December 30, 2012

My UK Countdown to Eight Favorite Moments

It was Calipari’s “worst” team since taking the head coaching job at the University of Kentucky.  It was one of Rick Pitino’s best teams, returning the majority of his Final Four team from last year, and the Cardinals were one of the preseason favorites to win the NCAA tournament.  As predicted, the Cardinals beat the Wildcats today.  But if you told me that this UK team of 4 freshman, 2 transfers, and 1 returning sophomore would lose to the #3 ranked team, on the road, in December, shooting an embarrassing 11 of 25 from the free throw line, and down by 17 with fifteen minutes left in the game... and we would only lose by three... I’d take it all day any day.

It was Ryan Harrow’s coming out party.  We got to see Willie Cauley-Stein gettin jiggy with it Big Willie Style (sans the massacre at the free throw line).  Archie Goodwin actually finished around the basket.  Coach Cal got his first technical of the season... weirdly it was a technical this team needed.  And Erin Calipari, Coach Cal’s oldest daughter, took to twitter to call out the Louisville fans who call her dad a “cheater” (#WordsWithMultipleMeanings).  I also channeled my inner “Hey Soul Sister,” doing anything I could to will the Cats back from a 17 point deficit.  But it was still a loss.  And I hate losing.  

I planned on doing this tribute/countdown earlier this month and got distracted, but there is no better time than now... because I need to cheer up.  Often I take to you-tube and lose track of time when I have 1356 other productive things that I should be doing (like fixing my broken running toilet... hint, hint, did you read that, Dad?), and I find myself watching thousands of UK basketball clips that give me chills, goosebumps, a smile as big as MKG’s, and sometimes tears of joy.  I was once asked who my favorite UK basketball player was.  My response:  “That’s like asking a parent 'Who is your favorite child?'"  Parents don’t have a favorite child... you love them all equally with your whole heart.”  Though I don't have a favorite player because I'm an equal-opportunity lover, I do however have favorite moments.  In honor of our 8th National Championship, I will now present to you my eight most favorite UK moments in recent memory.

I have seen upteen hundred Kentucky basketball games in person.  And for big games, there is no home atmosphere more electric than Rupp Arena.  However, my favorite game atmosphere for a non-Rupp game was the 2002 Kentucky-Indiana showdown in Louisville’s Freedom Hall.  Split right down the center at mid-court, half of the arena was in blue and the other half was in red (or crimson, or whatever they call it now).  Mike Davis admitted that he hated Kentucky prior to the game, so it was no greater thrill to see the man have a nervous breakdown at mid-court at the end of the game to help UK secure a close victory. 

Now, this is not a Kentucky Wildcat moment, but it involves two former Wildcats.  Coach Calipari, in one of his many cheesy lines, always preaches to his teams to “be your brother’s keeper.”  I think last year’s 2012 National Championship team did that better than any Kentucky team we have seen in decades.  Those players have formed a brotherhood for life.  Case in point:  Anthony Davis (playing for the Hornets) gets in a little scuffle with an opposing player during a game against the Bobcats.  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (playing for the Bobcats) runs across the court and knocks down an official to get to Davis to hold him back and calm him down.  He didn't go to his current teammate... he went to his former teammate and best friend.  Man, I miss these guys.  Isn’t there some fax lying around (a la Randolph Morris style) that we can find to get them just one more year of eligibility?

Prior to 2010, I had been to 5 SEC basketball tournaments, and UK had not won a single tournament that I had attended.  I was starting to think that I was just bad luck.  But everything changed in 2010.  It was Calipari’s first year, and with the likes of Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe, Patterson, Miller, et al. (how did we even lose a game that year?), and with the tournament in Nashville, tickets were impossible to get.  With some luck and by the grace of God, my friend was able to score us tickets at face value... in the very top row of Bridgestone Arena.  But it didn’t matter.  We were in the arena and those tickets were worth more than gold.  Literally.  I could have sold that SEC tournament book of tickets for $2000.  But I didn’t, of course.  I went to the games... but did I mention that the championship game was Sunday at noon?... the night after I did waaayyyyy too many John Wall shots?  I don’t think there is a word to describe how hungover I was that early Sunday afternoon.  Consequently, I was completely stoic during that game.  And for those who know me know that I am not a stoic fan.  But I was scared that any screaming or unnecessary movements would cause me to have to hurdle people to get to the bathroom.  So I stayed very still and didn’t cheer much out of respect for those sitting around me.  When Mississippi State took a comfortable lead with a few minutes left, and for probably the first time in my life as a Kentucky fan, I had given up hope on a victory.  But then the unthinkable happened.  I jumped out of my seat so fast that I almost passed out.  Seriously, my world started spinning and everything turned white for a second.  WE WON WE WON!!  Oh wait, we just tied... but HOLY CRAP this game is going to overtime!!!  The reaction from the players brings a smile to my face every time...

Patrick Sparks made a lot of big shots in his career for Kentucky, but none was bigger than this (some would argue the three versus Michigan State in the Elite Eight, but we lost that game, so that three really meant nothing).  It was the 2004 Kentucky-Louisville game at Freedom Hall.  Louisville had a 32-16 lead at halftime.  But Kentucky somehow found itself down by one point and drawing a foul while taking the last shot.  Patrick Sparks at the free-throw line with no time left on the clock?  Game over.  

In 2011, Kentucky was a 4 seed in the toughest bracket imaginable going into the NCAA tournament.  I won’t rehash how UK got completely screwed that year by the selection committee.  Let’s just say that NO ONE in the national media gave Kentucky any love in getting past the Sweet Sixteen and the overall #1 seeded Ohio State.  But Josh Harrellson’s fast ball into Jared Sullinger’s chest was a message to the world that this Kentucky team wasn’t backing down.  I don’t recall how many laps I did around my house that night after the last play of the game, but I’m pretty sure I burned at least 1000 calories.

