Friday, September 28, 2012

I Could Have SWORN Gray's Anatomy was Cancelled

I love the Fall Television Season. I love seeing the return of my favorite television shows. I love discovering new shows. I love ridiculing those 'highly acclaimed and long awaited' shows that turn out to be total suck-fests.

I do not love Gray's Anatomy.

In the spirit of full disclosure I must say – I have NEVER watched an entire episode of Gray's Anatomy. And I was pretty certain the show had been CANCELLED last season. I could have sworn the entire cast died in a firey ER shoot out last season. (this is solely based on seeing previews between the shows I do watch.)

But it seems that those poor nurses and doctors that work at Gray's Anatomy Hospital are destined to DIE in a fiery helicopter crash. Wow. Way to really shorten the season. Killing off the entire cast on the first show of the new season? Genius. Now maybe the network will have room for some really good programming.

I am fully aware that that last sentence will completely piss off a HUGE section of the American Television Demographic. But, I am here to tell you, as a 25+ year veteran of healthcare, I have never seen an entire staff granted time off TOGETHER. EVER. Plus, we were never dispatched all together in a helicopter for any reason. (Although I really thought the Jimmy Buffett concert would be reason enough.)

We did have a car drive INTO our Emergency Department once and I personally had a killer Pimp attempt to break through the automatic doors. But NEVER were we granted time off TOGETHER to go cruising around in a helicopter.



Thursday, September 27, 2012

Its Not You It's The Scanner

I took Wednesday off to embark on my first official Blogging adventure. I intended to take part in the phenomenon known as Me-Ality – a body scanner which figures your size in relation to retail stores/brand sizing.

Why, you might ask, would a rational woman, years beyond caring what size she wears, subject herself to this?

First of all – LOL! Who are we kidding. I don't care how much MORE magazine touts the wonder that is the middle age woman. I will always, in a tiny part of my brain, cringe if the jeans I try on are above a certain number and I will ALWAYS do a happy dance when that number falls below the number I am at right now.

And second of all – there is no second. I have a history of stuffing myself into vertical booths. (This would be the Spray Tan Incident. Or, as my daughter likes to call it – The Day Mom Stuck Me in a Gas Chamber.)

Today was about sharing a potentially humiliating experience with my BFF. We steeled ourselves with a promise of pumpkin spice latte and walked determinedly towards the poor young woman holding a clipboard next to the space station scanner tube. I could almost hear her thoughts: please don't let them stop here. There is not enough vodka tonic at Fridays to get their pitiful pleas of past shopping trips to 5-7-9 out of my head."

Did I mention that the scanner sits IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MALL?

Before we could even say "Hello, we would like to be publicly humiliated" the poor clerk holds her clipboard up like a shield and says, "I'm sorry. The scanner is down for the day. The entire day."

Thus avoiding the following conversation:
Me: "I am sure the machine has to be wrong. Please put Forever 21 into your search engine again."
Clerk: "Ma'am, it clearly says your best bet for skinny jeans is Bob's Big Girls or perhaps you would like to explore MiddleAgeMommas. Either way, the machine has spoken. The Machine Has Spoken. It has."

Frankly, I think we were all a little relieved.

(I fully intend to try the scanner as the company actually emails you the results and your size equivalent to a huge number of stores which would save me a huge amount of time NOT trying on clothes and thus needing to return them. For anyone interested the company info follows:

PS-The Spray Tan Incident is another story. Which I will post one day when I am sure the Spray Tan People won't come after me.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Maybe its a Good Thing Kerouac Doesn't Know....

I just downloaded 'On The Road' by Jack Kerouac to read on my Ipod while commuting back and forth to my job.

This is so wrong on so many levels I think they may have to invent a couple just to satisfy the wrongness.

Wait – did I mention that I decided to finally read this book while reading a fashion article in VOGUE loosely based on the styles that the characters would probably have worn? Oh, and it sits on the Kindle bookshelf next to the second installment of 50 Shades of Grey.

That ought to do it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Thoughts from Monday

My day job finds me in the middle of a very urban area at a huge university affiliated healthcare facility. You never know who or what you might see or hear. In the center of our quad is a huge basin  reflecting pool.
Today some event is being set up around the pool and Latin Music is serenading me as I stare into the pool and reflect on the injustice of being stuck on the Coast of Illinois when I could be listening to this music live on a beach...

