Come sit with me, let's visit

Come sit with me, let's visit

Monday, March 28, 2011

School Starts

I am trying to be optimistic here. I start school on Wednesday. My first class is a 500 level Statistics. It has been over a year since I was a student and nearly two since I dealt with math on a college level. I did College Algebra five times before I passed. Of course, that was over a 20 year period (I'm what ya call a slow learner). So now, to challenge me completely, I return to class, to complete my MBA. While I am dealing with my own mental crap, and, oh yea, do so while completely broke.

Here is the plan, I applied for financial aide, so that should cushion that blow a bit (if they don't deny me, for whatever reason). I complete my final 19 credits and then-poof- I have an MBA. I have absolutely no clue whatsoever to do with it. I may have to write a book and go on the lecture circuit. "How to completely ruin your life, while saving others". Or, how is this; "EMS, hands on". The one I have always wanted to do was a photo-filled folio of sorts, about calls I have heard, or run, filled with pictures of what we, in EMS always see, food wrappers, on the dashboard, going down Anonymous Road, racks filled with O2 tanks, 'ambulance parking---->" signs, and hands. I have pictures lots of pictures.

What do you do with 18 years experience, and an MBA. I need the recipe for the lemonade there. Perhaps it will come to me at night, in my dreams.

I realize I said "here is the plan..." and got side tracked. Not exactly acrobatics for me these days. I plan to go to school on Wednesday. That is the plan. I have final blood draws to make sure I have no residual issue with my blood borne pathogens exposure (all have been negative so far, not worried about this last one-much). Then the next week I go see the shrink, who is referring me to a doc that is supposed to get me thru to therapy and group sessions. Really? Group Sessions? (why do I hear in my head that 'Bob, has bitch tits'?)

I must find an intelligent, and financially lucrative way to make my life experiences, and my education come to a fruitful and cleansing middle ground.

Fight Club: A Novel

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Life's Little Frustrations

I am broke. There are reasons for this and its sort of my topic:

I am classified as 'injured' at work. Makes since, the thought of actually stepping on an ambulance only makes me nauseated now. I don't really go into rages, or crying fits that last the day. Nightmares aren't preventing sleep-- well, more than once a week.

My life has gone through LOTS of changes in the last 12 months. Personally, in terms of the way my house runs, and professionally. Most of that is due to the simple fact that once your earned income exceeds a certain dollar amount, apparently they have what is a 'top' number of how much they pay you. Ya- my income was two thirds more than what I receive. My home is a third world country right this second. Robbing Peter to pay Paul at least half of what we owe him. And Susie, well, I ain't payin' her right now, because it's that or eat.... TFB Susie.

And--why is it that the best jobs are on websites that wont take consistent user names and passwords? Seriously, if you want to go back to, you have to remember a fairly complex user name, and what was it? I was so annoyed, I couldn't remember.

There are people in my house trying to find jobs. It has been a fruitless search, so far. It has been very frustrating to forget these passwords, take the time to have them emailed, and the go back to the website, and sign in, only to see there is nothing available, in either your location, or your job requirements.  And why can't you reach an HR employee to save your life? Isn't 'PERSONNEL' part of her job requirement?? I am not saying I returned every phone call, but I did return the phone of someone who called twice in two days.

I have money coming, from different locations. It just never seems to be enough. I spend my day on the computer, because this is my office, that and a corner in the garage. There needs of the many outweighing the resources of the one. I am pedaling as fast as I can. No more money problems. I am giving them 30 days to resolve themselves. Or I am going to started eating my housemates..... I have the soft and tender one. The lean and juice one. Or there are two other choices, old and rangey or young and losing weight, so I am thinking she will be last.

I want to work, but there are resounding "No's" from multiple locations. Mostly those who sign the documentation. But the encouraging part is there are 'Resources' for folks in my shoes. How much documentation to you need to get wheels under this Resource, cause it just lays there like my old dog right now. Well, what about school? I am 19 credits away from an MBA.
That's what? 9 months, a year? Then I don't need those smelly old boots again. They will be bronzed.

Right now I couldn't bronze an old coin. I am so broke. And this frustrates me to no end.

The Anthropology of Cannibalism

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I have haunted dreams. They are haunted by my dead. The ones I have pronounced dead. My dead. They belong to me. There is something intimate about being present with the dead. It is personal, someone called 9-1-1 and now, standing in the bedroom, I have worked the Paramedic magic, and their body has failed.

