About Scattered Brain Matter

I started this blog to be able to post my writing up for the world to see. Obviously it hasn't really gone that far, but there are the few that do read this. I keep it up because it's a good outlet for my own mind and my writing. I hope that if you are reading, you enjoy.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I woke up on the third day of The Rain. It hadn’t stopped for three days straight. We all weren’t sure if it was ever going to stop. I pulled on some jeans and sighed, staring out the window. The water level in the neighbor’s pool had started to rise, the river in the backyard was getting closer to flooding.
“Glad I bought those Wellington’s in New York…” I muttered as I found a thick sweatshirt. My room was cleaner than normal, the rain had flooded the restaurant I worked at, so I didn’t have to work. No money meant not much to do, but it also meant a lot more free time.
I grabbed my rain coat off of the hook on my wall and pulled on my boots. It was a cold rain and I wasn’t looking forward to sloshing through it to get to my car. It was always running about 2 inches deep now, since yesterday when the drains started getting clogged. We had put hay up around our doors and the basement and garage. It didn’t help much, what with the water coming down from the road and up from the river…and our house stuck in the middle.

Anatomy Class or Party Night?

Have you ever wondered..."What if I went to medical school? I'd be making thousands more than I do!"
Well...you're right. In an article I just read on MSN.com they were talking about the top 10 best paying jobs in America.
9 out of the 10 are in the medical field. Each profession being in their own field and only being trumped out by one corportate job; CEO's.
A surgeon makes an average of $219, 770 per year. That's almost 6 times what I make now, and almost 10 times as much as I would have made had I stayed in the restuarant industry.

The article goes into talking about the break down of salaries and uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates from May 2009. It claims that the reason for such a high salary in the medical field is because of the cost of education and malpractice insurance for those with the PhD's.

Understandably...I only came out of a 4 year college with about $30,000 in debt, which is probably about a year of medical school. There are some us who were not blessed with the mind for medicine and shouldn't we be alright with the fact that we're paying people who were properly trained to do what they do?

Top medical jobs being:

Oral/Maxillofacial Surgeons

I think we can be ok with these people getting the correct and proper educations and then getting paid to do what they do. Messing with people's teeth, making people feel no pain during painful and hard surgeries, DOING the surgeries and making sure that a woman's in's and out's are working are pretty hard jobs; in my opinion.

A good quote from the article itself: "In operating rooms across the country, surgeons earn an average of $105.66 an hour. Maybe there are worse things in life after all than taking organic chemistry and being on overnight call." (Coster 1)

We then look at the bottom end of the spectrum. The food industry. Coming from personal experience, it really takes the right kind of person to work in this business. You need to be hard to the fact that money is not something that comes by easy, with a degree or knowing people. You work hard, long hours and you bust your butt for minimum wage, or if you're a waitress or waiter, far below minimum wage. The average server gets $2.71 an hour, plus tips. With the current economy though...who really goes out to eat any more? Or often? It's something that will eventually damage the server's world and really put a dent in the way the US populace sees dining out.

The average food service worker (cook, dishwasher, dining room/caf attendants) makes about $18,120/year. Granted they're not paying for school like a doctor would be, but they do need to make a living. A gynocologist or anesthesiologist can pay up to 6 digits a year in medical malpractice premiums! A food service worker needs to only worry about covering themselves and a family.

Fun Fact: The CEO of Occidental Petroleum, Ray Irani made 52.2 million last year and Disney's CEO made 20.8 million in salary, stock and bonuses.
Fun Fact: A surgeon makes about $105.66/hour where a food service employee makes about $8.71/hour.

Its really a world where you need to balance the pros and cons of each profession. A doctor is getting paid for the money and time and effort they put into 5-7+ years in medical school and the malpractice that could result from a lax hand. Food service workers are comprised of drop outs, college kids, people putting themselves through school or those just using it as a segway for a better job.

