Thursday, April 23, 2009

Filling in the details...

I took a test last Wednesday, got a 100%. We then headed out on a tour that covered the west end of the county. After work I headed to LAX and boarded a plane to DC. I slept the entire flight. Lauren picked me up at the airport at around 6:30 am (east coast time) and dropped me off at her apartment before heading to work. I slept until about noon. She got home around 12:15. Then we got ready and went out to take care of some last minute wedding errands.

Thursday night we had dinner with her mom and some friends... then it was time to "party." We had a limo SUV and we went "bar hopping." I must say that it was an experience. We would literally walk into a bar, someone would order a round of shots or shooters for everyone and they would expect us each to down it. After a few drinks we would head to the next bar. Now, it bears noting that I'm not much of a drinker. I never finished even a single drink that was passed my way. At some point I decided I was done even tasting them so I let everyone know to take me off their list. Lauren's friend Erin (who is also from California) is not much of a drinker either so we pretty much watched everyone get drunker and drunker. On our way to bar number 3 I think it became pretty clear that one girl was down for the count. She must have only been about 90 lbs., and she had WAY too much to drink. There was vomiting, and passing out. Shortly after realizing we were down one party-er I look over at Lauren and she had her face in a bag. This is the craziest thing... all the other girls were encouraging her to "keep going" because they wanted her to "have fun." Uh... where I come from drinking to the point of vomiting does not equal fun!!! Anyway Lauren said she wanted to go home but was faced by all kinds of opposition from the party crowd, so Erin and I stepped in and said "we're taking her home."

After a long night of watching other people get plastered I sat up and studied. We got up early on Friday to go see the family. We had a luncheon around noon, then went back to get ready for the rehearsal and the dinner. All of that was fun... there was a lot less drinking that night - which was good because a hung over bridal party might not have been such a great idea! After all of the pre wedding festivities we went to the hotel and I studied.

The day of the wedding everything went very smoothly. I was SO sad to have to leave before the reception but I was glad I got to be there for the rest of the festivities. I got on a plane at 6:00 p.m. and studied nearly the entire trip home. The stranger sitting next to me took my flashcards and quizzed me several times. I appreciated the help so much!

I got back to work on Sunday morning and got another 100% on the last regular test of the academy.

Tuesday we took our final... there's a story to tell about that too but I'm out of time so I'll blog about it later.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I did it!

I'm completely exhausted and I'll need to blog more thoroughly later but the bottom line is I passed the first training phase. There is still nearly a year ahead of me before I'm completely out of the woods but tonight I am not touching a single flash card! I'm going to sleep.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

County Tour - East End

I saw the Salton Sea today, from a distance. I went from Rialto to Riverside to go to work. Then from Riverside through Palm Desert and then on to Salton Sea. I get carsick. I need to see the road. Apparently after about 8 hours of driving, with no head rest to lean back on, even seeing the road does not keep me from getting sick. We pulled off for one last potty break in Cabazon on the way back to Riverside and I almost puked. I walked in to the bathroom (yes a public restroom - scary enough as it is) and it smelled like, well, restroom. I lurched. I turned around. I ran out of the bathroom. I held it the rest of the way to Riverside. I'd rather die than vomit. I've said it a million times. I found out today I'd also rather risk peeing myself in a van full of coworkers than puke.

Tomorrow = a test. Then, County tour - West end. I'm totally hoping I can hold it together better for that one.

After work tomorrow, I'm off to DC!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Just thought I'd mention...

I'm freaking TERRIFIED! We took some mock calls today. I totally choked! To be fair I should say that I was expecting a non emergency call for something that had already past when my instructor decided to make an example out of me and give me an emergency.

So, my reporting party (aka the instructor) is screaming that someone is shooting. I tried to ask good questions, really I did!

I asked who was shooting, she didn't know - but offered to go look. (I told her not to!)

I asked where it was occurring, she said "here." Well thanks. I guess I should anticipate my caller isn't going to answer intelligently unless I am totally specific though.

I asked for her name, she fought me on that.

I asked for her phone number, another fight!!!

Oh, and I flubbed the call type too. YIKES! I didn't ask who was being shot at or if they were shooting at her or her house... all pretty vital information in hindsight!

I did manage to get a good address and phone number. It wasn't a total loss. No one else in the class had a perfect, or even near perfect, call. So I know in the future I'll try to ask better questions... the future being NEXT WEEK, when we start answering LIVE CALLS... and take our final! HOLY CRAP I'M TERRIFIED!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I'm uhhhhh.... EXHAUSTED!

Today was our first ten hour day. That's not such a big deal but what IS a big deal is that the day started at 0700 hours, in Riverside. In case you didn't already know, I don't live in Riverside. It takes me about 40 minutes to get to work in the morning. (If I'm being honest it takes me about 30 but I probably break some laws on the way there... ugh, I'm thinking codes and call types right now...) I was up studying last night until about 2330 hours. Anyway, so I had to wake up during an hour called 0500. Have you ever heard of it? I guess some people call that morning. I believe they are completely delusional, or at best ill informed. That, my friends, is the middle of the freaking night! It is now 2144 hours. My body insists it's bed time. I'm beat.

