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5/31/11
The morning supervisor asked if I could work tomorrow or Thursday morning shift for her due to an emergency. I said I'd rather work tomorrow since I'm already working tonight, and at least I know I'll be awake for it. I've never worked as the day shift supervisor before, I'll give my DON a call tonight and ask what else I need to do besides the night shift duties. I hope I can stay awake for the day shift!

5/30/11
In the "awesome news" category - the daughter of one of my coworkers is a concierge at the Arizona Biltmore (where I've booked my birthday getaway). She apparently gets huge discounts, so he's going to find out if she can get me a better room deal or spa/restaurant discounts. He'll let me know tomorrow morning what she says.

In the "not as awesome" category, I don't think the lower eyeliner is "sticking" - after the skin flaked away, as tattoos do, the color seems to have mostly disappeared. I'm not happy about that, and I wonder if it's something in my skin or something in the technique. I'm going to wait a week or two and see how they heal overall, and then give the woman who did them a call, to get her opinion.

later on 5/29/11
The Diamondbacks are in first place in the NL West. I bring the winning spirit, apparently.

5/29/11
Enjoying my first Arizona sunburn, as I forgot to reapply my sunscreen yesterday. My coworker Sarah, who I hit it off with, came over to enjoy the pool for a few hours. After working on the burn, I came up, turned on the AC, and napped before work. Today's a nice, cool (relatively, 84) day with a great breeze, so I have the patio doors open to get some fresh air in. I've been turning on the AC for an hour or so at a time, just to cool off the apartment, the ceiling fans do the rest.

Anyway, I'm just briefly awake to watch some of the Yankees game - going back to bed in a few minutes so I can do my 12-hour shift tonight.

5/27/11
Because it's baseball season, and we haven't read the "baseball is better than democracy" speech in a while:

From Take Me Out:

I have come (with no little excitement) to understand that baseball is a perfect metaphor for hope in a democratic society.
It has to do with the rules of play.
It has to do with the mode of enforcement of these rules.
It has to do with certain nuances and grace notes of the game.
First, it's the remarkable symmetry of everything. All those threes and multiples of three -- calling attention to -- virtually making a fetish of -- the game's noble equality. Equality, that is, of opportunity. Everyone is given exactly the same chance. And the opportunity to exercise that chance at his own pace. There's none of the scurry, none of that relentlessness that marks other games -- basketball, football or hockey. I've never watched basketball, football or hockey, but I'm sure I wouldn't like them. Or maybe I would but it wouldn't be the same.
What I mean is, in baseball there's no clock.
What could be more generous than to give everyone all these opportunities and the time to seize them in, as well? And with each turn at the plate, there's the possibility of turning the situation to your favor. Down to the very last try. And then, to insure that everything remains fair, justices are ranged around the park to witness and assess the play. And if the justice errs, an appeal can be made. It's invariably turned down, but that's part of what makes the metaphor so right. Because even in the most well-meant systems, error is inevitable. Even within the fairest of paradigms, unfairness will creep in.
And baseball is better than democracy -- or at least than democracy as it's practiced in this country -- because unlike democracy, baseball acknowledges loss. While conservatives tell you, ''leave things alone and no one will lose,'' and liberals tell you, ''interfere a lot and no one will lose,'' baseball says, ''Someone will lose.'' Not only says it -- insists upon it! So that baseball achieves the tragic vision that democracy evades. Evades and embodies. Democracy is lovely, but baseball's more mature.
Another thing I like is the home-run trot. Not the mad dash around the bases when itís an inside-the-ballpark home run Ė Iím not sure Iíve ever seen an inside the-ballpark home run Ė Iím talking about that graceful little canter when the ball has been crushed, and itís missing, and the outcomeís not in doubt.
What I like about it is -- itís so unnecessary.
The ballís gone, no oneís going to bring it back. And can anyone doubt that a man capable of launching a ball four hundred feet is somehow going to fail to touch a base when heís running uninterfered-with? For all intents and purposes, the game, at that moment, is not being played. If duration-of-game is an issue Ė and Iím given to believe that duration-of-game is an issue Ė the sensible thing would be to say, yes, thatís gone, add a point to the score, send the next batter to the plate.
But thatís not what happens. Instead, play is suspended for a celebration. A man rounds four bases and, if heís with the home tam, the crowd has a catharsis. And from the way he runs, you learn something about the man. And from the way they cheer, you learn something about the crowd. And I like this because I donít believe in God.
Or Ė well Ė donít know about God. Or about any of thatÖ metaphysical murk.
Yet, I like to believe that something about being human isÖ good. And I think whatís best about us is manifested in our desire to show respect for one another. For what we can be. And thatís what we do in our ceremonies, isnít it? Honor ourselves as we pass through Time? And it seems to me that to conduct this ceremony not before a game or after a game but in the very heart of a game isÖ quiteÖ well, does any other game do that?

