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June 30, 2006

48 Hours

They say the joy is in the journey, right? So far it has been decent, if long, travels.

From the time I got up Wed. morning in Dallas, until I got to sleep again at Camp Zama, Japan was 24 hours. The 13 hour flight was nice though, quiet. I had a portable dvd player, my ipod, and part of Steven King`s The Dark Tower series to keep me occupied.

It is great to be spending time with my Nerdstar!!

The first hassle, though, was just getting onto base. It was a three hour bus ride from the airport to base. No one told her she had to do all this paperwork to get me a pass to get onto base. We got a guy to give me a one night pass and then it took her over 2 hours this morning to get all the crap done required to get me a pass for the whole week.

So we got a little late start to Tokyo, but not too bad. The trains here are great. You are not allowed to talk on cell phones on them. Imagine not being able to talk on cell phones on New York subways!

The second hassle was trying to follow the directions from the train station to the hostel. But we finally found it. It is a nice little room with all the things that matter, a bed (with the hardest mattress ever), a shower and a/c!!

We`re off to find somewhere to eat some dinner. If all else fails, we passed a McDs on the way to the hostel.

Further bulletins as events warrant.

Posted by Beth at 06:08 AM
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June 27, 2006

Ready to Fly

It's been nice being here in the Dallas area for a few days. But, I tell you what, there are just too many people around for my taste! I guess good food and shopping come with a price.

I'm spending today finishing up those last few details before flying out tomorrow. I'm pretty excited. Can't wait to see my Nerdstar!!

Posted by Beth at 12:30 PM
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June 24, 2006


My Nerdstar passed the boards to be promoted to Lieutenant! I'm so proud of her.

I think comments here are still messed up, and since I don't know why - go leave a comment for Nerdstar at her site.

Posted by Beth at 11:21 AM
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June 23, 2006

Life Is Good

Life is good hanging out with The Kid and the dog. Ramen is so happy to have a backyard to run around in.

The Kid is at Vacation Bible School and I'm at the public library with 44 minutes of internet time. But it's free and easy.

We had a full day yesterday. VBS, lunch, bought a new toy at his favorite store - the Dollar Tree, played on the play area at Chick-Fil-A, went to see Cars (we really enjoyed it!!), played indoors, played outdoors, played indoors, took a bath.

My favorite part of the day was hanging out in the backyard with the two of them.

It's a little weird staying at my parents' house without them there. I've only done that one other time - and that was my senior year in high school. It was also a little weird setting foot in the church I grew up in.

The Kid leaves tonight to spend the week with his mom - he alternates every other week. He doesn't like to go and told me he's ready to tell a judge he doesn't want to go there. Poor kid.

I'm looking forward to doing a little shopping the next couple of days. It's nice to spend time in a place with good food and good shopping and no real plans.

Posted by Beth at 09:46 AM
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June 20, 2006


I am on vacation!!

I've got a Mav's basketball game to watch tonight. (I cussed at the tv a lot the other night after their 1 point loss.) One last time I have to walk the dog before he was 3 weeks of backyard time! I've gotten 2 litter boxes ready, washed the dishes, gotten all of the bills set to be paid, and am almost packed (mostly because I'm just putting the whole laundry basket in the trunk).

Tomorrow morning I just have to finish loading the car, drop off the rent check, mail out a package to Nerdstar, get some breakfast, and hit the road.

I'm excited to see The Kid tomorrow. Thursday we take him to see Cars and get ice cream. I'm almost as excited to get to eat Whataburger, Chick-Fil-A and Braums Ice Cream!

I shoule be back online Saturday, I'm hoping to use some free wifi at Barnes and Noble while staying at the folks.

Posted by Beth at 08:09 PM
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June 18, 2006


I don't expect this post to be very coherent.

My best friend from kindergarten to high school graduation was Theresa. We've been in touch a few times over the years since then, but haven't stayed close. Growing up, our parents were good friends, too.

Today, my Mom called to tell me Theresa's mother had died. It makes me so sad.

