Wednesday, May 24, 2006

How appropriate

Naperville church sign: Feeling stressed? We're open Sundays.
And a good thing that is!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Squirrels love the White Sox too

The Gate 5 Gang reunited at the Sox game last night against the Athletics. Of course my guys pulled through and we won but it was a nail biter of a game. Frank Thomas got 2 home runs (wish we'd seen more of that last season when he was still one of us), Ozzie was ejected from the game, and a squirrel provided an interesting diversion during the 2nd inning. After my love affair with Scott Podsednik last season, I've decided my favorite player of 2006 is JD- he is solid, consistent, and, while he was World Series MVP, doesn't get enough love from the fans. I am proud to launch the I Love JD movement. After his home run last night though, I'm sure many more will be jumping on his bandwagon. I'll let you read the Gat's (nice picture) and Todd's write ups on the rest of the game because they're funny and they have more time to write than I do right now. Such is the case when you're getting ready to move in 3 days. I don't even have time to watch the finales of Alias or Lost! That's how you know it's serious. In any case, enjoy these pictures.

The Gate 5 Gang unveils the new t-shirts (sorry it turned out so shadowy)

Jill, Todd, Mark, and Brooke: Post game rejoicing

Monday, May 22, 2006

Road observations

Does anyone know if all law enforcement officers are able to give you a ticket for speeding? I only ask because I've seen a couple of other random cop cars lately. Naperville has a Community Service Officer (do they make sure there's no littering or jaywalking?) and last week while driving through Batavia I saw a U.S. Customs car. Not sure why they would need to be in Batavia unless the town is a hotbed for illegal immigrants. Drug Busts used to be the big thing but we must be moving to Immigrant Busts based on the current political situation.

Best Recently Sighted Vanity Plates
WVM 63 (OK, it's probably just his name but couldn't it also be code for a singles ad? Widowed Virile Male, age 63, seeks companion...)
EBAY PD 4 (a sporty red Camaro, how's that for advertising?)

Fun Bumper Stickers
Don't Mess With Texas
Honk If You Honky Tonk
White Sox World Series Champions 2005 (may or may not be featured on my car)

What happens in St. Louis, stays in St. Louis

But I will still share a few pictures from Erin's memorable bachelorette weekend...

Katie, Amy, Annie, the Bride, Caron, Pam, Bethany
Julie, me, Andrea, and Ellen at Mt. Pleasant Winery. Good times!

Erin and I toast to her future

Erin up on stage at The Big Bang. Check out her Advice for the Bride shirt!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Road Signals

I had a most interesting idea today and you are lucky enough that I will share it with you. As I was driving this morning, I saw an Elgin cop car. First, I wondered why the Elgin police would be in Naperville, which led to me surmising that perhaps they are setting up a drug bust sting operation of some sort. I figure that's a Naperville cop's dream- how exciting can handing out speeding tickets be? While I was chuckling to myself, the Elgin cop passed a Naperville police car. (Please keep following the stream of consciousness here.) You know how bikers signal to each other when they pass on the road? It's their way of saying, "aren't motorcycles great?", kind of spreading some biker community love. I started to wonder if cops have a signal. It would have to be more subtle than flashing the lights but not a rip off of the token biker move. I didn't see any interaction between the two cars which was a pity. Now I've also seen truckers hauling for the same company acknowledge each other. Here's my idea: if bikers and truckers, and maybe one day cops, can all have special signals for each other, why not those of us who drive Toyota Corollas? I happen to be a big fan of my car. When I was 10 I decided that the Corolla was the car for me. I'm not sure why but the dream never died. My car has treated me well and I feel that I should be able to share that love with the rest of the Corolla community. My roommate Jen has a Corolla so maybe we'll cook something up. I don't want nonCorolla drivers to feel left out. I want to reassure you all that I do appreciate motor vehicles of all kinds- for instance, some of you know about my special affinity for Mustangs! Let us not limit road signals to the bikers and truckers of this nation, each car has the potential to go beyond the head nod, the wave, the thumbs up. Each car has the potential to reach out to its car community. At the same time, let's keep it clean, remember it's about showing pride not showing off. I'm thinking we should follow Demetri Martin's example (listen to clips!): we salute each other and say, "Here's to you. I like what you drive."

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A typical day?

