Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gifted? Meh.

I got this meme sent to me via email. Apparently if you answer 'yes' to more than 75% of the questions, you're considered 'gifted'. I don't know that I'm gifted necessarily, but some of the questions were fun to answer.

Are you a good problem solver?
Yes. I don't like to leave problems undone and will persevere until I find a solution for it; often using multiple resources and lots of time to do so.

Can you concentrate for long periods of time?
Yeah! Apparently, once I get stuck into something, I block out everything else and can stay that way for a long, long time. One day I was home alone and got stuck into studying for finals and before I knew where I was it was 2pm and I had 4 missed calls on my caller ID. I didn't even hear the phone ring.

Are you a perfectionist?
I don't know that 'perfectionist' is the right word, but I've ripped out days worth of knitting because there was a teeny tiny defect that you'd have to have a magnifying glass to see. I just can't handle knowing that I screwed up and that the evidence of that is there for everyone to see, it aggrivates me. In other areas I'm not so much a perfectionist; I can handle dishes in the sink and a few clothes on the bedroom floor.

Do you persevere with your interests?
Yes. When I get 'into' something I want to know everything I can about it. I can't handle only knowing a little bit about it.

Are you an avid reader?
I think that depends on your definition of 'avid'. I have books on the go everywhere: in the bathroom, living room, car, my bag, a pile next to the bed....I'm always reading. In the past week I've read 'The Grapes Of Wrath', 'As I Lay Dying', 'Running For Mortals' and I'm currently halfway through 'Jude The Obscure' and 'Roots'. Does that count as 'avid'? If so, then yes, I am an avid reader.

Do you have a vivid imagination? Yes, ever since I was a child. When I was younger, I used to make 'books' at school; I'd write the story and illustrate it and would make copies for the class. Now that I'm older I don't write as much, but I still have the ability to come up with a good story.

Do you enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles?
Yeah, sometimes. My littlest ling has ADD (he's not medicated for it anymore) and jigsaw puzzles were the only thing he could focus on for a while, so he and I used to work puzzles together. Nowadays I don't do much jigsaw-ing.

Often connect seemingly unrelated ideas?
Sometimes. As I've aged my ability to do that has faded.

Do you enjoy paradoxes?
I'm fascinated by them. Urbaner complains about how many times I've tried to talk to him about stuff like that. He says it boggles his mind and that I should find a more fun way to find my time. Personally, I think it's fun and intriguing.

Do you set high standards for yourself?
Yes. As I said, I'll rip out entire pieces of knitting to correct a miniscule mistake, and I don't like to score less than 90% on tests.

Do you have a good long-term memory?
Yes. I can remember things from when I was 2 and 3 years old.

Are you deeply compassionate?
Yes. I may come across as a cynical hardass, but underneath it all I'm actually a softie.

Do you have persistent curiosity?
Yes. I love to know how things work, what makes them tick, why things are the way they are and how they got to be that way.

Do you have a good sense of humor?
Yes. A little fucked up, but yeah....

Are you a keen observer?
Yes. I like to look over people's shoulders when they work so I can see how they do what they do. If there's a demonstration going on, I'm there - whether it's about a new knitting technique or changing the struts on a car.

Do you love mathematics?
Not really. I mean, I don't do math problems for fun - I use it when I have to, but I don't do it for recreation

Do you need periods of contemplation?
Yes. I find that having time to myself to just reflect on things and think about life in general makes me a much happier camper.

Do you search for meaning in your life?
Not any more. I quit searching for the answers a while I just try to learn something from every situation I'm put in and make the most of the hand I'm dealt. Not everything has to mean something, not every circumstance has a hidden or ulterior motive.

Are you aware of things that others are not?
Yes. I can sense emotions and feelings in other people.

Are you fascinated by words?
Yes. I like to break words down and discover their root meanings; which language they originated from.

Are you highly sensitive?
Highly? Not any more. I AM sensitive, however.

Do you have strong moral convictions?

Do you often feel out-of-sync with others?
Yes. I often feel like nobody 'gets' me or understand where I'm coming from.

Are you perceptive or insightful?
Yes, I, I think so.

Do you often question rules or authority?
Hell yes!!

