Nov 28, 2014

I am walking up Bethel Church road, going to the mall.  the road is closed, so I had to leave my car at the King’s restaurant down the street.  I do remember hearing something about a South Hills block party, but I had forgotten it was today.  I notice the street lights are decorated for summer, alternating with gaudy oversize arrangements of fake flowers, and amusement park style lanterns.  Lining the road are a miss-mash assortment of coolers and picnic tables, and food that everyone in the houses has made and set out for the occasion.  potato salads, hot dogs, chips, dip, and I am thinking that “I don’t know these people!  There could be any kind of poison in this food!”  I find two people I know, and we are walking up and down the row, and one of them says, ” I forgot to put out my stuff!” and she runs up the driveway to grab her things.  I notice that she has gone up the wrong drive;  this isn’t where she lives.  But she is running so fast, and the driveway is edged with a stone wall, and dense ivy spilling over and trees arching over the top, so she is out of view in a few seconds.  So I keep going forward, looking for food I can trust, and I come to the end of the roadblock and the entire road is draped in shade, and I wonder why we have been standing in the sun.




Nov 23, 2014

Shopping and Cookies

I am working at a college, and there is a Canadian student that something has happened to, but I can’t remember what.  It is a semi-bad thing, though, because she has to file a report, and I’m the one who gets to take the report.  She has a form from the Canadian Students Union about what she is supposed to do next, and so I come along to help her do it.

And we are supposed to park in the garage in Oakland, walk downtown, go shopping for a dress, and then walk to Munhall to meet her parents for dinner.  So we pull into the garage, and it is like a drug den/homeless camp/seedy motel kind of place.  But kind of in a Pittsburgh way, because everyone has their stuff in their parking spaces, and some of them are reserved with folding lawn chairs.  And of course we get all kinds of looks for being out of place, and the bouncer/lot attendant tells us to go to level four because that’s where our kind are.

But level four is fat white trash cigarette smoking kid-beating Mama Junes and they are laying out on their beach towels with loud beachy music.  And so we lay out our towel, momentarily overlapping the towel in the stall next to us, and are confronted about being rich and entitled.  And we go down to street level in a hurry and walk across the street to downtown.  My kid is there, and Alexis is there, and Alexis’ brother, and now it is a girls’ giggly teen dress-and-jewelry fest, and I sigh.  Zoe picking out $80 dresses that look exactly the same as the $80 dresses she has at home, except they are pink this time.  And the sparkly jewelry, and the nail polish, and the glittery bejeweled hair accessories.  And, thank God, Alexis hands me the phone because her dad wants to talk to me.

There is a problem with the cookies, and he needs me to come over.  And when I get there he has a bowl and a cookie sheet on the black and decker saw horse, in front of the washer and dryer, and the shop light hanging from an extension cord.  The hand mixer is plugged in to the extension cord, but he is having trouble with the meringue.  And he gives the whole thing to me to fix, but he tells me step by step what exactly I need to do.  I notice that when I apply the beaters, the cookies ball up all on their own, so I figure they are ready to put on the tray but he tells me no, look at this and shows me a bunch of smooth petrified rocks that came out of the oven when he did what I was doing.  There is sawdust everywhere.

Meanwhile back at the store, we are all standing on the sidewalk taking pictures of the tsunami as it washes wave after wave into the store, getting splashed by water and running from the spray, and posting them on Instagram.

Dr. Martin and the TARDIS

I drop by to say hi, and he has a classroom full of guys.  He is trying to teach about dinosaurs.  He has a preserved sample of a pterodactyl, he is showing how the wings flap, and explaining the physics behind the lift, and trying to get them to write an equation for flight, accounting for bone density, feather shape and orientation, windspeed, and dew point.  The classroom is kind of an industrial warehouse kind of place, and the HVAC blowers are loud and powerful, and I see a TARDIS in the corner.  Martin notices me, and asks me how I like it (the TARDIS) and do I want to take a shot.  And throws me a baby sized little ball that is so light, its trajectory curves in the airstream from the blowers, and I have to move sideways to catch it.  And of course I am all competitive, and I do the Spock eyebrow thing, and point at the blowers, and he acquiesces  with a tilted little nod, and turns them off.  By this time, all the guys have noticed, and are chanting, and I have one shot to get this little ball into the hoop at the top of this enormous TARDIS.

