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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Light a candle

As you know I work in Clinical Research, mainly HIV.

Tomorrow is the world AIDS day and BristolMyersSquibb is asking as many people as possible to light a candle. For every candle lit BMS will donate one dollar, so click and light a candle then pass the link on. It does not cost you anything and will only take a minute to do. You can also leave your story for people to read. You do not have to be HIV+ to write. Below is my story which I submitted.

While I am HIV negative my life itself has been largely affected by the disease itself. When I was 9 years old my mother, a OBGYN, founded the AIDS foundation in my hometown in Germany. She saw the dangers of the disease and was amongst the first to speak out (in the late 80's) being a single mom she took me to work with her often. I met many friends that way and lost many to AIDS as well. I worked in the foundation until I left to move to america, here I work in clinical research mainly in HIV studies. I have been working with the disease for 20 years and am sad everytime I see someone newely infected. People need to realize everyone can contract it if they are not safe and you can not tell by looking at people that they have it!

Be aware, be educated and be safe.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

just because

This week is going by so fast and I can't seemed to get anything done. I worked at the restaurant Monday and Tuedays night. It was dead so I didn't make much money.

I am still trying to find a home for my little house guest I may have succeeded. Today was a nightmare in the office understaffed and too many patients and we had a pre site visit for a upcoming study. The poor lady ended up waiting for hours on our Doc. I found out I got two trips coming up in January one to LA mid January and one to Orlando the last weekend of January (click on the city to see my fancy hotels). My mom is excited about the Orlando one since my sister (who I have successfully avoided for over 4 years) is coming to her a few days prior. I will get a rental car when the meeting is over and drive to Ft. Myers stay a couple of days and then fly back from there. At least I'll have a car so I can get away if she gets to much on my nerves. I am having nightmares just thinking about being in that tiny single wide house with my mother and sister.

I did finally go online today and bought my Trans Siberian Orchestra Tickets. I love them and see them every year hier in Hampton but this years show was on November 17 which is to early for Christmas music so Grumpy and I are going to the show on the 15th that's 90min away. Without Christkindle markets and other traditional stuff like snow that puts me in a holiday mood this usually does. If you have never seen it GOOOOOOO the light show alone is worth the ticket. Make sure to get the cheap seats they are the best to see the lasers. This year will be my 5th show and it still runs chills down my spine.

I hope someday soon I can add things like a trip here and or to NYC to my Christmas traditions.

Well I got to run but first what do you do every year to get in the spirit?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

X-mas decos & house guests

Okay so I thought today was the 1st advent (I was wrong its next sunday) but since Grumpy had already brought down all the Xmas stuff we still went ahead and decorated the living room.

Here is my big pyramide

Here are some close ups. This is handmade in my home state. It is only put out during the X-mas holidays. You use candels that lid will make it turn (I have not been able to find any this year)Here is my other pyramide the small bow of light and a smoker. My grandma gave us the pyramide in the middle.All of these are typical hand made decorations for the mining area where I grew up.

This one was was given to us as a wedding present by one of my friends. I had told them all I wanted things that are typical for my homestate (xmas decos and other things too). The mail man smoker was one of our presents as well.

Here is Grumpy putting up our fake tree. I was in charge of deocrating it. Last year I was so busy Grumpy had to do it all by himself. And here is the finished master piece. I put all the ornaments I didn't want the dogs and cats play with on top. I like it its pretty. And this is me after all of it taking a break. Cleo of course had to take a break with me (on me). This snowman is a fiber optic one and sits in the porch where it is seen from the street. And here are the steps coming in the house.

I will post some pictures of my big bow of lights later.

Well the extended weekend turned out to be pretty exhausting. I got up early Thursday and started cooking. Grumpy was working until 6pm so aside of a quick pit stop at my scotish friends house to drop of my famouse apple cake I was home alone. After Grumpy got home we stopped by his parents and then went home for a late dinner. Friday I got up early to get my hair cut and then I had to work at night as I had to do on Saturday. I didn't make any money either night which was pretty depressing. Today I had to go meet one of my HF where the AP could not stand to be there another minutes. So now I have a house guest again. She is nice so its not to big of an issue but my week will be super hectic trying to find her a new home. So anyhow I hope you all got more rest than I did. What does your home look like dressed up for the holidays?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Locks of love donation

Its that time again. My hair was getting down to my waist again so I made an appointment with my friend to have it cut off.