Do you have organized collections?
Hell no! My sock yarn collection consists of a laundry basket with balls stuffed willy-nilly in it!

Do you thrive on challenge?
I LOVE a challenge! I've done some of my best work when I've been challenged.

Do you have extraordinary abilities and deficits?
I think that you'd have to define 'extraordinary'. I can knit really, really well, and I have artistic abilities, but are they extrordinary? Maybe. I can't really say.

Do you learn new things rapidly?Yes. I pick up new concepts and ideas/things really quickly. I always have done.

Feel overwhelmed by many interests/abilities?Yes. I've got my fingers in a lot of pies - my 'room' in my house is a testament to that. I have paints, pencils, canvas and sketchbooks, some roving and a spinning dolly, fabric, a sewing machine, tapestry, crosstitch and knitting projects in various stages of completion, beads and beading looms, jewelry making stuff, soap and candle making supplies, books about homesteading and container gardening lining the walls alongside containers that I've saved because I thought they'd be good for peppers or tomatoes, plastic bottles that can be cut down to water said peppers and tomatoes, seedling trays and seeds, gardening equipment and gadgets, yoga mats, blocks, straps and weights, biking stuff and Camelbaks for hiking....and that's just what I saw when I opened the door just now. There's more stuff underneath all of that....

Do you have a great deal of energy?
I think I have an average amount of energy.

Often take a stand against injustice?
All the time. If I see something that I percieve to be 'wrong', I speak up and I don't shut up until someone notices and takes action.

Do you feel driven by your creativity?
Yes. Nothing gets me going more than the thought of creating something new, and I'm always motivated to knit. Always.

Love ideas and ardent discussion?

Oh yeah. My Urbaner gets upset with me because I'm constantly goading him into debating things with me. He says we can't ever have a normal talk about what's for dinner or what we did during the day; I always want to turn things into a debate or talk about 'deep' things.

Did you have developmentally advanced childhood?
Yes. I learned to read when I was 3 1/2 and was admitted to first grade when I was 4 1/2 (most British kids are 5 years and some months when they start school).

Have unusual ideas or perceptions?
Somewhat, but not remarkably so.

Are you a complex person?
If you ask some of my friends, they'd say yes. However, other people would say 'no', so.....maybe.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Most everyone has eyebrows. They're good for keeping water and sweat and such out of our eyes; women sometimes pluck or wax them and older men have to get them trimmed at the barber shop.

Some people, however, go to an extreme with their brow grooming (and distinct lack thereof) and it's those people I have decided to feature in this, my 200th post.

Most people want to get RID of a unibrow, not have their natural brows off and pencil a unibrow in. Don't ever get me started on the lips....

This isn't quite a unibrow, but it comes dangerously close. Again with the shaving off your own natural brows and drawing fake ones on....

Speaking of natural brows....if she has this much hair on her face, I can only imagine how much hair she has elsewhere, if you know what I mean.

Umm....yeah. Words fail me.

Were it not for the drastically overplucked brows and the fake kissy face, this girl might be somewhat attractive....

I hope those are eyeliner and not tattoos...but hey, whatever floats your boat. I wouldn't want to see them when she'd 70, though.

Now these ARE tatted on. She's got blonde hair and black artificial looking brows. Hmm.

The one on the left is boderline too much, but the one on the right? Dude, less is sometimes more!

Since when do eyebrow arches come 2/3 of the way up your forehead? What happens when she looks surprised?? Brow/hairline connection, perhaps?

A TRIFECTA!!! Bonus!

I don't know if this is a very masculine looking girl or a boy with eyeliner.


Umm...honey, eye brows aren't supposed to look like hooks. You're such a pretty girl...why, chickie, why?

I am stunned into silence here.

Ok, WTF? Were you stoned when you drew these on, woman?

I sometimes wonder if people look in the mirror before they leave the house, and if they do, do they see what everyone else sees?

Monday, February 23, 2009

May I be valiant in the attempt.

I saw him eyeing me up as I stood in the band aid aisle of the drug store. I don't usually pay much attention to men who do that unless they get too close, then I give them the stink eye and ask them if I can help them.

But he was different. He had beautiful eyes; almond shaped and bright blue. It was those that caught my attention.

I saw him looking at me, and I smiled at him. He blushed slightly and looked away but looked up a couple of seconds later and met my gaze.

