Category Archives: humor

Nursing Adventures #1

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For those who don’t already know, I work as a Registered Nurse at a large urban teaching hospital in Chicago. These last couple of days I have been talking with one of my friends about how I wish I had an office job. A nurse wishing to work in an office with the opportunity to wear more than just scrubs… what a dream! Though I’m sure lots of you out there are jealous that I get to wear comfortable scrubs to work everyday.

A quick comment about scrubs. I never wear the same color top and bottom scrubs. I told someone that, and he was so baffled. Would you ever wear a red shirt and red pants in real life as you’re going about your daily business or to your office job? NO, so why should I wear a monochrome outfit to work. I mean if I did I would probably look like these guys. Pretty hot hmmm?

I dream of having an office job, but I am sure I would feel so restless being confined in a cubicle staring at a computer screen all day. As a nurse I get to meet a lot of interesting and sometimes eccentric people. Here are some stories that I would love to share with you.

The Untalkative One

I walked into his room to give him his medications. If I were receiving medications from someone, I would want to know what I am taking for my own health’s sake. I pop the pills into the medicine cup and educate the elderly man about what each medication was and essentially what kind of medication it is. He then sits up and asks me “Do you have a boyfriend?”. At this point I was so baffled at his question, and why he would ask me that. I then ask him “What makes you ask that?”. He then goes on and says “Damn, you talk too much”. I was slightly insulted, especially I am definitely not a blabber or someone who will talk aimlessly. From then on I didn’t say much to this patient. I recently had this same patient again. He came into the hospital for very similar reasons. He told me he remembered me. I hope he didn’t remember that he thought I talked too much.

The Bed Tucker

I had this one patient who was a younger man. Towards the end of the night he asked me for a night time snack. Very reasonable especially since he ate dinner hours ago. I am a snacker, so I understand the idea of eating constantly. I gave some crackers to him, and he was quite a happy man. A little later he calls me again. This time for something that was a little odd. He told me he wanted me to tuck in the sheets into the bed, so that he could be tucked into bed. Keep in mind this guy is an adult. I was way too busy to tuck a guy into bed, so I had the nurse technician help me out. Special request from a patient!

The Sweet Patient

A patient that I had for a long period of time was finally discharged from the hospital. I was there for his discharge, meaning I was the last nurse that he had before he went home. He  was readmitted a couple weeks later. I could tell he was very overwhelmed with everything. Lots of unfortunate events had happened to him leading up to his hospitalization, and I could tell he was quite frustrated. I sat with him listening to his life story. He was finally discharged. I came to work one day, and a co-worker told me the patient left a card for me. It was so sweet! He thanked me for my care. There was even a chocolate bar inside the card. Something sweet for a sweet nurse huh?

The Fecal Transplantee

This story is not for the faint of heart. I had a patient come up to our unit after having a feces transplant. We get all of kinds of transplant patients on our unit – kidney, liver, bowel. But feces transplant I have never heard of. I asked the nurse I was getting report from what a feces transplant is and she tells me over the phone in a very hushed voice what it is. Essentially a feces transplant is exactly what the name says it is. It is transplantation of feces from one person to another. Usually the feces comes from the spouse or a close family member with a normal flora in their guts. The feces is transplanted into the patient via a scope like the kind they use for a colonoscopy. The reason for the feces transplant is that sometimes patients have chronic C. diff infections, an bacteria in the guts that overpopulate when the normal flora is killed off. The feces is transplanted in hopes of restoring normal flora in the guts. Sure sounds like something out of the twilight zone. Imagine receiving feces from someone close to you. Wouldn’t that be a good conversation starter?

Can it be Summer forever?

Everyday I have off I try to take advantage of everything that Summer has to offer, before I get holed up inside when winter comes along. You know those bitter cold Chicago Winters? I can honestly say those are the days when you basically do not want to go anywhere, but stay indoors. Here’s what I was up to this weekend. Some intense Summer loving.

Bridgehouse Tavern – Near North Side

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A co-worker recommended this place saying it had a great patio right along the Chicago river. It was the perfect location for brunch on a sunny Summer day. The brunch itself was okay. I wasn’t feeling that great, so opted for something light – fruit and house potatoes. Nothing too spectacular. My friend got the trout hash which turned out to be quite salty.

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The best part about this place was the view. Being right along the Chicago river, my friend and I boat and people watched as the boats made their way along the Chicago river. Big boats, small boats, large yachts. It was the perfect day to be on a boat, and an equally perfect day to watch the boats pass by. I could spend hours doing that. We saw as people docked their yacht and climbed up to the Bridgehouse Tavern patio for brunch. What a life!