You can read my last blog about my hatred for Duke.  The year was 1998 and it had been six years since Kentucky lost the infamous heartbreaker to Duke in the Elite Eight.  So here Kentucky was again, six years later, in the Elite Eight versus Duke.  This game meant revenge for every Kentucky fan across the globe.  Duke had a 17 point lead with 11 minutes to play, but Kentucky kept chipping away little by little.  Duke had used its final timeout with six minutes remaining, and Tubby (who had four timeouts left) refused to call a timeout to allow Duke to adjust.  Pure genius.  Kentucky took their first lead of the second half with this play... and the rest is history.  I have this shot autographed and framed in my study...

Rupp Arena can get loud.  Real loud.  Any game against UNC is a big game, so when Kentucky and Tayshaun Prince took on UNC in Rupp Arena in December 2001, you expected Rupp Arena to have some energy.  But I have never heard Rupp this loud.  Ever.  After Tayshaun’s first three, Rupp got loud.  After his second, the place got real loud.  After his third, Rupp was rockin’.  Here is how Gerald Fitch described four and five:  “My ears started ringing after the fourth one.  After the fifth, they were hurting."  Please note that the fifth three was from the “UK” center court logo.  It was UNC 10, Tayshaun 15.  And I thought the roof of Rupp Arena was going to collapse.  That single moment was the most electric, energizing, amazing atmosphere that I have ever experienced in Rupp... and that says a lot.  A whole lot.

I have sat here for the last thirty minutes trying to come up with the best single moment of the 2012 season.  Boy, was that team special.  The obvious moment was the Anthony Davis block on UNC’s John Henson in December... I believe that single moment set the stage for UK for the rest of the season.  Then I thought about going for the tear-jerker:  “One Shining Moment” is the best moment in all of sports.  Regardless of the winner, it brings me to tears every time.  There’s just something about Luther’s voice.  As I stood in the Superdome watching the UK players watch “One Shining Moment,” it is a moment that will forever be engrained in my memory.  I still can’t come up with my favorite moment... so I finally decided that you will get to see them all.  For the 2012 UK CATSPY awards, the University Kentucky made their own version of “One Shining Moment.”  Queue the tears.

November 18, 2012

Welcome to Atlanta where the players play

I didn’t see it happen live because I was in the bathroom saying Hail Mary’s (please note that I am not even Catholic).  But I have seen the replay a minimum of 134,539 times... not on purpose, mind you.  You see it before every game during March Madness; UPS even used it in a commercial.  It was the greatest basketball game ever played.  I only wish it had ended differently (i.e. Pitino put a body on Grant Hill).  So when it was announced three years ago that Kentucky would play Duke in the Champions Classic in Atlanta on November 13, 2012, I marked the date in pencil Sharpie on my calendar and started my planning and mental preparation.

My outfit for this game was never in question.  I had the perfect t-shirt made in 2010, courtesy of my trip to the Final Four that year.  With Kentucky losing to the hillbilly thugs of West Virginia in the Elite Eight, thus allowing Duke to become the favorite to hang a banner, I needed an “I still hate Laettner” shirt to boast my distaste for the Blue Devils.  I ended up not wearing the shirt to the games that weekend as a request from my father:  “Please don’t wear that shirt.  You’re going to get in a fight with a Duke fan, which means I’m going to get in a fight with a Duke fan... and I don’t want to get in a fight tonight.”  So the shirt has been patiently waiting in my closet for the perfect moment.

All the cool kids made the trek to Atlanta... no one wanted to miss the opportunity to witness their beloved Wildcats hand the Dookies a loss.  Cat fans invaded the city like it was our job... proving once again that UK has the most loyal and diehard fan base in all of sports.  I will guestimate that Big Blue Nation attributed to 18,000 of the 22,847 college basketball fans in attendance.  Apparently there was a double-header that night, with Kansas playing Michigan State in the first game... but you would have never known this due to the scarcity of Jayhawk and Spartan fans.  Well that, and the Dome was empty during the first game since all the Kentucky fans were still in the bars.

Unexpectedly, the highlight of my night wasn’t the game.  Jeff Sheppard and Christian Laettner graciously hosted a charity event called the Big Blue Salute to benefit Dick Vitale’s V-Foundation for Cancer Research.  Hours prior to the game, a few hundred fans from Kentucky and Duke (ok, let’s be honest, there were only six Duke fans there, and that included Laettner) gathered at Ventanas, a gorgeous rooftop event space overlooking downtown Atlanta.  We listened to a father tell the heartbreaking story of losing his young daughter to brain cancer and he praised Dick Vitale’s tireless efforts to raise money to fight childhood cancer.  Vitale then passionately talked about the children suffering from cancer and the pain their families have endured.  He wanted to remind us that basketball is just a game and there are so many children inflicted with cancer that are fighting to win the game of life.  That was definitely the most sobering and meaningful message of the night.

For the next hour, my friend and I had our picture taken with Laettner (he commented on my original version of the now popular shirt), had our picture taken with Sheppard, viewed the items available for the silent auction (Sheppard boldly claimed that his lone small table of donated charity items would generate more money than Laettner’s sprawling collection that took up more than five tables), and watched as one lucky Kentucky fan was able to recreate the “Laettner stomp.”  We also mingled with some nice guys from New York who attended the Calipari Fantasy Camp this past summer.  When they asked us where we were from, we were shocked that they had never heard of the phrase “BFE”... but I guess when you live in NYC, you never have to refer to anything as BFE.  They were just as shocked at the amount of Kentucky fans in Atlanta and wanted to know if we all came down by the busloads.  They were even more shocked when I demonstrated my stalkerish-knowledge of the basketball team by letting them know that the UK point guard, Ryan Harrow, would not play in the game and had blood tests done that morning... with one of them responding, “What, were you in the freaking locker room with the team this morning?”  Oh, mister, if you only knew.

