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8/31/04
I know I said this last week, but *this* is my last trip of the summer. I'm going up to MA to pick up my dress for Jen's wedding, and then I'm going over to RI to have dinner with Bill, who I met at Roland's wedding.

And that's it - then I'm staying put until school starts. I swear.

later on 8/30/04
Ceftin tastes like paint.

8/30/04
Oh, I nearly forgot. While we were driving around southern NJ, we passed a medical center that housed the broadly-advertised Endoscopy Pavilion. It sounded to us like an amusement park, so Mom and I came up with some rides. The GoLytely GoKarts. The Fleet PhosphoSoda Colonoscopy Prep Log Flume. The Tunnel of Love through the esophagus. Catch your breath at the Bronchoscopy Break Room. Take the kids, fun for the entire family.

Talked to Dr. C's nurse today - my CT scan showed some kind of opacification in my sinuses, which the antibiotics didn't touch. So I have another antibiotic - Ceftin - for another ten days, and then I need to get the x-rays repeated. Ow.

later on 8/29/04
My friends are too funny. Jay writes, "In honor of the Republican Convention coming to town [...], I shall be sporting a conservative haircut." That just made me laugh out loud.

8/29/04
I can't think of when I've had a nicer weekend away. We left on Thursday night instaed of Friday morning, so we'd have enough time to explore Cape May etc. The motel where we stayed had a vacancy for Thurs night, so they were able to extend our stay. On Friday, we took the Cape May-Lewes ferry over to Delaware (and on board the boat, ran into my friend Carol from NJNS, who was making the same trip with her fiance and her six-year-old daughter). Lewes and Rehoboth Beach are both full of cutesy little stores, and the actual ocean. Mom and I went and stuck our feet in, which felt great after walking around in the hot sun all day.

We made it back to NJ by late afternoon, and took a dip in the pool at the motel - which is right next to the Parkway. I have honestly never swam in sight of the Parkway before. Probably never will again. After that, we did some walking around Cape May in the evening and had an amazing dinner right on the beach - there was a stray(?) cat roaming around the beach outside the restaurant, so I did what I do at home and shared my crab casserole with her.

On the way back to the motel, we (naturally) got lost while driving around looking at the houses (Cape May is known for its big, fancy Victorian mansions) and ended up Wildwood - which has a huge boardwalk full of games, rides and pizza parlors. I hadn't been there in easily 25 years, and we decided to park the car and walk down the boardwalk (and walk off dinner). I won stupid cheesy stuffed animals at the games! It kicked butt. And we went on the Ferris Wheel and just had a really fun time.

Managed to get back to the motel, and slept like a log.

Saturday morning (yesterday), we did some more sightseeing in Cape May, and then went to see Cold Spring Harbor - a restored village ala Mystic and Williamsburg and the Farmer's Museum that I went to in Cooperstown, and then killed time by driving through southwestern NJ - the "garden state" part of the "garden state." It was perfect convertible weather, and we stopped to buy peaches for the drive to AC.

Atlantic City was a blast - I managed to do better than breaking even this time - although I never did learn to stop when I'd won $1000. I get into that mindset of "Oh hey, if I did it once, I can bet some more and do it again!" Which of course never happens. But I did do fairly well, and this weekend, Caesar's had a promotion where you could earn a CD walkman (which Mom did) or a dvd/tv combo (which I did, and it will arrive in four to six weeks).

All in all, it was a terrific weekend - and to top it off, the Yankees beat Toronto three out of four games.

Big thanks have to go to coworker George, who recommended the Motel and gave me some Cape May and Lewes maps and the ferry info. We bought him a box of salt water taffy, which is only made well here on the shore.

In unrelated news, when Kevin and I drove back from Chicago about a month ago, I was wearing shorts and got a bit of a sunburn on my right leg. Well, that area has some weird reddish bumpy rash there - it doesn't itch, it just looks like a rash. I'm going to point it out to Dr. C. when I see him this week - I need to call tomorrow to see if he had a chance to look at my CT results yet. I can't wait to see what it says.

Oh, and the Republicans are invading, so I won't be going into the city this week. Which is fine, since I have to work tomorrow and Thursday, and I'm going to drive up to Pittsfield on Tues to pick up my dress for Jen's wedding.

8/26/04
By the time I got to the hospital to have my CT scan done (which was quick and entertaining), my eye was so pink and puffy and itchy that it hurt to open it. So I went to the nursing office and showed them, and they told me to go home and not work today. No infecting the patients! So I'm home, errands done, dry-cleaning picked up etc.

Mom and I are off on the final trip of the summer tomorrow. We're going to Cape May and then to AC. And in a coincidental twist, our friend Theresa from work and her husband Don (who's holding the Cabrio for me, pending bankuptcy and insurance settlement) are going to be at Caesar's casino on Saturday, too. Small world!

In another small world moment, I've been exchanging emails with someone I met at Roland's wedding in RI - except that we never exchanged email addresses. He got mine from Diane (the bride), and I'd been planning to somehow find out his from Roland. But needless to say, we're in touch, and I'm enjoying the emails. Plans are in the works to get together.

