Search This Blog

Friday, June 29, 2012

Striking Distance

by Steven P. Velasquez
June 29, 2012

The sound of bells, buzzers, perhaps a lover's or child's voice; maybe even a rooster's crow in some places, are all sounds by which to wake; some more desirable than others.   Well my partner, aside from occasionally crowing about whatever his transient topic of the moment is, serves none of those purposes.

There, tucked away in a county park, awaiting our possible activation into another's personal nightmare we sat.  It's been a great couple of days with balmy temps in the 80's and finally, for the first time in weeks, no rain!  Well, except for that wicked thunder and lightning storm that blew though here about an hour ago.I startled so badly, I almost pee'd!  It sounded like that thunder clap was just over my right ear, and boy did the night sky turn to day for a moment.  I straightened up in my seat and looked around, as one never knows exactly who is lerking in the darkness.  One look over my shoulder and I now realized what all the noise was. The tree directly to my right had sustained a direct hit from a lightning strike.  My partner and I were in "striking distance" so to speak.

We both got out a while after the rain stopped and surveyed the damage.  A length of tree-bark was sheared from the tree.  We found the culprit of the delayed cracking noise after the lightning struck, it was the sound of the tree shedding its skin.  Good thing for us we were A: grounded and B: not under a falling limb. 

Good God, the dangers we face to feed our families


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Frustrated Photographer

by Steven P. Velasquez
June 20, 2012

Grumble, grumble, f'in', frigga, frassa, stupid privacy Nazi's!!!!!  Why can't we photograph what we see in the hospital?  Sue this you idiots!  This privacy crap and hysteria about photographing in certain places deserves a counter suit!  I'm suing these nuts for robbing us (the people - as in "We the People") of our God-given (that's right I said it!) right to humor!  Humor is good medicine and I believe certain people are put on this Earth to provide a healthy dose of humor -- for the rest!

Some will provide humor as their choice of career (Billy Crystal).  Some will provide social commentary (Jackie Mason).  Some will act (Robin Williams).  Some will pretend they have what it takes to be president (see current occupant)(snort).  And some... some will just be themselves and bring laughter to us all by their very, and often pathetic, existence.  Some people, due to their lack of sophistication, level of intoxication, what-ever -- are just damn funny fodder!

Earlier today in an undisclosed facility, that may or may not provide care and comfort for humanity, I, at the end of a 13 hour shift (don't forget the late jobs), had a complete and sudden loss of decorum (not my norm).  I just couldn't control myself and what I had seen had struck me as such a funny sight that I actually covered my mouth with one hand, raised and pointed with the other and right there in the middle of... let's just call it an E.R., laughed out loud.  I quickly caught myself, realized that the entire off-going night and on-coming day shifts were there staring at me.

Gangsta pant styles
You see homies in 'the hood' are bad.  They are bad mo fo's.  They talk bad.  They walk bad.  They snarl and stare and try to get in your head.  When the odds are right and you're unprepared or vulnerable, they can often wreak some badness upon you and take yo' shit!  They're so bad they can't pull up their pants (see illustration).  They walk with a limp, even if they've never been shot -- yet.  They call that diddy-boppin', or at least used to when I walked among them (with my pants pulled up though).

So this bad mo fo is diddy-boppin' through the ER catching looks from everyone.  He's got his cool on.  His hat is turned to the side (like when Daffy Duck used to get his beak blown off his face).  He's in full, peacock-like strut, daring anyone in a lab-coat or scrubs to "dis" (disrespect) him (because he's earned so much of their unwavering respect).  And what to my blood-shot, ready to go home eyes do I see?  About 30 inches of 'White Cloud' hanging down his posterior.  Like a cartoon cat walking upright, this brother forgot to disengage the shore-line at the last rest-room visit.

Let me tell you this cat was bad.  I wish I could have shown you what I saw, but a brother's gotta pay the bills.  You know what I'm sayin' yo?

Friday, June 1, 2012

I Love This Job

by Steven P. Velasquez
May 29, 2012

I love this job. Where else does a person punch in and get briefed by their boss, manager, supervisor or in my case, chief -- that there's danger in the air and that we may be sent right into it? A shooting the other night turned into a homicide and our intel says to be ready for expected retaliation, particularly between this street and that ave., so watch your six.

Dangerous sounding right? I agree. But having lived the corporate life with all of its' consistencies, I choose the uncertainty, the disorder, the calamities inherent.

My job is never boring. I call my co-workers and esteemed colleagues brothers -- and sisters; and now that I'm getting older, many of them are like my sons and daughters too.

My job provides perspective.  I don't just watch the seasons change, I live them, I experience them. I don't just read about the weather, nor watch it on T.V., I'm enveloped in it. 

My job puts me in the midst of things happening.  I don't just read about last night's tragedy. I -- was last night's tragedy's last hope.

My job is challenging.  A 6X6 fluorescent lit, climate controlled cubicle in a perfectly predictable office space just doesn't cut it for me. The back of a 10 foot long, poorly lit and barely air conditioned ambulance is my office -- uncertainty is my home. 

My job is exhausting.  It's said that one should work to live, not live to work. Maybe I'm off balance. Perhaps a little askew, but if the circumstances in my life dictate that I have to work as much as I do, I choose the excitement. I choose the uncertainty. I choose this group of people beside me.  I choose the life of a Mobile Intensive Care Paramedic and I pray God keeps me healthy and able to continue in this endeavor -- with these brothers -- and these sisters for as long as I'm needed here.

My job is noble and honorable and not - for the faint of heart.