We need to realize that everyone struggles, even those people making 6 digits a year, just remember...when you're in bed after flipping your burgers and taking out trash, there is a doctor in an ER somewhere waiting for a patient coming in from a shooting, car accident, or worse. But where would we be without food service workers? Where are the people who are hardy workers living day to day to serve you? No where...its a harmony that we need to accept.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Aromatherapy Prompt

I woke up to the smell of eggs frying in a pan. It wafted through the small, dimly lit bedroom and surrounded my head. Lifting one eyelid slowly, I felt around and noticed the other side of the bed empty. Cooking breakfast? I was surprised he’d stayed long enough to say good morning, or even good bye.
I didn’t normally wake up after nights at the club early enough to consider breakfast; let alone anything that wasn’t just coffee or some dry toast. I rolled over on my side and listened to the low hum of the radio in the dining room and the scrape of a spatula on the pan. Tomatoes had been added. Stewed tomatoes, ripe with juice and being cooked slowly in a pot. I could see them in my head, bubbling slightly and pairing perfectly with some toast; the eggs as a companion.
This kind of aroma filling the entire house was just enough to make me shed a tear. My mum used to make breakfasts like this. English breakfasts we’d call them. It was always a Sunday thing and it was something that brought the family together. No one in my family could deny a breakfast fit for a football team.
Rolling back to face the doorway to the room, I contemplated getting up, showering and brushing my teeth. It was the least I could do for the man making me breakfast…which was still something new to me. He stayed. I tried hard to remember his name…Phil? No…it did begin with a ‘p’ though. Lost in my thoughts, I didn’t hear the soft footfalls coming up the hall from the kitchen. A head peaked in through the cracked door and the bouquet of breakfast hit me hard and fast. Another tear leaked out.
“I didn’t know if you’d be awake yet. I cooked you breakfast…I figured it was a good thank you for last night. I had a good time, and I uh…well, I hope you did too.” His accent was thick…Irish? When did I meet an Irish man last night? Either way, each word melted through my head like butter on hot bread. It was a weakness of mine. That must have been why he’d ended up coming home with me. Flirtation will get you anything if you want it bad enough.
“Where did you get eggs from?” Nice one Ginny…that was as far from thank you as one could get. “I mean…thank you…I appreciate it…but where did you get eggs?”
“The market down the street. They had a nice organic selection,” he smiled slightly and winked at me. I felt my face flush and tried to pass it off with a yawn and a stretch.
He walked out of the room and I heard bacon hit the frying pan with a loud, succulent sizzle and he started singing to himself. He was attractive; I looked around the corner again to take him in before I hopped in the shower and washed away the makeup and hairspray. I needed to feel somewhat human for this man. A soft knock on the bathroom door snapped me out of my watery reverie.
“You almost done? I don’t want the food to go cold. I could join you and make it go faster if you’d like,” he chuckled to himself and shut the door, not even allowing me to deny or accept his invitation.
I turned off the hot water and wrapped a towel around my damp torso. Throwing my hair up in a towel I wiped the mirror to check my reflection. Still me, still slightly round faced, plump lips, and startling blue eyes. What was he staying for? I wasn’t anything special. I heard toast popping from the toaster and the exotic chef start whistling a drinking song.
I ventured out into the kitchen and smiled at the table laid out with foods from my past. The smell was clouding my head and tears were blurring my vision.

Aromatherapy: Describe a place by its smell, scent, odor, perfume, or stench. Don't let the olfactory sense overwhelm your description, but use this sense the way it occurs in our everyday experience - as an unconcious trigger of memory. The odor should contain a secret message for one of the characters in the scene. 500 words.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The 1st of many writing exercises!

Prompt: Open an imaginary door, what do you see?

I put my shaky hand on the heavy wooden door. It was decked in etching that looked like sparkles and symbols. Something cryptic was seared into the top beam. It was a language I’d never seen before, something I’d never even dreamed of. Things were immensely blurry and it was hot.

The door had a glow around it. The aura was soft, like the light from a warm and comforting fire. My hand groped it’s way towards the large blackened metal handle. It was warm to the touch, like someone’s hand had just been there, still grasping at a body’s heat.

Sweat beaded on my forehead and my hands were clammy as I gripped the handle tightly. A timid breeze sighed out from under the door way, like something was trying to get out. I looked down and contemplated the breathing sound and the soft light. It reminded me of a heart beat, a living thing.

Something whispered in the back of my mind, telling me to open the door. There was no lock, no chain, nothing holding me or the door back. I grabbed the handle tightly and felt the heat increase. I didn’t care, it was now or never.

To Be Continued…