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Wednesday, 22 November 2006
God damnit!
Mood:  on fire

It's bad enough that my day at work was hella-shitty, okay? I was working on the next installment for TFM. Now, ALL I had to do was finish the chapter! I had MAYBE another half a page, and I would've been done. So what happens? THE GOD DAMN DISC ATE IT!!!!

That's right. NO chapter. I went to SAVE it--it gave me an error message--and then kicked me out. I went, 'what the fuck,' tried to open the file, and now it's asking me to reformat because it can't open it. And not only that, I have all of the Saga series on one disc. That's right ya'll, the stupid thing ate the entire, god damn series. I'm so pissed right now, I don't know what to do with myself. This has happened several times before, and it's always been with this series. I'm so fuckin' sick and tired of having to go back and download and change weird symbols that pop up and find the most recent revisions...I just can't do it now. I quit saving it to the hard drive because my brother would download shit and viruses would eat them up, so I lost extra copies that way... he kept breaking the fuckin' zip drive too, so I lost my other copy, and the final copy of the series I DO have is still in Texas, and I won't be back until January, MAYBE!!


Posted by Karen at 17:24 CST
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Tuesday, 24 October 2006
Mood:  lazy
Now Playing: Dreaming - 'System of a Down'
I'm bored. And I'm hungry.

I just posted the next chapter for BiS, and now that that's accomplished, I don't know what to do with myself. I don't feel like working on the next chapter. I don't feel like working on TFM. It's 12:14 at night, and I'm wide awake, listening to System of a Down. Not the type of music that induces sleeping. *starts head banging*

My brother is coming to Chicago this weekend, and I'm so excited about it. On the weekends when I'm off, I intend to go up there just to be with my family. I thank God that I got this weekend off to be with him AND my dad. Hopefully, this will be awesome, so I'm really looking forward to it. Maybe that's why I feel so restless.

Anyone know of any good places to hit in Canada? It doesn't make sense for me to be a few hours from the border and not go. Hell, maybe I could make a couple of weekends of it.

Ooohhh. There was a commercial on about oreos. Yummy.

Hmm. I don't feel like typing anymore.


Posted by Karen at 00:28 CDT
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Sunday, 15 October 2006
My First Assignment
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: No music
Ah. The internet. How life went on without it, I can't imagine.

Well, I'm finally (somewhat) settled into my new place, and it's been everything but pleasant. My first assignment as a travel nurse is in Kankakee, Illinois, which is an hour south of Chicago.

So far, I'm not having a good time. I've been here two weeks, and it feels like it's been two months. I arrived on September 30th, after driving up 20 hours from Texas. Since I drove up with my mom, we spent about, oh, 19 1/2 hours arguing.

The place I was supposed to move in to was occupied, which I knew already. So I had to stay in a hotel for two weeks until the people moved out. Okay. I was fine with that. The Holiday Inn I was staying in was awesome, so I was pretty content...for all of five seconds.

I've been living on my own for a while now, but this is the first time I've been away from everything I knew. Where I'm working now is completely different from what I was trained to do, and I feel completely over my head, and incompetent. My shift is 8 hours, which really bugs the shit outta me. Yeah, 12-13 hour days sucked, but then I'd only work 3 or 4 days a week. This 5-day-a-week shit I'm not digging at all.

Not only did I feel incompetent (and still do), I had gotten a case of homesickness that had me bawling for days. Ya'll, I hadn't cried in over six years. And in one week I had cried more than I had in my entire life. I cried as I got ready for work, on my break, and on my drive home. I couldn't get my shit together no matter what. I was seriously contemplating breaking my contract. That was how depressed I became.

But then the place I was supposed to move into was ready. I was happy at first. The area I'm in now is a bunch of million-dollar homes...except for mine.

I'm in a cabin. My house is a god damn cabin.

At first I thought it was cool. It was furnished of course, with TV's, cable, working bathroom, huge closet space, and a loft on the second floor with my bed. To reach it, I have to go up a latter. Really cool. Next, my backyard is the Kankakee River. Literally. I go out my door, walk ten feet down, and bam. The river. Nothing is holding it back from the land, so I can walk right into the river if I want to. My neighbor canoes in it every day.