Sorry, no pictures it is just too sad.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Special Bonus Saturday Installment!

Special Bonus Saturday Installment!

I spent yesterday in the car driving to Cornfield, IL to pick up child #2 from College. I love driving through central Illinois. It is where I grew up and I feel a deep affection for the endless rows of cornstalks and dilapidated barns. You can see for miles as you drive down the interstate. Tiny farms dot the landscape and a storm always seems to be brewing off to the West casting just the right amount of Religious Calendar Sun Rays over the flat land.

There is an endless supply of kitsch on this stretch of road including but not limited to a gigantic catsup bottle, Tractor Museum, a 'real' Indian trading post, a restaurant that boasts MILE HIGH pie- which actually looks like MILE HIGH meringue on a an average size pie and travel lodge with an 'arch' that IS NOT REALLY A TRUE ARCH (this detail is pointed out to me by my family every time we pass it). (Every time.) But one of my absolute favorites is the Paul Simon Freeway sign.

Paul Simon was a congressman from the great state of Illinois. He wore a bow tie. Always. And once he appeared on Saturday Night Live with the other Paul Simon because he felt there was some confusion over who was hosting. Now THAT is an awesome politician.

Good thing he didn't wear a dickie. (If you look closely it appears there are bullet holes in the bow tie. They are actually polka dots. As per the original...)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Your Face is a Work of Art

Since when did it become necessary for women to wear PRIMER under their makeup?
It's bad enough that regular makeup is called Foundation, and now PRIMER?
Listen up people: I am a WOMAN not a piece of DRYWALL!
...although I could probably use some moisturizer, so I can sort of see the cause of the confusion.

(this lunchtime rant brought to you by Sephora* and MORE magazine* the magazine for women who refuse to subscribe to Better Homes and Garden*.)

*all unpaid - der.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Never Surrender Your Night

Watched "About Last Night"...last night. It is one of those wonderful Big 80's movies, a time capsule if you will, of all that was the 1980's. The movie revolves around Debbie (played by Demi Moore) and Danny (Rob Lowe) and their rocky love vs sex relationship. The film holds all that I hold dear about that New Wave Era.

It has gigantic sweaters – prints so large you look like wallpaper and sizes so large that Debbie and Danny could have moved all her stuff into her sweater and still had room for his stuffed Chicago Bear. And gigantic hair. Elizabeth Perkins, as Debbie's best friend, rocked the poodle-do while snapping scathing comments at Danny and his friend play by...

James Belushi, he went by James then – not Jim, was the semi-drunk side-kick. All good 1980's movies co-starred at least on Belushi, or Murray or that Andrew McSomthing guy. You remember him. He was the guy who dated a mannequin and that other 80's chick fried green tomatos.

Debbie was an artist, her friend a kindergarten teacher. Danny and his bud were sales guys in the same warehouse in which Kevin Bacon decided to be a writer later in the 80's. It must have been an inspiring warehouse. Danny decided to follow his dream there as well. They all hang out at the neighborhood bar, drinking pink wine. ( I am pretty sure John Hughes invented pink wine JUST for the 80's.) And they eat peanuts from those red baskets and throw the shells on the floor of the bar where the bartender cheerfully buys them drinks.

On dates the couple goes to Wrigley Field for a Cubs game, stand around outside Wrigley Field throwing each others hats into the air and of course, tour the art museum in Chicago. Did I mention the movie is set in Chicago? (I am pretty sure John Hughes also invented Chicago just for these movies.)

I don't really know why I love this movie. It drives me crazy that the couple central to the story are pretty flat, the angstyness is pretty contrived and the comic relief is painful. But I do love it. Maybe its because I wore most of the clothes or maybe because I was at the beginning of that BIG relationship myself.

But my love of the movie is most likely based on that feeling of hopefulness and endless possibility brought on by ripping the sleeves off your t-shirt, wrapping a red bandana around your head and cranking up your Corey Hart soundtrack – the Official Soundtrack Singer of the Big 80s.

