Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hopium

John Kass's column in today's Tribune was pretty amusing. He and I tend not to see eye to eye politically but he gets points for being a Sox fan.

Read the article, then watch the video:



Also humorous:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Encouragement

Shortly after I wrote about Ernie last August, we ended up discharging him from hospice. He was simply too stable and healthy. It was disappointing because I adored visiting him at the nursing home. He's such a sweetheart! Every once in awhile I'll run in to him when I'm visiting other patients but it's just not the same. Also disappointing was not being able to encourage his daughter "Jan", a truly delightful, outgoing woman. Her husband "Jim" has Parkinsons. Jan was pretty busy between caring for her husband and visiting her dad. Even on her down days, she managed to keep a positive attitude. It was truly an honor to work with her. I know she wanted Jim to consider coming on to hospice but he was not ready.

Back in May he began a different program and was discharged on Friday. Over the weekend, Jim did a lot of thinking and decided he was ready for hospice. This is a huge decision and Jan was relieved. Monday night the hospice RN Liz went out to do the admission and today Beth and I did a joint visit. Jan is absolutely thrilled to have us back! She told me today that she was so happy that Jim agreed to the hospice program, that she didn't want to push her luck in requesting who would be on the team. She said she was so happy when Liz told her that Beth and I would be assigned. Beth and I told her that we wouldn't let anyone else be involved! It was so nice to talk to her again, get an update on Ernie, and meet Jim. Jan said she is relieved that I will be the social worker because she felt so supported when I was involved with her dad. Apparently the other social worker does not have much tact or empathy (still new to the job) and Jan feels that this will be a much better fit. It's so nice to know that someone would request me, especially after a week where I have felt I am lacking in skills. That might be my own issue- I certaintly haven't heard any complaints but every once in awhile I feel like I am in over my head and don't know what to say or think. Another social worker told me it takes 10 years in your field before you feel competent. Just 6 more years to go, I guess. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to working with Jan and Jim and helping them find enjoyment in the days ahead.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Today

Work was exhausting.
But I found gas for $3.99. (On Rt. 31 just south of Rt. 56 in Aurora)
Not too shabby!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pitchfork 2008

The rain held off for another great Pitchfork Music Festival yesterday. This is my 3rd year attending the 3-day fest, though I typically can only make it to just one of the days. I'm bummed that I wasn't able to go today for the sole reason that Bon Iver is there this year. Still, yesterday did not disappoint and I walked away with a few new favorite bands.

The Partial Line Up:
(just partial because I only ended up checking out bands on the 2 main stages and we got there a little late due to ticket distribution issues- still got to listen from outside but not sure who it was!)

2:00 p.m. Caribou- A great starter for my Pitchfork experience.
3:00 p.m. Fleet Foxes- Absolutely my pick of the day! I fell in love with the harmonies, the lyrics, and the band.
4:00 p.m. Dizzee Rascal- Energizing rap with enough F-bombs to make a seasoned rapper cringe. Still, I enjoyed his accent and the way he got the crowd pumped up.
5:00 p.m. Vampire Weekend- OK, I know that their debut CD is all the rage but they definitely lack stage presence. At one point, I wasn't sure if the set had ended or if they just had a loooong transition between songs. Once the stage presence catches up to their genius, they will be unstoppable.
6:00 p.m. !!! - Pronounced "Chick Chick Chick." (We were wondering too.) High, high, high energy band that inspires all to dance around them. There were some unflattering camera shots of the male lead singer but I could forgive that based on the band's enthusiasm and commitment to their music.
7:00 p.m. The Hold Steady- Already loved this band and they did not disappoint. I'm digging the stuff on their new album.
8:00 p.m. Jarvis Cocker- I found Jarvis to be mellow and quite enjoyable.
9:00 p.m. Animal Collective- I've heard little bits and pieces in the past. A wonderful close to Saturday and definitely ownable.

The Pitchfork web site has a link to webcasts of all the performances so check it out if you have time!

Other thoughts:
1. Guys should never wear capris or skinny jeans. Actually, I don't think anyone should wear skinny jeans. Ditto on high-waisted pants and shorts. Let's keep that trend in the 70s where it belongs.
2. Brooke and I sat with a few of Melissa's friends. One of them, Chris, was only there because his wife is a big Pitchfork fan. He's more of the death metal type, funny and perfectly harmless. I learned later that people tend to be intimidated by him- not me! Melissa told me I handled Chris perfectly. I didn't realize that he needed handling! Yay for my people skills!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bumper Sticker Thievery

While I was visiting my good friend Christy in Holland, MI, someone stole my Barack Obama bumper sticker again. Apparently Holland dwellers, or at least those in Christy's apartment complex, are not similarly enamored with Obama. I had to laugh when I realized that the sticker was MIA. Never fear, faithful readers. Where there's a will, there's a Barack Obama bumper sticker on the way.

(In good news, I had an otherwise fantastic time with Christy. We shopped, hit the beach, watched some movies, and, of course, ate some delicious food! I left at 8 this morning to go to my family reunion. I seriously adore my family! You would not believe the amount of food that is available at our reunion. I brought my famous whiskey cake, which was a big hit. I had a great time catching up with everyone. My uncle let me see the new kittens- he banned everyone else from the barn. And my cousin Adam finally won money off the chicken poop lotto. All in all, a good day!)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

It finally happened. I've reached the business levels of my youth, or at least of my mid-20s. Somehow every weekend is booked through the end of August. And September is fast disappearing. Between Sox games, weddings, music festivals, work on-call (yuck), and church responsibilities, my time is becoming a hot commodity. Lest you think this business is reserved only for the weekend, my weeknights are consumed with Book Club, Dinner Club, coffee with old friends, dinner with current friends, and so on and so forth. (At least Book Club and Dinner Club are just once a month!) I feel ridiculous telling my best pals that we'll have to schedule something 2 weeks out. How on earth did I used to live like this? I am now more accustomed to at least 1 or 2 nights in. The truth is I really need that time at home, whether to relax, catch up on laundry and errands, or watch my current favorite reality tv show. None of these activities are a bad thing. I just need to strive for balance.

In great news- I passed my LCSW test on Tuesday! Hurrah! It is such a relief to have that over with. Now I just need to fill out my application and it will all be official. God remains silent over what lies in my future career wise but I'm hoping to have some direction within the next year. I figure I should either move on by then or consider myself a hospice lifer. Ironic term, eh?