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Archive for May, 2011

I am a dog person. I always have been and always will be. That’s not saying I do not like cats… I do, but the friendly cats. I mean cats are cute and fun to pet and to hold, but dogs are much more fun in every way!

A dog wants to please its owners. Cats could care less.

A dog will protect you and its family from harm… a cat will go hide rather than help.

A dog will, and prefers, to work for its care (food, water, etc) a cat just expects it.

Dogs are members of the family, where cats… don’t really see it that way.

I know a bunch of cat lovers are going to say BOLOGNA, my cat does xyz! But the truth is, maybe it did xyz once but it won’t do it consistently.

A cat will not protect its home or inhabitants. Dogs will and are happy to do so.

This all stemmed from a disagreement my wife and I had about her cat. Now, I do not like the cat, but it likes her and so I tolerate it.

We have had this cat for almost 4 years and I have tried many times to get along with it and have some sort of relationship with it… to no avail. The best I got was about a week or 2 where it allowed me to pet her back and then that ended.

Well, recently it now likes to hiss at me when I am within 5 feet of it. Does that piss me off? Yes. It’s like having a car and making the payments, but being told you can look at it but do not touch it… what’s the point?

And it’s not just me; no one is allowed to see the cat – as per the cat. My wife can pet it and such, but I think if she tried to pick her up and carry her anywhere she would wind up with scratch marks all over her… again.

People can only see what our cat looks like from the pictures my wife posted on her facebook page.

Well, last night I became probably more annoyed than I should have when the cat hissed at me again! I didn’t back down of course, but it annoyed me. I am an adult and can easily take care of myself, but my wife is 8+ months pregnant and that changes things. I told her that if the cat hisses at the baby at all… the cat has to go. I do not want to take a chance that it may only hiss at the baby and not do anything else. To me if it hisses, it will eventually strike and that can’t happen.

Of course my wife became upset by this but I don’t think I am unfair in this. I mean when I get a dog, if she or anyone in the family feels uneasy around the dog or the dog growls at anyone unprovoked… I would get rid of the dog immediately. TO me the people family always comes first.

I do think, with 4 years of wasted attempts at getting to become closer with this cat, I might quietly wish it does hiss at the cat so we can get rid of her and get a cat that is people friendly. But another part of me tells me that is an issue in itself. The part that I have absolutely no emotional connection with this cat and will be happy to see it go… except for the fact that my wife will be unhappy. But I know she would be much happier with a friendly cat that other people can actually see because it comes up to them and not because they looked under the bed to look for it.

Am I wrong?

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We, my wife and I that is, do not HATE New York, but we are not happy here. There are many aspects of New York we do like and enjoy… unfortunately we do not live near those areas. We are more of an outdoorsy, mountain kind of people and not the city dwellers which is what the area we live in mainly is.

We live on Long Island. We both grew up here and there were many things in our growing up that we loved. However, with change of times comes changes we neither like nor accept. Growing up in the 70’s (for me) and 80’s (for her) was great.

We knew all our neighbors and they always looked out for us.

We would ride bicycles EVERYWHERE if we wanted to get there and could do so without fear of anything bad happening.

We would stay out late during the summer to catch lightning bugs, play games in the street like Freeze tag or Red Light Green Light 1-2-3 or even make up new games such as Ringolevia 1-2-3.

We both have very fond memories of growing up on Long Island. We were happy most times, and not so happy other times. But things change and, we feel, not for the best in the way Long island is concerned. We both feel Long Islanders have developed an attitude that money is what you need to be happy. People with money feel they are given special immunities from the rules and regulations that we all must abide by. I think its like that everywhere with people who are wealthy. But on Long Island, they take it a step further and look down on people who do not have money. Even if they have money and they have more, the more looks down upon the less.

We think it would be nice to have a lot of money, but neither of us would look down upon people regardless of their economic status. We judge people by their own, personal actions to things. We think if more people made judgements based on actions rather than prejudice this place would be heaven on earth. But we also know, as long as there is difference of opinion, there will always be prejudice and hate and all the bad things that come from it.

