Sunday, October 23, 2005

Domesticity etcetera

There may be nothing nicer than a cold, rainy fall day (temperature: 47*) with "Motown Remixed" (picks: the "Sympathy for the Grapes" remix of "Heard It Through the Grapevine" and "The Tears of A Clown") and cold pizza and a nice pale ale.

Especially when you've just laid down a new rug that really ties the room together--and in this joint, that's a job for tugboat chains and Superglue--and put together the some-assembly-required TV stand to replace the nasty one you got rid of weeks ago.

The TV is plugged in for the first time in six weeks. The TV stand isn't put together *quite* right, but it's passable. Imperfect but solid, like the rest of the place.

Thanks to the miracles of modern commercial architecture, I can leave the porch door open even in the rain. Unless, of course, it's one of those thunderstorms that Darwinizes the stupid and drops quarter-sized hail. The porch faces west, after all.

If I had the energy

I would make a meatloaf and mashed potatoes and corn and beans for dinner. I don't have the energy, however, and so I'll probably end up eating whatever Chef Boy is cooking tonight. One perk to dating a chef: even the hamburgers he makes are ambroisia.

Now off to read

Mary Roach has a followup to Stiff called Spook--a scientific exploration of the paranormal. I'm looking forward to starting it with more cold pizza.


Shrimplate put a great recipe for duck quesadillas on his blog the other day. It's worth trying.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

A brilliant scheme.

Four patients with perfusion problems.

All of them screamers.

One is schizophrenic, with a history of drug and alcohol abuse, as well as bipolar disorder type whatever, the sort that makes one an ultra-fast cycler.

The second has hallucinations, both visual and auditory, because the main arteries leading to her brain are mostly occluded.

The third simply screams in frustration at odd times, due to a combination of drug and alcohol abuse, occluded arteries, uncontrolled diabetes and cholesterol, and previous strokes.

Finally, one patient yells out his door at everyone passing by.

It sounds like this:

"Goddammit! Goddammit! Hey, gorgeous! Hey, gorgeous!"

"Stop the bus! Stop the bus! Stop the bus! Stop the bus!"


"Hey! Hey! HeyheyHeyhey HEY!!"

So I had this thought the other day as I was sitting at the desk, listening to the cacophony for the twenty-sixth hour in a row:

Why not start up a punk band?

I mean, I have the hair. In civvies, I have the clothes. Add some good fuzzy guitar and a cranked-out drummer, and mix in "Hey gorgeous! Goddammit! Stop the bus! HEY!! AAAaaaaaAAAARGH!"

We could call it Nurse Jo and the Screaming Feebs.

Required reading for your weekend

Weekend Roundup at Feministe has good stuff.

So does Babs.

For some bizarre reason, May and That Flat-Tailed Guy With The Beak And Poison Spurs both had bizarre patients recently. So did I, but I ain't bloggin' about him.

Go read.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


On Working In a Communicable-Disease Cesspit:

If there is a tummy bug going around work, even if it's confined to the basement and only hits the guys who do landscaping, I will get it.

Any tummy bug I get will have the following symptoms: constant, low-grade nausea, exhaustion, and cold sweats. Anything more than that is unusual.

Any time I get a tummy bug, some wag opines that I *must* be pregnant. The Dedicated Wag Lime Pit in the back yard is getting full.

On Extremities:

This week I took care of a dancer and a professional chef. Chef Boy is also, if you hadn't noticed, a chef. I noticed something that the two lines of work have in common: extremities.

A dancer's feet--especially ballet dancers, which this person was--look like nothing human. They're callused and scarred and lumpy and there are bits missing from them.

Same with chefs' hands. If you work with fire, knives, and corpses all day, your hands begin to look like something Rodin might've sculpted in the grip of a really bad hangover. Chef Boy has been a construction worker as well as a chef, so you can imagine the state of his paws.

On New Cars:

I've been having dreams in which I scar the New Car irreversibly somehow, or the upholstery is torn beyond repair, or the damned thing suddenly changes color to distress orange.

I also worry constantly that I'm going to do something stupid, like reach for a button on the stereo, and hit a button that either sets off a panic alarm or the ejector seat or the thing that spits tacks out of the exhaust pipe.

And yet I haven't read the owner's manual. If finding out that I can unroll the windows remotely (who thought that up?) by mistake is fun, imagine how much fun I'll have trying to figure out cruise control on the fly!

