Archive for the ‘Stress’ Category

I posted on a MamaKats Writer’s Workshop about my best friend and about how his mother, in a way, saved my life. The way I meant it was that my life could have gone in a very different direction than it did and I could have been one of those kids who hung out at the handball courts after, and even during, school with crazy long hair and smoking medicinal cigarettes <wink>. Nowadays, it may not mean the same thing but back in my day, the kids on the handball courts were the burnouts and smoked both legal (age restrictions to purchase cigarettes did not exist when I was in High School) and illegal substances.

Mom Miller kept me in line from that. I honestly do not think that was her plan, but it worked anyway. I think her plan was that I was her son’s best friend and the only one of his friends she liked and never banned from going over there… ever.

Anyway, she treated me loosely like one of her own. If you have been reading my posts, you know that my mother passed away almost 8 years ago from cancer. It took me a while to deal with everything and blogging helped a lot with that. No one read those posts, except for my one close friend from downstate. My thought was that if I am going through something like this, someone else is probably going through the same and if I help even one person then I would be glad I helped.

Well, about a week and a half ago Mom Miller passed away from Cancer. Oh Cancer, how I hate thee! I received the text from Mark at 6:32am. I had no idea he was even going down to Florida to see her. If I had I think I would have done what I could to get down there. Not only to say goodbye, but to also be there for the best friend any guy could ever hope for.

I think I feel a little worse than normal because she was up in mid-May. I had pneumonia, but Mark put together a little BBQ for mother’s day, even though it wasn’t mothers day. When he told me I told Erica that I wanted us to go. We went but she was not feeling well enough to go. I wanted to go see her, but they said she was leaving on Thursday but she actually left on Wednesday morning… the day I was going to see her. So I didn’t see her.

Now she is gone. She was tough. She was VERY tough on Mark but I think it was because her and he was very similar and neither wanted to admit it. They had a funeral service in Florida but it sounds like they are having a service and burial service here in New York. She lived here in NY for most of her life. Her two sons and daughter-in-laws are here. Mark’s older brother is in FL, but her sisters and mainly the entire family is here on Long Island.

I feel bad I didn’t go more out of my way to see her when she was here over a month ago. I will definitely be there for the funeral showings and be there for Mark in any way I can. I called him but he didn’t know what was going on at the time and said he would call me later. That was a few days ago. It’s going to be a difficult for Mark and his family, but this process is difficult for anyone.

What did you do to help with loss of a close loved one?


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This week on Mama Kats Writer’s Workshop we were to take one of the stories from last weeks’ Life stories post and go into detail. Since I went into detail on most of them and this story is the one we still refer to when we are together I thought I would repost this.

Run in with the “Hey, Knock it off” guy

One time we were out riding bikes. We were about 13 maybe, and we were just sitting around by the 3rd street hills chatting. I was messing with this really big rock, Pat found this axe handle he was batting pebbles with, Danny had a really big beer bottle. It was a colt 45 bottle but we had never seen a beer bottle that HUGE before so we thought it was cool. And Mark had a wise ass mouth! LOL. Funny how mark is in most of these stories… but then again we have been friends for over 35 years.

Well we got up and left and we all took our found treasures with us. To this day I have no idea why I took a huge 10+ pound rock but kids do weird things.

We rode down the dead end street because we could ride through and I threw my rock at a stop sign and it made a HUGE BONG! After I did that Danny threw the bottle at the sign and missed and it broke on the curb and Pat swung the axe handle at the sign and it made an even bigger BONG.

We rode through the street and this guy yells “HEY, Knock it off!” And, Mark not being armed with a wise mouth mocked him in a very funny voice and we rode to the creek hills.

Now the creek hills were a few small hills with a creek running through but it was an undeveloped area and it opened up to 5 or 6 different streets. We used it many times to get away from kids who were chasing us during our bike chases (but that is a story for another Blog). We stopped on a hill and Mark wanted to keep going but I had my new Puma sneakers on and say “No way, not with my new Pumas!”

So we were laughing about it and how the guy yelled at us and Marked Mocked him again. Just as he did it this big car screeched to a stop about 15 feet or so from us and it was the Hey Knock it off guy. This time he yelled, quite angrily I may add “Hey you kids, get over here!”

So we did what any group of kids does… we took off through the creek and down the path.

We stopped a little down the path because I had a feeling the guy was waiting for us to pop out on one of the streets. Sure enough, he passed by our location and yelled at us again so we took off in the opposite direction.

We did this for about 10-15 minutes with the guy going from one street access to another and we rode to a different one. After 15 minutes he disappeared for a while so we were about to leave and a car drove past one of the entrances but it was a different car. We didn’t leave right away but I knew we needed to because there was something in the trunk. Apparently the Hey Knock it off Guy had gotten his wife’s bicycle, complete with while plastic woven basket with flowers on the front, and asked his friend to bring him to the far entrance and he was going to chase us. Luckily we realized what was happening and took off, but he nearly caught Danny and we took off this time.

Luckily we were all VERY fast on our bikes and he could not catch us. He chased us all the way to the Junior High school which was about 6 or 7 long blocks away and so we did our normal routine.