But I take each one with me, like a badge or an albatross, I don't know which. To be present at the moment of death is a remarkable event. There was once, that I was working on what going badly, no matter what I did. At the end, I was the one doing CPR and I was directing the rest of the folks that were there to do as I asked. There were four of us in the back of the ambulance, sweating and breathing hard. Two working at each place on this man, to reverse, or postpone, what we all knew would happen, me doing my part, and the patient failing. Trying to get him into an ER where there were more resources and more folks. Suddenly, the lights got very bright in the back of the ambulance. This was my beloved 2676 that had a good solid pattern in its misbehavior. The lights were a new problem, could be the electrical system, or the distributor, the power conversion system. I looked toward the ceiling, to see if things were as bad as all that. The light wasn't coming from the interior lights. It was around me. Bright. Very Bright, and very warm. I suddenly felt very calm, and a question popped into my mind "Why are you working so hard?" It wasn't my voice. It was male and he was ever so peaceful. Then the lights went back to normal. He was pronounced dead shortly after we arrived at the hospital. The other folks in the back of the ambulance with me, saw light, thought it was the truck lights too, but it 'looked funny'. And they were too busy to check all that, afraid I would yell at them for not doing as I instructed.

My dreams are haunted by these people. Those I worked on, I became part of the breathing system, or I could try to control their heart beat. There are also those I couldn't do anything for, and they are here too. They don't seem to be trying to hurt me, but their sudden presence is frightening, sometimes. Like a horror flick, the world is turning on it's axis, all is right and "BLAM" someone gets run over by a bus. All their wounds and my perspective a replay of reality.

I have been reading about dreams and their meanings. I know, magic, psycho-poo-poo. But I find them useful tools. It helps sometimes to learn that 'if you are bound in your dream it symbolizes the need to be free'. Sounds simplistic enough, and often they are easy once I take them apart and look them over.

"To see something burning in your dream, indicates that you are experiencing some intense emotions and/or passionate sexual feelings. There is some situation or issue that you can no longer avoid and ignore.  Alternatively, it may suggest that you need to take time off for yourself and relax. Perhaps you are you feeling "burned out" or "burned up". " Huh- burned up, you say? Hard to imagine. Or, "Babies symbolize something in your own inner nature that is pure, vulnerable, helpless and/or uncorrupted." Sometimes you have to take elements apart, to see them clearly; a bird with a  beard, singing in a flowering bush:  there is the bird singing (aspirations and hope); he has a beard (old age and insight); and the flowering bush (personal growth). All together it is a hope that you would be wise in your old age, and will (or are) growing in that direction. Sometimes a cake is just a cake, and means nothing. Getting side tracked is easy, but what rings true is what should be addressed, no matter how painful.

Sometimes my dreams are senseless garbage, something my brain decided was recreational as opposed to important. Like an Alice in Wonderland fantasy. Nothing rational or real, just a smile without a cat, or a top hat too large for any real person to wear. A mouse working the metal of a sword to perfect sharpness. 

No matter the terrors of the night. The dead have left me each with something, like the coins given to the Ferryman. I must create the value of it to me. Be weak where I must be fragile and delicate. Be strong when that is called for. Ultimately tearing down the facade that I have created over so many years and be what I AM.

Dream Dictionary : An A to Z Guide to Understanding Your Unconscious Mind

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Perfect Moments

As busy as my days can be, I try very hard to find the 'perfect moment' in the day. That moment when everything is in order, and no needs are made on you for the next 60 seconds.

Sometimes it is a natural thing, Sunrise painting the clouds. That moment at twilight when the very first star peeks through. Moonrise is one that I really like, the moon all fat and yellow peeking up, usually over some mountain. The sun in a loved one hair, painting it in light. An owl that swoops in during a dark hour of the night a peers down at me haughtily, as though I had no right to gaze up at him in wonder. That first smell when you step into the flower shop. A herd of any animal you can name, sides turned toward the morning light, their healthy hides glistening. Siting a whale spout. Painted mountains standing tall and proud in the day. The first thunder cloud of the season rising tall and ominous, and the smell it makes when it finally reaches the dry desert ground. A rose bush in full bloom. That sound a dog makes when he found that perfect zone take a nap.

Sometimes it is a man-made thing. My first sip of coffee in the morning (Coffee-Goood). The smell when you walk into a good bakery. Running my hand down a fine piece of fabric. That place in a book, where everything has culminated, but the book isn't quite over (I know the tale, but am not yet faced with the need to choose another book). Music, no particular kind, but it must be the perfect tune for the moment: Bob Seeger on a sunny day driving down the road, windows down; Norah Jones with a freshly opened bottle of wine; Mike Oldfield when the whisky pours freely; Shakira in the garden; Gordon Lightfoot on cleaning day. The Queen of the Night Aria, from Mozart's Magic Flute, when the mood is deep.