The Second City – Old Town

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The Second City is one of the best comedy clubs in Chicago. I went several years ago, and the show was hilarious. I came back  for a Sunday afternoon showing of What the Tour Guide Didn’t Tell You. We got our tickets from Goldstar.com which is a website that sells discounted tickets to shows and events. We ended up with front row seats right in front of the stage. Best seats in the house! The show was definitely geared towards Chicagoans poking fun at Rahm Emanuel, Blagojevich, Daley, The Art Institute, Chicago tourists. It was definitely a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. In comparison to the other show I watched (The South Side of Heaven), the comedy was lighter and fluffier compared to very dark, twisted humor in The South Side of Heaven. Personally I think the other show I watched was better. The improv, the skits were funnier and more memorable. And who doesn’t like dark humor?

The Twisted Baker – Old Town

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We stopped here after The Second City for some late afternoon baked goods. I got the spinach quiche. It was delicious! The crust perfectly buttery and flakey, and the inside with the perfect combination of spinach, eggs, and cheese on top. People had books, laptops with them at this bakery. Reminded me of my college days when I would sit at a bakery for hours studying and people watching.

Carriage House – Wicker Park

We came here for dinner, and decided on outdoor seating. Have to enjoy these warm, sunny days as much as possible! Though I was quite tempted to eat inside since the decor was so cute. Carriage House is a southern  restaurant with small styled plates to be shared. The waitress told us the head chef is from South Carolina, and all of the dishes were inspired by his childhood. We ordered 5 different dishes. Here they are!

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We ordered the Charleston She Crab Soup – buttermilk cracker, crab salad and sherry gastrique. It was definitely on the saltier side, but had a very robust crab flavor.

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Next was the skillet cornbread with rhubarb jam and foie gras cream. I never had corn bread with toppings on it before. The combination of all three was delicious!

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Since it is a southern restaurant we had to try their fried chicken. This was a boneless Fried Chicken thigh – bread and butter pickles, sweet potato hot sauce. The chicken was perfectly fried. Moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside. I loved the sweet potato hot sauce that they paired with this dish. The orange colored hot sauce was sweet and tangy with a slight heat.

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This Hoppin’ John dish with rice, pork belly, and peas was alright. Nothing to spectacular. I thought it could have been a little bit more flavorful.

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By the time we got to this fifth dish I was already feeling quite stuffed. This dish Mushrooms, Truffle and Egg – grits, oyster mushrooms, soft egg, truffle vinaigrette and shaved thomasville tomme was good, but very heavy. The cheesy grits, cheesy mushrooms, and eggs was a little too much for me. Perhaps if this had come towards the middle I would have enjoyed it more. It was still very tasty. I love mushrooms, and these oyster mushrooms were tasty.

What a wonderful Summer day! By the time I got home after all of this I was thoroughly exhausted, but in a good way. To more Summer days.

C foods for Carmen

The other day while riding the train home, I got on the train in Wrigleyville. The specific stop is Addison for those who are familiar with the Chicago train system. Wrigleyville is known for being bro central. Go there if you want to have a broey good time, otherwise stay away. I had to go to Wrigleyville for a meeting, and got my monthly dose of broiness. I thought I experienced enough broiness till I overheard a group of bros’ conversation.

“Today we’re only going to eat foods that begin with B: burgers, brats, beer … and bananas

– random bro on the train

What? Bro, you’re only going to eat foods that begin with the B? B foods for Bros. Thus if a bro is only going to eat foods that begin with the letter B, I am only going to eat foods that begin with the letter C. C foods for Carmen.

It is quite hard eating foods that begin with C. I am not the type of person to binge on junk foods, and it just so happens that a lot of junk foods begin with the letter C: chocolate, cookies, cake and chips. C for junk food catastrophe. Luckily eating C foods was not so bad. Here is a list of C foods I ate this week.

C is for Chicken Salad (Thai)

My family and I went to Panera for lunch one afternoon. I got the Thai Chicken Salad. It was surprisingly quite spicy. I wasn’t expecting it to be spicy. When it turned out to be mildly spicy, it was a lot to take in especially for someone who cannot handle her spicy foods. This salad came with a bed of romaine lettuce, a mix of vegetables, edemame, chicken, crunchy asian crackers and a spicy, peanut dressing.

C is for Cheesy Fried Mac and Cheese Wedges

Kind of cheated with the C foods here, but I really wanted to show you guys these Mac and Cheese Wedges. What a brilliant idea! Mac and cheese dipped in batter and fried, so the outside is crispy and the inside is filled with mac and cheese goodness.

C is for Cake

I love cake! Here are three different types of Chinese cakes. The white one is a white chocolate cake. The second one is a chocolate mousse cake. The third one is a chocolate cake with jellies in the middle. Chinese cakes are usually a lot lighter than American cakes. The cake part is definitely less heavy and more airy. The frosting is not as sweet and not as rich. Sometimes American cakes are too much for me. Chinese cakes are the perfect, light dessert without pushing you over the edge into a sugar high.