And I miss.

Nov 22, 2014

Sherlock and John and the little girl.

two separate threads I think.  First, John’s girlfriend, dark hair, red lipstick.  They are out to dinner, round 2-top, cloth napkins, little elegant dinner music from the quartet.  But he is trying to get up the nerve to tell her he is not interested anymore and he just can’t do it.  And they are in a couple more scenes together, I don’t really remember, but then there is John and Sherlock inbed together, naked, big king bed, tangled white sheets on a wood floor platform against the brick interior wall with the track lighting.  And I am reading a magazine article about Martin and how he never does nude scenes, and there are a bunch of nude pictures of him in this little rad, but they all have a strategically placed…apple, coffee cup, knee…..etc.  So I see these two in the bed, and Cumberbatch rolls over and he is clearly not wearing anything, but I can’t see anything either, and it hits me:  two men naked in bed together; THAT’ll get rid of the girlfriend!

The second thread was a 10 year old little girl who was apparently raped.  long hair, glasses, a little chubby.  Outside in a cemetery, cloudy, rainy, cold, me and Sherlock, and an ADA that looks impossibly young and is one of those lipstick-matches-my-nails with the hella eyebrow game kind of girls.  But she is no nonsense, and she knows her shit. There is some kind of obelisk that you have to put a code into, and she is interrogating us and we have to enter our code to prove that we are telling the truth.  And I have a turn, and Sherlock has a turn, and the little girl has a turn, and Sherlock is allowed to take the little girl , arm around her shoulder, to the station.

We meet again in the basement of the police station, clearly the morgue, with the ADA now functioning as a doc, and it is apparently a teaching morgue, because the little girl is on the table (alive, though) and the ADA is teaching us how to do a forensic exam on a rape victim.  And this girl in her glasses and her chub, is nonchalantly laying on the table in the stirrups, letting all of us examine her, and tell ADA what we are seeing, and having ADA point out all the findings we missed.  And she is just not even bovvered. Even points out a few things herself.


Nov 19, 2014

driving downtown with my mom and my sister.  coming from somewhere, and i feel like this is part of the dream that i forgot.  because my sister is looking for a place to have a beer, and i feel like i have directed them downtown.  and we see a place that looks crafty enough for her, and my mom pulls into the same parking garage we used to park in when we went school shopping as a kid.  and we find a spot in the shade, level four, and take the tube slide down to the sidewalk.  Of course, i  don’t fit down the slide,  and i have to open the flaps to squeeze down.  so i do, and denise and BatShit make it down and i don’t remember what happened next.  But there is some kind of Sherlockian mystery, there are clues we are looking for, and when we come back into the garage after solving/scavenger hunting all day, there are a bunch of cops and crime scene tape, and a body rolled in a rug.  and we unroll the rug and on the side of the victim’s foot is a tattooed ‘038’ in ornate script.  and Denise has the same tattoo but she is ‘029’ and we quick roll the body back up so the cops won’t see, and hide the carpet behind some junk in the corner of the garage, and run out the side door.  but someone sees us, and he is draped in white plastic sheeting, and he is chasing us down the street.

