Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hospital Abuse

Ambulance Driver was causing a stir over nursing homes again. I believe it was Grunt Doc’s post he referred us to that got one nurse’s dander up. Well, I don’t think anyone is perfect, but this poor nurse was looking for excuses to blame everyone but the nursing home for the problem that was mentioned. The doc had posted about a nursing home that transferred patients to the ER with altered documentation. In particular, medication administration records in which the times of administration had been intentionally left off. This nurse, after admitting this was a common practice in some institutions, then tried to lay the blame on EMS for losing the documentation.

Say what???

Then she stepped in it a little deeper when she said that the hospital didn’t need documentation that could later be used to cause grief for the nursing home. First, I seriously doubt hospital docs and nurses have the time to sit around and peruse nursing home documents, looking for every little error. Second, the doc probably just wanted to know if the patient had taken the latest dose or two of medication and a quick glance at the document, that should have been there, would have done it. Third, that document wouldn’t come back to haunt the nursing home if the medication had been properly administered, or not, and documented. So what’s the problem?

Anyway, just to show I am not completely biased against nursing homes, I wanted to tell you a story I read about hospitals and patient care:

A sweet grandmother telephoned Mount Sinai Hospital. She timidly asked, "Is it possible to speak to someone who can tell me how a patient is doing?" The operator said, "I'll be glad to help, Dear. What's the name and room number?" The grandmother in her weak tremulous voice said, "Holly Finkel, room 302."

The Operator replied, "Let me check. Oh, good news. Her records say that Holly is doing very well. Her blood pressure is fine; her blood work just came back as normal and her physician, Dr. Cohen, has scheduled her to be discharged Tuesday."

The Grandmother said, "Thank you. That's wonderful! I was so worried! God bless you for the good news." The operator replied, "You're more than welcome. Is Holly your daughter?" The Grandmother said, "No, I'm Holly Finkel in 302. No one tells me shit.”


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

As The Pool Drains

When I was growing up, we lived across the street from the neighborhood swimming pool. My brother and sisters and I basically lived there during the summer. We were all on the swim team and I paid my way through high school by working in the concession stand and later as a lifeguard. Yep, at one time I had a semi Bikini Body, a heck of a tan, and could twirl a whistle like a pro. I don’t know why I wasn’t auditioned for Bay Watch.

Oh. Yes I do. Something about that “semi” part. Never mind.

But hey, I could have saved a life if I needed to.

There always seemed to be one drama or another going on, as tends to happen when you get a bunch of teens together. Jack had finally asked Jill out. Mary was trying to break up Tarzan and Jane so she could have him all to herself. Did you see the swimsuit Brenda wore? Bonnie was seen with Clyde back behind the tennis courts. AND, Sylvester asked Tweetie to play miniature golf. Scandalous!

We always joked we could write our own soap opera and call it “As the Pool Drains.”

I was reminded of this last week as I was trying to catch up on all my blogs from while I had been away. Then I thought again how nice it would be if someone would do a summary like you might see in TV Guide. Maybe they do it in Soap Opera Digest, too, but I don’t know. It might go something like this:

“Last week on As the Blog Rolls: MattG is breaking coffee carafes and telling bad jokes because he is no longer seeing blood spatter. LawDog is mumbling Gregorian chants while looking for his Muse. Mair has been watching movies with Fred and gives him a thumbs up. DragonWatch is on to the big oil companies and thinks they’re in cahoots with Rednecks. Holly is on pins and needles—oops, Holly has pins in her hand and wants a needle of Versed. Lovi is on hiatus because of her J-O-B. Kate receives continuing education units for sobering thoughts. Phlegm gets a ^5 for her Michael Moore comments and needs to give Ambulance Driver her beach towel. AD is once again writing in the nude and is in love with BabsRN, who wrote his theme song:

Come ‘n list’n to my story ‘bout a medic named AD,
Who could tell ya all about pathophysiology.

And then one day he was startin’ an IV,
When off to his left he could see his enemy.

Sumdood, that is…


Drinkin’ Two Beers.”

Shall we see who can come up with the best second verse? And any other suggestions for the name of our little soap opera here in the blogosphere?


Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Rest of the Story

Sunday was spent in practice, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for Mass, and walking in Central Park. That park is huge. It was interesting to see when we flew in—buildings, buildings, and more building, and acres of trees smack dab in the middle of them.

