Weddings. Sigh.

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Oh yes, I know this is not work-related but it’s worthy of blogging no doubt.

See, this past year (and the next year and a half to come) has and will be a challenging time period in my life. It’s the time where all your friends or people you know start getting married all over the place. And you may even be, dare I say it, lucky enough to be involved in a few of them. Several ones. At once.

I love all my friends. Do not doubt that for a moment. But I am all wedding-ed out after this past year.

A good friend of mine, Bon-Bon, got married to an Australian. I co-emceed that wedding. Just getting to THAT wedding was a disaster.

And then there’s my best friend. Dearest Alicia, if you ever read this, I love you and am honored to be your maid of honor, but getting married in July 2013 (engaged since May 2011) is like two years+ of my life to talk about weddings. And making me go dress shopping multiple times AND THEN making me go with two brides at once with your snobby other friend who is also getting married? Shame on you.

I’m a good yes-man to all the bridal fantasy weekends and sitting to talk about colors for the bagillionth time. I’m patient with all the tears about what “that friend” said and what the “other bride-to-be-did”, but if I hear “but this is suppose to be about me” one more time, I’m willingly going have an aneurysm to get me out of this.

There’s so many small, picky details to plan, too much useless stuff to fret over. And far, FAR too many things to get upset over.

Is my apathy because I am single? Likely. But we are not going to go there.

And after all of this, I decided (actually it was probably during bridal fantasy after id seen everything three times) that when I get married, it is going to be SO chill. My invitations will read wedding PARTY…not wedding.

I’ll sew my own dress. Short white summer one. I’ll braid my hair wet and let it out dry for the wedding. I’ll wear my gold hoop nose ring, and have some self-applied henna on my arm.
I’ll make my own bouquet, and go barefoot. So will the groom, but he doesn’t know that yet. Pig roast, BYOB, and no stress. Don’t bring gifts, bring a salad instead! 🙂

See doesn’t that sound nice ❤

Studying Yourself Sick

Today is a sick day unfortunately for myself of all people. I went to bed early last night, slept like a rock, and woke up to a knocking on my door. I swore quietly, fully aware that the reason for the knock was because I slept in. I got out of bed and tried to walk to the door, but for some strange reason my leg wasn’t working, and I was unbelievably dizzy. I crashed to the floor in front of my bedroom door, and I heard Morgan ask if I was ok.
She said I had no color, and that she was going to go get Brian.
Oh great.
After 15 minutes I figured Brian wasn’t coming and everyone was mad at me. So I decided I was going to go to work. I stumbled around, trying to dress and get my bag together. I half limped out to the parking lot, and started the truck.
When I come back in to grab a coat, I had to hold the wall to come back down the hallway, and the world was spinning. I heard the door open behind me.
“Sierra Borden. I am going to kill you if you think you are going to work like this.”

Brian. You are such a dad.

He helped me back to my room. After asking me some questions, it sounds like the built up pressure in my right ear the last four days (I neglected to mention it to him before hand) had pushed fluid into my inner ear, causing my dizziness.

So I’m in bed today. Ian, the other paramedic brought me some medication, for my sinuses. I woke up at 2 and staggered to the kitchen for soup, but the dizziness factor was minute compared to the morning.

So now I study my gigantic EMT textbook.

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The Infamous Break-up Playlist

I came across my Break-up Playlist (“Forget Him”) on my iTouch an hour ago. It has been awhile. I forget how awesome it was (not the breakup). I’m the type that mopes for maybe one day, sometimes not even, and then I hunt for only the catchy, deadly breakup songs I know. So I cry for a couple hours, followed by some powerhouse, strong made to get your heart past the sorrow. The best ones are written by girls, just saying.

#1: Kelly Clarkson “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”

Kelly Clarkson satisfyingly hits the spot for me, with a killer voice and all-too-true lyrics.

 

#2: Matchbox 20 “Disease”

Believe it or not, this was the very first song I clung to at 16 after my first breakup. Extremely catchy, and a touch on the angry side.

