I mean who hasn’t been that single girl (read: gay) surrounded by her best girlfriends (read: older, coupled gays) totally being slut shamed by them and telling you that you’re going to die alone if you don’t put yourself out there and find the right guy?
No? Just me? oh…
Proof that good things can come on Mondays as well, New Jersey joins 13 other states to affirm marriage equality today.
Despite Chris Christie’s best efforts to defy the New Jersey Legislature, earlier today the governor of New Jersey announced that the administration would drop it’s appeal of lower court judge’s ruling that current law in New Jersey violated federal law following the repeal of DOMA.
But let’s be honest – this was inevitable. Just look at the Great Seal of New Jersey… there are two women practically holding hands.
When I began my general surgery training five years ago as a lowly intern, it did not take long to meet “M”. M was one of the more senior registered nurses (RN) who worked the night shift on our surgical floor. On meeting M, I immediately liked this woman, and I knew that she would quickly became one of my favorite nurses. Tough and experienced, M is extremely smart and a better clinician than most interns, capable of picking up the slightest hint of something wrong with a patient before physicians would recognize anything was off. M is a “no nonsense” kind of nurse; she commanded respect when working the night shift and definitely did not put up with shenanigans from my fellow interns. She was particularly hard on other services that she felt didn’t “own” their patients as well as the general surgery residents do. But M also has an incredible sense of humor, and many nights during my night float month in February 2009 were spent laughing until our stomachs hurt.
After serving as a bedside nurse on a surgical floor for 25 years, M decided to make a career move. Our hospital is in the process of training nurses to gradually replace retiring operating room staff. M applied and much to her surprise was selected to be one of the new “intern” nurses. Leaving bedside nursing to jump head first into the world of the operating room can be daunting, inspiring, and incredibly rewarding – similar to what I remember experiencing as a surgical intern. M is beginning to chronicle her journey on her new blog, and so far I’m finding the nursing point of view of what I experience on a daily basis as a surgical resident to be absolutely fascinating. I can’t wait to actually work with her again in the operating room. Below is an excerpt from the first post on her blog; check out her journey if you like what you read.
The world of OR nursing takes a very special personality – a group that is not necessarily easy to break in to… who I am kidding… nurses tend to eat their young. This is a very sad, but very true statement. The fact of the matter is, if you cannot survive the stress of being a new nurse you won’t survive happily as an experienced nurse. The job never gets easier. You are put to the ultimate test on a daily basis. You need tough skin and to be able to think fast on your feet. Your decisions can be life altering to your patients. You will experience things no one outside the profession would ever believe. You will cry. You will question yourself daily. But, you will make a difference in every life you touch, in some way. You will be amazed and amused. You will learn to love cold coffee. You will develop a bladder the size of the Titanic. You may start swearing like a sailor. Your colleagues will become family. You learn to treasure life because you see so much tragedy… and you learn to celebrate the little things.
The intended and unintended consequences of labeling patients as “good” and “difficult”, from the eyes of a physician turned caretaker.
Although many physicians would have made different choices than I did, the impetus for my decisions lay in a trait of our medical culture. When we call patients and families “good,” or at least spare them the “difficult” label, we are noting and rewarding acquiescence. Too often, this “good” means you agree with me and you don’t bother me and you let me be in charge of what happens and when. Such a definition runs counter to what we know about truly good care as a collaborative process. From the history that so often generates the diagnosis to the treatment that is the basis of care or cure, active participation of patients and families is essential to optimal outcomes.
There will always be patients and families who are considered high maintenance, challenging, or both by health care providers. Among them are a few with evident mental illness, but most are simply trying their best to understand and manage their own or their loved ones’ illness. That we sometimes feel besieged or irritated by these advocates speaks to opportunities for improvement in both medical culture and the health care system. Culturally, we could benefit from a lens shift toward seeing more-vocal patients and families as actively engaged in their health care, presenting new, potentially important information, and expressing unmet care needs. At the systems level, we need to both count (using specially designated sections of the medical record) and reward (through diagnostic and billing codes) the time that providers spend talking to patients and families.
~Dr. Louise Aronson
A weekend with out of town friends…
I know that I’ve got resting b*tch face!
