hkellick: (Excuse Me WTF)
On Friday, the word came down.. a winter snow storm was a-coming and it was gonna get ugly. My wife and I agreed that we'd scrap our plans for Saturday and just relax and stay inside. But before that, we needed to get some things.

In which I discuss the trevails of the Snow Storm of '09 )
hkellick: (DC)
OK, folks, I need your knowledge.

Kristen and I are moving (within the DC Metro Area - Wherever it goes, it needs to be relatively close to a Metro Station, so that one or both of us can get to work) and we NEED to know which areas we should be conentrating on finding an apartment in. We want to know what neighborhoods are worthwhile and which are not.
At the moment, we've only looked at Silver Spring. I've been told to check out Fairfax. And Alexandria is an obvious place for me to check.
Other suggestions?

Our rent threshold is approximately $1,400.

This post is public. Please feel free to redirect people.

Thank you!
hkellick: (Black and White)
I wrote, some time ago, about what it was like to be a white boy in a predominantely lower class black neighborhood.
I wondered, aloud, how this might change me.
I think I know the answer.. it probably won't shock any of you.
If anything else, some might say I've gone rascist. I haven't really. I don't think all black people are XXX or YYY, but I feel my attitudes changing slightly.

I've been trying to find the words to write about my neighbors. It's hard. It's hard treading upon the race line and not coming off sounding like a complete bastard. It's hard not repeating myself on the few safe points I can make.

If anything else, I have a better appreciation for you folks out there who.. are very little like these people here.

I can honestly say that, a year ago, I'd never ever ever consider moving to Virginia. That's republican country. That's the place where whacked out senators suggest whacked out ideas like forcing women to publicly record when they go to abortion clinics.
That's changed totally. I'd totally live near a bunch of "redneck" middle class white republicans over living here.
I've never missed Amherst so much. Maybe I was sheltered, but honestly, I would never ever ever live this close to a city again. I'm a suburban boy. I realize this now. I like living NEAR cities where things happen, but not in them.
And people wonder why most cities can't seem to have a positive cash flow. :p Now that I've lived this close to one, I truly can say I understand.
hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Kristen)
CRAP! I just lost my first post

OK, so… let me just get to the FUN part.

Kristen and I spent three and a half hours in the emergency room. The problem? Her arm had been hurting on and off most of the day, but started hurting sharply and terribly around 8:00, while we were finishing off the fourth season of Farscape. It hurt really really badly. We shuttled off to my house to pick up some tiger balm, which had absolutely no effect. She also took a pain reliever, but it had little to no effect as well.
We were both up for an hour around three. She was freaking out and that wasn't helping her at all. We finally got the brilliant idea of trying an ice pack which DID help. Eventually, we got her to sleep for a couple more hours, but we were both up early and she still hurt and was freaking.

We talked about our options: Go to C.V.S. and see about an arm brace and new ice packs, or go to the nearby emergency room.

Let me back up.. Kristen has medical now, but she never had picked up a primary physician. So, we DO intend to make sure we can find her a primary physician; however it wasn't going to help her just right now. So… to find out what WAS going on, it seemed our idea was… an emergency room.

At 8:00, we were up and her arm hurt badly enough that she wanted to try the emergency room route. She really wanted to know what was wrong and see HOW to fix it. So the two of us, only half-awake, drove down to the emergency room. Now, on the way, I remember saying "God, I hope this hospital is less ghetto than the neighborhood it's in." (The area we live in is VERY ghetto. To use SimCity 4 terms, all of the residential and commercial are low-wealth. Everything looks dirty. Crime is an issue (we're pretty damned certain that drug deals go on at the Exxon in front of Kristen's apartments.). We hope to get the hell out of here as soon as we can.)

Sadly, I was right. So we get in and I have a bad feeling about this place. Now, as far as hospitals go, most of my memories are about Millard Fillmore Suburban, a hospital near my old home in Buffalo. I've been in that emergency room. I was just in there to see mom this last Thanksgiving. We get in, get passes, find Triage and Kristen gets taken aside to get her vitals taken... and is forgotten. Now Kristen doesn't know what's going on, so doesn't ask anyone to take her, but eventually someone realizes her vitals were not taken and take them. Meanwhile, I'm in the waiting room reading and there's a couple opposite me sleeping, one on a pillow with blood stains all over. I find out eventually that this couple had gotten into the hospital at 4:30 in the morning. The wife is having kittens because they got there at 4:30, he was bleeding and has head trauma and no one had seen them yet. Meanwhile, the guy isn't unconscious, he does show signs of bleeding badly, but he's able to get up and limp around.
Kristen and I were there by 9:00 and we waited. Kristen got back into the waiting room at 10:00 and she's unhappy about having been forgotten.
So we wait. More people await, are taken out of the room, their vitals taken and then brought back in.
Another case was a mom and a little girl who got in around the same time as us. The little girl got her finger caught in a door as it closed and mom desperately just wants the hand X-rayed so that we know nothing's broken.
And we all set and we all wait and the woman who had been there since 4:30 is getting more and more pissed off. She goes in and tries to talk to the nurses who basically state that since everyone in there is ambulatory, that we get last priority.
Kristen and I waited and waited for three and a half hours before realizing that the likelihood of us spending all day there and never actually having anyone check her out was high. The hospital seemed to be terribly undermanned. All we saw, all day, was one registered nurse and a number of nursing aides.
So... very angry and very upset, we leave the emergency room and head to C.V.S.
We get to C.V.S. and get to talk to a registered pharmacist within five minutes who looks at Kristen's arm, and Kristen's (likely) suggestion that it's probably a repeated stress injury and suggests an arm brace, an ice pack and an Aleve (inflammation reducer drug) which we buy (and I buy Kristen a candy heart filled with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups to try to help cheer her up.) and head home.

When she gets up, we'll go to her place and figure out how to get a primary physician A.S.A.P. I can be her nurse for the rest of the day today. Depending on how she is tonight and before bed, I'll stay the night with her. If she hurts still, she'll stay home. I'll help her get dressed and go to work myself and before I go, I'll set her up with easy to make lunch (probably defrost one of my many beef stews) and then come back after work to make dinner and do... whatever.

But, as god as my witness, I will never step into Price George's hospital again unless I'm unconscious. Fucking.. Ghetto Hospital! :p

December 2015

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