We tied it into a ponytail and cut it. The ponytail is in a baggy waiting to go to Florida to the Locks of Love foundation were it will be turned into a wig for a child suffering from cancer. So I spend 2 hours getting my hair cut. My friend had lots of fun cutting and kept saying how much fun it was to play with it. She put some curls in it too but they didn't last long. So here it is what it looks like now.

Everyone at the restaurant liked it and said it looked cute. Grumpy wasn't thrilled at all. See I never tell anyone (and I mean noone) when I go and do this. So I was napping on the couch when he got home from work and when he wondered while I was tired I told him I had gotten up early to go to Glouchester. He asked why I had to go there to which I replied that is where my hairdresser is. He was like well sit up let me see it. I think he called it tolerable and asked why it is so short?

Anyhow what do you think of my new hair do? (keep in mind it grows out really fast, it will be back at my waist in 2 years)

Monday, November 20, 2006


So I am trying to catch up on my blog reading when I get tagged at Leslies blog so here it is.

Holiday Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Godiva Hot chocolate!!!!!!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
I think he does. Kinda fuzzy on the details.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
white. In the area in Germany where I am from the decorations are mainly white lights and its sooooooo pretty.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
Whats a mistletoe?

5. When do you put your decorations up?
First Advent.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)
Homemade German potatosalad (with apples and mayo and other goodies) and fried eggs.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:
Snow and cold. My mom would make my sister and I go outside so she could get things ready on Christmas eve. That and the candle light from the bow of lightst and the phyramide.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
Never we didn't have a santa. Just father frost.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Always. Thats when we open all our presents. Dinner is at 6pm and after that we open presents and then play all night.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
Ornaments, chocolate ornaments and white lights

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE it. Unfortunalty we rarely get it in Virginia and I miss it soooooo much. Grumpy promised we'd go up north this year so I can play in some.

12. Can you ice skate?
yep. Have done it ever since I can remember every day in the winter I'd go skating on the pond with my friends.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
Puppenstube. And I was only allowed to play with it during the holidays.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Being with people you love. (and snow!!!!!!!)

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
going for a walk on Christmas eve to look at all the lights and decoration (more fun at home than here)

17. What tops your tree?
nothing just the tree itself

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?
I like giving but of course I like getting presents too.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
Erzgebirgische Weihnachten

20. Candy Canes
Nope not really a fan of them.

I'll have to post some pictures of my German Christmas decorations after I put them up next weekend.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

not fair

It is hard enough to be on a low carb diet working at an Italian restaurant but I have done okay the last few weeks. I do okay in the office to because the food drug reps and patients bring us is usually not something I would try (between being German and having tasted Jin's creations I am spoiled) unless ...
It is homemade greek desserts. I could not believe my eyes and nose when I walked into our kitchen this afternoon. There is a platter with all my favorite greek pastries. I tried to stay away I really did but I am sorry lets face it unless I go to the annual greek festival I do not get to eat any pasties so I said to hell with the diet and went for it. I limited myself (so far so good) to 2 pieces. I had still some coffee (Esspresso mixed with Raspberry Chocolate from Gevalia) and took a few minutes on my desk to enjoy this treat. Of course it will be up to me to eat the rest as none of the people on the office truly appreciate this. They rather eat store bought donuts?!?!?!?! So question Jin: Can I freeze these and eat one at a time?

Monday, November 13, 2006

small world

The introduction of the internet seems to make our world much smaller.

This weekend I was talking to a new HF and when I asked what they thought about the AP in their account they mentioned they had not know he is there. So I left them with the request to please contact him right away to see if he is a match. Well they could not get in touch with him and asked me for help. So I look over his application to see if there was maybe a spelling error or something else when my eye caught a name. I scroll back and there it is A.K. Mhh strange I thought I had an AP with that exact name from that country 2 years ago. Then it hits me she told me a while ago she was working for the agency in her home country prior to coming back to the US to study. So I email her and tell her about the AP and the fact I can't track him down if she can give them the email of the office in her home country. She did that and she remembers interviewing this guy who will potentially end up being my AP too.