"Hullo" I said "How are you?"

He shuffled his feet and put his hands in his pockets. "I like your hair. It's purple" he said.

"Uh huh, it sure is. I'm glad you like it...."

"'reverypretty" he stammered.

"Aww, thank you! That's a very nice thing to say!"

He looked away again and shuffled his feet some more. After a brief pause he asked if he could have a hug. I said of course he could, and opened my arms to recieve him. He laid his head on my shoulder and when he lifted it up again he smiled at me.

"Thank you," I said "that was lovely. You're a very good hugger!"

" I get lots of hugs when I run at the Olympics. I run and I jump and I have medals that they gave me! I'm a purty good runner..."

"...Me too!" I said. "I'm not as good as you, probably, and I haven't won any medals, but I try all the same."

"They say that's what counts, that you try. 'May I be valiant in the attempt" he said proudly.

"That's right! That's what really matters, that you try. I have to go now....but it was very nice meeting you and thank you very much for the hug!"

"You're welcome" he said, waving at me as he wandered down the aisle.

It never ceases to amaze me that one single, solitary chromosone can make such a huge difference.....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Desired effect

I wasn't an EMT when I responded to this call, I was working with that PD that night and we responded due to the area of town the call originated in. We stood in the background as the medics did their job.

SD medic 1: So, what's the problem? What's going on tonight?

Pt: I'm sleepy and feel odd.

SDM1: Ok...are you taking any medications?

Pt: Yeah, I've been having difficulty sleeping so I went to my doctor and he gave me some sleeping pills.

SDM1: Have you taken any tonight? (it's 2300)

Pt: Yeah, I took one about 45 minutes ago.

SDM1: So, you took a sleeping pill and now you're feeling sleepy?

Pt: Yeah. I wanna go to the ER and get checked out.

SDM1: You do know that sleeping pills will do that, right? That they're designed to make you feel sleepy?

Pt: Really? Well, I still wanna go, just to be on the safe side.

SDM1 (dejectedly and with resignation): Get in.....

Smurf Boy

My girl Epi put some purple streaks in her hair - which I LOVE. The 'Poiple Ppl' club has a new member!

The downside of her new look is that her lil' darlin', She Who Rules, is now asking for purple hair too. It reminded me of a story from my past....

Urbaner was deployed to the Middle East at the time. He'd only been home from one deployment for 4 months when he got redeployed, and it affected the kids quite a bit. Numbah Two in particular felt his absence, he was pretty close to his dad back then.

Numbah Two was in first grade at the time and had a male teacher, which is something that I am eternally grateful for. Mr M was EXACTLY what NT needed, he was a constant, unwavering male influence when NT's dad was gone and he didn't let NT get away with a whole lot.

NT, like most boys his age, exhibited signs of hydrophobia. That kid destested the shower. I mean, he really hated it and I had a heck of a time getting him to bathe or clean himself. He never went to school stinking, but it still bothered me that I had to fight so hard to get him to shower, so I had a chat with Mr M and he, in turn, had a chat with NT. I think NT took one shower without complaining too much, and then we were back to square one.

NT had wanted blue hair for a while (he is his mother's son, after all :-) ) and I had been putting him off and off on it because I didn't want him to have permanently blue hair. One day, whilst perusing the aisles in the drug store, I spied a can of spray in/wash out hair color. It was the answer to the problem.

I bought it and took it home and showed it to NT. I said that I would give him blue hair whenever he wanted, but that he had to wash it out before he went to bed....and that didn't mean simply sticking his head under the faucet, it meant getting naked and in the shower. I said the first time he balked at getting clean to get it out would be the last time he had blue hair.

He agreed. The next day he got up for school and I dutifully sprayed his hair blue. He was ecstatic and went off to school a very happy camper. When he came home - still with blue hair - he ate supper and then went and got in the shower without my having to even ask him or remind him of the deal. When he was done he told me that Mr M had initally been disapproving, but had dubbed him 'Smurf Boy' after he (NT) had explained the situation about the shower to him and that Mr M said 'ahhh...I see. Your mom's no dummy, is she?'

No, I'm not a dummy. NT got blue hair, and I got a clean kid. Win-win situation, as far as I'm concerned.