Monday morning, my mom, MFD, and I went shopping for souvenirs, then we went back to the hotel to get ready for rehearsal at Carnegie—the other practices had been done at the hotel. We stayed after our own practice to hear another group that we wouldn’t get to see that night because we’d be getting lined up off stage. Carnegie was only a couple of blocks from the hotel, so we went there to change, then back to Carnegie for the pictures and to hear the prelude concert.

Then it was our turn to shine. I didn’t mention that in any other choir performance I have seen, singing sections have all stood together, i.e. sopranos in front, basses behind, altos next to sopranos, tenors behind them. What David Thye, the conductor, had us do instead was to sing in quartets—a soprano next to a bass next to an alto next to a tenor next to a soprano, etc. It made me a little nervous at first, because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to hear my part if I was hearing two others beside me. Turned out I knew my part better than I thought, or was a better singer than I thought, because I could hear myself and the other parts, and I hit my notes correctly! It really was kind of neat, supposedly you blend better that way. I don’t know if we’ll ever get to hear our actual performance for ourselves to see how it turned out—Carnegie Hall itself is copyrighted, so no pictures or recordings were allowed inside by the audience.

We met back up with KSA, MFS, and my mom after the concert, where KSA had a dozen roses for MFD and me. Awwwwwwwwwwwwww. We loaded up on busses and headed for the pier, where we eventually boarded The Spirit of New Jersey for a dinner buffet and cruise around the Statue of Liberty and the harbor.

After dinner, there was a DJ to provide some entertainment. Let me tell you, we had some wild (mostly) women on that cruise that forced me to get up and sing and dance and generally look silly with them. I want to make sure you understand I was forced, because there seem to be quite a few pictures floating around, so if you happen upon one, remember that I was forced. And remember that pictures and videos can be doctored. Did I mention that I was forced?

We finally got back to the hotel about 0300 Tuesday.

Sometime after daybreak—quite some time after daybreak—we got up and around for our last day in NYC. Beautiful blue skies, nice temp, we headed out to eat first. Then we walked up 5th Avenue…and walked…and walked. Eventually we ended up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the beginning of Museum Mile. Once a year, the museums along this stretch offer free admission, and we happened to hit that day. Unfortunately, after arrival, we were informed that it was only from 1800-2100. So rather than pay the “suggested” $20 per adult, we walked a little bit further before heading back to the hotel.

So there we are, around 85th and 5th Avenue, when the blue skies depart and it starts to rain. Not just rain—it poured. Yep. And why would we have an umbrella when the day started out so beautifully? KSA did buy one from a guy that was offering them in front of the Met. Good thing, or all kinds of stuff would have been ruined, like our cell phones, cameras, etc.

For those of you that might be visiting NYC in the future, busses do not accept paper money. Coins only. The drivers don’t care how wet you are. We would have already been soaked to the bone by the time we went out of our way to hit the subway. So we walked all the way back to about 54th and 6th Avenue. In the pouring rain. We barely got to the hotel in time to find our suitcases and change clothes before we had to load up for the airport.


So, we get to the airport about 1730, our flight is supposed to depart at 1945. As we’re standing in line, they inform us that our flight has been delayed until 0045. And actually, we had a pretty good time during the wait. We hit a few of the shops, got something to eat, then entertained ourselves by visiting or playing cards. One of the gals brought some cards and you played like gin, only with words, and that was fun.

We were all more than ready, though, by the time they called our flight. Fortunately, there hadn’t been any more delays, so we actually did leave around 0100 EDT arrived back home at 0230 CDT.

There you have it. And remember that I was forced.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Fun in New York

Except for the last day, we had pretty decent weather while we were in New York. Cloudy quite a bit, a few sprinkles, and fairly mild temperatures. And thank goodness—other than the subway ride downtown and the bus ride to the port for the after-concert cruise, we walked everywhere else. (And I didn’t lose an OUNCE! I was so disgusted! But at least I didn’t gain, either.)

After arriving in New York and checking into the hotel, we walked up 5th Avenue to the Empire State Building. We didn’t have a long wait at all, maybe because it was cloudy. Worked well for me—that fear of heights thing, you know? Not too bad, actually. A level ground and tall fencing makes me feel a little more secure. It was kind of cool to see some of the buildings and stuff sticking up above the clouds, even if we didn’t get to see much in the distance. It was really windy up there, too. It made MFD nervous and she didn’t want to look over the side, but Me-Ma eventually talked her into taking a peek.