Sometimes it is just a movement. Having the strength I needed to lift what had to be hefted. Catching something that was suddenly tossed at you. Dodging the car that just made a bad move. The perfect stretch in the morning. Being able to put a large vehicle in a place that someone else said it wouldn't fit, and getting it successfully out again.

These moments, to me, aren't the places in between. These moments are Life. They are religious, cleansing, healing moments. The rest is in between, waiting for that perfect moment to remind you where you are.

Diana Damrau - Arie di Bravura (Mozart, Salieri, Righini Opera Arias)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Organize What- Exactly?

Cleanliness and order are not matters of instinct; they are matters of education, and like most great things, you must cultivate a taste for them. ~Benjamin Disraeli  

About a million years ago I couldn't organize my thoughts, let alone my home. My house keeping skills were on par with bag ladies and those that live in clutter piles. Problem was, I hated it, and didn't know how to not live that way.

Somewhere along my path I was given a book called The Messies Manual. It suggested that you start at your front door and clean the first thing you come to, not just dust it, but empty it out and put those thing where you want them to be: Trash, Kitchen cupboard, garage sale, etc.

Honestly? It took me years to finish. I kept finding reasons to not do the work. It was too hard, I was too busy, and oh, yes, the ever popular, why am I doing this.

But my brain needs order, I am the person that takes lint of the person in front of them in a line. Whether they notice or not, I don't mind. I can't stand that off-color fuzz distracting me. So, I cleaned, I filed, I organized. I found that once it was done (years later, mind you), it didn't take long to do much. Wipe, scrub, a load of laundry, and a few dishes.

Of course having the space for everything you want to keep becomes an art form in itself. I cannot stand fiberboard furniture, so I had to address that. I don't remember when this happened in my life, but I do recall a piece of loved furniture that got saturated, and filled with water, and the veneer popping off showing me the swollen and foul fibers inside the cheap piece. No fiber board. Right this minute I have a antique pedal-style Singer sewing machine showing off a collection of dragons, and a trunk in my living room the size of a small car that houses my linens.

Okay, my closet: Here is the thing 2 rules, no wire hangers, and color coded. okay, laugh

Are you done? This happened at a time in my life when I had absolutely no control over anything whatsoever. My whole life was uncertain. The only sanctuary I had was brushing my hair and keeping my closet looking like a photographer was about to do a photo shoot for Martha Stewart. It gave me a sense of calm in the storm. Clean is, afterall, free.  It's much less perfect than that now, still it's color coded. Still, no wire hangers.

Nowadays, the dishes get left overnight, every now and then. The laundry piles up until I want my favorite jeans. And the floor gets mopped twice a week or so. If something smells it must be tracked down and disinfected. Windows, however.... still just not into cleaning those.

I learned a great deal from this process. What really was necessary, what was just sentimental and taking up space, but serving no purpose whatsoever. What was sentimental and I loved could be used to hold pens, or a pile of hair bands. Or placed on a shelf for appreciation. I learned that giving to Good Will is actually very cleansing. And if I am not getting back to that particular craft project, then I need to disassemble it. Oh, and one other thing--lemon juice and water cleans most everything and smells very good.

              The Messies Manual : The Procrastinator's Guide to Good Housekeeping

Friday, March 11, 2011

What Time Is It?

Time, to me is a just what's on the clock. Day Time. Night Time. It matters not. I have been awake for days at a time. I just read a line, in an Ann Rice book, about working in a hospital, that the light never changes, nor the temperature, so it was "a submarine, passing through time". I really liked that concept.

I have been in an ambulance at any given moment on the clock. I have been both in the front, and in the back. A submarine passing through time. The light outside and inside changes. But time still must be documented somewhere.

As I sit here, the sun is westering and just coming into my eyes, making the dust motes dance in the room, highlighting the dust on my computer screen, and illuminating my hair and eyelashes. What time is it? I don't know. What time of year is it? Could be 1500. Could be 05:00 pm. I just don't know. I seldom care, unless someone else needs a meal by a given time and I am the one cooking.