He’s cute, but he’s also a stage 5 clinger!
He had salmon. I don’t remember his face, but I remember the salmon.
I don’t know, I didn’t take ‘Queer Theory’. I’m queer enough, I didn’t need the theory!
Normally I would post a sarcastic someecard about turning a year old given that today is my birthday, however today’s post is a bit on the sad side since my 92 year old grandmother Gina passed away this past Thursday. Tomorrow’s regularly scheduled someecard will be post-poned until Tuesday, I promise it will be worth the wait.
Born in 1921, my nonna’s life is one for the history books. She first hand witnessed the tragedies of World War 2 and the Nazi retreat from Italy which claimed the lives of many in the Italian countryside. My mom and uncle were born during the aftermath of a depressed post-war Italy, which unfortunately claimed the life of their oldest brother and my nonna’s eldest son from a land mine that the Germans planted around Italy to stop the progress of Allied forces during the war. Emigrating to the United States and leaving behind the world she knew at nearly 40 years old was tough on my grandmother. I can’t begin to imagine the pain and heartache she must have lived with for the rest of her life, a feeling I’ve only glimpsed through the eyes of my mother on the occasions when we’ve returned to Italy. It’s a sorrow and a longing for a life that could have been but never was, in my opinion, a distinctly Italian feeling of loss for what never existed in the first place. If there’s a positive side, it’s that the experience served to harden her a bit and offered her the promise of a new life in America, one that has been filled with weddings, grandchildren and great grandchildren, good times and grand memories.
Like most Italian families, my grandfather was clearly the king of the castle and the one who wore the pants in the family, yet my nonna clearly picked out the pants – but I’m pretty sure she also ironed them and decided which shirt and shoes my nonno would wear with them. My nonna’s soft exterior and gentleness with her grandchildren often masked a core hardened by life and a tongue that was both quick and sharp. My grandmother was not a woman to be messed with; get her riled up or on her wrong side – and you best watch out. The rules in my grandparents’ house were clear, and spoiled brats wouldn’t be tolerated.
As is probably true of most Italian families, my fondest memories of my grandmother all center around family and food. Nonna Gina’s house was the glue that bonded us with my cousins on my mom’s side. The house was her castle, and her kitchen entirely her domain. When I was very young, my parents both worked, and my nonna and nonno served as daycare. My parents also felt it was important to retain our Italian heritage, and spending time with nonno and nonna was critically important. My sisters and I picked up the occasional Italian phrase from them during those days at their house, and spent a lot of time with them during the summers when school was out. From an early age, my sisters, my cousins and I were brought up on “pane e burro” and “peacock” (raw egg yolks whipped with sugar to which toasted bread is dunked in. I know it sounds gross – but it’s actually delicious, so dont knock it until you try it). In my very biased opinion, her pasta sauce and meatballs rival that of any Italian restaurant. My grandmother’s kitchen was small and her food simple but satisfying. Lasagna, pasta e fagioli, and pasta “stufata” were the staples of my childhood.
When my grandparents emigrated to the United States from Italy, they tried to assimilate my mom and my uncle as much as possible into American traditions. In the spirit of Americanization, my nonna always made a full traditional Thanksgiving dinner complete with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes – the whole nine yards. Thanksgiving was almost always celebrated with my grandparents, and the tradition continued even after my nonno passed away from lung cancer. The controlled chaos of those Thanksgiving Thursdays is one of my fondest memories, and the smells emanating from nonna’s kitchen will linger in my memory for the rest of my life. Dessert included many of the American staples like apple, pecan and pumpkin pie, but my nonna always made “cheesecake” on holidays, and Thanksgiving was no exception. Her cheesecake was actually a more light and fluffy lemon-ricotta pie, a recipe my nonna closely guarded. My grandmother did not keep recipe cards, and measurements were always “a pinch of this” or “a little of that”. If you asked her to tell you how much flour or sugar to add, she would say “about a cup” – but my nonna never owned measuring cups or spoons. No matter how hard we try, nonna’s recipes are nearly impossible to recreate.
