Surgery Trip: Day 3

Today is S-Day, Surgery Day. Wolsey and I didn’t sleep much at all overnight, between his surgery prep and general anxiety we both were a bit on edge. Oh, did I forget to mention that at 1am our fire alarm began beeping, signaling it was out of battery. Fortunately Wolsey took the lead and fixed it by taking the alarm down (after contacting the desk).

We were up at 0415 and nope, we weren’t feeling any better than 1am. We gathered our clothes together, got dressed and headed out to Greenbaum Surgery Center at 0500. It was completely empty outside. If this was Seattle the roads would already be busy, but everything was empty.

He is not happy this morning.
On our way to surgery.

We arrived to the dark surgery center and sat there watching conservative local news for about 20 minutes. It was then that Wolsey checked in, signed off the paperwork and got ready for surgery. I have to say the receptionist was absolutely the most supportive receptionist I have seen. It was very reassuring.

waiting in the dark.
Checking in to surgery.

We sat for awhile, watching horrible news, surfing the net, until they came out and asked Wolsey back. He disappeared for about 30 minutes when they came out and got me to come back. I sat with him for awhile, got to see Dr. Webb, and Wolsey’s anesthesiologist (sorry I don’t remember his name). Finally I got to meet Wolsey’s nurse, a great older man who was joking about his husband (I believe his name was Jeff).

There he is waiting for surgery.

I left, went home and ate breakfast. Eventually I was heading out to go see a movie at 10am when I got a call from Jeff saying Wolsey had successfully made it through the hysterectomy, oophorectomy, and vaginectomy with no problems at all. All that was left was medioplasty. This meant he might be out before the movie was over, so instead I swung by Arizona Territory, a souvenir store and picked him up an Arizona souvenir spoon and an Arizona Ranger badge.

It was hours of waiting for him to get out of surgery. Eventually I got a call that he was out and in recovery. Instead of going directly there (well I went there and found he couldn’t have visitors) I went and had a nice lunch at the local Denny’s. I haven’t been in a Denny’s in years, and the last two times sucked, but this was like the Denny’s from my teen years and was worth it.

I finally got back to the hospital and he was in his room. He was incredibly smiley, still drugged but happy to see me. He was in great shape and between falling asleep he would chat with me. After about an hour and a half I left him so he could fully sleep. I went back to the hotel and laid in bed waiting to fall asleep, I would go into see him as soon as I was up and moving. Damn even one night away from him is hard, tomorrow night will be twice as hard.

Hubby and his signature hand move.

Oh, and Ghost had eaten his food yesterday so when our friend came over she found him again not too keen on her being there. I feel bad for him.

Such a fragile creature

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Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad

DATE NIGHT:
Where: Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad and Hobo Inn
Links: MRSR (http://www.mrsr.com/) Hobo Inn (http://rrdiner.com/)
Date: July 31 – August 1st, 2015.

See the gallery and short video (all the short video clips I took) under the post below.

I have been really bad about posting our date nights (Jello and I). Well in this case it was a date overnight at the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad in Elbe Washington. This would be the first time we have ever spent the night with just us, and not with a bunch of our friends at a hotel. Originally we were going to ride one of their steam trains, but sadly the week before the train broke down and we were riding a Northern Pacific train that starred in the movie Runaway with Jon Voight in 1985.

Northern Pacific #7012A, the train from "Runaway Train" starring Jon Voight.
Northern Pacific #7012A, from “Runaway Train” starring Jon Voight.

I wasn’t sure at first, it was a small disappointment. However, that all changed when we we got off work that Friday night. We had decided to stay in the Hobo Inn which was a motel that used train cars as rooms. The disadvantage of the train car was the small bed. It was double in size, but shorter, so my legs hung off. We didn’t stay in the room long because we were both hungry.

This is the room we rented at the hotel that rents out cabooses next door to the train.
This is the room we rented at the hotel that rents out cabooses next door to the train.

There is also a restaurant that is attached as several train cars. We sat and ate buffalo burger and an elk burger. They were fairly tasty, the lady was nice who served us and the sunset lighting was pretty cool. She explained that the drought was killing them, the lake that is right off the site was empty of water. Huge tree trunks stuck straight out of the ground, and the waitress was in awe of how dry everything was.

Dining Car
Dining Car

What we didn’t expect during our trip was no cell service, therefore no internet service. That made our night a little surreal and a throwback to the 90s. What took us back even further was the small 13 inch tv with a built in VHS player and a bunch of old videos. We ended up watching Fright Night… on VHS… Honestly it was a lot of fun.

Yes, this is the Fright Night VHS tape.
Yes, this is the Fright Night VHS tape.

We woke up the next morning, walked across the main road that goes up to the pass and got coffee and the small store, along with some snacks. We wandered back to our room and watched Scream on VHS while waiting for the train time (the Hobo Inn is literally across the street from the train station and sits on the rail line the train uses).

Early morning outside the caboose.
Early morning outside the caboose.

We picked up tickets later that morning, and found that they were out of collector spoons (which made Jello and I both sad). We hopped on the train car and prepared for the ride.

Tickets!
Tickets!

The ride was fun. I have never been on a train and it was definitely fun. The train takes a person up about 8 miles (45 minutes to an hour) and stops at a mining area and train depot. There they have a museum with a bunch of trains that we wandered around for an hour. Even with all the children around it was fun.

Oldschool train
Old school train

We then road back to the main station. The whole time we enjoyed the rocking of the train, the forests around us and the cool breeze in the hot summer. When we got back we climbed in the car and on our way home we noted the huge tree trunks in the water. We decided to stop and take a picture. If you look closely in some of these pictures you can see people standing behind them.

