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Thursday, August 26, 2004
Alice Cooper talks sense
This is a laugh-out-loud article. Some highlights:

"If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal."

I'm not familiar with the Washington Journal. Score one.

"Besides," he continued, "when I read the list of people who are supporting Kerry, if I wasn't already a Bush supporter, I would have immediately switched. Linda Ronstadt? Don Henley? Geez, that's a good reason right there to vote for Bush."

Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Let's see if word of this gets out enough for the Johns to respond.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004
One more month
Before baby's due. Only 10 days, though, before we're considered full-term. I keep reminding myself that I'm not counting on the baby getting here before October, but I'm starting to get impatient- especially now that we have a bunch of cute little baby clothes, blankets, diapers, etc. Some friends from church threw us a wonderful shower Sunday afternoon, and folks are planning one here at work for next Monday. I'm taking Friday off to do the first batch of baby laundry and start getting things organized (now that we have things to organize).

Thankfully, I have plenty to keep me busy at work, though my concentration seems to be lacking (you think?). Must be time to play a Sara Evans CD. It usually helps :)

Saturday, August 21, 2004
Finding humor in odd places
We'll see if I can make this funny rather than just complainy... So they're working on the fourth (top) floor of the building where I work. I work on the third floor, and thankfully nothing's come crashing through the ceiling yet, though every day we all jump at an especially loud noise now and then. Being essentially 8 months pregnant, and having two floors to ascend, I have been taking the elevator every day (admittedly, I started a couple of years ago when they moved us off of the second floor).

There are 2 elevators at my end of the building, and 2 at the other end. Since the construction is going on at my end of the building, the contractors use the elevators at my end. When this whole construction thing started, this was kind of annoying. They had taped signs to the doors of one of our 2 elevators which said that it was "assigned" to contractors working on the fourth floor, so please use the other elevator. Heh. So, when elevator #4 stops at the lobby going up, you wait for the doors to close and push the up button again, whereupon (naturally!) elevator 4 dings and opens again and the up call button goes out. Call me crazy, but it seems like the contractors are not using "their" elevator at the moment, though I'm sure that if I use it to transport myself up to the third floor, they will still find some way to be majorly inconvenienced. Oh well!

So, along with everyone else (apart from one very conscientious co-worker who would usually rather walk anyway, and took to running on, pushing a button to send E4 away, then runnning back off- which is less inconvenient to them how??), I ignored the signs and rode on E4 or E3 depending on which came first. Then, one morning, I came in to find a sign in front of E3: Elevator out of order. "Oh, well- guess I'll have to take E4". Push the button, and E3 opens. Sigh. Push button again, E3 opens. Not willing to be fooled into sitting in a broken elevator all day, I waddle/stomp over to the other side of the building and wait for E1 or 2.

Time passes... THEN, a sign appears on my side of the building: "Elevators 3 and 4 do not have access to the 4th floor. Please use Elevators 1 and 2." So, the elevator assigned to the contractors working on the 4th floor doesn't have access to the 4th floor? Does that mean we'll get our elevator back? Of course not, silly! They have duct taped little tubes over the 4th floor buttons on the elevators. OK, whatever. Then I notice while waiting to leave one night that the elevator has passed my floor. If the elevator isn't going to the 4th floor, the 3rd floor should be the end of the line. Obviously, SOMEONE is using E3 to get to and/or from the 4th floor. And if the contractors working on the fourth floor aren't using the elevator assigned to them to go to the fourth floor, you can call me Fido and I'll play fetch.

Time passes... a few of my co-workers reported seeing a person riding on E4 telling them they're not allowed to ride, which makes perfect sense, because if you're going to pay people to stand in the lobby watching E4 go up and down, you may as well pay someone to ride on E4 and make sure the other folks stay in the lobby.

Time passes... these days E4 never stops for me anymore. I guess they have it on key operation (which is how they should have had it from the beginning, if you ask me). Of course now the little 4 button cap dangles from its duct tape even in E3. Contractors have not allowed my co-workers to ride with them when they're both going up, but guess who has been sighted regularly on E3: people in filthy overalls. In fact, they've recently put in toxic-fumed heavy plastic over the carpet in E3 (following big white footprints on the black carpet).

One day this week, running late for my rheumatology appointment because the people getting on E3 couldn't wait 5 seconds for me to get on it, I intrepidly board when E3 finally returns to my floor, even though it has an up indicator. It won't listen when I hit L, goes up to the inaccessible 4th floor (which slightly resembles the lower level on that Battlestar Galactica episode where the insect aliens were eating all the pretty girls below the casino while Cylons wandered about), where a pair of contractors says "we can take THIS one". I should have hit the door close buttons the instant I got to the 4th floor, if for no other reason than to avoid being eaten by alien insects, but instead I sullenly rode back down to the third floor (where the down button was still illuminated) and then to the lobby with these elevator encroachers.

Next week: if I'm one of the only two people authorized to park in Stork parking, and the other woman started her maternity leave over a week ago, why are the four closest of the five Stork parking spaces already occupied?

Friday, August 20, 2004
You might think
It's a nice thing to get a paystub and see not only almost 3 times the normal amount of pay, but also an extra 800+ hours of vacation. But it can't last (the money can- my promotion and raise were retroactive to the beginning of March). I did move up a pay band, but that only entitles me to an extra week of vacation each year, not 20 for 5 months. Maybe they figure I'll do less damage if they pay me to stay home...

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Kostya vegging out
Posted by Hello


Nursery curtain
Posted by Hello

Monday, August 16, 2004
Remember me?
Well, I did at least score a promotion for my neglect of y'all. The pay raise will definitely come in handy when I cut my hours in the fall!