Our next stop was Stats Sports Bar, then Dantana’s Restaurant and Bar (or known to me as Hannah Dantana’s), then off to the Georgia Dome for the best 40 minutes of college basketball that November has to offer.  The night begins to get a little fuzzy at Stats when a friend tells me, “You’re Mexican, so we are doing tequila shots!”, so here are the important highlights from the rest of the night:

**As we were walking into Dantana’s, an incredibly nice man wearing UK garb grabs us and tells us that his name for a table was just called, but that he needed to head over to the Dome.  He offered to give us his table and walked us to the hostess stand.  I profusely thanked him, then asked why he even wanted to watch Kansas vs Michigan State.  That’s when he told me that his son played for Kentucky.  He was a white man and that narrowed down the possibilities, so I immediately yelled, “You are Jarrod Polson’s dad?”  He laughed and told me that his son was Tod Lanter (yes, that’s Tod with one D... I should have asked why they forgot the second D), but anyways, it dawns on me that this man was also a former UK player, so I insisted we take a picture together (only to realize later that we took it on his phone), and then I proceeded to tell him that his son has the “best biceps ever” -- which I am sure is exactly how he would want a 33 year old woman to describe his 18 year old son.  But just look below if you don’t believe me:

**Earlier in the night, my friend and I met a very tall red-headed guy.  Being a UK fan, when you think “tall red-headed man,” only one person comes to mind:  John Pelphrey.  I had asked him if anyone ever told him he looked like Pelphrey, which he laughed and told me “no.”  Later at the game, we ran into this same guy in the concourse of the Dome, and I said “Hey, it’s John Pelphrey.”  We chit-chatted briefly and jokingly took our picture with him.  A nearby man heard me say “John Pelphrey” and saw the tall red-head, and immediately walked up to him for a picture.  The Pelphrey-look-a-like-but-not-really played along and obliged him with a picture saying, “Pelphrey wouldn’t turn away a fan, would he?”  I can’t stop laughing thinking about the random man later looking at his picture and realizing that it was definitely not John Pelphrey in the picture.

**I had no idea what to expect regarding the outcome of the actual game.  Despite my optimism, I knew that we were a team of freshmen playing without our point guard.  Duke, on the other hand, was the exact opposite starting only one freshman.  I don’t really want to rehash the game, but the roof of the Georgia Dome would have collapsed (a la the 2008 SEC tournament) if Julius Mays hit the wide-open 3-pointer that would have tied the game.  Knowing UK had a chance to tie the game after being down 14 strangely makes me very happy.  I probably have never been this pleased after a Kentucky loss, but witnessing Alex Poythress’s coming-out party ensured me that UK will make it nasty in Atlanta in April.  

**Lil’ Wayne was sitting court-side during the game, wearing the most hideous pants I’ve seen in years (they rivaled the Zubaz pants my dad wore in the 90’s).  Ugly pants or not, he was heckling the Duke players during the entire game, making him a UK fan in my book.  And why wouldn’t he be when the likes of Drake, JayZ, and Wale (and now Bieber??) are all known Cat fans... making it the cool thing to do.

Back to my original point on why this game meant so much to Kentucky fans.  I think it was summed up perfectly when Timberlake (Aminu, not Justin) was shown in the stands wearing an “I still hate Laettner” shirt.  Laettner broke the hearts of Big Blue Nation that night in March of 1992... it was a knife to the heart that has taken decades to heal.  But after meeting him (and since he was so darn nice), I may have finally found closure.  It has only taken 20 years.  That little 12-year old girl in the bathroom saying Hail Mary’s has finally forgiven Laettner, but she will still forever hate Duke.

September 25, 2012

And the "Idiot of the Year" award goes to...

I returned home from vacation Friday night and was at work Saturday morning only eight hours after my plane landed.  I stood on my feet for the next 32 hours... and after sitting my butt on the beach for a week, I realized how physically taxing my job can really be.  I was leaving work yesterday afternoon after working the weekend and I was exhausted, stressed-out, uptight, and had body aches galore... and I was already needing another vacation.  As I was walking out the door to head home to a nice warm hot tub,  the phones were ringing off the hook.  The sound of a phone ringing is like nails on a chalk board to me... I just wanted to go home, but I grab the phone just to make it stop ringing.

Me:  Hi.  This is the pharmacist.  How may I help you?
Other end:  What is your phone number?
Me:  (WTF?)  It’s the number you just called??
Other end:  Oh, ok, thanks (click)
Me to the staff:  And that, my friends, is my final good deed of the weekend.  I’m going home and no one better bother me for the next 48 hours.

Then I get home and do a quick Facebook check only to see this picture in my newsfeed.  And I laughed out loud.