And for some reason I am worried about my birth control but it is sunday and i know they are not open today, but we are downtown anyway, and I am trying to sneak away to the planned parenthood.  but my friends are shopping and talking.  but one of them thinks she may be pregnant and we sneak into the pp and steal 2 pregnancy tests, and she pees, and they are negative.  so we all go out to lunch.  and we are having pigs in a blanket, with cornbread wrapped in spiral shape over the hot dogs, and then cut up like sushi.  and one of my friends realizes, ‘hey, if we put a little piece of hot dog on the test, it will be more accurate!’ and so we melt this hot dog down, and put it in the serum well, and guess what?  positive.

same day, but i’m not sure of the order.  me and my dad and my husband shopping for apartments downtown.  crazy expensive, of course, and what i can afford is basically along the lines of a Tiny House.  But they are ugly tiny houses, like modular white fiberboard walls with uneven seams, and they are somehow oriented on the corner of the buildings. and there is flat, thinning carpet, a little musty smelling, with that rough steel sinks in the kitchen and i look in the grandma-like-decorated corner of the bedroom, with the rocker and the embroidered pillow on the floor, and there is a little brown mouse sitting on the pillow staring at me.

Nov 16, 2014

No, you cannot work alone in a HazMat confined space on fentanyl.

Work, again.  sigh.  ( i need a hobby)  And this guy is there for a work physical.  and he is fat, and a smoker, and he does some thing in the mines where he is dangling from the surface in a shaft in a harness, and i don’t know how he is belayed but he has to hang on with one hand and pickaxe with the other.  and after i tell him ok, i go out to my desk to get his paperwork, and guess what.  Vicodin, Fentanyl, trazodone, blah blah.  And I talk to the attending, and she gives me these criteria.  no higher than 10 feet.  no deeper than 20 feet.  never alone. And I go around the corner to the computer with the word processor, and start typing it out in neon marker on shiny black paper.  and carl and matt are there, and they have a CT and they are laughing at this guys brain.  brainstem, cerebellum, ok, and then 2 tiny little shrek-like cauliflower florets for his cortex.  and me and jen and the new girl and carl and matt all go outside and start looking for squirrels on the side of the road.  jen has a cigarette.

Nov 15, 2014

Dr. Rex

Walking down the street, minding my own, and walking the other way is Dr L.  And he recognizes me and says hi, and takes me by the arm and says, ” I haven’t seen you in a while.  Where have you been?”  and after I tell him I don’t work there anymore, he says about there being a journal club thing he wants to invite me to;  some certification course for AP’s to have the minimum skill set necessary for work in the ED, and how he wishes I would come back because this new guy they hired sucks and he can’t believe they got rid of a perfectly good PA to hire this yahoo, and I say “that was ME!”  And he says ‘come with me’ and leads me down the street to a party and Tom is there , and Kim S. and they act like they are happy to see me, but I don’t quite believe it because I just don’t generally believe that stuff. And I start feeling the need to escape, but Tom takes my hand and leads me into the building, and then the whole party is there for the journal club meeting, and sitting in a circle on the floor logging in, and I access the site and it is case discussions but  it turns into just telling war stories.  And they are taking turns around the circle, and I say pass, and start trying to read on my own.

Nick and the drunk and the PE

But somehow I have snagged a patient and Nick O (the nurse) is telling me what to do.  And we are in a room at the far end, unused usually, like a testing chamber, and Nick is moderating my exam and telling me what to do.  And the guy is a trauma, and he is tall and skinny and shirtless and long haired and stringy and crawling around the bed like Gollum and Nick is telling me he’s going to need a CT and I’m thinking, “like hell he does, he’s perfectly intact!”  But he is reminding me that he is a good mechanism, he is drunk, and that he is a welder.  HUH?  “he sits still for long periods of time and he has back pain.”  Nick says.  and the guy is now shaking the bars of the bed, and screaming like a mental patient, and I shoot “shut up, Smeagol!” in his direction and try to concentrate on what Nick is saying.  “PE?” I ask, and Nick is nodding, and that has nothing to do with the trauma, right?, and I am confused, and now I don’t know whether to CT his spine or his chest, and I go and sit by Kari and Kim in the corner, and they ask me what labs I want to order.  And I give them my list, can’t decide if I need a d-dimer, and I want a UDS, and they are asking me about a BAL and I can’t remember if that’s included in the drug screen or not.  And then the screen opens, like the “Monsters” movie, and theres the girl monster, sighing, “can ANYONE tell me Mr. Bile’s big mistake?”