Talking to one of the Ninja Turtles while rocking my own poodle-do in my Radical khaki jumpsuit. I always wore my sunglasses at night.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lucky Shot

Since this blog is mostly dedicated to seeing the slightly skewed - I received this photo from one of the host of the Messabout event we attended over the weekend. The photo is not particularly 'skewed'.  It is a great photo of my husband and me in our tiny boat. We are looking very sailor-y and gentile. It is not so much what the photo shows but what it dose NOT.
At the moment the picture  was taken I had my feet in soaking wet deck shoes that were stuck to the bottom of the boat with the inch of lake mud I dragged in with me, I dodged the boom five times and 'shifted my ballast' once more than most women want to hear in a lifetime. I believe the smile I have on my face is from the decision that NO ONE would convict me if I took the dagger board out and beat my husband to death with it.
(Don't get me wrong, I was having fun. Plus, I owe him at least two more get-togethers with total strangers.)
What strikes most about the picture is this - We look very comfortable in the boat, which is true. And,  I had no idea that the landscape behind me was so lovely. The shoreline was heavily wooded and pretty.  I completely missed the early autumn red tree standing limb to limb with the spring green one. Seems I was suffering from reverse 'seeing the forest for the trees' syndrome.
Or maybe I had just taken one too many booms to the head.

Looking picturesque. Its a blessing and a curse.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Protected Waters

I spent the better part of my Saturday acting as first mate on our 10 foot sailboat. There is not much room on a 10 foot sailboat, so my duties were pretty much limited to dodging the boom when we were 'coming about' and acting as human ballast when the boat tipped to one side. A little insulting but considering that my first attempt at 'human ballast' resulted in a dip in the Gulf...well, lets just say I have improved by 100 percent. 

Does this HUMAN BALLAST make me look fat? (BTW-this is a horrible pic of me, but I still found it funny.)

This was our first small boat messabout. (For those unfamiliar 'messabout' is from Wind in the Willows:`Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,') It is an appropriate name. Our group was small, our boats were small and we did, in fact, mess about. There was much talk of boat designs, wood types, boat designers, mosquito mittens (not as fun as they might sound) and, oh yes, boat designs. I know two things about boat designs. Our current boat is too small and our next boat is bigger. And it will have two sails. 

The not quite finished bigger boat. Its a sloop.

The folks in attendance have been sailing a number of years longer than my husband and I. Stories and information flowed like a leeward wind into a jib. One of the couples sailed the Florida Keys and Everglades, which is something we have considered. Their future plans lean toward protected inland waters – rivers and lakes. They are building a river boat and I must say, it would be exciting to explore the upper Mississippi. It would be nice to know the beginnings of the Coast of Illinois.

Yet, as I sat in our tiny boat, surrounded by a beautiful lake and its gently rolling, wooded shoreline, I began to feel claustrophobic. The horizon is well defined. The wind is uncertain but our harbor is never far from view. 
And then it occurred to me.
I have spent most of my life in Protected Waters.
It might be time for the wide Open Seas.

This boat WILL NOT be heading for Open Seas...again. (the first time is another story.)

Friday, September 14, 2012

It's like Woodstock...but with boats!!!

I am sitting in the BreadCo two miles from our house waiting on the rental truck to arrive from the airport. We are loading our 10 foot leif-ten (translated: dingy with a sail) onto the truck bed and heading out to our first Small Boat Messabout.
There will be small boats, a large lake and, if our Destin Harbor Expidition is any indication, many photo ops.
I have gumbo for the potluck so I hope they go easy on me.
My husband is thrilled. The guy who invented epoxy might be there.
Best as I can tell it will be like Woodstock, but with boats.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Faux Friday!

It's Faux Friday everyone! More tFaux Friday is that rare gift from the scheduling Gods in which Thursday is the last work day of the week. Real Friday becomes the first day of the weekend thus making Thursday Faux.
Nothing shall be allowed to ruin Faux Friday. Not the cremated breakfast sandwich in the microwave, not the clock that suddenly skipped a half hour, not even the idiot in the expedition who keeps dodging in and out of traffic so close to my bumper that I WILL THROW MY CREMATED SANDWICH  AT YOU BITCH!!!


So far, Faux Friday has been good. Made it to work in one piece, clocked in on time, and had delish giant rice Krispie treat for lunch. Plus saw a very industrious weave in the gutter- it was seeking opportunities according to the flyer it was lying on. Which makes me wonder - just HOW do you walk down the street a lose part of your hair?
(pic eventually-it is stuck on the iPod)

So- back to work. Only 6 hours left till Faux Friday is over and the weekend begins!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The One With All the Wood

In the mail yesterday I received an extremely discreet envelope with this offer:

Its like pornography for beavers!

