Showing posts from September, 2007

90 day review

On time 5
Cooperation 2
Appearance 3
Professionalism 3
Productivity 1
Patient care 5

Yes, that is my 90 day review. (5 being the best) No, it is not accurate. The “crappiest ambulance company on earth” uses a computer to formulate your review. ‘Computer’ as in some random software that the company bought on the street for five cents.
I inspected said computer for eyes, a mirror, or hidden camera and found none. Even so, I scored a 3 for appearance.

The bottom of the review said that by signing, it meant that I have read and understand the review. I asked, “Can I refuse to sign this? Or would that further lower my cooperation score?”

I took it to the guy above my supervisor and inquired into this idiocy. He said that I looked better than half of the employees there and I had been on for 26 hours and was going home, so I probably deserved more than a 3. I pointed out that I am an obsessive professional, (although I didn’t mention that it was really hard when you hate the job). He…

Work and Such

Nothing makes me happier at work than seeing a stack of fresh sheets and having a full jar of cavicide wipes. In fact, aside from my partners, these are the only things that make me happy at work. I’m feeling a rant post coming up about my disdain for my job. Also, there will be more on its replacement. Something is finally in the works in terms of a better job. I have about 2 more weeks of paper shuffling before it is official, but I am, predictably, dead excited about a professional change.

Last week at work we got to go to prison. The prison. We picked up our patient who had pulled out his chest tube. “Didn’t that hurt?” I asked, “It was stitched in.” “No” he replied. On our way out, the officer we were with discovered a nerf football on the ground between the main wall and the actual jail. I guess that 30 feet of grass around the jail and a huge wall serve as additional deterrents from escape. I looked back at him and he was ripping the ball apart and inside it wa…

Lessons in mountain biking

Recently, I finally hit some real mountain biking trails. I feel that I have been missing out on something truly great. I completely get it. Already I have accomplished things on the bike that I never thought possible. It seems that whatever appears on the trail in front of me, I will get past it. Every log, every rock, every root I (for lack of a better technical term) boofed, I laughed out loud. For every root or rock, I (for lack of a better technical term) ‘foobed’, I had a great smile on my face. I am loving it. In just a few trips, I have learned a lot.

Clearance is only as high as your lowest pedal (which can be quite low).

Wheels have more than one master: you and the terrain.

You can go too slow.

You can go too fast (well, that's what I hear, but I haven't really tested it yet)

Biking can be a full body workout.

It is an amazing feeling to have your every fiber totally focused on not dying.

Adrenaline is not having a car whiz by you on a hill with a blind curve, it…


It has been widely believed for the last 24 years that the likelihood of Ellie wearing spandex was equal or less than that of a staunch vegan wearing leather.

But, after 14 miles or so on those tiny standard issue bike seats, it was clear that something must be done. So, I dug out that gel seat cover from a few years ago. This gave a marginal amount of relief. Still, it was becoming apparent that real bike shorts were in order.
That’s right, bike shorts, the ones made of spandex with that huge padded crotch, shorts that couldn't show any more unless they were painted on, the garment which is generally not acceptable to be worn in public. But, oh how times have changed. They now make what are called ‘baggy bike shorts.’ This is an absolute brilliant concept of taking the standard bike short, and then covering them up with regular shorts. When worn properly, no one knows that the spandex is there! They're even suitable for public viewing. Small children will not be scarre…

Silly Catface!

My brother moved to NYC last week and I acquired about 20 paintings, 5 boxes of books, some tools, and a cat. Yes, I am a sucker and yes, loving your family can get you into trouble.

I am a cat person, but I did not go right out and get one when I moved. I think that I fear permanence. No matter, a free cat with all related accessories is a welcome addition to my, well, kind of lonely apartment. For the first day or so she was completely horrible, hissing and swatting at me whenever we were in the same room. I gave her a pretty sweet set up in my bathroom and bedroom. I bought her treats and toys. I really wanted to win her over. Turns out all she needed was time. Just last night she emerged from her fortress in the bathroom and slept on the bed. I was quite happy.

My brother cannot be trusted to name pets. To my knowledge he has named three cats. “Little Cat” who was, consequently, little, “Fatty McBlack” who, surprisingly, was fat and black, but not Scottish. And, now…


I don’t normally drown my sorrows in a sea of retail, but I have been doing a lot of shopping lately. More than ever, especially after getting my own apartment and realizing that I had pretty much nothing in the way of furniture or anything generally useful.

I love and hate shopping. Everyone loves getting new stuff; clothes, chips, yogurt flavors, the accessory that you didn't know you needed until you saw it in the store. I especially like online shopping, but I think that’s mostly because I love getting things in the mail.
Shopping also makes me go insane. For example: super Wal-mart. This is a store with just too much stuff in it. It is both convenient and overwhelming to me that I can get groceries, plants, windshield wiper fluid, socks, and a DVD player in the same place. Here, and in any number of stores, I can find myself agonizing over the most ridiculous minutiae. For me, there are just too many choices. I can stand for long minutes in the paper aisle and debate with mysel…

Overdue biking post

I have been biking quite a lot lately. I’ve been on the road (as opposed to the trail) to build up my endurance. Road biking is pretty cool. It’s not nearly as tedious as I envisioned. I can map out different routes depending on how I feel, or how long I have, and see something different every day. I try to stick to the less traveled roads for safety’s sake.
Aside from the occasional nice view, road biking is basically ups and downs. In the area around my house it seems that I am either coasting down a hill or struggling up one. This I love and hate.
It is an amazing feeling to be pedaling furiously up a steep hill, clicking into a lower gear, while the bike is only advancing inches, head down, all muscles united in a common goal; to crest that hill. I will note tiny landmarks, “just make it to that mailbox, that rock, that driveway.” I question constantly if I will actually make it without stopping. I promise myself that I’ll drink water and rest at the top. I decide to …

Oh, Death

It is inevitable and yet still manages to sneak up on you. Sometimes, death appears so quickly that even it is surprised to be there. Although, it can also linger in the background, waiting and waiting for the opportune moment.

In the end, I think that we all want generally the same thing; to go quietly, without a fuss, to feel satisfied, complete, that our work is done, and especially to have our loved ones feel comfortable. These things are, of course, very difficult to measure, and I would guess that only a small percentage of people actually get the death they envision. Or maybe I’m wrong.

I have been directly and indirectly involved in deaths of all types; murder, negligence, trauma, respiratory arrest, suicide, miscarriage, cardiac arrest. I have taken people from their homes to hospice, caressed the foot of a dying baby, withheld intervention, performed pointless CPR, told people their mother was dead. Unfortunately, none of this has made death any easier. I wish that these exper…