Saturday, February 26, 2011


I knew I wouldn't have much free time when I signed myself up for six weeks of working M-F and then 8 hours of class each Saturday and Sunday. It's starting to catch up to me though, and I'm sooooooo looking forward to having an entire day off again!

Work: We had a meeting about how we shouldn't harass each other on Facebook or form cliques or gossip. WTF? I'm so glad I was completely out of the loop on whatever was going on. Am not Facebook friends with any of my current coworkers and now I'll be sure to keep it that way! Also, one of my very favorite old guys is moving into my facility next month. He's been on the wait list for about a year, and came and toured again the other day when I was working. I like to think they decided to move him in because I'm there, but it could also be because a private room (most of ours are shared rooms, 2 residents) finally opened up.

School: Tomorrow we start our clinicals at a Real Live Skilled Nursing Facility! I'm excited a little differently than my classmates are. I already know I like that environment, and am not stressing about "how will I do pericare on someone who is standing up and not laying on the bed like the manikin?". I'm curious to see what it's like to take care of people without dementia (will I like it or will I find it boring?) and to see if I think the pace is something I could handle or not. At my job, each caregiver has around 10 residents to care for per shift. At a SNF it's between 10-15. I wonder if it's much faster to care for them because of their cognition, or if that's just an insane workload and you never get everything done. If it seems doable, I will likely apply to a SNF in my town later this year. I like the GreatRep, but the pay is pretty crappy and there's no health insurance. If I am certified, I can work at a different place in town where the base pay is $2 more per hour than I make now.

PS I got to wear my brand new ciel blue scrubs to class today, and stopped at a gas station for a diet coke on the way. Someone there asked me "Do you work over at Sacred Heart?" and I wanted to be able to say yes so much. Someday, buddy, someday.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 13: Somewhere You'd Like to Move or Visit

This won't come as any surprise to those of you that read me praising The Princess and the Frog or have seen the Saints sticker on my car, but I wanna go to New Orleans so badly!

It started when I was a teenager and reading Poppy Z. Brite. I still read her. I love her books about chefs and the restaurant world the most. Then on my honeymoon, we went to the Commander's Palace in Las Vegas and had what was probably the best dinner I've ever had in my life. I just googled it to put up a link, and apparently the one in Vegas is closed! Sad! But here it was:


I love the Saints, and I love the K. Gates song "Black & Gold" so much that Mr. Polly had to put a limit on how many times in a row I could listen to it when he's home. It's on my ipod for when I go running. I pretend I'm training with the team. Because I'm cool like that. I'm sure they'd be delighted to run the 1.5 mile loop around my local little lake with me, don't you think? Drew Brees could put his kids in the jogging stroller and bring them along! Who Dat!

The other thing I find fascinating about New Orleans (well, really all of Louisiana) is the story of the Acadians and their expulsion, and how they later settled and became known as cajuns in the US. Evangeline is such a beautiful poem about it. I know "the forest primeval" is actually referring to the Quebec/New England area, but having lived in the Pacific Northwest my whole life, I obviously picture the forests here. Think Hoh rainforest. Hell, think forests from Twilight; those are also some forests primeval, don't you think? And they're so beautiful.

Just because it's so good, here's the beginning of the prelude to Evangeline:
"This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic,
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest"

Lastly, I have a huge thing for brass instruments. I really need to learn to play the trumpet. I'd have myself a very good time dancing every night if and when I finally get to go visit New Orleans. I love the Rebirth Brass Band - they're who I listen to on my breaks at work when I'm exhausted to pick me up enough to go back out on the floor and finish it up.

Who's with me? We'll share a hotel room!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 12: Bullet Your Whole Day

I'll leave some things out because really, you don't need to know every detail.

10:30am: woken up by Mr. Polly

10:30-1pm: breakfast, studying, dressed, tidied up, etc.

2pm-10pm: CNA class. Highlights included one girl bizarrely trying to cheat on a practice test and getting kicked out of the course. Lots of skills practicing, including peri-care on a mannequin, and brushing dentures. After doing foot care on a classmate, without thinking I grabbed him and sat him up on the edge of the bed, forgetting he's young and able-bodied. Oops. At least I didn't call him Pops. I also let him put his own shoes on. Sang along to Rihanna on the way home instead of listening to an educational podcast. Because I'm a rebel.