 

#3: Carrie Underwood “Before He Cheats”

I`ve never been cheated on, but this song still gets me going 🙂

 

#4: Muse “Feeling Good”

Muse`s version of this Nina Simone original is bound to have you feeling better than good. It does for me 🙂

 

#5: Christina Aguilera “Fighter”

Strong women unite! The video is a little weird, but the lyrics are right up my alley, and the chorus hits a home run.

 

#6: Carolina Liar “I’m Not Over”

Found this song a few years ago, this is more of a realistic song, but still worthy of being on the list.

 

#7: Justin Timberlake “Cry Me A River”

Yet another infamous ‘cheater’ song, ALWAYS A FAVORITE!

 

#8: Kelly Clarkson “Never Again”

Once again, she makes the list. I think it’s her experience in this field that makes her successful.

 

#9: Adele “Rolling In the Deep

Adele. Need I say more?

 

#10: Pink “So What”

This is a very special song I save for driving down the highway, aviators on, and the attitude to boot.

What song would you add to this list?

 

 

You’re Going to Feel a Little Poke

Morgan's handy work

Morgan's handy work

I wasn’t feeling very good yesterday or the day before, actually I am positive it was due to the lobster I indulged in on Thursday night at school, because the next day I was periodically nauseated, and anything I ate gave me ridiculous stomach cramps then sent me running to the bathroom to relieve myself. So yesterday I took it upon myself to flush my system with water all day. I ate nothing till dinner and was feeling very weak. Once again I ran to the bathroom.

Then all the medics had a meeting at the boss’ shack for 8. We went over ALS assistance and equipment that paramedics use in the field. Then Morgan and I (both writing the finals for our EMT program in two weeks) wanted to practice IV’s. I offered up my arm and everybody was stood around to watch.

It really didn’t take as long as it felt. Maybe 4-5 minutes. I have to concentrate when someone has a needle in me so I can ignore the stinging. I don’t know what happened though. Once she got it into the vein, and the tourniquet was released on my arm, I immediately felt my stomach rolling and the sensation of someone cupping over my ears. I’m sure I would have laughed watching this happen to myself.

I weakly called Brian, sputtering that I was going to throw up. He said I wouldn’t. I said it again. Someone got a bucket.

By the time they got it all out of my arm and was stopping the bleeding, my vision was all starry and sparkly, and I got up and stumbled to the back door. I hung out it in the cold breeze, and I would have peed myself laughing if it weren’t me this was occurring to. After a few minutes, I turned to Brian, and all he could say was “Wow, are you EVER white.”

I laid down on the medical bed till my color returned. Ridiculous I tell you. I looked like such a pansy.

😦

A-Types, Their Humor, and a Date

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Guy Medic: “You know who would be really hot if they weren’t snobby? Those girls with the recording crew.”
Me: “Meh. I’m not jealous. They probably have like seven STDs.”
Brian: “Sierra!”
Me: “I wasn’t being mean, that could very well be a realistic answer.”

Yes, the obnoxious attitude still clung to me when I got back to camp from EMT class. It’s so hard to though when you’ve spent 24/5 with twenty-one A-type personalities.
We are all extremely social, opinionated, and rambunctious. We’ve all got our egos, and we aren’t afraid to criticize each others abilities, albeit it’s generally constructive criticism. We group together and stay together.

But the week at school was eventful. A very cute boy (yes, boy, all of 21…now I’m robbing the cradle) took me out for lunch on Wednesday. Unfortunately when he asked me to go, I was already eating chicken fingers, and Morgann was on her way with a salad for me.

Me: “Aw no! He’s on his way to pick me up. There’s no way I’m saying no. Now I have to pretend I haven’t eaten at all!
(takes off EMT uniform shirt, and keeps undershirt and pants on)
Me: “Do I look fat?”
Brad: “No…but you’re going to look fat after three lunches.”
Me: “Thanks…”

Super nice guy (not Brad) but Calvin. Met him on the camp that is pretty much home now. Well-spoken and very mature, solid 8/10 for looks.

Even if nothing comes of it, I’ll always have Brian, whom has created a place no one can fill. And boy do I give him a hard time.

Me: “Here, let me get the door for you.”
Brian: “Oh, thank you.”
Me: “And now I’m going to help you cross the street.”
Brian: “You don’t have your GEMS course. You can’t help geriatrics. Nice try.”