I used to force my body to sleep at nights and be awake during the day. But my 24 hour schedule demanded something different from my body. I finally gave up. I sleep when I am tired, eat when I am hungry and zone out in front of a bad movie when the mood strikes me. My body has a 72 hour cycle to it. I have worked in some sort of three day system for too long. Rest, refreshment, relish, rejuvenate, rugged, recreate, run-down and really rowdy.

The only time I worry about what time it is, when the radio goes off, when I arrive at someone's side to respond to their needs. When I execute a protocol. When I arrive at the hospital with them. And when I am available for another call. When, if needed, I pronounce them deceased (or born) then I want to know exactly what time it is.

Otherwise, that big box is a submarine, passing through time. Long ago there was one ambulance that I had a great affinity for. I found my skill in there. It was a late 90's van conversion. Big blue ugly thing. 2676. Ran like an overloaded pick up. Screaming against the laws of physics, demanding brakes and oil and once, a motor. But I learned about my skills in it. I 'absorbed' what patients needed. I 'listened' between the words they said. I 'felt' pain with them, or 'heard' their line of complete shit.

There was once, I was accused of voodoo medicine in that ambulance. Funny story. Someday I may tell you that tale.

The sun rises and sets on its cycle, my body has its own cycle of rest and energy. Just a submarine, passing through time. Creating a wake, making waves of it's own.

The Witching Hour

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Crone-The Apocalypse

So, there I was, minding my own business and a crone told me to revisit "The Crone". I am not the least bit happy about this concept, and revisiting a old topic required me to get your attention.. So, like any money making movie mogul-- CRONE-THE APOCALYPSE.

Bits of me that ache now when the weather changes. I can hearing popping sounds when I stand up. I can sit still and be reminded of something I did yesterday, just by which joint aches. I have two pieces of titanium where part of me used to be. There are parts that fall asleep when I lay down, long before I can, because now I have to readjust, to improve circulation. I have parts that have been disconnected. I have parts that are slowing down - a rhythm that was once like clockwork. I have parts that used to be up here, and are now located a bit further south. I have a special part that gets fingerprints, nose prints, baby prints and have to be cleaned a few times a day, because I can see some things up close, and some things far off, but I just can't see very well at all without them.

Skin that is more visible in its imperfections, my hands, my face, what was a laugh line, is there all the time now. And what's with the brown spots, like freckles on steriods? I use a cream in the shower, and a gel after, and an oil too. I wash my hands a thousand times a day and they feel like a pair of shoes I once threw away. I have some skin as soft as the back of Grandma's arm used to be.

My hair and I have had a long and painful relationship. It's red, you see. So I was sort of a standout in a hispanic community. Well, it was red, and in the early 80's I wrestled with blow dryers and hot rollers and no matter what, I could not look like Farrah. I've pushed the shade from time to time with a box, or a very expensive visit to a salon. About a year and half ago, my daughter convinced me to dye it red, because I was going so gray. I thought we had a fade out variety-oh, no, we did not. We had a 'covers black dye great' box of dye. I had a head of hair that looked like Lucille Ball for nearly two months. Last year, on my birthday, I paid for a trip to the salon, I got lots of blonde shot through it, and now, as that is fading out, my new silver curls are popping in. They add to the 'wisdom' look of me, but they are coming very quickly. Soon, I'll be Valerie the White.

The stuff I know and the stuff I have seen should make me a wise crone, of sorts. But I feel like a box of rocks, dense, heavy and dusty. I have seen cruel, calculated things that make no sense whatsoever. I have seen stupid things that should go in the Darwin Awards. I have seen careless acts go ever so devastatingly wrong. I should have good advise, like 'happiness depends on ourselves' and 'one swallow does not make a summer'. But I am no Aristotle. I stumble and fall too. Life is messy, they say, and I don't want to be the person that has to clean it all up.

I am not even sure this is a mess. Perhaps I have put too much emphasis on being in control of my life, afterall.

Growing Old Is Not for Sissies II: Portraits of Senior Athletes (Bk. 2)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Open Heart or Endorphins?

Imagine you are standing at the top of a very high place, looking down and away from you. It is so high, small clouds are moving below you. You can see far into the distance, the sun is warm, the breeze is slightly cool, and blows your clothing. Now, spread your arms wide, take a deep breath.... and just be there.

You are driving on the interstate, and the semi in front of you tosses up a three foot piece of tire that comes right at your windshield, while you are driving at eighty miles an hour. You turn the wheel, as gently as you dare, and you see clearly the torn treads as they careen past your window, never touching the car... and are forced into this moment, with complete clarity.