Edited to add one thing of which Shrimplate's latest post reminded me:

Today I was standing in line at the cafeteria to get some nice dry toast and tea, and I heard two anesthesiologist attendings singing Ramones songs.

I chimed in at "I wanna be sedated" and got shocked looks. One doc then smiled and said, "We didn't think anybody else here would know the Ramones."

Pretty soon half the breakfast line was singing along with "Beat On The Brat."

Welcome to my hospital, home of the weird and famous.

Whose conscience?

Target is in the middle of a brouhaha because a pharmacist at their Fenton, Missouri store refused to fill a prescription for emergency contraception for a customer.

Target's form letter in response to complaints reads, in part, that Target is committed to respecting the diversity of their workforce (I'm paraphrasing, here), and that thus, Target will refer a customer who wants something Target doesn't carry (or in this case, won't prescribe) to another vendor.

This goes back to the issue of conscience clauses for pharmacists. Nurses and doctors have conscience clauses (also known in some places as "safe harbor laws") that allow them not to take part in procedures or practices that don't jive with their belief systems. A number of pharmacist groups, including Pharmacists For Life, the American Pharmacists' Association, and even the AMA, support this sort of clause for pharmacists.

The trouble arises in cases when pharmacists confiscate prescriptions rather than referring customers to other pharmacies (this happened in my very own home town, to a rape victim) or when they use their position to intimidate or shame women looking for EC. (This has also happened in my very own home town, to the extent that one doctor I worked for refused to send her patients to a particular pharmacy for *anything*.)

There's also a second scenario in which a refusal could be troublesome: if you live in a small town, or even a small-ish town, with three or four pharmacies, what if *nobody* will fill your EC prescription? Even barring that complication, driving from one pharmacy to another takes time, and EC is time sensitive. Never mind that if you've just gotten out of the ER after a rape exam, you're probably not in the state of mind to comparison-shop the various pharmacies in a thirty-mile radius of home.

To top it off, there's this: A woman makes the decision, with the help of her doctor or NP, to get emergency contraception; the pharmacist's refusal to fill that prescription feels to me like interfering in that personal decision. It's as though I were to stand in the door of the OR and prevent a patient from getting a VP shunt because I didn't agree with the process.

I can understand why pharmacists want conscience clauses. Thankfully, I've not yet been in a situation where I've had to call foul myself--partly because I've made a conscious decision *not* to work in a field where the standard medical care incorporates a number of things with which I do not agree.*

The other side of me (okay, the other 90% of me), though, is really, really pissed off that pharmacists would refuse EC, or even the Pill, to customers. I've not yet heard stories of a pharmacist refusing Viagra (the classic counter-argument) or pain medications, or indeed of a pharmacist refusing *any* prescription that doesn't directly have to do with women's control of their own sexuality.

And that, I believe, is the root of the argument. These are folks who want to *not* dispense certain drugs to women. That the drugs have a lot to do with sex, and a lot to do with avoiding pregnancy, feeds into the feeling I have that this is primarily about power rather than about harm to a fetus, embryo, or blastocyst. Show me a pharmacist that won't dispense class C drugs to a woman of childbearing age and I might begin to change my mind...but until then I retain the right to remain conflicted and irritated.

*For the record, that field is labor and delivery/newborn care. I hate the idea of circumcision, and I hated having to assist in one. I'm also not crazy about the intrusive monitoring and "lie-down-shut-up" attitudes I saw in L&D units when I was in school. Being a hippie-dippy wacko who's been at, assisted in, and hung out during home births prior to getting schooled probably has a whole lot to do with that. Point remains, though, that the reason I didn't go into L&D is this: I cannot work in a place where women in uncomplicated, healthy labor are considered to have a medical problem rather than people experiencing something normal.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

You must read this.

The Lioness, a person who is not only a genius writer but also is nice enough to occasionally read this blog, wrote a lovely piece...

It's called The Jewish Gastronomic Factor, but could as well be called The Methodist Gastronomic Factor (thanks, Mom!) or The Italian Gastronomic Factor (thanks, Lidia!) or the Pakistani Gastronomic Factor (thanks, Hakima!).

It's for anyone who's ever felt the pressure to eat, eat, you look so skinny, no matter the source.