I just wish Urbaner had taken it as well.

(incidentally, each of my 'lings have had funky hair color. NT went on to have permanent red streaks in his, FTS had 2 turquoise stripes in hers and Littlest Ling had Midnight blue highlights in his last summer. I guess they take after their mom ;-) )

Y'all say hello... Sir Napoleon Dynamite Mousey McMousington the First, aka 'Sir Mouse-a-lot'.

See that white stripe on his head? The fur there is longer than the rest of his head, so he looks like he's got a mohawk.

His tail cracks me up; he holds it above his head when he runs and it's stripey, as you can see.

Isn't he cute?!

Monday, February 16, 2009

NM's 'Running' playlist

In no particular order:

The Cult: Fire Woman
She Sells Sanctuary

Big Audio Dynamite: Situation No Win

Siouxsie and The Banshees: Hong Kong Garden

Common: Universal Mind Control

The Clash: Rock The Casbah
I Fought The Law

The Buzzcocks: Ever Fallen In Love With Someone

The Undertones: Teenage Kicks

Blur: Woo Hoo

Disturbed: Down With The Sickness

Dope: Die Motherfucker Die

Drowning Pool: Bodies

The Dropkick Murphys: Shipping Up To Boston

Faith No More: Epic

Godsmack: Whatever

Metallica: Die Die My Darling
So Fucking What

GreenDay: Minority

Sum 41: Fat Lip

Weezer: Hash Pipe
Buddy Holly Song

Alien Ant Farm: Smooth Criminal

House Of Pain: Jump Around

Reverend Horton Heat: Texas Rockabilly Rebel

Buckcherry: Crazy Bitch

Seether: Gasoline

Saliva: Ladies and Gentlemen

Lit: My Own Worst Enemy

There's more, if you need recommendations...:-)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Now that it's public

For backround on this story, see this post:


'The reported former head of security forces at Ellsworth Air Force is in the Pennington County Jail facing multiple charges of rape, sexual contact with a child younger than 16 and incest.Frank Ashley, 42, is charged in Pennington County with three counts of third-degree rape, one count of fourth-degree rape, four counts of sexual contact with a child younger than 16 and one count of aggravated incest.

The charges are for alleged incidents from 2002 to 2007 while Ashley was stationed at Ellsworth and living in Rapid City. Attorneys and court officials here and in California say Ashley told them he was head of security forces at Ellsworth during that time.If convicted, Ashley faces up to 135 years in prison.

Ashley also faces life in prison if convicted of two counts of first-degree rape of a child younger than 10 in Meade County. He is additionally charged there with third-degree rape of a child under 16 and sexual contact with a child under 16.Those incidents allegedly occurred while Ashley was living on the base from 1998 to 2000.

Ashley was arrested July 8, in Vacaville, Calif., where he was living after his retirement from the Air Force.

He made an initial court appearance in Rapid City on Sept. 25.On Thursday, Judge A.P. "Pete" Fuller granted a Pennington County states attorney's request that Ashley's contact with family members be strictly limited. His attorney must be present at all times.'

This is the person I've been writing about sporadically. This is the man I let into my home and life. This is the man who led me to have to sit with my children and ask them a question NO parent should ever have to ask their child: did this man touch you? Did he make any suggestions or interact with you in a way that was inappropriate or made you uncomfortable?
This is the man who showed my children that predators and molestors don't come with labels on them, that they look like you and I and are sometimes even in positions of authority.

Oh, and for the record, he wasn't "head of security forces"; He was NCOIC of Investigations. It's typical of Frank to talk himself up like that. I'll bet he's got the other pedophiles in the sexual offenders protective custody unit he's confined in believing he's pretty special by now.
But he's not. He's not special.

He's a fucking pedophile. There's nothing special about that.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The end of a dream/looking for a silver lining

So, I spoke with the Army rep this morning.

I won't be enlisting. There are a lot of medical conditions that preclude enlistment, and I happen to have a couple of them listed in my medical records. Yeah, they give waivers for stuff, but the likelihood of my getting a waiver is slim to none - mainly because I've had my spine fused. The Army doesn't want people with spinal fusions, no matter how well rehabbed they are. I also have arthritis in my shoulder, and the Army doesn't like that either.