10:40pm: got home, danced around the kitchen and put an artichoke on the stovetop to steam. Pestered Mr. Polly while he tried to watch Breaking Bad on DVD. Left him alone finally so I could play games on facebook and update my blog. Will eat an artichoke, watch Smallville (we're on season 3 or 4 now!) and then get ready for bed. Will probably consider reading Jane Eyre before sleep, then get too tired and settle for an article in Good Housekeeping instead. Sorry, Bronte. Better luck next time.

PS I'm reading (or not reading) this edition:

It's illustrated by Dame Darcy, who does one of my favorite comics ever, Meat Cake

PPS If the comics references (Smallville, Dame Darcy, other stuff I'm sure I've said in other posts) didn't tip you off, here's the secret: the Small Business my husband and I co-own with a business partner is ... A COMIC BOOK STORE! Yep, really. Nope, I won't say which one on here. But if you're going to be in the PacNW and want to come see it, email me and I'll fill you in.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 10: First Love and First Kiss.

I skipped this before, because it's all a little . . . icky? But after surviving 36 hours of vomiting, fever, and diarrhea, nothing seems icky anymore.

I didn't make the best choices about dating when I was younger. The only really good choice I made was to wait until I was 16 or 17 to start.

My first kiss was from an alcoholic high-school dropout. That didn't turn into a relationship, thankfully! Nice enough guy, but yikes.

Sidenote: Years later, he married a girl who I went to college with. When I was in college, I worked on the weekends at Denny's for a while. First Kiss Dude and his Fiancee came in together, which surprised the heck out of me because I didn't go to college in the same town I grew up in (same state, but a few hours away). I was so mortified that the only time I ever saw this guy again was when I was sweaty and in a Denny's uniform! Then they asked to be seated in the smoking section and I thought, "Oh, he hasn't changed, he hasn't even quit smoking" and didn't mind as much.
Side note #2: I think I still smoked at that time, so I don't know why I was so judgy about it. Oops.

My first love (first boyfriend I ever said "I love you" to, not first real, mature, lasting love) was inappropriately old for me. We dated during my senior year of high school. He was 28. I met him at a community college class I'd been sitting in on. Again, nice enough guy, but come on. No one normal and healthy that age wants to date a high schooler. I'm 28 now, and you'd have to threaten me with one-by-one finger amputations to get me to go on even one short date with a high-school boy. And if he were under 18, no way. Who does that?! Anyway, we broke up and I went away to college. Which is great! If I hadn't, I'd probably be a stay-at-home-mom with a cheating husband right now. No thanks! No child brides here.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I caught the virus from work. I don't think there's anything less fun than losing your guts on the toilet while you vomit into a bowl on your lap. I knew it was bad, but I didn't know how awful it really feels; my poor old folks! I don't know how things are going over at work, but I missed class today because I can't stop puking. And I called the school and didn't hear back from them, so I'm paranoid now.

Plus side: I get a few days off work. And the last one, hopefully I'll be feeling better and just be staying away for that last 24 hours post-fever.

Lessons learned: if you buy orange-scented Lysol to hose your bathroom down after each episode (in an attempt not to pass this crap on to one's husband), don't also buy orange gatorade. Unless you want to vomit up orangey syrup in an overwhelmingly orange lysoled bathroom. I may never look at another orange again in my life.

Also: Pepto Bismol isn't strong enough to stop the virus from making you lose every single sip of water you take. But it IS strong enough to turn your tongue black in the process.

Now, back to ... you don't wanna know.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

So much vomit.

Norovirus has hit the GreatRep. That means a building full of people with dementia that are exploding at both ends. All the time. I changed one lady and her bedding 4 times this shift. At one point she started gagging and I couldn't find any more emesis bins so I grabbed a towel in my gloved hands and used that to catch it. She paused and said "You don't want that, do you?" and in an effort to keep her from puking on the carpet I hollered "Yes I do!". I also dealt with at least 2 gallons of diarrhea in that 8 hours.

I've never been so grateful for disposable gloves, masks, bleach, and other sanitary things.

Apparently last time this happened at the GreatRep, it lasted 3 weeks and EVERYONE got it. Cross your fingers that this time is better ... or kill me now, please.