C is for Cheeseburger

Cheeseburgers make for a solid meal. This cheeseburger came with fries and an orzo salad. Yum!

Ending this C foods for Carmen post with a punny sign. Harharhar

Korean Tacos and Hawaiian Food

This is the last week of August, and that means Summer is coming to an end. Students are going back to school, and my new graduate friends are starting their first jobs. As for me, I’m going to Disneyworld this weekend. Off to the most magical place on earth! Look on Sunday for a post about my very magical adventure in Disneyworld. For now, here are some of my summer food adventures in Chicago.

Del Seoul – Lincoln Park, Chicago

Kalbi Korean Taco

I love Korean food, and the concept of a Korean taco, the intertwining of two different cuisines, is just great! This taco was packed with ingredients including the well seasoned and grilled kalbi (Korean BBQ beef short ribs), lettuce and Sirachi sauce which I added. The kalbi was terrific. It was tender, flavorful and juicy. Plus they don’t skimp on the kalbi. Each mouthful of this taco is packed with kalbi. YUM!

Aloha Eats – Lincoln Park, Chicago

Chicken Katsu

I’ve never had Hawaiian food before. It is always quite exciting trying a new cuisine for the first time. Aloha Eats is a Hawaiian eatery with lots of different quick Hawaiian dishes. My friend and I got the small Chicken Katsu. We were surprised when it came out, because the small could definitely feed two people.  Two slices of breaded, fried chicken, 1 scoop of rice and 1 scoop of macaroni salad. The chicken katsu was definitely my favorite. The chicken inside was juicy and moist, and made for a perfect pairing with the crunchy outer exterior. Might have to start planning a trip to Hawaii after this!

Store Front Sign

I love quirky, funny signs. I saw this one while passing by a stationary store. Yes indeed, you should be sorry you are open.

Meiko the Superman (Supercat)

Introducing my dear cat Meiko. She is a four year old short haired domestic house cat. In the afternoons you can find her in the living room windows, basking in the sun. One afternoon I found her stretching her paws after a cat nap. It looked like she was trying to do the Superman, or in this case the Supercat.

Social Experiments – Living in Ikea, Holding Hands with Strangers, Pretending to be a Celebrity

These are my favorite social experiment videos of guys doing very quirky things. Peculiarly charming videos that put a smile on my face every time I watch them. There’s something about the fantastical amusement, when watching videos of strangers trying to make sense of what these guys are doing. Watching confused, bewildered and shocked faces of regular people just like you and me. Their amused expressions when they learn that a man has moved into Ikea. Their confused faces when a stranger tries to hold their hand. Their delighted appearances upon learning they just met a celebrity (fake celebrity).

Mark Lives in Ikea

I read about Mark’s story back in 2008. Mark’s apartment was being redecorated, so he decided to live in Ikea for a couple of weeks. What a great idea! I mean who wouldn’t want to live in Ikea. With an abundance of bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms Mark could definitely live comfortably here. Watch Mark move into Ikea on his big first day!

Speaking of Ikea there is one scene in the movie 500 Days of Summer where the two main characters play house in Ikea. Wouldn’t it be fun! If the faucet doesn’t work in one kitchen, there’s always another one right next door. If you get bored of your living room, mosey on down to the next one.

Andrew Holds Hands with Strangers

There is nothing like the comfort of holding hands with those you love, but what happens if a stranger surprise attacks you with a holding hand sesh. Either you freak out or embrace the experience. Watch strangers react as Andrew holds their hand while walking down a hallway. I think it would be such a fun social experience to try. Might have to try this in downtown Chicago one day!

Brett Pretends to be a Celebrity in Time Square

For a celebrities you don’t normally recognize (C-list celebrities), you might realize their celebrity status when you see them parading around with body guards and stalker paparazzi. The superficial nature of society is extremely apparent in this video, when you see people gawk over a random guy just because they think he is famous (even though they might not know how or why he’s famous, in this case whether he is famous at all). I love the answers they give about where they have seen Brett Cohen. Why yes he’s in that Spiderman movie. That new single he has out, so great! When in fact, he is just a normal person pretending to be a celebrity.

Do you have any favorite social experiment videos? Leave a comment, and share them with me. I would love to watch them!

Whimsical Occurrences with Cupcake ATMs and Dream Engines

Things that are out of the ordinary are amusing, and adds a certain whimsical quality to life. Things that don’t belong, things that are out of place, things that bring fantasy into real life. I think this Dr. Seuss quote is quite fitting.

 “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.” – Dr. Seuss

Without fantasy people would view life in black and white. What a lifeless world without excitement, without color, without playfulness. Welcome to the world of whimsy.