I hate death. I mean really, really resent and hate it.

I don't know if it's because I'm 38 and feel like I haven't even gotten started with my life, much less want it to be half over. Or because death is, for all we know, so damn permanent. Even if there is something after this life, and it does last for "eternity", then that makes the shortness of life here and now seem even more of a bad deal. (This post isn't about starting a debate about religions or the "afterlife".)

If I'm ever given a choice to "freeze" at whatever age I am for as long as I want - I'd make that choice in a heartbeat!

Posted by Beth at 10:24 PM
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If you've tried to leave a comment and were unable to, please let me know at

I'm not sure why, but I think the spam protection is working too well on comments.

Update: Ok, I turned off MT Blacklist for the time being to see how that works. I was able to post a trial comment that I wasn't able to before. I hate when I don't understand why something isn't working.

Posted by Beth at 08:11 PM
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Two good reads

I don't even know how to summarize this post over on the Volokh Conspiracy. It deals with gay rights, religious accomodation under the law, and civil rights. Just go read it.

Then read this one: "Is there Enough Libertarian and Conservative Support for Gay Rights for it to Matter?"

Posted by Beth at 07:48 PM
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June 17, 2006

Getting Ready

I feel like I'm getting ready for two separate vacations. I've got almost a week at the folks' house in Dallas before flying out to see Nerdstar. I'm going to use that time to visit a couple of days with Zach before he goes to his mom's, see a couple of movies, do some decent shopping, and some really good eating! I'll have my laptop up there, too.

There are so many little details to take care of before being gone for three weeks. But I've put the mail on hold, given the keys to the dude looking after the cats, got all the bills ready to be paid for the first of the month, got lots of dog food, cat food, and cat litter. Now I've just got to do a little more house cleaning and load up the car Wednesday morning. Today I'm finishing updating the iPod.

I feel kinda weird about being gone from work 2+ weeks since I just got settled into the routine around there. But, oh well.

This time next week I'll be really excited about going to Japan. Right now there's just too much time and too much to do before then.

Posted by Beth at 01:27 PM
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June 16, 2006

Is It Wrong?

To need a vacation from your pets?

I think a 3 pet to 1 human ratio is way out of whack!! Ramen is better behaved without Nerdstar around, and sighs a whole lot less. But still, he's a needy dog and I'm the only one here for him to pay attention to. And I'm also the only one here to walk him, and we're on a 3rd floor apartment. I'm so glad he's going to be at my parents' house with the kid and the backyard for a while.

The cats, well, the cats are starting to drive me crazy. I think they miss being able to run around outside tremendously! I don't blame them. I feel terrible that they're going to be cooped up for almost 3 weeks with just someone to check on them. Then again, I'm not going to miss being walked all over and woken up ass early in the morning by the boy cat.

Posted by Beth at 09:59 PM
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June 15, 2006

Must be the weather

I'm not sure why, but we've had patients be a little more fragile this week it seems. Two days in a row we had a patient faint. And today we had two young women who had to be drawn on the lay down station instead of the regular drawing chairs.

Yesterday I was supervising a student and it was one of her first ten or so draws - she was just about done with the third tube and about to pull out the needle when the patient said "I'm going to faint" I said "seriously" he said "yes" so I was going to get some water and as I did - out he went. Thankfully the chairs are designed so if they fall foward the arm bar thing is there to keep them from falling out of the chair. The funny part is he's a paramedic!

I've also found that men tend to be either a lot more onery or a lot more of a wuss than women.

Posted by Beth at 07:51 PM
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June 14, 2006


I think I'm the only one watching Next Comic Standing. I'm also convinced that they're selecting people to live in a house together for tv - NOT the truly funny comics. Not one of the people who've made me laugh have been chosen. I can't be that wrong about what's funny.

That's what I'm sayin

Wow, now that I've read all that crap about who the 12 are, I'm totally done watching the show. Can you imagine if American Idol contestants had such extensive singing resumes?

