Thursday, August 24, 2017

Science is my religion (or "your delivery sucks, man")

I am not anti god.  I am not anti religion.

Heaven or hell?  Not so much.

I don't praise god for good weather, getting into the college of one's choice, surviving a heart attack.  Neither do I blame god for tornadoes, losing the state championship, or childhood cancer.

Good shit happens, bad shit happens. People are great, or they suck.

There is life.  There is death.

To me, any religion involves drinking the Kool-Aid, which has never been my drink of choice.  I can swim but don't dunk myself in just any old river.

If religion is what floats your boat, gives you a reason for living, brings you comfort,  or helps you cope,  I'm fine with that.

Do I walk out during a Last Rites ritual? No. Do I act insensitivity when my patients ask for clergy, or say "God bless you?" Of course not.  If a patient says they will pray for me, I say "thank you".  If they ask me to pray with them, I will hold their hand.  I have even been known to say "God bless you" when someone sneezes.

I have no problem whatsoever with Nativity scenes on public town squares.  I think saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" is PC bullshit.

 I respect that this great nation was founded on Christian values.   I am fine with "one nation, under God", or "In God We Trust".  These mottos are important to the history of the US.  It's not with the Christian values that I have a problem, but with some so-called Christians.

I'm fine with talking to you (but will not debate) about your religious rituals, holidays, beliefs.  It's interesting to me.  I have a problem with people getting all judgey and assuming that theirs is the only point of view that is correct.  Usually it spills over into other aspects of their daily life and belief system, but that is a post for another day.  All I ask of anyone is that you not ram your religious beliefs up my ass.  Or want to chop off my head because I don't believe what you believe.  Mostly, I'm fine with whatever you believe as long as you keep it to yourself and don't come knocking on my door looking for donations or insist that I need saving.

Here is the point of my preamble.  One of my mother's close friends died.  At home, comfortably, with her family surrounding her.  Enviable.

I accompanied her to the funeral and the collation.  Mom is the only person I know who refers to the funeral after-party as such.  I had to look it up, thinking for sure she had misappropriated the word, but nope.  It's a word.  My mother is a Scrabble whiz at 85, and regularly kicks my ass.

If I did believe, I would probably thank god for  the end of the most excruciating homily of the most painful funeral service of my lifetime.

Her friend was a parishioner of St. John of the Autobahn, practically a four lane highway.  Very busy and difficult to park.  I hate to be late to shit, especially funerals.

 The priest was admittedly out of mothballs retirement for the Catholic Mass,  He did not know my mother's friend, and clearly never bothered to ask the family about her.  It would have helped enormously if he had even bothered to read the obituary.  Lots of good stuff there.  He could have extrapolated a minimum amount of information at least.  He never used her name.  Ever.  Not once.

It started badly.  "Funerals",  he intoned, "are the time when we should examine our relationship with God".

Um, well,  me and God broke up when I was 12 and he killed my only sister  took my newborn baby sister home to be an angel.  I just could never see a cold patch of earth in a place as dismal as a cemetery as a better place.  So consider my relationship examined, found wanting, and terminated.

The homily went on and on.  And on.  No mentions of my mother's friend, no friendly words of comfort for the family.  "You must live the life of the righteous, and the kingdom of heaven and eternal life in the house of the lord will be yours.  If you do not feed the hungry, house the homeless, and clothe the naked… will dwell forever in darkness and in sin. "

I distinctly heard a quiet, but audible, "What the fuck?', and had a moment of panic when I thought the words had  escaped my thought bubble and exited, unbidden, through my lips.  But no. It was the guy behind me, as gobsmacked as I.

Later, at the collation, the old ladies buzzed about what came to be known as the "Fire and Brimstone" incident.

I felt bad for the family, whose devout wife/mother/grandmother/aunt had done such lovely things in her lifetime had such a crummy sendoff from a church she loved.  Mom said, "She would have been pissed."

Friday, May 12, 2017

Another one bites the dust

You might recall Lazy Nurse.  Well, like all lazy nurses, she left to take a job for better pay.  Buh-bye.

She will not be missed, and I doubt that she will be rehired when she quits her current job at Big City Monster ER, where she will not last long, I'm betting.  

They will eat her for lunch, she and her Lazy Nurse ways.  

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


This is the tale of the toughest man I ever met, a 90 something who fell off a ladder.  Yes, a ladder.  Why a 90 year old would be on a ladder defies the imagination as well as gravity, but understandable knowing that he also still rides a motorcycle.  He was in amazing shape, a wiry muscular frame and sharp as a tack.  With piercing blue eyes, he saw everything and used everyone's name.

The fall dislocated his shoulder.  After a difficult series of manipulations with minimal medication, at his request, he shrugged the whole thing off like it was no big deal.  He was chatty and engaging.  He  wore a WWII service cap.  My partner asked him about his service, and he told us the where and when he had served.  Her recounted the story of his most memorable WW2 experience like it happened yesterday, and not over 70 years ago.

"You see a lot of things.  You think about them every day".

I was riveted as I rested my arms on the side rails and leaned in to catch every word.  B, my partner, was on the other side of the cot,  equally attentive.  Without taking my eyes off him I slowly reached my hand toward the monitor to silence the alarm as he quietly told about his closest call, an explosion that destroyed his hearing but left him otherwise physically intact.

"The other man (note he did not refer to him as the enemy) was as close as you and I were.  I had my gun.  He had a grenade.  We looked each other in the eye, that look... we each knew what the other was thinking.  In that second we both knew that he had to kill himself to kill me.  As he opened his hand, I launched myself backwards.  It was miraculous, I came out of it not hurt...but with a lot of him on me."

How do you get past something like that?

You live to age 90, being grateful every day for your life, and living it to the fullest by riding motorcycles and falling off ladders.  And teaching life lessons.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Name game, vol. 2

Ok,  some additional head shakers:




Jasiyah  (Josiah??)











Ileenee (the 2nd e on the end is silent)

That's all for now.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Just because

Because no employer is going to own me, ever again,  I work a couple of jobs per diem.

Because I choose what days and shifts I work, I have ALL the control.

Because one of the jobs is a busy ER with lots of millenials and plenty of call-outs, I could work 16 hours per day if I wanted to.  Because I have I life, I don't

Because last summer I was feeling sassy and clever,  I decided to just work a couple of 12 hour shifts a week in order to have more time off.  Because my boss put me on a lot of weeks with 2 shifts at the beginning of one week, and 2 shifts at the end of the next, I had me some  6, 8, 10 day-off stretches at a time.

Because 12 hour shifts are Satan, and because it just reinforced that I really am too old for 12 hour shifts, I went back to 8 hour shifts.

Because my boss appreciates my flexibility, she is fine with my working 8's.  Because there aren't many per diem's who work straight evenings, it gives her more flexibility in covering short shifts.

Because I am planning to retire in the next couple of years, and I have downsized my living situation, I am also going to downsize the number of hours I work.

I think this summer I will do 2 shifts per week.  8 hours.  No weekends.  No commitments

Because it's time.  Because I can.