Thursday, July 28, 2011

Heading to Jacksonville to see the Jacksons!

In a few hours we take off for Jacksonville, Florida!  I haven't seen my family down there for almost 2 years.  We were supposed to have Thanksgiving dinner there last fall but things didn't work out and I wound up staying here and having Thanksgiving with my Aunt Barbara.  Thank goodness I did, because by February she was gone.  In fact, most of my father's family is now gone.  At least half.  Florida has always been the home of my mother's family and even though I didn't see them near enough growing up, I've tried to see them more as an adult.  But obviously when you're an adult you have jobs, kids, responsibilities that get in the way.  So I don't get down there enough still, but when I do the whole clan usually comes to visit.  It's quite fun and I'm really excited to see them all!  And little Sarah is really pumped up too!  Pictures to come of the Jackson clan!  :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sad day for book lovers.

Borders bookstore's liquidation sale makes me so sad - I was in there yesterday on my day off and books were scattered everywhere.  Some people were still grumbling about the prices, even though some things are up to 40% off now.  I'm going to miss the brick and mortar store.  I loved going there with my family or even all by myself.  It was a great way to peruse all the latest offerings from the literary world - I found many great books that way.  I have a busy life and don't always have time to read all the news snippets about new books coming out.  That's why when I found a good book I liked to post them on here to share with you all.  My father always said to me that if I could read I could figure out how to do anything else.  I found that to be true in college when I virtually taught myself Physics by reading my textbook.  I think putting textbooks in digital format is a good idea - but only if there's significant cost reduction.  Textbook prices are ridiculous.  But the novel, the non-fiction book, the memoir, even the trashy romance story - those need to be printed on paper and bound as books and displayed at the local bookstore.

I wasn't one of those people who just went to the bookstore and treated it like a library - sat and read the book then put it back on the shelf without making a purchase.  But I was someone who bought books at Borders with the coupons they gave Rewards members.  I didn't like paying full price - not because I don't think books are worth it, just because of my own finances. 

I will really miss my Borders bookstore.  And I truly feel awful for all the employees who will very soon be out of a job.  I talked to one at the checkout the other day who was nearly in tears.  Soon she will have no health insurance and the place she's worked for 11 years will be gone.  The friendships, the relationships with coworkers, the frequent customers she liked seeing...gone or at least damaged.  It's sad.  I really hope the print book industry doesn't go out.  There's nothing quite like curling up in my bed with a book in my hands while a thunderstorm rages outside.  Nothing like it at all.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What I'm reading now.

If you are fast you can read this in a day and if you work with anyone at all besides yourself, it is bound to benefit you!  I'm starting it tonight.  Read some snippets in the Border's bookstore today.  (I'll not go into the teary eyed hissy fit that I could easily muster up right now due to Border's going out of business - it's a sad time.)

Books in my hand make me happy.  I'm not sold on the ebook idea yet.  I've read one book on my iPhone so far.  It was a fine experience, but doesn't match holding the book in my hands, turning its pages, and the smell of the paper and ink.  Laugh if you want, but I like to get my senses involved when I'm reading.  Except taste.  Eating a book would be gross...but it would probably be enough to get me on that "My Strange Addiction" show!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thoughts after a long night in the ER.

I'm thinking there must be a bunch of introverted folks reading my blog - or - I'm not saying anything worthy of many comments.  I can always depend on Brandy, my long-time friend and trusty side-kick all through my school years.  She had the unfortunate last-name-starts-with-a-B problem which meant she sat right beside me for what, 12 years?  Whether she wanted to be my friend or not, she was stuck with me.  And I love her for it.  Isn't it about time for a high school reunion?  Brandy, let's do dinner!

Tonight in the ER was long and hard.  Some icky sad things happened, and there were more than the usual odd assortment of strangeness.  Strange patients with strange situations that sometimes have strange endings.  I love calling a spade a spade and being right about it.  I was hitting the nail on the head so much tonight that I felt slightly psychic...and no, there were no tarot cards involved.  Not even my magic 8 ball.  Sometimes I joke with my coworkers that I seem to have left my magic wand at home - there are some problems even I can't solve.  Ha!