Small world out of the hunderts of AP that she interviewed ... .

Friday, November 10, 2006

cool my 100th post

So lately I have bitched a lot on this blog. Well what can I say with 3 jobs there is always something to bitch about. But for my 100th post I am not doing that.

I went out tonight with my friend Paula for her birthday. We went to a restaurant called the Melting Pot. I have to say I was a bit annoyed we had reservations for 8 I was running 15min late and they still didn't have a table for us. Anyhow once seated we ordered drinks. Me the Melting Pot punch, Paula drank Riesling. The restaurant is a Fondue place so it was ideal for us her the cheesaholic me the choclaholic. It was our first time or we would have known to ask for a table with two burners so I ended up having to wait for Paula to be done with her Cheese to get my chocolate but I have to say mine was well worth the wait. OMFG I ordered the pure dark chocolate fondue. It came with a plater of strawberries, bananas, pineapple, pound cake, cheese cake, marshmellows and brownies. I ate all the chocolate and everything but the last two. My second trink was a yin yan.

OMG so good. We did decide to come back only for happy hour there its cheaper and I will get my food when Paula gets hers.

I tried to take pictures of everything but it seems this Razr models camera is not as good as that of my last one. Or maybe it was just to dark.

Happy Friday everyone.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

oh gee where to start

What a week,

I am so ready for the Island. So the AP from the family that I wrote about (bitchy, controlling HM) has been staying with us since Monday. She is nice and not to bothersome but damn my phone is ringing non-stop. I never give out my home number so its odd to have it ring all the time. I have been trying to find her an new family and may have succeeded today. We'll see. I haven't had a quiet night in all week so after picking up the AP Monday and bringing her to the house I finished my paper just in the nick of time. Tuesday night I had to work at the restaurant. I ended up serving a funeral party that turned out to be more of an Irish wake. I got home about a quarter to midnight. Wednesday night I went a precooked some food for me to eat on my diet. Which is working in more than one way (guys you may want to skip the next line)

I am sure I am the only female that's happy about getting a P. which I did yesterday. The awesome news is that this was the first time that it happened in the time frame nature intended and without medication so there is a chance I may be getting better and who knows I may be able to be pregnant after all.

So after cooking a bunch of low carb German food I finished homework and crashed around midnight. Today was hell. It started with a call to my house phone from one of my Latinas saying her HM says she wanted a new AP. Now this is not news as they have been having problems but obviously she is still upset especially since this is her 2nd family that's not working out and it will be hard to find another one for her. I ended up putting my cell on vibrate so not to get fired. I think while at work I had/made about 50 calls trying to find the girls new homes and I have 3 families looking for new girls. TI tried to match them up with each other but that wont work so I should have a fun weekend. here is a good chance by next week I'll have two house guests. What fun! Well tomorrow night should truly be fun! It's my friend Paula's b-day today and we all are going out. So now I'll finish flipping back and forth from OC to Grey's Anatomy check my homework and then sleep. I have been trying to keep up with every ones blog but its been hard so sorry for the lack of comments.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Of Bunnies and house guests

When I pulled in the drive way tonight with an AP in tow to stay with me until I find a new HF for her, there was the Bunny. Well trained by us it stayed in place until I got a picture of it. I will finish this post later as I just got in and I have 2h and 15 min to write a essay about HIPAA.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Welcome to the world of chaos ...

... this is the post about fired nurses, fathers threaten with lawyers, crazy mothers and greedy A_P's.

First of I will refer to the girls as A_P since I have been getting hits from people searching for the two words and I would hate to have one of my families find my page and read me ranting and raving. As for the mom and dads they will be H_M and H_D and the fams H_F.

So now lets get this show started.