Recently someone asked me what a typical work day looked like. I had to laugh in response. In any given day, I have no clue what will happen. Basically I have to be available, flexible, and plan that my plans will be broken. One of my families asked me if it was like being on-call all the time. Pretty much, yes. Except I'm trying to do all my regular visits at the same time. At least when I'm on call on the weekends the only things I'm trying to accomplish are get caught up on my tv shows and, these days, pack up my apartment. Just to give you a hint of what typical might look like, here's what happened this week:
Monday: I went into the office to drop off paperwork, make condolence calls, complete a referral for a volunteer, and set up a few visits. After that, I stopped by to see a patient who had been actively dying on Friday (I was with the family for 5 hours) but somehow turned the corner and is now alert and talking. Then I saw 3 patients at 2 different nursing homes then headed out to meet with a pt. who had just moved into his daughter's home. Once there "Amos" told me that his wife had him served with divorce papers on Friday, her form of punishment since he moved into his daughter's home instead of the nursing home like she wanted. And that's after more than 50 years of marriage! It was a pretty good visit, I'm going to try to facillitate a meeting between Amos, his daughter, and wife, if she'll agree to it. I'm not holding my breath. He's been living with his daughter for a month and his wife has refused to speak with him the whole time he's been there. I left her home a little bit before 5, 40 minutes later I got home and typed up my note.
Tuesday: While checking my voicemail at 8 am, I got an urgent text message from my boss requesting that I see an imminent pt. (just admitted last night) at a local Hospital ASAP. I'd already set up a visit with a new pt. for 9 am so I called Joyce to explain the situation, figuring I could be at the hospital by 10 or 10:30. She was fine with that since one of our RNs was heading over there first thing. I headed out to meet the new pt. and her husband, it went well. I made it to the hospital at 10 am (it worked!), found my patient's room, he died just as I walked in. Please, no angel of death jokes:) I comforted the family, called the coroner and funeral home, and helped out the hospital staff as able. After lunch, I saw 5 nursing home patients and called it a day.
Wednesday: Saw a nursing home patient and spoke to her daughter by phone, the daughter's son is being treated for cancer right now so she's barely hanging on. The patient is tired but stable, very sweet lady. Next, I saw one of my favorite patients, she is so strong and tough, she's been through so much yet has an awesome attitude. Her husband gave me a "hard" time since I didn't get to see them last week but I dished it right back. I love joking around with my families! Wednesdays we have ICC meetings in the afternoon so my next stop was our office. ICC stands for interdisciplinary case consulting, each week we discuss patients falling under half the alphabet (A-K or L-Z). Every 2 weeks I lead the meetings but this was not one of those weeks so I was able to catch up on paperwork a bit.
Thursday: I am now the social worker at an LTCF with whom we just renewed our contract. I saw a new patient there, such a sweet, spunky lady! Next I saw another favorite patient. She's starting to decline, becoming weaker and more confused, so it's sad. She always tells me she loves my visits but worries that she's taking me away from someone else who needs my help more. In the afternoon I saw a pt. in assisted living and then 3 pts. at a nursing home.
Friday: Started my day visiting a 98 year old woman at a nursing home. She always says, "Oh my land of Goshen" when she's excited, surprised, etc. I love her! She also gave me a Milky Way bar. Yum. Next I headed out to see a cute old Alzheimers man and his wife and daughter. They're coping pretty well but when he starts to decline the family will be a mess so I try to get out there every week. The next stop was an assisted living facility where I saw an old pt. and a new pt.
All in all a pretty good week. God came through to give me the strength to survive and, hopefully, thrive. Hope that gives you a somewhat better understanding of what my day can be like. Thinking back, this was pretty tame. Just wait until I get another crisis!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Let us not be complacent any longer

This baby was burned during a bombing in Darfur. This is the kind of picture that you don't want to look at. You gasp and think, "how awful!" then quickly move along with your day. The fact is, I'm tired of being witness to the tragedies in this world while idly standing by and twiddling my thumbs. One such tragedy is the genocide that has been perpetuated in Sudan. There is currently a campaign going on called A Million Voices for Darfur. They aren't asking for your money, and they are hardly asking for your time. Clicking on the following link will take you to a digital postcard urging President Bush to take action in Darfur. You don't even have to write anything if you don't want, just fill in your name and click send. If enough people take the time, we will present our president with the resounding message that we will not allow this genocide to continue. Thank you!

Another way to help is buying a t-shirt. The proceeds go to help the victims of genocide. My friend Ross and I put together an order of shirts last year. Let me know if you're interested and I'll put another order together. These are all small things but they are things that you and I can do and I feel that has to count for something.

If you want more information regarding the situation in Darfur, click here.