8/25/04
Eyes: itchy and red. Nose: runny. Will the fun never end?

8/23/04
So our hospital is being inspected for Magnet accreditation this week. I'm glad I was off today, because everyone's stress level is just annoyingly through the roof, and there are posters all over the place touting the nursing staff etc. I mean, we have a great staff, but there are definitely areas where we could use some improvement. Anyway, so these inspectors are here all week - I'll get to see them tomorrow I guess, since I'm working tomorrow, Wed and Thurs.

After working a double shift yesterday, I slept all day today. Got home at 7.30am, ate breakfast, took a shower, and fell asleep. When I woke up at 3.30pm, I realized I had nothing to do all day, so I had lunch and went back to bed.

I actually do need to get to the post office, finish up some video stuff, and go to the school to turn in some forms and re-take my Pediatrics review test (which doesn't count towards our grades, which is why I rushed through it and bombed it last Spring). But I wanted to just sleep all day, so I put all of that off. After all, tomorrow is another day.

later on 8/21/04
I nearly forgot to plug Michael and Sonya and Sheldon's show. Here's the blurb from Michael's site:

And don't forget, Tales of Scampi and Other Pretty Things; the Lesser-Known Cole Porter, directed by yours truly, has been booked for an engagement at that Chelsea jewel-box of a cabaret club, The Hideaway Room at Helen's Restaurant & Piano Lounge. As with our last engagement, that sassy songstress Sonya Ledanski, accompanied by ace pianist Sheldon Forrest, will favor us with a collection of Cole Porter tunes that you don't exactly hear every day. Along with "The Scampi" (which was the original lyric to the popular "The Tale of the Oyster"), "I Like Pretty Things" and "Make a Date With a Great Psychoanalyst", the show features beautiful ballads such as "You Don't Know Paree" and "When The Summer Moon Comes 'Long" (the earliest surviving Cole Porter song) and the sassy title song from "Red, Hot and Blue". And if you think you know popular hits like "Anything Goes" and "You're the Top", you may be surprised by some of the rarely-heard lyrics he wrote for encores and reprises.

We'll be at Helen's (169 Eighth Avenue, between 18th & 19th Streets) for three consecutive Friday nights, August 27th and September 3rd and 10th, at 11PM. There's a $15 cover charge and a $15 food or drink minimum. (Helen's has a terrific menu, by the way. I recommend the seafood chowder.) Call 212-206-0609 for reservations.

8/21/04
I really enjoyed my three days off. After working the overnight shift on Tuesday, I slept until Wednesday afternoon, and then drove up to Rensselaer (I cannot spell that town for the life of me). I stopped at the outlet stores on the way up, and hit my three favorite stores: The Book Warehouse, the linens store (for cotton sheets for my bed, I realized last week that I only had one set of cotton sheets, and like four sets of flannel ones), and the Harry and David candy store. I resisted the urge to go to Lladro, because then I would be poor and not writing this, as I would have had to sell the laptop to pay Visa.

I really don't like Albany - it's always struck me as a cold city. And it took me forever to find somewhere to get food. I ended up on Lark Street, where I hadn't been in easily ten years (when I dated someone who lived near there) and ate cheap chinese food. And I didn't want to stay at the horrid Ramada Inn where I stayed last time, but there didn't appear to be any other affordable hotels downtown, so I stayed. At least breakfast was good.

Traffic court was much more enjoyable this time. The officer helped me to plea bargain my fine down to $75 and a stiff warning not to get any more speeding tickets, and I was done by 9.30am. Since it was so early and so beautiful out, I drove west to Cooperstown - home of not only the Baseball Hall of Fame, but also a lovely Farmer's Museum, which was like a mini-Williamsburg or Mystic (er, without the boats, but with the Cardiff Giant (see "hoaxes in American history" for details)). They have a trolley that takes you from one end of town to the other, and about 400 stores with names like "Extra Innings" and "Seventh Inning Stretch" where you can buy Derek Jeter t-shirts and "If it's called the World Series, why is it always played in the Bronx?" beach towels. I resisted.

I had thought that I would spend all day there, but since the museum and the Hall of Fame aren't that large, I was ready to leave by 4pm (which, ironically, is about when it started to rain). So I drove up to Weston, VT, instead, and stayed over at the Swiss Inn. Had dinner at my favorite restaurant, and watched the Olympics until I fell asleep.

Now, I know this will be shocking, but I woke up of my own accord at 7.30am on Friday. Honest. Breakfast at the Inn was like eating in Ireland - fills you up all day. I hit the stores in Weston at 9am, and then drove up to Woodstock, in a part of the state where I'd never really been. Mom told me when I got home that they have a raptor and birds of prey center there - how on earth did I miss that?? Anyway, I stopped in a million and one small towns and poked around a handful of antique and crafts stores, doing some shopping. And since I was out and it was lovely and not raining, I hopped on 89 and drove across the state to Shelburne to visit the Vermont Teddy Bear store again. Their tour is amazingly funny, and the bears are beautiful. I bought another.

