Friday, August 31, 2007

No News Is...No News

So since Monday there's been a whole lot of stress but very little news in regards to my cousin. Special lab work has been sent out, but nothing will be known about that for two weeks. Aside from that, his doctors are busy arguing with each other through my cousin and his parents. None of them can seem to agree on anything, but of course they don't talk to each other. While I have on occasion had the pleasure of seeing a good doctor, on the whole, I think there really needs to be significant improvement in the kinds of people that are admitted to med school. But that's a rant for another day.

On the job front, I now have a second interview lined up for next week. Both the interviews for Tuesday and Thursday are jobs that are nearby and both something I'd be interested in. I'm really hoping at least one of the two works out. It'd be nice to put an end to the job search.

In a move that made my day yesterday, both the chief of my ambulance corps from school and my former boss on campus made phone calls to me to see how I was doing. It was nice to know they were thinking of me as the school year got going up there.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Good News/Bad News

First, the good news. I got an interview for a week from tomorrow at a place I'd love to work right in my town. The woman who called me today said she was very excited about my resume and in particular had a lot of respect for my volunteer (and paid) EMS experience. She talked for a long time about what the position entails, but even after all of that, I was still excited about it. So, the day after Labor Day I'll be on my first interview in a little while. I'm trying not to get too excited or optimistic about it, but I think it's a job I have at least a reasonable chance of getting. The woman I spoke to also really liked that I was from very nearby and through my EMT experience was familiar with the area. So, that was the good news for the day.

The bad news is in regards to my cousin. He's about my age and has been pretty sick for a few months. I'll spare you the details, but he's been pretty miserable. The doctors are beginning to run out of possibilities and tests and are now investigating a few types of cancer. This certainly isn't good news and him and his immediate family as well as extended family are having a rough time of it. Classes for his senior year of college also begin next week, which it's seeming won't be likely for him. This is rough not only for him and his immediate family, but also the extended family as we're a very close Italian family who all live 2 minutes from each other. It hasn't been a fun week or so...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm Guilty

I will admit that this evening, I was busy flipping channels between a re-run of last night's Daily Show and Colbert Report and the Disney Channel. Yup, that's right, the Disney Channel. High School Musical 2 just happend to be airing again, and I could not resist the opportunity to see Zac Efron, and in a couple of scenes, Zac Efron without a shirt. Yes, it is a cheesey made for TV movie geared towards a slightly older Disney audience, but c'mon, a cute guy only gets better when he can also sing. On top of that, he can dance, and a guy who can really dance, is of course a major turn on.

Aside from that, I'm still working on the job thing, and debating on talking to a few people who might be able to do me some favors. I'd have to make sure to approach them the right way. I'm getting pretty frustrated though, so it might be worth it. I did just find a job to apply to that's in my town today, and in fact on the same street as the fire dept on which I am a volunteer EMT. It'd be about a 7 minute commute, so that'd be nice.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

No Title Necessary

While I will point out that he was the top pick on my Top 10 Hottest Celebrity Guys, he just gets better.

The above is a photo of the magazine, but if you want to see the original, buy the magazine or check out the photo ( or Rolling Stone's cool gallery A History of Heartthrobs at

Around here we're on our third straight day in a row of really really lousy weather.  It's gray and unusually cold and raining more than it's not.  I'm one of those people who gets kind of down and really lacks any motivation when the weather is like this.  Of course, that's a slight problem since I have cover letters and phone calls to take care of.  I did actually manage to be fairly productive on that front today but I definitely had to struggle to be motivated enough.

The highlight of my day today, was going out to lunch with a friend from high school.  Essentially this guy and I are twins.  We met in middle school when we both swam for the same coach but in different programs and she found out we'd be attending the same private high school.  We share the same first name, both swam in high school, are both EMTs, both ran our respective ambulance corps or first response agencies at college, are both CPR Instructors, and to top off, both came out in college.  I was the one who told him he should become an EMT and he was the first person I came out to.  In any case, he's about to start a really cool job in a few days (which of course reminds me that I'm not) and we only had a short time to eat lunch as he had to run to his new apartment for the delivery of his bed.  In any case though, it was good to see him and doing well.  Although, for someone in the medical field, if he doesn't quit smoking (something that I, despite being his twin definitely do not do), I'm going to have to smack him upside the back of the head.

Friday, August 17, 2007

I Guess I'm an Amateur

So I just saw a Colbert Report where he interviews a guy named Andrew Keen, author of the new book The Cult of the Amateur. This guy apparently decided that the best use of this time, was to write a book about the internet, and how it's going to doom civilization. In the interview he called bloggers and others involved in publishing online a bunch of amateurs, without standards who are destroying culture (and largely because we don't demand a fee I might add). We aren't actual artists, we destroy art.

