Wednesday, July 26, 2006

No one should like the Twins

Postive: Brooke and I got to sit in the bleachers right behind Brian Anderson. We had fun chatting. Thome and Crede both hit homers.
Negative: We lost to the Twins! So sad, frustrating, maddening, inexplicable! Shape up, boys or we're going to lose our lead!

Gotta love those cousins

My cousin Patrick (lone fellow Sox fan amongst our relatives) married Felicia in the Dominican Republic June 17. They held a reception for family and friends in Kenosha, WI Saturday night and much fun ensued. I am so happy for them both! Other things I was happy about: dancing the night away and eating prime rib. Delicious!

me, Heather (Jon's wife), and Kelli (Adam's fiancee) who is now bound and determined to set me up with her brother who just got back from Iraq, I'm not sure how I feel about that idea but she seems very happy about it

Me and the boys: Jon, Pat, Adam, and Zack

I managed to get them all out on the dance floor, even Jon. And he was still sober! My aunt told me that I'm the only one who could get him to do that. It's true. There's almost nothing my cousins wouldn't do for me. Let that be a lesson to any guy who breaks my heart- they will hunt you down!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Grandmas are Great!

My grandma told hospice RN Beth that I seem to have found my calling in this line of work and that she is proud of me. How sweet is she? Of course, she also told Beth that she really wants me to get married! Bless my family's hearts. It doesn't bother me though because they are all wonderful, loving people and I am blessed to have them in my life. Plus my grandma makes a mean batch of chicken noodle soup and the best desserts you have ever tasted! Beth told me that Aunt Teresa is her favorite patient and Chaplain Ron called to tell me that he got his picture taken with Aunt Teresa (to help her remember who all the team members are) so he felt special. I know I'm biased but it's always nice when other people recognize how great your family is.

Something that made me laugh this afternoon. We get text messages from the office throughout the day, usually regarding meeting times or if a patient needs supplies or has died. Here it is: "Pt. XYZ at CDH has expired, Ron was singing to her."

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Work comes home

This has been a whirlwind week in every sense of the word. Work has been crazy, not because of a high caseload but because of high need patients. Things have been going smoothly the last few weeks so I knew it was only a matter of time before everything got kicked up a notch. What I didn't count on was work hitting so close to home. On Tuesday my great-aunt Teresa was diagnosed with brain tumors; it is actually a secondary cancer but they will not be further testing to find where the primary cancer is. Teresa is developmentally disabled with the cognitive abilities of a 6-8 year old. She has lived with my grandparents for probably over 30 years. My grandma decided not to tell Teresa what is happening because 1) so far she has no pain issues and does not seems to be aware of her decline and 2) it would scare and upset her greatly. On Wednesday my mom accompanied my grandma and Aunt Teresa to the doctor to discuss options. Basically Teresa has 3 to 4 months left and the doctor recommended hospice. At this point I was not aware of Teresa's diagnosis so I was pretty confused when my mom called to get the number for my agency. She called me back after leaving the doctor and filled me in. Such a shock. I don't think anyone in the family has really comprehended it yet. On Thursday Teresa was admitted to my hospice. There was a bit of dialog between me and my supervisor regarding what role I should play, since my grandparents technically live in my territory and my grandma requested that I be the social worker. I was ready to respect whatever decision Joyce made. In the end they decided that I should just be a family member instead of the social worker and in hindsight, I think it's the best. I was able to pick the team that will be working with them which was a huge weight off of my mind. I really like all of my coworkers but it's funny how things change when it comes to your family. Yesterday I went out to the farm and spent time with everyone. I was really unprepared to see how declined Teresa is. I hadn't seen her since Father's Day and there is such a marked difference. She has to use a walker now and at times it seems like she does not remember how to walk. It's been an emotional week and I'm not able to think about life without Teresa in it yet. It's been good to shepherd my family through the hospice admission and answer questions. They are getting a better sense of what I do, ironically. I suppose at the very least this will help me relate better to my patients and families. We used hospice for my great-uncle 12 years ago but I don't remember much about that. To be a part of this journey and to use my own expertise to help my family is a blessing. I pray that God will comfort us and give us strength for whatever comes our way.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Long Haul

Guess who was at the longest game in US Cellular Field yesterday? That's right, me and Jill. We stuck it out for all 19 innings (6 hours and 19 minutes) to see our boys toss out the Red Sox 6-5. JD proved once again what a stellar player he is: he homered in the 9th inning tying the game and made all kinds of catches in the outfield, even acquainting himself with the fence at one point. It was crazy!
We tried the Park in Chinatown and Take the Red Line method which went pretty well aside from parking being a little difficult to find in Chinatown on a Sunday afternoon. Nonetheless, after the win we stopped to indulge in bubble tea and then made the trek back to the suburbs. It was a good, albeit long day.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

My special gift

I would like to take this moment to share with you a special gift I have, a talent if you will. Some people have gaydar. I, however, have Soxdar. What is this special gift, you ask? We live in a freakish world where loveable losers gain the biggest fan base. Those of us who support winning yet underappreciated teams form an immediate bond upon learning that we cheer for the same team. For instance, when Jill and I realized at Winter Retreat 2005 that we were both White Sox fans, I knew then that she would be a friend for life. And guess what? Now we're going to Ireland together. The Lord works in wonderful ways. But I digress. The fact is, even though the Sox are getting more respect because they are World Series Champs, they still have an underrepresented fanbase. It really defies logic. Here's where my gift comes into play. At any given time, I have the ability to spot Sox gear from yards away, whether it is a license plate frame or bumper sticker, a fan wearing a shirt or hat in a passing car, or a sign on a house. It does not matter how fast the car (mine or theirs) is going or where I'm at. If there is a Sox fan in my midst, I will spot them. It brings such satisfaction to my heart knowing that I have found someone else who has chosen the way of life, light, and goodness. It gives me hope that one day everyone will see the light and realize that the White Sox are the only team worth cheering for.

On a side note, Kelly, Jill, Paul, and I were at the game last night. While I have never had so much trouble finding parking before in my life, we had a great night, the Sox won 4-2 (of course!), JD performed very well, and Paul won my Favorite Person award for his spontaneous decision to join us for the game with only an hour's notice! Thanks to Jill's dad for the tickets- he is just really really ridiculously awesome!

Punch AJ!

The White Sox have 12 reasons why AJ Pierzynski deserves to go the All Star game. Here are my favorites:

12) Because how can you not vote for a guy who kissed the World Series trophy, a dolphin and Oprah all in the same year?
11) Because of last Saturday's game-winning home run against the Cubs.
10) Because if the American League wants to win, it's smart to have a guy who hits .356 in the late innings and .571 with the bases loaded...and hasn't been on a losing team in five seasons.
9) Because you have to love a guy who names his daughter A.J.
6) Because let's face it: The Sox don't play the Cubs again this season, so if you don't "Punch A.J." now, he might have to wait until next summer.
5) Because he would be the only two-sport star in the game (pro wrestling and baseball).

What are you waiting for? Punch AJ now!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Turn the music up

I regularly binge on CDs and so here's what I've been listening to this week:

Eels- Blinking Lights
Gnarls Barkley- St. Elsewhere
Matisyahu- Youth
India.Arie- Testimony: vol. 1, Life & Relationships
Corinne Bailey Rae- self-titled
Patty Griffin- Flaming Red
Little Big Town- The Road to Here
Death Cab for Cutie- Plans