Saturday, February 24, 2007

And That to Me Ladies and Gentlemen, is LOVE.

When I met MacGyver 7ish years ago, I had the best wardrobe ever. 80% of my clothes came from the Army Surplus store, Goodwill, and the men's section of Target. The rest was tank tops. That's the part of my wardrobe that clued him in to me being a girl. They were my sartorial salad days, and I miss them. If I had my choice I would wear cargo pants, a tank top, trailrunners, and a hoodie every day. But no. I answer to The Man now. The Gestapo has the strictest and retardedest dress code I have ever been oppressed by. When I started my job I had to hit up my sister for free clothes from her professional days, before she was popping babies out every time she lost the pregnancy weight. (That's how I knew she was pregnant this last time. I said "Sis? You're looking hot again. Shouldn't you be pregnant soon?" She said "I'm four weeks along. You weren't supposed to know.")

I have about 7 different shirts and 2 pairs of pants that meet the code. I would have more, but I hate shopping with the intensity of a thousand fiery suns. Since I lost two pounds my pants and shirt don't exactly meet, so I have this swath of flesh showing that could get me fired. I technically shouldn't be too worried, since this one chick sashays into cubicleville once or twice a month wearing Come Fuck Me boots and a skirt with a slit up the BACK that is an inch shy of her vagina. I call her Vagina Skirt Girl. In comparison my outfit resembles a burkha. Why am I worrying about this pink swath when Vagina Skirt Girl shows no remorse about her code shattering habits? Oh, right. I'm neurotic.

Since I abhor shopping so, my best friend VBG displayed an act of compassion rivaling Oskar Schindler circa 1939-1944. She bought me long, dermis-hiding shirts. My brain puddles and my blood sugar plummets and I generally break out into hives when I enter the mall. I once called my mom from Kohl's, sobbing, begging her to teach me to sew pants because I couldn't find anything without stretch material which was invented by the antichrist. I'm fairly certain the Hebrews were less appreciative of their manna from heaven than me of my shirts. (Two Jew references in one paragraph! I'm on fire!)

Otherwise things have been normal. MacGyver and I had a private cave tour last week, we saw bats and pounded on a rock formation with a rubber mallet. Don't worry, it was sanctioned pounding, no stalagmites were harmed. No sightings of giant African land snails (thank God!) this week, instead I was treated to the ultrasound of a Malaysian turtle AND I got to hold a tiny Eastern Box Turtle that was roughly the size of a quarter. I will love him forever.

I finished The Devil's Teeth and The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way. Devil's Teeth was informative and entertaining, my kind of book, my only complaint was too much time talking about boats. I loved the history and science and Great White parts, if I reread it I will skip the boat parts and focus on the sharks and the Farallones and be utterly happy. Bill Bryson wrote Mother Tongue, and I have enjoyed his books for years. It fed my fascination of etymology and I recommend it to all geeks like me.

I am through half of It's A Dirty Job on audiobook by Christopher Moore. It is the carrot that gets me on the stairmaster for the duration of a CD. As a result I have been muttering "Like bear!" in a mangled Russian accent for the past several days, apropos of nothing. It just makes me laugh.

In one day I advised Brain Damaged Lady NOT to flush a wad of paper towels. Then I taught her how to use a plunger when she did anyway. Then I fixed her stove and her remote and did emergency case managing to maintain her pension benefits. I so rock the social work world.

The docs had to give mom 5 pints of blood this week. If you've ever thought about donating blood, this might be a good time to better your karma.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Steve McQueen and Aneta Corsaut Know What I'm Talking About

It's over.

It was so good while it lasted, I don't know if it will happen again. Pursuit of Happyness. Casino Royale. Children of Men. Pan's Labyrinth. The Devil Wears Prada (not fantastic, but Meryl Streep was so rockin' I wanted to send her money). So many good movies in a row and The Da Vinci Code killed it. Did Ron Howard actually watch the tripe he gave the world and feel good about himself? Was Tom Hanks all, "If my fans can forgive me for The Terminal they can forgive me for anything!"? Did Jean Reno and Audrey Tautou have some kind of karmic debt to pay off? And why do I keep seeing Paul Bettany naked? At least Ian McKellan was kick-ass, but really, in this conglomerate of talent and power GANDALF is the scene-stealer? For the sake of Pete, I want those two and a half hours of my life back.

Sigh. Last night I saw The Holiday at the cheap/ghetto theater, and while Ms. Diaz can't act without overacting (which is great in some movies), Jack Black is very lovable and Kate Winslet, Eli Wallach, and Jude Law add actual talent. Plus, Jude is so, so pretty, and he acts well enough to make me forget he is an adulterous prick in real life, but he cheats on Sienna Miller who is color blind and hasn't gotten the message that even if you're hot you STILL have to wear clothes that flatter and not those damn leggings, so I guess I can forgive him. What was I talking about? Right, movies or something. So, in conclusion, yay Kate Winslet!