I'd take more offense to his comments and be more likely to bitch about the book, except I don't think anyone will be able to take it seriously. Plus, I'm not foreseeing the internet dropping off the face of the earth as a result. I also thing the world's bloggers probably carry more sway than his book does anyway (even if we are a bunch of lying amateurs with no standards).

As for my own blog, I can proudly say that I understand what I write will be read by other people and that when it comes to issues of fact, I do my darndest to get things right. When speaking solely about personal experience or giving my opinion, well, that's what a blog is for isn't it. It's up to my readers to decide for themselves what to make of my stories, ideas, and opinions. So I'm glad Keen got all of that off his chest. Now, he can leave everyone the hell alone. After all, there's some irony in the fact that he's doing the same thing we are, just in the printed word. I'm not sure how that makes him better.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

My Way

So I'm beginning to get a little frustrated on the job front. It's now been a couple of months of looking and people are being very slow and I'm finding it hard to get into what I want to do. Without tooting my own horn, I graduated from a top school, but the problem is that I graduated with a degree in psychology. I've been trying to get into social services positions, and even with my extensive EMT experience, it's been tough. I really need at least a master's or that first person to give me the experience that every job requires but that no one wants to give to you...

So, I had a crazy idea tonight, that a) might be too late to implement and b) will definitely drive my parents crazy. But, it is one of those moments where if it's not too late, I'm willing to say, "Screw it, we're doing this my way." I'm tired of thinking about how everything will look to other people or what my parents will think etc. In order to understand this, the non-EMS readers will need a quick lesson. In the state I live in, there are two levels of pre-hospital care providers (kind of three, but I won't get into that too much). The first is that of EMT-B or EMT-Basic. This is what I am certified as. We are commonly referred to simply as EMTs. EMTs have a certain skill set and may use their skills on a volunteer or paid basis or both. Above the EMT is the EMT-P or EMT-Paramedic. These providers are commonly referred to as paramedics or medics. Because being a paramedic involves real-time interaction with an emergency physician, paramedics cannot be volunteers as such. They may volunteer in their home town, but only as EMTs. Only while being paid and on the job for a hospital, can they use their full set of skills. The paramedic program is offered through hospitals and paramedics work only for hospitals. Essentially medics are called to the most serious calls that local ambulances with EMTs respond to. So for example, if I get called for someone who isn't breathing or someone with chest pain, my ambulance responds but so do the hospital paramedics since they can perform more skills than I can as well as consult with a doctor. In some cases, when things are busy, there won't be a paramedic unit available or they'll be too far away (in which case I'd cancel them) and EMTs are stuck handling some of these more serious calls themselves. We're trained to do that as well. (The third level, for those who are curious, is that of the Certified First Responder or CFR. This level is below that of the EMT and traditionally is taught to firefighters and police officers who need to be able to provide early care but won't have to transport patients.)

Paramedic programs are run through hospitals. You don't have to be a college grad to enroll, but you do have to be an EMT, be certified in healthcare level CPR, be at least 18, be a high school grad, and depending on the program have a certain number of years of experience as an EMT (usually at least two). If you have good credentials, usually a hospital will sponsor you for the class. Essentially, they pay for the course (and sometimes pay you while you're doing it) in exchange for working for them as a paramedic for a certain amount of time after you graduate.

So why did I bother to detail that, except for my own amusement? Back to my crazy idea. I've been an EMT for five years, am a college grad, a CPR Instructor, and have a whole bunch of other classes and experience as well as a BA in a science. More than once, people have told me I should become a paramedic. While I've always wanted to do it and thought it would be a lot of fun, I sort of figured that it wasn't the plan set out for me given my college education. But today, I decided to look into programs. If I'm good at EMS and this is the next step and it's something I want, why shouldn't I do it? Becoming a paramedic wouldn't necessarily mean my four-year degree is useless. In fact, I think becoming a paramedic and then deciding whether to go back to school for clinical psyc (which of course I could get paid for by working for a hospital) or going back for a masters in emergency managment or healthcare administration would be a great idea. I could do something I've always wanted to do, and have really unusual credentials that could lead to a career I might actually enjoy. I would be a paramedic with a college degree and maybe even a master's. It's a combination you don't often see. I could easily get into administration after spending some time in the field. Plus, I'd have a dependable job while going back to school later on.

So, to summarize for those still bothering to read. I have no idea if it's too late to get into a program or even what programs are out there. Info isn't really available online so you have to call individual directors. This is something I might not be able to do until January if it's too late for fall classes or maybe even something I'd have to put off longer than that. So at neat of an idea as I think it is, I'm not at all sure yet if it's workable. But, it gives me something new to think about and a new direction to look into.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Guess Who's Back?