I've had a number of nurses tell me that they couldn't do what I do.  Well, let me be very clear - there's no way I could do what they do either.  Nurses put up with a lot of crap, on a daily basis.  If you are a nurse coming on for a 12 hour shift you can count on being yelled at, puked on, at fault whether it's your fault or not, and probably stressed to the core.  You can laugh till you just about pee in your pants (and why shouldn't you since you haven't had a bathroom break in 8 hours?) and you can cry because your heart genuinely hurts for this patient and his/her family that you've never even met before.  It's like jumping on an emotional roller coaster every single day and praying for the best.  They do it because they love helping people, because some nights it can be exciting, and because they know deep down they are making a difference.  I really have a lot of respect for what those guys go through.  I could never be a nurse.  But that's one of the few things I've figured out I don't want to be when I grow up.   It takes all of us to make the ER run smoothly, and in a larger sense, it takes all of the greater collective us to make the world go round.  There's something out there for everyone.   It makes me sad to see people come into the ER high on narcotics or illegal drugs or alcohol just living for the next high.  There's intrinsic value in each one of us - but it's up to us to make the most of what we're good at and do something for the greater good of society.  If I can make a small difference for even one person, then I can feel good about that.  But take this guy Blake Mycoskie who founded TOMS shoes - this guy is making a difference for millions of kids who didn't even have shoes on their feet.  That's a big deal.  And now his company is trying to help those same people in 3rd world countries or areas affected by devastation and natural disaster see better too.  You buy a pair of sunglasses from him, he helps give someone their sight back.  Now that's helping.  That's making a difference.  That's living your life to its fullest potential.  I wish I had an idea that great.  We all have a purpose here - what's yours?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Comments are welcome here.

I just checked my Google Adsense account and see that you guys are actually reading my blog!!  I'm blushing over here...along with sweating.  It's hot in my bonus room!  This thermostat hasn't worked right since we moved in.  I need an exercise bike up here! 

As usual, every other living organism - including the fish, is asleep right now.  I'm awake.  I climbed in bed and gave it the good scout's try, but then Hal started snoring and I got a text, figured out Jordan Knight was on George Lopez tonight and then all efforts to sleep were off.  Just finished watching that and his online interview with Jordan right after the show.  He's very cute but he was never my favorite.  His new album is quite good though and even you NKOTB haters should give it a listen if you like pop dance music.  It's sexy and fun.

I've been thinking of making some changes lately.  I've mysteriously started to study for the LSAT - that's the Law School Admissions Test.  I honestly cannot tell you why I'm doing this.  I guess it's sort of fun (shut up Jennifer Aaron, I know you think I'm nerdy)!  The test is based mostly on analytical and logical thinking - and those things are mostly what I'm good at especially in the PAC job that I have.  I'd imagine that if the 11 of us sat for that test our scores would be very high collectively.  And if there was a way to test how quickly we can walk into an unknown emotional situation in a room and size it up successfully we'd all be winners.  That's why I love my job (most days) - because you never know what's coming through the door.  So I don't know if I actually want to be an attorney or not.  If I did I'd probably want to do higher education law or healthcare risk management or maybe even social justice stuff.  I think I might take the test in December.  That gives me a few months to study.  And even if I suck at it or don't go to law school, studying this stuff might help me stave off alzheimer's disease!

Then there's the birthday that I've got coming up.  I'll be 37 soon and I think I should have accomplished something by now.  For 24 years, I've wanted to WRITE A BOOK.  So far I've scratched out an unpublishable manuscript - unpublishable because it's too honest, too revealing, too fraught with controversy.  At least my trusty advisers have told me so.  Some people are lauded for sharing their darkest secrets.  For being brave and bravely writing.  But oh well.