Today's test...

Terrified me! I was sure I'd fail... I got a 93%. Maybe at some point I'll actually have some faith in myself. My classmates/coworkers tell me I'm ridiculous because I'm always sure I'll fail and then I end up not only passing but passing with a respectable score. All I know is I'm glad I passed.

There is a short test Wednesday, then the big test next Sunday... then finals! Whoo Hoo!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

Abby, Isaiah, Ella, and bottom center is Sophia!

Death of the Toothfairy...

The truth is I've always been a TERRIBLE toothfairy. The problem just seems to be getting worse. I think by the time Sophia starts tucking teeth under her pillow it will be a miracle if the toothfairy EVER remembers.

Isaiah lost a tooth two days ago. He dutifully tucked it under his pillow, twice. I unceremoniously forgot to do my toothfairily duties... twice. So this morning he was all sorts of disappointed. Yesterday was bad, but today was worse!

In my defense, all I had in my wallet was a ten dollar bill. Now, the toothfairy cannot go around dropping $10's. I have four kids. They will all be freaking out if the toothfairy gives Isaiah $10 and they get $2! I had every intention of going out to break that ten while Brian stayed behind to hold down the fort... but the first night I just plain forgot. I know that's no defense. So last night it took the kids a while to fall asleep and Brian and I were in the middle of a rare kid free conversation when Sophia woke up, freaking out. Then there was the midnight sun blazing down from the chopper whirring overhead... declaring the end of a neighborhood party. There were teenagers scattering like ants. It was quite an event. Sophia didn't fall asleep until like 1 a.m.! By that time I had completely forgotten that I had a job to do...

So this morning I told Isaiah I screwed up. I told him I'm supposed to help the toothfairy but I suck at it. He laughed and acted like he was surprised I'm the toothfairy... but really he wasn't. Then I recruited him. I told him maybe if he helps me I'll be a better toothfairy for his sisters. He was really excited about that. Then I dutifully listened to him explain Pokemon... for eternity. The boy was happy. He lost the toothfairy (sort of) but he got to give me game on Pokemon, which I'm pretty sure to him was WAY better than believing in a toothfairy who rarely shows up on time!

Hey mom, I think I can explain Pokemon to you now... maybe.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Fun Stuff - and CRAZY BUSY!

I booked a flight to DC the other night. My best friend is getting married in Virginia and I didn't think I was going to be able to go. Between the financial issues and the fact that I didn't know what my class schedule would be, it just didn't seem feasible. Then I got my first paycheck and the financial thing wasn't going to be an issue. I started thinking over what I needed to do to succeed in class and I decided that I could study on a plane and get some work in between things while in Virginia so... I'm going after all! I'm not eating for the next week though... I tried on my dress last night and it fits but uh... yeah so anyway, do you have any tips on how to lose ten pounds in a week and a half?!

It's my "weekend" now. I have a ton of studying to do from now through Saturday. I have a test on Sunday. Yes I'm working on Easter - it comes with the territory! Then we have a tour of half the county on Tuesday, a test on Wednesday and then we'll tour the rest of the county. I leave Wednesday night from LAX on the red eye. I'll land (in theory) around 6:30 a.m. East Coast time. We'll do pre-wedding girly stuff for a few days. The wedding is at 1:30 on Saturday. I have to be at the airport by 4 for my return flight. My flight should arrive back at LAX by a little before 9 p.m. on Saturday night. Then I have a test on the geography of the County on Sunday the 19th. We are supposed to be answering live calls from the training center on Monday, Tuesday we take finals (written and practical) and Wednesday (two weeks from yesterday) is the last day of PSAP class.

It's not over yet... I have to pass PSAP hands on training within 6 weeks. If the schedule stays the same I'll work PSAP until July, then go back for a month long Radio academy. After passing the Radio academy, I have to pass the hands on Radio training and hands on Back Up training. I think after that there is one more classroom training session and I'll be through training. I'll breathe again in 2010.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I'm shocked... and for once it's in a good way!

I actually received child support. To make matters even better it wasn't just for the current month. There was enough to pay what wasn't paid last month too... now if I could just find a way to collect on the 7 or 8 other months worth of back support owed I'd be overjoyed!

Test #5...

95%... I am thinking it's possible that I might make it through without having to use either of my 2 retakes!!! Here's hoping! I have more studying to do this weekend as test #6 is Monday. The 7th test is on Easter Sunday. There are two more tests in the week after that and then the written and practical finals. Yikes! I find myself amazed at the quantity of information I have absorbed! I wish more of it was on instant recall, but it's all in there and that's a good thing!

Now I'm off to shower, get ready and head out to drop the kids off for their visit with their dad. I'm glad he has the money to pay for his visits really, I am. It does frustrate me that he couldn't seem to find a way to pay the court ordered child support... not even a part of it!