My initial thought for this blog was to break down each of these six categories, starting with “what my friends think I do.”  I did a quick google search of “pharmacist pay” and the first thing I came across was a post written by the winner of the “Idiot of the Year” award.  This idiot is probably best friends with the lady in my waiting room this weekend who made a scene by screaming:  “This place is horrible.  I can’t believe they said it was going to be twenty minutes.  Twenty minutes to put ten pills in a bottle?”  So instead of breaking down these six hilarious scenes above... I need to address this idiot poster.  Here are his/her Princeton educated thoughts:
 (Pharmacists) have a grueling course load in college and they do have a lot of information they need to be aware of.  But come on, they make six figures for a job where they pretty much stand around all day and just fill prescriptions.  They don't even have to diagnose anything, just fetch the prescription!  Not to mention if someone asks them a question about the drug, they can just look it up in the computer.  What do they do that is so special?  They aren't the ones prescribing the medication.  The doctors are the ones who are doing that. They are simply just fetching the order, similarly to a McDonald's drive thru employee, you place an order and they read it and get what you ordered.  Should we pay McDonald's employees 100k a year because they might be responsible for us having a heart attack if they give us too many hamburgers?  Not too mention, their schooling is not specialized in the sense that they need to go to a specific college for it. i.e. Harvard Law for law students. They do not need to go into graduate school either. They can go to a public college, enroll in pharmacy school and not pay a dime more than someone going there to become, say, a teacher.

I don’t know where to even start with this... but here I go.
** I didn’t need to go to a specialized school?  I wish someone would have told me this before I spent seven (apparently needless) years in college.  I spent three years in undergrad, took an admissions test called the PCAT (twice), sat for interviews, got totally stressed out, and had at least three nervous breakdowns.  I hoped and prayed that I would be one of the 80 students admitted out of the 500+ applicants (about a 17% acceptance rate).  During my (apparently needless) time in pharmacy school, I spent three years sitting in the same seat (that probably still has my butt print) learning about drugs and the body, and how drugs affect the body... and then one year of on-the-job training.  I can’t believe they made me go to school for seven years when all I do is just stand around and “fetch prescriptions.”  It apparently took me seven years to learn to count by fives, and I’m pretty darn good at it.  And hey, they even gave me a doctorate degree for it, too!

** “and not pay a dime more than someone going there to become, say a teacher.”  Google is your friend... use it.  Google "tuition rates" and you will discover that pharmacy school costs just a hair more than a bachelor’s degree.  Again, using the University of Kentucky (a public college) as my example, four years of pharmacy school will cost a student today $104,902 (note: this does not include the undergraduate coursework required prior to admission).  In comparison, four years of undergraduate work to receive your bachelor’s degree will cost a student today $39,824.  So, yes, you clueless poster, pharmacy school will cost someone more... but not much, only $65,078.
** The last time I checked, giving someone a double cheeseburger on accident when they actually ordered a grilled chicken sandwich will not cause them do die tomorrow of a heart attack.  In fact, they will probably be very grateful you screwed up because deep down they really wanted to cheeseburger anyways.  However, if I accidentally gave someone hydroxyzine (a medication used for itching) when the prescription was written for hydralazine (a medication used to lower blood pressure), there could be serious consequences that could possibly result in a hospital visit.  So please don’t compare the wrong medication to pickles left off a hamburger.
** The next time your doctor writes a prescription for your child in teaspoons when it was supposed to be dosed in milliliters (five times the dose), don’t expect me to catch the mistake, because according to you, that’s not my job.  I actually spend a good portion of my day calling to verify prescriptions for illegible handwriting or incorrect drug/strength/directions/etc.  But I’ll stop doing that from now on... thank God.  Now I will have more time to sit around and check Facebook.
** The other “little” things I do, like give vaccinations, check blood pressure, check cholesterol, and recommend over the counter products have now been taken off my list of job duties.  It didn’t fall in the category of “fetch prescriptions.”
** In case you missed one of my previous posts, feel free to read here about all the different occupations I take on during the course of my day.  When you come to pick up your prescription and I tell you I can’t print a label because my printer is broken, don’t expect me to lift a finger to try to fix it.  That’s not my job and interferes with me “fetching the order.”
** You are correct... I do have to look a lot of things up in the computer.  A lot.  Know why?  Because there are currently 6,038 medications that are approved by the FDA.  6,038!!  Maybe if the cook at McDonald’s had to memorize 6,038 condiments, he would get paid more too.

Thank you, idiot of the year.  Thank you for making my job much much easier now.  I am now definitely the top right guy in that picture above... hallelujah!  And if your doctor doses your Viagra incorrect and you are in the hospital with priapism... don't blame me... I just fetched the order.

September 23, 2012

Dogs don't have last names

Sometimes I feel like a broken record.  Other times I feel like I am on a merry-go-round going full speed.  I have so many conversations that make my head hurt that I’ve stopped counting.  But they make for great entertainment.  Seriously, I don’t even have to watch Chelsea Handler anymore to get my laughs... I just replay the conversations that I had that day, and that’s 100 times funnier than Sarah Colonna and Fortune Feimster could ever be.

Man dropping off prescription to be filled:
Me:  Have you had prescriptions filled with (drug store name) before?
Man:  No
Me:  Ok, what is your birthday?
Man:  January first
Me:  (waiting for him to give me the year... but he just stares at me)  And the year?
Man:  1970
Me:  I’m pulling up a match with an Apple Lane address?
Man:  No
Me:  Have you ever lived on Apple Lane?
Man:  No
Me:  What is your current address?
Man:  2000 Green Court in Summersville
Me:  Okay, do you have any allergies?
Man:  Why are you asking me all of these questions?
Me:  I need to get you registered in our computer system
Man:  I should already be in there... I just had a prescription filled here last week
Me:  You just told me you’ve never had prescriptions filled here before.  I’m not finding you with a Green Court address
Man:  I know.  I just moved... I used to live on Apple Lane
Me:  (am I speaking Greek?)  You just told me you have never lived on Apple Lane
Man:  Oh... I haven’t been listening to you

