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Archive for August, 2008

Lovely.

Was woken up by BARKING. A lot of it. Loud, frequent, LOUD barking.  Shaken, I checked and made sure that my dog was ok and in the house.  I got out of bed, looked outside, and there were two police cars in front of my house, sitting in the dark.

I opened my front door, and eventually I figured out that the barking was from within one of the police cars, which also had someone inside it, sitting in the dark.  Eventually the cop shut the dog up.  Thanks for being so considerate at 1:10 in the morning!

There it goes again. Barkbarkbarkbark. Barkbarkbarkbark. What is going on? Why is this happening? Why do they sit in the dark, letting their damn dog bark?  It’s residential, it’s late, and it’s LOUD.

I also have no clue where these cops are. It’s not uncommon for the police to pull up to one person’s house and go elsewhere, another practice I find unnerving.  Since I’m from out of town I always think, well, they’re there to tell me bad news. Silly, I know.

I’d say I would check the police blotter column in the morning, but it doesn’t always print everything.  So I may never know what this is about.  Two cars though, which is extra distressing. Usually I see just one, especially in this small town.

Well, good luck to me falling back asleep.  And I HOPE everything is all right.

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Peosta Campus

Originally uploaded by Kibbles

This building, right here, is where my medical terminology class takes place. Yes, my college is also the home of the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety.

There is a tractor in one of the ‘rooms’. (AG1) I heard there is an upside down one behind the building to help students learn about farming accidents. I need to see if I can find that.

There are also SILOS. MY SCHOOL HAS SILOS.

I love it, but it is so different from my earlier college experiences in NYC.

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So, tomorrow I’m back in school. I have A&P tomorrow, a break (you’ll see me online) and then lab.  A pretty decent schedule, I only have A&P on campus, as well as medical terminology (not required for my RN, but highly recommended by my advisor).  My dosage calculation class is online, as well as my sociology class.  I never had a class entirely online, only a hybrid class (half online, half lecture).  I hope I can stay motivated enough in the online classes.

I need to find good A&P study aids.  I want a coloring book, and think some sort of software for my PDA would be nice. I’ll probably have to buy a case of flash cards for my classes, too.  My son is already looking forward to quizzing me; he’s a hard taskmaster.

I’m looking forward to this, but I am a bit overwhelmed. I have my books and it just seems like so much to know. And knowing that this is the BEGINNING of everything I need to know can be a bit intimidating. But I get good pep talks from family and friends, and that helps.  I had to stop with the self depreciating nonsense and get some confidence.  I think the CNA this summer helped with that.

I’m also glad that I was able to work my schedule around all my sons’ therapy appointments.  I know it won’t always be so easy, but that is one of the reasons I am glad I go to a tiny community college instead of the larger private 4 year colleges that cater to students fresh out of high school. I get that attention and flexibility.  I leave after my kids go to school and am home before them every day except Thursdays, if lab takes a while.  Even then, I’ll be home no later than one hour after my oldest gets home, and coming home around the same time the middle one comes home (the youngest comes home in between).  Not bad!

So here’s to keeping up my quite lovely GPA, I’ll be needing it!  (Way to go, kiddo, give yourself a toast.)

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Coney Island

Originally uploaded by Kibbles

I really miss the beach.

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I love playing tourist in my own city.  I loved it when we lived in Brooklyn, I missed out on doing it when I lived in London and Frankfurt, and I love doing it here.

Yesterday my mom (the tourist) and I took the kids to the water park.  As always, it was an absolute dream going there. We made sure we picked up the discount ad from the DBQ Kids booklet ($8 during the week, $12 for a weekend) and went.

Everything was great. I am especially impressed with the people that work there. The lifeguards are both conscientious and fair.  They do something you don’t see at the city pools. They use their judgment.  They’re not constantly blowing their whistles at simple things, but are quick (but respectful) to step in when something is heading the wrong way.  You have no idea how this makes for an enjoyable experience. Bad lifeguards can really ruin your day. (They also didn’t spend the entire time acting like it was a cocktail party.)

