Tuesday, May 20, 2008

a day in the life

my company invited a submission of an essay or poem about my experience as a medical transcriptionist. this is what i came up with.

working working all day long
drinking coffee, never stopping
listening, covering ears and listening
tap-tap-tap - what was that?

hushing kids and background noises
trying to figure out foreign voices
looking up words that don't make sense
what the heck kind of instruments?

silence dragging, docs um-hum-ing
was that his right hand? or his left?
flagging errors, my nerves are strumming
medical words dancing through my dreams
wake up and start all over again

Thursday, May 15, 2008

green sugar

as you can see from my links, i've been a fan of DOOCE! for some time. (thanks, alana!) reading some of her interviews today, i'm reminded more of why we blog. it's to tell the stories we'd share with our girlfriends if we weren't so isolated in our modern lives.

so here's my story. a couple of nights ago i sent #1 son (age almost 11, or almost 12 if you believe his line) downstairs after bedtime to fetch something for me. 10 minutes later he came back. i asked him what he'd been doing all that time, and he said "Nothing."

then i looked at his face and saw smears of green around his mouth. "Son," i said, "Son, what have you been eating?"

smirk. "the sugar you put on cookies at christmas." "Son, you know better." "yes, but it's SO GOOD!" with a smirk that says 'i know i should be in trouble, but i'm too cute to punish for this!'

and he was right. i laughed and said don't do it again. i was certainly guilty of worse when _I_ was 10, or 11, or whatever age the child claims today. i used to take baggies full of cereal out of the cupboard for a snack - without asking, and without telling. and at bedtime i'd take a slice of white bread and DIP it in the sugar canister. yum. my sainted mother still doesn't know about that! (i don't think she reads my blog, either.)

so yesterday, when i was lecturing the children about not lying about doing something stupid, b/c i'm gonna find out, and i'm more upset about lying than about the act, i used the green sugar story as an example.

laughing again, #1 son says, "yeah, you caught me red-handed!" and of course i had to add - "or green-faced!" and we all laughed.

as long as we're laughing i'm doing a good job.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


man, i have been coming way too close to living up to my blog title lately. what up with that, huh?

so chatting around about the duggers, who are freaking nuts btw, pregnant with #19 now. and found someone's comment about the russian peasant woman who bore 69 children in the 1700s:

That's not a woman, that's a uterus with legs!

ms. dugger shall hereafter be known as a uterus with legs. talk about addiction!

Happy Mother's Day!

*edit* yes, it's #18. my bad.
the Russian peasant lady did not have any single births. she had twins, triplets, and quads, and 67 of them survived childhood. talk about your Motherland!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

on addiction

some time ago, i had an encounter with a homeless man which really started me thinking.

i pulled into sam's club to do my weekly shopping. i passed a homeless man on the side of the road at the entrance, with the typical signage - please help, anything is appreciated! and i had my usual thought process - i can't give him cash, he'd just spend it on booze. i'm not sure where that indoctrination came from but it's unassailable in my mind now. so i pondered for a moment, and thought "i'll get him a squishy chicken." (my darling sons named the roast chicken from sam's so b/c of its wonderfully tender and flavorful nature.)

i was so proud of myself. i actually remembered this intent through the store, bought the extra chicken, remembered to load the car with the squishy up front, even remembered when exiting sam's to go back toward the entrance to give the chicken to this gentleman.

here's where it gets interesting. feeling very virtuous, i pulled up to him and put down the window.

"Hey, how ya doing?"

'If i was any better, i wouldn't be here!' he says, with only slightly crusty attitude.

"Oops, yeah, i knew that was stupid question by the time it left my mouth. Can you use this?" and i handed him the chicken.

His whole face lit up. he took it, saying 'Bless you!' over and over. and when he lifted it from my hands, he was transformed. 'It's still warm!' he was so grateful.

i turned the car around to get out of the parking lot. i thought to regret that i had no plastic-ware to give him to facilitate eating the chicken, but remembered a wad of napkins in my purse from our last trip to the movies. i gleaned out the ones that weren't too crumpled and returned to his side.

he had already ripped into the chicken. he took the napkins, blessing me again. and i thought to say - "oh, do you want the crumpled ones, too?"

'i live in the woods, i'll take them all!'

i can have a squishy chicken any time i want, and i don't think of it as a miracle. i can go to the movies (it's infrequent with our recent financial stress, but we still do go), and get popcorn and pick up wads of napkins. i don't think of someone as a saint to share crumpled napkins so i don't have to soil my clothing.

who am i to judge and assume he's an alcoholic? there but for the grace of God go i. and i'm an addict to junk food and overeating, and cannot control myself (but i'm starting to try harder). who am i to judge and feel superior?

i've looked for this homeless man every time i go out. i wanted to bring him more food, and maybe a little more compassion and caring, and a little less self-congratulation. i wanted to touch his life. but i haven't seen him since, and i know he's touched mine.