So, there ends that dream for me.

I'm ok with it, though. I wasn't putting all my eggs in one basket; I had a plan B and I'll be putting that plan B into effect shortly.

I'm applying to attend the Fire Science class at the same college I did my EMT classes at. I'm looking at starting this fall, and this spring I'm looking to join a volunteer FD in my area.

I'm still going to run 5k races and hopefully a 10k later this year, and I'm still going to focus on getting stronger and healthier. That was going to happen regardless of whether I enlisted or not.

This isn't an end for me, this is just the start of a new path.

Monday, February 9, 2009

First race date

Saturday, March 28th. I'm entering a 5k run/walk race near here.

Ideally, I'll run the whole thing, however...I've promised myself that I'm starting it running and I'm finishing it running.

Urbaner is running it with me, hopefully.

Then on April 19th, FTS and I are talking about running another 5k together. Urbaner will be gone for that one, but I'd really like to keep running 5ks as often as I can over the spring and summer.

I've also got a plan for tattoos celebrating races I finish: butterflies going up my leg. Not big butterflies, just little ones, floating their way from my ankle up to....well, who knows. I have to run and finish the first race before I can make plans for too many more.

By the way, Urbaner: I meant what I said. I highly doubt I'll be running a half marathon in my life, but should it ever happen I WILL get '13.1' tattooed on my ass. Believe it.


I got new shoes over the weekend. Mike the shoe Guru (btw, if you live in the StL area, I highly recommend Toolen's Running Start in Shiloh, IL) kitted me out with some Saucony Omni 7's:

Sweet, huh?

I found this weekend that I have the smallest feet in our family. I'm the eldest, but I have the littlest trotters.
For example, this is my foot next to my 14 year old son's foot:

And this is my foot next to my 12 year old boy's foot:

FTS wouldn't pose for foot shots, but her feet are an easy sz 10. Where the hell they all got these big plates from is beyond me....

Friday, February 6, 2009

No surprise.

From KFI 640 AM's website:

Workers compensation claims filed by the mother of the octuplets born last week in Bellflower have cost California taxpayers more than $260,000, according to public documents released Thursday.In 332 pages of Nadya Suleman’s claim files reviewed by KFI NEWS, records show she received about $168,000 in temporary disability payments between 1998 and 2009, and the costs associated with her case totaled more than $95,000.Suleman challenged the state in 2000 and 2001 in order to receive benefits for a September, 1999 injury at the Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk, where she said she was hit on the back by a desk, “flipped over,” by a rioting mental patient.She complained of back pain and was a candidate for back surgery, doctors wrote, but said Suleman decided against the procedure, obtained a new doctor through her attorney, and chose to treat the pain with water therapy and Vicodin, the records said.California petitioned the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board in September, 2008 to cut-off Suleman’s bi-monthly checks of $833.98 because a doctor had found, “the patient has reached the point of maximum medical improvement.”

Well surprise, surprise. Ms Suleman has been claiming Workers Comp all this time for a back injury she CHOSE not to have surgery for, but instead 'treated' with water therapy and Vicodin. Imagine that.

Why does this not surprise me?

I hurt my back a while ago. I had the surgery, though, because I was so desperate to get a break from the pain that I'd have done just about anything. I got tired of sitting around, hurting and I wanted to have a life. So, I had the surgery because I didn't see any other way.

I certainly don't think that being pregnant multiple times would have been feasible. My back hurt bad enough when I was pregnant as it was, let alone AFTER the injury. I think that I'd have done almost anything to make sure I didn't get pregnant ONCE, let alone SEVEN times . I sure as fuck wouldn't have asked for SIX embryos to be implanted at one time and taken the risk of having to carry multiple babies on a back that was already injured.

So, gentle reader, the most logical explanation I can come up with here is that Ms Suleman is NOT really as injured as she and her attorney (and the attorney's doctor) claim she is. She is no different than the scroungers, the free-riders of the welfare gravy train, the chronic pain-eurs that we see frequently both on the job and around town. She's no different than the crack whores I see on the streets of ESL, the ones who stay pregnant so they can keep claiming benefits. She's no different than the layabouts and losers I see in WalMart, the ones who claim they're too injured to work but who can carry 2 or 3 cases of beer and a 40lb bag of dogfood with seemingly no problem.