5/26/11
I had a great morning with Laura - she's trying to convince her fiancee (and sister, and brother-in-law, and mother) to move to Phoenix. We were going to go to Hole in the Rock, but there was a big sign that the killer bees (seriously) were out in full force, and the rock was closed to climbers. So instead we just went downtown to Local Breeze (love that place) for lunch, and then drove around the highlights-of-Phoenix tour - downtown, Coronado Historic District, Biltmore Estates, past the fancy-schmancy resorts, through Scottsdale and back to her hotel. Fun morning!

My eyes are less sore, but still swollen up a bit.

Email from the DBacks: "Thank you for participating in our recent Arizona Lottery Gonzo Grand Slam Promotion at Chase Field and Fryís locations across the valley. While you were not selected as a grand prize winner, you were selected to receive a pair of VIP Clubhouse Box D-backs tickets, courtesy of the D-backs and Arizona Lottery. Congratulations! Please contact me no later than Thursday, June 2, 2011 to claim your tickets."

I managed to get one VIP ticket to two games, because that's how I roll.

later on 5/25/11
So my eyes are sore and a bit swollen, but they're going to look fabulous. The woman who did them - she's a surgeon in Mexico, and an aesthetician here - was great. She helped me learn a few new Spanish words. And she used a lot of lidocaine gel before starting, so the initial tattoo just felt like a tickle. Of course, after the first few layers, it did start to hurt (and the bottom eyeliner really stung), but like she said, it only hurts once and that's it. So I've got to put some ice on my eyes to cool them down, and they'll be all "healed" in two weeks or so (but much less red and puffy in a day or two). Love them.

Oh yeah, they're navy and white on the top (not only do they make my eyes look bigger, but hey, they're my favorite team colors), with brown on the bottom.

5/25/11
I managed to wake up and go to the 1.30pm inservice yesterday about this computerized care tracking system that we're going to be using. I'm glad I did - it looks very cool. My plan was to play around with it last night so I can teach the CNA's how to use it, but the system wasn't working right just yet. It still looks very cool. Once everyone gets used to it, it'll save a lot of time and paperwork.

Today I'm off to get the permanent eyeliner tattoo done! I got home from work this morning and took a nap, so I'm partly-awake, which I guess is a good state to be in for having someone near your eyes with a needle. Hope it goes smoothly - the rest of the day will be spent on the couch with an eyepack and some Motrin.

And then tomorrow I'm excited to see my friend Laura - Kati and Eve's cousin - who I haven't seen since Eve's wedding shower, about ten years ago. We reconnected on Facebook, and she's out here visiting friends, so we're going to get lunch tomoorrow. I told her I'll probably be blurry and red-eyed.

5/21/11
Wait, the world didn't end? Shocking. Altho this week we're supposed to have seasonably low temps here in Phoenix, in the mid-80's. I tell you, this severe weather trend could be a sign of the Rapture.

I had fun at the ballpark last night. It really is a relaxing place to hang out. Did two cool things last night. First off, the AZ Lottery folks have certain nights (last night was one) where if you buy a $10 lottery ticket, you get a spin-the-wheel for a prize thing (I'm wearing my AZ Lottery t-shirt right now), an entry in a contest to meet Luis Gonzalez at a game in June (I may punch him in the face if I win), and a free ticket to an upcoming DBacks game on the next homestand. Since I already have tix on days I can go, I gave that voucher to my coworker Mary, who despite being a Red Sox fan is a pretty cool woman to work with. The second cool thing is that they've opened up the "suite level" to all fans this season. Not that you get to sit in a suite, but you can enjoy the lounges (with comfy chairs), bars/concessions, HDTV's and air-conditioned goodness during the game. Their concessions are different than the standard ballpark fare, and I noticed a cheesesteak operation. Next time I go (in two weeks), I'll be checking that out.

