Monday, January 13, 2014


Back in the day, Jill used to complain when the boys in her homeschool co-op "spoke Nerd" during their lunch break.  Being the only girl there much of the time, it got rather tiresome for her.  After all, girlfriend was the only girl in the family, and essentially the only girl in the neighborhood.  She had more than her share of Nerd-speak at home.  She just wasn't having it at school.

I'm used to it and, after working as a nursery nurse for some years, I learned to tune stuff out a long time ago.  I listen to the boys in the car only to a point, but when it starts getting too thick, I tune it out and let them at it.  Jim cracks up at how they go at it, truthfully stating that the could go on for hours -- and they've done it many a time.

So here was yesterday's tete-a-tete on Facebook.

Thomas to Seth:  tell your father im here and tell him the lannisters aren't the only ones who pay their debts.  Tell me you didn't get hella chills from that.
My friend Sally:  What's a lannister?
Seth:  So gud.  Also got chills at "if you're looking for justic, you came to the wrong place." since I know what it's in ressponse to.  Also, EVERY SCENE WITH OBERYN especially the one where he's fighting mr big man.
Thomas: i'm unfathomable levels of excited for "if you die before you say her name, ser, I will hunt you through all seven hells."
Seth:  And also the opening bit with "some dead man." Also that bit with the dude  that killed Jeor, leaving the baby in the woods (sacrificing it to an Other) is pretty....interesting.
Jill:  Nerdz.
Jim:  WTH game or movie is this from?
Chris:  It was so GOOD.
Me: Game of Thrones is my guess.
Seth: This.
Chris:  Game of Awesome Thrones.
Me: I knew it.  Only Game of Thrones can bring out this level of nerd.

I have NO idea what any of this means.  I do know that Seth is practically giddy over the return of the show, and apparently Thomas and Chris are too, to the point that punctuation and spelling obviously become optional where Game of Thrones is involved.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Is It Any Wonder I'm Confused?

The Heir to the Throne been home for three weeks now. It's interesting to watch the dynamic between Jim and Seth.  They can talk video games half the day, and Dr Who the other half.  But try to have a seemingly normal conversation, and that's where it gets tricky.  

 Jim likes video games. He assured me after his knee surgery that all he needed was a remote and his Xbox controller, and he'd be just fine.  He was right.  However, does not play Candy Crush, which is the game of the moment for people like me who don't play console games.  If you don't know what Candy Crush is, do not google it.  You won't be able to stop.  Jim doesn't play it, mainly because it doesn't involve knives, guns, flash bangs, or as a matter of fact, any type of weapon.  Marines do not play games that don't involve weapons.  Seth, however, does.  He's a recent recruit.  I'm on Level 300+ after a few months.  Seth is at least halfway there after a couple of weeks.  Good thing I'm not competitive.  Oh well.    So here is this morning's breakfast conversation.

Seth (walking into kitchen and sitting down):  "Hey Mom, send me a ticket."  (When you hit certain parts of the game, you have to get three tickets to advance, so Seth's MO is to randomly come up and ask me for a ticket.  It's like a little game between the two of us.)
Jim: "What do you need a ticket for?"
Seth: "I just do. Mom, send me a ticket."
Jim: "But what do you need it for?"
Seth: "I just NEED it.  Mom.  Ticket."
Jim: "But where the hell are you going?  You can't go anywhere.  You have to go back to school tomorrow.  You haven't even started your car for a week.  You don't even know if it WILL start.  You don't need a ticket."
Seth: "I need a ticket.  Mom.  Ticket."
Jim: "Where the hell are you going?"
Seth: "Paradise."
Jim: "What, are you Muslim now?"
Me: "He needs two tickets to Paradise."
Jim: "What. The. Hell."
Seth: "It's a song, Jim."
Jim: "What do I care about a song?  What do you need a ticket for?"
Seth:  "It's for a game."
Jim:  "Oh NO.  Is it for that Candy Crunch game?"
Seth: "Candy Crush, James.  Candy CRUSH."
Jim: "Whatever. What do you need a ticket for?"

All this, before 10am.  Is it any wonder I'm confused most of the time?