So I need to write more but I don't know what the story should be.  Being a published author would thrill me, but the last few years have been tough economically and it's hard to work full time and write.  Now that the man of the house is working full time again it's easier, but still there's lots of bills to pay down before I'd have the money to hire an editor or an agent.  And then there's the lingering doubt that plagues us all - "am I good enough to write a book that anyone would want to actually read?"

Only time will tell.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Get busy!

In an hour I'll be about ready to leave for another night at work in the ER.  I need a vacation something fierce.  I need several days in a hotel - maybe in a big city somewhere - where there's a big fat bed with big fluffy pillows I can sink my head into.  I don't even need a television.  All I need is a box fan, a bucket of ice with some Diet Dr. Pepper nearby, and some sleep.  Precious sleep.  Quiet.  Nothing but me and dreamland.  For maybe 24 hours.

Things you guys should do while I'm away:

Buy Tom's shoes: They are really comfortable and yes they start at $44 but a needy child in a 3rd world country (and even here in the States too) gets a new pair of shoes.  Their giving model is One for One.  They've been giving away shoes since 2006 with over one million pairs given to children.  Now they've started with eyewear as well.  Sunglasses start at $135 but you can help a blind or nearly blind person get cataract surgery, glasses, or just give sunglasses with UV protection to someone who needs them so they won't get cataracts.  I bought myself 2 pairs of the TOMS shoes and even got Sarah a pair for her back to school shoes.  I wear mine on my 12 hour shift in the ER and my feet do not hurt!  And by the way, I've yet to actually pay full price for a single pair.  Check out Kinnucan's.

Sign up for  Seriously, who among you could stand to get rid of some CDs, DVDs, games, or books that are sitting on your bookshelves collecting dust?  If you're like me, your music is now all loaded onto your computer and therefore on your iPod or iPhone.  I very rarely read a book more than once so they sit silently day in and day out on my shelves.  Your kids outgrow or get tired of their x-box games, and the DVD you thought you had to have has now retired to the entertainment center because if you see that movie again you just might stick a fork in your eye.

BUT that doesn't mean there's not more books, CDs, DVDs, and games out there that you're not interested in!  So sign up for, put in to their system all the things you have that you'd like to trade, then select all the things you'd like to have and viola! - trades will start to appear.  All you have to do is mail your stuff to the next guy and watch your mailbox for your new (slightly used) stuff to appear!  Cool huh?  And it'll keep the US Post Office going for a bit longer.  Trading is cool.  Why didn't I think of that site?

Okay.  Must get dressed now and go face reality.  Another day, another dollar.  Here are your links.  Now get busy!  

Friday, July 1, 2011

Getting reaquainted with the 15 year old me.

Today I had the sudden urge to retrieve some boxes stored at my father's place.  I was looking for my old yearbooks mostly, but I forgot that in the same box was an armful of Mead Five Star spiral bound notebooks, in a rainbow of colors, in which - over time - I'd poured out my heart and soul.  In December of 1989, the 15 year old Heather decided to write in a journal every single day for a year.  And so it went.  Every day, usually 2 whole pages long -- and I didn't have that curly bubbly girly hand writing that many of my friends did.  Small text, print, in pencil.  So after my stroll through yearbooks from 6th grade through graduating UGA - I picked up a notebook and began to read. 
Oh teenaged angst!  Boy was I full of it.  I want to get to know myself again, from that youngster's perspective, and perhaps reassure myself all over again that life is full of ups and downs but that I'll survive.  She did.  I do.  I will.  I used to smile when I heard the words "inner child." I imagined a cute little pixie girl riding a bicycle all up and down my rib cage, resting on my stomach, before diving down to pedal through my intestines.  Inner child?  What the hell is that?
Well, here she is.  Even though I thought I was grown at 15, I was still very much a child.  Let's see if I can remember what the world looked like through her eyes.  Let's see what I've learned in the last 21 years.  I wish I could hop on a time machine and give that girl a hug because she needed it.  If I could, I'd try to grab her young body - thin thighs and smaller butt.  But I'd totally forget the zits.