Man picking up prescription that was called in by a prescriber:
Me:  What is the name you are picking up for?
Man:  Buster
Me:  Buster?  Is that the last name?
Man:  That’s the only name
Me:  (confused)  What’s the last name?
Man:  Buster
Me:  So, the name is Buster Buster?
Man:  No, the first name is Buster
Me:  Ok, so what’s the last name?
Man:  There is no last name
Me:  There’s no last name?
Man:  No, the name is Buster
Me:  But I need a last name
Man:  Ma’am... this is a dog... dogs don’t have last names
Me:  Ok, I understand.  What is your last name?
Man:  Why do you need that?
Me:  I need a last name that we would have filed the prescription under
Man:  There is no last name
Me:  As the owner, what is your last name?
Man:  Smith.  But that’s not Buster’s last name.  Whoever heard of a dog having a last name?
Me:  (pull out prescription for Buster Smith)
Man:  Lady, this is not correct.  His name is not Buster Smith.  His name is Buster.  Period.  Dogs don’t have last names.
Me:  I have to have a last name listed
Man:  Why?
Me:  (is this the Spanish Inquisition?)  I just do.  Is it okay to use Smith as Buster’s last name, or would you like me to use a different last name?
Man:  (heavy sigh)  Dogs don’t have last names, but use Smith if you have to
Me:  Thank you (thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you)

Recent conversation with my sister while on vacation last week.  We were watching the hotel’s live nightly show, and the show opened with an exotic dancer from Venezuela:
Me:  She’s absolutely gorgeous
My sister:  Yes, yes she is
Me:  I don’t think I’ve ever seen an ugly girl from Venezuela
My sister:  When have you ever seen any other girl from Venezuela?
Me:  The Miss Universe pageant 
My sister:  Right, ‘cause that’s where you will see all the ugly girls from Venezuela
Me:  I really wish I could dance like her
My sister:  Hell yeah, I do too.  It doesn’t matter what your face looks like, if you can move your body like that, then you’re not going home alone.

September 14, 2012

A pharmacy quickie before vacation

Two funnies from this past week...

Probably one of my most favorite phone conversations thus far:
Lady:  I’m confused about my son’s Singulair
Me:  Sure, what’s the question?
Lady:  Well, he got a different kind this time... M-O-N-K-T something
Me:  Yes, Montelukast is the new generic for Singulair
Lady:  Well, these directions say to chew and swallow
Me:  What strength did he get?
Lady:  It says “5 milligram chew tab”
Me:  So, he got the chewable?  And the directions say to chew and swallow?
Lady:  Yes
Me:  I’m sorry, but what’s the confusion?
Lady:  He’s supposed to chew and swallow it?
Me:  (as opposed to what?)  Yes, chew and then swallow.  Is this not how he did it in the past?
Lady:  No, before he just chewed it
Me:  (I can’t make this stuff up)  He didn’t swallow it after he chewed it?
Lady:  Not the whole tablet
Me:  So just to make sure we are on the same page and he takes this the right way, he’s supposed to chew up the tablet and then all the little chewed particles in his mouth are to be swallowed, though some will dissolve in his mouth.
Lady:  Ok, that’s how we’ll do it from now on
Me:  (Still not sure how the kid’s been taking this medicine)  Please call back if you have anymore questions.

One of my pharmacist co-workers said it best, “People like that are the reason why we have to put ‘UNWRAP and insert one suppository’ on the label.  You would think they know to take it out of the aluminum foil, but you wouldn’t believe the amount of people who shove the whole thing in, wrapper and all.”

Seriously?  You want me to put a puzzle together in order to fill your prescription?

September 8, 2012

How to lose a girl in 10 days

All the cool kids have seen the Oscar award-worthy performance by Kate Hudson in the blockbuster thriller “How to lose a guy in 10 days.”  Some of us more than others... fortunately there’s no rule on how many times you can watch Matthew McConaughey in one day.  This movie spotlights a beautiful Andie Anderson (in the most gorgeous yellow dress I’ve ever seen) as she exploits all the embarrassing shenanigans that girls employ to cause a guy to sprint in the opposite direction.  You learned not to nickname his valuables “Crow the Warrior King”... and not to buy his/her matching Burberry shirts... and not to move your tampons into his medicine cabinet too soon.  We all learned how Andie the girl can lose a guy in ten days... but what about Andy the boy?  What mishaps can Andy do to lose a girl in ten days?  You’re about to learn now.

Day one:  You’re at a local bar.  It’s loud, you’ve had a drink (or five), and you’ve met at least fifteen people in the last hour.  You have a better chance of remembering a Calculus equation from 1999 than remembering someone’s name at this point.  But then the smokin’ hot girl from across the bar that you’ve been watching all night has finally started mingling with your posse.  Lesson:  pay attention and remember her name.  What if you didn’t hear her name the first time?  Then ask her to repeat it... ten times if you need.  As Whitney Houston said years before she declared crack is whack:  “My name is not Susan, so watch what you say.”

Day two:  After meeting this girl, and finally realizing her name is not Susan, you decide to phone her the next day.  In an attempt to compliment her during the already awkward phone call, you ask her, “Why is a girl like you still single?  What’s your story?  You’re divorced aren’t you... what happened to your husband?”  Don’t be shocked when she replies to your insensitive question with a curt, “He died.”  You asked a stupid blunt question, you’re going to get an honest blunt answer.  At this point you’ve already dug yourself a hole, so if you want there to be a day three, please don’t follow up with, “Well, look on the bright side... if that didn’t happen, you would have never met me last night.”  (true story)

Day three:  During a texting conversation, you mention that you had lunch today with an old friend... your ex-girlfriend of five years to be exact.  Lesson:  don’t tell this to a girl you just met.  There are always circumstances where an ex-relationship can turn platonic, but this isn’t a conversation you want/need to have on day three.

