Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Grammar Maven

I was sent this in an email, and I couldn't quit laughing.  Therefore, I'm having to share it myself. 

Fellow red-pen wielders, this is for you.

Caveat emptor.
Carpe diem.
O si villi, si ergo, fortibus es in ero.
Et tu, brute.


by Frank L. Visco

My several years in the word game have learnt me several rules:
  1. Avoid alliteration. Always.
  2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
  3. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They're old hat.)
  4. Employ the vernacular.
  5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
  7. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
  8. Contractions aren't necessary.
  9. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
  10. One should never generalize.
  11. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."
  12. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
  13. Don't be redundant; don't use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.
  14. Profanity sucks.
  15. Be more or less specific.
  16. Understatement is always best.
  17. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
  18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.
  19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
  20. The passive voice is to be avoided.
  21. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
  22. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
  23. Who needs rhetorical questions? 
How to Write Good, Part II
William Safire
  1. Parenthetical words however must be enclosed in commas.
  2. It behooves you to avoid archaic expressions.
  3. Avoid archaeic spellings too.
  4. Don't repeat yourself, or say again what you have said before.
  5. Don't use commas, that, are not, necessary.
  6. Do not use hyperbole; not one in a million can do it effectively.
  7. Never use a big word when a diminutive alternative would suffice.
  8. Subject and verb always has to agree.
  9. Placing a comma between subject and predicate, is not correct.
  10. Use youre spell chekker to avoid mispeling and to catch typograhpical errers.
  11. Don't repeat yourself, or say again what you have said before.
  12. Use the apostrophe in it's proper place and omit it when its not needed.
  13. Don't never use no double negatives.
  14. Poofread carefully to see if you any words out.
  15. Hopefully, you will use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
  1. Eschew obfuscation.
  2. No sentence fragments.
  3. Don't indulge in sesquipedalian lexicological constructions.
  4. A writer must not shift your point of view.
  5. Don't overuse exclamation marks!!
  6. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
  7. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
  8. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
  9. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
  10. Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
  11. Always pick on the correct idiom.
  12. The adverb always follows the verb.
  13. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
  14. If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be by rereading and editing.
  15. And always be sure to finish what

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Hurry up.

and wait.

Hurry up.

and wait.

That's what the weeks after nursing school feel like. 

Just saying.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

C. Dub, RN!!!!! :-)


I came.

I took.

I conquered.

And now, after 2 incredibly trying years, I have my nursing license! 

The last two years, beginning with exactly one week after our wedding until this past Thursday, June 9, 2011, has been an upside-down whirlwind of emotions.  Studying until the wee hours of the morning, making friends with coffee, making friends with the staff of the local gas station that sold really, really big soda fountain drinks.  Psychotically checking online to see if grades had posted.  Cheering on your classmates.  Heart breaking when a classmate was left behind. Realizing at some point that you could hold an intelligent conversation with another nurse and not sound like a nursing student. Hating the HESI.  Realizing that you've passed the HESI. Hating the HESI.  Realizing that the friends that you've made in the last two years are people that you are proud of, are proud to call classmates and friends, and are people that would have your back one day if you meet again as colleagues.  Standing together at pinning.  Proud as peacocks in our caps and gowns...

And now, I'm done. It's a surreal feeling, waking up one morning and realizing that, no--I'm not going back to class in the fall.  I don't have to read a Saunders book, or open a Lewis book.  I don't have to have a backache from carrying my pharmacology book. It's....over.  There is no last hurdle to clear...
To my friends nationwide who are waiting to take NCLEX, or to some random person who may stumble across this blog who is getting ready for are my thoughts:

1.  I don't care how prepared or unprepared you are when you walk into the testing, you feel like a moron when you leave.  The test is designed to make you feel dumber and dumber :-) (Oh, how to walk with a cane?  Then a question about thallasemia?  Then a drug I have never heard of?  Yep, I failed it).