I'm disgusted. Are you?

Nadya Suleman is a stupid bitch.

Sorry for the profanity.

I just got done yelling at the TV. Anne Curry was interviewing Nadya Suleman, the mother of the octuplets that were born in CA last week.

Nadya, for those of you who've been living in a vacum, is a single mother. An unemployed single mother who lives with her parents and already has 6 other children, all the products of in vitro fertilization, under the age of 7.

She claims, in this interview, that she's being criticized for having all these children because of her 'unconventional' lifestyle. She said that "couples don't get criticized for this because they're in a conventional lifestyle" and went on to add that her being a single parent was unconventional and that's why people are pissed at her.

It was that comment that made me shout at the TV.


Yeah, I dropped the 'C' bomb. You know it's bad when I bust that out...

Again, sorry for the profanity.

But it's true. She DOESN'T have a job. Or a home. In fact, she's had a couple of homes go into foreclosure on her fairly recently. And now she has 14 children to provide for. Unless she's incredibly wealthy, she's never going to be able to afford adequate daycare for all 14 of them - so it's just not going to be worth her while to go back to work. Which means, gentle reader, that you and I and every other taxpaying worker in this country will end up footing the bill for these kids.

I wrote an article a while back about how I'm all about freedom and people being able to live the life they choose for themselves - but that freedom often comes at a price so you'd best be prepared to finance your lifestyle yourself.

Words for Ms Suleman to live by, I think.

By the way, I swear she's had some cosmetic surgery. Those lips are far too bulky and 'trout pout'-ish to be real.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Dear Fat Old Man On A Scooter


In case you didn't notice, my legs are made of flesh and bone with a light covering of skin. They are infinitely LESS durable than the metal and rubber of the scooter you're riding around on. If I kick your scooter, the scooter won't feel pain. However, the same cannot be said for my legs: if you run into them with your scooter, I will feel pain. It will hurt me, and that hurt will make me squeal out in surprise and pain.

For your information, there are many, many different cheeses in the dairy case I was standing next to when you hit me, and they are all labelled with their respective names. So, for you to say that "they're all the dang same" and to tell me that I "don't need to stand there fucking gawking at them"..well, that statement was erroneous. They ARE different - Colby is very different than Mozarella and Sharp Cheddar is not the same as Parmesan -, and I DID need to stand there looking at them to see which one it was that I wanted to purchase.

I don't really care that, by some freak of nature, you have managed to survive as long as you have. It means jack shit to me, because an asshole is an asshole is an asshole, no matter what their age. Your advanced years means diddly squat to me, you old coot. It just means that you're either too onery or too stupid to die.

I also don't give a fuck that you're riding a scooter. You ride one because you're fat and because you get winded when you walk. I'll let you into a secret, y'old bastard: you get winded when you walk because you weigh 400lbs. You weigh 400lbs because you choose to use a scooter to get around the store instead of walking. See, walking = exercise. Exercise = burning calories. Burning calories usually = weight loss/maintenance. Riding around on a scooter = a sedentary lifestyle, which does NOT = weight loss. See where your problem is? I couldn't help but notice that you had, in your basket, every kind of Little Debbie snack the store carries, lots of frozen TV dinners and ice cream, but no fresh fruits or vegetables or meats. No healthy stuff, in other words, and I'd like to remind you that that too probably has something to do with your incredible size and could contribute to your getting winded when you walk.

I'd also like to address your body odor. Do you ever wonder why people tend to stand 6' or more away from you when they interact with you? Yeah, that's because you STINK. I mean you really reek. Like stale BO and unwashed ass. It's gross, dude. The store we were in has an extensive toiletries aisle; there are dozens upon dozens of soaps and shampoos and deodorants down there. I'd like to suggest that head down there, buy some, and then that you try using them on a daily basis. I realize that it may be difficult to wash your body because of your sheer bulk, but surely you can find a rag on a stick or something to at least make an attempt to clean yourself?

