Thursday, April 30, 2009

For my HIGHER level meetings

I was sent this by my Los Angeles rep as a joke. Could it be real??

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Helping out

I found this over at Neatorama. How cute! I used to live sitting on the benches around Clemson University watching the squirrel society going about their business. They're a hoot of a species! I actually have a nephew Ozzie who is the best squirrel around! (if you didn't know, there are no human nieces/nephews in the ProjectChristopher family.)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sign of God's Existence

I was on a sight visit to St. Louis this weekend and I found a sure sign that God exists and that he enjoys making us enjoy life. This sign was in the form of Switzer's Chewy Cherry Twists. I have an ongoing debate with Just Kevin about licorice. I favor Twizzlers while he favors the candlewax creation that are RedVines.

However, I think we've found a debate ender with Switzer's. I'm thankful that I can get these online! Now I'm going to order some Cheerwine and Switzer's and have me a bad food weekend!

Has anyone else tried Switzer's as they seem to be only in the St. Louis area.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Sad Fiesty Friday

I received an email this morning from a friend in St. Pete Florida (Thanks Jose!) that was a little shocking, yet a little refreshing. The subject line was "From Hot to Not" It's shocking to see the beautiful people in their current state, but a little refreshing too. Refreshing not because the mighty have fallen, but refreshing in... I started and live in the "not" state so I have no backlash!

Sorry guys, welcome to my world

Ian Thorpe

Val Kilmer
(and no, Val, the hair is NOT helping)

Mickey Rourke
(again... the hair AND the facial hair aren't helping)

Brendan Fraser

Russel Crowe
(is that what happens when you get hit BACK with the phone?)

Alec Baldwin
(yeah..... that's just letting go with gusto)

Richard Gere
(is that phone ringing now?)

Roger Moore
(he was working on some MT's back then too)

Arnold Schwarzenegger
(They say if you don't work out the muscle turns to..... but damn)

Pierce Brosnan
(did he dye the torso hair too?)

Clint Eastwood
(Are ya feelin flabby? Well? Are ya Punk?)

Rod Stewart
(wrong then, ultra wrong now)

Friday, April 17, 2009

A fun Feisty Friday

It's been a while since I Feisty-d but with the weather being so good (and I've been too busy to properly prepare for the usual) I can't gather the drive to be too uber Feisty. So today is Fun Feisty!

On my quick trip around my blog post I found this over at Neatorama.

Make Yourself an NPR Name

Liana Maeby is a blogger who’s fascinated by the complex and memorable names of the correspondents on National Public Radio: Renee Montagne, Korva Coleman, Lakshmi Singh, Sylvia Poggioli, Corey Flintoff. How cool would it be to have a name like that?

Liana and her boyfriend Eric decided to try it out by devising a formula for creating their own custom-designed NPR names. The rules are simple; here’s how it works:

"You take your middle initial and insert it somewhere into your first name. Then you add on the smallest foreign town you’ve ever visited."

So Liana is now Liarna Kassel, and Eric is Jeric Bath.

I thought it would be fun to see what people came up with. So play along with NPR's Charis Oberammergau (me) and let me know by way of comments what YOUR NPR name would be.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Someone HAD to see this before it was put up

I've blatantly borrowed this from More Cool Pictures but I couldn't resist.

Too bad Lisa's husband's name is Tom.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Carolina Thing......

I've been on-site at a conference this week in "Sunny" Sacramento California, where it has been sunny, in the 80's but also rained (they needed it) and sleeted for 30 minutes (they blamed it on me...the guy from Chicago). I've been working on the follow up ER blog but I need to sit uninterrupted to finish it properly. So until then, I'm taking a step off topic, but it's related. My health care career took place in South Carolina so a couple of topics have come up this week related to the Carolinas so I wanted to touch on them as well.

Before my fellow orange-blooded Clemson brethren start sharpening their fangs from the image below, bear with me. This week the University of North Carolina Tarheels won the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship.

Yeah, I'm from Clemson; I went to Clemson (twice) but my mom was SO for UNC this song was often echoing through our house

I'm a Tar Heel born, I'm a Tar Heel bred.
And when I die, I'm a Tar Heel dead.
So it's rah-rah, Car'lina-'lina!
Rah-rah, Car'lina-'lina!
Rah-rah, Car'lina-Rah, rah, rah!
So in honor of Miss Patsy, Congrats UNC! You made the Carolinas proud. If it wasn't Clemson, at least it was one of the Carolina teams.

Now that I've paid homage to my mom, let me give you the Clemson Tiger Band version of the Tarheel fight song from the Tiger Band Unhymnal:

You're Tar Heel born, and you're Tar Heel bred
And when you die you're Tar Heel dead
So Piss on Car'lina - 'lina
Piss on Car'lina - 'lina
Piss on Car'lina ' 'lina
Eat Shit State (NCState)
Wake Forrest Suuuuuuuuuucks....... DUKE!

The other Carolina thought this week was a craving I've been having all week for the soft drink Cheerwine. Some readers may not have ever heard of this (Bunny - go find it and give it a try) but it's a drink that seems to be, as the ad says, a Carolina thing;

Cheerwine was never my favorite. It was often a drink I would see and if the urge hit me, I'd get one. It was one of those tastes I like to have as a treat vs. a standard. (if it's wasn't offered at McDonald's when I was growing up, it couldn't become a standard) But after my years of being out of South Carolina, it's been quite a while since I've had a Cheerwine... and I miss it.