Side note: none of this made me even a little queasy. I am awesome and am developing a cast-iron nurse stomach.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 11: 10 Songs

I put my iTunes on shuffle, so here's 10 songs that popped up and what they made me think of:

1. "Uptown Girl" by Billy Joel. When I was in college, I lived in a house with 5-7 other people (one in the garage, one in the living room, you get the idea). It'd get really messy so sometimes we'd crank up Billy Joel and all dance around and clean. It sounds ridiculous because it was. One of those roommates? Is now my husband!

2. "Resist Psychic Death" by Bikini Kill. I will always, always love riot grrrl music. I can't help myself. That's what happens when you're a feminist that was born in 1982. It was in my DNA and got activated in the 90's.

3. "The Timber Man" by Johnny Cash (from his children's album). I got this from the library and put it on my iPod when I was a nanny. The kids liked it, although one of the songs is about a boy whose dog dies, so that led to my confusing explanations of death. Oops.

4. "(I got that) Boom Boom" by Britney Spears featuring the Yin Yang Twins. I still listen to Britney when I'm cleaning sometimes. And it's always a good time to yell "get on the floor/shake that ass for me". The best part about this song is that when the guys are saying "twillilly twillilly WHAT" Mr. Polly thought they were saying "chiiiiiiilllliiii cheeeeeeeese".

5. "When Will I Be Loved" by Linda Ronstadt. I used to always listen to her in the car with my Mom when I was a little girl. I think I knew all the words to her songs before I could read very well!

6. "TKO" Le Tigre. Not riot grrrl anymore, but still DELIGHTFUL. Oh Kathleen Hanna, you're a great gal.

7. "40 oz. to Freedom" by Sublime. Oh man, I used to listen to them a LOT in early high school. Long before I had ever drunk a 40.

8. "Brown Sugar" by The Rolling Stones. You know this one. It's a good one.

9. "Dreaming" by Blondie. I love Blondie. When I'm mopping our Small Business, I like to listen to them very much. I lock up the doors, put out the closed sign, get my bucket of hot water and citrus cleaner, and go to town.

10. "What it Feels Like for A Girl" by Madonna. The first time I heard these lyrics, I thought Madonna nailed it. Smart smart smart. And you know what? She's good. I even liked that this was on Glee. "Strong inside but you don't know it/ Good little girls they never show it/ When you open up your mouth to speak/ Could you be a little weak". Not bad, Madge!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 08: A moment you felt most satisfied with your life.

How about now? I'm pretty damn satisfied with my life.

Just got home from my first CNA class (good, although it's torturous to sit still for 8 hours after working on my feet for so long; I actually ache from sitting too long!). Am in my very favorite tiny apartment where it's nice and warm. Mr. Polly is in the other room watching TV and I'm about to start my homework. I've got a delicious snack:
this "crispbread" aka crackers

and chickpea salad (mash up some chickpeas, chopped celery, vegenaise, and season with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, or whatever else you like).

I've got a job I enjoy and am good at. I know where I'm trying to head in the future but happy in the meantime.

Yep, I'm gonna stick with right now for my moment.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 07: Zodiac Sign

My zodiac sign is Pisces. My birthday is March 18th, day after St. Patrick's Day.

According to the internet:
"Pisces are the most impressionable of the twelve zodiac signs. Deeply empathetic, they often exhibit a gentle, patient nature, but one that is in want of inspiration. Pisces can be deeply affected by and completely absorbed into their environment.

Pisces adapt well to their circumstances, both good and bad. They are generous, amiable, positive natured people with a deep sense of kindness and compassion. Pisces are highly tuned in to everything around them including the feelings of others.

Pisces are socially popular because of their easygoing and likable manner. They have an uncanny sense of perceiving what a person wants or needs, and delivering it. Pisces are reflexive, preferring to allow circumstances and events to unfold and, only then responding.

Pisces are not typical people. They are too idealistic and impractical for every day run of the mill living. Pisces are sensitive and instinctual rather than bookish or mechanical.

When Pisces find the right situations, they are capable of some incredible deeds. Pisces completely and wholly engage in a chosen path, to the exclusion of everything else. This obsessive compulsive energy can be healthy and not. Pisces can be workaholics (and other kind of -aholics too).

Main positive personality traits: Uncommon ability to instinctively respond to given situations; compassionate; understanding; artistic, sacrificing.