Sprinkles Cupcake Vending Machine

Spotted this on the streets near The Water Tower in Chicago. When did Sprinkles Cupcake ATMs become necessary? I guess if you have a late night craving for a Sprinkles cupcake and the store is closed, cupcake ATM to the rescue! The entire idea that you can get cupcakes from a vending machine is strange, but very appealing. I might just have to try one of these ATMs for fun and for the delicious cupcake of course.

ComEd Dream Engine

Dream Engine

While shopping downtown, my sister and I spotted this Dream Engine. What is a Dream Engine you ask? Perhaps a machine to store dreams, to share dreams, to reveal dreams? This Dream Engine is made from an old refrigerator transformed into a dreamlike art work. The viewer turns the handle and peers inside the engine. Inside you see a short stop motion picture animation of a horse galloping. Check out the other fridge artwork here.

House Without Stairs

Second floor entrance slightly out of reach

I guess no one enters the second floor through the front door. Unless people have amazingly high jumping abilities like the Olympian pole vaulters. Imagine if someone was to try to exit the second floor through that exit. A trick door just like in the old school, black and white movies.

Fake Subway Signs in London

Whoever put these up is a genius! Spotting these signs would make a great start to any morning commute. Check out more signs here.

Slurping Turtle – Mckayla Maroney: Not Impressed

I recently went to Slurping Turtle to try out the ramen, and I think the term “Mckayla Maroney: Not Impressed” would be appropriate. Mckayla Maroney is a USA gymnast with her specialty being the vault. This term came from the 2012 Olympics – Women’s Gymanastics Vaulting Event when McKayla Maroney fell on her second vault which knocked her from gold medal standing to silver medal standing. When standing on the medal podium to receive her silver medal, she displayed a scowl and tight crossed arms.

With that amazing picture came a wave of “Mckayla Maroney: not impressed” pictures of Mckayla’s face photoshopped in impressive situations.

Mckayla Maroney: not impressed with gold medal winner Usain Bolt AKA the fastest man in the world

Mckayla Maroney: not even impressed with David Beckham

At the end of the day the photoshopped pictures are all in good fun. She truly is an amazing gymnast!

Slurping Turtle – Near North Side, Chicago

Tori Ramen

I came here with high hopes for Slurping Turtle especially since the food blog serious eats said this place had the best ramen in Chicago. Compared to the ramen that I have had in NYC this place just does not compare. In other words Mckayla Maroney: not impressed. The chicken broth was quite flavorful, but extremely lite. A little bit too lite for my liking. The texture of the noodles were good, but it didn’t taste as fresh as the other noodles I’ve had. The toppings that came with the ramen were underwhelming. The chicken tasted like it was just boiled. The poached egg was overcooked, so the yolk was semisolid instead of runny. The broth was excellent, but the other ingredients just didn’t come together to make an excellent  bowl of ramen.

Read my other ramen posts here. From best to worst.

1. Totto Ramen – Totto Chicken Paitan Ramen

2. Ippudo NY – Shiromaru Hakata Classic Ramen

3. Toki Underground – Toki Hakata Classic Ramen

4. Hide-Chan Ramen – Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen

I think I might have a personal preference for broths that are more on the richer side. YUM! I love ramen so much. I can’t wait to try other places.

Restaurant Name Puns

I did a food pun post a while ago. Back for more ridiculously lame and hilarious restaurant name puns!

I told this to my friend, and she brought up a good point. Is the restaurant that bad that it is compared to the most devastating ship sinking?

Check out more here.

Food Puns

I love lame, terrible pun jokes. The lamer it is the better. Here are the food related ones. Enjoy! harharhar

Tacocopter

the Tacocopter

Take a look at this Huffington Post article. It talks about an unmanned drone helicopter, a Tacocopter, delivering tacos to hungry lunch goers, snack munchers, the dinner crowd. You order the tacos on the smartphone, and this sends the order and the location of where the order is placed, so that the tacocopter can deliver the food directly to you. No hassle, quick delivery, decreased wait time. What is there not to like? This business plan combines what the article says are the four most “prominent touchstones of modern America: tacos, helicopters, robots and laziness”.

look at that Tacocopter go

Unfortunately the U.S. government prevented the production and usage of the Tacocopter perhaps for good reason too. Imagine this flying down from the sky. You stand there wondering what it is. Suddenly you get whacked in the face, because the Tacocopter doesn’t stop for anything or anyone, determined to deliver those tacos to a hungry customer. Or those helpless birds flying in the surrounding area getting mutilated by the wings of the Tacocopter.

But nevertheless “if it gets me my taco faster that way then it’s worth it. The taco justifies the means” – the words of one dedicated taco eater.