Saturday, June 30, 2007

My Heart Belongs to my Rival*

Sometimes I feel like a fake. I haven't walked through campus alone at 3am lately, I haven't rock-climbed in a few years, I haven't almost died in quite a while, and I haven't kicked anyone in the head since '03. It almost seems wrong to sign off as Danger. I feel so bland sometimes. Then I think, who do I know that has to schlep psychotropic drugs through the ghetto? Who has to wait for the guy who looks dead to twitch so I know he's just on drugs and don't have to feel bad about sprinting away? Who has to be around Crazy Baby-Killing Lady for more than five minutes? Who else walks in on their patient and some very, very angry man rolling joints? And most recently, who has to calm down a psychotic patient so the hospital doesn't have to post security outside of her door? That's right, Danger does it**.

In other news, I have not been this excited since I got a Kitchen Aid mixer. I successfully procured a crock pot. With digital timer. And room for two whole chickens. AND it's pretty. I spent 15 minutes at B, B, and Beyond talking with a sales rep about the pros and cons of every single model. It was like when my husband and brothers talk about Chevys, except interesting. Sadly, I did not have the money to buy a new Cuisinart. Why? Because the damn thing was $250. I could pay my student loan for the next four months for that. Furthermore, if I am going to pay that kind of money for an appliance it had better have an espresso maker and vibrating shower head attachment included, and I am fairly sure Cuisinart isn't into that kind of thing. Unlike Wahl, they're a bit too white bread and puritanical. Wahl is crazy like that, making calibrators, thermal imagers, nose clippers, AND "massagers." So, Cuisinart? When you relax a little and expand your horizons, give me a call.

*I've had comments about the logic of my titles. See, Rival is the producer of my slow-cooker, and I am super pumped about using it this weekend, and I thought this title would explain that in the fewest words, albeit somewhat cryptically if you aren't in the know.

**Damn, that sounds like the name of a bad sitcom. Or an awesome one.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Whose Line is it Anyway?

One of the upsides of my job (besides, um, besides... uhhh...I know! The anti-recycling campaign. Or threats from admisnstration to do 'activity X' and 'activity that completely contradicts X' or else they have to make cuts. Or the smell in the elevator.) is that it is so damn quotable. It just adds to the reality-TV feeling of it all. Here are some examples from patients and co-workers:

"I wish I could afford money."
"My psychiatrist said I was having too much fun so he lowered my Paxil."
"Everything's coming up Olsens!"
"I got a pound of baloney in my pocket, and it's gonna be a good day."
"She's on her way to Acapulco." (incidentally, she was not)
"I'm responsible for ending the Vietnam War."
"You will burn in the fiery lakes of Hell!"
"I only do crazy 8 to 5."
"I'm painting my husband's nails and it's kind of freaking me out."

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Eins, zwei, drei, g'suffa!

I invented a drinking game. You play Ants in the Pants according to the normal rules, but every time you miss, you take a shot. Everyone wins.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Danger Dearest

I have a dream to write an advice column. It makes sense, really, because I have a degree in psychology, and counseling and life coaching are elements of my current job. First I'd like to write a sample column, and see what everyone thinks of it. If you have questions I can practice answering, I would more than appreciate receiving them. Once I feel confident about my work, I plan to make a go of doing it for a living. Wish me luck.

Dear Danger,

I have a freind that I love dearly, but there is a small problem. It seems every time we get together she complains excessively about some trivial matter. I want her to feel like she can come to me if she has a real problem, but I don't want to avoid her to get away from the pessimism. What do you suggest?

A Friend in Need

Dear Friend,

If you approach the problem in a proactive manner, you and your friend can both be happy! I suggest you give her something to cry about. You could possibly call her from pay phones and breathe heavily, then leave notes on her windshield that remind her you know where she lives. If that isn't your style, apply for a credit card in her name and slowly but surely destroy her credit rating so profoundly that the bank will blacklist her unborn children for student loans. Or keep it simple and sleep with her husband. She will have a valid complaint then, and you can't begrudge her for that. Plus you'll get friendship points by being the shoulder she cries on. Then everyone's a winner.