Also, Long islanders have become lazy. We have lived in the same house for almost 3 years and we have no idea who our neighbors are. There are never kids playing games in the street like we did, and the street is a very quiet street (but we do get people yelling sometimes and kids cursing their brains out from time to time). I walk a few miles every other day and I have yet to pass a kid on a bicycle, and I walk through the main street village!

But the main thing about Long Island that we dislike is that Long Island has made it a place young people cannot thrive in. Or really afford a house. And if they DO manage to afford a house, the property taxes and mortgage along with all the other cost-of-living expenses make it unable to thrive. I would say around 75% or more of the households are 2 income households. They have to in order to afford the house and such.

So, although the salary may be less by leaving New york, with the cost of living… less=more.

Besides, we are a family who likes to go for a hike, or look out the window and see mountains. Or maybe go away for a weekend and not have to pay $20 each way just to cross the bridges which allow us to exit Long Island.

It will mean sacrifices, but overall they are sacrifices we are happy to make. Where are we going? Nothing is set in stone, but when it is… I will definitely Blog about it!

Thank you for listening to my rant.

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So, this week on the writer’s workshop I chose to write about being 18 and graduated High School, well, for me I was 17, but same difference!

Lately I have been thinking a little bit about that time and what I would do over, but this post is about what my dreams were when I was 18. At 18 I was a simpleton. What I wanted was nothing extravagant.

I remember that day still. I remember how nervous I was in my cap and gown and sitting with my friends. There were about 8 of us who were supposed to graduate back in 1988. My best friend was a year behind us but wanted to finish with us so he doubled up classes and graduated in 1988 instead of 1989. Unfortunately, out of the 8 of us only 3 of us graduated.

I remember how excited and proud my mother was of me, finishing High School. I never thought I would get there. I remember wanted to do something epic and we could not think of a single thing to do. All the parties were starting at night. We decorated my dad’s car and drove around hanging with our friends at the Wellwood docks and going to Jones Beach.

After all the hoopla, which was not that much hoopla, I had NO idea what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to take a year off from school, so I did. I was always a workaholic and worked CRAZY hours as a manager of a company called Computer Care doing the computer work. That was my first computer job. It was ok, but eventually I left it and did normal teenager jobs.

I only took the year off and went to college, slowly and at night. I actually did pretty well seeing as my HS career was a joke. I was going for Computer Information and hanging out with my friends a LOT. I was only going part time and then went full time. I made TONS of friends at college and that destroyed my 3.5 GPA because I was too focused on friends and not on school.

I remember wanted to backpack across Europe, but that never happened.

I know I wanted, and expected, to meet the woman of my dreams and maybe be married by 25… that also didn’t happen until 15 years later.

I expected to have a decent career in the computer industry which did happen until I realized I wanted to be in the healthcare field and started working towards that.

I know I wanted to move out of New York, which almost happened. I did move off Long Island up to downstate New York. It was my dry run to see if I could move to a new area by myself and make a life for myself. It worked but before I could get into stage 2 and move out of New York, Mom died and I was needed at home for my dad.

I remember wanting to be rich and famous and that never happened, thank god. I don’t think I could handle fame plus I would have become a different person and I sort of like the person I am today.

The things I wanted at 18 were good for the time, and I didn’t accomplish most of what I wanted. But now my dreams are different. My dreams all have my wife in them and, in about 6 weeks or so, our baby boy or girl.

The great things about dreams are that they continue to evolve. Sometimes we accomplish them and sometimes they just become a little different. Maybe I will never be able to backpack across Europe, but maybe my children will. I know I will move out of New York and I know I will accomplish my dream because my desire for it is so strong.

Here’s to hoping you accomplish all your dreams!

 

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We all have dreams we want to accomplish. I have had many dreams over the years but never followed through with any of them. It took me MANY many years to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and when I finally figured it out… I went after that dream. It took me SOOO long to pursue and then… with only 4 days left – it was shattered.