I will be forever indebted to my grandmother for the care and compassion that she showed for my father, especially while he was sick. The love she showed for a son that wasn’t her own flesh and blood amazes me to this day. During my dad’s last hospitalization, she stood watch in his hospital room with the rest of us, and the pain, sorrow, and anguish on her face when he died and during his funeral highlighted the depth of her love for him.
Throughout her life, my grandmother faced hardship and suffering and continually rose to the occasion, experiences that shaped her into the soft on the outside but tough on the inside woman that she was. She is fondly remembered by her son and daughter, her six grandchildren and her five great grandchildren.
To Nonna Gina, may she rest in peace.
After the California Supreme Court held that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples violated the California Constitution, state voters passed a ballot initiative known as Proposition 8, amending the State Constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Respondents, same-sex couples who wish to marry, filed suit in federal court, challenging Proposition 8, naming as defendants California’s Governor and other state and local officials responsible for enforcing California’s marriage laws. The officials refused to defend the law, so the District Court allowed petitioners—the initiative’s official proponents—to intervene to defend it. After a bench trial, the court declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional and enjoined the public officials named as defendants from enforcing the law. Those officials elected not to appeal, but petitioners did.
The Ninth Circuit certified a question to the California Supreme Court: whether official proponents of a ballot initiative have authority to assert the State’s interest in defending the constitutionality of the initiative when public officials refuse to do so. After the California Supreme Court answered in the affirmative, the Ninth Circuit concluded that petitioners had standing under federal law to defend Proposition 8’s constitutionality. On the merits, the court affirmed the District Court’s order.
“DOMA undermines both the public and private significance of state-sanctioned same-sex marriages; for it tells those couples, and all the world, that their otherwise valid marriages are unworthy of federal recognition. This places same-sex couples in an unstable position of being in a second-tier marriage. The differentiation demeans the couple, whose moral and sexual choices the Constitution protects, see Lawrence, 539 U. S. 558, and whose relationship the State has sought to dignify. And it humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples. The law in question makes it even more difficult for the children to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives.”
“The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others.”
“There is a ‘careful consideration’ standard: In determining whether a law is motivated by improper animus or purpose, discriminations of an unusual character especially require careful consideration. DOMA cannot survive under these principles.”
I’ve had a couple of posts on here about the book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (again, strongly recommended to read because you may actually pee your pants laughing at certain points). Well today, I actually went to her blog. And found this little number. And about peed my pants again.
The very first one MAY actually be my favorite.Conversation with Victor after the 40,000th time I failed to answer my phone: Victor: I AM GOING TO STRANGLE YOU. WHY DON’T YOU EVER FUCKING ANSWER YOUR PHONE WHEN I CALL YOU? me: I didn’t hear it because I was too busy yelling at some idiot who claimed that you weren’t the most understanding and patient husband in the world. Victor: I…don’t even know what to say to that. me: You should probably just say “Thank you.”
This post is a little late for Mother’s Day but since my mom is flying into town tomorrow in order to watch me graduate with a Masters in Public Health, I figured it was still appropriate.
I am currently baking red velvet cupcakes. Why you ask? Because I’m going to a graduation reception/party Saturday afternoon following the graduation ceremony. And clearly, I have to bring something. I blame my mother.
You see, we all grow up learning little pearls from our parents, but I contend that our mother’s influence on our social graces far exceeds that of our fathers. For example, my mother always said you can’t show up empty handed to a party that you were invited to. Hence I’m baking cupcakes. Could I have made something easier? Sure, but it just so happens that the Boston University colors are red and white. (Don’t judge me. I can feel you judging.)
I don’t think my mother was forced to read Emily Post when she was growing up, but there are many other habits I have because of my mom. For example, I always return the shopping cart (it happens to be one of my biggest pet peeves when people don’t – and yes, my mother’s biggest pet peeve too). I always rinse dishes before they go into the dishwasher. Many of my food and product purchases are from my mom; choosy moms choose JIF and so does this ginger, and Downy is the only acceptable fabric softener.
For better or for worse, she is the voice within my head. And I suspect I’m not alone. What social graces and habits have you picked up from your mothers?
The Minnesota Senate today narrowly passed a bill for marriage equality by a vote of 37-30. The bill was passed last week by the Minnesota House. Minnesota’s governor Mark Dayton has already promised to sign the bill into law.
