29 June 2006

Requirements for Officiality









vehicle registration (check)
birth certificate (check)
copy of soul (pending)
social security card (check)
proof of being stung by no less than 25 NH mosquitoes (itching)
Maryland license (check)
picture of you on Jefferson’s nose at Mt. Rushmore (pending)
$480.00 (begrudgingly paid)
blood sample (given)
clay model of the old man in the mountain (baking)
passport (check)
proof that you’ve licked an iceberg (check)
NREMT-P card (check)
CPR card (check)

All this and a week later I’m a gamely employed, licensed, and registered New Hampshireite. Such excitement I have scarcely known! Actually, I’m secretly terrified, but don’t tell anyone.

On Tuesday I mowed the lawn, sort of. First, I used this crazy machine that was really a weed-wacker on wheels (complete with spinning strings of death) to cut a nice path in the tall grass, wildflowers, and berry plants in the front yard. Now we can walk amongst them and enjoy the wildlife (if it ever stops raining.)

I can happily report that later I only nearly destroyed the push mower. I was mowing along, minding my own business, when a large rock, (not unlike those evil rocks that pop up in shallow rivers) ran under the mower. Said rock displaced the blade so much that one end of it began cutting into the deck of the mower. Oops. Some dangerous hammering and cursing later, it’s all better, but shortly after, it ran out of gas, so I decided to quit.
Then, Andy and I decided to…wait, I mean Andy decided to, and I was somehow talked into helping to take apart the motor of the riding mower. This was pretty cool, I learned a bit about small engine repair, and after some dangerous hammering, a lot of cursing, and tons of dissecting, we found the problem, and have ordered new parts. How industrial of us!
Last but not least, after a long, beautiful day, I got my NH license plates. Longer story about that to follow.

Yesterday was orientation day 2: documentation, and driving safely, and I’m sure there was some other stuff, but I forget. Afterwards I drove around Manchester aimlessly, insured the truck in this state, deposited some checks, and got home without the use of highways.

Today was the last day of orientation: easy vent, IV pump, bone injection guns, and uniforms. I finally got my NH driver’s license with, you guessed it, the old man in the mountain on it.
Then, I went to get the truck inspected to complete the registration process. They began it, and after much discussion, they decided/discovered that my adorable, silly, one stop-light town gave me plates with two different numbers on them. How sweet! This meant that I had to go back to our town clerk, and clear it up before I could finish the inspection process. Also, e-z pass may be interested to know why I went through with the wrong plates on for the last two days. Everything gets so freaking complicated sometimes!
So, this evening I went to sort it all out but somehow the story didn’t end with the serendipitous meeting of a nice young man who mistakenly had my other plate, and a date, oh well. At least my plates match now.

Tomorrow is the first day of real work! I’m trying not to freak out. As long as I get my tea tomorrow morning, I should be successful in that aim.

Google search term of the week “believe, hon” just hit I’m feeling lucky, and there you go, number 1!

26 June 2006

Shiny and New

Today was my first day of orientation. It went well and wasn’t too boring. I got my collar brass, badge, and road safety key. I’d show you a picture of my awesome, cop-looking, gold badge, but it’s just too shiny. Even shinier than the new disco patch. I was also fitted for my uniform, which will be embroidered shortly, it’s all very official! Got on payroll, woot! got a vaccine, woot! filled out forms, woot!

Random person quote of the day: “With that accent you can’t be from around here.” Well spotted, I’d say, as it was the first time anyone commented and/or noticed my mid-atlantic “accent.”

Google search term of the week: “Fresh cadaver intubation consent” Depending on how fresh the cadaver is, you may need consent to intubate it. You certainly aren’t going to get informed consent either way, but implied consent is okay. If it’s been a few days, you do not need consent, at least, from the cadaver, so intubate away. Consent may be needed to unlock the freezer, though.

24 June 2006

Live free or die?

I’ve learned a lot in the last week and a half. For one, moving may be an adventure, but it’s not fun all of the time, or even some of the time. Come to think of it, moving’s not really fun at all until you get to unpack. Some getting here numbers: around 9.5 hours, 542 miles, 7 states, about 8 toll booths, 30+ dollars in said tolls, and a 24 foot moving truck.

I’ve also learned a lot about my new state, New Hampshire. There are a lot of misnomers about this state. For example, the NH state bird. The purple finch, you might say? No way! It is really what can be called: Aedes atlanticus, or, the mosquito. This, by the way, is also the Alaskan state bird. NH state animal? White tailed deer seems a logical answer, but it’s actually the traffic pylon. Other varieties include the cone, and the blinkey sawhorse thing, which are all very common in the summertime. The state bird and animals are pretty easy to spot, and you actually earn points for how many you kill and/or hit, respectively. And you think it’s called the granite state? Well, that’s completely true, all of the curbs are granite, and even the walkway at our house is made of granite.

Now to this “Live free or Die” thing. The full quote of the revolutionary war hero, Gen. John Stark from 1809 is as follows:
"Live free or die; death is not the worst of evils."
Back then it meant, well, that death is not the worst of all evils, but today it means that New Hampshire residents would rather die than wear helmets on motorcycles or gasp! pay taxes. It is often quoted today as “Live fee or die.” As without state income tax or sales tax, they just use other euphemisms to glaze over the fact that you are, indeed, paying taxes. Let me tell you, I almost died when I saw how much it is to register the truck!