Dear Danger,

My husband has been acting out of character lately. I can understand if he occasionally buys porn (men do have needs), but I've found it hidden all over the house. Even worse, when he says he'll be at work late or with the guys he goes to the XXX theater. He says it isn't hurting anyone and he refuses to go to counseling with me. Some days I think it's because I'm not pretty enough, but I'm beginning to suspect it is more his problem than mine. Could he be a porn addict?

For Better or Worse

Dear Whore Worse,

To the untrained mind, your husband would appear to be an addict: the anger, the denial, the lying, etc. After careful examination of you letter, however, I believe this isn't the case. I believe your husband is gay. The porn is his way of overcompensating for his aversion to the female body and at the same time it distracts you from the real issue: you are married to a man that loves cock. He isn't lying to you all the time, he probably is out with the guys, if you know what I mean. This is not an issue that requires couples therapy, it requires a swift divorce and as much alimony as you can get your hands on. I also suggest you get tested for STIs.

Dear Danger,

My life has been on a downward spiral for the last few years. My mother died of a heart attack, my husband ran out on me, my son was taken from me during a long, ugly divorce, I lost my job and health insurance, I can't afford the root canal I so desperately need, I think there's a lump in my breast, and I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is almost impossible to get out of bed in the morning and nothing gives me a sense of peace or happiness. I'm even questioning the existence of God, or at least a merciful, benevolent God. What should I do?

My Life is a Country-Western Song

Dear Country-Western,

Wow. I can totally see why you don't want to get out of bed in the morning, and you have my utmost sympathies. Have you ever considered suicide? Just kidding! No, seriously, Dr. Kevorkian was recently released, so you can make sure it's done right. None of this dilly-dallying around with alcohol and Valium, just a wham, bam, thank you ma'am of eternal slumber. I don't suggest you call the Doctor right away, first you should cram as much hedonism into your life as possible. Sleep around, get high on drugs you warned your kid about, sky-dive, act on impulse rather than logic, and generally party like a rock star. It'll be expensive, but it's not like you're going to be around when the check is due! As a bonus, you'll have those questions answered before you can say "Wait! Wait! I changed my mind!" Good luck!

So is my advice as awesome as I think it is? I'm one step closer to helping actual people with silly problems! You know, I just may change the world with my counsel.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

If I Drink Till I'm Blind I Won't Have to See the Pictures

There are some things humankind was not meant to know. Things that leave mental scars and leave one shrieking like Lady MacBeth, or things that make your flesh crawl and zero in on your primal defense mechanisms, or things like giblets.

For real, do you want to find out what one tastes like? I'd rather eat a raw starfish. Giblets are something the French would eat.

The last chapter in my Medical Terminology class comes very close to this category, it's in between A Sucker Punch to the Throat and The Taste of the Inside of my Left Gym Shoe on the scale of things I never want to comprehend. Because I am forced not merely to read and look at pictures, but to memorize these horrors, I am going to share.

For instance, do you know what a benign cystic teratoma is? I do. It's an ovarian cyst containing skin, cartilage, hair, and motherfucking teeth. Your ovary (or testis, depending) can grow teeth. TEETH! Why aren't you vomiting yet? I would, be but since I drink to dull the pain I'm a little unresponsive. I'm not an idiot, I know what a placenta is. Big deal. But wait! The placenta is actually an organ that you expel through your vagina when it goes out of fashion. Good God, it's like giving birth to your liver! But with a baby leading the way! I'm also a big fan of knowing that not only can I someday experience endometriosis, but I could experience endometrial tissue on. my. small. intestine. Maybe while I'm at it I could grow a chia pet on my spleen, you know, give my abdominal cavity a little more pizzazz.

Thank God I keep vodka handy, because I have to go study now.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Six Clues that I Attend Community College

1. The campus is a building. With a parking lot.

2. My classroom is named for a corporate sponsor. I am in the AAA Casino Classroom, by the Alpha Foundation Classroom, across from the Acme Bank Classroom.

3. There are no sports teams, just a workout center that closes before sundown.

4. No one discusses Greek rush, they discuss their babies and/or baby-mamas.

5. I have had sushi dinners that were more expensive than the cost of one credit hour.

6. Not only is the woman next to me pregnant, but she is under 30, pregnant with her fifth child, and 4 cm dilated. She gave the teacher a doctor's note excusing her from class last week.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Go with the Flow

Last night my mother overdosed.