Day four:  She agrees to meet you out at a Tapas bar for your first date.  Everything’s going better than expected and you give yourself a high five.  Slow down there, speedy... things aren’t going as well as you think.  When the waitress brings you the bill, NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER say, “So, do you want to split it?”  (Especially when you asked her out!)  I know we live in 2012, and I’m all for women’s rights and equality, blah blah blah.  But this is your first date and you are supposed to be putting your best foot forward to impress the girl.  You don’t want her thinking you’re cheap from the get-go.  Based on cultural stereotypes, men are supposed to be the knight and women the princess.  We don’t need to start reinventing fairy tales here.

Day five:  You call to thank her for a great date.  She mentions spending the upcoming weekend with her sister, and you immediately ask where her sister lives.  Problem with this is that you have already asked where her sister lives three times.  So what does this mean?  It means you aren’t paying attention to a damn thing she says.  Pretending to pay attention doesn’t earn you brownie any points.  How hard is it to listen?

Day six:  She tells you that she has a very busy weekend planned with her sister, and lets you know that she will call you when she gets a chance.  When she doesn’t call you the first night she’s gone, please don’t send a text message that says, “All righty then, I guess I’m not going to talk to you tonight.”  Yeah, probably not tonight, or tomorrow, or the next day.  That’s too controlling, needy, creepy.  Yes, I’ve had that exact text sent to me.  And no, he did not make it to day ten.

Day seven:  You finally get to talk to the girl, and she excitedly tells you about her girls' trip to the SEC basketball tournament that is quickly approaching.  You are not a Kentucky fan, not even a basketball fan... so under no circumstances whatsoever should you be vacationing in the same city that week... let alone, in the same hotel... it’s a little hard to pull that off as a coincidence.  Once again, that is way too controlling, needy, and especially creepy.  Slow down, lay off.

Day eight:  Texting has completely ruined correct grammar.  But that doesn’t mean all of your text messages are allowed to be incomprehensible.  U dng nethg 2nte?  If she has to reply asking you to translate that into English because she can't find the words in Webster's, then maybe that should be the first clue to not use text slang and act like you are educated.  Oh, and BTW, that above text was supposed to ask “Are you doing anything tonight?”  

Day nine:  She comes to visit and you both spend all day on the lake.  After the lake, and before dinner, she attempts to take a shower at your house.  You had a two day warning that she was visiting, yet your bathroom has mold growing in the bathtub, the sink is covered in three years worth of toothpaste deposits, and you have NO CLEAN towels available.  You knew she was coming two days ago, and were so thoughtless that it didn’t even occur to you to have clean towels.  She has to grab one of the dirty towels off your floor and barely pats herself dry... and forget about wrapping a dirty towel around her clean hair.  She stays the night and at bedtime it was guestimated that the bedsheets had not been washed since George W Bush was in office.  She can’t get out of your house fast enough.  

Day ten:  She’s finally packing everything up to head home, making sure she doesn’t forget anything because she does not want to step foot in this house ever again.  So as she walks into your bedroom, there you are standing... wearing her camisole and underwear.  That’s it... day ten.  Buh-bye.

August 30, 2012

My life as a contestant on Fear Factor

Remember the TV show Fear Factor?  The second segment of the show was always the worst and I remember having to watch it through covered eyes.  It was when they would make the insane contestants lie in a glass case and unleash 500 cockroaches. Or make them drink a liter of snake blood. Or some other grotesque challenge that would make my hair stand on end.  Now, I’ve never done anything close to those challenges (see my mouse blog for proof), but I have managed to get myself into some Fear Factor-worthy situations.

For my almost 30th birthday (my 29th to be exact), I went sky-diving for the first time here in Kentucky.  I honestly thought I would be scared out of my mind, but I was surprisingly calm and relaxed as I fell 10,000 feet from the sky.  It was such an amazing rush and I kept saying over and over that I couldn’t wait to do it again.  I should be careful for what I wish for.  Fast forward one year.  I was in Sarasota one afternoon during adult spring break (aka the annual SEC basketball tournament)... I was on a friend’s boat when we saw a sky-diver land on a nearby beach.  Our spontaneity kicked in and we immediately made a bee-line to check things out.  The owner, a very laid back man (almost too laid back), told us to meet him at this same spot on the beach the next day and he’d take us up.  We were too excited to notice any of the warnings... but the first thing that should have tipped us off is when the owner asked my friend, who is a commercial airline pilot, if he wanted to fly us up... ummm... this man was going to trust some “kid,” whom he just met, who “claims” he knows how to fly planes?  Talk about liability issues.

I debated on whether to tell my parents that I was doing this or not.  But I didn’t want them being blind-sided if they got a disturbing call the next day that there had been an accident.  When I told my dad, his response was, “Do I need to come down to Florida and spank you for not using your common sense?”  Once again, I should have started to tune into the clues.  But I didn’t.  The next day, we showed up on the beach more excited than Christmas Eve and the owner drove us to the airport where we met our tandem partners.  This is where the differences between my first and second sky-diving experiences started pouring in:

--Before my first diving experience, I had to watch two videos, sign my life away on at least twenty different pages of legal jargon, and go through extensive mock-training prior to getting inside the plane.  So I was a little nervous when my training session this time consisted of this:
Instructor:  Ok, this is what you need to know.  Have your arms crossed over your chest when we exit the plane.  When I tap you on the shoulder, you can release your arms.
Me:  That’s it?
Instructor:  That’s it.  Do you want to pull the ‘chute?
Me:  I am paying you good money for this near-death experience.  And I would like to keep it “near-death” rather than “death”... so no, I do not want to pull the parachute today.

--For my first dive in Kentucky, they dressed me in typical Top Gun apparel and I felt very official.  For this second dive, I was wearing my bathing suit (albeit covered with a top and shorts)... not so official.

