(no subject)

Pickle Surprise
I don't like pickles. Well, I thought that I didn't like pickles. I really only always had the Vlassic pickles that are on the shelf. Then I had a sandwich at a deli and I thought that the pickle was very tasty. So, I bought Clausen pickles from the refrigerated section. They are so good. I can't stop eating them. Maybe I'm pregnant.

In other ironically related news, I seem to have developed a sensitivity to cucumber seeds and pickles are no exception. I knew that I had problems with cucumbers, but for some reason I thought pickles would be exempt. I guess they aren't as bad. Cucumbers make me feel like I'm going to die. Pickles just make me uncomfortable...totally worth it!

Intersexuality and Nursing

Dear (names withheld),

I'm writing in hopes to better the Nursing 101 class in the future.  I am contacting you two because I'm not sure who is capable of action, but you clearly are both major decision makers.

I specifically would like to address a comment made in the VITASIMS introduction video.  The instructor jokingly refers to a mannequin with breasts and male genitalia as "confused".  I find that this type of comment is inappropriate for health care professionals at all levels and is certainly not an attitude that should be presented to students.  There are circumstances where ambiguous genitalia may present themselves, such as patients suffering with gender identity disorder, not to mention the variety of ways in which individuals can be born intersexed.

This attitude seems harmless and fun, but how is it going to look to someone that lives with the stigma of ambiguous genitalia?  Is it prudent to unleash health care professionals with a calloused attitude towards realistic situations simply because it is socially stigmatized?

I think you would agree that perpetuating prejudices against certain psychological and medical realities is only a detriment to the students as well as to the prospective patients.  I'm sure that you would also agree that it is the role of higher institutions to be the forerunners in fighting intolerance.

This is by no means a threat.  If you don't change the video, I'm not going to do anything.  I'm not trying to be the politically correct police by any means.  I do believe in freedom of speech, but I don't think it was the instructors intent to take a stand by making fun of someone's genitalia.  I, myself, don't really understand gender identity disorder, but I know that it exists and is a legitimate source of pain and embarrassment for people that struggle with it.  I simply hope that my argument here will convince CSN to change the VITASIMS video. 

Please feel free to contact me for any reason.


Patrick Clare


Mr. Clare,
Thank you for your insight. I am sure that (instructor's name)'s intent was not malicious nor prejudice. I will forward your note to both (names withheld).
(name withheld)

Dear Mr. Clare,

My intent was to instill in the students minds that the breasts on the manikins remain intact no matter what sex you choose for the manikin, and I was doing this in a humorous manner. I believe we are all equal spirits in this world no matter what race, religion, color, or sex we are born in to. You are correct, I will update the video this semester. I thank you for your kind letter.

(name withheld)
Read more (with nude pics of FTM)Collapse )

I should probably add that the pic is Loren Cameron.  You can see more of his photography at his website: www.lorencameron.com/

Passport photos and more
I just got my new passport and I am absolutely disgusted with the picture.  Rather than hide my shame, I've decided to just show it to the masses.  First, here is my old passport photo:

I used to hate this picture, but now I like it because I can compare it to my new passport photo.  I think my new passport photo makes me look like Pogo, the clown.  Pogo, of course, was John Wayne Gacy, the infamous murderer.  Here is a picture of him:

I really should have chosen a color photo (you'll see why below).  However, I find his hat in this picture particularly disturbing.  Clowns are creepy.  It goes without saying this is especially true when they are mass murders.

And here is my new passport photo:

Luckily, the passport lines obscure the overall effect of the picture, but you can tell.  Yes, indeed, I do have my lower lip sticking out as if to pout.  The photo does also add many shades of red to my face adding to the clown-like effect.  If I don't think of John Wayne Gacy, then I'm liable to think of Droopy the dog. 

In other news, I picked up pizza today from Cafe Verdi.  (I know, I know, from the picture, I clearly don't need pizza).  Anyway, I like the Cafe Verdi pizza, it is cheap and it tastes great.  There are some drawbacks though.  First, the place smells horrible.  This isn't a problem if you take it to go.  Second, I noticed a couple of these hung up high on the walls:

Evil eye protection amulets.  Then I noticed that they spoke some sort of Eastern European language that I couldn't make out.  They're gypsies...dirty, foul-mouthed, mean, no tipping gypsies.  I hate gypsies.  I've had too many experiences with these horrible people at the blackjack tables.  I'm torn between my love of good, cheap pizza and the generalized hatred of an already persecuted people.

Las Vegas Harvest Festival
Greg and I are sick of Las Vegas.  There, I said it.  It's hot and this city has no real, local flavor.

Actually, it has a local flavor, but I don't like the taste of alcohol, big boobs and pretentious money.

