Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Soapbox city (days after everyone else got here)

Okay. So I know I am way behind the bandwagon here, but I can't help it. Bandwagons have never been my favorite mode of transportation and news bores me. Maybe if they had a mime or something instead of that annoying scroll bar thing on news stations I could totally get on board. *

I just read an article on the Gulf oil spill. Yup. Just now.

The spill started on April 20th and we just now got a cap on it? And the "long term plan" includes the words "jam it with dirt and cement."

I have this image in my head of the control room at BP (yes, in my head its this big room that is a cross between the command center of the Starship Enterprise and the control area of Houston in the movie Apollo 13) on the day of the explosion. It goes a little something like this:


(Everyone stares at the giant IMAX-like screen that shows some live feed of the oil well that, up to that second, was doing absolutely nothing.)
"Holy shit! Did you see that?!"
"Oh my god! This is awful! What are we gonna do?!
"Pretend like we didn't see it!"
"Cover it with something!"
"Jam it with dirt and cement!"

That suggestion has to have been one of the first things said in the initial pandemonium. It is too stupid/simple/brilliant not to have been.

Some senator got BP to release live feed video of the spill, which has to be the environmental equivalent of watching paint dry.  And nope, I can't be bothered to figure out exactly which one did because frankly, I don't care. You know the dude who did it is the same kind of dude who calls attention to his own farts just to have something to brag about. And I looked for the video of it online while I was writing this post. I found one that had a big headline "NOW WITH MUSIC". What???!!! It has some vaguely techno-ish Arabian-ish music and I swear I almost wet my pants I was laughing so hard. Here it is for your listening pleasure:

Right here.

See. You can't stop laughing either can you?

It makes me kinda sad that with all of the technology and "brilliant minds" that are supposed to be working on this it has taken this long to a) cap it, and b) decide that the best course of action is to plug it up. (I know, I know- its at the bottom of the ocean. Blah, blah, blah.)

I am kinda happy that there is a video feed of this though. I will admit that when they get done with all the testing and finally get around to "jamming it with dirt and cement" I plan on grabbing a snack and watching. Cuz that is gonna be one sweet-ass cement truck.

*disclaimer: If you think that this blog is supposed to be informative or even factually accurate, you may want to have your head examined.

Friday, July 16, 2010

On call

By no means am I grossed out about body stuff. I have three kids for god's sake and a nurse for a mother. If anyone got over their icky feelings about talking about poop or pee or exactly where a boo-boo was, its me. I can explain the intricate workings of a tampon or catch an eruption of puke in my shirt or bare hands. I am not embarrassed by the words "penis" or "vagina" (though the word "stool" gives me the willies for some reason). I knew what would happen to my body during puberty long before any of my friends had ever thought the word "period." Okay- so maybe that was part my nurse-mom being responsible and maybe it was partly that I had my first period at age 11 and started shaving my legs in the fifth grade (I am a hairy beast, what can I say? Unfortunately, I fear my daughter will be following in my footsteps...) The point of all of this? The point is that even with all of this comfort level I was sadly unprepared for the phone call I received a few days ago.

My best friend, Chloe, just had a baby. Well- it was like three months ago but that is "just" enough. He is a wonderous little thing, all floppy limbs and beautiful in that wise-to-the-world-soul-on-fire kind of way. She already has two kids (the youngest of that set being four years old) and we laugh a lot about how much she feels like she has forgotten in the last four years. She will worry about how much he is eating, or not eating, or peeing, or crying... or whatever. Maybe that's just the way it is with newborns, no matter how experienced of a mama you are. I don't really remember- within three and a half years I had three kids.  Those beginning days and months are safely locked in the part of my brain that protects me from trauma, I think.

So she worries. About everything. Even with her own body/psyche.

And she calls me.

Chloe: "Hey. The kids were exposed to Hand Foot and Mouth Disease at daycare. Is there a rash or something that you get on your butt?"
Me: (quickly looking up said disease online so that I may speak "intelligently" about it) "Yes! There is! Which child are we talking about here?"
Chloe: "Well, ummm..... its me....and I need someone to look at this...."
Me: "Its like midnight."