But I'm afraid that's where the fun stops. I was here for a good hour, and discovered some serious faults. One was no internet. I would have to set that up and pay for it. Shit. Another problem was that my cellphone didn't work out here, and I would have to get a landline and pay for that as well. Shit again. The next problem was the washing machine/dryer. They were in the garage. In Texas, houses are built with the washer/dryer in the house, or if in the garage, there is a door that leads TO the garage. Not here. I have to go OUTSIDE to get to the garage, and open it. When I went to close it, it got stuck. I had been here a whole hour when that happened, and had to wait another hour for the service people to come and fix it.

Next was the smell. It smelled like a cabin. (Big stretch there). But I didn't know until then that I didn't LIKE the smell of cabins. So I would have to buy a bunch of smell stuff and candles to fix that. Shit, shit, shit.

Next, and I kid you not, there is a god damn deer head on the wall. Now, I come from Texas. I have seen many a live deer, and nearly hit a few as well. I don't need a fuckin' deer head on my wall. Worse yet, it's angled towards the couch. So when I'm watching TV, it's watching me. And when I go to bed at night, I swear it winks at me. I want it gone.

NEXT, whoever previously stayed here had a cat. Now, I'm not an animal hater, but I don't have too much love for them either. But I can't STAND cats, and there was cat hair all over the place. I mean ALL OVER. There was cat hair all over the couch, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, on the mirrors... everywhere! I was so fucking disgusted! I could tell the company tried to clean it up as best as they could, but it's cat hair. There was only so much they could do. So I had to order slipcovers, which cost me $130. I feel much, much better now that they're covered, but I could still smell the cat whenever I land too hard.

NEXT AGAIN, is the heat. It snowed on Thursday, and the temperature plummeted. I turned on the heat, and discovered, to my dismay, that the heat didn't work very well. No matter how high I turned it up, it was programmed not to exceed 65 degrees, and I couldn't figure out how to override that. Plus the heat didn't work too great anyway. It wouldn't heat up the entire cabin, just the kitchen. It was 52 degrees when I woke up Friday morning. Outside, it was 60. That made no god damn sense. So I bought an electric blanket, and today I finally got off my ass and bought two space heaters. Those cost about $80, the blanket $60.

What else could I say about this place...

(1) The lighting isn't very good. I have to turn on damn near all of them to see.

(2) The microwave is disgusting. It needs replacing.

(3) I have bruises all up and down my legs (and broke the hell out of the skin of my knee) because I keep nearly falling down that stupid, stupid piece of shit latter.

(4) The wildlife here is ridiculous. We have deer, possums, squirrels, ducks, coyotes and racoons. Racoons. I don't like racoons.

(5) Another problem is the foliage. The trees here are walnut trees, and now the walnuts are mature and falling off. But they fall hard, and ricochet all over the place. The first time I heard it fall, it sounded like someone was knocking on the door. I'm afraid I'll get beamed in the head or that one will break my windshield.

(6) The walnuts hitting the roof keep me up at night. And when they don't, the ducks do.

(7) The first twenty minutes I was here, I lost the keys to the place. I've only found one. I have no idea where the other key is, and it'll be my ass if I don't get another made.

I'm trying to stick it out since I had to go thru so much hell to get situated in the first place. We'll see. But I hope to God that things improve drastically this week, or else I won't know what to do. I'm at the end of my rope, and I don't think I'll be able to tolerate much more. My contract ends December 6, and right now I don't think I'll even make it thru tomorrow.

I've never been one to need comfort, but I'd kick ass for some lovin' right now.

Posted by Karen at 23:07 CDT
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Monday, 18 September 2006
My Life's A Whirlwind
Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: No music
I'm moving guys, but it wasn't exactly expected.

