Friday, November 30, 2007 my Monday.

Worked today. Had a patient who sliced his arm open on a broken glass and the meat hanging out of his arm looked like beef chunks. Must I always compare things to food? I thought the plasma I infused into a patient looked like chicken stock, I once compared the smell of someone's burning flesh being cauterized as "yummy bacon", and I told a (heavy) patient who came in strapped onto a back board that she looked "just like a trussed up pork loin".

Not surprised...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Had another fabulous dinner tonight. Drove out to our friends' house, Gina and Gavin, in Santa Clarita. It's about 30 minutes north of us (with no traffic, haha). We've had them over to our house a couple of times and now it was time to hang out in their 'hood. Gina and I made fresh pasta and had Noah cut it into papperdelle. Gavin made homeade bolognese with ground veal to go with our pasta. Noah made a salad with super fresh lettuce and a caeser-like salad dressing. Everything was so fabulous! We drank chianti, shared stories, and laughed a lot. They are some of the funnest people we have met since being in Los Angeles and we enjoyed every minute with them! Thanks G and G!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Spoiled rotten...

Another "off the cuff" meal from my chefhusband who simply asks "Are you hungry?" then proceeds to make another amazing meal. Tonight, halibut with a parsley bread crumb crust served with a squash puree, sauteed brussel sprouts, and black trumpet mushrooms. The other night at our dinner party someone asked me, "Has he made you this dish before?" I answered No, and realized he has rarely made me the same meal twice (save for our comfort dishes) in the six years we've been together. Someone else asked, "You don't eat like this on a regular basis..". Actually, yes, I do. Spoiled f**kin rotten..

Stayed at work an hour over what I was supposed to (13 1/2 hour shift!). Got caught up with a 20 year old patient who had bilateral corneal ulcers. (Google it, it totally sucks) The wonderful MD was so concerned for her that he made me stay overtime. I guess a small price to pay to help someone get the medications and follow up they need. We also cared for a young teenager who's leg was impaled by a pole (or rebar, I never quite got the whole story) and luckily did not shatter any leg bones. It's amazing how much abuse our body can go through and recover. The teen was a young man through and through, letting out stinky farts as we were working on him! Rinsed his wound out with a flushing device from the operating room, sewed his puncture holes up, then sent him home on crutches (of course he received plenty of morphine in the meanwhile). His poor mom...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Okay, okay, I gotta go to work. Will be getting off late so won't be able to post tonight. Not a lot to say right now. I made miso soup with tofu and udon noodles for dinner last night. Needed something light after our big dinner. Then I felt like baking (which I'm not very good at) so I made a lemon bundt cake. It turned out okay except when I flipped it onto the plate it broke. At least I had fun making it!

Hi ho, hi ho...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dinner party success...

Had such an insane dinner party that I couldn't post in time... Here's what we had:

1st course: slow baked salmon with a salad of radish, cucumber, peppercress, and red wine dijon vinegrette.

2nd: chantrelle marscapone ravioli with petite onions and butter sauce with mache.

3rd: squab with cannelini beans and braised turnips and natural jus

4th: New York strip with pearl barley, sprouting broccoli and bordeliaus sauce.

5th: Buttermilk panna cotta with blood orange sorbeto and vanilla manderin tangerines...

Holy shit, my man knows how to do it!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Work Schmork!

I didn't post yesterday and I will tell you why.. Work pretty much sucked. I'm not saying it was the worst day I ever had because I worked with some really good nurses and clinicians and truly that made a HUGE difference. Mostly what sucked about it was the fact that it was the day after a holiday and we were packed! I heard later that we saw the most patients in our ER than we had ever before. So the photo above is a tribute to the poor patients who I know waited a very long time. But it is also frustrating for us, as a team, because really, was the wait THAT long? I mean, come on, our longest wait time between being triaged and being put in an exam room was three hours. On the bigger scheme of things, is that very long to wait in an emergency room? I've waited in my doc's office for an hour and I had an appointment. So three hours when you don't have an appointment isn't so bad. Right? And another thing, at least our department is first come, first serve. The main ER sees people by severity of illness (and of course they are seeing the very sick patients). The patient's that see us do not have EMERGENCY situations! Sure, they may feel terrible, or have a laceration that needs to be sewn but it is not a matter of life or death. And in fairness to everyone we see them in the order that they walk in. Okay, enough ranting. Let me give you a random sample:

An elderly woman came in with her caregiver. Her complaint was thigh pain. She was put in an exam room by another nurse and as I walked by I hear her angrily yelling "Nurse, Nurse!" I walked in the room and asked, "Are you yelling? Do you need help?"