Posted by Beth at 11:04 PM
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Not PC

I saw a flyer posted in one of the elevators at work (they use that space wisely, I think) for a seminar on "poverty and prejudice" - somehow I'm pretty sure they won't be talking about how poverty stricken people tend to be pretty darn prejudice.

Posted by Beth at 09:22 PM
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June 13, 2006

Back To Nice

I really love this post by Kristie about Practicing Radical Hospitality.

Back in my church going days, I think it was something I really did do. I used to pick up hitchhikers (rarely, but I did), open my house to strangers (who became good friends), and always tried to be kind to service worker types and smile at passerbys.

When I stopped participating in organized religion, and everything in my life changed, I took up a mantra of selfishness. And while I think that was good and necessary at the time, I'm pretty sure that time has ended.

I'm really starting to feel that deeply caring, kind, openly friendly person coming back out. That's one thing about my job I really enjoy. I'm sure there are days I talk way too much to my patients about everything under the sun. But so be it. It helps take their mind off of the needle.

It feels good.

Posted by Beth at 09:39 PM
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Two Films on DVD

Two films I saw last year at SXSW and are out on dvd this week. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang with Val Kilmer and Robert Downey Jr. I thought it was a lot of fun.

And Seoul Train, a documentary about South Korea that I wrote about here and here.

Posted by Beth at 07:28 PM
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June 12, 2006

World Poverty

For some really smart and interesting thoughts go read the whole thing!

But now the rise of globalization and the megabillions produced by globalized profits have produced a new kind of philanthropist, as exemplified by Bill Gates and Dean Kamen, whose ideas were picked up and amplified by economist Jeffrey Sachs. In turn, Gates and Dean have played back and amplified Sachs’ interpretation of their ideas. Then, big corporations anxious to do business in developing countries found the general approach of the Gates’ foundation to be so interesting that they took notes.

The resulting philosophy of globalized charitable giving mixes capitalism, entrepreneurship. The general idea is to make the eradication of global poverty not only practical but profitable for individual investors as well as governments.

As to how the philosophy works out in practice, I am telling you with a straight face that Gates, Kamen, and Sachs never got to the workability stage of their planning to kill poverty so we’ll have to content ourselves with mulling the general ideas.

Posted by Beth at 10:26 PM
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June 11, 2006

Way Cool

I can't tell you the last time I followed another blogger's link to music and actually liked what I heard.

So to say this video of the Ditty Bops was the nicest of surprises on an overcast, lazy Sunday afternoon would be a sad understatement.

Here's their website

Posted by Beth at 01:37 PM
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Joe has a fantastic post about Gay Pride.

Because even if Pride doesn't change many minds in the outside world, it's our PARTY, darlings. It's our Christmas, our New Year's, our Carnival. It's the one day of the year that all the crazy contingents of the gay world actually come face to face on the street. And blow each other air kisses. And wish each other "Happy Pride!". Saying "Happy Pride!" is really just a shorter, easier way of saying "Congratulations on not being driven completely batshit insane! Way to go for not taking a rifle into a tower and taking out half the town! Well done, being YOURSELF!"

I'm not worried what the outside world thinks about the drag queens, the topless bulldaggers or the nearly naked leatherfolk. It's OUR party, bitches. If you think that straight America would finally pull its homokinder to its star-spangled bosom, once we put down that glitter gun, then you are seriously deluding yourself. Next year, if one of the Christian camera crews that show up to film our debauched celebrations happen to train their cameras on you, stop dancing. And start PRANCING.

All you suburban, lawn mowing, corpo-droid homos out there, hiding behind your picket fences, the ones wringing your hands and worrying that Pride ruins YOUR personal rep, listen up. Do you think that straight Americans worry that Mardi Gras damages international perception of American culture? America, land of the free, home of "Show Us Your Tits!"? They don't, and neither should we. Our Pride celebrations are just our own unique version of Mardi Gras, only instead of throwing beads, we throw shade. No one has to ask US to show our tits. We've already got 'em out there, baby. And some of them are real.