Twisty Faster just had a boob removed because of cancer. This is what cancer looks like, people. Go see the picture, shudder and cringe, and then read what she has to say about her experience. What bugs me is that the folks at the hospital served her nasty cold pancakes and fatty bacon the day after. Twisty, if I were closer, I'd bring you Gournay cheese and French bread and pounds of grapes.

Feministe has an excellent discussion of what makes beauty.

Michael Yon is back in Baghdad. Read his blog.

And for those of you who have money burning holes in your pockets, check this out.

What I did on my days off (includes obligatory food rambling)


So yesterday Bonnie the Miniature Dachshund had her teeth cleaned. She had a bad case of garbage-mouth, so it was way, way, way overdue. Chef Boy dropped her off at the vet's; I picked her up.

When the tech handed her to me, she gave a wail the equal of that produced by the Mystery! opening's Fainting Woman and threw herself on my chest, nose buried in my shoulder. She then went through several minutes of whining and shaking, alternated with gazing into my eyes as if to tell me of the Horrible Tortures she suffered.

Never mind that she spent the whole day in a comfy kennel with little tidbits pushed through the bars by the staff, when they weren't cuddling her and telling her what a sweet girl she is. There was apparently some discussion in the middle of the day over whose lap she would sit on during lunch.

I thought my cat was a drama queen.

No Hair Here

The clippers came out today. I'm now the proud wearer of an inch-long buzz. Note: one inch is much shorter than you might think.

You'd think I'd get *less* attention from men when I have almost no hair, but that isn't the case. At least, it's not the case with the hippie boys down at the natural food store and the punk daddies with kids in strollers. The old men at work love it when I have my curly pompadour, but the younger guys like the middle-aged chick rockin' the grrrl cut. It also keeps the frat boys from yelling out their windows as they drive past.

Plus, I bought a new eyeshadow.

And some new boots.

The boots have a two-and-a-half-inch stiletto heel and toothpicker toes. They're smooth Italian leather. I got 'em on deep, deep discount because I have huge feet. With size 9's, you can wear up to a ten if the toes of the shoes are very pointed indeed. Apparently, few women with large feet buy I Eat Men Like You For Breakfast boots.

And Food, too!

Tonight's dinner will be salmon, asparagus (roasted) and smashed potatoes. I had some cream and half-and-half I had to use up, so I experimented a little and came up with an eggless pseudo-Alfredo.

The pseudo-Alfredo sauce went on the other chunk of salmon I bought after I cut it up and sauteed it with mushrooms and steamed some broccoli. With nice chunky pasta, it will make two lunches.

Plus, I have a pleasant dry white wine (if the guy at the store can be trusted) to go with dinner tonight.

I should be studying EKG tracings. Did I mention that?

Monday, October 17, 2005

How I know I'm not in Hell.

Another nursing student story

So Friday was the first day for some new nursing students--these are not fourth-semester, they're brand-new, first-semester clinical students. From the same program that spawned Weepy, Frizzy, Dopey, and Sleepy, but much, much higher caliber.

The student I was paired with came prepared, knew how to take vitals, and did a complex dressing change by herself (well, with me watching) with minimal coaching.

I asked her if she'd had any experience with wound care before, and she said "No, I just watched while you took down the old dressing, then I went and got what I needed and put it back in reverse order." Considering that most first-semester students (myself included) are so nervous they just want to sink through the floor, this was encouraging.

About twenty minutes before they were due to leave, I gave my student and another student a time-check, to let them know to start wrapping things up in ten minutes or so.

They did two baths in that twenty minutes and finished with time to spare.

We all have a renewed faith in humanity now.

And, by God, with four patients with cerebral perfusion issues on the floor at once, we certainly need it.

Perfusion problems are characterized by wacky behavior. If the person can scream, they'll scream. If they can cuss, they'll cuss. I'd never once given Haldol in three years; on Saturday, I gave three injections of the stuff. The floor sounded like Broadmoor on a Sunday afternoon.

That alone is a good argument for watching your blood sugar and cholesterol, not drinking Beam every single damn night of your life, and having your medical problems treated early and comprehensively. I've come to the conclusion that if you're really dedicated to being a hard-liquor drunk, you should probably just apply the alcohol directly to your brain, thus saving the rest of us a lot of time and trouble.

I worked with a good crew this weekend. Only one of seven people on the floor was the sort of person you really have to watch; other nurses will tell you that that's a good ratio. And it was that good-crew-ness that kept all of us from back injuries and major depressive disorder. Thirty-six hours of four screamers will undo the most sanguine soul.