Main negative personality traits: Lazy, impractical, unrealistic, fearful, emotionally restrained, melancholy.

In the career department, Pisces are often better working for themselves than for someone else. Their innate sympathy equips them for careers in charity, catering to the needy, as a nurse, looking after the sick, or as a veterinarian, caring for animals."

Dude! It says I'm innately equipped to work as a nurse! I would have thought a strong interest in science and the ability to communicate well would have topped that list, but whatever. If my birthday gets me a compliment, woo-hoo to that.

The rest is pretty accurate. I'm not actually lazy but I have to fight with myself to get motivated so I'm not. I'm generally pretty compassionate and understanding.

So far the only way my special,magical, uncommon ability to understand others has benefitted me at work is that I can get urine samples from the ones that no one else can. Pretty impressive huh? Show me someone nonverbal and incontinent, and I'll intuit just the right time to sit them on the toilet outfitted with a hat to catch that urine. Antibiotics manufacturers should get together and send me a bouquet, because all the UTI's I help diagnose are then treated with antibiotics. I'm lining their pockets with infected urine. But not literally. That would smell terrible.

I'm also not as wishy-washy as this description sounds. I can be very firm when I need to, and push myself hard to accomplish things. Speaking of which, tomorrow is my first CNA class! I skimmed the reading, and it seems like it's basically all common sense plus things I do at work now. But I'll read it more thoroughly before I show up for class tomorrow. Because I'm a workaholic. School-aholic? Whatever.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 06: 30 Interesting Facts About Me.

1. When I was a kid I used to play circus with my dogs and pretend they were lions that I was taming. I'd put my hand in their mouths to show how they wouldn't bite me, and they didn't. Nice dogs!
2. I like dogs still. I'm afraid of cats.
3. Still. Even though I'm pushing 30. I think cats are scary.
4. Other fears: mirrors, aquariums, and people moving in unnatural ways.
5. Not little aquariums, not fishtanks. But the big ones that are a wall full or (oh god) the dome ones you could go into if you were insane? I hate those.
6. "Unnatural movement" meaning how people crawl all creepy in horror movies.
7. I have big teeth. But they're very straight because I had braces as a kid.
8. I'm vegan.
9. I brush my teeth with fennel toothpaste. I LOVE fennel, anise, and black licorice.
10. I don't really understand pranks. I think they're funny, but when I try to come up with my own, they're incredibly lame.
11. My worst "prank" was writing a love letter from a shed to a house. Pathetic.
12. I called in to Loveline one time to ask if anal bleaching was real or not, and forgot to make it clear that I wasn't wanting to bleach my own butt, I'd just read that Laura Flynn Boyle bleaches hers and couldn't believe it.
13. For the record, I have never bleached my own or anyone else's butt.
14. But if you paid me I would bleach yours.
15. I see butts all day at work. I'm used to it now.
16. I was briefly a drama geek in high school.
17. Briefly was plenty for drama geekery.
18. I also joined the track team and then refused to run in a single meet because I was too nervous about people watching me.
19. I did that for two years. My coach gave up on me 1.5 years in, which I think shows remarkable patience on his part.
20. When I was 4, my dream job was to work at Dairy Queen.
21. I called my paternal grandparents "Mam-Maw and Pap-Paw" because they're from West Virginia and that's what you do there.
22. Both Mam-Maw and Pap-Paw have passed away, but I loved them tons and tons and I miss them. They were a blast.
23. In college, I didn't join any clubs or anything. But I had a good time anyway.
24. I taught Mr. Polly what a dutch oven is. The hard way.
25. On our honeymoon, we went to Las Vegas and to Zion National Park.
26. Immediately following our wedding, I freaked out because I was A Wife and was worried that I had to start acting differently.
27. I never started acting like A Wife, really. I mean, I cook and clean but I also still do all the weird stupid stuff I've always loved to do.
28. When I was a nanny, I let the kids go fishing using gummy worms as bait.
29. When I was a nanny, I made a lot more money than I do now.
30. I have a mean right hook. I've knocked grown men right off their feet with it. But I don't do that anymore. I would if I were getting mugged or something, but not for fun anymore. Because I'm mature now.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 05: Suicide Day?

Wow, what a cheerful topic, huh? A time I've thought about ending my own life.