In comes the Las Vegas Harvest Festival.  We saw the ads on TV and thought that it looked lame but fun for an afternoon.  After all, they showed people eating roasted corn and other people holding up plastic bags and exclaiming how they love free stuff.  That's two of my favorite things, roasted corn and free stuff.  How could we not go?  Right?  I mean even if it is bad, we can still eat roasted corn and partake in a lame goodie bag.  Hey, even a lame goodie bag is a good goodie bag.  Plus, we could look at produce and junk, right?  I think the actual tag line was "food, fun, arts, crafts and free stuff!"

The lead up to the day we planned to go offered up some bad news.  It costs money to get in.  It costs $9 each to get in.  Greg wondered what would happen if Walmart charged for people to get in to shop.  He makes a good point.  So, people pay money to have booths in the festival and people pay to get into the festival.  Whoever is putting this on is one greedy SOB.  They have to pay for a venue and the horrible live band playing in the back that interested no one.  In return, they get this wonderful double dip of money from vendors and shoppers. 

Well, we were desperate for something different.  Greg woke me up early to go.....oh damn, I forgot that.  The stupid festival was only open until 5:00 PM.  This stupid "24-hour" town rolls up its sidewalk after 5PM for anyone that isn't drunk, horny or gambling.  It seems the only thing open late is Barnes and Noble, which Greg and I have gone to on several, bored occasions.  One time, after going to Barnes and Noble, we got pulled over at a DUI checkpoint.  First time for that, I think we were the only ones that weren't getting arrested though.  

We get in the car after I found two canned goods items to get $2 off each.  They donate it to some battered women's shelter, because that is what Las Vegas has plenty of, battered women.   We went to pick up our friend, TIna.  In the car, I felt bad because I forgot to mention the canned goods discount.  However, quite oddly, Tina had a can of roast beef in her purse.  Fortune favors those who carry canned goods.  There was actually a reason why she was carrying the can of roast beef around, but I like to leave that a mystery.

We get there and they are charging $3 for parking.  Thus far, this shopping experience has cost us three: $24, a jar of spaghetti sauce, a can of peaches and a can of roast beef.  However, we were hungry and ready to get to the roasted corn. 

You can probably guess from my build-up that there was no roasted corn, as presented in the commercials.  The kicker was that there was not a lot in the way of prepared food.  "Food" was in their tagline.  However, the only prepared food was a place that had dried out chicken fried steaks and the convention center concession stand with $8 hamburgers.  So, by food, they meant the ample soup and dip mix stands that were everywhere mixed in with places selling beef jerky, candy, jams, and vinegar.  There were three places selling vinegar and one of them was named "Tres Classique", a name that makes me picture a redneck trying to be pretentious (not that there is anything wrong with rednecks or being pretentious).  We weren't really able to approach the soup and dip mix stands as they were always surrounded by snot-nose kids gobbling up the free samples.

There was no produce, so the name "Harvest" was a bit misleading.  At least there was the free stuff, right?  I saw people walking around with the same goodie bags that I saw people on TV holding up..  I figured that we just haven't come across the free stuff  place yet.  Tina suggested that maybe we were too late and they ran out.  For $24 and canned goods, I better get free stuff.  I found the free stuff booth and they weren't out.  I was finally going to experience the excitement of getting free stuff.  It's a high I never get tired off.  I didn't care if it was tampon samples, I was elated.  It turned out that the free stuff, the thing that pleased the happy people on TV, was the plastic bag.  So, when they were holding up the plastic bag on the TV and saying "free stuff", they weren't referring to the stuff in the bag, they were referring to the cheap, plastic bag.

This place was a crap fest.  Basically, if you could operate tin snips or a leather punch, you could have a booth.  Here is an example of some of the crafts:

Put a picture of a cat sleeping on a T-shirt under the banner "Nap Attack" and you know the type of arts and crafts that were at this show.  Very cheap, homemade stuff mixed in with semi-professional stuff.  It was all overpriced.  A stupid wind chime made with small wrenches cost $39.  A lamp made out of plastic was $70.  I bought mustard for $5.50, which is a rip off, but hey, I needed mustard.  I also bought some soap.  Greg knew that I was going to buy it before I did and said so to Tina, because it was a gay couple running the place.  Damn him, he was right.  It was a perfect trifecta of selling points for me:  homemade soap, gay couple and bay rum scent.  I just love homemade soap. 

So, this is the local flavor of Las Vegas.  Overpriced, screw-you-anyway-possible-out-of-your-money, crap.

But wait, it's not local flavor, the Las Vegas Harvest Festival is a traveling festival.  This crap fest wasn't even local.  What a slap in the face!

We do have a local farmer's market, but I hear that it is just as bad.

crEATe - Restaurant or Cult?
Greg was all about going to this new restaurant called "crEATe", which was basically a burger bar.  I've noticed it before as it is painted bright lime green and looks rather sleek.  We walked in and immediately became disoriented.  Greg turned to me and said, "Do you want to leave?", but he always says that in restaurants.  I swear to god, he's got some sort of strange phobia of new restaurants.  I stood my ground, because who wants to drive around saying, "I don't know, where do you want to eat?"  