The passage of marriage quality in Minnesota is particularly striking since just 6 months ago, voters in the state were debating whether to amend the state constitution to ban same sex marriage. During the November 2012 election, voters decided against amending the constitution.
Minnesota is the 3rd state this month to pass marriage equality legislation, following in the foot steps of both Rhode Island and Delaware. Minnesota becomes the 12th state in the nation to affirm the importance of equal rights and marriage equality.
The next question is… will Illinois become the 13th?
This story appeared yesterday on The Huffington Post, and I couldn’t help but share. Christine Gallagher details the twelve things you should never discuss or reveal on a first date.
I happen to agree with most of these, but I’m curious what people think about #3. Is it really NOT okay to talk about your dog or cat at all during the date? Yes, clearly there is a danger zone in going overboard, but mentioning you have a dog or cat? Really?
Btw, as a pescatarian, #5 could be incredibly important – especially if that first date is at a restaurant. I don’t mind if my date eats steak or pork or some other meat for dinner – but there are a lot of vegetarians/vegans out there who do. Might be good to know that in advance. Just saying…
12 Things to Never Mention on a First Date
1. The ex. It’s best not to vomit up what went wrong in your last relationship. If you do, your date will be sure to pick up any information about how you might behave in a relationship with him or her. So zip it. Never share the details, particularly the gory ones, until you know each other a whole lot better.
2. Your finances. There’s a lot of talk right now about people being financially strapped — there’s even a new sitcom about a divorced woman living with her parents. But it’s not sexy, okay? Again, let’s hope that you are so stunning in other ways that your date doesn’t give a damn and is more than happy to sneak in through your childhood bedroom window if things get that far. But don’t count on it. It’s best to tread softly when you reveal financial woes.
3. Beloved pets. Nothing is more unappealing than listening to a new date express undying love for their pet. Keep the iPhone photos to yourself. Don’t share pictures of Fido at the doggie Easter egg hunt. If you have more than two cats, never share that information until you’re on more solid ground. And don’t say you can’t ever have a sleepover because your cat or dog can’t be left alone. As for deceased pets you had in childhood, let them rest in peace.
4. Physical ailments. This is especially important for hypochondriacs. Trust me — only your doctor is interested in a history of your ailments and injuries. And if you have any suspicious rashes, particularly on hidden parts of your body, don’t tell your date, okay?
5. Special diets. If you subscribe to a restricted eating lifestyle, don’t discuss it at length. You may come across as boring, dogmatic or worse. Vegans should go easy, particularly if their date is happily cutting into a big juicy steak. Eccentric eating preferences should also be handled carefully. I once had a date with someone who revealed they only ate white food. I still can’t articulate why, but this was an immediate total turnoff.
6. Your brilliant children. All of us are crazy about our kids. We think they’re incredibly talented and adore their quirky behavior, but a total stranger has absolutely no need to know the details. Of course, do reveal you have kids. Mention their ages. Then move on.
7. Sexual practices. A first date is never the time to discuss what you like or don’t like in bed. If you have a bag of sex toys in your closet, don’t share. Don’t, under any circumstance, talk about past lovers and their talents and preferences.
8. You don’t like sex. You may get lucky and be dating someone who feels exactly the way you do. But it’s not likely, okay? So save this tidbit for later.
9. Unusual habits. This is a very broad category. It could be something benign but potentially off putting — like your kids still sleep in a family bed with you, or you have a side business providing custom pet funerals. If you have a hard time gauging if your habits might be “unusual”, ask a candid friend for feedback.
10. Your porn addiction. Okay, so you’ve been single for a while and spending evenings in fantasy porn land. But now you’re out in the real world with a real person. You don’t have to share.
11. Arrest records. Any arrest, even if you were deemed innocent, should not be revealed upfront. It will raise big-time red flags and scare away a lot of people. Same goes for IRS problems, foreclosures, disciplinary hearings etc.
12. How miserable and lonely you are. Chances are your date is equally miserable and lonely, but it’s still a big turnoff and should be kept for your therapist. For your date, put on your best face and keep it in the light zone. And who knows? Maybe a sliver of magic will pass between you.