I started going to college back in 1989-1990. I was going for computers and I was neither ready for college nor focused on a true goal. I never finished because I was offered a job doing what I was going for and took it. Why finish school when I was working at what I wanted to do? I did go back from time to time with intentions to complete school but that never happened. The classes I did take I did not apply myself to and failed or withdrew. Either way I had a REALLY bad GPA.

When I figured out what I wanted to do, I applied and went for it. I did something that was actually new to me… study! To gain admittance into the nursing program I had to take a national test. The highest grade you could achieve on the entrance exam was 150… I earned 138! (I would have earned a 140 but I misread a math question and my cursor was on the right answer but the computer turned off due to out of time before I clicked on the answerL ).

I took my prerequisite classes, but I took them slowly because I was afraid of failing and it had been a VERY long time since I had been in school and I NEVER studied. I passed ALL the classes. It was down to my final class and, although I studied, I did not study enough and failed. My thinking has always been that if you really want something… go for it! Give it your best and if you fail, learn from it and do better the next time. So that is what I did.

My school is really big on making its students feel very VERY small in every instance. Not only did I have to wait an entire year to retake the class, I had to write a letter to the dean stating why I felt I failed, and what habits I was going to change in order to pass! Really? A letter? I was surprised they didn’t want me to have my parents sign it! But I wrote it and was allowed back in! J (Probably had to do with them messing up so badly that out of 120+ students over 60 of them were advised to withdraw or they failed out… in 1 semester!)

Well I retook the class and I did ALL the work. I worked hard and was doing MUCH better. All I had to do was take my final and I was going to be a graduate nurse! I was so excited and I studied my dupa off. I even took 3 days off from work so I could study and pass!

With only 7 days until my final… they burst my bubble! They informed me that some paperwork in my clinical was not “good enough” and needed to be redone! It wasn’t wrong, just wasn’t as good as they expected. So I redid the paperwork!

With only 6 days until my final, I worked on this paperwork, did the best I could. I emailed the teachers to receive some help which they did not return the email or call me at the numbers I provided. So, although they offered me help none was provided. Two days later I handed in my papers and told them of the predicament and the issues I faced getting the information and figured that was that (especially when a couple of months earlier she told me since I was good on everything she would not fail me on paperwork)

Well, 2 days later they asked for me to meet them the following day about the paperwork and my life just seemed to unravel, the last 4 years anyway.

They advised me that the work wasn’t “wrong” but it was not what they expected of me. That I did all patient care excellent and top notch, that I knew what I was doing and why it was being done and had great relations with my patients. That I performed all patient care safely and gave meds out correctly and appropriately and knew what they were for, that my nurses notes were excellent and directed blah blah blah, but I had trouble putting that information down on paper. (what? But my written nurse’s notes were excellent? Isn’t that a contradiction?) They also told me I should rethink my choice in nursing and that they didn’t feel “comfortable” passing me because of this basically fake paperwork that is not even used in real-life nursing.

So with only 4 days until I graduated, they failed me on my clinical paper, even though there were 5 papers due & 15 clinical days of patient care that I exceeded at. So basically 2 papers, not even the full papers, only 1 part out of 3 on 2 papers failed me.

Right now I think it was very unjust and unfair, but there is a part of me that thinks I am just passing blame and not taking responsibility for my failure. I know last time when I failed, I never questioned it because when I thought about it, I knew there were areas I could have been more organized in my studying and should have taken time off from work to study… but I didn’t. This time, I did all the work they asked of me and did the best I could. When I asked for help and it was given, I thought I was doing what was asked of me. Apparently I didn’t understand what they wanted so when I asked for the help that last time, their failure to come through I think is what sunk me.

I was so close to graduating and it didn’t happen. All the plans my wife and I had for when I graduated are now on hold. Now we are looking into any options which I may have that can get me to achieve my dream and reach my goal for me and my family. Now I am embarrassed because all my friends and co-workers were pulling for me to finish. They ask me when I will graduate and I have no idea what to tell them. I am ashamed about this even though I know I would have passed if they allowed me to take my final.

