was several weeks ago, but Brie asked so sweetly if I’d put our night up on my blog and how could I refuse?)

On Jacob’s birthday, there were eight of us who went out to dinner:  Jacob (obviously), Brie (his girlfriend), me, Ed, the boys, Mom (aka Oma), and Brian (our baby brother).  We went to one of those Chinese restaurants where they cook fried rice and meat in front of you with enough salt and butter to make our Mom happy and we also had some sushi.  Jacob and Brie had early Easter plans for the next day, so after dinner, we went back to Mom’s house and the little boys played video games while the adults sat around the kitchen table having a great conversation and trying to make each other blush.  (I may have been the only one who blushed.)  We all took turns trying to make Mom laugh so hard she choked.  We were successful!

I had plans with Mia and Misty from Ed’s office to go out for drinks and possibly a drag queen show at the local gay bar.  Mia assured Misty that I am great fun when you drink with me.  I’m not quite sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.  (Am I such an ass that it requires drinks to make me tolerable or am I the life of the party?  I’ll go with life of the party!)

Jacob and Brie suggested  that we could all go out together the next night and it was a fantastic idea!

I met Jacob and Brie along with one of Brie’s best friends and a friend of Jacob’s from high school at a local pub.  Mia met us shortly after she got her kids up to her sister in Oklahoma.  There were plenty of drinks shared.  Brie declared it a boys night because when Jacob had previously declared a girls night, he got sloppy drunk and Brie wanted to get a little tipsy and not have to babysit her boyfriend.  I told her that was a fantastic idea.

(Everything that she says is a fantastic idea.  I love her!  Can I have her for a sister?)

We all piled into my suburban and headed to the gay bar.  I had no idea where it was, so Mia in the last row was yelling directions at me. 

At least we live in a smallish town and I know my way around pretty well.

(As the responsible adult (read old as hell) that I am, I didn’t drink since I was driving.  Blah!  It’s a good thing my kids go to bed early so I can drink at home!)

So we finally ended up at the gay bar and apparently, I am a geriatric old fuddy duddy because I expected the party to be in full swing.  It wasn’t.  There was hardly anyone there.  Normal people would have realized that at 9:30 on a Saturday night, no one has left their house yet, let alone started the party!

So, we stayed there.  Everyone else ordered beers.  The bartender offered to pay all of Jacob’s bills for life.  (He far underestimated how expensive it is to keep my brother happy.)

Jacob’s friend from high school (he’s my friend too) and Brie’s friend were overwhelmed by the ambience, so they went to play pool at the one pool table in the joint.  The pool table was in a secluded room behind a curtained wall.

The pool table room also turned out to be the dressing room for the evening’s entertainment!

We stayed for an hour waiting for the show to start.  Jacob asked Brie repeatedly where the “strippers” were and told her he was so excited that she’s brought him to a strip club for his birthday.

And then the bartender who had taken such a liking to my dear, sweet brother passed behind Jacob and oinked at him.  Like a pig. 

I’m still not sure what that meant.

And then the show finally started.  The first performer was at least 6 1/2 feet tall and was wearing 6 inch heels and had another 6 inches of hair.  She danced and lip synced to the music.  Mia gave Jacob a dollar and Jacob found a place to put the dollar.

The first dancer, whose name now eludes me, turned out to be the emcee for the night.  The first thing she demanded to know from the audience was where all the straight men were.  Jacob yelled and pointed to himself and may have gotten on top of a stool to make himself taller.  (We’re some short people.  He had to do something.)  Then she asked about straight women, lesbians and gay men.  There were significantly more whoops and hollers than there had been for the straight men.

Like any good emcee, she approached Jacob who had proclaimed himself to be the one different person in the bar.

“What’s you name, big boy?” she asked.

“MY NAME IS JACOB!  IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!” yelled Jacob into the microphone.

Their conversation went downhill from there. 

We stayed to watch 6 or 7 more dances and Jacob put dollars down the dresses of every dancer.

He’s a gentleman like that!

We finally acquiesced to our friends’ pleas to go somewhere a little more mainstream.  (I think they were really just miffed that their pool table was stolen.)

We piled back into the Suburban and headed to a local bar which had a live band playing.  Everyone else had a couple more rounds of beers and ciders.  I got a diet coke BECAUSE I AM A WILD WOMAN!!  (Someone had to drive.)  There was a little arm wrestling match at the table just like back in high school.