Should be be unfortunate enough to meet in the store again and you decide to again ram my legs with your scooter, I will retaliate. You assaulted me yesterday, and I believe you did it knowingly because you, sir, are a fucking asshole who I think finds great pleasure in being a cranky old fart with a chip on his shoulder. So, I suggest that should we see each other again, you stay away from me. I'm not into making idle threats so I won't go into detail about what I'll do to you, but you can rest assured that should it happen again, one of us will be led away in handcuffs. I'm just sayin'.

That's all. Have a nice day - and don't forget to bathe!



Wednesday, February 4, 2009

One foot in front of the other.

I had a follow up appointment with my primary care physician yesterday. I got the results of my physical blood work, finally, and we talked about the hospitalization.

Cholesterol is down 30 points to a normal level. LDL is down, HDL is up. Blood pressure is looking great and I've taken my resting heartrate from borderline tachycardic to in the 70's.

The weight I gained after the surgeries and the inactivity really fucked with my health. Exercising somewhat regularly and watching what I eat is really paying off, and my doc says she's proud of me.

I saw the official reports from my inpatient stay. I DO have an ulcer, and apparently I was vomiting blood stained bile pretty regularly the first 24 hours I was there - that being the reason I was there for 4 days. I knew that the bile I was reguritating wasn't exactly a normal color and I thought that it tasted kind of metallic, but I really wasn't 'with it' enough to realize it was bloody. It wasn't frank blood, and for that I'm grateful, because I'd have freaked out over that. I've transported patients with gastric bleeds before. I know how you can bleed copious amounts from your gut. Anyhoo, the diagnosis is firm: I have a duodenal ulcer and I have to be on Nexium for the next 2 months in order to give it time to heal. I'm going to have another scope done sometime soon, and I'm going to have to avoid NSAIDs like the plague for the forseeable future. My belly isn't hurting as much as it was, and the doc gave me the green light to start running again next week.

Speaking of running, I'm going to buy new shoes this weekend. I have low arches and I overpronate pretty significantly, so I need stability or motion control shoes or else my calves and shins cramp up like a bitch. There's a store near here that's run by a guy in his 50's who runs marathons regularly (he ran the Boston, and that's a feat in an of itself. You have to qualify for that by running another marathon in under 3 1/2 hours) and really knows his stuff. I was in there with U a few weeks ago, and he said that when I'm ready to take the running to the next level to come back and see him and he'd fit me for some shoes. He knows his shit, and I trust I'm going to see him on Saturday, hopefully, and have him fit me with some GOOD shoes. Yeah, they're gonna be about $100, but if they make my runs more comfortable and my legs less prone to injuries, they'll be worth it.

I have a new hero: Matt Long. Matt is a NYC firefighter who was crushed by a 20 ton bus whilst riding his bike on December 22nd, 2005. He had compound femur and tib/fib fractures on the left, and the bus forced the handlebars of his bike into his body, creating a fissure that went from his belly button to his rectum. His pelvis was shattered, he broke his shoulders and too many bones to count, his injuries were what the trauma surgeon described as 'worse than those of soldiers who have been hit by mortar rounsds', and he used 48 units of blood in the first 24 hours he was in the hospital. He underwent 22 surgeries and was an inpatient for 5 months. He nearly died, in other words.

He ran the NY marathon last year.

He hasn't let his injuries stop him. He's got numerous reasons to NOT run - hell, I see people with injuries far less than his who ride around on electric scooters - but he runs just the same. He is my inspiration: he pushes past his injuries and when he's down or in pain he says he just focuses on putting one foot in front of the other.

One foot in front of the other. That's all it is; it's just a question of putting one foot in front of the other. That's what I'm going to tell myself when I want to quit.

One foot in front of the other. It's really that simple.

Monday, February 2, 2009

O hai.

O hai, peoples. Dis Noods again.

Last week wuz strange. First, teh kidz stayed home a LOT. They sed they didnt have to go to skool bucuz of sumfing called sno. I didnt kno wut sno wuz, but i figgerd it wuznt gud becuz it maded teh kids stay home. Then I wented outside to tiddle and instead of teh green graas in mai yard and the brown durt, there wuz all dis wite stuff everware and it wuz reel coald! I didnt want to go and tiddle in dat, but mai kidz sed 'go potty, Noods!' so I wented out and tiddled reel kwick and wen i camed back inside mai feets were freezin!!

