Today and Friday I went cross country skiing in for the first time. I pretty much kept to our yard, and a little into the trail in the woods out back. It was good fun and I only fell down once! When I did, I laid there and l thought to myself “In a few seconds this is all going to make sense” And I waited, and a few seconds later I figured out how to get up with two 190cm planks stuck to my feet. I think I did about 5 minutes of actual skiing today, and about 55 minutes of walking with style. I am definitely afraid of going down hills and not being able to stop without throwing myself on the ground. Friday was the coldest day I ever lived through. Of course, it was the day I decided to start my skiing career. The high was 7 degrees, and during the day it even dipped into –1. I’ve learned a few things from this. Firstly, even with 2 pairs of gloves on, my hands were numb in about 20 minutes. Although the skiing kept the rest of me fairly warm. Secondly, when you have a scarf around your face, breathe out, and fog up your glasses, the fog will freeze. Lastly, even when you prepare, being out in 4 degree weather with 16 mph winds just plain sucks, avoid it at all costs.

So even though there’s not nearly enough snow, I had a good time. I’m sure that my occasional flailing arms (and legs) would have amused any seasoned skier. As well as the 10 minutes it took me today to get my boots into the bindings.

Misuse of the system?

During the day shift last week we had three calls. Two of those calls were for people who fell over, one of which fell down on the slippery snow, and the other fell over the pattern in the carpet. They were both fine, but we brought them in because either they wanted to go, or because their daughter insisted.

The third call was maybe on of the most blatant misuse of the 911 system I have seen. The pt. called for a rash. She claimed it was all over her body and itchy. She hadn’t put any creams on the rash at all. She wasn’t having trouble breathing, hadn’t eaten anything unusual or new, hadn’t changed soaps lately. Also, upon assessment, she had no discernable rash. She also had her travel bag all packed up and her two kids ready to go. She lived about 3 blocks from the hospital. It was a nice sunny day.
We begrudgingly drove her 2 minutes to the hospital. I want to help people, I really do, but sometimes its hard not to get mad. Maybe this person legitimately didn’t know that it was inappropriate to call 911 for her problem. Maybe she was a frequent flyer I hadn’t met yet, maybe she had no car, no husband, no friend to drive her. Maybe she didn’t have a phone or a phone book to call a cab. Maybe she didn’t have the 5 bucks that it would have cost to drive to the hospital. Maybe, but I doubt it.
Sorry but it gets frustrating sometimes sifting through the crap looking for that one sick patient. Okay, rant over. But don’t get me started on long distance relationships!

Leave, freeze, or die

Winter has come to the forest, finally. After a nice ice storm at the beginning of last week, we had a couple more inches on top of that. So, still not seasonably snowy, but at least the ground is white! Oh yeah, and its really cold. On Tuesday when I woke up, it was 2 degrees! I went on a call that evening, and I think that my ears froze off. My hands were also in need of serious help. After I got the refusal, I hid in Andy’s car and wrote my report.

I learned one thing you don’t want to hear as your heading toward the nurses station, about to pick up a patient: “Smell that? Yeah, that’s your patient.”

So, today I had my pottery class which was great. I don’t know what it is, there’s something very visceral about pottery that I love. Plus, it’s a good way to fill up time until I move back to the home state. Then, I got new brakes for the truck. It had been making this horrible noise and one of my wheels may be coated in a permanent layer of brake dust and other crap. But almost $300 later, I can stop without issue. That’s good.
Then I got my 3rd hep B vaccine, and a PPD. Ah, I love a job that potentially exposes you to harmful diseases! I also got some pics developed which I’ll post once I get inspired to shrink them down and what not.


Okay, so some details: actual engagement happened just before thanksgiving, but we kept it a secret, mostly so that over Christmas I could tell pretty much my entire family at once. That was fun as they were all surprised and excited. As for plans: there is a date, a venue, a dress, honeymoon flights, and a guest list. That’s about as far as we’ve gotten. I’ll be going home in a few weeks, hopefully to iron out the rest of the big things, caterer, flowers, photographer, bridesmaids dresses…the list of things to do is scary.