Now I have two days off. I suppose I should go do an hour or so of exercise, but I think instead that I'm going to putter around the apartment and make a grocery list. Stuffing earplugs into my ears and crawling back into bed sounds good too.

Friday, October 14, 2005

I'll have to have a word with Dad, I think...

The first time I invite Mom openly to post, and I get my first troll. Coincidence? I think not! Time for a talk with the 'rents about Mom's meds.

So, in interest of feeding the trolls...

I think you have a bad attitude towards nursing students in general from the way you describe things...I remember all too well what it was like to be in their shoes and remember certain nurses treating some fellow nursing students like they were the gum on their shoes but they didn't mind having the students act as nursing assistants and not bother showing them actual procedures that would give them the hands on training they would benefit from when actually out there as a nurse when the time came. I am a nurse as well and look back on my clinical time as not much of a learning experience but more like free maid service....

If you'd read carefully, you'd've noticed that the only nursing students I had a problem with were those in this particular group. It's not that they're gum on my shoes, but that they're not safe and not prepared to work independently, which is what is expected from fourth-year students. Gum on my shoes would, actually, be a whole less scary. (Fun story about this to come later in the week, I promise.)

If you yourself look back on your clinicals as free maid service rather than a learning experience, then I have to wonder what sort of student you were. The only students whom I tag repeatedly with scutwork are the ones who've shown repeatedly that they can't take care of patients safely and well.

re: carnies) Interesting, you teach your child to look down on a whole group of people you know so little about. That's usually called racism, isn't it?

That's usually called a fallacious, straw-man argument.

Saying "carnies are like mummers" is what's called a "sweeping generalization". "Racism" is like this: "Blacks got all the rhythm and Jews got all the power." (Or, to more-finely-point it, it's "racism" for the first clause and "anti-Semitism" for the second.)

Saying "Anonymous trolls who can neither be trusted to read carefully nor to write their way out of a brown paper bag are a pain in the patookus" is what's known as "A stunning burst of insight and perception."

Just thought I'd clear that up for you.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

My mother reads this blog.

Not only does she read it, but she sends me charming emails now and then, telling me how much she liked a certain entry. She said once that she didn't want to comment, for fear that my coolth factor would be lowered by her leaving messages.

Mom, it's okay. I have no coolth. Comment away if you'd like to.

In other news, the New Car saved Chef Boy and me from dying horribly yesterday. No, there was no wreck; we were on our way from Smalltown to Bigtown for the county fair and I suddenly found myself forced to merge over to the right three lanes and exit. Thanks to 144 hp at redline in fourth gear (about eighty-five miles an hour), we made it unscathed. If we'd been in my old car or Chef Boy's car, we would've been in Atlanta by now, stuck under a double-tandem eighteen-wheeler.

County fairs are always fun. There's a plethora of Food on a Stick and critters like Cashmere goats who want to nibble your fingers and pigs that make pleasant grunting sounds when you scratch their ears. We had all three, combined with enough cheap beer to make us crave Mexican food afterwards, and enough sunshine that I got vaguely pink and extremely headachy once we got home. The skin on my hands was tenting, but several gallons of water, a whole lot of salty food, and some potassium took care of that.

It's a shame pigs are so damned tasty. There was one half-grown red one who smiled at me and pushed his schnozz up under my hand, begging like a dog for scratches.

Speaking of dogs, the rescue folks had their usual array of adorable canines out for display. One half-Husky, half-shepherd male put his paw on my hand, stared up at The Boy with melting brown eyes, and whined softly at both of us. We nearly ended up with two rescued Dachshunds (already at home), a big halfbreed named Hans, two Cashmere goats, and a pig. It's probably a good thing that Boy is more hard-hearted than I am; I'm not sure all that livestock would have been good for the back seat of the car.

But even so, the mammals are better than the chickens. No matter how fancy a chicken is, it still has that weird crazy look that makes you think it might decide to try to kill you in your sleep. Plus, I think they can move their eyes independently, like seahorses can, but only when they're sure you're not looking.

And the chickens, mean as they are, are better than the carnies. After three or four glasses of Bud, I began a dissertation to The Boy about how the lifestyle the carnies lead is very much like that of the travelling mummer in Elizabethan England, and how the Giant Live Boa Constrictor trailers are a lot like travelling patent-medicine shows. He was unimpressed, pointing out that Elizabethan mummers probably had both more teeth and fewer tattoos than the carnies and small county fairs. He passed over the snake/snake oil comparison.