We cut through Jr. High and jumped the rear steps and waited on the dirt road to see what was going on. This area was always safe because we had about 50-100 feet in every direction to see someone coming at us and a car would have to jump the steps. Once we saw the car with the basket bicycle pull up, we waited for the car to unload the bike and we yelled “Hey Knock it off” in our nasally mocking voice and did the last thing we always did. Beat it to my house, went into the back yard, turned one of the bicycles upside down and popped the chain so it looked like we were working on it and watched through my back yard hedges to see if he passed by. With the hedges we could see people but they had difficulty seeing us.

He rode past and we never heard from him again. To this day we do the nasally, mock voice for him saying “Hey, Knock it off!”, back then – we didn’t go anywhere near that road for 2 weeks… just in case.


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I chose this prompt this week for MamaKats writing workshop because, well, I’m a guy. I fart and take credit for it (actually it just makes my daughter laugh but she laughs at all weird noises), I burp loudly, I play video games, I am a guy which is a translation from Cherokee which means “Big Child” (actually it isn’t from Cherokee but I am sure it means Big child in some language). In fact, I think I am the only guy who participates in this workshop but it’s a great workshop and I can give you at least ONE guy’s perspective on things.

Believe it or not, I am a pacifist. I do not believe in violence or physical altercations, however, I am a big advocate of peace but I am not naïve. I do believe in knowing how to protect yourself and your family so I do hold a belt in Aikido, albeit a small belt but it’s a belt nonetheless.

With all that said, I cannot remember ever really punching anyone or really anything. I think I may have punched a tree once when I was frustrated… but it was a daunting Maple and it had it coming!

Instead, I am going to write about someone I would LIKE to punch and that is the boy monster downstairs. You see, we rent the upstairs of a shared, 2-family house. I have lived in many apartments in my life and have always had consideration for my neighbors around me. I keep things quiet as can be and try not to cause trouble. I have never had a neighbor issue before. My first apartment was in a complex and my next door neighbor liked to listen to his stereo loudly, but at exactly 10pm he turned it down or off. To me that is respecting your neighbors, to a degree.

Now we have lived in this house for 3 ¾ years. The first 3 years it was just me and my wife. 6 months ago we had our daughter and that’s when things that bothered us a little but not too much became just annoyingly rude and inconsiderate.

The boy downstairs is around 9-11 now. Apparently he does not know how to walk because he seems to jump, LOUDLY from room to room. It shakes the house and he does this at ALL HOURS OF THE DAY AND NIGHT. At night I wear headphones when I am watching movies or videos on my computer so as not to bother my wife as well as the neighbors. Now with the headphones on I cannot hear much. My wife has to yell to me if she is in the same room or tap my shoulder to gain my attention, however, I can hear and feel the vibrations from the boy downstairs slamming doors and jumping, sometimes until 1 in the morning.

Over the last 3 years we have been locked out about 10 times, when we only went out to throw out the garbage and we were right in front of the door! After the first 4 times I started ringing their doorbell to be let in as it was their son who locked me out and they act as if they have no idea WHO in their house would have done it. we have to bring our full set of keys just to throw out garbage or cans. Once the boy came out and couldn’t reach the recycle bin from the stoop so I took the bag and threw it out for him and was walking in right behind him… but he had locked me out. Once in the almost 4 years, I went down there when he was jumping and shaking the house for about 5-10 minutes straight at 11:45pm to ask them to stop and he acted like he had no idea what was happening. I had to tell him that someone in his house is jumping and I do not want the baby to wake up. If I can hear it upstairs I am sure they hear it in their house, but he acted like he had no idea what was going on.

It only became worse the next night.

The latest issue was Christmas Eve.

We thought it would be nice to drop off cookies and some other things as a nice gesture for Christmas. I knock on the door and no answer. Now I hear them in the kitchen and their door is no thicker than my own. I knock again and I hear them say “Someone is knocking on the door.” Then the boy opens the door about 4 inches and then slams it shut. The daughter, who is about 3 years older than he is, sort of stated his name and then he opened the door fast. I was holding my daughter because, well, she is cute and whenever they see us they always stop to say hi to her. Luckily I learned a long time ago to keep one foot in front of an outward opening door. If I hadn’t he would have probably hit my 6 month old with the door.

When the door opened the boy was there walking away and giving me a VERY mean look and the daughter came over and I gave her the gifts and said Merry Christmas, but at that moment I wanted to grab the little turd by the neck.

We are in awe of how rude they let this boy act. They never make him apologize. Once, when I rang their bell to be let in because he locked the screen door, he opened the door without looking at at the door and walked away as I am slamming on the door for him to unlock it. The mother was right there and unlocked it but didn’t say one word to him. Maybe I am old fashioned or brought up differently, but if that was my son I would have made him march out and apologize to them for locking them outside.

Even as I am writing this the jumping and door slamming is going on downstairs.

So this boy is definitely someone I would really like to punch and maybe knock some sense into. We have talked to the parents about the noise level in general (I didn’t want to point out the boy to avoid issues) and they say they will do what they can. Nothing happened. I talked to the landlord, who coincidentally is the father/grandfather to the parents and kids downstairs and he said the same thing. He will talk to them but nothing. So the only thing left for me to do is when they are loud is for me to jump on the floor and make noise back. I am hoping they will get the message but I doubt it.