I applied for a travel nurse position about, oh, mid-August. Wonder of wonders, they hired me. ^__^ For my first assignment, I wanted something in the Chicagoland area, because I wanted to be near my family there. So they sent out my resume, and within a few days, I had several offers. Again, wonder of wonders.

But the position I was reeeeeally interested in is in a city called Kankakee, which is an hour south of Chicago. That was further than what I wanted, but I *really* liked them, and they *really* liked me. Unfortunately, they were stuck and so was I. They needed someone immediately, like the following week, because they were losing, like, 4 nurses. I told them there was no way I could make that, because I had to give my notice, get an Illinois nursing license and blah blah blah. The earliest I was willing to be there would be October 2. They were deciding between myself and another person, so they said they would get back to me. Well, my recruiter called me the following day and said they decided to go with the other candidate, and that was okay with me. This was all around the third week of August.

Okay. Here is the BIGGIN'.

September 8th, (the 8th now!) I get a call from my recruiter, where she flat out told me that the clinic I was interested in couldn't stand the other girl, and that they would wait for me to get there October 2nd. I had to say 'yes' or 'no' right there on the spot. If I agreed, that meant I only had twenty days to obtain my Illinois license, give my notice, pack my shit and move, which would involve driving from San Antonio to Kankakee, (a 20 hour drive), move into my new apartment, which I *still* don't have, orient myself around the city and the job, and be ready to rock and roll on the 2nd.

So of course, I agreed.

After my brief faint spell, and a short period of 'what the fuck did I just do?!' I got my ass into gear. Guys, I can't tell you how much trouble I'm going thru to get this to work. So please bear with me! I haven't given up on writing, I'm just very frantic right now. This is the first major move I have ever done in my entire life. I will be living all by myself, away from family and friends, and as much as I want to do this, it scares the shit outta me too. Plus I'm having to hope my license goes thru okay, or else I'll be stuck without a job in a state where I can't work in the field I'm supposed to. Scary. Every waking moment not spent at work is spent packing, taping, mailing, arguing (my mom's family is not happy that I'm going), and ass-covering.

But I'm telling ya'll...I'm going to be writing like crazy once I'm settled. ALONE? In my OWN place? Free of looking-over-my-shoulder friends and relatives? Sounds like heaven!

I wish this shit was over already.

Posted by Karen at 18:31 CDT
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Monday, 10 July 2006
Out of Town!
Now Playing: No Music
Just emailing ya'll to let you know I left town. I'm in Chicago, visiting my dad and cousins. I will be here until Saturday, the 15th. Sorry about the warning, I kinda...forgot. ^__^

Posted by Karen at 16:09 CDT
Updated: Monday, 10 July 2006 16:09 CDT
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Tuesday, 2 May 2006
What I Did (And Didn't Do) On My Vacation
Mood:  lazy
Now Playing: 'Couldn't Love You More' by Sade
Hey ya'll!

Sorry if this entry sounds...weird. I took my migraine medicine a little while ago, and it leaves me feeling kind of...euphoric.

From April 13 to April 22, I was on vacation in Europe. This was my first time out of the country (I live in the US), so I was very excited and eager.

I went on a package trip that consisted of touring five countries in ten days. For anyone that has never done a trip like that before, let me tell you. It was *grueling.* The constant packing and traveling by bus, train, or boat was exhausting. I was lucky the group I was with were so good. It could've been hell.

Anyway, the trip was with a touring company called Globus, and this package was called the European Sampler. The tour began in London (in England), then went to Amsterdam (in Holland), Cologne and the Black Forest (in Germany), Lucern (Switzerland) and Paris (France).

London, when I first arrived, was a shocker. The driving is so different from America, the money system...I was shell-shocked. Because of that, I didn't really enjoy London as much as, thinking back now, I could have. I had been traveling for 10 hours straight, and wanted nothing more than to go to bed. (Which I did time I got to the hotel). Plus it was rainy, wet and cold. Coming from a place that was always hot and dry, even in winter, I wasn't a very happy camper. But once the skies cleared that afternoon, I spent my days in London getting lost, sightseeing, going to the pub (Queen Head's Pub two blocks from Hammersmith street) and loving the trees. (The trees there are BEAUTIFUL!)