2.  The actual process of checking in at the facility is incredibly unnerving, even under the very best of circumstances.  Being fingerprinted, palm-scanned, photographed, and then having to physically empty your pockets makes you feel like a criminal, and not being prepared for it can really, really rattle your nerves. The staff were incredibly nice, but even so, it's incredibly daunting right before you sit down for the exam.

3.  The 10-minute tutorial, which everyone is required to sit through, is invaluable time.  We already know how to answer the alternate-format questions.  That 10 minutes gives you a chance to get acclimated, say a prayer, calm yourself down, etc.  Use it.

4.  Knowing the classifications of drugs, and knowing specific endings ("lols," statins, etc) is INVALUABLE.  Also knowing the specific drugs that have very weird and very specific instructions (MAOI=no tyramine, etc) is also invaluable.

5.  The "Nursing Made Incredibly Easy" and the "Pharmacology Made Incredibly Easy" helped tremendously.  I had 6 or 7 endocrine questions that I was able to remember because of the book/pictures/mnemonic devices. You can't go back and re-read your med-surg, ob, fundamentals and psych books, but you can re-read the Incredibly Easy books.

6.  I didn't feel that the HESI and NCLEX were comparable at all.  HESI was more fact/knowledge-based, whereas NCLEX was far more about being able to think through a question and critically think about the answers.  

Now it's time to get a big girl job with a big girl paycheck.  :-)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 13 Blogging Challenge

A letter to someone...

Thank you.  Thank you for what you did, because I am such a stronger person, such a more realistic person.  I have bigger goals--much bigger than I could have ever dreamed.  I realized that I have a person inside of myself that is capable of doing a lot more and overcoming a lot more than I ever thought possible.  I learned the meaning of self-love, the meaning of self-respect, and the value of true friendship.  I learned to appreciate my own strengths and weaknesses and that relying on others sometimes is ok.  

At the end of the day, I learned things about myself that I would--quite possibly--have never learned. I lost everything, but I gained everything and then some.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Spice it up

I haven't given up on the blogging challenge.  It's's just gonna take a few more than 30 days to complete!

Between nursing school, nursing school, and nursing school, I have no life.  None.  Add getting one helluva cold to the mix and you get the idea.

So I thought I'd share something, since I know a lot of fellow friends who suffer from allergies, sinus problems, and the like.

Y'all know I lurrrrve my neti pot.
 You know, the little teapot-looking-thing that they sell on the cold and flu aisle at Walgreens?

I've been an avid user for nearly 2 years, and I've seen a definite decrease in the number of sinus issues I've had to deal with.  As a matter of fact, this is the first time in quite a while that I've had a serious case of the can't-breathe-at-all.

Tried and true wasn't cutting it.  Neither was anything else I tried, including, but not limited to: Theraflu, Nyquil, Afrin, Benadryl, Flonase...

Cue the souped-up neti...

With cayenne.

Cayenne pepper, y'all.  A little dab'll do ya, but lordy, it WORKED. For the first time in 3.5 days, I'm breathing.  Breathing through my nose and happy as a clam!

Mix the normal saline solution you normally use (sea salt, baking soda, and water), and add 2 shakes of cayenne.  Strain through a paper towel to make sure you're not getting pepper flakes up your nose. Neti away as usual.

Check with your doctor if you've got something funky going on.  Please and thank you.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 12 Blogging Challenge

Put your ipod on shuffle and list the first 10 songs that play...

1. Amos Lee--Southern Girl
2.  Miranda Lambert-Gunpowder and Lead
3. Michael Franti and Spearhead--Hello, Bonjour
4.  Bloodhound Gang--Bad Touch

5.  Avett Brothers--Pretty Girl from Chile

6.  Staind--Zoe Jane
7.  Barbara Blue--Drunken Angel

8.  Van Morrison--Tupelo Honey
9.  OAR--Night Shift

10.Glee Cast--Somebody to Love

Glee! Somebody to love
Uploaded by Fatanaes. - Watch original web videos.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 11 Blogging Challenge

I took a brief hiatus from blogging because life turned upside down (again...) and school has me trying to remember what my own name is. However, some well-intentioned friends held me accountable and encouraged me to continue.