Other than that, I've been attending classes at the hospital and propping up my bloated feet. The bag of frozen cranberries worked nicely, but I don't think I'll have time for it tonight, since we have to rush off to our last childbirth class. Also means I probably won't have time to post a photo of what I was doing last night in lieu of blogging. Maybe Wednesday (tomorrow night is another class at the hospital- the second of two "Infant Nutrition"- a.k.a. breastfeeding- classes).

Maybe the last six weeks WILL go quickly!

Saturday, August 07, 2004
Jordana asks
if Paul's home. Yes! He got back Wednesday night, a bit later than scheduled, but safe. Check out his blog for some photos and accounts of the trip.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Tricky Blogger
Hid my post, but didn't have it for dinner, apparently. And my blood pressure was up last night for nothing!

Gonna be a good day
At least, I'm hopeful that it will be! At Possum's urging, I spent over an hour last night detailing my traumatic experience with my OB clinic, only to have the entire account disappear. This, when I should have been doing laundry and paying bills. Grr!

But today, it's sunny, but not (yet) too hot, and I get my husband back tonight! Unfortunately, he'll be coming back to a stack of unpaid bills and a disorderly house.
:( At least I got the laundry into the dryer!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Isn't that a Carly Simon song? So- I should be paying bills, putting away quilts and blankets and washing bath towels so that Paul will come home to a tidy, orderly house. But, faced with my first stretch of quiet and solitude in a couple of weeks, I feel more like sitting around and typing at a keyboard. Odd- you'd think I'd rather sit around eating fudgesicles (which are in good supply, thanks to my parents). But Possum told me I should blog about my frustrations with my doctor's office, and since I'm not at work, I think I'll do just that!

So, to set the stage here, I work between two major research hospitals, and my office is about 20 miles from my house. We bought our house in Mebane because we could afford a reasonably sized (1,300 sq ft) place out here. Unfortunately, my house is a long-distance call from work. Which means I can't (ethically) call home without a calling card. Thankfully, Paul got a cell phone with a Durham number, so I can now call him from work. Unfortunately, my doctor's office, vet, etc. DON'T have Durham numbers, which means that Paul gets to do all the Mebane communications.

To make things still more interesting, the doctor's office I go to (we selected the doctor and hospital for their proximity to our home) is a satellite clinic of one based at our county hospital. Which means that every time I schedule an appointment with my OB-GYN office, I have to specifically request that they make it in Mebane so I don't have to drive an additional 15 miles in the opposite direction from where I work. The clinic's policy is for patients to meet all the midwives & OBs since you get whoever's on duty when it's your time. Come to find it is very difficult to get an appt with an actual OB MD in the Mebane office. Seemingly miraculously, I had one for yesterday morning. Friday I got a call from the office, apologizing for the short notice, but telling me that my appointment would have to be rescheduled, which was done, for 45 minutes later. I think you can guess where this is going. I showed up for my now-45-minutes-later appt and am greeted with, "They're not in Mebane today, they're in Burlington. It's ok, though, it only takes 15 minutes to get there, so you can still make it on time."

OK??? What's OK about making me drive 30 extra miles with no warning???? The thought that I should call and make sure which clinic I was supposed to go to crossed my mind at some point Friday, since I had made appointments in the past believing they were supposed to be in the Mebane clinic, and when I decided to check, found out differently. But really, if you reschedule an appointment with a patient 45 minutes after the original, shouldn't you be sure to mention that you're also changing the location, should that be the case??

I was already frustrated with them because I had left all the red tape medical leave forms with them at my appointment three weeks ago, and when I called a week later to find out what was going on, they said they would call me back (and didn't). Keep in mind that I had to take Paul's cell phone with me so I could call them (he having warned me not to use it too much), wait on hold for at least 5 minutes, only to be told that (you guessed it!) I had to call the Burlington office, whereupon I got to wait on hold another 5 minutes. I wouldn't care so much, except that we're supposed to get preferential parking in the third trimester (which started about 5 weeks ago- ahem!), but we don't get it until after the forms come in!!!!

Anyway, back to our story. Thankfully, the usual line at the front check-in desk was empty, though I noticed that the woman who checked me in wrote that I had arrived at 11:20 for my 11:15 appointment (oh, whatever!!!) So when, after checking in at the OB-gyn department and waiting for another short eternity, they finally let me back into the examination area, the nurse says something which sounds very condescending (at least to me, in my agitated state) about how I went to the wrong office. I was not in the mood for sympathy from a member of the vast hippocratic wing conspiracy, since it clearly could not be genuine. She took my blood pressure and didn't say anything for a while. I never have elevated blood pressure, but I suspected it might be a little bit atypical, given my recent ordeal. The nurse said something to the effect of "maybe I'd better try this later- you might still be a little bit upset". That made me laugh. "Yeah, I think so." The fact that I had spent the 15-minute drive fuming through my tears just might have indicated that my blood pressure was up. Finally the doc shows up, 5 minutes, and he's gone, having imparted little of interest other than "everything looks fine" (oh- and "I haven't practiced obstetrics in about 7 years"- real confidence booster).

I knew this would sound whiny, but for heaven's sake- this is no way to treat any customer, let alone a hormonal 7-mos pregnant woman in the middle of the summer. They're lucky I didn't have a stroke. And they didn't let me have the cup to go in until the very end, by which time I had been holding it for about 3 hours. I could have literally exploded! But I'm told that my clinic/hospital is rated highly by my insurer/employer. So when they do finally push me over the edge, at least I will be receiving quality care.

Aardvark's got nothing on me when it comes to ranting- and I didn't even warn y'all!

Great article
By Orson Scott Card. I especially love the closing line

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