Ok, so I've got about a hundred things I want to blog about. I think I'm going to have to break this up into more than one post or even more than one day.
First off, I'm back from Florida. Aside from it being a little too much family time, it was a nice trip. Well, that, and I'm pretty sure that hell feels like central Florida in August. We went to the usual Disney parks as well as Universal Studios and Universal Islands of Adventure. I'm a roller coaster junkie and think the best way to summarize the trip is with a Top 5.

So, here it is. My top five picks for rides...

1) The Incredible Hulk (Universal Islands of Adventure)

2) Fire Dragon - Dueling Dragons coaster (Universal Islands of Adventure)

The Dueling Dragons (Fire Dragon on the red track and Ice Dragon on the blue)

3) Ice Dragon- Dueling Dragons coaster (Universal Islands of Adventure)

4) Rockin' Roller Coaster (MGM Studios)

5) Revenge of the Mummy (Universal Studios Florida)

Aside from the rides, we stayed at the Walt Disney World Dolphin which is a very nice hotel on a small lake. From the hotel you can see, walk to, and ride a boat to Epcot, The Boardwalk, and MGM. You can't beat the location.

View of the Boardwalk and Epcot from our 17th floor room

View of the boat docking behind the Dolphi to go to the parks
While in Florida, on Saturday evening I got stuck going to Catholic mass with the family since we went right after dinner. I chose not to receive communion since I no longer consider myself Roman Catholic but I'm slowly becoming open to the idea that I can gain from going to services and talking to people from all different denominations and so sitting through the mass wasn't too torturous. I do really dislike the church (Mary Queen of the Universe Shrine) largely because it comes off as a commercial enterprise rather than a church, but I did take the picture below of their chapel's bell tower just as a thunderstorm was approaching and really liked the shot.
I think I'll save non-Florida updates for another post.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

So tomorrow I head off to Florida for a few days. I'm looking forward to getting my roller coaster fix as I visit the Disney parks as well as the fantastic Universal Islands of Adventure. I promise more frequent updates upon my return. I know I've been slacking a little bit.

In less happy news, I just found out that the brother of a college friend and former EMT is at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland after sustaining injuries while fighting in Iraq. An IED exploded near a vehicle he was in. He currently is heavily sedated and in a coma with a head injury and numerous fractures and wounds. He is in for a very long recovery. All anyone can do right now I suppose, is to pray.

I will return a week from today with news from vacation.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Let's Play Catch-Up

Being at the beach was super nice for a few days. It's been very warm around here but the beach was actually really comfortable thanks to a nice ocean breeze. I'm now home for a little while until a trip to Florida later in the week. That will mean lots of family time but it should be fun. I'm a roller coaster junkie and haven't had my fix in awhile so I'm looking forward to Universal Islands of Adventure in particular.

Now, for my super quick rant of the week. People really seriously don't know how to drive. I don't know what it is, but for the last week or two in particular, people have been driving like morons, even more so than usual. My driving philosophy has become one where I assume that no one else can drive, not because I think so highly of my own driving, but because it's the safest alternative. People are not doing a good job of proving me wrong.

And now, for the part of the post I imagine could get a response or two. I just finished an interesting book that many people have heard of called Freakonomics. In it the authors tackle a bunch of issues by using data to show the real story behind things that people usually explain with conventional wisdom. One of the more interesting issues they tackle is the huge drop in crime during the 1990s. Many people attribute this drop to better policing strategies, more police, the diminishing popularity of crack, and a host of other things, but the authors argue that these reasons are false or did not contribute to any serious degree. What did spare us from the crime wave that was taking over? Abortion. Yup, that's right...Roe v. Wade. When abortion became legal, the children most likely to end up participating in criminal activities were no longer being born. Young and poor mothers were not having children (at that time) and so as those children would have become the age at which they engaged in criminal behavior, the crime rates started to drop. As an aside, these mothers were largely still having children, but were waiting to do so until they were older and more able to provide a better home life. I will now state, for the record, that I am pro-life. I do not, and never have, condoned abortion. I would rather see people take responsibility for their actions and see society help to provide what these children would need to succeed. Furthermore, I advocate for adoption rather than abortion. If you decide to have sex, then you should take responsibility for that act. You don't get to play God. I realize here that I should add two important points. First, I understand that I am talking about most, but not all, abortions. I think things are a little fuzzier for example, when the mother's life is in danger. In that case, I'd advocate for good clinical decision making and the highest level of involvement of the mother in making decisions as possible. The other thing of note, is that I am in fact adopted. I kinda like being alive. I have no idea who my birth parents are nor what their situation was. What I do know, is that they took responsibility for their actions and I am here writing this blog as a result.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

So, I'm finally going to go visit the family vacation home tomorrow. I will be away from internet for a few days, which is probably a good thing.

I will post upon my return.

Enjoy the rest of the week and I'll "see you" over the weekend.