Next was Amsterdam. Talk about different! Anybody who hears the word 'Amsterdam' automatically thinks 'Red Light District,' and that was *exactly* where I went. The hookers were hot, but the guys were a disappointment. But the coffee shops were great. Man, I got so high, I kept losing my money in my *wallet*. (I'm not kidding).

Germany, I didn't get to do much in. I didn't understand any German, and they didn't know much English, so I stayed in my hotel room much of the time. (Much of that was to recover from Amsterdam!) But the Black Forest was great. It really *does* look black!

Lucern is...phenominally beautiful. The Alps in the horizon, the was the perfect picture of serenity. It also damn near bored me to tears. The people there were so quiet and humbled...none of the ruckusness of Americans. Coming from the brashness of London, and the wildness of Amsterdam, I was kind of at a lost. Thankfully, we were in downtown Lucern, where ALL of the stores were. I shopped like there was no tomorrow.

Paris, I'm afraid, was kind of a disappointment. I don't know if it was because I was tired and ready to go home, or the people. I just didn't realize how many social nicities the French had, and I was (apparently) offending all of them. I was really stressed out and annoyed at my lack of understanding. Plus the riots had stopped, what, three weeks earlier?...a month?...and the air was still very tense. You could feel it. But I did end up going to Versailles and the Moulin Rouge. (Whoo! The Can-Can!) It was really cool. I wish the men had less clothing though.

That was another thing. No matter where I went, there weren't any hotties. Why? I had hoped to have gotten some ass on this trip! *wails* Where the hell did all the yummy men go? Where were they hiding? *sings* Oh where oh where did my hotties go? Oh where, oh where can they beeeee?!

That's about all I can really tell you. Other memories will pop up after I finish this, I'm sure, or when I look through my pictures. Looking back, if I had to do this again, I would in a heartbeat. But now knowing what I will have to endure, I will NOT be doing this again in the future. This is one of those things you will only do ONE TIME. It was worth it though.

Next stop...Japan!

Posted by Karen at 21:30 CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 2 May 2006 21:31 CDT
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Thursday, 13 April 2006
Going on Vacation!!
Now Playing: No Music

I can't believe I forgot to announce this on the site! I'm going to Europe for 10 days (I live in the US) and won't be back until April 22. I will write as much as I can, although more than than likely I won't get much done. Sorry this is so rushed, but I'm trying to type as I walk out the door. We're leaving now-literally.


Posted by Karen at 09:22 CDT
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Thursday, 12 January 2006
New Year Started With A Bang!
Mood:  cool
Now Playing: No Music
A week and a half ago I saved someone's life.

I didn't do it own my own, you know. I had PLENTY of help. But the feeling I had was something few others will ever experience.

I'm a nurse, for those of you that don't know. I've only been a nurse for a year and three weeks. I work at a dialysis clinic. I don't get to do as much as floor nurses do, like start IV's or put in foleys, but our patients are pretty unstable. So I get to do alot of other things that floor nurses don't do because their patients are stable.

Right after the new year started, (the day after, actually), a patient of ours coded. The charge nurse had left for the day, and me being the next RN, I was in charge in her absence. We have this particular patient, where every (and I mean EVERY) treatment she passes out. It pisses me off when this happens because even though we know this, it still keeps happening because her nurse won't pay fucking attention to her! (Sorry, but it REALLY pisses me off). Anyway, one of the technicians called me over because she passed out again. Pissed, I went to see the patient. Only problem was was that she was blue. For that patient to be blue, that meant she wasn't breathing. Instinctively, I grabbed at her neck and wrist. I didn't feel a pulse. I turned to the technician, and tried to tell her to get the crash cart. Instead, I said, "Fuck!"

Yes, real professional. But I was forgiven.