Evidently it hasn't been this dry in living memory. Look closely in the middle of the picture and yes those are humans standing by the trees.
Evidently it hasn’t been this dry in living memory. Look closely in the middle of the picture and yes those are humans standing by the trees.

 

Short Video: 

DATE NIGHT GALLERY!!!

Morning of Day 2 in Atlanta

Couch, desk, tv and bed, not bad for a hotel room.
Couch, desk, tv and bed, not bad for a hotel room.

Here I am trying to wake up to go to my first day of schooling (for two weeks of training for my new job). I am back in Atlanta, and as a side note for people who don’t know, I live in the Pacific NW, I got in Sunday evening and was way too tired to post then. My goal though is to post constantly while I am here, I slacked last time.

First, I have to say everyone in the airport and at the hotel have been incredibly nice. I realize they are service workers and that is what they get paid for, but the whole Southern Hospitality schtick seems to hold up so far.

The hotel room itself is actually really nice. I have a couch, coffee table, a nice bed, tv and a small moveable desk if I need. It is excellent for a two week stay. The only disappointment is the hotel doesn’t have microwaves in the rooms (wtf is up with that? Every motel 6 I have stayed at in the past had one, this is a higher grade hotel). So this is another pro compared to last time, this hotel is definitely a better grade.

Walmart was once again a nightmare though. I thought maybe last time I was here the Walmart food area was just overwhelmed but it seems to be a derelict of empty shelves at all times. The customers though are nicer here then in the Pacific NW. They smile more and say hi when they pass by.

The shuttle driver and service is also already a lot better then last time as well. He shows up when he says he will and doesn’t act like its the end of the world. So far so good.

There has only been two cons so far!

The first is our internet SUCKS!!! We get this 128k type internet (I am sure it is faster but doesn’t feel like it) and you have to pay an additional $6 a day if you want full speed. I am sure our agency paid for full internet so I will have to look into that.

The media… what was I thinking when I turned on the tv and they had a commercial that Georgia has a million new jobs! Yet ALL of those million new jobs went to THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, and that WE MUST TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY.

Ahh conservatives in the South are “still keeping it real”, it is nice you are so reliable in your outlook. I am a little more aware of things this time, so I can watch a bit closer on how different from where I am from, maybe I can be a little more discerning, but as a person in a same-sex marriage with alternate (read liberal) ideas I definitely feel out of my realm.

It doesn’t help I work a white collar job with the vast majority of people who have middle class or higher privilege and are straight/conservative. This just magnifies things. Also I do realize I have my own biases, and I suspect I will never move those biases as well (pro-working class and lower economic levels, pro alternate lifestyles, anti “traditional” outlooks).

Don’t worry, I am already seeing more stuff to write up, you will get a lot of stuff in the  next two weeks.

Atlanta Summer 2014 Disclaimer

dodI just got back Friday night from my first training with my new job. This was a series of new things that I haven’t done before and I am sure many of these incidents colored my view of the Atlanta Georgia, and by default the south in general.

The training was my “onboarding” for my new audit job. It was basically a week long introduction to the agency, some general overview of what and how we audit, and also sort of a networking opportunity with all the other new hires. I have never worked for the feds before, and honestly this week alone I got more training then any other job gave me over the entire span of my career. The State Auditor’s Office didn’t even come close.

So this trip had a lot of firsts for me. It was my first airplane ride (except evidently I was on a plane when I was 2). It was the longest I have been gone from Jello in our 22+ year marriage (5 nights, 6 days, when the total time before this for all days combined was maybe 5 nights separate). It was my first time to the south so that was a cultural, and physical difference. I want to also note that I have never lived alone for that long. I lived with my family, then moved in with roommates then with Jello. I have never lived by myself except for the days that I was away from Jello, which combined were the same or less total days then I was at this training. Although by the end of the trip, I think I was acclimating.

In addition lately I am super stressed because I am at a new job, a new probationary period, we are moving in three weeks several towns over. I am commuting about 90 miles a day (further then I was to my previous job in Bellevue) and my work day right now is 11-12 hours a day with the commute.

With all these stresses, I must be very honest that I probably wasn’t the most unbiased observer (combined with my super progressive/liberal/lgbt friendly outlook). So this post is partially a disclaimer for my future observation posts about Atlanta Summer 2014 (and I have a lot of them coming I think). I am fortunate, I am going to get to go back to Atlanta in October (not in the horrific summer weather) for two weeks for more training. When I give updated posts then I am sure the bias won’t be so bad.

Overall though the trip was good. This is a good sign that the agency I work for takes me serious. I would talk about my initial week but honestly it was mostly a blur. The airplane trip went really well. The landing in Atlanta was evidently way worse then others had ever experienced (and it was a bit scary, but post about that later) but the return trip was fine. The stay at the hotel did suck, but that was a hotel issue, not a “south” or Atlanta problem.

I met a lot of nice people, had several interesting interactions, and even with my hatred of being gone from my hubbie it was a good experience. I think it will be even better in October (omg people talked about the humidity in the south, but I had NO IDEA).

I think the job is a good thing, I still have some anxiety and uncomfortableness but I suspect some of that is the fact I like to shoot myself in the foot. I will post a lot more about the trip in several future posts. There was quite a bit of culture shock for me, but like I said I had a lot of stresses going in. I am hoping writing about it might let me separate what was actual experience versus the gerbils in my head.