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Hug Your Local Home Care Nurse

Here is how a home health nurse spends her day during a snowstorm of 12+ inches, a la Snowcopalyse.

I started my day yesterday by finding out that the boss had taken me up on my offer to be on call if the agency closed.  I found this out an hour and a half AFTER I started on call, because somehow they forgot to TELL me that they'd taken me up on it.  Oh well, that's fine.  They had other priorities, and no calls had come in.  No harm, no foul.  I did offer, after all.  The day wasn't too bad.  There were a few cranky people who didn't understand why we were closed, despite the governor's pleas for everyone to just stay home.  But that's ok too.  I'm used to cranky people -- I did phone triage for 15 years or so, after all.

So today, I got to start my day by doing labs on a patient at 6am.  Let's just use that time loosely, because although I was up at 5am, I didn't get out the door till 5:40 -- for a trip that, by Mapquest, should've taken 38 minutes.  It took an hour and 25 minutes. Once I got to her street, I realized that I couldn't see the house numbers.  NOTE:  please make sure for your own safety that your house number can clearly be seen from the street, both coming and going, in daylight AND at night.  It not only makes your nurse cranky if she can't find you, but it also is a safety issue if an ambulance or police can't figure out where you are.  I could not, for the life of me, find this lady's house.  I finally called and got the old "oh, we're the first house on the cul de sac.  There's a red truck in the driveway" routine.  Except not only could I not see a truck, I could see a cul de sac at all.  AT ALL.  Finally, the fourth or fifth time through this very small addition, she flashed her porch light at me.  AHA!  I could see her house, but still couldn't see the cul de sac, because snow had been plowed about four feet tall at least, and I didn't see an entry in the dark.  I finally found it -- a very narrow path -- and made it up to her house.  What a sweet lady she was.  I even got out of her driveway backing down that very narrow path with my 4 wheel drive.  My reverse skills have been keenly honed since my first year of home ownership, when I ran over two bikes and a boombox in the first summer.  It was a long, difficult driveway, with a big blind spot.  Today, I managed to get out of that tight spot with no problem, and headed to the next patient, who was supposedly ten minutes down the road.  More like twenty, really.

 I was concerned whether I could get down the patient's street, but he'd pleaded with the city and they had plowed.  Plowed, as in, plowed him in.  As in, the only way to get to his door was to plunge in feet first, where I promptly sunk almost up to the hip, whilst balancing my bag -- a sturdy duffle type gym bag.  I did have the good sense to leave my computer in the car -- a big no-no, but he's the only house on the street, and I didn't want to go plunging facefirst into the snow and lose the damn thing.

I knocked on his door, and it took several minutes for him to answer.  Mind you, it was a true -15 degrees outside, not including wind chill.  He finally came to the door, and asked me, very confused, why I was standing out in the cold instead of coming into the porch.  I just pointed at the bungee cord that was holding the door shut.  He laughed, let me in, the stopped and stared before he grabbed a broom and started sweeping me off.

Sweeping. Me. Off.

Not sweeping me off my feet, mind you.  Sweeping off my jeans -- yes, I wore jeans, because by golly, if I'm plunging out in that weather in the dark, and climbing through snowbanks, I'm wearing something sturdy and warm.  He finished sweeping, I did my thing, and I was out of his house in something like 16 minutes.  When I promptly plunged right back into the snowbank again to get back into my car.  At least this time I could climb into my own foot tracks.  I climbed into my car covered in snow up to my knees.

All this, before 8:30am.  By noon, I had climbed into another snowbank, after parking around the corner from the house, walking on an ice covered street to get where I needed to be, selected my spot, and plunged in -- this time with computer in hand.  So. Much. Fun.

That being sad, I do love winter.  LOVE it.  The added reward was how absolutely beautiful it is right now.  So beautiful that I came home and dug out the trash can from the snow, shovelled a path to the mailbox, and even partially cleaned off the other two cars in the driveway.  Of course, now my lungs are saying "oh no, you shouldn't have done that and I'll have a hit of the inhaler, please" but oh well.  It's all in a day's work for a homecare nurse.