So now we are on the quest for a new place to live until I finish school and we can move out of New York… but that was a different older post in itself.

Has anyone ever had to deal with loud, rude, inconsiderate neighbors?

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A couple of days ago I was watching a TV show in my favorite, most comfortable chair when my wife walks out of the room and then I start feeling my chair shake. At first I was baffled since I am on the 2nd story of a house and there isn’t any construction going on in my neighborhood… right now. So I stand up and feel nothing. I sit back down and I feel it again! I am now starting to thinking I am just nuts so I look at my drink and the liquid is shaking (I did learn that trick from Jurassic Park!).

I asked my wife if she felt anything, and she answered no. SO I stated that it felt like the house was shaking. My wife’s answer?

“Well, the neighbors are mowing their lawn!” Uh, honey it takes a HELL of a lot more to shake a house then a small lawnmower. I love her to death but she can be very silly at times… that’s probably why I love her so! J

Later I found out that there was, indeed, an earthquake in Virginia which caused some minor tremors up through NY. Now, if you listen to the nut jobs on TV, and there are a LOT of them-believe me, you would think that all the buildings in NY fell over.

After all is said and done, I think they stated it was a 2.1 on the Richter scale. It wasn’t even enough to set off any car alarms, and there are some cars that drive on my street that their stereos will set off car alarms.

Basically, I wish people would just relax and stop over exaggerating things.

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I chose this topic this week because I feel this is a topic some people find to be important… I am not one of them.

I understand some people may become offended easily… and that is a shame. I mean, do you REALLY become offended when someone says Merry Christmas to you instead of Happy Holidays? Some people do (and the ones who do all seem to wind up in my ER).

Some people are offended by ANYTHING. I remember when I was working as a Customer Service Rep for a cable company, a customer called and was just screaming and yelling. Now, growing up, I was always taught salutations are a sign of RESPECT so referring to someone and Mister or Missus was the respectable thing to do. Well, this person was SUPER rude. And I referred to her as Misses and her last name. (For this post her name will be Smith, because I don’t think it’s appropriate to use cuss words in a post about cussing) And she became offended that I called her Missus Smith? What?

Our blogs are our voice. And our voice is protected by the first amendment under the Freedom of Speech Act. Now I try not to cuss in my posts, but sometimes and expletive helps show my level of frustration.

I think, nowadays, every becomes WAY too offended too easily. I mean people can’t just take what is said, or posted, for what it is and move on? I mean if the words are directed at you personally and the person is trying to be purposely offensive, that’s one thing. But when someone says “Merry Christmas” and you can’t use the manners your momma taught you and just say “Thank you” but instead you say something like “I don’t celebrate Christmas”, I mean jeepers. It’s a moment. The person was just trying to show you some courtesy and respect and you were offended?

With a blog post, if you read a cuss, just keep chugging away and read unless you are not that interested which is just about every one of my posts and then just move to the next post or leave the blog all together.

A cuss is just a word. Every cuss has an actual meaning, but since we have moved them into the category of “slang” and given them different meanings, they are “off limits” to say.

I feel let people say what they want, how they want! I do believe only it with expletives if you can say it with the same meaning without them.

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Today was nothing special. On Thursday I had a filling fall out, so I called my dentist to make an appointment and the earliest they had was Monday. I didn’t have my work schedule yet, but since I was scheduled to work all weekend, that usually puts me with Monday off. I set up the appointment and then Monday arrived.

We started the day with a cable appointment, then talking to the landlord, taking my shower and then falling back to sleep for a couple of hours. My wife had a doctors appointment and I had the dentist appointment, both at approximately the same time.

I was coming home from my appointment when my phone rang. It was the house so I just waited until I arrived home to find out whats wrong. The first thing my wife said was that I was working today. WHAT!?!?! I am off. She looked at my schedule and said “No. You’re off on Tuesday.” Oh CRAP!! I rushed to change into my scrubs and she told me about her appointment.

She went to her doctor and her blood pressure is higher again so they are going to induce her… TOMORROW!


I had to rush out, but since I am only a mile from work I come home for dinner and told her I would be home.

Her blood pressure has been slowly increasing over the last few weeks and now it high that he wants to induce. She is at 39 weeks so she is full term and everything else is great. She hasn’t had any contractions so we weren’t too worried… until today.

I am excited and nervous at the same time. Our baby that we have been waiting for is coming… by Wednesday or Thursday! We have to go to the hospital around 6pm today and then they are going to do their thing and then the baby will be here!

Both of us are nervous and it’s just, so…. Real. I expected to feel super great, and I do, but I also feel like I have no idea how to feel.

I have nieces and nephews and get along with them all VERY well. But this is OUR baby now. My wife has been reading all these books over the last 9 months but where is the Daddy manual? Is this normal! I really can’t wait to meet the little guy (or girl) but all the things I have been telling my wife NOT to worry about… yeah, I am worry about now.

Well, in about 48 hours the baby will be here… wish us luck!

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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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