I could use some more pico de gallo and another pound or so of cheese enchiladas with guacamole. Meanwhile, I'm going to take a nap. Recovering from the fair is going to take the rest of the day.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Well. Well, then.

This is going to be a bad day for somebody.

You remember Weepy, right? The student nurse who didn't know where the lumbar area is? The one who asked me to "refresh" her memory when it came to taking a blood pressure?

Well, I fired her yesterday. Her and all the other student nurses in her group.

More than that, I filled out an evaluation form for her, and I was not nice. It's not just that she lacks basic A & P knowledge, or that she's a little rusty on some skills: she argues, doesn't do what she's told, and doesn't do her research. She doesn't come prepared. (And I'm not meaning to sound like a despot; there are some times when you simply should not argue and you really ought to jump when somebody yells "jump". There are times when there's not time to ask why.)

I finally went to the Idiot Instructor myself after seeing what some of the other students in the group were up to and told her, essentially, "they're fired." This after a patient one of the students was caring for vagaled out and fell over, and the student a) never showed up in the room after being called and b) didn't check up on her patient later.

And this was the student who is already an LPN. Not a very good one, I'd bet.

I'll admit that I'm pretty demanding when it comes to teaching. If a patient has one pupil that's blown to ten millimeters and another that's reactive and four millimeters, I expect you to notice that during your assessment. I really do expect you, despite whatever fairy tales you might've heard, to do some research on neurosyphillis and know what it does to a person. And if somebody's getting a nasty chemotherapy drug for dermatomyositis, I expect that you will know enough about that nasty drug not to want to handle it with ungloved hands. Especially if you're of reproductive age.

But I really, really did try to cut Weepy some slack. I gave her mad props when she did something right, and I put down on her evaluation form that she's got excellent interpersonal skills. She does. I understand that the finer points of assessment, like interpreting what the hell that breath sound is, will come with practice. And I know what it's like to do stupid things like reaching into a trash can with an ungloved hand, because I've done that myself, so I didn't count some of that against her.

Still, I had to fire 'em. I told our education director "This is it; I ain't takin' no more o' them students" because I'm not safe when one of them is around. I have to literally follow whatever student I have every minute of the day, which leaves my other patients vulnerable and un-looked-in-on.

I spent last evening feeling like I'd kicked a dog. A small, yappy, not very bright and not very likeable dog, but a dog nonetheless. With this poor of an evaluation, Weepy will not graduate. She's spent the last four years getting a BSN, and she will not, now, at the midterm of her last semester, get to see it through. It's not like I have Phenomenal Cosmic Powers when it comes to making or breaking students, but the instructor really can't ignore a two-page written evaluation in my crabbed and tiny handwriting.

Still, she's not safe. That's the bottom line. She simply does not have the basic knowledge or the chops to keep up, even in a small community hospital. I think she's trainable, but it would mean starting from square one. That is not my job.

The instructor--and this is the weirdest part of all--was venting to me about how eight of her ten students are, in her words, incompetent. She couldn't understand why she'd been saddled with a cruddy group, and was sure that somebody somewhere must hate her.

It took me until after dinner last night to realize that the reason I felt weird was that the instructor was treating me *as a peer*, not as a recently-graduated student or a still-attending student. Like I'm actually a nurse, you know?

I guess I am. And I guess part of that whole others'-lives-in-your-hands thing is having the absolutely shitty job of saying "I'm sorry, but you're just not good enough" once in a while, if it means saving other people from something worse.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

The book is done.

Thank Frog.

And thank Frog I have about five years to wait until the *next* Gabaldon book, because it'll take me that long to recover. These are not books that you casually put down and then pick back up again.

In student news...

The four students, Weepy, Dopey, Sleepy, and Frizzy, were back with us this week. I steadfastly refused to take any of them, on the premise that none of my patients were very interesting (which was true). I was triply glad I'd done so when Weepy asked me to remind her how to take a blood pressure.

Apparently the Big Discussion with the Idiot Instructor didn't make much of a dent in anybody's skull. Sleepy, Dopey, and Frizzy were still sitting, yakking, and not reading H&Ps well into the afternoon on the day after said meeting.