The good news is that even though Monday sucked all kinds of bad, the majority of trauma drama was relegated to that 24 hours. One of my people told me I need to lose 35 pounds, one of my low-maintenance guys was Emergency Detentioned, one of my favorite co-workers has Stage 4 cancer, and MacGyver's and my career plans for the next couple years were derailed in one fell swoop. Then I got to class and was enlightened on what I really need to be worried about: the giant African land snail. I like snails, not as much as sharks or barn owls, but I have a soft spot in my heart for them. But these guys are like the antichrist of snails: destructive, parasite-carrying sacks of protoplasm that are not giant, they are behemoth leviathons! On a small scale the icky snail bits are easy to overlook, but at 30 centimeters your eyes cannot look away, so just give in to the heebie-jeebies. Be aware, and be afraid.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Not the Fuzz!

I got to talk to a cop! This was no random meeting, oh no, he called Gestapo and asked for me specifically. My first reaction was "What has Crazy Baby-killing Lady done now?" but surprisingly, it was not about her. Brain Damaged Lady has been increasingly paranoid and delusional over the past couple of months due to stress. She called 911 to report her guardian and case manager (me) have been abusing her mentally and verbally and shooting her with our eyes PLUS someone has been breaking into her house and stealing her toiletries and food PLUS some other illogical ramblings. The officer inquired if Lady was delusional. I said "Yes," but what I really meant to say was "What tipped you off? Maybe the part where I'm shooting her with my eyes?" I had her guardian deal with the police, confidentiality prevented me from discussing my patient. The guardian filled me in later, Lady continued to call 911 after the cop interviewed her and she was very whacked out. After work I turned off my pager and cell phone so there is no way Gestapo can contact me over the weekend if Lady keeps crying wolf.

I saw "Pan's Labyrinth" Thursday night. It was scary and fantastical and good, I watched half of it with my hands over my face and peeking between my fingers. I have been fortunate to see a string of good movies in the last few weeks and this was one of the best. I cannot review it well enough to do it justice.

Monday I attended my second naturalist class, it covered soil and geology. I brought a pretty pink rock home with me. It is 1.2 billion years old. Check it.

Mac's Query: If purgatory is a beige cubicle, what is Hell?

My Definition: Waiting for the doctor to tell you if your mother has cancer or not.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

I'm amazed someone got the stick up that far

When I took my job I thought a plus would be having stories to tell my husband when I got home. With my last job there was only so much to tell: "Got to work, touched various people, hid from my boss, punched the Hippie in the kidney." Yawnsville. I met some very interesting people with that job, but how do I tell my husband about them? "Hey! I worked on a lawyer and had to be exorcised afterwards because his mojo was so evil and contagious!" So with my job wrangling crazy people, there should be lots to discuss. Then I realized that some things are best left as secrets, like the dude who hears voices telling him to chop up people with an axe, or how that guy that lives in the ghetto described an early morning shakedown of the crack houses on his block, or he can't hug me because my hair smells like the house of the lady that pees on herself and never bathes. Now he asks me how my day went, and sometimes I just plead with him not to make me relive the last nine hours of my life.

This week my company (I'll refer to it as Gestapo from now on) instituted a new rule that we can't make jokes or hold general conversations that could offend a person or group. I'm all for sensitivity and shit, but this rule was a reaction to my boss saying a description of a new patient made her sound fat. They looked up her weight, and Bingo! But someone in the room got upset because her husband is fat. So I can't joke, but I can blog.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

White trash

I finished reading Garbage Land by Elizabeth Royte. Basically, we are self indulgent capitalist pig-dogs who don't fully comprehend how sweet our deal is. That isn't exactly what the author said, but it's how I felt. She wrote very well, she packed in an enormous amount of information while entertaining me, and she never got preachy. Now I have begun A People's History of the United States. God. Damn. First, it's great. It's compelling and shocking and I only have to read about fifteen pages before I fall asleep. Not because it is boring, but because it is exhausting. It seems my history teachers didn't exactly lie as much as they sugar-varnished the events that shaped our country.

The last couple of weeks have truly sucked. Crazy Baby-killing Lady has been driving me nuts, I plan to do everything in my power to move her out of state. Brain Damaged Lady has been skipping her meds and has gone all delusional and hateful on me. She called the secretary yesterday and told her there was an announcement on the radio that I (and her guardian) had been arrested. One of my favorite patients who made my job worth keeping is moving to Texas today. I didn't get to say good-bye. I got to see one of my good friends this week for the first time in a long while...and she was overwhelmingly grumpy. Not that she should be happy all the time, but it made me feel helpless. My uncle died and I have been serioulsy ill for the last week. The point of this blurb is not to bitch until you hate me, it is to come to this: last night I picked up my 1099 from my last place of employment. While I was there I got a free Reiki session which made me feel fantastic. I got two hugs from a co-worker that I always liked but I wasn't sure if she liked me. I was invited to work at the spa my old comrades plan to open this summer. The only thing that got me out of bed this week was to imagine that something worthwhile happens every day and I just have to find it. I was very surprised to find that my strategy worked.