--As the five of us loaded into the plane (my friend and her tandem, me and my tandem, and the pilot), my friend and I quickly noticed the pilot was wearing a parachute.  Why did the pilot need a parachute??  This definitely did not give me any warm-fuzzy feelings inside.  As we looked around the teeny plane, we also discovered the plane was being held together by duct tape.  No, you didn’t read that wrong.  Get.  Me.  Out.  Of.  This.  Plane.  My first experience was total tranquility... this experience was total anxiety.  And we weren’t even off the ground yet.

--When I jumped in Kentucky, I was the first one in the plane (meaning the last one out) and was behind at least 10 solo divers.  So when I finally got to the door, there wasn’t any time for me to get nervous as I stared at the ground because my tandem partner counted to three and off we went.  Hahahaha... not this time.  This time I was the last one in (and you guessed it, meaning the first one out).  When we reached 8,000 feet, my tandem partner opened the door and told me to dangle my legs out of the plane.  I was expecting us to jump at any second.  But nooooooo... I sat like this for eternity as we circled the shark infested waters beneath waiting to get up to 12,000 feet (I made the shark thing up... but that’s what my mind was thinking).  As I sat with my legs dangling out of the plane, I became beyond nervous as my only option was to look at the Gulf fade away as I was getting closer and closer to the Heavens.  At this moment, I officially turned into a train-wreck praying harder than I’ve ever prayed before...

And then we jumped at the altitude of 12,000 feet over the Gulf of Mexico.  And it was the most peaceful experience I’ve ever had.  Free-falling for a minute over the ocean and then landing softly on the best beach in America was a million-dollar experience.  And I’d do it all over again... only this time with a Xanax.

Driving my car into a lake
This has the tendency to be a very long and drawn-out story.  So, I’ll try my best to just keep with the highlights.  It was Friday night, September 22, 2006.  I was half-way through my shift at work when it started raining... and raining... and raining harder... and raining even harder... and this went on for hours.  My mom called me at work to tell me that she lost power and that her sump pump was over-flowing, causing her basement to flood.  Being the good (and amazing) daughter that I am, I made the decision that I would go to her house to help her instead of going home.  As I was leaving work, the water was up to my knees in the parking lot (reason #1 not to leave work).  The rain had slowed enough that I could now see at least ten feet in front of me, so I made the executive decision that it was okay to drive (reason #2 not to leave work).  And due to the power outage (that somehow affected everywhere but my pharmacy), there were no street lights... making it total darkness (reason #3 not to leave work).  

As I started my car and pulled out of the parking lot, I realized that the rain had picked up again, so I started puttering along with my foot off the gas... going no more than 10mph... I couldn’t see more than three feet in front of my car.  My mother lives one mile from my pharmacy, so I told myself that I could manage this for one measly mile.  I was handling this obstacle course like a champ... and then it happened.  In my mom’s subdivision, less than a quarter-mile from my mom’s house, I hit a flooded zone.  And my car stalled (we later discovered there was a huge tree trunk laying in the street that caused my car to get stuck).  Water was quickly entering my car from the floor and rising outside to a level above my car windows.  Thank goodness my electrical system didn’t short out and I was still able to operate my sun roof.  

Picture me now sitting on top of my car in the pouring rain.  (Quit laughing).  My car was stalled right in front of a house where the owners happened to be looking outside.  Clark Kent took off his glasses and put on his cape, and Superman came roaring out of this house to the rescue.  It was raining so hard that we couldn’t hear each other even though we were shouting at the top of our lungs... I felt like I was in a scene from a movie.  All I could understand was him screaming for me not move and to stay on my car roof.  This total stranger then swam out to my car... he kept telling me to hold on to him because he was scared I wasn’t strong enough to fight the current.  He practically swam me back to his front door step where his wife was waiting with dry towels.

It stopped raining less than twenty minutes later, and the lake that formed in the street disappeared in less than five minutes.  My poor car was DOA when the tow truck arrived... resuscitation was not an option... so it was towed to the car morgue.  It was a very frightening day for me... and also sad because I had to say goodbye to the first car that I owned.  

Dude, RUN!
One night over a year ago, I went out with my cousin, sister, and sister’s boyfriend in Indianapolis.  No special occasion, just for fun.  My cousin parked in a pay-lot downtown and it took all four of us (3 lawyers and a pharmacist) to figure out how to pay for our parking spot.  I tell you this because this past May, I went to the Indiana Pacer’s NBA playoff game versus the Miami Heat.  

After the game as we were headed to a bar, we passed this same lot with the jacked-up parking meter.  It somehow amused us enough that we stopped at this parking lot and relived our stupidity.  As we were standing there reminiscing, we saw a man jog past us in this parking lot.  Then we saw a police officer running at an Olympic pace trying to catch him.  My cousin starts saying to the jogger, “Dude, run... you’ve gotta run faster than that... he’s gonna catch you!”  And then out of nowhere, a police car entered this parking lot and accelerated full speed to purposely hit the jogger, causing the suspect to fly ten feet in the air.  

This scene now had our full and undivided attention.  This suspect was the bionic man because after he was thrown in the air, he then rolled a few times on the ground, and then he was up jogging again.  Then I heard it.  Pow pow pow.  My sister took off running towards the scene (why towards, and not away??) saying, “This man’s gonna need a lawyer!”  I tried to pull my cell phone out to call 911 to let them know someone just got shot (then I realized the police were 911).  As I chased my sister through this parking lot, my cousin realized the police had used a taser and not a gun.  Yep, it was a taser.  Because just feet away, this crazy guy pulled the tasers off his body and once again kept running... now even slower than before.