In retrospect it was kind of funny.

See, she's supposed to take one pill in the morning, and eight of a totally different variety of pill in the evening. This means that when she accidentally switched them she took 8 times her prescribed dose of a diuretic. I called her to chat right when she figured out what she had done, she reported she was doing terribly and had to call the doctor. I raced my little car to her house and started throwing her belongings into the station wagon to take her to the hospital. Her doctor told her to call 911, so I threw everything out of the car and we waited for the ambulance. That is, I waited and she had to pee every five minutes.

First, the fire engine arrived. With lights. And sirens. Not so useful. She excused herself to pee and let someone else deal with the fire fighters. Then, a van and a truck with emergency lights showed up. They just hung out and drove through the yard a couple times. She had to pee again. Finally, the ambulance arrived. She told them what happened and what the doctor requested. She was going to be OK as long as medical staff monitored her blood pressure and made sure it didn't go dangerously low, putting her at risk of renal failure. She peed one last time and told the EMTs to hurry so she could use the hospital's restroom. They strapped her down to a gurney (for liability) and I got to ride in the front seat of the ambulance. I found out that most ambulances are diesel because they have to idle so long, and the EMTs like to play frisbee during said idle time (sometimes they idle for FOUR hours. crazy!). They took her blood pressure every few minutes and it held at about 90/50. Not so super.

Before we even reached the hospital she was asking to use the restroom, by the time we got there she was getting desperate. They couldn't unstrap her until the nurse started treating her (or something) and the nurses said she couldn't get up until they triaged her. It was actually heart-wrenching to watch her have to put up with this bullshit while I could do nothing.

A nurse finally came to her rescue and was regarded as a hero by mom, dad, and me. We got her settled in for her stay, but before we left I made sure to ask her if she thought it ironic that my original plans were to study the urinary system that night.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Just Another Day at the Office

I have been having the best time ever with Crazy Baby-killing Lady. First, I find her on her porch talking as if she's been huffing helium and giggling constantly. I know she can find meth when she wants it, but helium? That's just weird. I take F-bomb to see her the next day so I can utilize his mad crazy-people assessment skills. We figure somethings wrong, but we can't figure out what it is. The following week, I can't find her. Anywhere. She won't answer her door, I can't hear her singing, and there are children's toys, juice, and about 5,000 flies covering her porch. Time to bring F-bomb back. The neighbors come over to talk to us while we're knocking on her door and they report she hasn't been seen in almost a week. That fact coupled with the Amityville Horror feel to the apartment makes us both think she's dead. The neighbors don't stop there, they describe how she's been digging through trash, peeing on the sidewalk, and dancing outside in her underwear. She also left a thank you note attached to a cheetos bag for the next door neighbor. It would have been a sweet gesture had the bag not been filled with shit. The neighbor thinks it's from a dog, F-bomb and I think it's more personal than that. We find the property manager who agrees to search the apartment; luckily and surprisingly, there isn't a corpse. Yet another neighbor wanders over to let us know that she had been calling the cops on CBKL, but the cops said they had to catch her in the act to arrest her because just being crazy isn't against the law. F-bomb makes some calls and finds out she is indeed in jail for disorderly conduct and battery and I am to attend her hearing in the morning. The next day I wait for two hours for her lawyer to present her case, only to discover she has been released. I call the psych ward and she isn't there, I call the court and they won't tell me what has happened with her, or if she has to attend a later hearing. I find her at home, now surrounded by pieces of Hostess Cupcakes. I can't understand half of what she is saying, but she reiterates she is telling the truth. I manage to make out that some witches live down the street and Satan has been riding his Harley (what else would the Prince of Darkness have?) through the neighborhood. Then a man passes on his bicycle and she yells "Keep the Blues alive!" at him, with an enthusiastic wave. Also, they didn't give her any of her antipsychotic meds in jail. But why bother, since being crazy isn't against the law? Later, when I was off for a week with my mom, she gets sent to the psych ward, goes before a judge, pisses him off, and gets a one-way ticket to a mental institution. I helped her every way she would let me and it wasn't enough. It wasn't my fault she ended up this way, but I still have a vague sense of failure about it.