Her (still yelling): I haven't eaten all day and I'm a diabetic! I need to eat something!

Me (calmly): Why are you yelling at me?

Her (still yelling): I'm not yelling! I need some food!

Me: Are you asking me for something? Or are you just barking orders at me?

Her: I'm not barking! I need food! (Let me just say, at this point, that it was 4pm and she had plenty of opportuntity to eat before she got to the ER. And she had a caregiver. Why hadn't the caregiver given her something? And she didn't look to me like she was suffering from low blood sugar. She was just a crotchety old lady who was used to bossing people around.)

Me: Are you asking me to get you some food? (I wanted her to ask me, not yell at me.)

Her: Yes! Get me some food! (Note, she's still not asking, she's telling.)

Me: Let me get you some crackers and juice.

I leave the room and go to the nurses station. I look at her chart to see what she was here for and what her history is. The funny thing I notice is that her last name is "Barker". I brought her some food but check her blood sugar first all the same. It was completely normal. I feel sorry for that caregiver...

Another person that yelled at me yesterday had been waiting for over two hours. She was not actually the patient, she had brought her 18 month old son in who had fallen and had a big goose egg on his head. Us nurses were aware of the situation but because the little boy was active in the waiting room and acting normally for an 18 month old, we weren't stressing on having him be seen right away. All the same, we realized that it must have been hard for her to try to keep him occupied while they waited. We entertained the idea of getting them in before the other patients but didn't want to start a riot in the waiting room. We continued to see other patients in order. By this time we had all been there for almost 12 hours and our part of the ER was supposed to close. We realized that we were not going to be able to see the remaining patients. This woman and her son included. All of us were a little torn up about it. We asked the doctor if she would be willing to see them. She said no. I don't blame her (much) and I understand where she was coming from. If she agreed to see the patient she could be setting herself up for not going home for another hour or so. She already had other patients she was trying to finish up with. And the doctors and PA's work long shifts WITHOUT a break! No lunch or dinner break for a 12 hour shift. Imagine! So I had to understand why she said no. The other RN I was working with volunteered to do the horrible job of going into the waiting room and telling the patients that we were now closed and they would be returned to the main ER and wait to be seen there. The woman with the kid marched up to the nursing station and WENT OFF! Her fury was evident, her son remained a normal toddler. She would not take any of our explanations and continued to scream and cry in frustration. In the middle of her tirade, her son reached up and slapped her face! (Any of you with kids know they do this from time to time.) This did not help our situation any because it made her more pissed. The sad thing about this is that the doctor was present for this whole situation and could have said, "Look, let me do an exam quickly on your son." But she didn't and the woman walked away. I felt horrible for her but realize that at some point we have to stop seeing patients or we would never go home...

A big thank you to all the patients who were kind, understanding, and thankful for the care we gave! We worked our asses off!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Store bought pie..

Yes, it was a day of store bought pie, canned whipped cream, and powdered gravy. Yikes! Luckily, Noah had made homeade cornbread and mixed it with roasted farmer's market turnips, carrots, radishes, and parsnips with sage, rosemary, and thyme. But of course it was fun hanging out with the family. Especially when they start drinking and indulging family gossip. Hysterical!

I missed my family today...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

T-Day preparedness

Getting ready for Thanksgiving and luckily my chef husband is taking care of our obligatory dish for the family get together. We are headed to Diamond Bar to Noah's dad and (step)mom's house. Supposedly there are 20 people showing up. That is one crazy thing I learned early about Noah is that his family is large and extended. Every get together includes Noah's step family. I don't mean this in a bad way, it's actually kind of fun coming from a small family. And Noah's dad has been married to Maureen for over 25 years and she has children who have had children. The only irritating thing is that they are fully vested in the turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, etc. I'm over that now. I'd rather be eating squabs and foie gras. Noah told his dad that we weren't going to show up if there was store bought pies. That's a tall order to fill with 20 people coming over. Noah made homeade corn bread and will roast vegetables for a cornbread stuffing.