I know it will happen. I know that this failure was not a failure on my part but a failure in the teaching, or lack thereof, of my professors at Farmingdale State College. I know I will finish and be proud and be a GREAT nurse and help people like I want to. I just have to find out how I will do it!

Never give up on your dreams. Sometimes there will be obstacles to overcome, it won’t be that you failed but how you overcame the obstacles that teaches you more.

Thanks for reading.

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High School. The final frontier… until college.

I have actually thought about this topic a lot. There is SOOO much I would do over if I could. I think we all think about this from time to time. High school was usually one of two possible times in your life. 1) the WORST time of your life or 2) The best time of your life. For me it was the former.

When you are a tween/teenager everything seems like the worst thing or the best thing. Basically, we are all dorky bipolar idiots! When something bad happens you said “I’,m never going to get over this EVER!!!” and when something good happens it was “The best day ever!!!”

In high school I was…

-Quiet (at least until the last half of my senior year)

– A lazy under-achiever (that is I passed my classes but never opened a book so I would receive B’s and C’s)

– Well-known but not popular (mainly because I didn’t go out of my way for anything but was always willing to help people.)

– Never participated in anything (I did not go to a single school dance, function or prom)

– Very insecure about myself and my body (I had some acne but nothing TOO crazy and never considered myself “in shape” but apparently I was according to my HS friends on facebook!)

– I was the quiet, nerdy, smart guy who underachieved and became more of a jock in senior year when I joined track and cross country.

These are all things I would do over. I was never bullied in the sense of having to be afraid this kid or that kid was going to beat me up, but I was a MAJOR pacifist and always walked away instead of standing up for myself. I only had one actual fight in high school and that was while I was a freshmen and the guy was a senior. I was sort of short then, about 5’4ish and he was the same height. He hit me in the face with an umbrella and I called him a jerk and that was enough that he was going to “beat me up after class”.

I was slightly nervous but nothing like I expected and then at the end of class he got right in my face and told me to get away from him. I kept walking and told him to move. He didn’t and then punched me square in the face. I blinked and looked at him and said “if that is the hardest you can hit you are in a LOT of trouble!” He walked away and I walked away and that was that.

The best thing about that is about 5 or 6 years later I was met up with some friends to play roller hockey and he was there. He saw me and skated right up to me. I had yet to put on my skates so he was about 4 or 5 inches taller than his normal height, but, well, I guess he stopped growing by senior year and I he had to look up to me without my blades on. He had this cocky attitude until I stood up and towered over him and then his attitude changed. I guess he figured he would get me on the court so as we were playing he came FLYING up to me to check me. Now, I started playing roller hockey AFTER I was already good at ice hockey so I just steadied myself and he flew off his blades and landed square on his shoulders and helmet and knocked the wind out of himself. I helped him up and asked him if he was ok and from that moment forward he would go out of his way to act like my best friend when he saw me. It was definitely a sweet victory… albeit years later but better later than never.

When it came to school I was super lazy and if I could do it all over again I would apply myself a lot more. I do believe that by creating your study habits in elementary and high school helps you with everything in life. It took me a while to actually learn how to study when I went back to school. Now I am much better at it but I think I would have gone through Nursing school faster and better if I didn’t have to learn how to study since I never did it in high school.

I had a small, close-knit group of friends throughout high school and I thought that was enough. It was and I have many great memories of them. I even blogged about one of them who is still my best friend till this day. But when I went to college for computers I did not study because I was active in SOO many things. I was on the Campus Activity Board, the radio station, the newspaper, student government and I ran track and cross country. So, needless to say I did not do well, but I had a great social life. That happened because I was more outgoing the last half of senior year HS and when I started college I decided to do everything different and be who I wished I was in HS. So in college I had a very large group of friends and we hung out and talked ALL the time.

Thinking back now, it was not the worst time of my life, but it definitely could have been better. Lately, I really wish I had applied myself more to classes but even if I did, I wouldn’t have known what I wanted to be when I grew up. That question I could not really answer until I was almost 38 years old!

What were YOU like in high school? I was the quiet, shy guy that everyone was friendly with but not necessarily friends with outside of school.

 

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