lifting up the street

NYC black and white, cold and snowy, trying to cross the street, and there are street performers and they are lifting up the curb and folding the street and I am trying to step over, but I miss, and I can feel with my feet that it feels the right height, but I can see that it’s not.

moving day

We are moving.  I am in my sister’s room in my mother’s house, all the furniture is gone, but the clothes and blankets and crap is all over the floor, and I have to have it sorted out by tomorrow.  And someone I don’t like is there, Michelle S, maybe?  and is looking at me disgustedly about how I’m doing it wrong, and there is a twin mattress against the wall that I forgot about, and she finds it and goes to bed, leaving me to myself.

the new school

So at the new school, it is still Mr Klase, and it is still STL, but all the people are different.  And ignorant.  And there is complete disorder at drop off, people walking the wrong way down the one way street, kids slithering between parents’ feet, and the ….ugh.  kid wants me to build a mine craft hospital.

helping at the spaghetti dinner


Nov 11, 2014

At Ptrs, working.  He is there of course but I am seeing patients by myself because of some (legit) thing he’s doing, so it’s my turn.  And Iam backed up, there are 3 closed doors, and I am stuck doing this well child for an 8 year old kid who CLEARLY either has ADHD or a bad mom, and I am trying to get him to answer questions and walk down the hall so i can examine his gait, but he is being a brat.  And he is taking up all the time, and there are 3 more patients to see and i am getting pissed.  And I go out to the nurse’s station, and he is packing up already, so I have to hurry even more.  And I hear the kid messing up the eye chart on purpose, but I like mom, so we are taking about the kid’s basketball tournament bracket sheet, and I can see out the window and there is a big field with flowers and birds and sunshine.  And I get pissed.  that he is leaving without helping me, that he is acting like I am the same as everybody else, that he doesn’t even like me enough to wait for me,  and I am chasing and begging again.  so i grab my backpack and my keys and leave out the back and go around the long way, down the basement hallway, past the bar with the neon lights, and come up at the main entrance of the mall, and out into the dark, cold, and wet parking lot.

Nov 3, 2014

Kurt’s broken ankle cartilage

Kurt falls somehow and his ankle hurts.  I order his X-ray, determine he’s not broken, but he still won’t walk on it . So Javaid comes in and pushes it around a little bit and says, “oh, it’s ok, it’s just his cartilage ruptured.”  I am looking at him with the confused face, and he says, “you know,  the forces on an inversion injury pull on the intra-articular cartilage, and that’s the weakest point, so it ruptures. ”  and now he has the confused face because obviously I should know this, but I am too embarrassed to admit that I have never heard this in 15 years, and so I fake it (as usual) and when he leaves, I ask my husband, who is now laying fetchingly in the bed, why a SALTR fracture is a BFD, and a ‘rupture’ is not.

Exercise classes at Michael’s with my mother

And for some reason we are now getting along.  I sign up online for this class, and when I get there you have to sign in under your name on the barre mirror, and the teacher has paired us together with little elementary school name tags, and I don’t see my name but I see Zoe’s.  I must have forgotten I used her name instead of mine, so I sign in under her, and see that I am paired with another 15 year old.  And th teacher tells us to line up, so we do, and she says she wants us, one at a time, to ask a question, do our favorite exercise down the line, then a different favorite exercise on the way back.  so big black dude is first in line, so he asks something, does his little bit ( i don’t remember what his exercise of choice was) and sits down at the end of the row, against the mirror, and lights up a cigarette and eats a bagel.