Days Consist of Tea, Thought, and Repelling Sexual Harassment

When one hears of a woman working with over 600 men, it’s easy to wonder how she makes it through living there without being taken advantage of. But it happens, I tell you. Hell, even in MEETINGS it happens. The men whom I standby for had been being asked to find a trapper, and if they did, would receive a company hat. I spoke up, loudly inquiring if I would get the hat should I come across the trapper. The consultant chuckled and said if I DID find him, I could bounce on his knee. My reply to him (and the room)? I’d rather have the hat.

Luckily, men in all their post-Neanderthal ways have learned to use words to their liking. And boy, do they put them to use.

Sometimes you are curious as to what they say as you pass by a group of them. A comment was once relayed to me as to where a guy would put a heat-detecting prong in me, and I have since decided not to wonder at the repulsive, albeit creative, things brainless monkeys can come up with.

It’s a common saying here that sexual harassment is a benefit. I laugh now because I understand, but in the beginning it was quite the adjustment.

Sometimes I can be just as bad though, especially the dinner table, playing games with the other medics by verbally “laying claim to that one. AND that one.”
Never lose your standards though, or respect for yourself.
My boss asked what was wrong with me at the table last night as I made the bad example of pointing and giggling with the girls.
My reply?
“Look, B, I’m just having fun. You would want to have fun too if you had a gap-toothed, hill billy vac hauler hanging into your window drooling for two hours a day.”
Brian: “Touché.”

An Educational Moment About Feces

I made the mistake of asking the paramedic I work with about a term I learned in my EMT textbook.

Fecal vomiting.

Yes you heard it. I was reading about gastrointestinal illnesses and medical conditions when I came across this. This…symptom…occurs when a person has such a severely obstructed bowel that their SHAT has nowhere to go…but back where it came from.

Ahem. Yes, I am aware you are grossed out.

I was so awestruck though because I had never heard of it. My textbook only claimed the person you would be treating with an obstructed bowel would have “breath that smelled of fecal matter”. When I asked the female paramedic I work with about it however, it’s safe to say I got more than I bargained for.

Not ONLY did she go on to explain the condition, but she opened my eyes to the fact that a person will actually vomit feces. Although I was completely grossed out, that didn’t stop her from complimenting the explanation with a story of a person she knew. This other female she spoke of indeed was suffering from OB. The doctors did everything for her, and she was throwing up feces like mad, people gagging all around. They tried a soap sud wash finally after an enema, and suppositories. When it wasn’t looking good, and the doctors could not figure out why her bowels were not moving, they played their last card. A treatment, believe it or not, called….DIGITAL STIMULATION.

Your finger is a digit. Stimulation is stimulation. 1+1=who the F thought of that?

(on a side note, how on earth do you train for that in school? Hello students! you are going to put your finger in a….)

Anyways, while the doctor was doing this, apparently the girl with OB felt the soap suds kick in, and she uncontrollably (I use the word again) SHAT everywhere in the doctors office. I could not stop laughing.

And the moral of the story?

FIBRE.

The end.

Isolation Does Things to a Person

Just another day in paradise today. Although It was nice to see a colder day (-22!) for a change, hopefully helping the roads up here instead of making them work.

I found myself quite preoccupied today with a strange thing. See, I was told to just sit where this other medic was sitting way up in the bush. So I did.

Middle of Nowhere

Not naming any names, but let`s just say it was a pleasure to get to know `Patrice`. Tall, good-looking, a little on the quiet side, and chiseled. Yes, I hate using that word, as it just screams ego, but Patrice has earned its use.
We chatted for the 5ish hours we were parked sidelong, he probably didn`t like it at first but I`m pushy, therefore he chatted right along with me till I left. At once, from the moment I met him, I instantly became completely and obsessively focused on his eyelashes.
I know I`m not the only one this has happened to, but when you meet a man with eyelashes that go beyond any woman`s, there is bound to be some jealousy involved.
Well. They are FABULOUS. And they send my short, straight, fire-pokers packing back to the follicle.
In fact I thought about them all afternoon. I wanted to know how fine the hair was, was it thick, was it even. I wanted to try curling them and see if them would just go overboard, or if they were, dare I say it, TOO LONG TO CURL! They were like an anomaly. Like a black person with blue eyes. Coveted by sooooo many women, and God hands them to a man! He`s doesn`t even wear MAKEUP for crying out loud! I daydreamed about putting mascara on them (three different formulas actually) to see how they faired, if they would collapse under the weight of it, or if they would even separate.

