Hands on Nursing

One of my friends is very hill and in the hospital. I’ve spent the last few days taking turns with one or two others just sitting in her room in case she needs something. I’ve spent enough time with my husband in a hospital bed to know that you need an advocate with you when you are too weak to advocate for yourself.

Nursing seems to have changed with more sophisticated medical treatment, but something also seems to have been lost. I was glad I was with my friend when she needed more ice chips, couldn’t reach something on her tray or needed to be re-positioned in her bed. Ringing the call bell eventually brought a response,but it was often a long time. When you are so weak you can hardly get words out, you may be too weak to find the call button.

Most of the nurses and techs were compassionate – when they came into the room, but when you are really ill, frightened and alone a friendly face goes a long way. I know nurses are incredibly busy. Just knowing how to operate all the equipment that didn’t exist a couple of years ago must be daunting. And they probably have more patients on their twelve hour shifts than they can really handle. But sometimes when I walked to the nurses station to ask a question about my friend or how I could get something for her, the nurses were chatting. I know they have to sit down, too, so don’t yell at me. And I understand that they need some down time to step away from the intensity of their jobs, but I wondered about the people who didn’t have family and friends to sit with them.

Perhaps there should be a new category of healthcare workers. People who would wander the floor and say hello, ask can I get you anything, hold a hand or just sit and listen for a bit.

I suppose nursing can no longer be as hands on as it used to be. When I was in the hospital with mono my senior year in high school, the nurse came in every night and gave patients a short back rub to help them get to sleep. That info lets  you know I was in high school shortly after the Civil War, but I doubt very many patients get back rubs any more. Wouldn’t it be nice if they did. Caring hands can be as healing as state of the art medicine.

Who Doesn’t Make Valentine’s Day Reservations?

Our typical foray to live theater at Center Stage is to see the show and then go out to dinner. We go to the Sunday matinee and then decide where to go to dinner. We never need reservations for early Sunday evening as long as a restaurant is open.

As You Like It

Sunday we went to Baltimore to see As You Like It. Laura was out of town so my husband got her ticket. Our friend, Betty Ann, is the other season subscriber. My hubby had forgotten it was Valentine’s Day, but that’s okay. He always remembers my birthday and I always forget his. If we were keeping score, he’s way ahead.

The show was excellent. It was held in a theater at Towson State University because Center Stage is undergoing a massive renovation. We’ll be seeing shows at Towson for the rest of 2016. This As You Like It was a modern production. Shakespeare’s version would have been all men as was the convention then. This was an all female production. The ensemble of merry pranksters sang and danced in the Forest of Arden as if they had been transported from a hippie commune.

I could understand all the lines and it sounded fresh and modern and made me want to read the original again (last read in college when the language seemed archaic).

After the play we made our way back towards the Eastern Shore. The last couple of post-theater dinners have been at Rustico on Kent Island where we’ve had memorable dinners. Roger pulled up the menu on his iPad and had us salivating. About fifteen minutes out I asked Betty Ann to call Rustico and tell them we were coming. The were totally booked and could seat us at 8:30. It was Valentine’s Day. We went on to three other restaurants on Kent Island, all of which were totally full. We won’t make that mistake again, but Valentine’s Day will not fall on a Sunday until 2021 and what are the odds that we would have theater tickets that day?

Betty Ann and I knew it was Valentine’s Day but somehow that knowledge did not translate to action as in “make a dinner reservation.”

Roger and I dropped off Betty Ann and headed home to a microwaved dinner of leftover bison spaghetti sauce with gluten free pasta and a salad. The duck with blueberry sauce that I was planning to order at Rustico will have to wait for another day.


Note: Rustico Restaurant and Wine Bar is located at 401 Love Point Road in Stevensville, Md., a block north of Route 18. It is open seven days a week for lunch (11 a.m., noon on Sunday) and dinner (4 p.m. to closing). Starters $6–$12; pasta $8–$12, dinners $20–$30; wines by the glass $6–$10. Call for reservations or book online. 410-643-9444; http://www.rusticoonline.com.

We Go to the Movies

We were in Key West for two weeks and one of the things we do is go to the movies – a lot.  Maybe it’s the Oscar nominations that pushes us to get out of the rental condo. After all, if you write scripts going to the movies is research.  Here’s what we saw and what I thought.

45 years movie

My husband and I have been married for forty years. All of us who have been married that long could recognize parts of ourselves in this couple. Not necessarily the big secret the husband carried, but the everyday work of keeping a relationship alive. Pollyanna me was hoping for a more hopeful ending; it was a depressing movie. Sex scenes with saggy asses hit too close to home. That being said, the actors gave amazingly nuanced, Oscar worthy performances.

joy movie

Until fifteen minutes into this movie, I didn’t know it was about Joy Magnano. Heck, I have a bunch of her products bought on HSN in the middle of the night when my husband was asleep next to me. And they are clever products I like and use.

I hope her parents are dead because they were portrayed as flawed users. As someone who writes scripts, I know that the genre historical fiction means you have to push the edges of what really happened. Laura and I did that in our script Loverly, the story of Alan Jay Lerner and how My Fair Lady came to Broadway. We had to fudge the date of Lerner’s father’s death. The date of his actual death inconveniently didn’t work with the plot arc.

I like movies where the underdog wins, especially underdog women, so I liked Joy.

danish girl movie

“Wow” is all I can say about The Danish Girl. The script was flawless as were the performances. If Redmayne doesn’t win an Oscar for best actor, something’s wrong. Don’t miss this movie. Watching him come to terms with his inner gender and trying on feminine mannerisms was so well done. This script is based on a book by the real Danish Girl. How horrible it must have been to be transgendered before anyone knew what it was. Spoiler alert: some full frontal male nudity that was not gratuitous.

Brooklyn movie

This was a beautifully done movie. It spoke to the choices that we make and how they effect our lives moving forward.

big short movie

I left The Big Short feeling totally pissed off. Why are none of the people who created this economic crisis in jail? And it sounds like they are doing it again. Both Laura and my husband had read the book and wondered how it could be possibly be made into a movie. So kudos to the script writers and how they made incredibly complicated financial issues understandable. Awesome performances by Christian Bale and Steve Carell.

We haven’t seen The Martian or Room, and I passed on The Revenant and Mad Max Fury Road.

Watching movies is research for script writers. I’m so glad it’s part of the job!