After that we went to Carmine’s for dinner. Oh my. Family style Italian food and it was wonderful. There were seven of us, and we all split a salad, lasagna, spaghetti with meatballs, and some kind of sausage and rotini dish. We had leftovers, but no room for dessert. Bummer. They didn’t have crème brulee anyway.

We just moseyed along the rest of the evening. We found Broadway and Times Square and I don’t remember what else before we made it back to the hotel. Now then, the hotel did have crème brulee—for $12. So I couldn’t tell you if it was any good or not. However, I’m thinking not. We stayed at the Hilton, and let me tell you, if that’s what Paris is used to, I don’t know why she was bitching about jail. A Super 8 is just fine by me—it’s cheaper and at least it has a refrigerator you can actually use and a microwave. And I even got desperate enough for a decent cup of coffee that I resorted to the Starbuck’s that was in the hotel. And that was cheaper than the $4.50 they charged for a bottle of water if you broke the seal on the beverage bar.


After practice Saturday morning, we took the subway to Battery Park and got on the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. No one is allowed up top anymore, and you can’t even get inside the base of the Statue without tickets, of which there are only a limited number. I tried to get some online before we left, but they were already gone. It was still fascinating to see those monuments of history, and to think we might have walked on the same ground as some of our ancestors.

Before heading back, we made a short stop at Ground Zero. I cannot adequately describe the sights and emotions.

The subway was interesting. One man offered his seat to my mom, but other than that, no one really talked to or looked at each other, ‘ceptin’ fer us tourists. And you know those pictures you see on the internet with people pierced all up one side and down the other? There are real people like that.

Walking around, you know how to tell New Yorkers from the tourists? New Yorkers are each issued a cell phone to attach to their ears, and you have to walk along, oblivious to everything. And not those silly things a lot of people around here wear that look like a huge hearing aid with a blinking light. Has to be an actual cell phone. Guess they don’t want others to think they might be talking to them.

Saturday evening concluded with a Broadway show, Monty Python’s Spamalot, at the Schubert Theater. It was hilarious. If it comes to a town near you and you get a chance, go see it.

Groaner for the day: one of our chorale members ended up standing next to a university student named Lance. Another member enjoys teasing MFD about boyfriends, so his comment was that MFD liked Lance a lot.

I told you it was a groaner.

Ok, that’s it for this round. To be continued…


P.S. Happy Birthday KSA

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Carnegie Hall

According to a member of our choir, 1 in 73,000 people can say they have performed at Carnegie Hall. It truly was an honor, especially when you think of all the musicians that have appeared on stage. The debut performance in 1891 included an appearance by Tchaikovsky; the evening before our concert, the Emerson String Quartet played. In between, there were performances by artists such as Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Leonard Bernstein, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, and The Beatles, to name a few.

“It is probable that this hall will intertwine itself with the history of our country,” said Andrew Carnegie in 1890, when he laid the cornerstone of the building that would become Carnegie Hall. The [Isaac Stern] auditorium's renowned acoustics have made it a favorite of audiences and performers alike. "It has been said that the hall itself is an instrument," said the late Isaac Stern. "It takes what you do and makes it larger than life."

The twenty-five members of our chorale joined up with about 225 others from high schools, colleges, and churches to sing Franz Schubert’s Mass in G. Of the four performing groups in the concert, ours was said to be the best of the evening. We also received a standing ovation—and not because of the family members that attended.

I attribute that to the skills of the director of our local chorale, and the conductor of our entire choir and orchestra.

Our chorale has been meeting several times a month for almost a year, learning our parts and to pronounce the Latin words properly. In New York, we spent four hours Saturday, four hours Sunday, and about an hour for dress rehearsal Monday with the conductor. Most of the things the conductor emphasized were things that our director had emphasized, so our little chorale was pretty well prepared. And it was actually fun! The conductor had a great sense of humor.

I really didn’t know what to expect from the conductor when we all got together in New York. It’s pretty amazing to think 250 people from different parts of the country got together, and after nine hours of practice, could put on a professional performance. And the only time we worked together with the soloists and orchestra was at the dress rehearsal.