Sometimes I wish I was an accountant.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Tequila is not My Friend

It was odd enough to recceive a comment from a stranger. It was odder to learn my blog has a twin. At first I thought "Fantastic, my blog has an evil twin. Now it's going to have affairs with the local handsome-yet-emotionally-distant surgeon and break his vulnerable heart yet again, steal babies from hospitals, and forge paternity documents all while pretending to be my blog." So I checked out the nefarious counterpart over at To my horror, it was nice! It was the kind of blog your mother would want you to see on a regular basis, not like some blogs that give you your first joint and write the embarrasing details of it on the bathroom wall at school. This means that my blog is the evil twin and I must remain vigilant for fear that my blog seduces a drunken Antonio and fakes a pregnancy in order to steal him from the sweet and seraphic Angeline.

After 31 days of anticipation, the Great Debauchery of 6/08 has come to an end. In the beginning the plan was for a few co-workers and me to take off early and spend the afternoon drinking rather than do any actual work, while being paid to do so. However, plans were elaborated upon and the new mission was for many co-workers to get and keep me drunk as long as possible and burst my karaoke cherry. We started out at a Mexican place (the kind where two of the waiters know English) with chimichanges and strawberry margaritas. Unfortunately, 3 margaritas didn't make much a dent in my sobriety and gave me wicked bad diarrhea (which I recently learned is the union of "dia-" comlete, through, and "-rrhea" to flow). We reconvened at Chicago's house to throw expired food at her garage (the blueberry yogurt was awesome but the cucumber was kind of...leaky) and play "Circle of Death" for 5 hours. Everyone got drunk and bonded and explained why they treated so-and-so as a such-and-such at work and how it will never happen again. I was taken to a bar that served no hard liquor, which pissed me off, and was fed jalapenos by hand and forced to do two karaoke songs. Ned from South Park probably sings better than I do, so I resorted to jumping up and down a lot and holding the microphone away from my mouth. Outside the bar, a group of three boys arguing over a slut confronted me about why two friends and I were laughing at them. I told them we had been making out, so they asked us to please come inside and join them as soon as possible. Yeah, right. I crashed on a friend's couch and woke up feeling very mortal. I've never had a hangover that two rolaids couldn't tame, apparently they were just waiting to all gang up on me this morning.

Mission accomplished.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Does "algebra" even rhyme with anything?

I met my teacher. He is fascinating, in a bizarre sort of way. He resembles Brian Cox and he constantly moves while teaching. He advised us to walk and move as much as possible to prevent pulmonary embolism, which he claims kills "many" people who fly long distances. They do not just die, they die while walking across the tarmac five seconds after arriving in Tokyo. I made up the five seconds and Tokyo part, but he said the dying just after exiting the plane part. Between multiplying binomials and learning all about i, he also mentioned the moon landing may have been faked and Wal-mart funds China who funds America who funds the War in Iraq. My favorite lecture tangent was Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs which morphed into his second wife's desire to replace the carpet. Does life get any better? Probably not.

I was even able to access my on-line medical terminology class. I was only 3 days behind, which gives me all of 4 days to submit 8 assignments and take my first exam over 4 chapters. The key to memorizing terms is to use them in everyday conversation, the repetition solidifies one's understanding, y'know? So tomorrow I will ever so nonchalantly mention I know somebody with blepharoptosis, someone else with thrombocytopenia, and yet a third person with gastroenteritis and a side of achondroplasia. When my peeps/co-workers/parents say "what the fuck?" I can elaborate for my own ulterior motives.

Lest you think I have squandered my time by studying, I will mention I saw "The Waitress" Saturday night. Sweet fancy Moses, I may have hit upon another streak of entertainement wonderfulness. "The Last King of Scotland" begat "The Office: Season II" begat "Hot Fuzz" begat "The Waitress." Spiderman 3 was begat somewhere in there, it was enjoyable though not super. I'll count it anyway. Seeing it with Beth made it super.

Finally, this is for Joe.