So let's raise our cans of Cheerwine in a toast to UNC's victory! I'm on the other side of the country this week, but I've been reminded of the Carolinas often. See Ya'll Soon!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Saying goodbye to the ER.... again

(Sit Back - Long post ahead - beware, though, I talk of ER and death)
Last Thursday was the final episode of ER after a 15 year long run on TV. I was there for the pilot episode and, despite a couple of years missing, I was there for the final episode.

I hadn't really watched ER for a while, but watching the final episode was like coming back home although a few new family members had moved in.

If you've watched the series over the years, you know the people and the story lines. But I think, as I watched the special 'look back' show and the final episode, my health care career was a bit like Noah Wylie's "Dr. Carter".

If you didn't know, before I was a convention planner, I was in Emergency Room Nursing. My path the the ER took a few different steps out of the ordinary (like my entire life) but it was funny to see the evolution of Dr. Carter in one evening made me see the similarity but also made me very nostalgic for my hospital days. My journey started stumbling and a few "oops" moments in the line of trying to do the right thing.

I started my health care career in Cardiology performing EKG's. It was a job at the hospital I grew up in. One of my first patients in the ER was Miss Daisy Dean Cleveland. She was my first grade teacher and a deeply religious woman. She would be the stereotypical 'Old School Marm' you read about in history. Here I was, in my early twenties, and I'm placing electrodes around this woman's breasts. I was professional, of course, but I could feel my face flaming so hot you could have melted smores on my face. She recognized my embarrassment and talked to me about how proud she was to see one of her students helping people and tried to ease my embarrassment.

After crossing over to the Emergency Room I saw and experienced things John Q. Public only sees on TV. H0wever, believe me, it's nothing like seeing it first hand. I've seen more death in 10 years than I've ever needed to see. After a while you build up a shield to protect yourself. You still care, don't get me wrong, but imagine how you'd feel if you didn't have that callous protection. I didn't realize I needed that protection until I saw the death that still haunts me.

A family was in a car wreck. Parents and 2 children. The youngest daughter was 5 years old. She was one of those patients that far more injured on the inside than the outside. She didn't have any visible blood, but everything inside was broken, and she essentially passed as we moved her onto the ER bed. Her eyes were moving as if she were looking for someone. Her last word "Mommy?" is in my ears all these 22 years later.

I was always very careful with patients when they passed. Some staff become what I consider rough with the deceased since they could not feel. But all I could think of was "Would I want my mom handled that way when she passes?"

When a person is considered dead, or past the point of any help, you can often still find a heartbeat especially if they're hooked up to the heart monitors. We may state a 'time of death' but if the heart was still beating, I felt that the person was, or could still be, still with us. I sometimes would stay with the person, hold their hand, or simply just be there with them until the very end.

With all the barriers and protections I put up in my mind, it was still hard every time someone was lost. However, often times these bad instances were (thankfully) balanced by the positive outcomes. Fore every death, there were more saves. There were also some of the funniest stories I've retold and put into my comedy act. Tune in for another blog post to get some of the funny parts of ER life. :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Boost of Courage

I've been a little absent lately as I've been all but overwhelmed with preparing for a conference next week. Now I'm in that "between stage" of conference planning that can be compared to the following analogy:

- I've been wrangling information, preparing speakers, sponsors, vendors and generally calming the masses who don't do what I do for a living so are understandably worried and on pins and needles. This equals a lot of stress
This is the standing in the long winding line waiting for the roller coaster
- I've sent in all the meeting information, food & beverage orders, printing to be done to the proper people and they've acknowledged that they understand what I've committed to and how I want it.

This is boarding the roller coaster, leaving the excitement/stress of the line behind knowing you did what you could do to get on the roller coaster.
- Now all I can do is continue this week to watch out for the stray details and get on site at the conference and manage the controlled chaos that may come but make it look effortless to the attendees.
This is riding the roller coaster. It can be scary, you may want to scream but all you can do is hold on for the ride. It's a new stress, but it's not the preparation stress.

So, with the big stress for this particular conference over, and prepping for the coaster ride, along with the fact that LSATs are in 2 months, I felt I needed some positive reading.

I went on a fam trip to Fort Worth, Texas back in May and stayed at the Ft. Worth Hilton where John F. Kennedy stayed and gave a speech just before starting that fateful motorcade trip that would change history.

While there, I was given the book "Profiles in Courage" written by Kennedy himself. This particular book was the 50th Anniversary edition (50 YEARS! Can you believe it?) which had an introduction by Caroline Kennedy. I was particularly moved by a passage where Caroline quotes a speech by her father when he was staunchly supporting integration in the 60's:

"We are confronted primarily with a moral issue. It is as old as the Scriptures and is as clear as the American Constitution. The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated. If an American, because his skin is dark, cannot eat lunch in a restaurant open to the public, if he cannot send his children to the best public school available, if he cannot vote for the public officials who represent him, if, in short, he cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content to have the color of his skin changed and stand in his place? Who among us would then be content with the counsels of patience and delay?" - John F. Kennedy, 1963

I read this and had a flurry of thoughts. May fights for civil rights have been likened to the African American civil rights movement. Some agree and some take offense to that. However, there are still people today not getting their equal rights that are due by the government. Some people pay taxes (a lot sometimes) to a government that does not afford them the same rights as the rest of the country.

Kennedy's speech above is as relevant today as when he said it 4o+ years ago. While some aspects have changed, you can still take out the references to color and insert another minority. Back in the 60's it was generally socially acceptable to be bigoted toward blacks. That's not the case today. It happens, don't get me wrong, but it is not socially acceptable. However, there is a minority that is still fair game in society to be the target of jokes, insults and injury.

I hope that in years to come the plight of this minority, when applied to Kennedy's speech, finds their troubles so far beyond the point they are today that a history making speech like Kennedy's will be a needed thing of the past.