My exciting discover of the night was  that if you clink a full beer bottle onto the mouth of another beer bottle with a little force, the beer on the bottom will spray beer foam for quite a distance.  Jacob was lucky enough to miss me with the beer foam!

We must’ve stayed there for an hour.  It was long enough for Jacob to arm wrestle and spill beer on the table at least four times.  The ladies discussed leaving and then informed the guys that it was time to leave.

As we were leaving, Jacob yelled, “My name is Jacob and it’s my birthday!”

Neither one of us is an attention hound.  He just can’t hear.  There may have been some broken beer bottles and bouncers chasing us out of the bar and threats of violence and the usual, end of a magnificent birthday party bloodshed. 

So really, kind of like a normal Saturday for us.

And that, dear friends, is what happened for my little brother’s birthday.

My Partially Written Nursing Autobiography

Apparently, some time in the recent past, I had decided that I needed to write down some of my greatest moments and phrases of my nursing career.  The only problem was that I stopped at one example of each situation.  Then, I forgot about all of it.

I’ve never claimed that I’m not a scatterbrain.

When I found the different word perfect documents, they made me giggle.  I can’t remember anything about the patients other than what was written, but that’s par for the course for me.

Without further ado, here are some of my favorite moments from my nursing career!

1. Things a nurse should never hear from a patient:  “Haven’t you ever stuck your finger up a man’s ass before?”

2. Things a patient should never hear from a nurse:  “That’s really not that much blood coming out of your penis.”

3. The best description I’ve ever heard from another nurse:  “The patient has one of those cavernous assholes, you know, like the ones that never get clean.”

4.  I have only posted something a patient said to me one time on facebook and here it is:  “A patient asked me if I could fly today.  I told him I left my broomstick at home!”

So there you have it.  That’s the sum of my nursing career autobiography.

A Look At The Thoughts Running Through A Boy’s Head While Playing Sports

The boys have started playing baseball this year, or at least they will if the rain ever lets up.  We’ve had three practices cancelled in the last two weeks.  After watching them play last year, I decided to write about what must obviously run through a little boy’s head while he’s out there on the ball field.

Alright! Here’s the baseball park and all of my team! This is going to be fantastic!

The coach starts talking.  It’s a pep talk before the game starts. 

Man, coach sure is talking a lot.  I wish he would stop.  Wow!  The sky sure is a pretty shade of blue. Oh, and if I look up, I can see the bill of my hat in the sky.  I wonder why it looks like that.

One of the assistant coaches pats each of the boys on their backs to pull them out of their respective trances and  remind them that they need to go play the game.

It’s my turn to go out into the field!  I should run there as fast as possible.

Runs very fast to get out to his spot.

I’m all the way out here in the field.  Hmmm.  That boy is really far away from me.  That boy on first base is really, really far away.  Where’s my brother?  There he is!  There’s no one to talk to out here.  Look!  A flower!  I want to pick it and see if it’s just as pretty up close.

(There’s a mother in the stands now yelling at her son to quit picking flowers and play the game.)

I wonder why mom is yelling at me.  Oh yeah, I’m at a baseball game.  There’s a baseball right over there.  I’ll go get it and throw it to my friend. 

The boy throws the ball to the wrong player and away from the pitcher and the runner.

What?  I threw it the wrong way?  But I wanted to throw it to my friend.

The game resumes.

These rocks are really cool.  I wonder how many I can fit into my hat.

Why is Dad yelling at me now?

Oh look, it’s time to run back to the dug out.  I’ll run really fast so they’ll let me bat first!

The boys (and girls-I don’t actually know if there are any girls on this years team due to the rain outs-it’s still co-ed this year) all pile into the dug out.  The coach and assistant coaches block the kids into the dugout and direct them to sit on the bench.  Someone has a list as to which kid bats next.

Why don’t I get to bat first? It’s not fair!  I want to bat now.

I wonder when I get my snack.  I’m starving.

Finally, the game ends and no one knows the score.  The boys will be covered head to toe in dirt from sliding into base and filling their hats with rocks and dirt and the first words out of their mouths will be, “Mom, I’m hungry.  When can we eat?”

I love baseball season!