I meant to get some "chores" taken care of today for our dinner party on Sunday. I woke up at my usual time (11am) and Noah had just gotten back from working at the farmers market. I offered to make him coffee and when I went to the sink, I realized the sink wasn't draining. Noah said, "Oh yeah, I noticed that last night." What? Last night? So here I am with a gigantic plunger trying to get the drain unplugged. Meanwhile, my normally wonderful husband was watching a surf contest on the net. Hello?! The day before Thanksgiving and we have nasty dirty water backing up in our sink! He volunteered (yeah, right) to go to the store and get some Liquid Plumber. Well, guess what folks, Liquid Plumber sucks and is a total no-no. I know, I know, it's made from horrible chemicals that are used for crystal meth manufacturing, but if it was gonna unplug our sink, I was gonna use it. I finally broke down and called the landlord. Help me! He sent over his plumber (Thank you Armen) and they used a motorized "snake" to break through the clog. The plumber lectured me about using Liquid Plumber. He said (In a very thick Latino accent so I hope I understood right), that I should NEVER use Liquid Plumber unless I want to eat away at all my pipes. And if I'm desperate, I should only use it if the drain is running slowly, not completely stopped. What stopped the pipe? I asked but never got an answer. But thank you, Tony the plumber, for showing up at the last minute to help me out!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

To Lou!

This is a shout out to you, Lou! Happy Birthday, I can't believe you are 27... I feel like I helped raise you and now you have your own family to raise. Lookit you, on baby number 3. I'm amazed at what you accomplish everyday. You rule!

I Love you,
Your big sis,

PS. This is seriously the only pic I could find of us together!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Nancy Silverton rules!

Had yet another amazing meal at Pizzeria Mozza on Highland and Melrose. Owned by Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton (of the La Brea bakery) its a laid back pizza place using seasonal ingredients. Noah and I stopped in around 3pm and sat at the bar facing the chefs and the wood fired oven. We started with roasted brussel sprouts with proscuitto bread crumbs and green beans with hazelnuts and dijon mustard. Unfortunately, I am picky and I feel like the green beans were undercooked. But the flavor was great. Then we had pizza (of course). I can never eat pizza anywhere else ever again. Noah ordered the chanterelle and onion pie and I ordered the house-made fennel sausage and spring onion pie. So, so good. We sipped half carafes of wine and watched the cooks make everyone's pizza and throw it in the oven with those big long spatula thingys. Then, all of a sudden, Nancy herself popped out of the back, surveyed the scene, then disappeared. What a woman! She decides she's going to learn how to make bread and, boom, La Brea bakery is born. She then decides, How about pizza?, and goes into partnership with Mario. (Who has yet to make an appearance at the restaurant). If you are ever in LA, make sure you stop in.

For some reason, I had a donut craving afterwards so we stopped by a local bakery. I'm not really a sweets girl so it was a first for me to stand in front of a large display case, trying to decide which kind of donut to eat. I think the last time I ate donuts was in Bend when I was in high school at Sweetheart Donuts (all you Bendites know exactly what I'm talking about!).

All in all, a great day off. Went to IKEA and picked out a bunch of plates and glasses for our dinner party next Sunday. Promise to take lots of pics to share!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cool weather food..

Cool weather? How about this? Shell some fresh cranberry beans...

Simmer up some carrots, celery, and onions with short ribs and merlot...

Add some fresh chanterelles and cipollini onions...

And cozy up under a blanket and tuck into this!

Six guilty things..

There is a fun girl I've enjoyed "getting to know" through blogging. Check her out at She's just like me in the fact that although being "tagged" is fun, I'm still not apt to do it because I don't want to make anyone feel obligated to respond. So if you feel like it, do your own. If not, cool.

Six guilty pleasures no one would expect me to have:

1) I love Doritos! I know, my husband and I eat pretty much only "whole foods" straight from the farmers market and organic farms but I have a craving for Cool Ranch Doritos. I miss Monterey Jack Doritos I used to nosh on in my teen years.

2) I pick my lip. Lou, you understand.

3) Trashy mystery novels that all follow the same basic plot. Sexy yet vulnerable man, smart and beautiful woman falling in love over solving a murder. Helps me fall asleep at night.

4) In Touch magazine. Hey! Sometimes the brain needs to turn off for awhile, okay? Got a problem with that?

5) Cigs. Yes, I know I'm a nurse and know better but an occasional cigarette feels goood...

6) Babies. I realize that I have decided not to have my own children, but I could walk around forever with someone else's (sleeping) baby in my arms. They are so cute and soft and smell delicious!

Six guilty pleasures I wish I had the courage to indulge:
1) I want to play guitar and sing. In front of an audience. And make an album. And have people cheer for me.

2) My own cooking show. I know, I know, my husband is the chef and I really don't know anything but sometimes when I'm cooking by myself I pretend there is a camera watching me and I speak out loud with all my little tips. Heehee!

3) I have a fantasy that I'm on an airplane and someone yells "Is there a doctor on board?". No one responds so I say, "I'm a nurse." I save the persons life, of course.

4) Making a cookbook about my husbands food.

5) Being a incredible photographer.