The teacher, meanwhile, reminiscent of the sighing, flighty english teacher from ‘Clueless’ has breezed past him, and is now taking all our temperatures.  the probe covers are multi colored, but they don’t click on well, and my mother thinks it is some alien conspiracy to collect her data, and so I grab it out of her hands hunt for a purple cover, and take my temp.  it is 98.2

Something about Lasagna.

A hotel?  a school?  with a cafeteria line.  And I go check what today’s offerings, and I see these Ginormous slices of lasagna, all bubbly cheese and saucy.  And the next tray over is buttery parmesan fish.  And something else yummy that my kids will never eat.  so I go back upstairs and tell them, and they say they are going to the Mc, and i say , OK, I’m just going to go on ahead then, and they say ok, and I go get whatever selection number 3 is, and then hit the highway without them.

Luke holding court

He is sitting in a chair, leaning back, knees open like guys do, and I am kneeling in front of him, leaning in, with my arms behind his shoulders, and closer to his face than is strictly allowable, given that we are both married.  but we are talking, and laughing, and I am enjoying him, and nothing hinky is going on except that I am pretty much laying in his lap.  There are tons of other people around, people from work, and no one is looking at us sideways, but then Colleen emerges from her office, a door at the far end of the room, and I know I should back up and give him some appropriate space, but I don’t, and she gives me a look to kill as she walks by in the back hall.  I do have the grace to back off at that point, and she walks over, and she is wearing Zoe’s mustard yellow ruffle tank, and he is clueless, as usual, and treats her like he always does, not an ounce of guilt , and pulls her in and gives her a sweet, sweet kiss.

My parents fixing up my house

I come home from somewhere, and see my husband and kids and dad working in the yard.  the front landscaping is all dug up, horrid half-dead tree, gone.  swanky overgrown misshapen Arbor Vitae, gone.  weedy front lawn replaced with gorgeous sod, and the garage is clean, and inside, m mother has put up molding, and bought all new appliances, and .

Making halloween tick cookies

Nov 1, 2014

Luke and the Boys

Me and Luke, blowing off work, running away.  Up Route 8 (why the F@#$ is it always Rte 8?)  with Mark and Kurt,  and we are passing all these MedEx offices and laughing as we avoid the 304 area codes.  and I guess we are going somewhere good, I kind of remember a forest, but that might be with the other dream) But when we get there, we see Beth W. and she is laughing at us that we made the boys run, and she shows up how to take them along.  So she lays mark down on the rug, and rolls him into it like a body.  And after he is covered up in a couple of rolls, she lays Kurt in there too, and rolls them in together, and they are drying out and getting lighter and dryer, and I am freaking out and she says don’t WORRY, JUST WATCH!  and when she gives them back to me they weigh nothing, and they fly behind us like a kite.  And when we get (home? wherever?)  we unroll them and they rehydrate like little sponge dinosaurs and pop up out of the rug, screaming how awesome that was.  And Luke rolls me into that headlock hug, and smiles at me and pulls me in.


Matt and the Vagabond kids at Greentree

So I am at work, and Val has rearranged the office again.  ( In my dreams she is always redecorating) And in the front where triage used to be, there is now a big round 12 top instead of desks.  And in the message area of Docutap, I know have a selection of internet sites and games, and none of them are blocked.  And matt and I are doing a escape through the forest game…there are dinosaurs and trolls involved) and then we are playing find the fracture on the animated dinosaur bones, and we are not paying attention to the board, and like 10 OCMDs build up, but they are all grey, so we go back to our game.  Then one of my kids is there working on math, and a bunch of little kids come in, dirty curls, like Little Orphan Annie, and the big one is asking for help with evens and odds, and the other one wants to color, and mine is still frustrated at their math ( i feel like it’s mark) and I keep trying to chat with people on Facebook, but i mess up the interface and can’t figure it out.

There are also pickles and potato chips in a bread bag in the kitchen.  The chips are not soggy.  Go figure

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