That was about it for my trip - I drove back down through Manchester and Bennington and then home again.

When I got to work today, I checked in with the supervisor to see if they needed me for any days this week (when our Magnet appraisers are coming) - only to find out that I was already added to the schedule. Wonder of wonders, she said dryly. And I'm glad I checked, because they had me down for 11-7 tomorrow instead of my usual 3-11. I need to find out who's altering my schedule. So the short version is that I'm working a double tomorrow, and then Tues, Wed and Thurs, and then Mom and I are off to Cape May and AC for the weekend. I want to get in as many hours as I can this week and next because school is starting up again in (gasp) two weeks.

8/18/04
Visited with Eve and theCutestBabyInTheWorld(tm) yesterday, since William's first birthday is tomorrow (but I'll be in traffic court in Rensaeler). He's walking already, and putting everything in his mouth. I brought him a teddy bear and some Dr. Seuss books, but he seemed to enjoy the bag and box that they were wrapped in a lot more than the gifts. So adorable.

They screwed up my work schedule yesterday. I went to work at 3pm, as usual, but my name wasn't on the staffing list. So I called the supervisor, who told me, "Oh no, you're not working 3-11, I have you down for the 11-7 shift." I double-checked the printed schedule on the floor, and it said 3-11. I should have refused to go home, or refused to come back at 11, but the thought didn't cross my mind. So I went home, went to Eve's, took a nap, and came back.

I went to the ER to get some antibiotic eyedrops for my eye. So far they're helping a little bit, but I'm still sticking with the Visine, too.

OK - off to NY for traffic court.

8/15/04
OK, there are lots of attractive athletes from around the world. We can have the Olympics here.

Hopefully by 2012, I'll have stopped sneezing.

8/14/04
It's the return of "eye booger" season. Those of you who get eye boogers know what I mean. Stringy, sticky eye boogers. I've woken up to them every morning (and every afternoon, if I'm napping). My eyes get practically swollen shut with crust and boogers. I'm addicted to Visine. This must stop. Today I washed the sheets and blankets, because I think sleeping on a bed of cat hair hasn't helped my congestion any.

In watching the Olympics, I'm trying to figure out what sports we can feature should the games be held here in 2012. I've come up with:

I'm sure there will be more.

I'm juggling with myself on whether I want to go out to Marie's. I should, because it's Saturday and it'll be fun and there are cool people there. But it's also raining (here comes the tropical storm), Dexter is on vacation for a month so Bruce is playing piano, my eyes hurt and I don't have much money until payday. I'll probably go. I wish it were closer.

8/13/04
I can't even tell you how proud I am of Gov. McGreevy. What an elegant and eloquent speech he made yesterday.

8/11/04
I'm on heavy antibiotics for the sinusitis, and we're going to do to a CT scan when I'm finished to see what's going on with the empty spaces in my head (no comments from the peanut gallery please!). I've been sneezing up a storm lately (including this morning, which is why I'm awake at 9am), and my eyes have been all watery, as if I had bad allergies to summer, and they're just bothering me. I should buy stock in Benadryl and Visine.

I was expecting to work a double shift at work yesterday, but near the end of the 3-11 shift, the supervisor called me and said that since our census was low (it was incredibly low - come on people, get sick), they were cancelling my overnight shift. So I find myself rested with no plans today. I wish they would cancel me for tomorrow, then I could take a mini roadtrip. I was thinking about driving up to the Baseball Hall of Fame, but then I looked up Cooperstown in a travel book and saw that it's only an hour from Albany, where I'll be next week for traffic court. So it'll be easier to just go when I'm up there instead of making a second trip.

And to be honest, I'll probably fall back asleep in an hour.

8/5/04
So I had my head examined yesterday - or rather, some lovely sinus x-rays taken. The results (which I looked up at work today) say that there's a possible cyst or polyp, but that a CT scan is recommended to tell. It looks like chronic sinusitis, which is a nice way of saying sinus infection. But I've had those before and I'm usually blowing snot and phlegm out of my nose 24/7 when I do, and this is really just the headache. So Dr. C. should call me back tomorrow and we'll see.

I'm one step away from declaring bankruptcy. Just have to talk to the bank one more time and see if they'll settle on the car loan, but right now it doesn't look like it. So the bankruptcy papers are all filled out and waiting to be filed in court.

8/4/04
And I'm back. Kind of. I just haven't been in the mood to write or do much of anything. Maybe it's the humidity. Maybe it's the summer. Maybe it's the headache (see below).

Updates:

Part of what made Cleveland so unexciting is that I've had this migraine headache for the past week and it won't go away. Nothing helps - Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Extra-Strength Tylenol, Tylenol with codeine. Nada. So (I got home yesterday) I'm going to see Dr. C. this evening, and maybe he can order a CT scan or MRI or something - it's just really cripplingly painful. The pain meds work for about an hour and then it's pounding again.

Jen was in a car accident - rear-ended. I feel her pain, I really do.

Oh, and Nomar going to the Cubs? And Contreras to the White Sox? And Olerud to the Yankees? What is up with all this trading?

-catherine

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