6) The last one, you should all guess and relate, becoming a published writer.

Six pleasures I once considered guilty but have now abandoned or made peace with:
1) Made peace with the amount of drugs I've done in the past. I used to feel bad about it, but now I realize that I wouldn't be who I am without that experience.

2) Made peace with the music I listen to. When I first met my husband I thought some of the music I listened to wasn't "cool enough". Now I catch my indie rock husband singing along to Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake.

3) Made peace with eating fois gras. Media hype made me feel temporarily guilty about this indulgence but now I'm a little more realistic. I eat meat. The meat I choose is as "humane" as possible. And I've watched video about the "force feeding" of ducks and it seems okay to me. (Please respond if you feel otherwise. I'm always open to opposing views.)

4) Made peace with masturbation. Need I say more?

5) Guilty pleasure I've abandoned: Starbucks anything. Don't need the calories and don't need to give that company any more money.

6) Abandoned: Eating junk food at work. Why did I eat See's candy at work? I can't stand See's candy! I only ate it because it was in front of me and I justified I "deserved" it because I was working so hard. No thanks...

Boy, that was fun! Try it out. It seems like work at first but then it makes you think about your life a little bit.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I've come to realize that a certain person that I work with is verbally abusive to me. And even though I have discussed it with this person, it still continues to happen. Without going into specific details, I'll just relate how it makes me feel by sharing a dream I had:

In the dream, a patient collapses right in front of me. I check the patient's pulse and realize she has none. With no one else around, I realize that I am going to have to "code" this patient on my own. I immediately start to do chest compressions and I know that I need to gain IV access. So, with one hand I continue my chest compressions, while with the other hand I somehow successfully start an IV. (Pretty much impossible, that's how I know I am in a dream). I recheck her pulse and realize her heart has begun to beat on its own again. At this point, other people arrive to help. I'm feeling pretty proud of what I've done until.. this abusive person comes up to me and starts critiquing my compressions:

"You are supposed to use two hands for compressions."

"I know, but I was by myself, and I..."

"And your arm wasn't straight, it was floppy. You weren't giving adequate pressure."

"I know, but the patient survived and..". In my dream, I am totally deflated and feeling shitty. Like, even though I got the job done, I didn't do it good enough. What the F*ck?!

Anyone out there have any solutions for me or any similar situations? I'm not a total pussy, like I said, I've already talked to this person about her behavior. Obviously to no avail. Without totally alienating her (I still have to continue working side by side with her for 12 hours at a time!) how can I change her behavior? And yes, I have already told my supervisor. No change.. Any ideas??

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ggrrrrr...(part 2)

Work sucked yesterday! And I have to go again today! We had a patient have a seizure in the waiting room, a patient who was suicidal, a heroin user screaming obscenities at us because I gave her a shot (does that make any sense to you? she uses a needle on herself everyday!), and a woman with incredibly infectious diarrhea that kept having "code browns" (shit everywhere except the toilet). At least I wasn't in the main ER where our bloody, screaming seizure patient went, also a 20 year old woman with some developmental problems came in complaining of abdominal pain and constipation. When the nurses got her out of her clothes they discovered an arm sticking out of her vagina. She was in the middle of giving birth to a breech (and dead) baby. She had no clue she was pregnant. Sometimes I want a new career that leaves me blissfully unaware of these things...

The best thing about my day? Coming home to my husband and laughing really hard as we talk about our day. I have the next few days off... Can't wait to relax, polish my new punch bowl, read, and putter around the kitchen. Only 12 more hours!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I'm grumpy and don't want to go to work today! I'm working with someone who is lazy and that makes my day that much harder. Nothin' worse than a lazy nurse...hey, maybe I should buy her a t-shirt for christmas that says that...

Okay, deep breath, only 12 hours to go!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I scored on a large punch bowl that came with 12 matching glasses!! 15 bucks! And I was surprised at how many punch bowls are out there second hand. I guess punch isn't as hip as it used to be but maybe its coming back in...

Worked the first of three in a row today. Good day all in all. I'm always surprised at the diversity of people that come in to a hospital. Like the DMV, everyone has got to go sometime. We helped a cashier at a parking garage who had gallstones, a wealthy psychiatrist who couldn't pee after a surgical procedure so we put in a catheter, a homeless guy who had been punched in the head (on his birthday no less), and a writer for a major TV channel who was on strike in the heat all day and now had a horrible headache. Just a sampling of my day..


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Goin' O.I.P. (out in public)..