  • I got a voice mail from a HD (He is moved out and they are in divorce proceedings, the kids are with her) upset that the new AP was chosen without his input. I called him back yesterday after checking with the account (where he is not listed on) and the HM (who does not want him to know the info on the new AP because she feels he may call her up) and told him that with his name not on the account I could not reveal any information. His response was fine then you will hear from my lawyer! To which I said that's fine but the lawyer really would have to talk to the Coorporate office. He threw the lawyer thing around a few more times but when he realized I wasn't going to get intimidated by it he ended the conversation.

  • Last week an AP told me that the HM's nephews keep telling her what a bad person the HM is. I told her to keep an open mind (HM so paranoid someone will kidnap her kid ect...). Last night I get a call from the HM saying she did not think the AP will work out as she is not connecting with the kid. (remember the HM is home all day, drives the kid everywhere, volunteers in his school and the AP is not allowed to go anywhere with the kid) I listened to her and made some suggestions as to involve the AP but she was saying the AP wont do anything right. SHE DOESN'T UNDERSTAND HOW SHE ALWAYS GETS THE LAZY AU PAIRS (BTW AP is her 9th she had quite a few with the previous agency and previous AP was the first that stayed past one month out of all of them). I did not tell her that I found it hard to believe that all those AP's were bad (at 9 AP's I think the HF should take some responsibility for the failures!) but I suggested maybe the Latin American culture did not match her families need. She said no it's because she was black! I told her I did not think that was the problem as I had black families with Latin American AP's and they had no problems. I did suggest that since the kid is in school all day and the AP doesn't drive him back and forth that maybe she is better off with just a college student/baby sitter and spend the next 30min talking them out of the program. The HM also said that all these AP just come here to learn English and go to school and stay here illegal not to take care of kids. I told her that the learning English and going to school is part of the program as is cultural exchange and child care but she said none of her AP's seemed to want to do the childcare. She also said the AP only wanted to train the first weekend because she wanted to start to work right away so she could get paid. I reminded her they get paid every week no matter what (she didn't like that). Anyhow she said she'd see how things are going with the AP but she felt it would not change within the next week and she'd have to leave.
  • The above mentioned AP sent me an email last night. Saying she's been having problems with the kid who is not listening to her or wanting to do things with her and that the HM would not give her the weekend of in October because she came in the middle of it. She also said the HM's nephew told her again about thing in regards to the HM, things she did not want to be associated with. So I will be spending the next week talking the HF out of the program. Of course it would help to get some feedback from cooperate on this but they are in off site meetings for the next two weeks.

  • So then I get a call from another coordinator today in regards to one of my girls that moved away. She had attended college using that coordinators sponsoring program. Well she got the college to refund her money but in order to do that they deleted all her info about having ever been there. So that lady tells her that means you did not get your credits and the girls goes oh now I have a letter from the teacher and Katy said she'd sign off on my form. EXCUSE ME!?!?!?!? Needless to say I sent the girl an email copied the office and her new coordinator in it saying that the letter only works if it can be verified which since she had herself erased to get the money- is not possible.

And then to make my week perfect I found out today one of our nurses is getting laid off. And who do you ask will have to help triage patients and work up front. Yeah is me and my manager. WHICH totally sucks. I hate triaging and all that crap never mind the fact that I do not have time for it. I have a hard enough time staying afloat with my stuff without having to do someone elses job too. I have been here a few times and it sucks every time and I end up behind in my work where I have to come in on weekends to get caught up (and I don't get paid for that) and/or make mistakes because I am doing to many things at once. I can not wait to be done with school and get a new job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So now its off to finish my blood work and sent it out and then I have to run to the restaurant and on the way home I have to make a house call and drop of meds for one of my patients.

Isn't life grand? Not to mention that I missed out of a study where the meeting is in Chicago today and tomorrow. I am mean I don't care about the study but I could have gone and have this for dinner with Jin not to mention all the desserts I could have eaten.

However there is some light in the tunnel it seems I have the weekend off I am so excited. I am hoping this will be more often now that we have plenty of servers and Busch is closed until Spring. Just imagine 2 days off hell even one would be awesome. Hope your week is better than mine.