First of all, you should know this is ALWAYS my solution when watching horrible post-apocalyptic movies or tv shows. Watching Walking Dead? I kept thinking and saying "Why don't they kill themselves?". I know it gets irritating for poor Mr. Polly but I honestly don't understand why these people in movies always want to stay alive after the whole world is ruined and dead bodies are shambling along trying to eat them up. Horrible! I'd rather be regular dead than dead by zombie bite, hands down.

Just so that's clear.

Anyway, though, in real life I've been suicidal-ish, but not enough to actually have attempted it. From 12-19 or 20, I had an eating disorder (first anorexia then bulimia) and then towards the end of that, when I was starting recovery from the eating disorder, I began self-injuring. I was suicidal through a lot of those years, but apparently not too much so, 'cause I'm still alive now, thank goodness! My low point was probably the time I had to go to the ER because of dehydration, ketosis, and dangerously low potassium levels. At that point, I was vomiting 5+ times a day, and afraid to even keep down water. I was a sick, sick girl. But I got some IV fluids, potassium, and referrals for help.

Antidepressants have been a lifesaver for me. My quality of life has improved beyond words since I found the right one for me, and I've never looked back. For me, they shut off the crazy obsessive thoughts about food so I'm able to actually pay attention to the rest of my life and have a good time. It's awesome!

So, yeah. If you're suicidal because of zombies, my advice might be to go for it, but otherwise, my advice is a definite "go get some crazy pills", which is what I affectionately call my antidepressants. I like Zoloft the best.

Sorry for the downer of a post; blame the looky-loo who wrote the challenge list, and remember that I'm a happy camper now!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 04: My Thoughts On Religion.

I wasn't raised with any particular religion, and now I consider myself an atheist.

If I were going to be a part of any organized religion, I think it would be Islam. I like the 5 pillars of that faith, and I like that their beliefs are their laws. It's consistent and thorough, so you know what is expected of you and I like that clarity. I don't think it's inherently misogynist any more than any other religion - I don't think any religion was founded with the intention to oppress anyone, because it's unimaginable that any God would want that.

I also think the daily calls to prayer are very appropriate and beautiful; if you have a faith, why wouldn't you want to set time aside every single day to tap into it?

The 5 Pillars of Islam (as understood by atheist Polly) are:

1. Faith. Specifically that "There is none worthy of worship except God and Muhammad is the messenger of God." Hard to be confused by that, right? So as long as you follow the teachings of Muhammad, you are living the way God intended.

2. Prayer. 5 times a day. Prayer isn't led by a priest, because there isn't that type of hierarchy in Islam. Prayer can be done alone or with others. When you pray, you're communing directly with God. If you believe in God, I bet that feels good, and it must be a refreshing and heartening pause throughout your day to tap into that. I'd imagine it would also keep you humble and keep you thinking about your priorities and your behavior throughout the day. If I were Muslim and prayed 5 times a day, I'd hope that after each one, I'd be mindful of whether or not I was acting and living the way God wanted me to.

3. Zakah. Charity. Not optional, this is an obligation for every Muslim. It doesn't have to be financial charity if you aren't able to do that, but it means that you have the responsibility of somehow helping your community. I think it would be great if all of us felt this; I know I could use a huge shove in that direction, because I get so busy in the day-to-day stuff that I don't think about it often. That's not good.

4. Fasting. During Ramadan, everyone fasts (unless they are very old, sick, etc.) Again, I think this would be a very useful tool for turning one's focus to God. It's choosing to do something uncomfortable, and remembering why you made that choice all day long. I wonder what that would feel like, and I like the idea of giving something up, not because God thinks it's bad for you but to show God that you're thinking about him/her.

5. Pilgramage. Going to Mecca. I honestly cannot imagine what this must be like, to be able to go somewhere that significant to you and to be surrounded by others that feel the same way. Maybe it's the closest thing to going to Heaven?

Anyway, it probably seems weird that I've thought about Islam that much. I don't know why, it's just the religion I've learned about that resonates with me the most. But I still don't believe in any God. That doesn't mean I don't try to be kind or compassionate, or that I don't respect other people's beliefs. I do. I just feel like, well, that's all a little over my head and I'm just here trying to do the best I can. If a God wants my attention, it can find me. I'll be hanging out trying to help people and have a good life myself.