So I've decided to go O.I.P. today. It's hard for me sometimes to face the general population on my day off but I'm going to do it! My adventure? I need a punch bowl for an upcoming dinner party. We are going to have 10 people over to our tiny apartment! I thought a nice self serve punch would take some of the burden off of me. But I dont want to buy a new one so I am hopping on LA's (meager) public transportation, Big Blue Bus Line 1, and hittin' some thrift stores! I hope to be the crazy lady on the bus singing to myself and cradling a punch bowl on my lap! Wish me luck!

By the way, it's disgustingly hot here today. The Santa Ana winds again just when I was wearing boots and scarves..

Hey Lou, wanna come over? Here's what we are serving:

Monday, November 12, 2007


Check out my June 16th, 2007 relic post I finally decided to post..

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Help me be greener!

I need help! I want to go as green as possible within my budget! My husband and I have done a few preliminary steps: we share a car, I walk to work, we use a reusable bag(s) for grocery shopping, changed the lightbulbs, turn everything off at night, use 7th Generation (toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags), planted drought resistance plants, and believe it or not, we stick with what I call "The Alaska Rule": if it's yellow let it mellow, if its brown flush it down. Unfortunately we live in an apartment that we have little control over. We can't change to triple pane windows and the stove is right next to the fridge! Aargh!

Help me out people! I would love to hear some more ideas so I can feel better about myself and help our planet! What are you doing?


I don't know what I did in this life or another to deserve my husband.

At this moment he is simultaneously:

*doing laundry (mine included)
*cleaning the kitchen (huge stack of dishes)
*cooking lunch (scrambled eggs, toasted baguette, pan roasted fingerling potatoes with his homeade salsa)
*handing me a steaming cup of coffee (just the way I like it)

While I simultaneously:

*blog in my pajamas (I woke up not too long ago)
*slurp enthusiastically at above mentioned coffee
*await breakfast

Back off ladies! He's mine!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Squeekin' in...

Oh boy! Last second entry before midnight falls. I guess this counts as #2 today. Really brutal night at work. Can't believe that people complain about a wait in the ER on a Saturday night...All us nurses are eating bonbons and giving each other foot rubs while they are waiting to be seen about a cough...

Just a quickie, please...

I am so tired from work today but I had to jot this down:

Had a guy come in to be seen today in the ER for priaprism. If you don't know what that is take a few moments to look up the definition. Okay, this guy had taken and herbal supplement from 7-11 and had an erection for over 24 hours! Ouch!! And its very dangerous because the swelling for that long can cause damage to the nerves as well as the circulation. His penis was massively engorged and purple. The doc had to draing the excess blood using a fairly large bore needle. The lesson? Buyer beware.


Friday, November 9, 2007

This counts!

It's 15 past midnight so this counts as my daily blog, right? If I am too tired when I get off work tomorrow then I rest assured that I have already posted today. Saw a Dali exhibit at LACMA today. Had no idea he collaborated with Walt Disney and put out a very cool cartoon. Check out "The Destino Project" at Also, the movie by Alfred Hitchcock called Spellbound has a really cool dream sequence created by Salvador Dali.

After the museum my husband and I headed west on Wilshire back home. My husband went to Santa Monica Seafoods and bought some Tasmanian Sea Trout. He served it with pan sauteed broccoli romenesco, toasted almonds, capers, and baby onions. Totally insane!

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Why can't I stay on task? Focused? I start a project and then it peters out. I have a half sewn pair of pajama bottoms gathering dust in my closet next to my equally dusty sewing machine that I had spent many a happy moment on churning out napkins and aprons. I have a half finished puzzle on my dining room table. I actually put a place mat (homeade) on it and ate dinner one evening. I have a fantastic idea for a children's story that is so close to being finished. I started it three years ago! I told my landlord I was going to paint the living room, a year ago, but still my walls are white. I was so excited when my sister turned me on to the world of blogging and yet I haven't written anything since September!

I think there is a couple of things at work here. One: I smoked a lot of pot in my youth. A lot. That's all I'm going to say about that. And two: Blogging is a way of socializing and I work so much with the public that sometimes I hide away in my house and don't talk to anyone, don't go anywhere, I don't even step outside. I peer out the window like some paranoid old lady, watching the world outside but never joining in. I have even been known to order my groceries on line and have them delivered! My only human contact is with the delivery boy. ( I haven't found out a way around that yet). So blogging feels like I have to make a human connection and I'm not always ready for that.

My sister has shamed me, (although I know that was not her intention), into paying more attention to my blog. I enjoy it, I feel good when I do it. And now she says that a whole group of bloggers are going to write EVERY SINGLE DAY!! I doubt I can do it but I will try.