Yes- the thing that jumped into my head first was not that I was being asked to go look at my friend's ass, but rather that the ass-looking was to take place at such a late hour.

Chloe: "I know, but I need someone to see this! Its not really a rash, but more like a zit. But not a zit. But like a bump. But kinda not. I need you to come check."

Here's the real kicker.... I started considering it. If my friend was really in need, how could I not? And yet, on the other hand I was not really looking forward to the viewing.

Me: "Can't Martin check it out?" (My thought here being, as her boyfriend and father of the new little wonder in her life, he may be more, ahem, familiar with the area.)
Chloe: (in desperation) "He won't! And its like IN there!"

After a few more minutes of convesation with words like "crack" and "taint" and instructions like "pop it" and "call the doctor" and questions like "can I have your cute black shoes with the super high heels when you die of a butt boil?" we came to the conclusion that it was a hemorrhoid. That's right. I diagnosed a hemorrhoid. Over the phone.

Ahhh....the little extras we sometimes get with the birth of a child.

Ahhh....the things we will do for our friends.

I am available for consultation by phone to anyone else with odd questions. But only between midnight and three a.m.

And I still super want those shoes.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My newish oldish gig

First let me say that I am possibly the flakiest blogger in the world. Soooo long between posts.... are you ready for a little rambling?

(In my head I just did a little "Let's get ready to Raaammble!!!" like that wrestling or boxing or whatever announcer. I am as lame as I am flaky.)

Okay- so I started this class last week to  become a Pharmacy Technician. I have pretty much zero marketable skills when it comes to the job world, unless you count upselling from regular fries to cheese fries or convincing someone that Ketel One vodka is really better than the well shit (it is, by the way). And yes, I know that I have a job (thank you, Dad) but there are a few things up in the air with that. This just seemed like a good idea to do and I need job(s) to pay the bills until I can write the Great American Novel. At this stage of my life I am not allowed to say to people "I am a Writer and and Artist. I cannot be bothered with mundane things like dinner." 

Unless, of course, I want to get all artsy-fartsy with some spaghetti and meatballs. Maybe throw a noodle scene in my story.  Or make a sculpture. "On Top of Spaghetti: A commentary on the materialistic nature of Man".

Anyway, I started this class. And it is HARD. I should not be surprised, and I am not really. I mean its pharmacology (like my fancy new vocabulary?) shit and that stuff is not easy.  Its only a 50 hour class and the sheer volume of information is slightly overwhelming. But when it is all over I get to add some letters to the end of my name. Sharon (legal last name here), CPhT.  Impressive, right? The super funny thing is that I did this job when I was 16- waaay before there was this pesky licensing requirement. I am pretty sure that me at 16 doing this job was pure comedy gold.

I worked for this little neighborhood pharmacist, Mr. D., who still called his helpers his "girls" and kept Coke syrup in his stockroom. Once I had a little tummy ache and he gave me some. Yum. I worked after school and on Saturday mornings counting out pills to fill prescription requirements and stocking shelves with things like sunscreen and support stockings. But the most harrowing part of the job was doing deliveries....

Mr. D had a ninety-something-year-old father who was in a nursing home. Mr. D. filled all of his prescriptions every month and then had one of his "girls" drive them to the nursing home. In his delivery car. This huge whale-y boat of a vehicle with no power steering or fancy ABS system. It was white with a maroon velour interior and a shiny tan steering wheel. It was both terrifying and embarrassing to drive, especially for the newly-minted driver that I was.  It was long, long, long and I hit curbs every time I tried to make a turn. I quickly learned the purpose of pumping brakes. The front seat didn't move forward and I am kind of a shorty- so being "on the edge of my seat" was a literal thing for me in that car. Did I mention that I worked there over the winter? Scary, I know. I prayed every time I went into work that there were no deliveries that day. I begged to be allowed to drive my own car, to no avail.

I still cringe when I think of that delivery system. Cringe with me, will you?

I learned a lot at that job. I learned how to pay attention to details, how to be respectful and courteous in the face of cranky customers, and how to properly ask for time off from your job (it is NOT "Hey, I won't be here tomorrow." I pass that little life lesson on to all of you. You are welcome.).

But most importantly, I think, I learned how to keep a car from fishtailing on an icy road.