I’ve loaded some pictures of my rooms for you enjoyment. They too are a work in progress, so ignore the extra crap lying around. I am enjoying them immensely; a little dorm room meets real life room, a little maturity meets childhood. Please follow this link to them.
I swear, now that I have the disco patch and a NH state paramedic license, I assure you that the EMS side of this blog will pick back up, it’s been a while!

And one last thing: if this picture brings a tear to your eye, you are a true New Hampshireite. No NH house is complete without an homage to the old man. Usually a picture festooned with black drapery, spotlight optional. Excuse me, but I need a tissue!

22 June 2006

Unpacking...

Is awesome! We’ve got the rooms de-wallpapered, cleaned, painted, and carpeted. I spent most of today moving my stuff in and spreading it around in an organized fashion. It’s been like Christmas; every box I opened lead to “I brought this?” “Yay!” “I love it!” “You shouldn’t have!” and the like. I’ve arranged the furniture and put stuff on the walls, it’s like we live here or something! There’s even a perfect place for my bizarro salt and pepper shaker collection, what joy!

Tomorrow I have my work physical and second PPD. I also hope to get my license and think some more about registering the car. Hopefully this weekend I’ll have time to regale you with the ups and downs of the last week, tell you about the New Hampshire state bird, and give you the true meaning of “Live free or Die.” That John Stark!

16 June 2006

So much to tell...so little time

To sum up the last week or so: (to be blogged in detail once we get the internet running)
Had a "this is your life" type graduation/going away party that was lovely.
Drove and packed, packed and drove, my last night in Maryland included crab cakes, (of course!) and sleeping on the floor. Followed by the longest drive I've ever driven myself.
Arrived in NH, thank God! Unpacked the truck, ate, and slept.
Assessed the situation of the house, so to speak, and it's coming along, with work to be done. Primed a room, and did various other things. Became a paramedic!
Had a job interview, got lost (for the first, but certainly not the last time). Visited costco. I'm not sure why, probably because it's familiar, so I thought. It was just like the one at home, until I wandered into the beer and wine aisles (do note the 's' in aisles). Wow, I found myself smiling mindlessly like a crazy person, so overcome with the greatness of this state (beer in the grocery store! amazing.)
Got hired! Finished painting one room, started stripping wallpaper in the other. Painted some other stuff.
Entered hire process, got PPD and drug test done, moved some boxes.
Which brings us to, ate dinner, surfed the net, blogged a little.

Google search term of the week: "nodding off at work percocet" Awesome search term! Percocet does make me inordinately tired, but taking it at work would be frowned upon, I assume.

10 June 2006

Kazoos?!

On Thursday, I spent an evening in the district with Ewing and Ana. We went to see KT Tunstall, who I’m sure you’re all well versed about by now, after all of your research. It was an excellent show, and we were in the very front. So close that I could read the set list! I bought a t-shirt, so now I feel my debt is repaid to her for the mysterious circumstances in which I acquired her music. Much like how the British “acquired” the Elgin marbles from the Greeks.
While waiting for the festivities to begin, we noticed a great variety in the instruments on stage ready to play us good music. We even joked about what they were missing. No bagpipes for a Scottish singer? No kazoo! No washboard! No way! Well, little did we know that a kazoo ended up playing prominently in one song, along with a trash can lid, how random and ingenious! The fact that there were no bagpipes was made up for when I realized one of her band mates was wearing a black pinstriped kilt, hot!

Today, my parents and I went to a lake to test out kayaks with a local outfitter. It was good fun, and I learned the rudders are hot, kopapa is a great kayak, and play boats are great, as long as you don’t want to go in a straight line.

I’m on the cusp of declaring myself ready to move on Monday, I’m sure that after I’ve duct-taped the last box, I’ll find something else to put in it. Such is life.

05 June 2006

Packing...

Sucks! Apologies for the rudimentary word, but it feels like the only way to properly describe the few days it has taken to pack up my room at home.
After several sunlit days at UMBC after graduation, the inevitable was upon us as we had to pack it up and move out. I feel we utilized our days well, playing our favorite games, visiting friends, and eating a host of “college-only” foods. (bless you mini corn dogs, jalapeƱo poppers, ice cream, and mozzarella sticks.)
Move out day for lack of a better word, again, sucked. Let’s see…3 flights of stairs is about 42 stairs, and I would guess that I ended up going up and down about 30 times which makes about 2520 steps total. Needless to say, I could barely walk the next day. I must have looked quite ridiculous driving home, the truck filled to the brim, kayak on top, and my suitcase and vacuum cleaner strapped on top of the tonneau cover. I made it home in one piece without having anything fall off or visit another car’s windshield.

The last week was spent packing up my room here at home. I made three piles: things that would travel with me, things that I had to keep, but didn’t want to take, and things that went to the ultimate storage space: the trash bin. The purging process is good for the soul. I think I’m about ready now, with everything boxed up and taking up my parents’ entire living room. My bedroom is looking dreadfully bare, but alas, the inevitabilities of life. I’ve spent today sizing up the “packing it all in the moving van” situation. How does one do this? Simply stare at the room overflowing with your things while mumbling to yourself about what should go in the van and what should go in the truck with occasional outbursts about fragile being an Italian word.

The rest of this week I’ll be working, catching up with hometown friends, and, oh yeah, seeing KT Tunstall in concert! If that means nothing to you, google her immediately! I will not continue until you have memorized every word to “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.” I’ll wait...whoo-hoo...whoo-hoo...I know, it’s great!

Google search term of the week: “Sign the guest book percocet” Now, I know that being guest book girl is a difficult job heavy laden with responsibility, but there’s no need to resort to drug use! Let me know, I can give you some tips to take the edge off…without the percocet.