It didn’t take long for the police to tackle the guy, but it took four officers to hold him down as he remained extremely combative.  The two police officers that chased him were bent over at the waist gasping for air.  My sister and I walked up to the scene like we were private detectives on the case and just stood there less than 10 feet away watching the rest of the events unfold (my sister refused to leave this man just in case he needed a lawyer).  Meanwhile, two young guys who had joined us for this random Thursday night parking lot entertainment told us that they were outside a bar when the man was tasered the first time.  The man had ripped his jacket off, throwing it and the tasers on the ground.  Because he was already tasered, that is why the man was running at jogger’s pace when we first saw him.  This man was truly the Energizer bunny on crack... he just kept going and going and going.  

**After these experiences, I can now say bring on Fear Factor.  Joe Rogan... you can’t scare me (just don’t use a mouse, please!).

August 29, 2012

I wear a different hat to work every day

My degree is in pharmacy.  My profession is a pharmacist.  However, most days I am doing things that I never learned in pharmacy school... but somehow these “additional” tasks made their way into my job description.  Every day in the pharmacy is like a box of chocolates... you never know what you’re gonna get.  My job is never monotonous and these extra job duties are at times humorous... and that’s why I am sharing with you... because that’s my job... to make you laugh.  

Yes, you read that right.  Plumber.  I won’t go into details about our public restrooms in case you are eating right now, but people do things in public restrooms they would never consider doing in their own home (or at least I would hope not).  Whatever nasty scene your mind is thinking of right now is in no comparison to some of the toilets I’ve had to plunge.  

On a cleaner note, I put my plumber skills to work in the pharmacy recently when our filtration system started leaking.  Because there were too many valves to remember which ones go left, right, up, down... I just grabbed bottles of purified water off the shelf and we measured water the old-fashioned way with a graduated cylinder (that’s my idea of re-routing the plumbing).  When the plumber guy finally called to walk me through the correct process on how to connect the water tubing, our conversation lasted less than three minutes before he asked when a man someone with a little more plumbing experience would be there.  I obviously did not awe him when I told him that I once replaced a shower head by myself (I even used plumber’s tape... and the fact that I even know what plumber’s tape is should impress you).

*411 operator
--“Do you have the number to my doctor’s office?”
--“There’s a dentist office across the street from you, what is their phone number?”
--“What’s the phone number to my insurance company?”
...and my favorite so far “Do you know what time Rite-Aid closes?  Can you get me their address and number please?”

A sweet little old lady came to the pharmacy and wanted to know if we still carried a certain product.  She showed me a bottle that looked at least 50 years old... I had never heard of it before, I don’t remember the name, and have no idea what was used for... all I remember is the label on the bottle said it was manufactured in 1975.  1975??!?  I wasn’t even born.  Who still has a bottle in their house (wine excluded) that was born in 1975?  I refrained from asking the lady if I could keep the empty bottle to add to my antique pharmacy collection... but this would have been a great find.

One example....
Me:  How may I help you?
Patient:  Picking up a prescription... last name is “Whales”
Me:  (trying to interpret his thick Kentucky accent)  “Whales”... as in the animal?
Patient:  What?  No, “Whales”... W-E-L-L-S
Me:  You mean “Wells”?
Patient:  Yes, “Whales”

And other one for good measure...
Patient:  I need a box of your 20-count 120’s
Me:  (interpreting his meth street slang)  You mean you want a box of our 12-hour Sudafed with 20 tablets in a box?

*Sanitation engineer
A man came up to the counter tonight with his precious little daughter to purchase her prescription.  As I was ringing up her prescription, the dad asked if he could pay for their other purchases as well.  The dad handed me what initially seemed to be a bottle of Sprite.  I threw up a little (ok, a lot) in my mouth when I realized what was actually in this bottle:  tobacco-laced brown saliva.  I was ringing up a man’s spit can.  I just touched a man’s spit can.  I touched it.  With my own fingers.  Without gloves.  I quickly washed my hands four times and then wiped down any exposed skin with antibacterial gel sanitizer in case any germs jumped off that bottle.

Shortly thereafter, a five year old boy came to the counter with the worst cough I’ve heard in a long time.  As he was watching me mix his antibiotic, he put his little chin on our (already germ infested) counter and started hacking away... without covering his mouth.  I could see the droplets from his cough spraying all over our counter.  After he left, I armed myself with gloves and a mask and spent the next ten minutes scrubbing the counter with alcohol.

I won’t even go through our procedure for handling a prescription that is dropped off covered in blood.  Just another day in the life of a sanitation engineer.  

*Computer and mechanical engineer
Let’s see... this past week I have had to remove a paper jam in our printer at least a hundred times, fix our scanner that prints labels, and reboot my computer no less than ten times upon it freezing.  I then managed to kick our pill-counting robot when it kept giving me the same error message over and over, and also reset our store internet server on accident.  Not to mention that I broke our new touch-screen registers.  Needless to say, I have our help desk on speed dial, and have become quite the technical guru in fixing these problems (most of which are self-induced due to my lack of patience).

Yes, I sometimes have to channel my inner Psychic Friends Network while at work.  I have to predict insurance ID numbers... and how long it will take for a doctor to return our message... and if we have the drug in stock without seeing the prescription... and... and... and...  You get the point.

**As you can see, I do more each day than put pills in a bottle.  More than just counsel patients and immunize.  More than just health testing.  I wear a beautician hat (which hair dye is the best for a dry scalp?) and a lawyer hat (can I sue my doctor for writing the wrong dose?).  And my favorite hat that I wear every day is the "decider” hat... I mean, a girl's gotta eat and I have to decide what I want for lunch (choosing from the same five options becomes very difficult task).  So there you go... a sample of the many hats I wear... but at least I make the hats look good :)