I did not win anything on my $10 scratchoff lottery ticket at the game. Guess I'll have to keep working.

5/20/11
Ah, I was too tired to go to the midnight showing, so I went to the noon showing instead. Matinee pricing! After the first Pirates movie, which was the best, this is my favorite. I totally enjoyed it. I especially liked the nods to Hamlet.

I got a thank-you voicemail from the Arizona Broadway Theater people, for my donation. That was nice of them! The woman also said that she noticed I had seen two shows there, and she hoped I enjoyed them. I kind of wish I could have talked to her, to tell her that since my friend-of-a-friend Heather is now settled in as their stage manager, I'll be taking advantage of her friends-and-family discount from now on. Especially since next season they're doing four or five shows I want to see (and if their production of The Will Rogers Follies is good, I'll be seeing it multiple times).

The apartment folks sent around a notice that they'll be doing the annual maintanance inspection and changing-of-the-AC-filter next week, my building is scheduled for Thursday. Haven't used the AC much yet - but I can see it getting a lot of use this summer.

I turned on the MLB Network and voila - the tarp is on the field at Yankee Stadium. On a Friday! No! I'm DVR'ing the Yankees/Mets game so I can watch it when I get back from tonight's DBacks/Twins game. I hate interleague, but it's a beautiful night for baseball.

5/19/11
Got my nails (fingers and toes) done today, and did my support-the-arts bit - made a donation to the Arizona Broadway Theater and bought my season tix for next season at ASU Gammage. And now I'm off to do my sports bit by going to the Diamondbacks game, and then, if I'm awake, I'll do my Pirates of the Caribbean bit by going to the midnight showing of the new movie.

5/18/11
Brr, it's in the 70's here, with a 20% chance of rain today. The skies are actually gray and cloudy - kind of how the past six months in NJ have been.

How good do I feel? After seeing some of coworkers with the permanent eyeliner, I've decided to go for it. It'll save the trauma of my oily skin melting every bit of eye makeup I put on. So anyway, one of my CNA's recommended a woman who did hers 12 years ago (and who used to be a doctor in Mexico). So I called her up today and made the entire transaction in Spanish (with a little English for words like "eyeliner," which she knew). I feel pretty dang good. So anyway, I'm going next Wednesday.

5/17/11
First night back at work was uneventful, except for the part where I tripped over a wire and landed on my knee. Ow. And after work I ran over to the clinic to get my lab results and fill out a form for work - discovered that I gained 7 pounds and about 30 cholesterol points since I moved here. Ack. Gotta start walking more. This life of leisure is fattening.

5/15/11
Had a great week with Mom out here, and I'm trying to talk her into retiring and buying a golf cart.

To sum up: Desert Botanical Garden, tour of Peoria, dinner (chalupas) at the apartment, dessert with a coworker at her condo in Sun City. Drove the Apache Trail to Roosevelt Dam, saw The Full Monty at the Arizona Broadway (dinner) Theatre. Drove out to the pottery place in Surprise, then up to Cave Creek, then down to Tucson for dinner with Jolene and Rodney (and watching the Red Sox win, ugh). Skipped the Live from the Met opera broadcast (six hours of Wagner when the weather is so nice? No way.) and went for brunch downtown and then to Taliesin West and then to the pool and dinner with my friend Michelle. Ahh.

Oh and I made a reservation to stay at the Arizona Biltmore hotel for two nights around my birthday. I've never stayed at a Waldorf-Astoria hotel! And they're "pet friendly" so I'll have to give them a call to see if there's a fee so the kitties can come with me (tho I'm sure they'll be just thrilled to see the cat carrier come out).

5/11/11
Off to pick up Mom at the airport!

And in good news, they're done painting my part of the building, and the plastic wrap is down. So I put all the patio stuff back outside. The cats are delighted with the fresh air, too.

5/10/11
Because of the apartment building being painted, they put plastic sheeting up over all the windows and patio doors. I feel like I'm trapped in an isolation room. They're painting outside my kitchen window right this very minute. And at work, they're replacing the carpeting on the unit I work on, so the floors are bare concrete right now. Perfect time to show Mom the beautiful spaces I inhabit.