"If we turn our heads and look away and hope that it will all disappear then they will - all of them, an entire generation of people. And we will have only history left to judge us." -George ClooneyApril 30, 2006, Washington

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Ready to Go Fishing

From page 1 of A Girl's Best Friend by Kristen Billerbeck, one of my fave Christian chick lit authors:
There are plenty of fish in the sea. But really, there's not. It's not just our imaginations. It would be great if decent men were as plentiful as jumping salmon in a rushing river, but they aren't. For every Mr. Darcy (and he's married, incidentally) there are a hundred Mr. Wickhams. Or in more contemporary terms, for every one of Colin Firth, there are several thousand Hugh Grants. The odds are against us. But what can I say- I'm a romantic, and I can't abandon the fantasy of Prince Charming altogether. What girl with a heart can? I mean, I'm not asking to feed the five thousand; I just want one good fish!

Once again, Kristin Billerbeck writes what I'm thinking. The odds may be against me, but I'm trying to be patient and trust that God has a better plan in store for me. If only it wasn't so hard to be patient and trust God's timing! Still, He's always come through in the past. If God wants to drop off Mr. Right a little later than life, then here's to all the adventures I'll have along the way!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Observations from the Road

There appears to be an unusually large amount of roadkill today. Just about every street I used today had some form of dead animal. While going 60 mph down 75th street, I could swear I saw a dead anorexic donkey. But that doesn't make much sense.

Did you know that the Yorkville Police Dept. has a car for their Cadet Officer? Neither did I. Sounds pretty self important with not much experience to back it up. I think they could have come up with a better way to spend their extra tax dollars.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Big Bad Bobby

From the dream I had last night:
I was hanging out at U.S. Cellular Field but I didn't have a ticket to the game, I think because I was just stopping by on my way home from work. Somehow I got to go into this area in front of the lower box seats which was like the bullpen but not because it was sectioned off by a chain link fence. And there were no pitchers warming up. So I was just hanging out there, checking out the game. I think I might have been talking to friends who were sitting in the crowd. Then Bobby Jenks came over to me and we were talking. He told me he remembered me, which made me really happy. Also, in my dream, he was not married. He kept hugging me and telling me how great it was that I came and that we could talk. Then he said that he wished he had known that I was coming (at this point in the dream we appeared to have known each other for longer) because he would have made arrangements for me to have really good seats. He told me that his mom was at the game today and he really wanted her to meet me. I tried to be nonchallant, like it was no big deal to meet his mom but inside, I was really excited, although I think I was more excited that he appeared to have such a high opinion of me. Who knew? Me and Bobby Jenks: Best Friends Forever.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Where's my pint of Guinness?

Well, I guess I know what God's answer is. Last night Jill and I bought tickets for Ireland! YAY!!! I cannot even explain how excited I am! We'll be there for 4 nights and 5 days in November and it's so much cheaper than I ever imagined possible. Somebody pinch me! But not really. That might hurt.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Beauty shot

I just saw Jill on TV! The camera man got a close up of her clapping- perhaps he has a crush on our girl? When I called to let her know, she was obviously thrilled to hear the news and shared this sound byte: "And I'm not even blonde!" That's right, Jill. You're so much better.

For the love of the team

For the past week and a half I've been struggling with allergies and fighting off a cold all while trying to see my patients. It's been fun. This morning I did all my visits and I'll spend the afternoon typing my notes (there might be time for one more visit but we'll see how I feel.) The beauty of the situation is that while I'm typing my notes, I can have the Sox game on in the background. My wonderful friend Jill is lucky enough to be sitting in box seats today. Pretty much I'm jealous!

There are many reasons why I love my White Sox. One of the first things people learn about me is that #1) I'm a Sox fan and #2) I like to eat (shout out to TM!). The fact is, even if they hadn't won the World Series last year, I would still love my guys. It's a quality team, no doubt about it. I love the fact that whenever I see the beautiful trophy, watch a Grinder Ball rules commercial, or a video montage, I still get the chills and feel happy and excited all over again. I got teary eyed during the Home Opener. All those years of believing in my team when they never got the respect they deserved were finally justified when the Sox not only won the World Series, they swept the World Series. And I believe they can do it again! After all, they are currently the #1 team with a 19-8 record. The t-shirt is true: I am feeling pretty good about things these days. I know this is a sore subject for supporters of a certain team that shall remain nameless. I'm not trying to rub salt in the wounds. In spite of your teams current standings, remember that it's early in the season, anything could happen. Don't get me wrong, I'm hoping the Sox blow everyone else out of the water. I just hope to be a light to those who remain rooted in the dark side. Like Grinder Ball Rule #9 says: Be realistic. Expect miracles.