You are standing in full uniform, polished, ironed and sparkling as the casket goes by. You knew him, laughed with him. Cleaned gear with him. He was always professional when called upon, and attentive, alert and fun. Now, his casket goes by. You feel grief for yourself and his family, the loss of his future. There but for the Grace of God, go I. The uniform demands your professionalism, the human inside the uniform sheds tears for your grief.

The person you love the most is with you in THIS MOMENT. They open their arms and give you a hug of complete understanding. Your heart near to theirs. The hug is long and safe, as you each take one long deep breath together. One tear escapes each of you, as you both know you were there right then, sharing that together.

Are these moments of complete oneness with the present moment? Or are they a compilation of hormones that rush through your body allowing you to survive? Or somehow is the chemistry that is your pile of YOU, truly aware and one with the surroundings? Are these moments the ones that show you the face of a Deity?

I believe. I am here. I am listening.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The last five words

If you are known as a smart ass forget to say the last five words you want to. This really isn't advise for smart asses only, anyone can use this advise.

For instance, you are in a meeting with 'THE BOSS'. He is tooting his horn and saying how wonderful business is, because HE exists. You say, biting down all the bile, that yes, indeed he is a wise man and has done wonderful things for the company. What you should not add, no matter how much you want to: Thank God, you have me. Even though its true.

Your children, grown and wiser than you, are falling down the way young adults do, and you watch and you wait and you hold the net beneath them, as best you can. They call, complain, request, or just rail on about the woes of the world that is against them. "See, I told you so." Also, not a good idea.

I have often thought about my last five words, whether said or bitten off before they could be said, and it seems I sound a bit wiser, knowledgeable, and patient without saying them. When I reflect on them, they do convey my mood, or attitude quite well. But is it really necessary to make sure that my disdain, or displeasure is clear in each situation? No, it isn't. And it can leave some lasting, negative impressions.

So now, to close off today's lesson in Silence:

Do I wake or Sleep?
To be or not to be
God bless us every one
Well, you are wrong, again
I'm the final decision maker
I'll get back to you

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Not happy with this word. It reminds me too much of what my body is doing. But we will investigate it anyway- perhaps with some animosity.

To me, the crone is a character I read in Stephen King's Gun Slinger series; Rhea of the Coo's. Terrifying woman. Bony to the point of being too thin. Joints bulging from the skin. Breasts hanging useless. Hair thin, of various lengths, and hanging unkempt from her head. She has a potion for illness and a powder for money. She can see everywhere in her pink crystal ball. She laughs to herself and kicks her two tailed cat. She looks at young men with lecherous greed.

Perhaps I am not too far from that myself, in many ways.

Short one today, not too keen on investigating my Crone, as of yet. She is too close for comfort.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I have a mother. You have a mother. I am a mother. (and that's not half a word)

A mother's love. I love the surprises of being a mother. My shoes with their special gift that found it's way between my toes. The meal I never should have fed them in the car. The day I put them in that one outfit that was for The Special Day, and that's when I found out what was last eaten may not have been the wisest choice. I knew a Mom once. An amazing woman. Would go through three dish towels a day, each residing proudly on her shoulder. First for faces and hands, then counters and tables, finally the dog's mouth, he was a giant of a dog, stood in the middle of the kitchen most of the time. She kept telling him to move out of the way, he never did. She walked around him like an island in her kitchen.

Mother's cooking. Everybody has something that they loved that only Mom can cook. I'm just going to say right here, it was not my Mother's liver and onions. I like to cook in the kitchen with my daughter. Although somewhere along the way she became a four star general in the kitchen and any soul in the house can and will be recruited to stir, watch, roll or clean something. No one ever seems to question her when this happens. It's sorta like Patten screaming at the boys in the hospital, at once terrible and historic. She and I made a Gingerbread E.R. once. Did the floor plan after the ER I worked in. Complete with Ambulance bay. Had a blast doing it. I'd like to make something a little more challenging next time. Maybe a Gingerbread Garden?

Mother Bear. That's what happens when someone does something that I consider unfair to a young person I am protecting. It doesn't matter the age of the child. Or the level of unfairness. I become a growling snarling dominating animal that will consume any threat that comes near the 'child' in question. I don't know any other way. I have threatened to kill two men, and I would have. I have snarled at Teachers, Principals, ex-husbands, husbands and other children. This is MINE and it WILL BE SAFE.  There have been times that I have tasted blood in my mouth and wondered at what blood lust felt like.

A mother's love is complex and necessary. Anyone lacking in it, should get a hold of me.....