All in all, it was a totally awesome and inspirational experience.

Here’s a picture of MFD and me in concert attire standing next to “our” playbill in front of Carnegie Hall. David Thye, our conductor, is the top photo.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Yes, yes, I’m working on some posts about our trip. In the meantime, I wanted to say Happy Father’s Day to KSA, AD, DW, MattG, JPG, and all my other friends and relatives, and those of my readers. Bless you all.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Body Is Back

I’m not sure where the rest of me is, but it’s not here. I think the Transporter Room malfunctioned and I haven’t completely reassembled.

Our flight home was delayed, so we didn’t get back to the house until 0400 yesterday. Slept for a while, then MFD had a dentist appointment. My plan was to hit Wal-Mart on the way home to pick up some supplies for tonight, then go to Curves. However, I could hardly keep my eyes open to read while I was in the waiting room, so we came directly home. Then I napped. Then I slept all night. I did NOT want to get out of bed this morning, but I did. Ran my errands and now I have to [gasp] cook. Our parish Director of Music and Liturgy is moving the end of the month and we’re having his going away party this evening.

I feel like I’m in a fog and I think I could sleep a couple more days. Doesn’t help that I think I’m catching a cold—got a sore throat, headache, my neck and shoulders are sore.

So, we’re back home, but definitely not recovered yet. Had a wonderful time, though, and I promise to fill you in.


Friday, June 08, 2007

New York New York

Sing along with Frank:

Start spreading the news
I'm leaving today
I want to be a part of it
New York, New York

These vagabond shoes
Are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it
New York, New York

I wanna wake up in a city
That doesn't sleep
And find I'm king of the hill
Top of the heap

These little town blues
Are melting a way
I'll make a brand-new start of it
In old New York

If I can make it there
I'll make it anywhere
It's up to you
New York, New York

New York, New York
I want to wake up
In a city that never sleeps
And find I'm a number one, top of the list
King of the hill, a number one

These little town blues
Are melting a way
I'm gonna make a brand-new start of it
In old New York

And... if I can make it there
I'm gonna make it anywhere
It's up to you
New York, New York

Finally, the long awaited weekend is here! We’re off to NYC and when we get back, MFD and I, along with about 200 other singers from around the US, will have performed at Carnegie Hall. Yes, you may have my autograph, for a nominal fee.

A couple of things before I go: first, be sure to wish Holly and Lainy a happy birthday (Happy birthday, gals, love ya both! Sorry, my card sending sucks this year.)

Next, a public service announcement: Kate has the solution for June bugs over at her blog.

Say a prayer that the trip, sightseeing, and concert go well. Y’all be safe and I’ll check in next week after I recover.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Dear Mayor

I am sure you’re aware our town is notorious because of its police. People that drive through aren’t sure if we need money so badly that the police have been instructed to write tickets for any and every infraction, or if the officers just don’t have anything better to do.

One of my neighbors was telling me her son has some property that was annexed into the city. Somebody called the cops on him because they heard shots fired, and police from the adjacent town and the county came barreling down to his house, but nobody from our city. Seeing as how police protection was the only benefit offered in return for annexation, I’m not sure they’re getting their tax's worth.

However, that isn’t my beef.

And really, if they want to set up a speed trap, that’s fine by me, too. Another neighbor was telling me about some young whippersnapper stopped recently for ridiculously exceeding the speed limit. Hooligans like that need to have the fear of God put into them.

What I do have a problem with is that the officers are using my residence as a sneaky lookout point.

We’ve got a quiet neighborhood here at Memorial Gardens, and the squealing tires, lights, and sirens when the police take out after an offender is not conducive to my eternal rest.

I hope you can do something about this.

Restin Peese

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Stoopid Alert

Remember this post about Swillary speaking at an Indian Reservation and being given the name Walking Eagle?

Can I have a show of hands of anyone that thought there was a shred of truth to that story?

I didn’t think so.

Seems some people are so concerned it may be true, there is actually a write up about it at Even sadder, it evidently started as a joke about Kerry.

Heaven help us, I bet those “people” vote.

Hulllllllllloooooooooo. It’s a joke, “people.” You know: funny, funny, ha, ha.


Gonna have to put in an order for a whole bunch o’ “Stoopid” signs to hand out.