Life Among the Never-Winged

Once upon a time I was writing a book called, "Just Another Love Letter", about angels behaving badly. Now I just quietly ask myself each day, "What the hell am I doing?"

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Location: The Rocky Mountain Empire, United States

My friends always knew I was going to hell. My only hope is that God likes good jokes and bad redheads.

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  • Monday, November 24, 2008


    We're going home for Thanksgiving. First time in three years. It's funny, when you live far from where you came from you feel like a guest in your own family. There are jokes my cousins tell each other in emails that I don't understand. There was a funeral last week that I could not attend. But we're going home.

    Night driving tonight. It'll be a long reach across Nebraska. We each take half the state. I'm loading up my gear for the reach now – I can't make it across without Joni singing about Amelia, I need Nick Cave -- that devilman with his red right hand, Peter Murphy mourning Bela Lugosi, Johnette Napolitano to deal out her 100 games of solitaire. I need to chase cars with Snow Patrol, I need Steely Dan's wheels turnin' round and round. I need 16 Horsepower and Slim Cessna driving north to Cheyenne. It only makes sense that Death Cab for Cutie drives me home from the passenger seat. Elton telling me it's four o'clock in the morning, dammit.

    And coffee. Lots of it.

    (Oh happy day! O just came home with a baby thermos for me!)

    Henderson, Nebraska is a hotel and a truck stop that only exits at night or whenever a bus pulls up. Otherwise it's all wind and dry grass.

    The Mississippi divides the world in half.

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

    Tuesday, November 11, 2008

    What I Did Over My Summer Vacation, Or, Why I Want to Be a Nurse

    Ok Dear Readers, here's my essay. I need to send it in before Friday. I'd greatly appreciate a quick but thorough read-through to catch any typos, grammatical errors, Freudian slips, silk slips, or stoatgobbler mangroves (thanks Stucco).

    Thank you, guys.

    Discuss your motivation and professional goals for a career in nursing. Include any experience that demonstrates your preparation for, and understanding of, the profession of nursing. Also include experience with diverse groups and/or underserved populations. (Diverse groups can include characteristics of gender, age, ethnicity, race, geographic location, education, etc.)

    The simple answer to the question, “Why do you want to be a nurse?” comes from my positive experience with nurses through hospital stays during my pregnancy. I would love to work in labor and delivery and give back to all the scared moms-to-be the reassurance and excellent medical care that was given to me. But I have come to realize that my desire to become a nurse actually arises from three periods in my life.

    The first time I cleaned the inner cannula of a tracheostomy tube I was five years old. The 'trache' belonged to my older brother C, who suffered from occipital encephalocele, leaving him brain damaged and completely paralyzed. I helped my parents care for him for the next nine years, until his death at the age of sixteen. I felt that cleaning his trache, feeding him and rubbing his head during one of his frequent seizures made a big difference in his quality of life, and I still believe this. But just before my brother's death, I watched a nurse (a friend of the family who came over late one night after her shift) help with C's new feeding tube. R expertly handled the procedure, as well as reassured my mom and put her at ease. I wanted to emulate her, to be of 'real' use to someone who was suffering. I've never forgotten R, and have tried to take her tone and manner while counseling others through their grief; those who have special-needs children, or who have lost a child or cannot have one of their own. R taught me a very important lesson in patient and family communication that I believe is vital to nursing. And taking care of C from an early age gave me an intimate understanding of the needs of the disabled.

    My family is a medical family. My mom was a medical technologist, one cousin is a nurse and another is a pathologist. I've always felt comfortable in hospitals. As a teenager I worked as a hospital 'lab rat' – entering patient data, filing reports and occasionally retrieving errant paperwork from cadavers in the morgue (gotta love hazing!). One thing I loved about my job (besides the weird pathology stories) was talking to the nurses when they'd phone in CBCs and other results. I remember asking about a ridiculously low white count and the nurse told me it was actually up from the day before. Her patient had cancer. I followed his numbers, wishing I could somehow help him more, the way that she did.

    When I was pregnant with twins, I was hospitalized twice for premature labor, then suffered gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. The nurses were the ones who kept my spirits up and kept my babies and me alive. After my experiences, I decided that I wanted to be the person who helped other women in my situation. I want to be there when they hear their baby for the first time of course, but I 'really' want to be there in the middle of the night when they are scared or lonely or when I can do something that will help ensure that their pregnancies have happy endings.

    My experiences as the sister of a special-needs child, as a lab rat and as a patient have given me the desire and the outlook necessary to become a nurse. I hope you will consider me for a place in the *** College of Nursing. Thank you.

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    Monday, November 10, 2008

    Everything All at Once

    Isn't that how it goes?

    I have a chance at getting into nursing school as early as this summer. My next chance is Spring, (actually January) 2010. Here's what I need to do (instead of Blogging) and I have to get it done by Friday:

    Have a GPA of 3.0

    Got it.

    Sign up for and hope I get into statistics (pre-reqs are a bitch, aren't they?) and microbiology together next semester

    Done: I got into both classes after a couple of phone calls.

    Request transcripts from current college and old alma mater: “Ivy League School of the Midwest”


    Write essay on 'Why I wanna be nurse” -- surprisingly difficult. Which is why I'm Blogging.

    Fill out on-line admissions form.

    Send in $50.00.

    There is also a chance that my tuition will be paid for me – if a certain company likes me. I'd have to sign a contract to work for them for two years afterwards. No big deal. It's not labor and delivery, but it is in another area that has my interest. I could possibly get a job with them right now as a tech, but that's a lot to think about. I need to see if I get into school first, and whether I start in Summer '09 or Spring '10.

    The odds of getting into nursing school are pretty intimidating: 1000 applicants, 240 positions. Better odds than sonography though.

    Oh, and the other thing? I apparently said the right words to the right person and now he wants to see a copy of JALL when I get it all done and polished so he can find me an agent. I've heard it before of course...but this guy could actually do it.

    Anyway. Wish me luck?

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