Only six more weeks. Only six more weeks. As it turns out, *every* unit is having problems with this batch of students--a total of ten. Some units are getting patient complaints about them, even...which makes me wonder why on earth they're allowed to stay.

I Am Ashamed, or What I Cook For Other People On My Day Off

This coming week there'll be a big potluck at work. I work with a number of people who are, shall we say, less than open-minded about their food. I suppose I could treat the folks who like things like spinach enchiladas or hummus or fried rice to some special delicacy, but then I'd have to hear the rest of 'em bitch for hours on end about how I brought some weird hippy dish. These are people who pick the non-iceberg lettuce out of salads, you understand.

So I made something Mom used to be forced to make for church dinners. It's called "Mock Lasagne" and is proof that Methodists can and will casserole anything.

Take a half a pound of pasta and boil it. Fry up a chub of Italian sausage. Drain both. Mix 'em together. Add some peppers and mushrooms you've sauteed, then a bottle of marinara sauce. (I use Newman's Own, just as a little snub to the food idiots.) Dump in about a half a carton of ricotta (the original recipe calls for small-curd cottage cheese, which makes me blanch) and a bag of shredded mozzarella. Stir. Dump into casserole dish, top with Parmesan, and bake.

Once you've heated it through and served it to your coworkers, go have some good stinky cheese and bread to cleanse your soul of the shame.


I am baking a really wonderful chocolate cake, though, with white chocolate mousse filling and bittersweet chocolate shavings on top. That ought to redeem me with the Food Gods, eh?

Oh, by the way

It's "graphite", which is a nice medium metallic grey. And it has a dark grey interior. And power windows which I can't roll down until the tint cures. And a rockin' CD stereo system. And it goes very, very fast if you want it to.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I'll see you in a few days, friends.

Damned Diana Gabaldon.

What is there not to love, really, about a book focusing on a World War II nurse who falls back in time two hundred years and becomes embroiled in the Culloden uprising? And what's not to love about the subsequent books in the series?

Well, quite a lot, actually. The first one, Outlander, is one of those cracking good adventure stories with fantastic dialogue and lovely evil bad guys. The next three books in the series get a bit dull, while simultaneously putting people in totally unbelievable situations. The fifth one's a near-complete loss (I use it as a doorstop).

But this one? This one, so far, has all the tang of the first novel.

I am not, not, not, NOT a fan of romance novels. Not at all. Hard science fiction is much more my style. But this series has been such a pleasant bowl of mental farina that I had to get the last book.

And now I'll probably be up until 0200 reading. And not blogging.

I'll let you know when I'm done.

Monday, October 03, 2005


So I've been, like, without 'Net access since, y'know, Wednesday of last week.


The Internets finally returned to their coop last night at about six; I recognized the shape my facial expression was taking as I logged on for the first time in five days. It's the same expression that junkies get when you walk in the door with the Dilaudid.

Fortunately, I have several books by Gerrald Durrell that got me through the worst of the DTs; plus, I've been working the last few days.

The reason the 'Net went out was a huge, gigantic, impressive thunderstorm that rolled in Wednesday afternoon, dropping hail the size of quarters and the temperature by twenty degrees (Fahrenheit, for my non-US pals).

In work news, the Idiot Instructor and her Dunderheaded Ducklings will be dealt with tomorrow, and not by me, thank God.

Also, a triumph: I managed to get an IV into a nice old man's ankle yesterday. This was a triple boon, as the patient was a) elderly and very dehydrated, b) three people had tried his arms multiple times with no success, and c) the IV was an 18-gauge. (For non-medical folks, that's about the size of a small finishing brad.) It took one stick, and the best part? When Shaggy, the IV God, leaned over and said, "You got it! Boy, and it's a *hog*, too." That remark carried me through the rest of the day in a good temper.

In non-work news: Today, I signed my life away for five years. Yes, fiends and neighers, I bought a car. The elderly (1993) Civic was getting to the point that small, disturbing things were beginning to happen, so I went out and got me a spandy-new 2006 Accord coupe, five-speed, with a cloth interior and a CD player. It's not been delivered yet, and I have to drive an automatic Element in the meantime, but I'm not complaining. The guy who sold me the car is very human, quite kind, and understood when I got all choked up as I was clearing the junk out of the old car.

So that's it. I'm back. RSS feed should be up and running nearly immediately.