Most of my time at home was spent catching up with old friends, and introducing them to my fiancé. Then we both came back up to NH, and enjoyed a few days together. We went up north to Kittery and Freeport Maine, and fantasized about kayaks and kayak gear. It was here that I procured my new paddle which is still patiently waiting to meet water. We took full advantage of LL Beans 24/7 hours, and stayed until about 1am trying out tents and sleeping bags. We spent an unusual amount of time at the mall, but I ended up finally picking new glasses, and I got Rx sunglasses too! Picking new specs is a lot easier with someone else, especially if that someone else has to look at you for the rest of their life.
We also went down to Peabody, MA and test drove an 06 Mini Cooper S. Well, he drove, I just enjoyed the ride, and the insane dealer who was encouraging us not to look at the odometer and to take corners at 80mph. The mini is a far off purchase, but it was fun to shop.

We finally had some wintry weather this week in the form of a little ice/snow storm. Not much accumulation, but it made all of the trees out back look awesome covered with a delicate layer of ice. Pictures to follow whenever I get around to developing them (hopefully soon). I’m still waiting for some good accumulation for skiing. Hilarity will ensue.

As for work: not too much exciting has happened lately. I did only 6 calls this weekend, and watched an inordinate amount of football. Everyone at work was shocked at my lack of football knowledge. Is it normal to take 23 years to figure out what a first down is? Our night shift was either psych problems, or people who had smoked weed and then felt funny. I’m not sure, but isn’t that the point of weed? I recommended that they get a new dealer.

Today I started my winter pottery class. There are only four students, and wheel work is as fun as I remembered it from high school. I’m excited to have 10 more weeks to play with clay. I’ve definitely put a potters wheel back on my list of ridiculous things to buy. Right next to the mini cooper.

One Thing

One thing can change your life, one thing has changed mine recently. It has caused me to laugh and cry and be overwhelmed. One thing caused me to drink half a bottle of champagne and laugh a laugh of pure happiness. A small thing that will make big changes, it will change where I live, change where I work, change my bank accounts. Because of it I’ll need a new passport, a new license, a new library card. I’ve gone into stores because it needed good lighting. It has prompted unsolicited advice, surprised, hidden in a pocket. It has caught the eye of strangers, gone unnoticed, attracted a crowd. It has caused me to willingly buy a dress, to set a date, to stress. It has caused me untold joy, made me marvel at human emotion, to prioritize. It encompasses a love, two lives, two families. It came with a question, it prompted an answer. It is that one thing: a ring.

Admission is the first step

I’ve come to terms with the fact that the flatwater kayaking season is basically over. Although it’s warmish during the days, all of the lakes are currently sporting a nice layer of ice. Also, I don’t yet own a proper dry top, or wet suit. In celebration of the kayak season ending, I bought a new Werner paddle. It is awesome, made of carbon, 210cm long, two pieces, beautiful, and weighs about a pound and a half. I don’t want to wait until spring to use it, oh well. Until then, I’ll just admire it, and pet it, and air-paddle with it. I should mount it on the wall, or above the fireplace like a prized rifle.

By the way, a new paddle is not the most exciting thing to go on as of late, just the simpler entry to write. Ooh, according to my counter, the ole blog has received more than 10,000 hits, sweet! That's also not the most exciting thing to go on as of late, but a close second! Tomorrow is my one year anniversary with the truck! I think I'll take it out to dinner, or find a big puddle to drive through, it likes that. Again, sorry, but not the most exciting thing to go on as of late (more updates soon!)

Google search term of the week: “how to throw a party like in the 1800s” Okay, I’ll admit it, I’ve been to colonial Williamsburg more times than is recommended by the surgeon general. And if you’d really like, I’m sure that I could help you pull of a rocking party like the 1800s, or at the very least the late 1700s; just drop me a line.

So Much

Much has happened/been revealed since my last post. New updates to follow soon. I have been busy with various things since Christmas. I have a reverse 24 coming up tomorrow, I hope I'll have time to properly update then.