That's just part of it, go read the whole thing.

Nerdstar and I went to Pride weekend events in Austin a long, long time ago when she was new to this whole gay thing. Austin in the summer is just too hot to wander around all the tents and booths feeling like it was all just one big commercial - although for what I'm not sure. And not being a liberal democrat just made it all the more of a time waster.

That said, he has some great points about all of it.

Posted by Beth at 09:21 AM
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June 10, 2006


I finally watched the series premier of Hex, a BBC America show. I really enjoyed it. One of the main characters is a kind of "knight in shining armor" lesbian who has a really kissable mouth! Although, they certainly found an interesting way to get around the lesbian/straight girl sexual tension. It's certainly a show worth catching while there's nothing else on in the summer.

Posted by Beth at 04:30 PM
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June 08, 2006


I try hard to be careful about what I write about work on here. I take patient confidentiality seriously. And there's the fact that I don't want someone from work finding this very easily. (Yes, I know, I blog under my own name - but I'm fairly certain my co-workers aren't googling each other's names.)

(I'm going to use the singular "they" on purpose.)
I got to draw blood from a dwarf today - they were about 2 and 1/2 feet tall. They came in towards the end of the day, so it was all quiet in the office, only me and one other co-worker. It was funny - the door opened and then closed and my co-worker was in the back and asked if anyone came in. I almost said it must have been a ghost, but since one time a few weeks ago someone in a wheelchair came in and I couldn't see them over the desk - I got up to look and see if someone came in. Thank god I did! That would have been bad if I'd said it was a ghost before I saw them!

Then, while doing the blood draw, I was conscious of every time I used the word little - which turns out to be faily often, little tube, little stick, etc.

I don't know why, but I just thought it was really cool to draw this person.

Posted by Beth at 09:09 PM
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June 07, 2006

Too Often

I seem to have a rather random set of songs that often pop into my head for no particular reason.

So on a lot of rainy days I look out at all the clouds and in my head (because you don't ever want to hear me sing out loud) sing - "ain't no sunshine when she's gone"

And while the sentiment behind the song isn't really appropriate for my Nerdstar being away from home, I finally downloaded it onto my iPod anyway.

Artist: Bill Withers Lyrics
Song: Ain't No Sunshine Lyrics

Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
It's not warm when she's away
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
And she always gone too long anytime she goes away

Wonder this time where she's gone
Wonder if she's gone to stay
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
And this house just ain't no home
Anytime she goes away

And I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know, I know, I know
I know, I know

Hey I'll leave the young thing alone
But ain't no sunshine when she's gone
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
Only darkness everyday

Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
And this house just ain't no home
Anytime she goes away
Anytime she goes away
Anytime she goes away
Anytime she goes away

Posted by Beth at 10:24 PM
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June 06, 2006

Gay Marriage Part 39884203

The new proposed marriage ammendment makes me ill when I think about it, so I try not to think about it too much.

However, I did watch a panel discussion of it last night on C-Span that was really good. Then today I saw this post by one of the men on that panel, Dale Carpenter. He's also written a 20 page paper on this stuff, "The Federal Marriage Ammendment: nnecessary, Anti-Federalist and Anti-Democratic."

One thing that was brought up was that the political process should be allowed to take it's time and work out these issues, it's not as if gay people are being denied the right to vote or access to this political system. But that's where gays being a minority kinda puts a wrench in things. If we weren't a minority - we wouldn't need legal protection!

You often hear anecdotes about gay partners being prevented from seeing a sick or dying loved one in a hospital. I had a patient the other day whose partner of 22 years had died recently. His partner's brother had tried everything to keep him from being allowed to visit, and went so far as to sell the house the couple had lived in out from under this patient.

While I appreciate and applaud any straight person who takes "our" side. I usually just wish that any one opposed to gay marriage would have to spend one day in the shoes of someone like that patient.