Then later teh boyz putted on they cotes and hats and gluvs and boots and they wented outside and they frewed the wite stuff called sno at each other and they laffed a hole lot. The Tall Girl sed "see, Noods! That's what snow is! Do you want to go play in it?" and I sed "no, is too cold! I want to stay here!" but all she herd was "growrrrrr woofwoofwoof!".

I doan liek sno. It makes my feets and tummy chilly. I hope it doesnt sno no moar.

Mai Momma sed her fwend Mz Epi is getting her a dawg. I wented to see Mz Epi's blawg, and sho nuff, deres a pikchure of a dawg over dere and Mz Epi sed shes gunna dopt him. I fink dats a reel gud fing and I fink Mz Epi is a reel naise lady for dopting dat dawg.

Oh! Mai momma is doing teh dishez and dat meens fud for me and Grace! I gots to go!



Baked Potato and Leek Soup

I have a vegetarian in the house. FTS hasn't eaten meat in over 2 years, so I'm constantly on the lookout for new recipes to tempt her with.

I found this recipe over the weekend and made it this morning so she'd have something warm to eat when she got home from school, starving as usual. She's currently on her second bowl and is making "mmm. MMMMMmmmmMMMMM" noises as she eats, so I'm guessing she really likes it.

Baked Potato and Leek Soup:

2 or 3 large baking potatoes
1/4 cup unsalted butter (or margarine)
2 1/2 cups sliced leeks (about 3 medium sized leeks, only using the white and pale green parts)
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken if you're cooking for omivores/carnivores)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste.

Heat oven to 350 degrees and bake scrubbed spuds for an hour until tender. Remove and cool on a wire baking rack.

Melt butter in stock/soup pot over a medium-low heat and add leeks and garlic. 'Sweat' for 10 minutes or so (the aim is to cook them without browning them).
Add stock, season well, and simmer for 20 mins.
Meanwhile, halve one of the potatoes and scoop the flesh out. Chop the flesh and remaining skin and toss it into the soup pot. Stir well.
Puree the contents of the pot until smooth, then return to the pan on a low heat.
Wisk the milk and sour cream together until smooth and then stir into the pot; dice the remaining potato (you can peel it if you like, I personally left the skin on) and stir that in too.
Heat through, season to taste again if necessary, then serve topped with shredded cheddar cheese.

If you'd like, you could add some cheese to the soup and even throw some crumbled bacon in there.

According to FTS, this soup is "delicious, definitely a keeper. Can I have some more?"


You know you're an EMT when.... meet new people and find yourself mentally wondering if you and your partner would be able to lift them or if you'd need a PD/FD assist.

I catch myself doing it all the time. I've even started doing it to random people I see on the street/in a store/ at the library.

I wonder if, once you stop being an EMT, it ever goes away, or if you think like this the rest of your life?

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I've had a few different hair colors over the past 20 years.

When I was a toddler, I had white blonde hair. As I grew older, it got darker, and by the time I was a teenager it was a mid brown color. I didn't like it - hated it, in fact - so I used to get it frosted so it was blonde again.

When I was in my 20's, I decided that I wanted to be a redhead:

I colored my hair red, and I stayed red for many years. Almost a whole decade, to be exact.

Artificially colored red hair is difficult to maintain; the color molecules are larger and don't bond as well with the hair shaft as other colors do, so consequently they tend to fade pretty quickly. I had to color my hair once a month to keep it the vibrant red that I liked.

I've had forays into the blonde side of the house:

(Yes, that's me in uniform, and yes, that's a gun on my belt. I'm wearing a kevlar vest, too - I'm not really that stocky, honest!)

I never really liked being blonde; I swear I could feel my IQ drop a few points every time I got my highlights done.

A couple of years ago, I decided to cross over to the dark side. Not just any dark side; a dark side with purple highlights:

I loved my hair like that, and so did Urbaner. Last February I got a wild hair up my ass, cut it all off and decided I was too old for purple highlights. I chose a mid brown color, close to my natural color, and tried to grow up.

It didn't work. It sounds vain, but I pined for my purple hair. Urbaner said he missed it too. Last week I decided that growing up and dressing your age is highly overrated, and this is what I did:

I went darker, and I got my poiple back.

My poiple is back. I'M back.