Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"Hey, Jeanette! Play 'Love Shack'!!"

My friend Jeanette came by the rehab unit today at lunch. She was a discharge planner for the hospital way back in the 90's.
As I have posted before, many people have come and gone in the 20 years I have worked at the hospital. Some I barely remember. And, some I'll never forget. Jeanette fits into that latter category. It was so good to see her today, but it did make me a bit nostalgic.
I found a couple of photos of Jeanette from the "good old days."

The one above is from 1996. The hospital has a great pet therapy program. I think the staff enjoy the dog visits more than the patients. That is Jeanette at the top, holding Taylor the dog(yes, that IS a dog she's holding).

This is a picture from the goodbye party we had for her at The Cheesecake Factory. We decided to all give her gag gifts. That thing she is holding in her hands? It was our version of a rehab doll. In other words, we got a doll, gave it a craniotomy, put it's clothes on backwards, gave it a sling and a leg brace and ...presto, you got yourself a rehab doll. I think the only thing missing on it was a foley catheter. But, even we thought that was rather crass.

Jeanette is a great singer and piano player. When she played with "The Smart Cookies", we would go to her shows and beg to hear the B-52's song, "Love Shack". She hated that.
She now sings in a group called "GRACE". Take a look at their website.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Gimme a Head With Hair

I went with Briana to the Huntington Garden's plant sale last Saturday. After a 20 minute search for a parking space, we ended up with some pretty great plants. I was looking for a couple of indoor plants to get some color in my place. I have never really had plants at home because I was always afraid the cats would destroy them while I was out. So what was the point?

The solution? Cactus! Godfrey is smart enough to figure out not to dig in a cactus. I think.

I love the desert gardens at the Huntington, so we knew they would have plenty to choose from.

I have managed to transplant it into a container and keep it alive for a whole week. It even has two little flowers growing from it now. You could say I have a green, if not somewhat punctured, thumb.

Posting about a cactus. A new blogger low.

But, doesn't it look like a little hairy man?
A cross between Santa Claus and, say,this

Friday, May 18, 2007


Did you know there was a Republican debate last week? Not many people did.
I was not able to see it, because I'm too cheap to pay for cable (yes, I live in the dark ages).

But it does make one ponder: Can Republicans debate when they all think alike?

So, what was there to debate about?

Well, apparently there is a candidate from Texas by the name of Ron Paul. He got into a verbal exchange with Rudy Guiliani about the causes of 911.

So, I googled "Ron Paul" just to see where he stands on the issues.

I was surprised. Horrified, really. I agree with him on a lot of issues. Wait. Did I just blog that I agree with a Republican??!!

Here are some of the issues with which we agree:

1. He voted against the War.
2. He voted against the Patriot Act.
3. He voted no against a Constitutional Amendment to ban same-sex marriage.
4. He voted no against a Constitutional Amendment to ban flag desecration.
5. He voted no on banning physician assisted suicide.
6. He opposes federal participation in the "drug war" deeming it ineffective.
7. He is in favor of legalizing medical marijuana.
8. He is in favor of lifting the ban on industrial hemp.
9. He voted no on speeding up approval of forest thinning projects.
10. He takes a tough stance on immigration.
11. He wants to abolish the IRS and income taxes.

But, he does have some drawbacks:

1. He is very pro gun rights.
2. He voted no on implementation of Kyoto protocol.
3. He voted no on prohibiting oil drilling and development in ANWR.
4. He would be in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade by having each state make their own laws governing abortion.
5. He voted yes to ban gay adoption.
6. He would like to abolish Medicare entitlements and again, leave it to the states to decide.
7. He supports a Constitutional Amendment for school prayer.
8. He is against the death penalty.
9. He is against embryonic stem cell research.
10. He voted no on campaign finance reform.
11. He is in favor of impeaching GWB. OK, I made that one up. That wouldn't be a drawback either.

What am I to do?

I really like his position on the Iraq War. He makes a lot of sense and seems to understand what we really need is a complete change in our foreign policy.

He has gone so far as to say military aggressiveness weakens our national security. No other politician is saying that. Republican or Democrat.

But, could I really, truly ever cast a vote for a (gulp) conservative Republican? One from Texas, no less? And could I ever admit it? Would my friends and family ever speak to me again?

2008 is a long time from now. Plenty of time to make a decision.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Georgia On My Mind

By popular demand: A picture of "Ben" from our Atlanta trip. OK, most people were just curious to see if I was telling the truth about our encounter with Ben at the MLK Jr. Center. He was a nice man. But, I'm still not sure I would want him giving me breathing treatments as my Resp. Therapist (if you know what I mean).

This is a part of the story I left out of my original post. This is "Big Mama". Yes, that is what he called himself. When Jen asked him if he would take a picture for us, he insisted Jen take a picture of him first. Big Mama was the perfect comedic ending to our journey back to the metro. After he took the picture and wandered off down the street, Ben said, "That boy has too much sugar in his tank."
Jen and I discussed that saying later. She thought Ben meant Big Mama was on drugs. I think Ben meant Big Mama was a bit too flamboyant.

Now that the vacation glow has all but worn off, I am left to wonder if this is where I should retire to. I'm sure a lot of people will say it is the perfect place for me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Jerry Falwell died today.

As I have posted on this blog before, I have not been a fan of Jerry Falwell.

When I heard the news of his death, let's just say I wasn't exactly sad about it.
OK. I was oddly happy about it.

My friend at work was a bit taken aback by my reaction. And, after a few hours to think about it, I see her point.

To celebrate another human being's death is so...well, it's what Jerry Falwell would have done.
So, I will try to remember the words of Dr. King:

"Hate begets hate, violence begets violence. Toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love" (1958).

So, in that spirit,
RIP Rev. Falwell.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Where's Waldo??

I was looking at some of my photos today and was struck by something interesting. You've heard of "Where's Waldo?", right? How about "Where in the world is Matt Lauer?"
I have a new game for you. It's called, "Where's Fred?"

OK. I admit he is easy to spot in this picture. He's the one in the fancy golf shoes.

But, can you spot him in this crowd? Look closely.

He's here too.

In the background. Lurking.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


When I first started at the hospital, my supervisor gave me the following advice:
"Don't get attached to anyone who works here because they all eventually leave."
Early on, I didn't listen to her. I went ahead and bonded with a number of other employees.
But, Joan was right. They all eventually left.
So, I have learned over the years to protect my heart. I've always thought I was pretty good at guarding it. I'd say to myself, "These are not my friends. They are just my co-workers."
Even then, every once in awhile, one of them worms their way into the rock that beats in my chest.
And once again, they leave.
My friend Gladys left last month. And my boy Bart left soon after that.
This time it is Katie (the one on the left) who is leaving. We had some good times at The Yard House sipping (AKA guzzling) martinis and gossiping about the work day. She was a joy to work with.
We will miss her and wish her a safe journey back to Massachusetts.
Yes, they all eventually leave. But, I guess it is better to have known them for a short time than to have never known them at all.
PS: When the one on the right eventually goes...well, I don't even want to think about that. ;)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

War Is Not The Answer

30 young men and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan this past week.
And what are Americans reading about?
Paris Hilton might have to go to jail for 45 days for violating her probation.

I was listening to Marvin Gaye this weekend.

Mother, mother.
There's too many of you crying.
Brother, brother, brother.
There's far too many of you dying.
You know, we've got to find a way,
to bring some lovin' here today.
Father, father.
We don't need to escalate.
You see, war is not the only answer.
For only love can conquer hate.

True during the Vietnam War. Still true today.