My youngest, who has been terrified of pools in the past, had a blast. He’s been going to the city pools with us (a mix of dangerous and annoying, my kids got hurt there more than once) and went to the pool at my parent’s hotel.  So he was pretty happy at the water park.  When they tried to talk to him because he was in the way on the slide (lifeguards are quicker than I am slogging through water) they were very understanding when I said he can’t talk.  He got off, and they were nice (that was something they had to repeat to the little ones quite a bit).

We all enjoyed the whirlpool, the lazy river, the basketball, and I even went on one of the three water slides. The one with the tubes is the one I went on, and I had NO IDEA it was pitch black inside! Very fast and very fun and just a little scary.

I was even happy with the water temps.  Even the food and the people who worked there made us happy.

We’ll probably have a party for my daughter here AGAIN since it is such an enjoyable place. It’s a shame they had no available rooms when my parents checked, but it is close enough that we can go.

I heard they had yearly passes, and after we wasted our money on the city pool passes, I think we’ll check it out. I heard it was expensive, but it would be  worth it. I feel safe there, we have fun there, and it is close.  What more could you want?

I’ve yet to hear a bad thing about that place.  There’s a good reason for that.

Oh, and I forgot to add, they had SO MUCH FUN, they didn’t even ask for money for the game room. We only gave them money so they’d have something to do after we got dressed, and before my dad picked us up.

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Well, at least the food was edible.

My retired parents flew into Dubuque to see us. I thought Taste of Dubuque would be a great event to wind down after a day of travelling. That the kids could get ‘kid food’, like pizza, and the grown ups could get other food.

I had been warned, however, that it was geared towards drinkers. I waved this off, though, figuring we’d be ok. There was a kids area, right?

Well, once we found the trolley stop (not one trolley stop downtown was marked), we chugged over to the festival.  The kids area was a bouncy castle, and…I guess some sort of putt game and a fishing game.  Not too much, but a nod to families, I suppose.  I think there was a ‘sucker wheel’ or something, too.  Well, we weren’t there for games so the lack of kid’s activities was acceptable.

Of course, we had to do a bathroom run, which was firmly in BEER STAND TERRITORY. Still, no lines, clean, limited smell, and nice hand sanitizer stand right there.  Then we went back to get food.

There were lines everywhere, which was encouraging.  The food was typical fair/festival stuff, I thought perhaps some of the restaurants would use this as a chance to show off, even outdoors, and have something a bit more unique. Coming from NYC, though, we’re a bit hard to impress, to be honest.

Then my parents took the kids to look for a table and some chairs (which you think would be standard at a festival all about FOOD), and I spied a pepsi stand. Strange, honestly, that the individual stands didn’t also sell drinks.

You needed a ticket, a beverage ticket, even for soda. Or water. You couldn’t just buy it. I can understand needing the control for the alcohol, but can’t you give non drinkers a break? I guess not.  I was not willing to go on TWO lines for a drink, so I went to find my family.

Well, they were under a tent (the only shade available), sitting on the ground. A gaggle of volunteers had a group of seats, while my parents sat in the dirt. I don’t mind my kids sitting in the dirt, but I really think that volunteers are there to help the general public, and the tourists, and letting an older retired couple sit on the ground is pretty appalling. I was embarassed for my new city that they could just sit there and do that.  I really think that the only reason people volunteer is for the free t-shirts (which are usually pretty entertaining).

Eventually a different group of people got up, and we got to sit. No tables, but we sat. We then left the festival, and let me tell you, my dad’s back was still in agony the next day.  (In a forum on the thonline website someone said you are expected to bring your own seating. I did not see one person carrying their own seat around.)

I think the Dubuque Historical Society has something to do with this, but I’m not sure.  If that’s the Mississippi River Museum people, the ones that don’t like disabled people going to their museum (which is why we didn’t renew our membership — we’re not welcome), then I guess I’m not suprised.

Dubuque looks really, really ugly right now.  In NYC, my parents would have been offered a seat. For all that they say about rude New Yorkers, this festival was one big exercise in rudeness.

But hey, the beer drinkers were happy.  Beer makes this city go round.

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