The disorientation came from the unusual layout.  There was a counter, but there is no menu visible above the counter as expected.  Instead the menu was behind us, against the wall, in the form of free-standing, black, electronic light boards.  The menus pretty much consisted of a list of different size burgers and a long list of burger ingredients.  Just as when I was starting to wonder how I was going to get my order from the complex menu all the way over to the counter, a man came out the greet us. 

The man, who appeared to be a manager because of his age, quizzed us on what brought us in, "Was it the green paint?  You have a friend that has been here before?"  I think we just looked bewildered.  I don't remember answering the question.  I was just thinking that I wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of knowing that he chose a good paint color and I, just like everyone else, was drawn like a moth to the flame.  I just wanted to say, "We're already sold.  We're fatties, insert food now!"  Why do I have to answer a stupid survey, no matter how informal, when I do anything?

He explained the menu.  There were burgers that were already "designed" that could be simply ordered or you could make your own burger from the burger toppings menu.  The pre-designed burger menu had burgers named after art periods, "The Modernist, The Classical, The Renaissance, The Impressionist".  But the names were somewhat misleading.  The Renaissance had pineapple on it.  The Impressionist was their spicy, jalapeno burger.  They had a burger called The Dali (not a period, but rather an artist), that was inexplicably their southwestern burger.  

The manager then explained that their were clipboards over by the counter, so we could circle our choices.  Then he kind of just stood there and stared blankly at us.  It became a little awkward.  I almost wished I had succumbed to Greg's restaurant paranoia and left earlier.  I looked to Greg and said, "well, let's go get a clipboard."  

There really were a lot of toppings to choose from.  Nothing horribly gourmet, but the standard gourmet like bleu cheese, pineapple and chiles.  While we were deciding what to put on our burgers, which was actually quite a daunting task, a strange girl came around the corner, got right in our face and loudly declared, "The people at Nabisco have done it again!  This new chocolate Chex Mix is amazing."  This set off my crazy meter to the limit.  It wasn't what she said, it was the familiarity with us that she displayed; well that, plus the fact that she had chocolate Chex mix smudged on her mouth as she was shoveling in the last pieces that led me to believe she was off her rocker.  

I replied, "Oh my!"  What am I, British?  I tend to say, 'oh, my!' a lot.  Anyway, I continued, "Do you work for Chex mix?"

"No, I just really like it."  She then went up to some people ordering at the counter and extolled the virtues of the new Chex Mix.  She returned to us a short while later to inquire if we had been here before.  We stated that we hadn't.  She explained that she worked here and that she was just here last night painting.  She claimed to really have been excited about the painting.  At which point, someone behind the counter, agreed that she was indeed very excited about painting.   Greg and I looked around, yet no one pointed out what was painted.  The walls were nicely painted, but it didn't look fresh.  The back wall had a lot of writing on it  saying junk like peace, life, sand...I don't know...new age junk.

The thing that got me was that she wasn't working.  She was just hanging out, eating Chex Mix and raving about it to the customers.  At no point, did she offer me any Chex Mix.  She did later get into a uniform, but it wasn't for another 15 minutes.  

This is what led me to believe crEATe was a cult.  Everyone was too cheery and slightly off.  The atmosphere was disorienting.  They had their own vegetarian burger made with brown rice...if that doesn't scream cult, I don't know what does.  On their website, there is a news story that states, "Employees learn customers' names so they can personally greet them with a smile.  When Graulich gets a promising application, he said he will often observe the person at their current work site. It tells him whether that person is right for Create.  'You can't train personality,' Graulich says."

My burger was good, but Greg's burger was phenomenal.  He's the best chooser, that's why I make him make all of my sandwiches.  He then confessed that he had been there before and left because he didn't want to order food at a counter.  He rather be waited on.  Is that picky, or what?  I guess that's what makes him such a good sandwich maker. 

In any case, my verdict is that crEATe is not a cult, but rather a restaurant with a manager that likes his employees to have a fake Disney level of cheeriness that sends sensible people up that wall. 

Grey Gardens

I watched Grey Gardens with Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore.  I thought their portrayal was spot on despite what critics have said..  

It was a sad movie about being stuck.  The lesson to learn though is clearly that you only have yourself to blame. 

Is Michael Jackson's death the new 9/11?
What the hell?  The last time I saw such a media frenzy was after 9/11.  It took only 24 hours for the first hour-long tribute to Michael Jackson to air.  Since then, I've encountered at least 5 more specials and the news coverage is non-stop.

I hate to sound callous, but a probable child molester is now dead.  Get over it.

Exhibit A:

When hippies go too far.



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