But as with all offers that are too good to be true:

Proves you must always read the fine print.

Its the old bait and switch all over again. Offer me a FREE YEAR of WOOD then go and charge my $24. Of course, if I act now I will receive the Special Holiday Edition of 'Celebrities Working Their Wood'.

(Sorry! My 12 year old Husband Beavis insisted this would be hilarious and frankly, my perv sites just aren't stopping by like they use to.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


The rocks on the shore of the Mississippi are damp and the path is precarious. The atmosphere meets the muddy water and shrouds the banks in fog. The humidity of the October morning has dampened my clothing and my mood.

Stretching out for at least one mile, the riverbank is lined with people. Some are sitting on rocks or grass. Some stand. One man, dressed in the Stars and Stripes and waving a huge flag has taken the anchor position in the crowd. 


We are all waiting for the US New York to float past us on its way to New York City for commissioning. The warship has left the shipyard where it grew from the melted remains of the Twin Towers and our naive country’s sense of safety.

We all wait, straining our eyes across the foggy river that defines this part of the United States and I consider my place here.

I sat in the CafĂ© du Monde, the evening before, surrounded by family and friends. We talked and laughed; attended by a Chinese man who barely spoke English. We read aloud our writings – poems of life, stories of love and protests of war. We read aloud for ourselves but not unnoticed by those around us. And I wondered, just what does the Chinese waiter think.

We are here, reading aloud in a public place, presenting our opinions and the response is laughter, and smiles and applause. In his country such a display holds the possibility of prison, torture and death.

We wait for the ship. Peacefully gathered. Civilians and police mingle and the atmosphere is celebratory but it is also bittersweet. Waiting.

I remember an image from the early hours after the Towers fell. Hospital workers in ER bays, IV’s spiked and empty stretchers – waiting. The distressed faces of the staff haunt me. They reflected the reality – those stretchers would remain empty. Would it have been better to have had them full?

Silently, the US New York slips through the fog and collectively the crowd is on its feet. Flags are waving and a band plays in the distance. I am overwhelmed with pride. We never catch a clear image of the ship. The fog on the river shrouds it behind a veil. 
If you look closely towards the back you can see the crew waving. Ghostly, huh?

As the ship makes its way around a bend I see the silhouettes of the crew. They stand aft, waving back towards the shore. A chill runs through me as I feel the souls of those that are gone. Do the people here on the banks feel it? They must, the banks are silent. Does the crew feel it?

And I wonder, was a warship really the best thing to come of all that loss?

(This above essay was written three years ago on October 25, 2009. A few days prior, I found myself on a different part of the Mississippi River coast and quite by accident was witness to the scene above. I don't know why I happened to be there at that moment in time. I am not a particularly 'political' person. I did not lose anyone in 9/11. But as an ER nurse I felt a painful connection to those in service in New York and Washington DC. I guess THE COSMOS is throwing me a hint, but I am not good at guessing games.  I do know those images will stay with me forever and there was something calming for me to see the people waiting for the ship.
A lot has changed in our world since 2009. But one fundamental thing has not. We remain free. Sure, we may have to practically strip down to board an airplane. Our economy is as shaky as the San Andreas Fault. And we are still Free to complain about it. We are Free to gather together to celebrate football and baseball and sparkly vampires. We are Free to question the banking industry, the medical care industry and the wisdom of making cars shaped like squares. We can point fingers at our elected officials and say "What the Fuck?" And we are Free to come together and remember.)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Homage to MC Escher

Don't you love when life imitates art?
Spotted on the staircase of the CWE Metro. Is it going up? Is it going down? You decide...

Net on a Staircase (nylon on concrete)
It is a beautiful thing, when art makes you think.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Hairnet Roundup 09.07.2012

It has been an exciting week here on the Coast of Illinois. Most notably, we have two new members to induct into the Hairnet Sighter Club. As always, both were taken completely by surprise.