Posted by Beth at 09:11 PM
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June 05, 2006


A couple of things I say way too many times a day at work...

whichever arm is the good one

all righty then

come on back

ok, a little stick now

Topics I discuss too many times a day...

the weather

the hits and misses of their previous phlebotomists

Posted by Beth at 07:33 PM
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June 04, 2006


This is one of the best, most interesting posts I've read in a long time. I don't really want to describe it, you really just need to go read it.

All I can say is, it also sucks being pretty darn smart and yet totally unambitious!

Posted by Beth at 10:52 PM
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It was a decent weekend. Yesterday was dedicated to things like doing the laundry and the floors. Very exciting things.

Today was motorcycle riding day. When I woke up at 5:40 a.m. it was raining. When I woke up again at 7:30 it was raining even more. But around noon it began to clear out. Nice. When I finally started out it was about 75 and a little overcast. One hundred miles later when I got back home it was probably closer to 90 and all sunshine. Thank God for 50 spf sun screen!

I'm really enjoying the new motorcycle.

Unfortunately, I had one little problem with it today. The license plate fell off somewhere in those 100 miles. Now, what sucks is I had a feeling it might. I had every intention of checking it out along the way, but kept forgetting. So of course, when I got home and finally checked it, it was gone. Bleh. It's just one of those little hassles in life I could live without. I've got to get up early tomorrow and go to the license plate place, which, thankfully, is about four blocks from the house.

In totally unrelated thoughts - how lame was the Sopranos??

Posted by Beth at 10:15 PM
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June 03, 2006

Go Mavs!!

I'm so happy the Mavs won! They played two great playoff series against San Antonio and Phoenix. They were down 18 points at one time in the first half, but I had a feeling if they could get it within 10 at the half then they would come back. I never expected a come back quite that great! Good for them.

Now I can't wait to watch them beat Shaq and Riley.

Posted by Beth at 10:15 PM
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Nerdstar's weekly update.

Posted by Beth at 09:54 PM
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The New Batwoman

In case you missed the news, Batwoman will be a lesbian in the new series. Yeah, I'll check out the first few issues and see if it's any good.

As for those "lesbian superpowers" - bring em on!!

Posted by Beth at 01:28 PM
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June 01, 2006


Things are just sort of going along these days. If you'd asked me a week ago if I really, really thought I'd rather work downtown than up north, I'd have said - no, not really. But after this week, I am kinda looking forward to working downtown starting Monday.

This week I've filled in for the 11:30 to 8 shift, and I must say, it's not my favorite. I don't get up early enough to really get a lot done before work - you know, other than feeding the pets, watering the plants, going to get the mail, and getting breakfast. (Anyone else addicted to Panera bread bagels? It's the blueberry ones for me. Although, the switched to organic chocolate milk - uh, no thanks.) And getting home about 8:20 at night just feels like too late to do much more than find something to eat and walk the dog.

I've also worked back in processing all week. One of the things that sucks about being a "temp" is that no one else wants to work processing, so they finagle it so I'm back there all the time. Then, just to make things better, I was the only phlebotomist there yesterday from 3 to 6. Thank God only three people came in to get their blood drawn. Back in processing we process all the blood drawn from the hospital floors, the ER and the people who come into the lab for outpatient draws. We put the appropriate tubes (of blood) in the centrifuge, receive them in the computer system, label them, and take them to the appropriate department. It's not the hardest work in the world, but you do have to be good at organizing things and paying at least a little attention to details.

Downtown I don't have to worry about any of that. It's simply a draw station. We fill out the req., draw the blood, and send it across the street to a big lab for the downtown hospital. (The lab up north fits in the space of what one of six departments downtown fits in.)

I have such a strange detachment from the idea of working. I think I carry around this idea that hey, I didn't work for so long, it's not really necessary that I work now, so I can take it or leave it. I don't know if that makes sense. I think part of it also this idea that we really hope to move, so there's no reason to get attached to this particular job anyway.

Are we gonna move? I have no idea. I think a lot of it is going to come down to what Nerdstar wants to do work-wise next. But that's neither here nor there for today.

Posted by Beth at 09:58 PM
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