So I'm back with Day 11 of the blogging challenge--a picture of something I don't like.  There are a lot of things I don't like, and I lot of snarky comments I could choose to say or post, but I will refrain. Barely.  However, I will say this:

Enough said.  I have enough going on right now that stupid people don't even hit my radar screen.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day 10 Blogging Challenge

A story about a past relationship.

I find that almost 6 years later, it is far easier to talk about, far easier to write about.  But the words I wrote less than a year later still ring true to me, and I don't think I could say it any better today than I could years ago.  I have changed--certainly, who doesn't in 6 years? 

I've found the kind of love with my husband that some people never are lucky enough to find.  I've found friends who pulled me out of some of the darkest moments of my life.  I've found people willing to stand up for me when I wasn't able to stand up for myself. The following was written in 2006, and you know, my prince did come.  Not on a shining stallion, but rather in a truck covered with mud and all manner of hunting gear stashed under the seat and a penchant for the Grateful Dead and hair that sometimes looks like Einstein might have been his stylist and who enjoys my sincere love of all weird foods and wines and who loves to read and explore new things and who doesn't wear jewels but rather duck calls on a lanyard.  My prince did come, down a rutted dirt driveway 2 hours late for our first date, and you know? I wouldn't have it any other way, because I know--I know--how much he loves me and respects meAnd I him

If one person reading this can help someone else, or help themselves, I have succeeded.

The following is the same as it was written several years ago:

They say that you cannot truly begin to help yourself until you hit complete rock bottom--August 14th, 2005 represent the absolute rock bottom for me. And a slow climb it has been, yet one that has forever changed me and given me a new appreciation for life, kindness, beauty and happiness. When all else was broken, I thank God every day that I was able to keep a mostly sunny disposition and not let the circumstances make me bitter and angry. Each sunrise, each sunset, each small child, each rainstorm, each rainbow--things that may have gone unnoticed before--all are reasons to thank God for the gift of life and the love of family and friends.

I can't count how many times people told me, "What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger." And as sick of hearing it as I became, it is unfailingly true. I find, a year later, that I have become less trusting, less open. Yet I also find that I have more self-confidence, a strength and inner peace that I didn't have before. Strength is born of adversity.

I lost myself.

I found myself.

I am, for the first time in my life, completely at peace with myself. I am happy with me. I now know that someday I will find the deep and meaningful fairy tale romance that I've wanted all of my life. And I refuse to settle for anything less. Yes, I have fun. Yes, I laugh. And yes, someday my prince will come. I don't know what form he will take, and I don't know what his name will be, but someday. Someday.

The bruises have faded, the scars have all but vanished. But my heart will never forget. My heart will never forget what happened that night. I still find myself having to fight not to flinch when a man raises his hand, even if it's to give a high-five. I struggle not to cringe at hugs. But every day is a new day. Every day is another chance at life, another chance to touch someone else's heart. Another chance to say thank you to everyone who has been so amazing over the last year.

I urge anyone who reads this to educate yourself against domestic violence. Know the signs. Be aware. I never thought it would happen to me. You never think that you'll be "that girl." You never think that the person you love can turn against you. But it happens every day, and most women aren't nearly as lucky as I am. Volunteer, donate your time and money to your local domestic violence centers, and know the signs. You may save the life of your sister, friend, mother, classmate, cousin, neighbor. It happens in every walk of life, in every ethnicity, in every economic bracket, in every neighborhood, in every culture. Don't think that it won't happen to you or to someone you love. Ignorance is a death sentence.

Today, I'm not afraid to be who I am. I'm silly, I'm clumsy, I'm goofy, I'm a bookworm, I'm a music nut, I'm a dreamer, I'm a wisher, I'm a little kid at heart, I'm a hopeless romantic, I'm halfway retarded, I'm not always the brightest crayon in the box. But most of all, I'm me, and that's something I'm comfortable with.

This poem was on the back of Mr. Threadgill's door when I was in high school, and it's one of my favorites. Find peace.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.