'T' approached me at work, looked around conspiratorially and whispered, "I saw a hairnet!" She then whipped out her phone and presented a PHOTO! Even though she was alone and felt slightly disoriented during her sighting, she had the presence of mind to snap a photo. Bravo! 'T' has been practicing her inner pioneer what with clearing land and building a new home so it was great to see the happy, goofy smile on her face when she told me her story.

the rare Hairnet BowTie Butterfly effect

The second sighting occurred just last night, and I am thrilled to report that I was on the scene and able to capture not only the Hairnet but the Sighter herself. The sighting occurred as we walked into the parking garage, gentilely discussing current events - read: laughing so loudly that the muggers were a little terrified. With a politely interrupting "Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!!" I turned to see my friend on her knees, surrounded protectively by the rest of our party. Lying in front of her was a medium weave, slightly worn Hairnet. She followed all protocol and let no display of fear show on her face as I snapped a picture for the archives. 

I see a Hairnet, Maw!

Congratulations to our two Sighters! You have lost your Virgnetty! Your lives will never be the same!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Riding the Passive-Aggressive Express

Train Driver this morning was something else. In her most maple syrup, You Be Hypnotized, cult leader voice announces, "now departing, you are riding the blue line, ready to depart, doors ARE closing. Here we go....Closing the departing..."

I was waiting for 'I really mean it!' 'you people need to sit down!' 'don't make me turn this train around!'

Instead, she gently left the station and NEVER SOUNDED the horn. I sat on the edge of my seat waiting for some poor sap to not hear the SILENT electric train barreling towards him. If I could have relaxed I would have slept, like the rest of the good commuters. But I choose not to nap.
At every stop she lulled we riders into a false sense of security.

Still, no horn is better than Revelle's Bolero Train Guy...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

There's a Bathroom on the Right

You've heard that song by Creedence Clearwater Revival? You know the one – the refrain goes "There's a bathroom on the right..." I spent my Labor Day afternoon at the place that inspired that line. Or it should have, except there wasn't always a bathroom on the right. The *Broadway Oyster Bar is the place of which I speak...

I became a customer of this fine establishment when it was still the sort of place my parents would not approve of. This is back when the Oyster Bar had only one bathroom. (which definatly added to the non-approval.) There may have been more but after a certain number of locally brewed beverages it is a little fuzzy. (I also don't recall the patio, which I have been assured repeatedly, I sat on many times.) I only remember the infamous 'uni-sex' stall. I hated that bathroom. The door did not really close; not at the frame or at the floor. It was like peeing in someone's dining room. Which, I guess technically, I was. 

Pick a sex...

Now the place is semi-spiffy. With THREE bathrooms. There are the traditional Men and Women. And the non-traditional 'uni-sex'. All three have doors that reach the floor. I would say it takes away part of the charm but it doesn't. I mean, where else can you sip on a Tchoupatoula Tea, eat delicious Cajun food, hear amazing local Blues music – with drop in performances by recognizable artists and rub elbows with Spiderman?

Frontal View banned in most countries.

*again with the unpaid endorsements, I mentioned your food, music and fancy bathroom. what else could you possibly want?

Monday, September 3, 2012

And He said, "Let there be hair".

I spent most of Saturday in that part of the City where North/South streets are named for States and East/West streets are named for Native American Tribes. We were on the corner of Tennessee and Winnebago. This is serious 'circle the wagons' territory. A fair number of the people that live in this neighborhood are challenged on every level known to man and a few only known to the aliens who are clearly sending radio messages through our fillings. Of course, given the overall dental health of the folks round these parts, the aliens might as well just give it up.

Don't get me wrong. I love this part of town. I worked right in the heart of it for fifteen years. Nine of which was in the emergency department in one of two hospitals within walking distance of nearly every one of those State Streets and Indian tribes. This was the neighborhood where I met my first schizophrenic, my first drug addict, my first alcoholic street fighter,my first prostitute...and her killer pimp. If Mattel ever decides to make a line of Real Life Barbies, well, have I got the list for you.

But, back to Saturday. I was enlisted by my husband to help with a church clean-up. Long story short- this church serves as a mission for many of the disabled and handicapped in the area. And at least one Hoarders Contestant, from the looks of the clothing closet I cleaned out. 

We might have one. Let me check in the back.

Now, I don't know about you, but the churches I attended as a kid were pretty standard. We donated items periodically and put our offering in little envelopes each Sunday. I do not recall ever seeing someone take the hair off their head...Perhaps the minister here is really inspirational. 

10 wigs, no waiting

they really can give you a leg to stand on!

All the usable items were put out on the sidewalk for a 'Free Sale'. People were thoughtful and took what they needed, many helping one another carry items home. Furniture went pretty quickly. And frighteningly, so did the box of wigs...