Today I have to vacuum, dust and clean the bathroom. I already did the grocery shopping and the laundry.

5/9/11
It's apparently Nursing Home Week (who knew?), so all week long, our facility is doing things for us - today we had a free breakfast buffet - starting at 6am, so the night shift could enjoy. I pulled supervisor rank and said, "no one gets between me and my bacon." It was really nice of the administration.

One more night of work - and one more day of vacuuming and dusting - until Mom comes to visit.

5/8/11
Happy Mother's Day - I give you the gift of Francisco Cervelli hitting a grand slam (which of course I was asleep for). Yay!

5/7/11
Happy birthday Jen, back in MA. May it stop snowing.

They're power-washing my building today - the cats are just thrilled with the noise. All of my patio furniture is either in the patio-storage closet or the den, and my flowers (the daffodils are dead, following a freak windy-day accident) are in the living room, so I can bring them back outside for watering fairly easily. They said the washing and painting of the building would take about a week, hopefully they'll be done with my part of it by Wednesday when Mom comes, so we can enjoy some outside patio time.

5/6/11
Well, with the unexpected day off (I was going to work tonight as overtime, but it turned out they don't need me to come in), I thought about doing something productive, like cleaning the apartment or going on a roadtrip or checking out the art museum that I still haven't been to yet. Instead, I went to the library, soaked in the pool and the hot tub, and vegged out on the couch with a jar of salsa and some tortilla chips. Tonight I will watch baseball. I think that's fairly productive after all.

I turned on the AC for a bit, since it's over 100 today and supposed to be over 100 on the weekend. I usually don't like the AC at all, but that's because I'm used to a wall unit that blows right on my face. I could get used to this central air.

later on 5/5/11
It was a lovely 100 degree day, perfect for sitting in air-conditioned stadium. They had the roof closed when I got there, but opened it just before gametime. Chase Field has a restaurant on the suite level - the Arizona Baseball Club - which is open to any fans that want to eat there. It's snazzy. They have indoor seating and two levels of outdoor seating, overlooking the field (I wish NYY Steak had seating overlooking the field). So I splurged and ate dinner there. They have an ala carte menu, but also a $35 all you can eat buffet, with BBQ beef, sliders, several salads, organic veggies, molasses baked beans, mac and cheese, soup, cheese and olives, plus they had a make-your-own-sundae station and bananas foster for dessert. I practically rolled out of there after a few innings gorging myself on goodies. Oh! And in a small world moment, I ran into one of our registry (agency) CNA's there, who I had worked with on Sunday night.

They're painting the apartment complex, and today there was a notice on my door that our building is next. They start on Saturday at 7am. So I had to pull in all the furniture from the patio. Fun fun.

5/5/11
I'm so glad to see Rudy Giuliani joining the president at Ground Zero today.

In other news, I paid $50 to fill up my gas tank today.

5/4/11
I saw this guy at Lowe's today, and he was buying "steer manure" by the bag. I told him I didn't know they sold bullshit in bags now - he couldn't stop laughing.

Yum. Today is the grand opening of the frozen yogurt place up the street, so they were giving away free small-size yogurts. It's a self-serve place where you can pick your flavor and then add toppings, and they just weigh the whole thing. So I had the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup yogurt with - what else - crushed peanut butter cups on top. And to top it off, the restaurant next door was joining in the festivities by giving away free chocolate eclairs. A very healthy dinner!

5/3/11
Productive day - grocery shopping right after work (no lines), but I have to go back tomorrow to get a rotisserie chicken (for my quick and easy chalupa recipe), since they didn't have them cooked at 7am. Then sleep, then Target for a new digital camera (big sale) and some skimpy sundresses and trail mix, and now I'm going watch last night's House and veg poolside before napping before work.

5/2/11
I'm still stunned about the news of Osama Bin Laden's death. I was crying when I heard the news at work last night and watching President Obama on television. I feel a little bit of closure, but still worry now about retaliation and riots and lord only knows what else. One day at a time... I thought the president's statement was exactly what we needed to hear. Very well done.

One of my residents from last night is also a (former) New Yorker, who was in Newark on 9/11. She and I spent some time together talking about it.

Gonna go curl up with some Anderson Cooper now.

5/1/11
Holy cow, I have TV in my bedroom. I can stop falling asleep on the couch now.

-catherine

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