THEY ARE GOING TO WASTE DAMMIT!!
I feel even with my three coats (two formulas) of mascara (lengthening + separating and a volumizing) mine do not even bring an eye-catching wager to the table. My estrogen-influenced mug doesn`t even feel qualified to face the Caesar of all eyelashes. I wanted to sing an ode to them and feed them grapes.

I suppose I`m stuck with falsies.

Patrice…you lucky guy.

Men of the Oil Patch

Working with over 600 men at a time can be intimidating at first, I recall the first time at twenty-one I went to a drilling pre-spud meeting (basically its a pre-planning meeting just prior to the kickoff of a company’s drilling rigs for the winter) and it was a nice hotel in Nisku, AB.

I walked through the hotel looking for the ‘Lancelot’ conference room that was booked. I peeked in, and there had to be over three hundred men in there, not a woman in sight. I backed out, and asked the concierge if that’s where the company was meeting. Much to my dismay, yes it was.
I took a deep breath and walked into the room, focused on where an empty chair might be at a table full of men and sat down. That was my first time experiencing the stares. Quite scary.

A drilling rig isn’t so bad, maybe 18-20 men you will work with at one time. But a camp and seismic work is much different. And the different characters of men are vast numbers.

To name a few:

“Hulk Hogan”: No idea who this guy is. But dead ringer for the Hogan. Guessing he’s in his 50s. Jacked like Arnold.

“The Guard”: I don’t know his real name, I just know he is like the invisible, gentle giant security guard. Tall and fairly good-looking and probably about 30, I always run into him in between the buildings in the dark, and he always has the most serious expression until I run into him, then he smiles quickly. We have short, genuine conversations in passing. In the strangest way I trust him. Definitely don’t get the creeper vibe from him.

And there are sooo many more. Enough to write a book about.

Co-workers: The Best of Conversations

Conversations are often the highlight of my day at work wherever I am stationed. So as I sit here (preparing myself for a couple night shifts by staying up to sleep tomorrow) I decide to recount to you some favorite snippets of mine.

The coworkers involved?

  • BRIAN: My site coordinator/paramedic for all the medics on site. Like a dad.
  • BRENT: Brian’s former paramedic partner. Brilliant. 0 people skills. No idea how they worked together.
  • MORGAN: Very good medic friend of mine. Works on the site. Same age as me.

Today…

BRIAN: Don’t worry, we’re going to be discreet. Brent is bringing the ambulance.
[a moment later loud sirens are heard in the parking lot outside]
BRIAN: (head shaking) Oh Brent…
ME: (to patient) Hey your ride’s here.
PATIENT: Really? How do you know?
[BRENT walks in the door and stoops in front of the patient]
BRENT: Hey there, sir! How’s it going?
PATIENT: Don’t yell at me!
BRENT: Alright..

The day before, at dinnertime

MORGAN: Bob didn’t bring me a coffee today (sad look)….but that’s ok! I don’t need coffee. I’m not going to make him my hand-servant like you.
ME: Don’t be ridiculous. He’s not my hand-servant. Hand-servants get paid.

BRIAN: [finishes a long explanation to me the pathophysiology of an anaphylaxis in a patient]
ME: Wow. You’re a good egg-head, Brian. That’s why I keep you around.
BRIAN: YOU keep ME around?

[a day after getting bit by a whiskeyjack while feeding it from my hand]
BRIAN: Did you learn your lesson and not feed the birds today?
ME: Actually I learned a better lesson: I fed them with a GLOVE on! And now I have trained them to eat cheese from my shoulder. I hope they never bite my face.
BRIAN: I swear to God if I ever have to write that report….

And the conversations get better the longer you’re out here 😉