After a few more (swear) words, I got her to get the crash cart. Next problem was getting the patient to the floor. This person was 107.0 kg (235.4 lbs), and me and the other tech, being 5'2" (with our shoes on) didn't have a chance in hell of lifting her. All of the commotion got the attention of the clinic, so a few guys helped us get her to the floor. It took SEVEN of us. Trust me guys; lifting someone heavy is one thing, but trying to lift someone's dead weight is something else.

Anyhoo, we got her to the floor, stuck what's called AED pads on her (which are connected to a defibrillator) to get a heart rhythm. The great thing about this device, is that it tells you what to do. It wouldn't shock her, but it prompted us to do CPR, so we started CPR while another technician bagged her (put the Ambu over her mouth for air, like seen by paramedics), and started to give her oxygen. Thankfully, she became less blue. It wasn't too long after that when the EMT guys came and got her the hell out of there. She became conscious just as the EMT's got there, but she could've still gone south afterwards, you know? But I found out a couple of hours later that she had lived and was just fine. I have been walking on air for over a week now.

I can't tell you how often patients have pissed me off to the point where I just think that being a nurse is not worth the shit. I really do. Doctors make me feel the same way. But for the past week, every time I have looked at that patient, and she has looked back at me, I can't help but realize that she is still on this earth because of me and my great coworkers.

That is one hell of a high, man. No drug can compare.

Posted by Karen at 19:51 CST
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Saturday, 1 October 2005
Mood:  party time!
Now Playing: Lady Marmalade by Patti Labelle
I'm going to Hawaii!

From Oct. 2 thru Oct. 8, I will be in Oahu, Hawaii, enjoying the sun, the sights, and the laua's. I want to say that I will continue to work on my stories while I'm there, but...I would probably be lying. In fact, I'm sure I will be. But hopefully when I get back, I'll be about to burst from all of the ideas I'll have. I'll tell ya'll all about it when I get back.

Wish me a safe trip ya'll!

Posted by Karen at 22:19 CDT
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Friday, 16 September 2005
Talking to God
Mood:  lyrical
Now Playing: No Music
Tonight I talked to God.

It's been a long time since I've done that. It's just that, the mood has to be right for me, you know? I don't like alot of noise, and I don't like to be surrounded by people. When I pray, I like to be where it's dark, and where I can hold a conversation without any interruptions.

God and I talked in my hammock. I just bought it two days ago, and I love it. We were outside, in my backyard, staring up at the full moon. I fussed about the clouds on my drive home, but by the time I changed clothes and made tea, he stripped the sky clear for me. A few bright stairs twinkled here and there against the midnight blue sky. It was stunning.

First, I thanked God for my health. Every day I watch my patients deteriorate, and die. I am so lucky my heart, kidneys and liver work. I'm blessed that my spine and brain work. You guys have no idea how much of a miracle it is to be able to take a dump. Trust me, it is.

Next, I prayed for the safety of my family. Especially my brother. He is doing things he shouldn't be (like drugs), and he got kicked out of the only high school that would have him. He needs help in the worst way, but the only one that can help him is himself. Lord, give him strength.

After that, we talked about me for a while. He listened patiently as I whined. "I want an adventure!" I told him, my fists shaking in frustration. "I want some excitement. I want to live!" He didn't answer me, and I didn't expect him to. But I could sense that he acknowledged my words. When I'm ready, he'll have my adventure set out for me. In the meantime, I felt infinitely better by saying the words out loud.

Lastly, we just stretched out on the hammack and stared at the moon in silence. The breeze he added felt wonderous against my skin, making me want to buy a tent so that I could sleep outside. But then I heard the neighbors come outside, with their rough voices flowing across the yard, and it destroyed our quiet atmosphere. Sadly, I collected my things and went back into the house.

I washed my face and brushed my teeth, listening to my bones pop as I wandered to my room. Oh yeah: "Thank you God, that I'm able to walk and hear."

Finally, I crawled into bed. I'll go to sleep after I finish typing this.

Thank you God, for the talk. It's always a pleasure.

Posted by Karen at 23:36 CDT
Updated: Friday, 16 September 2005 23:40 CDT
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